When the court said Kelvin had to get a job so he could have his child support debited from his check we lost the Social Security Disability that I had automatically deposited into the checking account. I was earning between 200.00 and 400.00 on my own with Care Givers and had to pay the bills with that. That money only came in every two weeks. Kelvin got a job working for Defenbaugh Industries in Johnson County Ks. He got up at 4AM, picked up his friend David, the second husband of Kelvin’s first wife and soon to be ex-husband. They were the best of friends and together they drove the long distance to work every day. David was the driver and Kelvin was the helper, the man who hung onto the side of the truck. They drove all over the Kansas City area picking up trash in residential areas. They worked until they got done, sometimes coming home in the middle of the day. They were paid by job so the pay was the same and he earned a weekly paycheck. Before coming home on Fridays he would stop at the bank and deposit an amount into the checking account minus the amount he needed for gas and lunches for the week.
When I got the news about Care Givers and the lost wages there, in January of 1999, I stopped looking for work as a nurse and decided to be a stay at home Mom for Dakota. I had lost so much of his early years when working for the hospital and with no references now for nursing I was at my wits end on what kind of job I could get now. The only job experience I had was nursing.
The boarder in Savannah had raised his rates for the stable I had been keeping Bullet, my horse, from 75.00 a month to 100.00 a month. Kelvin’s Cousin Kyle had a farm south of Faucett Missouri and asked us to put the horse there free of charge. We had to fence off the property with hot wire or portable fencing. There was a large barn and a free flowing creek running through the property from an underground spring, that meant no more breaking ice in the winter time as it never froze too hard that the horse couldn’t break it with his hooves himself. I had a lot of experience with fence building from years past, knew what to buy and we started right away. When the fence was up and the battery was installed I contacted Mr. Duncan and he put Bullet in the trailer and hauled him for me for a fee of 20.00. We unloaded Bullet at the next farm’s driveway where the barn was after receiving permission. I kept the tack, saddle, bridle, halter, brushes and blankets in the barn as well. I kept up the vaccinations and gave them myself now but it was hard to find a Ferrier for his feet. Kelvin knew a bull rider from Oklahoma who could keep his hooves filed but he was always on the rodeo circuit and very hard to find. When he did come around he would take his pointed cowboy boots and kick Bullet in the stomach if he flinched just a little. I always held the halter and talked to him to keep him calm. That only made the cowboy angrier because he said I had babied the horse too much and that was making it hard for anyone to do any work on him. I hadn’t had any complaints before. In the winter time we bought hay from neighboring farms and piled it in the Blazer about 10 bales at a time. We would have to go as far as Savannah to get hay as farmers, again, were not keen on parting with their hay. Every year they would say it’s going to be a hard winter and they needed the hay for their cattle just in case. No matter how warm the previous winter had been or the forecast for the present year it was “going to be a hard winter!” Past experience told me they were probably right but what would we do without hay?
In the summertime the lush green pasture at Kyle’s farm was a treat he hadn’t been used to since Mr. Duncan had several horses boarding there and green grass was far and in between. He had fed hay most of the summer and small amounts of grain. Bullet was always slim and trim, not skinny, but the saddle would stay on after a couple of tries. Now he was in Horse Heaven and became so fat and greasy the saddle slipped around and riding was near impossible. Every few minutes I would have to get off and retighten the saddle, walk him around, retighten again, ride for a few minutes and do it all over again.
In August of 1999 I placed the horse in the St Joseph paper and sold him at a loss of 500.00.
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