Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mellow Yellow

It goes by many names in different languages.  Perhaps you say, geel, jaune, gelb, gulur, giallo, or amarillo.  I just say yellow.  

It is a color associated with cowardice, caution, and aging.  It is the color of a submarine that The Beatles deemed so special. 

It is the color of cabs and school buses.  It signals victories in the form of the maillot jaune in the Tour de France.  It is the color of the sun in every childhood drawing. 

At this moment yellow covers pastures all over Smalltownland.  

Beautiful and maybe not so mellow. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nature Remains

"After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally statisfy, or permanently wear - what remains?  Nature remains." 

Walt Whitman 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crazy Bee Lady

This past weekend I finally opened the bee hive.  Since putting them into their new home, they have remained undisturbed, as per all bee literature known to man.  

I compare this activity to bringing home a newborn and then being told to close the door to the nursery and leave it alone.  How can you not look?!  

I walked out to the hive everyday and watched them fly in and out of the entrance.  I listened to them buzz and hoped they were eating hearty on the sugar syrup I had provided.  And then D-Day arrived.  My son operated the smoker and we opened the top of the hive. 

The Queen was free and had been accepted by the others. I also spied eggs in the cells. Yes!   The phrase, "Busy as a Bee", has some serious meaning behind it.  The ladies had been hard at work on the frames with more comb worked out than I thought they would.  I removed the small bit of burr comb, or extra comb, left in the gap where the Queen's cage had been. 

A piece of art, no doubt. 

I have to admit that the sheer amount of bees everywhere was a bit overwhelming at first. 

They were good sports and took my novice beekeeping skills in stride. 

They were quickly back in place and back to work. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Being Kind to the Earth

Being kind to the earth was something that I thought little of when I was living the city life.  Sure, I put out my recycling with the weekly trash pick-up, but that was about it.  My attitude has certainly changed since moving to the farmette.  This being Earth Day and all, I thought it relevant to take a moment and reflect upon how we can all do small things that make a difference. 

Limiting the use of pesticides is something that has been brought to the forefront for me.  We eat produce that we grow and also raise our own beef.  I don't want to consume chemicals with my meal.  

How about using your own bags at the grocery store?  Not something I do enough of, I must say.

What about a compost pile?  Go Secret Agent Man, is all I have to say about that. 

How about visiting your farmer's market and do a little local shopping?  I did yesterday and enjoyed fresh strawberries, asparagus, pear honey, and homemade wheat bread with supper. 

Thanks to Pinterest, I have even taken to making my own household cleaners.  

What about you?  What things do you do to help the environment?  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Goodbye My Friend

And so the beloved photo program, Picnik, is no longer with us.  This has caused me some sadness as Picnik has been my late night date many a time. 

Yes I own a Photoshop program, but it isn't fun.  I find it tedious and time consuming.  Not things I like to associate with a hobby.  A hobby I adore, I might add. 

Upon first learning the news that Google + had acquired Picnik and was going to *gasp* close it for all time, I seriously thought I might have to revert back to using Photoshop.  


I have since found some places to have some fun with my photos.  

Fun, being the key word here.  Oh, and maybe, some awesome features as well. 

Drum roll please......

Happy Editing!! 

*Each of these is linked to the website.  After multiple attempts, Blogger still won't colorize/highlight the words.*

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Take to the Woods

This past weekend, along with our bee action, Toots had a friend that stayed the night.  It wasn't long before the girls announced they were, "bored", and so we took to the woods. 

The creek is more like it. 

Where they looked for pottery shards....

fish and crawdads.  

They wanted to check out the cave, but only the dogs get to peek inside. 

The Deerslayer soon turned up in the woods, trying to give the girls a little scare.  

Next came the mud....

then my canine friend and I decided to call it a day. 

"I've always thought anyone can make money.  Making a life worth living, that's the real test." 

Robert Fulghum
American essayist

Sunday, April 15, 2012

There's a New Queen in Town

So, yesterday was, "the day".  I took a drive to the small town of Clarkson, Kentucky, to the Kelley Bee Company.  A large supplier of bees and beekeeping equipment that is, quite frankly, out in the middle of nowheresville.  

I picked up a 3 pound box of Italian bees, complete with a queen in residence.  Funny how I never imagined I would be driving around with a few thousand bees in the car.....

As soon as I arrived back at the farmette, it was time to get down to business.  I suited up in my beekeeping gear, complete with a pair of my husband's pants and his boots. 

The queen was safe and sound in her cage with her attendants.  

I placed the queen, still in her cage, in the hive.  A small marshmallow was place in the cork opening so the bees could accept her and thus free her to be a part of the hive.  I then gave a gentle shake and, "dumped", the bees into the hive. 

Here is a peek into the hive just after I placed the bees in there. 

A feeder was put into place and the top was secured. 

Straight away the bees were lifting their backsides at the entrance of the hive.  This is called, "fanning", and releases their scent to the entrance of their new home.  Thus, everyone can find their way back to the hive when they leave. 

Beekeeping law says I am supposed to wait several days before I open the hive to check on the progress.  The suspense is killing me already. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

What a Difference

It has been all warm weather and sunny skies around the farmette for a few weeks.  Premature of course, but welcome non the less.  

This week we have had cold temperatures and frost at night. 

A hard freeze even occurred last night. 

It was a bit too much for a few plants, even though they were covered. 

Warm weather is back on the books starting tomorrow.  It's a good thing, as I was already spoiled. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Went to the Woods

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life. 

And see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."


Monday, April 9, 2012

A Man and His Hoe

I have a confession to make....I don't like to work in the garden.  Oh sure, I like to plan it, order funky garden accessories, plant things in straw bales, and give my opinion, but it is really Secret Agent Man who carries out the plans. 

He creates fantastic compost piles,

hoes the weeds, and does the dirty work. 

Except this year, his favorite hoe is missing.  The one with the splintered handle, the dull/dented blade, and the coat of rust that only time could bestow.  

I bought him a new one that even has a spongy handle.  He told me it wouldn't do. 

I am praying that the old hoe turns up.  

I hate to think I will have to use the new one.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mostly Work and a Little Play

This week has been a busy, but enjoyable, spring break.  It has been a full house with all of us home working, resting, and working some more.  We did take a little time to make a trip to Nashville for a dose of biscuits at the Loveless Cafe.  Delicious food and a must do if you are ever in the city. 

Even Toots enjoyed herself. 

My beehive found a home next to the pasture this week and now is just waiting for the arrival of its residents.  

Last week I won my first ever blog give-a-way hosted by Teresa at the Run Around Ranch.  She drew this lovely cardinal.  It has fantastic detail and she is truly a talent. 

She also sent me some luck from Texas in the form of preserved four leaf clovers in a card.  My daughter was truly wowed at receiving these in the mail.  Thanks so much Teresa!  

How have you been spending your week?