Thanksgiving 2014

We have had a BUSY week of family time. It all started on Tuesday night when we went out for Mexican food with family and continued until Sunday morning when our company left and things begin to return to normal. Each year, we manage to celebrate with both sides of the family- making my heart truly happy. That’s a lot of good times, like thirty loads of dishes, and a ton of laughing.

Apparently, I was too busy talking and washing dishes to take many pictures! That’s okay, because I love the few I was able to catch.

On Thursday, we enjoyed a lovely day at the farm with the Thrall side of the family.

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On Friday afternoon, my family arrived at our house. We made a delicious fajita dinner that night. On Saturday morning, we cooked another Thanksgiving feast. We’ve hosted Thanksgiving for five years now and it’s always one of my favorite weekend’s of the entire year. This year, the group was a lot smaller, but we still managed to have a good time and made some memories.

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I still cannot believe that Thanksgiving has passed and it’s now December! I feel like the year has flown by and I’m sure the next month will not go any slower…

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Hi everyone! I hope all my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We drag it out to an all weekend event and will have our second celebration tonight and the third tomorrow. It’s fabulous. Anyway, I’m here today to hopefully catch up with more of my harvest pictures!

312/365: Chop, chop, chop. Today was another day of chopping corn. By this point, things were beginning to grow monotonous.

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313/365: Another day, another corn field. 

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314/365: My farmer. I love him- even when he gets all scruffy.

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315/365: Hello, hard freeze. Up until this point, we had yet to get a hard freeze; which usually hits a month earlier. On this afternoon, a crazy storm blew in and the temperature dropped thirty degrees. This picture shows the dust cloud and cold front rolling it. It was NASTY.

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316/365: Over my shoulder. That cold front brought horrible weather… like a high of sixteen degrees. My picture quality sharply declined. This is my view as Colby dumps on my grain cart.

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317/365: Still Cold. Here’s another horrible shot through my tractor window. I’m not happy with it, but every shot can’t be a farmer when you do a 365 project, right?

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318/365: Frozen fuel tanks. On this day, we experienced a LOT of frozen fuel tanks. It was depressing…

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319/365: Getting closer. Every day brought us a little closer to finishing harvest.

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320/365: Home away from home. By the end of harvest, my tractor starts to feel like my home… especially when it’s really cold outside. They can be a little cozy when the heater is turned way up.

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321/365: Snow! This was our first real snow of the year. Yes, it was only a couple of inches, but it hit before we were cutting corn (a first for this farm wife) and kept us out of the field.

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322/365: Hottie. My sweet husband and I both got haircuts today. That was a big deal after a long harvest and we were both feeling much spiffier.

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323/365: My boy. I cannot believe that I almost posted a huge 365 update that didn’t include one shot of Justice. He’s still here and was so very happy that we weren’t cutting on this day. He misses us during harvest.

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Okay, so I’m still not completely caught up… but I’m pretty close! I will be back next week with another giant picture post. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Smith - You take such beautiful photos!! I especially love the one that opens your blog – with you and hubby. Just gorgeous work!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] - Love the pic of Colby in the driveway! Is harvest done now? (Maybe I didn’t read carefully enough!)

ALisha - Stunning photos this week Marla!

RaD - Oh my goodness… I’m so far behind I feel like I’ll never catch up.

Love your long post. You took some awesome photos of your daily life. I love it!

I live in the city now but was a country kid with a summer job that included driving the combines. This post brought back some memories.

So very grateful

For my sweet and hard working husband.

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For my silly puppy who always keeps me company.

For my parents- who taught me the value of hard work, to always be honest, and modeled what a great marriage looks like.

 

For my large extended family- even when they drive me absolutely nuts.

For my warm house.

For comfortable clothes and lazy evenings at home.

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For family traditions that continue year after year. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas Vacation (the movie), drinking boxed wine, or listening to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade while I cook, traditions helped me feel grounded.

For modern medicine.

For a house full of food.

For my country- even when it seems so broken and divided.

For good friends.

For the changing of seasons.

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For a loving God.

For the health of myself and those I love.

For the gift of photography and my ongoing love of capturing little moments in time.

For the Walking Dead. Man, I love that show.

For a successful harvest and the fact that it is finally over.

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For pecan pie. I can never forget the pecan pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I hope your day if filled with delicious food and good family time.

Corn Harvest 2014- Recap

We are finally done with corn harvest 2014… In my almost six years of hanging out with Colby this was probably the most difficult harvest I’ve ever experienced. I’m not sure I can even pin point why it was so difficult for me… The crop took forever to start drying down, emotions and worries were high, my photography business was quite demanding, etc. In the end, we got everything done and are still happily married, so it was quite the success.

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Here are a few statistics from our year: 

– We started on October 6th and ended on November 21. There were a few days during that time when we weren’t able to cut because of moisture, but we were still very much in harvest mode.

– In the end, we cut 30.5 circles (120 acres each) plus a couple hundred acres of dry land corn.

– Colby estimates we cut 900 semi loads of corn.

– I had three (I think) tiny spills while unloading my grain cart. By my calculations, that means I was perfect 99.7% of the time. Not too shabby.

– I made it through another harvest without breaking anything… That’s a big deal when you are operating heavy machinery on little sleep and always something I worry about.

– It snowed before we were done (a first for me) and we even had problems with our diesel freezing because it was so very cold. That wasn’t a highlight of harvest for any of us.

– We had one stretch of cutting where we ran for thirteen straight days from 8:30AM- 10:00PM. By the end of that run, I was quite exhausted.

– I took a lot of pictures and video… So much that my computer is screaming at me about storage being full.

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This life isn’t always romantic and perfect. Each Spring, my husband takes a gigantic gamble and plants a tiny little seed that sprouts and grows into a beautiful plant. Farming doesn’t include 9-5 work hours, holidays, or long weekends. Our lives revolve around that little seed and plant for nine months of the year. Farming is truly a way of life and not always an easy one. One bad storm and the loss of an entire years work and financial ruin are possible. With a little love and lots of work and prayers, that seed turns into wonderful grain that feeds the world and keeps our family financially afloat for another year.  Some days are stinking hard, but at the end of the year after all the work has been put in and the crop is out of the fields, it’s nice to step back and look at all we have accomplished.

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Hi everyone! I’m back and a couple of weeks behind on posting my daily pictures. Harvest got a little crazy, but I think if everything goes as planned, we should be done this afternoon. Now, I’ve got an epic to do list, lots of photo shoots, and Thanksgiving to prepare! Oh well, we will get settled back into a life soon.

Anyway, here’s my pictures from a couple of weeks ago.

305/365: Sleepy. Our spoiled house dog thinks life is really rough during harvest when he actually has to be outside all day. Needless to say, he enjoys our days off almost as much as I do.

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306/365: Late freeze. On this day, we started back up cutting. While we were getting everything fueled up, I took a few pictures around the farm. The roses were still looking awesome since our freeze was so late.

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306/365: Fall Colors. The leaves really blew me away with their colors this year. SO pretty!sm120141101-LP9A1751WITL-Saturday

307/365: Day off. We actually had one more day off, before we started our thirteen days straight run. Colby did a few little things around the farm while I edited pictures and relaxed.

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308/365: Stunning Sky. This may be one of my favorite shots from all of harvest. It was a beautiful night!

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309/365: Terry’s Birthday. We celebrated Terry’s 60th birthday during harvest. Aunt Deb came to visit and got everything all decorated and made the day super special for him.

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310/365: Twilight.  We really had a lot of beautiful days this corn harvest. I enjoyed catching as many of them as I could with my camera.

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311/365: Harvest Moon. On this evening, the moon surprised us with our beauty. I love this little bit of night photography.

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Well, that’s all the pictures I have edited so far! I will be back next week with the rest.

Kim Smith - Beautiful photos, Marla. I love seeing your ‘everyday’ on the farm!

Sarah Schultz - In LOVE with 308! Love the nighttime photography, my T3i just don’t cut it!

Alisha - I am so in love with your photos this week Marla! The nighttime shot is amazing – and the Harvest Moon is so beautiful!