Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Don't be expecting coherence in this post is all I'm saying.

Or rather, Bubba skied and I snowboarded. I can't do the skiing. And I haven't figured out an easy way to say that we went to snow and he skied and I snowboarded without making it sound all over-specific and forever-taking, so I just always say that we're going skiing or we went skiing or, well, you get it.

I'm over-thinking this semantics thing as always and you're used to it.

NOT THE POINT - we saw snow.

And we rode it using our preferred shape of board(s).


I don't know whether it's the extreme dire horrible depressing alarming sad lack of snow in Tahoe or my own newly developed endurance and pain tolerance thanks to the leg-eating mountain biking, but I didn't take a rest day for the first time in EVER.

Like, usually when we go on these week-long ski trips, I ride for a day or two, take a day off and then ride a day or two more before we blow town. And those final days are usually halvsies because I can't summon the physical strength or stuff my body with enough Advil to keep myself upright on the board long enough to enjoy myself.

Not this year though!

I mean, yes, I was still slow as fuck and not doing anything that a pro rider (or any decent rider) would consider ambitious or strenuous, but I did go out five days in a row, ride nearly the entire mountain in the "Biggest Skiing in America" (and they aren't kidding - Big Sky fucking massive) and did so with a modicum of grace and dignity and at speeds imperceptibly faster than previous years.

So yay for that.

Also, there was Cards Against Humanity with favorite friends, emptying of the liquor cabinet, soaking in hot tubs, woodsy snowy walks with the dog, birthday whisky flights for Bubba and lots of poor behavior and butt bruises.

See for yourself...

My last semester is underway and OH DAMN THAT WAS FAST
I'm probably not going to stop freaking out about how fast this whole going-back-to-school thing has gone by until I graduate in May, at which time I'll be freaking out about how I need to get a job or something similarly grown up and scary, so just get used to either reading it or ignoring it.

If you're ignoring it, skip to the next section now. Bye!

Yeah, so my first day of class was yesterday and, um, it was kinda the sweetest thing ever. Sweet and also sorta sad, which people call bittersweet but since that sounds cliche, I'm just saying that it was sweet and sad. Like sweet and sour but, well, not.

This makes no sense! Yay! It's a Finny post!

So, you know how you would go back to school in the fall when you were a kid and there'd be happy reunions with teachers and friends that you hadn't seen all summer because your mom wouldn't drive you all over creation to see that one friend whose family lived in the boondocks or because your best friend went to camp or whatever other tragic childhood things befell little friendships? But then you'd see those friends on the first day and it'd be all "HOW WAS YOUR SUMMER?" and "I missed you!" and "Want to grab lunch and maybe we'll get beers because WHY NOT it's a special occasion since I haven't seen you in four weeks?"

Well, it was like that and it was adorable and lovely and sweet and I didn't expect it, so it was even extra special and sweet and now I'm getting all verklempt and sappy and I hate to read that kind of shit, but there it is.

I - me - the girl who was weird and unknown and wearing shiny new red rain boots to work on the muddy farm with her style-y haircut just a scant year and half ago, has made friends that greet with hugs and enthusiastic lunch-with-beers invites and instructors that know it's my last semester so don't even ask whether I've fulfilled the prereqs for their classes and, well, it's nice as hell.

And in a few months I'm going to be sad - really sad - to go.

Fucking love it here.

Again - yay for Awesome Steve.
All was going, like, SUPER well with the beehive before we left for Montana. The girls had put up a super (box) of honey for their winter, they were having babies, foraging, hiding out taking good care of their queen, escorting intruders out of their winter den successfully - ALL WAS WELL.

I had even begun to entertain the idea that me - the most failingest of beekeepers - had actually successfully overwintered a hive of bees and this year was going to FINALLY be the year for honey and YAY.

Oh my delusion. It knows no bounds.

But about the bees pre-vacation - In addition to the overall supreme health and happiness of the hive, I even saw the queen every time I checked the hive. Girlfriend was on the job and darling to boot (she crawled up on my hand a few times and I imagined she was saying HI because I'm sappy like that).

Then we went to Montana.

When we got home, all of the bees were dead except the mighty queen.


Like, the bottom of the hive was covered with tiny fuzzy sad little bodies and there was a giant mass grave of dead girls around the hive.

The queen, in all of her regal poise, wandered the frames of capped honey and abandoned brood just...lost.

She again crawled up onto my hand, searched around for a clue and flew away briefly - returning to my palm after only a minute or two investigating the nearby airspace for a reason. A cause. Some explanation as to why her mighty colony of hard-working, gentle, productive bees had up and died out of absolutely fucking nowhere.

The waterer was still half full. There weren't any solid signs of invasion, infestation or disease in the hive itself. The weather had been warm, but not hot, and definitely not too cold. They had plenty of food stored away.

I'll tell ya - I nearly cried.

However, in lieu of crying like a puss, I let the Boss Lady crawl back into her empty (albeit full of honey) hive, collected my best and favorite swears and flipped off the sky.

Because I'm a grown up.

Then I read through some of my beekeeping books which, as usual, offered no helpful guidance, and then emailed Awesome Steve because obviously.

Awesome Steve, after reading my mini soap opera synopsis of events, asked whether anyone had been tenting for termites nearby.

WHY YES THEY HAVE. There are fugly tents all over the damn place right now.


Apparently he's lost 10 hives to nearby fumigation this year. TEN, PEOPLE. That's 600,000 bees - dead. That's enough bees to pollinate 10 acres of apple trees or five acres of almonds or, or, or...I'm not going to get all statistics and alarmist armageddon bullshit on you, but that's fucking bad.

And terribly, heart-crushingly, soul-smashingly fucking sad.

I'm sad about it.

Alas, he thinks that's probably the cause of my hive die off because of the sudden and complete death of all bees except the one who doesn't leave the hive - the queen.

So now what?

Well, that's a good question. I asked it myself, to myself like a crazy person and to Bubba like a sort of crazy person, and you know what we all said? Resoundingly even?

Welp, time to get another package of bees then.

Yep. Even with no free time to spare, a question as to where we'll live in a few months when I finish school and a history of beekeeping tragedies - I'm getting a new colony of bees. Steve put me down for a package and gave me explicit instructions about what I need to do to prep the hive for their arrival.

There are blowtorches involved, you should know.

The upside, which thankfully exists because otherwise WHOA NELLY REFILL THE LIQUOR CABINET, is that the top super full of capped honey is now MINE ALL MINE.

So, I'll be harvesting 10 full, bright, gorgeous frames of wildflower honey this weekend while trying not to cry about all of my lost girls.

Mostly, I'll just be swearing and drunk. So, normal for a Saturday I guess.

Cheers to you, ladies.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

More PING, less sense-making

Since the random fashion by which I've been attending to this blog is being received fairly well, I'm going to keep rolling with it since the time has not yet come when I can form a coherent post on a single subject.

Deep breath.

Random thing #1: Skiing is fucking happening

You may not be aware of the dire lack of snow in Lake Tahoe and California in general but let me assure that it is indeed DIRE AS FUCK.

Not even close in the DIRE AS FUCK department

Like, we have had our season passes since, like, June and we haven't skied a single day. We haven't even been tempted to go ski a single day because we like our bodies and ski equipment in its mostly functional condition and throwing our bodies and equipment down any ski run in Tahoe right now would render all of our warranties and well-being completely null.

We'd die, is what I'm saying. And fuck our gear up to the point of replacement. Which is, no.

So, since we can't ski here, we're going to the only place of reliable snowfall with mountains in this great country of ours and that is Montana.

Glorious, snowy, cold, We're Actually Having A Proper Winter, Montana.

We're leaving our absurd busy schedules, life complications, unanswered emails and untended responsibilities to drive for two days so that we can experience the activity known as skiing and snowboarding on actual naturally fallen snow.

Skiing is fucking happening and I am at the point that I don't care that we have to drive almost to Canada for it.

Random thing #2: I'm going back to the podiatrist and I'm bringing my aluminum bat
If only I had an aluminum bat.

I've been telling Bubba for 14 years that my preferred weapon of self-protection is an aluminum bat, even though I have the world's shittiest eye-hand coordination, and yet still I have not received one for any gift giving occasion.

Which is too bad because I feel like that may be the only way to keep the podiatrist from mishandling my feet when I show up tomorrow to be fitted for my orthopedic I'm Old As Fuck insoles.

As in, he grabs my feet haphazardly and PING I knock his block off.

NO! You do not just grab a person's feet when you know them to have bone spurs and arthritis. NO! PING AGAIN FOR GOOD MEASURE.

So we'll see how that goes.

Until then, they're staying swaddled in down and CRAZY.

Random thing #3: It's go time. Like, for reals.
Remember how almost 2 years ago I was all, Hey! I quit my job and am getting a horticulture degree!?

Yeah, you remember.

Well, the last semester of that degree begins in less than two weeks and the graduation date is only a scant 4 1/2 months away which is, handily, the same time that I'll need to be starting a job in this new field and WHOA the flying time is a bit freaky.

So, I've written up cover letters and customized resumes for a handpicked number of places I'd like to work and now I'm just sitting on them like some kind of nervous hen, waiting for them to hatch into viable jobs without my having to actually send them out into the real world where they may receive nothing but rejection, or worse, no response at all.

That's right, folks, I've done the research to find places I want to work, sourced respectable references, written up cover letters, customized resumes and I'm sitting here not sending them out because WHAT IF NOTHING HAPPENS.

Do you like the self-fulfilling prophecy I've created? It's a goodie.

I imagine I'll freak out about this a lot while we're driving for two days each way to Montana, where I won't be able to do a damn thing about it from the passenger seat of the truck, and then come home and, before unpacking a single thing or even letting the dog out of the truck, will send all the resumes out in a rage of WHAT IS MY FUCKING PROBLEM SOMETIMES.

Yes. That ought to do it.

Random thing #4: I know I owe you guys an explanation about the not-being-a-farmer thing, but I'm not there yet. Soon? 
Yeah, soon.

Meanwhile, enjoy this perfect basil plant that I grew.