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Proud of my tattoo

From the Farm

November 16, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

Steve tells me I have the word "Sucker" tattooed on my forehead.

I don't know, but when I look in the mirror, I don't ever see it. I have no idea what he's talking about. I have one tattoo and it isn't the word sucker.

Tuesday morning, while Steve was out gallivanting in Minneapolis with all his agricultural cronies, Brandon, Russell and I held down the morning milking.

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Kerry Hoffman

At one point, I think it was Brandon who said, "I should stay here and help you all day, Kerry."

Nice idea, but I don't need to have his mother getting angry at me.

Russell then chimed in with, "I'm going to school."

But a few minutes later Russell walked over to me and informed me that he had changed his mind and that he was going to stay home to spend the day with me.

Russell is aware that asking to stay home means he will not be spending any time lying in bed or playing video games.

He knew he would be put to work with me and not his dad. It was a hard choice. When I informed him that, "I have a list in the house of work," he whined, "Does it all mean cleaning?"

He was placated when I explained that my list was made up of only outdoor tasks.

First, we replaced a hose in the milking parlor. It was a long black hose. I have no idea what its purpose serves. I just know it was sucking air into the vacuum line and needed to be replaced, because air leak noises in the parlor makes me get anxious. It's taboo.

Thankfully Russell was out there with me, because if he hadn't been, I would have done it in the most difficult way. Russell was the wiser repairman and had a handy way of getting the job done.

After that lickety-split task, we decided we should go to town to pick up Russell's tire and to take a detour through the McDonald's drive-thru. At the point of ordering, Russell said he forgot his billfold. Go figure.

After we returned home a semi load of cottonseed, which we feed to the cows, arrived and we needed to move it into the feed shed. Russell used the nice new tractor; I drove the skid loader. I like it that way. The skid loader fits in the shed without even coming close to hitting overhead wooden beams. It is apparent the tractor has made contact a few times.

Russell and I looked like the Shriner cars moving in synchronicity. I should have made ballet movements with my hands.

I wasn't going to let Russell rest after that chore, so we went into the milking parlor and put up two temporary walls to keep some of the cold air from invading the parlor when we milk the cows. That means, and all you readers take comfort, it's going to get warm at least a few more times and I will be sweating like a dog when I milk the cows.

We finished that job and had time for a one-hour break before we had to take the dog in to see the vet. Needless to say, I was a bit early for that appointment. We were supposed to be there at 3:50 p.m. and I showed up at 2:50 p.m.

Thankfully, they squished us in and Bob, the Wonder Dog, was checked over, poked and prodded. She really dislikes going to the vet.

In fact, Russell and I ended up chasing her around the car trying to get her leashed. Next time I have to put the leash on before we get to the vet.

It was an awesome day with my youngest son Russell. (Don't tell anyone, but we even had an amusing time trying to figure out how to knit! He really knows how to cast on. In his words, "I'm going to town.")

If having the word "Sucker" tattooed on my forehead gives me the right to spend and entire day with Russell, I'm all for it.

I may have to let him miss school another day.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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