We Deliver

During planting season, the goal is to keep the planter moving as much as possible when the weather allows. This means other people, often the farmer’s wife and/or parents, get called on to bring things to the field or help move vehicles from one field to another. This year I delivered seed plates

seed

cone bottoms

and more fertilizer tanks

and maybe even food once.

It’s a good thing Brad doesn’t ask me to hitch trailers, or I’d be sending snapchats like my sister-in-law who gets a lot more delivery time than me during planting! She’s typically an expert hitcher. ūüėČ

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Kid and Animal Cuteness

If you think little mice are cute, Brad stopped the planter to pick up a big jug that was in the middle of the field. He brought it into the cab of the tractor, but before long it started squeaking! He didn’t stop the tractor; just opened the door and kicked it back out into the field as fast as he could. He still heard squeaking in the cab but couldn’t see anything. When he got out and was eye level with the floor of the cab, he found one baby mouse that he had unknowingly squished with his boot and another little one in a corner that he exterminated. Exciting day in the planter!

Cows

We don’t have cows, but we’ve been getting to see a lot of the relatives’ cows this month.

Elliana (in the pink shirt) was at her cousins’ house when they were branding the heifers’ calves. She got in on holding the calves down.

Last weekend they branded the rest of the calves. Brad helped give shots on what he and his brother thought was “Wear Your Pioneer Seed Jacket” day. Elliana helped hold some of the smaller calves; and the rest of us watched for a little while.

When we first arrived, they had just corralled the calves and cows.

They had to get the cows out and keep the calves in. I was actually driving in when this started, (Side note: Watch out carefully for electric fence when you’re driving where cows are. It sneaks up on you, and then you can accidentally stretch it out and have it end up on your windshield.) and a calf was smart enough to put me between him and the cowboy going after him. My unfortunate placement made for a lot more work for the cowboy. I still have so much to learn.

It was entertaining watching the little calves escape instead of just the mamas. The cowboys and teenagers were eager to chase after them to get them back into the branding pen. Then the work began.

 

Today we happened to be at the right place to get to watch cows and calves unload from trailers. They were moving them from cornstalks to a pasture. Watching the calves jump out of the trailer made me laugh. They really leapt. They acted like they were trying to fly out of there compared to their mothers who just quickly sauntered out.

To top it off, Elliana and Liza got in on bottle feeding a few bottle calves today.

We have it good. The kids get to experience some animals, but we don’t have to take care of them everyday.

 

Here We Go Again

Brad started planting today, mainly because he wanted to make sure everything was working correctly. It wasn’t. He said it took him eight hours to get going after he thought he was ready to start.

Elliana and Wyatt took turns riding with him today. This is what we saw when I dropped off Elliana.

If you’re a husband and farmer and reading this while you’re planting corn, I would recommend you read this post about stopping to call your wife.¬†Actually with auto steer, you don’t even have to stop the tractor. I haven’t shared that post with Brad, but if you know him in the capacity to encourage him, you can share it with him.

Brad ended up finishing the entire little field today, but he missed out on our neighboring town’s pancake feed.

Volunteer fire department pancake feeds are an event I look forward to in small town life. This one we went to tonight has to be one of the best. They even have door prizes, and we even won one tonight! To make it even better, two of my good friends were there.

Once more thing since tomorrow is Easter. If you have access to brown eggs, they make beautiful colors when you dye them. This picture has eggs that were brown and eggs that were white. The darker ones were brown to start.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter and a smooth, planting season!

Flash

I finally finished reading Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances by Rachel Anne Ridge. It is an easy, enjoyable, and meaningful read with each chapter having a life applicable lesson that Rachel learned from her life and her donkey, Flash. (He even has his own website!) Lessons encouraging you to praise God more, talk about Him more, and to keep on stepping forward even if it feels like you’re not making much progress.

“Making dinner, taking kids to piano lessons, changing the oil. Finding that God is in our work and our play and our family. In our hockey games and Bible studies, our bedtime prayers and errands. He is in our sketches and paintbrushes and dreams. He is in our showing up each day and lacing up our shoes and being fully present in whatever situations we find ourselves. He is in our very breaths.
Walking, stepping, plodding, Doing the next thing.”

It took me a while to finish reading because I remember thinking I needed to let a chapter soak in before I read another thing I need to let soak in. Then I started another book and it just took me longer than it should’ve to get back to reading about Flash. My recommendation would be to finish the book before you start a new one.

I see Rachel Anne Ridge has another book out now about a different donkey named Henry. I bet it’s just as good as Flash.

Lessons from a Hay Convoy

In case you are unaware of major weather related events in Nebraska (and South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri…), we were hit with severe¬†flooding¬†on the eastern part of the state, ice chunks as big as cars piled high in businesses and fields along the Niobrara River, and extreme snow (20′ drifts!) on the northwest part of the state. With the flooding, around 1,500 miles of highway were closed including at least 15 bridges. That doesn’t even consider county roads. They are estimating agricultural losses to be about $1 billion in our state alone.

We were not hit by any of the severe weather in our part of Nebraska, but we feel awful for farmers who may not be able to plant their fields and ranchers who lost their animals and feed. A local farmer asked around if anyone had hay to donate, and he ended up with more hay than trucks to haul it. Brad had a truck, his brother had a hay trailer, and Brad had the day available to join the hay convoy. It was a very clear good work, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10) 

Hay for flood relief #Nebraskastrong

On Sunday, Elliana joined Brad as one of eight trucks hauling hay together to a drop point in central Nebraska. The state patrol waived restrictions and had them take the highway instead of the interstate. They had police escorts through Kearney and Grand Island so they didn’t have to stop at stop lights. It was a neat experience.

Hay convoy #NebraskaStrongAll was going well until Brad’s truck decided to die on the highway before he reached the delivery location. Thankfully, he had a solid shoulder to pull off on, which wasn’t the case for a lot of the road. Around three hours later, the hay was unloaded and they were towed off the road. Good thing another person in the convoy hauled their hay with an extended cab pickup, so Brad and Elliana had a nice ride home. As of today the truck is still sitting in that same spot. Brad is in touch with someone in the area who is working on fixing it. Last I knew, they hadn’t figured out the problem.

I don’t think he broke down because he wasn’t supposed to be hauling the hay. Things easily fell in place for him to be able to help that way. Even though he was doing a right thing, it was/is a very frustrating situation; although minor compared to what so many others are facing. I’ve spent time trying to see what God’s plan is in having it happen to make me feel better about it. A lot¬† of my hypotheses were rather self centered:

  • Maybe Brad will make a connection that will help him have extra help during harvest.
  • It somehow will be the breakthrough we are waiting for on where we can put a house.

I did speculate about others too.

  • The rancher near where Brad broke down that took the hay and towed him off the road must have REALLY needed the hay.
  • The repair man had maybe been praying for extra business.

What I felt convicted about later this week, is that instead of thinking of¬† monetary and selfish benefits, I should spend more time considering how this and other unfortunate circumstances in life could impact someone’s life eternally.

  • Who did Brad and Elliana come in contact with on their journey that needed to learn more about Jesus that day?

Whatever God’s purpose is, it’s good to know He has a plan and He cares. Maybe someday we’ll see what it is.

Audiobooks

I thought I had posted this on December 23. Last week I saw it was still in draft status and couldn’t believe my eyes. I went to too much work linking all these books to not post it, so since it might snow today you can pretend it’s December 23 while you’re reading this.

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This post has nothing to do with Christmas, unless you are looking for an audiobook to listen to while traveling to a Christmas gathering. I just had a couple things I really needed to let you know.

1.We finally finished that last field just over a week ago. Another snow stormed delayed us a week and a half, but we are now FINALLY done.

2. One thing I will miss about harvest is the chance to listen to books. I was kept too busy to get much read other than Out of Control by Mary Conneally, so listening to books was an excellent alternative. In case you’re looking for something to listen to, here’s my run down of what I listened to this year. Not all are ones that I would say you MUST listen to or read, but they would hold your attention if you were stuck sitting and staring straight ahead for several hours (or an entire day).

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Now if I could just get the movie watched!

Unashamed: Rahab by Francine Rivers – If the Nebraska Overdrive Libraries would have had more Francine Rivers books, I would’ve listened to more of them.

I had read both of those books long enough ago to not remember everything about them but to know I would enjoy listening to them.

Mr Terrupt Falls Again and Saving Mr Terrupt by Rob Buyea – If you haven’t read Because of Mr Terrupt, I would recommend you read it first or at least look at the book to see how it is laid out.

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorious – This book would be of special interest to SLP’s, especially if you have any interesting alternative communication, but I think anyone would find it compelling and thought provoking. It has a few parts where he writes about how he was abused that are very disturbing, so don’t listen with little ears around. An SLP I took classes with is actually mentioned in the book and the author is now a father!

Call the Midwife – by Jennifer Worth – If you like the PBS Show, you’ll like the audiobook. It’s hard to believe the stories are actually real at times!

If you want to compare our harvest this year to last based on how much I listened to, last year I listened to only two books that I can remember. I probably didn’t start listening as early into harvest as I did this year, but I definitely had more time to listen this year. Last years book were

Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon by Thomas and Kelley French – It’s a true story about a NICU baby. It has some bad language but is very interesting!

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – I started listening to this because some of my students were reading it and I needed to keep up with what they were reading. It’s a Golden Sower Nominee if that means anything to you. I started listening to its sequel, The War I Finally Won, this year; but harvest ended and I didn’t get it finished. I’ll have to remember to finish it next harvest.

You have until Fall of 2019 to get me any of your audiobook recommendations!