taylor gets a new last name

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Colten Josoff

So, it’s the last day of 2016. And…I’ve procrastinated in getting my posts written until now. So, be prepared. Today will be a writing marathon for me just so my thoughts and pictures can be included in our 2016 book. Just remember…I forewarned you.

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keep your sight on the horizon

FullSizeRender (1)I’m not good at making New Year’s resolutions. I think they’re dumb. Mostly because when I used to follow the crowd and make a resolution, it was usually something that was next to impossible to keep. It was a good intention, though. So, rather than deal with the guilt of not living up to my end of the deal…I stopped making them. Well, now I’ve sort of made myself this pre-harvest resolution. I’ve been enough sedentary over the winter, I can see and feel a few of the extra inches that are a result of this lifestyle. I know it comes with age but until I can’t do something about it, maybe I should at least up the ante on the number of steps I take each day.

I got a bit obsessed with knowing the number of steps I was taking when I rode to New Orleans with Jenna to help her with her CLAAS booth at Commodity Classic. The facility was gigantic!!! It took many, many steps to get from point A to point B. Our biggest day of steps was 21,391 or nearly 10 miles. So, when I checked my phone the other day and the health app showed less than 1,000 steps, I decided I could do something about that. Either I needed to keep my phone in my pocket a little more OR I could just take off and go for a walk after Callie leaves for school. I opted for option #2.

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or so I thought…

claudias-book-quoteYou know, some days just seem to start out a bit more of a struggle than others. Today was one of those struggle days. Struggle to accept changes that are being thrown at me. Struggle just to get started with what’s on my list of “to do’s”. Just a struggle. I really hate days like this. Mostly because it takes hold of your very soul and seems to try to back you into a corner and not let you out. The tears that have been pushed back for so long seem to flow easily and won’t quit.

Why is it so hard to accept the fact that you’re not quite as tough as you’d like the rest of the world believe you are?

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a sure sign of spring in nebraska…baby bovines (calves)

Palm Sunday 2Regardless of what the thermometer shows for a temperature this time of year, the surest sign that spring has sprung is the sight of calves standing near their mama. Or, better yet, a gang of them running and leaping as if to say, “Why worry? Have fun!”

We don’t live on a farm. The last link to the farm for our immediate family belongs to Jim’s sister, Maureen, and her husband, Harvey. They plant corn and soybeans and raise cattle. They used to have pigs, as well, but gave up on that quite a few years ago already. Diversified operation. Recently, I’ve come to appreciate them and the connection much more. Prior to this appreciation, it was taken for granted.

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christmas in the country 2015 – gift reveal

IMG_0265I took this about five minutes ago. It’s January 13 and it’s still Christmas in my house. It may be a good thing that I can still wake up and plug in the Christmas tree and other lights of the season to remind me of the reason for the season.

I’ve been quite busy the past couple of months. If someone were to ask me if I’d like to have a “do over”, I would very excitedly tell them I would. My reason may not be one that you would think. Although, I would for that reason, too. The reason?  So I could simply stop and enjoy the season as it should be enjoyed. I feel like that was robbed from me this year. As Executive Director of the US Custom Harvesters, I have been solely focused on getting a job done. But, you see, that’s who I am. When I’m given a job, I tend to focus on it until it is complete. The large undertaking that I have and had over the Christmas season has been the planning of the annual convention – which happens to be in Omaha this year.

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“thank you”

IMG_9583This is a thank you but it’s not from me. It’s from a 26-year-old man sitting in a foreign land on July 27, 1945 – also his birthday.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because this young man is important to me. He was my father in law. Someone who left his family while still a kid to fight a fight that has provided the rest of us the freedoms we enjoy today. And he’s the one doing the thanking.

Dear Friends:

The least I can do is write a few lines to express my appreciation for the birthday card I received from you. I wish I knew the correct words to express just how much a message like that means from friends at home, when a fellow is away.

I think that a large percent of the fellows that are in the service would agree that too many of us didn’t fully realize the value of “home” and of “old friends”, before we entered the service. I don’t say that it was necessary for war to come along to wake us up, but that is the way it has happened, and I think by the time we get home we will have learned a lesson the hard way. We will come back equipped to be better Americans, due to the experience we are having now. We have seen the suffering and destruction a few power crazed individuals can cause. So now, we are thoroughly determined to set the “rising sun”.

You people at home are making it possible for us to do that job. You are sending us the equipment that is necessary for us to use in our fighting and you also provide for our enjoyment and entertainment during our short periods of relaxation in rest camps when we return from the front lines.

There are many fronts in the war and the home front is the most important of all. You are the people who are on that front and you are doing a wonderful job.

That is the reason it makes my heart swell and a lump come up in my throat when I realize that the people of the church at home, take the time and trouble to send their best wishes to me on my birthday. To me, it’s one of the nicest things that could happen.

God Bless you, and I hope in a very short time all of us may be reunited.

Sincerely yours,

Lloyd R. Zeorian, T Sgt Infantry (Co. F 130 Inf)

Happy Veterans Day to those who have served and to those who are on the home front! The sacrifices you have made are the reason me and my family can comfortably sleep tonight.

THANK YOU!

love in the shape of a red balloon

Throughout my many days of sitting behind the steering wheel of a combine, you see lots of “things” in the field…old machinery parts, oil buckets, seed bags, dead animals, deer antlers, swimming pools and even kids’ outdoor toys. Most of the machinery parts were lost during the working of the ground or planting of the crop. The rest can be attributed to the wind – except for the dead animals, of course.

I’ve seen a number of helium balloons. Some fields and locations within our harvest journey seem to collect more than usual. It’s almost as if those locations are on some sort of helium balloon jet stream. In my mind, I imagine that after balloons have been set free from the hands who have held them, they make their way into this helium balloon jet stream which carries them as far as it will allow. Then, the balloon that had been gracefully floating through the sky, hits some sort of cloud wall or turbulence, tumbles back to earth and lands in a field.

The fields we cut in Eastern Colorado must be in the direct balloons-falling-back-to-earth path. I used to get excited when I first saw a balloon here or there (I don’t know why). Sometimes I would stop to see what sort of celebration might have been happening at the time the balloon was allowed to enter the balloon jet stream. Birthdays and congratulations seem to make the top of the list.

On one particular September afternoon, while rolling through the millet field, a bouquet of red balloons caught my eye. “Interesting!”, I thought. “This is something you don’t see as often as the typical mylar balloon”. I kept going. Something entered my head, though, that made me back up, stop and get out of the Beast. I wanted to see what it was that made this find so different from the others.

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