Feeding and the Hurdles

Last week, I asked the question, “Is this winter ever going to end?” This past week I was sent a post from social media reminding me that last February (2020), I asked, “Is this February ever going to end?” Well, it did in fact, end, but it set up another horrible February. The wind and snow just will not quit.


Elaine and I bought two thousand pounds of hay to feed the livestock through the winter. We have used one thousand pounds in the month of February alone. Our pastures have been partially covered with snow since the first of the year requiring daily supplemental feeding for the livestock. To real ranchers, one thousand pounds of hay doesn’t seem like a lot as they can feed one thousand pounds a day; however, Elaine and I have just two animals (pets). I am guessing at least one-quarter of our hay has blown out of the feeders and is lodged against a fence somewhere in eastern Colorado, where a rancher I don’t know, is not thanking me for his windfall. (Hey, that’s an unintended pun; windfall.)


Feeding livestock in the wind combined with bitter cold is a lot more fun for the livestock than it is for the person feeding. With animals that are genetically predisposed to enjoy cold windy weather, I think they enjoy watching us struggle.


Luckily, we have children to help feed. If they were ever at home. Country kids are smart. They are born with instincts that allow them to drive up exactly as I throw the last fork of hay over the fence. I can’t say they sit at the end of the driveway and watch, but I’m never sure.


I say that I throw the hay over the fence, Elaine has fed the animals, also. Until the phone call! Yep, I’m at work on my construction job an hour from home and I get that phone call,


Elaine: Monner, can you come home? Me: Why? Elaine: I went out to water the chickens, I slipped on the ice. I can’t bend my knee. Me: (Construction language) Is that all? Is it just your knee? (construction language) Elaine: Yeah, it’s just my knee. It really hurts, I need to get to a doctor. Me: (Construction language, more construction language)


So many things were flying through my head. (Go ahead, say it, there is nothing in there to stop it from flying through.) “Why were you watering the birds? Couldn’t one of the kids have done that? I have (construction language) to do here at work. Why not call an ambulance? Our deductible is paid. I can meet you at the hospital.” BUT, when my baby calls, I go.


Before I go any further, just in case one of the kids reads this and yells at me. They do help when they can, but I’m telling the story, this is my story. Write your own.


Arriving at the hospital, the check-in person (my attempt at being politically correct, it was a woman) asked if Elaine wanted a wheelchair. Elaine said yes and nodded in the affirmative. Me? I wanted to take the low road and say, “Nah, let’s just let her hop around.”


While Elaine went in for x-rays and waited for the x-rays to be read, I did some grocery shopping. Not much, just a few staples. (Oh, sorry. That’s not important right now.) The hospital staff, men and women, place Elaine’s knee in a brace, well not just her knee. She was braced from top of leg to toes, with metal bars, Velcro, and sixteen pounds (just guessing) of foam padding. She was told to make an appointment with a doctor in the orthopedic clinic.


Elaine made an appointment with the first available doctor at the orthopedic clinic. She saw a sports medicine specialist at a satellite office eighty miles from our house. Seeing a sports medicine expert, except for the eighty miles part, her appointment makes perfect sense. Elaine was a hurdler in high

school and actually ran once in the last twenty years.


The sports med guy called for an MRI and told her to keep/get an appointment from a surgeon in the main office forty miles closer to home. Her appointment is three weeks away. She is now in a smaller brace. I picked it up at the local sporting goods store. (Keeping with the sports theme.) Just in case, she decides to run a couple of hurdles again.


I’m feeding by myself. Elaine is able to weave, spin, and knit. I am able to feed. Didn’t I mention that? I am also able to walk out to the storage container for needles and yarn. Your Daily Fiber goes on. Do your part, buy yarn. Elaine tells me her deductible is not paid. Plus, the insurance company needs to approve the MRI. It didn’t get better with PresidentCare for us. It will get better with warmer weather. Elaine can train jumping over hay bales when the ice is gone.


Our crazy lives!


Monner

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