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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Vivian's Lavender Quilt


For Easter, Vivian got a quilt.  Not any plain old quilt but a special request from her Mom for a "lavender" quilt.  Little owls and all kinds of birds on the back of the quilt.
Sweet quilt for a sweet little girl.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Tenants

What a wonderful sight to see!  Today I checked the bluebird box and somebody has been busy (I'm hoping bluebirds) building a nest in the garden.  Surely Spring is on the way.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Checking Sugar Syrup

Nuc #3 taking sugar syrup.

Nuc #1 - not taking much but a little. 
Not sure about this hive.

Swarm Hive - they've taken the most.

I marked the jars with a Sharpie pen so I could tell if they had taken any sugar syrup since I put the jars on Tuesday evening.  I checked them late this afternoon - Nuc #1 is my only concern - not much but they've taken a little.  The weather is supposed to be extra warm tomorrow but with a chance of rain - who knows!   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cold Wind and Feeding Bees

Missed a good opportunity this past weekend to check my hives.  Hive #6 and #4 are busting at the seams with bees in and out but Nuc #3, Nuc #1 and the Swarm Hive have bees but not nearly as much activity. 
The hives are heavy - I can't lift them up so that's a good sign too. So today when I got home (about 6:00 by the time I got everything together), I put feeders on the front of Nuc #3, Nuc #1 and the Swarm Hive.  I was gonna wait and put baggies on the inside of the hives but the weather is supposed to be really cold the next couple of nights and chilly daytime temps.  Saturday is supposed to be warm but a chance of rain.  You never know what the weather will really be but decided after listening to some of the folks at the bee meeting last night I better get with the program.  Lots of hives lost to starvation. 
March is a terrible month for bees - you would think with everything starting to bud there would be plenty of food but that's not the case.  A warm spell and then cold with colder nights - not good weather for those girls. 

I mix half and half - 1 cup sugar to 1 cup hot or boiling water to dissolve the sugar.  The bees love this and hopefully will keep my hives from starving.
I had to duct tape two of the feeders and after putting the feeders on rearranged the openings.  The wind is really whipping - it's supposed to be cold tonight.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reunion Cakes

Family reunions are many things to many people but to us it's all about the food!  Well, not really, but the food is really high on the list.  We had a family reunion recently and the desserts - oh my, they were over the top!
My daughter made the Pig Pickin' Cake and the Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookie Cake - not a crumb was left!
And my Mom made Chicken Pastry (the real kind).

Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake

1 pkg.  (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix

4 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1/4 cup  butter

1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup  sugar

2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed
HEAT oven to 350ºF.
PREPARE cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 min. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP and crushed cookies.
PLACE 1 cake layer on plate, spread with cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand 10 min. or until firm. Keep refrigerated.

Pig Pickin’ Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (11 oz.) can Mandarin oranges with juice (do not drain the juice!)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 (16 0z.) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 (8 oz.) containers Cool Whip, thawed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease and flour (and line with parchment, if you can!) three 8-inch cake pans.
  2. Mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil and oranges, along with their juice. Divide the batter among the cake pans, using about 1⅓ cup of the mixture in each. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester poked in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 5 minutes and then turn them out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. For the frosting, stir together the drained pineapple and the pudding mix. Once combined, fold the pineapple mixture into the Cool Whip. Frost each cake layer and then the sides of the cake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. ENJOY!


Saturday, March 2, 2013


I went to Table of Grace last week and the short (less than 15 min) sermon was about chickens.  I know, I know, you're thinking chickens - well, it was a good sermon but the best part was after the service.  I was the only person there that had chickens so I had to tell how they're like pets, named, can't eat them, all that stuff.  But after the service, a member of the church told the minister and me about her Mother's chicken.

When she was growing up her Mother had a chicken named "Lulabelle" and she was a house chicken.  Now realize this lady was older than me and so it was a while ago when this happened and having a chicken in the house would be unusual to say the least.  Anyhow, when they moved from Danville to Durham they put the chicken and the dog in the car with the children, etc.  They would stop along the way and the dog and the chicken would get out of the car and do their business and come back and they'd head on down the road.

One day Lulabelle got sick and they really thought she was dead.
But the Mother took Lulabelle and felt of her neck but determined she could be saved.  Sure enough it was full of stuff but she couldn't breathe.  So she took a razor blade and slit her throat, pulled out all that stuff (I won't elaborate) with a shoe horn (honest to pete that's what she said) and sewed her back up with a needle and thread.
Lulabelle lived several more years.
Sometimes you hear the strangest things in church.  So I'm gonna name my next chicken Lulabelle!