Monday, December 31, 2012

We had our own nutso people here!

After the Newtown shooting locally the schools were a mess. We are the fifth largest district in the country and by the end of the day Monday rumors were running wild about a shooting happening here. Some blamed the whole "Apocolypse" fun but most credited the Connecticut shooting.

I kept Bug home on Tuesday to get a sense of what was being done by the district about these issues. Here we have a police force dedicated just to the schools that works separate from the cities police departments. They and the multiple city departments released statements of increased security at the high schools and a reassurance that the rumor initiators had been dealt with and that there never had been a threat.

My sweet girl wants to be federal LEO one day, she shoots in her junior league, she has a business plan to pay for college. I have a pretty smart cokkie. Her response was "Mom if they are protecting the High Schools then the Middle and Elementary Schools are now targets. I am not sure I like this"

I had to agree. So she went to school Wednesday to get any work she needed and I kept her home the rest of the week. Sure enough some kid took a rifle onto a campus Friday the 21st. I think he wanted attention. It wasn't loaded though he had ammo in the car. He never took it from the car. He did bring it to campus though and he had no reason to be at that specific school. He was not enrolled, had no sibling there.

He and others like him come from making the shooters the story. That needs to stop. We need to keep the focus on the victims and never mention the shooters name. Just ignore him. That is just a first step to stopping these people from seeking fame by taking out as many people as possible.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

I am not dead!

Thank Heavens!

These past couple months have been a roller coaster of tests and stress. We have figured out some things which is great. The good news is that I am not in heart failure and the cause of my heart issues can be dealt with so I can get back to normal. The bad news is that normal still means FMS. Ick.

So apparently the awesome wonderdrug Savella they put me on a bit over 2 years ago has actually ben poisoning me and making my FMS progress. Cool huh? So we got rid of that drug and got a new doctor. The cardiologist says that it will take a good 6 months to be back to normal. Normal though for me could be who knows what. Since it pushed my FMS forward how much can it reverse? It has been discouraging to feel so useless.

However I refuse to be the debbie downer for long. I have discovered a fun work thing to do that helps me feel like I am giving back in some way which rocks. I am also helping to develop a website for a great project. It is called "The Screw It Project" and it is basically about telling Breast Cancer, heart disease, bullying, FMS, Diabetes, and Autism that those who face those issues are stronger!!

I may have to "Out" myself just so you guys can share in all this great stuff going on in my life!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crazies are out in force.

So the high school got a shooting threat today. The high school will be on lock down all day tomorrow. There will be police paroling the grounds at the elementary that my children attend. I am assuming they will be at the other elementary and the middle as well. My middle schooler does not care if he goes to the whole 15 minutes they have school tomorrow so he will be staying home. My two elementary age boys will be attending their parties....but my husband and I are going with them. That way they can go and enjoy their selves and we can be there to keep them safe. The world has gone crazy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

End of the world and psychos

I drive my boys to the bus stop in the mornings because they can't seem to behave if I am not there and it is COLD the last few days. I can't sit there in my warm truck and look at those freezing kids, so I let them all pile in to stay warm. This morning the conversation turned to the topic of the Connecticut shooting and the Mayan calender end of the world thing. At least half of them are staying home from school on Friday because their parents are afraid that someone will freak out thinking it's the last day on earth and go shoot a bunch of kids at school. They went on to talk about the conversations they had had with their teachers about what would be done to keep them safe. It was all I could do not to cry. These are young kids, they should be thinking about their upcoming Christmas parties, not worrying that some psycho will come to school and try to kill them. I wish they could still be oblivious to all of this. I am really torn, I don't know if I should send them or not. I don't think anything like that would happen, but I am sure the parents of the kids killed last Friday didn't think anything would happen either. My kids all have Christmas parties that day, plus my youngest is trying for 100% attendance again this year. I guess I could go to school with them, but who's class do I go to? Plus I have a middle schooler who will be miles away from the elementary school. I am seriously considering keeping them home just for my own peace of mind. Thoughts?

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm sorry, I just can't.

I am simply unable to process this one. I get a huge lump in my throat every time I see the innocent little faces on the news. I cry when I think of how much their families are hurting. I get so ANGRY when I imagine how scared they all must have been. I can't deal with this one. I just can't. So if it seems odd that I haven't said anything about this horrible situation, it's because it hurts too much. I am off to clean my kitchen so I can make cookies and hot chocolate with my boys tonight and make sure they know how much I love them. Lord, please be with the families of the children who were lost, give them comfort in this time of pain. Hold them tight as their families are grieving their loss. Bless the families of the teachers who died protecting these innocent lives and let them be comforted in the knowledge that their loved one was a hero. Take them all into your arms and let them know we care. Amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cubscouts have super powers

They can turn a minor headache into a migraine in less than 10 seconds. They can transform a nice clean, quiet tranquil place into a cage fighting ring complete with screaming fans and blood. They can take the worse day and turn it right around with just one story about something their parents would not want them talking about. Their pockets are bottomless. They can store a yo-yo, a pocketknife, five cookies and untold numbers of Pokemon cards. They can camouflage into any environment simply by being still for a moment. You completely lose track of them if they aren't constantly on the move. They are their own energy source. They can also feed off the energy of another if needed. They run on cookies alone. They multiply; five scouts quickly turn into 20. I swear they materialize out of the walls. They have super speed and sonic voices. They can be dirty just by willing it. Mine are dirty before even completing their shower. Like all supers, they do have their weaknesses They are captivated by candy. It's like they have no choice. If you ask them to do something while holding something sweet in your hand, they are compelled to do it. Quickly. They bleed. Sometimes a lot. They on occasion move so quickly they blur and run into each other. Or walls. In the case of my son; dumpsters. But in all honesty, I really love my cubs. They are so sweet and willing to learn. They love being together and growing; mind, body and spirit. They love to help, especially if you can make them feel important by giving them a job. They can be so rowdy and then immediately reverent and attentive when they catch sight of the American flag. They are so respectful while handling it. You will always hear whispers of "Don't drop it, don't let it touch the ground. EVER" while learning how to fold it. I especially love to see them come into the program for their first den meeting. Most of them march right up to their new leader, salute and recite the cub scout oath and law. They take such pride in being part of a team, a troop, a den. They know they belong an they make sure to look the part. Shirt tucked in, neckerchief folded just so, badges neatly sewn in just the right places. Yup, cubscouts have super powers. They wiggle right into your heart and stay forever.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

For LindaG

THIS is how I take my vitamin C!
I have now had four of my ten treatments and am still feeling crappy. I wish my body would hurry up and dump all the crap that I am detoxing already. I am tired of feeling sore and run down.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade Ice Packs from Maggie!!

Maggie is still without a comp so Gracie or I will probably have posts from her on a more regular basis now as she has rejoined the homemaking mommy pack!! Enjoy!



Between BD working a physical job and the two raucous boys, we get a
 lot of bumps and bruises around our place. Below is the world's easiest re-useable and non-toxic ice pack.

I cannot really claim the credit for this, as I got this advice second hand from a nurse at Madigan Army Medical Center who explained it to a friend who was having a procedure done.

We generally had one of those mysterious blue packs hanging out around. But they are so cold, the littlest one won't use them, and they don't bend well around fingers or toes. Not to mention, the littlest one enjoys trying to gnaw things open, and who knows what's in that stuff!

To make the ice pack, all I used was two ziploc bags (quart size) and 1 bottle of corn syrup. I poured the syrup in the first bag, being sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. I then folded over the 'zip' portion, and fit it inside the second bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible. And, viola!

The end result doesn't freeze, as remains pliable enough to work around fingers, toes, ankles and noses.

Enjoy!

-Maggie

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More questions!

I guess I should do my update. I am a bad blogger. Gracie is right. Plague feels like the right word. I have taken to describing myself as a medical conundrum. Really. It seems like the longer down a treatment path I go the more questions come up. I haven't been getting better in general. Pain, fatigue, brain fog. I see a pain clinic every month. This clinic is a bit frustrating because 1-they never told me they were not a preferred provider so I got a massive bill. 2- I never see the same doc. Ever. Each month is whomever is on office duty.

So I have had some weirdness and decided to track it. Over the last 2 years I have lost 60 lbs for no reason. No added exercise and no huge diet change. So I asked the clinic for my last few vital stats. A problem was then discovered. My heart rate is never below 110. I didn't notice really. Wanted the stats more for the weight.
Well due to the lack of care I decided to switch doctors. I met with hubby's doc to interview him. He was the one to see the heart issue. He checked it then and it was 117. He said I needed a cardiologist appointment asap. That my heart explained why I am so exhausted. Could explain the pain too. The cold hands and feet.Pretty much all of my issues could be because my heart it going nuts.

So now we have full GI workup because of the Celiac's worry and full cardiology work in the works and I feel so awful I am lucky to go from couch to bed to car. Just shopping is awful. Mopping is torture. My house is a mess. So for Christmas all I want is a maid service to completely clean my house top to bottom. And some freaking answers. Of course I'll settle for the answers.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Plague!

Well, not quite. Lila and I have both been quite sick with some pretty serious things though. I will write a post on mine as soon as I get all my info mailed to me. Just know that I am going to be hit and miss for a while with the blog posts as I am traveling out of state for some treatments. That's all for today, I just wanted to pop in and let you all know we are still alive.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quote of the day

"My moods are like shotgun blasts, they don't go too far, but they cause a lot of damage up close" I was talking to a friend the other day and the topic of mood swings came up. He told me I needed to put this one out there for the blog, lol

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Slowing down the robbers

   Hubby built an anti robbing screen for one of the hives last night. I think this is going to work. The bees come out of the entrance of the hive and into the screen at the bottom where the notch is cut out. They travel up and across to the notch at the top to leave the hive. The robber bees have not orientated to this situation because they have never had to use it to leave the hive. The bees that have left the hive, know to use the notch at the top to come and go. the robbers hang out at the bottom corner of the hive and try to get in.




   On the hive last night.


Robbers trying to get into the hive.



It worked so well, I made one for the nuc today.





Friday, October 12, 2012

Bees can be @$$h0le$

 We have one hive, our Utah hive that we bought as a nuc early this spring, that is robbing all of our hives blind. This is the hive that we brought back from the ranch because our first hive was robbing THEM. Once we brought them home, they build up nice and strong.
   We brought all the hives home for the winter about three weeks ago and everything seemed fine. Then Hubby decided to get them set up for winter and moved all our big hives in a row up against the fence so they would be protected from the wind. Both of our purchased Nevada hives were broodless and that was worrisome. One was totally broodless and had week old brood but nothing younger.
   I did some research and decided to feed them and see if the queen starts laying or if they might be queenless. We mixed up a five gallon bucket of syrup for them and started feeding them with a gallon ziploc bag on top of the frames.
   One bag for some reason made a big mess. Not sure if the holes were too big or the bees just didn't want the syrup. Either way, syrup leaked out the front of the hive and puddled on the ground. Enter robber bees. They went nuts. We put entrance reducers on all of the hives so they could defend better, but there are still a pile of dead bees in front of the other three hives. Not what we wanted going into winter with already weak hives.
   They even started going after the nuc in the front yard today. I rubbed menthol across the entrance and that seemed to help a lot. Going to do that to the other four hives tomorrow and hope it helps.
   Oh yeah, and we still have to deal with the varroa issue. *sigh*

That is all.





Friday, September 28, 2012

Am I joining a new club?

Might be! My FMS has been pretty interesting lately. I finally gave in and went to the pain clinic. Was put on an med regimen that seems to help in the pain sphere. A side effect has been loosing more weight. I am down to 148 at last doc visit. One not so fun thing has been a complete lack of appetite. I have never been a large eater but now I actually have to remind myself to eat or I can go the whole day without a bite and not notice. It has however made me notice more when I am having sensitivities to food. My most recent flare began after eating my favorite meal. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and brown gravy. Within hours I was in the bathroom with stomach cramps that were excruciating. I proceeded to be sick through the night. I was so weak and sick through the next day that I stayed on the couch all day. Then the next day I woke with a horror of a migraine. I think our presidential candidates tried to have a boxing match in my skull and caused my brain to swell. It was awful. I luckily already had an appointment at my clinic scheduled. I am loving them. I was very against going due to my past history with drugs and the horror stories but they are a whole body wellness kind of place. I have done physical therapy there and message therapy. Been great. Anyway my doc had some big concerns. Due to my sensitive stomach she suspects Celiac's or at least some significant food allergy issues. Hence the new club. So I need to find a good GI and get checked out. She also wants me to find a new primary doc. They handle a lot of my needs but some needs need a PCP and mine just hasn't done some things I guess she should be. My hematologist who monitors the lymphocyte issue said as much when I saw him in April but to have another of my team make the same recommend must mean its true. She feels I need more blood monitoring due to being a chronic illness patient. She also thinks I need someone who does more than write a prescription. Which I agree with. I guess I just figured she was doing what she was supposed to be doing. So wish me luck. I am trying to take my health in hand but the road is a long one, longer than I ever dreamed. I had really hoped that a diagnosis would mean fix but at this point I will take what I can get. Much love to all!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bee drama or HOLY PSYCHO BEES, BATMAN!

^^Two phrases I never imagined myself saying^^

We picked up our two new hives last week and took them out to the ranch with the other hive we have out there. (I REALLY need to come up with names for these hives, it's getting confusing) We left them alone for a couple of days to settle in and then went out to check on them. We opened the hive and realized they were doing quite poorly. Brood patterns were really bad and they were just overall weak hives with little honey stored. We checked the original hive and went home. We ordered new queens for all three ranch hives because two of those queens were two and a half years old and none of the three were doing well.
   The queens arrived on the 13th and we happily went out to install our new girls. The purchased hives were pretty easy to deal with. We found the queens, picked them out of the hive and I stepped on them. The queens were all pipping at each other and that was really cool. I had heard that on youtube, but never in person. Amazing.
   We got to the original hive and realized something was different. We could NOT find the queen. We searched and searched and still never saw her. We saw some queen cells though and that was worrisome. I did not dare leave the new queen in case the hive went on the war path and killed her. I went back home and did some research. The queen cells we saw were emergency cells. Uh oh. That means we lost our queen at some point. I looked up the age of the larvae we had seen in the cells and determined that the hive had been queenless for about a week. Pretty much since the last time we were there. Uh oh. We must have either squished her by accident, or lost her somehow when we left the new hives. Good thing we already had a queen to install. I went out the next day and put her in her new home. The bees were surprisingly mellow. This had always been a fairly aggressive hive but I didn't even light my smoker.
   Fast forward three days and we go out to check the queens and turn them loose into the hive. We also got our new beesuits and were quite excited to try them out. I put mine on and then taped the one spot where a bee could get through, right on the neck. Hubby told me I was paranoid and a pansy. I told him I didn't care, I would rather not get stung, thank you very much. We started with the queenless hive and HOLY PSYCHO BEES, BATMAN!!! These bees went into attack mode right from the moment we walked up to the hive. They would not give you a friendly headbutt warning, they went straight for the jugular. Luckily the neck on MY suit was taped up. But my non paranoid, non pansy husband ended up with half a dozen bees inside his suit. One went up his nose while another sunk her stinger right into his adams apple.
   He sucked it up long enough to release the queen and we watched her disappear down into the hive like she was supposed to. We battled the workers long enough to make sure they didn't attack the attendant bees that came with the queen. There was a lot of butt wiggling and threats, but no one seemed overly pissed at them, just at us. We put the inner and outer covers back on the hive and retreated. They chased us quite a ways down the road and we finally got away from the determined little critters. We smoked our suits to mask the sting pheromones and braved the kamikaze insects one more time to fasten the straps around the hive. Whew, that was pretty intense.
   Now on to the new hives. These girls wanted new queens! They had almost eaten all of the candy in the queen cage and eagerly accepted the queens into the colony. They escorted her right down into the hive and never really even flew out of the hives. They were gentle enough that we could have removed our gloves and touched them. What a relief after dealing with those other attack bees!
   We are going to wait a week and then go back out and check on the hives to make sure the queens are ok and laying eggs. If that crazy hive has killed their queen, they are toast. I am tired of dealing with them and their attitudes. I will split them up and distribute the frames between the hives I bought to boost them and will start over with a new package of bees next year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Come to the Dark Angel side!

I have recently had the privilege to become great online friends with Hot Sauce, the female half of Dark Angel Medical. She and her awesome guy have taken a pretty awesome idea and made something that I think all of us in the survival and/or prepper (whatever you want to call yourself, hehe) community can really benefit from. They make emergency trauma kits. But that honestly is a simplified statement. I am not an expert at all. I am just a major fan. This is directly taken from their about us page:
We are a veteran-owned business with a combined total of over 20 years of medical training and work in both the military and civilian healthcare fields, Pre-hospital care, flight medicine and intra-hospital work with concentration in emergency and critical care medicine as well as competitive shooting.

We are very proud to offer the D.A.R.K. (Direct Action Response Kit), what we believe is, a superior product to the standard IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)a.k.a. BOK (Blowout Kit). The components have been carefully chosen based on personal, hands-on experience and the feedback from “boots on the ground” in our current theaters of operation.

We want to give every person who deploys these kits the ability to survive a life-threatening situation.

The thing that I really love is the facebook linked to their website. On it Doc runs trauma scenarios and then leads the discussion in how to handle those issues. For those of us with only basic training it helps and has inspired me to want to renew my training. My last cert was when Bug was little. She is now 11. Add that to the fact I want to get my RO cert and renewing my CPR and basic trauma certs would be a darn good thing. I know that once I build a good bag for my truck a DARK is going in it. So check them and their product out!! You won't regret it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

surprising twist.

   The boy that was hit by the pick up truck yesterday is ok! The reason life flight left without transporting anyone is because there were NO INJURIES!! 
   After seeing the scene I saw yesterday, I am in awe that no one died. I am soooo relieved he was not seriously hurt. 
   Hopefully it will cause that boy to be much more careful in the future and the driver to slow down and be much more cautious.
   My boys were much better behaved at the bus stop this morning and even though we were the last ones there, I also noticed that all of the other kids were lined up nicely behind the boundry we had given them.
   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trajedy

   I saw something today that I will never be able to erase from my mind. I saw a mother lying in the dirt cradling the head of her son who had just been hit by a truck.
   I was coming home from town with DH, following my son's bus down the road, just talking about nothing in particular. As we rounded a corner near my house we saw red and blue lights. Uh, oh. that is never a good sign. We saw a red F250 sitting mangled in a ditch and could tell that it had rolled. Then we saw the boy. He was close to the same age and size as my oldest son. I KNEW my son was in the bus, but for just a moment, I saw him in the dirt there. His mother was lying in the dirt next to him with her face close to his, with her arms wrapped around his head. I burst into tears because for a moment, I put myself in her shoes. I was horrified, I was furious, I was devastated. I was her, and her son was mine.
   The truck had been going way too fast and hit the boy before rolling. The kids on the school bus he had just gotten off of saw the whole thing. I have no idea if the boy survived, but I know the helicopter came and left without him. I don't think that is a good sign. I have been trying to find out all day if he made it.
   Suddenly, none of my problems matter. Nothing I am going through even comes close to what his family is feeling tonight. My kids are all home and safe. My family is whole. I am blessed. I am thankful.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

For my next 30 years....

Today is my birthday. The big 30. I have had some teasing, some even apologizing as I hit this number. Like 30 is a bad thing. Honestly as I look back over my life I am so very happy to be having this day and the life I have had up to this point. For a long time I was 100% convinced I would die young. My FMS symptoms started in my teens and with so many saying that it was in my head or that I was crazy I was truly convinced that I either was going crazy or something was so wrong but no one could see it because I was meant to die. So I never really expected to hit this birthday. I have had my share of heartache as well. Loosing my babies was probably the worst emotionally followed by the loss of my grandparents and my love's battle with his own issues. Those things though helped shape the beauty that is my life. They helped form the bounty that is my marriage. Many think I make up our relationship but today when I opened my birthday card J.W. had written, "It feels like yesterday you were 17 and I had just fallen in love with you. I know many years have passed but I promise to make each day feel like it was only yesterday." Yeah that is my guy. All day Maggy has been texting me "Happy Birthday" over and over so I know how excited she is that it is my birthday. My email has been beeping like crazy with messages and my facebook even has some sweet words. It is humbling and amazing to feel so much love from so many. I see all of that love and can't help but be excited to turn 30 and eager for the future. I don't know what it holds. I know there will be heartbreak, there always is in life. I also know that there will be joy and love and passion. Thank you guys for being a part of that even if I have been a bit absent lately!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

major score

   Hubby and I went to check our hives this evening. Our medium hive, the one we moved back home is really packed with bees and honey. Doing great. Our Nuc in the front yard is also doing very well and will need a new box very soon. The big hive in the canyon....not so much. While not struggling, it is not growing either. It has enough honey stores to get through the winter, but none for harvest.
   On the way home we were discussing where to go from here. How many hives we wanted for next year, where we wanted to get them, ect. We had only been home about a half hour when a beekeeper neighbor called to say he was getting out of the bee business. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy his two established hives and his extractor for $300. We will be picking them up next week :-)

Wildlife and drought


After I posted about the porcupine, I realized I hadn't shared my skunk story with all of you. Last week, my chickens went bonkers at around 5 am. I went out to check on them and could see something trying to tear my live trap apart. I went out and low and behold....there was Stripes! Or one of the original Stripes' relatives. 
   Hubby had plans that morning which required him to take the truck. I had no way to transport stinky and so me being just a curious as the kids, started going out to see how close I could get. It was well past the little guy's bedtime so he slept and occasionally would open an eye and look at us (At one point, we had nine people standing less then a foot from the cage) and give us a look that said "Do you mind? I am trying to sleep here!"
   The kids hand fed him peanut butter sandwiches and I got close enough to take some really cool pics. I had no idea skunks were so cute. I killed some time before Hubby got back researching pet skunks. Good thing for Hubby, I found out they are illegal in most states including ours. The kids were disappointed.
   Once Hubby returned we threw a tarp over the trap and put Stripes in the truck to his new home. If he hadn't been half tame, we would have shot him and been done with it. But just look at that face!


   We found an area away from all homes and chicken coops with running water nearby and opened the door to the trap. He waddled his fat little but right out of the cage and into the bushes.
   I think the drought has a lot to do with the wildlife coming down into the valley this summer. There are some really big bucks wandering around the neighborhood this year that no one has seen before. We usually have four or five skunks all summer. My neighbors dogs killed three in a WEEK! I trapped and released this one. We have had coyotes come right into yards and try to eat the family dog. We even had fish and game put down a mountain lion ACROSS THE STREET from my house this spring. I just read an article this morning in the paper about a mountain lion trying to get into a casino yesterday in down town Reno. A badger walked into a grocery store in Sparks and all he wanted was water. This winter is going to be tough on all the creatures. I just hope we gt enough snow to make next year better.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Porcupine

I finally got this pic to save to my computer so I thought I would share. This is what the porcupine looked like before I put him down. Now you know why that dog looked like he did. The little scrapper was determined to pull every quill out of this thing. He almost succeeded.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

exciting morning

   My neighbor called me this morning to ask if I could help her get a few porcupine quills out of her dogs. She told me that each dog had five to ten quills, not a big deal. She went to pick up her teenage son to help hold the dogs.
   I got some supplies ready when her younger son came running up to the front door. I thought he was coming to tell me that his mom was back, but he was screaming and crying that the dogs had trapped the porcupine under the camp trailer and could I come quick.
   I grabbed my gun and magazine and started loading the mag as I walked down the driveway. As soon as I had the mag loaded, I broke into a run. My neighbor turned down the street just as I sprinted across the street and into her yard. She got there almost the same time I did and immediatly started screaming. We got the big female dog away from the porcupine and locked in the garage. The terrier was not about to let that nasty critter get away from him and just kept attacking.
   We finally drove him away from it by throwing rocks at him. Once he was locked in the garage and away from the danger, we turned our attention to the porcupine. It was completely bald on it's back and tail. It was injured pretty badly and was dragging one back leg. We had to use shovels to get it out from under the trailer. I still couldn't shoot it as it was huddled up to the tires. I ended up using a shovel to scoop him up and toss him away from anything that could be damaged. He was still trying to slap at me with his bald and bleeding tail so I had to have the teenager draw his attention by tossing rocks so I could get a clear shot ( I REALLY didn't want to just shoot it in the back) It worked and I fired a shot that didn't drop him, but was fatal.
   The kids of course all came running out of the house where they had been told to stay. So once I get them all back I went back to check on him and he decided to walk away. The second shot dropped him and it was done.

Now to turn our attention to the dogs. This is the female, she is not nearly as tenatious as her little brother. The pictures get more greusome as you scroll down. If you are squemish at all, stop here.
















This is the male that is now at the vet. They had NEVER seen this many quills in one dog.


This is the porcupine. You can't tell from this pic, but he is almost bald.


Monday, August 13, 2012

One of our own needs some help

I am not going to tell you who, because the link uses real names. This family is very kind and giving. They are bloggers just like us. And they have fallen on hard times. Here is the plea for help that I received this afternoon:

My family has been going through a very rough year. I had to take several Leaves of absences from work due to Fibromyagia and Kidney issues starting last August. Times were hard, but we made a knot in the rope and kept holding on. Then in April of this year, I started having major Flareups with BiPolar and wound up in the hospital for 10 days and because of this found myself unable to work. I wound up on 11 different medications to deal with all my issues. Well things were harder - but we kept holding on. It was then that we started losing hold of the rope. Donovan had a Heart Attack and wound up in the hospital for 3 days. We then had to take back due to high fevers from an uncommon complication called Dressler's Syndrome. About a week later we had to go to the ER due to unusual heart flutters. To put this in perspective, we live 90 miles from the hospital. Between gas and food, this truly wiped out our savings. And of course since his is the only income, his check wasn't very much either. Than the car's brakes had to be fixed. With his Health at stake - it was either pay the bills or get it fixed. That wiped out what little he had for a paycheck. So we are behind on bills. The cell phone was just suspended for lack of payment. The Short Term Disability check was approved for me last week. It won't be mailed out until tomorrow. We're down to very little groceries. very little fuel. September 4th is his last day in the Army National Guard. So our Health Insurance will end that day. We receive a small amount of food stamps from DES, which I am working to get increased. I applied for SSDI/SSI back in April. But even when I get approved, the first check would not be until November. We will need Firewood for Winter. Clothes and shoes for my 6 year old daughter. She starts back to school tomorrow. If it wasn't for the free meal program, I'm not sure what I could feed her.

Here is the link to help. If anyone could help even just a little bit, every penny will be appreciated. I would like to think that our community would rally around any one of us if we needed it. Please do what you can, even if it is just words of encouragement.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hive inspection

Went out to check on my big hive out on the ranch today. Getting a little bit worried about them. Now that they don't have the medium hive to rob, they aren't doing as much. They haven't touched the top super at all, not even to draw out a frame. Just nothing. The lower supers still have plenty of capped brood and some honey stores, but they seem to have stalled out. I don't think we will get any honey from them this year.
  The medium hive has been back at the house for a month now. They really picked up once they were away from the big hive. The queen still has a pretty spotty brood pattern, but they were hatching today so the empty ones might be from brood hatching. I actually got to watch one of the girls emerge from her cell today. She came out all fluffy and a pretty pale yellow. Her stripes were a pale yellowish gray. Very fun to see. This hive has loads of honey stores, lots of brood and new bees. I am going to have to get another box on that hive ASAP. THIS one might produce some honey this year :)
   The nuc is doing alright, but it has only been a month since I got the queen and stole some brood from the big hive to get her going. I noticed a worker coming in this morning with her pollen baskets clear full of a pale pollen. They also had some bees hatching today. I didn't see the queen but I am pretty sure she was on the far outside frame. The bees on that frame were clustered in a certain spot so I am guessing that's where the queen is. This hive produces very dark almost black bees. The queen is carnolian/caucasian cross and you can tell a big difference between the bees that she has hatched vs the bees I gave her. These bees are not as aggressive and are fairly easy to work. When I gave brood to her, I only had smaller frames and I was hoping they would have drawn out the only two deep frames they have but it has not happened yet. Once they do, and the queen starts laying eggs in those, I am hoping to phase out the shallower frames and replace them with deeper ones. Not exactly sure how I am going to to this, but I will figure it out.
   I just hope I get some sort of a honey harvest this year and enough I can give the ranchers who were nice enough to let me put my bees in their field. They even picked out the perfect spot for them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Off topic

This post is not about politics, guns, prepping, or anything relevant to our usual topics. I just needed a place to put down my thoughts.

   I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. It has caused me to be hypoglycemic. It has also caused a hormone imbalance, low blood pressure (like low enough that I should go to the hospital almost weekly), low cholesterol.....oh yeah and I also got mono on top of all of that.
   Fun stuff, right? I forgot to mention fibromyalga also goes hand in hand with adrenal fatigue. Lila was right. She has been convinced I had fibro for years.
   My doctor is big on changing lifestyle rather than handing out meds. I like that. At least I thought I did until I was told I could no longer eat carbs or sugar. Honestly, I am just griping. I needed to cut way back on those things anyway. And I really WOULD rather fix this with diet. I have to be careful to balance any carbs or sugars with protein. If I don't my blood sugars skyrocket then drop low enough to make me lose consciousness. One good thing that has come of this is that my little Boston terrier is now a service dog in training. She had been cuing in on my lows long before I knew I was having them. I just thought I was sick. One morning she jumped up into bed with me and refused to let me up. I checked my sugars and was very low. She now alerts me when she smells the change in my blood sugar level and when I ask her to check.
   The hormone imbalance can be reversed by eating three eggs a week. I am not fond of eggs and this has been hard for me. I am learning to be creative!
   The low blood pressure can be raised by adding more salt to my diet. It is more of a long term fix though rather than a quick fix when I find myself in trouble. One way to raise blood pressure quickly is with caffeine. I don't drink coffee or black tea (yuck). Pepsi or most other caffeinated beverages are out because of the sugar content. I would just be fixing one problem and creating another one just as bad. Energy drinks can cause stroke and I am already high risk due to the blood pressure issue. So what's a light headed girl to do? I found some energy strips at our local GNC that are caffeine, ginseng, and Vitamin B. PERFECT! I keep those in my purse along with my blood pressure monitor and my blood glucose meter and my jerky. I have had to learn to carry a big purse.
   The thing that is honestly the worst is the fibro. I absolutely loathe feeling this way especially when there isn't a lot to do about it. Today is a bad day. Yesterday was worse. I have a lot on my plate and no one to help take up the slack. I can only work outside when it is cool. I can only work in the house until my body screams at me to stop. Stress shortens the time I can do anything. I have three little boys who create stress and toss it around the house like confetti. They fight, they destroy, and they make messes faster than I can clean them even on a good day.
   I feel stupid. I lose track of conversations even before they are through. I will argue a point with someone until they laugh and point out that they are saying the same thing I am. I am just too out of it to realize it. I almost wish I didn't know about the fibro. At first I was relieved to have a diagnoses of any kind. Now I have a name to get mad at. I KNOW what is causing me to feel this way and it pisses me off. Maybe it is just something to blame, but I sometimes find myself in a fury with an invisible foe. It's hard to fight an enemy you can't see or smell or touch. I can however feel it and it sucks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Out of the blue


I posted this picture on my facebook page this morning. I turned the computer on this afternoon to find this comment: "Im amazed at how the activists are so quick to defend their rights ( which shouldnt include assault weapons) in light of major tragedies and loss off life....all those wapons were legally purchased with ammunition and riot gear off the Internet...Good God people! Let the families bury their dead before crying about your rights, especially when no one has taken them!!"


After looking at her page I realized this was a comment she was copying and pasting on every gun related post she could find. She followed it up with this: "I know our Founding Fathers would never have foreseen the Internet and the major assault weapons that are freely available to us now because of their words...."



I was a little bit baffled as my post had nothing to do with the recent shooting spree and I had never really talked to this lady and only had her on my facebook at all so I could communicate with her about a dog sweater I had made for her. I answered back : " (crazy chick), I post these all the time..... Not just after a tragedy like the recent shooting. My heart aches for the innocent people that lost loved ones and for those injured. I DO believe however that we should be able to have access to those weapons to defend ourselves against those who would obtain them illegally. (I know this guy also obtained his legally). I have a gun that some would consider an assault weapon. I use it to shoot coyotes. The criminals are to blame, not the law abiding gun owners or the guns themselves.
 
It only took her a few minutes to fire back: " I know you do...I also believe in the right to bear Arms, concealed weapons, hunting etc., but I don't believe assault weapons and being able to purchase mass ammunition on the Internet falls within those rights and every gun owner freaks out about their rights when even Obama hasn't touched your precious rights. So why post this crap, THIS WEEK??"

I am confused. When did I say anything about Obama taking away my rights? I typically don't post political stuff on my wall at all. I am not educated enough on politics to voice an opinion. I have friends on both political parties. In order to keep the peace, I just don't post it.

I answered her one last time: "I guess we just have to agree to disagree then.
This statement really has nothing to do with rights. It just places the blame where it belongs."
I then unfriended her. I have enough on my plate without having her freak out on facebook. Get a grip lady. Less than 10 minutes later, I got a personal message from her.
"I'm sorry if I offended you, but I said nothing offensive. I respect your freedom of speech and beliefs on Gun Control and your beliefs about Mitt Romney...I never put my Obama stuff on openly....maybe things on MSNBC. but no anti- Romney and I'm never offended. Even all the Mormon stuff I see...I believe in tolerance especially on FB. But this one thing of yours I commented on...and I wasn't being rude...just my opinion. And your right we can totally agree to disagree...but just know it was not my intent to offend or be rude. You know this is the exact attitude that Mormons and gun owners get criticized for...no tolerance...I believe it was your former President, Gordan B. Hinkley, whom I respected dearly, that spoke often on tolerance. God Bless...."

Now she's attacking not only my rights, my politics (or at least what she THINKS my politics are), but now she goes after my religion!?

I didn't answer back. I just posted this: 


Monday, July 16, 2012

FlashBang

   I know there has been a conversation about the FlashBang holster before. I agreed with most opinions that it looked kind of clumsy and just a bit dangerous.
   My opinion has changed.
   I ordered a holster from Bang Bang Boutique and when it arrived, it was not the holster I had ordered, but the FlashBang. I thought about it for a day and then decided I just HAD to play with it. I got it out, hooked it up to my bra and put my gun in it. If I stood still and didn't move, you could not see the gun (I am small chested and knew this would be a problem) But if I walked around, it slipped just enough to be visible. I was disappointed as I would probably have just kept the FlashBang (they were the same price and the FlashBang was already here, lol).
   Hubby was intrigued and wanted to see how fast I could pull my gun. Before he knew it, he was looking down the barrel of my Bodyguard. I promise it was unloaded, no magazine and on safety. He was impressed and told me to try it again. I reholstered the gun and stood there for a second or two. I again pulled and aimed without him even seeing me move. I LOVED how fast I could pull that gun! The bad guys would NEVER see it coming! There is no way to shoot yourself while drawing, the trigger is completely covered until the gun is clear of your body. It would honestly (almost) be worth getting implants just to be able to use that holster.
   After a few times, Hubby was just a little bit scared by my ability to draw so quickly. He asked me to stop. I had to draw once or twice more just to freak him out. I am sadistic like that.
   Honestly ladies, if you get a chance to play with a FlashBang....TAKE IT!

Monday, July 9, 2012

I love when a kid thinks big!! Supporting our wounded soldiers!

So I recently came across a new facebook page that was started by a 16-year-old girl. Turns out this girl is a local and one thing led to another and I ended up talking to her Dad. This is a family I can get behind. He is a part of the local militia group. If that wasn't enough to make him my kind of people his daughter clinched the deal! They recently welcomed a returned soldier brother (Uncle to our girl) into their home after he returned home from his tour and was discharged into homelessness. This Uncle shared some stories with our girl. She was pretty moved and decided she needed to help. So she took the paracord bracelets she had been making for the militia group and turned it into a business. Now she makes them and sells them and donates a portion of every sale to the group that works on granting wishes for our wounded soldiers. Talk about an awesome kid. She is also saving up another chunk of her earnings for college. I am loving this girl!! So I think we all need to spread her story around. We need to pass out the link to her store. We need to buy her bracelets even if we can make them. (Yes North, I am looking at you! :) Among others! Hehe! )  My own Bug has been inspired herself and wants to do something similar!! This is a beautiful thing! So go check out Parachord Products for Wounded Heroes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hunting.... I mean shopping for my birthday present a little early.

My birthday is next month. I am hitting the big 30. Most of my peers seem to lament this one but honestly I am excited. Part of it might be the hope that my father may actually begin to see me as an adult if I am 30. Part of it could be that I might finally seem old enough to have a 10-yr-old by the other parents and thus be treated like an equal. I don't know. I just feel good about this one.

Moving on..... I made a couple of pretty awesome recent discoveries. 1- GunGoddess.com is a local!!! So excited. I love what she does and all her beautiful things and learning that she is a local makes my gun chick fan girl heart go pitter pat. Yeah I might be a little creepy like that I know. 2- While really digging around on her site I discovered that there is a women's shooting group at one of the big ranges. It isn't super close by but I don't mind the drive.

So with that discovery I chose my birthday present. I want real range gear. I good range bag, eye and ear protection. The works to kit me out for some shooting fun without the guys. I want to really get out and actually make some friends and grow as a shooter. My surgery is over now it is time to really get to work!! So what are your ideas? Good place to buy a bag and gear. I also want a couple more mags for my HK. I really want to buy from readers or from small businesses rather than the big places so am happy to order off of a site. The best way to support each other is to spread the word and buy from each other when possible right?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hive inspection

   I moved my bees out to a farm/ranch nearby in a small valley that is much cooler and greener than my house. My neighbors were actually upset and several have asked us where the bees are. They missed them.
   The weather has been so dry, I was worried about them starving here. Now I am worried about them starving out there as well. My small hive isn't doing well at all. There seem to be a lot more bees than when we got them, but the brood pattern is very spotty and they have absolutely NO pollen or honey stored in the hive at all. I think it might be time to requeen them and bring them home so I can feed them.
   I know there is food available, they are on the edge of three alfalfa/clover fields that are in bloom. The big hive has honey and pollen stored. Not as much as I had hoped, but they still have some. I might not get any honey again this year. *sigh* So far the bees have only been an expense and I am getting frustrated. I am not about to give up on them, I just wish they would start to give back a little.
 This darn heat is really messing with everything this summer. I have not been able to plant much of a garden and much of what I did plant never came up. We are going to be out of town quite a bit this summer and it just wasn't worth replanting.
   Hope everyone else is having a better summer than we are.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

There are days when a miracle happens....

and you are reminded that every moment is a blessing.


My sister was the driver of this car this past Sunday. She was on a very rural stretch of 2 lane road when a brilliant person decided to cross into her lane to pass 3 semi trucks. She had no choice but to swerve off the road to avoid a collision. Her tires hit gravel and she lost control. She swerved back onto the road right into the path of one of the semi trucks. After the initial head on impact she was spun and hit from behind. The people on scene say that at this point her car should have been pulled under the semi but miraculously she was slammed forward and walked away from the image above with no injuries. This impact happened at 70 mph. Every single responder was stunned to see her breathing out of the car let alone without injury. She hit so hard she bent the drive line on the semi.

All I first knew of this was a phone notification that my brother had updated his facebook. "My little sister was in a head on ......"

I froze. After the fear from 2 weeks ago and the tunnel instability I went right to panic mode. I was just instantly terrified. It took a moment before my husband could calm me enough to get me to call my mom. The moments until she answered seemed to take forever. To hear those words, "She's okay," took my breath away in relief. Then I saw the pictures. How was she okay? I have lost multiple friends to similar crashes. To see the damage and know she was okay just brought home to me how deeply miraculous life can truly be.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lila's getting her oomph back!

I know I have been a pretty absent girl lately. Honestly it has felt like life and my FMS took a huge bite out of me and swallowed me up. One thing after another was slamming into me and I was struggling to catch my footing. I was lucky to concentrate on my husband and girls let alone myself. Finally though I seem to have a med combo that is working. My pain isn't super constant. I have oils helping to supplement things thanks to Mrs. Gracie. I am back using a lot of organics where I can. I am doing physical/massage therapy 2 days a week. I have my chores back on a schedule I can manage. Monkey is on a reward system that has made discipline and such much easier with her. So I am slowly getting me back. I haven't been able to do a lot of the things I had hoped to by this time of year. I know that is pretty normal with this type of illness. I am learning to be more patient with myself and more forgiving. So I hope to be more present here again and really start to dig in to some canning and homemade things as well as other preps. So wish me luck as I get back to my life and if you have any ideas for me I would love to hear it. I plan to really get in to getting all our go bags together, building some more food storage, making some useful items for the girls. Things like that. If you have any items you just can't live without let me know. If you have some cool tricks to your preps I am all ears. I also am interested in high nutrition tasty recipes. One of the side effects to my meds has been a loss of appetite. I am not eating well. So I try to pack nutrition into things. I take a very potent multivitamin as well. So let the thoughts flow y'all!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The loss of a brother.

I think all dangerous work forms a bond among the people doing it and the families that love them. You bond over the worry. You work hard and play hard and very often with each other around to enjoy the ride. You get to know who is hurting and who is happy. You celebrate the birth of a child and mourn when someone has a family member pass away. You raise your children together. Some friendships are closer than others. Yet everyone still has this bond deeper than friendship. Even when you seem on opposite sides of the world in views when it comes down to it every one around steps up to help you through the rough spots.

This past week has been one of the roughest of our lives. A horrible tunnel accident took the life of one of the men. To say that these men and all of us who stand behind them were sent into a tailspin would be an understatement. BUT I also saw miracles. Little differences were put aside to help a family stricken. Men stepped up to work 12 hour shifts so that those on the swing shift could mourn. Women came together to help me supply meals to the family. I saw men from out of state mourn with us and honor our fallen brother. I saw an amazing depth of love and support for each other and for the family who needed us all the most.

The thing few realize about tunneling is that it is often a career for these men. They love the work. They also know that it is one of the most risky in the world. This particular job has been considered one of the most complex in the country. Yet they do it with a smile and a bawdy joke. These tunnels are always to improve the lives of the community around them. Some, like ours, are to bring water, some to help traffic, some for flooding. They quietly and without ever expecting a thank you serve a community that has a need and they do it by risking their lives. They often come home bruised and tired but push through and do it another day. So please if you have a tunnel project in your neck of the woods give a prayer of thanks and one for the safety of the men and women doing the job. Some lose their lives for this.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chicks are here!


   The egg in this picture pipped last night. I stayed up late to watch for progress and saw none so I went back to bed. This morning, Hubby got up at 4:30 to go to work. I got up with him to check again and saw that the egg had a much bigger hole in it. 
   But more exciting, the egg next to it had completely hatched out! The more the chick moved and chirped, the more the egg next to it would crack. I woke the kids up to see the new chick and they stayed up to wait for the second chick too.
    Before too long we could see a little beak poke through the hole, grab a piece of shell and shake. Then the chick would reposition and rest. Then the beak would break through a new section of shell and again the chick would reposition and rest. Then went on until the baby had "zipped" almost all the way around the whole egg.
   You would see the whole egg expand and quiver as the chick inside would stretch, trying to break free. A few more pecks and she would try again. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, and with one final stretch, she kicked her way free of the egg.
   I went in the other room to let her rest and dry off. I checked on them again thirty minutes or so later and panicked. The first chick to hatch was hanging by her head from the heating element in the incubator. I yelled for the kids to come help me and one of them held the lid while I freed her from a pretty horrific death. I am very thankful that the heat didn't come on and burn her alive while she was hanging there.
   The humidity in my incubator was already comprimised, so I went ahead an grabbed both chicks and handed them to the boys who were waiting with outstretched hands. They snuggled with them for a few minutes while I set up a dog crate to use as a brooder.
   The babies are now running around and are all fluffed up in the crate. I hope I get a bunch more that hatch, but if not, I will still be happy with my two fluff butts!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial day

   I am a very patriotic person. I don't always show that side here, because I don't have the words to say what is in my heart. I am grateful to all of the soldiers past, present, and future. I have several that I am related to. I am saddened each time I see posts in the news about those who didn't get to come home. I am heartbroken to think that my children have ever known a country not at war. I am terrified that this war (or another one) will still be going on when they are old enough to enlist. To all of the veterans out there. THANK YOU. Please stay safe.





Sigh

Yesterday I could have slept in. Yesterday I TRIED to sleep in. I ignored the dogs barking for about a half hour until the little one in the house started up and I knew there was something in the yard. I opened the door and a yellow lab and a malamute were scoping out the chicken coop. Not wanting to deal with strays that early in the morning (before 6) I yelled, "GO HOME!" The lab walked off, the malamute walked right into my bedroom. I sighed, locked him in my bathroom and went outside to try and catch his friend. The lab took off and I went back in to call the owners. 
Thank goodness "Spike" had an ID tag. I called over and over hoping to wake his owners up. I did not feel at all bad about calling them at 6:30 to come get their dog. I had been up since before 6 listening to all the commotion in my yard. If they had killed any of my chickens, we would have had an entirely different conversation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ARGHHH! Stupid rooster!


   When I was in Utah last week, I bought a dozen fertile eggs to hatch in my incubator. I also gathered eggs from my hens over the next few days because I want some cochin chicks! Last night I candled my eggs and was really excited to see that my wyandotte eggs are developing nicely. Then I got to the eggs from my hens. Nothing. Not one little speck or blood vein in those eggs. Nothing at all. Mr Chicken just might be in trouble.

Did I mention he's mean?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden is (almost) DONE!


I spent the last week getting my raised beds weeded, tilled, built up higher and planted. The peas and beans sprouted before I was even done with the other boxes. I decided to try an experiment this year. Last year, I noticed that all of my beds (especially the one with the lettuce, swiss chard and radishes) had lots of earwigs. The ONE box that didn't have ANY bugs was the box with the onions. Hrmmm. Not even a grasshopper bothered that box. So I took the onions that had survived the winter and planted six of them in each box. Bug repellant that won't hurt my bees.
   


   I have my beans, peas, cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, asparagus, swiss chard, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic all planted. I still want to plant a few Roma tomatoes, some cucumbers, squashes and corn. But the beds are done. 
   I found all of these slimy little mushrooms growing in one of my beds. In the desert. Who knew? I am going to leave them alone and just watch them for a while, our climate isn't friendly to mushrooms and I am not worried about them spreading or becoming a problem.

   We also added four fruit trees this year (along with the cherry tree we planted last fall). We got a peach tree, apricot tree, apple tree and plum tree. The bees will be very happy next year when they blossom. On the meantime, my neighbor is more than happy to share the fruit from her overloaded trees. She is noticing a big difference since I got the first hive.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ouch!


   We gave our new bees a couple of days to settle in and then decided we wanted to add a drone frame and go to a nine frame before they started building everything up. But first we had to work the first hive (I really need to name my queens or something. It would be much easier than saying the first hive or the second hive, or the nuc, or the other hive, ect.). We opened it up and they were MAD. 
    We lifted the medium super off and placed it on the ground. The bees had done something weird and when we removed the medium super, it opened dozens of cells exposing larvae that were almost ready to hatch. They were just laying there on top of the frames. 
   We smoked the bees like crazy because they were getting really aggressive at this point. Hubby got stung on the top of the hand. We took a frame of capped brood to give to the new hive and a frame of honey to make sure they would have plenty to eat. I brushed all of the bees off these two frames and walked them over to the new hive. Hubby got stung, once again on the back of the hand. (You see where this post is going, right?) 
   I went back to the big hive and added the drone frame and started spacing the frames out with my spacing tool. Hubby got stung....on the back of the hand. (In case you lost track, that's three stings in the same hand) I replaced the medium super and took one frame out that had comb, but no honey. Hubby got stung on his finger, opposite hand. While he was doing the bee dance and cursing, I spaced the medium frame and put the inner cover on. Hubby reminded me that we needed to add another medium super onto that hive and came to help. He got stung, again on the back of the hand. I yelled at him and told him to get into the house and take care of himself so I could finish up. He headed in cussing the whole way and shaking his hand. I quickly added the new super, put the inner and outer cover on and wandered over to the new hive.
   The new hive is smaller and at this point much gentler. I took out four untouched frames and replaced them with one frame with brood, one frame with honey and a drone frame. I then spaced them for a nine frame and found my queen. I added a medium super, because with all that I had given them, there were only two empty frames. I put on the covers and headed in to take a look at Hubby's hand. Oh dear heavens! He was already swelling.
I put everything I could think of on his hand and nothing stopped the swelling or the pain. By the next day, he looked like this:




We went to the Dr and he was given steroids and benadryl to take the swelling down. By the next day his hand looked like a hand instead of a rubber glove that had been blown up to entertain a child at the Dr's office!

Friday, May 18, 2012

New bees!

We got a new hive last weekend. We drove to Utah with our empty super, all set up and looking tiny in the back of the truck. On the freeway, we passed a big rig hauling hives covered in screens. I can only imagine what he thought when he looked down at our little hive with one deep super, lol. We did some shopping (I love Costco!) and then went to dinner with Hubby's mom. Weird enough, we ran into relatives at the restaurant! We got to our table and turned around and my mother in law was gone, we walked back the way we came and she was talking to her sister in law and Hubby's cousin. We all changed tables so we could sit together and had a very nice time. Once it was later in the evening, (you want all the bees to be home when you pick them up) we traveled to the apiary. The guy we were buying the bees from opened the nuc and showed us the queen and brood pattern before putting his five frames into our super. We loaded them up and headed home. On the way we stopped to pick up a dozen fertilized blue laced red wyandotte eggs to hatch. So fun pics to come!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

No chicks :(

I made an order with Meyers Hatchery months ago to get my spring chicks. I went online yesterday to see when exactly they would get here and how many I would be getting. There was no history of my placing an order at all. I know I ordered them because I remember picking an arrival date sometime in the first week of June. I also ordered a basket to carry my eggs in and chose the option to have that sent separately. I called the company and the lady that answered the phone told me that if I chose a breed with a limited availability for that particular hatch date, I might have ordered more than they had available and the system would have kicked my whole order out. Great. So now it's too late to order any of the chicks I wanted and Murray McMurray wants a minimum 25 chick order. I really don't want that many chicks. Does anyone know of another hatchery besides these two that they could recommend? If not, they I guess I will pick up the Australorpes at the local feed store and forget about getting the Cochins or Brahmas. Maybe hatching some of my own Cochin eggs would be the way to go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mr Chicken has three new girlfriends

 Actually, he has known them since they were all hatched. They are all new to our flock though. I got them from the same lady who gave me Mr Chicken last year. He was instantly in love and was trying to romance them through the bars of the cage. The original hens were not as impressed.


We are now up to 11 chickens, 10 hens and the king of the castle. If any of you remember Twitchy, that is her in the front. Looking pretty good for a dead chick, huh? Mr Chicken is such a show off!
We will also be getting more chicks next month. I know we got more Australorps but I can't remember what else we ordered. I think we are getting eight total. that would bring us up to 19 chickens if everyone survives. Yikes! Eggs anyone?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bee mayhem

My bees got lost yesterday. Since the "big move", seriously 30 ft away, about half of the bees got lost. The last few days have been cool and stormy so there hasn't been much activity. But yesterday was warm and sunny. I was at a friends house and when I came home, there were thousands of bees flying around in the air where the hive used to be. I immediately geared up and grabbed the new empty hive. I placed it on the edge of the cloud of bees and they went right in to rest. Most of them eventually found their way back to the active hive, but a few hundred were too weak. I shook most of them back into the active hive, but still lost quite a few. The ground is littered with tiny striped carcasses this morning. There are still  a few that are crawling around trying to get the strength to fly, but I doubt they will make it. Weird how you get attached to a bug and will sit outside dribbling sugar water on them each individually to try and bring them around. I placed a branch in front of the entrance to the active hive so they have to orientate themselves when they leave. Hopefully this will help them find their way back home today.

Friday, April 27, 2012

How not to move a beehive

video
My husband decided to move the hive night before last while I was at cub scouts. I got a call from Butch saying I needed to hurry home because Dad had been stung. He only got stung twice and was ok, but the video explains a LOT!

Friday, April 20, 2012

What a bee-utiful day!

Yeah, I know. That was a lame little pun, I couldn't help myself. For the last couple of weeks, Hubby has been building new beehives for me. We ordered a nuc that we will have to pick up sometime in May. I am also going to split my hive this spring.  The first hive was completed today.


Pretty nice, huh? Here is the old and new hives next to each other. The bees kept flying into the new hive to see if there was anything good in there. I hope they give it up soon so that they don't rob the new bees when I install them in the hive. I think I am going to have to do some research on the subject.

We also opened the existing hive today. This was the first time I ever had help (hubby got his own veil today, hooo hooo!) and I never felt comfortable taking it all apart without an extra set of hands, so this was a first for me. We had some funky architecture going on with some frames. This one was just weird. Loads of brood though, so I know the queen is doing a good job. Look at the little white spots near the bottom, those are larva. Gross little white worm looking things. Those will soon be busy little bees. I also saw a few drones, I still kind of like those guys. I feel bad for them, they are so gentle and sweet.



The queen is in this picture, can you see her?

How about now? She's almost in the middle of the pic 


Anyway, all seems to be well in the hive and I am looking forward to fall when I can have my first harvest!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It is your response that matters.

I find people fall into a couple groups when it comes to attitude about life. Mine recently can get pretty frustrated as the teens help less and less the closer they get to moving and thier papa is a bundle of negativity. I don't like some of the behavior in my home. JW and I are a very mellow couple. We don't fight often and when we do it tends to be quick and then done. We have maybe 1 big huge gonna strangle you fight a year that will last about an hour. We stomp off to our corners, me in tears, and then realize we are both idiots and apologize. Even with the angst of JW fighting some demons during her young years Bug soaked the mellow like a sponge. She is a very chill kid. Happy to be with family, content to relax, sensitive like her mama. Not a yell do we get unless she is in a fit of prepubescent angst. Now Monkey on the other hand has had a different couple years. Teens occupy her space. They are opposite sex and forced to share a room by circumstance. So the fighting can be epic. The cussing can rival any construction site I have been on. So my little angel yells and hits and gets mean when she is mad at you over something. Drives me batty. So frustrated is a state I live in on some days.

Anyway I have noticed quite a few people who complain over the weirdest things. Little dumb things. Don't get me wrong I will complain my guts out to JW and my close friends. Everyone needs to vent stuff. I also came to a point where the whole "I'm fine" response just felt dumb. If asked how I am and I feel like crap I am going to say so.  I regularly hid my health and feelings from others and ended up being a doormat. So not going there. Don't ask if you don't want the honest answer.

Back to complaints. Something life has taught me is that the little stuff is worthless to be annoyed about. He didn't make the bed? Not the end of the world. She left trash on the counter? Meh. Just give a reminder and let it go. No need to feel full of anger. Dude cut you off on the drive to work? Already happened and we can't change it so unless you got into an accident all it did was cause some break pushing. Not more than a few seconds of time lost. Let it go. We waste so much time wrapped up in little junk that we miss the beauty of the world. Yeah my little girl has some negative stuff we need to work on. Family bought a house (huzzah!) so we will have time to do that. I treasure her curiosity and her kisses. Her imagination is endless (wonder where she got that?) and she loves ponies like they are the dawn of a new day. She is brilliant and amazing. So I dwell on that. Bug is a tween. Boys and clothes and music are entering her radar. We have some hormonal angst but the girl is sweet-natured and loving. She puts up with the little one's hero worship better than I could have dreamed and helps me even when she is annoyed. That is what I concentrate on. This illness is scary and endless and limiting. I can complain about that but I also focus on my blessings. Why let the dumb little stuff stress me out when I have bigger fish to fry?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hot potato Lila!

Do you remember as a child playing the game called hot potato? You and your friends sat in a circle and passed a ball as quickly as you could without dropping it. If you let it drop you lost. Now imagine that game and every person in the circle is a doctor. A Hematologist, Primary Care Dr., Rheumatologist, Endocrinologist. They pass that potato so fast it blurs. I realized today I am that potato. FMS makes me that untouchable unwanted potato. Every doc runs a battery of tests just to rule out things so they can prove something else. Finally I thought I had hope. I found a well respected Rhemuatologist. FMS is after all in that category. Went in and she tried some meds and ran her slew of tests. Her meds made me sicker. Her tests agreed with everyone else. I am the healthiest sick person in the world. Today I was told that the nature of FMS makes it difficult for her to help me so she is passing me on to a pain management specialist. I get to add another doc to the circle. I am so frustrated I just sat in the car and cried. I wanted to avoid that fate. I battled during my teen years with a host of things, addiction being a close friend. Maybe I was lucky I faced that so young. I was very healthy and to a teen months feel like eons and I was through my bottom and clean by the time I was 17. It wasn't an easy road. I made it harder for myself by being deceitful and destructive. Then I found my guy and the world seemed to complete itself. I have never looked back and never wanted to. Even before I converted to the LDS religion I didn't drink. I didn't smoke. The only time I ever took a strong prescription was when my girls were born and when I had kidney stones/infection or my wisdom teeth pulled. I don't even allow them to numb me at the dentist anymore. So this prospect has me very upset. I do not want to take pain drugs. The thought of risking that just terrifies me. Yet it has also been shown that so far the biggest proven help for FMS is pain drugs.

This potato is so overcooked.