2016 Harvest in the Books

combine to grain cart to semiBrad finished harvesting his corn today. He’ll still be helping another farmer with harvest, but his corn is out of the field.

The big highlight of this harvest was Elliana learning to drive the grain cart. Brad started showing her the ropes Sunday afternoon.
7250 TractorAunt Renae rode along with her yesterday, but Elliana just didn’t feel like she could go by herself yet. 2016 Corn Harvest img_0350Today she and Brad went out to finish the last 100 rows. He thought the way things were set up would be perfect for her to drive by herself, and she did. Don’t worry about her being overworked. She’s been SO EXCITED all week about driving the grain cart!


Looking for corn that the combine missed

Another highlight was getting quality, one-on-one time in the combine with the big kids. If you want to see how your kids are different, just spend a few hours with each of them in a combine.

img_0351Wyatt and Liza rode with me for a short bit and were more than happy when a better option came up for them. Three people in that small space isn’t ideal for long periods of time.

Now we’re praising God that a safe and happy harvest is complete!

October Saturday

This is how Brad and I spent this most perfect October day.

Corn Harvest 2016He tried to rig up a bin extension so I could go a little further without needing to unload or spill.Combine Bin I still spilled over the top once and maybe even out the back once. Why did they not make the “bin is full” light a little more dramatic and eye catching?!

My job was a little easier this year because I had a much larger target to hit when dumping into the grain cart. Doesn’t this

blue grain cartlook a lot bigger than our first grain cart? It served us well, but I’m thankful I have more room for error. It’s hard to tell from the pictures but there’s a 225 bushel difference between the two, which is equivalent to one more combine bin.full graincartBrad drove truck for another farmer harvesting for most of this week. They picked an entire pivot in a day. With a fire call delay, slightly slow start, having to drive slow because of the extra tall corn stalks making more work for the combine, and our small two man operation, I think we maybe got 50 acres done today.

I was amused today by texts from other friends in the field. One friend, who is also a country transplant, texted, “Some days it’s like I’ve never filled a truck before!” I know neither of us would’ve expected to send or receive that text five years ago.

Another friend texted me, “The best days in the field are when you can listen to the Huskers!” Husker football on the radio did help the afternoon go by; and whether you’re a Husker fan or not, this article written by a Husker sports writer who visited a Nebraska farm is an delightful read. It sheds light on why Brad couldn’t stand to not be a farmer and will probably make you wish you could do a harvest ride along.

Lovely October Evenings

Small Town Nebraska/My Family:
The trunks (country dwellers) really showed up at the trunk or treat tonight. We might have trunk or treated more than we trick or treated. It was a great time!

Farm Education:cornEverywhere I looked I saw people harvesting. I actually saw one combine so full that corn was spilling out of the side of it! Hello?! Maybe it was a first time driver. I kept thinking that I wanted to pick corn and was afraid I might not get my time in the combine. Amazing what three years will do to a person. You must not think I’m strange until you experience how satisfying picking corn is.

Finally, the pivot is ready to be picked. I went there as soon as was done with work on Thursday. Brad only gave me a 30 second reminder and left me alone. He didn’t even ride along with me to make sure I knew what I was doing this year. My only caution was to not back into a pole. (Go ahead and pray right now that I never do that.)

I only had to call Brad one time to figure out why things were beeping. It took me less than a minute to line up the header with the rows, and I only had to back up to get it right one time! I promise I’m still not an expert, but I didn’t hold my breath half the time I was driving. Just a few times, like maybe when I first had to unload into the grain cart and pick at the same time. See this grain cart? I filled it as full as I could. Brad was pleased.
full graincart

Brad saved me from having to pick the messy end rows, but I rode along and got pictures of our friends’ combine from the window of our combine.   October Sunset

I had time to get more pictures later because I was picked full, the grain cart was full, and we were waiting for the truck to come back from the elevator. I wish I would’ve had my good camera! harvested cornfieldThis would be a lovely picture without the auger in it, but then you wouldn’t know it was taken from a combine.
combine auger sunset harvest sunsetIt was a gorgeous evening. I know I’m not supposed to wish my little kids away, but I do look forward to when I can get my combine time without having to have other people take care of my kids. Liza confined to a cab for any length of time is a terrible idea. corn harvest at duskRain is keeping us out of the field this weekend, which is a good thing; but we’ll be back on Monday!

October Love

Small Town Nebraska:
I try not to post things that will waste your time. I mean it when I say you should watch this video. Way to go southwestern Nebraska and the body of Christ!

It’s been a beautiful October, an October Anne of Green Gables would truly appreciate. It was perfect for a walk at twilight Sunday night, shorts and t-shirt perfect. The sky was remarkable, and the cow statues were an added bonus!

gorgeous sunset cows at duskFarming:
Brad harvested his dry land corn this week. Since we’re a small operation, he finished it in three days and didn’t want to haul a grain cart to the field, which means he didn’t really want my help. It worked well for me! Elliana rode along with Brad after school one day, and I put her on the task of getting pictures. dryland harvest 2015 Harvest
What I’ve Been Thinking & Learning:

I loved this thought that Juliet’s mom told me this week: Exhaustion is a big player on the lie court. Isn’t that so incredibly true? I thought she meant the life court, which would be true too; but really it’s a player on the life court because of all the lies you believe when your brain is too tired to combat them!

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 


Harvest Has Begun

Did you know corn prices are low? One day this week was rainy (FINALLY!), which happened to be the same day as a big equipment sale; so Brad was able to go check it out. Based on that sale, newer combines and tractors are selling for $70,000 to $100,000 less than last year! Might not have wanted to be standing next to one of the farmers who bought last year!

Do you see this on your main street much?

New John Deere TractorNew John Deere CombineHow about a semi pulling up to the end of your driveway?
grain trailer See any partly picked soybean fields when you’re out on a walk?
beautiful fall Nebraska dayThe number of semi with grain trailers on the road seems to have quadrupled overnight. My sister-in-law lives on a main road and said she counted one every minute for ten minutes.

The kittens at our child-sitter’s house just let Liza walk up to them and pick them up. She loves them, and it brings a smile to any face nearby! 

What I’m Learning:
Good tasting cantaloupe grows in Nebraska gardens! I didn’t think that was possible.
CantaloupeThis one came from a plant that Elliana started in a garden in a glove project at a summer camp. It’s the only plant out of five that lived, but it lived and produced! 

pyrex on a hot burnerEvery forget to turn off a burner and then put a pyrex dish on it? Very, very, very bad! Especially when you’re in the middle of canning salsa. I now can’t quit wondering if I will ever get a bite of glass from this event in my food. Shutter!

Have a good week!

One More Harvest Story

Here is one final harvest story for your education, and so I can post the picture of Liza in the combine.

Brad came up with a plan to make sure we’d get the corn harvested before the freezing, maybe snowy weather. This plan included having me go out to the field to pick the combine and grain cart full, so that when he was finished hauling for someone else that day he could get to the field and have almost a load ready to go to the elevator.

Wyatt, Liza and I loaded up and went to the field.

IMG_1690It was Liza’s first combine ride and she did a great job of sleeping.

IMG_1689For most of harvest this one spot on the header would get clogged up if we would go too fast. Since it was just me and Brad had the semi, I only had something to unload in on one side of the field this day. Because of these two things, the plan for this day was to only pick with five rows of the header, pick at a faster pace and pick going both ways instead of having to drive across the field not picking. Clear as mud?

That is why we have a picture of me not using all of the header.

We were just about to finish picking 20 rows worth (Wyatt was along so we were keeping track.) and the combine dies. I restarted it and made it closer to our vehicle so the three of us didn’t have to traipse through the stalks as far.

Did you know that if a diesel runs out of fuel, you don’t try to restart it?




A Day During Harvest

The weather that hit today was forecasted several days ago, and it sent harvesting farmers into overdrive. It was like a made dash for the finish line.

Brad was waiting for the last 50 acres of his pivot to dry out, until he saw what was coming. Since he was already committed to trucking for another harvesting farmer, he thought he had to squeeze what was left in to before and after that.

This particular day he got up at 4:00. That forecast robbed him of his ability to sleep well. It also made me more glad that he’s usually around to help me get everyone out the door at 6:30 on the days I work.

While I’m at work, Brad texts, “Didn’t get anything picked this morning. Too tough. It works for me to pick today” and then later “You can come out after work today. That would be helpful.”

Straight to the field I went after work. I think I will wear that argyle work sweater as my lucky combine sweater because I saw the monitor hit 260 bushels an acre while wearing it. I don’t know how it is where you are; but for us, that’s good.

255 isn’t bad either.

combine monitor

In the middle of this crazy day, Brad and I had a romantic date night. He in the tractor and semi, me in the combine with my argyle sweater and ear plugs, and a gorgeous sunset and moon rise.

IMG_1682harvest moon

Then the date had to end so the babysitter didn’t have to wonder if we were going to have the kids spend the night. Brad stayed at the field as long as he could and I went to get the kids. I must tell you that when I picked them up over an hour or two later than normal, our sitter sent a delicious supper home with us! How many people can say that their childcare provider has done that for them?!

Brad finished the field the next day and was able to get his combine and grain cart under cover before this arctic blast hit. I will now not leave my house unless absolutely necessary until I see temperatures in the 40’s again.