Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sometimes advertising works and I don't have to cook dinner...

It's Wednesday.  The full moon is past.  And, I am exhausted...and a little punch drunk giddy from the tired.  Every single month I do not sleep more than 2 or 3, maybe 4 hours a night (if I am lucky) the couple of nights before and the night of the full moon.  Don't have to look at a calendar or even the sky to know what the lunar phase is.

We have been busier than normal at the shop and I was helping on the production floor for a little while this evening, when I became fixated on one of the sponsors listed on the back of the motorcycle ride shirts being printed.  With every shirt, my eyes went straight to that sponsor.

 Seal and Tocq with the rest of the crew impatiently waiting to be let into the chicken yard for their nightly feast of plantain and clover.

I was tired and beginning to get a little hangry as my lunch of ham/swiss quiche and watermelon was wearing off at warp speed.  Taunting me with mental smells and imagining the tastes of salty peanuts, honey cinnamon butter melting, a big slab of beef and the fluffiness of a baked potato all washed down with a short.  (can you guess where?)

 Something has taken up residence under the concrete slab in the barn.  We are currently playing a game of dig in/dig out catch me if you can.

Fortunately, my dearest was in agreement with my proposed plan of ditching the menu board at home that said I was going to be baking hamburger buns and he was going to be grilling burgers for said buns.  No, no, no...must be waited on tonight.

 Poor Earl, he has such a rough life.

We went. We ate.  We drank.  Perhaps the waiter was perceptive enough to notice my need for sleep.  He chose to ignore my order of a short beer, bringing me a tall instead.  The frosty mug and puffs of cold air when I took my first gulp were enough to convince me there was no need to point out his mistake.   After all, who am I to second guess waitstaff that intuitively knows that a short would quench my thirst, but a tall would make me sleepy sleepy sleepy.

Shhhh, don't tell the other four kitties, but this guy is my favorite.

And that, my friends, is the story of how a stupid t-shirt helped me take a nap.

Proof that there is still some fiber processing being done.  The first bobbin of Rose is nearly ready to be plied.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Bees are Back in Town

We had plans to go pick up two nucs (nucleus colony) this evening and all day long there has been a soundtrack running through my head of a variation of "The Boys are Back in Town"...subbing boys with bees.

Last year's attempt at beekeeping started out great. Two nucs successfully installed. One seemed to be a far more docile hive that was slow to grow, while the other was more aggressive and rapidly reproducing.  So much so, that the aggressive one swarmed while the docile one died. 

After the swarm, the bees left in the hive appeared to be doing fine. They continued to build out frame, brood cells looked good and they successfully produced a new queen. 

And then the robber bees (yellow jackets) came. The hive was done for. 

After placing an order for two nucs several months ago, we have been patiently awaiting notification that they were ready to go. Tonight was the night.  


The first box looked great and was transferred to the hive without incident. And then things got interesting as the sun went down. The second box was not too keen on being the point of flying into our hair and my nose kept being used as a landing spot. (No, we don't wear gear...usually only long sleeves/pants...of course shorts and a tank top were my beekeeping outfit choice tonight). Out came the smoker to calm them. 

And just like that "The Bees are Back in Town"!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Growing Season...

It's my favorite time of year.

Unless you count my other favorites...the rest of the year.

For most of my adult life, winter was absolutely NOT a favorite time of year because, c'mon:  cold. With maturity comes the wisdom that every season is important.  Winter brings with it the quiet stillness of sleep and basically a resetting of your soul.  Spring cannot be beat with temperate weather, new growth and a world bursting with new life.  Fall allows one to bask in the glow of the burnt oranges and golds as the fury that unfolds after Spring and Summer begins to slow down.  Every season is necessary and beautiful in its own right.

So, where are we now?  Ahhh, those glorious early days of summer are here. (I'm sorry if the calendar date does not match up with the official start, but in my book, once you see a lightning's summer baby! And that happened about three weeks ago.)

The first harvest of lavender has been made.  There are eight large bunches hanging from the herb drying rack on the sun porch and new blooms are waiting to be picked.

I can't keep up with the lettuce picking.  Apparently, I thought I needed to plant enough to feed everyone in a five mile radius.

The raised beds are growing like gangbusters!  Onions, more lavender, sunflowers, herbs galore, lettuces, radishes, peas and carrots are creating my very own Farmer's Market of goodness in the backyard.  Three additional gardens have been planted, the smallest plot being 30' x 50' in size.  Two kinds of popcorn, sweet corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, cabbages, bell peppers, and watermelons are all reaching for the sun.  Come Fall, those crops will be replaced with cooler weather vegetables to carry us into a slower season.  The strawberry bed is filling in. Raspberry canes are shooting up, as are the grape vines.  Elderberry plants are setting their roots.  The cherry trees have been picked; peach trees are becoming weighted down with fruit; apple trees are teasing with a couple of orbs apiece; while the plum trees are not playing this year.

The chickens and sheep are happily doing their thing in their respective areas.

What is NOT growing? That blankety-blank-blank purple sweater that sits in my knitting bag and silently mocks me with its weepy purple dye job and seemingly never lengthening body.  The only thing saving it from being ripped out is my pride and the terrifying thought that I would have to admit to my knitting group that the yarn got the best of me...again.


Perhaps it is not purple sweater season...ever...


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