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  • Writer's pictureTina

2022 In Review

I’m a few days late, but better late than never. As 2023 gets off to a good start, I can’t help but look back at 2022. Overall, 2022 was a good year for us. Now 2019, that year was terrible. Then the pandemic hit, and 2020-2021 was a bit of a mess, but 2022 wasn’t bad at all. I believe 2023 will be even better, and I look forward to seeing what it brings. 2022 was filled with firsts, milestones, a touch of sadness, and many good times. We have grown both personally and in our business. We’ve met some wonderful people, reconnected with old friends, and made some terrific new friends. We moved out of our comfort zone, tried new things, and realized change could be good. I don’t feel the need to boot 2022 out the door with a good swift kick; I say goodbye respectfully and am grateful.

My little buddy turned thirteen in 2022. Having a teenager is, umm, challenging. She’s a great kid, and I enjoy the young adult she is becoming, but whoa, did she turn into a teenager overnight! I had forgotten how rough girl world could be. I’m not sure if my daughter is overly sensitive or if her peers are really that judgmental. Still, we are dealing with ridiculous new rules like coats cannot have patterns, new clothes cannot be worn all in one week, spandex tights have to have certain logos on them, and one must be very conscientious of what one packs in their lunch box. Sigh. It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing rules of middle school.

I also hit a milestone this year. I turned fifty, and I must say, there is an unquestionable comfort in being a half-century old. I feel more comfortable in my skin than ever before. I no longer care so much about what others think. I don’t follow silly rules and wear what I like and feel comfortable wearing. I no longer feel the need to preen and prance like a peacock. Actually, wearing anything uncomfortable feels like a costume. I hope my bean becomes more comfortable in her skin sooner rather than later. Being thirteen doesn’t seem like a lot of fun at this point. Don’t get me wrong; I wish I felt and looked like I did when I was twenty. However, mentally, fifty is pretty cool.

We lost several members of our farm family in 2022. Jordan’s pony, Misti, passed away from old age. Misti, aka Meeps, was a cantankerous creature, but she added personality to our little farm family. We also lost our sick little goat, Flora. Flora was a delightful girl who gave us beautiful babies and plenty of milk and put a smile on our faces. Sadly, Boris the Christmas Pig is no longer with us. Of all the creatures we lost this year, Boris probably tugs at our heartstrings the most. With farming comes tough choices and unpleasant situations. Loss is a big part of the farming experience. When we view the loss of one of our creatures without pity, guilt, or sadness, it is time to throw in the towel. We will no longer be suitable stewards of these beautiful souls who grace us with the gift of their presence and sacrifice. We love our farm family and appreciate all they do to improve and enrich our world. We feel the loss of those who have passed and take heart in knowing we will meet them again.

We also gained farm family members this year. We added baby ducks to our menagerie thanks to my friend Jenna. The ducks give us comic relief and add a new level of adorableness to the farm. Thanks to my friend Cindy and the use of her incubator, I was able to hatch five chicken eggs. I am now the steward for four roosters…sigh. Only one of the chicks that were hatched was a hen. I definitely did not need one, let alone four new roosters. Shockingly, all the roosters are able to get along with each other. Every once in a while, I witness a minor altercation, but they seem to work it out, and peace is restored quickly. I refuse to incubate any more eggs. I just told The Bibbed Wonder last night I will be ordering new chicks in the spring rather than trying to hatch them myself. At least I am guaranteed hens if I purchase chicks. Although becoming a swan farmer is still one of my goals, I have no interest in hatching more roosters. Swan farming cannot commence until my Chubby dog moves on to the next life. I’m not in any hurry to become a swan farmer.

In 2022, we experienced the rewards of hard work. It took us a while, but we added liquid soap to our product line. Every time a bottle of our body wash or foaming hand soap ships out in an order, we feel a jolt of pride and happiness. Our soap family has made us feel appreciated for all we do. We are forever grateful to you for all you do for us. Having new products supported and well received makes all the struggles worthwhile.

We expanded our live shows and traveled to Ohio for The Shaker Woods Festival this past year. We learned a lot, made some great friends, and grew our audience. We are grateful for the opportunity and the opportunities that sprouted from that opportunity. Our products are now in a lovely little boutique in Columbiana, Ohio. We look forward to another year at Shakerwoods.

While on the subject of live shows, the little events we have twice a year at the farm continue to grow and expand. We enjoy inviting our soap family to our farm to celebrate handmade artisans and local small businesses. Our farm events are the highlight of our year, and again, we are so very grateful for the support. We are looking ahead to our springtime event in May. My bean has great ideas for food trucks, vendors, and photo booths. It’s something fun to plan and look forward to in the upcoming bleakness of winter.

New in 2022, my bib overall-wearing buddy has become a monthly contributor to the blog posts. You all feed his ego and wicked sense of humor by making his posts the most-read blog posts for the year. He is turning into quite the diva. When it is pointed out that I don’t find him funny, he likes to use the 150+ readers who do find him funny—sigh; thanks, guys. Along with the twisted insight of The Bibbed Wonder, I also added recipes to my weekly blogs. Foodie Fridays seem to be well received, and I appreciate the positive feedback.

Another positive of 2022 is that our local internet provider was purchased by new owners who take their job and responsibility seriously. Although they continue to work out the kinks, everything is moving in the right direction. I like supporting a company that values its customers, is local, and works diligently to supply excellent customer care. I think we will see vast improvements in our internet service in 2023. Integrity is so refreshing.

As I respectfully escort 2022 out the door and welcome 2023, I look back with a smile and look ahead hopeful. I hope you, too, view 2022 with a smile and look forward to the great things coming in 2023. Stay safe, be smart, remain hopeful, and keep washing your hands in this new year.

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