August 30, 2016

Life in person

I'm back home again. It seems like things have been non-stop for a bit now, and I'm finally just now able to take the time to sit down and take it all in. I really had a lovely week. I put on over 1000 miles, tasted the ocean, and got in an accident with someone who doesn't speak English, but it was all still pretty great anyhow. Plus, I traveled to 3 new states and 1 new province. And we all know how much I love saying THAT!

During my trip, I had the opportunity to hang out with two old friends. Friends I'd never met in real life. And yet, because we have been in an online Mom's group since C-man was 6 months old, I seem to know them as well, if not better, than anyone else in my life. It's crazy to me how easy the conversation was over dinner one night in Concord. (Which I learned is pronounced Con-curd by the locals) And then when we drove into Maine to crash another mom friend's 13 year old's birthday party the following day, it didn't even seem that odd because I already 'knew' all the cast and characters present - from Grammy to the local priest. The views of her mountains were already familiar and the jokes incredibly funny. I showed up with a giant bottle of gin because we one day named them Fun and Tonics, and it wasn't even a question whether we'd crack that bottle open immediately.

I find it incredible that time and space and years haven't been barriers. We've been with one another through career changes and a marriage and some babies. We've found religion and changed beliefs and talked one another through it all. We've watched each other's children grow ,and talked each other down from the crazy ledge more than once. There's been anxiety and nervousness and love and joy. All done from afar, but it never really felt that way.

So how special it was to be able to experience all that love and history face to face. There were tears. There was laughter. And there was love. It really was so, so lovely.

August 26, 2016

Montreal adventures

I started this morning in Montreal. I went straight to Notre Dame to get that churchy thing out of the way. And wow, was I impressed. Out of all the different churches I've seen in the world, I'd put this one in the top three. I just sat there for the longest time, in awe. The blue was so amazing. And it didn't smell like stinky incense. I absolutely loved it.

But knowing I only had 6 hours before I had to get moving on. I strolled through Old Montreal, seeing the shops and watching everything come to life. This city has a really nice, creative vibe about it. I liked it a whole lot.

But then, it was time to move on. And, apparently, get in an accident. Ugh. It was stop and go traffic in a construction area on the East side of Montreal, and a giant bearded man rear ended me. A giant bearded man who only spoke French, I quickly learned. Ugh. The bumper is dented. Everyone was fine. He was quite nice, even with his limited English. But ugh. Seriously - I was in another country. What does one do in an accident in a foreign country? Do you need to call the police? He gave me his info. I took pictures. I called the rental agency and they told me I could move on. So it was minimal. But what a fricking drag that is going to be to return.

So anyhow, after that, I plowed ahead. Through Vermont. And then through New Hampshire, where I landed in Concord for the night to meet up with a friend.

And, of course, because it seems to be the trip of capitol cities, I had to get my shot of the New Hampshire capitol building before bed.

And tomorrow, it's back to Maine to see another friend before I head home. It's been a really great trip filled with adventures. That makes me so happy.

August 25, 2016

The capitol game

Yesterday, I left Maine (after checking out the beach and Kennebunkport) to get to Massachusetts. Today, I had to drive to Vermont. Somehow, I can explain the geography of random states in Brazil, yet still can't wrap my head around having to go through New Hampshire to get to Vermont. (I swear it was the other way!) But I eventually did get to Vermont, and had to pee because there was a load of construction and I'd had too much coffee. So I stopped in Montpelier. Which made me laugh. Because who didn't think that was one of the best cities when you had to memorize the capitols as a kid? So, of course, I got out to see the state house. Kind of a disappointing building, all things considered. Lots of Ethan Allen statues and cannons lying about.

But, after work in Burlington, I headed further north into Canada. I'm spending the night and tomorrow morning in Montreal. Because I've never been. And really, why wouldn't I take the opportunity while I could?

I really do love seeing new places. I can barely sleep it makes me so happy. But to sleep I must. Because there's nothing on TV I understand, and I've got some walking to do tomorrow!

August 23, 2016

Taking New England by Storm!

I made it to Maine today. It's a nice little place. I've only seen a bit of Portland today, but from what I've seen, it's quite a lovely place. The people have been quite endearing, too. All the families on vacation make me a bit sad to be here alone. I'm heading to Massachusetts tomorrow, but hoping to see some of the Maine coastline along the way. And then it's off to Vermont. I'm checking off these states one by one!

August 22, 2016

Catching Up

  • The weekend was mostly nice. I cleaned the house. We got school supplies. We Pokemon-ed. I finished my honey bottling.
  • School supplies. Holy balls. $200 for a public school 6th grader on top  of the $120 of fees I had to pay for who-knows-what just for him to go to school. So much for not paying tuition anymore!
  • Pokemon. We spent a few hours at Lake Park, which is Poke-heaven. At least I got my walking done.
  • At least that was the case until I got C-man's sickness yesterday afternoon. I got called out of work Thursday to pick him up because he threw up. And it took until yesterday to really kick in officially. At least I knew where the Lake Park public bathrooms were from my old days of working out there in the mornings!
  • My honey is all bottled up. I got 51 pounds of honey this time around. Everything is cleaned up and will get put away tonight. I'm hoping that's it for the winter now, and whatever they make moving forward, they can keep.
  • Tonight I have to pack, because I'm heading to New England tomorrow for the week. I've never been to New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine, and will hit all three. I'm excited.
  • I'll miss C-man's run out onto the high school field on Friday and scrimmage on Saturday. Somehow, I'll manage.
  • In the meantime, I'll work through my Monday while C-man plays with seals and sea lions at the zoo all week.

August 19, 2016

Because I like it

I've been a one-woman bottling line again. Well, at least I was until I ran out of bottles. More are due to show up on Saturday, so hopefully I can finish it off and have everything cleaned up by Saturday night. I got 59 pounds the first pull, and will probably get over 40 this time (TBD, of course). And I'm still leaving what should be a good stash for the bees. A pretty great haul!

I love my honey. I enjoy my bees. I think the whole thing, from seeing them grow to figuring out how to meet their needs to deciding when to take the honey so they don't swarm to deciding when enough is enough before winter to extracting and bottling to then feeling sick because I've eaten so much, is just fantastic.

But it's work. And it costs money. And it's so much time. Don't get me wrong - I do thoroughly enjoy it. But that doesn't lessen how tough it is when I'm completely drenched in sweat and not even bothering to swat the bees who are stinging me as I steal their honey because it takes additional effort I cannot expend. It also doesn't mean my back doesn't ache for days after working with them because it's so heavy and physically taxing. And it doesn't mean that burn/itch of the stings aren't felt 4 days later.

Which is why it completely irritates me that people feel I owe them honey. I'm definitely happy to share some with those I know who will appreciate it. Goodness, I have so much of it this year, that it makes the sharing part a lot easier. I just donated some to an auction, and didn't think twice about it. But when people make comments on Facebook or send me texts implying they're waiting for their bottles, or imply I'm stingy because I'm not sharing, I about lose my mind. One irritating person even went as far as to call me lucky and then said that she was jealous. As if I just happened one day to have 100 pounds of honey out of nowhere? (Meanwhile, when I offered to help her get started with her own practice, she quickly turned me down.) And truly, while everyone keeps urging me to, selling it gets me almost nowhere. I certainly don't want to sit at a market. And bottling and shipping it alone would cost $7.80 per bottle - and that doesn't even cover the honey part yet. Not to mention, I think if I tried to make money, I'd lose that love of what makes it so good to me. Because I love that it's pure and beautiful and interesting and, not least important, absolutely delicious.

It's sort of a lesson in the greater things on life, though, I suppose. People so often want what you have, and don't want to think about what it takes to get there. It's just frustrating because it is so much time and effort and money, that when people take it for granted, it lessens the thrill of it all. I'm to the point where I don't feel I can talk freely about it in certain circles because I have to fend off the questions why I'm not giving it away to random acquaintances and what I can possibly do with all that honey.

So yes, I absolutely share if I like you and you take an interest in my bees. No, I don't share if I don't like you or you have no interest in the bees. No, I'm not selling it, except in certain, very select cases. And yes, I really do like my bees and the honey that much.

August 17, 2016

Hump Day

  • I registered C-man for public school yesterday. Well, he was already registered. It was really forms and fees day. I'm not sure why they called it registration day. Things I'm learning.
  • I thought public school was free. But after having written several checks, I quickly came to the realization how wrong I was.
  • But now he has a locker with a combination. This is exciting.
  • Now I have to take him school supply shopping. It's a long, long list. So much for public school being the cheaper option!
  • I'm supposed to be traveling for work next week, but it's starting to fall through. I really want to go on this trip, because I'm supposed to see some friends! Not to mention, I've never been to Maine.
  • I'm still biking a lot to hatch my Pokemon eggs. Best thing to happen to me this summer.
  • C-man thinks Noah's Ark was the best thing to happen. We all have our things, I suppose.

August 15, 2016


I pulled another 16 frames out of the hives yesterday. 8 from Caroline's (second survivor hive) and 8 out of Francesca's hive (new hive). There is loads more honey in these hives, but the frames weren't cured. (And we all know I really don't need more honey!) I'm just giving them the space to make sure they don't swarm on me. So it looks like I've got another sticky week ahead!

August 12, 2016


Here's to Friday.

August 11, 2016

Winding down

It's hard to believe that summer is in the official wind down. I wait all year for this time of year, and then once it's here, we're at State Fair and it's like it's over in a blink. I've tried really hard to make this summer count. To stop and enjoy it and really be in it. There's so little time for just being in the moment anymore, that it's felt really good. My week off with C-man really was the culmination of that - we just spent time together. And it was great. I think he appreciated it, too.

And now, I'm looking at the school supplies list, and we're talking about the new school he'll go to, and it's football season, and... It seems the savoring is about over. Sigh. It was good while it lasted, at least.

August 6, 2016

The road to slow down

My vacation is winding down to its end. It's really hard to say that, because it's been such a great week with C-man. We've talked, we've sung, we've biked, we've ridden water slides, and we've circled the state. And it's been so great.

C-man is at that age where he is still my baby, but also so independent. I know I won't have those two things for long, so I am really holding on to these times he wants to spend with me now. He's my only child. The only one I'll ever have, which means this is it. The first and the last for all of these experiences for us.

I have never been one to want things to slow down or go backward, but having this week be a slow focus on him has been just what I needed. What we both needed, really. I'm incredibly thankful for the time. It's a week I think we'll both remember for quite a while.

August 4, 2016

Another day

I haven't been writing much lately. There hasn't been much to say, really. Summer has been plugging along. I've got this week off, which has been nice. C-man and I spent some time in Winter with my parents this week followed by a day at Noah's Ark (the waterpark, not that weird Kentucky ark thing). We returned some frames back to the bees, and it looks like I'm going to have to make the trip all over again because they're filling everything up. I've already gotten 54 pounds, so it's a little unprecedented for me. Not to mention, I've got two additional hives this year I haven't taken anything off yet. (I'm going to up to my eyeballs in honey!)

But the football shoes are here, as are the new school tennis shoes. Things are winding down. So we're going to enjoy it all.