Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Honey House

I said to her, after I was recuperating from almost dying.  "See those little jars over there, fill them with honey so the guests at my funeral can have a party favor!"

That was the day that Melida and I worked as a team to extract honey.  That was the day, I almost left my children orphans because if I was going down...so was the other parent!

It all started with typical preparation for honey extraction.  The room was set up with all the stations and the electric extractor was center stage.  It was a very impressive room and I was proud that my daughter wanted to help.  Heck, she came from Texas to experience this.

Tom was in charge of bringing the frames from the bee hives. ( a frame is what the bees build honey comb on and store the honey on)  We did this several months earlier and all went smoothly.  In fact, it was so enjoyable that I figured we could do it with Harper and Hope around.  Things started to go south when the bees decided to follow him to the HONEY house. After all, that honey and honey comb was theirs!!  Since we were planning on several hundreds of pounds of honey, this became a dangerous situation. Bees aren't anything like a dog or cat or butterfly for that matter.  Bees, when on a mission to retrieve their stash...are aggressive and mean.  Sort of like a kid throwing a temper tantrum but instead they all had little stingers instead of voices! The more frames that came to the honey house the more bees that followed.  Tom was outside wanting to bring the frames in and the bees wouldn't let it happen.  Eventually, he made it through the doors leaving some behind but the ones who came in...WHOOWEE!!!  The honey house became full of bees with nowhere to go.

We had already extracted quite a bit of honey.  We wear gloves and cover every surface with plastic so floors, tables and anything else doesn't get sticky from honey. The honey leaves the extractor and goes into a big bucket that is topped with a mesh filter.  We were just watching the honey come out of the extractor when Tom tried to bring in the next batch of frames through the door along with the bees.   They landed on  the frames that were already scraped, they buzzed to the extruder where the liquid gold was pouring out.  There was a west facing window that they finally landed on, realizing that this place was possibly a grave yard for bees.  They were frantically trying to get out the window through the screen.  Ya, screens don't budge. And we had never ever tried to open these windows prior to this day.

How do you open these windows? Hell if we knew.  I didn't care if we broke them just to get the bees out.  One thing we knew was to turn off the lights and let the light of the sun direct them toward the windows. We fooled them into thinking it was night and they needed to leave!  But, we still didn't know how to open the window.  As we where thinking, some bees started swarming around my face, I tried to brush them away when Melida decided to help.  She took her gloved hand, laden with honey, and brushed my hair out of my face.  Oh My God...there was food on my head for the bees. The bees and I danced for what seemed eternity until I got to the sink to wash it out of my hair. After I settled, I braved the attempt to just open the window  any way  that I could using a hammer and screw driver.   With one blow of the the hammer, my right hand slipped and palm side up, I sliced my  hand with a pitch fork.  Yes, there was a pitchfork face up next to the window that for some reason I did not see!  My blood squirted toward the ceiling and I knew I was facing death.  Believe me, when I say this...Melida applied pressure on it with her gloved hand still laden with honey and it stopped bleeding.  The first miracle of honey performed!

The windows were eventually torn open and some of the bees left.  It  was tolerable to continue with our extraction.

As we went about our business, we realized that Harper and Hope were alone in the cabin.  This in itself could spell disaster.  I could only imagine how many diet cokes and chips Hope consumed and what kind of coloring and art mess Harper had made.  Since there were still swarms of bees outside, we had to come up with a plan for me to get out of the honey house so I could check on the girls.

The plan seemed to be sound.  I would put on a bee suit and run out the door.  Sounds simple enough but I tripped and hit my head on the door and landed face first smack damb next to the angry bees.  Have you ever seen an overweight middle aged woman dressed in a bee suit run like hell?  I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight, consideringmy hand started to spurt and leave a trail as I ran to the cabin.  Of course, I thought it was my head bleeding and I knew I was a goner!

Here comes the part where if I was going down so was the other parent.  NONE of this would have happened if we didn't have those damn angry bees.  Or any sort of bees.  My life flashed before my eyes and I remembered every bad thing that had happened to me...EVER!

If you are a believer, like me, I'm sure you are thinking...HUM doesn't sound like the account of dying that is more recognized.(you know the ones where you see relatives and there is a light and a tunnel).  I guess what I saw was a sure indication that I was indeed going to live, and I was probably going to hold a few grudges about my current situation of hurting and blood spurting.  Melida finally came to the cabin and saw that Harper and Hope were just fine but she got and earful about my demise.  "See those jars over there, make sure you fill them with honey so the guests at my funeral have a party favor to take home.  And....I'm sorry you will be an orphan, Dad's going down too!"

As the day went on, I didn't die and the honey was processed.  But those BEE'S!!!! A bee can only sting once and it is dead.  They better start thinking about that!  I'm so glad I'm not a bee!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I'm back with Intention!

 Tom 4 inches taller...me...hadn't lost 27 at this point
Hey everyone....haven't heard from me in a while...been sort of busy!  Busy watching my husband grow 4 inches.  Busy watching my weight come off...now at 27lbs lost.  Busy taking Hope to school and not being called to pick her up because she was naughty.  People say that being busy is not good.  Hell to the NO....It is good in my case.

Tom was under the knife for 9 hours with a back fusion that made him 4 inches taller and in less pain.  He is recovering well and wishes he would have done it sooner.  Hind sight is your best friend or enemy!

One thing that I have learned from my friends...the experts on anesthesia... is that for every hour you are under, it takes one month to regain your wits.   Wits....in this case is  long and short term memory.   I never thought that someone as intelligent as Tom would succumb to such nonsense of losing his wits due to anesthesia.  Duh....I was stupid.   I should have known the first time his physical Therapist came and asked him questions.  I scratched my head and decided that I needed to take the wheel on his care.  A month later, he admitted that he had no idea what happened in October!  His surgery was at the end of September.

Being busy has been good for me.  That means I am no longer a couch potato binge watching Hulu and Netflix.  In fact, I deactivated Netflix!  Yes, deactivated it like as in a sorority...quit.  But, unlike a sorority, I activated it again when I was told in December about the the great Christmas shows.  Did you see them?  Sorry, I can't remember the names.  Now that it is January, they are no longer available to look them up....HUMMMM who has the long and short term memory loss now????

Being busy is fun.  I find myself getting up from the couch to get a snack instead of hauling them all at once by my recliner.  Being too busy to remember to eat them is fun too.  Who forgets to eat????

I have decided to walk on a daily bases.  We all walk.  But I am walking with intention.   Let's say that I come downstairs and realize that I didn't lock my bedroom door.  That is 13 step up and 13 steps down.  The old me would just forget about going up, have a snack and then realize that Hope was in my room terrorizing the drawers, the closet and the vanity.  The old me would have another snack after the realization.  But the new me sees this as an opportunity.  The new me, who walks with intention would stride up the stairs, grab some laundry, vacuum the hall and clean the bathroom before locking the bedroom door.  Walking is a good thing!

I joined a facebook page for accountability on my walking.  I plan to do 1000 miles in one year.  Let's say I do more....YAY ME! 

Before I even knew about this group, I set out to get 3.1 miles on the first day of 2019.  I did achieve my goal!  As I walked a new route, I thought about my dad.  He was always picking up money when he would see it on the street.  I now call money found, "Penny's from Heaven".  I decided that this year, I would put all the money I found in a jar or box and see if I would have 365 cents.  If I find more...YAY ME!

On this particular walk, I found a lot of trash.  Since New Years Eve was the night before, I was tripping over fireworks debris, beer bottles, mini wine bottles, mini vodka bottles, a bag of weed and a dime.   Of course, I felt that the trash situation was horrible.  Yes, I did pick up the bag a weed just to confirm my suspicions.  But let me tell you what I took home.  I took home the dime laying next to the bag of weed.  Believe me, my friends had a lot to say about that dime of weed I left on the road.  Some even offered me brownie recipes. But there was no way that was going in my pocket, not while I live in Indiana!  Did I tell you that I was on a 3 day jury this fall for a Marijuana deal gone bad?  I ain't touching that stuff. Let's just say, I don't want to wear a jumpsuit and share a toothbrush with anyone in the state of Indiana!  But that dime....it went into my jar.

I'm so happy you read this to the end....I have missed blogging and maybe sometime I will tell you how I really feel!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Do you ever have that itch???

You know when you have that itch in a place that you can't seem to reach.  It seems like I have my fair share of itching others peoples backs.  Have you ever noticed when you itch someones back, you never quite get the spot.  "No...to the left... now up... not so far... that's too hard...move a little lower...that's it...right there..no stop...it hurts."  And then the itch seems worse???

A few weeks ago, I had an itch.  It was on my butt.  I did not ask anyone to scratch it for me.  I just squirmed and shifted.  I really needed to get there and itch! I'm just keeping it real!

I didn't know why my butt would be itching.  Then I started thinking.  Thinking is very dangerous.  Thinking and Googling is worse. The answer must be pin worms.

As I researched pin worms, I got physically ill about the thought.  It's usually found in nasty little children who hang out with other children and exchange germs and pin worms just happen to love living inside the intestine! The female pin worm comes out at night and lays her eggs in their rectum.   The parents can use a flashlight to spread the sleeping child's butt cheeks and actually see her.  She glows in the dark!

The other way to capture pin worm eggs, is to use cellophane tape around the butt hole and lift them off  the nasty little children after their restless nights sleep. Supposedly with pin worm infestation, you are itchy all night!  I guess you can't see them with your eye but taking the tape strip to a clinic ,a microscopic exam would give you an answer.

I got to thinking, again.  How in the world does a pin worm know to come out at night?  Supposedly they just don't like bright lights.  Isn't your butt always in the dark? If it isn't, shouldn't it be?

 I'm 63 and hang out with nasty little children.  Maybe I could sneak in their bedrooms and shine a flashlight on their butts and tape them up in the morning!!! If the nasty little children don't have pin worms, then I would assume I would be safe from infection.

Yes, there is a treatment for pin worms.  Google it.

I thought and pondered for 2 days about pin worms.  I asked all the nasty little kids if their butts itched.  Of course, Hope said yes, it's her standard answer but the rest said no.

My itch is gone.

I really need to stay away from Google. I wasted 2 days of my life in silent worry!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Honey, What's on your label??

100% HONEY  Oliver Ridge in Perry County, Indiana

Tom has been a beekeeper for a year now.  He and I have attended several "Bee Schools".  He takes the technical classes and I take the fun classes.  Fun as in Cooking, Wax melting,candle making, soap making, flower and garden ideas to attract bees and essential oil basics for bees.   I did take a few technical classes and found them equally as fascinating.  But here is the deal about this Beekeeping business.....I do not touch bees nor do I put on that fancy suit to participate in the technical stuff.  I am the "beekeepers wife" and I serve the beer/wine when all the work is done!

We have not processed any honey.  During the first year, we wanted to establish our colony, so they fed off of their honey during the winter months.  This year, cross our fingers hope to die stick a needle in our eye, we will have honey.

What does that entail for me?  Glad you asked!

Check out the different labels and shapes of bottles. Some plastic, some glass.  There are some that put their labels with the top of the bottle on the bottom.
I am all about the marketing!!!  There is a great deal of "technical stuff" to do before we get honey.  I'm not going to talk about that here, because I really don't know about it.  But Marketing....that excites me!!!!!!!

  1. We CANNOT claim a type of honey unless we have it tested in a laboratory.  We cannot sell our honey labeled Clover, Poplar, poison ivy, wild flower, and etc. We would have to pay a lab to test it. NO honey is the same, it just depends on the environment and food source the bee had.
  2. We cannot say Organic unless we are Certified Organic.  I don't feel like paying the money...but I bet our honey will be about as organic as it gets....but you didn't hear me say that!
  3.  The word HONEY needs to be prominent on the bottle. Saying 100% helps!
  4. We must say where our honey comes from.  So our honey will be labeled. Honey from Southern Indiana, Or Perry County, Indiana Honey, or Honey from the USA. We really want to be specific on where it is from.  You cannot just call it Local Honey.  Especially if you want to market it in a different state.  You can say Local Honey from location and state.
  5. Beware of any honey that says "Bottled in ........"  It may be bottled in your home town but it may not be from local bees.  There is really nothing wrong with bottling honey from other places in the USA but it is very misleading to the public.   Bottom line  Bottled does not mean Local Honey.
  6. The best selling honey is one that has RED on the label.  Go figure.  I have no clue who did this research.  Smart choice of color since it is my favorite!
  7. Every one loves to buy their honey in that cute little bear! We are not going to bottle it in that cute little bear!  Sorry!
  8. We must put the weight or the fluid ounces on the bottle if we sell it. It weighs more than water.
  9.  Most people don't want to see a picture of a bee on their honey bottle.  I guess they don't want to know where the honey comes from.  I kind of like the idea of a cute bee on the bottle. I may or may not abide by this guideline!
  10.  Just because it has a cute label doesn't mean the honey tastes good!  So, if you can, taste it! Tom and I will be working the the Kentucky State Fair Bee Exhibit in August and YOU can taste all the honey there before you purchase.  Tom was really impressed with the fair last year, and I am excited to join him this year.
  11. I'm sure there are more things about labeling but the above seems simple enough to me.

Here are some pictures of labels from our local Walmart.  I would need to go to a local health food store to find "small time producers" labels. I bet they are awesome!
Cute bear, Large word Honey,USA but has a bee on it!  Would you choose this?

Cute bear, says organic, says raw, says Brazil. Brazil is a good thing.

Beautiful red label, shows a flower, but wait...Sugar free...Imitation Honey...seriously!  .

 I have played around with labels for our honey using  my Granddaughters art.  I keep coming back to putting a picture on the label...I don't know...It will be a while but will keep you all posted on what I do for a label and when we will actually have honey for sale!

Follow us on Facebook at Cinda Sue Originals.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Supper Time

We eat supper as a family.  Well, sometimes Hope eats after we eat.  I don't know what the deal is.  Do you think we chew our food too loud for her?  Or maybe, she likes her food cold.  Or perhaps, she has been secretly snacking all day and isn't hungry.

When I was growing up, we always ate our supper as a family.  Well, unless my dad was working.  So maybe I should say.  We tried to make it a habit to have supper as a family.

When my girls were little, supper time was when they told us about their day.  Major teasing happened at these tables as well.  We would find out about kindergarten crushes or who was obnoxious at the bus stop.   I have two favorite stories.  Want to hear them?  Thought so.

We were eating supper in Ames, Iowa at a table meant for 4.  We were 5 so we squished in.  Bissy was in kindergarten and was eager to tell us what she learned that day.

Bissy, " Did you know that Chicago had a fire?"
Tom looked at her in amazement of knowing about current events.
Me, " Wow, I had no idea." 
Bissy, excitedly went on, " There was a fire in a barn." Tom worked at the Iowa State Veterinary School, and he knew that this kind of fire could be devastating.
Bissy, continued, " There was a lady and a cow in the barn."   All we could think was, thank goodness it wasn't a whole herd.
Bissy, exclaimed, " The cow knocked over her lantern."
And then Bissy stood up and sang, " It's going to be a Hot time in the Old Town tonight!"
Mrs. O Leary, you made our day!

Eating at that table in Ames, Iowa was never quiet.  We would have proclamations from everyone.
Melida, "I will never eat eggs!"
Merideth, "I want a perm!"
Bissy, "I want to play soccer!"
Me, " I just want a nap!"
And for Tom, he made a proclamation that has stayed with us. In the 90's, NOT was used at the end of a sentence.  Example:  "I'm going to the store, NOT!" or " You look really nice, NOT!"  Our girls were in Junior High and NOT became extremely annoying. With his fist slamming on table, shaking the tator tot casserole, he proclaimed," In this house, NOT will not be used at the end of a sentence and furthermore, you cannot say Hate!"

Well, I guess he told us, didn't he, NOT!!

I think being the only male among 4 females had to be difficult.  We all just laughed!  After awhile he would come to the table to just eat!

I hope your family sits together for meals.  You learn the darnest things!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

To be a Mermaid, My New Years Resolution

This year everyone seems to be choosing a "word" instead of having a "resolutions". When the tsunami of words started to appear on my face book page, I felt inclined to find a word for 2018.  This year started out sucky and it was getting suckier by the time the middle of January hit.  The snowstorms kept everyone in the house for 10 days...YES 10 days.  If you didn't have the flu as well, you weren't in Vogue!  It was during this time that I picked my word.  It was "Powerwatch"!  This is a new word for the 21st century and it all came about because of DVR, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ETC.  You "Powerwatch" seasons of shows, or series of movies or about anything that takes up hours of mind numbing time.  My word is "Powerwatch."  It's not a very serious word, so I like it!

In the olden days, we made resolutions.  It seemed like everyone was going to loss weight or gain weight, get organized or not.  Many, many things that usually pertained to self improvement.
As close to being a Mermaid as it gets!

The year I made my most memorable resolution was in 1959.  It was the year that I would  become a mermaid.  Granted, I was 5 years old.  I knew that my folks made resolutions.  I figured I was old enough to give it a try. This was way before Disney had the animated Ariel.  My idea came from the original Hans Christian Anderson Fable. The idea of being a Mermaid became an obsession.

How does one go about becoming a Mermaid?  Glad you asked.  You need a whole lot of penny's and as many wishing well to throw them into.  You see, if you make a wish enough times it will come true.  I had it all figured out because that winter we were going to take a road trip from Iowa to California to see Disney Land.  There would be at least a million wishing wells across the US.

When we entered California, I knew that I had to prepare my parents for the transformation.  They needed to know exactly what to expect.  A mermaid needed to live in the ocean and I would be growing fins. Their job was to get me there and let me swim away.  I remember telling them that one morning I would wake up and my feet would be missing and not to be alarmed.  I didn't think about never seeing them again, I was on mission and that was to BE A MERMAID.  I was prepared to be the best Mermaid ever.  I wish that I knew how to write at age 5.  I would have written a letter to my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Guftason, the reason why I didn't return for the 2nd semester.  I had to count on my brother to tell EVERYONE that I became a Mermaid while we were on vacation. He would have done a great job! Deep down inside, I bet he wanted to be an only child!

I threw my last penny in the wishing well somewhere in Los Angeles, CA.  I remember it was a rainy evening.  I knew my feet would be gone by morning.  Luckily we had planned a trip to the beach the next day.  Such perfect timing!  That morning I awoke to a slight tingle in my ankles and toes.  EXCITED.  This was going to be my last day on the walking earth. I figured my fins growth would accelerate once we got to the beach.  It was a very cold day. We got out of the car and my dream of the wind carrying me to the surf vanished.  The sky was gray, it was misty, damp,cold and it looked pretty darn scary in that ocean.  The beach seemed HUGE and the water seemed so far away.  I more than hesitated  to walk out there. I froze. Secretly, I was ecstatic that I still had feet. Stop fins...don't grow!

What was a "would be Mermaid" to do?? 

 I returned to Iowa a little girl with feet that tingled slightly and told the story about how I didn't become a Mermaid when we went to the Ocean.  I was so close to fulfilling my 1959 Resolution. The next year, I  made the Resolution to create a "Genie" in an Alka Seltzer bottle.  Ya, that didn't work to well either.

I tell my grand daughter this story at least 6 times a year.  When she went to Florida, I asked her if she was going to wish to be a Mermaid.  Her answer was Classic Harper.  With her hand on my shoulder she sighed, " Mumma, that's your idea, not mine!"

The year is still young,  I will "powerwatch" all the old Disney Princess Movies, there has to be a character I can try to become in 2018.  "Cinda rella" perhaps??? I like shoes. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SELF CARE is a pause button.

SELF CARE is not selfish!  Self Care is important. SELF CARE may throw all those other people in your life into a tissy!  Yes, a tissy!

As a mother, wife and woman, I take SELF CARE seriously. And I take SELF CARE whenever I can get it!

SELF CARE is when you conscientiously take time for your own needs. SELF CARE is a pause.

SELF CARE is an absolute MUST. Especially if you’re a parent or a caretaker. Taking a moment out of your day to relax, let go, and do something that is just for you is absolutely necessary for maintaining your mental health.

What do I do?  Why thank you for asking.  I power watch Netflix.  Right now, I am watching season 2 of Stranger Things.  I have been power watching Netflix for  3 years.  My first was Downtown Abby.   In the 80's when my kids were little, I watched soap operas daily.  ALL OF THEM.  I haven't watched any since the 80's but when I get a glimpse, I see that Sonny is still on General Hospital.  Does he never age?
I could watch Wizard of OZ a million times, pause, rewind, and never fast forward!

I must admit that this sort of SELF CARE( power watching tv) does leave me somewhat lethargic.  I can sit for hours and  the house could colaspe around me. One time, the ADT monitor needed a new battery and screamed out BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. I didn't get up to change it, I just kept watching TV, pretending it was part of the show. The dishes can sit in the sink, dirty.  The toilet can sit unflushed.  The pile of clean laundry can sit next to me unfolded. I can sit, stare, watch or not watch, rewind or pause the shows.  I am taking time for myself by watching mindless dribble. And I am OK with that! Did I forget to mention that there is usually a glass of wine involved?????

I am jolted back to reality when Hope starts whining about needing dessert or some other non-essential thing.  I try to ignore her. She can get very loud and demanding, I remedy it by cranking up the TV volumn to 97.  If she finally pushes the BIG Button that gets me off the couch, I am immediately thrust into my RAGING MANIAC MODE. Lethargic is gone, reality is back.

" WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW???'' I soon find out that she has made a blown out mess in the kitchen with a concoction of ice cream, cereal, syrup, pecans, whip cream and popcorn, pickles and various spices. 

Where is the pause button in the kitchen? Thank goodness for the pause button on the TV.  My show is totally suspended until I return, unlike the mess in the kitchen.   The SELF CARE pause button is off and life is back to LIFE.

Most times, my power watching has to resume a day or two later.  By then, I have to rewind to the beginning of the show.  I love it when I get to sit back down on that couch with the remote in one hand pausing scenes, rewinding scenes,and watching whatever I want.  That is just one way I exercise my SELF CARE.

SELF CARE is my pause button.

Have you paused today?