Saturday, March 31, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

Shockingly enough, I'm not finished with my March sweater. Between stressing and trying to manage, I just didn't have the time to sit and knit on anything beyond garter stitch (guess who's casting on for a simple triangular garter stitch wrap?). Now that I'm done writing the lectures, though, I'll have night time for knitting on that charted part of the swing jacket. That's right -- I'm done with the lectures. Not a one of them is earthshaking, but they're done. If they're so bad that the college resolves to never hire me to write again, hey, there are worse things I could think of.

I did finish some other things. The older Things took part in our homeschooling group's history fair, and it was a blast! There were exhibits on the history of chocolate, the history of money, the Renaissance, knights, Vikings (three on them -- what do you think that means?), jazz, Washington, D.C., the founding fathers and the three branches of government, the history of games, the history of dogs, the history of sea turtle protection, Egypt, aviation, and many things I don't even remember.

Watching my nephew (the curly top there) talk to people about airplanes was hilarious. He usually won't talk to folks at all, at least not until he knows them very well. But get him going on Charles Lindbergh's flight, and boy howdy. Just fun. Even the baby got in on the action.

There's been other developments, too. Thing 2 lost her first teeth, and appears to be on the road to losing some more. Coincidence that her reading has taken a huge jump forward? I don't know. She's also discovered that she can gather recyclable bottles and cans and get money for them. She and her brother also learned something new and interesting this week. Hold on for it. . .

They learned how to open the main (second) floor bathroom window and slide down the pipe to the ground!

Good for them! A friend asked me what was wrong with the door, and of course there wasn't anything wrong with it. They just wanted to do this. Spare a thought for my rapidly-greying hair.

I missed a couple of calls for bee swarms this week, and was bummed. I really need more bees. So when I got a swarm call late this afternoon while I was getting my hair cut, I was excited. My spouse had spent the afternoon making swarm-catching boxes (pictures later). So I went home, kitted up, and headed out to the house. By the time I got there it was pretty dark.

The swarm was in a low, perfect place, and I guess I should have just cut the branch they were wrapped around. Instead I brushed bees into the box as I held it up. All was going well until a bee got inside my helmet somehow and stung me. As I was getting out of that situation, a number of other bees got me. And the more sting pheromones there are, the more agitated the swarm will become. I got between 5-7 stings all told. Thing 1, Thing 4, and Thing 1's lovely friend helped a lot. Actually, Thing 4 was no help at all, but she was sad because I'd been gone and I brought her thinking she'd fall asleep on the way.

I ended up leaving the box there with the lid on, hoping to entice more bees into it. Maybe this was the wrong thing to do; I don't know. I'm going back tomorrow with a hooded jacket on over my veil collar and the smoker. I sure do want these bees. If they're all back up on the branch, I'm going to cut it. I hope they just like the box and think it's a safe-seeming place to be (bee?).

The stings aren't great, but neither did they hurt as much as I'd feared. Remember, my bees have never stung me. So that is pretty good, I suppose. I had ordered a better bee suit just the other day, but it hasn't gotten here yet. I did take some antihistamine just to counteract any swelling, and now I'm going to take a bath and tumble into bed. And no lecture worryingwriting


amanda j said...

Congratulations on finishing, and thanks for the photos. Seeing those kids at a history fair warms the cockles of my heart! Your pain threshold must be higher than mine, bee stings hurt!!

Katherine said...

Yes, it is shocking that you didn't finish your March sweater. The history fair looks great and congratulations on finishing the lectures, that must be a weight off. Which sounds like it was immediately replaced by worry for your obviously highly-creative children. Honestly, how do they come up with this stuff?

Good luck with the bees; I hope they move in. Be (bee?) careful!

Lara said...

My son's reading skills took a huge jump right when he lost his first four teeth, too. Hmmmmmm.

bfmomma said...

owie... I'm such a wimp when it comes to bee stings! Much more exciting things going on in your life than knitting.

Let us know what happens with the new swarm. Fingers crossed.

allisonmariecat said...

I so enjoy your Bee Chronicles! I love the updates and hope the stings are feeling better :)

The history fair sounds fantastic!

amandasblognews44 said...

Mitigator Rules!
I can recommend a new “scrub” product called “Mitigator Sting & Bite Treatment”; to say that it is terrific is an understatement! It actually removes venom by exfoliating the top layer of skin, opening the pores and drawing out the toxins. I had instant relief from pain and itching and all traces of the sting disappeared within minutes. I found it on the web at which is their military website. I called and they sold me (6) ½ ounce packages for about $2.00/pack (each resealable pack treats about 20 stings or bites). The only thing that can create a problem is if you wait too long to apply it, it should be rubbed in vigorously within the first few minutes after the bite or sting – the longer you wait, the less effective it is. I’ve used it on bees, wasps, fire ants (no blisters even appeared), mosquitoes and chiggers. They say it works on jellyfish but I’m a long way from the ocean so I haven’t needed it for that problem. No smelly chemicals, works great and is even safe for kids (the scrubbing replaces scratching so – no secondary infections). I should make a commercial for them!

Rain said...

There's never a dull moment at your place, I'm surprised you haven't got a full head of grey hair with their exploits.

The history fair sounds like a lot of fun.