Monday, October 29, 2018

Catching Up

Well, looks like I'm back.  For how long is anyone's guess.  But I'm here today, and I'll take it from there.

These days you'll find me working for Bryson Dozer Service and/or Bryson Farms.  Which basically means as far as wages go, I'm unemployed.  Ha.

This isn't the first time I've stayed home and helped out on the farm.  In fact I remember one winter when I took over feeding the cattle every morning so Greg could get an earlier start on his dozer jobs.  While I didn't exactly enjoy getting up that early, and I hated that old truck I had to use to feed hay, I really loved seeing the cows and calves every day.  And I loved that they knew me.  Most of the time they are a little leery if I get out of the truck.  All they know if Greg is their sugar daddy!

Back to where I am now.  I left my job at the end of July for reasons that I will get into in another post.  Maybe.  So I spent the month of August mostly getting used to the idea that I no longer had a job that I had loved more than any other job I've ever had.  I was in mourning.  I knew I was going to lose so many people who I loved.  Sure, everyone says we'll stay in touch.  But the reality is we won't.  They are in Topeka.  They are busy with their jobs, family, daily life.  It's hard to sustain a friendship with former work friends.  The only good thing is when I do make plans to see them, we pick right back up where we left off.

Now for the upside of staying home.  I have the time and availability to see my Mom and take care of her when needed.  And at 94 years old, that is invaluable.  A few weeks ago she fell off her front porch.  She has a Home Health Aide, aka Lisa the Angel.  She made mom call me. (yes, that's right, mom had no intention of telling anyone about her fall)  Luckily she didn't break anything, but she was in a great deal of pain, so I stayed a couple of days to make sure she didn't fall again.

I was able to go to the farm shop in Grand Island this year without having to worry about having enough vacation time to cover my days off!  Our friends Kenda and Pat went with us.  It's always more fun when friends come along.  Not that Greg and I can't have fun together, but the more the merrier!  We stayed in an Airbnb for the first time.  The hostess also lived there.  The house was great, and the back yard was perfect.  We spend all of our spare time outside, and the weather was beautiful.  The Airbnb experience was positive, but I think we all agreed we'd rather have a home without a host living on site.  It's not that our hostess was bad, in fact, she was great.  But it didn't provide the privacy we all felt like we needed.  I'll definitely look for an Airbnb in the future before I look at hotels.  The other advantage is cost.  We spent much less money on the home than a hotel would have cost.

Of course we've been to Husker Harvest Days more times than I can count, but this was Kendas first time there.  It's also fun to see it though a first timer's eyes.  She was overwhelmed by the size of the show and all of the farm equipment.  We are officially old timers now, so we rent a golf cart to tour the farm.  Walking miles and miles is just not something we want to do.   Plus, its fun.  Well that is until  your husband takes off while you're just getting on.  When that happens, well, you've got Barb face down in a corn field with about a billion people watching.  I'm not sure if I was more mad or embarrassed.  I do know I made sure everyone watching knew I didn't need any help getting up, and I may have yelled "there's nothing to see here" a time or two.  The only thing hurt was my pride, but I made the best of it.  I told Kenda that my plan was to make sure at least one person at the farm show remembered me, and I think I succeeded.

The golf cart provided more adventures.  Greg decided he needed to be at the other end of the corn field they were combining, so he drove across the field at a speed that was probably prohibited, while Kenda and I held on for dear life on the back of the cart.  After sitting for a few minutes and show employee asked us to move our cart so a combine could come in and finish the rows right in front of us.  Sure, no problem.  But wait, there was a problem.  The engine wouldn't start.  I wasn't terribly worried - after all, I am married to a mechanic.  After a few minutes of looking and such, Pat and Greg realized we'd thrown a belt.  What are the odds that belt would be laying on the ground right under the cart?  Well it was, so they put the belt back on and off we went.  While eating lunch we noticed alot of corn stalks under the cart and pulled out a many as possible.  I just know I've been blacklisted, and next year when I call to reserve a cart, they are going to tell me they aren't ever allowed to rent to me again.

I've also been able to spend more time with my precious grand babies!  I imagine most of my readers are also Facebook friends, so I don't have to tell you how wonderful they are - you get to see it everyday lol!!  Now if you're reading this and you AREN'T my FB friend, well you should be.  Send me a friend request!

Now that we are finally able to get into the fields, Harvest is in full gear.  We didn't plant much corn, which this year, was a good thing.  Unlike most of our neighbors, we waited and combined our corn.  Most everyone around us cut theirs early for silage.  Most of our fields are planted to soybeans, and that's what we're busy cutting now.  Greg's hired man is not able to help this year, which leaves us without a truck driver.  Now, I can drive a truck, but the Semi, not so much.  Oh I can drive it in the field from point A to point B no problem, just don't ask me to back it up.  AND, I can run over stuff with it too!  Several years ago when we were putting grain in a bin that we hadn't moved home yet, Greg left me in charge of auguring grain from the trailer into the bin.  If you aren't familiar with grain trailers, there are two hoppers; one towards the front and one towards to back of the trailer.  To unload, we were using a tailing auger, which is shorter than a normal auger.  The grain falls into the tailing auger, and it then moves the grain into the big auger, which loads the grain into the bin.  Confused?  That's ok.  All you really need to know is that the tailing auger is UNDER the semi.  So you drive the truck up so the front hopper is over the tailing auger, and empty most of the front of the trailer.  Then you pull the truck up so the back hopper can dump into the auger and finish unloading the grain.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  Well, at some point, I drove too far and ran over the tailing auger.  I sat there wondering what to do.  Do I call Greg?  Or better yet, do I flee the country?  In the end, I waited for him to come back for the semi, and let him see for himself.  After he used every cuss word he knew, multiple times, he took the auger home and fixed it.  See, it wasn't so bad.  Sure it cost him a half day he could have been combining.  Sorry Greg!  So back to being short a man.  Now that I'm home, I'm the designated helper.  Taking the header to the field, running Greg and Eldon between home and the field.  Taking lunch to them in the field.  Basically being at their beckon call.  And that my friends, is something you can't put a price on.  Especially when they are trying to get the beans out before it rains again. 

Probably my favorite thing about working on the farm is the cattle.  I've set up pens, caught cattle and hauled them home.  I've chased a bad cow (Emmy's name for her) and her cult (three calves that follow her everywhere).  Once this fall they got out of our pasture at home and roamed clear across country.  After looking for a few days they were finally found north of 56 Hwy.  For those of you that don't live around her, that's about 5 miles north of us.  Greg has never had a good word to say about Facebook, but after that, he saw the power of social media when it comes to looking for lost cattle.  He was shocked at the response to my post asking locals to be on the lookout for them.  We have 2 pastures emptied and hauled home; 3 pastures left.  We'll get them home eventually.

So that's where I'm at for now.  I'm hoping to work writing into my schedule, so be on the lookout for new blogs.  Notifications will always be on FB.