Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oh. So that's what bees are supposed to do.

You perhaps remember my bee adventures of yore. If not, please avail yourself of my retelling and also the horrific video in which I am hilarious in most every sense of the word.

Now, anyway. Now it seems hilarious in the funny way, but I can tell you 100% for sure that when this happened I was only hilarious in the crazy SOMEONE RESTRAIN ME way.

Good times.

And I've thought back many times since to the innocent How To Hive Your Bees flyer that came with my package bees wondering who gets to have a hive install like the one they so whimsically outline in the flyer.

It even says, "Enjoy your hive!" at the end as though you just assembled a dollhouse rather than just having wrestled 10,000 stinging insects and their flighty lady leader into a box.

Seemed a little off to me, is what I'm saying. And kinda mean, frankly. Like they were off in Perfectly Behaved Bee Land being all, "What do you mean you have bees swarming all over your yard and face? We've never heard of *that* happening. You must have done something stupid."

Though they'd have been right. I did do many somethings stupid that first time. And then I did some other stupid stuff with the bees and then, last week, I did it all right.

Or so it would seem based on the very orderly and well behaved manner of my new package of bees.



They're so damn mellow that using a smoker is, so far anyway, totally optional. Even when wearing flip flops and shorts and bare hands like was necessary today because it's 92 degrees in April WHAT THE FUCK. 

These super well behaved angel bees went into their hive without error and emerged single file in the early morning hours to commence pollen harvesting. No extreme crowding at the small entry in the entrance reducer (fancy name for the stick with a hole in it that blocks out all but enough space for a few bees at a time), no swarming all over the fence or stinging the dog or buzzing Bubba as he went about his business in the garage and no taking years off of my life by acting like a bunch of dive bombing psychos.

And then today I went in there to replace the one frame that I had to leave out when I installed the package to make room for queen and found that - yay - the queen has been released from her cage, they're drawing out comb and would you effing look at that they're storing nectar and pollen like proper ladies.

Also, they made this where the 10th frame was supposed to be, so apparently they're about this whole hive building thing.

Which I like. TONS.

I'm leaving it out there so they can reharvest all the nectar they stored away. Which is why it's sitting there all perched against the hive weird. If it's not all melted down the side when they're done, I can save it and maybe make some more lip balm out of it or something.

I'm just excited that in an effort to start my hive anew this year that I didn't take an additional 10 years off of my life in the process. Because that first hive install and ensuing madness knocked me back a decade at least.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Brains melting. Bees hived.

It used to be that I'd have all of these random rants or sometimes more constructive things sort of banging around in the empty space in my head so that when I'd sit down to write a blog post, I'd just tap into that empty banging space (whoa, what?) and pour it out onto the keyboard.

BAM - Blog post. Plus swearing and alienating of different ethnic groups and also people who decorate their houses for the holidays as though they have a severe mental deficiency.

Now though, no empty space remains. I mean - hardly anyway.

My brains are so filled with STUDY FOR ALL OF THESE TESTS SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE OUR STRAIGHT A GETTING STREAK and WORK ON THAT BUSINESS and TAKE CARE OF THE PLANTS and Hey try to spend some time with the lovely Bubba and let's go running and...yeah - the empty space is no more.

So, when I sit down to write a blog post, I am drawing blanks.

For reals.

Like where my brain goes..."Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...what are we doing here? Shouldn't we be studying?" and then I say out loud (because I'm that person now who talks to herself and inanimate objects and also NPR like I'm an old woman), "Yeah. I need to study." and then I don't blog.

And I hate that.

So, rather than not blog because what I'm going to write about isn't all pre-crafted out in my mind, I'm going to try something new.

That something new being just the first thing that pops into my head.

So, yeah - let's see how this goes...

I hived my new package of bees yesterday and the horrors of previous bee installs did not recur.


I had the install just lingering out there at the end of a busy weekend and, I'm not going to lie to you people, I was semi-dreading it.

For the first time in probably months, I was going to spend the day of Sunday with Bubba just doing whatever it was we used to do on our weekends when I hadn't filled my days with studying and garden coaching and growing a billion plants and things.

Not that I don't love those things - I do - but it hasn't left a lot of time for Bubba and I to piss away hours in the garage and riding bikes to tacos and things.

And I really like those things. And also Bubba. He's very cute and makes good jokes at other people's expense which I enjoy muchly.

So anyway, at the end of this weekend that was half BUSY and half making cruel jokes, I was to install this buzzing package of bees and it was sort of stressing me out because of the way I left the beehive last year.

Specifically, shit did not end well.

And then over the summer, after my hive was empty and sad for a few months, I cleaned all of the comb off of all of the frames and put the whole hive away where it couldn't remind me of my shame every time I went to the garden.

But I totally missed my buzzers.

Like, the garden seemed sorta lonely without them and I felt like a failure and lots of other fun emotions that I won't go into so I totally went ahead and ordered another bee package over the winter while we were sitting in the cabin in Steamboat.

Because isn't that what everyone does on a ski vacation - order bees?

Knew it.

Anyway, they arrived on Friday and then sat in my kitchen buzzing up a fucking storm for a few days so that Bubba could get nice and nervous about what if 10,000 bees get loose in the house and hey I think I'm going on an all day bike ride tomorrow like last time you did this. It was kinda not the best for him, frankly.


And then, after zero getting loose in the house and a certain amount of preparation wherein I hunted about for marshmallow to jam in the queen's cage, I set out to install the hive during the hottest day of the year so far.

Thanks for that, Mother Nature. You're a peach.

Thankfully, it took all of 10 minutes to get rigged up with the camera and get the bees installed in the hive so that I could remove the sweat-makingest garment in all of fabric and textiles - the coated polyester beekeeper's jacket and veil.

Sweet fucking shit, friends, I should wear THAT next time we're skiing -54 temps. I'd probably break a sweat.

But the bees are hived and the queen is safe in her candy-stuffed cage awaiting the diligent rescue courtesy of her new dedicated workers and I can take a break from playing about in that soul-sucking jacket during what is turning out to be Heat Wave #1 of 2013.

Welcome home, bees. Please enjoy your poppy forest and the sweaty woman lingering nearby.

In April.

Dudes. It's April and it's 90 degrees. That is not right. Global warming is upon us. I must make SO much of The Best Iced Tea Ever and then sit in the house and try not to think about how 3/4 of my labs this week have me working in the greenhouse at school.


So - does this new approach work OK or do I need to go back to trying to craft coherent rants and stories? I suspect that it's fine and seems a lot like my old ways of just spilling my brains out onto the keyboard and if I hadn't said anything you'd have been all, "This post seems like all of her other posts except maybe not *as good* because clearly she's exhausted and we should all just cut her a break and then ship her a case of gin." and I'll take that, too.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I forgot how to spring break

Is it still called spring break when you study, write papers and finish school projects ahead of schedule because Oh yay! I have a week off so I can get all of this shit done so that when classes resume I won't have to choose between sleeping and showering?

I don't think that it is.

I think it's called something else, but no one has come up with the Something Else name for the spring break that returning students take.

Probably because it would be something super boring like Paper Writing Week.

See - boring.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I am officially old and lame now and my week of writing papers and doing schoolwork was in no way as fun as a week spent drunk and topless in Key West with only a yellow thong covering my nethers while I scorched my buns out snorkeling.

Man, did I used to be fun.

I daresay that I am now less so. But I still had drinks! Cocktails are oh so important when spending a week doing schoolwork. And going back to Crossfit after being off for a month thanks to a sunuvabitching foot injury resulting from said Crossfit.

I've told you about how Crossfit is terrifying. It is. Particularly at 6am because you're barely awake and yet you're forcing your body to exercise well beyond its limits in a loud scary prison-style gym among a sea of ungodly fit people.

But it's also a bit treacherous and the reality is that you can get hurt. Now, I'm not saying I was Call The Attorney hurt, but rather that my enthusiasm for deeeeeeeeeeep walking lunges was perhaps tragically misplaced and in the future I will be extra careful not to get toooooooooooo enthusiastic about my movements lest I hyper extend anything else.

Which is what I did to my big toe back in January. I hyper extended it by lunging like a loon. I have learned that toes do not like to be bent at extreme angles before being properly stretched.

This is a fact noted indelibly on my brains since I just had to spend a month doing nothing. Like - off the feet with one foot elevated whenever possible reciting the RICE methodology except where C is for Cocktail rather than Compression because obviously.

No running. No Crossfit. No wearing my cushionless but beloved Vans or awesome work boots. No excess standing about or walking unless absolutely necessary or in the event of a supremely awesome backcountry ski trip.

Whatever - I lived. And last week I went back to Crossfit during my Paper Writing Week after being off of the stuff for a solid month.

I think it hurt worse to go back to Crossfit after taking a month off than it did to hyper extend my big toe.


I barely moved my arms for two days afterward and didn't even make it to another class last week due to said immobility.


I managed to make it to Crossfit this morning, which was a feat at 6am, but my dedication was met with none other than one of the "Girls" workouts.

They have workouts named after people. I don't know who these people are or why they have horrible workouts named after them. I also don't care, so no reason to tell me. The thing I've come to learn is that any workout with a girl's name, like NICOLE for instance, is awful. It's exhausting, extremely difficult and typically involves doing as many awful somethings as you possibly can in an extensive period of time.

Today we did "Nicole" and the awful somethings were pull-ups. Like, do as many pull-ups as you can in 20 minutes and, oh by the way, when your weakening fingers slide off of the bar and you fall to the ground in a heap because you've lost all strength in your upper body - go for a 400M run and come back and try some more. Repeat until the forever-taking buzzer goes off in 20 minutes.


On the up side, the coach evaluated my pull-ups today and decided that I need to start using a band with less resistance because I was doing my pull-ups "too easily".

Ridiculous. It is simply impossible to ever describe pull-ups as easy. They are the devil's own exercise and I have the muscle-crushing soreness to prove it.

But I am also very self-involved so I will of course be trying this band with less resistance because I want to be able to do pull-ups with the cool kids someday and I think this is the only way to get there. Unless I'm too sore tomorrow to ever lift anything again, much less my own entire body's weight.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

We canceled TV and now I like TV again.

Am I the only one that looks at the monthly cable/satellite/TV bill and immediately bends over to assume the apparently accepted position?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I will bend over NO MORE.

For that - for TV. Not that I'm bending over for other things, but let's try to keep it somewhat clean around here, you big pervs.

As of last Friday, we don't have our massive, all-inclusive, gets all the channels even the movie ones, satellite TV service anymore and, suddenly, I like TV again and it's not just because I'm not paying upwards of $170 a month on the shit.

Yeah. $170 a month. That's ABSURD. I don't spend that much money on effing groceries, people. Like, I have been spending more money putting commercials into my eyeballs than food into my body.

That's just not right. I mean, yes, our grocery bill is sort of absurdly low because so much of it comes from the garden, our neighbors' chickens and fruit trees and the farm/beef/chicken/pork shares BUT STILL - the math could not be done to make the TV bill work and you know I don't do math if I can help it anyway, so that was the final nail in the coffin.

I was forced to do math to justify this rapist TV bill and that alone meant that No More TV.

No more TV of the old-fashioned kind anyway - we still have the Roku and such to stream Netflix and Amazon Instant and all of the other online-y media that we can't live without and that's probably why I like TV again. Suddenly.

One week after canceling traditional TV and I'm all, "Hey! There's so much good shit on TV!" since suddenly I'm not spending all this time scrolling through hundreds of useless channels filled with nothing good or maybe, if I'm lucky, something marginally watchable but usually packed with commercials or with half the screen covered by the in-program network ads whoring their other stupid unwatchable shows and YOU KNOW they're bleeping out all the good parts.

I want the swears, people! And for $170 a month - I want them ALL.

So, now I'm not watching commercials (or even half watching them as I fast forward through them). I'm not watching stupid crap that I barely like just because it's on when I feel like sitting down in front of the tube. I'm not sending good money after bad service and I'm not giving up all kinds of space to the big stupid satellite boxes and remotes and wires and such. I'm also NOT having to fill in all the bleeps with what I assume they're ever so hilariously saying behind the carefully placed bleeps.

No. Just no more of that, thank you.

But I am now faced with a new issue that perhaps some of you can relate to - I'm, at the same time, drawn to and repelled by The Walking Dead and I can't cope effectively without the intrusive commercial breaks.

Since we've been watching it on Netflix like the greedy streamers that we are, I watch this show without any commercial breaks and the fucking show gives me a heart condition. I've had to resort to just getting up and going to the bar to freshen up my drying ice cubes and other such methods of self-imposed commercial breaks because I can't handle how anxious I get with the lurky zombies and the face eating and the Who Is Going To Do What Fucked Up Thing For No Apparent Reasoning that is just all over that show.

Are you like this, too? Does this show make you mental? Do you find yourself waking up every 20 minutes throughout the night having dreamed about zombie cashiers at the grocery store? Have you started noticing crossbows for sale around town? Do you carry a shovel to bed?

Regardless, I'm loving the no-normal TV life we're now leading where, when I decide I'm going to sit in front of the TV for a bit, I can be all, "Hmmm...I feel like watching something that will scare the ever loving crap out of me and then I'm going to watch Drawn Together because I just remembered how awesome that show was and then I'm going to watch a documentary about Alaska because I've always wanted to go there and then I'll do something productive."