Bringing in the sheaves

I am fresh back from a trip to our family's farm in Pennsylvania. Laura and I and our passle of kids stayed with our parents and I attended a conference for my job. Everything was very green and lush, different from dry and crispy Kentucky. I was strangely obsessed with the wheat growing everywhere, as we don't see many wheat fields where we live. I thought it would be an inspiring craft material, and finally sister Abby and I busted it all the way to the top of the hill and cut some.
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The hill is my parents', but it is farmed by a neighbor. Even though I was sure Brian Trexler would not care if I cut a handful of wheat, I felt like I was stealing and the whole affair had a sneaky, slightly nervous pall. But I ignored that pesky conscience and eventually had to restrain myself from cutting too much, because even though I didn't know what I was going to do with it, I wanted big armfuls. The wheat was about 18 inches tall, getting just yellow at the bottom, and when I popped a wheat berry in my mouth it was milky, chewy and green-tasting. I think that means it's not quite ready to be harvested yet. I twisted a few stems together to tie the bunch and here is what I got:
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The hilltop field was the very same one that we hiked to as kids to get to my Pop-Pop's from my cousin's house, and the view is the same as it was twenty years ago. Even though I was still out of breath from the walk up the other side and the furtive, wheat-stealing mission, I wished I had hiked up the hill every day of the visit just to check out the view. It's so pretty it makes my heart hurt in a good way.
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Back to the house, I had to figure out something to DO with that hard-won sheaf, and I knew eventually I wanted to make some Waldorf-style Christmas stars, so I started with that. First I stripped off the leaves and then I cut the stems into sections at the nodes. Based on photos of the completed stars, I knew that the stems were flattened and cut, but couldn't think of a good way to flatten them without tearing the stem. My brilliant Mom suggested that I try the pasta maker that Abby bought at rummage sale. It went swimmingly. Now, I didn't really know what I was going for since I didn't have my book with star directions, but I think I can make  it work with what I have. The material is so appealing, golden and strong. The little straws (and they are straws-little perfect tubes!) are sturdy and clink together in a glass-like way. They, appropriately, smell clean and grassy like a good, new straw bale. I cut and flattened some, and left some intact as tubes. 
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Now I need to research weaving and maybe dying straw. My Dad talked to the Trexler's the next day and he knew how I felt about the wheat, so he asked them if it was ok that I took a handful. They laughed and said we were welcome to as much wheat as we wanted.

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