Another Winter Storm & THE AMERICAN!!!!

Day 3 into another winter storm and we are fairing pretty well and thankfully, so are our critters! We had a bit of a scare towards dark on the first day…..our power went out. Luckily, Shane had been out checking our neighbors cows and had seen the insulators on the brink of failure. He knew we were in trouble so he called the power company. There were already not too far away working on another problem. They headed this way as soon as they finished up. I’m so glad they did because we lost power about half an hour after we called in the problem. We were only without power for about an hour……praise to Shane and the power company for both being on the ball!

Earlier that morning, we all went out to check over our cattle. We knew about the storm coming so we always like to make sure our girls are looking good and tucked in where they are supposed to be. The storm was already here……

And the wind was starting to blow……

Chopping ice so the cows can drink the water beneath the ice……

See that pitchfork laying there? That’s my tool…..Shane chops….I get the ice chunks out. I chop once in awhile, but when the wind is blowing and time is an issue….I leave the heavy stuff to him!

The cows were waiting for us to finish up….although from the looks of things….drinking water wasn’t really on their minds….they were looking for cake…..so sorry girls!

We recently ran out of cake, which happens this time of year. You try to project how much you will feed each day and how long it will last. We are usually pretty close in our estimate. However, that day when the realization that you are out of cake hits….it’s tough. And of course, there is usually a storm after that. I feel especially guilty on those days…….but, we don’t just drop them from feed cold-turkey. We switch them over to high-fat, high-protein lick tubs (Vitalix, this time). It’s crucial to place them in good locations. We put ours down along the creek. This is on the way to water for the cows and it keeps them off the flats, which is a good thing when these winter storms hit. We needed to move a few closer to water and in a closer pasture…..once again, I left the heavy stuff for Shane!

I love how his pants almost fell down…..sorry, dear……had to “capture” the moment. My husband is one of the strongest guys I know…..and he has a huge heart. He’s my big teddy bear……he works hard every day……and yes, I know how very lucky I am to have him in my life!

As you can see, the cows are happy to have these lick tubs:

Before we finish up and head home, we have one last thing to check…..the tank. You saw we had to chop ice at the far end of the pasture….well, closer to home we have a great well. Our goal is to move our cows in closer over the next week. It’s getting close to calving time (this usually begins around the middle of March for us)….and it’s time to switch pastures with the girls. Our heifers will be coming in closer (they haven’t had babies before, so it’s crucial that we keep a close eye on them). Our older cows are pros by now…..we put them out a bit further, yet we still check on them daily (sometimes twice a day….it just depends on the weather and what’s going on). We had turned the tank on earlier….it was a frozen mess….this is what we see when we drive up:

Shane got out to inspect it……water is running…..and the overflow is working….whew! These tire tanks are a life saver. Now the girls have fresh water…..all is good in the world!

So, today is Sunday, March 2nd….an exciting day….I will get to that in a minute. Yesterday was a big day in itself…..it was my Grandpa Art Reukauf’s birthday. He would have been 91! I spent some time yesterday thinking of him and my Gram June. Also, it was Cowgirl Swank’s 7th Anniversary! It’s amazing how fast time goes…..proud of how far my little company has come!

Now on to the excitement of today……history will be broken today…..the richest one-day rodeo commences in about 4 1/2 hours! Have you heard of it?? I sure hope so!! THE AMERICAN is going to be an amazing event! Live coverage starts at 10 am MST on RFD-TV…..then the rodeo starts at Noon. I have friends competing: our neighbor/friend Lisa Lockhart will be running barrels and Chad Ferley (2-time Saddle Bronc World Champion) will, of course, be in the Saddle Bronc Ridding. He lives