#vegasboundwheaties adventure continues

We had a nine-day window of time before Callie and I had to be back to Vegas to pick up the Nebraska Wheat Growers’ Mobile Baking Lab from the convention center.

In that time frame, we celebrated Taylor’s 23rd birthday and I made a brief trip to the corn field for an afternoon.

Happy birthday, Taylor

Callie and Taylor

Happy birthday Taylor

Celebrating in style! Jenna, Callie & Taylor


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memories of another lifetime

Another lifetime

I did something tonight that I don’t usually do (unless I’m sick). I was actually laying on the couch, wrapped up to my chin with a fleece blanket. We’ve been cold and snowy here in Eastern Nebraska much longer than I really care to be. Once my body gets cold it takes blankets and/or a hot bath to really feel warm again. Tonight, I was hoping the blanket would do the trick. I guess that’s why I was on the couch.

The TV was on (more so for noise) and Jim was sitting in his chair looking at his phone. I thought about this particular scene as I looked at the carpet on the floor. My thoughts immediately went from the current moment to remembering what the floor looked like when we first moved in, which led to the carpet, which led to the chaos and craziness of this particular area of the house, which led to the quietness of the house, which led to why I’m writing.

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more than one way to skin a cat

Oh my goodness! Why oh why do I put something off until it becomes a chore? I have no idea why it’s been so difficult for me to sit down and write. Maybe it’s some sort of writer’s block? I went through my pictures yesterday and decided today was the day to make it happen. Have you ever put something off so long you just wished it would go away – only it doesn’t? Today I have decided there was more than one way to skin a cat. What in the world am I talking about? I hope you know I would never really try to skin a cat. I know a couple of people (who are world-famous trappers) who DO KNOW what it’s like to skin a cat. Okay…now, I’m getting off subject.

Another reason I’ve sort of backed away from writing (I think) is the overwhelming amount of information that comes through social media about how I SHOULD be writing a blog. And how it’s SUPPOSED to be done. And how I’m doing it all WRONG. I admit, I began reading some of the information, hoping to learn more, only to end up even more overwhelmed. After feeling like a complete loser, I decided I was doing it just as it was INTENDED it when started. I wasn’t out to win the #1 spot on the Google search engine. I’m not making bazillions of dollars – not even one – so I shouldn’t feel the need to compete in any way with anyone. I don’t need to have a post go viral (although it would be fun to think I wrote well enough others liked it that much). I just want to write. To share my story and my journey through this crazy thing called life. If it helps someone somewhere along the way, perfect! No more worries about doing it wrong!

So, the last update I wrote about (a harvester’s widow), I was spending my days doing whatever I could while getting used to being home…by myself. How long ago was that? I just looked – it was October 28. A lot of things have occurred since that day. And because of recent events that have made me more aware of how important pictures and memories are, I have decided I have just got to do this. Staring at the closed computer every day wasn’t going to make anything just go away.

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a harvester’s widow

I have become a harvester’s widow.

Jim’s been the sole fall harvester since we started this business. That means he’s been the only one in the soybean and corn crops for the past 30 years. And this year is no different. There was some talk that I may be needed to run grain cart because they are one man short. If you remember, the day Ben was born, we also lost our fall customer and dear friend, Russell. Apparently, his son-in-laws have it under control better than they expected before the harvest actually got started because I’ve not been asked. Russell would be very proud of them! However, I was sort of hoping I would finally be involved but with this cold snap…maybe not so much.

So, while Jim has been doing the fall harvest, I’ve been the one left at home doing what needs to be done here. Until the past two years, a lot of my time has been involved with the girls’ schedules. Not so much anymore. So, the days tend to get long. I have been able to unload and clean the inside and outside of the trailer house with very little interruption. I have all but one small flower garden to clean out before the snow flies and I still have the house to thoroughly clean of cobwebs. Jim usually leaves the house about 7:30 am and most nights doesn’t get home until 9:30. Long days – much like the wheat harvest.

I’ve had a couple of fun outings with Eli and Nora. It’s probably a good thing they don’t live any closer than they do. We may not get anything done…ever!

Our first outing was a spur of the moment occurrence. It was one of those beautiful Fall days where it didn’t even feel like Fall. It was one of those “let’s make her think it’s going to be summer forever” type of days.

Whenever we go anywhere, we have to have Jamie put the car seats in the van. I almost hate to suggest going anywhere simply because I know just how much work it is to transfer those seats from one vehicle to the other. It’s not like it was when my girls were little. Holy cow! So simple back then (and they survived)!!! Improvements usually mean more work. Anyways, I headed over to the H’s house and had Jamie install these pieces of engineering genius in the van. Jamie had their bag filled with snacks, jackets and anything and everything we could possibly need. I’ll have to give that girl credit…she’s prepared!

Once loaded, I decided we needed to head towards the walking bridge (that used to be a railroad bridge) that goes over the Platte River. You can walk from one shore of the river to the next. I will have to confess, though, I worried about just letting the kids head out on their own at first. But, once I surveyed the amount of space between the fence and the cement bridge, there was no way a body could just fall through it and land in the river. So, they were OFF!

It was about here where I was making sure a little body couldn’t just slip through any sort of opening. Even though I knew they couldn’t, I couldn’t convince the uneasy feelings I had of that while watching them stand there. 

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a few days ago

It feels like just a few days ago. But, in fact, it’s been over two weeks already that we left our Colorado “home” and traveled back to our Eastern Nebraska “home, home”.  The days just go too fast (and faster the older I get).

The last post I wrote for All Aboard will better explain what our last days in Colorado looked like. Head on over there by clicking here.

After the first trip home, home. Frank didn’t cause me a lick of problems. Besides the issue we had at the very start of the season, we got along just fine. 

Rollin on the floor with Papa. After we got home, we spent the night at Curt and Jamie’s house. We left the Cottage in Colorado for the second trip home. 

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it was one of THOSE days

The first trip to Colorado was pretty uneventful. The only problem I could mention that might be something a few out there would understand is parking for the night – next to a truck in a parking lot. We headed for the Walmart parking lot in Sidney with the Cottage to “dry camp” for the night. We didn’t realize this particular lot also housed the Over The Road trucker(s). Even with ear plugs in my ears, I bet I was awake more than I was sleeping. It was warm enough I had to have the windows open so every time a new truck pulled in, I heard it. And I swear it’s always the one with the running reefer that parks next to us. It’s almost like there’s a sign on the side of the trailer that says, “I’m trying to sleep so please park next to me and run your reefer all night”. 🙂  I keep saying “I” rather than “we” because Jim chooses to sleep in the Pete when we’re on the road. He says he does that so his snoring doesn’t wake me up – which I appreciate. But…it really won’t matter, I guess, as long as we park with the trucks.

Anyways, we arrived at our destination and opted to get a good night’s sleep rather than heading north again right away. This was Thursday evening. Our welcoming committee met us right away and invited us over for supper. It’s always good to see the people you said goodbye to the previous year. And, WOW, has Charley ever grown! We had supper with Scott, Sarah, Riley and Charley and probably extended our stay a bit too long. When questions about the summer and the different locations start flying, it’s always fun to bore others with the answers and our experiences. I hope we didn’t bore them too horribly bad!! At one point, I even had to walk back over to the trailer and get my bags of lentils, chickpeas and green peas to show them.

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next stop…colorado and millet harvest

If you’ve been following the All Aboard Wheat Harvest, you know we’ve been north of Chester, Montana working for a farmer. We left the Beast, Frank and the Pete in Chadron for a bit of an adventure somewhere in the middle of Montana.

Just a month ago, I stayed with Eli and Nora while Jamie, Curt and Ben were in the hospital. But, as soon as they got home late Wednesday night, it was time to go back to work mode. There was wheat to cut in Montana!! We had hired on with Mattson Farms to help them get their harvest done. We left for Montana the very next day.

The first time Jim held Ben – just before we had to tell him goodbye.

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