Happy Thanksgiving

Five Things I Look Forward to During Holiday Season
The holiday is a very narrow window. You can start decorating for Thanksgiving, if that’s your thing, a weekish ahead, but you can’t start on Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. If Christmas lasted all year, it wouldn’t be special. You got to respect the red and green.

1. Christmas songs
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Joy to the World, Jingle Bell Rock, Silver Bells, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. You know, the essentials.
2. Chex Mix
Even the burnt stuff. And People Puppy Chow too. My husband buys it year-round, but it just says Christmas.
3. Cheap tinsel
Silver and red and blue… maybe even at the same time! You can buy enough skeins of it at Dollar General to deck your house, truck, and work cubicle for less than ten bucks. Hilarity ensues. And after you take it down, Christmas lingers until you vacuum.
4. Sneaking surprise presents to the wrapping table.
I love surprises anyways, and when they’re happy feel-good gifts from your loved ones, even better. So just wait until your parents or kids or siblings leave the room, run down the hall, grab your stash from your stock drawer, scurry back to Grand Central Wrapping Station, and get those corners perfect before they return.
Granted, this is not as much fun since I moved away from home. It’s the thought that counts?
5. Feeding cows in the icy mud
Okay, maybe that’s not really the best. But it’s unavoidable. It’s farm life. It’s home. It’s family. And that’s what the holidays are about.

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Happy holiday season!

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Harvest Love: Six Things on a Saturday

I was home yesterday. I thought several times about writing, and I… just didn’t. I took the child to the vet, cleaned house (learned how to really clean cast iron, thanks Pinterest!) and took a friend on run therapy. Writing just didn’t make the cut.

This is the time of year when my husband and I lead separate lives. The hard thing about having farm ground for thirty miles is not knowing where the guys are today or this afternoon, and adding up to an hour of travel time to the already unpredictable harvest schedule. It’s kind of nice, on the other hand, that with the logistics of farming fields that are so apart geographically and so different agronomically, planting for beans or wheat stretches for weeks and so harvest is spread out too. Early beans were ready in September, but they’re still cutting late and long season beans. Harvest can last into January if it turns muddy and we’re kept out of the fields.

Whether you’re a farm wife on an operation that works around the clock and finishes wheat harvest in six days, or on an operation like ours that cuts two or three days a week for three months, I have six things that show love even when harvest is calling the shots. Not that I’m perfect at all of these, and of course you should consider your own spouse’s Love Language when finding ways to show love, but life is really about the little things. 🙂

1. Clean laundry.
You know that feeling when you come home and crawl into bed and the sheets are cool and clean and fresh? You get a nice night’s sleep, and in the morning you have clean shirts and socks and jeans, and life is just good. You dig? As much as I enjoy this, I know my farmer appreciates it even more after (and before) another 16 hour day.

2. Meal planning.
The problem here is mental overload. Fighting dust and equipment and idiot city drivers and worrying about weather and yield and coordinating trucks and drivers and… yeah. They worry about a lot. They’ll appreciate not having to decide what to cook for dinner too, for a few nights. It won’t last forever, be strong!

3. Snack bags.
Around and around and around… I don’t know about your husband, but mine eats a lot. I don’t know about you, but I eat a lot. All day, err day. A brown paper sack of snacks can save the day when you have to load One. More. Truck. before you can quit for the night. Plus, if you load the sack yourself (helllooooo, love notes), you know they aren’t stopping at the convenience store for junk food and crap.

4. Text messaging.
I don’t know how generations of farm wives before me handled harvest. I’m sure the guys weren’t as strung out as mine are today, for one, but I can’t imagine not knowing when the pickups will be rolling back in, when to have supper ready. Two way radios and cellular phones solved some of this, but still require free hands and focus. Text messages make life so much easier. A fast “I love you” can wait until the next unload, or turn row, or whenever. Encouragement without getting in the way = win.

5. Making decisions.
Back to the meal planning – running equipment all day is physical and mental work. Can I make this decision alone? Can it wait a couple days? I learned this in the office. Every distraction costs so much in terms of losing focus you have and getting that back. If I can put off bugging my husband, I’m going to. This is a hard way to show love, because he doesn’t know I chose to save him from a conversation, and I can’t gracefully point it out and give myself brownie points. But it *is* just a short period of time, and hopefully we don’t need to keep score anyways.

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6. Date night.
Maybe it’s riding a couple rounds while you’re free. Maybe it’s grabbing him from a field (when they’re not moving equipment home) and having supper alone. Maybe it’s something bigger you plan ahead and get to look forward to the whole harvest. Don Williams (we’re old souls) came to our city a couple weeks ago, and that was the first night we’ve gotten cleaned up and gone out for a real date in a long time. Win.

How do you show love when time is tight?
Happy Saturday!

Half Marathon Eve

It’s finally heeeeeeeeere!

Between family issues (= schedule off, bad food and sleep, stress, and skipping workouts) and an emergency visit to the chiropractor (apparently your back muscles can pull your ribs out of place), I’m nervous. My long runs were supposed to taper from 12.5 to 11, 8, and race, with three runs in the week. I made all four runs on the longest week, but just one the next and 6 instead of 11, one before 8, and one this week. We’ll see…

Five Things Post Run:
1. Pictures!! Ahhh that medal is going to be so pretty!
2. 16 oz chocolate milk. If they don’t have any there, this will bump down the list a couple spots. I can chug chocolate milk like you’ve never seen. And they say it’s perfect carb:protein recovery!
3. Untie my shoes, maybe even switch shoes. I’m going to be so sick of my neon pink Asics. And along the same lines, if it’s chilly, I’ll be eyeing comfy sweats.
4. Food. Our local 10K serves big pieces of coffee cake, and while I know that’s a long shot, there’s bound to be something to munch on. I’m really not even all that picky. 🙂

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5. Grocery shopping. Because let’s be honest. Once the shine wears off and we get back to town, it’s back to the real world and grabbing supplies for the next week.

Maybe I’ll sneak a 4a in there and let you know how it goes 😉 Happy Friday!