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!