Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Woof! Woof!

Tax Time!!
Spring is creeping up fast, & I need to get the taxes done before the spring rush overwhelms me. About the time taxes are due the garden will be crying for work and the Beehives will need constant vigilance against swarming. I buckle down tomorrow and start the tallying process so I can plug the numbers in as soon as the tax programs gets here.
First I have to get the bookkeeping program fixed. Then enter a bunch of numbers into it. Time's awasting!!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Still stuffed, but recovering

I now know that one day of overeating can make me miserable for several days. Ugh. However, it seems to have broken the plateau I was on. I could only eat a little yesterday, and this AM I'm down below the plateau. Hooray!

It looked like rain yesterday, all day, but only tiny sprinkles. I'm looking forward to finally getting some rain to bring the oyster mushrooms & woodears back. I'm looking forward to tasting the woodears, since they are so prized by the Japanese. They use them in soups, like my favorite soup with clear noodles and asparagus.

The folks who came by Saturday were so excited about mushrooms and gardening that we never got into the bees. RG, the guy, says he's using hydroponics on his backporch and growing lots of veggies. He was very excited about the greenhouse. He and BMcD left with lots of ideas. RG says he wants to help us with our garden this year. He works out of town for two weeks on and home for a week, I think.

That tiny hive is still alive, but has dwindled so much that I have little hope for it getting through to the summer.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Culling The Herd !

I can hardly believe anyone would do this! (See the story in red) Truly they must feel immortal! Or they're such Adrenaline Junkies that they're using any excuse for a fix. Probably it just seemed like a good idea at the time!

There Ain't No Free Lunch!

I declared a free day yesterday. As in, I could eat anything I wanted. Indulge myself. So I ate homemade onion dip with saltines; spare ribs; hot dogs. I suffered most of last night, and today. My stomach was all twisted up, and let me know about it! I couldn't eat anything until this afternoon. Well, lesson learned? Yes, but with my hard head I figure I'll have to learn it over again. Bran Flakes never tasted so good! I'm still averaging 1500 Kcal. Back on the wagon!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Learning Curve

I learned how to re-boot the Local Area Network (LAN) for the house. It went down yesterday AM and the guys from HSC talked me through it this AM. So simple: Turn it off, wait, Turn it on. Voila! Everything re-boots re-loads the settings and we're back on line. The key is to know which button to push, and how long to push it. I would never have guessed that you have to just tap it to make it work.
I'm also learning that my Dear Husband (DH), wanting me to be 'Happy', will encourage me to break my diet. He likes the 'idea' of my 'slimming', but can't stand that I have to deprive myself to get to a NORMAL, Healthy weight. So he came to me yesterday and pleaded with me to take my book to a restaurant and eat 'a good meal'. Stupid me to listen to him. Foolish me to DO It. The thing I really craved was the chips & salsa! I'm craving salt. Imay need to re-educate my taste buds by going salt-free for a while. I suspect that will help the weight, too.
So, I'm back on the wagon. I'm going to look for some more of those oyster mushrooms today. Macks will love that.
The good news is that I got the scale's fat calculator working again. I'm 46% fat. That means I'm 111 pounds (!) (if the weight of the fat is removed). So all I have to do is set up the conditions to lose the fat and preserve the muscle mass. With a normal 20% fat I'll be 133. It looks so much more achievable that way. It IS achievable!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oyster Mushrooms for Free!

I went for my walk in the woods today, and deliberately looked for the oyster mushrooms I found and ate the other day. I hit the jackpot. Picked 3# 10 oz, cleaned. They were heavy with the rain, so they'd weigh closer to 2# dry, I figure.
I made a mushroom stew by sauteing them with about 2 T garlic and adding the Garlic Mushroom soup (Campbell's) and beef broth. The water from the sauted mushrooms thinned it out. I had my first helping over rice, and the second on saltines! Very tasty! Mostly free, and right on my diet! I'll look for more tomorrow. This makes me anxious to go back out in the woods. I need the exercise, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

News: Susi worked (kinda)

BG came yesterday, which meant it was a work day for me!! While my guests, the boys and the Father, did their visiting at Hampden Sydney College, she & I planted all the flats in the greenhouse with spring veggies. Then we went to look at the weedy raised beds. I was all for leaving them alone, but BG started tearing out weeds, and cleaning out the old mulching newspapers and plants that either hadn't flourished or were long dead.

Then she looked at the stockpiled rotted horse manure and so 'we' got the tractor out to start filling the beds with it. Of course, I'm a reluctant participant in this, since it's a lot of WORK!!! She has the energy & drive, and I'm still getting up out of my chair!

We used the front end loader to scoop up the well rotted manure. Sounds easy? It isn't. I'm on the tractor, BG gesturing which way to move the loader.... and I'm trying to remember how to move the joystick control to make it go the right way. And it's a hydrostatic transmission, which means there are two accelerators, one forward & one for backing on the right & the brakes on the left. I kept wanting to hit the forward accelerator to stop! WRONG!

My peabrain was overloaded. I had to tell myself what to do out loud, so I could translate BG's wishes into what I had to do with the controls. By the end of the task I was doing better, but poor BG's frustration level was high. She was shoveling the whole time, so each bucket load would be a full one. I was sitting on the tractor uselessly watching her work.

Each load she'd shovel in, because I couldn't get a full load by just scooping (unlevel ground, operator error). Then she'd jigtime over to the bed and guide me in so I didn't dump it on the ground. I'm sitting, she's moving fast. It didn't help that I'd had the stuff put on top of tarps which got tangled up in the manure, and made the last foot or so a dense muddy mess. We did this for about 3 hours.

How can she work at that pace! I called for the only break, as I remember!

Friday, January 20, 2006

See: New Permanent Pictures

I've added lots of photos to the Flickr website, so ask me to email you access to them. GT has ask me not to post folks faces so I can't do the one's of the Schlosser's wedding. I'm loading some garden pictures and will do some of P&B's girls if I can find some that fit GT's restrictions.

Buggy Woman!

We've decided to forgo a second dog. We say later, but that means Max will be our OAO (Navy for One & Only - LOL)
We're going to have a house full of young men this weekend, so my exercise is to clean the basement. That means I have to put the tiny beehive somewhere.
Yesterday I walked for 3 ½ hours around the Eastern boundary of our land. Macks had a ball! Woof! Woof!

I thought that guys weren't skittish about bugs, but GT told me differently.
She was the first to get to the St Vincent apartment & settled into what, by her standards was an OK situation. However her Roomie didn't agree and thought that it was substandard. They heard that a 3 bedroom in the same enclave was available & went to look at it. Before they did they asked the vacating guys why they were leaving so precipitously. One of the last two to arrive had found a spider in his room! Not just 'A Spider' but "A Huge SPIDER!!!!". It was as big as his palm. Gwin said the guys killed it, but refused to live there. Bear in mind, on this 3rd world island the spider population probably outweighs the human population, in the aggregate! But these guys thought that this spider was 'Apartment specific'. Wait 'til they find out the truth! Welcome to the real world!
GT, being my daughter, swept up the spider, taped up the cracks, and moved into the 'Spider room'. Their loss, her gain! She and Roomie found a likeminded third Roomie and now have a bath for each bedroom and better accommodations.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Angie & Joe's Blog !

Angie & Joe are going to keep us up on their lives, too.


Now if I could just get our West coast contingent to do it....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ahhhhh, Normal at last !!

I went outside yesterday for the first time in a week! Today I went to the Doctor's and then wandered my way back through Richmond and eventually Amelia County Courthouse and home.

Normalcy is underrated.

GT is starting her own web log: HTTP://Gwinny.Blogspot.com
I'll link to it when it's up and running.

The Doctor was pleased that all my numbers were good, and the fat numbers were the best I've ever had. Total Cholesterol was 167. Maybe they mixed the samples up.

I lost about 10 pounds while I was sick. Most of that was empty gut and dehydration. I'd rather lose it more slowly and keep it off. Tomorrow starts the regular walking. My first goal is to go around the small lake once a day. The rest of the trails will get used later. All I read emphasizes regularity over intensity for the first couple weeks. And I'll log it, like I'm doing the food.

The tiny hive I rescued from the tree is still alive. I don't think they'll make it through the whole winter, but I'll see how long I can maintain them. I got 5 pounds of pollen today for pollen patties this spring. February is the time for them.

BG seeded lettuces and I'm going to start some spinach, etc, asap. I stopped by the wholesaler and got two big bags of potting soil and a box of time release fertilizer plugs. They cost 6 cents each, but last all season. Great for me, since it means I can plant and cover the ground with mulch for the season.
I'm still hungering for a drip irrigation system. It would be a wonderful help with the raised beds.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Cruising to Recovery

I can't imagine getting this gut virus when on a cruise. It's been miserable enough being home with it. I'm sore from doing nothing but sitting or sleeping. Too sick and weak to read or do anything. I've done Sudoku and puzzles to occupy myself. Took me an hour to do a simple crossword puzzle!

I must be feeling better, though, since I've got a meatloaf in the oven.

Monday, January 09, 2006

To the Rescue !!!

Yesterday I was called to a friend's house to rescue a tiny bunch of bees from a tree they had just cut down. Bless them, they suspended operations until I could load up and get down the road to them. Then they helped me prise open the trunk and get the bees out. The queen was so young she could fly... and did, several times. We finally caged her and left the small nucleus (hive body) to let the flying bees smell out their Mom (or sister, if they superceded their Mom).

Not thinking of any other place to let them rest undisturbed, I put them in the basement bathroom, in the dark and warmth. I included some of their comb that had some honey in it, but I'll have to put a feeder on tomorrow. They had already been decimated by the cold, and there couldn't have been more than 3-4 cups of bees, but maybe they'll make it. I read that the smallest hive that had a chance of survival was 120 bees. This is surely more than that... with a very young queen.

I think they were a swarm from my hives, which my neighbors called me to come see. We couldn't find them when I got there, but this is the result. They would have died out with this current cold snap, except for their tree being cut and having been tucked away in my basement.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Unhappy Girls

Christmas Eve was warm, so I decided that was the day to check on the girls in the hives. Even though it was in the high 60's they weren't pleased about my nosiness.
There were two dead hives, too few bees to stay warm, and two weak ones that I joined up. I had to move some of the hives so the sun could get to them. The girls flew low and covered my ankles. I should have used duct tape over my socks. There's no brushing them off when your hands are carrying the hive to a new stand. It was more the actual pricking of my skin, rather than the venom, that made my ankles painful that night! Imagine poking needles all over your ankles. I took benedryl and lavished them with lanacaine before going to bed for 13 hours! Thank goodness my immunity to the venom held up. All was well but the bruising in the morning.
The girls who valiantly defended their homes died. I got off easy. It hurts more to have lost them than to have been stung by them. Their loss may be the difference between that hive living through the winter or dying due to too few bees to stay warm. Spring will tell.

*******Winter Wonders********

.....Mama Macks & Baby Booger.......

............Beehives in the Snow...........


The greenhouse is cleaned out and ready to go! BG and I are going to figure out what seeds we have and need. Then, look at the calendar and figure out when we seed the flats for set out. Oh, frabulacious JOY! Spring is coming! The calendar is moving! I'm going to make a fire for the delight of sitting by it with seed catalogues on my lap! Now, if it would just snow.

Notice the New Link

I have finally figured out the 'Link' problem.
You'll notice I put a link to Google News and to Maj Robert Bateman's Website. When I found his website I had to figure out how to link to it. He writes really good essays about military life, and things he's experienced in Iraq AKA 'The Sandbox'.
I'll add more links as I get to it: Iraq The Model; Yahoo News; etc
There are some blogs I've stumbled across that merit a link.
I've been playing Sudoku lately, and recommend it for those who are tired of crossword puzzles. It's pure logic, so no vocabulary is needed. Fortunately there are lots of easy ones. I'm afraid I'm not good at it, but getting slowly better.

A Mother's Prayer

Well, GT is getting settled in to another volcanic island in the Caribbean. So far it sounds better than Grenada: better grocery, phone and internet service, etc. The apartment has a good view and air conditioning, at least in the bedrooms.

Today she got the car, groceries, telephone, internet, and stuff out of storage (shipped from Grenada). She's unpacked and having a bunch over for supper, for which they're grateful, I bet. Last night was alone in a strange land, so I'm sure all are glad for company. (Haven't we all done that!)

Monday classes start. By then the island of St Vincent in the Grenadines will be a known area and a feeling of familiarity will have begun. I'm so glad that she went down early enough to get settled.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Booger & Fuzz-Butt

The Cat Boys, Booger & Fluff-butt, are sleeping off their encounter with my brother-in-law's knife. Most men flinch when they think about what our baby boys had done... You guessed it! They'll be Muuuuch calmer in the future! Gooooood boys. They come home tomorrow!

When Fuzz came home from Daisy's he fit back into the house, licking Macks, sparring with his brother in rolling fights all over the house.

By this morning, after a night of fun, they were best friends.