Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - Pratt County Lake

Not much happening here today.  David and the kids joined us for breakfast then David and Greg took off to see if they could decide what was wrong with the Bobcat.  It broke down yesterday in the middle of moving bales.

We got quite a storm last night – some much needed rain and some unneeded wind.  We’ve had to take down the wind chimes that our friends Mike and Susan got us for a wedding present.  Out here there is so much wind the noise is just overwhelming!

Wyatt and Cheyanne stayed with me while the guys were gone.  Wyatt was laying on the couch watching the football game so he wasn’t doing too much newsworthy today.

Cheyanne and I played dominoes – she won.

We made mini corndogs for lunch.

And we visited the playground.
Then Dad came back and he got all of the attention.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Friday, September 27, 2013 - It's Still Windy!!

Yesterday Greg was finishing up the disking while I worked cutting a “circle” of alfalfa.

Although the GPS keeps the swather in line as it goes around the field, every time I came to this irrigation system, I had to slow it down, turn it around and hope I got the GPS lined up right again.  I probably made it harder than it had to be because my arms and shoulders were sore last night.  I think I might have put a death grip on the controls every time I had to turn it around.  David makes it look so easy when he shows me what I need to do.

When I quit last night, this is what it looked like, I bet it’s really pretty from the air.
This morning Greg worked on sealing some seams in the RV slide outs to prevent any leaks from happening in the future.  I wanted him to wait until the wind died down before getting up on the ladder.  But, didn’t seem that the wind was going to die down while we were here.  So, I had to be satisfied with just holding the ladder steady – all went well. 

The weather reports were saying this morning that the winds were at only 6 mph but they were strong enough that the flags in the campground were standing straight out and the coach was shaking.  I think they were much stronger than that.  If they don’t let up soon David is going to have a hard time getting the hay baled that we have cut down.
This afternoon Greg worked moving bales while I followed David as he moved some equipment.  When we got home we went to watch Grandson Wyatt mowing – it was his week to mow the yard at the church he attends. 

A self-propelled mower would make the job easier.
Dad has to help out in a really hard spot.
While Wyatt takes a break.
We’ve enjoyed helping David (or at least I think we have helped).  They are talking frost in the next couple of weeks so we will be moving on next Friday.  We’ll spend a night in Oklahoma City and a night at the Winn Star Casino near the Oklahoma-Texas state line.  From there we are going to McKinney, TX to the MCD Shades factory to have some work done on the shades in the RV.  We have one that doesn’t want to roll up and down like it should.  We found out that the style we have is no longer made so repair parts aren’t available – naturally.  While we are at the factory to have it replaced, we decided to have some of the others that we use a lot replaced also.  We can’t take advantage of all the nice windows we have if the shades fail.
Once we get the shades taken care of we are going to go to San Antonio, TX.  Not sure how long we will stay, there are several things in the area of interest.  After that we don’t have our itinerary set, we’ll be going down along the Gulf Coast headed to Orlando for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - David is Keeping Us Busy

Greg gets a break from disking today.  He’s back moving bales.


There are over 1000 down in this field.  There are bales as far as I can see.  This is looking south.


This is looking north.

I’m back on the swather today, but instead of cutting hay I’m cutting “feed”.  This is the view from my windshield all day.  Up until about 4:00 the GPS worked just great then it went a little crazy.  I cut until 6:00 without it, everything is cut but the rows aren’t nearly as straight.

Greg and I would no longer make very good farmers – we quit at 6:00 p.m.  David usually works into the night.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Monday, September 23, 2013 - Working in the Dust

Greg headed out to the field to disk again this morning.  The forecast was for “breezy weather”, winds of 20 mph with gusts up to 30.  As it turned out the wind was sustained at about 40 mph with gusts up to 60 as the day wore on.  He had to call it quits about 6:00 p.m. because he couldn’t see where he was going.  As he was disking he was making dust and the winds were bringing in more.  I was going to pick him up and his instructions were “just look for the tower”.  I knew which tower he was talking about, but soon discovered I couldn’t see it because of all the dust!  Luckily I found him anyway.

This was my assignment for the day – David’s swather.  A few days ago I got a crash course in operating this thing.  Today I did much better because most of the time the swather was guiding itself through the GPS unit.  All I had to remember was to slow down at the end of the row, bring the header up so I didn’t mess up the hay that had already been cut, turn it around, put the header back down (making sure not to miss any standing hay), hit the GPS button and pick up the speed.  After about 3 times around, I was feeling pretty good and enjoyed the rest of the day.  Hope David thinks I did ok once he looks over the field.

This is what the cut hay looks like.  The swather covers 16’ at a time and all of these rows of cut hay look really nice.  It must smell good too because I was cutting next to a feedlot and all of the cows were looking over the fence like they wouldn’t mind a sample.

This is a picture of the sun at around 5:00 this evening.  A storm isn’t coming in, it is just so much dust in the air.  Several major highways were closed in western Kansas, it was just like driving through heavy fog.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - Pratt County Lake

Happy Birthday to grandson Tyler!!  Can’t believe he is 20.

Greg worked yesterday disking David’s ground to get ready for wheat planting.

Today we decided to work around the coach.  Greg was going to work on doing some preventative maintenance on the slide out seams so we wouldn’t have to worry about future leaks.  But, it was so windy I didn’t think he needed to be on a ladder – it can wait.
He ended up changing the living room TV and sound bar.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, it looks good.

I spent most of the day working on getting updated photos into our digital picture frame.  The last update was 2010.  It’s not hard to do, I don’t know why I keep putting it off.
Yesterday I worked detail cleaning the dash/front area of the coach.  I’ve been perturbed that I couldn’t figure out how to get our seats to turn around to face the rear of the coach so we could use them for extra seating when we aren’t going down the road – I figured it out.  I hate to admit it was really simple.  I did have to remove a small cabinet that is next to my seat to get it to turn.  But, once I get the seat turned I can set the cabinet back in place.

The campground was full this weekend.  A Good Sam group from Fort Larned, KS was here for a meeting.  Most of them left this morning so we have a good view of the lake again.  For non-RVers, Good Sam is a camping/buying discount club for RV owners.
Greg just handed me a glass of “black ice”.  Mix equal parts Black Currant Wine, lime margarita mix and water, then freeze.  Scrape with a fork to flake – yummy.  I think you could probably use other wines, but haven’t tried that yet.  We did taste something similar that was made with strawberry rhubarb wine and strawberry margarita mix.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - Moving More Bales

We headed south out of Pratt today to pick up some bales David had to move out of some waterways.  If I understand it right the waterways are where the runoff from the fields would naturally flow.  They are left untilled so they don’t wash away and the grass that grows there is baled.  I know one thing for sure – they get really rough in places!
David had the skid steer on a trailer behind one truck and we had a 40 foot bale wagon behind the other.

Think maybe we are out in the middle of nowhere?  However "nowhere" has a lot of oil wells pumping steadily.
Let’s go get those bales.

This is the first bale going on.
And, this is the last one.

As we were coming back through Pratt to deliver the bales I remembered to take a picture of their “Hot” and “Cold” water tanks.  These are no longer in use, but they are good for a chuckle every time I go by them.
Once we got to the delivery site it took all of a minute to dump the bales where they belonged.  The trailer raises on one side and the bales just roll off. 
I’m sure people are glad to see this guy coming.  The sand on the roads can blow up into drifts that are worse to get through than snow.  Today with winds blowing steadily at 30 or more mph David said a “lot of real estate was changing hands”.  While I was out of the truck taking pictures, I had trouble keeping the camera steady, so some of the pictures may be a little blurry.  For this one, I was taking the picture through the truck window as we were bumping along.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - Pratt County Lake

We haven’t been doing too much that is newsworthy.  It’s been raining so we’ve just hung around home.  On Saturday David and the kids were here for breakfast.  We had scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browns and biscuits.  Wyatt and Cheyanne stayed with us during the day Saturday.  When I was taking them home, Cheyanne, who is five, said, “Breakfast today was wonderful, we definitely need to do that again”.  We won’t be leaving here until October 4, so I think there will be plenty of time to do that again.
We have a set of dominoes we had never had out.  We decided to try to figure out a couple of the games over the weekend. 

Monday evening I went with David to the open house at Wyatt’s school.  The teacher says he is doing great.  Later on the guys had to give up the TV so I could watch Dancing with the Stars.  They were able to check in on the game during commercial breaks.
Today the rain was gone but strong winds were still hanging around.  I think the winds are supposed to be even stronger tomorrow.  David brought out a bigger ladder than we had with us so Greg could work on the bedroom slide out – again.   We found that we still have a small leak even after taking it in to a dealership to have it repaired.  Greg recoated the whole slide out roof.  Hopefully this takes care of it.

Greg wanted to do some preventative maintenance to the Oasis water heating system that provides us with continual hot water and also acts as our heating system.  David provided some muscle and additional tools for that process.

I never cease to be amazed at the practical and mechanical knowledge of these two wonderful men.  I’m blessed to have them as part of my life.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Friday, September 13, 2013 - Just Fishin'

First off need to wish a Happy Birthday to daughter Amanda.

Greg finished up his bale stacking assignment yesterday.  This picture only shows a few of the bales he had to move.

While Greg was moving these bales, David was baling more.  Greg will be working on those next week.
Now that I’m sitting here thinking about it, I’m not real sure what I got accomplished today.  I had to make a trip to the grocery for just a few things.  Grandkids will be here this evening and tomorrow.  We have lots of groceries, but not too many “kid-friendly” things.

Cheyanne was invited to a birthday party this evening.  The kids all went fishing at the lake where we are staying. 
David and Cheyanne had a prime spot.

David had to offer assistance to a few of the others.
A little refreshment always helps.
Fishing didn’t hold their attention for too long.
As I write this David and Wyatt are at the lake fishing.  Cheyanne was out there with them but she had to come to come in for a snack.  All that sitting waiting for the fish made her hungry again.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - Moving Bales

Yesterday Greg worked moving bales with forks on the back of the pickup truck.  Today he was going to be working with something a little bigger.
We followed David to the field where the bales needed to be moved today.  I don’t think it was more than 10 miles, but it seemed like we were going forever and ended up in the middle of nowhere.  While I was following in one of the pickup trucks I was making notes of how many crossroads that came up and where we turned.  Most of the roads are unmarked and I wanted to be able to find my way out.
While David showed Greg how to operate the machinery,

 I took some pictures of the landscape, sunflowers and clouds.
David says the “soil” in this area is called sugar sand.  This is what the roads look like, it blows into drifts like snow.  If it wasn’t for the plants in the fields, the soil would just blow away.

This should keep him busy for a while.

David and I headed back to his shop to see if he could repair the air conditioner in one of the trucks.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kansas, Pratt - Monday, September 09, 2013 - Veteran's Memorial Park

After breakfast this morning we decided to walk around the lake.  For us it’s a pretty big lake to be walking around but we made it and actually felt pretty good afterwards.
We kept disturbing this bird, not sure what it is, grey in color with long legs.
The lake has about 20 piers like this that go out into the water for fishing.  Some of them have picnic tables and shelters which would be nice for family reunions.
One side of the lake road has trees that grow over it in a canopy.  I still have to do some research on what kind of trees they are.  My first guess is aspen, but I don’t know if aspens grow in Kansas.  The leaves are heart shaped and turn yellow.  At any rate, the wind rustling through them this morning sounded almost like a song.

We drove into Great Bend to an RV dealership to get some boiler anti-freeze.  Greg is going to do some preventative maintenance on the Aqua Hot unit that provides hot water and will have to drain the anti-freeze that is in it.
The wind here picked up this afternoon.  Blowing most of the time at around 17 mph with gusts 30 mph or so.  The temperatures are still running in the upper 90’s.  I really enjoyed watching a sailboat out on the lake as I fixed supper this evening.  I was glad he was still out there after we finished eating.  I walked over and took a few pictures.