Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Brownies and Beer

My eye is twitching. That's how I know I'm really tired. Worked from dark 'til dark then had a meeting. My wife is awesome and made me a hamburger about 10 minutes ago. Now I'm enjoying dessert. I have some harvest pictures and a couple of videos, but I think my camera is in my pickup. The World Series is on, so I guess you're out of luck. Maybe in the morning I'll get a chance to post some stuff. Later gators.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Fun Part

It's my favorite part, anyway. We're picking corn. We only picked 19 acres of corn today by the time we got done cutting beans, moving equipment to another field, fixing the corn head, etc. Those 19 acres were pretty good. God has blessed us this year, that is for sure. As Grandpa says - "It goes to a good home."

I didn't take my camera. Again. I am dumb. Shay took a few pictures with my phone, and honestly, I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get them on my computer. I mean, I probably am, but I'm tired and the World Series is on, so... Tough toenails, as Dad used to say. I'll take pictures tomorrow.

I Figured

Since it's been almost a week, maybe I should blog again.

We're about done cutting beans. I'm a little superstitious, so I won't say we'll get done today, but we should get done today. If we hadn't been down a few days with the combine, and if it hadn't rained, and... It doesn't matter. We'll get done. Soon. 

That means the best part of being a farmer will start hopefully in the next couple of days - picking corn. I'll try to remember my camera... I haven't been very good about that.

Harvest is so awesome. We work and worry and pray and bitch and moan, but when it comes down to it, God is the one that provides and blesses, not us. He works through us not to provide only for our families, but for many, many others. It's awesome to be a part of the machine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When Men Aren't Men

I had one of the most frustrating meetings of my life tonight. The church we attend has a K-8 Lutheran school attached to it. It's a long story, but there is conversation about going from three teachers to two teachers. This is emotional, for sure. Everyone points to finances as the main problem, but I don't believe that to be the case at all. I think there are some people that don't like the current staff, and I feel like there are others that simply do not care about the school any longer. Our church has struggled with money for as long as I can remember, and I don't foresee that problem going away, so I am convinced that many members of our church have made this a personal issue.

The problem? No one wants to talk about it.

We continually push this off to the next meeting. We appoint task forces and committees. We ask for reports and recommendations. We push our thoughts and opinions and solutions to the back of our throats in the hopes that someone else voices them. Every man in that room has an opinion, but no one will speak.

Furthermore, there are young men and women in our church that don't seem willing to accept responsibility in the church. In our church, you must be a voting member to be elected to an office (school board, elder, trustee, etc.) I cannot exactly say how many offices need to be filled in our church, but I'm thinking 7 or 8. There were 3 men that accepted their names on the ballot for voting in January. I can think of 4 or 5 men in our church that are not current voting members that could've had their names on that ballot, if only they would take the time to become voting members.

I'm not saying that I am the "best" or "most responsible" member of our church - far from it. Looking inwardly, I know that I can give more time and money to our church and its mission. I don't set the best example of what a follower of Christ should be. I cuss too much, get angry too often, and judge my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I don't know how to get more people involved. I don't know why they don't want to be involved. Honestly, I don't know why I voice my opinion, because I don't think it will change anything.

What I do know is what Jesus says in the last part of Matthew: "And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."'

We men aren't doing a very good job of making disciples and observing what Christ has commanded. I don't have children, but when I do, how can I expect them to serve Christ in church and school if I don't set that example for them? You can't make and observe without action!

God has called each and every one of us to add to His number, and He's given us everything we need to do it. Why can't we get it done? Why is it so hard to sit in a room filled with our brothers and sisters in Christ and not say anything? God has given us this church and school to further His mission, and we sit in the basement and dissect the latest treasurer's report and see the dollar signs, not the big picture. We are there to prepare young men and women to go into the world, to bring more people to the saving grace of God's forgiveness. Christ tells us He is with us. He's in that room while we discuss the future of our church. Why can't men be men? Why can't we take leadership, take this thing head on, and go forward, knowing that God will bless whatever decision we make?

I don't know the answers. I could very well be wrong about a lot of this. I'm fed up. I ask that you pray for the members of Zion Lutheran Church in Worms. I ask that you pray for me and my frustration. Lastly, I ask that you pray God's will be done.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I woke up crying this morning. I was having a dream about Fisher. He was in his high school form, when he had long hair, and he was walking out of a school towards me wearing his long leather coat. Those of you that remember know exactly what I'm talking about. It was a rough way to start the day. Can't believe it's been almost 3 years since he died. Thank God Shay was there for me. It felt like it did when it happened. This song has been going through my head this morning:

To all of you that knew him - let's do something this Halloween, ok?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Changing Gears

I'm listening to ZZ Top at 6:30 in the morning. Best way to start the day? Can't be the worst, anyway.

Since our beans are still too wet and tough to cut, we decided to pick some corn yesterday. Dad has some 97 day corn, so we knew it would be dry enough to go. See, there are different maturities for corn, i.e. 102 day, 110 day, 116 day. It tells you relatively how many days it will take the corn to mature. Generally, the longer the season of corn, the better it yields.

We plant Channel seed, and I'm pretty sure this number was 197-14VT3. We had some bad wind earlier in the year, if you remember my posts about that, and this corn did have some greensnap, so I wasn't expecting a lot. I was pretty surprised to hear Dad say it's going 165-170 bushels/acre. It seems to be getting better as we move east in the field, also. Considering what this corn went through, I think both Dad and I are pretty happy with it. I forgot to take my camera yesterday, but I did get some pictures with my phone.

We were putting this corn in the bin using an auger. The tractor turns it with the PTO, and the auger carries it up to the bin:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvesting Soybeans

Hello again, good readers. We actually started cutting beans last Monday, but I'm lazy anymore when it comes to blogging, and for that, I apologize. We had a bunch of trouble with our combine. We got a new (to us) bean head, and long story short, our combine needed a software upgrade because of it. No big deal, we were told. It ended up causing us to be down 4 days, and of course, it had to rain this last weekend. If it weren't for losing those 4 days, we would've had most of our beans cut by the time it rained. Instead, we've got maybe 500 acres left to cut. We would've been able to go today, I think, but it rained again last night. I'm hoping for Saturday now.

Anyhow, back to the combine saga. Our dealer couldn't get the software support they needed to get us going, so they were going to give us a combine to use while ours was getting fixed. Dad and Grandpa went outside with the owner of the dealership to make sure everything was ok on the combine we were going to get, only to find that all the copper wiring had been stripped on it. This was on a Saturday. So, Matt, the combine mechanic, came out last Monday and still could not get our combine going. He finally got ahold of one of the higher-ups at Deere and was told he could do whatever he needed to get a combine to us, free of charge. They brought one out last Tuesday - a 9770:

I'll try to explain a little how the bean head works. I forgot to take detailed pictures... Sorry, kids. Anyway, under the black thing (the reel) is a sickle, which is attached to an arm that moves it back and forth pretty rapidly. The sickle has a bunch of little knives on it that cut the soybean stems off. The reel goes round and round, like a wheel, and sweeps the beans into the auger, which takes them into the feeder house on the combine, which takes them into the combine to be processed. Eventually, you end up with soybeans in the grain tank of the combine and all the chaff blows out the back of the combine. When we get up and running again, I'll take some good pictures of everything and go over it all again.

Finally, to work:

I took those pictures while I was running the grain cart. The grain cart goes alongside the combine so it can unload while it harvests. Then, I take the beans up to the semi to unload:

Here are a few more pictures. The night ones didn't turn out like I wanted. I'm not a real fantastic picture taker.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Auction Report

One of my faithful readers pointed out to me at 10:30 last night that I hadn't blogged about the land auction.

Well, Mom and Dad bought it.

The plan is to section part of it off, so Shay and I will get the home place and some of the land. We'll buy it from Mom and Dad with a Beginning Farmer Loan from the FSA. I'm guessing we'll start on all of that stuff after harvest, as Mom and Dad don't close until November 4th.

It was a good day. There were a lot of farmers from the area there, and most of them stood near us during the auction. The other bidder was a kid from another town about 30 miles from here (long story). One of the guys I used to move snow with offered to kick his ass. I guess the point of that story was it felt really nice to me to know that the local guys were supportive of us. They all seemed really happy for us after the auction ended.

I don't know if any of you have been to a land auction, but they like to draw it out. The minute or so before the auctioneer said "sold" might've been the longest minute of my life.

I'm a little scared about being a home/landowner, but I figure if God awarded Shay and I this opportunity, He'll help us out along the way. I'll take some pictures of the place and share them here as soon as I get a chance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Big Day Is Finally Here

I haven't blogged about this much at all, if any, because it's been a touchy subject for me. The place I grew up on is selling at auction today. I tried most of the summer to get it bought, and for a lot of reasons I won't go into here, didn't get it done. Let's just say the landowner is a strange bird.

It's weird to think that Shay and I might be owning the farm I grew up on. It's also weird to think the place that I've called home for 25 years might not be a part of my life anymore. I've had so many mixed emotions about this day - pissed, scared, nervous, calm - and now that it's here, all I am is calm. Whatever happens, happens. There's one thing I've learned in my short time on earth, and it's that God uses every situation for good. We might not see it tomorrow, or next week, or next year, but it will be to further His kingdom. If this doesn't work out, something will somewhere down the line.

I just hope I can stay this calm during the sale. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Farmer Wisdom

I found this on another website and enjoyed it. Plus, it makes my blogging life a lot easier.

* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.

* Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen, anyway.

* Don't judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

*If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.