Friday, December 12, 2014

And Now...Home Decorating with SmallDaughter!

To recreate these amazing 3-D effects, SmallDaughter recommends that you simply start with a box of baking soda and a box of table salt (the large, round one)--then add a can of shaving cream, 2 bottles of lotion (she prefers the really nice, expensive kind, not the cheap stuff that smells weird that nobody wants anyway) and a brand-new bottle of liquid sub-lingual vitamin B Complex (because that stuff is a DEEP yellow, that really stays!). Mix it all together thoroghly, with your hands (and feet if you want!). She recommends doing it in your mom's bedroom.

Ed. Note--FYI--do you know what is worse than crumbs in your bed--salt!

Note 2--You know what makes a really gross, but surprisingly pleasant smelling mess to clean out of the vacuum tube? Guess!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Too much space

This week the city guys cut down the two big old Maple trees in front of our house. It was not a surprise--they asked my permission (even though they are technically on the right of way, and they didn't have to LEGALLY ask--I think it's nice that they did), and I have known for several years that one of them was rotten in the middle and would have to come down. They are running a sewer line down, and I know how hard it would be to work around them. With all that being said, there is too much space and too much sky where they used to be!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Wow, we had a busy, fun summer! Living without internet, but LOTS of other things! Company, adventures, fun, good food--you name it!

There is real news forthcoming--I promise! I just wanted to let you know I am still alive!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Au Revoir!

We are getting rid of internet for the summer, in a grand attempt at getting outside and doing "non-electronic things"! Which is a lovely thing for the children, but also affects me a LOT. Since I am the worst offender at spending mass amounts of time on the computer!

Which is a long-winded way to say, I probably won't be posting much.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Some of the most exciting things in a child's life only come once a year...Christmas, Birthdays, Halloween, and then (when they get a little bigger) Colossalcon! It seems hard to believe that only a few years ago, I was pretty unaware of the existence of fan conventions. I vaguely knew that there were Sci-Fi conventions where weirdos dressed up as Klingons, but that was about it. Now I know that there are conventions for EVERY fandom--if you love Star Wars, Anime, playing games, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Steampunk or almost anything else (!) somewhere there is convention hall full of people just like you! Now I have more experience, I love the enthusiasm, creativity, acceptance, cheerful friendliness that abounds at conventions. While at first it is a little odd to see people in long pink wigs or Pokemon costumes, it is no stranger than those hardcore Cleveland Browns fans who paint their faces (and, horribly, their naked bodies!--some things should stay covered!) I have had a houseful of excited teens who worked on costumes and preparations and had an amazing time together!

Now I need to go take a nap!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Arrivals at our house!

and not what you were thinking!

Today, the new fridge and upright freezer arrived! YAY!

The old fridge made it, but it was a pretty close thing! The new fridge is almost exactly the same--black, side-by-side (we need the handles so we can lock it--SmallDaughter is very naughty about the fridge!)--however this one doesn't have an ice dispenser in the door.

Since we never used it for dispensing water or ice (it's last service was as the fondly remembered accidental "snickers bar dispenser"), we decided we would rather have the space!

Also--the new fridge is shockingly blank. No recipes or menus chalked on it. No job lists or coupons on the sides. Weird.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Very Tired Butt

Today I drove (according to my car's odometer, that I reset this morning when I filled the gas tank), 275 miles. That means I could have gone someplace exciting like Chicago or Indianapolis or Pittsburgh to see people I love. I could have gone anywhere in the entire state of West Virginia, or at least half of Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan or New York State. I could have gone to Toronto (which requires a stamp in my passport, oooooH!). Did I go any of those exciting places? No, actually. I went to boring local places--and back--multiple times. There were many good things accomplished, much good was done--but as a road trip it was pretty lame.

Trying new things

So, one of the side aspects of taking apart and recolonizing the beehives is that I had some un-needed beeswax. In the form of (mostly) brood comb. In case you didn't know this (I know I sure didn't!), when the bees first make the wax, it is the palest white/yellow (virgin wax). They make LOTS of cells of this, which serve different purposes at different times. Sometimes they store the pollen the worker bees bring in, so they can eat it later. Sometimes they store honey, which is capped with more pure virgin wax for storage. Sometimes they store brood and little baby bees, and in the process of hatching, pupating and emerging, that wax gets brown (almost black eventually) and pretty gross.

There are lots of ways to process beeswax, and it is a pretty simple to do--put the chunks of wax in a deep, old pan (that you never want to use for anything else, ever again!), fill it with water, bring it to a boil, than let it cool. The wax floats and cools into a disc. The water with a full load of nasty residue (which is called "slumgum" is left behind. You can skim out the solids and load them into cardboard egg cartons--after they dry they make dandy firestarters (it is still well permeated with wax!) or you can give it to chickens (they love it!), or you can pour the whole mess on your garden or compost pile, where it is an awesome enrichment. If you want the wax to be purer, you can melt it again, for further refinement.

The process of melting the wax is easy, and it made our whole kitchen smell--exotic. A very strong smell, but not unpleasant--very floral and honey/sugar scented.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


So, there may (or may not) have been a certain grill lighting event last week, which may (or may not) have involved me setting the match to the burner, without letting the propane (from someone else's previous lighting attempt) dissipate.


Look ma! No eyebrows!

Actually, I DO still have eyebrows (and eyelashes, AND bangs)--they are all just much shorter and thinner!

Fortunately, it blew my bangs upward, so the parts that are only 1/8 of an inch long, are under the parts that survived unscathed.

Even more fortunately, I only got 2 tiny (like sunburn level, no blistering even) burns on two fingers. I feel very blessed, since it could have been SO much worse!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Life!

I was feeling pretty bummed when I wrote my last post. I cleaned out literally thousands of little bee corpses from both hives, to get them ready just in case I could find some new package bees (they only come in once a year, and my usual supplier had already sold out). I did finally find a new supplier--but they were sold out through 2015. sigh.

As I did my research I found out that 75% of Ohio hives froze to death this year. Hence--very short supply. I felt better when I realized there was nothing I could have done, even if I was a much more experienced bee-keeper.

And then--I got a call back from the supplier--they had had a cancellation from a major buyer (over 100 packages), and I was able to drive about an hour and a half to pick up my two packages (one for each hive) on Saturday. There were people there from other states, so I felt pretty good to have only a beautiful drive in the country (although, it took us considerably longer than 1.5 hours since we got lost and went in very large circles!). Both packages are now installed and getting used to their new homes. I am interested to compare the differences between the two styles of hives.

A "package" of bees is a rectangular wooden box with screen on the longest sides, that has about 10,000 workers,and a queen, along with a can of sugar syrup so they have food on their long journey--in this case about 2,500 miles!

After I removed the (almost empty) syrup cans, I took out the queen (in her separate, tiny little cage), and then, literally dumped the worker bees into my waiting hive! It seems a little freaky to casually dump living creatures, but the bees handle it well!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

False Euphoria

My bees are all dead-- both hives. The activity I saw was just other bees robbing their honey stores.Sigh.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just so you know--Carrot Seeds float in milk.

This scientific update brought to you by the inquiring mind of SmallDaughter. Sadly, carrot seeds floating on milk look disturbingly insect-like. They have now been strained out of the nearly full gallon of milk. Life here is never dull!

I am pretty excited about my garden---once is stops raining enough to plant! BigGirl got home from her quilt bootcamp with my aunties, and it is nice to have her back--it is amazing what a hole one person's absence makes!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beekeeping Spring Update

Early last week, when it FINALLY stopped snowing(!!!) and warmed up above 50 degrees, I took the insulation off my beehive and was really bummed to find piles of dead bees. It was really traumatic, even though I knew their odds weren't good in the super cold.
This is a Langstroth Hive like Mine.

Two days later I picked up my new hive, from a friend who wanted to try beekeeping, but then ended up taking a new job clear across the country--so he said I could have his hive, which is a totally different type,which I have been excited to try. After consulting with experts last year, I found out the best way to move the hive was to:
1.Wait until spring, so they had eaten their honey stores, and the colony was at its smallest level, so the hive is lighter,
2.Wait until after dark so all the bees are inside sleeping, load it in the back of a truck, haul it to its new home (my backyard), and (still in the dark) unload it at it's new spot.
The ground had finally dried out enough to back the truck up, and the loading went very smoothly! YAY! I got the new hive set up around 10:45pm and dropped exhaustedly into bed. PERFECT TIMING! It started to rain during the night and didn't really stop all week.

This is a top bar hive like Dave's.

I really tried in the fall to make sure they had plenty of food, since I suspected that it would be a long, cold winter (HAH! Called that one!), but I knew the odds weren't very good for either hive. I have been pretty bummed since it appeared that neither hive survived the winter, but was too cold and rainy to do anything about it, so I just ignored it.

Today the sun came out, and I got to go out and check them and--


hives survived and have activity! Yay,YAY,YAY!! I am really happy that I gave them a lot of food, I think it may have made the difference!

In other news:
Saturday before last, SmallDaughter dropped my cake plate, and a piece of the broken glass cut the knuckle of her ring finger. So, we got to drive through the nasty, icy, sloppy snow (we ended up with 4 inches!), to the Emergency Room. The only reason for the ER visit was to get glued and splinted, because I knew she would keep breaking it open. I am grateful I was able to take BigGirl and her sweet friend Miss M, who kept pressure on the bleeding wound, and then kept her entertained and happy (she was very bored in the ER, and kept signing "all done")!

The cake plate incident distracted me from cleaning up the "bottle of black RIT dye all over the bathroom" incident. It looked like a troop of orcs were slaughtered in there!

The boys are all planning and plotting for a multi-week campout (consisting of most of the summer) in the woods behind the extra boy's grandma's house. With Machetes. And fire. I am...resigned. But doing a happy, hopeful, honey inspired dance!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Some long awaited pictures!

I have been to busy to post--finally here is some proof!
Here is my lovely cousin Miss B as Maria in "The Sound of Music" in the wedding dress I made/remade for her. She was truly spectacular, and I was not the only person to notice that she was by far the best actress in the production!

And, here is a truly terrible picture of the little Belly Dancer costume for Miss K's niece's birthday.
I also hemmed a really beautiful bridesmaid dress, but I don't have any pictures of that.
I am still working on the Prom dresses. I promise I will post pictures.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Better Late than Never, right?

So, I have had a request to restart my blog.
One of my favorite bloggers just finished up a "blog challenge", and I thought I would give it a try.
However-I just reviewed my calendar, and--the next couple of weeks look pretty crazy--even crazier than usual. Some of the crazy includes:
*Making a wedding dress (1/2 done--for my sweet cousin, Miss B, who is playing Maria in "The Sound of Music")
*Altering an existing princess dress for Miss C, who is the queen in her school play
*Making a prom dress (also for Miss C)
*Teaching early morning seminary--and prepping for the Quad Stake Seminary Activity and dance next Saturday)
*Planning for Girl's Camp (I just got called to be the leader)
*Helping with the Young Women's Chili Cook-off fundraiser
*Preparing my Gospel Doctrine lesson
*Visiting with my dear Aunt S, who just flew in from California,
(Yay oh YAY!) STARTING SMALLDAUGHTER'S RIDING THERAPY CLASSES--she has missed her horsies ALL winter long!

Just a little explanation of why the blog challenge may have to wait!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


After my last post on the Temple, I think it is pretty appropriate that I come back to blogging after a day spent at the Temple. It was beautiful. And I got to be there with my baby brother and sister--the youngest ones in our large family (with me, the oldest). I spent a lot of time praying for the people I love--Miss K, who just had surgery yesterday, Miss P, who is still having problems with her eyes, my sweet cousins who are expecting babies--and the one who just lost a dearly anticipated baby. It was nice to do service for others, and sweet to recieve blessings for myself.

ALSO--for those who haven't heard--I got a new calling in church! After years in Young Women's and Primary, I am now the Gospel Doctrine Teacher in the Adult Sunday School Class! And, I'm teaching Old Testament, which is MY FAVORITE! so, I am pretty pumped!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Beautiful Temple

The Temple is a very precious and important part of my life, and like all good things I love to share it! I love this beautiful movie about Temple Worship. It is neat to me to see Temples I have been too, as well as those I haven't had a chance to attend yet! The sealing room brings back wonderful memories of the day I knelt across from my beloved, and we were sealed together as a family--not just until "Death do us part" but for Time and All Eternity.

We were married in the Washington, DC Temple, and my youngest sister is currently serving as a Missionary on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Temples have always been important to me, and I am happy to share this beautiful movie with others!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Party Never Stops (REALLY!)

I am beginning the New Year on a wonderful note--with a house full of youth who are awesome, having a party that has been going on for 4 days now, and doesn't show much sign of stopping! It evolves as it goes along--it started out as just girls having a "Disney Movie Marathon" (which included a theater trip to see "Frozen" on the big screen--we all loved it!), and then morphed into a New Years Eve party with both guys and girls, which involved moonlight sledding, mixing up all kinds of crazy mixed (non-alcoholic) drinks, all kinds of junk food, and a LOTS of laughing! Everybody slept until noon today, and then they pitched in to clean up and cook yummy food, so I'm not complaining!

People come, people go, but the laughing and talking go on and on!