1. fear of dryness.

Yes… that’s what is happening here at Millie’s Farm during this California drought. But plans are being made to keep the flora & fauna alive if the situation worsens.

Tomorrow, with the help of my friend Al, the rainwater collection system goes into place (let’s hope we get some in March) and I’m rebelling against the drought and assembling Ollas to ensure that we’ll have Summer veggies.

Photos coming soon!



Bye Bye 2012

The last day of the year is like the last chapter of a book. We read it all the way through and then make some determination of whether we liked it or not.

I think I would choose to give this year a poor review. Foot surgery in January, two injuries during the Summer, and The Girls choosing this Winter to stop laying eggs. And then there were the events in the world beyond the Farm… events that left all of us saddened by the actions of a few.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give 2012 about a 4. The redeeming element? Thriving beehives with delicious honey and a delightful addition of a second Corgi to the household.

Wishing you all a spectacular 2013… the new year holds promise!


Holiday Greetings

Merry Christmas from Millie, the Birds, and the Bees!


The Lost Summer

It’s been a most insightful year here on the Farm.  Foot surgery in January, a fractured patella in June, a cracked skull in August and the ugliest black eye you’ve ever seen… life was really put to the test to say the least.  Living in a rural environment and having the opportunity to experience all four seasons, I can certainly attest to the fact that Summer is the most anticipated season for outdoor fun as well as those once-a-year maintenance projects.

Sadly, there was no kayaking this summer, no barn painting, no gardening… just a season of recovery and observation of the world around me. It was a struggle to get to a couple of concerts sporting a wheelchair, although it did allow me great seating. And I did manage to take a few rides in the electric carts at Safeway & Lowe’s just to give my sister a photo op!

Now that the year is just about over, I’m feeling pretty confident that the trips & falls are behind me (although I fear I might be jinxing my luck whenever I mention that) and I’m ready to make up for lost time.

My costume for the Bad Taste Party just about sums it up!

My costume for the Bad Taste Party just about sums it up!

Love it when kids come to the farm… especially these two!


It’s the Buzz

April is truly the most wonderful month of the year here in the Foothills! Wildflowers everywhere, calves and colts running through the fields, life renewed.

Today I must have pulled every weed in the garden just to listen to the buzz of my bees as they discovered the lavender in the warm midday sun.  I sometimes think about all the years I was so frightened of these creatures and now I stand in awe as I watch them work and work as they have done for centuries. There is order to the colony and I feel blessed that I have been given the land and the opportunity to assist them with their plight.

For more insight into the world of beekeeping, be sure to watch Vanishing of the Bees. You, too, will be amazed.

To bee or not to bee

Yes, that is the question.  And it was answered today when I drove home with a hive in the trunk of my rental car.  (My car is at the body shop but that’s an entirely different story.)  My friend and business associate, Lorinda, asked me to tend a couple of hives last Autumn and I realized that I was hooked.  Waiting until the right moment to have a colony of my own required a great deal of patience but today it came to pass.

Because it was early evening when they were transported from one box to another, tomorrow morning is their day to take an orientation flight.  Most of the bees will leave the hive, explore the surrounding area and report back to the queen who will remain in the hive with her attendants.  Hopefully, they will be happy with what they see.