#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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a late october adventure

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

The end of October was the beginning of a big adventure for me and Callie. Shortly after we got home, home from Colorado, I received a phone call from Caroline, the Executive Director for the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association. She had a plan and was wondering if Jim and I would be up for helping her out.

The plan involved a road trip from Lincoln, Nebraska to Las Vegas with their mobile baking lab. Ardent Mills wanted to use it as part of the Tim Horton Owners Convention. Would we be interested in driving the lab to Vegas, getting on a plane to come home, getting on another plane to go back to Vegas and driving the lab home? I thought it sounded like an awesome adventure and I was honored she even thought of us to help her out. I, however, didn’t want to get my hopes up because I knew Jim would be in the field and wouldn’t be able to help. I told her I would definitely be in…as long as I could find someone to go with me.

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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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pickin up millet

So, from my last post, you know we had a Labor Day weekend excursion to the mountains while Taylor, Callie and Eli were here. I know they wanted to be in the field with us before they left for home but it didn’t pan out. We did, however, attempt to pick up a bit of millet on Monday. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be but I think that was a short day. We tried but it still needed more time in the sunshine.

This is proso millet prior to being swathed and laid in windrows. 

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it was the best surprise!

It was just a week ago yesterday they surprised us.

Taylor and Callie were coming to visit over the Labor Day weekend. We knew that. And I had suggested bringing Eli with them but I was told there were reasons why it just wasn’t going to work.

As it turned out, the proso millet wasn’t quite ready to be harvested. It needed a few more days so we were told we wouldn’t be working over the weekend. It would have to wait until Monday. I told Taylor and Callie this and they were a little bummed. I think they were both hoping to experience the combine, the truck and being in the field again. Something they took for granted when they tagged along with us every summer. This was the second summer they had been away from the routine. I wasn’t worried about finding something to do. I thought, if nothing else, maybe just us girls could make a trip into the mountains. I knew it would be hard to get Jim back into the hills after we’d just toured the Montana mountains.

The plan (or so I thought) was for the two of them to leave after Taylor got off work on Friday afternoon. They would be here either late that night or spend the night in a hotel. I encouraged the latter. I know how hard it is to get through those last couple hundred miles before you get here. And even worse when it gets so late. It was about 11:00 on Friday morning when Taylor called. She said she had gotten to take off work earlier than expected and they were just about ready to leave home. I told her to let us know how the trip was going and to be careful. “Oh, and when you get to Limon, would you stop at the grocery store (if it’s open) and pick up some peaches. They are REALLY good this summer!” She said she would.

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