Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Busy Like a Bee

It's been busy busy around here since I got back from Utah. I can't seem to get caught up or get my act completely together (I missed the kids' guitar lessons 2 weeks in a row which is really not like me).

Last week, I redid the kids' rooms. They were a mess. Same baby green paint from when the rooms were nurseries and if you have had boys, you know what they can do to a place. So we cleaned, we painted, we rearranged furniture, and got them new bedding, lamps, and pictures. They look like young men's rooms now. The boys are very proud and taking excellent care of their new digs.

I bottled the beer and Skeeter Pee (hard lemonade). It really came out good. Tastes like a nice white wine! I'm going to get another batch started. I really hate sterilizing bottles though.

Friday, I saw an ad on CraigsList for silkie roosters about an hour away from us. My son has 3 hens and ordered 2 roosters from an auction on Backyard Chickens back in December! We sent the seller $35 for the birds and shipping and still have not received them. The only thing keeping me from being steaming mad is that he hasn't cashed the check.

This is Oreo:

And Mist:

After getting these boys, I asked the BYC seller to send my check back or send me a picture of it ripped up. I still haven't heard from him. Cole is looking forward to selling chicks to earn a little money. We just need the hens to start laying again!

Last weekend was bitterly cold here. So what did we do? Ate raw oysters and pretended we were at the beach. Mom and Hubby are expert shuckers!

This cold snap has me down to the dregs of my seasoned firewood. I have about 3 days worth left. The weather had better change soon! Sunday, we bundled up and split and picked up the tree we felled at my friend's farm. Then went next door and got a load of odds and ends our next door neighbor didn't want. He likes his wood uniform to stack in his wood sheds. I'm not so picky. Odds and ends burn well and do just fine under our upcycled redneck pool "tarp".

Monday I planted the tomato and pepper seeds. I'm a little late getting them started. Like I said, I can't get my act together after being gone for a week.

Yesterday, the kids talked me into some chicks from TSC Chick Days. We have enough chickens, but most of my original Red Sex Links have died. They are the sweetest birds and the best layers, so I don't suppose it will hurt to have a few more.

Cole has a Spelling Bee on Friday. At 9:00am! Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to get anywhere by 9:00am? I am not much of a morning person and I'm going to have to get up by 6:30 to get ready and finish my chores in time. The next 2 days are devoted to getting through his lists of words.

And speaking of bees. Yesterday I ordered two 4# packages of bees from Wilbanks Apiary in Claxton, GA. I'm going to have to go pick the bees up in May. I am determined to get at least 2 strong hives going! Beekeeping is such a challenge (and so expensive) with all the imported pests and environmental hazards the bees face today. Honestly, to make any money on it, I'd have to charge $50 a quart for honey (which I'm not going to do). And people wonder why they can't find local honey. It's so precious, I don't want to sell it.


  1. Yes, you certainly are a busy bee these days. And I know what you mean about going anywhere that early. I live too far away from everything to get anywhere early, so I make afternoon apointments. Too much to do in the mornings. It only took 1 1/2 hours this morning though. Hmm, what did I forget to do?

    Good luck with the bees. I can't wait to get mine now. And good luck to your son in the spelling bee! I always loved spelling bees when I was a kid. I guess that's why I'm such a spelling nerd now.

    1. I've never done a spelling bee. I'm a visual speller. But my son can see the words in his head and has been gonig around spelling everything for years.

      These words are really hard though and he's getting frustrated and refusing to learn any more. :(

  2. I was going to make your Skeeter pee. Did you have some started to add to it? That's the only thing keeping me from making it. Could you add some white wine instead?

    Cute baby chicks and Silkie roosters!

    I think I know what happened to the eggs. My intense paranoia of a failed hatch made me make it fail! The majority of the eggs were yolk, a few had very small embryos in them. Four of the eggs had full grown babies :( I'm pretty sure my constant checking on them caused them not to hatch. The shells were really hard. I did have the humidity high enough but I opened the lid a few times too many :( Sorry, I didn't want to let you down. I cried for days over this.

    1. I just used about half a pack of champagne yeast to get it going. I had a little yeast cake from a batch of mead, but it wasn't enough. I had no trouble after adding the fresh yeast. You can get the yeast at a local brew store or online (Amazon has it) for about $1 a pack.

      I also put a heater in the closet to warm it up to about 70 and get it going since I don't heat the house very much.

      I feel terrible that you didn't have a successful hatch. I have found that whenever I open the bator on the last few days (especially after they pip), the chicks get shrink wrapped and can't get out.

      I would be happy to send more eggs at no cost if you can help with shipping. I really want you to have chicks!

      We have only hatched 3 chicks (under a silkie) this year and all three hatched. I hatched a batch out of the incubator last year with about 80% success and had 4 successful hatches with broodies last summer. I feel confident the roos are doing their job!

    2. I appreciate your offer, you are too sweet! I wasn't kidding when I said I was an emotional wreck over this, it seems silly but it killed me to lose those babies! Maybe this fall I could buy some more from you and try incubating again or sit them under a hen. I have three broodys right now and I'm a little nervous about their success. I may have more chickens than I can deal with ☺