Wednesday, March 24, 2021

This and That.....

 This is Day #15 here at the ranch this month.
As always, there's been a lot of things going on.
Louis Dean has continued to work on the plumbing and he is so weary of it.
Thank the Lord for son Dean! He has stepped in and rescued his dad several times.
Still the breaks keep happening - all because of that below freezing weather we had!  Dean fixed two leaks today - one while his dad was gone to Home Depot and Louis Dean was delighted about that - and then another one showed up.
He fixed that one and - would you believe - once the water was turned on there was a hole in the pipe going from the water heater!
Good grief! How long can this go on and on and on.....
I confess, I have needed a few attitude adjustments during all this.

There is some good news!
Cheyenne and his crew used up every last bit of material and he's ordered some more to finish things out. The carport is up and it is awesome! There is skirting yet to put up along the west side of the carport to give us a little more protection from the sun. Then they will finish out the east side and along the back, install gutters and a rainwater harvesting system. AND more gravel for the driveway and road! We leave on Monday and they may be here to do some of it before we go home but it will be done for sure by the time we come back! YAY!

Cheyenne brought his bobcat over and leveled the gravel we already have.
He explained that what he is ordering will be smaller and easier to walk on!
I'm all in favor of that!

This was the first time he parked the big white truck under the carport!!

Last October I planted a big bag of Texas wildflowers and some were already up and blooming during the winter. But that Arctic freeze knocked them back.

I'm glad wildflowers are so hardy.
Our honeybees were all over them back there.
This area is along the back of the garden Louis Dean fenced in last year.

This small bumblebee was so determined - he looked like he was going to eat up the blue bachelor buttons and flew to every single one of them, completely ignoring all the other flowers.

I've been finishing up a few art projects from 2020 before I start on new ones.

This one was fun to paint!

Yesterday I started on fresh clean canvases.
The top left one is simply based in with background colors and once dried, I will put my pattern on and start will be a bench with several pair of cowboy boots lined up underneath it .....and a cat stretched out on top. I've decided to paint it to look like Tabitha because I don't think I'm good enough to do the colors on Samantha!

These kitties keep us smiling!
See how hard it would be to paint her?
Samantha goes down the back of that little sofa she's perched on and has a hidey hole underneath.
We have had two other cats here in the camper before - our Maggie and then after she died we got 
Maddie - both were senior white cats - and they could get down there but couldn't get back up!
Samantha is young and agile and she can wiggle herself straight up and out!

Tabitha is a bigger girl and she gets stuck.
Since she's also a very smart cat - I bet she doesn't go back down there again!

Last night was our monthly beekeepers meeting.
While we used to meet in McLennon County College, since Covid happened we moved to an open air pavilion in China Springs. Now we get to meet indoors at the same location which is the church our vice president pastors.
This is about an hour's drive from the ranch outside Mart.
Sherry and I usually go out to eat before or after, so this time we drove on into China Springs.....

and found Taqueria Mexicano Bar & Grill!
The food was delicious as was that margarita!!
Our friend and sister beekeeper, Rosey, usually joins us and we missed her since she was out of town.
Next month, Rosey!!

When we left for our meeting, father and son were working on the shower in the big bathroom.
They fully expected to greet me with the news that I could now take a shower. Maybe even a HOT one!
Instead, Louis Dean came out as Sherry pulled up to drop me off.
It happened that they had more to repair than they thought and, while he THOUGHT it was fixed, he didn't have it in him to turn it on and find out. He needed to wait until this morning when he was more rested.
He said, "Linda, if I turn it on and there's a problem, I think I will go stark raving mad out of my mind. I simply can't handle it right now."

Good thing we waited.
Both of us got a good night of sleep, and, indeed, there was a problem with the water.....
two and three problems.
I think we have a new rule.
Throw old pipe AWAY!
Part of the problem - MOST of the problem - has been he's been using old materials that didn't LOOK damaged - but they were! Dean showed me one this morning that when he had cut ot off, he could see a tiny hairline crack nearly all the way down.

Hopefully, in the morning we will turn the water on and pray it works!

After Sherry got off work this afternoon, we went down and checked our bees.

Spring has greened everything up.

In the late winter/early spring, we treat for varroa mites....

Varroa mites are external parasites of adult honey bees, as well as drone and worker brood. Adult female mites may be seen on larvae, pupae of adult honey bees, while juvenile and adult male Varroa can be seen on larvae and pupae. Adult female Varroa mites are oval, flat, red-brown coloured mites.

We use Apivar strips and place them in the brood boxes. They have to stay 42 days and at 21 days you open up the hives and move the strips to another frame. So now we won't be opening the hives for another three weeks. The timing is important since you cannot harvest any honey with frames that have been treated. You want to have this all done before you put the honey supers (boxes) on top of the brood boxes. The supers are where the honey we will harvest is made.
So we have that chore done now and can turn our attention to building new boxes and frames and getting things ready for when we split our hives - and set them up for the honeymaking season.
The spring honey is the best! 

While I have been in here writing, Louis Dean has been out in the front room singing and playing music! That's so good for him! Puts his mind in a good place and he relaxes.
Now I shall join him for our evening glass of wine and we will sit and visit a little while before bed.
No TV down here so sometimes we go to bed early.
Tonight he may wait up for Dean to get home from the karate class he teaches.
He said he might stop by on his way in and check the water pipe repair.

Here's hoping we get WATER - running water from a faucet inside the house tomorrow!!

My theme song!! clear water.


Ginny Hartzler said...

I remember this song! My first question had been WHY do the pipes keep breaking over and over, and you sure have answered it! I sure hope you have water today! I love your bread and wine painting, and just can't wait to see the one of the kitty on the bench!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That really is frustrating! To put in so much work and still have leaks. I've heard that it is common after such a deep freeze but it sure makes it hard to repair. Glad L.D. has his music and you have your painting! Love your photo in the bee suit! Hugs!

MadSnapper said...

I remember the song also and am lisening as i type.. i am afraid i would not be able to adjust my attitude like you did. i had a hard time doing 6 days waiting on my shower.. water is so necessary.. hope they get it fixed. sounds like you need a new pipe repipe job. I am loving your new sun roof. wow, it looks great and you will feel a huge difference this summer.. glad you found the right person to finish this job.. I like the red. you are all blessed to have each other.

Vee said...

What a nightmare! May it all get sorted asap. I slapped myself when I read that Louis Dean was trying to use old material. Sometimes that works, but usually, it doesn't. His time counts and his mental health... I'd have been tearing my hair out I assure you. I see what you mean about gravel to cover what you have. That looks like ankle twisters for sure. It will be fun to see how the car port winds up looking when complete. And the bees...happy and healthy... Overall, a blessed time at the ranch with a few wobbles tossed in just to keep life interesting.🥴

Changes in the wind said...

Yes new pipe could be the answer and I hope it happens fast as you both have been through enough. So glad to hear that the bees are okay. I worried they would freeze when the storm was so bad. Love your painting with the ribbon tied on the bread:)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

This has been a very frustrating visit for you bur thankfully you have the sun roof getting done. It could all be worse, and you are definitely making the best of things. They say nothing will last forever so sooner than later it will all get done. What a lesson in patience.

photowannabe said...

Your talking about the old pipes and reusing them made me think of the Bible verse about putting old wine in new wine doesn't work so well.
Here's hoping things will finally be done for good.
Glad you have been able to check out your bees and get some art work done. Love the bottles and lavender depicted.
Your kitties are darling. I can see how much company they are for you and LD.

Carole said...

Good luck with the water! You are having a nice long stay at the ranch. Cheers