Category Archives: Beekeeping

And now that September is almost gone!

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As you can tell from my lack of blogging, September has been busy. I’ve done 4 babies this month. We started another year of homeschooling. This is our first “official” year as Gabrielle is registered in Kindergarten through the homeschooling program at the school.IMG_0209

For our first day of school, we made a time capsule, to be opened on the last day of school. She has goals for this year. She wants to learn how to climb trees, read and write, and finally, she wants to learn every bone in the human body. Ya know, nothing lofty for an almost-five-year old.IMG_0216

This is our first day of “school” with the Spring Leaves program at Pender Elementary school. I’d say we are on the right track! A sunny beach day, really it doesn’t get better.IMG_0221 IMG_0606

Because kindergarten is mostly about games, we play lots of games. For reading, we obviously use books, we use the game like the one above. And I picked up a sight-word Bingo game. And we do lots of letter practice by writing notes and signs. For math, I picked up a Saxon math curriculum from another homeschooling mama who was getting rid of it. It’s a bit advanced for her yet and since we want to keep everything light and fun, we do a lot of playing with cuisinaire rods.

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We extracted honey, with another batch coming. It’s delicious. Different than last year. I found last year’s batch quite dark, and the year before, quite light. This year you can taste a burst of flowers at the end. It’s divine!

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I got to be involved in a Doula Get-together. Past clients brought their babies to the park and we ate snacks and got to visit. It was so wonderful to see these families. They are so so dear to my heart and I felt very blessed to be invited into their lives through such a big transition. Thank you for coming friends.

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And then just because I have permission, here are some beautiful babies that have come this month. Oh aren’t they squishy delicious?

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Happy Autumn!

Bug Crazy!

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Maybe I started it. Maybe I am the one to blame.

Gabrielle has been capturing bugs and keeping them in containers for a few months now. Imagine my horror when the earwigs were still alive after 3 weeks of kind captivity, only to find out that they can live for 3-5 years!

But I mean, they say that kids learn by example. And I do keep approximately 70,000-100,000 bugs in a box. Outside.

Anyway Brie’s fascination with bugs didn’t stop with keeping them herself. She heard about the Bug Zoo and it was all over.

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We had to wait until the opportune moment. We had to wait until we had a day where there was something else we had to go into town for, that she wouldn’t want to do. I know! Vaccinations!

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The Bug Zoo became a bargaining chip and it worked well.

My mom also came to visit recently and she overcame any hesitation and suited up with me to go into the beehive.

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The funny thing about taking a picture of people with bee suits on, it really could be of anyone.

Happy June-ing!

The Summer Scramble

IMG_20150603_220752We’ve been scrambling to keep up with the changing seasons. I moved the cushions down to the sailboat and realized it needs a good scrub before we venture out. Marc is madly using every spare second to work on the canoe. And the babies do not stop coming. The garden is growing into a luscious forest of veggies and weeds. And we remember to breathe. Sometimes. IMG_20150528_065743 IMG_20150528_065716

I’m working on a knitting project that I haven’t had the courage to do until now. I’m knitting a cowichan sweater. I had great visions, measured carefully, borrowed a pattern, was gifted some yarn and bought a little more. And after all that planning, it appears that it will fit Gabrielle nicely. Not me.

And I’m remembering to breathe.IMG_20150527_124818 IMG_20150523_163223

We are sneaking in visits with friends and family and scurrying out to the beach as much as possible. It’s so hard to fit it on all in, with the glorious weather, and the beautiful surroundings. So we feel a bit rushed to do all of our enjoying and all of our chores and just to do everything!

And then we breathe.

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And sometimes, there are dinosaurs on the workbench.IMG_8076

Actually I find this stage fascinating. Very obsessive. One moment, everything is about bugs and catching bugs and housing bugs and identifying bugs. And then the next minute, though the bugs are not completely abandoned, we have switched to dinosaurs. If one tried to keep up by buying toys for every interest, we would be overrun. But let’s admit it, we are overrun.

My hashtag here would be: Super Attentive Parents.

And then I write a blog and remember I should be breathing.IMG_8058 IMG_8056 IMG_8051 IMG_8048 IMG_8044 IMG_8039

It’s been so dry and hot for June. I love it. This is totally my favourite weather, and the bees are thriving on it as well. I picked up a super (honey box)  yesterday to check the box below for brood (babies) and found myself in a conundrum. The box was so heavy when I lifted it down, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to lift it back up. But who was I going to ask? No one else had a bee suit. So I squatted down, and grunted and strained and managed to get the super back on the hive. There must have been 50lbs of honey in the box! We will see if August pans out, because often there is a dearth here then, but maybe this is shaping up to be a bumper-crop year!

I hope your June is shaping up well and you are remembering to breathe as you sink into summer.

As November slips away…

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As November slips away from us and we emerge ourselves completely in all things Christmas, we savoured the last moments of Autumn.

The winter sun is blinding in our house. The sun stays low all day and it shows off all the streaks on the window. Pervasive golden light so intense that I find Gabrielle at the foot of the stairs, hiding in her shadow spot away from the low piercing sun that hurts her eyes. We aren’t complaining about it, it’s just the shape of the house and the path of the sun across the field.

Gabrielle has become quite a serious bonsai tree-keeper. She waters them daily, she mists them, and sings to them and trims any failing leaves. It’s a serious business. Between the bonsais and her worm farm, she is fully employed. It is her work, as she reminds us often.

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The bees are flying. In the low sun, mid afternoon, the ground warms up enough for the bees to scoot outside for a quick pee. Then they duck back inside to their warm clump and go back to knitting each other socks. I always miss the bees a little through the Winter. I fret over them and hope they are surviving through the frosts. Sometimes I press my ear against the outside of the box, hoping to hear a soft hum to let me know that they are still there. That they are still telling each other stories of flowers, and spring and thick honey that they can soon gather. I think of you, Bees, hibernating in your little home while we do the same in ours.

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We gear up for Advent, and Brie’s birthday and Christmas, and we practice our numbers and letters to wile away the winter.

Like the bees, we tell each other stories of flowers and Spring and thick honey, while we knit each other socks.

In Summary: She, Me and Him in October

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Gabrielle started ballet this September. It is as cute as watching kittens run around aimlessly and bonk into each other and the wall and the furniture. We saw “Awww,” then cringe a little and send our condolences to the teacher.

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The photo below is not in focus, but it is a meal where we provided completely for ourselves. A chicken that Marc butchered, carrots and potatoes we grew ourselves. I spend barely any time in the produce section, unless I’m buying bananas, so I hope the cashier doesn’t judge me and think we don’t eat any veggies at home. We are overrun and blessed with scads of veggies. And we are giving them away like hot cakes, because the fruit flies are multiplying. Oh the dreaded fruit flies!IMG_2890 IMG_2937 IMG_2946 IMG_2965 IMG_2989 IMG_2992

I taught a beekeeping class in September and it was received well. I am looking at writing more curriculum for different classes I’m thinking of teaching so that will keep me busy.IMG_3002 IMG_3007 IMG_3084 IMG_20140826_181857

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Gabrielle has begun informal preschool at home with me. We are having a good time as we inconsistently learn letters and numbers a few times a week. She is already recognizing words. She amazes me!IMG_20140918_124058 IMG_20140919_151042

I’ve been trying to bake a lot of our own bread. It just tastes So Much Better!IMG_20140921_093557

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We went blueberry picking in September. Most of the berries were done but we still got a whole bucket. I’ve become quite a lot more adventurous in my processing techniques compared to last year.IMG_20140922_172304 IMG_20140924_164213 IMG_20140925_102615

Gabrielle has been farming with every toy we have.IMG_20140925_135519 IMG_20140925_165434 IMG_20140926_095048

Life has been busy, bursting at the seams, but nourishing all the same. We are intentionally moving into Autumn as we begin planting our garlic and putting the garden beds to sleep. Then the sun comes out again and we dash outside for some hoola hooping, bean picking madness. My morning runs have become like dreams. It is dark and the shadowy leaves blow across the road as I pad along with my headlamp bouncing. I find myself accepting the changing of seasons, even embracing it, but also looking forward to next year’s new beginnings. But I suppose I could use a little bit of hibernation.

Now, to stack some wood. Soon daily fires will be our reality.

Happy October!