Thursday, December 30, 2010

EGGIE in a basket

remember in the movie "V" - "V" is frying these up in the kitchen....he calls them "EGGIE IN A BASKET" (i might have also heard these called TOP HATS??)

for fun - use a cookie cutter to cut the bread out of the center - butter your pan (liberally) - place your cut-out bread in - crack an egg into the opening (i break my egg yolk)....let 'er fry up a little (brown/toaste on one side)

take the whole thing up with the spatula/flipper and with your other hand - throw another dab of butter down (yes - it's a balancing act)....flip your "eggie" to fry/brown the other side. i squish mine down with the flipper - squeezing any egg out...cause i want them DRY/done.

meanwhile - i'm also "toasting" the cut-out part in the pan with it...then i decoratively top the eggie with it's inside cutout.

dress as you like it....(husband likes maple syrup!) it's a little hard to see - but i use a STAR.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the big tease

i've got "trouble" brewing (or baking) tonight....i'm going to have SO MUCH FUN. check back for a picture or two tomorrow! nanny nanny.....

Monday, November 1, 2010


2nd racking of the mead last weekend...and it JUST FIZZLED OUT. and it's not "sweet enough" for me. so - what do you do with it? RESTART!!!! added about a quart more of strong honey water and some more - it's bubbling again.

one thing for sure...i won't be able to DUPLICATE this batch!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

bubble, bubble - toil and trouble

next "batch" is IN THE CARBOY. Melomel: Honey, Cranberry Juice, Apple Juice, Raspberry Juice. It has a GORGEOUS color. I'll get my first SWIG when i rack it this weekend ;0

3 days of dreamweaver

you know - the tool sharpener always has the DULLEST knives. (your OWN stuff is always the LAST stuff to get done) NO MORE! i PAYPAL-IZED the d's bees website.

Took all new pictures of new and old products, and on and on.

Looks like i'll be presenting the new 2010 beekeeping courses through our extension...soon enough. "inspiring the next generation" of beekeepers :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


i picked up the phone (at work) about 10:30 am one day last week...and this "WOMAN" was singing some german song...."EIN PROSIT"

i'm thinking....WHO the heck is this - i'm about to hang-up...

then it all came TOGETHER for me. i'd dropped a bottle of this year's MEAD off at my MOM'S house that morn!!! OH - IT'S MOM!!!! (this feigned drunken ein prosit thing is SO out of character for her)

anyway - she had to "report" the SUCCESS of this year's batch. she'd apparently enjoyed a sip and played her organ with "very light fingers" - she said :)

so far - i'm "brewing the next batch in my head".... i'm thinking about what i want to put in the crock next. the AVAILABILITY of SUPPLIES will determine....i'd LIKE to make a MELOMEL (that's a fruit/honey wine)....mmmm....i'm thinking CHERRY MELOMEL.... i think it would be a pretty color!

Monday, August 16, 2010

what have i been doing in my SPARE time?

HARVESTING and STORING and FREEZING and PICKLING - every other day it seems.

tomatoes aren't looking so hot - way behind in turning red. i've already got a SHELF-FULL of pickles! (can you LIVE on pickles? i think they have negative calories!?!)

(picture: herb harvest. some dehydrated (culinary), some in oil, some in vodka (for medicinals))

green dragon

this guy POSED for me this morn on the cement in front of the shop. got to really TEST the macro features on the camera :)

it's ALIVE!

making MEAD - technically a "METHEGLIN" (an herbed/spiced honey wine)

mmm...the house smells of citris as it ferments and zest and spicy tea....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

bee power

A man was driving down the road and ran out of gas. Just at that moment, a bee flew in his window.
The bee said, 'What seems to be the problem?'
'I'm out of gas,' the man replied.
The bee told the man to wait right there and flew away. Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew to his car and into his gas tank. After a few minutes,

the bees flew out.

'Try it now,' said one bee.

The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up. 'Wow!' the man exclaimed, 'what did you put in my gas tank'?

The bee answered,

making wood

we had some winds a weekend back or took down a REALLY big branch off a tree in the fenceline and our DEAD ELM tree (we decorated it and kept it up - as a bird roost). i guess we'll be making wood - for WHAT - i don't know!?

the mosquitoes are SO BAD in the both QUANTITY and BLOODTHIRSTY-NESS. i have to spray repellent on just to harvest the garden!

we've been picking raspberries just about every night (good year for raspberries)...but don and i have a pact to do it TOGETHER - so it goes faster! it's got to look funny - both of us doing THE DANCE - raspberries in one hand - the other slapping at mosquitoes.

...and the BEES. they're doing SO WELL! the two "CARNIE" packages i installed this spring? - one has 4 supers, the other has 5! i'm waiting on "doing something" with my one queenless hive until the supers are off the other hives. i'm thinking that "any remaining population" - i'd combine with a strong hive. in the years past, i've always used BEE-QUICK to clear the supers - this year i purchase some BEE ESCAPE BOARDS - it's not the little escape you clip in the inner cover hole...this is a whole thing you put in place of the queen excluder. it's a MAZE for the bees to get out of the supers but not back in.

my harvest is scheduled for august 20. seems SO EARLY for me (i did move it up some)...but i have other commitments early september. i'd like to hit the hives hard with some powdered sugar treatments this year. i've been MONITORING the screened bottom boards - and the mite load DOES NOT seem too bad. one of the strong CARNIE hives has VERY VERY little in mites according to the sticky board....we'll see!

and with our WARM WEATHER and RAIN every 3 days....the girls are SO CRANKY! i normally don't smoke them to do a quick check....or to add a super....but you have to THINK TWICE about going near them these days!

Monday, June 7, 2010

grafts & bees

in the graft the upper right quarter - on the smaller "branch"....note the TAPE - that's the graft.

Friday, June 4, 2010

BOW - may 2010 - wyalusing state park - wisconsin

we "gave 'er everything we had" to both ENTERTAIN and EDUCATE 24 women of all ages and backgrounds. my buddy terri and i were the hosts to a BOW (Becoming an Outdoor Woman) event called, BIRDING and WILDFLOWERS. terri is the birder - i'm the scavenger. when their necks got sore from looking up (for birds)...we looked to the ground (for wildflowers) i treated them to a WELCOME via bagpipes - they were surprised. saturday night we enjoyed the sunset at the indian mounds overlooking the confluence of the mississippi and wisconsin rivers. i entertained with native stories and the sun dropped below the horizon. sunday culminated in a riverboat/birding tour - eagles and other birds of prey.

this event filled in less than two weeks when it was posted and we had twice as many as was originally was a GREAT group and we had a lot of fun. i'm just guessing here...but i bet there will be another next year?!?! we had a couple of gals from OHIO...they drove over 8 hours each way! wow - go BOW gals!!!

SO MANY new things

i've been a PLANTING MANIAC at the house this spring. with the "extra" time i that i'm taking some time from bagpipes and drums....i've planted ~ 40/50 trees and shrubs around the property. some are geared toward creating a PRIVACY hedge between properties. of stipulation i had with the landscaper in picking out cultivars???....THEY HAD TO BLOOM (for the bees).

the bees...OH MY! they're doing good. i've caught 3 of my own swarms so far!....and started new hives. one was HUGE....two were smaller (which i think i'll combine this weekend) the girls are MAKING HONEY! one hive with 3 supers on already.

one batch of bluebirds has already fledged...and i noted "mom & dad" checking out a "new" box today....i moved some boxes around. BECAUSE!!! THE NEIGHBORS ARE RAISING ENGLISH SPARROWS IN THEIR BOXES (THIS IS A NO NO NO NO NO...and i'd really like to use a few explicatives as to how i REALLY feel about those )(*(*&#@$(*&)(*#$)* birds!. i's survival, bla, bla...everything has a right to live, bla bla.... english sparrows will enter the nest of swallows and bluebirds and kill everyone inside and proceed to lay their nest right over the destruction. i've seen it. you open the box to check and everyone's been pecked to death....

i gave the neighbors a sparrow trap to keep them out - with an explanation, "if you want swallows or bluebirds you have to keep $#!7 birds out". maybe they don't know the difference...they apparently don't care.... so anyway...i moved my boxes - so that i can monitor them more closely. the english sparrows all leave the yard when i step outside....i didn't say they're stupid.! this went GREAT this year too. probably HALF of the grafts have already taken and pushed out FLOWERS (apple blossoms). last year - it seemed as though they didn't take until about august when they pushed leaves. i think i was better at "both parts" of the grafting process this year. i was MORE SELECTIVE as to the scions i chose....and to which bases i grafted....maybe that made a difference - i "knew" what i was looking for? i can't wait to see all kinds of different apples - on one tree!

i will attach some pictures soon - to back-up my claims made here. the "garden" is shaping up real nice. yesterday at noon lunchtime - we went home, ate. while don (husband) was taking a powernap....i read a book out by the was WONDERFUL.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the first harvests

the first harvests are starting. DITCH ASPARAGUS...and MORELS!

spring tonic.

ryder came running!

our morning routine is to "breakfast" with the sliding glass door let the cats "MOSEY" out and do their "hunting" thing (we don't let them bother the birds though). they primarily just like getting out in the grass.

the other morn...we were sitting at our counter...and RYDER CAME RUNNING IN ....and went straight downstairs. we both looked at each other and said, "hm - must of had to GO" (the scat box is down there). he was down there for the longest time....then we rethought...maybe something scared him. we looked - saw nothing unusual.

then i went downstairs....and found out. he had a HUGE MOUSE! our little hunter boy - scores again! he was just playing with it.....

Monday, April 26, 2010

LIVE! wood duck nesting

here's a link to view a LIVE STREAM of a wood duck a wood duck house....outside my friend Terri's home in Sherwood, WI.

to bring you up to speed: she's sitting on her clutch of eggs by day - goes out for a feeding around dusk.... by day - she'll "rest"...and turn the eggs periodically.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

hey - give me ((*@&#$)...and I'LL GROW FLOWERS!

i haven't come here for a while...cause I'VE BEEN SO BUSY! my mom came in here a couple of weeks ago and did this little "nanny nanny" thing about how all her potatoes and onions were IN already. yes - i GOT TO ME. (but i didn't let her see it - yes i'm competing with my mother!)

it's been over 3 years since i added any "nutrition" to the this year i got 3 BIG HUGE SCOOP FULLS OF (you know). there's a big farm operation just south of here that produces so much (you know)...that they have a DIGESTER. it goes in as waste and comes out a commodity! ....nice thing for gardeners is...NO WEED SEEDS!!...the stuff gets so HOT in the process - everything bad is killed.

...learned another little "farmers almanac" thing from mom too. "30 days after the FIRST thunder and lightening of the year - will be the LAST frost". i made note....we had a little thunder-boomer a week or so ago....

anyway - everything got torn out - soil amended - and put back. house beds are done....and the herb garden got it this weekend. YES - i got my onions and potatoes in 2 WEEKS - it'll be the cool weather seeds into the BIG garden.

2 new packages of BEES got hived today! i tried a "new method" as per the April BEE CULTURE magazine. it's called a "no shake method". (you need an extra empty hive body to do this) install the queen (still captive in her cage) into the 2nd box - with all 10 frames in it. shake a few bees over her...then PUT THE ENTIRE PACKAGE OF BEES in the BOTTOM EMPTY BOX with the lid off - and let them crawl up to the 2nd box and settle in. (sugar syrup bucket on top as normal - so you have what appears to be a 3 high hive) in a couple of days - i'm to go out - remove the bottom box and the empty package cage....then remove the cork from the queen cage and release her...

i have to say - it was quite "peaceful". it was windy and a bit chilly i appreciated not having all kinds of bees flying around. i guess this method can be used in the rain too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

yesterday is not today

so full of energy yesterday - TOTALLY racked out today.

New Helper at Work

here's a picture of our NEW BOY! He's helping me in the sign-shop (his first day "home"). We went to look at some female lab mix puppies last week....but this guy was two doors down....a stray. We just fell for him (in spite of both of us having our prejudices about male dogs) We can hardly believe no one claimed him! HE'S SUCH A GOOD DOG! He's probably a year and a half-ish....some type of lab mix - the only white he's got on him is about 10 hairs behind his left ear. He's got a GREAT coat for hunting.....i'm thinking ahead to combing the burdocks out of him.

Now - the test....maybe this weekend....see if he's gun shy. He doesn't seem much too shy about anything else - i don't suspect a problem.

The cats - are curious. He's curious about the cats...BUT NOT IN A CHASE DOWN kinda way. i'm suspecting an upset for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who's thinking about bees in January?

I am! I've been a BEE-sy girl making powerpoint presentations for our BEEKEEPING 101/102/103 classes and other presentations. Re-reading all I can to get "new-BEES" started out on the right foot. NOW is the time of year to BEE thinking about getting hives assembled and painted - getting ready to receive the girls. Maybe I want to BEE a full-time beekeeper when I grow up?

Other beekeepers - do family and friends give you all kinds of BEE gifts? This one is irresistible.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have a PRESENT for you!

Here's our BIG BOY with his 3rd mouse (poor little mouse - they are so cute!)

He wants to come in and share it with his family....NOT!

He is so very proud.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

i HEAR you!

saturday the 9th and the sun is packing some POWER today. the snow is all sparkly and powdery. i needed to visit the honey house for some beekeeping things....for a presentation coming up in February to a group of BOW (Becoming an Outdoor Woman) ladies.

so i trekked the little distance further to visit the girls. i'm REALLY liking this beehouse! (i can hardly wait to FILL it!) the hives are high and dry - plenty of ventilation in there...and they knew too that the sun was out. there were quite a few flying around in there or hanging outside the entrances. There are very few bees dead in the snow and very few "stacking up" on the bottom board.

i was concerned that this COLD snap would take it's toll on them. THEY HAVE TO BE ABLE TO MOVE FOR they need a little "warm" winter day here and there to move as a cluster.

passing one of their favorite crab trees on the way - i noticed - BUDS! nature is truly amazing!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Returning Sunlight.

We're coming back into sunlight. (after winter solstice)

We actually participated in a WINTER SOLSTICE CEREMONY this year with a friend - and we made some new friends! (a Mead and Wine Brewer! - we had a lot to talk about.) The "ceremony" was personal, pleasant and SHORT. It was totally geared toward the rebirth of the sunlight and the turning of the world/cycles/seasons.....I thought of my bees - the queen, sensing the longer days will start laying eggs again.

I must be of the "bee clan" or "bear clan" - I definitely tend toward HIBERNATION in the winter months. Not because of the cold, but more because of the dark - I'm just more sleepy - liking to curl up with a warm blanket and a book, knitting or an ipod. That's ok...'cause when summer comes around again - I can go a million miles an hour again. Oh - the long days of summer - when you can "play" outside all day and come in at 9:30 dark with dirt and sun.

I caught myself looking out the back patio door the other day - imagining the snow gone - and what NEW things I have planned for gardens. (whoa - kinda early for THAT, I thought!) I'm thinking about projects to entertain my husband...hee hee....

It's not that nothing NEW is happening. Gardens are being planned - the seed catalogs are arriving - REMINDING you of spring ahead. Knitting projects include some nice new wash towels for MY kitchen. My book diet has been toward herbology, nutrition, dreamweaver (websites) and what I call "brewing"...soaps, tinctures, salves, balms (this kinda goes with the garden - I try to add at least one new medicinal herb to the garden each year.) and...I recently discovered the world of PODCASTING....and I'm a junkie. Lot's of NPR, health and wellness programming.

We took a nice walk in the "Kettle Moraine State Forest" yesterday morn - and I FAILED to take the camera and I kicked myself for it. I'll have to "owe" you some pictures.... We are currently dogless....and we're looking. Enjoying the woods is more pleasurable with a dog. I say TWO husband says ONE - we'll see.