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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grow one edible item

Hey this!

And harvest it,
And eat it.
  You don't have to have a big area...
 (Sugar snap peas in my flower bed)

This is the size of our flower bed.  Just a little garden bed outside our door.
 We have two of them.  
 It's really all I have time for right now.  We have acres of land but I just can't do it all.  

I have visions of a garden like Tasha Tudor, walking around barefoot with my Corgis and my goats....
and a Beatrix Potter life with my own Jemima Puddleduck and Tabitha Twitchett, 
and Patti Beck garden with her flowers and fun pottery type stuff.....(Hi Patti! she's the only one that reads my blog...well....actually.....never mind.)

But for now
  this is it..
and this.  
It's a pot. 
 It works.  

  No chemicals.
Why do I want you to grow one edible item this year?  
I actually say this every year, but here's the deal.
 I really do believe it's chemicals that are killing our bees.  Granted this winter was tough and killed a lot of bees.  But the more I read about these chemicals, and these genetically modified plants (GMO's) the more I believe it's the heart of the problem with our bees.
And us.
And our animals. 
 My Shug came home the other day from visiting a neighbor down the road.  The neighbor said both of his dogs died this winter from cancer in their mouth and nose.  I asked him if this neighbor had a perfect yard.  My Shug said, "yeah, why?"  I said, "Because I don't know of anyone that has a perfect yard that doesn't use chemicals.  And these companies tell you to not let animals or children walk in the yard after spraying."   That should scare you.  And if you don't think those chemicals are being sprayed on your food, think again.

So my thinking is this...the more we grow our own food, even a little at a time, the less chemicals we are using, spreading, and eating. 
Not to mention how much tastier the food is!
I know it's probably a pipe dream, but I'm asking.....
grown one edible item that isn't genetically modified, and don't use chemicals.
We gotta start somewhere right....let's start with bloggers.

 And use your farmer's market.  Ours is small, but there are several organic vendors there on Saturday mornings.

Lastly, does anyone know if this is a flower or a weed?  I want to pull it, but I'm wondering if it's something I planted last year!

Cindy Bee

Monday, May 26, 2014

May stuff

Good grief peeps, did anyone miss me at all?  Did you think I got swallowed up by that swarm!   I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day today and got to spend time with loved ones, and remembered those no longer with us.

As you know, My Shug had Achilles Tendon surgery.  Well, it ain't no walk in the park...for either of us.  "Can you get me this, can you help me with this, can you do this...".and God love him he has a big honkin' plaster cast on his leg and we are still (and forever) living in this one room and well....I've started several blog posts, and started reading blogs, and while I was trying to do a pos,t my computer shut right down on me so I took it as a sign and gave up!

So besides working on house stuff, which I have done a little bit of (insulating-ugh),  and making lots and lots of bee frames, here is everything that happened this month that I did not post about. 

I worked at the yarn store one day for Groovy Girl.  I don't think I made any mistakes, except she said we couldn't open any packages that came in the mail.  After much begging, we did open these really cool project bags that didn't officially come in the mail, they came by UPS.  She only has two left at this point though.  Rumor is there are more on the way.

We celebrated Vickie's birthday.
By spending the night at my Sister's house (her husband was gone that weekend)
and we had mimosas for breakfast.  That sounds so good I'd have one right now if I had the fixin's which I do not. I also made us some french toast, with real french bread, which was real yummy...and bacon.  Mmm

We also went to Allisonville nursery and did a little bit of shopping. 

I have a tree like this made out of wire, which I put pom poms on, and now I think I'm going to have to change it because I want to make one of these.  Cute huh?  This nursery has a ton of stuff...and plants.  But kind of pricey....just sayin'.
 Anyone every read the book or seen the movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?"  Well it's good.  And based on a true story, which I did not know until I went to Savannah, GA on vacay for a week a few years back, and toured the house.  Someday I am going to get this statue.
I think she looks a little evil in the eyes, and she had a chip in the front, so I decided not to take her home with me.

I did, however, take a few things home with me one day while my peg legged Shug and I went to visit his Mom, and saw a garage sale right across the street from her Assisted Living Facility!
 We got this mirror, which is going to go lovely with our bathroom vanity upstairs in the half bath.
 And I got this mail thing which I am not using right now, but I think it will be cute to drop keys into when we move upstairs.
 And My Shug came home with this, which I have not used yet, but I like.  Looks like a big martini glass!
  Something I did not bring home this year....mushrooms (sad face)  I went mushroom hunting in our woods several times.  I did not realize until I went walking that we lost a LOT of trees last November when we got the tornado.  Look at this one!
Looks kind of scary!  Or mad! 
 And the sweetest news of all....Ty Joseph was born.  My Great Nephew!!!  A boy in the family!!!!  I now have two nephews, a nephew-in-law, and four nieces, and I love them to pieces!
Look at that precious face.  He was just a few hours old here, and I got to hold him.  "SMILE"

Well, I must go now.  My Shug is here and we are going to watch a movie.  
I do not get as much done when he is home.  
I am missing all of your blogs...and I hope to visit soon.
By the way, you all cracked me up with your comments. When honeybees swarm they are the nicest ever.  I've never been stung getting a swarm.

Chat later...
Cindy Bee

Monday, May 19, 2014

First swarm call of the season!

I had my morning all planned out.  First thing, post my weekend on my blog, and catch up on blog reading.  BUT...  I got a call....a "swarm" call.  The first thing you do when you get a swarm call is ask them to describe the swarm.  So many people think a few little wasps, yellow-jackets, or hornets are a honey bee swarm.  The person that called me has been a friend of mine since we were about 18.  I worked at Purdue University Technology for about 15 years, and that's where she works now.  She was telling me the Director of Purdue programs has a swarm at his house.  When she described it, I packed my bee equipment and took off. 

 I asked if either one of them wanted to 'suit up' and help me out.  I could have gotten them by myself as I have many times.  But sometimes, people think it's an adventure to help.  It is!  So this is the Director of Purdue Technology in our town, helping me get a swarm of honeybees that were in his back yard. 

I was going to shake the limb of bees into the box, but after thinking about it a little bit, and after he showed me that the bees were coming out of his house! (he has a bigger problem than a swarm of bees as he really does have bees coming in and out of his house) I decided to to cut the branch rather than shake it.  I didn't want the bees to fly back into the house.  Plus, I could reach the branch on the bottom, pull it down, and reach it on the top!
 Look at the first picture again....that branch used to stick straight out.  He said as the bees were landing on it (he happened to see the swarm land) the branch kept getting heavier and heavier and it was hanging straight down, rather than out.  I have never got a swarm of bees this easily.   Usually you have to drag out a ladder and try to figure out how you are going to get the bees.  I had him cut the branch while I held it on both ends. 
 I would never have someone that isn't used to bees hold the limb.  I'm on the left, he's on the right.
 I have the whole branch of bees in my hand and am attempting to put them in the box. 
 We had to carefully cut a few more limbs off to get it to fit.   Anytime you are getting a swarm, you just need to get the queen and the rest will follow.  However, it's rare that you see the queen.  You just know you got her when the bees go inside.
I left the lid cracked open for a little while to try to get as many bees as possible to go in.  I didn't want the bees in the box to go out though.
 You can see what looks like a lot of bees flying around us....and there are.....
 but nothing compared to the amount of bees in the box.  I waited awhile to let more bees goes into the box, then
 I put the lid on the box, put it in my trunk (only because I didn't have too far to drive and it wasn't too hot out)
 and took it home to put in one of my empty hives.
You shake the bees out of the cardboard nuc box into the hive...and hope they stay.

 Notice I stuffed a bunch of grass in the opening of the hive.  That's to encourage the bees to stay in the hive.  They can maneuver through it, and air will flow through it, but it will die by tomorrow and they will remove it.
 I checked on it a couple of times this evening....and they are still there.
Come on swarm calls!!!

JV - everyone there has my number, right?!?!!!!

Cindy Bee

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Basket assignment, finished!

While making a pit stop at Groovy Girl Yarn the other day for some Weird Watermelon hand dyed yarn by Groovy Girl herself, I asked her..."Groovy Girl, what happened to that magazine picture of that basket with the yarn top crocheted on it?"  She knew not of what I was speaking....So I went to the wall of magazine photos, removed a taped piece of paper and said, "hark, here it tis!"  I want to make one of these I said.  And she said, "Bee Lady, your assignment for next week is to do just that."
(we don't really talk that way, but we could...if we wanted to)
 So I hunted around for the perfect basket...and did not find one.  So I used this battered old thing instead.
 I didn't have a pattern, so I sort of did what I thought would work.  I crocheted in between the weavings of the basket. And I was careful to stay in between the same weavings all the way around. The first row or two was a bit tricky.  I had to work a small crochet hook through the slats of the basket, and the yarn was much larger than the hook size.  I just pulled the yarn through on the first row and crocheted it onto the basket.
After the 2nd or third row it got pretty easy just single crocheting a long.  As you can see in the above two photos, where the slats were (up and down slats) I just added about three rows of single crochets so that I would have some chains to hook onto on the 2nd row.  If you kind of study the two pictures above you'll see what I mean.
 I just kept single crocheting around until I thought it got a little too floppy.
 When it got a little too floppy I decreased the rows once every 20 stitches, but just for a couple of rows.
Really, you just kind of go on your own here.  Don't be afraid to keep it the same size or make it smaller.  If I were making it like the picture, I would have made it a lot smaller.  But I decided to make a drawstring top, and handles, on it.  I think it's easier to get in and out of it with a larger opening at the top.
 I know these directions probably makes no sense at all.  I'm typing and watching a show about Beavers on the public broadcasting channel!  I love nature shows...but I wanted to get this typed up!
 So if you want to make one and have questions, ask away.
 Here's the finished basket.  It's empty so it's a bit floppy.  I love it.
 I've decided I want to make a bag out of this same yarn.  It's cotton yarn and it's very thick.  I'm sure any thick cotton or wool yarn would work.
 To make the handles I just quit crocheting into the row and chained instead.  Then when I went around again, I crocheted onto the chain.  I think I skipped about 20 stitches on the row, but I only chained 15.  I figured the handles will stretch anyway.

 So there you have it, my assignment for the week....finished!
 Cindy Bee