October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

It snowed today. Guess that means tonight is about cuddling and movie watching and pizza eating. Thank goodness we already did trick-or-treat!

October 27, 2014

On happiness

Mondays are hard when you're not living your passion. My trouble is I don't feel like I know what my passion really is anymore. Once upon a time, it was writing and creating. Now I'm a middle manager, managing people. And that's all well and fine, but there's all sorts of political corporate bullshit sprinkled in the middle - work some people thrive on. I do not. Like a living, breathing version of Office Space.

My real problem is I can't think of something else I'd rather do other than sit home and hug my dog. And since that doesn't pay the mortgage, I continue on, mostly uninspired. And I don't like being uninspired. I think some of it is the intense pain I've been in lately. Some of it is the intense schedule we've been living. And then there's drag of not having a house to really live in with this kitchen remodel hell. (I totally made the wrong decision in choosing a kitchen over Morocco.) And I'm all fat and stuff.

As C-man says, I just need to pull myself together. Find some sunshine - proverbial or real, and make this happen. Because being unhappy sucks.

October 26, 2014

Smell My Feet!

Today was trick-or-treat. (Always the Sunday before for us) 70 degrees and sunny. I don't know when the last time THAT happened in Wisconsin was! Anyhow, our Rocket (Guardians of the Galaxy movie, for those who haven't seen it) and his neighborhood friends went out for about an hour, and then decided it was better that they just go "hang out". Which is great, because I feel like garbage and have a million things to get done. These weekends really go by too quickly.

October 25, 2014

That's all she wrote

Football season is done. It was another fantastic game with a few tackles for losses, tackles for stops, a fumble recovery, pressing the quarterback to hurry up, and just overall fun with a win at the end.

And now, we get a month off before wrestling starts.

October 24, 2014


It was supposed to be nice today, but it is typical Fall yuk. So I am going to pretend it's warm and sunny instead.

October 23, 2014

Random stuff on an actual Thursday

  • 30 degrees in the morning does not make for a warm garage kitchen. I am going to be really happy when we have a real kitchen again.
  • I tripped going up the stairs into work this morning. In addition to wounding my pride, I jammed three of the fingers on my left hand. I should have stayed in bed.
  • I cannot get warm the last two days. I refuse to believe I'm getting sick, because I'm not.
  • C-man's last football game is Saturday. Last night, practice went so far past sunset that I could barely see the kids in the field. All the other grades went home, and the 5th grade team was starting sprints. If nothing else, they're well conditioned.
  • Beerman is home from Memphis. Yea.
  • Is it time to go to bed yet?

October 22, 2014

Thursday thirteen on Wednesday

  1. Beerman comes home from Memphis tonight.
  2. C-man has his penultimate football practice tonight. He's so sad it's coming to an end.
  3. He has school pictures today. (Something I'd forgotten about until 8 p.m. last night. And since he's a uniform kid, we had to run out and buy a decent shirt that isn't a jersey and fit!) He practiced his smile all the way to school.
  4. I solved my Dropbox issue of parents thieving my source file photos instead of copying them by shutting down their access to 'view only'. (They weren't adding any anyway!) I had to upgrade my account, but that's okay, too. i needed the space.
  5. I ordered a rental camera lens for the weekend's game to try out. (Sigma 50 - 500) I only have a lens that goes to 300 mm, so am curious to see what I can do with a 500 mm. You know, purely for research purposes.
  6. This being my first football season, it's been a real learning curve on how to get the good shots and angles. I'll be much better at it next year.
  7. I'm going to have to wait another week to get to my bees. I have to read in church Sunday morning, and then it's trick-or-treating. The good news is it's supposed to be warm next week
  8. Trick or Treat is this weekend. Wow, did THAT happen quickly.
  9. Next weekend, I'm planning on going to the bees and doing a full winterizing mode on them. I don't think I'm going to do a whole lot - drill an upper entrance into the boxes so they can get out if the snow covers the bottom, put a fence up to break some of the wind, and take the feeders off if the boxes are full of honey.
  10. I'm also thinking of placing some tarp on the ground to kill the grass so I have room for another hive or two in the spring. You know, just in case I end up expanding this operation.
  11. If you haven't already signed up to walk at the Jingle Bell Walk, there's still time!
  12. I have almost everything ready for this year's Christmas card photo. I really wanted to do a normal, smiling family photo. But the others in the house were anti-normal. Alas.
  13. I went to McDonalds for coffee on my way to work today post-dental visit. I had no idea they were still doing Monopoly. Wasn't that ruled a scam like a decade ago? And they're still running it?

October 21, 2014

I hate fall and other stuff

I set up a Dropbox account for all the football photos I've taken. The intent was for other people to add to it so we'd have a complete picture of the games. Nobody has added anything. I mean, absolutely nothing. But now I'm running into the problem that they're cutting and taking them instead of just copying them. Argh! I upload 80 photos of a game, and the next day I'm down to 16, creating a crap-ton of more. WTH people?!? I spend hours on these things. And if you're going to steal something, at least know that there's a digital footprint of your outright thievery. (Okay, I know, it isn't intentional malice. I'm just so tired of reworking my work!) But as Beerman noted, I guess it answers the question if someone is actually looking at the photos.

Today, an email came out that a white shoe was found on the football practice field last night. I guess that solves the mystery of how the heck C-man only had one shoe this morning.

Beerman is in Memphis. He hasn't seen Elvis yet. Apparently he doesn't hang out there any longer. Who knew?

The house is still a mess from Fall Fest. Meh. It'll eventually get cleaned up, I suppose. It's not like we have a kitchen or anything, so I guess it just fits in with the whole 'look' of the house.

I'm really tired of this weather. And pumpkins. I hate fall.

October 20, 2014

Looking forward to the slow down

This is C-man's last week of football. Fall Fest has come and gone. Beerman has been traveling a lot for work lately, but hopefully that's winding down, too. The counter top guys are coming to measure today, which means we are on the kitchen homestretch, too.

In other words, as I look to November, I feel like we could actually slow down a little. As much as I like the activity and friends, it'll be really nice to take a break and have a clean house and laundry that's put away. I'm really looking forward to it.

October 19, 2014

The day after

  • C-man's team won yesterday. He didn't have any major plays because the other team was pretty darned good. (They only had one tie and no losses) But he was a gamer, and even got to play middle linebacker.
  • Fall Fest was cold, but another huge success. 35 of our best friends together eating, drinking, laughing, and watching a movie. C-man felt it was the best one ever. I think we're going to be eating a lot of Mexican food in our future with all the leftovers we've got.
  • Today, between a birthday party and the Packers game, is cleanup day. As Beerman said, "Fall Fest is a lot of fun, but wow, is it a lot of work."
  • I may need a nap somehow in the middle, too. Wouldn't that be a dream.

October 16, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

  1. The kitchen cabinets are in. We don't have doors or drawers, but cabinets are in. Whoot!
  2. Who knew getting someone in to measure my countertops would be such a long drawn out process? Come on, people! Just bring your tape measures and get this thing done!
  3. I proclaimed last night that all I need to pick out is a garbage disposal. I was corrected because I also have to pick out grout color for the backsplash and a bunch of other little things. Darnit. I just want to be done deciding.
  4. We have also learned that cork floor is too squishy for the big ass range. So I have to get some tile for underneath it. I'll put that in my what I learned file. (I do really like the cork floor, though!)
  5. C-man has football practice tonight. Because when you're 9 and get rained out on Monday, you HAVE to make it up. Sheez.
  6. Tomorrow's the day to get ready for Fall Fest. It's so bizarre because we haven't even really talked about it, what with all the travel and football and kitchen.
  7. Saturday is C-man's penultimate football game. Just when I was starting to learn how to photograph this game, the season is almost over. Oh well, then it's on to learn how to get good wrestling shots.
  8. I really need to start reading again. I've been in a lull - too achy and tired at night to read. I need to get back into some books and help this brain.
  9. It's Boss' Day today. And while it's incredibly nice of my people to think of me, I feel bad because it's pretty much a forced day of recognition.
  10. I got a new pair of riding boots and they're so comfortable, I don't want to wear anything else.
  11. Someone brought Tootsie Rolls into the office. They are like kryptonite. As are donuts. It's been a bad week for eating.
  12. I'm really tired of people posting sad things on Facebook. This person is dying. This turtle is malformed because of pollution. Fracking is destroying the water. Ebola is going to kill us all. Can't we just go back to photos of your beet salads?
  13. I have tomorrow off. It's going to need to be busy, but it won't be at work. And that is going to be awesome.

October 15, 2014

Kitchen update

The kitchen report: The big ass range is in the kitchen. It's so much bigger in its natural habitat than I'd imagined. (4 feet long with 9 knobs and a griddle that is big enough to be a short order cook is a really big range!) And today, the cabinet boxes get set. The refrigerator comes, too. (Yesterday, when I called to confirm it was still coming today, I was told, "Yes, either tomorrow morning or afternoon!" So that rules out it showing up at midnight, which is sort of helpful, I guess.) The doors and the window should go in now too. In other words, we're moving forward. But until the counters get measured and installed (I've been promised a call today - we'll see if that actually happens!), we still have no sink or backsplash or anything that makes it usable. Still, we're moving forward. Which is great, because this garage kitchen is getting really chilly.

And just think. I wanted to go to Morocco and miss all this remodel fun.

October 14, 2014

Another day of stuff

  • The rain is making for Tramdol-filled nights and pretty slow days. It's supposed to pass by Thursday. But really? I've got to wait until Thursday?
  • Speaking of which, I've been getting some incredibly generous donations to my Jingle Bell Walk page. It's always quite humbling to see them come in.
  • I think some cabinet bases might come today or tomorrow. Which will be nice, because we can then get the countertops measured and ordered!
  • I've been okay with living in this mess up until now. Now I just want it over with. I really hate construction projects.
  • This weekend's Fall Fest is going to be interesting. Everyone's coming. At least they all know my house is torn up.

October 13, 2014

And here I go again

  • I went to see my bees yesterday. I took the frames that I spun out the honey from with me, and set them out to let the bees lick them clean. I think the frames were found within a minute by the foragers. And then they went back to immediately tell their friends, because they were all over them within 5 minutes. It was cute. They were all buzzy and happy and drunk.
  • Beatrix's hive had drained the sugar syrup I'd given them the previous week. Amelia's had barely touched it. It's such an interesting study in behavior. I loaded them both up with a gallon and a half for the next two weeks.
  • I don't like the idea of feeding them a lot of sugar. But since this is our first year, I am feel it is more important that they have the best chances of survival over being completely natural about it.
  • I haven't treated them with any chemicals, though. I'm going to avoid that as long as I can.
  • In non-bee related news, C-man caught and pitched yesterday. He struck out two guys. I'm sad I missed it. But that is the end of baseball until spring now.
  • C-man plays Cedarburg this weekend. They're 5-0-1 compared to the Jr Knights 4-1-1. It could be a good game coming up.
  • I'm totally digging that red lipstick is back in. I love red lipstick.
  • Our annual Fall Fest is this weekend. We still have no kitchen, so we're just buying all the food catered. It won't be our strongest effort, but it'll still be fun, I'm sure.
  • Fall Fest means I have Friday off. Yea to 4 day work weeks!

October 12, 2014

Another Sunday

I'm off to spend the day in the car and with my bees. (They need to be fed before winter really shows up). Meanwhile, Harry will be walked and C-man will play some baseball. Happy Sunday.

October 11, 2014

Another Muscle Hamster Saturday

Another Saturday, another day of the Muscle Hamster tackling for losses and causing fumbles. He was quite off the first half - scared of the other team. But something changed at halftime, and boom, out came the fierce.

It's been such a joy to see what his hard work and passion have brought to him. Because he's smaller and younger than most, and while not uncoordinated, not one of those kids who instantly is good at everything. Before this season, I was worried if he was going to be one of those kids who flitted from one thing to the next, quitting when it got hard. But the truth is, he hadn't found his passion yet. A really good lesson for me to remember.

So there you have it. A beautiful Saturday with a big win over a tough team. And now, it's time for the playoffs.

October 10, 2014

What might be the most expensive honey ever bottled

I decided it was time to pull the honey from my bees and start feeding them to prep them for winter. I run 8-frame hives, and Amelia's hive had some honey on 7 of the frames.

To start, I had to take the wax off the honey to remove it. I have an electric planing knife. But this being the first year, I decided the wax wasn't built out enough to make it worth heating that up and going that far. So instead, I used my capping scratcher, and just dragged the "comb" across the wax, opening it up.

I did that to two frames, and placed them inside the extractor.

C-man then took over spinning the frames around, the centripetal force slinging the honey out of the frames against the side of the extractor. Once they were spun for a minute one way, we reversed the direction and spun out that side.

Since I only had 7 frames, it went quickly. I left it overnight, and the next day, set up my 600 micron strainer below, and opened the gate.

After letting it all drain through the strainers for a day, I put the honey in the bottle. Ideally, you'd let it sit in another tank, letting the air bubbles go to the top. But since I had such a little bit of honey, and every transfer loses a little honey, I decided to skip that step and save whatever I could of the golden sweetness.

And there you have it. 7.5 bottles of honey after 7 months of work and too much money. Clearly, I am not a good farmer. But the honey is sweet and light and it's mine. And it really was so much fun.

Now to get these hives through the winter so we can have a big 2015!

October 9, 2014

Crisp air and tasty coffee

  • Every October, I get the worst inflammation in one spot in my body. Last year it was my left hip. This year, it's my mid-back. ARGH! I don't know what it is about October, but it's like clockwork.
  • Speaking of inflammation, sign up for the Jingle Bell Walk!
  • I need to get two birthday gifts for parties. Ah, the downfall of having a social butterfly child - He gets invited to absolutely every birthday party everywhere.
  • I extracted and filtered my honey. Tonight, I plan on bottling it. You know, all two bottles of it that I got. Sigh...
  • It is really light and really sweet honey. I think Amelia's hive was partial to clover this season. I'm going to plant some buckwheat and other plants next year to see if I can get some variety.
  • I have tomorrow off. I think we're going to head north to feed the bees and say hello to Grandma Lou.
  • C-man has an away football game this weekend. I've been so spoiled with everything so close together that now a 30 minute drive seems like a long way away.
  • Coffee is extra tasty today.

October 8, 2014


  • I extracted my honey last night. You know, all three frames of it.
  • I really have to remember how much I learned this year about bees and pollination, and how much I loved that, because this may be the most expensive jar of honey known to man.
  • I'm hoping to start straining it tonight, and bottle by the weekend.
  • As usual, I haven't been sleeping very well. So I started taking the generic Nexium every night because a while ago, I saw a Dr. Oz show and he said heartburn is often a cause of night waking. Since I was waking up with heartburn, I figured it was a good guess. It's actually been helping.
  • I'm so tired of these IOS updates that don't work and take up tons of memory. Apple products blow.
  • I'm on a bright lipstick kick. After last week at the beauty expo for work, I was inspired to buy some more bright stuff. It's scheduled to deliver today. Look out for some red lips!
  • C-man is now signed up for wrestling, starting in December. It's the same coach as baseball and football, and he really wanted to continue with him. At this rate, he's going to be one giant muscle.
  • Carlos Slim is promoting a 3-day work week. Where do I sign up?

October 6, 2014

So it's Monday

  • I'm going to order my counter top from Home Depot. It was going to be with Menards until I learned they don't measure or install. I sure hope my credit card isn't hacked when I do it.
  • I also need to harvest off my honey this week. But first I have to assemble the extractor legs and figure this contraption out. Thank goodness Beerman is home so he can show me what I'm doing.
  • 3 hitchhikers came home with me on the honey. Poor girls. I felt bad shooing them off into their certain death. Beerman assured me they were going to die soon anyway. I may over think these things a bit too much.
  • Our 5th annual Fall Fest is in 2 weeks, and I've done absolutely nothing. Usually we have it all set by now. Oy.
  • I spent last week with about 1000 people who are in the beauty business. I started wearing lipstick again today. It's been missing from my life.

October 5, 2014


Today, I skipped C-man's baseball game (Beerman is home again, so he took over on that front) and drove north and checked on my bees to get them ready for winter. I took off the honey supers. Amelia's hive had some honey. Beatrix's had none. (That hive has been so frustrating!)

I brought the supers home and plan on extracting them off later this week when I have some time. I don't think I'll get but a few pounds, which is really disheartening considering all the work I've gone through. But the next big challenge is to get them through winter. So feeding has begun, and I'll go back in a week or two to clean up the area around the hive and build a second entrance higher up (so the snow doesn't block it).

Here's to a simple winter and a better bee season next year!

October 4, 2014

Today was a really good day on the football field

The Pink Hamster is a Beast.

Sack 1

 Sack 2

Sack 3

Sack 4

Tackle for a 5 yard loss


Sack 5 (that completely ended their chances of a last drive to a touchdown to win)

October 3, 2014

I'm back!

I know Oktoberfest is actually over since it's, well, October. But you'll have to bear with me. I haven't been taking any photos lately, and it's a good memory for me.

I've been in Orlando all week for work. My feet hurt. My back hurts. And I'm exhausted. But it went really well, the Packers won, my parents got to spend some time with C-man, and now I'm home working from my couch again. So it's back to the usual grind - You know, ordering back splash tile (Ouch! This kitchen stuff is expensive!), getting more ceiling paint, catching up on the rest of my job, and getting C-man off to school and football practice.

And boy, does it feel good.