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Power napping when you get the chance

From the Farm

March 4, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman

In the presence of others I am quite responsible.

It's when I am out in the world, thinking that I am all on my own that I bend the rules a little bit.

Most mornings, Steve and I have absolutely no problems milking together. This fact actually amazes some people. They wonder how in the world we can work together and still get along. Well, we don't get along so well all the time.

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Kerry Hoffman

We do have our spats.

Like Tuesday morning.

We managed to make it through milking without a hitch, which wasn't the case Monday morning, when Hubby tried to tell me how to bring the next group of cows into the milking parlor. A stern stare was all he needed to know he better watch it.

After an 8-hour hiatus, we calmly discussed how we need to treat each other in the parlor.

I have to try my best to not think Steve is trying to tell my how to properly do a task and accept that he cannot think in silence. He has to verbally rehash everything I have just explained to him. He's not quizzing me.

Steve is going to try not to solve every little dilemma that happens in the parlor. That's what he is a solver.


Tuesday morning, as I waited in the milk house for Steve to assemble all the needed equipment to go up to the housing barn to treat a sick cow, I casually asked, "Are you going to be ready soon?"

I wasn't being facetious; I was ready to get out of the milk house. I was starting to sweat so much I thought I was suffering from hyperhidrosis. Knew a guy once that had that issue. It wasn't pretty.

"Well, instead of you just standing there, you could go out and feed the new calf," Steve smacked.


That one hurt my ego, and my right boxing glove came out.

"Well, I thought we could do it to together," I said.

"Why?" Steve asked.

That's when my left boxing glove was put on too.

"Well, I guess I will go feed the calf by myself and you can go treat Moose all by yourself," I smacked back.

(Moose is our favorite cow; the one Joey rides. Well, she had her calf a few days ago, and I was originally going to write about this, but a fellow writer told me to change my subject, so I did.)

I walked over to the domes, somewhat mad, somewhat disappointed. It was a gorgeous morning and I was looking forward to walking to the housing barn with Steve.

She wasn't really all that interested in anything but staying curled up in her nice clean bedding.

Our Rat Terriers, Eddie and Digger, followed me into the dome, after I, in an ugly display, crawled into the dome first. Digger curled up in a ball and started to sleep. Apparently, he was tromping around in the woods all night with Bob, the Lab; and Lilly, the Great Dane.

The calf wasn't really all that interested in anything but staying curled up in her nice clean bedding. So I sat in the dome waiting for the calf to become somewhat interested in drinking her first "official" meal.

I looked at Digger and he looked so gosh-darn comfortable, I couldn't resist.

I laid down right between the new calf and Digger.

That prompted the Rat Terriers to declare war on my face.

They immediately started licking my cheeks, my eyes, my nose, my lips and that's when I had enough. I can stand dog kisses on the checks or my nose, but never, ever on my lips. Yuck.

Fortunately, I was wearing my old Minnesota Gophers puff-a-lump jacket that is 27 sizes too big. I pulled my head into the jacket and zipped it over my face.

I propped my legs on the edge of the dome and started to try to sneak a power nap into my morning.

Then I heard footsteps. I knew it was going to be Steve. He just laughed as he stood outside the calf dome. I poked my head out of my Gophers cocoon and assured him that the calf didn't want to drink, and "if I laid here like a mother cow, she would eventually get the urge to eat."

I rolled over on my side and threw my right arm over the calf.

A few minutes later Mitch walked by. I looked at him and said, "Yes, I am working hard. Just keep walking."

Eventually, the calf did stand up and drink almost six pints of milk. It's my theory that my "mothering" idea worked.

So maybe I did bend the rules by taking a bit of a rest, in the dome, with the calf and the dogs, but it helped get the job done.

Next time, I am not even going to plan on walking up the housing barn with Steve. I am going to leave early to feed the calf, climb into the dome and snuggle up right beside her and the dogs.

For as long as it takes Steve to gather equipment, I should get a good power nap in, rather than standing around waiting.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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