Over the past few days, we keep walking down to the bluff that overlooks the creek. It’s so peaceful there. Even though the water is up a little, there is still a soothing sound of water running over granite rocks. Add to that the sounds of a happy dog bounding through fallen leaves and the occasional bee flying by to get a drink, and it seems like the perfect place to have 50 feet from the back porch of the house. We plan to put a bench out there in the near future so that we can just sit and daydream together and maybe decide once and for all where the house will go.
My walk down there today started out as a simple pollen feeder check. Even though we have candy boards on all but two hives (one has lots of honey, the other we apparently overlooked), the bees are feeding heavily on the pollen and powdered sugar mix. On just one of feeder, they consumed 2 cups of mixture in an afternoon a couple of days ago. I love listening to their contented hum, which is really the main reason I wandered down there this afternoon. I took this picture, and the one above, and then the camera died.
Sometimes a dead battery is a good thing, because I wasn’t ready to go back inside and just meandered along the creek bank for a while and took in the beauty of my surroundings. Even though I called the dog, she kept going to all the places she expected me to be and therefore never found me. Once we reunited at the lower apiary, we walked that loop together and just had fun exploring.
While organizing the office feels only a little less overwhelming than before, the impromptu walk was restorative. Now I just need to narrow my focus to one stack or box of stuff at a time instead of staring at the chaos created when we moved clutter in here so that we could install the laminate flooring in the living room. Maybe I’ll take just one more short break in the now very tidy living room before I dive in……
Tomorrow is the last day of the semester and a student holiday, so today is a day free from writing lesson plans or updating grades and I finally have time to blog. Even better, this is the first year since I started teaching IB that I don’t go into winter break with 40+ hours of grading to do, so it will actually be a break. As with all new jobs, this one has brought good things along with challenges. I find myself working more hours than last year, but that is probably more because I am teaching 9th grade for the first time in 7 years and am pretty much starting from scratch with planning what to teach them. But on to the really good news….
Next semester, Hubby will be living full time at the farm and teaching in Georgia. We are so excited, albeit a little overwhelmed with getting the house ready to sell and downsizing from 2400 to 760 square feet! Eventually we’ll have a house half-way between the two sizes, but this stage of moving is making us think even harder than before about what we want to keep and what is simply clutter. We already know that the new house will not have a dining room as in the past 16 years, we’ve used the dining room about 4 times a year — well, to eat in at least. The rest of the time it became a junk-magnet.
Back to Hubby’s new job. He’ll be working at a school that is starting up a brand new JROTC program, which is incredibly exciting. He did this with his first school, so we know he can be very successful with it. His new school just added a new CATE (Career and Technology Education) wing, so he will be moving into brand new classrooms designed with JROTC in mind. They even asked him what color markings he wants on the floor of the rifle range. And yes, he has a designated space for the rifle team. I already envision us back at nationals!
We have been able to make a lot of progress at the farm this fall with me being here to stay on top of the most important things. We are going into winter with strong hives and looking forward to a good spring. We didn’t pull any honey this year because we have no room to extract here and didn’t want to haul honey supers back to South Carolina, so almost all of the hives have plenty of resources. When it warms up next week, I’ll add candy boards to hives that need them. The relatively wet summer set the hives up for success and we did not experience any robbing, unlike last year. Right now, I have two syrup feeders and 3 pollen/powdered sugar feeders out and all are busy, even though it’s not quite 60 degrees out.
Our big winter break project will be the workshop. We were supposed to build it Memorial Day weekend, then over summer, then Thanksgiving weekend — the weather got in the way of those plans over the holiday weekends and getting the mobile home set up got in the way in summer. It can’t wait any longer as we need somewhere to put all the stuff that’s currently in the garage as soon as the house sells. Plus, as every beekeeper knows, winter is when the building and repair of hive equipment needs to happen. I’ll be posting pictures of the build over the next couple of weeks.
Well, Hubby will be showing up next weekend with another load of miscellaneous stuff, so I need to find homes for what’s in the plastic totes that I haven’t emptied yet as there’s no room in the office to put even one more box! He’ll also be showing up with his clothes, so I have to stop using his closet as my overflow closet and decide what to donate to Goodwill! I still can’t believe how lucky we are to call this place home. Even on the exhausting days, life is good!
Hubby here: I’ve been long in getting around to blogging here myself, as life seems to be one challenge after another. Somewhere I read once that you must experience the rain in order to enjoy the sunshine. I feel when life rains on you, put on a rain jacket! I can see the sunshine of life on the farm, but currently I’m a city slicker hoping to get everything boxed and moved in time along with dealing with a multitude of potential buyers for all the “downsize” items. While I’m excited to move to a new chapter in life, as I look out the office window I can’t help feel a sense of depression to leave all the hard work behind that we have put in over the last 15 years here. The Magnolia tree that was shorter than the Missus when we arrived that is now nearly 45′ high; the garden swing that we built to enjoy the southern summer evenings; irrigation sytems, etc. etc. But I do enjoy the challenge of creating things and this move will give me more than enough challenges. A life in the military moved me every 18-24 months for over 20 years. This has been the longest I have ever lived anywhere my entire life. Even as a child we moved several times. But like the trees on our farm, as time goes on, I simply want to grow my roots deeper every day, enjoy the sunshine with its country beauty and when necessary sway in the moment when the storms of life pass by us. Well it’s time to fill more boxes and curse the fact that our city house has two floors to walk up and down to. Five days and counting to becoming a beekeeper and farmer again.