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Still keeping life interesting

From the Farm

June 15, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I settled into my office chair with a cup of strong Maxwell House coffee. I love working in my office real early in the morning. It's like the perfect time for my creative mind to really hum.

Just as I placed my fingers on my keyboard, my alarm clock woke the remaining dead-to-the-world teenagers. If you really want to hear teenage boys grumble, this is a good tactic.

For a nano second I couldn't recall why my alarm was set. This is my summer off, and I haven't set my alarm for weeks.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Then it dawned on me. I am the "go-fer" this morning. Steve asked me to be in charge of repairing the skid loader the night before.

The skid loader blew a hydraulic hose. It was parked on the cement pad in front of my garage stall, which I haven't used for months either. The skid loaders arms were reaching for the sky, as if a big back hoe came up behind it with a loaded .357 pistol.

It was my job to go get those hoses back home before 9:30 a.m., the designated time to start hauling round bales home and wrapping them in white plastic.

I suppose Steve, in his farmer frame-of-mind, assumes that hydraulic hoses are the very first thing on my mind when I get up from bed in the morning. In my woman state-of-mind, the first thing on my mind was fixing the funky hairdo one night's rest gave me.

Here's what happened.

While Joey was using the skid loader to move round hay bales, a hose that helps raise and lower the bucket sprung a leak and sprayed hydraulic oil everywhere.

It's really a bummer when hydraulic hoses spring a leak during a job that doesn't allow for down time. This year, it's not as dramatic of a production when something breaks; we have that new tractor with the grapple bucket on it that can fill the spot. Although, that tractor doesn't work as well for some jobs like unloading round bales.

This is the second year we are making large round bales and sealing them in plastic. We are still learning how to efficiently do this job.

Wrapping the bales in white plastic compresses the bales and does away with oxygen moving in and out of the bales that's when bales get "hot" and ignite.


(I really should get going to get those hoses replaced. I will return as soon as I have a chance. Hopefully, I get the hoses, replace them on the skid loader and my Maxwell House will still be hot. Who knows, I may end up with a funny story to tell for my column.)

Oh, Steve never disappoints! As predicted, I have a funny addition to my story.

I managed to get the replacement hoses and started to help Zach replace them when he said, "You got the wrong hoses!"

After a good hearty chuckle I said, "Well, I guess we have a spare pair."

At this point Steve returned home from the field and came over to help us remove the proper hoses for replacement.

Once they were removed, he and I jumped into Russell's Cow Car to make a quick run back to town to get two new hoses. I hopped in the driver seat, because Steve needed a refill on his hot Maxwell House coffee, and I don't like to wait.

We were laughing and chatting when Steve said, "Oh crap, I don't have my seat belt on and that trooper just turned around."

Sure enough, I was pulled over by Joe's Camper Sales. Mr. Officer quickly pointed out that Steve wasn't wearing his seat belt when he passed us on the road.

Quickly I confirmed that the officer was correct by explaining that I was indeed wearing my seatbelt and Steve was not he quickly put it on after his previously mentioned comments.

Steve was issued a warning. He's always lucky like that. The warning is hanging on my fridge and we still chuckle and give him a hard time. He really should be wearing his seatbelt.

The kids tell me I should make sure he buckles up. I tell the kids, "He's old enough to make his own choice and to know better."

"Click it or ticket, Honey."

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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