Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2008 in review

I was looking for a picture of Jack from the day we took him to University of Illinois and I discovered this gem.  My how time flies:

2008 has been an exciting and trying year.

After 4 gruelling years of Serena High School, DS#1 left home for college, University of Illinois, I miss him, but am exceedingly proud of the young man he is becoming. It is interesting to feel the disconnect as he begins to make his own decisions (afterall, he has told me for years that he can make better decisions than I do) and begin to weave his way through this thing called life. He has an internship lined up for the summer with a pickle packer of some sort that will either lead him to Bowling Green, Ohio or now I hear they offered the "travelling internship" position to him which will lead him to Oregon, Texas and Sturgis (allegedly not during bike week-I emphasize allegedly). Of course this means that he won't be back here at home for any significant amount of time until perhaps Summer 2010 if then, so essentially aside from tuition and expenses, he is out of the house. Bittersweet.

DD#1 (MG)is now 8, the other morning before coffee, I got to explain "lesbian". She is swimming on the Ottawa Dolphin swim team and loves it. It keeps us busy, 3 days a week with practice and swim meets every single weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. I am told that her times are improving and that is a good thing. I am amazed at how well she swims. Her schoolwork is going well, girls seem to do school much more easily than boys. She is cheerful and outgoing and developing into quite a nice young lady if I do say so myself. I can see in the future her father will have to clean his gun quite often to keep the boys away.

DS#1 (MB) is a hoot. He is a healthy, happy, bouncing young boy. He had his first stitches this year, flipping the kitchen chair over at dinner and splitting his head open. 1 staple and an hour in the ER and all is well. MB is very articulate for his age and has never met a stranger. He says he is ready for college and misses his big brother quite a bit. Papa Kueteman is his best friend, they spend many hours in Papa's shop and riding the golf cart, 4-wheeler and tramping in the woods. He brings joy to our lives.

In February, Greg and I bought 26 acres down the road and we harvested our first corn crop this year. I drove the combine when we combined part of our harvest, it was a special thrill for me. The farm did very well for the first year and GCM plans to use that farm as our experimental farm as he tinkers with population, fertilizer and whatever else he tinkers with in the never ending quest for larger yields with less expenditures. Overall the farming yields were up exponentially which is a good thing because our input costs for the 2009 crop increased by more than 100%. Greg told me the other day that our normal fertilizer costs ran around $25k and this year the same fertilizer cost $66K. OUCH! It is a good thing that the harvest was good, because again this year, no deer were taken during the annual hunts. The weather was miserable and the deer just weren't moving. I think I can manage to learn to like beef instead of venison.

Greg added beekeeping to his arsenal of skills this year. He put a hive in the woods and we did enjoy some honey in August. The big honey harvest should be next year as the hive grows and he has high hopes for adding more bees to his apiary.

All in all, I think 2008 was a success. Here in Serena Township, we had our ups and downs, but we appear to have survived another year here in Gods country.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I've been remiss about posting

FYI - That IS Mary Grace, she is growing up (9) and we are looking into birka's and making applications to Convents, any assistance on that front would be appreciated.

Harvest officially ended December 15, 2009. It was a long, hard slog at the end. This year, we saw snow before the crop came out. We had about 30 acres still standing when the snow came and I pondered how long it would take to hand-pick 30 acres. Luckily for me, I have friends and I think many of them would have stepped in to help-who would have ever thunk that we would have to harvest by hand in 2009? Fortunately, that wasn't necessary.

The corn yield was excellent. Our little 24 acres yielded enough to make the mortgage payment. There were some bumps along the road, but for the most part we are just glad that harvest 2009 is OVER, DONE, in the bin.

Someday I will grouse about why it seems that despite the fact that the grain bins are only used once a year, they never seem to work and other related rants, but all in all, I have to say that I am thankful that the crop is in, TGF is safe and healthy and we will all live to plant another year.

A belated Happy New Year to everyone reading. I hope we all have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Michael has been defending us from sabertooth tigers, indians, coyotes and bobcats. TGF is planning on decreasing the coyote population in Serena Township and he and Michael have been watching videos about coyote hunting, never a dull moment!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Harvest 2010

Soybeans have been done for more than a week. Yield was not good (thank heavens for crop insurance). A lot of loss due to white mold. Soybeans are always an "iffy" crop, but you hate to put all your eggs in one basket so to speak and plant all corn although it has been discussed with approximately the same frequency as "what would we do if we won the lottery tonight".

Corn is progressing. The yields are very good, it appears that Farmer Greg's population and strip till tinkering were again successful. The corn is standing well so far and it has dried down a bit, I think somewhere around 24%. They are now alternating between putting wet corn in the bin (you can't put too much at one time or there are problems with the bin) and hauling the wet corn to town. The elevator has been slightly flooded with incoming wet corn (not as bad as last year, yet) and is shutting down earlier than normal (whatever that is). We have possession of a strip till bar and he is trying to strip till when the elevator shuts us off or after dark, so far, not much progress on that front, but he's only had the bar for a day or so. It is raining here, but not really all that much, just about enough to shut down the operation, so we are about in the same boat as those getting tons of rain.

All in all, I'd say aside from the extremely late start to harvest, things are moving along fairly "normally" again, whatever that means. I have not heard yet about modifications/tinkering for the 2010 crop, but Greg has to spend a LOT of time all by his lonesome this time of year doing his thing, I'm sure he'll come up with something. He always does.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Comments encourage me

Encouraged by a comment made by the former V.P. of Weather (aka Aunt Mary), I post again!

So far TGF has 56 acres of corn planted. He disced the pipeline Monday, May 11th and planted the pipeline part of Aunt Bernices farm and perhaps Hochsteads (sp) on Tuesday, May 12, working until after 10pm thanks to some new and fabulous lights that he purchased this spring for just this occasion. It has now rained steady every other day since. He has taken great pains to point out to me that he has been, "so good" about these rain delays, but he isn't fooling me, I know he is knotted up inside worrying about the weather and the planting.

Jack is home from UIllinois, having survived finals. I went down on 5/9 and cooked dinner for the frat boys, pulled pork and brisket (thanks to TGF), cole slaw, strawberry pretzel salad and tollhouse chocolate chip cookies all from scratch. Jack is relieved to have the semester behind him and a new adventure beginning on Monday as he starts his summer internship. I will let you know on Monday if we will miss him being around for the summer or not.

In my last post, I reported that Lady passed away on St. Patties day this year. We have found a new dog to live with us as her forever family. We named her Indy (Indigo), she is an Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler and we got her from a rescue. OMG is she different from Lady. She is very laid back, but Blue Heelers want a "job" to do and she is constantly looking at things trying to figure out if she needs to do anything. She isn't nearly as big as Lady, but I think she has a wolfish enough look that folks will still look twice before they step out of the car at the house which is the point. She has some training, walks well on a leash, sits, lays, fetches, is crate trained and seems to be housetrained. So far, she is really neat and I have heard the adoption horror stories, she seems to be very well adjusted, the kids like her, but MBM isn't so crazy about her, but again typical for the ACD's, she is a little "mouthy" and he doesn't like that, no she hasn't bitten him, but she will nibble. We start obedience training next week and hopefully that will give me some better tools to deal with those behaviors.

Well, they seem to pay me to work around here, I suppose I'd best get back to it. If anyone has any control of the weather, some warm, dry days, about 14-21 of them would be helpful, please.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hello? Is anyone out there?

I see from my stats that I haven't blogged sinch March. Not much has been going on in Serena Township. Oh, wait. Lady our beloved golden retriever-type dog of 13 years crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on March 17. She deserves a post of her own and perhaps I'll do that but suffice it to say that she was the best dog a human could ever ask for. Not only does she leave large pawprints to fill, but a giant hole in our hearts.

Here in Serena Twp, it has been rainy and dreary alternating with rainy and dreary. Within the past week, we have had about 4 gorgeous almost perfect days, but rain is predicted today. Not a wheel has been turned in the field to my knowledge as of this minute. TGF has been surprisingly tolerant of Mother Natures most recent practical joke, but I know he is aching to get the corn in the ground. I found 2 morels in the BACK YARD! and TGF claims he found about a dozen, but I have yet to see proof of such.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Mothers weekend at UIllinois. I can honestly say that I am not old enough to be "Mrs. Marshall". It made me extremely uncomfortable, but I guess I'll have to get used to it. Jack is preparing to take finals to complete his 1st year of college and as far as I know, he will be invited back next year both to the University and to his frat (IlliDell). I pick him up on May 14th and he reports to his summer internship on Monday, May 18th. He will be working for Hartung Brothers, Inc.
training in Madison, working in Bowling Green, OH, Seattle and perhaps Sturgis. He is allegedly monitoring pickle tanks, but he isn't really sure what he'll be doing and income is income. It will be a long summer for him, but hopefully we'll get out to see him so that we don't forget what he looks like.

That's all the news that is fit to print. We are all relatively happy and healthy and hope y'all have a great spring.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Disney 2009

Our Disney trip. MG loved the swimming, she was a little intimidated by the dolphins, we saw the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom, Discovery Cove (where MG swam with a dolphin - Lester) and SeaWorld. I would have to say that Discovery Cove and SeaWorld were our favorite. For some reason the thin filter on my camera wasn't working (I am surely much thinner than I appear in those pictures). We could not have wished for better weather, the company was perfect. It was really a wonderful trip, but I was glad to be home.

When I called home on Sunday, Michael said, "Are you coming home, mommy?" Melted my heart.

Oh, TGF bravely took one for the team and stayed home to hold down the fort while I cavorted with Mickey Mouse and friends, but don't feel too badly for him, he leaves for Arkansas fishing in a week or so.

To View the pictures:
Ok, so I can't link to my flickr profile. go to and search for amarshall102 under the people tab. You can see all the photos that I have uploaded onto flicker, but the Disney ones are in a set for your viewing pleaseure as they say.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Farmers "Garage'

This is the scene that I saw upon walking out of the house Friday morning. TGF said he was coming home on a tractor and he sure did, parking it right in line like he would have parked his truck. Who needs a Hummer when you have a Tractor!

One more field of beans to harvest (I think), it was still a little too green, so they switched to corn on....Perhaps Sunday, harvest is going well except for a small crunch in the chaff spreader on the combine. No one was hurt and that is the most important thing.