Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Extraction, Gotta Do.

Our last honey extraction was way back in March then we left them alone for the Winter but once the weather warmed up and the bees got busy we could have done an extraction during Spring and should have done one during December.  Husband has put extra supers on the hives so the bees have plenty of room and haven't swarmed but the boxes are full and really do need doing.  It is something that we must do this month sometime.  Definitely must do before the Redgum is ready. 

Back in Spring daughter and I cleaned the extraction shed out, we karchered it all, painted the floor, washed everything so it was all clean and ready to go...But it never happened.    My plan next week is to vacuum the extracting shed again, dust everything again, cover everything to keep the dust off and have it all ready for the day he says " We're extracting today, ready for it?"  And I will smile and sweetly say "Of course Babe"  It will take him maybe 5 minutes to put his hat and veil on, light the smoker and be ready.  He will be out in the paddock with the trolley ready to start before I have even started. It will take me longer to finish what I was doing, find my suit and put it on, put my boots on, and my gloves, find my nerve and get out there to "help"

I can't do much out in the Apiary though.  I can use the smoker...that's about it really.  I am not strong enough to lift the boxes even though they are not full size supers only WSP's.  I cringe and sook if too many bees get too close to me, and they do, there are a lot of bees in 4 hives and they don't always like having the roof of their house removed and rooms taken away.  So really husband does it all out there and I am there just to put in an appearance because they are "my" hives and it is "my hobby". 

Once we have the boxes of capped honey frames on the trolley and he pulls them across the paddock to the extracting shed then I can do a bit more.  If I had to I could do it all once he gets the boxes into the shed but it would take me all day and there would be a big mess and I would probably be crying. 

But one day soon we will do the much needed extraction.  One day soon...

Before that though the whole apiary area needs another mowing as the grass is too long and snakes could be hiding...And this is one other thing that I am too sooky to do.  Husband will get out there on the ride-on, in shorts and thin shirt, maybe his bee hat, and job done in half 20 minutes.  It will take me longer than that just to suit up.  So yeah, another job on his list.  He did make a start a few weeks back but it's all grown back again and like all the grass around here really needs doing more often just to keep it reasonable. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

They Say It's Hot

40 degrees some are saying and 40 is hot, and same tomorrow they reckon.  Yeah, it's warm and today I did go swimming in the dam a couple of times so maybe it was hot. 

We are a couple of k's out of town on 5 acres, with paddocks around instead of houses.  We have grass that stays green without watering even during Summer and lots of trees so there is a lot of shade around and husband has put misters up in what we call our Shade Area and they work great to cool the air, it is noticeably cooler within minutes of turning them on.  The birds really like it when we turn them on too and dozens of little birds come in and flitter around, it's really pretty good to see.

Inside we only have wall fans and we have those on when it's warm inside.  Close the front curtains during the day and open them at night to let the breeze in.  If it's too hot inside then we go out and sit in the shade area.

The chooks notice the heat so if we are home we put sprinklers on for them but even without that there are plenty of trees for shade in their yard and they have continuous waterers so they always have fresh water.  

I don't like the heat though, I much prefer Winter, but with a bit of common sense, some forward planning by husband and the lovely area that we live in...we will survive, even with a few hot days.

I will take a few photos tomorrow to show why it is so cool here when lots are dealing with the heat.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Curtains Up For Little Blue Wren.

The curtain I put up with so much effort yesterday blew down with last nights wind so little bird was back this morning.

I needed another plan...but what, what, what?   I have cardboard boxes but wasn't sure how to make them stay in place as I cannot reach one corner to secure it there.  The cattery is also in front of a section of this window and that makes it awkward for me to get to.  Eventually I decided on a board that I was using for the kids to draw on as it was the correct width though way too long.  I had to sit it on a sink outlet pipe and wedge it between the cattery and the wall but it looked like it would work. So, sorted.  I win little bird!   But, maybe not...

The wind blew and a gap formed and little blue wren came back.   I was concerned that he would get stuck between the board and the window so had to go hunting for another solution.  That was one of my boxes, not the best but will work for now and maybe husband will get home today.  In 10 minutes he will have it sorted, no problem.

Saturday, January 5, 2019


I was away from home most of yesterday and didn't get back until around 3:30/4:00   Did drop in for a bit to pick something up with T and she noticed a bird at the kitchen window, sitting outside and sometimes tapping the glass.  We thought it was cool and that it was probably getting bugs from all the spider webs.    Went out again and when I return home the bird is still there, still tapping the glass with it's beak. 

 It didn't seem too fussed about me getting close to the window and taking photos either.

After a bit I posted on a bird group and someone mentioned Blue Wrens being territorial and reflections...Of course!  So I went outside and yep, reflections.  He was thinking that there was another bird in his area.
Three hours later and it was still there!

The wire cage that you can see the corner of, that is our cat cage.  The wren was flying in and out of that and sitting on the wire, not smart for a bird to enter a cat cage.
This morning he was back, tapping at the window with his beak.  I knew I had to stop his reflection but wasn't sure how to.  I hung a towel from the inside but that didn't work.  What I needed was something on the outside but that was going to be a bit trickier.   I tried throwing a towel over that rail that the cords are on but there was still too much glass so he still came back.  In the end I knew I had to cover the whole pane of glass, but how?

I ended up hanging an old curtain up but I don't know how secure it is.  Not very I think but it is doing it's job.  My first attempt I didn't cover the whole window, missed a spot and he found it. 

Oh and a heads up.  If you are not as fit and agile as you once were...Put a block of some sort under the ladder leg so it doesn't wobble as much.  Tie your shoe laces up before climbing the ladder.  Don't rely on bendy shade cloth wire to support you.

I will ask husband to make it more secure when he gets home from work.

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Depressing Topic.

It's Friday the 4th January so we are 4 days into the new year.  I woke up feeling good but then started feeling blah and teary for no reason and wondered why.  Had some Magnesium as that usually helps but then I remembered today as something different.  Thirty years ago today I was in a hospital so I missed daughter L's 1st birthday.   Happy Birthday L.  Sorry 'bout that.

I was put in hospital a week or 2 beforehand for what the doctors called "Chronic Clinical Depression"   I only remember bits of the years leading up to it, husband says it's better that I don't remember things.  He says things weren't good.   I know it wasn't a good time for the kids...But I got better so today surprised me.

This time of year there are many people going through a hard time and some blame the Season.  The being alone over Christmas and New Year period.  They tell everyone that they are "depressed", maybe they are.  Maybe they are just sad, lonely and afraid.   This is different to true Depression

Depression is a bad thing, it mucks with your head and you become someone different.  Sometimes someone not nice.  There seems to be a lot of it around and sometimes I wonder why.  What makes some people so sick that life becomes a chore and they want out?  What makes us feel so bad that each day is an effort?

 I know a few people that suffer from Depression and have been on medication and seeing counsellors for more than 20 years and I hear others talk of the same.  Twenty years!   I can not get my head around that.  Twenty years and still not "better"   Why would someone continue taking pills and doing the same thing for 20 years when it hasn't worked, when they still need medication and counselling?  I truly don't get it. 

A lot of these people drink and smoke and eat crap to relieve the stress and pain of their Depression, does this work for them?  Maybe.  Maybe they would be worse off if they didn't.  Maybe. 

I was talking to someone about this recently and they told me that I didn't understand.  That I would never know what they had been through and so shouldn't try to give advice.  I had told her she should stop filling her body with poisons and she might have a chance at getting better and she didn't like that.  Said it wasn't that easy.  But what if it was that easy?  Give it a go and tell me in 3 months that you don't feel better.  Don't tell me that I don't understand.  Been there, done that. 

And don't blame your childhood for how you are today.  Some people have really crappy childhoods, some get hurt so bad..., some people have major losses to deal with...  Of course it's going to mess with our head.   Don't let it ruin your life though.

I believe that Depression can be fixed, that people can recover from it, that they can get better.  If you suffer from this please don't take offence at anything I have written.  I'm not saying it's your fault, I'm saying that if what you have been doing for the last 20 or how many years is not working then just try something different.  It may be that simple.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

First Day Of The new Year.

First day of 2019 and I was up early, around 4:40 am.  I love getting up early but prefer 5 - 5:30.  Before 6am anyway.  Half past 4 is a tad too early but anything after 6 and the morning slips away too quickly.

So I have a coffee, go on Facebook, read some blogs.  Then outside for a look around, check the chooks, turn off any sprinklers that have been on overnight.  Then I get busy doing nothing and before I know it husband is up and it's time for another coffee, a bit of a chat and soon it's too hot for me to be outside.

This morning though Husband says he'll help me get the extracting shed sorted.  I have been asking for help for weeks now so had to go along with it even though it was getting too hot for me.  Months ago daughter T helped me empty this shed, then we power washed it all and I then spent 4 days getting the floor painted.  Another few days to put the shelves back in then some more time to get the table and the tubs of jars back in there.  But the honey extractors were something that I couldn't get back in.  I couldn't move them by myself and T has been unwell so didn't want to ask her.  But now it is all put back together so we are ready for the long overdue extraction, whenever that may be.

The rest of the day I basically did nothing.  Except I had a sleep for a bit in the afternoon.  'Cause 4:30 is too early you know.   It was hot so we spent a few hours outside, me sitting in the shade and watching the birds and husband cleaning a barbecue we  acquired yesterday.  Son came out with his dogs for a bit and when he left I came in to make tea then decided to go into Vinnies and collect some rubbish as tomorrow is our bin day and there is so much down there.   Then back on here until bedtime.  Which will be soon.

Not a very productive day but a pretty good way to spend the first day of 2019.  How did you spend the 1/1/2019?