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Daily requirements aren’t demanding

From the Farm

September 14, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I don't ask for much when it comes to my day-to-day living arrangements.

When working in my kitchen making delicious chocolate chip bars, I like to have the entire counter space clean of clutter. I will wash the dirty dishes, just so I have a clean area and can make more dirty dishes.

Preferably, the men in our house will have also cleared the center island of the morning menu of various breakfast cereals. That rarely happens. Sometimes I even have to put the pitcher of milk, which would then be warm, back in the fridge. Then I am able to put on my Betty Crocker apron. (Not that I actually own an apron.)

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Kerry Hoffman

In my daily activities I have to walk through our laundry room several times to get to the restroom. When we remodeled the house I should have thought this through a bit more. Do you know how hard it is to keep a laundry room clean? Steve washes his own chores clothes. He has no problem putting them in either the washer or the dryer and pulling them out and stacking on the floor, but that's as far as the clothes ever get.

I don't expect the clothes to be folded to Martha Stewart perfection. Heck, if he would grab the pile and put them in the basement rec room, I would be thrilled.

I can't be too particular about this request. I have been known to leave unfolded, clean clothes in laundry baskets for days. At least I get them in laundry baskets.

I have the same requirements of comfort when I work outside with the guys. The afternoon milking crew has to work extra hard at washing the parlor after chores, because they know I milk every morning and will let them know if the wash job was not the greatest.

When it's finally my turn to drive a John Deere tractor across the field, during fall harvest, I do expect a few amenities.

Number 1: I love having auto steer. It makes it much easier to get my column started and finished. Sure it's hard to push those little buttons on my Blackberry phone, but I can always correct the typos after I e-mail it to my desktop computer. The only thing I have to remember is to turn the tractor around at the end of the field. I wonder if it's legal to type and drive in a tractor.

All of our tractors have air conditioning. It would be greatly appreciated if the air conditioning would actually work in the one tractor I have driven this harvest season. Everyone else had a nice cool tractor or semi cab to sit in.

Yes, I realize the ugly southerly wind was bringing in butt-ugly heat and the cab on the tractor had absolutely no window tint, but seriously.

It was hot out there.

I don't think I used to many fat-burning-energy typing this column and remembering to turn the tractor around at the ends of the field. I can pretty much accomplish these tasks using my left hand and the naughty finger on my right hand.

Joey and Russell always tell me I am a very fast typer, but I am not that fast that I break a sweat.

This heat was ridiculous and I was sweating like a beast!

I am so considerate, I texted Ben (my replacement) as soon as school was finished and told him, "It's so hot out here, I am sweating."

He promised in his reply to dress appropriately.

I knew he would change his mind about driving the tractor, even though it didn't have air conditioning. He's always chomping at the bit for an opportunity to help out with field work.

I lasted in the tractor about three hours and then I said, "To heck with this, my house is air-conditioned and I may suffer from dehydration if I stay out here too much longer."

So I came home and pulled weeds in my front lawn.

I didn't even break a sweat.

It felt a bit chilly when I returned to the comfort of my air-conditioned house.

For questions or comments, e-mail me at



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