Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And so it has begun. The stockings are being hung, the stairway is decked out and presents are appearing under the tree----and some of them even have my name on them!!!! Outside, however, it is a different story. I feel like I am living on an island as our fields and yards are under water while the rain is pouring down. This may soon be turning to snow through the night however. Very strange weather!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We had some exciting news on Thanksgiving! In a carefully orchestrated operation, our youngest son proposed to his ---now---Fiancee! We knew this question was going to be asked while on a visit to the local park which gave us time to chill the bubbly. There is an official looking picture but I love the random shot. She was on the phone to her Mom, He was day dreaming, my husband was pouring Champagne for everyone and everyone was very, very Happy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My department at work decided to have our Holiday Party early this year---and it turned out to be a great idea. No conflicts with other commitments--just a relaxing kick off to the holiday season. There is a great off-the-beaten-track jazz club downtown and that is where we congregated. Great atmosphere---brick walls in a vintage building and great music. It put us all in the holiday spirit!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some years I really have the Christmas Spirit and other years, not so much. But this year, I am already playing Christmas Carols and making lists. My department at work decided to hold our get together early this year---before the Christmas crush begins. So it was a HUGE, wonderful surprise when I came home after the party and found my oldest son had put up our Christmas tree. HUGE surprise. And now the Christmas angel is awaiting the youngest son's Thanksgiving arrival to be placed atop the tree!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another bee by-product in the making! Lip Balm. This was a lot of fun to make----but I still have a lot of beeswax left and may look into making candles.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This was my first attempt at Toltott Kaposzta--or Pigs in the Blanket---or Stuffed Cabbage. This was before they went into the big kettle with the shredded cabbage and came out pretty darn good! The toothpicks were cheater sticks. I was afraid they would come unrolled--but I carefully pulled them out before anyone swallowed them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We are making Mead----the first known wine made by man, also known as Nectar of the Gods. It is a Honey Wine and we are novice winemakers. We should end up with 25 bottles---if we did everything correctly. The vodka isn't an ingredient. That is the fluid that goes into the airlock---the bubbler that seals the top of the bucket---or in winemaking jargon, the Carboy. Vodka is used so it doesn't grow bacteria like water would. So the carboy is now in a dark room of the basement and we will peak in and make sure the vodka is bubbling and then continue on in the process. More info later---when we take the next step!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In honor of Veteran's Day, here is a picture of my husbands Uncle. He is the happiest looking serviceman I have ever seen. And that was probably because that man loved to fly. From the age of 14 until he was in his 80's, he lived to fly, loved to fly and talked about flying and airplanes. His squadron all crashed and died in WW2 except for his plane and crew. He lived his life like this picture--always with a smile that lit up a room, and a story about airplanes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We've come a long way this summer---starting with this little box of 10,000 bees. We created a colony, actually felt comfortable being up close to a honey bee, watched carefully and protected our hive from mites, beetles and mice, extracted honey, learned about beeswax, connected with other beekeepers and now consider ourselves BEEKEEPERS. Our little hive is tucked in for the winter. Holes have been drilled at the top to let out moisture, extra food has been added to keep those little workers satisfied and mesh has been added to the openings to keep out the mice. It wouldn't be a catastrophe if the colony didn't survive but we feel very protective of our working insects. They have given us so much----honey and confidence----and now we wait till the spring when we open the hive again and see if all is well. It is 38 degrees now but if we still get an Indian Summer, I may open the hive one more time and add more sugar water/food.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This is my kind of fly fishing. No grizzlies lurking behind you, no waders to protect your from the raging water. no bone chilling cold or long trek to get to the fishing spot. Of course, we didn't catch any fish, but look at the comfy surroundings!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This is the last seaglass of summer! And the pickings were great----even though I know darn well, the other couple walking along the beach was also looking. There may be more washing up for sure, but the weather is going to change and will be even colder by the lake.

Monday, November 7, 2011

This picture really relaxes me by just looking at it! It sums up our weekend perfectly. Someone gave us a fly fishing get away weekend at a lovely Bed and Breakfast type lodge and the breakfast room was so relaxing. What more did I need---knitting and steaming hot coffee. We didn't catch any fish but we relaxed---and with the time change, I think we slept 12 hours Saturday nite. That doesn't happen very often!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am still thinking Honey. We winterized our hive-----by drilling holes at the top of each side to let moisture condensation moisture drain out. We were told that moisture is the worst enemy of our winter colony. The little bees keep themselves warm by clustering and fanning their wings to generate body warmth. Then they rotate their positions so the warmest spots are being shared. The numbers of bees are reduced now that the female workers kicked out the male drones--they are not needed for reproduction and so they don't want to share their food with unneccesary bees. We did add sugar water and sugar fondant patties to sustain them . We closed the lid, said our good byes and will see them in the Spring! Oh---and we added some screening to the opening to prevent Mice! So in the meantime we have been looking at other people's bee products and honey and comparing notes. i made a batch of lip balm from the valuable beeswax and will soon be making honey wine. And------we joined some friends for dinner and they gave me these adorable bee magnets!!! They were made in Findlay Ohio at the Kan Du shop!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why would anyone in our part of Ohio find it necessary to travel across the county to go on a Fall Color Tour? I 5 hour drive in any direction can take one to some very scenic areas. Our trip to Southern Indiana took in some beautiful scenery--including Brown County Park, Oliver Winery and the Indiana University Campus.