Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bees and Bung Eyes.

I'm sitting here with a bung eye.  It doesn't hurt but does feels uncomfortable.   I didn't get punched in the face.  I didn't crash into a wall.  Well, I did crash into a wall but it didn't give me the bung eye...I did do a stupid thing and something that the husband will laugh at when (if) I tell him about it. 

What did I do?  I took the lid of a hive.  This is something that I have done before.  It is something that I know how to do.  It is something that I will do again in a couple of days time.

One day, a long time ago, in a dark dark forest...Oops, wrong story.

Yesterday was hot here, quite hot, too hot to do much.  So I didn't.  But come late afternoon, early evening it started to cool down and my list of things that needed doing was getting longer so I thought it would be a good idea to make a start.  The Apiary need mowing.   There is 1 hive in here with 3 others in the process of being moved in.   The bees don't like the mower so I was careful to not get too close and the mowing was finished with enough time to get the mowers put away and the electric fence back up before it was too dark to get other jobs done.   And I needed to put the sprinklers on in this paddock too.    So I finish the mowing and even though the grass in front of the hive needed doing I didn't get too close because, you know, the bees don't like the mower...I take down the electric *gate* and start to take the mowers out, I had been using both the ride-on and the push mower, I take the ride-on out and ride it back to the house yard where I decide to mow along a fence line.  The cows come over to where I am so I don't have to worry about the fact that I didn't put the electric gate back up...I finish the fence line and go back to the apiary to get the push mower but decide to mow a bit more and get closer to the bushes that are in there.  By this time the last of the bees are flying home, they seem quiet and calm so I go and have a look at what they have, what colour the pollen on their legs is.  I smell honey and think that maybe I will need to extract again soon, I'll have a quick look.  I try and take the lid of the hive, it is stuck on and of course I don't have the hive tool with me as I wasn't planning on looking.  But a quick pull and the lid comes off, I didn't really expect it too though and the bees all swarm up into my face and cover me.  I start to panic, have to get the lid back on, there are bees everywhere...One is on my face, they are over my arms, everywhere, so I start swatting, NOT GOOD!!  I start to run, they follow, I swat, they sting I run back across the paddock thinking that I really shouldn't pull my top off until I get into the house yard...Pull it off as I get to the back door, there are still bees all around me, I swoosh them away and get inside, kill the bees that come in with me.  My face stings so I go look in the mirror to make sure that there are no more on me and think that I will have a shower and finish for the day.   OH dear, maybe not finished for the day, where are my glasses?  Now,  it was darkish inside and I can't see much without my glasses so I couldn't see if I had put them on the bench or table like I usually do.  I get the phone, squint with 1 eye shut (otherwise I see double) and make out a name that might be the daughters so ring it.  It is, she answers and I quickly tell her what happened and she needs to get here before dark.  Five minutes and she is here, I am waiting outside with a torch,it is not quite dark yet and tell here what happened, where it happened, what I think was my route of escape...The cows are back over near the unelectrified apiary with the gate down and where I don't want them to go...Daughter and grandaugheter tke the torch and slowing make their way across to the apiary where she finds my hat then finds my glasses.  I am so thankful that the cows hadn't trod on them and that they survived me knocking them off in my mad panic.    I put them on, that's clearer, put the mowers away, she turns the sprinklers on and she goes home and I come in for my much needed shower before having a much more needed coffee.   The day is over.

This morning I wake up and I have a bung eye.  Swollen underneath but not sore, just uncomfortable...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Lights.

There is a house in our town that decorates for Christmas.  Lots of lights, ornaments, decorations... There are lots of houses that do this but this particular one is open for the public to walk through and admire.  I went up on Friday night with 2 daughters and their daughters...

Hidden away behind the scenes is this and I was please that we noticed it.  After-all, what is Christmas without the Nativity scene.

Inside the house is full of Christmas everything as well.  Every wall, surface and spare floor space has something Christmassy on display.  This years display is different to last years and next year it will probably be different again.  

Every kid gets a present, pretty good ones too going by what the grandkids got. 

They do have small gifts for sale and donation boxes for worthy causes.  And they do meals as well.  Groups can book a table and go up for a Christmas meal.  I asked about booking a table for Christmas dinner for the Vinnies volunteers next year and was told that they will start taking calls in Feb and finish mid March.  I have their number so hope I remember to call and can get a table for us as I think it will be fun.  It seems strange to need to book 10 months ahead but that is how popular this place has become.  It is just a local family too, not a business, they do it for the people because they like to share the Christmas spirit. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

I Spy...Another One.

I was outside, minding my own business, going to hang out some washing but watered instead...what can I see...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Busy Week.

This week I will learn what it feels like to have a real job and be out all week.   Three paid work days and 2 full volunteer day but it amounts to the same thing.  I will not be home for most of the day.  For 5 days in a row.  How do people manage that every week.  Forever!  

I was up before 5 again this morning so the chooks are fed, some weeding has been done, I have picked some tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers, collected a few eggs, a handful of snowpeas...I don't have to leave here until 7 so still have 45 min to get out there and get something else done.   Maybe a bit of watering though the sprinkler is on out in the tank gardens as I type.  I am a multi tasker to the extreme!!
These are some of the strawberries I picked from the *aquaponics* setup...

We don't usually get the ones from here as a family of frogs live here but these ones must have been out of the reach of them this time.  Lucky for me.

I have others growing in different areas and get a cup or two each day.  Some go in the freezer but most go in my mouth. 
Even though the Snowpeas have passed their prime there are still enough coming along every couple of days to give me a serve of veg.   That's the best way I reckon, straight from the garden and into my system, much better than having to prepare, cook then eat. 
This afternoon/evening/when I get home around 5pm I hope to get some mowing done before that gets out of hand again.  I have someone here who is willing to do it for me but only if I keep the grass areas clear of stuff.  That isn't the case this week so me mowing will be what has to happen.   
Gosh time moves quickly when you're I'm having fun!   The*start getting ready for work* alarm just went off so I better get another job done before I have to leave.  HoHum, alarm keeps going, I need to remember which button to press to turn it off but that will be a job for next week!
Have a great day everyone. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis The Season...

For so many things.  Christmas probably comes to mind to most people but on my walk around the yard this morning I was thinking Cucumber.  Starts with the same letter so kinda connected.  Last night a neighbour was asking for jars and I offered her mine...Ummm, oops, now I will need to keep some back as we will need them for the Bread and Butter Pickles that I will need to make sometime soon.  Sometime soon when I am not sure of but I will have to do something or they will be wasted and as I like them better made up into pickles and husband and kids aren't eating them fast enough...Pickles with these it will be.

There is still heaps on the vine and flowers galore so we should be able to fill any jars that I don't forget I need and give away....

The snow peas are just about done, I keep forgetting to pick them and they then get too big to eat, they get stringy and not as nice so are left.  I will get enough seed pods to last me the next few years though so it's not all wasteful.
 We have had a few Chokos even though 'tis not the season for them.   I am still trying to get a spot where they grow as well as they do out here in these tank gardens as they take over everything else and I want them elsewhere.
 Likewise the Lemon Balm.  Husband pulled it all up from here a month or so ago but I knew it would be back.  And it is so I will have to get onto it and pull it up again.
 We have finally pulled the old Passionfruit vine out but these 2 here are starting to take off, well one is at least, the second is coming along but nowhere near as well.
So we're a couple of weeks into December and if we wanted to we could survive on what we grow for the rest of the year and beyond. I am slack though and last night we had bought pizza.  And lollies.  And chocolate.   HoHum, no wonder I feel like crap.  I eat it, I feel it.  Must start working on that real soon.