In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gone Sailing!

Hey folks - I went sailing this weekend and look at some of my finds!

Brand spankin' new pair of converse for my man! Only 5 bills!

A couple of good books to read.

This is a shower curtain, but I'm thinking it'd make a nice blankey! Add a layer of batting and a backing.....

This is a wire basket that I couldn't wait to pot up. It'll look nicer when the flowers grow up a bit. (I went to Lowe's and got some flowers on their clearance rack, but did not get the deals that the Happy Mrs. C got!)

This cute teapot was only 3 bills.

And this pretty pitcher, which I'll probably use as a vase, was also only 3 bills!
Anybody else out there get any good deals?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Busy Bee Week

I have had a busy, busy week. I thought I'd show you some of what I have been doing. Can you see that clump in this tree, about a foot above that ladder. Do you know what it is?

Now do you?
Yup, it's a swarm. Hives sometimes get too full and the old queen leaves with half the hive. The new queen, that the bees amazingly make, stay in the hive and replace the old queen. This is a great way to start a new hive, IF you can capture the swarm. I've captured two this week.
That's me and hubby assessing the situation. He helps out with the beekeeping business when I need him to. (the pink thing is a neighbor's finger. She is only 10 or 12 and she took all the pics. She wants to be a columnist. I told her to e-mail me this story and I'd post it, but I haven't heard from her yet and I wanted to let y'all know I'm still here. If she e-mails me, I'll post her version.)

I've got a "bee brush" which has very light bristles. I brush as many bees into this box that I can. If you get the queen, the bees will start following her in the box.
Now that's a lotta bees.

I took out a couple of frames so I could shake them down to the bottom of the hive. I caught this swarm on Tuesday. Thursday I checked on them and so far so good. As my husband and I just sat down on Thursday to visit with each other he said, "it looks like one of your hives is getting ready to swarm." Sure enough, another hive swarmed. Here we go
It's a busy time of year for beekeepers and gardeners here in Indiana.

Have a good weekend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful, Fragrant, Spring!

We have had the most beautiful and fragrant spring. When we came home from vacation and went into our back yard, it smelled heavenly. Several lilac bushes are blooming and they are FULL!
The snowball bush (viburnum) is full.

The bleeding heart plant is huge.

My hubby brought these lilacs home for me. They are a bold purple color and he got them from a farm house yard. The farm house is getting ready to be torn down to make way for a new by-pass. So sad. Anyone remember the song by Joni Mitchell? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot....ewwww...laaaaa laaaaa laaaaaa....(sorry, not a good singer)
I found this guy just hanging around in the lilacs doing nothing! How do I know it's a guy? Well, that's what male bees do. They hang around, and their sole purpose in life is to mate with the queen. That's it. They don't work, they don't even feed themselves, and come winter, the female (worker bees) throw them out of the hive! I'm serious.
Well, being the female that I am, I gotta get busy! Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two wolves

On our way to South Carolina, we found a sign stating "Visit historic Jonesborough" in Tennessee. So we did. It's the quaintest cutest little town. And apparently one of the oldest towns in Tennessee. The stores were closed on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and that's when we were there, so we went window shopping. In the window on one of the stores there was this.....

One evening and old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "my son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all."

"One is evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other is good - it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and asked his Grandfather, "which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "the one you feed."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Newspaper Pot Tutorial

Since today is earth day, I thought I'd post a tutorial on how to make newspaper pots. You can use these to start seeds in, or to transplant plants you've started from seeds, rather than buying plastic pots that need to be thrown out. These are biodegradable so you can just put the entire pot in the ground.

Cut newspaper into 7 inch squares. Use four sheets to make the pot durable.

Fold the square into thirds.

Open it and fold it into thirds in the other direction.

So now when you open it, you have nine creased squares.

Now fold it corner to corner, unfold it, and fold the other side corner to corner. Open it up.

Your creases should give you a bend in the paper that looks like this from the side.

Push that middle square in, and fold the corners over. Kind of like wrapping a gift. It sometimes takes a little finagling.

Staple it closed, do the other side and you have a pot for plants that is biodegradable. The Master Gardeners came over the other day and we made these. The third grade children in our town had an Earth Day festival yesterday and we planted 800 sedum plants with them.

I'm always trying to encourage everyone to just grow one edible item in their yard, or in a container. The difference in the way food tastes from your back yard, as opposed to traveling thousands of miles from some foreign country is amazing. Let's not get into all of the other benefits, so JUST DO IT.

OK - so being my anal self, I thought of an idea to make one of these pots out of material. To stiffen it, I just put clear contact paper on the back side of it. And to close it, instead of stapling it, I sewed buttons on it. Twere I more organized, I'd have used grommets, but who knows where they are right now. Certainly, not me. Anyway, if I were to do it again, I would have hemmed the square first, then made it out of material. But, you can use this for a plant pot too because it's got plastic contact paper inside it. Great for gift giving or Mother's Day. Or just use it to hold something on your desk. Go crazy, make a bunch of different sizes! They're cute!

But first, get outside, celebrate our beautiful earth!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back from Vacation!

Hi y'all!

Thank you Brenda for the art box idea. If you e-mail me your address, I will send you one of my primitive bees! I actually do have an art box for the kids, but it's not individualized. It's got everything thrown in it for the younger nieces and the older boys. I'm thinking if I let them make up their own art boxes, it will help out on the rainy days.
The bee pattern came from an issue of Mercantile Gatherings, which I did alter a bit. I'm involved with a stitchery group called the "Granny Bees" and they make and sell a lot of primitive items by hand. I'm not as prim as they are, but I do enjoy making some of it now and then. I'm more of a cottage-style person.
I just returned from a vacation to South Carolina. I love it there in the Low Country. It's so beautiful. We went to Charleston and Beaufort and we took little day trips to Sullivan's Island and Hunting Island. Their azaleas and jasmine were blooming and everything smelled so wonderful. If you've never been to Beaufort, give it a try. It's like a small Charleston. We stayed at the Cuthbert House Inn. During the civil war, General Sherman stayed in the house and turned one of the bedrooms into an office. I found it quite interesting that there were two names carved in the mantel piece on the fireplace of two soldiers that stayed there.

The Cuthbert House Inn

This was hard to take! When you stay there, you have access to all of their balconies and gardens.
We stopped at an antique/garden place in Charleston and I had to have this pot. It has an opening in the top to plant something in it, but it's hard to see that from this picture. It's supposed to be Albert Einstein.
We also stopped at a garage sale and I got these two pieces of silver. $3.00 for both. They have names and numbers on the back of them and my husband is all excited because he thinks they are real silver. He can't wait to research them. I just like them, so I don't care if it's real or not. I'll use them for service pieces!

I did get a few granny squares made from my 'sand and sea' yarn. Very few. Now here's the thing....I am a beginner at crocheting and reading patterns. So, I made a few squares, and I think I added an extra stitch times four on each square. So I'm trying to decide. Do I just make all 400 and something squares wrong, because you really can't tell it, or do I start over? What's a crocheter to do? What would you do?

I also got started on my shawl.
It's not exactly turning out the way I expected it to, but I still like it. So, these two items will give me something to do on those rainy days, or when I have time to watch a TV show or two! I think I'll put them in my art room! Have a great day.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Taking a break!

What a crazy, busy week I've had. First off, I'm a beekeeper, Coordinator of our local Community Garden, and a childcare provider for two boys I've watched since they were 3 & 5. And everything seems to be happening NOW! My week started on Saturday really...I actually made it to the Farmer's Market, even though I should have been home preparing for the 20 people coming over the next day for Easter. But I'm trying very hard to support local people, and it was opening day at our Farmer's Market. Plus a friend of mine was giving a talk on raising chickens.
Who knew you could raise chickens in town? You can in our town, but you need to check with your local board of health. Don't worry Mom, I'm not going to start raising chickens in the back yard.......yet.

I did purchase some raw milk (makes yummy latte's!), home grown popcorn, noodles, and cheese. Speaking of latte's, which are one of my weaknesses, I have saved $20-25 dollars a week by making my own! I've been doing that for a month now. (I went and bought some new clothes!)
After Easter, one niece stayed with us, and we went to Hilltop Farm. That's what we call our land, and we're very lucky it's only about 20 minutes away.

Why do children have to get as close to the waters edge as possible? And climb up the biggest tree? I'm sure the ladder for the deer stand seemed like an invitation to climb.

So Monday, I had two boys and one girl. Ages 7, 10, 13. Spring break week for all of them. I will not go into details, but did you know it's easier to take CBRD ravioli sauce out of white shirts if you spray it with vinegar immediately. I know what you're thinking...why are you feeding them Chef Boy R Dee? I'll tell you why. I had to take all of them to the grocery and they wanted it for lunch. How easy is that? I was exhausted by 5:00. And I had a dinner party to attend by 6:00. So, when my husband is dipping the green bean casserole out, at the dinner party, he holds up a lid to one of the bean cans and says, "Cindy had a bad day!" OMG I baked a can lid in the casserole!

Day two - yes, it's only Tuesday - the niece went home Monday evening, still had the boys. I had about ten Master Gardeners over that morning to make 400 newspaper pots for Earth Day. I'll show you how to make them at another time. Later that morning, I was in the other room when I heard this awful noise. Sounded kind of like a tub of marbles being knocked over. It was windy outside and the noise I heard was this.....tree limbs scraping the house.

Tuesday afternoon I had to go to an auction. I say "had" because a very dear person, who is a best friend of mine lost her Mother in December. Her, and her brother, were auctioning off the house they grew up in and all of the belongings. I cried. I was tired, emotional, and I'll never look at an estate auction the same way again. It was sad to see everything sell so cheap, and to think they worked their entire life for it all. Note to self: In the future, do not bid on huge piece of gymnasium floor from where you went to high school. Especially if it is too big to fit in the back of the truck, and you and your husband cannot lift it.

Wednesday, I had friends over for breakfast. Later, I picked up a trunk load full of seed potatoes and seeds for the Community Garden. The day was going well, except the boys were "bored to death" and "soooo disappointed"! It was storming outside and they just wanted to golf and fish. I am going to need activity ideas for 10 (soon 11) and 13 year old boys by summer or we're all going to go crazy. I found out they don't like shopping for clothes, pulling weeds, or taking a walk in the neighborhood. I think one of them might have even used the word "hate" in conjunction with "shopping for clothes!"
Thursday we met with our architect and that went ok. Or maybe it was just a waste of time, I haven't decided yet.
I need some R&R so I'm taking some personal time off starting today! I can't decide. Sand and sea colors, or bright colors.

Here's my thinking...I want to learn granny squares. I have a book and yarn and some crochet hooks! So sand and sea for a granny square afghan, and the bright colors for a knitted triangular shawl. What do you think?

Some reading material in case I get tired of crocheting and knitting.

I got this when I took the boys to the bookstore. I'm saving it, so I can savour every page, and read it when I have some uninterrupted time. Even though I'm dieing to open it and start drooling!

I did finish this sand and sea colored scarf last week, very long scarf, which was a work in progress for a couple of years.

So anyway, after this week, I'm taking a break for awhile. I'll return on Monday, the 19th with more blogging. If you can give me some ideas of things to do with boys, ages 11 & 13, I'd appreciate it. I'll even put all of your names in a hat, a pretty gardening hat, and send one lucky commenter one of these! My Sister-in-Law calls them alien honey bees!

Have a great week,


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I got into my beehives last Friday to see how they fared over the winter months. We had a long winter here in Indiana. Snow on the ground from the end of November until March. Then it seems like Spring came and stayed! WOOHOO! I had two hives die, and four live. I still have two hives to check in my back yard. We will be getting into my hives a few times this summer. I hope you enjoy it!

Does everyone know if you click on an image (or maybe it's double click) it will get much bigger? So, if you click on the image below, you will see all of the pollen my honey bees are carrying into their hive. They put it in the little 'baskets' on their hind legs. This is a good thing. Especially for April.

Below is a hive with capped brood (in the center) larvae, and honey on the outer edge. See the little tiny white wormy looking things? That's baby bees! I'm a proud mama.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Cookies
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tbs of vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
3 cups quick oatmeal
Mix butter, milk, cocoa, sugar & vanilla together in a pan. Bring to a boil and boil one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 3 cups oatmeal. Mix well and spoon onto wax paper to set.
I usually make these cookies rather small. They are rich, but very good. For Easter, I made them bigger, dipping them out of the pan with a medium size cookie/muffin scoop. Then I took a teaspoon to indent the center for jelly beans.

The recipe was given to me by a special babysitter I had when I was young. I've had this recipe for about 30 years and it's in her own handwriting. Whenever you can get someone to write out a recipe for you, treasure it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

The Easter Bunnies came over to hide the eggs. (my parents)

No-Bake cookies made to look like bird nests. I'll post the recipe tomorrow. Very quick and simple to make.

The table setting.

Isn't this cute? I found 8 of these crocheted flower pots at an Estate Sale for $3.00. My Mother-in-Law said she thinks she could make me some more! WOOHOO!

After dinner we went on an Easter egg hunt.

Dylan is ready to go again! Look at all those eggs!

I found so many eggs I had to use my top to hold them all!

Time to sit on the patio to visit and relax.
I hope everyone had a nice Easter.