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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

10 Things We Learned Over The Weekend

Before anyone flips a switch, yes, it is I, back to blogging.
I'm not going to apologize for my distance or lack of blogging.
I have realized since the kids are all gone and we are empty nested, I tend to be more of the worker bee than the photo taker.
After a day at the day job, evenings are spent choring and completing unfinished tasks.
When finished for the night, I am dog tired and ready for bed.
Lunches use to be my time to blog, as my commute to and from work were spent reflecting on the daily blog post.
Now, lunches are spent running errands and attempting to prepare for the ranch jobs needing done.
Let's just say, we are very busy folks without kids!

We were able to get away this past weekend.
We took a quick trip to visit Drewman.
He is interning for Helena Chemical and is "planted" in Garden City, Kansas.
This is a 5 hour drive from the ranch.
We drove through the Oklahoma Panhandle and up the south west side of Kansas.

We learned 10 very valuable things over the weekend.

10)  There is a difference between north central Oklahoma and south western Kansas.
The soil type is different.
The terrain is different.
The trees are different.
There actually aren't trees in south west Kansas, unless they are in and around a homestead or have been planted as a wind break.

9)  While driving through the Oklahoma panhandle and into south west Kansas, you will see road signs that say
"Watch For Cross Winds"
They mean it!

8)  God and Mother Nature have made some pretty amazing sites!
Gloss Mountains in north western Oklahoma. 

Monument Rocks - Chalk Pyramids in south west Kansas.

 Random drive though the country in south western Kansas.

Kansas sunsets are as amazing as Oklahoma sunsets!

7)  Man made some pretty awesome sights there too!
This loading alley is made of old irrigation wheels.

This tree reminds me of My Daddy!
When I saw it, my first thought was
"This was made by pipeliners that had nothing better to do, on a cold or wet day, then make a metal tree to intrigue folks for years to come!"
 I'm always drawn to those things welded.
It's probably only something a welders daughter could understand.

6)  Cattle aren't in open pastures in south west Kansas.
Most of the cattle are in feedlots.
Cattle people say the smell of a feed lot is the smell of money.
We didn't mind the smell!

5)  The land is used to grow crops.
Where Oklahoma is mostly a wheat state, south west Kansas grows wheat, corn, soybeans, milo and potatoes, as well as several varieties of hay.
Drewman has spent many an hour in these fields, inspecting crops, scouting and taking samples.
It was nice to be able to job shadow him!
 Drewman in a field of soybeans.
 Soybeans are a legume plant that produces its own nitrogen.
They do so by these nodules on their root system.

Above are the flowers, of the soybean, and the beginning stages of the soybean pods.

4)  There are different types of land in south west Kansas.
Dry land and irrigation land.

3)  Most irrigation fields are called circles.
2)  There are two different types of irrigation.
Pivot and flooded.
Pivot irrigation is a system that has a water well and pump connected to an irrigation system that circles the field.
Hence the fields being called circles.
The pivots can be 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile systems.
A 1/4 mile system is about the same as an Oklahoma 1/4 section or 160 acres.
A 1/4 mile pivot irrigation field equals 120 to 140 acres of crop, due to the corners of the field not getting irrigation.

A flooded irrigation is still supplied by a water well and pump, but irrigation pipe is laid on the ground and the field is "flooded" to obtain the proper moisture desired for the crop.
On a side note...
Soil is different than dirt!
Dirt is misplaced soil.
We were taught this last summer while drilling holes for our working pens.
The Number One Thing We Learned Over The Weekend...
Drewman has a passion for the land of south west Kansas!
He loves the area!
He loves the diversity of the crop production!
He has an amazing support system there!
Drewman is wrapping up his final week in the Garden City area.
This morning he gave his intern presentation to his salesmen.
The Garden City area consists of 5 different locations.
Therefore, every day of the week Drewman is in a different location.
He has visited New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma while being "planted" in south west Kansas.
Next week, he will travel back to Iowa, where he began his summer, and give his final presentation, before heading back to Oklahoma State University to start his junior year.
What an amazing summer it has been for Drewman.
Flower Boy and I saw so much growth and change in him, in just the short amount of time we spent over the weekend.
We saw a young man moving forward towards adult life, ready to focus on his final coursework and preparing for a career.
 Although Drewman will always be "our baby boy", we could see no "boy" in him.
Growing up is hard on kids.
Leaving home is even harder.
Moving hours away, to people and places you don't know, can't be easy.
When you have goals, drive and determination, you go with your foot to the floor.
You arrive knowing you have work to do.
You leave knowing there is nothing left unfinished!
Proud Parents and Empty Nesters
As for mommas...
We aren't talking about what it's like to let your children go!
It is a feeling of accomplishment to watch them grow, mature, complete educations and start careers.
I Thank God, we were granted grandchildren to keep our mind off the tears!
Rancher Girl

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