kansas 2016 update

Here’s the thing, I had to skim my last post to try to figure out where the heck we left off. There has been a lot of shuffling around and long days but we’re cutting! So here goes a summary of the past ten days.

It rained. Like down pour, torrential rains plus there was a warning for 70 mph winds on July 1st. In a camper, this is no good. So, we woke the girls up and packed up our main pal Cal and off to Johnson we went. Johnson is only about eight miles from Manter but had a couple businesses open where there wasn’t anything available in Manter. We ended up just parking by a convenience store and the winds never got that high (I’m sure the camper was shaking pretty good however) but you just don’t know. And if they would have hit, a camper is definitely not a place I would want to be. When we got back to Manter, we had a lake formed nearby and though it was absorbed into the ground fairly well by morning, I still cannot believe the rainfall SW Kansas has gotten the past few weeks. 

The guys did some maintenance July 2, if I remember correctly and the shuffling began Sunday, July 3. We moved a combine and tractor/grain cart to Tribune as well as two of the grain trailers. Then, they moved the remaining combines and equipment north of town since that wasn’t as wet as south of town.

Blake, the kids, and I, along with Mike and Al, made the move to Tribune on July 4. They went up to the combines and it was too wet here to cut so they came in late afternoon. The group in Manter got a pretty good day of cutting in. Blake got going on Tuesday (July 5) and they continued cutting in Manter. That night, Blake and I were going to bed about midnight when Bruce called Blake. He had talked with Jack, our main farmer in Circle, MT and the winter wheat would be ready in 7-10 days. THIS. IS. INSANE. The idea of having to get Manter, Tribune, Chappell, and Chadron done and making the big move to Montana was hard to get my head around. 

Wednesday, the guys in Manter should have gotten done but a cracked rim in the rear tire of one of the combines slowed down progress. So, they loaded the combine with the bad rim and Lloyd hauled the combine up and Riley took Leigh’s vehicle to Chappell. There, a guy with Titan brought a tire to put on but he was supposed to bring two tires – one for each side and even more annoying, he brought the wrong side for the cracked rim. They had him put it on backwards with hopes they won’t need to use the rear assist because there won’t be much traction. Lloyd and Riley headed back after dropping those things off and were back in Manter Thursday evening. The other guys were able to finish Thursday and the combine and tractor/grain cart got loaded that night. 

Friday morning, Lloyd took off for Chappell again with the tractor and grain cart and Tyler headed up with the service pickup and bunkhouse. Bruce and Riley brought the other combine up to Tribune. While Riley moved his stuff into the bunkhouse, papa stopped in to see the kids and ended up with a passenger for the day. Bri let everyone know that she got to go because she was big enough and maybe next year Adeline would be big enough too.

After dropping the combine off and its operator, Bruce headed back to Manter and stopped a couple places to settle up. When he got back to Manter, he and Leigh left for Chappell with their camper and one grain trailer. Lloyd came back from Chappell again to grab the final trailer from Manter. Confused? Me too but this is not that out of the ordinary, at least when we are split up and heading in all directions. 

Meanwhile, in Tribune, we had been and continue to get some good days in. On Friday, I called Blake a couple times to make sure it wasn’t raining out there because it definitely was coming down decently in town. I took lunch out and as soon as they were done eating, they were able to cut. We also had another guy, Jon Gortmaker, come out from home to help for a while. Thank goodness Leigh told me he was coming because Blake failed to mention that and why should I need to know how many guys to feed? Ha, it was an oversight for sure but just to give you an idea of how it has been a little crazy. 

Yesterday, Saturday, Bruce was able to start cutting right away. The wheat appears to be phenomenal in Chappell (40-45 bushel) but is only making about 30. On top of that, it is also low protein. With grain prices as poor as they are, you feel bad when the farmers has to take another hit, especially when it look like it is going to be a great harvest.

This morning, something happened to one of our combines (great detail in this part of the story?) and Blake couldn’t find the part anywhere. The dealership in Goodland took it off one of their combines in the lot and Gilbert (our farmer) ran up to get it. It basically looks like an oversized bolt but even with one combine sidelined, they finished up with Gilbert right after lunch. (This is an educated speculation as they only had a couple rounds left when we headed back into town. So if they aren’t finished, something has gone terribly wrong.)

From there, they will head over to one of Stan’s pieces near Gilbert’s and depending on the time, they may be able to make the move north to the fields by Wallace. It sounds like they are moving along in Chappell as well. 

Looking ahead and trying to get to Montana on time, the guys also decided to have some friends cut our Chadron stop. Chadron had gotten some hail so there are about 800 acres left, it should be ready tomorrow, and the logistics just were not working out on getting there – and trekking up to Montana. I asked Blake and the move from here to Montana will take about five days by the time they take things up there and double back for the rest of the stuff. Doing the 800 mile drive once – and probably in stages – is enough for me, thanks!

So now let’s talk about me. Things have been pretty wild as you can imagine. Three kids, two meals a day, and one me is making things a little busy. I have been trying to do one fun thing with the kids per day, whether that is staying in the field for a combine ride, going to the park, going to the swimming pool, etc. It makes for a later night for me but it’s not their fault we are split up and time is limited. 

Though it has been challenging with everything on our daily to do list, we have survived it just fine. Each stage of motherhood is different and I clearly remember thinking I was busy when it was just Briar. Back then, I tried to avoid going to the store with her because it was just so much work. Be right back, busy cackling. So this week, I’ve been forced to do the grocery store with all three and I’m happy to report that it went okay! Addie may have snacked on a few unwashed/not yet paid for grapes but it wasn’t a battle I felt was worth the drama. 

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again but Cal is such a good baby. I tell at least one person daily how fortunate we are to have such a content baby this time around. I don’t remember the last time I got up with him in the night, he naps well during the day, hardly fusses while in the car, I mean it’s unreal. I definitely am not trying to rub his content demeanor in anyone’s face but it has been a crucial factor in things going as well as they have gone this summer and especially while we have been split up. If he was fussy, Lord have mercy. 

We brought sandwiches for the guys when we took out lunch and so have a free afternoon and evening. The girls are currently napping and prepping for going to the pool this evening. Night swim is a dream since I don’t have to worry about keeping everyone sunscreened up and cool enough. Hopefully I’ll be able to update this again soon but if not, see ya in Montana! 

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