Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Babeeeeee Bottles

On the farm there are many chores that I love to do. One of them is this:

 Making ba-BEE bottles. We lost a lot of hives last year because of the excessive rain and cool temps. Then, with winter's brutal advent, we lost many more -- a total of 10 hives gone! Sigh. We are left with three, so we are going to pet them along and hope to split them in June to double our hives. 

This means I will be giving them lots of TLC this spring by feeding them every day. The formula is easy -- 1:1 sugar and water mixed. The feeders go in the "hive door" so the ladies can help themselves to a sip when they want (and that is a lot of sips --- about a quart a day or more!). This honey is used ONLY for the gals. We don't take it at all. We only take the honey made from pollen. 

This little black blob is Miss Annie. She came to me last summer after Wookie died. In fact, I think he sent her to me. She is playing with a hair band. All the stuffed animals next to the Victrola are ones that she has found in the house and piled in the corner. If I am gone "too long" she will leave a trail of them from the door to the bed to welcome me home. She makes me laugh and I am so happy she choose me. In the background is The New Front Door That Took Ten Months To Get! Finally! It is going to be purple! Can't wait! 
 The violets are having a contest to see who can be most lovely. I have kept violets since I was 16 and got my first one from Grandmother. They bloom at Christmas, Easter, and through the summer. The north window in the dining room makes them happy which means I am happy, too! 

Still loving this guy from Christmas... all hand blown bird ornaments from Germany. Once Annie learned they were NOT toys, we have both been happier! 

We discovered these unfinished maple bow back chairs in the Mister's parents' garage when we were cleaning their house. They were so mildew stained that there was no refinishing them. However, I have been dying to try chalk paint. I tried making some, but wasn't pleased with the finish. So, I bit the bullet and picked up some Annie Sloan. Oh my! If you haven't tried it, let me just say, you get what you pay for! Goes on "like buttah!" and has the nicest finish. For the "distressed look" I mixed some dark with clear wax. I love the texture it gives the chairs and makes them seem much older and more used than they are. The chair pad is half of a pair I found at the antique mall. They are hooked in cotton; I suspect they are from the 70s when all the Bicentennial decorating was hot!

We are sinking under rain today. So... I am off to make some soap, clean a little, and, then, feeding time! Have a super week!