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 15, 2016

Swarm days are almost here!

 Five ways to tell the difference between honey bees and other stinging insects!

I get phone calls every year from people claiming they have a swarm of honeybees that they want me to come and get.  I'd guess 90% of those calls are not honeybees. I've already received a call this was not honey bees.  But in the next few weeks, it's possible you will see a swarm of honeybees.  They have a swarming season, and it's usually the end of April, or the month of May, in our area, depending on the weather.  I would like to show you some ways to identify honey bees.

 Last year I got a call from a friend who thought she had honey bees in her house.  She had something in her house, but these are NOT honeybees.
  They are yellow jackets or wasps and they made a mess in her house. 

1) Honeybees do not make this kind of a mess in a home.  If they get into a house, it's usually in the walls or the attic space and they will build wax comb, not this papery mess you see here.
  I suggested she call an exterminator.  Wasps and yellow jackets are not friendly.
(Look at the wasp on the screen.  The body is more jointed than a bee, and skinnier)

2) This (below) is what we used to call paper wasps.  I'm not sure if that is the official name, because I am not that knowledgeable when it comes to yellow jackets or wasps.  I am not a keeper of yellow jackets or wasps! 

Honeybees do not live here!

3) If you see something like this hanging on a tree, get the H out of there QUICK!  This is probably a hornets nest.  I did not get close enough to find out if it had a live nest in it!

Honeybees do not live here! 

4) Honeybees do NOT live in the ground.  I've had several people swear they have honey bees coming out of the ground, but they don't.

If you look at this picture I got off of the internet, you can see honey bees are a little more muted in color than wasps and yellow jackets and they are a little more fuzzy looking.  I know you are thinking you won't get close enough to tell, right!

5) A honey bee will not sting you unless she has to defend herself or her hive, and once she stings you, she will die.  Not so with a wasp or a yellow jacket.  They can sting over and over again and they don't die from stinging you.
 Most of the time honey bees will be on flowers, they only want nectar and pollen from plants.  Yellow jackets and wasps are carnivores (and junkavores).  They will eat your steak, your ice cream (they are the "crazy bees" that won't leave you alone in the fall) and they will even eat a honey bee!

Most honey bees are not found in the wild anymore.  However......
 If you see something like this (picture below) hanging on a tree, call a beekeeper or your local extension office.   They are honey bees and even though this is what a swarm usually looks like, it is not actually a swarm.  This happened to be a bunch of honey bees that built a hive on the outside of a tree.  They would never have lasted the winter. 

This is a swarm and it's probably the biggest swarm I ever retrieved. Usually they are football in size or bigger, if they are worth getting.
Here I am holding it.  Swarms are not mean.  I did not get one sting getting this swarm.  These honeybees are protecting their queen and looking for a new home.  Look closely and you can see bees flying around all over the place.  I was waiting for them to calm down, then I was going to put them in the cardboard nuc box until I got them safely home and into a hive that I had waiting for them.

This is another swarm.  Sometimes they aren't that easy to see, but you might hear them.  Or, if you're lucky, you'll see a "cloud" flying quickly across the sky and landing in a tree.  

 This is a horrible picture of me!  I think I was painting when this guy called me to come and get this swarm.   If you see a swarm, you have anywhere from three hours to three days to get a beekeeper to come and get the swarm.   SO CALL SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY!

We were standing under she swarm.  Which shows how docile they are when they are in swarm mode.
Here they are, hidden in the tree being all nice and quiet like.
If you are ever in a situation where you aren't sure, it's always best to call a beekeeper or your local extension office.  It's a special day when you see a swarm because it doesn't happen often, and it's very special to watch a beekeeper capture one.

I am connecting with Amy at  Five on Friday!  Click here to see what other bloggers are up to.

Cindy Bee

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five on Friday

  1)  Crochet group was a lot of fun this week.  I was trying to take a picture of these corner to corner blankets that Debbie and K are making, and Cheryl kept sticking her single crochet scarf in the way.
I just wanted the blankets, then I was going to get her scarf, but I think I might have hurt her itty bitty feelers when I said to get that scarf out of the picture!  Bless her heart. She wouldn't hold it up for me.
 2)  We celebrated her birthday anyway!

Do you know how good these little cupcakes were?   

3) Mom and Dad and my sister and I all went out for dinner.  There wasn't a special reason that we planned on going out to eat, however, I decided it was a celebration night because earlier in the day we got the closing statement from our attorney on My Shug's Mom's estate.  I could not be happier to get that finished.

 So I ordered a bottle of wine and LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT BOTTLE!!!  I asked him if I could take the leftover home.  Sure, but he has to cork it and staple the bag closed.   Hilarious!  Not that I would drink and drive or drink while driving, but I'm sure if I were that kind of person, this would not stop me.  Rules are rules though.
4) I know right, why am I showing a picture of a shower curtain.  Because I found it!  I found it!  I have been looking for it for quite some time.  If you would see the room we stored everything in when we moved into our little room in the'd understand.  We didn't need the shower curtain to take a shower, it has glass doors.  I just like the look of a curtain.  With glass doors you can see all the soaps and scrubbies and such in the shower.  And with a curtain it just looks homier.


And 5)  we made huge progress on the house this week.  We got the floor laid in the office/mudroom.

I'm connecting with Amy at Love Made my Home for  Five on Friday.  Click here to see what others have been up to.

Cindy Bee

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Retail Therapy

You know how it go shopping for a fun little gift for a friend, and you see something you really like.
 But you don't buy it because
 a) you don't need cute little bowls, and
b) you have too much stuff you need to get rid of. 

Then, the next day you meet your friends for lunch.  These are the friends I used to work with that we meet one time a month at a different restaurant in town. 

We met at The Fox's Trail.(hence the foxes)
The atmosphere was great.  It wasn't loud like some of the restaurants are. Have you noticed that?  Some restaurants sound like they put "canned loud talking" through their speaker systems.  This place was great for visiting.
 I thought the decor was pretty cool too.  There was a big rock wall dividing the restaurant part and the tavern part.
 But sadly, I've eaten there about four times and I've only had one meal that I really liked.  However, other people seem to like it, so maybe it's just me.  Usually, by the fourth time I've eaten at a place I have something picked out that I love at that place.   Besides decor!

After eating I had a couple of errands to do, and then I decided I did not want to come home to an empty house.

 I kind of have been in a and on....since I had my tooth pulled...and my eye fixed....and a few other  irritations, such as this weather FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  Can it stop precipitating for five minutes of a day please.
So anyway....I went to a bookstore.  And I checked out the bargain area.

I really wanted simply Crochet magazine, but it just didn't look like something I would like this time.
But, they had this wonderful cake book on sale for $10!
 I love reading cookbooks.  Reading the history of foods and the traditions behind them are interesting to me.  And who knows, maybe I'll bake a cake or two.
  And this is the second publication I've bought of The Sewing Box.  It's a small, fattish, publication.  Kind of pricey though.  I almost didn't buy it, but there's something about it that inspires me.  It does have other things in it besides sewing.   It's really a mix of all kinds of crafty-ness.  Baking, re-making clothes into something else, a little bit of crochet, and more sewing.  And I bought an issue of Molly Makes, which I haven't bought in ages.  So, SCORE at the bookstore.

And I bought this kitchen towel at this very cute store downtown called The Jitterbug, because who doesn't love garden gnomes?  

 And I know...I did not need this, but I love it (it was singing to me as my friend Debbie says) and I decided I'm done fighting my purse addiction.  I'm just going with it.  I mean.... I'll try to hold back, but honestly, I just don't think I can anymore. 
 And here's the thing....I only went in for bowls!!!!!

But hey, I'm out of my slump!  Some good stuff happened today which I will tell you about later....but every now and then it's fun to have a little retail therapy!

Cindy Bee

Monday, April 4, 2016

My weekend

On Friday evening My Shug and I, along with Vickie and Robert, Mom and Dad, and Ashley and Eric went to Logansport, IN to the State Theatre to see Heywood Banks.
 Heywood is a comedienne who makes up songs about the silliest things such as "toast", or "wheels on a big rig", and a bunch of other nonsense songs.  I don't know how he thinks of this stuff.

And Logansport has an old theater, State Theatre Live, that they have re-opened and now have live performances.   I love that they have kept the integrity of the old theatre.  All they need is an old car from the 1950's parked out front!
It was a fun evening, and after the week I had, I was ready for fun!
And I'm so glad we went Friday, because on Saturday we had a snow storm!!!!  The nerve....of Mother Nature.  What in thee hell is she thinking?

 It was crazy I tell ya.  My parents were without power for several hours and were on their way over to our house, because their house was getting cold, when they turned around and went back home.  They couldn't see in front of them because of the white-out road conditions.  I never left the house on Saturday.
 Just the week before we had perfectly great weather.   It is Spring in Indiana after all.  On Sunday my Shug and I cooked a meal together.  I made green bean casserole (for him), salad (for me) sweet potatoes in the oven, and he pan fried some steak.  Twas a yummy dinner.
 I took Dixie out to get his pup-cup.  Ok I might have had a latte'.
 And I stitched a little bit on my granny stripe blanket.
I also helped lay a wood floor
 and painted trim.  It was a busy weekend, but not stressful.  I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this house.
How was your weekend?

Cindy Bee

Friday, April 1, 2016

Five on Friday and My Tooth Ache!

I debated not talking about this at all, but after the week I had, then after reading Amy's post, I decided to tell you about this week from hell!  Here's the thing...I've been wanting to do Five on Friday for a few weeks but Friday's have been too busy.  And it just happens that Amy posted a story about how she clenches her jaw, and has tmj pain.  She posted it today, the day I decided to link up to her blog. So I decided the story is worth telling.  If you're not into it, skip the red.

I wore braces as a child, but I didn't get a retainer until about ten years ago.  My teeth started shifting and I was actually getting a gap between my two front teeth.  I wore the retainer religiously at first, then off and on, then only before an orthodontist appointment.  I hate it.  I don't like all that crap in my mouth, and I'm 57.   I'm tired of it.  

I also had a mouth guard made that I also hate to wear.  And the thing is, the mouth guard isn't aligned properly with the retainer.  I've had a cap put on my tooth since the mouth guard was made, so the retainer has been modified quite a lot.    I never knew which to wear.  I quit wearing the  mouth guard completely.

I still clench my jaw.  
As Amy stated, there doesn't have to be a reason.  You might be having the perfect week ever, and you'll wake up with your jaw clenched so tightly you can hardly open your mouth.  Stress certainly makes it worse, but you don't have to be stressed to have it.

On Tuesday of last week, I went to the orthodontist.  I hadn't worn my lower retainer in years.  He re-fitted it and tried it and said if I wanted to wear it I could.  Well, I had a low-grade headache for three days and decided I didn't want to wear it, right now at least.  Looking back, I think that is when my back tooth might have been compromised.  Not the ortho's fault.  A retainer doesn't crack a tooth, but my headache started that day.  By Thursday evening my teeth were hurting.  If you have sensitive teeth, which I do, and if you clench, then your teeth, jaw, and head will sometimes radiates pain.  You figure it's the same old tmj issues and it'll go away.  I wore my top retainer Thursday evening because even wearing it, I find that I don't clench as often.

Friday it was still hurting.  I popped a couple of Ibuprofin in hopes that it would help and started preparing for Easter.  I had 26 people coming over Sunday.  By Saturday it was hurting a lot more, but it was Easter weekend so I popped some more Ibuprofin.  

By was bad.  Four Ibuprofin didn't touch the pain.  As soon as everyone left I went to the pharmacy and got some Maximum Strength Ambesol.  Didn't help. 
I called my dentist.  I would have paid him triple time to work on the Easter Holiday.  I got a recording.  He is "going to be on Spring Break until April 4 and I could call any one of the three dentists...blah blah blah!"
  I ended up calling a friend whose husband is a dentist.  
He said he would work me in on Monday morning.  

During the night on Sunday, I took four Hydrocodone from an old prescription I had, which was still good btw, but four is way too many.  (but the script did state 1 or 2 every 4 to 6 hours)
They didn't help.  It really felt like someone crushed my skull at this point.  I probably slept three hours and when I woke up that morning I got as far as the shower before I started dry heaving and throwing up bile. 
 Plus I was light headed.

When I got to the dentist I sat in the car while my Shug went in and waited for them to call my name.  I got sick twice on the way to the dentist.
They had an empty room and a bag waiting on me, and I got sick again. 
 I waited in the bathroom for my friend, The Dentist, and he came in there and asked one of the ladies to get me a cold rag.  

They got x-rays, quickly, and figured out what tooth was causing the pain.  You know how they blow that cold air on your teeth...Yep!  I went through the roof!  He then immediately started numbing the area.  I had a cracked tooth.  It was NOT TMJ at all.  He had to end up pulling the tooth so you can imagine how I must have felt.  I haven't had a tooth pulled for 40 years.

After I was numb and the pain was gone, I started shaking terribly in the dentist chair.  Freezing, teeth chattering, and I could not make it stop.  I did that three times that day.  And the dentist said it could have been the pain or the med making me sick.
  BUT, after the numbing wore off, no more pain.  
No more tooth, no more pain.

So, I say all of this to say if you have clenching problems, tmj, jaw pain, and you are told to wear a night guard.  Wear it.  The clenching wears your teeth down and at some point, they break.  It might be gradual, although he said I should have went through the roof when it happened.  I did not.  
I think when I went to the orthodontist on Tuesday that might have started it, and just me using my teeth, as we all do, it made it worse every time I bit down.  

BTW, when I was at the pharmacy I found all different kinds of mouth guards now.  Some of them you just put in the back of your teeth and bite down.  They don't fit all the way around your teeth like the ones of old.  I still think those are best, and what I do is cut some of the back of it off, because I don't like them to feel like they are going down my throat.  

Ok I'll stop now.  I realize that was long but I find it worth telling if it just helps one person to not have to go through what I went through this week.

Now, for 5 on Friday!!!!

I spent all day Monday in bed, or in this room reading, sitting by the fire,
 or snuggling with my dog.
  By Thursday I did get to crochet at the coffee shop.  This is K and her blanket she is making.  It's gorgeous and I love the stitch.  They call it a "corner to corner" blanket.  I think I'm going to make one using sand and sea colors.
 Cheryl has started this scarf over several times.  We say she was jealous of Debbie's big ball of yarn!  We also jokingly call it a shoulder scarf! Cheryl is new to crochet btw.
 And this is Debbie's corner to corner blanket.  We used to say her Indian name was, "Walks with Big Ball of Yarn!"  She was trying to make a ripple blanket out of one of the Attic 24 packs from Wool Warehouse.  It wasn't working for her and it got to the point where she hated it.  She put it away for awhile and when she saw K's blanket, that was it.  You know how something just clicks in your brain and you know you can do it.  Well it did and look at her go.  That's the "Big Ball of Yarn" yarn that she is turning into a blanket.  Sometimes we just have to put something away and get it back out when we figure it out. 
I really enjoy this crochet "therapy" group of friends.

Linking up with Five on Friday.  Click to see what other bloggers have been up to and join in on the fun!

Cindy Bee