Saturday, March 21, 2015

We Bee Learning

We attended another bee conference today and while waiting for our first class to start we took the plunge.

We bought a beehive and bees!

We took the rookie way out and are having the (local) beekeeper we ordered from install the bees in the hive for us.  So he'll call us when they're already in the hive and the queen is laying.  The plan is to add another hive next spring - more on that later.

So much bee learnin'!
It's finally Spring here in Michigan! The chickens are getting outside time, out of the run.  Being the over protective chicken parents we are, they only free range when we're outside with them.  Outside today I was thinking that if a hungry critter decided to make off with one of them, what could I do other than run around flapping my arms and shouting? Yeah, shouting and flapping I can do but running and my name are not synonymous.

Tomorrow we give the coop its Big Spring Clean Out.  It has been one heck of a long, cold winter.  Lola has some frostbite on her comb but it doesn't seem to bother her, we put some vaseline on it to keep it moist; all of the girls below Clementine in the pecking order has bare butts because they all sleep in the rafters and their bottoms are at her eye level, and Mercy has a new white streak on one of his tail feathers.  We sure have learned a lot,  so next year it'll be easier for everyone!

Mercy sporting his new bi-colored tail
Now to talk my Beloved into goats.  Or at least ducks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

(nearly) Wordless Wednesday: The Naughties

Dear Kittens,
We are not friends today. 
Love (I guess...),
Your Very Angry Mom

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Sunday Seven: An Update

Ενας: Naming the Farm

Way back in May of last year I blathered about naming the farm in a post and how one goes about it. 

Well, I finally came up with a name for our little homestead!  It came to me out of the blue, I dreamt (yo, spell check, dreamt is a word so just stop squiggle lining me) about it multiple times and I've written it the blackboard just to be sure I didn't hate it.  My Beloved is even good with it.  Ya ready?
It's Hollow Orchard Farm.

Why Hollow Orchard? Dunno. (Spell-checker, why is dunno a word but not dreamt?) but I like it and need to find an artist to make me a graphic or a drawing or a painting or something!

δυο: New Years Resolutions

Once upon a time, when I was on a roll and had high hopes, I wrote a post detailing my Prospectus for 2015.  Here's where I'm at  with that almost through the first quarter.

1.  Say "I love you" more - Check! So far so good.  
2.  Knit more - Meh.  I started out strong, I got through one pattern repeat (about 8") on a modified cowl and ... that's it.  I really have to finish it because I actually bought the "fancy yarn".

3.  Find something, anything, at least one tiny morsel of happiness in every situation - So far, so good.  I have been using the blackboard in the kitchen to add reminders and ask my Beloved to help me when I'm struggling.

4.  Read more - Super check.  I've read 14 books since January 1! I need to pace myself.
5.  Smile more - Trying.  It's not as easy as I had supposed.
6.  Blog more - Fail.  I have intentions to sit down 97 times a week and end up not doing it at all.
7.  Be more patient - Work in progress.  I have been very conscious and make myself stop when I feel myself getting twitchy with impatience.

τρία: Beekeeping
We're going to be beekeepers! I have dreamed of being a beekeeper for a long time, even before we bought our farmhouse with orchard.  I've been reading books, blogs and magazines like crazy and finally a few weeks ago I looked up beekeeping in Michigan, signed us up to the Michigan Beekeepers' Association and yesterday we attended their Spring Conference!

We learned an awful lot, mostly that we need to get our poop in a group if we want to start bees this spring.  Next weekend the Southeast Michigan Beekeepers' Association is having their conference and we'll be attending that as well!

τέσσερα: Homesteader Fitness Experiment
Here's the deal.  There are things that I am and things that I am not.  Example: I am not tall, I am not dimwitted, and I am not very good at math.  Conversely, I am overweight (okay, fat.  As in fat, fat, fatty), I have ginormous feet for someone so short, and I am a good details.  I am not putting myself down when I say these things, I am being truthful.  In order to try and get my behind to a more healthy state and much, much smaller, I jumped on the bandwagon and bought myself a Fitbit.  We'll see how well this puppy tracks homesteady things.  There's an option to add activities but, how many calories does chasing chickens burn? Or planting veggies? Mucking out the coop? Hauling bee supplies out to the back of the property? I dunno' but we'll see! So here's to the Homesteader Fitbit Experiment.

πέντε: Monthly Grocery Shopping/Meal Planning
We are still doing well with only grocery shopping once a month.  Every once in a while we've had to run up to the grocery store for fresh produce or to buy something we've unexpectedly run out of.  We have been saving a TON of money! We'll be cutting down on buying at the stores once our (planned) veggie garden is producing and we can run up to the local farmers market.  I do plan on canning and freezing (we bought a good chest freezer, yaay!) any excess.  The monthly meal plans have worked out tremendously except I find myself getting into a rut with planned meals.  Also, I suck at planning side dishes.  I am a one trick pony.  What goes with Sloppy Joes? Don't ask me because I came up with rice and asparagus as my first foray into side dishes.

έξι: Anniversary Vacation
Last month for our Anniversary Vacation we headed back down to Universal Studios so that we could go to the new Diagon Alley part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Our first day at the park, our actual anniversary, the plan was to get a lay of the land and ride a few rides.  It started raining a few hours after getting there so we went back to the hotel to hang out at the bowling alley and arcade.  The second day I didn't take my camera so that we could ride the rides and not worry about stashing it every time in a locker.  The plan was on the third day at the park was to take pictures, buy souvenirs and hit the road toward Savannah.  Guess whose battery was dead in the camera? Because, while I charged it before leaving home, I left the camera on the whole 6 days before.  Savannah was, of course, beautiful and we enjoyed every minute.  Maybe I'll make a post one day of the few pictures from my phone. Don't hold your breath.

επτά: Movin' On
I have worked at the same hospital since 2003 and I worked for said hospital until 2011 when I took a position working for the doctors private practice (but still working at the hospital).  Next month I will be moving to HQ.  No seeing my peeps.  No running into my sister or brother-in-law any more.  No cafeteria. Ahhhh! No Cafeteria! What do other people do when they forget their lunch, I seem to have forgotten.  I am excited though because it'll be a big step up and my new office has a window.  To the outdoors.  Which you don't get very often in a hospital setting.

Here's to hoping I keep up on resolution #6 better than I have been the past two and a half months!