All posts by susanmanzke

Camp Manzke 2021 — more work than play

Too much went on this weekend to put in a short blog, but I will give you a couple hints of the fun/work that took place on Sunnybook Farm.

One of my grandchildren taking his turn working tractor hydraulics as adults worked the woodsplitter for more campfire wood.

Campfire time with three grandsons, Wyatt, Harrison, and Eli.

Seven of my eleven grandchildren saying goodnight to the setting sun.

There was so much that happened I can’t get my head around it all.

We cleaned up a lot around the farm with so much more to do. I can’t thank my family for all the work they did this weekend.

I will now try to write a more complete column about Camp Manzke 2021. You’ll be able to read more about all the work and fun we had over the weekend when I’m finished.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Cuckoo Clock is ticking

Usually, you set a clock and that’s it. It goes. A cuckoo clock is different. One day it speeds up and the next it slows down. I’m always fussing with mine. It’s like a pet needing attention.

Of course, pulling the weights keeps it going, remembering that chore is the only way it keeps time.

The dangling weights are hooked up a bit here. Car-E wanted to play with them, but tucked up halfway he mostly ignores them. When I pull them down in the morning, and he’s attracted to the wiggling chain and metal pine cone. It’s time to distract that cat with another toy.

Once in a while, this cuckoo clock stops for no reason at all. Only after some attention can I get it running again. I sure miss it when it stops ticking.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved


In between lawn mowing, I took some time to pour a couple of acrylic paintings on tiles.

Some are better than others, but I’m still learning.

Right now I’m considering my next pour and using less paint and more of the thining medium.

So much to learn.

But I’m having fun.

Maybe if I did let the cat out when the paint is fresh, I’d get some interesting paw prints across my creations. Hmmm, something to think about.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Dad’s love song lyrics

I wish I had a recording of my dad singing this song, but I don’t so you’ll just have to listen to me reading the words — no music.

Dad learned to read music when he was in his 60s. Most of the time he played music by ear.

He also taught himself how to play the guitar, harmonica, organ, and accordion. I did not take after him.

I wonder if my cousin George remembers any of the songs he and my dad wrote together. One was called One Legged Chicken. It was hysterical.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A Bob story

Today I’m reading a column from 1990 about Bob.

My husband was a soft-spoken guy except when it came to stubborn machinery. Then he would let the sharp words fly, but only if he was alone.

Of course, Bob forgot that sometimes others could hear his colorful words.

The kids laugh after hearing him working in our basement alone. Their dad’s words didn’t stop at the basement ceiling but floated into our living room where everyone could hear him. Bob never realized this, until he heard the kids laughing.

If Bob was really having a bad time with machinery, I’d head out and help. My hands would fit where his didn’t. Many days we were both covered with grease and oil. On a few rare occasions, I found solutions for him, that was because I didn’t know what I was doing and found interesting ways to address problems.

I sure miss him.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved