Friday, October 30, 2009


Well, lest you all think that Gabe was the only one who noticed that we had a bunch of girls at our house last weekend, I shall say a bit about it myself.
Five of my dear friends from Wisconsin, and Minnesota, all piled in a car and drove down to see me. We had a wonderful weekend... talking , laughing, eating, scrap booking, playing volleyball... oh, and taking pictures :) I feel very privileged that they were all able to make the trip to see me. It was great fun having them here, I assure you!
I thank God that He blessed us with this time together. Our times of slumber(less) and scrap booking parties seem to be nearing an end as each of us heads into the great unknown, so we cherish these friend moments. Thanks again, girls, for coming! Keep Smiling :)
~ Jenny

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I made it

Having made it through the past weekend with minimal lasting side effects, I shall attempt to elucidate my thoughts. I should have let you all know that I'm okay before now, but as with all deep emotional and psychological struggles (supposedly), I had to allow some time (for healing, of course) to pass before being able to fully open myself up about the events of the weekend. Plus I had to work other evenings and it's raining now so I don't have good enough reasons to be outside.

It was an emotionally traumatizing time for me, as increasing by five persons (of the opposite gender!) the number of occupants in a house the size of mine made me feel like the only rose in a window box of crabgrass. Rather conspicuous. Maybe that's not the right analogy. I'm not saying they're crabgrass really, I'm just using it as a comparative term. Hmmm, I'm sure if they read this they'll be able to take it in the spirit it's given......

Fortunately, Matt and Amy were gracious enough to allow the girls to stay at their house (except Abbey, who wasn't much trouble). If it weren't for that, we'd have made my rose and crabgrass analogy more applicable. Another thing that helped me to get through the weekend was the fact that I was able to spend Saturday working at Rache and Millie's house.

All joking aside, they really behaved pretty well, and as far as I know didn't break things or cause any problems, so I'd say it was a success. I think Jenny even feels like they would be allowed to come again should they ever desire.

Here's me signing off... ~GB

Friday, October 23, 2009

What's a fellow to do?

I'm about to be invaded. Not by aliens of course. Not quite, anyway. Jenny is going to be visited by five friends in a few short minutes. All female. Well, I guess I don't really have a lot more to say..... That pretty well sums it up.

Oh, it quit raining today! That was a nice thing. We've received exactly 2 1/2" of rain in the last three days, by my record. It's been a little dreary and wet, and with temperatures in the lower forties and upper thirties at night, it makes the fire feel very nice. Harvest has been put on hold... again.

So today the sun started to shine. Well, this afternoon it did. Actually, it had been shining all along. At least we think so. It's just that the visibility was too poor for us to see the ninety three million miles to know for sure that our light source was still the sun. But we suspect it was anyway. This afternoon, however, it broke through the clouds and began scattering sunbeams among the falling leaves and onto the mud puddles. They are beginning to dry, at least in theory. So I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the leaves, since with the wind we have they won't last long. So here's a picture of our house and the big Silver Maple, and then I'll go find my hole. I should be crawling back out on Monday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pulling up Carpets and Painting

Hi, my name is Jenny and this is what I do for fun! I rip out carpets and paint walls!*
Here are before and after pictures... the before picture is from soon after we were married, and this room was my "store room". I'm sorry the after picture is so dark, I don't know how to adjust the intricate settings on Gabe's beloved camera.
Last Saturday, I was suddenly struck with a great urge to start painting.I convinced Gabe that it was a good idea and got him to go down the basement with me to see what there happened to be down there for paint. After some mixing of paint, I came up with a light tan color and began to paint. Oh yes, we had to take the wallpaper border down first, but that wasn't too hard really. This room is quite small... 11 1/2 ft by 6 1/2 approximately, with one door and one window to work around. So in a couple hours I had the first coat on. It looked great! On Monday, Amy came over and helped me finish up... I did some sponge painting with a lighter shade too... I'm not sure if you can see that on the picture.

After we were done painting, it looked so good in there that Amy and I had the brainy idea to just go ahead and pull the carpet out while we were at it. We began to claw around at the edges of the carpet, got a good grab, and pulled. We discover that there was another piece of carpeting under that one, that was really a lot prettier than the top layer :) We pulled that out too. As were doing this, we made a lovely discovery. Underneath all the lovely carpet, is a beautiful, oak floor! So Gabe and I don't think we'll be getting a new piece of carpet after all.
I think the "North Bedroom" is my favorite room in the house right now :).... Now.... I wonder what is under the other carpets in my house??

On a side note, fall in Nebraska actually does make at least some nice leaves, and here is one I found on my window!* He just peeked in to say hi to me I guess, so I took his picture.

Until Later....
Jenny Marie Burkey

* PS Gabe gets the credit for a couple of the sentences in this post, since he started it for me. I think that is his way of getting me to post something sometimes :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Old House

 In the year 1836, Marcus Whitman and his wife, along with their party, traveled west. They were the trailblazers of a westward route that would become the famed Oregon Trail. Mass migration did not start until the year 1843. By then, the route used differed from the trail the Whitmans took, being shortened by taking a more direct route across Nebraska to Fort Kearny, instead of following the Missouri river north and the looping Platte river west. Seventeen years later, in 1860, a newer route was established that left the Missouri river at Nebraska City. It cut off about 40 miles from the trip to Fort Kearny, and was a nicer trail, as it primarily followed ridgetops, making the best use of the natural terrain. Across these trails cumulatively went nearly half a million people, seeking new homes, new lives, a new beginning. They met with many hardships and are now famous to us, as the pioneers of the west.

Situated about five miles due east of Beaver Crossing, NE, our house sits within about 100 yards of the Nebraska City Cut-Off of the Oregon Trail. If our house would have been in existence at that time, it would have seen wagons and wagon loads of people and goods heading westward. They would go past our house, continue west until they disappeared over the ridge of the Walnut Creek Valley. After crossing Walnut creek they would continue on westward to the town of Beaver Crossing, named for Beaver Creek, at which crossing the original town site stood. (The town is also purported to have derived its name from the abundance of beaver in the area) That crossing is located about six or seven miles west of our house.

Our house has been in existence in some form or degree, almost since the dust of the passing wagons subsided. No one that we know of can tell us when it was built, but all guess that it was toward the end of the nineteenth century. Originally a two room frame house about 22' by 34' it was added on to several times, to provide modern amenities such as indoor plumbing. It entered into my family (as far as I know) when purchased by my Great-Grandpa, John Burkey. The first family story I'm familiar with about our house, is one my Grandpa told me.

The house was in disrepair, an old falling down house in which no one lived. My Great Grandpa doubted anyone ever again would live in it. The year was probably either late 1930's or early 1940's, when they had some grain that was spoiling because it was too wet. My Grandpa was told by his Dad to shovel that grain (I think it was wheat) into the now-living room of our home, and spread it around on the floor so it would dry. It was later shoveled out the same window into which it had come.

Sometime after that, the house was repaired to the point that a portion of it could be lived in. As I understand it, it was at that point that the kitchen was added, and maybe the bathroom too. A basement (cellar, really) was dug under the newer part, the which is now in pretty bad shape and houses too many rodents. Now I will relate as best I can, the chronology of homes in this house from that time on. I can't provide all the dates, but will try to give some idea of the time each spent here.

My Grandparents, newlywed, began housekeeping in this house in 1945, and spent their first year here, before switching houses with my Grandpa's parents, who lived one mile down the road. It was in this house that they lost their first baby, Sherril Jean Burkey, at birth.

My great Grandparents, John and Sarah Burkey, lived out their final days in this house.

My great uncle Willius Burkey and his wife Elaine, lived here for about a year, caring for my great Grandmother until the time of her death.

My own parents, newlywed, started in this house in 1973, and lived here until 1983, the time that I was one.

After my parents, my uncle Richard and his wife Jane lived here with their family for several years.

Following that time, Keith and Julie Schweitzer (my cousin), newlywed, started their home in 1993 in this house, living here at least a couple of years.

After Keiths', the Nelson family lived in this house for a time (maybe a year), as well as another family, the Craigs, who spent one summer I believe.

David and Beth Burkey, my brother and sister-in-law, newlywed, began living here in 1999 and lived here until about two years ago.

Following that, Justin and Abbie Troyer, newlywed, lived in this honeymoon house for the course of one year.

Jenny and I, newlywed, began living here in February of 2009, and we couldn't be more happy. As I look over the list I've just compiled of eleven different families who've lived here in the last 65 years (I know I've probably missed some), seven of which were newlyweds beginning their homes, I wonder just what's to become of this old house. How many more people will have the opportunity to call it home? This house was an old house when my Great Grandparents lived in it. It was thought so old and run down then as to be not worth saving, but look how many families have called it home. Perhaps it's a matter of how long people will work to improve and fix a landmark they don't want to see removed.

This old house of ours has a lot of "old house" issues. The windows leak and are hard to clean, the basement and foundation cause raised eyebrows, the insulation isn't great at all, and the floors slope and wave like a gentle ocean swells..... But as poor as this house is in so many ways, it has an incredibly rich history of happy families, godly homes, and warm friendships.

As Jenny and I begin our home and family here, we're blessed with the wealth of good memories so many hold from this house, the common thread that we share. A link that connects so many or our relatives and friends together, a link we would not have without the rich history of This Old House.

**EDIT** This was originally posted in 2009, and currently we are moving a new house in beside this old house.   We will demolish this house in the spring of 2014.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Post From The Chef

For the benefit of my Mother in law. The chicken nugget recipe I used the other night was pretty subjective. I took about two chicken breasts and cut them into strips about a half inch square. Then I cracked two eggs into a bowl (although one would have been enough for as little as I did), and added milk. Not sure how much, I just dumped. Then I took a half a cup or so of flour and added the following seasonings. Lawry's seasoning salt, Cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Again, no specific amount, just season to taste. Dip chicken in egg/milk mix, then in the seasoned flour and fry in oil. I know that's not much of a recipe, but that's what we did. ~GB

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Chef

You would think that since I am "newly" married and have no

little children to take care of, that I would be able to always keep my kitchen spotless and have the laundry folded and supper ready by the time Gabe gets home from work. Well, it doesn't always work that way, and this particular evening my dear husband made supper for us.

He made fried potatoes (fresh from our garden by the way... well fresh about two months ago anyway), and chicken nuggets. He asked me how I do the chicken nuggets, and when I told him about the dipping them in egg part, he looked kinda grossed out :) Gabe doesn't like eggs. They turned out very well, I think Gabe has a knack with seasonings. We had a very nice supper... kinda like eating at a restaurant only in a less than presentable kitchen.

So now you all know what a wonderful husband I have and you also know that I do know how to blog.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Not-Swine-Flu

As the cold, damp weather of the last two weeks or so has dragged on, effectively stopping harvest and setting records such as "coldest first 11 days of October on record for Nebraska", I've come to realize that global warming isn't such a bad thing. Were it not for the fact that global warming peaked in 1998 and cooling has ensued since on a global scale, I would feel a bit more encouraged that this cold snap is merely winter making its dying inroads on our new tropical climate.....

As I was saying, the weather lately has been not only the cause for farmers worrying over corn and beans still standing in the field, but it has also made fertile ground among us for the flu to take root and spread. And it seems to have done so. Through a lack of sleep on my part, and exposure (I suppose, though I know not where) I have managed to find myself with a sore throat, plugged sinuses, and that squeaky bass voice so unnatural to me, my voice typically being a squeaky tenor. I don’t know if it’s the Not-Swine-Flu or not, but whatever the case is, my wife has decided that Vitamin C's are the cure-all.

I think it's due to me making her take her vitamins so regularly (even if I did have to have make a daily reminder pop up on the computer to do it) that she so happily shoves two or three 500mg's of vitamin C down my throat daily. They are the wonderful, chewable "Multiple Fruit Flavors" kind, which make a person quite believe that chalk would be, if not a desirable alternative, at least an acceptable one. I think I'll take the whole bottle of them and try to hide them somewhere, when she's not looking. ~GB

Hi this Jenny.... I thought I should clarify a few things... "two or three" Vitamin C's is somewhat of an exaggeration on my husband's part. I was lucky to get him to eat one yesterday and have yet to shove any down his throat today. Also, I nobly partake in the Vitamin C's as well, even though I also find them rather untasty.
By the way, I do plan to write occasionally as well, I just haven't felt very inspired yet. Maybe I'll be inspired tomorrow, who knows. So far the only inspiring thing I can think of to write about are rats.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Niece and I

This last week has been mostly dominated (harvest being on hold due to wet weather) as far as Jenny and I are concerned, by the activities surrounding my brother in law and sisters move to a new house. Okay, so moving isn't the activity, but cleaning is. I will try on my newly established blog to only say things that are my business and acceptable to air online, so let us suffice it to say that within another several weeks of cleaning, remodeling, painting, etc, they will likely be ready to move in.

I said the background above to get us to the topic at hand. My niece Rebecca. She was here last night spending time with Jenny, and when I came home from helping David and Rachel (before they did) we occupied ourselves with recording ourselves singing together. Rebecca found it quite hilarious to hear herself and I played back after we had sung and recorded on my computer. She found it enjoyable as well to blow into the mic....... It kept us both awake and happy until Rachel came to pick her up. So, if you like, you may listen in on us singing assuming I can figure out a way to make it available to you. We have "Jesus Loves Me" and "The B-I-B-L-E". You may need to install a plugin to hear the audio, go here to do that.

Why Have a Blog, Anyway?

In answering the question first posed above, my response has always been an emphatic, "good question!". In spite of the previous biases I've held towards bloggers as people with way too much time on their hands, (and keyboards under them) I decided to jump into the mix. Not with any ideas of being a key ingredient in the mix, you understand, but simply that myself and my wife may become persons who have the option of pontificating ponderously and with all sorts of pompous presumption about the various portentous subjects upon which we ponder daily in our little abode on the prairie. I don't know either. And yes, prairie is spelled with that annoying little extra i right after the a. I know that now. But since spelling is such a shortcomig of mine (see?), I didn't find it out until the clever little spell checker told me so. There, see how far we wandered in one mere paragraph? Back to my portentous ramblings......

As a blogger (wow, I feel strangely famous, even if it is an oxymoron), I shall do my best to update at least annually, if not bi-annually. I do hope that's often enough to keep up an ardent following.

My wife, just walking up and commenting that I haven't really said anything yet, brings me to the real reason for this post. Why have a blog? Well, aside from the reason above (and the fact that everyone's doing it and I want to be cool too....), it's mainly an antidote for long winter evenings. What will become of that? I've no idea. We'll just have to wait and see. As for what you can expect to see here, let me just tell you right off the bat that all postings by myself (can't say for my wife) will not likely be either too serious, or too searching. I will likely not post much, and when I do it may very well be about the mundane things that only my wife, myself, and my family will find even remotely interesting.

So, why have a blog?
1. To let folks know what we're up to in our little frame house.
2. To discuss seriously (or not) whatever is on my mind.
3. Something to do on long winter evenings.
4. A way to show my favorite pictures.
5. Hey, every-bodies doin' it!

And thus ends my answer to "why have a blog?"..... I wonder what Jenny will post? Until next time ~GB