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Murray Newsletter - September 9, 2009


"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and
resign yourself to the influences of each."

~ Henry David Thoreau ~


As the summer season slowly melts into fall, it brings a touch of melancholy to lots of people, not just school-age kids. Perhaps it's the old fact that, when we were kids, the word 'summer' was synonymous with 'carefree'... that meant no more worries with the routine of going to school, anxieties about tests or pop quizes and the drudgery of homework filling our evenings. Even as adults, you can hear that sweet word whispered in the cold depths of January and your thoughts immediately soar to three months of sizzling baseball games, cool dips in the lake or pool and making new friends at summer camp. Pitching tents under the Milky Way, poking hot dogs on sticks and making s'mores over the charred remains of firewood is just a dream away. Long car rides, plane or train trips to amusement parks, mountains or seasides or to see family and friends that are dear to us are planned and re-planned for weeks ahead of schedule. Breaking the old routine is a welcome change.

Come September, and we, reluctantly, relinquish our souls to the chilly mornings of autumn. The air is clean and cool, crisp and light. Gardens, decks and yards are jeweled with warm hues of zinnia, marigolds, pumpkins and chrysanthemums. Locusts and crickets hum their long melodies to us as their ancestors did to ours. Lots of kids actually look forward to school, after missing some of their friends over the summer. New clothes, new teachers, sometimes even a new school can bring on feelings of excitement. Comforting smells from warm kitchen ovens or crockpots welcome us in the door after a busy day. Jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts are pulled from the backs of closets and sandals go in hiding for a few months. High school bands at football games drum up large crowds on chilly Friday nights. Later in the month, if you're lucky enough to live in the country, you can hear the hum of combines across the fields, just as the sun is about to go to sleep. A big, orange harvest moon takes its place, keeping watch over farmers bringing in the season's bounty. Then, when the new morning comes, once again, you see that the horizon has opened up where, only yesterday, the corn stood blocking its view.

Getting back into a routine can definitely be good, especially when we remember to 'live each season as it passes'........





'Bloom Where You're Planted Farm' Announces New Attractions for Fifth Season

Guests attending the fifth-annual Pumpkin Festival at Bloom Where You're Planted Farm, rural Avoca, NE, will be treated to some new attractions this season. The pumpkin patch and agri-entertainment venue has been expanded for 2009 to include hay rides and the newly renovated Schoolhouse Café.

"For many people, when they think of the ultimate pumpkin patch experience they envision a hay ride out to the pumpkin field. We are very excited to finally be able to offer this experience to our customers," say farm owners Terry and Teresa Lorensen.

A certified concession kitchen has been added to the 1890's one-room schoolhouse which the Lorensens moved to the farm and restored last year. Guests can order from the lunch menu which includes hot sandwiches and homemade pie, and then enjoy their meal at tables in the authentically restored classroom. "This is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. While we've been serving lunch for the past three seasons, having a certified kitchen and a building dedicated to the Café will allow us to better serve our customers, will make work easier for our employees, and should offer us new opportunities to produce our own baked goods and food mixes in the future," Teresa Lorensen said.

Bloom Where You're Planted Farm's Pumpkin Festival runs every Friday through Sunday from September 19th to November 1st. Hours are 1:00-6:00 p.m. Fridays and 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The farm is open at other times by appointment for field trips and parties. The $4.00 admission charge includes access to all the attractions on the farm, including the opportunity for every visitor to take a hay ride.

Special days that have already been scheduled include:  Military Family Weekend, Doggy Day to benefit the Capital Humane Society, and Ag Day with the Conestoga High School FFA.

For more information and a complete schedule of events at Bloom Where You're Planted Farm, visit their website,, or call 402-267-4104. The farm is located at 911 - 108th St., rural Avoca, NE; 27 miles east of Lincoln or 30 miles south of Omaha. Take US Hwy. 34 to 108th Street, then travel ½ mile north.



Above is the centerpiece of Bloom Where You're Planted Farm, the late 1800's barn which houses a gift shop, snack counter, and party loft.

Below: A complete lunch menu is now offered in the former Center Hill District 94/105 one-room schoolhouse at Bloom Where You're Planted Farm.





September 4, 2009, Lincoln-

Every year the Legislature is supported by a group of bright and energetic college students. The students are hired to serve as legislative pages. Pages often have a keen interest in or curiosity about state politics. Some have gone on to become state senators, while many others continue to work in the public sector after they graduate from college.

The pages perform valuable services for the Legislature, such as helping with preparations for public hearings, assisting senators during committee meetings, and monitoring procedural issues and controlling microphones in the Chamber during floor debate. Kitty Kearns, page supervisor for over 30 years, says that pages have a great opportunity to learn about our legislative process and to get a real insider's look at how the Nebraska Legislature conducts its business. Kitty also notes that, while performing their important duties, the pages still have a lot of fun and develop friends that last a lifetime.

The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2010 legislative session is Friday, September 25th at 5:00 p.m. The Page Selection Committee will meet in mid-October to choose individuals to fill the vacant positions. Pages work four-hour shifts and must be able to work 20 hours a week during the session. The 2010, 60-day session will begin on January 6th and continue through mid-April. The hourly wage for first-year pages is $9.28 per hour, and returnees are paid $9.65 per hour. In many instances pages may be eligible to receive college credits hours for their legislative service.

If you are a full-time Nebraska college student with a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average and would like to learn more about becoming a page for the Nebraska Legislature, please contact Kitty Kearns at (402) 471-2304 or send her an email at You may also contact my office, and we will be happy to send an application form to you.

The Selection Committee chose a student page from the second legislative district in 2008 and again in 2009. I would be very proud to see another page from our district on the floor of the Legislature during the 2010 session.

We welcome your contacts by mail, phone or email.

Senator Dave Pankonin
State Capitol
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2613






Come on out to the third annual Worker Auction which will take place on Sunday, September 20th during the Booster Club Bonfire and 'bid on a kid'!

Do you need to have some work done around your place, but don't know who to call? How about bidding on a Conestoga High School FFA member to help you get those chores done?

This worker auction is to help provide students with the opportunity to experience different working conditions and careers. Terms of the sale include having the FFA members do 8 hours of labor at a time that is mutually agreed upon by both the buyer and the worker. The buyer must provide one meal for the FFA member. Work is to be completed in a one year time period after the sale date.

Summer is coming to an end and there are countless jobs that have to be done. Some ideas to consider are mowing and raking, trimming trees, painting, washing windows, fixing fences, organizing, cleaning garages or storage sheds, cleaning up gardens and equipment, picking up baled hay or machinery cleanup. Winter chores might include snow removal or you might want to wait for Spring and have your worker help prepare the garden for planting or clean up the yard.

If you would like more information or are not able to attend, but wish to bid on a worker, please call the chapter advisor, Jonathan Anderson, at school, 402-235-2271 or try his cell phone at 402-297-0255.

The Conestoga FFA thanks you for your continued support.


41st Annual AppleJack Festival

September 19-20, 2009

The annual AppleJack Festival is hosted in Nebraska City, well-known for its apple orchards. So, it should be of no surprise that our historic community celebrates the apple harvest all weekend long.

  • AppleJam Fest was a great success last year and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for people of all ages again this year. Enjoy giant inflatable games, younger children's games, face painting, live entertainment, and more. This two-day event runs Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Our biggest Parade of the year features the Marching Band Competition.
  • Pick Your Own Apples. Check it out at Arbor Day Farm and Kimmel Orchard.

  • Car enthusiasts will not want to miss the AppleJack Car Show lining Central Avenue on Sunday, September 20. Enjoy stock and modified cars, trucks, sports cars, and motorcycles.
  • Choose to walk or run in the AppleJack Fun Run/Walk sponsored by the Alpha Omega Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. Enjoy a 5-mile run/walk and don't miss the 1-mile kids' run.

• Show your strengths at the AppleJack Strongman/Strongwoman Contest brought to you by the Ambassador Rehab & Wellness Center. More information coming soon!

For more information, please contact us.

Nebraska City Tourism & Commerce
806 1 st Ave
Nebraska City , NE 68410
Fax: 402-873-6701


1 1/2# ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 (10.5 oz.) can Cheddar cheese soup
2 (10.5 oz.) can pizza sauce
8 oz. medium egg noodles, cooked
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Oven 350*. Greased 9x13 pan.

In large skillet, brown beef with onion and pepper; drain fat.

Add soup and pizza sauce, mixing well.

Stir in noodles.

Pour into pan; bake 30 minutes.

Top with cheese; return to oven for 5 minutes or so till cheese melts.

Serve with a big, green salad and garlic toast.

German Day & Oktoberfest

September 18-19, 2009
German-American Society
3717 S. 120th St
Omaha, NE

Celebrate old-fashioned traditions with German folk dancing, singing, great ethnic foods and plenty of German history.

For more information, call (402) 333-6615 , visit the website at, or send an email to



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Deadline is noon the Monday prior to that week's Wednesday Newsletter.

Thank you!

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