Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Honey

It is our 3rd season of Beekeeping and we finally have honey! This weekend, in the midst of cleaning the house, organizing the garage, planning for school, shopping and batch cooking. Sean decided to remove the honey supers from the hives and extract honey. Above he is standing on a 6 foot ladder smoking the bees down out of the upper boxes on our biggest colony in the Vertical Top Bar Hive.
This picture is taken of the bottom of the vertical top bar hive. I love how the bees build the comb so perfectly! This box is so heavy with honey that I could not lift it! The different colors are from different types of pollen. Some people call it bee bread, The bees put different pollen in the cells then fill it with honey and cap the cells.
This is another view of one of the top bar frames. The dark spot in the middle is some pollen that the bees stored in the middle of the capped honey. We will filter the honey to remove the pollen.

Sean built this Bee Escape from some plans he found on the Internet. He built 3 of them, however we only used them for 2 hives that we are harvesting from. Our other hives are smaller so we are leaving their honey for them to use this winter. They were amazing on the Langstroth hives, the honey supers were empty and we did not even have to try to get any bees out! They were not as effective on the Top Bar Hives. We are not sure why but we did have to smoke the bees out of the upper boxes and still had a few stragglers when we opened the boxes in the garage.
We borrowed the extractor from the bee club and used that for the Langstroth extraction but the top bar extraction is done using gravity and filtration. When we get to that I will post some photos.
He's proud of what his girls accomplished! So far we have a little over a gallon and a half of honey!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'll Give You a Dollar If...

I like to keep my family guessing, I like to surprise them. This time I think I saw Sean's jaw hit the floor. I brought home some Sushi (not shocking, occasionally we do enjoy a culinary treat) What surprised everyone was when I saw the packet of Wasabi (really hot paste) I offered a dollar to to whomever would eat a 1/2 a teaspoon of it.
Actually I said, "I'll give you a buck if you eat some."
I have one child in particular that I knew would take me up on the offer because he wants money and he can't pass up the opportunity to have everyone pay undivided attention to him.
Sean came to the rescue and said they only had to eat 1/8 teaspoon (which was sufficient).

As Erik was psyching himself up for the challenge, Aaron got 'er done and ate the Wasabi followed (rather accompanied) by a huge swig of water.
I amended the rules to say that the water could only be drunk after the Wasabi was swallowed. I know I have a morbid sense of humor but I was laughing so hard tears were coming out my eyes and the boys had tears out their eyes from the burn.

Erik couldn't be beat and ate the paste and immediately grabbed for his glass of water but couldn't think straight and ran to the kitchen, stuck his head in the sink and turned on the water full blast!
All for a little dinnertime entertainment. What do you do during dinner?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Completing Him Review

I loved the idea of this Challenge! While our summer has been much busier than I anticipated and I have posted much less than I desired I found this challenge both rewarding and, well, challenging. The challenge has been fun, insightful, and a growing experience. I have learned things about my husband that should seem pretty obvious after 13 years of marriage but I didn't know before.

I am thankful for the opportunity and I hope that next time it comes around I can actually complete the challenge.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camping 101

Work like crazy to get your house ready to sell, sleep 3 hours then leave on your first camping trip with your ' new' trailer.
I have to say that I love camping with a trailer but still think we need a tent for some of the bigger kids. This trailer sleeps 7 with the tiny porta crib on the toilet/shower space. By nature I am a big picture girl, and Sean takes care of the details. Sean took care of the house details before we left, not the camping details. We were lacking on some items that would have been convenient to have for camping, like a spatula, never fear the MacGyver in my husband took over and he covered the fly swatter with foil and was able to flip hamburgers and pancakes alike! He did have to abandon it after it melted and used the pizza cutter to finish the job.
We were gone 9 days and had 5 trips to the laundry mat with 2 others that were needed but ignored. We had at least 6 bed wetting experiences, 5 vomiting in their sleep, 2 nights of someone actually falling through the tent trailer cover and sleeping outside the trailer until morning.
We saw big waves, fed the seals, took a tour of Tillamook Cheese Factory, ate lots of s'mores, saw many different laundry mats, watched America's Funniest Home Videos at the Laundry mat, rode horses, went swimming, body surfed, skim boarded, visited cousins, drove 1,200 miles, and made many fond family memories.

I will post some pictures when I find the cord to upload photos to my computer but for now I will leave you with a recap of our vacation:

Think 12 Days of Christmas:
"9 Days of Camping"
On the First Day of Camping my children said to me, "Are we there yet?"
On the Second Day of Camping my children said to me, " Can we go swimming yet?'
On the Third Day of Camping my children said to me, " I hafta go potty!"
On the Fourth Day of Camping my children said to me, "He's aboutta puke!"
On the Fifth Day of Camping my children said to me, "Aaaa-nother laundry mat"
On the Sixth Day of Camping my children said to me, "Is there anything else we can eat?"
On the Seventh Day of Camping my children said to me, "I LOVE the waves!"
On the Eighth Day of Camping my children said to me, "Can we do this again next year?"
On the Ninth Day of Camping my children said to me, "Are we home yet?"

Friday, August 6, 2010


Seriously, how do you fall asleep in the sand at the beach?

You might have noticed that my blog has been quite silent lately. There are reasons... I have been working like a squirrel on steroids to get our house ready to put on the market. We are leaving in 5 hours to go on a 8 day camping trip in our new (to us) tent trailer.
In order to make that happen a lot of people have made sacrifices for us.
Seriously I have the most amazing friends on the planet. Tami has been here helping me pack, taking my kids for a walk so I can clean and organize, she made me make decisions on things I just wanted to ignore. In addition to that she made some meals for my family to take on our camping trip (I have yet to go shopping for our food). She also arranged for Rene to give us the perfect porta crib that fits in the trailer!
Syndi is, I don't know a word good enough to describe her. Just today she came over helped me finish painting. I must say that is a bigger job than most because Sean goes nuts with the Spackle and texture. I thought I was going to have to repaint the entire bathroom tonight but Syndi rescued me and it looks great! She also tracked down her husband and bribed him to come help my husband put the necessary wiring on our van in order to tow our trailer on the camping trip. Then we were moving the truck and I almost ran out of gas, plus I did not have my purse or phone with me and she bought the gas so I could get where I was going. I know I am rambling and this is run on sentence galore but I feel for my own posterity I must document what I have been up to.
After meeting with the Realtor and signing papers, wiring the van, and packing for the camping trip we decided to take the last load of stuff to the storage unit. Again, I had no cell phone or purse and when we go to the storage unit at 12:30 AM there was someone else leaving so we just pulled in we unknowingly locked our self in because the key was on my keyring at home! I grabbed Sean's cell and fortunately he had Syndi's number and I called her to go to my house get my keys and come and let us out of the storage facility. I must say, she did it with a great big smile on her face and she looked super cute in her skirt! I told her I couldn't see her angel wings but I knew they were there along with her halo!
All that to say, we are heading out and will be gone for a whole 8 days! Please pray for a more uneventful camping trip than the last few weeks have been here. I will see you all next week. Blessings~