Here you will find periodic updates about the farm, our family, and our various agri/cultural endeavors.
For further discussion of life on the farm, please visit: www.whatabodyknows.blogspot.com.
January 1, 2009
If you missed our holiday greetings, please read on!
December 21, 2008
After several months of pleading, Jordan finally convinced us to buy him a pair of baby bulls that he can train as oxen! For the full story, as well as photographs of our New Arrivals, please click HERE.
November 29, 2008
For Thanksgiving this year, there were five of us--me and the kids. Every year before now, we have had the pleasure of lots of cousins, but this year, Geoff was far across the globe, on the last day of a Eastern Eurpoean tour through Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, Athens, and Amsterdam. So we were five.
We started cooking our feast in the early afternoon. Jessica cut up vegetables for her favorite soup. Jordan started peeling apples for an apple pie. Kyra and Kai stood side by side on chairs at the sink, skinning our homegrown potatoes for mashing and for Jessica's soup. I made mozzella from Daisy milk and gathered ingredients for our vegetarian crew's preferred stuffed dish--lasagna. Jessica finished chopping and helped Jordan with his pie. Kyra and Kai finished peeling and helped me layer noodles and cheese. Jordan finished his pie and mashed the potatoes. I sliced some carrots to steam with ginger. We all loaded the churn for our favorite vanilla ice cream. The day before I had baked orange bread. We were nearly set to go!
As dinner approached, we set the table with a round red table cloth, orange and white napkins, and a corn-flanked candle in the center. Then, just as we were serving the plates, the phone rang. It was Geoff. He talked to each child as I plied food for all, and then we sat down, with the phone cradled in our circle, giving thanks, singing Geoff to sleep. It was perfect! And delicious!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
October 6, 2008
Ask me about my favorite season here on the farm and I will probably name the one we are in. Still, this fall, fall really seems best. I think it is the golden honey rays that melt every twilight across firey leaves and ever-greening grass. Or the crisp, clear dry air that begs you to breath it. Or maybe it is the sweet smell of life, flaring in its passion peak of color, bursting out in fruits and berries, and dying, all at once.
The harvest is a good one. It began with corn, in late August. We planted 32 plants. I know because we bought 50 sprouts, set them in the back yard, and minutes later, found Kai cutting them, with scissors, right down to the ground. He wanted corn. He thought he was being helpful. We saved each precious one of the remaining--count 'em--32, tended them faithfully, and then, for one entire week in August, every night for dinner, feasted on as much better-than-ever corn as we wanted. One week. Out of 52. Next year: more. When Kai is four!
Now we are swimming in tomatoes. Wild apples are dropping from the trees. Red raspberries are deepening into a crimson hue. And we are picking and saucing and jamming and freezing, wishing we could store these gorgeous orbs fresh for a year. Life doesn't last. But it will come again. We're counting on that.
Meanwhile, the animals are growing wooly coats. The trees are shedding theirs. And ours are somewhere in the barn, soon to be remembered and retrieved. The kids are still insisting on short sleeves and shorts. I guess it's that air.
August 4, 2008
We celebrated Kai's birthday yesterday. Kai is THREE! Three years and a month we have been here at the farm. Kai wanted a tofu pup for dinner and carrot cake for dessert, gourmet that he is. Jordan carved him a wooden airplane, Jessica sewed a stuffed snake, and Kyra colored and cut a puzzle featuring mama bear and two cubs. He insisted on going on a bike ride, riding his own small purple two-wheeler equipped with training wheels. He pedaled and stopped and almost steered as the rain began to fall. Our ride ended under a double rainbow arcing through the valley.
Meanwhile Geoff is in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for his first stop in a whirlwind SA tour for the Kurzweil keyboard company. He will demonstrate their new wares in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico before circling home ten days from now. We checked out a map to make sure it was humanly possible. It is, barely!
Just before Geoff left, I finished reviewing the copy edits for my book, What a Body Knows. Phew. I will see it two more times before its publication date in May 2009! Before then we should have another cow, for it looks like Precious has settled!
This week: Camp Mom.
June 25, 2008 Summertime!
We are all home now, Geoff from various places abroad, me from various ports in New York, and the kids from their various schools--all home and ready for summer! Time to play.... with our new walk-behind tractor! A BCS brand with several attachments. We can now mow and cut and till. We can do our part in preserving the beauty of this land, and grow some vegetables too. We have heard that there is some 72 day corn that it is not too late to plant, and we plan to get some. So far we have some tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and herbs already in. And Jessica has a whole garden of her own design, with Snapdragons, Delphinium, Meadowsweet, Yarrow, and other plants whose names I can barely pronounce.
In other news, the Select Sires rep came for another visit--this time for Precious. We had her bred to Geronimo! Sounds bullish enough. If Geronimo's sperm decide to call her home, we will be expecting again sometime next March.
May 31, 2008
Geoff is still in China. The difference between Korea and China as he describes it is vast--like that between Germany and France. The Koreans are very well-dressed and buttoned up; Seoul was clean and orderly. The Chinese, he says, are "all over the place." In Tianjin, where he was on Wednesday, his eyes were tearing constantly from the industrial pollution, and the kids looked like they would be right at home in Harvard Square. While there he toured a piano factory--witnessing the transformation from logs to grands--and then performed in the auditorium of one of China's five music conservatories for a group of 70+ students. All he could think about whas how like Berklee it was! He played Iced Tea for them, along with western pop classics, orchestral sweeps, blues jams, and Chinese folk songs. But no church music. This is China.
On Friday he drove (or was driven) to Beijing where he gave another presentation at a crowded and noisy trade show. The road there was lined with carefully planted and tended trees. Then he was on to Chengzou by plane this morning, to perform again. I am awaiting word on how it all went.
At every stop he is wined and dined by the local managers. After sitting through a meal, not understanding a word, he is usually invited to give a toast. Which he does, with YT (his host, co-presenter & boss) introducing and translating. Geoff always acknowledges the earthquake. People there are still shaken. They ask lots of questions (through YT), and are amazed to learn that he has *four* children. Yes he does!
May 28, 2008
Geoff is halfway around the world. He sleeps, we work. We sleep, he plays.
He left last Friday morning, arriving at the Albany airport to find that his flight to Atlanta was booked from Albany, Georgia. After a couple hours on the phone with three continents, he had another route through Chicago to Seoul, arriving an hour earlier. Once there, the 17 mile trip from the airport to downtown Seoul took two hours on a five lane highway. As he noted, compared to his trip there 15 years ago: "All the cars are bigger." He hit a low point after such a long trek before finding, steps from his hotel, places to buy an "America- style burger," a Haagen Daas ice cream bar, and a large bottle of water. Then he slept.
Saturday he demonstrated/performed the Kurzweil synthesizers he has worked so hard to perfect in the auditorium at Hyundai HQ. Vinyl banners featuring his picture were all around. (Rock star!) Sunday he worked with the Korean soundware engineers, taking a break for lunch with Chairman Park (ex-CEO of Hyundai North America, now tapped to turn Young Chang/Kurzweil around) who peppered him with questions about our life and work here on the farm. That afternoon he drove 4 hours through the lovely countryside-- steep, treed mountains, rice patties, and tunnels--to a Hyundai "resort" that was more like a dormitory. There he gave a performance to 200 dealers from around the country. They wanted to hear pop tunes--the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor--and church music. As Chairman Park explained, 90% of their Korean market is churches. How are those organ sounds?
Back to Seoul, he flew to China where he will be for the next five days, on a five city tour through Tianjin, Beijin, Shanghai, Chenzou, and Guangzhou, with presentations at each stop. Then home!
Meanwhile, here on the farm, the grass is too long; Marvin pushed open his door and ate through half a bag of grain; the maple trees we tried to transplant seem to be dying. But otherwise, we are holding steady. We have food, clean clothes, and beautiful weather! What more could we want?!
May 21, 2008
Marvin came home on Mother’s Day. He stepped out of the truck and saw green—grass that is. He buried his head, already home in a place he had never been.
We have heard that horses are herd animals, so we put Marvin in the pasture with our two month old calf, Dandelion. He buried his head again. A second later he was charging after Dandelion, head down, down the hill. We gasped as she careened to a halt in the corner of the pen. Marvin stopped just as short, hurling his muscular hindquarters around to block her in.
His move gave new meaning to his “Quarter” horse breed! You could feel the rev of his heart, the locked determination of his gaze, the thrill of the chase, and his furious sense of purpose. It mattered. In that moment, he knew who he was and what he was meant to do. You could almost see the cowboy on his back, the herds of cattle roaming the plains. “Cutting” calves is in his blood.
Poor Dandelion didn’t quite understand that it was her purpose to be cut. Next time she jumped the fence. So much for penpals.
We tried Marvin with the bigger cows. After a few chases around the much larger field, the three seemed to settle. Then they started up again—Daisy’s pendulous udder swinging hard, as she hustled along on her toothpick legs. Minutes later Marvin had the cows in the barn, captive, as he stood sentinel. Wanting to save Daisy from udder stress, we finished a run-in for Marvin to enjoy, all to himself. We’ll be his herd. There are enough of us.
Meanwhile, the riding ring we hired a bulldozer to clear is as rock-strewn as a cobble stone street. And the stirrups we hoped to buy from a local store did not exist. So we decided to ride anyway—bareback in the fields.
Picture this: vibrant green grass and trees. A sky saturated blue. A noble red horse, mane and tail free. And children, riding. It was one of those this-makes-it-all-worthwhile moments.
Since then, the stirrups we ordered online arrived, as did Grandma Sue, who took these pictures of Jordan and Jessica riding in the fields. Still worth it.
May 4, 2008
We have been trying out a horse. It was time, though we still were not quite ready! Jessica was. Kyra too. And this horse, when we heard about him, seemed too good to pass up. He had good training, good health, and a good recommendation. Was he for us?
The path to the answer involved looking this gift horse hard in the mouth--and hoof and hock--for two weeks. The experts weighed in. And then there was Jessica. When we had questions, we'd ask her. She seems to have pocketed all those tiny pieces of information that are sudddenly, as never before, relevant. Meanwhile, Kyra was designing posters and name plates for "our" horse... Marvin!
Today we came around to what the kids already knew. We signed adoption papers. He is ours!
March 23, 2008
Our milking skills are improving. It takes a bit to get the hang of it. But once you do, it is actually rather fun, and constantly amazing to realize that this--this animal, this act--is where so much of what we eat and drink begins!
Jordan is already a pro. He has just the right size and strength of hand to get those short back teats, and the stretchy achilles tendons needed for the proper squat. No stool required!
The precious silky white, creamy rich elixir.
We are collecting 6 to 7 gallons a day. About a gallon or so goes to Dandelion. With the rest we are experimenting. We have skimmed cream, shaken whipped cream and butter, churned ice cream, made cottage cheese, and are trying out some yogurt. Soon, cheese! And of course, always lots of sweet drink.
Meanwhile our cutie Dandelion thrives, growing inches a day! Compare these pictures with those from last week, below.
Got any more milk??!
March 16, 2008
We have been on a huge learning curve this week. We are learning about milking and calf care and how to manage it all. For every two opinions we hear telling us to do one thing, we hear two others telling us the opposite.
Milk Daisy thoroughly else her bag will dry up. Don't milk Daisy too much or she will get milk fever. Feed Daisy grain so she will make more milk. Don't feed her grain or she won't lose the post-birth swelling in her udder. Feed Dandelion what she needs to grow. Don't feed her too much, or she will get scours. Let Dandelion nurse. Wean her immediately.
It is just like having a newborn all over again! We are making our way, finding what works with us given our calf, our cow, our barns, our selves. Meanwhile, Dandelion is thriving! She is inches bigger all over already. She loves to skip and run... and eat!
Jessica doing the morning feeding!
March 12, 2008
It looks like Jordan is going to name his cow's calf...... Dandelion.
Dandelion Mecca Mae. Mecca is for her dad. Mae is for her mom.
And Dandelion is for her cuteness.
March 11, 2008
What a day it has been with our new (still unnamed) calf! We finally took her out to the barn to be with her mom, making sure she was wearing a warm wool sweater! Daisy was delighted to see her and the two are sleeping side by side in their stall. Pictures coming tomorrow!
I told the story of last night on the blog entry I posted today... To find it click here.
7 AM SHE HAS ARRIVED!
I checked on Daisy last night at 9 PM. Nothing happening. She seemed calm, even though she waddled a bit.
I woke up at 1 AM, earlier than I had planned to travel to the barn, but knew it was time. When I arrived, there, at Daisy's feet, was a newborn calf! The wee one was all licked clean, but chilly. I ran back to the house, woke all the kids, and we spent the next hour in the barn, trying to warm the calf, milk Daisy, feed the calf, and keep Kai from crying. We learned it was a She! We also realized that it was too cold for her in the barn. We brought her into the laundry room, wrapped her in blankets, and by 3 AM everyone was on their way back to bed... until the 5 AM feeding!
We have just been sitting around the breakfast table, trying to decide upon a name. No name yet. More soon.
March 10, 2008
Today I decided to give Daisy a break. I mean, hey, she's a first time mom. I don't want to rush her. She can give birth when she is darn good and ready. I have plenty of other things to worry about!
Farmer Harold stopped by to see if the calf had come. "Well," he said, "if she isn't trying, then there isn't a problem." She's not trying.
She is sunken, though. Of course, we thought she was sunken before--in the hindquarters, right between the tail head and the pin bones (thank you, Jessica). There is a ligament there that softens. It's a sign that the baby has dropped.... at least one inch closer. Now it has. Patience.
March 9, 2008
Geoff thinks it will happen tonight. He hopes. Tomorrow he flies to Germany. For a week.
I'm the one hoping!
March 8, 2008
I decided to do some research of my own. How long could Daisy go? Zipping across the web I soon found out that the average period of cow gestation is 283 days. All fine and good: March 4. But apparently the range of "normal" actually extends from 273 to 291 days. This means that Daisy could technically safely carry her traveler(s) with her until next Wednesday, provided she is calm and happy enough.
Next Wednesday?! I am beginning to like Larry's theory.
So far, Larry is right. No action. There is nothing happening. Daisy is four days late! She still waddles about and looks rather uncomfortable, drips and leaks a bit, but nothing is happening. Zip.
How long can she go?! I am not sure I want to find out.
March 7, 2008
Farmer Larry dropped by this morning. He (and his tractor) help us out so much we call him our fairy godfarmer. He hays our fields and provides bales for "the girls." He's a life long cow owner.
"Tomorrow or Sunday," he said, with a twinkle in his eye. "I talked to her. Tomorrow or Sunday, and it's twins."
It is a bright and hopeful morning here on the farm. Daisy is still a healthy heavy one. We are all awake. (Blink blink.)
Jay Hoyt called again last night to check in. Turns out he does know of one case four years ago when a Jersey like ours waited. We always knew Daisy was special.
Local farmers stop by too, eager to welcome the wee one, and interested to see how these transplants from Boston will take to milking. Wish we could find out!
March 6, 2008
Wish I could say that no news was good news. Nope. She's still pregnant.
It was a beautiful sunny warm hug of a day and we thought surely, Daisy will want to give birth today! We kept checking, and she kept smiling back. Not yet. Not yet....
So, we are nearing Night 6 of our DaisyWatch. We have the routine down now. Geoff at midnight. Jessica and I at 3 AM. Jordan at 6 AM. Let's just hope the stars tonight make it as worthwhile as they did last night. I really did think, "I can't wait til this is over... and I'm going to miss it."
March 5, 2008 Due date plus one
So, signs can be misleading. Or perhaps just point farther into the future than one imagines.
This morning, after another uneventful night, Jordan tells me that Jerseys can sometimes be three to four days late.
"What??!" I reply. "I thought they generally came early? Wasn't that the reason for our early vigils?"
"Well yes," he responds. "You never know. "
So why am I surprised? It's not a science! It is life! With its own rhythms and timings and surprises. So DaisyWatch continues.
Breaking news: Jessica just flew into the house.... "Mucus and milk!" she cried. (The kids have a two-hour school delay on account of the weather.) Signs, yes signs. How to interpret the signs? Stay tuned.
March 4, 2008
We are now in the middle of an ice storm. We are supposed to get three inches. Not sure how you measure three inches of ice, but it isn't pretty out there. Cold, crunchy, and slick.
Meanwhile Daisy is still waiting, and so are we. She must have LaMothe/Gee genes.
A farmer we had not yet met stopped by today. She had noticed Daisy's growing girth and is interested in buying some fine and fresh Jersey milk. She too noted that Daisy did not look quite ready to pop. So one more night... hopefully.
We are beginning to feel a bit daft, and not just from lack of sleep. For three nights now we have taken turns getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, trudging down to the barn, and shining a flashlight into the placid eyes of a large brown bovine. Daisy tosses back a quizzical look, as if to say, "What are you doing here?", and calmly returns to her cud chewing. Enough said. What are we doing?! We should find out soon enough, for today is her due date!
The longer she goes now, the more likely it is that the calf will be a bull.
March 3, 2008
Jay Hoyt stopped by this afternoon to take a look at Daisy. He is the expert cow farmer, 4H leader, and grain salesman who has been leading us through this adventure. He said she looked good, but not quite ready. She should be leaking milk. That was new information. So maybe tomorrow. She is currently resting comfortably, on this warm star-studded night.
Daisy looks a bit uncomfortable this morning. When Kyra and Kai and I checked her at 6 AM, she was standing in exactly the same place where she had been when Jessica and I checked her at 3 AM. When Jordan fed her grain at 7 AM, she finally moved, waddling slowly over to the bucket he had prepared. Hang in there Daisy! It will happen, eventually.
Yes, we are hoping for a heifer. It is fair to say that farming is all about the females. If Daisy has a bull calf, the dollar value of his newborn self is zero. A new born heifer is worth eight hundred dollars. Sorry fellas. The guys get shipped off or chopped off, while the females are raised to provide. Not sure what we'll do if it's a bull.
March 2, 2008
Last pre-sleep check of the evening, and all is quiet. Daisy and Precious are both in their new stall, snuggling as well as cows can.
We finished the stall this afternoon, not that it could hold either one of them if they wanted to get out. It rather offers some safe and comfy corners where they can build up heat and stay warm. The barn is in dire need of a power wash and a paint coat (this summer!), but the cows seem happy enough.
The night is cold and clear and still. We are hoping Daisy waits until morning. Tomorrow the temperature may rise to 40 degrees.
It is gorgeous today, sunny and blue, with icicles dripping. It would be a lovely day to give birth, right Daisy?
We should be able to handle this ourselves, without a vet. Cows drop their own calves all the time. But sometimes calves get stuck, or come out with the wrong feet first. Even if all goes well, we have to make sure that the calf is dry as soon as possible, and that she (hopefully it's a she!) gets a couple of quarts of colostrum (yes, quarts) within the first hour.
We are a tad anxious about it all... but then, we have Jessica. Having memorized the calving sections of our livestock books, she is a walking encyclopedia of what we need, what can go wrong, and what we should do in response. So we are cautiously optimistic!
March 1, 2008
We spent most of the day in the barn. There was work to be done! We gathered the items needed for our birthing kit--towels, bucket, calf bottle, and iodine. We brought the cows new hay, and built a stall for the calf to come. Daisy and our second cow, Precious, looked on placidly. A few more boards and the stall will be finished!
So no baby today. We have our watch assignments for the night. Jordan and Jessica are taking the 3 AM check up time. Let's hope the calf waits. Not that I mind getting dressed in my snow clothes and going out in the middle of the night. The misty white fluff sparkles magically beneath the starry sky. It's just nice in bed too.
Daisy & Jordan
10 AM COW COUNTDOWN!
DaisyWatch has begun. Daisy, our Jersy heifer, is due to give birth on March 4. The signs are imminent. Her udder is full and hard--she is "bagging out," as they say. The muscles around her tail have dropped. It could happen any time now. Soon she will "freshen."
We have been waiting for nine months. So has she. She has grown very large and round. We can't wait to meet her passenger.
We hear that it is hard for calves this time of year. They are born without any immunities, and on a cold day won't last for more than 30 minutes without help. So we are keeping watch.... checking on her every 3 hours. Even at night.
We will keep you posted.
It is a sign of how much happened this year that I can’t seem to remember any of it. When I sat down to write this letter, nothing came to mind. (Oh sleep!) What did we do? Lots of laundry and lunches, homework and housecare, for sure. Even so, it seems like days went by without much being accomplished, only to find, as I turn around to look again, that sprouts are popping out all over.
So it is with 2007. If 2006 was about growing new roots, this year we’ve been sending up shoots--poking out our heads and beginning to connect, as individuals and as a family, with communities around us. While we may still be the curious city folk in the blue house, we are discovering, tucked away in these hills, a chorus of kindred spirits.
SPRING. As the ice thawed, Geoff and I came out as cofounders of a new business entity: Vital Arts Media. Helped along by the wit-tempered talent of Geoff’s cousin, Scott Pryor (prydesign.com), we designed and launched this website to share what we are thinking and doing and creating.
Locally, Geoff surfaced for five weeks as a music teacher in Jordan and Jessica’s elementary school. Geoff was a temporary long-term substitute, filling in for the band director who needed (successful!) open-heart surgery. While there, the school librarian asked him to accompany a special Mother’s Day church service, and the congregation invited him to stay on permanently. Every Sunday morning, you will find him in church, dancing with the pipe organ. Call it his Bach complex. (“Bach had 20 children,” he tells me. “And three wives,” I reply.)
Spring also found us growing (a bit) as farmers. After learning how easy it was to put up an electric fence for Jordan’s heifer, Daisy, we doubled our herd--adding a lovely Jersey calf, named Precious, (not kidding) for Jessica to care for and show. Then we doubled our fence, for the cows were hungry! Besides we had plenty more hillside for them to mow. We also arranged a date for Daisy with the local sperm placement agent--man not bull. We are expecting! After she gives birth in March, we will be in the milk.
Meanwhile, I got an agent, rewrote the book I claimed to have finished last year, and, as a way to defuse the excitement and anxiety of it all, took apart Kyra’s room--our last major interior renovation. After raising rafters, building wall frames, mounting sheetrock, and mudding, I painted with Kyra’s choice of color: Cheerful Whisper.
SUMMER was warm, wet, and too short, salted by visits with family and friends. The kids played mightily. Jordan (12) composed a multi-instrument music piece that his junior high band will play in their spring concert. Jessica (10) wrote the first draft of a 60 page novel. Kyra (6) learned to read chapter books, and Kai (2) learned to communicate--loudly and clearly--with words, if not with all his consonants. We are all nearly fluent in KaiTalk by now--a language that features such endearing responses to “How are you?” as “puddy doot.”
In the heat, we also sprouted as entrepreneurs. Vital Arts released the first virtual instrument dreamed, designed, and produced by Geoffrey Gee--Plectrum. In making this software, Geoff sampled (that is, recorded) thousands of sounds that he made by striking, strumming, and plucking various strings, cups, glasses, and found objects. He sifted, sorted, tuned, and arranged these sounds on a keyboard so that you can actually play them--as instruments you have never heard before. He made magic. The buzz is now building, with the hum of forthcoming reviews. Oh hope!
A few weeks after Plectrum shot forth, Geoff and I made our Washington County artistic debut, performing at the Fort Salem Theater’s 50-seat Cabaret. In a three-night bill we shared with two other acts, Geoff played and I joined him for the “Chair Dance” from On Fire.
Closing the summer was the week we spent camping out at the Washington County Fair. Daisy made her second appearance, and Precious a class-winning first. The prize for the hardest worker, however, went to Kyra, who insisted on accompanying Jordan, Jessica, and the cows every waking moment, sweeping, watering, feeding, washing, and all.
FALL. After over a year of weekly riding lessons at their beloved Birch Hill Farm, Jessica and Jordan happily popped onto the horse show stage as competitors, walking and trotting in various circles and lines.
I rewrote my book, again, after realizing that it could be the first in a series of three. Now, I think I can truly say, it is ready for the next step! Onward.
On the heels of our summer show, we received an invitation to return to the Fort Salem Cabaret as “LaMothe, Gee, and Family.” On November 3, with Geoff on piano, Jordan on guitar, piano, and saxophone, Jessica on flute, Kyra on recorder, all of us singing, and me dancing (not all at once), we offered an eclectic mix of our favorite songs, woven through with the story of our move. We finished wanting more!
More we got, when the director of the theater asked us to audition to be the Cratchit family in his original musical version of the Christmas Carol, slated to open the newly renovated MainStage also at the Fort Salem Theater. So here we are, all 6 of us, winding up 2007 with 8 performances as the Cratchits (with three added children), singing and acting in lovely 200-seat theater, located a mere 20 minutes down the road.
We have a song stuck in our collective brain--our catchy Cratchit tune. It goes “Thank God for Family!” In KaiTalk, it is “Yank God!” and that pretty much sums up the year. We are doing a lot of thanking and yanking... and wishing you the same!