Friday, April 20, 2007

The dog ate it

That's probably as believable a reason for not blogging as any. Actually, the dog is still eating things he shouldn't and then vomiting on the rug. I haven't sourced the no-doubt expensive veterinary food for pancreatitis I'm supposed to be feeding him, so I'm still cooking chicken and rice every day. That's been fun. I really did put up a lot of pictures last night, meaning to overwhelm any readers still out there -- hi, readers! -- with pictures if nothing else.

But Blogger didn't save the draft and in the meantime I managed to somehow wipe those pictures out of existence. No problem for some, but one? One was the most heart-stoppingly precious picture of my toddler in full rain regalia, and the other? I was planning to enter it in the fair, I thought it was so good. Just one of those "right place/right time" photos. Now? who knows. I may get them; I may not.

But I've been busy. Last weekend I helped another beekeeper load some hives for transport and then drove out to another bee group's meeting and picked up two three-pound packages of bees, complete with little queen in a cage. Brought 'em home and took one of the hives my husband built (had pictures of that, too) to a friend's house and installed them there. Then put the other one in my yard.

The next day, I got another swarm call, so as I drove out to get them, Eric was busily building another hive. That swarm wasn't in fabulous shape; some kids had apparently spent their spring break throwing rocks at the swarm. I didn't ask the folks what the kids did for winter break: kick puppies? I just gathered up the swarm, which had been knocked half on the ground, and brought them home. Loaded up the hive and all the children and drove that bunch to my sister's house, where they were located up on a shed. Great spot -- it's high and no one walks in front of their entrance, and it's very sunny.

So all this week, I've been managing. The day after installation, I checked to make certain that the caged queens had been released by the other bees eating through the candy pellet holding the cage closed. Both had, which is good. One hive kept moving up into the peaked roof of the hive, not down in it, and I kept changing things until I think I got it right yesterday.

Then I worked some on the first swarm, now a colony in residence in the chicken coop -- they are drawing comb across the bars. I've also changed how I start the bars, giving them a well-waxed in starter strip to avoid this in the other hives. But for this one, I'm doing all sorts of things, up to and including tying a piece of comb on straight that I'd knocked off. With work, I think I can straighten it out. I'm looking forward to getting lots of good pictures because a second veil came on order, so a family member can shoot pictures with less stress.

These hives are just different than the typical ones, and there's a lot to learn.

Then I've been swamped with grading for my classes, and there is still a bunch of papers awaiting my reading and commenting. It's not their fault it's swarm season! And the college wants me to edit those lectures. Haven't even opened those files yet.

My spouse has had a couple of the worst work weeks in his life, and he's been needing some care. We're hoping the bad patch is over.

Garden is growing, and I had some pretty pictures to show those of you still in snow: a cornflower in full bloom, lovely Lacinato kale (must seed more of that; it's the only kind my family likes, and it's actually tender fresh-picked), Heuchera surrounded by red lettuce, and some tomato blossoms. Don't hate me because I live in a lovely microclimate!

And I knit a whole pattern repeat's worth on the right front for March's Pearl Buck Swing Jacket on a drive today. The yarn is so wonderful it's just a pleasure to work with. I wish I had more time to sit and pet it as I knit. I want to wear this sweater! The round-yoked one has gotten a thumbs-down from Thing 1. Doesn't fit right, and she'd rather have a one-color raglan with collar and cuff accents. Can you say yeah? If I get on that, I might just get it done. My mindless-knitting, yarn-eating garter stitch red shawl is 1.5" long. That's feeling nice.

So I wrote to the tech columnist in the local paper hoping for some help recovering those pictures. If none comes, I may call Microsoft (perish the thought) or even call a professional. Maybe the camera folks can help. I might be able to get them back off of that chip? Anyhow, it's worth a try.

And there are always new days to take more pictures.


suzee said...

Yes, it all would have been better with snaps. But your lovely narrative was a good substitute!

You have been a busy gal.

Katherine said...

Geez, I do hope you get some time to relax soon. And I do secretly wish we shared your microclimate (and had our own veggie garden).