Saturday, August 3, 2013

One Month Down

 Today is the one month mark for my husband and I. We are happy, completely exhausted, busy and did I mention worn out? Our wedding day was beyond perfect, and we loved and enjoyed every minute. Our honeymoon consisted of more than 1,500 miles in 6 days and we had a blast. Upon our return home, the honeymoon immediately ended, and we've been scrambling ever since. We also snapped a few photos along the way...

Flaming Gorge Reservoir. One of three reservoirs we checked out on the first two days of our honeymoon. This one offers tours every 30 minutes too! But, alas, no sooner did we make it through security for our tour than a lightning strike was spotted, which puts a halt to tours for half an hour. Considering that we had a lot of miles to cover and it looked like a storm was brewing, we sadly left without seeing things up close.

Jackson Hole. We spent a day and a half walking around Jackson, enjoying dinner and a live show at the Jackson Theater, eating at the Two Merry Piglets, and loving a 13 miles scenic float down the Snake River. I wanted to do a white water rafting trip, but my husband turned green at the mere mention, so this was our compromise. Considering I got this picture on the scenic float, it was worth it!

 Yellowstone National Park. This is actually two miles south of Yellowstone, where we stayed in a cabin with a back porch, complete with two rocking chairs and this view. While in Yellowstone, we checked out Yellowstone Lake, the famous Yellowstone Falls, Old Faithful and various other sites. Wildlife count included buffalo, a grizzly bear, elk and deer.

Montana. From Yellowstone we stayed in Cooke City, then went over 11,000 feet up, up, up over a pass on our way to Red Lodge. It was a gorgeous drive. From there we drove along the Yellowstone River and checked out the crops (I did marry a farmer/rancher). This hay picture was taken just north of Alzada, where it appears they are having an excellent hay year.
From Montana we came home, excited to dive into married life together.

 Our first task was dealing with the pinkeye epidemic that swept through our pairs in the week we were gone. Almost all of my cows, several of his and over half the calves were infected. And, for those that don't believe in antibiotic use in livestock, treating problems like pinkeye with antibiotics is not the easy, lazy way out, it's the more time consuming, right thing to do for the animal. We spent an entire day setting up corrals, gathering and trailing in a herd half blind, running each infected animal through the chute, and treating them with a combination of penicillin (to treat the issue) and dexamethasone (to speed up the penicillin's efficacy). We gave the shot in the vein running through the eyelid, because that location ensures the treatment is right where it needs to be (the eye). My sister-in-law, who works for two vets, and her husband were kind enough to help us figure out the best treatment, and help us administer the shots. We also poured everyone for flies, since they are the main carriers of the disease. I am happy to report our treatment was highly effective, and the last two times we've checked, everyone is doing much better and well on the way to recovery. If we hadn't treated with antibiotics, most of my cows and over half our calf crop would be blind for life, which would severely limit their ability to eat, drink, maintain a healthy weight and survive in the large pastures they call home.

Then there were the crops, which ripened in our absence. We checked everything and my husband kept a close eye on them until it was determined the time had come to harvest.
 So, much like spring and fall cattle work, the entire family converged on our fields, making sure the harvest happened in a timely fashion. Here is my father-in-law, racing against a rain storm to finish the first wheat field. A couple crops did get rained on in the truck, and now we are shuffling hot, moist grain back and forth in an effort to dry it.

 Then there was the hog trip. We had to make an overnight trip to get a few extra hogs to fill all our orders because our wonderful customer's orders exceeded our supply. I was driving down the interstate at 80 mph with an empty trailer on our way to Southeastern South Dakota, a 6 hour drive one-way, when the transmission went out of my husband's pickup. I got pulled over to the side of the interstate and slowed down to about 20 mph before everything locked up and lurched us to a stop, barely over the white line.
We called one sister-in-law and she headed our way to help tow us off the road and make a plan. Then, about an hour into waiting and after taking the driveline off, and managing to get the rig a little further off the road with me holding in the clutch and steering while my husband pushed (we were stopped on a hill), my second sister-in-law and her family drove by on their way to a ranch rodeo and helped get us towed off the interstate.
Not to be deterred, we eventually got another pickup hooked to our rig and continued on, arriving at our destination three hours later than planned. We loaded and were home at 3 a.m., then were up and back on the same stretch of road the following morning by 8 a.m. to retrieve our pickup and one sister-in-law that loaned us hers.
But, we did get the hogs, and a new boar. So, it was successful.
There has also been a trip to Wyoming to move me to South Dakota, and as I type this my house is a complete disaster of piles you could lose a small child in. But, thanks to lots of help from both sides of the family in between all these other events, the house is much cleaner and more organized than it was a few days ago.
Did I mention my husband is also the President of the Fair Board, and I am now judging the livestock show and the 4-H photography show next week in addition to starting back up with my writing?
I'm sure you get the point that we have been a little bombarded in our first month of marriage. But there have also been a plethora of blessings mixed in with the trials. For example, my husband has an unlimited miles powertrain warranty on his pickup until January 2014, so everything should be fixed for $100, which is his deductible. We also managed to purchase a very affordable, high quality boar that we hadn't planned on being able to swing right now, and need to keep up with our growing number of sows.
We are very blessed, and keep reminding ourselves and each other that without all our blessings we wouldn't have had to face any of the trials of the last month. Here's to one month down and hundreds more to come!