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From the Farm

Monumental hot flash

February 25, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman

OK, so whoever made Mother Nature mad, could you please go tell her you're sorry for whatever it is you did?

Seriously, I have my own theory as to why Mother Nature has been playing with my mind and the minds of my loved ones.

I think she is going through menopause.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

What else would explain the shift in temperature change? From what I have been told, hot flashes are a symptom of menopause, or "the change." I've been through a lot of changes; just haven't experienced "the change."

I also figure that because of Mother Nature's size, her one-week hot flash is very similar in length to a woman's three minute hot flash.

Good gravy, I almost feel sorry for Father Time. (Who else would Mother Nature be married to? Mark Tarello?)

Not only is Mother Nature playing with my mind, she's starting to mess with my husband's mind as well.

I can count on one hand how many times Steve has become upset with the weather. Once in a while he will complain when it rains for a few days, but that's all he does is complain. He doesn't get into a downright-ugly funk.

This past Monday, it was all I could do to get him out of his bad-weather mind-set. And let me tell you it wasn't pretty.

He was grumping around the milking parlor all morning. Always mumbling something about how the snow was just about gone and now it's all back again. I even warned the afternoon milking staff to not ask Steve anything about the snow.

Once we got into the house, I was regretting putting so many windows in during our remodel a few years ago. Steve stood by the kitchen counter, looking out all fours window and complaining about all the "fricken snow."

I was wishing I had chosen small windows that would need curtains, but I didn't have any way to close off Steve's view.

I nonchalantly sauntered over to the living room and pulled the room-darkening drapes closed on all four windows.

Steve thought I was setting the mood, and quickly said, "Don't even think of going there. Not even that is going to change my attitude."

I promise, I wasn't even thinking of that.

In fact, I don't think I pulled him out of his attitude until Tuesday afternoon.

Our usual schedule each week includes one Date Day. Normally it's Wednesday, as Steve and I are alone milking and feeding all the animals. We don't get back into the house until somewhere around 9 a.m. We both do a bit of our book work and then head to town for lunch and one other activity. We try to do something we haven't done recently. (Steve tries to convince my that going to the grocery store could be considered a date. I don't care how many days it's been since I have been shopping for sustenance, we are not spending alone time at the grocery store.)

Because Steve was so owlie, I changed our Date Day to Tuesday. Oh, we did a bunch of romantic things. We visited the bank; drove to Mankato and exchanged Russell's new winter coat; took a brisk walk through Menard's (it took all I had to get Steve to go there) and then drove out to the Volvo dealer on Highway 60, west of Mankato to return some parts for our semi.

We ate at the world's most romantic restaurant, now that it has a fireplace and all, McDonald's.

By the time we returned home, around 4 p.m., Steve's mood was much better.

I think every farm couple should do a Date Day. If it was able to brighten Steve's repulsive mood, it can brighten anyone's.

You know, I think if the warm weather last week hadn't been so wonderful, things would have been a bit more pleasant here at home.

During those warm days we accomplished a ton of things.

We cleaned out the compost barn.

We cleaned up the housing area where our low-producing cows are housed.

I put new, dry bedding in by my chickens and harvested an unfrozen egg. That was exciting.

When this last winter blast blew through, Steve was snapped back into reality and he realized we would have to clean up all the snow at least one more time.

No matter how many times I remind Steve that it is only February, and that this is one of the snowiest winters in Minnesota history, and that Spring is just mere weeks away, he still grouses about the snow.

When and how long do you think Mother Nature's cold flashes can last?

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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