it began only 17 days ago

It’s been 17 days since we arrived in Limon, CO. Today was the first rain day we’ve had since we started. We may have had down time previously but it wasn’t because of rain.  We were nearly finished with the acres we had lined up but the daily storms finally caught us yesterday afternoon (Saturday).  We had been lucking out with storms all around us but not on us.  It rained 1/2 inch yesterday and 1.5 inches today. I think we’re out of commission now for a little while. Today was pure torture for the girls. They had NOTHING to do and it nearly drove them crazy. I, on the other hand, had quite a bit to get caught up with. It took most of the day but it’s done again. I appreciate the days to get caught up on what gets pushed aside while we’re busy in the field.

The last several days have been a little on the crazy side for us. We cut some of the acres we have the past six years. The farmer we’re working with is custom farming for Steve. It was just WEIRD being on that ground and it not being as it was in previous years. That meaning me and Jim on our own and on the horizon  the old Massey combines going round and round. This year, there were three more combines than in past years and representation from John Deere, Case IH and New Holland in those same fields. The wheat was doing so poorly, it was decided they wouldn’t need our truck, which meant they wouldn’t need me. Jim took over the combine seat and I stayed in the trailer house.  Since I didn’t have work in the field, the girls and I decided we’d take a turn at feeding the crew. Let me tell you…feeding a crew of about 20 million compared to just the four of us takes some doing. Especially when your oven won’t even allow one 9 x 13 pan in it without the door remaining partially open. We have a convection/microwave oven too. So we were able to cook two 9 x 13 casseroles at the same time. We opted for “Tater Tot Casserole” knowing this would feed a bunch. This isn’t a normal tater tot casserole with hamburger and beans. The ingredients in this one includes hamburger, onion, broccoli, tomato and lots of yummy cheese. It’s one of our favorite harvest meals! Since the ovens were in use, we opted for Cookie & Cream dessert. We only brought out two items but it was enough and I think they enjoyed it.

What's left of the meal.

What’s left of the meal.

Part of the 20 million we fed. :)

Part of the 20 million we fed. (Well, it felt like that many)

And a few more of them.

And a few more of them.

The girls helped me with the meal. It went together fairly fast with the three of us chopping and stirring and putting together. It really wasn’t a big deal but it certainly was more than we’re used to. I was glad everyone seemed to enjoy it.

From these fields, they moved to one more field my help wasn’t needed in. Unfortunately, shortly after they started that field, it showered on them. But, they were going again the next afternoon and we were moved to a 420 acre field to do all by ourselves. I was back in the driver’s seat of the combine. What had been taking an afternoon to complete was now back to taking three days. And then it rained! All we need is a day and a half to finish what we’ve started.

IMG_4104Conrad Weaver (Conjostudios) visited us in the field to shoot more video for “The Great American Wheat Harvest Movie”.  I wrote about our involvement with this project in a previous post  – “An opportunity to share our way of life”.

This storm missed us...

This storm missed us but…

this storm got us the very next afternoon. And the beginning of the reason we had a rain day today.

this storm got us the very next afternoon. And the beginning of the reason we had a rain day today.

I’m not sure what we’ll do now. The need to get moved to Montana is weighing heavily on Jim’s mind. All the other harvesters that were parked with us in the KOA have already moved on.  I know he’s visited with our farmer from there and we have about 10 days before it will be ready. Sounds like a long time but by the time we make the first trip, turn around and come back for the remaining equipment, seven days can be gone in the blink of an eye! With that being said, the girls are trying to figure out what they should do. The plan is to bypass Jordan for now as the wheat we will go there to cut is spring wheat. The wheat we’ll head for will be near Denton. Once the acres are finished in Denton, we’ll go to Jordan to finish our 2013 harvest journey.

Although we still have at least a month of harvest ahead of us, when the girls go home, it feels like the long-awaited summer is done. Callie will begin school on August 15 but she likes to have more than a couple of days to get adjusted to being “home, home” before the school schedule starts. They’d also like to take in the county fair which begins on the 8th (I think). So, the decision has to be made whether they will leave from here when we take the first trip north or if they’ll follow us and then leave from Denton almost immediately after we get there. Makes sense to leave from here but then that means harvest is over for them. Such a tough thing to decide when your heart is in both places at the same time.

All I know is that it seems like a heck of a lot longer than 17 days ago that we arrived in Limon. A lot has happened since that first day! With that note, I’ll leave you with a few more of the pictures I took while we were cutting with the rest of the gang.

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One last picture and I wanted it to stand out for a reason. Can you answer the question I’ve posed in the caption?

Do you know what Scott is demonstrating with this rod?

Do you know what Scott is demonstrating with this rod?

5 comments on “it began only 17 days ago

  1. Ethan says:

    I start school the 15th as well. This summer flew by way to fast. Before we know it we’ll be in the field again cuttin corn. Hope you have a good and safe time the rest of the summer.

    Scott is probing for soil moisture.

    • Oh, Ethan, you’re so right! The summer has just zoomed by! And when fall harvest starts, I’m not involved with the harvest world anymore and that makes me sad. Guess I’ll get to hang out more with Eli. 🙂

      SPOT ON! Scott was probing for soil mosture. He couldn’t even get it to go in as much as an inch. Yikes! He said he could remember when they would do that and most of the rod would go down nearly to the end of the rod and you can see how tall it is.

      • Ethan says:

        That’s beyond being dry, that’s almost desert conditions. Most people don’t comprind how dry it really is in this dust bowl area-or how tough wheat is. I don’t know of any other crops that can grow and produce grain on just a couple inches of water. It’s crazy to me that its been drier than it was in dust bowl days. That just goes to prove how much better our farming practices have become since then.

        • You are absolutely right! The only reasons we’re not seeing the dust blowing like it did in the “dirty 30’s” is because the farming practices are so much better. Otherwise, I’m afraid it would be bad…really bad! Let’s hope next year is better for everyone involved in this horrible drought!

  2. […] sized oven to cook in. After I mentioned the items the girls and I cooked in my post, it began only 17 days ago, I had a couple of people ask me for the recipes. If you read the post, you’ll also […]

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