Saturday, February 25, 2012

Building Bee Boxes

I built two bee boxes today with my Dad and Sis. We're putting the two new hives at our farm. The new boxes still have to be painted white. White is a very pretty color to bees.
The live bees & queen bee are scheduled for delivery in April. I'm still not sure where to put these boxes. They need to be visible but kind of tucked out of the way and on an East facing slope of one of our hills. The early morning sun warms & wakes them up early to start their pollinating.

That pretty much means they'll be in the East valley where the pole barn, apple trees and my garden are located. Ideally it be nice if I could drive the truck & tractor near them as supers get heavy when they're full of honey. And a clear path to run if the bees are crabby is important too.

I remember going with my Dad once and the bees were cranky. They crawled up his pant legs and chased us back to the house. If I'd have had to trip over brush, down a hill, to get to the barn instead of the newly mown hayfield it'd have been a disaster!

Why am I doing this? Honey! It's amazing stuff.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful for ......

State provided health insurance.

Our cards arrived this week and we were able to end the painful experience with COBRA.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In a Nutshell

And in no particular order:





Death of a beloved pet

Major move



Swim Team

Swim Lessons




Sunday family dinners

No wonder the "February Mom Burnout" is more intense this year.  All of these scheduled activities and events are new since September.

Puppy Progress Report

Our dear puppy has been through a number of name changes. Himself finally admitted that he'd like to reuse the name Gypsy in honor of our previous guard dog friend, Gypsy I. So Gypsy it is.

Gypsy has not endeared herself to our kitty Rex. Poor Rex now finds himself in exile on the porch. He isn't yowling so we think he's actually relieved. They haven't made peace yet and Rex has been very twitchy about any sound or movement that might be a signal the the dog is chasing him. .

In the middle of the night last week there was a crashing sound. We didn't investigate because we didn't hear it followed by one of our children crying. In the morning we discovered an overturned cat box at the bottom of the basement stairs. It seems poor Rexy was so nervous that during a midnight poop he thought he heard the dog coming. We think he rode down the stairs in his enclosed litter box.

His ride scared him badly that he stopped using his box altogether. Instead he found a spot in the in the root cellar. Yes, the very same root cellar we vigorously cleaned because of cat poop from the previous tenants! Ugh.

So the porch is where Rex must stay until he relearns his litter box is his friend. He will probably come back into the house again. Oh yes, on the night of Rex's ride down the stairs Gypsy was sleeping quietly in her crate in our bedroom. :))

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Job!

Not employment. But a commission-based contract job.

Next week Himself starts this telecommuting job.

There's still an employment option that's "alive". One that is quite interesting and a good fit for his corporate skills. He's interviewed with them 3 times.

He did get a, "Dear John, we chose the other guy. But you were our second choice!"from another place he'd interviewed.

Thankfully it was after The Job details were firmed up and a "Go!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gardening in 2012

I know what I want to grow. But I'd really like to just pick out what I want to grow and let someone or something map it out for me.

I used the free trial at I love being able to get a plant list that tells me when & which to start seeds to start indoors & outdoors. And it's great that it's all for my zone. But when it comes to mapping I'm lost.

I want it to pop out a plan for me to follow. And if I can get it to send me emails of what to do weekly that'd be even better!   I just can't, don't want to, do more than choose what I want to grow. Is there such a program or person?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Virtual Public School

We are contemplating enrolling our kids in our state's virtual public school for next year's schooling.

Why? Beyond the fact that this if February--homeschool burnout month. [Fortunately no homeschool catalogs have found there way to our new address. I think I might just have an old fashioned moment of the vapors if one arrives, ugh.]

I look at the pro's of virtual schooling and can get excited.
-- Someone else gets to give them the consequences for not meeting deadlines.
-- Individual responsibility for progress
-- Potential for taking a couple classes at the local public school like music, band, P.E., math, or science.
-- Credibility instead of, "Oooooh you  h o m e s c h o o l."
-- Keep the flexibility in our schedule to plan around our other activities and for field trips
-- The kids will still be at home so the momentum we have for character training will continue
--Flexibility for each kid in each subject. Ahead or behind in a subject, fine. They'll work at their own pace & learning level.

The cons? I was very surprised by the "homeschooler only" sentiment from the homeschool community. Apparently we will lose some of our homeschooling friends because the kids won't be registered home schoolers with the state.

And I won't be choosing their curriculum. Wait, that's also on my pro list! :))

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coyotes beware, there's a new hound in town!

She's a 6 month old Australian Shepherd/Collie mix. 
She joined us last night. 
Snickers and her are well on their way to being friends. 
We'll know they've arrived when they pee together. :))