Feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with all that's been going on around here lately, I've carved some time out of this afternoon to do some day dreaming. As they often do, my thoughts floated off to the "when we live in Vermont full time" neighborhood.
I've given thought to keeping bees. I've even taken a few workshops about bee keeping and apitherapy at various NOFA-VT conferences.
The tiny bee is part of the hardworking team of critters that help keep our natural world carefully balanced. Like so many other species, they are having a very hard time. You can read about colony collapse and why it matters to everyone here. Here's a good read about some solutions to the problem. (Thank you Gretta, for sending these sources my way).
A few weeks ago, I watched this video, "Revive the Hive with The Beez Kneez Honey House" and donated some money to the Kickstarter project because it just plain old made me happy. (And maybe the crazy gals in antennae reminded me of my own girls).
There would be a learning curve for me, and start up expenses, and an electric fence to keep out the bears...but I think I would like to lend the bees a hand.
Thoughts? Have you kept bees? Know someone who has? Any advice? Cautions? Fun stories? Please leave a comment! Thanks. xo
Vermont Life magazine has shown up in my mailbox every month for decades, way before we found ourbit of earth. No matter where I was actually living at the time, the pages would transport me to the hills and valleys of my beloved state, and remind me of why I longed to live there "someday". Even now, as a part time Vermonter, the pages make me happy when my feet are not in the state.
In the "cooking in season" section of this year's spring issue, Gretta and I were thrilled to find an article about BEETS. Adapted from chef Jeff Egan, kitchen manager for Hunger Mt. Co-op in Montpelier, this recipe for Roasted Beet and Wheat Berry Salad caught our attention.
I made a batch today, and the many different flavors and textures in this dish are sure to keep this salad on the favorites list in the Reed kitchen. There's a link to the recipe here. There's also a recipe for "Pretty in Pink Pancakes" that has me very intrigued.
Even as we get antsy to plant seeds in trays on the windowsills here, the sturdy and dependable root veggies help tide us over. Someday, when our root cellar in Vermont is fully functional and our road is so mired in Mud Season that we won't be able to navigate it, we'll try those Pretty in Pink Pancakes...with a glug or two of Vermont maple syrup poured over the top.
This past weekend, with Batman tucked snug in his bed, Gretta and I took some old furniture out into the sunny driveway and scrubbed it down. Well, really, Gretta did the scrubbing. The blue bookshelf had been in the kitchen, holding the KitchenAid, some big bowls, the coffee maker...that sort of thing. The purple table had been in Hannah and Gretta's room when they shared space way back when. The two bedside tables were in the master bedroom, not sure what that color choice was all about, but those were different times. All well used and banged up, they needed a freshening to compliment the beautiful new colors that are floating around our home.
I bought a gallon of "Advance" Benjamin Moore paint in satin finish. Honestly, I was not super impressed with it. It promised an oil type finish, with water clean up. Meh. Next time I'll stick to the more affordable paint.
I tried to pick a color that would go well with all the rooms the furniture would end up in, and I'm delighted with the Shaker Gray 1594 that I chose. Here in the newly Wedgewood Gray kitchen, it looks handsome with our maple Shaker style cupboards. Once it has dried thoroughly, I'll put all my carefully culled cookbooks within easy reach of the kitchen island. All that other stuff will be stowed behind closed doors.
Here is one of the nightstands, in our Misted Green bedroom, complete with new drawer pulls.
I'm always amazed at how quickly colors change according to the light. Compare this to the first photo above...it's hard to imagine they are the same gray!
This little table is in the Mesquite room (which looks a whole lot like the Misted Green this afternoon, but they are actually different).
Batman continues to heal. Yesterday was a two steps forward one step back kind of day, but his doctor said he might have a few of those. Spring approaches, house work continues and our dreams are getting closer to reality. Patience, deep breathing and hope...that's where it's at these days.
We are more than 48 hours out from Batman's surgery and so I thought I'd give you a brief update.
He's been up and about a few times, and this morning I caught him watching The Squawk Box on TV for details on the market. Sheesh. I made him hand over the remote.
He's resting a lot, and still a bit weary from the anesthesia and pain meds. All the snow has slowed everybody down around here, and it's been great weather for napping. Crossed fingers...still no trace of vertigo!
Gretta has been a cheering presence and Hannah will join us for dinner tonight. Stewart and Lindsey have checked in from afar.
And the request, dear readers? Batman will undergo some surgery tomorrow and we need your good thoughts and prayers. He will be OK, it's just going to be a little scary. We'll fill you in tomorrow. Many thanks, friends. xo
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