Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harvest & House Update

I am frequently asked how the remodeling is coming along. The short answers is "slow but sure."

What I haven't gotten around to tell you yet is that Clint helps farmers harvest in the autumn. Those of you that live in the midwest know what that entails. Those of you that don't live in corn & bean country: You're scrambling to beat winter, and you work until 8. 9. 10 p.m.

I've always loved harvest season, watching daily progressions of shifting horizons. Living in the midwest all of my life, I thought I had a general idea of how this corn and beans stuff goes. After riding along with Clint now and again, I'm amazed to learn so much, after thinking I knew so much.

Here a few pictures I took last year, intending to write about.

The elevators are full. The corn sits on the ground.

If you're from around here, you don't blink an eye at sky-high piles of corn. Still I wonder how amazing it must seem if you're not. If I were to come across, say, a pile of bananas that tall, I'd certainly find it blogworthy, while others might simply shrug: eh. So. Here's to you, my Malaysian buddies (and yes. I DO have Malaysian buddies. [Hi, Edina!])

Unloading the truck. All of the corn falls into that grate below, and is whisked off (Somehow. I forgot what I learned about this=.) to the elevators. There's 2 lanes for beans, and 2 for corn.

This is Anderson's elevator, from afar. You see the elevators, yes? Note the golden pile of corn that couldn't fit into them. That's the same one in the first picture, above.

This one was taken this year. There's Clint, at a much smaller elevator in Thomasboro, IL. Same procedure, on a different scale. Each of these elevators pays a different price for a bushel of corn or beans. Hey, I'm just a ride-along; we go where the farmer tells us to go.

A girl gets bored: Me, hanging out of a truck, AND closer that I might appear.

So, generally, our schedule goes like this: I get off work at 4:00, and take a sandwich to Clint, who has been in the field for hours, with no real food. I take one spin to a given elevator with him, then return, kiss him goodbye, and take off.

[Ladies: If you're interested in taking a semi-truck driving tour through cornfields and elevators, I can set you up. This is not a luxury ride, is all I'm saying. Wear a Sport Bra, is all I'm saying. Bind thyself. That is all I'm saying.]

Did you think this was a house update? It IS!

Jack, you just try harvesting and remodeling at the same time! We ARE! Holy Mother of God, you know all that other stuff I've been writing about? That is the IN-BETWEEN stuff of our lives. After the harvesting section of the day, we often meet back at The Country Casa, and put in a few more hours there.

We're almost done with the exterior.

And I can't reiterate enough, when I say "we," I mean "Clint." The day will come when painting and decorating is in order, and "we" will mean "me." But for now, "we" means "Clint."

Clint is almost done with the exterior. The garage is built, and there are entire walls with siding!

Look! 2 doors...that you can't see!

And a few weekends ago, Clint's buddies cornered me, and informed me that 9 of his friends were surprising him on Saturday, to finish the exterior. Cahoots! I'm officially in cahoots! Game on!

Clint showed up at the house, Saturday morning, thinking to meet the plumber, and ended up tail over teakettle, directing a construction crew:

Two here...

But 10 in attendance, shown here bellying up to Italian beef lunch, provided by Yours Truly.

While several worked on siding, the front porch was torn off:

At the end of the day, most of the siding was done. The front porch still needed to be stripped of 2 layers of siding, the first added on 100 years ago. As workmen left, Clint and I committed ourselves to The Front Porch. I actually did get to dive in with a crowbar, on this project.

See that door, next to the ladder? It was formerly a wall. Inside and out. The former remodelers just boarded right over it!

Only, when we UNboarded the EXterior, the INterior fell right through:

10:30 PM. Saturday night. Clint has to be AT WORK at 7 a. m. next morning, and THERE IS A HOLE IN OUR FREAKIN LIVING ROOM WALL.

And WE (remember, WE = CLINT) can not go home until it is fixed.

So, while "WE" fixed the wall, I set about self-presevation. I found a large, flannel, wo0l-lined coat...

There's me...second from the right. Only, with a stocking cap on. Yes. I AM one of the Darryls, and I couldn't care less. I can see my breath in the living room. Shut it.

I proceeded to do nothing, while "WE" fixed the wall up, and TYPAR'D the front of the house, and proceeded to head home to collapse into bed.

"WE" got up, then, at 5:45, to begin our 24-hour shift at our "real job," while I (ok, we're back to "ME" now) slept like the dead until 10:00+.

So that's the update. It's the craziest time of my life, ever. Everything you've read here goes on, while construction and harvesting is as big as, or larger than, all of that.

I haven't even scratched the surface.

That is the update: I have yet begun to tell you.


  1. Bind thyself! Oh, you make I laugh. Yay the house! Boooo the big hole in the wall. Wow the beans!

  2. A little birdy told me about the surprise you had for Clint this weekend. I love seeing the pics/hearing the stories as "you" work on the house. :-)

    You know, you're right. When you're raised in bean/corn country, you don't think at all about those things. We don't have too much of that here. What we have that I hadn't seen before is tobacco, cotton, and peanuts.

    I know you guys are keeping crazy busy with everything. Sending cyber hugs from afar. {{{{}}}}

  3. Daaamn!

    I get tired just reading your posts.

  4. Wow, lotsa WOW

    House is coming along nicely CLINT! (wink)

  5. Whoa - hole in the wall (inside and out)!! Aaaaah!

    You gotta wonder what those people were thinking doing that...

    Good job, Clint! Keep up the good work! And good job supporting, Lori!

    (Oooo, my word verification was: "partnes". Coincidence??? I think not!)

  6. I have never seen corn piled that high...big difference in the concrete jungle and the harvest fields of the mid west. The only thing I see piled up n New York is salt which is used on the roads when it snows....oh and puppypoop on Park Avenue gets pretty high when most people don't clean up after their canine friends.Good times.

  7. Holy Beejeezus, Woman. A couple years ago (yes, we've been together that long) you commented on my blog that you had never worked as hard as I was working at the time. Guess what? You can't make that claim any longer. Hell, the tables have turned and I can now say it to you. My hat is off to you and We.

  8. Sven: I'm telling you: it is one "bouncy" ride. Painfully so. Oh, you'll never understand!

    Karla: Hugs back; can hardly wait to offer you a beer or glass of wine on the new deck, that is now only in our imaginations.

    Jazz: Me too. I don't read my blog.

    Nancy: Where would he be if I couldn't run for that box of nails, or hand him a hammer, or the pliers with the red handles?

    Momo: Yes. Hole in the wall. Not efficient, heat-wise. "Partnes" is french for "crazy couple remodeling 100 year old house."

    King: A mountain of dog make the city sound very enticing. Keep on going, will ya, when you drive me past that one.

    Pobs: Remember that? Back when there was no Toys for Troops, no Clint in my life, no lots of stuff that is, now. Was it only 19 months or so ago? My head still spins!


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