Happy Birthday Sweetheart

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This little lady has a Birthday today. She is my sisters baby and is the big old one one! She is the best Niece#4 I could ask for.

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She is one of my boys best friends. They play and act silly together.

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I love hanging out with her. She is so much fun and loves to do anything with animals, and well, me!

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Her silliness and orneriness is evident in her constant smile.

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She’s always up for an adventure.

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Her love for animals melts my heart. I just can’t explain her gentleness enough.

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And then there is her willingness to help and learn. This kid will do anything.

I am a very lucky person to get to be her Aunt. I love this kid and so proud of the young lady she is becoming. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

 

Combining Corn

Well, harvest has gone really pretty well. We got all the hay done, silage chopped and covered, beans in the bins, and then had to finish corn. We had all the bins full with about 10 acres left to do. Brother takes his corn to the ethanol plant about 20 miles away and they were full for the time being so we waited a few extra days to finish so he could haul it there. So those last couple acres took us about 5 days (including the weekend when everything was closed).

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When we finally got to go, it is always an exciting time to be close to done! I am sitting behind him cheering the combine on! Come on, let’s get this knocked out!

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Thankfully, during this time, we had the most beautiful weather for November. This is the afternoon of the 15th. Sunny and warm.

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It didn’t take us long to finish those last few rows and Harvest 16 was in the books! Even though we may have taken a little longer than some, the corn dried down perfectly in the field and that is a good thing.

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And he is done. I am standing on the tires of the tractor watching him finish. You almost feel like jumping off, crying, laughing, it’s kind of an overwhelming feeling being done. I can’t really explain the emotions that go into spending that many months watching something grow, the weather being completely out of your control, the decisions that go into the care of the crop, all the way through getting it out of the field and where it needs to be. And keep in mind I am NOT the farmer. I am just the one standing behind him worrying and fretting and cheering him on!

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He brought his load in and dumped on the truck. The combine is done other than a bath before going to the shed.

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Then I dump the final cart on the truck. I am so happy to be done and have made it through. ‘My’ grain cart has a couple problems that need to be fixed and I am just so thankful that we made it though and now have the winter to work on it.

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And that’s the end. The sun actually set on the finish of harvest this year. We went back to mom’s and had a celebratory supper together, and relaxed for the evening. It might be one of my favorite times of the year.

 

 

Friday’s Hunt v2.21 and v2.22

Again, I appear to have missed an entire weekend and a Friday’s Hunt! So I will be doing another 2 in 1. I am always amazed at how easily I can miss days sometimes.

So to start, we have last weeks prompts, the Letter U, Weeks Favorites, and Nature. I think I struggled to find a Letter U last time around. So for this time around I will use Janet’s Udder.

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She’s definitely expecting, but since she is a first timer who knows how long it will take to get those babies on the ground. In the meantime I will enjoy her cute little udder.

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My Weeks Favorite and Nature is this one I took looking across my hay field. It’s strange to be half way through November and still have so much green. That won’t last much longer. I however in the meantime enjoying every minute I have to spend outside while the temperatures are so mild. It has just been a beautiful.

So then we are on to Friday’s Hunt for this week. Our prompts are the Letter V, Weeks Favorites, and Thankful.

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Sometimes when you are driving for hours on end, it gets a little monotonous. Every now and again I find a rock that needs to be picked up. I get very bored and then I make the rock a pet and don’t want to throw it in the pile. This is Rocky. He came home to live with me after spending 2 days in the tractor with me without a radio. Ok, being very bored might be a stretch for the Letter V, but it’s all I’ve got!

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My Weeks Favorite. So after having a few weeks of beautiful, unseasonably warm weather it finally cooled down. There was last Friday, and the wind decided it would blow like crazy. It wasn’t actually all that terribly cold, but the wind was a bit chilly. I was disking that day. I thought the tractor had no heat. So I was in my bibs and stocking hat with my warm, fuzzy mittens on just trying to make it dark so I could quit and warm up. I called Brother to tell him I was going in to get fuel. He said he would meet me there, he needed fuel too. And did I want heat? Did I want heat?! Umm, yeah. This is me after he fixed it. I am now sweating.

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I can’t list all the ways I am thankful. My life is so full of blessings every single day. I try to make a point to always be kind, smile more than necessary, hold doors, laugh out loud, call a friend, be understanding, and just let go of what I can’t change. These are the things that help make me happy everyday. Everyone can something to complain about, but these last few years I have really tried to find as many things about each day to be thankful and happy about. I hope each of you has your days full of reasons to be thankful.

As always I am linking up with Teresa at Eden Hills. If you have a chance, stop over and check out the other Friday’s Hunts.

 

Combining Beans

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been over a month since we combined beans. Time flies when you are busy! I am trying to get caught up but this week we have to get ready for Brother to be gone for Thanksgiving and me to be able to handle everything by myself, so even though most of our field work is basically complete, there is a lot to do.

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The beans were amazing this year. Brother double crops most of his beans. This means he plants a cover crop on his corn ground in the fall and then harvests it in the spring and then plants beans. This has us planting a little later and harvesting a little later but it sure seems to work out well.

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He wanted to run both combines this year, but we found a slight problem with the reel on the head of the old combine. No time to fix that now so we ran just the one. That slows down my job of running the grain cart.

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So I read while I wait on him. Got 2 books read while I was watching him.

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And I ate. Mom brings meals to us in the field so we can keep going.

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We made it through the first couple fields and got them in the bins without much problem. Except one minor one. It felt like a huge problem to me, but Brother showed up and helped me. I was headed back to Sisters bin to unload with the grain cart fully loaded. Slowed way down to turn carefully into her driveway and the tractor doesn’t turn. At first I think, no problem. I just didn’t slow down enough like he told me to and there was to much weight and I missed the turn. So I try to straighten out and go to her second driveway to turn around. NO such luck. It won’t straighten, it won’t turn, I have now steering. Now I am concerned panicked. It’s dark, I am completely blocking the road, headed into the ditch, with a full load. Not good. I call Brother, no answer. I call Sister, she answers but isn’t home. I try Mom, no answer. I try, Brother. The whole time I holding my feet on the brakes because loaded we can’t put it in park. Finally Mom shows up to bring dinner and wonders why I am sitting in the middle of the road sideways. She realizes I am in trouble and races to get Brother. They come right back and he immediately sees the problem. I have lost the drivers side tie-rod end. Ok. So, Brother puts it back together with his hand and holds it while I slowly back away from the ditch, get straightened up, and drive it up into Sisters driveway on the flat. We get the new part the next morning and all is well. It is sometimes unbelievable how Brother just showing up can calm you down and how quickly he makes you feel like it will be ok and you did alright. After that, things went fairly smoothly for the most part.

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Our set up at Sisters. It was about the same regardless of what bin we were filling. Except one. This was the second time I was a little nervous. Brother was already out in the combine when I got there and he called me and said “Don’t worry, there is plenty of room, it will fit” What was he talking about?

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Yes, it will fit. Plenty of room? Not exactly what I would call plenty of room. But I did it. A number of times. Without incident. Very slowly. He has more faith in my ability than I did. I didn’t even drive the pickup through here on the way out because I wasn’t sure it would fit! I had no idea he was going to have me pull the grain cart through there!

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We worked a few nights. Not super late but the beans wouldn’t dry down until afternoon.

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They were dusty and made it hard to see. He had trouble seeing, I had trouble seeing him.

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We got rained out once, which slowed us down a few days. There just weren’t good drying days.

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But we finally got them all out of the field and put where they go.

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Most went in 2 bins at Brothers house and then one number he took and delivered. Since he grows seed beans they bagged them up when he delivered them. So that was then end of the beans for the year.

 

Being a Farmgirl

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She likes to check the crops. And by checking I mean play in the corn until her daddy is ready to go. She rides patiently in combines and tractors. She has learned to hook up wagons and hayracks. She watches and pretends to fix things.

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She loves to care for her animals. Especially her chickens. She is very excited about her chickens! The black ones are hers and are moving to her house soon. She has had to help get their chicken coop cleaned up and ready. And she checks her chickens. All the time. All day. Repeatedly. I hope they all start laying soon so all her checking produces more than 2 or 3 eggs.

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I don’t know what this one was doing. But her face! I love this girl. She is growing up in so much the way I did. There is nothing better than being a farmer’s daughter. You learn more than you even know as you play around your dad working. You end up mimicking your dads work and often times don’t know you are even working because you find it fun.

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She works without much complaint, because it’s not only fun to wash the combine, but important to be a good helper to her dad. She has no idea that all these things will serve her well later in life.

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Of course there is a lot of dinking around! She has to harvest her own corn to feed her chickens. As I said before, they are pretty important to her.

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No matter where she goes, or what she does, there is always silliness and happiness. She is patient and kind and gentle and loving. She is becoming a hard working little lady and I love being able to spend this time with her. As my youngest niece, I will miss when she gets to big to run up to me yelling my name and jumping in my arms. I will miss when she wants me to spin her in circles. I will miss when she wants to sit on my lap or ride with me back to the house. I will miss making meals with her and watching her show me how she knows how to do something by herself. My heart swells with pride every time she learns something new.

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Tears fill my eyes when I see her with her dad. Learning and enjoying him. His patience and love shines in her eyes. I enjoy these moments and love being able to watch her grow up. I just hate that she is doing it so fast.

A night out

A dear friend from high school called and asked if I was interested in 6 tickets to an Iowa State Men’s basketball game Monday night. YES!! Of course I am. I haven’t spent more than a couple hours with the kids the last few weeks, so guess who filled those seats?

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My 3, Niece#4, and little cousin. They were so excited! We had really great seats and they loved the magical atmosphere of Hilton Coliseum!

20161114_184700.jpgI love having the opportunity to do something that we normally don’t do. It was a fairly good game and they are a pretty good team.

We did get an extra special treat that we didn’t even know about. There is an amazing young man who lives in our town and he was honored during the game as the first Athlete Of The Game from the Special Olympics! I love this family and was so excited to be able to be there to watch him accept this honor!

20161114_193421He might not have been able to hear us screaming his name, but we were!

screenshot_20161114-193607Thankfully, because of the big screen, we were able to see his big smile and watch him get his signed ball. Way to Dayton! We are so happy for you!

20161114_190828The Cyclones won in the end. The kids were happy and wound up all night. Definitely a good night out!

Maintenance

There is a lot of things that move during harvest. Some mornings and parts of the evenings are spent doing routine maintenance. It’s not the most exciting thing, but if you don’t spend the time taking care of things, you spend way more time fixing things!

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Of course fueling up is important. While it sits and gets a fill, we check oils, clean windows, and grease it up.

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This requires a lot of maintenance. Brother is blowing off the radiator here. After he is done with that he greases, checks oils and all fluids, and sprays the chains with chain lube. Checking tire pressure and just making sure everything is running correctly. It’s part in the harvest season should come to an end today or tomorrow.

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Finding grease serts is kind of a work out on certain pieces of equipment. The combine is one that is definitely a work out! They are hidden in, around, and behind! Thankfully the book shows where we are supposed to be looking. Some need greased at 10 hours up to 100 hours, so there are days we have to find them all.

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How many hands can you fit into a small spot? Four in this one. It is often a tight fit when working under the hood. The grain truck was acting funny by losing power. We looked for a fuel filter screen but instead found it was the fuel filter. Easy fix and we were back on the road. Thankfully Neighbors Son was there that day. He’s a little more mechanically inclined than I am. We are getting to the end of harvest and starting fall field work. Hopefully we are finished combining and hauling tomorrow and we can started on drilling winter rye and getting cows situated for Brother to be gone for Thanksgiving. This weather has been a real treat and we will continue to work lots of hours until we are done. Because of that my posts may be a little sparse, but I will stop in and get one done as time permits! Until then, here’s to the end of #harvest16!