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Monday, May 30, 2011

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Tussey’s Casual Grill in Florence

Welcome to Tussey’s Casual Grill. Tussey’s is located down by the Mormon Bridge, 9229 Mormon Bridge Plaza, in a little Florence, Nebraska strip mall. Their website has a newsletter, menu, upcoming events (such as Jazz Explosion which took place May 17th) and specials. Tussey’s is an eclectic menu of steaks, chicken, pasta, sandwiches, salads and more.

Tussey's Casual Grill in Florence
When you walk in there is a bar inviting you in at the left and small dining area on the right. We had a party of 12. They seated us in an area where the one side of the tables included bench-seating facing out the windows and the other side was chairs. It was accommodating that we could all sit together and talk.

Don't let the casual grill description mislead you. It's a grill with a touch of fine dining. Tussey's has a very contemporary feel about it with the wild colors and open dining area separated by booths.

On this night, I decided to try the shrimp scampi with mashed potatoes. It came out in pasta bowl, which was a good portion of pasta. The dish had nice flavor but the shrimp were small. Others in our group had steaks, sandwiches, pasta and a couple tried the caramel coconut flan dessert.

We all had a good time, enjoyed the nice atmosphere and the food. Here is how everyone in our party rated Tussey’s.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Tussey’s Casual Grill: 3.84 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor –  3.8

Tussey's Shrimp Scampi
 Cleanliness – 4

Wait Staff – 4.2

Menu – 4

Food Presentation –  3.8

Food Portions – 3.6

Food Taste – 3.6

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 3.8

Noise Level –  2.4

Overall Experience – 4.2

You can see more testimonials regarding catering services on their website at

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you’ve been to the Tussey’s Casual Grill leave us a comment and tell us what you thought?

Want to do this yourself? To review how to start your own dinner club, visit our January post about doing just that. Remember it is a template; tweak it to fit you and your friends’ tastes. pop-we Dinner Club: good food…good friends…good times.
Tussey's Casual Grill on Urbanspoon
-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
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Monday, May 23, 2011

With Memorial Day around the Corner Consider Starting a Family History or Genealogy Project

Family History is a hobby that can bring out the detective in us and also help us to have a stronger identity and sense of belonging. That was not my initial reaction when I accompanied my aunt to a family history center and searched name after name on the list on microfiche or maybe it was microfilm on screens straining my eyes with no results. Fast forward to several years later when I received a used computer as a gift and decided to put some family names in a search engine. Eureka! There was somebody who was talking about two of my family names, Bohan and Plymesser. I left a message regarding this and later received an email from the person who posted there. That is how I first became acquainted with my Grandpa’s great niece, Sherri Bohan. She has been very generous in sharing her research and other family documents with me.

Sherri was looking for a hobby as her children were a little older but still needed her to be accessible so family history was a great match. At reunions, they asked people to submit a one page biography and that was a fast way to get a lot of information. This was a hobby that she could put down and revisit from time to time. Curiosity kept her going. She does advice those doing family history to question the accuracy of information from family members and to check original sources such as birth certificates and marriage licenses.

I feel a bond with Sherri as she went back to the county of our ancestors in Ireland with other relatives including my Grandfather who was then 92 years of age. She was a stranger to me at the time of the trip and also years before when my grandpa and his youngest brother were in Minnesota for Sherri’s grandfather’s funeral. It warms my heart to know that Sherri heard the brothers tell the family stories. I will have to compare notes to see if she knows about the “wolves” in our Great Uncle’s Wayne’s story that I think was just a tall tale by his father to a gullible boy.

About a year ago, my dad’s first cousin, Gary Pettit, sent a biography request to the family for an updated version of his family history book. In his letter there were descriptions that were like a code signaling that we were family such as the talk of the fowl that greeted you at my great-grandparent’s farm. He also spoke of the warmth of my great-grandparents and my great-grandpa who died when I was too young to remember. After reading his account, I called him for the first time and we have kept in contact through the year by phone and email.

The Bohan Family Farm
Gary is certainly into the history side of the family history as well as getting the accurate data. In the rough draft of the book that I have, there are email exchanges that give you a sense of the character of the people who exchanged the notes. Drawing from the family book that he had seen, he wanted to make this family book like a time chest for future generations with pictures, recipes, family stories accompany the family charts.

Gary, a veteran of the Gulf War, assisted family in obtaining military records including documents from the Cold War. He has honored the veterans by placing copies in the family history book. The promise made to his mother and many aunts and uncles who have passed away drives the work. He deeply misses his mom and other loves ones. As he does the work, he feels a closeness to those who have passed away in the family and believes he receives divine guidance for the direction of his work. Gary regrets time lost and information lost as a result of being busy with other endeavors. He encourages people to take a lot of pictures and communicate so that history may be preserved for the next generations.

Thanks to Gary, I have met more of my relatives on that side of the family. My Grandma and his mom came from a family of 14. Because of Gary, I read the somewhat parallel life of the granddaughter of my Grandma’s twin as she visited her grandparent’s farm. I have also relished reading about other relatives in the book and have learned more about my great grandparents and great aunts and uncles.

I don’t want to discriminate in my reaching out to family past and present. In the words of my great-grandmother who had fourteen children, “I have a large family with none to spare.” The past was at one time their present and stories passed down about the Dust Bowl, great-grandmother feeding drifters, the rescue of a toddler floating on a mattress on water, the voyages to America with peril and loss of life put my life in perspective. The legacy of my family is one that I hope that each family member will learn about and claim because it belongs to each of us. We do not all have to be expert researchers to join in the quest to learn more about our family.

A quote by C.S. Lewis explains how we may be even more connected than we realize, “Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing--rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other." With Memorial Day coming soon, this may be the perfect time to find out more about your family and more about yourself in the process.

Note: Check back from time to time as links will be posted in the comments for “Who Do You Think You Are” on NBC, Find A Grave, “The Generation’s Project” on BYUtv, and other sites relating to family history. There will also be other thoughts, quotes and comments about Memorial Day and Family History. We welcome your thoughts on Family History and Memorial Day traditions Perhaps the comments will never close as one can never learn too much about family history.
 – population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
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Monday, May 16, 2011

population-we™ Tackles the Topic of Gossip with Shhhh! Don’t Tell

“Don’t tell anyone what I am about to tell you and only you.” Such a statement is to be interpreted to tell everyone and as fast as you can according to a friend of my family. Within the hour of hearing such news, he would hear the rumor from another source. He decided it was his duty to share rumors with impunity when he was told not to tell anyone. I don’t know if there is anyone who never gossips. It does create a type of bond or makes a person feel like they are interesting when they are the one sharing something. We can feel remorse and like our lesser selves but sadly we may repeat the process again when the opportunity strikes.

I don’t think it is right to even gossip about enemies. Unfortunately, I sometimes even say things about the people I care about. I know a certain amount of venting can be good but I think there is much that should be left unsaid. I generally give myself permission to say things about celebrities because it’s not like they know anybody that I know and won’t be hurt by my idle gossip there. Yet, I don’t think being a celebrity gives people license to defame another. Few have been both the darling of the media and the victim of the media like Princess Diana. She said that it would be hard for someone with the intense press that she had to be unscathed by it all. At the end of the day, they are people and have feelings. To prove libel against a celebrity, one needs to establish that there was malice. That just doesn’t seem right unless it is to protect someone who is trying to be a “watchdog” for the public good and misprints something that turned out to be a bad source.

I have known friendly people who had a habit of talking about a lot of different people in our companies when they were not present. I took it for granted that they probably talked about me when I was not around. I don’t think I let it bother me too much as I figured they would consider the source. However, one of the people was my superior years ago and I may have worried if that could have hurt me at my job. Both of these people were rather likeable. Yet, I wonder how they thought people could seriously trust them.

One of the most decent young men that I have ever known told me that he decided to go to a private high school to get away from the people at his middle school where a rumor had circulated about him. He didn’t say what the rumor was. The funny thing about rumors is that I might have wondered if there was any truth to it despite how much I thought of this young man.

It may seem innocent to have a little idle gossip between friends. As you dish on other people, you may feel a bond forming. While it is not the healthy bond or a strong bond, it does give the sense of belonging. A person may feel that they are interesting if they always have the latest breaking news. Gossip may seem harmless, but it can hurt. It can hurt. It can hurt. It can make a bad situation worse. The father of Abigail Adams was a Protestant Minister who used to tell her to talk about things and not people. There may be a great many good things that one can talk about regarding people that have nothing to do with gossip. In an ideal world, we should not share the shortcomings of another person unless it is out of concern and wanting to find some way to help the person. 

When my Grandma went to visit her cousin who was hospitalized with Leukemia, my mom who accompanied her heard something that would shape her behavior in the years to come. This lady had been very close to a relative for years until word of this relative gossiping behind her back reached her. After that, she turned her back and left the building when she saw her. The sting was just too great to face her. My mom thought this was so tragic that two people who had liked each other had such a falling out. She vowed to herself to be careful not to say hurtful words that could find their way back to the person. She admits that she is not perfect. Through the years, she has made a concerted effort to avoid conflict and to be kind in what she says regarding others. A person at work commented to my mom that she did not talk bad about others. For this reason and a great many other reasons, my mom is respected. The more we can refrain from gossip, the more self-respect we can gain in this important measure of our character.  
– population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
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Monday, May 9, 2011

population-we™ Offers a Glimpse into CSI's Past and One Wild & Crazy Cabaret Night

This week's post will introduce population-we™(pop-we) readers to the history behind Omaha's Child Saving Institute (CSI) and get a glimpse into their upcoming marquee fund-raising event – Cabaret 2011.

Today the needs of children and youth in the Omaha metropolitan area are as diverse and complex as days past. More than a century later the Child Saving Institute has grown to offer more than 20 different services with 100 employees helping in this effort. All derived from the mission of the founder Rev. A.W. Clark -- “responding to the cry of a child.”

Child Saving Institute can trace its origins in the Omaha, NE., community to 1892 when Rev. Clark realized there was greater need among neglected and abandoned children he encountered. Due to the hazards of pioneer life, epidemics and poverty, many children were left in need of parental care in Nebraska. With the support of Rev. Clark's wife, Sarah, they both admitted the first child, a 7-year-old girl, to the Boys and Girls Aid Society which soon became Child Saving Institute. In 1911, with the help of a $25,000 donation from George Joslyn, the entire Omaha community celebrated the agency's move to a debt-free, state-or-art orphanage. For the next 65 years the agency provided services from that facility including safe haven for abandoned children, adoption and a home for unwed mothers.

While children still remained the primary focus, as the decades passed the needs expanded and challenges loomed as orphanages across the country and world were closed. Services were added including a hotline for parents, emergency short-term residential care for children whose families are in crisis, development childcare for low-income working parents, treatment childcare for children expelled from a typical childcare center, in-home service for families struggling to stay together, therapeutic and short-term foster care, pregnancy counseling and adoption for infants and older children.

This Saturday, May 14, the Child Saving Institute will unleash Cabaret 2011, the organization's marquee fundraiser at Omaha's Coco Key Convention Center. Proceeds from the night go to at risk families and children which CSI serves. This year's “Wild and Crazy” themed event will feature keynote address by Melissa Petersen who is best known for her starring role playing Barbra Jean on the hit sitcom “Reba.” She is also the host of Country Music Television's (CMT) No. 1-rated series “The Singing Bee.” She recently starred in her first televised special "Melissa Peterman: Am I the Only One." Petersen will present “The Crazy Blonde” at 8:30 p.m. The night also includes cocktails at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. To R.S.V.P. or for more details, visit

Visit for more information on Child Saving Institute.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week pop-we Post in Honor of Sister Anthony

Worldwide this week May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week. In honor of teachers past and present population-we™ dedicates this week's post to Marian High School teacher Sister Anthony.

Sister Anthony did not just teach us to love American History my sophomore year of high school. I’m not sure how much she even followed a traditional lesson plan as she sat on a stool in front us in regular dress clothes. I do recall how much respect she had for Abigail Adams and how I felt close to her when I read the First Lady’s biography years later. I also remember Sister Anthony openly taught us life’s lessons during class time.

I went to a Catholic high school of all girls and Sister Anthony gave of us the benefit of her experience teaching adolescent boys. She frankly told us how the boys confided that they might date girls that did immoral acts but that was not the type of woman that they would want to marry.

One class period, Sister Anthony spoke with fervor that the young women in our class needed to tell Jesus that we loved him. She said that we tell that to our boyfriends and seemed to intimate that it was said too easily to them. I had never been on a date but her logic that if you tell a boyfriend that you love him that you should tell the Lord that you loved him resonated with me.

Part way through the year, Sister Anthony decided that she would read the Scriptures on love on a weekly basis. I don’t think I thought much about the meaning behind the great discourse on love in the Scriptures as we repeated the ritual week after week. Years have passed and I continue to learn what is meant about love being unselfish and without jealousy. I contemplate her wisdom and think of her as I hear those often repeated Scriptures at weddings or during sermons.

I recall Sister Anthony asking for collections for missions, where a little money could go very far in providing care for the needy. She would also tell us how blessed we were and that we should pray for those who were not so blessed to receive our portion of the Holy Spirit.

The soft side of Sister Anthony may have been why a student in a higher grade told her how very lonely she was. Without revealing any names, she told us that she asked the young woman what she did to reach out to make friends.

Sister Anthony also demonstrated how honesty and tact can co-exist when she told us her response to a student wanting her opinion on a garment. “Interesting,” was her simple reply.

The desks in the classroom seemed to have more of a shine to them than others in the building. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” was one of Sister Anthony’s favorite saying. “Wake up and die right,” interjected at the right moments kept us at alert. The clean room and the requirement to discard gum prior to class set a tone of order.

Short in stature and full of spunk, the influence of Sister Anthony made its mark on the school. Her competitive spirit came out as she rallied those decorating her floor to try to have the best halls for the annual Field Day event.

As any good mentor, Sister Anthony believed in my potential and wanted me to be challenged academically. She also would let us know skills that she thought were worthy of attainment. As I was trying to shift from the Vocational Track to the College Prep track, I had an attitude against vocational classes as requiring less intelligence. However, I still signed up for Shorthand when it came time for my Senior year as Sister Anthony would say that she would have her smartest students take that class. In the end, the class was not offered as times were a changing. Sister Anthony’s values were timeless. It is funny how you can internalize so much from someone and yet bear little resemblance the powerful personality who planted the seeds in you. A co-worker told me how her daughter who also worked with me briefly kept contact with Sister Anthony after she graduated from high school. I missed out on having her guiding influence in my young adult years prior to when I learned that she passed away.

In my mind, I am often present in her class and as I comprehend the lessons of years ago. Her influence is very real to me after all of these years as I try to make decisions that I think would please her. I try to think about what I might be like if I didn’t change schools in the 8th grade and I went to the same Catholic School from first grade to twelfth grade. Some experiences may be interchangeable and may have yielded similar results. But I just can’t imagine being who I am today without the guidance of one very dynamic nun.

Do you have a teacher who has influenced you like Sister Anthony? If so, tell population-we™ about him or her by leaving a comment or sending an e-mail to us at
– population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
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