Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

The most wonderful week of the year

From the Farm

January 6, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I figure one of these times, when my column is extremely late as it is this week, Kevin is going to give me a call and let me have it.

I had every intention of getting this writing to the "boss" before my deadline, but things were just so exciting around here, I wanted to stretch out the good times so I would have loads to share.

This week, every day has been nothing but an upper for me. Except for Monday, which is always a downer in my book, not matter which week it is.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Good vibrations started Tuesday. I walked out to the mailbox to get the daily paper and what did that headline tell me? Menard's is coming to New Ulm! I absolutely love Menard's. Most of the time when I walk into a Menard's store I leave with as much money as I entered with. I just love browsing and looking at tools, flooring and lighting; in that order too.

I do have to empathize with the local hardware store owners, because this news is possibly sending shivers down their spines, but they can take heart in the fact that I will NEVER again purchase paint from any retailer except the local lumber yards. They know paint, like I know cows.

If the lumber yard/home improvement stores are ever interested in some sort of swap of several gallons of paint for a cow, I am open to that discussion.

The second event that makes me smile is having our two students from Colombia staying with us. Surprise, it?s not boys that are using my basement bedroom this time around. We chose to host two girls - Paula, 16 and Carolina, 13. (Whom I frequently, for some reason, call Catherina. Maybe it's because I am reading a superb book about the former Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great.)

They girls are so sweet. Paula is a wealth of knowledge. She loves to share any information regarding their home country of Colombia. She even openly discussed the abysmal drug cartels and shared terminology regarding the manufacture of illegal drugs. She is very agreeable to everything we have done and absolutely loves cherry tomatoes.

Carolina taught Russell how to dance the salsa. I have only been privilege to seeing a few steps of the dance. I guess Russell has to learn how to move his hips a bit more.

"American boys cannot swing their hips," I told Carolina to make her laugh. Well - they can't.

Carolina also likes to cook, so one of these nights she is going to relish our appetites with some sort of Colombian dish. I cannot wait.

They showed us their homes via Google Earth. Now that is an amazing tool!

I have also enjoyed their company, because it allows me the opportunity to cook for them. I don?t do a lot of cooking at home; our schedules are more conducive to meals of cereal, sandwiches and frozen pizzas. I would feel bad feeding the girls cereal for supper and they would think it odd. So far we have had meatloaf, potatoes and corn for one supper and pancakes for Thursday morning breakfast.

Another plus is that they both love animals. One of the girls said I have an entire food chain at my house. They love the bearded dragon Roger; the temperamental cat Goog; Fish the gold fish and the four dogs! Who could ask for anything more? They even want to feed the animals. I wonder if they could teach Joey and Russell how to want to feed the pets?

Carolina and Paula dug right in to milking the cows. In fact, they demanded helping out. They were splattered with cow manure and splashed by the teat dip, but they smiled the entire time. That night we had six people working in the parlor. I don?t know who was having more fun, our boys, Zack and his girlfriend Becky or Carolina and Paula.

We wore them out; that night both girls were in bed by 8:30 p.m.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web