It sure is nice having Kory's parents in the same town for lots of reasons. But one of those reasons is his mom has done exactly what I'm doing and she knows lots of things to make it easier and better. I am thankful to have her wisdom and experience. She's told me since before we moved here that one of the keys to making it through winter was getting warm clothes and going feeding with Kory. She'd done this the last few years with Wes and has enjoyed it and its helped her fend off cabin fever! So one evening she offered to come over in the morning so I could go feed with Kory. Thankfully, Wes made sure I had a good pair of Mucks within the first week of me being here. My dad sent me with his warmest old hunting coat for the days my Carhartt wouldn't be warm enough and Wes threw in some work gloves with my boots. I was warm and ready to go! Good thing because I think it was about 12 that day. As you can see though it was a beautiful clear and sunny day so the temperature didn't seem bad at all.
During the winter months, feeding is the first thing the guys do every day. Since there's no grass to graze thanks to permanent snow and frozen ground, the cows rely on hay every day as well as minerals and salt they put out every couple of days (I think.). They guys know how much to feed the cows based on how many there are and how much hay each cow needs per day. They also take in to consideration the weather. The colder it is the more they need to stay warm. Or so I'm told. SOOOOooo they use these flat beds with the hay picker upper thingies (thats the official name, by the way) to carry 2 bales of hay at a time. They can raise and lower the arms with a hydraulic switch inside the pickup. There are haystacks scattered all over and the guys in all their Ranchy smartness have reasons for using certain hay from certain stacks. Once the hay is on the truck they take it to the cows and lower the first bale. The net wrap has to be cut off the bales, pulled off, then rolled up and put back on the pickup to burn later. Then the driver rolls out the bale of hay in a nice long line and the cows immediately chow down. Actually, they've been chowing down since the second they get near the truck. If they can get close enough, they'll nibble while you're cutting the strings off. Greedy girls. Once that one bale is rolled out, driver drops the second one, cut the strings/net wrap, and then rolls out the second one. Then its back to the hay stacks to reload. As the passenger in the pick up your job is to cut strings and open gates. The driver drives and runs the hay thingy. If it sounds like the passenger has the cold job...IT'S TRUE. I'm nowhere near driver status so I take my rightful place as string cutter/gate opener and just hope I can get the gates opened and closed without any help. Some of them are TRICKY.
Side note: They grow their own alfalfa hay and cut, bale, and stack it in the summer. Its a key part to the operation because they have to have hay all winter, so if they can grow enough of their own they don't have to buy it to make it through the winter. Seeeeeee its ALLLLLLLL connected.
This lady greeted me at my door.
They know this cow because she's super gentle and will let you touch her face. The other ones are calm but aren't necessarily interested in cuddling with you. This one seems to kind of like a little pat on the nose.
We joked that it was "Take your wife to work day" or was it a date? Not sure. Either way I enjoy it!
After we had been here a couple of weeks, we were in desperate need of a trip to WalMart to get all those things you need when you move in to a new house. So, Kory's mom came over one morning and took care of the kids all day so we could go to Billings (about 2 hours away) and go to WalMart and a few other stores we needed to go to. It was a nice day but LONG.
While the boys were playing ninja turtles (using couch pillows as shells) with Gram....(yes klp has a black eye)........
We were eating at a BBQ place (we REALLY miss our Bodacious BBQ). They had lots of sauces to choose from. Forget the taste, I chose this one based on principle alone.
This picture could be called "My Happy Place". Billings has a Sonic and a Target! I got to enjoy both at the same time! I didn't get to aimlessly wander in Target like I would've loved to, but it was still fun.
I've been hangin' around Kory for quite a while now and there's still nobody else I'd rather spend the day with. Even if that means I come home smelling like cows.