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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.

My favorite Christmas gift

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Thank you, family!!

Lunch Anyone?

I love those moments in life when we become clear about the choices we’ve made.

While having lunch with a friend of mine from Twain Harte this week, she asked if I was happy living on The Farm.  I quickly responded and gave her the litany of reasons why living off the mountain was so great.  She laughed and made some comments about farm life and cowboys which I quickly dismissed.  But later that afternoon while driving home, I took notice of the world in which I now live and realized why this place called out to me two years ago.

I love salt-of-the-earth people… people who live close to the land and all that it provides.  I don’t mind having dusty shoes.  I love brushing my goats and giving names to my hens.  Being in the mix of life excites me.  Seeing homegrown vegetables on my kitchen table fulfills me.  Feeling the sadness of a lost honeybee colony brings me closer to the core of the Big Picture.

This is not a sophisticated world but it brings a stillness to my heart and balance to my world.

Resurrection

I have no excuses or explanations. Let’s just say that my creative writing was derailed about a year ago and leave it at that. But what’s most important is that I’m sitting here now typing as if no time had passed.

Life here in the past year has been filled with lots of ups and a sprinkling of downs. Some new additions include six additional hens, a miniature Tennessee Fainting Goat named Priscilla, a white fuzzy Pygmy Goat named Lisa Marie, two (sometimes three) barn cats simply called One, Two & Three, and a son-in-law named Mike!

This year, I began the day with a cup off coffee, a warm blanket, a writing tablet, my favorite pen and a seat in the barn surrounded by a number of curious animals. Yesterday, one of my new friends, Lorinda, posted this on Facebook: “Until you commit your goals to paper, you have intentions that are seeds without soil” and I was definitely inspired. So I set about doing just that.

I was actually pretty pleased with my progress until Mrs. White decided that she’d like a closer look at what I was doing and jumped up on my lap. (You may recall that my initial flock were all named with the help of my grandson.) She felt satisfied that there wasn’t anything of interest and walked across the blanket to the other side. Shortly thereafter, Little Red decided that she needed to take a peek and took a stroll up my leg to inspect the progress. “Nothing much going on,” she clucked and retraced her steps back down to the ground.

Now I was getting close to having what I would call a rough draft (don’t goals always need more definition?) when my blanket was suddenly engaged in a tug-of-war. Lisa Marie vs Millie! It became clear to me that my presence there in the midst of their barnyard routines had become enough of a distraction that it was time to move my chair onto the porch.

I cherish days like these; they don’t occur as often as I’d like. But to start this new year as I did was enough for now. And did I mention that resuming this blog was on my list of goals?

Sequel

And there, in the early morning mist, the modest moon bade farewell to her celestial companions not realizing the magnificence of her performance.  Who better than she to usher in the Season of Darkness?

A Solemn Entry into Winter

We walk into the Season of Darkness with the glorious glow of an eclipse… a lovely lunar lantern surrounded by a ring of shimmering stars.  Welcome Winter… you may enter at will.

Where’s Wattle?

What, you say?  Wattle?  You know those long worm-like rolls that CalTrans places along the bottom of freshly graded hillsides?  Well, that’s wattle and I need some desperately!

The downpours of the past few days have transformed my pasture into a pond.  The creek is overflowing with the most wonderful sound of rushing water and croaking frogs but the chickens can’t quite maneuver in the soggy mess.  The grapevines along the pasture fence may not need irrigation for an entire year if this continues as it has been.

Water has a way of allowing itself into places without waiting for an invitation.  Unfortunately, the creek is right behind the barn so need I say more?  The barn floor tells the story.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to locate some of the elusive wattle tomorrow and see what I can do about providing the creek with some new direction.   Like most of us from time to time, the creek appears to have lost its way.