Sunshine & Potatoes

October 28th, 2014

Today was likely the warmest day we will have until next spring sometime.  It was up to 80 degrees today, clear skies, and just lovely!  It was a perfect day to help Gail & James pick potatoes.  We got the essentials of school done by 10:30, and then loaded up some water and victuals and headed up to the Ranch.  Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I think I will let most of them speak for themselves (and because the hour is late!).

Sam climbing on the tractor.

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Marie, Gail, Rachel Anne, & Hannah (foreground)
Reid Shifflet, Paul, & my mom (background)

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When we were all picking up potatoes in our highest gear (after lunch, my kids had a little time in low gear, but it didn’t last too long), Reid spent pretty much all his time emptying buckets while the rest of us kept filling them up.  If we picked a little slower, then he had some breaks in the hauling during which to pick up a few potatoes.

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We loaded two of these truck beds full, and then added the last couple rows of the potatoes to an already-full wagon.

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Watching another row being dug.  (We don’t dig them very far ahead of picking so they don’t get sun-burned.)

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For the first time, today James rented a potato digger from a friend of ours, and boy was it just heavenly!  It layed the potatoes right up on top the dirt, and we just had to pick them up.  All the years before (and this year before today) he used the potato plow, which turns over the soil, and then you have to dig through the soil by hand to find the potatoes.

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Here’s proof that I did do more than just take pictures with my phone (I forgot and left my camera at home.)

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Rachel took a nap in my parent’s house in the afternoon.  I went over after we were all done picking at the last patch and woke her up.  Here she is with all the critters she wanted to keep with her.

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(I loved her cute smile in each of these three pictures, and each one was a little different.  I couldn’t resist putting them all in here.)

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I promised the kids if we got done picking up potatoes soon enough, they could play until we had to come home in time for Andrew to use the van to go to his Chorus practice.  They got to play for about 45 minutes.

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If there was a time of our life as a family that I could push the pause button and just keep it there in time, I think it would be now.  What a blessed time!

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For those of you that don’t live around here, and don’t get to cash in on lovely days like this with potato picking, all I can say is you have definitely missed out.  (But I hope you had a good day wherever you were, even if I liked mine better.  :)  )

Family pictures

October 25th, 2014

The best time to take family pictures is when the family is all together.

We were all together today for my grandmother’s memorial service.  Even though group photos weren’t at the top of our list, we did take a few moments for a sibling picture.


Later, after the service one of my relatives was snapping pictures for posterity, so I had her take one with my camera when she was doing our family.


You can see we have a clown in the group!


The service was very nice, everything went smoothly, and God gave us a perfectly beautiful day for her burial and memorial service.

I would never say it was a great time, or anything I want to do again, but it is a part of life on this earth.

I am planning to move out of funeral  mode and get into planning for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s mode.