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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Well . . .

I was sitting here looking at stuff on Pinterest (which just eats your time up and before you know it, well ....) and I had a thought - I could post something on my blog.  It has been awhile!

Yes, this is my truck!
I try to drive my truck at least once a week but I must have missed a week or two. This was a while ago but you can see the wisteria has taken over my yard and everything in its path. 
I have a Certificate of Occupancy for the house at the farm.  That doesn't mean I'm ready to move - it just means I can.  There's still stuff to be done.  Every day is spent packing up and moving stuff and/or thinking about moving stuff.  And it is so HOT that it's almost impossible to do work outside. 
Enough already!  I'm just glad I'm sitting here having a glass of wine with my old dog - life is good!
FYI - I love Pinterest.

Friday, May 31, 2019

The Runaway Lawnmower

Sometimes things just happen - you can't predict what or when or why - it just happens!  This has been the case with my lawnmower.  I bought a Troy Bilt riding mower for the farm sometime last year from Fred and it's been under the shelter at the farm all this time.  I have kept it chained to a large post but nobody has been around until the Sunday before Memorial Day.  I have a camera (like a deer camera hooked up to my phone) in the barn and a couple of other places just in case some two-legged animal happens to come around.  But I had left the lawnmower unlocked and with the key in it waiting for someone to replace the belt (and that's a story we won't talk about).  But, long story short, a two-legged person came along and took the lawnmower.  The deputy sheriff came and I filed an incident report knowing I would never see that lawnmower again. 
But lo and behold, someone wanted a "get out of jail card" and returned my lawnmower to the Sheriff's Department.  And they say miracles don't happen!  Anyhow Fred and I went yesterday and picked up the lawnmower.  The only thing missing was the key but Fred had a universal key so that was okay. 
We took the lawnmower home and it was running so life was good.  But after Fred left I realized it wasn't cutting so he came back and checked - something was broke underneath so he took it home to repair. 
Well one of my neighbors came by to see the house (everybody wants to see what I've done) and she mentioned there was a Troy Bilt lawnmower in the road and was it mine?  Well, of course not, Fred took my mower earlier so no it couldn't be mine.  Nice visit with her and then I went on home.  About half way home I got a call from the Sheriff's Dept - "ma'am was your Troy Bilt lawnmower recently stolen?"  Well, yes but I picked it up today. "It seems there's a lawnmower at your neighbor's and we're sure it's yours since it still has the id tag on it."  Okay, I'll go back and check but Fred took the lawnmower so I'm sure there's some kind of mistake. 
So sure enough it was my lawnmower - Fred forgot to tie the lawnmower to the trailer and when he turned at the end of the path, the lawnmower just slid right off.  He said he didn't know it was gone till he got to Clayton (about 10 miles away).   In all his years of business, this was a first!
Fred came back, got the lawnmower and tied it down and I finally went home. 
So today he called - he had made the repairs.  I met him at the farm and "The Runaway Lawnmower" is now under the shelter locked and hopefully will be there when I go back. 

And yes, they know who took the lawnmower and a warrant has been issued and hopefully they will find this guy and he will spend a few days/months/years in prison.  But I've been advised or clearly told not to talk about any of this mess so all I can say is I don't know anything!
But I'm sure glad to have my lawnmower back.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Happy Bees

Well, I say "Happy Bees" but in this heat - well, I hope they're happy.  I've been feeding them and have put a super on one hive.  The other hive is not as productive so I'll wait. Don't want to stress the bees out with extra space and then you have to worry about wax moths.  I have left the entrance small and don't plan on making it any bigger.  If they were out in the wild or getting in a building, etc. the hole would be really small and robber bees are still an issue especially in this heat. But so far everything is looking good with the bees.  Mr. Ellis has continued to supply me with frames, etc. and his bees are doing good too. 

I'm sure if you're around here the hot topic is the weather - it really is hot.  All my daylilies are brown and pitiful looking.  I've tried to keep the hydrangeas and the pots I have around the house watered enough to live but you can only water so much.  We complained about the rain and now it would be a good thing if it did rain.
Moving day is getting closer (well, still a couple of months) and I'm just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bojangles and a Plan

So I have gotten into a routine now - every time I go to the farm I get all my little stuff done at the house (feed and water for all the animals, etc.) and then I stop by Bojangles' for a chicken biscuit (which is the best thing since sliced bread). 

I eat half the biscuit on the way to the farm and save the other half for a snack or lunch.  I always take coffee (which I spilled in the truck today) or orange juice so the price of breakfast is always the same. So I always have to scrounge around for change or end up with change which has to go somewhere and I don't really want more!  So I have come up with a system - this will not make me rich but it does make me happy.  The chicken biscuit is $3.45 including tax so I have put that amount in little snack baggies and I have 5 in an envelope in the truck and 5 in the car - I am ready!
I have several jars of change and I know I could take it to the bank and they will give me real money but I just don't have the energy to do that.  And I have to keep change for the grandkid's birthdays - the # of dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies for each year.  It sounds senseless but they love it and so do I - a whole birthday card full of money! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Location, Location, Location

Well in my neck of the woods, it's all about location! 
Robins have made a nest on the grapevine wreath at the barn.  And I go in and out of the barn every day - you would think they would have found a better place.  I didn't realize they had babies until today so I will stop going in and out until the little ones fly away.
Baby Robins May 2019
Next would be the sparrows or wrens on the front porch.  I thought by putting the screen in the corners they would not be able to build a next but they're much smarter than me.  And even though you know they're there when they fly out it startles you.  Again, I go in and out the door several times a day.

And if you're a traditional kind of bird, you can always have a home premade. I have bluebirds in the front yard and I think sparrows in the garden in the bluebird boxes.
And the other day I was cleaning out the greenhouse and moved a pot and two little eyes looked up at me - I don't know who was more surprised - the little possum or me!  But I moved the pot outside and hopefully it went to another house. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Carpenter Bees and a Snake

I've been at the farm this afternoon mowing grass and doing a little work in the yard.  My Mom and Dad had a lot of yard (grass) to keep up, not many trees and over the years a haphazard way of planting shrubs.  So what I see is a big mess or I should say "an opportunity".  My Mother had the most wonderful flowers in the yard. I've just got to wait and see where and what everything is and do I keep it, move it or throw it in the compost pile.  And I'm digging from my yard and moving stuff down there too.
Carpenter Bee Trap
The carpenter bees are having a field day with the new wood in the smokehouse/barn.  I bought a carpenter bee trap and it's got about 4-5 bees in it now - they get in and can't get out.  Today was cool so I got to swat a couple.  I did buy one of those battery operated zappers and it will be returned.  I can use a piece of wood and be just as effective.  I keep forgetting to push the button for the zapper to work and by then the bee is gone or buzzing around me and making me crazy.  Nasty little devils!
Then I was in the barn and lo and behold there was a snake looped around the rafters - well, the snake is still there and we will try to get along. I'm not much on trying to kill a snake and not sure what kind this was - it was a snake - what else can I say!

Another fun day at the farm!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

I have bees , , ,

Bee in the Barn
I picked up four packages of bees Friday - two for Mr. Ellis and two for me. 
A 3-pound package contains about 12,000 bees. So all total, I had about 48,000 bees in my car - more or less. I did take a sheet and cover them - nothing worse than riding down the road and having a bee buzzing around your head.  The bees come in a box with four wooden sides and screened material in the front and back. It is 8.5″ high, 16″ wide and 5.5″ deep. An inverted can filled with sugar syrup is placed inside the box to provide feed for the bees during transit. The package contains a young marked queen (green for 2019) that had started laying prior to being caged. The queen is kept in a small wooden cage/box with several worker bees.
It had rained off and on all day so it was between downpours that we installed the packages. I am feeding the bees on top of the hive body inside the top two boxes and I have entrance reducers in the front of the hives.  I have closed all the other holes so hopefully "robber bees" will not be able to take over the hives. 
Beehives - April, 2019
I talked to Mr. Ellis and he had installed one hive this morning (Saturday) and hopes to do the other later between showers.  It has rained off and on (mostly on) again today and they're calling for more tomorrow.  But the bees are out and about getting adjusted to their new home.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Burnt Beans and New Bees

Don't go outside and start working in your yard and think you will check the butter beans before they burn - nope, didn't happen - well, it did happen - they were smoking and not in a good way when I remembered to check on them!  But nothing caught on fire and I have potatoes, baked chicken and I'm going to make hush puppies so all is well.  Late afternoon the sun finally came out but it was a good day to work in the yard.  Spring in finally here with a little pollen too.

Mr. Ellis and I are picking up four bee packages on Friday. Two for him and two for me.  I will set mine up at the house rather than the farm.  I'll be feeding them for awhile and I can't drive to the farm every day.  When I move (and who knows the answer to that), Mr. Ellis and I will move the bees to the farm.  We are both rather anxious about getting bees again and have decided if these don't make it, we'll both stop keeping bees.   

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Lecture at Logan's and Saturday Shopping

If you've never been to Logan's Garden Shop in Raleigh, it should be on your "to do" list.  They have been in Raleigh for many, many years and have great bedding plants, shrubs, trees, pots, outside furniture, garden art and a wonderful cafĂ© for eating inside or out weather permitting.  Just a great place with knowledgeable staff and so much eye candy in the plant world.  
Bryce Lane
On Saturday they had a lecture on Houseplants and Succulents given by Bryce Lane, NCSU professor emeritus.  If you're into lectures, classes, etc. or anything to do with plants and get the opportunity, take one of his classes or check him out on YouTube and PBS "In the Garden with Bryce Lane".  He is an excellent speaker.  I was a little concerned about where the class would take place but they had set up one of those white plastic tents with plastic chairs.  The tent was full of young, old and in between gardeners.  The one thing I learned (well, there were several) was not to put gravel or anything in the bottom of the pot for houseplants.  And you can leave plants in the same pot for years - just take it out, give the roots a haircut (2/3 off) then back in the same pot with new potting soil.  Who knew!
So it was a fun morning and then on to errands with the rest of the world.  My main reason for being in town on a Saturday besides the class was to check on my granite for the kitchen countertops at the farm.  Believe it or not I didn't write the name of the granite anywhere and the sales person never sent paperwork and she is no longer working there and even though they found the granite order, I wanted to make sure it was what I had ordered.  Yes, it was and I'm still happy with what I chose.  Then on to Costco (for a return and impulse buying) and cheap pizza for lunch, Joann's for a couple of red fabrics (more impulse buying), Homegoods where I saw one of my cousins, TJ Maxx and then home to walk Lily since we're both out of shape. 
Shopping is exhausting!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Wine and Wallyworld

So today the sun was shining which has been very rare in our part of Eastern North Carolina lately and I was completely out of wine (yikes) so off to Total Wine.  I usually go to Costco but it's Saturday and it's insane there.  I got "several" bottles - I don't like to give out and just in case of hard times - well, you never know!  Saw an old friend in the parking lot so that was a nice surprise (you know you can never go anywhere).
So off to Wallyworld for a couple of things but everybody else had the same idea.  Lots and lots of folks.  Did my shopping, checked out and out to the parking lot where lo and behold I couldn't find my car!  Yes, that's true.  I won't call it a Senior Moment but it was pretty damn close.  I could not remember where I had parked and my key thing does not work so I couldn't beep it - ahhh!  So I walked around this humongous parking lot looking for my car.  This nice young man asked me if I couldn't find my car and I said yep, can't find it.  So he helped me look around and told me he couldn't find his car one time but that's because someone had actually stolen it.  But I did find my car, thank goodness, and I'm home now having a glass of wine. 
Lily is here with me, the kitty is outside probably trying to kill something and the chickens are in their house safe and sound.  So all's well that ends well!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ah, Mother Nature . . .

Daffodils at the Farm
January 27, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Yes it will . . . . no, it won't!

Well, that's the weather forecast for the past couple of days.  The possibility of snow and/or any type of freezing precipitation around here makes all the weather people crazy! 
But all that being said, we're getting a pass again.  Thank goodness.  It has been so dreary, cold and has rained more than you can even think about for the past couple of months. 
Now on to what's happening in my little corner of the world!  Mr. Ellis and I got together this past week.  It's been a busy time for him but he still has three hives of bees. We're already making plans to order packages in the spring.  I would like to have two hives again - they'll be down at the farm so a new experience all around. 
The little chickens are laying now - three eggs a day - well, really only two because Tiny's chicken lays in the coop and Lily goes in every morning and gets her egg before I can.  I've got to fix that situation - you know Lily is not hungry!
I have bought flower seeds already - cleomes (a dark pink), cosmos (pinks/whites and orange/yellows, Love Lies Bleeding, and some sunflowers
Okay - got to go.  That damn cat brought another mouse in the house and she and Lily are trying to catch it.  It's always something!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Beginning

Well, it's the end of 2018 and another year has flown by . . . I can't say I've done anything extraordinary - well I did go to England.
So on to 2019 and this is the plan - I'm moving to my Mother's home place.  After many, many years in this house, I will move back to the place where I grew up.  I am not a mover - I have lived within 50 miles of where I was born my entire life and have no plans to go further in my old age. 
With that said, I have a lot of work to do before I can move and even more after I move.
Another "blog" which I should have started months ago is in the works showing the change to the house and farm.  Yes, it's a small farm so I can have goats, a donkey, more chickens, bees and who knows what else. 
So the best to you and yours in 2019 and on to another chapter in my life.