Thursday, April 22, 2021

Bees and Country Life and Update on Devin......

Wednesday was a blustery cold day!
It looked like spring but it sure didn't feel like it.

I cooked up a big pot of oatmeal - the perfect breakfast for just such a morning - along with a couple of the frozen dinner rolls Louis Dean had made for Easter. I split, toasted, and served them with pumpkin butter! And bacon. Oatmeal is even better with bacon. Most anything is better with bacon!

I did some writing in the morning .....

and art in the afternoon.
I am layering in colors and shadows on this scene taken from one of Pam's famous snapshots.
She visits such beautiful parks and lakes where she bikes and camps....and she never fails to get some really good photos. This one will have a black silhouette of a figure standing up on a paddle board off center to the left.

I whacked up all the denim I brought and will be tracing my squares on it and cutting them out.
Going for larger squares this time. Maybe that will make for a faster quilt!

This morning (Thursday) Sherry and I went to assist a fellow beekeeper in splitting his four hives.
Dean and Sherry spent a marathon of a day a few weeks back helping another beekeeper split FIFTY hives before coming home and splitting ours.

It's always interesting to see where other people keep their bees.

This is Sherry on the left and our friend, Calvin, on the right.
Notice he is wearing jeans instead of a full bee suit.

He has Italian bees and they are pretty mild.
But we still wore our suits.
See that smoker in front of the hive?
Sherry and I are diligent about keeping a smoker handy just in case we need it.
That's about the only way you can calm down a bunch of truly angry, aggressive bees once they decide to attack you. No need of that today - but we never work our bees or anyone's bees without at least one smoker. Today we had three and barely used them.

Man, that's a lot of bees!!

The first order of business is to find the queen.

He is taking 4 or 5 frames out of the box and putting them into a new one with a new queen.

They are working hard to fill those combs up with brood, pollen and nectar.

That white worm looking thing is a developed queen cell.....

where the hive is forming another queen.
You don't want that when you have a strong queen already in residence, so Sherry just used her bee tool to open it up and in no time, the worker bees were hauling it out of the hive.

When you split a hive, you must trade out some good frames of healthy brood, pollen, and nectar or honey to start the new hive. Calvin had new queens for each of his now four new hives. You place new empty frames in to complete each hive. They will continue to fill those up and hopefully all the hives will be chock full of busy bees very soon.

Lifting those hives are heavy - especially in the harvest season when they are dripping full of honey.

We will be opening our hives up this weekend and placing supers on top and thus begin the honey production. We never take honey from the brood boxes because that's what the bees eat.

It was late afternoon by the time we got home, having stopped at HEB and Home Depot on our way.
Louis Dean had been working on the plumbing all day and was ready to put a new shower head on.
He told us to buy several - he's paranoid since he broke the one last night - but we just bought two 'no frills' basic shower heads.

I accidently left my book in Sherry's car so I went down there to get it.
It's plenty cool to see a wild peacock strolling around the place.
He was showing off in front of a chicken coop.

Then he pulled his fan of feathers in and walked away.

Sherry's buttercups and her maple tree - kept safe from horses and goats inside a fence.
I came in and tucked myself in the girl bunk and rested and read for several hours.
Now I have a second wind and am about to go out to do some art and denim work.
I am so pleased to announce that we now have a fully functioning shower with decent water pressure AND hot and cold water! Louis Dean took a nice long hot shower and put on his Sunday overalls to celebrate! Tomorrow the sink and toilet may be up and running! 
I can hear him out in the front room playing his guitar and singing Farmer's Daughter.....but before I close tonight's journal entry....I want to give you an....

Update on Devin.......
The surgery lasted 11 hours with each team of doctors coming out to give updates as the next team went in. The tumor was huge but all went exactly as planned. Last night was very busy with doctors and nurses in and out checking on him. After that long surgery, they were planning on getting him up today! Amazing, He still needs a lot of prayers as he goes through this journey. My heart goes out to his parents.....and I pray for them and his MiMiG and Alex and the entire family....
It's hard to see someone so young go through something like this and praise God he IS going through it! Just a few years ago, this surgery was not even possible.

On a personal note, I well remember when our Kailey had open heart surgery when she was just four years old. God does give peace and confidence and strength. He led Amber to find a good pediatric cardiologist and would not rest until they found that huge hole in her heart and scheduled surgery.
I remember so many people prayed for her and all of us at that time. I can relate to my friend, Mary, in what she's going through.

"....who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 1:4


Bluebird49 said...

Still praying for Devin and happy to know you have hot and cold water!

Hootin Anni said...

I can't imagine...I never dreamed that bee keeping would entail so much work & long process. But your labors are rewarded with honey.

It was nice to have you stop by for a visit Linda. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Estelle's said...

I hope you enjoy your time at the ranch....hopefully those water problems will be repaired to make life a bit easier down there...that peacock is just spectacular!!!

Vee said...

Ongoing prayers...

You and Sherry are so kind to help others with their bees. It is all very interesting. I am glad that so many scrambled into action when the call went out several years ago now that beekeepers were needed. They always are, I am sure.

All the best to Louis Dean as he carries on with the plumbing.

MimiG said...

I want to thank every that prayed for Devin and continues to do. He's a strong 17 year old that is pretty worn out.Many great things have happened to him in the past few days,but as he just cannot take any kind of morphine or anything that ends in ine (just very small doses as he throws everything up), it's hard to control the pain. Often he doesn't even want Tylenol. The Zofran and Phenergan help, but put him to sleep and he wants to be awake and functioning as much as possible. Today will be the hardest day, according to the docs as the surgery anesthesia will be out of his system.
I think I misled Linda about the surgery - all docs were in there the entire time, they just came out after their portion was done, but then went back in. But all in very good spirits after it was over. Again, thank you so much for your prayers for my grandson.
Oh Linda, I am so scared of bees. You're a brave woman!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm keeping this young man in my prayers. He's a very brave person and I pray that God blesses him with healing ahead. Take care and enjoy your day sweet friend.

Deanna Rabe said...

I'm continuing my prayers for Devin! I'm sure his twin is struggling too, and I'll pray for the whole family! Thankful this surgery is available these days, and we'll ask God for a complete recovery and full health!

Thankful too, for your hot and cold water in your shower! I bet LD is so relieved!

Your bee posts are so interesting, but I don't think I could do what you do!

Changes in the wind said...

There is sure a lot to learn and do to become a beekeeper. So glad to hear you have hot and cold water and a shower!! Hopefully the rest is getting fixed and it will all be working. Thankful the young man made it through the surgery and praying for his recovery.

Robyn said...

Was very glad to read you have hot and cold water now!... Kevin sure is a warrior I pray the Lord heals him better and quicker than anyone expects.. Your painting is beautiful I can't wait to see it completed..

MadSnapper said...

so happy to hear the news on kevin is good.. i skipped the bee videos, bees make me shudder, i can't stand them and would not be within a mile of all those hives.. I do love honey though... you all look so happy and cute in your bee headgear. sooooooooooo happy you have a hot shower. woo hooo

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

You have learned smooch as far as bees go. I can't imagine doing that. There is so much to know. Hope all continues to go well there for you and you get plenty of honey. I am so glad your shower is working ahead. Louis Dean finally hit the right combination for the water pipes. Glad the surgery was successful too and will continue praying for a good recovery.

photowannabe said...

Thank you for the update on Kevin..Praise the Lord for His goodness and the doctors performing the surgery.
Fascinating work with the bees..hard work but so rewarding.
Happy Dance for your water being hot and working again..
Enjoy your Ranch time.

Carole said...

You are so brave with your bees - way to go with the shower! Cheers

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for the updates on Devin and the water and looks like things are improving in both areas, Linda. Bee keeping is certainly a lot of work, but the results are so sweet. I always enjoy when you show photos of the processes involved. I had never heard of Italian bees, just like my nationality.

BeachGypsy said...

howdy there my green eyed girlfriend, love that picture of you in your bee net, so cute! Those bees are sure keeping y'all busy and i didn't know much at all about bees until now, reading your posts, I've learned alot. I DO LOVE TO EAT honey, that is for sure, ha ha! LOL. Glad to see you and Louis Dean are back in the happy country and enjoying yourselves and getting that water situation FIXED FOR GOOD. That will be a happy day. Hope y'all are having a real nice weekend. Looks like you're both getting alot done. Hugs!

BeachGypsy said...

PS....THAT PEACOCK!!---i love peacocks! He's a pretty one.

Carla said...

MMMmmmm that is way too many bees for me. Looks like lots of work too.
Mr Peacock was beautiful.
Prayers for Devin. It's amazing that after 11 hours of surgery they plan on getting him up the next day.
Have a great week! Hugs

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Your bee posts are so interesting. I never realized there was so much to learn and do. How can you tell which bee is a queen? They all look the same to me.