The colder winter days are useful for getting things done in doors. Fred and Caleb have been busy building new bee boxes, nuc boxes, telescoping covers, inner covers and screened bottoms. They used white pine and cedar as the wood source for these. It takes a lot of time but in the end we will be able to increase our hive numbers slowly with not as much cash input.
Fred and I have also been doing quite a lot of reading up on the bees this winter. We enjoy reading books together stopping over sips of hot coffee to discuss what we are learning. There is so much to learn and I doubt we’ll ever stop that learning process.
The twins found time last week to sand our dining room floor and put three coats of polyurethane on top. It looks beautiful and I hope it lasts. We are still working on the dust that seems to keep settling along with the dust of the basement wood stove:) When I see the kids tackling a project like this, I am reminded of how lucky our children are to be homeschooled which allows the extra time to learn, hands on, what I never had the chance to do having been heavily involved in school. Same for Caleb and Mario, who gets to work in “shop” under the direct supervision of dad. What a blessing. Once in a while they get to go over to brother Clayton’s farm and help with his building of a machine shed, again great opportunity for hands on learning.
Fred took time the other day to take Caleb ice fishing on the Yellow Medicine river and they came home with a bunch of fish. Caleb was thrilled and so was I until it came time to package the smoked fish. Yuck……they looked awful and I ended up feeding quite a few to the cats.
I’ve also been working on making my cheddar cheeses and so far so good. Cheddar is so easy to make and it stores well. Fred helped Luke and Peter butcher a hog the other day as both of them were pretty much out of pork. It was a young hog so it did not take much effort. Yesterday they smoked the bacon on our front porch grill and I tell you, it smelled wonderful. They also melted down an entire barrel of wax and Peter made me some candles.
Other than that, we are spending most of our time doing our studies. I might mention, part of the studies include behind the wheel driving for my twins who turned 18 and now have their permits! They get to drive often and I kind of miss being behind the wheel:) We decided to make them wait on the permits because the classes at the high school are very expensive.
The grandchildren are growing and I love seeing them almost daily. How lucky can I get?