Saturday, March 28, 2009

it's almost bee time!

the bees arrive this tuesday! i'm so psyched! today was my last bee class and i got the opportunity to look into a couple of hives and handle the bees. it was so interesting! in just that one time i got to see several baby bees hatching their way out of their cell. i also saw hive beetles, identified the queen, and saw the difference between cells that have brood, workers, nectar and a queen. i took pictures with my phone but i don't really have a way to get the pictures off the phone; so you'll only see them if you see me and ask to show you. hopefully i'll take pictures of my own hive once i get it started.

i also got most* of equipment today. but there was a little mix-up with the order. i wanted to have the pieces already assembled for me since i didn't really know what i was doing. but that message was not completely understood and i ended up getting 2 boxes full of wooden parts and 6 bags of various sizes of nails. what i thought was going to be a disaster ended up turning out pretty well. through the course of the afternoon i managed to assemble almost everything. hopefully the weather will be nice tomorrow so i can paint the supers.

wooden parts to the super and frames

parts and pieces to super and frames

partially put together supers and frames

waldie putting together bee box frames

*in the shuffle to get everyone their equipment, the wax foundation for most of my hive went missing. i'm really hoping they can find it otherwise i'm in a heap of trouble!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a few new picts

we've had some visitors over the last few weeks. two weeks ago this friday my mom came through town for the night. on saturday she and i experienced a rainy farmers market and then we (she and i, plus baldman) took off for grandmom and grandad's little house in georgia. the weather was kind of yucky, but we had a great visit anyway.

then, a week ago this friday, my stepdad came through town. he also spent the night and left the next day to join mom in georgia. but he left their dog, tommy, with us. i really enjoyed having him around. we played in the park, took walks, and snuggled on the couch.

tommy in the park, march 09

yesterday both parents came back through town for one more night visit. this time they took me out to dinner for my birthday. we went to garibaldi's. i'd never been there but had always heard it was excellent, which it certainly was. we also had a little cake and presents celebration, which was very special. thanks, guys!

also, unrelated, on friday afternoon i picked all the remaining kale and collards, plus a bunch of spinach and lettuce. boy, did we have a lot! i'll definitely grow those things again. the kale has been growing for over a year now!

march/winter harvest
not the best picture, but you get the idea!

Friday, March 20, 2009


khadijah (my 8th grade somali friend) did this last night. i'm rather fond of it, though i wish i'd gotten a design on my other palm instead of covering the whole thing. i have to take credit for that idea. khadijah said it was going to look dumb and sure enough, it kinda does. guess she knows what she's talking about.

henna hands

henna hands

job perks

i may not get million dollar bonuses with my job like the folks at aig. but i do have some bonuses and perks that come with my line of work.

i've been at a middle school all week speaking to classes of 7th grade girls. yesterday we were talking about sexual harassment. i like to explore the difference between just playing around/"flirting" vs. sexual harassment. i broke the girls up into groups and had some girls brainstorm behaviors that would be flirting and other girls brainstorm behaviors that would be flirting or playing around. one group of girls were really talking a lot and seemed to be having too much fun to actually be doing the activity, so i went over to their group to investigate. i noticed that one of the group members had written something on their piece of paper and then had crossed it out. they seemed to be arguing about what they could and could not say. the girl kept saying "i can't say that!" and they were all laughing. i explained to them that i wanted to have an open and honest conversation and we might be using language that we're normally not allowed to use in school. but i also wanted to keep it appropriate and respectful. i tried to get her to tell me what it was she wasn't sure she could say. none of the girls in the group would say it, they just kept exploding with that middle school girl giggle. so finally, i looked at their sheet of paper and saw that they had written "grabbing someone on the boobs or balls." so i was like, "oh! you can say 'boobs' and 'balls' in today's class." oh my gosh! you would've thought i said the funniest joke in the world. it was that outrageous that there was this "teacher" saying "balls" out loud! holy smokes! the girls just laughed and laughed. one girl said, "this is, like, the most fun class ever!" to which i replied, "i'm so glad i can bring such joy to your life simply by saying one word, a word which you heard in gym class probably every day."

Monday, March 16, 2009

the cutest family

Reid Family Photo
Originally uploaded by Erica Reid
how 'bout that family i married into!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

new technology

thanks to my stepdad we now have wireless internet that spans the entire house! before, we had wireless, but it only worked if i stayed in the same room, which was fine but sorta pointless.

but now. well, now it's just amazing! we were away for most of the weekend so i couldn't take full advantage. but i've already watched several shows and short videos (like this one, and this one, and this one) from the comfort of my couch. and i'm typing this now from my bed. oh the fun i will have! (while being comfortable, which is the difference, see.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

a happy reunion

on wednesday of this week my favorite somali family welcomed a new addition to their household. well, not so much a new addition, as a new welcome of an old member. for the past four years the mother (hamido), has lived in the u.s. as a single mother, raising her three children, while her husband (ali) remained in kenya. but on wednesday of this week the family welcomed their father to america. it's been a mixture of strange emotions for baldman and me. we are very protective of this family and we wondered how the presence of a man would change the family. but we were immediately pleasantly surprised by how nice he is and what a natural fit he is with his family. everyone seems to have picked up where they left off. so we are so happy for them and their reunion.

when i went over to the house tonight for my regular weekly visit, hamido asked me if i would like a skirt from africa. i immediately said "YES!" and she proceeded to take out a bunch of newly hand-made outfits that ali had brought over from kenya. apparently, she told him about my, described my size and asked him to pick something up for me in thanks for all i have done for them over the past 3+ years. so i graciously accepted a black and white patterned skirt. it was so hard to choose because everything was so beautiful! but i am so proud of my skirt, i wish i could wear it to work tomorrow! when i was wearing my skirt tonight i asked them if it made me african and they said, YES! so sweet!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

lessons learned and not learned

why is it that i can never remember to check for poison ivy when clearing out vines? seriously, i know there's poison ivy in our back yard and i know approximately where it is located. but yet, still i find a way to get it. every spring. and sometimes in summer too. heck, i've been known to get it in other times of the year too. i don't have it too bad this time around though. i only have a few spots here and there, so i guess that's not too bad. maybe i'll just eventually become immune.

this weekend i did learn a valuable lesson in gardening. if you live in south carolina and you put down one of those mesh thingys to cover the ground around your plants it will indeed prevent weeds from sprouting. however, what you'll have in place of your weeds will be a raging anthill. seriously. big mistake, people. right now about 1/4-1/3 of my garden is one big anthill. dig in the soil just a little bit and i see bazillions of ants going crazy and heading for my legs. got it. it's on my list of "don't dos" for next season. now i just have to figure out how to still utilize the garden without being eaten alive.