Friday, May 29, 2009

I Spy Something Tea Green!

thanks to steph at stephs' cup of tea, this weeks color fun is green! i love green soooo much ! this pic is of my little water spot in the gardens and it has lots of greens. daylilies, soapwort, self heal, valerian, spiderwort,dianthis, violets, flax,cattails,sedum, and bugleweed are all in this pic.

this spring has seemed exceptionally hard to find time to get the gardens ready. in between all the rains, cold temps, family obligations etc. i just got the whole thing weeded last weekend!! creeping charlie had moved into every bed! lol got some tomatoes, eggplants, basils, rosemary, more thyme, more strawberries, green peppers, cilantro, scarlet runner beans, and other things planted then too. i think i spent 22 hours of a 48 hour period working full tilt and wow, my back, feet and hands knew it monday!lol

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grandma... your lunch is ready!

i have so many blessings daily with these kids! today lily, dylan and i went to Lakeland Park, here in our town, and we saw so many cool things. lily spotted a little robin that had just fledged, the baby geese are out running around and we even waded in the lake! it is in the 80's here so wow, did that cold water feel good! when we got back home i went inside to change the baby and i heard lily holler in the door, "grandma, your lunch is ready!" when i went outside lily had set us up with each a "plate" of wild plants!lol she had taken maple leaves and used them like someone else might some lettuce and then layered dandelions, clover and geranium flowers on them! how cute is that?! to give you a little background, lily, her mom and i are all vegetarians. i even pack lily's school lunches as they don't offer alternatives at school for veggies :( so she has been raised with wild foraging foods, and other edibles that most kids have never even imagined. i mean, her favorite book is a wild foraging guide!lol she will flip through the pages and name off things and grab her little belly and say "my love that!!!", when she sees something we have ate together before. so my special lunch was quite a treat today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Spy Something Yellow (thanks steph!)

This week steph at steph's cup of tea has inspired us with the color yellow. well i see some yellow in the wild mustards right now and some folks have yellow iris in their yards, but my yellow to share is a picture of my granddaughter lily, in her graduation cap! she just graduated from little learners pre school class. she will be a big kindergartener next year! going to break my heart when she starts. her preschool was only for a couple hours a day and i am going to miss her soooo much when she is gone all day at school!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Festooning and Foundationless Frames

I am totally psyched!! when it was time to put the second brood box on the new beehive, i decided to go with the foundationless frames. this is so cool folks, as it is a more organic and cheaper way to keep bees. follow the link for a good explanation about foundationless frames. i was taught i needed to buy boxes of preformed wax and this is not necessary at all folks! these pics of how my bees are doing in just a week building their own wax. truthfully, they are building their own much quicker than they ever drew out the premade foundation. in the picture where you can see the bees hanging in a line down that is called festooning. that is what they do when they are making wax! super cool! when you explore the link you will find there are several ways to get your bees started in the right direction. this first time i just used some leftover wax foundation and cut it down and just put a bit in the top of each frame and crossed my fingers. now that i see how well it works and how quick the bees work on their own, i am going to do the popsicle starters next time! hugs to everyone who visits comfrey cottages :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Spy Something Robin's Egg Blue (thanks steph!)

Steph, over at the Steph's Cup of Tea Blog, started a fun game, (with a giveaway), and I invite you all to join in! Thanks for starting a cute game Steph :) big hugs to you. here is my robin's egg blue i spied.... dylan lee's cupcake for his first birthday last month! the pic isn't very good, but gosh, his eyes are almost that blue too in real life. i don't know why sometimes kids eye colors don't turn out good in pics. makes one wonder how close they are to being the little beasts i sometimes refer to them as!lol

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Birds and The Bees

worked diligently to get the second super ready and installed on the new hive yesterday. doing something new this year folks. i am going to foundationless frames in the new hive. i will post about that soon. pretty excited about it! so i was in the gardens all day working on this project, so got to see some cool wildlife flitting in and out amongst the new flowers and around the pond. there were little baby goldfinch fledglings flying from the bleeding hearts, to the pond and all around. the carpenter bees were really busy too! been seeing a pair of blue jays every day so figured they nested close. there was a robin fighting with a blue jay yesterday, and my neighbor found some robin eggs in his yard. well i finally located the blue jay nest in my pine tree and i have a suspicion that the jays outsed the robins eggs and took over the nest! whenever the jays aren't in the nest i kept catching the robin up there looking around. jays eat bees and they keep sitting on the fence where the hives are and i can see them snatching a few. hope everyone had a beautiful mothers day! hugs :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tearoom, Herb Farm and Birthday

wow, my daughter, michelle turned 30 on the 5th of may. seems so odd. my son jesse, turned 30 last year, but for some reason that didn't bug me like this. my youngest son tommy turns 30 next year. and yes, you are reading right. my youngest son was born the day before my oldest turned 2 and in between, michelle was born. lol anyway, back to the subject i want to share with you. every year we take a day to celebrate michelle's birthday and go to a special tearoom at salisbury, il and then take a trip to the herb farm near there. both places are so very special. if you click on the highlighted words the link takes you to each spots webpage, and both include virtual tours. last year my brother eric joined michelle and i on our journey and this year he is joining us again plus, my new daughter in law lisa is coming too! this will be here first trip there.

thought you might enjoy some pics from last year. the one pic is the checkerboard thyme garden, another is the huge wisteria they have shaped into a wonderful huge gazebo like structure and then the other is michelle. there are so many themed garden within the farms gardens. fairy gardens, lovers, thyme, a klitchy little bathroom garden, a childrens garden, medicinal, culinary and others! looking forward to this very much! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Seven Pounds

i feel compelled to encourage my friends to watch this movie. it might change your life. at the least, it will move you with the compassion that is the running theme of this movie. if you have ever hurt someone by accident, in any way, you understand what it means to wish you could atone. i don't want to say too much about this movie as i think it is best to go into viewing it with no preconceived notions. if you do watch it, please let me know. i personally think the acting was intense and the actors drew me right into their lives. the themes of love, loss, redemption, compassion, and guilt all makes for one of the finest films i have ever seen. the title meaning is revealed at the end. when you watch it please pay close attention to will smith's face during the film. i don't believe i have ever seen an actor live the part in a more convincing manner in my life! this film and its actors should have walked away with oscars. please consider watching it, i am dying to talk about it with someone! hugs :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Baby Raccoon

talk about CUTE!!! my hubby found a baby raccoon at work friday. he said he found it lying on the ground, in a mudpuddle, outside his works door! who knows what happened. if all the rains caused mama raccoon to move her babies and she just lost this one, or something happened to mamma. he wrapped it up warm and put it in a coffee can, and waited to see if mama returned all day. when she didn't he brought this little one home. its little eyes weren't even opened yet! now i raised a baby coon when i was a kid, but thought it best to try and find a rehabilitator this time. called our local wildlife park and got a recommendation. called this lady up and she said she would take our foundling so off we went. it was so cool, she was a lovely lady and had several other baby coons, some coyotes, and other critters too. thought you might enjoy seeing this little darling!

New Bees and More Violet Jelly

saturday, my brother eric and granddaughter taylor and i went to my friend ron's house to pick up our new nucs. eric and i both got one. ron goes down to florida and works at a bee farm there for a few weeks each spring, and then brings back in his truck nucs for all of us who have ordered them. these bees are carniolans and i just love them. very hard workers and gentle too! within an hour of being hived these girls were busily bringing in pollen. it was so much fun as it was taylors first time getting to help and she had a blast! she also spotted the queen for me. this year the queen is marked with a green dot. each year is a different color. after we got the bees hived we made some more violet jelly! seems everyone wants a jar to try and i gotta get cracking and get some more made to keep up with the demand! lol love and hugs to everyone who visits here at comfrey cottages!!