Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #165

apronHappy Friday and welcome to the blog hop!  This has been my first full week home in a very long time and I have LOVED it!

We have been outside alot this week cleaning up neglected gardens.  You can read about my first clean up in my flower garden.  Have any of you ever gotten so far behind you thought you’d never “catch up” and then simply had lots of fun trying!?!

IMG_20140703_084031423_HDR

That brings me to my new mantra of I am not behind, I am just starting.  I adopted this last week when I came home and I started fretting over all the gardening stuff I had missed.  I opened up my Indiana book and saw there were still lots and lots of things I could do starting now, so my planting season kicked off this past weekend.

That is why I loved the blog last week from Back to Basics! She shared the 2014 Planting Guide by zone and I have lots and lots and lots of things I can still do!  So rather than focus on “what could have been”, I will look to “what is now and gonna be.”

I have tons of fun stuff going on with the gardens, bees and our remodel which is underway, but are we farmgirls ever “done”?  Do we want to be? We thrive on what’s happening next. I don’t think any of us can imagine being “done” and not having anything else to do!  We have too many interests and things we love.

Let’s come along and blog hop and share all that groovy stuff you are up to this week. Visit over at Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) and see what she’s been up to.  She has been finding all kinds of bargains lately that are adorable!!!!

So, do a little bragging on yourself, your homestead and your doin’s!  We are so excited you are here.

Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #161

apron

 

It is so good to be here with ya’ll today!  I missed hostessing last week, but I was online and reading.  After an appointment with the PT for my neck, I just couldn’t bring myself to keyboard.  This week I am anxious to host and read!

So many exciting things happening here. We got bees!  I hope you saw my blog post on all our new babies! They are so wonderful.  I get to peak at them later today and I can’t wait!

Bees New Home

AND we are heading to Atlanta to welcome our new grandson on Tuesday!  He is my first and I am over the moon about it! I have sewn crib bumpers and a skirt for the crib and I am really excited about seeing it all together.  Hubby made a beautiful changing table and I painted it with Farmhouse Paint.  It is simply gorgeous.  (pictures to come on this one!)

AND we are siding the house.  That is messy and wonderful all at the same time.

My confession however is that my garden is behind; all my green babies are not in the ground yet.  Many, many reasons why, but today I will be putting some of my green babies in bigger pots because it is raining (again) and they are simply growing out of their little pots.  The good news is that at least I get to play with some dirt today AND I am in good company because Urban Overalls is having the same challenges!

What about you?  Is your garden in? Are you running behind on something like me?  There is no shame in that!  After all we are a bunch of busy farmgirls!  I can’t wait to see what you are up to this week.

So I am READY to blog hop. Let’s get it going! Be sure to stop by all our hosts!
Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)
and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop!

Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

 

Busy as a Bee!

Bee FashionIt is funny how you name your children and in some cosmic fashion they live up to that name.  My name, Debbie/Debra means “Busy as a Bee” which literally has always been true, but never truer than last weekend when we got our first two beehives! I feel like I have 20,000 namesakes now.

My fashion sense has also changed since working in Atlanta at an office.  I have went from heels, skirts and slacks to a bee jacket, very cool pants that match this and mucks!  I think I prefer the new look!

We ordered “nucs” for our bees.  In case you don’t live in the bee world a nuc is kind of like a ready made starter hive. It has the frames, a queen, eggs, babies, workers and comb already being built.  Since your bee breeder needs to raise up a queen and insure that this is all working well in your nuc, you do not get an exact date for delivery. We got an email last week stating that Saturday was the day.  They were ready for their new home!

First we needed to pick a location at BSA (Big Sky Acres) and build a stand.  It is best for a hive to be off the ground a bit.  One, it is easier to inspect and work with and two it keeps critters at bay.  Hubby got to building a level place for the hives to reside on.



Getting Bricks

Pallets and concrete cookies were a great base.

Bee Platform

Leveling is important for the bees.  They don’t need to be cockeyed!

Leveling

Some wood and screws finished off the base.

Stand Building

 

The bees arrived!  I was so excited I forgot to take pictures of them.  But our mentor and her hubby brought them over and we set them on the new stands.  Passerbys must have wondered if there were aliens in our yard!

Mentor Ginger

 

Mentor Ginger showed us how to use the smoker and open the hive to see activity and to add sugar water.  Some folks don’t add sugar water and some do.  Ginger does and since she is our mentor we are following her lead here. Then it was our turn to try out the smoker and go in!

Coming InSmoker

It was incredibly awesome opening the hive and seeing the little critters.  They truly are amazing.  We lifted out the frames and saw eggs, babies being fed, comb being built and lots of action.  The only action that we did not get was the bees coming at us.  I had envisioned that once the lid opened they would be mad and come at us (hence the protective gear). But they are so gentle and they just keep on doing what they are doing.  They are mesmerizing to watch.

Bees New Home

I will post more pics as we continue on our bee journey.  I was so fascinated by it all that most of the time I forgot all about my camera! We have them in a great place on our property as we can see them from the sunroom and our office.

Hives in Yard

 

We have named our hives.  We expect to get more so we thought it would be fun to have airport names as the naming convention.  Our first two hives are named after sentimental airports for us. The first is T.F.Green (Providence) which is where hubby flew me to propose.  The second hive is Trudeau (Montreal) which is where we flew in to begin our honeymoon.  We can now see Green and Trudeau anytime we want and there is much activity there.  You might say they are both “busy as a bee”!

Happy Unleashing (buzzzzzz)

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #159

apronGlad to be here today.  I missed last week’s hop as we were out of town for our daughter’s surgery.  All went well and she is recuperating so we are thankful for that.

But this week was odd as well because I pulled a back/neck muscle and I am struggling to do anything this week–including blogging, as keyboarding is hard on the neck, back and arms. So I will keep this short and sweet today.  I will be reading your posts today and dreaming of digging in my dirt and sewing again when I am not hurting so much!

 

For today, I will live vicariously through all my farmgirl friends.

So, let’s blog hop!

Be sure to stop by and visit Deb and me!
Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)
and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed

So, do a little bragging on yourself, your homestead and your doin’s!  We are so excited you are here.

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop! If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!
Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

 

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #143

apron

Happy Friday and welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! We are starting to thaw out!  We are actually going to venture out of our driveway today and see what is happening “out there” (and go to the grocery).  It has been 12 days since we have left and longer than than since a grocery trip.  Last night we had “Freezer Surprise” for dinner. You know….that’s when you take out a couple of containers of something you made at some point & had put a label on, but it is now faded and you really don’t know what it is until you heat it up.  Our surprises were Mushroom Stroganoff and Onion Soup.  Funny combo but it was good.  We are ready though for some groceries and meal planning! How about you?  Dry, Snowy, Cold, Warm?  However you find your day shaping up, we hope you take a bit and share it with us.

I love reading the posts from week to week.  I learn so much from all of you.  Last week I was totally intrigued with “The Anatomy of a Langstroth Hive” by Urban Overvalls”.

Frame with bees

We have ordered our bees, we have been attending bee schools and are so excited about this new venture in 2014. This blog post broke down all the pieces of a hive so beautifully and simply!  It is one that I saved as a fav and will keep going back to when I get mixed up on the new terminology that we are learning.

Are you ready to blog hop?  Boy I am!  Pull up a seat and share some down home goodness with all of us today.  We are so happy to have you in our community.  If you are new, WELCOME and if you have been visiting for awhile it is good to be with you again.

Stop by each of our hostesses and say hello!

Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)

Heidi of My Simple Country Living  

and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed

And the rules…. simple, but here they are:

1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
2). Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
4.) Enter up to three entries per hop!
Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop! If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!
See you on the hop!
PS. This is a blog hop, so please share it with your friends by copying the code at the bottom of this post and including it into your weekly entry! 

Beekeeping School

 

beekeeping publications

Saturday was the big day.  Beekeeping School.  Not only have I not sat in a class for several months, I was in a town I had never been in, surrounded by people I have never met and the subject matter was a topic that I know LITTLE about (and that is probably an overstatement).

Hubby was signed up also.  Beekeeping was his idea to begin with and he is very excited about this entire venture.  So, on Friday we headed up to Indianapolis to spend the night and have a bit of fun.  The school was outside of Indy, so it would make our drive easy on Saturday and we always like mixing in exploring a new area when we can.  Indy was a blast and we had some adventures there and I cannot wait to go back for a long weekend (or two), but that is another blog….

School started promptly at 8:30.  I know that because we were a few minutes late (8:35) and it was already started.  We found our seats in the front (because those were the ones that were empty) and were amazed at the number of people in attendance.  Our teacher had been beekeeping for a long time, was an officer in the association and not only raises bees, but it is his business.  He has ALOT of hives all over his area and had a plethora of info and stories to pass on to us newbies.

I really LOVE office/school supplies, so of course I had my handy notebook made up (reference the cute notebook on the right of my picture) and had a brand new spiral notebook to take notes in.  Sitting at our table were magazines and catalogs and in front of the class there were hive boxes and frames and all kinds of things that I was pretty clueless about. Hanging on the wall was a bee jump suit that was obviously well used surrounded by other beekeeping implements.

Class was fantastic and I cannot begin to even tell you how much I learned and how many questions I walked out of there with.

Highlights for me:

  • Better understanding of the terminology.  This will make it easier for me to dive back into my books and understand them better now that I know the difference between a brood chamber and a  super and a frame.
  • Validation of how cool bees are.  They absolutely fascinate me.  Their culture, organization, work ethic, and family ties just amaze me.  School just made me even more excited about these little creatures.
  • Feeling like we will have support in our new venture.  Bee people are so welcoming and so excited about their craft.  They sincerely want to share with you, help you and see you fall in love with beekeeping. Indiana even has a state inspector that you can call if you have concerns; she will visit you and inspect your hives with you and no charge.  How awesome is that?
  • Meeting Ginger who lives a few miles from us, who sells nucs (yes, now I know what that is-reference hightlight #1), and is starting a local meeting group right down the road from us.  YES!!!  Someone close by who knows what she is doing AND finding out there is a bee group starting up the road in November.  BINGO!  That was worth the price of admission I think.
  • Doing this with hubby.  How great to venture into a hobby together!  Before the naysayers warn me, you must understand that we own 2 businesses together, we met at work and we project extremely well together (we have remodeled 3 houses without issue).  The hobby will be an extension of everything else we enjoy together and will be a great team effort and something that will focus us on things other than work.
  • Weekend in Indy was really fun and definitely a highlight of the weekend.  That is a great city with so much to offer!

The biggest thing however was that it confirmed that we WANT to do this. You know how sometimes you think you want to do something then you read a book, attend a workshop, or talk to someone and you realize it just isn’t your cup of tea? That happens and these workshops are great for helping people decipher some of that for themselves so they don’t get into something that may not be a match.

BUT we walked out and drove a few miles.  I looked at hubby and said

“So do you still want to do this?”  He said “Absolutely!” I am more excited now than before!  How about you?”

To which I said “Oh Yeah! I cannot wait!”

We are going to a conference in November and will learn more and we have publications and books to dive into.  We have Ginger and others we will meet next month to share our path.  Next spring we will have bees and hives and fear and excitement. Our mind is buzzing (sorry I couldn’t help myself) with ideas and dreams of our hives.

Are you venturing into anything new right now?  Are you out of your comfort zone somewhere in your life?  Please share!

Happy Unleashing all those new hobbies!