Thursday, April 29, 2010

where did april go?

remember when i said i was going to be busy with work events this month? yea, that was no joke. plus, i had a birthday, an anniversary, an out of town trip, and all those little and big things that go into maintaining house and home. all this activity has been great, but i sure am looking forward to slowing down.

a few weeks ago i made it up to ny/pa for my niece's first communion and a visit with a friend. here are the pictures.

we've also had several bee checks. this past week we put an additional super on both hives so they can keep building comb to grow more larvae and store honey. did i tell you we got a little taste of their honey? we had to remove stray comb from various places in the hive a few weeks ago and some of the comb already had honey stores. the taste really was just that-we licked our fingers basically. but it sure was good. very honey-rific.

still haven't had a chance to get all the seeds and plants in the ground. we've got things coming up in a bunch of places though. and i picked a few eensie strawberries from our back yard earlier this week. i also got a big flat of local strawberries which are yumms. i love this time of year when everything starts coming in.

i've gotten a lot of questions about the foster care stuff. we're still moving along with it. it's just not really anything very exciting. we've had to have doctor visits, fingerprinting, and references. we're trying to schedule dhec (department of health) and fire safety inspections right now. once we get that done we can register to attend the classes. we're trying to get the classes in may so that we can get it over with but i'm not sure if we'll be able to get all those things done in time. so things are slowly rolling with that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

my husband is the best

he sent these to my office today.

thanks, babe, for the flowers. and thank YOU for 7 great years!

Monday, April 12, 2010

birthday wishes

family favorite
i've had this song in my head all day. erica explains it here.

happy birthday, erica and mamaw/juanita!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

busy bees

we had a very busy and accomplished weekend. in addition to having some last-minute visitors for lunch on saturday, we also did our first bee inspection after installing them a few weeks ago. and i did a bunch of gardening both saturday and sunday.

the first bee inspection went very well. they're very active hives, which is a lot more than i can say for the hive last year. we found the queens in both hives. and both hives already had a bunch of capped honey, which was really cool to see. in fact, when we installed the hives, we left out one of the frames to give them a bit more room for the first few weeks. the result, then, was that they built wax and stored honey in places that they shouldn't have. so we had to remove the wax and honey stores from those places where they shouldn't be. so we got a little taste of the honey they're making. it's very honey-rific!

i also planted louisana purple pod peas, squash, zucchini, and tomato. i wanted to plant more than that, but it was just too much to do in one weekend. we're moving the garden to a different location this year, so we had to dig out a big section to make it ready. today we dug out a section of about 14'x5'. that's just for the tomatoes! i've still got cucumber, peppers, okra, and eggplant to plant. i don't know when i'll get all that done. but i'm very happy with how everything looks so far.

tonight we went for korean food with some of baldman's coworkers at dj house. i tried kim chee soft tofu stew. it was very spicy and excellent! now i'm so full and tired i just want to fall into bed.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

easter in greenville

acting goofy with st. francis (?) before easter vigil

we had a great time this past weekend visiting friends, friends and friends in greenville. the highlights included great food, yummy bevs, excellent company, fabulous easter vigil service and a brisk hike. all around good times! nicole took a few shots and i posted them on flickr if you're interested.

"do you ever get stung?"

whenever i tell anyone about my hobby of raising bees i immediately get the obvious question about getting stung. "sometimes," i say. "but they're usually very calm."

well, for the record, i got my first bee sting this week. i wish i'd taken a picture of the sting because i tend to get a little bit of a reaction. i have only myself to blame, though, which is usually the case when you get stung. the bees honestly would prefer not to sting because they know it's their kiss of death, literally.

it was monday night and i needed to feed the hives*. but i didn't get a chance to go outside until after it was dark. that's rule #1: don't mess with the hive after dark. but i was stressed because i wouldn't have time to feed them the following day. so i thought i just HAD to feed them right then. so i went outside (without gear or the smoker) to the first hive and managed to successfully get the lid off the mason jar, pour the sugar water into it and screw the lid on with no problems. there were a few bees eating on the lid but i avoided them and they avoided me. done and done.

the second hive was where the difficulties started. first of all, there were a ton of bees congregating at the entrance to the hive. i wasn't sure what they were all doing there** because they should've, i thought, been inside their hive watching tv for the night or something. i was already nervous because it was past dark. and i was in a rush. and then i became more nervous because they were displaying behavior that was unusual to me. but instead of walking away and doing it later when the conditions were better, i heard the voice of my grandmother the food pusher saying i had to MAKE SURE THEY EAT!!! so i got the mason jar and pulled it out, turned it over and there were a bunch of bees on it. no problem, i work with the bees all the time. but i couldn't see very well and when i started to unscrew the lid i hit them around more than they wanted and one of them pegged me on the middle finger. oooh does that hurt!

after saying a few choice words and walking away for a minute i was able to get the food in the jar and put it back in place with no more stings. but the damage was already done. within a few minutes my finger started to swell. thank goodness it wasn't my ring finger because i hadn't taken my ring off like i normally do when i work with the bees.

tonight, 3 full days later, my finger is finally almost back to its regular size. at its most swollen my finger was so big that the wrinkles in the joints were gone. it felt like it was going to pop! and it was so warm to the touch. but no permanent damage. it's just very uncomfortable. and then very itchy! ice, ibuprofen and benadryl help a lot though.

so, to answer the question, my bees do sting when provoked. but let's hope that doesn't happy often.

*they get fed a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 sugar in a mason jar which is upside down with holes in it. it sits in a feeder that is placed at the entrance to the hive.

**the hubby pointed out in retrospect that maybe they were fanning themselves because it was a kinda warm night after a hot day and the hive has to keep a certain temperature.

Friday, April 02, 2010


thanks to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! yesterday was a really nice birthday. certainly much better than last year's when i had a car accident on my birthday. i kept remembering that all day, especially when i drove past the wreck site hoping that "lightening wouldn't strike the same spot twice."

i worked at a school all day yesterday but the kids were fairly well behaved and i thought it went well. on my break between classes i spoke with some family and got some nice emails and voice mail messages. then last night i went to a work event for my office, which was really nice. the weather was beautiful (in the low 90's yesterday) so we sat outside the cafe and had a few drinks with dinner. we had to leave a lot earlier than i wanted. but we had to get to church, which, of course, is good reason to leave. after church my hubby picked up a six pack and a cake for me at the store. so we continued to celebrate at home while i opened the rest of my presents and talked with more family and friends.

i took the day off work today so i look forward to lazing around a bit and putzing around the house.

so far 32 ain't so bad.