Yes, I realize the muscles are pretty much nonexistent, but this pic pretty much portrays how I feel at the end of a feed run -- like I could take on the world.
We buy the bulk of our animal feed in Thayer, Missouri. It's out of state, but it's only about an hour from here and is our best "local" option that produces the various types of feed that we need and has all the ingredients we need for the goat mix we serve our milkers.
I look forward to feed run days. Here's why.
Once I finish up the morning milking and feeding chores, I load up in the farm truck. This alone is lots of fun. It's a big 'ole, loud truck that I pretty much only drive for this purpose since it cannot accommodate the 3 passengers I usually have with me for other errands (and, of course, gets horrible gas mileage as compared to my van). The farm truck reminds me of a truck one of my friends drove in high school. We called it The Beast, and I could hear it coming as soon as it made it into the neighborhood -- fun memories!
The drive to Thayer is always a fun one. The feed run is one of the only times I drive with my window down. It's also the only time I ever listen to country music. I think I first started this because the truck doesn't have a CD player or anything and most of the radio stations I landed on were Country ones. But, for whatever reason, it's now a part of the tradition to blast country music all the way to Missouri. A little "Sing a song about the Heartland" and "There Might Be a Little Dust on the Bottle" really take me back in time.
Once in Thayer, I back the truck up to the loading dock and go inside to place my order. A couple of the fellas who work the counter have come to recognize me, so they're not surprised when I order things other than dog food and instead have questions about protein percentages or want to haggle about the meaning of the word "natural" in labeling.
But, the guys at the loading dock have not got me pegged yet. Inside, I pay, get my loading ticket, and walk it into the warehouse where they rush to grab my loading ticket, probably confident that it'll be a quick and easy bag of backyard chicken feed at most. This last time, the kiddo actually took one look at my ticket and said, "Oh, man!" It's probably one of the tougher orders he'll fill all day. There's a wide variety of stuff -- usually at least 5 different things. And, they're not the things they usually grab, since we tend to buy the more "specialty" rations. AND, there's a lot of it. Anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 pounds-worth of feed to load into the back of the truck. I usually let the fellas do the loading unless I don't like the way they're stacking it for the ride home; then, I'll jump into the truck bed and arrange things the way I like them.
I swing through Sonic and get something to sip on as I sing my country music on the way home.
Once home an hour or so later, I back the truck up to the barn and proceed to stack all the feed in nice, neat stacks, careful to put any feed leftover from a previous run at the top of the stack so that the oldest feed gets used up first. Then, I stand back and admire my handiwork. And, apparently, take a weird selfie wherein I am flexing tiny muscles.
I park the farm truck right back where it was at the outset of the day and head to the house for a well-deserved late lunch.
Since all of this takes place while John is at work and the kids are at school, I feel a little bit like the Feed Fairy, flitting around behind the scenes. John is in the barn in the early morning, getting feed for the chickens and when he walks into it again for evening chores, everything looks just the same EXCEPT there's more than a ton of feed that wasn't there before. Just like magic.