Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon
"Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528:
If they say the moon is blue,We must believe that it is true.
Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase until a blue moon developed, meaning "never." The phrase, once in a blue moon today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

The most common explanation (by NASA and the American Heritage Dictionary) defines a "Blue Moon" as two full moons in a single month - this occurs about every 2-1/2 years on average.

This month (12/09) it occured on Dec 2 and again on the 31st. But the weather is supposed to be rainy - not sure if we'll see it or not!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feeding the Birds

In the summer, I never feed the birds - I feel there's enough around without me having to help out. But in the winter, I really feel the birds struggle finding enough food. Especially since we continue to destroy their habitat. I have lots of hollies for the birds and bees and other food sources in the yard and I try to keep fresh water for everybody.
We're supposed to have some really cold (the weatherman said BITTER) weather toward the end of this week so I bit the bullet and bought some bird seed. I just put up the feeders and I'm waiting - they'll be along.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dodged the bullet!

We dodged the bullet again - no snow in our area but lots of rain. It seems it has rained the whole month of December and more on the way for Christmas.
Hope all of you have a happy holiday. I'll be back in 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Turnips and Carrots

The garden is done for this year but I did pull up some carrots and turnips. The carrots were planted from seed but the turnips are volunteers.
I've cooked the carrots - just roasted in the oven with potatoes and onions - so good.
I'm not much of a turnip eater!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Be a Bee

Q: How long do honeybees live?
A: Drones live from 3 to 10 weeks, if food is scarce or winter arrives, they are usually evicted from the hive. A worker bee's life span is shorter in summer than in winter and can range from 1 to 6 months. The queen can live from 2 to 5 years.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Lily has been busy looking for squirrels.
Life is good!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Entrance Reducers

I had planned on looking in the hives one more time before cold weather but it just didn't happen. They should have enough food for the winter and they have been flying even in this rainy, messy weather we've been having.

Entrance reducers are just strips of wood with a small opening for the bees to come in and out. I had to improvise on one of the hives - I didn't have an entrance reducer so I just used a scrap piece of wood - the bees won't care.

I put the entrance reducers on the hives late in the day since it was to be so cold that night and it dipped down in the 20's. So glad I've got that done.
Yesterday (Sat) was cold and today is rainy - not quite so cold but the bees won't be flying.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quilt Show - Clayton Visual Arts

My quilting bee group is having a show at the Clayton Center Gallery in Clayton.

The show will run thru the end of the month and if you happen to be in the Clayton area (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) - it's a great show. Wide variety of quilts and techniques.

No - I didn't put anything in the show - maybe in 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This is my gourd crop for this year. Turned out pretty good for not planting any gourds!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I had several comments about the oranges and lowering cholesterol so I thought I'd add a little more information.

Six Foods that Lower Cholesterol - this was in the Parade section of our newspaper several months ago. So here's the list:

Oranges - Oats - Beans and Lentils - Sardines - Pistachio Nuts - Chocolate

You should avoid foods full of saturated fat such as red meat, butter and cheese, margarine, fried food and processed products that contain trans fat.

16% of adult Americans have high cholesterol - and what does that mean you might ask - well, if you read what's below you'll know more but basically if you eat fast food, stuff that is so, so good but not good for you, etc., your arteries will clog and you'll be in a mess.

Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States.
When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes "hardening of the arteries" so that arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.
High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high. It is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are because lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack or dying of heart disease, even if you already have it. Cholesterol lowering is important for everyone--younger, middle age, and older adults; women and men; and people with or without heart disease.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Greenhouse Work Bench

With my expert carpentry skills, I have made a workbench for the greenhouse. It's all scrap/used lumber that I had and it turned out pretty good I think.

I wanted a bottom shelf and room for storage underneath for buckets and stuff and the top shelf to be wide enough for a good work space. It's about 2' x 6' and about 2-1/2' in height.

I'm really trying not to put everything in the world in there but I have a lot of stuff. It's been in the barn or here and there so we'll see but it'll be great to have it all together. Organized chaos!
It's really turned out to be a great space.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crazy Law - Salvia (Diviner's Sage)

Salvia divinorum, a mint-like herb with hallucinogenic properties, will be illegal to possess, sell or manufacture. The first two offenses are infractions; the third is a misdemeanor.

It's still all right to grow and harvest it for landscaping.

Salvia divinorum (Diviner's Sage) is a unique visionary herb that has been used for centuries by Mazatec Indian shamans for healing and religious ceremonies or decorative purposes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Laws in NC

Legislators passed 577 laws while they were in Raleigh this year. They all took effect 12/2/09.

You might want to know this . . . . .

Texting while driving becomes expensive - a misdemeanor that carries a minimum fine of $100.

License plate frames become illegal if they cover the state name or registration stickers. Lawbreakers (ha!) will be warned for the next year; after that police can hand out fines.

Porta-potties get new respect (yes, this was what they put in the N&O). It will be misdemeanor to steal, vandalize or deface a portable toilet or the trucks that pump them out.