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Loving and loathing Spring

From the Farm

May 6, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I like this time of year, but I loathe it as well.

I am a woman; I am allowed to have mood swings of this nature.

Springtime is my second favorite season; fall being the first.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I take pleasure in spring because of the "newness" of everything. The grass turns greener than green. The birds start chirping and singing long before the sun comes over the edge of the eastern horizon. The sun starts to feel warm when it shines on my face well, this year is the exception to that. We haven't really experienced a warm spring day yet. It's been close, but not quite.

Most of our baby calves are born during the spring and I actually want to spend time with them. In the midst of winter, nobody wants to spend time outside getting to know the newest calf.

Yes, spring give me the warm fuzzies.

But it also makes me suffer from a mild case of anxiety.

This is the time of year that finds Steve telling me, "I know you don't like this time of year, but it's here."

You see, he is the cause of my anxiety.

He gets so wound up and suffers a severe case of tunnel vision about the spring planting season, he can hardly think straight. I think, from what I have heard, most of the guys that plant crops get to be that way.

So not only do I have to keep track of my schedule, along with Joey and Russell's, but I also have to keep track of Steve's schedule. He needs to be reminded of things he cannot forget.

Hoof-Trimmer Glenn told me this morning, as he was working on Ms. Marty's front feet, that he suffers from the same syndrome. I am sure his wife would agree. I may have to talk to her at the next baseball game. (Marty is another one of my Jersey cows and she had two sore feet that Glenn fixed in a jiffy.)

Steve has a difficult time trying to relax. Some women stick up for their husband's when it gets to be this time of year. One told me, "They have such a small window to get things into the ground, that's all they focus on."

Ground schmound. There are other important things as well. I know planting takes priority, but some appointments just have to be kept.

Wednesday Planter Steve told me, "We were going to start planting tomorrow at 2 o'clock."

Thursday morning came and Steve and I were outside feeding all the cows that live here on our farm. By the way, that's a lot of cows - 135 to be exact.

"I won't be available to help when Glenn comes," Steve said. "I have to get ready for planting."

What? It was only 10 in the morning, which leaves him four extra hours to help finish up the chores and be available when Glenn showed up trim hooves.

How is it that when I have a "chore" I need to do in town at five, Steve can come into the house at quarter-to-five and consider that enough time to get to an appointment on the northern fringes of New Ulm? Yet he needs three hours to get ready to plant?

Oh, Steve refreshed my hard drive on how it's impossible to just start planting at exactly 2, and it's really just a rough estimate, and how the planter needs to be filled, and we need to have a lesson on how to work the new-used 12-row planter yadda, yadda, yadda.

So, during the spring planting season, I pretty much go it alone with managing the home and our milking cows. I don't really mind; I find it empowering.

What I do mind is having to put up with a husband that totally obliterates anything but planting from his hard drive.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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