Twenty: 52

52osmall

 

52csmall

 

 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.

 

O, this week you…

…keep asking me when kitty will come home and all I can say is that I don’t know, that he may not, but we can still love him forever.

…took apart your old bike, just to do it. You broke it down completely, dividing up the parts into piles of what you might like to keep around for repairs and what you will repurpose for building projects, like that robot you keep talking about. Nothing is trash, and I think that’s pretty great.

…were really interested in the process of getting our bees situated this time around. We’ll enjoy watching them work this summer.

C, this week you…

…made it through, even though it was a tough one. We are stretched thin and feel a lot of pressure from many sources. We’re strong for each other, and I am grateful.

…felt disappointed when you didn’t get as far with the garden prep as you wanted to this weekend. Breaking new ground with only hand tools…it’s punishing, exhausting labor and, being the observer, I’m amazed at how much you were able to change the landscape. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

…set up the beeeeeees, and they seem happy in their new digs.

…kept yourself distracted and busy, as did I, so as not to constantly wonder if kitty will ever come home again.

 

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Some Things

* The shelling peas are getting fat.

* The jarring of the latest batch of kimchi is on the schedule for tomorrow morning. I’ve been listening to it joyfully percolating in the crock. I love you, early cabbage.

* I came home this afternoon to find C tending the hives. He added another super and fiddled with frames, had the stirred up bees swarming around him…all sans suit. He’s feeling a great deal calmer about everything since injury forced him out of work last week. Without carrying all that stress around, he can exude the peaceful confidence required to handle bees without full-body protective gear. He still had his head net and gloves, of course…it’s not as if he’s asking for trouble. Working with the bees is becoming a meditation for him and he approaches them without fear. So far, he has not once been stung and, from what he can tell, the hive is quite happy. Yay bees!

* Road trip this weekend is canceled. The forecast for central Oregon is flippity-flopping back and forth about that “R” word…and I’m not really interested in waking up in a soggy sleeping bag. Hopefully, no rain for the Black Sheep Gathering because we’ll be heading up for that rain or shine.

* There is some Navajo-Churro fleece in my near future. Some for you and some for me. I cannot wait.

* I’m going to bed happy and tired, on account of I’m all “swimmy.” I spent a lot of time in VT in the water, but I realized today that I never actually swam. There was a lot of wading. A lot. With a toddler. Now I have a boy who doesn’t mind hanging out on a noodle with his auntie while I swim some laps. Wow. It sure did bring back some warm, fuzzy childhood memories to come home and feel so tuckered in that way only swimming makes you tuckered and HUNGRY. So hungry! Dinner tasted amazing.

* More yarn going up. I’m stalling on nuno photos…maybe C should start modeling them instead.

Cumulus.

*Happy Thursday. xoxoxo

Blessed with Bees!

Yesterday, we had our third swarm in two weeks.

This time it was a bowling ball-sized clump up in the pear tree. I didn’t get a picture, as it would have involved getting up on the ladder without protective gear, but C was able to clip a branch with about one third of the bees attached. He placed it in his hand-built skep and while we ate our dinner, the rest of the clump moved right on in!

It was mid-afternoon when the swarm was noticed, and so there wasn’t any time to lose in hunting down another box. C whipped up this skep in less than thirty minutes from a woven basket we used to keep toys in. Since we didn’t have any cow manure on hand for a more traditional variety, C mixed up a little plaster to cover the outside of the basket, set it on a base that provided them with an entry/exit point and voila! Home Sweet Buzzy Home.

As of this morning, there is not a bee left in the pear tree, and only a few still lingering on the rose arbor.

The box and skep are now ocupado and we have a stack of books on beekeeping from the library.

In other news, I am likely to update the shop this weekend…there are tons of wool bits for crafters, perhaps a few yarns. I am hoarding for several reasons, however…MDSW is coming up, where Cloverhill Yarn Shop will have my wares, Purl Jam is opening up in Califon, NJ with a selection of Monkeyspun, and Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire is fast approaching. I will do my best, though, to keep the shop in order, and also to provide Urban Fauna Studio some fresh yarns. In the meantime, I will be teaching an art yarn workshop there this weekend and will be scheduling felting workshops as well as new installments of the SpinLab series of classes. Contact me to sign up for the newsletter if you are local to any these areas and would like a reminder! And please let me know if you have any special requests for workshops in the SF or East Bay Area.

buzz buzz buzz~i wonder why he does….

…’cause he needs some new digs, that’s why…

Yesterday afternoon, we saw/heard this football-sized swarm on the rose arbor:

As we were bereft of beekeeping equipment, I tried to get hold of some beekeeping friends who I knew would be interested. When I didn’t hear back, we decided to go for it ourselves. C was on his way home from work by then and so he stopped at Biofuel Oasis to pick up the necessaries. He already had a Tyvek suit from work…

…and was soon ready to go.

He was very calm in this new situation…you never would have known how adrenalized he was…

…even when the bees got reeaaally mad. It wasn’t an easy catch. They were wrapped around part of the arbor and the rose vine…nothing we could cut off for removal all in one go.

Tap, tap…into the hive box.

We’re not 100% sure yet they’ll stay…there’s a lot of activity around the hive box, but still clumping on the arbor…and, well…I don’t really have any idea what I’m talking about. Right now, we’re just hoping there are some scouts doing the happy dance.

Exciting. And I’m hoping we have enough borage and blossoms and berry bushes in our own yard to keep them busy…anyone know how far they travel? Pretty much every neighbor around here owns one of those poison sprayer-backpacks or pays someone else to wear one for sickening their flowers and trees…I’d like to think it won’t be of interest to these bees or present in the honey they produce, but…

Shifting gears, we had a birthday:

There were smiles and wishes and a crepe paper crown…

Click the picture for a link to my Ravelry project page. It was a fun knit…quick and satisfying, although embellishing was the best part. I saw some comments about tearing issues, but I made sure to crinkle the paper every few yards before I knit with it, and the crown whipped right up, nice and smooth.

Pete also got a birthday knit…

The photo links to Ravelry, but you can find the free pattern here on the Bamboletta blog. I used some of my long-draw handspun and I’m really pleased with the results.

Sadly, I did not photograph the Handmade Ho Down on Saturday…it was a little crazy and I was totally exhausted. I had an awesome helper (thanks, Alli!) and so for most of the show I spun, spun away and felt buzzy with fresh ideas. Expect new goodies in the coming weeks. Many thanks to everyone who came to play!