time

Time…something that seems to run our lives and there’s NEVER enough of it!

I always think I’m going to take the time to write an update on my personal blog and it just doesn’t get done. It seems that I have sort of pushed my own blog aside to write for www.allaboardharvest.com. But that’s okay. I’m sure you remember me telling you that if you don’t see something on here for long periods of time, you should check that site.  So…go check it out! I’ve written several times on there already. You might even enjoy reading some of the other harvest updates from the other correspondents.

Just so you know, we did make it to our destination. It will be two weeks on Monday that we arrived. It was a bit slow around here for the next four days or so. And then…all heck broke loose. We started cutting wheat on Saturday (a week ago). Today (6/16) was our seventh consecutive day of cutting wheat. I think we may have broken some all-time record for the most acres cut in one week! 🙂 The temps have been near 100 degrees or more and we can expect one more day of the heat. On Father’s Day (just for Jim) it’s supposed to reach a high of only 85 degrees.

The yields have been fairly decent considering the lack of moisture here over the winter months. Our farmer told us the wheat was near death in January and then it rained. And he said it never does that. We’ve seen anything from 25 – 50 bushel averages in the fields. I suppose the overall average will be near 35. Test weights have been 57-62. We’ve been seeing weights a bit more on the heavier side than the lessor number.

If you’re really interested in what the heck we’re doing, be sure to check out the Combine Cam. Yep…we have the camera again this year and it seems to be really doing a good job of staying on. I wonder if it will be anything like the popularity of April the giraffe (I doubt it)? If you are curious, though, just check in once in a while and see what the heck is up. Who knows…you may see Jimbo in there. You may hear me singing. You may hear me talking to myself or you might catch an actual conversation between me and the truck driver. Sometimes he forgets that he’s live and says and does things he shouldn’t. I have a hard time keeping him in line. 🙂

The girls had a scary night tonight at home. A bad storm with either straight line winds or a tornado created a real mess. It was rather scary for me sitting in the cab of a combine reading the texts nearly 700 miles away and knowing there was nothing I could do – except pray for protection. Everyone was okay after it was all over and that’s the main thing! Tree limbs and buildings can be cleaned up and replaced.

And with that, I’m going to go take a shower and get a few hours of sleep before it’s time to get up and make more sandwiches so we don’t starve to death. (Go check out The All Aboard Wheat Harvest!) My flower garden.

Just a couple of harvesters – Jim and Roger Peters.

Blowing out the air filters – a daily chore. 

Visited by the New Holland Harvest Support (aka Monte and Carolyn Ahrens).

Two of my favorite things combined in one – cutting wheat and The Eagles:

plan b in place

 

“I think I’ll go down and visit with the boys for a while” The boys are our farmer neighbors. Jim likes to visit with them to get the latest on what’s going on with the farming and get the gossip of the day. Much like most other farmers I know. A gathering of the minds, so to speak. 🙂

So, this happened last night.

Harvest preparations are an ongoing thing until we finally just close up shop and hit the road. That’s what happened last night. Jim had a goal of leaving the house with trip #1 about 7:00. Bags were packed and pillows in place in the Hotel Pete. Thought was to just get on the road. We would attempt to make it as far as Plymouth, park in the back lot of a gas station and sleep in the truck. We’d just be on the road and that’s what we just sometimes have to do.

I believe it was a little after 7:30 that we were both sitting in our trucks ready to point the noses of the trucks southward. It seemed like it was taking Frank an exceptionally long time to get enough air built up to release the parking brake. Finally, I called Jim on the two-way and told him I was STILL airing up. He got out of the Pete, walked around Frank and came back to my window, “I think we have air dryer issues”, as he grabbed the hammer laying next to my seat.

Pound, pound, pound. Pound, pound, pound some more. Back to the door. “I don’t think pounding on it is going to help. I think I’ll just have to make a phone call and go after parts”. Phone call was made to Freightliner in Omaha and we immediately stepped into Plan B…headed to Omaha for parts. Typical harvest…hurry up and wait. Guess you learn to “go with the flow”.

Jim replaced the air dryer with the help of his headlights (you know…those silly looking lights that you wear on your head). Which, by the way, I was told are the greatest thing on earth! The old part was loaded in the car and we were headed back to Omaha (it was worth $140). We were home again just a little after midnight. I grabbed the suitcases and our pillows and headed for the house.

And now…we’re waiting for the severe weather to pass before pointing the noses of these trucks southward. I have a feeling we may find more of that (weather) the further south we head.

I will be writing for All Aboard Wheat Harvest (High Plains Journal) again this year. I’ve already posted several times, in case you want to catch up. If it appears to be a dry spell on here, you may want to check out AAWH and see what’s going on. When we get in the heat of harvest, it’s very difficult to justify killing more precious sleeping hours on telling the story in two places.

And…don’t forget to follow the other HarvestHER’s harvest updates at www.harvesther.com!! All kinds of harvest stories to keep up with.

Until next time…

“i wasn’t counting on that happening”

That’s what Jim said to me last night. I went outside to mainly let him know supper was ready – if he wanted to come in and eat AND to see what the heck he was up to.

I guess that’s how accidents can and do happen. He was working on replacing the tire when Frank fell off the jack. Oh my gosh…I don’t EVEN want to think about what COULD HAVE happened! I’m just thankful he was standing upright and telling me how disgusted he was that he lost four hours due to this little event.

The jack broke, so he had to fix that, as well. When I went outside, he was in the process of making a stable base and getting things in place again. It finally got dark enough, he just had to quit.

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concerned…yet hopeful

The yellow roseometer is telling us it’s about that time to load up and head south. 

Grandpa always said, “Wheat will die at least seven times before it is harvested”. Therefore, I am going to remain hopeful for the 2017 crop. Concerned…yet hopeful.

I’ve heard this quote often lately with the weather extremes that have been occurring in the wheat belt. So…it must be true to continue to be believed by the wheat community. The wheat in western Kansas and eastern Colorado is on its fourth or fifth death by now.

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whatever it takes

Taking some time NOW to enjoy these two whenever I can! Hanging out in the tower on their new “park”. 

One of many harvester’s mottos is, “Whatever It Takes”. The addition to our fleet could be the definition of this motto for the Z Crew for harvest 2017! I think after last summer with just the two of us loading and unloading the miscellaneous necessities from the back of Frank and my level of frustration with the whole process may have played into the reason we now have a longer car trailer. AND a new storage area for the miscellaneous stuff. THANK GOODNESS!

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let’s play catchup

I’ve been pretty absent since the end of January. Guess I had things to do…

Like remove wallpaper from my kitchen walls and renew my kitchen chairs.

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a memory from a previous life

Why is it that when you have good intentions of doing something on this computer one thing leads to another and it tends to take way more time than you really wanted it to? I think that’s one of the biggest roadblocks I have when I think, “gee, I should write a blog”. And then, I can find all kinds of other things to do than to actually do what I intended to do. UGH!!! And, as usual, I sat down in front of this computer about an hour ago with intentions to write. And so it goes…

I have a feeling this could be a post where my mind just goes all over the place – so beware!!

There’s been quite a bit of time since my last posting. And it feels like the winter months just zoomed by. Maybe it’s just my aging brain and time is something that changes as the body ages. Maybe. But, if you ask Jim if something seems like it zoomed by, he’ll tell me, “No! It feels like that many years ago”. I sort of envy that. I sort of wish the last 30 years – let alone the last 60 days – seems like a long time ago. In my brain, it was just yesterday.

I had a reminder of this just a couple of days ago. Someone from a previous life of mine (well, not really) passed away. While growing up, we lived in a neighborhood much like the ones you would see on some of those old-time 60’s TV shows. The families got together, the kids played together while growing up, we all went to school together, etc. And then we grew up. We lose touch with the kids we grow up with (most times) but thanks to social media, you can reconnect but it’s not the same.

When I think about the old neighborhood, I think about the Thompson’s, the Reed’s, the Ruff’s and the Dobias’. It was our hood. As youngsters, we all played together – didn’t matter who was older or younger, we were just together. One of my favorite memories of growing up is camping with the Reed’s. They had a boat. And the parents trusted us to take that boat out to the middle of the lake and we fished or we skied – alone. Crazy, right? Either our parents were really trusting or really stupid – or both. 🙂 I would probably think twice about letting my kids do the things we did. But…life was different then. The world was different then.

Bill passed away this week. And I hesitated to attend the visitation at the funeral home. I don’t know why (I’m sure you were asking yourself that question). Anxiety of being with people who may not remember me? Was it because I didn’t want to accept the fact that I am so much older now? I honestly don’t know why I felt the way I did. I asked Jim if he’d go with me. He agreed to go. While we were talking about it, I “googled” Bill’s name to see if I could find out for sure what the times were. And then I saw the picture. Bill…as I remembered him – sitting in a boat, with his shirt off, exposing the all-familiar tattoos he surely got while serving in the Navy. And the tears came oh so easily. How could so many years have passed since then? Bill was always a large man – not heavy – just a BIG man. Maybe it was because I was little. And I loved him. Not like my dad or my grandpa but I loved him and who he was.

I was right. They didn’t remember me. I had to re-introduce myself to the kids I used to play with. We were all different. We were older and have lived life without each other’s presence for a lot of years. But, it was good to see them. To catch up on each other’s lives. To reconnect. To remember. To be in the same room. And the past felt like a different time…a different world…a different life. And it was. But it felt so good to be with those old memories once again.

You probably never knew this, Bill, but you were a pretty big deal to me and I appreciate the piece of who I became because of you.

So, I told you I had no idea where this was going to lead. I sat down with the intentions of sharing the past couple of months in pictures with you. That will have to be another post.