Sunday, July 28, 2013

Out Here in Nature

I warned you that my posts would be sporadic (instead of erratic although it might seem that way to some of you). I've been busy at mom's working on projects around her place. Dad passed away 26 years ago so things haven't had the attention in recent years that they should have had so I'm trying to get things caught up to hold up for mom for a while. As I mentioned in the last post, I painted all of her porches and railings. I've also painted her garage and sealed the crack in the roof that was rotting out a corner of the front wall. My brother and I re-sided one of her sheds and I painted it. The other shed also needs new walls so Jim needs to get some more 4' x 12' sheets of OSB so we can do that one too.

In the most recent AARP magazine there was a recipe for a "natural" weed killer. Linda also looked on-line and found variations of the same recipe so I weed whacked the front bank, that runs the width of her property and applied this mixture:

1 gallon white vinegar + 1 c. salt + 2 TB Dawn detergent...mix and apply with garden sprayer.

I've applied almost 7 gallons of this around her sheds, on the bank, etc. Within about two hours the vegetation is dead. My brother applied this mixture in his bee yards and Round-up on some other areas(hiss boo....I hate that company for what it's doing to agriculture) so it will be interesting to see how long each lasts. The vinegar is supposed to make the soil inhospitable to any future plant life but I find that hard to believe (unless you REALLY soaked the ground with it). It certainly is a cheap mixture per gallon with a gallon of vinegar only costing me $2.38 and I would rather see the use of this as opposed to Round Up or some other herbicide.

Been working in the bee yard with Jim a few times to get me used to what I might experience when I'm at White Violet Center. Here is JimQueen bee pointing out the Queen bee on a frame from a hive. I thought I'd be nervous working with the bees but I really enjoy it. As Jim told me, they pick up on your movements and the fact that you are there to care for them. Move slowly and be careful not to squish them when putting the frames back in and they usually get out of your way. You also can tell a lot about the state of a hive by listening to the bees in each one. If they are agitated, the hive will be really noisy and louder than one that is more content. Me and Jim in bee yard During the week when the temps were really hot here (in the 90's for a week), there were times when the the hives had "beards" on them. The bees hang out, outside the hive, to stay cooler. It's interesting to learn about the different things they do and why they do them.



Bee beards


Bee Beards














Sugar Water to the Bees Me Giving Sugar Water to the Bees














Been working with mom on making candy and jams/jellies. We've made currant jelly (with berries from her bushes), strawberry jam and jalapeño spread. Friday was mom's 88th birthday so she got the day off. She went with my sister to the casino for the day. Tomorrow we need to make another batch of jalapeño spread. She is gearing up for show season, which starts at the end of August. My brother gave her the show schedule so now we're trying to get enough jams and jellies ready for him to take there to sell. I've learned how to make the labels for her on the computer. There is an ingredient label that has to go on the back of each jar and then the identification label on the front. It's been a lot of fun working with my mom on these things. She says this is her last year for making them so trying to learn all I can from her while she's still doing it.

Linda B is with her sister and her family this weekend, at Raystown Lake. She's been running non-stop ever since we got home. Last week she was at her son's and then those grand kids came up to camp with us at Bucktail Campground, just about 10 miles from mom's place. We moved the rig from my brother's on Tuesday afternoon and brought it back to my brother's Friday morning. The kids had a ball on all theIMG_0622 rides that they have at Bucktail. For about $62/night, everything is included. They have a carousel, train, miniature golf, zip line, 2 story tower with slide, huge playground, pool, etc. It's a great value for families that want to have things to do for the kids. Linda will come back from Raystown next Wednesday and go to her son's place in Wmspt to watch the kids, then bring them up to camp again next weekend. Busy...Busy...

She had a scary thing happen, last weekend, on her way back from her daughter's in Norfolk. She had called me in the morning, when she started driving up, to tell me there was a thumping sound under the car. I told her some things to look at. The next time she called me, around 11:30, she was hysterical and said the driver side rear wheel on the car had fallen off while she was driving through a construction zone. Luckily, there was minimal damage and the tow company fixed it but only after she sat for 6 hours at the garage. They had to replace the rim, lug nuts and bolts and bleed the brakes. Thank goodness she was going slow, through a construction zone, as she wasn't hurt either. Just scared prettyIMG_0610 badly ! It still baffles me how the lug nuts would have loosened so badly on that one tire. I always check them with my torque wrench, after having the tires rotated, because I find that they tend to loosen up within a few hundred miles of being changed. I had just checked them not that long ago so it's pretty surprising to me that this happened.

Well I guess that catches you up to present. More jelly making this week for me and more time with the grand kids for Linda. Only a couple of weeks till I leave for White Violet Center. Hope you're enjoying your summer !

1 comment:

Bobbie and Jim said...

Very interesting post, especially about the bees. I think bees are fascinating and they have a lot to teach US.