bees!

My bee package has arrived!! Let the honey production begin! I picked up my bee package yesterday afternoon, which I must admit was FAR quieter than I expected. They were fairly silent in fact. With 3,000 bees I guess I was expecting some sort of pulse-raising humming going on. But it was cooler than it has been, and windy, and I think all the bees (including the 20 or so on the outside of the package for some reason) were all clinging together in a massive ball for dear life.

Well so began the rest of my action packed weekend. After picking up my bees, I drove the 2 hours up to my house (with the windows open the whole way I might add… didn’t want any of those bees on the outside to get too comfortable and start flying around my head while I was driving on the highway. Met my dad at my house and we got to work installing the electric fence netting that I had ordered from here (http://www.premier1supplies.com/) and got the hive prepared and set up. Sunday was the big install, which wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it might be. The bees were relatively calm and didn’t seem to mind me pouring them into their new hive. As extra bear protections, I also strapped down the hive so let’s hope Yogi keeps away!

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england / wales

So, my chicks have been home for about a week and I’ve already taken off for a week and a half to pay my boyfriend LJ a visit (bad chick mama! Although LJ did buy me the chicken workshop as a Christmas present, so I’m sure the ladies will understand)!  I knew that I would be taking this week out in advance, however, and my parents so graciously offered to handle chicken duty for while I was away.

Well it turned out to be quite an exciting eventful trip!  LJ had planned out an excellent week of hiking in stunning Snowdonia National Park in Wales (LJ is from England and a fellow lover of hiking and the outdoors.  We actually met while doing a thru hike of the Appalachian trail a few years back which I wrote about here http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=10009) which was incredible.  Lots of rain and fog (even snow at some high peaks), craggy rocks and walks through sheep pastures (and many, many lamb photos taken by yours truly).  And most exciting of all, we became engaged during our trip!  And so the nobohomestead will soon be one more..  🙂 Though to be fair, LJ has always been there creating the nobohomestead with me from the beginning. A shared dream and I can’t wait to see where it will take us!

birds

around the water cooler

Well the little chickies have settled into their new temporary home (aka the cardboard box in the back room with a heat lamp).  They made the long trip back from New York in the shoe box safely.  When I checked on them during the trip (couldn’t help myself!), they were all nestled up together sleeping in the box.  Three little different colored balls of fluff.

They all seem to be settling in well… at first I don’t think they knew what to make of the place but they soon discovered where the food and water was and promptly passed out face down in their pine shavings.  I do have to say I’ve surprised myself by being such a nosy adoptive-mother.  I keep trying to creep into the back room where their box is just to take a peek and see what they are up to.  But they’re no fools… they catch me every time!

kitchen DIY

before

during

after

Being a new homeowner, there’s a whole list of fun projects floating around in my head that I’d eventually like to tackle.  And of course, then there is reality, where you actually need to finance said projects and attempt to rank these many ideas in order of importance and the free time that you have to work on them.  Now that spring is here, I’m ready to dig in (figuratively and literally) on some of the things I’ve been hoping to get done.  Up until now, I’ve only done a few maintenance fixes that needed to be taken care of- minor septic repair, replacing some rotting wood on the exterior and some clearing up of leftover materials around the shed.

Last weekend, my (very handy with home repair jobs!) friend Betsy came up with my to teach me how to tile my kitchen backsplash (as it was bare).  It turned out to be a VERY long couple days of working flat out with a couple of hiccups (couldn’t fnd enough sheets of the same tile at home depot so had to mix and matched patterns and ‘create’ our own design, backboard wasn’t plywood like we had originally thought, and tiles ended up being different thicknesses so we had to grout everything by hand mostly).  Betsy was SUCH a great sport (particularly being nearly 5 months pregnant!) and we got it done in the end.  Just barely.  These things always take longer than you’d think, don’t they?  Anyways, I’m very please with the outcome (see picture) and so far it has stayed up on the wall- so that’s always a good sign!

Aside from that, am nearly finished building my beehive!!  All the chambers are made and the painting is done.  I’ve finished all my framed for the supers, but still have 20 frames to complete for the broad chambers… piece by piece it’s getting there.  Next week will actually be my last session of bee school so that’s exciting and slightly terrifying all at the same time.  Am I really coming home with 3,000 bees in a few weeks?! (Mostly exciting!)

AND, as if that weren’t all exciting enough, this is the weekend of the chickens!  So I suppose when it rains, it pours.  But I am so excited to finally be diving into all of these projects that I have thought about for so long.  I can’t wait to meet the members of my first flock and I hope that I’ll be able to keep them alive and happy!  I head back over to Cold Antler Farm on Saturday to learn all about chickens and meet my new girls!