Wednesday, September 26, 2007

OHMYGOSH - I'm Becoming a Recluse!

Thanks to My Dear John and Thunder Roads Beth, I realize that I have been remiss in writing to this blog. My Dear John was convinced that Bernie and I had developed Cabin Fever and killed each other.

Apparently, this blog is not the only form of communication I've been neglecting. After about two weeks on the homestead my dear husband informed me that I stand in danger of becoming downright unsociable. He sited the example that I had only left the homestead once in two weeks - and that was to go to the dump. And I went unwillingly and under duress.

But I LIKE being here! I like Bernie being here with me. And I have a really hard time understanding why I should leave it. I mean Bernie has been taking care of everything here while I work in my office and he's great company when I'm not working. We have food, each other, beer, lots of honey, and constant entertainment watching the wildlife and walking through the woods, so it's difficult to think of any good reason I should leave here.

But there is no excuse for not keeping in touch, and I do apologize for that. I pretty much suck at blogging.

Things are going really well for us right now. Bernie is busier than a one armed wall paper hanger taking care of this place and moving us out of our home in town. He's been spending a lot of time getting the back hoe bucket repaired. I like it best when he works around here and I can hear him in the background as I work from my office. It's comforting. And it's also the only time I know for certain I'll get fed during the day. I've been busy with working from home during the day, and getting bath products to sell made in the evenings. And then there's always the view outside that demands attention......

Tonight we took the Trail Blazer up the Road Less Traveled and sat on a fallen tree and listened to the rain beat on the canopy above us. We sat there quite a while. Together. Silent. Listening. Watching. Finally the rain made it down to us and we went on to the house.

We are busy - and we are happy. We are finally taking time to enjoy every day. And we are enjoying each other more than ever. I guess you kind of have to do that when you live in the middle of 65 acres and refuse to leave it.

Oh - and Hersey, you don't have to be crazy to live on the side of a mountain. But it sure as hell helps.

Bee Free,

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy as Bees on the Homestead

The past couple weeks have been very busy here on the homestead. Between moving, house guests, a biker event, and making soap, bath gels, and bath salts, we've been happily realizing our dream of living on this beautiful homestead.

I've had two businesses agree to sell my home made bath products and they seem quite excited about it. I made a big batch of oatmeal honey bar soap last week and set it on the rack to cure for the next six weeks or so. I'm pretty excited about this recipe, as I came up with it all on my own and attempted to make a very moisturizing, lathery soap - and I used the honey from our hives. We'll see how it turns out in a few weeks.....

I hope to have a page up on The Bee Buzz website soon to sell my products in the next few weeks. I'll let y'all know when I do that.

Bernie still doesn't really feel that he's quit work. Probably because he's working so much around here. He gets up early and gets busy right away. It amazes me how much he's accomplished in the past two weeks. I have noticed a big difference in him though. He's much more relaxed and layed back - almost to the point of annoyance. I mean he's always been fairly calm, but now he doesn't seem to get riled about much of anything around here. If I take off on a rant about what a mess the house is with this move, he volunteers to stay home the next day and clean it. When I got worried about one of the cats not acting right, he told me to make an appointment and he took her in to the vet. He's never taken an animal to the vet without me. He HATES taking cats to the vet! At least the "old" Bernie hated it. The "new" Bernie just loaded her up and took off. He even does the dishes now without me saying a word. And he puts them away when they are dry. Weird. It is down right weird. But I do think I can get used to this.

The bees seem to be doing really well, although there is another hive we are now concerned about. We'll take it apart next weekend and be sure the queen is ok. I hope this cool weather is to blame for the inactivity in that hive. We'll find out this weekend.

Life is good on the homestead. And it only gets better and better.

Bee Free,

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Has it Been a Week Already?

Wow. Yesterday was one week since we permanently moved out to our homestead. The week flew by. I helped Bernie move on Monday, and then worked from home Tuesday through Friday. Fortunately, they keep me pretty busy at work, so it makes the work day go by quickly. By the time I finish (somewhere between 2PM and 3PM), Bernie is home from moving stuff from our home in town and he and I get busy unpacking or doing one of the other 5,000 things on our list of stuff that needs to get done. I didn't leave the homestead all week long. And I never even thought about that until Bernie mentioned it today. I never even missed it.

One day last week Bernie stayed home and unpacked a couple of rooms on his own. Man, that was great! Not only did I love knowing he was here as I worked from my office, but he served me breakfast and lunch at my computer. I actually felt a little guilty. I'm usually the one that takes care of him that way. But he assured me he is fine with it. He's really getting a lot done and I would actually rather be working that doing what he's doing. It's a lot of work - and none of it fun.

Tomorrow we plan on working a little around the house in the morning, and then Bernie will watch football all afternoon. That's fine by me - I plan on making some bath gel, bath salts, bath bombs, and lip balm from bees wax that a couple of businesses in local towns are selling for me. If I can find a few minutes to put together a website, I'll be selling them there soon. I'll be sure to let you know the website address.

The cats, Bernie, and I have settled in to living on the homestead quite nicely. I'm not sure who enjoys looking out these windows the most. We've had a cat in a window since we got here - and Bernie and I are constantly looking out one window or the other in complete awe. What a nice view of the world. I prefer it.

Bee Free,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Bernie and I have not always made wise choices, but I have to tell you that choosing Tex and Charlotte as friends was certainly the wisest thing we've ever done. I guess the truth is we didn't really "choose" them, it just happened. And we thank the heavens every day for that friendship.

If you've kept up with this blog for any time at all, you've read about Tex and Charlotte fairly often. If you've looked over the Back to Basic Living website, you've read and seen a lot about Tex there. Tex and Charlotte have always been there for us, and we've tried to always be there for them.

We didn't ask anyone to help with our move, and when it came time, it was really not surprising that Tex and Charlotte were the only people to call and ask if they could help. So they met us at our home in town with a pickup truck and a 16 foot trailer. Bernie had his pickup and a 14 foot trailer. We started packing up and moving around 8AM. I consider myself a hard worker, but I have to tell you, Tex and Charlotte liked to have worked me to death.

Anytime I wanted to take a break Charlotte would say "We don't have much time Miss Penny, we need to do what we can." I was overwhelmed with this move. Twenty years worth of hoarding crap and a 3400 square foot home stuffed full of it just left me bewildered at how in the world we would ever get all of it out of there. I wanted to ball up in a corner and cry. But those two kept us moving and before long we had the lion's share of it packed up and loaded. We started at 8AM and unloaded the last of it at 8PM. Charlotte had a room to paint at home, so she headed back a little earlier. But we cooked up a nice stew for Tex and he ate dinner with us and took some leftovers for Charlotte. He didn't get home until after 10PM.

We woke up this morning barely able to move. Even my toenails are sore. I had to log in and work all day and I was actually happy for the break. Bernie worked at getting us unpacked all day and got a good dent in it. He even served me breakfast and lunch at my computer. How romantic is that? I managed to unpack a small portion of my office this afternoon.

Little by little we're getting there. It will take a while longer, and Tex and Charlotte have volunteered for the next big load we move out. We have so many things to be thankful for. Tex and Charlotte are no small part of that. Even if they are slave drivers, they make helluva good friends.

Bee Free,

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Loving Life on the Homestead

We're really enjoying the feeling of being on our homestead permanently. My Dear John wrote to tell me that this euphoric feeling will pass as soon as the burden of responsibility takes hold - but I have news for you, My Dear John. As much as I know you are absolutely right, you are not going to rain on my parade! I am going to take advantage of this feeling for as long as I can convince it to last.

We robbed honey from the bees yesterday and ended up with 77 pints! We are quite thrilled about that. I can not describe the flavor it adds to a cup of coffee. Possitively exquisite. I wrote all about it on The Bee Buzz blog and even put up a few pictures. Check it out!

Eddie and Gigi came out this morning and spent the whole day helping us get this place ready to start moving stuff from our house in town into it. It was a full day job. Bernie and I are pack-rats and you'd be amazed what we can collect in a year. At any rate, we're all set to start moving tomorrow. Thanks a million Eddie and Gigi! Afterwards Bernie grilled us some burger and dogs over an oak wood fire. We eat good on the homestead.

That's it for now from the homestead. Check out The Bee Buzz blog and think about getting your own hives. They are very little trouble, a simple joy to watch, give you plenty of honey to enjoy, and are so necessary for plant pollination. You'd have a difficult time not falling in love with them.

Bee Free!