Friday, March 29, 2013

Here is my bee hive last year
 Last Spring I got a bee package and installed
it in my hive.
You can see it right here on the left.

You will notice that the hive is made up of boxes.
The boxes at the bottom of the hive are where the
queen likes to lay her eggs, thus these lower boxes are called, "brood boxes".

Last spring I had 2 brood boxes and 1 honey "super". The boxes that are on top, or superior to the brood boxes are called supers.

Ok that was your bee lesson kids.

Any way this colony of bees has been very successful. 

As you can see from the lower photo. I have added 3 boxes since last spring, (one is not in the photo)
Here is the hive this year

Each evening when the bees come in there is a kind of traffic jam to get into the front door. The bees that are waiting to go in get really fed up and if I am in the garden area they sting me!

Because I would like to actually move around in my own garden,  I need to move the hive.
I have been waiting for the right day.
The weather needs to be sunny, warm and still, so most of the bees will be out foraging.
Then I will move each box one by one to the new location.

I will put a "land mark" in front of the hive so the bees will realize the hive has been moved and will be able to find their way home.

Even with the marker, for a while bees will return to the location of the old hive.
So every evening I will put a box out for these girls to go into, then when it is dark, I will very carefully close the one box and carry it to the new location. After around a week, they will all have adjusted.
leave box at old location for dumb bees

                                                                                   I need: Sunny day ,Warm day, Still day and
to be home for at least the 5 afternoons, following to move box ( my family is terrified of the bees, so no helpers there)

 I will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Poop Happens

A mornings haul
Do you know what you are looking at?

 Each night I put the cows in their
"bedroom" so I can rest easier, especially if
their are calves with them. Then in the morning I am rewarded with pies! lots of them.

Since my cows went dry I have been selling
their manure on Craigslist.

Actually I have been surprised at how many people are willing to pay for cow poop. Although I used to do the same( sometimes we forget to appreciate what we have).

I decided to try to sell their manure to try to find another way for the animals to pay their keep.

Yes, I have made more than what I am spending on them, so that is good. I even thought about taking some in bags to a local nursery,
Did you know a person has to have a license from the State Chemist to sell "fertilizer"?
It is a bit hazy as far as selling manure or worm castings (which are just worm poop) but the woman I spoke with advised me to go ahead and pay for the license, ( never wanting to miss out on a dollar! )

Anyway, as a Horticulturist I have always known how valuable this product is, in many parts of the world the cow manure is more important than the value of the meat or milk-
in fact the reason these animals are considered sacred in India is primarily because of the value of their poop! Check out this link-

If you are interested in getting some of this "gold" for your garden please contact me.
5.00 for a 50 lb feed bag full ( talk about recycling!)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Maddie, outside the kitchen window
You are looking at my view as I am doing dishes.

A few short years ago, my view from my kitchen
sink was of the side of my neighbors house. Brown hardiplank I stood and looked at that house for  hours, days, years... as washed those dishes.

The view from my front door was of apartments.
Not a complex, but still ...2 story units, with a parking lot.

looking from my bedroom window
I used to sit on my porch swing and look at those apartments.  I would wonder what it  would be like to look out at just trees, no buildings...

I don't know if I realized at the time how those views were affecting me. Not just me, but my whole family.
In my opinion people need space, and a peaceful surrounding.

I was talking with a woman today who was telling me how much she missed Austin. I understand, there is
a lot I miss about not living in town, the convenience, the restaurants the cool people.

When I start to wonder if I made the right choice, all I have to do is look at my view.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Heart Ache

   This week, all week long my boys are gone. They have gone to Missouri for the National Home School Basketball tournament.
They left on their journey early Monday morning, along with 2 of their friends. They drove for over 12 hours. Only a car of young men would stop mid way to hit a gym on the way.

   Last night I got a text from my 18 year old. Seems the coach is not playing him almost at all.
Which in itself would be terrible, but this is his last year. That's it. He will be too old to play next season.
I have never been a coach, I have never been on a team, so I have to admit not having personal experience with this. I do however know children, and even 18 year olds are children. I will never understand the
off handed way some adults handle children. Like they don't count.

   Hearing my son cry over the phone about a situation that is indeed not fair, ( yes coaches have favorites)
hearing him cry and listen to him as he has a taste of the pain of life... hearing the humiliation, the hurt in my baby's voice,  that, dear reader is heart ache for a parent.

   He just called me to say he is going to quit the team, not play the last game. He said he was going to turn in his uniform and talk to the coach. When he mentioned talking to the coach, I advised him to be very careful about what he would say.. "what do you plan on telling him?"
he said ...."I am going to tell him,' when I am a coach I will remember how you treated me, and I will never make a player feel like you made me feel, I will not favor my own kid on the team and spoil him, I will act like a real father' "

   While I have been thinking of him, and feeling bad for him, at the same time I am so proud of him.
I am watching this child turn into a man.

   Being a parent is just too much. It chokes me up.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Singing in Wimberley
   Tonight my husband is gone. He's usually gone
a few nights a week. He has this dream which requires him to go out and play music as much as he possibly can.

One day soon he is going to be supporting us with his music... that is his dream, and really the more I think about it the more it seems like, why not?
(Please have a listen to some of his music)

I think there are a lot of people who share this dream. The success of SXSW is a testament to the validity of this statement.

I had this crazy dream the other night where I actually got a gig.  Now in real life I have to admit I do not know one whole song in it's entirety. So in this dream as  the time came for me to go and perform I asked my hubby to come with me, and he said no, (you know how dreams work!). I realized in this dream how distressing a performance could be.. how much preparation and work goes into what he does. The only song I know even mostly all the way through is "The Rainbow Connection" and this is only because of my daughter being in the Austin Childrens Choir.

She, is her fathers child in many ways. She wants to be in the lime light. To be a famous singer... but for now she is with the group. Still though these kids work really hard. They are always learning new songs, memorizing words, learning how to read music.. (how many of you know what "coda" means) 

The Childrens Choir
So, I ask you dear reader to consider this the  next time you see yet another singer/song writer, musician.

 Austin, being the "live music capital" is full of aspiring singers, I ask you to consider the effort these people put into their craft. 
Ask yourself, "could I do that?"  Give them a kind word, tell them how great they sound, be amazed at what the human spirit can do. What a human can do with a piece of wood, strings and their voice.

Really, it is quite amazing.