Garth and Wayne really enjoyed yesterday's beautiful weather. They chased down various bugs in the grass, and generally tolerated Bruno's attempts at getting them to play.
In previous years, I would see some of the bees poking around the damp, sun-warmed earth. Sad that there's no activity like that this spring. The bee class is going well though, so we'll have our order in for some new bees in a few weeks. The instructor told us that we could send off some of the dead bees and comb to be analyzed by a department of the University of Maryland extension office. Will have to explore that. Would be useful to know if there was a disease vector, or mites, or something like that. In the meantime, there are a couple of frames of capped honey waiting to be harvested. Once the weather warms more consistently we'll break everything down, scrape all the old comb and propolis off the frames, and do a thorough cleaning in advance of the new bees.
Well, it's official. The bees are gone. Bee Partner Linda and I didn't even suit up to crack all three hives open last weekend to check them. There's been no activity at the hive openings, so we feared the worst. It was still disappointing. There were a few sad clusters of dead bees, as if they'd clung together 'til the end. Small consolation that this is the story all over the region. The combination last year of too wet, then too dry, too cold, then too hot. . . Feeding them didn't help after all. With the help of our mentor, Frank, we'll determine if mites might have been part of their demise as well.
Linda and I start our BANV bee class next month and will order two new sets of queens and entourage. We certainly have all the equipment and the determination. Bee sisters Jan and Nora have moved, so Linda and I are it. Jan retired to her farmette in Lexington, perhaps to start her own hives, and Nora moved to Boston to be nearer her boyfriend and hopefully to find a job she loves too.
So stay tuned. We have a lot of house hive cleaning to do, new frames and foundation to put together. I'm going to seek out our own honey harvesting equipment too. Ever optimistic am I!
I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan. I check into his blog now and again, though reading his travel schedule makes me realize I'm not THAT much of a fan. I probably wouldn't pay to hear him read somewhere, certainly wouldn't travel to a distant city to see him in person. But I enjoy his novels and short stories. His blog is a bit more personal, even if I skim most of it. His latest post hit close to home, though, and made me realize I have something in common with him. He loved his dog and cried when he died. I could relate. A very sweet tribute indeed.
Meet Wayne and Garth, or actually, that's Garth on the left. Just when I thought we were close to being empty nesters. . .
And meet Bruno.
He doesn't always sit at the dining room table. He thought he was so clever.
After Molly and Mosby died, we swore we'd be dog-free for a while, maybe forever. I offered to dog-sit for a co-worker/friend, and when she ended up being in need, while her teenage son was ill, it seemed a good arrangement. Come to find out, the dog had gotten bigger than she'd planned on, and he was outgrowing their two-bedroom apartment. The son got better, but Bruno stayed with us. I think her son has finally forgiven his mother and me for our collusion.
The kitties, well, "they" were supposed to be "a" kitten, promised for my birthday. But when we went to the animal shelter, there were these brothers and we hadn't the heart to separate them. So Wayne and Garth came home too. I'll take credit for the names, but we were all coming up with various duos. Batman and Robin. Cheech and Chong. No-- I didn't want to have to explain the drug references, or encourage the 15-year old to watch those old movies to understand the characters. Wayne's World was juvenile enough for me, thank you very much. And somehow the kittens are growing into the characters.
My goal is to get a picture of the dog and the kitties together, but detante is still a distant dream. They do play together, but there's no snuggling yet. I have hopes.
I troll my regular haunts online and realize what slacker I am about this blog. I didn't mean to be away for so long! Anyway, I'm heading to Colorado tommorrow to visit the College Boy over the Easter weekend, taking bright-eyed younger son with me. I'm very excited for the trip and promise to take lots of pictures. I'll get mauled by the grand-dog as an added bonus. It is College Boy's last collegiate race in Fort Collins, and promises to be very exciting. I have no idea how to pack; it was 80 degrees there last week, and it snowed yesterday. Layers it is.
Hard to believe this is the last year of college for Zack. The last four years have been a blur.
Today would have been my mother's 75th birthday. Hard to imagine. She was just a couple of years older than I am now when her MS advanced to the point that she needed nursing home care, and only 63 when she died. That seems so much younger now than it did then!
This photo is four generations, my grandmother on the left, my oldest brother, his brand new son, and my mother on the right. She was 40 in this photo. I remember her lamenting that, at 40, she was too young to be a grandmother. I rolled my eyes, as I recall, but I can certainly relate now. I'm ten years older than she is in this picture and I know I'm not ready for grandchildren.
She knew she had MS when this picture was taken, but it hadn't really slowed her down yet. It would be 10 or so years later when she was immobilized. I like to remember her as she is here. Healthy, glowing with pride, beautiful.
My bff Wendy was in town for a visit this past weekend. The Bright-Eyed Boy (aka Texting Teen) wasn't able to see his Miss Wendy for himself, but sent this picture message.
He threatened to unfriend me if I posted that one to Facebook, so I insisted he let me get another one. Several attempts later (as he dodged the camera), I got this one. He doesn't follow this blog, so I think I'm safe. For now.
He's so much bigger than me now! I still sometimes can't help but think of him like this . . .