Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, May 31

who would have thought...2 honeybee swarms in one day!

Well, my next post was supposed to show you the whimsical what-not's I'd been creating for our flowerbeds...

but no...it didn't happen, and here's why. 

My beekeeping neighbor found swarm cells during her last hive inspection, and asked our bee mentor to take a look at them with her. I was invited to tag along, which is always great...I'm almost ready to complete my first year of beekeeping, so it's terrific to learn something new.

As I was putting on my bee suit, I received a message that she'd just discovered a swarm...what luck, and with our mentor on the way! It was amazing to see how the swarm was caught and then moved to a new hive. Viola...she instantly has more bees!

Here are a few snapshots of our adventure...

The swarm landed in a nearby evergreen tree.
Once the branch was snipped off, the bees were carried to a nuc box...
and shaken into their temporary home, while a new hive was quickly put together.

Now, about this time, my hubby and Little Man show up at our neighbors' home with the news that they've found a swarm at our house too!

And here's what it looked like...

It was in a tree just a few yards from our hive.
The frames of a nuc box were sprayed with sugar-water.
The swarm was low, so it was decided to shake them into the nuc box...
I love the before & after of this photo and the one above!
And,  as if by magic, they climb into their temporary, new home.

Whew, what a day! 

Now, our neighbor is keeping her swarm...making 4 hives at her home. She sells at the farmers' market each week, along with a few other markets around town.

However; I've decided I'm still learning, and not ready to add a second hive just yet. And although I hate to lose this queen (she has a good temperament making the hive a gentle one), I'll have one of her daughters as a new queen in our first hive.

And so it goes...you just never know what each day will bring!

Friday, May 24

springtime & May...

During this merry month of May, it's been a joy to putter in flower gardens, listen to the buzzing of bees, and wake to songbirds greeting each new day.

What a lovely feeling to walk barefoot on the cool morning grass along a well-worn path leading to sun-dappled spot just made for relaxing in. My favorite place to sit has two vintage chairs just waiting for me. You know the kind of chairs I mean...the springy ones from the 50's that gently bounce back & forth. Oh, how I love them!

May is also the ideal time to plan a vegetable garden...at least here in the Midwest. Our last predicted frost date is May 15, and after the long, cold winter we've just experienced, friends & neighbors are happy to let the memory of those bitter winds steadily fade.

Not far from home, there's a small family-owned nursery, and then down the road a bit more, is a Mennonite farmstand that sells seedlings and potted plants. It's always fun to look over the plant names and choose something new to try each year. Sitting in a row with my usual finds are some new tomato names...Black Cherry and Marglobe.  My goal is to get them all tucked into the garden this weekend, then enjoy watching them grow under the warmth of the sun and the cooling of the spring rains.

Spring is also a terrific time for hitting the antiques trail! There are some great barn sales and flea markets popping up now, and the little shops along our town square are filled with great finds. I came across a stack of the prettiest mismatched plates, along with some flowery teacups & saucers. With the help of some Quick Grip permanent adhesive, I plan to created a bit of whimsy for our flower garden. (Will show you this weekend!)

And so it is spring...soon to officially become summer, and it invites us to spruce up our nests both inside and out. These fine days and simple pleasures lighten our spirits...and beneath these blue skies, country living is bliss.

Monday, May 13

petal to the metal...uh, dirt that is

It was a lovely weekend here in the Midwest, and we all enjoyed the breezy, sunshiny, blue-skied days of spring.

For Mothers' Day this year, I was gifted with a full-of-fun, made-me-smile retro-style bike!

It's just what I need...a good old-fashioned bike with no speedy gears or handlebar breaks.
The perfect bike to get me from here to there.

There's a handy spot in the back to hold a little picnic basket, 

And, surprise...a pop bottle opener along the side! It'll be perfect when it's time for an icy bottle of root beer, orange cream, or grape soda while biking along the country roads.

Now don't get me wrong...I still love my good old 1955 Cadillac bike (it's the green one along the left sidebar with flowers in the basket), and it's just right when I'm out on my own.

However; throw two energetic kids into the mix for a bike ride, and I need something just a bit more updated...but then, not too much. 

I took her for a spin last evening with the kids...and would you believe, in May, that we were bundled up in sweaters, sweatshirts, and gloves? There was an icy breeze blowing and even a freeze warning for our area!

And so it goes...the ups & downs of springtime.

Happy Monday to all!

Thursday, May 9

today's giggle...

I'm thick in the "Spring Cleaning vs. Spring Fever" battle...I must admit, cleaning is losing.  

The weather here has been absolutely perfect for filling flowerbeds, tilling the garden, inspecting the hive, sprucing up the hen house, and plotting and scheming my summertime dreams.

However, I quickly took a break when I received an email from my friend, Kris, who shared this adorable picture with me...it's had me smiling all week! 

Etsy Shop here...

Ahhh, so sweet!

Etsy Shop here

Swing by and visit Julie Persons at her Etsy shop to see her terrific photography featuring...

Chicks in Hats...here.

Sure to brighten you day!

Thanks Kris!

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