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!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's my birthday!

I'm 52 years old today. I think when I was a baby I must have been put in my crib and I would lie there listening to fireworks. I love them. And I love lying in bed at night now, listening to them as I doze off to sleep. We live in town and we hear a lot of them at night. They've already started. I also enjoy going to the July 4th celebration at Conner Prairie, and visualizing what it was like 'back in the day'. Back in the day when people cared about their country. When they celebrated their freedom. When they appreciated it. I sometimes close my eyes and pretend......

And this is what I would like for my birthday! I would like to see


with their right hand over their heart,
every time they hear the Star Spangled Banner being played at whatever function they are attending this weekend.

No hat on,
no gum being chewed on,
no talking to the person next to them
No talking on their cell phone,
no texting,
no walking around,
you get the idea...
with their right hand over their heart AT ATTENTION.
When did we become so disrespectful?
When did we stop caring that people, our own Americans, lost their life, or their limbs, or their sons, or their daughters, or their Dad, or their Mom, FOR US, FOR OUR COUNTRY.

I would like to hear everyone sing along.
It doesn't matter if you're off key.
Be proud of our country.
Our country that our fore fathers fought for,
so we could be free,
so we could have a country.

I'd like for you to think about what you are singing.
Don't just mumble through he words.
Do you even know the words?
Look them up - you have a couple of days yet.

I'd also like to see every house displaying an American flag.


That's what I'd like.
I'd like to take a picture of my street,
with an American flag flying in front of every house.

That's what I'd like.

I'd like to see everyone wearing these too! Ok - kidding about these, but aren't they fun? I saw them being made on Martha a couple of weeks ago, only in pink, and I just had to give it a try.
Go celebrate, thank a veteran, and Have a Happy July 4th.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Honeybee Rescue!

Yesterday I got a phone call. My friend Teresa, was doing a couple of errands, then going to a couple of garage sales. Even though I was in the middle of cleaning and rearranging, which is what I was going to post about today, I stopped everything, and went with her. Just after three garage sales I got another phone call. A local excavating company, Feightner's, was tearing down a house, and there were honeybees in the wall. WERE, because the house was down and the bees were EVERYWHERE! They did not want the bees to be destroyed and wondered if I could save them. So, the boys I watch (Vinh & Teng) and my friend (Teresa) and I headed back home to get my beekeeping equipment. Then, as an afterthought, I asked Teresa if she wanted to help. "Sure! It'll be an adventure." She said. I think she's a natural beekeeper, she was so brave. She walked right in that construction site full of bees and started helping!

Teresa, Me, and Jack, assessing the situation. Notice he isn't suited up. He knows that honeybees don't usually sting unless they feel threatened. There were different piles of bees all over the place.

I had this cardboard nuc box that I was putting the bees in. Check out the cement block covered with bees. Can you believe in all of that rubble, I found the queen? That was a gift from God. It's hard to spot a queen in a hive, let alone in a big pile like this one! I needed a new queen for one of my hives. A few posts back I wrote about how I was concerned about one of my hives. Well, these bees went into that hive.

That's Jack in the background excavating what was left of a house, while Teresa and I searched for honeybees!

We had to hurry. We were afraid he was going to pick us up and throw us in the dumpster!

This is some honeycomb that had fallen out of the house. So sad that the nurse bees are still nursing their brood. They just don't give up. They are all snuggly in a hive on our land now. I hope they stayed. I'll let you know in a couple of days.
As for my original posting idea....what's better...a honeybee rescue or a clean, rearranged house? (Don't answer that Mom!)
But I do need throw in a couple of things. First of all, I got a free crow pattern from Crows in the Attic Primitives. I entered a give away and did not win, but she didn't want any losers!
Thanks again for my crow pattern!

And secondly, Saturday, from 10 - 4, is the Howard County Master Gardeners Tenth Mid-Summer Garden Stroll. Because it's the tenth anniversary, they are having some extra special events. Besides going through seven gardens, they are going to have artists booths at each garden. Here is an example of one of the artists stuff. Click on the album labeled "garden stuff." (I have to have that ladybug - HAVE TO)
Plus my Granny Bee friends will be there

There will also be cookies and punch, a lemonade stand, and a plant sale. A lot of fun stuff for one day. Grab some friends and have a fun Saturday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away.....

On Monday, it stormed so hard we lost power for a couple of hours. Vinh, the ten year old that I watch, was so excited when I lit the oil lamps because he thought it was going to be fun to live like John Boy Walton. Um, did John Boy have a DS?

Yesterday I went out to see the damage done at the Community Garden from all the rain we've had.

We usually work in the Comm. Gdn. two to three times a week. Because of all the rain, we've worked four or five times the whole month.
We still have ten rows of corn we need to get planted!

This is on our land, Hilltop Farm. This is a pond that has a creek flowing through it, however, that tree is usually on dry land.

This is the creek. The water is so high it's up to the limbs on the trees.

These are free range chickens out by our land. We all know they are better for us than the chickens stuffed 5-6 to a cage with no room to even flap their wings, force fed too much food, and given antibiotics because they are so unhealthy. What are these chickens doing in the road?

Mourning a loved one maybe. Or complaining that those humans in cars need to slow down. I think the rooster on the left is shunning me! Although I did slow down and wait for them to get out of the road, someone didn't. WHY? Does it really make a difference if you get to where you're going 60 seconds earlier? Have you ever seen someone weaving in and out of cars, driving like an idiot, only to find you are sitting beside that same car at the next stop light? People, SLOW DOWN. What if this were a child? YOUR child. This is the same area where the deer was hit last week.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Sewing Bits & Pieces

After we celebrated Father's Day at my brother's house, we went to Border's to look around a bit. I found a new sewing book and I can't wait to sew some of the fun projects in it. (probably won't be until winter though - sigh)

I think this owl is adorable.

And these tea them. I think when I move, my kitchen is going to be bright and happy!
A pincushion with a flower on it. My Granny Bee friends love pincushions!
Just thought I'd share a few pages of my new sewing book. It has several sections in it. Kitchen, Bed & Bath, Children, Party, Crafts and Adults.
Gotta get busy...the sun is actually shining right now. It's been raining and storming for days here.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Dad at the Chicago Botanical Gardens a couple of years ago.
Father and son (my brother Duke)

Father and daughters (me, Theresa) at a container gardening seminar. Twas a lot of fun.

Dad and his kids. (Me, Theresa, Duke)

Our family, minus two that couldn't make it that day.
Happy Father's Day, Pa!
Oh - you thought I was done posting? But aren't you wondering why the picture of the pies? Well, here's the story. Last night, I call Mom to see if her and Dad would like to go out for breakfast. You see, we celebrated Father's Day last weekend at my brother's house, and my parents are going out for dinner with my sister and her family, who couldn't make it last weekend. So breakfast it is. Then Mom says something like..I have a bone to pick with you..something like that. I said, "why?" "You made a blackberry pie and we didn't get any!" "You don't even like blackberry pie!" "No but your Dad does." Well, I happened to be making him a strawbarb pie as we were speaking. So I made another dough, stretched it to cover the gooseberry that my husband wanted to try, the strawbarb that my husband wanted, and the blackberry and strawbarb for my dad to choose from.
And how did she know I made a pie anyway. She saw it on my blog. So, let me just say....that pie was for Dave because he watched the boys for me on Friday, the week he was laid off, the entire morning. So me and Teresa could spend an entire morning garage sailing, without kids. Both boys - all morning. And he said all I had to do was BRING HOME lunch. Not make it, bring it home!

Tomorrow folks....the story of Henny Penny....or some such character that grows wheat, makes bread, cooks bread and no one wants to help.....I think that was her name. I'll find out. I have the book. My mother read it to me as a child :-)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

My summers are too busy!

What I do in the summer...besides cook, clean, laundry, watch two boys all day (I have since they were babes), and garage sale.....

Work in the 'muddy' Community Garden. This garden is a one-acre plot of ground and since 2003 we have harvested over 105,000 pounds of produce. It all goes to organizations in our community that feed the needy. I'm Coordinator, which means I make a lot of phone calls, e-mails, and do a lot of paperwork.
Work in my own back yard. This is my corner of the world. My cottage (potting shed) that my husband built for me. When we move, I will miss it more than anything.

Work in my beehives. I have eleven total. These are the hives on our land, Hilltop Farm. It's almost time to extract honey. A LOT of work.
I'm concerned about this hive. It's not as strong as it should be for just getting a new Queen. If you click on this picture and make it bigger, you'll see what larvae (baby bees) look like.

Visit with family. This is at my brother's house last Sunday.

Pick and preserve food. I freeze, dehydrate, and can any fresh food I can grow or people give me. Right now it's blackberry season.

Make pies.

Eat pie and ice cream! YUM.

And try to sneak in some relaxing craft work. My granny stripe blanket, or as my husband called it, my "Alabama Flash" blanket. My granny bee stitchery group really liked it! I didn't think they would because they mostly like primitives, but they liked my blankey!
And I'm doing a lot of pondering. Ponder..ponder...ponder...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate day at Garden Thyme!

About a week and a half ago my Sister's neighborhood was having garage sales. My cousin, Gloria, and I decided we'd go. And if it rained, as it has been doing for the last month, we'd just go shopping in 'real' stores. Well, it did rain, but not too bad. We went sailing for a couple of hours. I found a few treasures, but she made out like a bandit! She bought lots of clothes and toys for her grandchildren. She even bought a recliner flexsteel couch and love seat, that she had to go back and pick up. Made her hubby real happy as they live about 1 1/2 hours away :-)
Here are a couple of my purchases.

An antique doll bed for a dollar. I want to make a quilt for it and put the dolls in it that my nieces play with when they visit.
This is another one of those Nautica shower curtains that I think would make a great quilt. One dollar folks. Why buy new?
I love old cookbooks, especially ones with stories and history in them. This was published in 1942!

This is her van at the end of the day. We even picked up a kid! I am calling this kid our weekend child! See the plants.....well that is a story in itself. You see, we met my Sister, Brother-in-Law and niece for lunch, then we went to a very fun (for me!) fabric/yarn store, then we went for a latte'. As we were standing in line I said, "Gloria, you know what? We are not very far from this very quaint little garden center and it has a very old brick schoolhouse building, and they sell lots of cute gardeny 'things'. I forgot all about it but I think you would love it. I've only been once but would you like to go if I can remember how to get there?" She is a gardener too, so we went.
I found it! And it just happened to be CHOCOLATE DAY! Now, unfortunately I did not have my camera with me. I did have my phone, but I'm missing a little disc thingy to download the pics. So, I asked the owner to send me some pics of chocolate day. Here they are.....

Now I know what it looks like this llama is doing, but it is actually climbing up on a bench. Yes they had llamas there for the day.

Chocolate hedgehog. yum They also had other chocolate treats, and they were selling lunch that day too, but we had already eaten. They even had chocolate, iced, coffee.

The owner, Kim, with a beautiful llama. I want to spin that hair!

Garden Thyme is the name of the place and it's easy to find. And while I was there I saw someone that looked familiar. Well, she was the lady who sold purses (remember the two big bags) at the Granny Bee weekend, here in Kokomo! What a small, small world.

These are the plants I bought. Gomphrena, Kentucky Colonel Mint, Candy Mint, chamomile, and a lily. The lily is something I have been looking for, for a long time. After it blooms, it gets these little black berries on it and it dries beautifully. I can't remember the name of it, and we planted it on our land, so I can't go look. I'll try to find out for you if any of you want to know. And she gave everyone a free chocolate mint plant.
Check out Kim's website at
She is trying to save the schoolhouse and she is using the money from plant sales to save it, so pay her a visit. You won't regret it. Guaranteed fun!