Crazy week leads up to vacation

What a crazy week this has been. From dogs, to parties, to vacations, it all seems to be compounding into this one week.

First off, we adopted a new dog into our family. I wasn’t real hip on adding a fifth dog to our family, but a friend of my parents was in need of a new home for her adorable pit bull.

I could write about all the good things concerning pit bulls, but I don’t have the space.

Ole arrived at our home Monday and has won the hearts of every single person that he comes in contact with. His ears are so short and his face is so expressive. It’s like he understands everything we say to him.

Joe calls him Potato Ol and sings the “Ol” song. I like to call him Skuks. Steve also likes to call him Ol. Russell sticks to the basic and calls him Ole. He’s answers to all of these names or any type of whistle.

He’s housetrained, shares his food, loves his fellow dogs and has not once tried to run away.

While getting to know Ole, we have also been in the process of preparing for Russell’s graduation party.

Living on a farm that doesn’t have a big machine shed to be used for equipment repairs makes for intense party preparations.

Our garage also serves as machinery central. It never stays clean.

We will spend an entire day cleaning out the garage. It’s Thursday and we haven’t even moved a speck of dirt – and there are a lot of specks of dirt out there. I told Steve I was not, under any circumstances, going to help with cleaning out that messy man cave.

I think he put it off until he knew it was crunch time. Steve realizes it’s crunch time and I will have to help clean the garage. He also knows better than to complain when I don’t put the crescent wrenches back in the proper place or throw something away that will hold the entire combine together.

I was planning on getting my nails done Thursday. Now I am not so sure.

In the midst of all the graduation preparation I have also had to somewhat prepare for my big vacation, which happens three days after the party. A vacation I am so looking forward to because I am not taking any men with. Steve has no interest in traveling to where I am going and I won’t have two grown sons (They are now 20 and 18, but still my little children.) that, for some reason, want to ditch their parents and spend time on the exotic beach located just down the road.

Nope, this trip is all about estrogen. My niece Emily and I are jumping on a plane to Iceland and then hopping on a plane that will eventually dump us off in Paris, France.

I cannot believe I am actually going to see the Louvre; the Arc de Triomphe; and the infamous Eiffel Tower. I am most excited about seeing the Arc de Triomphe because it is such an iconic place. The arch honors those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

After several days in Paris, my niece and I will board the train and travel to London. I have been to London, but she hasn’t, where we will spend one night.

The following morning we board another train that will take us to Wales where we get to stay with Menna and Gwenno, the two girls that spent the summer of 2005 with us. Both are now married and each has a daughter.

(Gwenno is somewhat of a television star – she won a farming competition; beating out several men who also wanted to drive a brand new pickup home.)

I am so excited to see both of them and their families. It’s going to be two weeks of bliss. It also means several weeks of re-run columns, but just imagine the stories I will be able to share. If you’re interested, follow me on my blog at hoffmankann@wordpress.com. Au revoir!

For questions or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

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