Friday, May 20, 2011


A little something to start your Friday off with a smile...

Proof that Men Have Better Friends...

Friendship among Women:
A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning
she told her husband that she had slept over at a
friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best
friends. None of them knew anything about it.

Friendship among Men:

A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he
told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's
house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends.
Eight confirmed that he had slept over, and two said he was still there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do It Anyway

I've had this poem hanging on my wall in my office for 9 years and yet I still need to review it from time to time.  Thought I'd share...

              People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  
Forgive them anyway.
            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  
Be kind anyway.
            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. 
Be honest and sincere anyway.
            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. 
Create anyway.
            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. 
Be happy anyway.
            The good you do today, will often be forgotten. 
Do good anyway.
         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. 
Give your best anyway.
         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trip 4 2011 - Mothers Day/Anniversary Camping

Platte River Valley Observation Tower
Sometimes the harder you push the slower you go, there's just no two ways around it.  The one part about camping that stresses me a bit is getting out the door and on the road to our destination.  There's always something that comes up or that doesn't go a quick or as smooth as planned and it slows us down.  It's not really a problem for anyone else but me and its my stresser, I need to take a load off and relax when were trying to get out the door BUT getting there and getting set up before dark is always my goal AND the sooner you get there and get set up the SOONER you can relax and enjoy...   SOOOO enough about that...

Pond and Waterfall along the trails at Mahoney
 Mahoney State Park is very beautiful in the Spring, new leaves, flowers blooming, the smell of the great outdoors, waterfalls, streams, ponds and nature in general.  Its a great time of year to visit this park and its not so crowded that it becomes a tourist trap type of place.  We've visited Mahoney several times in the past and always try to stay here OUTSIDE of the season.  The season being between and including Memorial Day to Labor Day...  This park is SO popular and there is SO much to do here including a wave pool, theater, horseback riding etc. that it often becomes a "tourist trap" to me and not so much fun when all the people are right on top of each other.  Don't get me wrong, this is a great park and fun to visit, its just that I don't like it when its filled to capacity...  Which wasn't this time...

Our Home for the Weekend #15

When we reserved this campground last week there were only a few reserevable sites left so we chose this one cause it had an open spot on each side of us and we hoped our camping friends could come.  Turns out Jodi and Bernie took the site on one side of us but the Johnsons couldn't make it and the site on the other side of us stayed open.  The sites were none too big but I was able to hang off the back end of the site just enought to make it all comfortable, coundn't have gotten anything any further back in the site cause of the hilly landscape, but then again I didn't need to. 

A couple of HAPPY Campers

We celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary this weekend during the campout as well as celebrating Mother's Day.  I LOVE, I repeat, I LOVE the fact that Valerie wants to camp for these occasions and wants and likes to camp in general, I am a very lucky guy to have someone like her.  She loves me for who I am and loves me for who I am not as well...  She really should be up for sainthood sometime down the line because contrairy to popular belief I am not the easiest guy in the world to live with (okay maybe I'm pretty easy) at times.  With that being said I am also a LUCKY guy to have a daughter who loves to camp as well.  I saw more smiles out of here this weekend than I have in a long time.  Yahoo, lucky me...


 It was fun to hook up with Jodi and Bernie again, we always have a good time camping together.  Beers and food and games and visiting and movies, its always good shared with people you like spending time with.  Just a side note I was the FARKLE champion for the weekend and that makes me the WIDE WORLD of CAMPING FARKLE CHAMPION of CHAMPIONS - Come get the belt if you got it in ya...  :-)

Hitting the Trail
 Saturday was a TOP TEN day of the summer, it was upper 70's with a slight breeze.  Alyssa and I took the opportunity to take a little bike ride which was nice.  She got tuckered out and I went off on my own to explore the trails at the park for an hour or so.  They really do have a nice trail system around Mahoney, it circles all the way around the park and touches all areas of the park.  Nice ride and it was nice to get a few miles in for this summer, God knows I am way behind in logging miles and exercising on the bike but I felt this was a good start.

Flying Old Glory and the SKERS too
 I do like to fly the flag on our campsite when we go, its kind of nice and it does make it easier to get back to your spot when you're out and around.  I picked up a solar powered spotlight that seemed to work well at getting light on the flag overnight so that was nice.  Now I really need to find a CUBS flag to add to the conglomeration and I'll be set with that.

Its going to be a few weeks until we get out again to camp, Memorial day to be exact but that will be more of a "roving hotel" type of a campout as we are traveling to Beemer for Valeries 25th high school reunion so there will be a LOT of activities not related to camping going on then, none the less we'll make the best of it...

Until Next Time - Safe Travels

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mothers Day Mom - We Miss You...

I've had this hanging in my office for the last several years and it really rings true with me.  I have no idea who wrote it but its just perfect... 

A Mother's Journey
For those of you who are lucky to still be blessed with your Mom this is beautiful. For those who aren't, this is even more beautiful.

Mothers Journey
The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is this the long way?" she asked.
And the guide said "Yes, and the way is hard,
You will be old before you reach the end of it,
however, the end will be better than the beginning."

But, the young mother was happy, and she wouldn't believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, she fed them, bathed them, taught them how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, reminded them to feed the dog, do their homework and brush their teeth.

The sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
Then the nights came, and the storms, and the path was sometimes dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, the mother drew them close and covered them with her arms, the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come to us."

The morning came, and there was a hill ahead, the children climbed and grew weary, the mother also grew weary. But at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we will be there."
So the children climbed, and as they climbed they learned to weather the storms. With this, she gave them strength to face the world.
Year after year, she showed them compassion, understanding, and hope, but, most of all she gave them unconditional love.

When they reached the top they said, "Mother, we wouldn't have done it without you."

The days went on, the weeks, the months and the years, the mother grew old and she became little and bent. But, her children were tall and strong; and walked with courage.

The mother, when she lay down at night, looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned so much and are now passing these traits on to their children."

When the way became rough for her, they lifted her, and gave her their strength, just as she had given them hers.

One day they came to a hill, beyond the hill they could see a shining road with a golden gates flung wide.
And the mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey and now know the end is truly better than the beginning.
My children and grandchildren can walk with dignity and pride, with their heads held high."

The children said, " You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."
They stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her.

They said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still.
A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you.

She is the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She is the smell of certain foods you remember.
She is the flowers you pick.
She is the smell of that special perfume she wore.
She is the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well.
She is your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep
She is the colors of a rainbow.
She is Christmas morning.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter,
and she is crystallized in every tear drop.
A mother shows every emotion happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow, and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life. >She's the place you came from, your first home, she's the map you follow with every step you take.

She is the one you run to when you are scared.

Her arms are always open to hold you and console you.

She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy but, nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space, not even death!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Campout - 2011

Our Easter is traditionally spent at family south of Plattsmouth each year, it includes a big Easter Egg hunt and a gathering of all or most of my wife's family.  This year was no exception.  We've kind of made it a tradition to camp over Easter at a park south of Omaha near their home, or at least within 20 minutes of their home.

We camped at Louisville SRA over the Easter weekend this year and really had a nice time.  The weather was a little suspect at times but when the sun did come out it was PERFECT spring camping weather. 

Jodi and Bernie Kupper met us there and it was really good to see them again.  They love to camp just as much as we do and we've really formed a camping "BOND" with them over the last couple of years.

I tried a new recipe in the dutch oven this trip and it really turned out pretty tasty.  Pineapple Dr. Pepper spare ribs.  Usually you never want to run short of "juices" when cooking meat in the dutch oven and I was actually a little "LONG" on juices but it didn't effect the taste of the rips and they were tender, juicy and tasty...  MMMMMM MMMMMM GOOD...

The camper got a projector for Christmas this year and this was the first trip we had the opportunity to check it out.  I was really pleased with it.  You can get a movie big enough that you can sit around the campfire and see it just fine.  This pic doesn't show it well but the picture came out well and we all really liked it.  I do need possibly a new cheapo DVD player to go with it as the one we brought was old and had been used at the kids TV at our house previously.  So I am now looking for the smallest, most lightweight DVD player out there to "Give" to the camper for the next holiday - Actually I think this Friday is "National Arbor Day" sounds like a good holiday to give a gift to the camper to me.  The screen will be adjusted a bit now that we know it works and I wont tape it to the side of the camper next time, will fabricate a screen hanger of some type out of PVC for the next time...

That's it from our neck of the woods...

Until Next Time - Safe Travels - Bc

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Up North

We took a trip to West Salem Wisconsin this past weekend to visit my brother and his family.  It was his youngest baptism and 2nd birthday all wrapped into one big weekend celebration. 

We decided to pull the camper along, the logic behind it was that we wouldn't have to kennel the dogs or rent a hotel room which would save us around $300 bucks, PLUS we just love any excuse we can find to pull the camper around.  
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Thursday was our day of departure and upon getting the camper ready and starting to hitch up I discovered a flat on the inside rear drivers side tire on the Great White Buffalo.  Sometimes its hard to notice a flat on a dually and I am REALLY glad I noticed this before we got out on the road.  It delayed our leaving by about an hour and a half (finally pulling out of Omaha at 5:30pm) but all and all it really wasn't that bid of deal, but it sure could have been.  Thursday was the toughest driving I have ever had pulling the camper, not that there were any "near misses" or anything like that, just the weather elements.  We had 425 miles to go and were bucking a 35 to 40 mile headwind for about 275 of those miles and although we were NOT trying to set any land speed records it was a struggle just to keep it at 60 mph on the interstate.  The other 150 miles were straight north with a 35 to 40 mph cross wind...   HUMMMM, more interesting at times, wind pushing you left, trucks overtaking you pulling you left even more and then hitting an underpass where all wind stops for about 2 seconds where you shoot back to the right - my knuckles were white...  I am adventurous as it gets (once driving 17 hours in one day just to get where we needed to go) but I almost called it quits a couple times ;-).  During one stretch of the trip between fill ups we actually dropped down to 5.1 MPG (WOWZERS) We pulled into West Salem at 2am, visited for an hour and then slept like babies...
Tri-CLEM plus One

Friday we got the camper to the campground, got it set up and spend the day hanging with Rich and Beth and the kids, played, went swimming, hung out, ran some errands, fed the kids a lot of sugar candy (like a good uncle should), ate pizza, had some beers and had a really good time.
Willy's Baptism

 Saturday was more of the same, after waking up to the ground being white and a great breakfast that Beth made for us we eventually made it to the swimming pool at the hotel again.  Beers, swimming, errands, rain, snow, food, fun, kids and even a bit of tequila were what consumed most of the day.  The Baptism went very well and Will was quite the character, going along with everything without once even throwing any kind of fit.  Back to Beth and Rich's for food, birthday cake, ice cream, beers and the such afterwards.  We were back to the camper and in bed fast asleep before 10:00pm, I must be getting old.

Another great breakfast on Sunday with all three of us Clements boys (whom we affectionately call Tri-CLEM) and our wives and families brought us to the end of our time in West Salem.  Corey, Kim and Gaby hit the road, we went to the campground, packed up, stopped back for one last good bye and headed out.  The trip home was MUCH more relaxing and everything went off without a hitch, gas mileage was good, actually better than normal, we made it home before dark and all is good... 
All 6 Sharing a Meal

I've always had a great heart for family and as I get older I come to appreciate times like this EVEN MORE than ever.  Its not often we all three get a chance to catch up and spend quality time together like this...  This is what "Living Life" is all about....

Until Next Time - Safe Travels and LOVE YOUR FAMILY LIKE THERE's NO TOMORROW...


Monday, April 11, 2011


Quite a bit has gone on in the last couple of weeks.

Weight Loss - Our final weigh in for the Biggest Loser at the office was April 7th and this guy took down the top prize - A cool hundred fifty bucks and a loss of 31 lbs and 8.47% of my body weight - I really wanted to do better than that but there is NO way I will complain at all.  I pulled 12 pounds the last week which is really quite amazing considering I have no idea how that happened.   Actually I do - I think I was restricting my calories TOO much the 2/3 weeks previous to that and I was struggling quite a bit having gained 5 pounds in that time period.  Finally everything balanced and my body gave in and said OKAY OKAY.  So we'll see how it goes the next couple of weeks...

TKE - One of the reasons I cant believe I pulled a 12 the last week of Biggest Loser is cause we had our ANNUAL Fraternity Alumni Banquet/Formal - I guarantee I consumed 6K calories on that day including way too many drinks - It may have been the nicest fraternity formal I had been to in the last 20 years...

CAMPING - Got the camper in for new tires all around and decided it was time to repack wheel bearings too since were headed out to Wisconsin on Friday for a baptism and birthday party.  Pulling the camper and camping and really looking forward to it...  ANYHOW back to the wheel bearings - I had lost one and basically broke down on the road last summer (long story short) and got it fixed and made it home.  This time the ONE behind the one what went out last summer basically fell out in the tech's hand so got everything squared away - Good thing or we would have beens stranded on the road again this time...

ANYHOW - Just wanted to drop by for a minute - More to come soon...

Until Next Time - Bc