Category Archives: Life: lived

Saturation point

It’s been raining for almost ten days straight.  It’s just unbelievable.  No more water can be absorbed.  It’s just puddles and standing water everywhere.  The ground is so soft you can unexpectedly plunge in the ground over your ankle walking along.  then it tries to pull your boot off.

The chickens have had their coops outside for several days, but when the rain come hammering down, they run into the greenhouse, which remains empty, to shelter.

It was ok for awhile; rain is important, but today, I was done with it.  I had to start a fire, because I was chilled.  Luckily, it’s over now for a week!  A whole week of sunshine.  The bugs will almost certainly start up, and everything will begin to grow.

I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging.  In the meantime, THIS!:

The man who sailed around the world with a chicken

There’s more to chickens than they are generally credited :)

Rain day

What a day.  Buckets of water coming down, starting out with slush on the ground, and wind, blowing the cold rain into your face and coat.  All the chickens opted to stay in the greenhouse most of the day, only making brief forays out when the rain abated.

The guineas took one step out in the morning before jumping back in, the chickens got several steps out before pulling their necks back, wheeling around and running back in.  It’s gross out there!

I found it the perfect day for a nap, and that was glorious.  Never enough sleep!

Hello?

I think I’m back?

I can’t explain what happened.  After an unbroken year of daily blog posting and many more of intermittency, I fully intended to keep going, more steam than ever, and then – I just stopped.

I was going through some health stuff that sapped my energy.  I was taking some winter time for “emotional restructuring” (aka, being lazy and self-indulgent).  I really, really didn’t feel like there was anything to say.  What “content” really needs to be added to the vastness of the internet now?  I thought I would make the switch away from WordPress, but there’s work involved in that.

Cute, cool things keep happening.  I have ideas.  I’ve been taking pictures.  Just…not posting.

But perhaps…I’m back.  I missed you guys:)

buttonholes

Awesome! A buttonholer on a Singer treadle sewing machine, making perfect buttonholes.

This is amazing technology IMO, from the 40’s.

On a treadle sewing machine the needle is fixed. It can’t move side to side like modern electrics so it can’t do a zigzag stitch.

How to get around that? Let’s grab the fabric and move it side to side while the needle goes up and down- voila, zigzags and buttonholes!

Unlike how a computer works, I can look at this and understand how it works, and I think it’s exceedingly ingenious, harnessing the mechanical drive of the sewing machine and controlling the whole circuit of the buttonhole, instead of the three stage variable length method I learned on electric machines.

Treadle sewing machines can still outperform electric machines, mostly by being stolid and consistent, while electrics can be buggy and finicky.

One Year

After blogging since the early oughts, 2018 was the first year I posted every single day. It wasn’t always first thing in the morning, and sometimes a scheduled post failed to post on schedule, but I posted every day. After a while, it was too good a streak to break.

What else did I do this year? Caught my first swarm, made a more effective strike against the invasive Glossy-leaf Buckthorn species we’re plagued with than I have before, had a slightly better garden and a bigger one. As usual, I read 100 books. To finance my chicken habit, I made some strides at my day job, narrating more audiobooks and more exciting and challenging ones.

I’m still obsessed with productivity, still use and love Habitica, and this year integrated some GTD principles for more efficiency. The almost lifelong habit I have of packing more in than I or anyone should is catching up with me, and that’s the next thing I need to change. I aspire to do less now, which is a major shift from half a lifetime spent wanting to do more. Sigh.

Happy New Year! I wish everyone more health, strength, and success creating a life and world that is good.

bees snugged II

The bees are all wrapped now, after getting their insulation.

This time I tried to wrap the tar paper so that it was sealed and went up under the flange of the beehive lid, so in theory the water sheds over the tar paper wrap, but I can still get the lid off anytime. We’ll see.

I put a piece of tape on the corner before doing the fold so the paper doesn’t tear- that worked well.

Like gift wrapping. The paper is all folded down tight and taped to the eke. That lid is upside down by the way, just for while I work.

That’s what it looks like inside- the straw, and the bottle of bee syrup that they can access from the hole in the inner cover.

Here the lid’s back on.

Hello bee!

The bees were out, because it was a nice day (about a month ago). They were flying and curious.

Hello bees!

When I wrap them all up they are shut in entirely for a few minutes before I cut their doors open again.

Bees at the door

This one is done. Except I have a bigger sheet of ply I put over the lid like a second, bigger lid.

The one in the background has not been done yet:)

Will they winter?

This year I have three hives to winter for the first time, since I purchased a second hive (nuc) this year, and I had one split (dramatically) and caught the swarm. I also have three sizes. 1,2,3 – my largest is three supers (Violet), and Pansy is one super. I’ve only lost a hive once, so I’m currently one for three, so this year will be interesting, based on the size of each hive, and of course the weather is the biggest factor. I’m also hopeful that being able to feed them in warm windows and replace the straw if it gets wet will be a boon.