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.