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!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let the Festivities Begin!

Thursday evening, several of us headed to downtown Kokomo, in the 103 degrees heat, to watch The Mummies in concert.

We went to this concert last year. I think it's cool the way The Mummies walk out through the crowd playing their instruments when they are going on stage.

They are a great band. Some of the words to their songs can be a little raunchy, but they play some good music, they put on a good show, and they are fun.

My Sister took time before the concert to show me how she "watched paint dry" the other day while I was watching honey drip.

She is ready to celebrate the 4th of July!

Then yesterday morning (Friday) Mom and Dad took my Shug and I out for breakfast for my birthday. We sat outside, "just like in Italy" they said! It was a very nice breakfast. Thanks Ma and Pa.
After that, my friend and I went garage sailing for a couple of hours, but it was way too hot out. I stopped by Groovy Girl Yarn on my way out to our house we are building. I was meeting the guys I used to watch and their Mom. They love to swim in the pond. But it actually started storming while they were there so we hung out on the porch for awhile and visited.

Winston just loves this guy!

They got me the best birthday card ever. At the bottom they wrote "Thank-You for being the best babysitter in the world." awwwwww......

As we were sitting there watching the storm, looking out at the pond, we notice an Egret AND a Blue Heron! See them?

Last night my Shug and I went back to the Haynes Apperson Festival to see the actual festival. Actually, it's a social thing. We go to see people we know, and get a lemon shake-up.

Foghat was playing. I know I know......Foghat? I lasted through four songs. I'm a 70's girl, but I'm a Van Morrison, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Carly Simon, John Denver, Carole King 70's girl. OK, I'll admit it....Donny Osmond too. In 8th grade I went to an Osmond concert and My friends and I ordered matching t-shirts that said I'm Sweet and Innocent on them! Wish I still had that shirt.

Wish I had this truck too! I was going to put a note on the seat asking if they'd be interested in trading an Indian Motorcycle Chief for it.

So this is what I watched while Foghat was playing. These guys were doing all kinds of twisty things with their bodies. It was pretty fun to watch. It's some kind of dancing.
Today is my Birthday. I'm going to help my Shug work at the house for awhile. But not to worry, I'm gonna have fun because a bunch of us girls are going to see Magic Mike tonight!

And last night WE GOT RAIN!!! So maybe we'll have firworks this week after all!

Let the festivities begin!

Cindy Bee

PS - My spell check on my blog doesn't work anymore so sorry about spelling errors.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Take time out for YOU!

OK - I gotta tell you all about my day yesterday.
I was trying to get a lot done, fast, because I wanted to go to the crocheted hat class I signed up to take. Keep the 'fast' part in mind while reading.

First stop on the agenda.....License Bureau. Which is usually not a good experience, no matter what, but I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

If you don't remember my experience with them last year, you can click HERE.

So yesterday I went to the License Bureau to get my driver's license renewed. It expires Saturday.
I wanted our new house address on my license if possible. I was told by someone that I'd need two pieces of mail with my new address on it, addressed to me. I went through a manilla envelope full of paid receipts and I could only find one thing with MY name and new address on it. I took it, walked in to license bureau and didn't even have to wait, which was a good sign.

When the clerk, we'll call Juan, asked if anything changed I said, "I am in the process of moving." I handed Juan our electric bill with the new address on it.
hmmm... It looked like Juan was going to change
Juan, "you need two pieces of mail with the address change on it."
Me, "I don't have two pieces. We aren't moved yet. We are in the process of moving so most mail is still coming to our residence in town."
Juan, "I can't do it then."
Me, "Ok, just go ahead and use this address, as I point to the old drivers licence."

and here's where the day started going to hell.....

Juan,"I can't do that."
Me, just looking at Juan a bit perplexed..."you can't use the old address?"
Juan, "nope. Once you've told me you're moving, I can't use the old address."
Me, "We aren't moved yet, we are in...the....process....of....moving. Legally, we own both places and I'm ok with either address. If you can't use the old one, just use the new one."
Juan, "I can't. You need two pieces of mail with the new address on it. You'll need to go get something else with the new address on it."

I looked around to see if there were hidden cameras somewhere. Maybe I'm on 'punked' or 'candid camera' or something....Because basically Juan was saying I ain't gettin' a drivers license...period. The lady at the clerk beside me looked at me and said something like, "it's always like this here..."

I gave Juan 'the look' and said, "Juan...I'm not leaving and coming back, so you'll need to use an address of some sort."
Juan, "I can't."
Me, "then go get someone else for me to talk to. Because"
Juan went and talked to another person. That person walks up and asks, "Where are you living right now?"
I point to the drivers license and said, "Here."
Then she says to Juan, "Use this address."
...simple really...
I'm tired. I did not sleep well the night before, I never sleep well, ever. Not since this peri-menopausal body took over my life. Plus, I've been busy, and emotional, and I just want my damned drivers license.

Juan then says, "step over here, read the lines in this machine so I can check your eyes, then step up to the blue screen for your picture."
I obediently do what I'm told.
Juan, "Put your hair behind your ears."
"Pull your hair away from your eyebrows. I can't have any hair on your face. Now stand still...."
I'm pretty sure Juan is just trying to piss me off at this point.
I look like a convict in my picture!
Then we go back to the desk area and I sign "here" and "here" and "here" and Juan says "you have 60 days to come in and change your address after you move. "
"Seriously, I'm not coming back."
"You better or you will get fined $160.00 if you get caught."
I conjure up my best cowgirl drawl and say......See ya in six years...Juan.

Then I stopped at McDonalds for some lunch. In the last couple of months we've been eating out way too much. I don't even care for fast food anymore, but I'm in a hurry, we have no hot water at our new house, and I'm on my way out there to finish extracting honey.
I ordered the Daily Double meal from the nice lady standing outside taking orders.
I paid.
And they handed me my tea and asked me to pull over and wait....for my fast food.
And I nicely pulled over. Opened my straw and took a sip of tea. The tea was very sweet. blechh.
So when they brought me my food, I said, "This tea is sweet and I ordered unsweet."
No problem. He went and got me some regular tea.
And before you get going on that....I like sweet tea, made with honey or REAL sugar, but whatever they use at these fast food restaurants is not honey or real sugar.
So, I was heading to the 'big box store' in town and opened my sandwich.
Not even a daily double.
For real.
W.h.a.t.e.v.a.h. I ate it.

But this is a good time to bring up this point. Here are pics of the packs of fries that I've gotten in the last month. These were right out of the sack. I'm not kidding.

The one above was right after I got back from Italy. Did someone forget to tell me we have a potato famine in our country now?

My Shug and I were splitting this big box....really....I wasn't going to eat it all by myself!
But can you tell what these boxes have in common?
Fill those boxes up DAMMIT!
OK, so I go to the big box store, I finish my lunch in the parking lot, and I was going in for some baggies and a box of canning jars.
I went to get a's stuck to the other carts.
I try the next row of carts...pull luck.
Next and final luck....I look one to help me and no one standing around laughing at me because I look like an idiot trying to pull those carts apart. Do you ever feel like someone is doing these things on purpose?
I decide I'll get a basket and just carry the canning jars.
I get the basket, get the baggies, throw in a couple of other items.....and go to get the jars...

I couldn't even climb on the shelves below them.....

I took a picture because I knew no one would believe me.

Then I went to our farm and finish extracting honey....because I AM GOING TO THAT CROCHET HAT CLASS COME HELL OR HIGH WATER!

I was running late....but I called the Groovy Girl and she said it would be fine.

As it turned out, I was right on time.

Skipped cooking dinner......again.

I grabbed a box of goldfish crackers and told everyone at the class I brought dinner! Put them on the table and we began crocheting our hats. And this is probably one of those things that you just had to be there.....

But see this lady.....we'll call her K.

Well K used chunky yarn and an alpalca/wool blend. And she was going to get her hat done that night. And she doesn't care for Matthew MConahey btw. I know... weird.

Anyway K was working fast and furious to get her hat finished.

And I'm sitting beside her.

And she was all worked up because the brim of the hat is very hard to do. Our teacher warned us these hats are not for the weak.

And all of a sudden I hear K saying......kind of a mumbling ......

"oooooooohhhhh nooooooo.....oooohhhhh laaaawwwwdeeeeee.....laaawwwdeeee.....lawwwdeeeeee." and I look up from my crocheting to see her back to me, her arm in the air, and in her hand is a broken piece of yarn......torn...from....her....hat.

Now for you crocheters and knitters, you know this could be disasterous.

This broken piece of yarn came right off of her hat. She was pulling hard for some reason. I'm not to that part of the pattern yet, so I don't know why she was doing it, but I think it had to do with the brim.

All I know is I'm stifling a laugh.....

Why would I even laugh at this?

And I hear it again.....

"oooooh lawwwdeeee.....laaawdeeeeee......laaawdeeeeeee." Very serious voice.

And I started to giggle out loud......


And I busted out laughing.

I had tears rolling down my face.

Beth, who is the Granny Bee btw, said, "Cindy brrreeeaaaathe."

(this is Beth with her hat. I think they look like acorn tops at this point, and I was laughing about that too)

I could not stop laughing.
K, the broken yarn anti-Matthew lady said, in a very serious voice "Oh Cindy you're just tired."

I had to put my crocheting down and stand up to stretch out my stomach muscles from laughing so much.

Peeps - when you are having a crappy day.....I don't care how busy you are.....





And here's what happened......the Groovy Girl teacher darned K's, it turned out perfect ('cept she thinks she looks like Elmer Fudd in it - which got me started all over again!) and

I slept through the entire night.

I did not even wake up one all....not even to pee!



Cindy Bee

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A little bit of this and that....

Peeps, I'm tellin' ya now....If I had to live my life this busy all the time, I wouldn't want to live it. Here's what I've been up to....
I've been helping my Mother-in-Law go through her stuff. She has permanently moved into Assisted Living. We meet for two to three hours, a week at a time.
We make piles.
Piles of things she doesn't want to throw out, nor does she want anymore.
Such as all of these craft books.

And these craft get the idea. LOTS of craft books. I totally get this. I have TONS of craft books. Now I have TONS more. Some are vintage enough that they are coming back in style.

Then there is stuff like this. Her husband's high school diploma. I gave it to my Shug, since it was his Dad. What do you do with stuff like this?

Then there are things that she needed burnt or shredded. We even found the deed to a house that she lived in, three houses ago. The one my Shug grew up in.
Lots of old pairs of perscription glasses. Who can I donate them to?
And these....

Too bad they are bent and crooked and messed up. I think they could be cool, in a retro kind of way. Couldn't they?
That in and of itself has been emotional draining, and exhausting. And I'm doing it to help my Shug out. It's his Mom but he needs to be working on our house. We are getting so close to moving in.
I will admit, the first time the Assisted Living bus came and picked her up, she got in, sat down, and waved good-bye.
I stood in the yard, alone, and cried.
She broke her hip last November and hasn't been home since. She will never be home again. And she is having a hard time creating a new home.

Soooo, on to happier stuff.

I took a class a couple of weeks ago at Groovy Girl Yarn on making these handwarmers. I know, I've made them before, but I always had trouble with the thumb hole. See it there...the thumb....sticking up? I like these because they actually have a thumb.

And I've been going through all of my yarn and material setting up my craft room, and I've decided.....I'm getting rid of a lot of it.....but some of it, I'm making more handwarmers and other such stuff to either sell at Granny Bee Christmas open house, or to use as gifts. Depending on how many I finish.

What do you think?

And I've been extracting honey.

I've put in 8 hours a day for several days going through bee hives, pulling frames and extracting honey.

I don't even bother with make-up because I suit up and work in the hot sun lifting heavy frames and hives hoping I don't get stung. I sweat profusely doing this.

When you keep bees you don't have a choice when to extract honey. When the hives are crowded, the supers are full of honey, and the sun is shining, and it's hot out, you extract honey.

I'm not complaining.

I now wear boots.

No more ankle stings.

Then I do get a small break while I wait for honey to drip.

I left my Sister a message and told her I was watching honey drip, which is like watching paint dry, (check the house blog, I watched paint dry last week) or watching grass grow. B O R I N G!

But then, she calls me back with a different perspective on watching paint dry. She says that she is actually watching paint dry and enjoying it! She explained she has a magazine in one hand, a drink in the other, and she is waiting for her 4th of July toes to dry from the pedicure she just got! Maybe she'll send us a picture.

She also went on to say that apparently I am not having the kind of day she is having.

Ummm, apparently not.

The fruit of my labor....and of the bees labor.

A blogger friend, Buttons ,left a comment the other day that a neighbor of hers quit keeping bees because the bears wouldn't leave the hives alone! OMG! I am petrified of bears. I have nightmares about bears! Who knows why, I live in Indiana, we don't have bears. But if we did, I wouldn't be a beekeeper either!

What we do have in Indiana is a draught. A very serious draught.

We have had very little rain for the last two months. Like, less than an inch.

The grass breaks if you walk on it.

Almost all of the counties in Indiana have a burn ban.

Farmers are losing their crops.

One blogger friend, Angela from the Country Cellar said someone she knows is selling his cattle already because he knows his hay crop won't be large enough to feed them through the winter.

We need rain bad.

And just this morning on the news they said they might cancel the fireworks show at Conner Prairie this year because they are afraid the prairie grass will catch fire.

I love the Conner Prairie July 4th show. I bought these bags to carry my food and drink in.

I bought some fun stuff for our 'area' at the show.

I LOVE fireworks,

I love July 4th,

and I enjoy all of the celebrations.

PRAY FOR RAIN for Indiana, so we can have fireworks and farms and fields and fun!

Cindy Bee

PS - I AM taking a break tonight and taking a crochet class at Groovy Girl Yarn. Crocheted Newsboy Cap. I think it'll be fun! It's not too late to sign up if you know how to crochet.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beekeeping Lessons

My apiary.

O.K. Class, today we are going to learn some lessons on beekeeping. As you can see in the above picture, there is an apiary. It's my apiary. When I mow this apiary, I suit up. White clothes, veil, gloves. So far, I have never been stung mowing. But then, I suit up. However, I do not use a weed eater around the hives. I take a pair of clippers and clip the weeds down when I'm getting ready to open the hives.

And class, to refresh your memory, this is a picture of the hive that I showed you in the last post.

"Yes Fiona?"

Fiona has a question class.

(question paraphrased)

"Sorry about your sting bee lady, but what will happen to the bees since they are so crowded. Will they swarm?"

Now class, I'm sure she doesn't care more about the bees than me, but Very Good Question Fiona.

And yes, they MIGHT swarm. Most, not all, swarming occurs in spring when the Queen starts laying a lot of eggs and us beekeepers aren't quite ready for it. The bees run out of room, make a new queen, the old queen leaves with half the hive, and it's called a swarm. So they could swarm.

In this hive, I think the queen has plenty of room to lay, but the supers are full of honey. The super is the smaller box on the top of the hive bodies, and it's where the bees store honey. I wanted to extract this honey to give them room to bring in more nectar and make more honey. But they were immediately aggressive. I got stung the minute I opened the hive, and some of the bees were constantly buzzing me. I had to walk away a couple of times. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. So I had to figure out what is going on. After I got mad, and maybe cursed a little bit, I left that hive alone and went to the hive next to it. Hmmmmm, no activity, possibly a dead hive, and no honey. Geeeesh what is going on here.

Since that hive wasn't making honey, I took one of the supers off of it, and put it on the hive that is full. This is what it looks like now. Compare this to the above hive photo. Doesn't this look much more calm.

Three supers, two hive bodies. And less bees hanging outside the hive. HOWEVER, sometimes bees will hang outside the hive anyway, because it's just too dang hot inside. So the truth is, we don't know why Mother Nature creatures do what they do.

A lesson to take from this experience is you can get as mad as you want at a beehive, but you can't do anything about it, except try to correct the problem. 60,000 honeybees will win over a human every time. So get mad, and get over it.

Now class, I've mentioned many times that honey bees are not aggressive unless they are defending their hive. And here is what I think is going on and it is a BIG problem. I'm about 90% sure I have a raccoon problem. Yes, those cute little critters are a big problem for bees. They will take their paws and put them inside the hive, pull out hand fulls of honey and bees and eat 'em up. They love it. And they will come back night after night until they completely destroy an apiary. And here is why I am sure I have a raccoon problem.

A couple of weeks ago, when I extracted honey, I left two supers sitting on top of cement blocks for the bees to come and get the honey. I didn't want to extract it because I believe it was leftover honey that the bees didn't eat from last year. I only want to extract honey that is new and fresh. If I feed old honey back to the bees, they will recycle it, and it will be brand new again. I have left supers out like this for years for the bees to clean up. But when I went back to our land a couple of days later, this is what I found. The raccoons made this mess, I'm sure of it. I had two supers with frames inside nicely stacked on the blocks.

Now remember, this was not a standing beehive. It was two supers. I, unknowingly, drew the raccoons into the bee yard.

Since very few people wear coonskin hats anymore, I'm not sure raccoons serve a purpose. Do they?

My first plan to thwart the coons from destroying my hives is to put a wire (looks like chicken wire) across the opening of the hives. The bees can still come and go, but pesky critters will not be able to get in the hives. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

But class, before we dismiss, I want to add a couple of other small lessons.

First of all, you saw the result of my bee sting. It still hurts/itches....but not as much as 2. And it did swell. That's what bee stings do. That is not an allergic reaction. It's a NORMAL reaction to a bee sting. IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO BEE STINGS, THEN YOU ARE PROBABLY ALLERGIC TO WASPS, HORNETS, SWEAT BEES, BUMBLE BEES, ETC. CARRY AN EPI-PEN. Because those types of stinging insects are everywhere! And if you are allergic your throat will close up, you'll become dizzy, you won't be able to breathe, and it could be fatal.

Secondly, hmmm, I was interrupted with a phone call and I forget my other class dismissed.....for now.

Cindy Bee

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bees and Honey

See this hive?

Look a little closer....amongst the weeds. They're down now, by the way. The weeds I mean. So anyway, this hive looked a little crowded to me. Those dark spots are clusters of bees hanging out on the outside of the hive. And it's time to extract some honey.
So I took the top off of this hive, and

DAMN IT!!! How do they know just the right spot where they can sting you?
And make it hurt!
That thin skin on the ankle....OUCH!

I really do have an ankle. It's all swollen from the sting. And it's hard to walk.
But here's the good news.....

Lots of honey (not from that hive - they were too mean)
and the other good news.
I'm going to bed now,
and I WILL sleep through the night.
Thanks to Benadryl.

Cindy Bee

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Simple Pleasures!

Hey everyone, I got this braniac idea. Today is the first day of summer and it's the time of year for simple pleasures! If I knew how to do one of those blog hop thingy's and have you post back to my blog, I would. But I don't. So I'm just going to challenge everyone to post some simple pleasures on your blog. You can leave a comment to let us know you did it if you want. I think it'd be fun. Then we get to spend the rest of the summer trying to do all of these simple pleasures! What do you think?

Here's some...

Wash the dog outside...

or roast hot dogs and make s'mores around a campfire.

or drink beer out of a pink frosty mug.

go swimming in a pond or a lake.

Or let your ears blow in the wind (or maybe take your dog bye bye!)

Or eat custard out of a chocolate chip cone!

Or hand wash your car. Or let the kids do it and play in the sprinkler while they're at it!

or even hang clothes on the line!

OK now your turn....list some simple pleasures! We all need them.

Cindy Bee

Monday, June 18, 2012

Let's talk yarn!

Seems like since both feet hit the ground at the airport, from returning from Italy, I've been running. There is a lot going on right now. But I do take a little time out early in the morning to fiddle with yarn.

This is the stuff I made on the plane, or in the Hotel room in Italy. Several small flowers (from Attic 24 blog)

A couple of coasters,

part of a black bird (from Attic 24 blog) that needs another wing, some eyes and legs!

and a crooked cross! My Sister told me I should try to make a cross. I didn't have a pattern, and all I had was cotton yarn, but I did try. This is about as good as it got.

I took one of those flowers and made my sister a cup cozy, but apparently she wants something a little more adult-like.

I think a beer in a flowered cup cozy looks adult-like, don't you? And very feminine.

And here's some great yarn news. This is a peek inside Groovy Girl Yarn store. It opened while I was gone. Not the little room in the upstairs of an art gallery. She opened a real live yarn store. Check out her blog.

Every now and then I take some time and pop by her shop. It's only about 5-10 minutes from my house! D a n g e r o u s!

This was grand opening day. I was trying to teach Kathy how to make tissue flowers. We were having a difficult time, and found out we were using the wrong size of tissue paper. (Plus, as you can see in the above picture, she wasn't taking this serious at all, and she kept ripping the petals)

Look how nice!

Did I mention I have my own cabinet in the kitchen at the yarn store?

VERY D a n g e r o u s! (wanna know what's in the bag?)

Should I be offended????

I made this scarf from cotton yarn and I LOVE IT! It matches everything denim.

And it's loosely crocheted, and cotton, so I can wear it on the cooler days in the summer.

I also learned how to make hexagons.

More yarn stories to come....

Cindy Bee