Monday, June 18, 2018

A little more work on the place while we recuperate.

We were both off sick this week. Crystal got a bit done here and there. .... one thing was the mailbox.

Today started with Macha Tea

Yesterday, I got a little bored and asked Crys to cut my hair.

Over the last couple days we got some rare rain. It made some interesting marks on the floor of the greenhouse and then when the sun came out it made some more.

Today we both got some stuff. I got a new push mower to replace the one I trashed mowing rocks and weeds,

And Crys got some dirt

Then we watered the gardens and stuff. :D

All in all it was a good day. We even got some soaking in at Hooper Pool.

Life is good.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A few days off

Doings around the place this week:

We started a Tony Horton dietbet. It's a thingy where you pay a few bucks and agree to lose 4% of your body weight. 

Of course I got ill in ways I usually don't immediately after the original weigh in. BONUS!!!! I'm already almost there. :D 

This led to me calling in sick yesterday and today, actually I went in yesterday morning but things took a bit of a ..... turn...... on the way in. Now I'm debating on if I should take off more time or not. I guess giving them back an entire year of sick leave at retirement isn't the smartest thing anyone ever did......

So we're chilling in the house. The smoke from the fires in Durango are making life a bit smaller. With really bad colds we're trying to not go outside too much and punish the lungs even more. And it gets a bit hot..... But today is beautiful and we might take a walk before the cloud moves in.

I start my new shift at work next week, noon to 8 PM and Tuesday to Saturday. I think I'll like it. It's certainly a different way to spend my last year and a half at work. 

I'm doing some shopping while I'm not moving around much. The solar powered exhaust vent for the greenhouse is on the way and Crys and I are planning a low level bathroom renovation before our company arrives. I ordered the new one piece toilet this morning. Damn there are a lot of choices for toilets.......

No pics just yet. We'll have to see what we get up to. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sunny, smoky Saturday

It's a smoky Saturday here. There are fires burning somewhere to the west and it's drifting up, high overhead. I guess the nice thing is that it's up high, and not down here in my lungs.

Crys went to her fiber thingy today and I decided to see what I might be able to get done around the place. I actually kinda surprised myself. Both Crys and I have a cold right now, it's not the most fun thing to beat yourself up when sick, but when else are you going to get to it? :D

So I worked mostly on the greenhouse today. Got a little work done in my shed as well but that's just because it dovetailed with the other bits.

I kept having to walk around this lazy ass, who has decided that sleeping under the rubarb is the best summer chill place ever.

I got the sides put on the entryway and the door put on today. Wasn't really sure how I was going to do it, but it kinda fell into place.

I did the sides first, lots of weird cuts and little support pieces to make sure our crazy winds don't tear the thing apart.

And then I had to shim the heck out of the handle side of the door. For some reason it had decided to bow out in the middle. No big. As long as there are plenty of shims everything comes out all right. :D

Between getting the side framed and the door on I decided it was time to clean up the job site. That's where I ended up hauling and tidying the shed a bit as well. MAN a lot of stuff collects while you're working on something like this! But now all the detritus is bagged for the dump, the good stuff is categorized and put away and the tools are in their proper places.

The fun part is waiting for the girl to get home while I have a nice beer and relax.

She has no idea that I got this far today. :D

Crys took this one while out for a walk yesterday. It sums up the place pretty well, and I like how it looks like a painting.

We had a half inch of rain last week and the land is making all the use of it that it can. We're watering our newly planted trees as best we can and hoping they make it through the dry spell. Crys is off to a fiber show in Fort Garland today, so I'm looking for something to get into.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

It's starting to get busy around here.

We had about a week off from company. Of course our regular family folks in the valley come by and hang out, so it's often fun around here even if no one is in from out of town.

We're still working on things, like this week, Crys brought home a tree for us to plant,

And some of the more "interesting" summer visitors are starting to show up as well,

But we still find some time to relax in the middle of our busyness

There's more we've gotten up to, I'll have to take some pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Working towards summer

We've had visitors this week, our friend Aleina and our god daughter Ophelia. We love those guys, and they're lots of fun to have around. Still, on Sunday of the long weekend we had to get some stuff done. It was time to fit the polycarbonate onto the roof of the entryway for the greenhouse. I manage to do a little bit at a time. Next I think I'll work on some vents as it was 134 degrees in there on Sunday. That's a little warm I think.

While I was working on that Crystal decided that she needed to paint the mailbox. I've wanted that mailbox painted since I put up the post in '98. (That was a wife-time ago). Other things we got done: dropped of Papo's truck for the new motor. Midnight Customs will also check the clutch and tranny and safety stuff like the suspension. We also went to Caitlin's Greenhouse and got some plants for Crystal's outside garden.

Today I got a little bit bored and moved an old car that's in the way of our firewood pile. It was kinda fun. :D I got roped up, moved it 10 or 15 feet, cranked the steering wheel and bungied it in place. Then I'd move another 10 or 15 feet and repeat. I only had to go a 1/4 mile and around a curve and then back it in.

Piece of cake.

It's super dry here. We keep hoping for some rain.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Buckfast bees.

And there they are. Our new bees arrived on Tuesday evening. We got them from R Weaver Apiarys in Texas. who uses 2 day air with UPS to get them to you in good condition. And good condition it was. Generally you should be pretty please with just a hundred or so bees that died during the trip, and you can see in the pic that only about 20 are there on the bottom. Shippers used to use a can of liquid syrup in the top of the bee box to ship, but current shipping regulations prohibit that (it's messy) so they use that sugar you see in the bottom. It seems to work just fine. I think we'll hold onto the bee box just in case I end up finding a swarm somewhere.

That's a 3 pound package of bees with a mated and marked Buckfast Queen. This will be our 4th try at hiving. We've had a number of episodes of this, all ending with an empty hive. The first try was 2 hives with Carnolian and Italian bees, one in each hive box. The wind blew them over even though they were staked and strapped down.

We moved the hives, but the damage was kinda done at that point.

Then we tried some "Valley Survivors" from a local bee keeper. They didn't over winter. Probably because they swarmed in July, taking most of the stores with them and leaving the bees that stayed with a deficit.

Next was a volunteer hive that moved into the empty boxes, they didn't move in fast enough to build enough winter stores and didn't make it either.

Last year we tried more Italians from Murdocks in Salida. I think the queen died early and I wasn't a good enough bee keeper to figure it out (hence the marked queen this time around).

My friend at work, the mechanic, (Brad) has been a bee keeper for much of his life and he's had the same struggles here in the valley. Last year he tried these Buckfast bees and they overwintered and did just fine. Didn't swarm either. They were so productive that this year he just ordered another queen and is splitting the hives so he'll have 2.

We'll hope for that as well. 2 seems like a pretty good number to go for, especially with the queens starting in different years. Buckfast queens seem to be productive for about 2 years and you then change them out.

So we'll see how they do. The morning after hiving them the hive was buzzy and busy. We'll keep feeding them starter sugar water and pollen packs for a couple weeks to a month then add another big super for them to keep building into. Next Tuesday we'll open the hive and see how they're doing. We'll practice more hands-on management this time around. We paid about twice as much for this hive, I'm really hoping it turns out well.