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Mysterious times

As spring arrived – after the late March refreeze that killed my pear blossoms, fig leaves, orange stems and fooled the usually infallible pecan trees – these strange stalks pushed up. I must have planted SOMETHING in this bed. I have irises, crinum lilies, gloriosa lilies, stokesias and agapanthas in this bed. And now I have these odd, unidentified bulbs. They appear to be a walking variety. I like them very much. They are strange, unique and uncommon.

My bee hive has gone from a feeble, anemic cluster of bees occupying a brood box but lacking brood cells, larvae, pollen stores and honey. As last summer closed, I was uncertain if the hive would survive. But, I relocated them to a smaller box – and I fed them. A lot. And they rebounded. The colony is quite robust and active. I added a second super for honey storage and a green drone frame to try and mitigate varroa mite reproduction. And today, it is possible that the hive split and part of the colony swarmed away.

They didn’t go far. As I walked out to check on the newer, feral, cut-out colony I installed Saturday, I kept hearing bees zinging past me is all directions. I looked down and found a puddle of bees on the ground.

I was determined to catch this swarm and relocate them into a new box. I had just bought a Nuk. It’s not yet painted . I swabbed the inside with lemongrass extract and swept the bees into the hive. They marched right in.

I found the queen in a ball of attendants still in the grass and dropped her in the top of the box. Now I have three hives. And the honey is starting to flow. Time to upgrade to deep brood boxes. Dadant is going to get all my extra money this month.

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Serenity

With the building of this house, it is the first time in my life I’ve had a pretty bathroom. I have a sumptuous bathroom with a truly divine tub. I designed the tub and asked that the back wall be smooth finished so that I could add a large stencil to the wall. I had been looking at stencil on this Etsy site. I’ve had a large chrysanthemum rolled up in a tub for three years. Two weekends ago I painted the bathroom. I’ve had the paint chip [Carolina skies] taped to the wall for more than two years. I was very pleased with the paint – so pleased that I intend to paint the whole bedroom the same color.  It is serene and peaceful. Today, I added the stencil in a shimmery silver metallic paint by Benjamin Moore.

before painting after painting

taped stencil painted stencil

Finished stencil

Article

Organizing

My butlers’ pantry is one of the absolute high points of this home. It allows me to store almost everything regarding the house with the exception of the Christmas tree and the ornaments. It allows me to keep clean and clear kitchen counters. It also allows me to reach items that I use frequently with out having to get down into the bottom turnstile cabinets. I still have storage space int he kitchen but I feel the empty cabinets in the kitchen are for things I will use rarely, fo to get into them, I need a step ladder. The pantry affords easy reach and easy return.
Pantry door

Pantry leftPantry right

Pantry canning Pantry appliances Pantry glassware

Pantry food Pantry crafts

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Succulents

There are certain tasks around Biddan Ridge I simply avoid. These tasks mock me, taunt me and ultimately annoy me to the point I Must. Do. Them. First. Addressing the long neglected succulent patio garden has been at the top of the list followed closely by defining and weeding the blackberry stand. Well, the succulents won the coin toss today. I may not have saved everyone; there may still be loss but  I am disinclined to go buy new succulents until I can prove that I can take care of the ones I have. They were doing so well at the Icky House – oddly. It may be that they were one of my few points of light while renting that horrid, icky place. It still churns my stomach that I was there four years. Bedragled succulentsIronic then that I’ve been here in my new dream home and I managed to smite most of my beautiful succulents by simply never watering them and setting their display area out of the rain. I intend to rectify this. I bought an additional hose, so I can now get a garden hose onto the patio. I also bought a cheap-o watering can. No excuses. Now let’s pray that the poor babies recover. They got extra love and repotting with good soil and plenty of watering.

Succulents repottedSucculent display