Friday, September 24, 2010

Bean Harvest

Harvest 2010 is in full swing.
The carefully planted crops have grown and
now are ready to be harvested.
The farmer wakes up in the early morning hours to
cut and wind row the dry edible beans plants.
He might even beat the dairy farmer up on
these mornings.
The beans need to be dry enough to run
through the combine.
Once he determines they are ready
the farmer fires up the combine and heads into the field.

The windrows of beans are picked up by
the header and fed through the combine.

The beans stay in the bin on the combine,

and the pods are shot out the back.
Bean harvest is very dusty and dirty.

Once the combine bin is full and a semi trailer is waiting

The farmer will pull alongside the semi trailer,
unload the bin onto the trailer.

When the combine breaks down for whatever reason,

it makes a great backdrop for a family picture.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lifestyle Changes

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was fifteen years old.

She loved to run.

She loved to run a lot.
She didn't run fast, but she could run far.

She usually logged five to ten miles a day.



or sleet,

she would be out running.

Usually with her trusty companion .....

She even entered the Scottsbluff Marathon.

She and her trusty companion trained hard.

She read every article on marathoning that she could lay her hands on .....
usually from old copies of Runner's World pilfered from the school library.

She was confident that she could do it.

She endured heat, rattlesnakes, and blisters.
She endured dehydration, hallucinations, and fatigue
only to hit the "wall" at mile 20.

She's never quite forgiven herself for quitting.

Eventually she went off to college

and her runs became shorter and shorter as
her work hours and study time became longer and longer.

She graduated and in some weird round about way became a teacher.
She had no intentions of teaching, but it happened anyway.

Running ceased to exist in her life.
She was too busy and too tired to run.

From time to time, she yearned to run again.

But life usually got in the way and 
she got busy and was 
again too tired.

She began to joke that the only way she would run was
if there was a bear chasing her ass.

Occasionally she would get a wild hare and  attempt to run ....
only to realize that she had gotten old and was terribly out of shape.

She vowed to get back into shape and joined the local Y.

Years went by with nothing to show for her membership fees.

By now she had a Coca-Cola addiction and was overweight.
She was a couch potato.

She had become her mother.
That notion bothered her, because she was
never going to be in the bad health that her mother was.

So she resolved to start running with a vague notion
 in the back of her mind of finally completing that marathon.

It would have to be done at Mount Rushmore because
Scottsbluff no longer hosts a marathon.  But that was okay,
she loved the hills and it would be a perfect way to welcome her 
forty-fifth year of life.

Eight weeks into training, severe Achilles tendonitis sidelined her again.
Acupuncture healed her, but she was again too tired to run.

From time to time, she would attempt to run again
only to discover that it literally hurt too bad to run.

So back to joking about bears she went.

From time to time, she'd stop drinking Coke, and vow to walk every day.
It would last for awhile, but she would be too busy, too sore, too tired
and instead, she would slowly become reacquainted with her two favorite men:
Ben and Jerry.

She could always justify why she was tired.
She could justify why she was stiff and sore,
 even though her physical activity was nil.

Then one day, on a routine visit to the doctor to get 
 her allergy meds refilled, she mentioned how tired she was
and how she seemed to be more tired and sore in the morning
than when she went to bed.

The doctor very quickly made a diagnosis
 and ordered a blood test for confirmation.  

A week later and the diagnosis was confirmed.

Huge lifestyle changes were in order.

She and Sister Two had often talked about how they needed 
to make changes so that they didn't end up like
 their ancestors  ..... most of which were dead.

Resolutions were made.
She would walk 10,000 steps a day.
She would lose fifty pounds by Christmas.
She would learn all that she could about rheumatoid arthritis.

Today she walked from her house to the spillway at Lake Alice.

Look, she was rewarded with an elephant's shadow!

(If you can't see an elephant in that shadow, you have no imagination.)

Managing a walk that far all at one time is akin to running a small road race.

It was a small victory 
shared with her trusty companions

and one not so welcome one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Universal Truths

I ran across an a funny article in a local free news publication.
The Chadron Golden Age Courier titled Universal Truths.
No author given.... but thanks they are great.

I went through the list of 30 and picked out a few. Some of my favorites are in bold.

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those time I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their direction on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

8. Bad decision make good stories.

9. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. (hmmm.... today)

10. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

11. I hate when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!) , but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

12. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

13. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I wish Google Maps had an avoid "ghetto" routing option.

15. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

16. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying finish a text. (I would never text and drive....only because I would have to get out my reading glasses to text in the first place).

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. How many times is it appropriated to say "What?" before you just nod and smile, because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

19. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

20. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.