Friday, October 6, 2017

Lessons Learned in North Dakota....


We arrived in North Dakota with high anticipation. Duck hunting, deer hunting, farming and seeing our friends. These are the things we had to look forward to upon our arrival. And to top it all off we had received several emails and texts from our ND hosts asking when we were going to get there. Little did I know it was not the anticipation of seeing us that they were looking forward to. No, they were looking for a scapegoat, someone to blame when something goes wrong, something breaks or generally anything that does not go right. Evidently it does not even matter if I am around, just the fact that we were on our way and I was being blamed for stuff…..
Bob swathing along the lakeshore.....
The first thing I got blamed for was getting the swather stuck. I was not there an hour when I was asked to run out to one of the fields and pull Bob out of a mud hole…….
My first view on Bob on our visit.
So far this week I have been blamed for a connector rod going out on one of the tractors and a U joint going out on one of the PTO. Granted, I was using both pieces of equipment when they broke down. But what about the residue spreader on the combine and the coffee spilled when I was nowhere in sight? Oh well, lesson learned and scapegoat or not, it is good to be back at “The Farm”.

Most of the week has been spent harvesting soy beans, they had a little over 900 acres left to harvest when we arrived. Since the tractor went down I switched from carting to driving the semi from the field to the farm where I unloaded the beans into a grain bin.
View from the cab of the combine
These bins can hold up to 30 truckloads of beans for a whopping 1.5 million pounds of beans!
Unloading beans from the semi into bin



As the weekend arrived we were excited to go duck hunting and get Dakota out for her first hunt. We have been waiting for almost a year and working very hard for this moment. So how did she do? I would love to say she did fantastic but she was a little confused on what exactly her role was supposed to be……she is not sure why we are getting up an hour before sunrise to go and sit in the cattails but she is slowly catching on and we are happy with where she is at for her first week.
Dakota going on her first retrieve.....

Someone is going to need a bath!
She had multiple retrieves throughout the week.....

Can you see her smiling?
Waiting for more ducks to come in!
What's Barb been up to you ask? She has been doing a season change over in the rig. Now you may think this is a simple task in a rig like ours but it is actually quite involved. She is pulling everything out of the closets and our cold weather totes in the belly. She then went and sorted through everything into three piles putting all our warm weather clothes into totes, cold weather clothes into the closet and a donate pile. It seems there are still clothes that we have not worn in over a year!
She also attended Hostfest (pronounced hooostfest). The festival is a week long event celebrating the Scandanavian culture filled with food, exhibits and entertainment which included the Doobie Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys , Little River Band and Jeff Dunham.

She has also made several trips to Minot to do errands. It was on one such trip that I learned my second valuable lesson for the week..... Since she was going to the sporting goods store anyway I asked her if she would mind picking me up a deer license so I could bow hunt while I was here. So I handed her my drivers license and told her I needed a non-resident archery license. It was about an hour later when I received the following text:

Lesson #2, never have your wife buy your deer tags!

Speaking of deer hunting, we have several trail cameras out. We captured some interesting pictures so far.....
This doe was about ready to kick some butt!

Coyote out for a evening stroll

This guy escaped from somewhere!
Meanwhile back in South Dakota the Jordan’s are keeping a watch on our property and sending us updates on the progress. Over the past week the excavator put in our cistern, the septic tanks and the drain field! 
Cistern ready to be buried

Septic Tank 
Pipe from septic tank to.....

......the drain field
Jim and Brenda have also been doing some work on our property while we are gone! Dismantling an old wooden fence and taking up some old barbed wire fence in preparation for new fencing.....
Dismantling and carrying away the old fence 

Jim with a load of barbed wire
But the most exciting news of all is that we have new neighbors! The 40 acre parcel next to us is for sale and after a few days of staying with us a few days and seeing what cool people we were they asked us if we would mind if they put an offer in on the parcel next door. Well Barb, Daisy, Dakota and I had a family meeting and put it to a vote..... The vote came out 2 for and 2 against (Daisy and I are people persons while Barb and Dakota...not so much...) so Barb said "Lets flip a coin" So we did.... then she said "Flip it again", then she said "One more time"...by then it was obvious that she was not going to win and resigned to the fact we were going to have new neighbors. The Jordan's put in an offer and are now are set to close on the property in less than 2 weeks!
Lesson #3, don't invite people to come stay at your property, they will love it so much they will never leave! In all seriousness, we could not be happier for them, they are great people and what more could we ask for but having like-minded neighbors.....

18 comments:

  1. Nice blog. Are you hunting cows now? Don't get your septic tank and cistern mixed up. Maybe you should let Barb take control of them. I am glad you didn't let us know about the property next door.

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    1. Hey, if one of those rogue cows happens by while, we might be having ribeye for dinner!

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  2. Poor Daisy...it's only a matter of time before Dakota starts carrying her around like a duck. 😊

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    1. That's a great idea, maybe I should start using Daisy as a training tool!

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  3. Getting caught up with blog reading...looks like you guys have had a fun summer. Your place is sure shaping up nicely. Sorry you're getting blamed for everything.

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    1. Nice to hear from you, hope all is well in Texas!

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  4. Yes the yearly harvest, tractors pulling their loads to the grain elevator for shipment or the combines taking up the entire road. Gotta Love It!
    Glad You have a thick skin for everything going wrong.
    I'm surprised your tanks are being installed so close to the surface. Normally they are installed below the frost line.
    Glad Dakota is turning into a good hunting dog.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your new neighbours.

    It's about time.

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    1. I have often said that it is a good thing it gets cold up here in the winter and we need to head south, otherwise I don't think we would ever leave!

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  5. Wow, thinks are really moving with your property!!! Great to see Dakota getting the hang of everything!!! Congrats on your new neighbors!!

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    1. Thanks, these are exciting times on all fronts! You guys will have to stop by sometime!

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  6. While you are talking about being blamed for everything, keep in mind that we didn't come here to move in next door! You are the one that told us about the property in the same breath with "it would be nice to have neighbors we already know....". So even this is your fault! LOL!! It will be nice for us to have such good neighbors of like mind. Thanks for telling us! So now Barb knows about your trick coin?

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    1. Shhhh... mums the word on the trick coin, we have been married over 30 years and she has not caught on yet!

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  7. You must be exhausted, Jim! You've had quite the education recently. I'm sure Barb's never mentioned the words "slow learner"...haha! Good to know you are appreciated in ND. It's always good to have someone take the blame. Dakota is doing a great job! Even she is smart enough to know that you don't get up before the sun:) Your property is looking great!!

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    1. I've never been accused of being a fast learner, that's for sure!

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  8. Looking good! How fun to be able to go to ND and work on the farm and hunt. Dakota looks to be doing a great job! That festival sounded fun. Property is coming along!

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    1. Thanks, it certainly is nice to have this home away from home to come and stay at with our friends!

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  9. You're back in your element on that farm and that's great you've got Dakota out on a hunt! The old homestead is coming along too. Enjoy!

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  10. How exciting - looks like your property will be RV ready in no time! Happy all is well with you guys!

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