Winter Prep and the Book Giveaway

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Our View Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago we had snow. It was a great reminder that we needed to start prepping as winter would definitely be coming. One thing you can count on in Iowa is the changing seasons!

The past days have finally been dry and resemble what fall should look like. My husband has been busy hauling wagon loads of soybeans to town to the local Farmer’s Coop Elevator. Now we wait for the corn to be dry enough to be combined.

In between those two harvest times we have been using the days to prepare for the cold of winter. We love to burn wood to help save on our heating budget. We have spent the last couple days splitting wood.

A couple years ago my husband had his hips replaced. We borrowed a friend’s log splitter and learned how wonderful that invention really was. The next year we decided, as we were getting older we needed to work smarter. We found a log splitter on a clearance sale and made the purchase. It was a great decision!

We have a few more days to go on wood splitting before the pile is all done. Fortunately the weather looks promising for that task. I get the easy part of just pushing the lever. This year I am doing my job by sitting on a tall chair and just pushing the lever.

The girls tend to wander over while we split wood. They love the ants and grubs that sometimes have found their way into the pile. It is  satisfying to see the split wood, stack up and watch that splitter turn logs into usable pieces.

My husband used to split all of it with a maul and a sledgehammer. As I said….we have learned to work smarter and this wood no longer has to warm us twice!

On another subject……I have finally done the drawing for the book giveaway!  With the help of my husband who was a neutral bystander.  I numbered 1 – 24 and put the names next to the numbers. I then put the numbers on pieces of paper and my husband drew a number from a bucket. I have no idea how to do the rafflecopter thing so we went old school!

Here is the list of those that were in the giveaway:
1. Terri J                             2. Jackie VG                   3. Jo O
4. Donna VG                       5. Kristi K                       6. Michele R (rabbitpatchdiaries)
7. Juliescreativeyear         8. DeAnn T                     9. Lena DK
10.Lisa@Lismorepaper   11.Jessica                       12.Lorna K
13.Vicki                               14.Sheila T                     15.Ruthsoaper
16.Robbyefaye                   17.Miriam B                  18.BeverlyP (moreinkplease)
19. Lindaschaub                20.A.Michelle                21.Judy L
22. Judy B                            23.Robin                         24.Jocelyn M

The number drawn was (drum roll) #3!   Congratulation Jo O….you will be gifted the book: It’s All Under Control and workbook. I will be in touch with you to see that you get it.

Some of those who entered are fellow bloggers. If you click on their names it should take you to their blogs and you can enjoy some good reading!  You will also meet some amazing women that way!20181014_103846.jpg

 

I have not yet read my copy of this book. I do plan to spend some wonderful time…. in a rocking chair…. in front of the woodstove this winter. I plan to be holding that book in one hand….a cup of hot chocolate in the other and enjoying the warmth from the wood we have split.

May you have a blessed weekend and may this post find you doing something you enjoy.

 

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”
–William Blake

“Some books are to be tasted,
others to be swallowed,
and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Francis Bacon, The Essays   

 

Harvest….Looking Through The Window

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Combining Beans~Looking Through The Window

The weather has been beautiful these last couple of days. Instead of rain and gloom we have been blessed with sun and warmer temperatures. It is perfect weather for looking through the window and watching the harvest come in.

We have a neighbor who does our combining for us and so we have to wait our turn. It is not always easy to do…the being patient thing….when the fields are ready and waiting. My husband tends to spend time preparing for the combine to make it’s way to our fields.

The gravity flow wagons need to come out of the shed, have their tires checked, get lined up two by two (kind of like going into the ark), and the tractor fueled up.

IMG_4819 Waiting to be Filled

Waiting To Be Filled~The Girls Enjoying The Shade

It is an exciting time…..the harvest time. It is a time you get to reap the benefits of the hard work put in during the spring and summer. It is a time to see the profits from the risk that was taken when purchasing seed, planting seed and waiting for the weather to do; what it needs to do, so those seeds will grow and produce.

Harvest is a time of long days, late nights and prayers for the safety of those gathering that harvest and bringing it to the elevator in town and for those that they will meet on the road. It is a time of crisp nights, sun-warmed days and the smell of falling leaves.

For some reason, harvest season brings beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The colors are vibrant and glorious. Perhaps it is an added bonus for the hard work of the past season and the long hours still to come.

I am wondering if, perhaps, those sunrises and sunsets are a promise? Perhaps it is the promise of “enough”. Could it be a promise that “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” (2 Corinthians 9:11a) I really like that promise….that we are blessed so we can give and be a blessing in return!

Maybe those sunrises are intended to draw us out of our comfortable homes, to quit just looking through the window and to get out and experience harvest time. It is good to look out the window and enjoy the scenery…but it is oh, so much better to get out there and really experience the season.

It is good to feel the warmth of the sun. It is wonderful to smell the dust that swirls as the combine passes through the fields. There is a contentment in hearing the drone of tractors in distant fields and there is a satisfaction in seeing stubble where beans once stood waving in the breeze.

Maybe that is the lesson for all of life….maybe it is time to quit looking through the window and get out there and live. Maybe we need to smell, feel, see, and hear life to really appreciate how wonderful it is. Maybe in the wonder of life, we can be a blessing to those around us.

Take the time this season to live life to the full….to see the beauty that is autumn….and to enjoy your time in that beautiful season.

 

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting 
and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
–   Stanley Horowitz

 

Beneath the Beans

 

Under the Beans

While walking beans this morning my shoe came undone; I bent over to retie the lace and discovered an amazing place.

I told my husband that he should really take a look- he did not take me up on that. On the surface all you could see was green waving leaves and some little grasshoppers (which I have learned bite viciously). The sun beats down on you when you stand above those leaves and you hope to catch a cool breeze.

Once you get down under the canopy of leaves it is a rather sun-dappled world. A light breeze ruffles the yellowing leaves underneath. Small bugs walk around totally oblivious to the world above and the smell of dirt and leaves is rich.

Sparkling Sunlight Through The Leaves

You also see the pods that have formed and the little purple blooms drying up to become the pods that will fill with soybeans. It is ripe with the promise of abundance that will take care of us for the coming year.

I cannot say I love walking beans as it is usually hot; but I will say that there is a sense of season and continuity that comes with doing certain tasks during the different seasons. It is also a time that my husband and I spend hashing out the problems of the world and life in general.

When walking beans, it is better to focus on the harvest to come and to focus on the rows already cleaned than to focus on what rows are yet left to do. I think much of life is like that…..looking behind to see how far you have actually come. It makes going through the hard places so much easier to see how many you have already made it through.There is also a sense of fulfillment when looking over a bean field that has been totally cleaned.

My husband made the comment that bean fields are a lot like life.  We all want the biggest, cleanest, most productive “field” that we can have.  You start out, you plant the field with great hopes and wait for the spring rains.  Once they are growing you wait for the rains to stop so you can get in there and get rid of the weeds. When you have done everything you can for that field you just have to wait and remember that God is in control and all you can do is, once again, wait and pray.

As farmers and people who live our lives we sometimes have a tough time being patient for the harvest.  We cringe when the weather turns ugly with hail, storms, high winds and generally things that seem hurtful.

I have told people that we may not always have had the biggest crop, we may not always have it “easy” but we have never been hungry or had to walk out of our home naked.  I think that makes us fortunate. (I will not say blessed because I have a tough time tying blessing to wealth.)

I am indeed grateful for this life that lets me find lessons in the small things. I love the lessons I can find (with my husband’s help) under the beans.

If you so choose,
even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities.
If you so choose,
you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.
Ralph Marston

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