The Bee Hive

Sometimes it's honey; sometimes it's sting...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm enjoying sitting on the swing off and on during the day. This morning, as usual, the bees were out in full force.
I got this eBay item yesterday in the mail. And I got a good lead on some better chickens at a lower price. The Amish wanted $8 each for scrawny nondescript hens. Lydia told me where I could get some fat, pretty black and white speckled ones for $5 each.

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Friday, August 24, 2007


Okay, first the photos, then the text copied straight from a Yahoo Permaculture Group site that I just joined. If anyone knows or has an opinion on any of my questions, feel free to comment. ...And not a word to my husband about the tentative, impending chicken purchase.

Hello, everyone. I am trying to do better with permaculture and have
some questions.

1. First of all, I have gardened with old newspapers many times over the years, using it both in compost and directly in the garden. But I had read that the colored inks were to be avoided. This used to not be that hard to do. Now it seems like our local paper has so much color, that it would be extremely tedious to tear all of it out and only use the much smaller amount of b/w that is left. So, IS the colored ink bad or unhealthy to use with food crops???

2. Chickens. I am thinking of starting a very small flock. I had a friend who has since moved away who always enumerated how much trouble it was for them to keep chickens. It discouraged me from trying. She and her husband had a huge fenced barnyard for them, plus a nice chicken house in a smaller fenced area. I remember she
talked about medicines? or vaccines? or something that had to be added to their water, and other tasks that involved 'medical' type things.

Now I have a friend who is just the opposite. She got a flock of chickens simply because she loves chickens and wanted some. Hers (6 or 7, I think) stay in a very small pen - not much bigger than a very large dog crate - from dusk until she gets home from work in the mid-afternoon. Then they are turned loose in her back yard to
forage until dusk, again. They also get chicken feed at that time. No meds, no hassles whatsoever. And the chickens are big, beautiful and healthy. I asked about nests and she said they just lay eggs in the 'crate' on the ground.

So, I guess what I am asking the group is, Is this a viable way to raise chickens or not? Are there any medicines or vaccines or anything like that, that they need? I don't think I would take it quite so easy as my friend does, but I don't want any major complications like my other friend always implied came with keeping chickens.

3. My garden, which was VERY small this year, is surrounded by bermuda grass. Would I be able to expand it simply by laying cardboard down on the grass, now, and leaving it until spring? Bermuda is tenacious, I know. I don't have a tiller and so far haven't found anyone with one, who would take the job. I am hoping to avoid tilling it myself with a garden fork.

Gee, my questions make me sound so lazy. ;)

I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", currently. It's a good book, recommending being a 'locavore', that makes me wish we had farmer's markets and places like that in our area. I live in a small town and the nearest Farmer's Market I know of - if it's even still in operation, is 50 miles away. I really wish our little town had a veggie stand or co-op thing or something.

Today I drove out to the Amish community and bought some things - wheat bread, cookies, wild grape jelly, pickled okra, fresh eggs and fresh okra. They also had pastries, honey, hand-dipped beeswax candles, pumpkins and watermelons, but that was it in the way of crops this time of year.

Question of the Day: Any answers?

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I forgot I had these photos from when I went down to the local museum earlier this month. These are from a quilt that a class of girls made in high school. It wasn't part of their curriculum, but a group remembrance project, I think. All of these women, represented in these photographs are relatives to me, I think. ...My mother, aunt, their cousins, some by marriage, later.

The extra one - the one not sewn into the quilt was made by their teacher. She was not related to me, but lived next door to us when I was growing up.
This is sure not a politically correct motif for today, but it is part of our shared heritage from the 30's.
Question of the Day:What kinds of things do you have that were handed down to you in your family from generations past?

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Friday, August 17, 2007


This is what I bought on our shopping trip Tuesday. I bought some other small things too, but this is what 'floated my boat'. I love this style of vintage Halloween decorations. Of course, this is just one of the many reproductions on the market now, and that is fine with me. I think I would rather have something that is shiney-new and that I don't have to worry over. My favorite Halloween motifs are vintage-look things like this, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns (and other veggie people), black cats, and just orange and black together. Shabree and I have watched a series of Halloween movies on the Disney channel several times since last Halloween. I think the names of the movies were Halloweentown, Halloweentown 2, etc. although I am not really sure. Anyway, I like that style too. The odd clothes that are definately Halloweenish, but bright and friendly. I really hate the evil and gory stuff.
Question of the Day: (I remembered, Laura! And I know you can answer this one.) What is your Halloween style or your favorite/least favorite motifs?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I visited a friend the other day, and enjoyed seeing her doll collection. These are only a few of them. She has several shelves and bookcases full of them. They are all fabric dolls. I gave her the cow doll, which was one that my daughter made one time.
This was my favorite because it is made from an embroidered pillowcase.
But what was even more interesting was her son's collection of fossilized bones. Most of these are teeth from a wooley mammoth. They are really BIG. Don't be fooled by the fact that they are in a bowl. The bowl is a HUGE pottery one.

In the comment in my last entry, I was reminded that I had dropped the Question of the Day. What can I say? I had forgotten all about them. Ummmm..... okay. Okay! I have one.
Question of the Day:What kind of interesting things have you found or dug up from the ground?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Today, being Lydia's day off, we planned a shopping trip to Corpus Christi. I drove to Old San Patricio, where she lives and we drove around looking at some of the old sites before leaving for C.C. There has been extreme flooding there for the past month or so, so the grass is grown up terribly, and there are limbs, household items and all kinds of things all over. The river is still out of it's banks and some places are still under water.
First we went to the Old Cemetery on the Hill. Getting back there to it was no easy matter, even in a pick-up. It was too grown up in weeds to go inside the fence safely. The rattlesnakes are displaced and likely to be anywhere. Ick! Plus I was wearing sandals and capris. I plan on going back in jeans and combat boots later on.
The historical marker for the cemetery. It reads, "This cemetery is believed to have been used for generations by Indian tribes and Mexican settlers who lived in this area previous to anglo colonization. Following the establishment of San Patricio de Hibernia in 1830, by empresarios John McMullen and James McGloin, the colonists continued to use the old cemetery on the hill.
According to local oral tradition, early graves in the cemetery were marked by wooden crosses and stones bearing Spanish and English inscriptions. Among those interred here are Lt. Marcelino Garcia, who was killed in the Battle of Fort Lipantitlan in 1835. Also buried here are soldiers who died in the Battle of San Patricio on February 27, 1836, James McGloin, whose grave was never marked, victims of diseases such as scarlet fever, men killed fighting duels and many early settlers and their decendants.
After a new cemetery was consecrated in San Patricio by Father Antione Maury in 1872, the old cemetery was used infrequently. The old cemetery was neglected for many years, until restoration efforts were begun in the 1960's. Some tombstones were destroyed or lost over the years, but the historic graveyard is now maintained."
This is reputed to be the tree Chepita Rodriguez was hanged from. She was buried beneath it, too. One (or two?) of my ancestors were on the jury for her trial. They recommended mercy, but the judge ruled otherwise. There was a sort of memorial shrine at the site until the flood. Or until vandals got to it. I don't know which. It is just off the road in a country housing addition, and the road turns very dark from the thick overgrowth of trees just before you get to it.
It is sickening how much vandalism there is in this little historic community. The flooding hasn't helped either. I really wish the whole area could be better maintained and guarded.

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Monday, August 13, 2007


I've gotten involved with swapping via the internet again. First was an inchie swap. I have received two of the three packets that are due to me, already, and will wait awhile before giving up on the third. When/If I get it, I will post a photo of them all. Otherwise, the two packets I did receive will be posted here, eventually.
This is what I received a few days ago from Heini in Finland. I really needed a wallet and I love this red leather one. I also love herbal things and homemade soap, so this little cake of birch and fir soap is greatly appreciated. Plus, she sent an art card made with a CD as part of it. Very clever!
These are ATCs - Artist Trading Cards - from a swap. Lots of variety, there! My favorite is the red couple in the corner. Aren't they all wonderful!
Most of my swapping is done on Swap-Bot, although the ATCs were through So far, I have joined five more swaps on Swap-Bot: Hard-Core Mail Art, Pinatas (I can't wait until this one closes and I can start on making mine!), Halloween Altered Box, Halloween/Fall Matchbox, and Christmas Surprise Matchbox.

I haven't given up bentos yet...just hit a speedbump of a long, disjointed weekend. I hope to get back with it this week sometime.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Here is my first bento. I made four of these today to take to the office for my, Zachary's, Lydia's and Anita's lunch. I had seen a few things about bento lately, but didn't get the bug until last night. Yesterday, in Corpus Christi, Zach and I went to World Market and saw lots of really great things, but no bento boxes. Zach and I almost drove to Walmart at 1:30am last night to get things for this, but since I couldn't be sure the deli was open - Walmart was not answering the phone - I sensibly waited until this morning....which was a good thing, because it turns out that the deli closes at 7pm. Last night was spent drinking in the photos and information on 20-30 bento sites, plus checking eBay for bento items.
At Walmart, I bought four multi-colored red striped place mats and 6 napkins in red, pumpkin and loden green to match. The four sectioned, covered plates came from there, too, as well as a bisectioned, lided container, some tiny, colorful condiment bowls, and enough varied ingredients to make banyak sekali - very many - bento?...bentos?.
The bento today consisted of a boiled egg 'chicken' in a bed of deli broccoli salad, a croissant with molded (a rabbit) butter, fresh pineapple chunks with a colorful toothpick for eating it, a tortilla roll, and cucumber with a scooped-out hollow filled with deli ham salad and topped with an olive slice. Oh, and green tea for the drink. The plates really needed to be filled more because a lot of the plate showed through from the bottom. Or maybe the plates were just too big, because the meal was filling enough. But I was in such a hurry after returning home, to get these made, and there, in such a short time.
Tomorrow I plan (if nothing comes up) to take bento to Chuck, Zach, Mat, Reagan and Amy. If I do get them made, I'll probably have another bento photo tomorrow.
This is no small feat for someone like me who does not really enjoy cooking much any more. Of course most of it came from the deli or was ready-made. It's got to be the 'cute', artsy-craftsy, playing, piddling aspect that has me so smitten.


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Recently, a letterboxer contacted me about my two micro-boxes near Marble Falls. Currently, I think, one is missing completely and the other is still there, but the stamp from it is missing. They asked what the Lost Marbles stamp had looked like, so I said I'd post the image on my blog as soon as I found my log book.
Anyway, Lost Marbles and Sweet Berry are the ones stamped in purple. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't use red and green to stamp the strawberry. Multi-color would have been nice for the marbles, too. I have several stamps that have not even been placed into boxes yet.
Looking in my log book at pages and pages of stamps I have carved and stamps from letterboxes I've found, and stamps from exchanges made at gatherings really makes me wonder why I don't letterbox any more. It deals with all kinds of things I like - nature, native plants, trees, history, interesting places, art, carving stamps, messing with color/ink, even journaling, which is how my logbook started out...heavy journaling plus photos of my/our letterboxing excursions. Maybe it has to do with laziness and lack of stamina? For some reason, I just really don't like going anywhere any more. I don't have what is it.... 'agoraphobia'? Or panic attacks (ha!) or anything like that. It's just that I truly love staying home and playing around with my stuff at home - games (all manner of Sims, Viva Pinata, etc.) - but also my herb garden, the dogs, artwork, internet, doing the reading/planning/organizing D.R.E. thing - just things like that. I go to church at least a couple times a week, go out to eat with friends 3-4 times a week, and go shopping in Beeville when I can't put it off any more, and shopping in Corpus Christi when I really, REALLY need to (or am there for something else), and pick up my granddaughter or return her to Corpus when I need to, but that is the extent of it, for the most part. Oh, well - I'm happy....but, darn, this log book is nagging at me.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What hobbies or interests have you given up?


Friday, August 03, 2007


Here's an interesting bit of folk art that I saw at our small, local museum the other day. And here is an article about bottle cap art I found on the internet. If you scroll down about halfway, there is a photo of a similar basket.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I am happy to have found two more members of our large, extended family. Erich and his mother, Rosetta, (center and right)arrived from Washington D.C. and Maryland earlier this week to visit the Skidmore Museum and research their genealogy in the area. They were such wonderful people, and I really enjoyed meeting with them.
Erich contacted the museum and made arrangements to have it opened during the time of their arrival in the area, and asked if there were any distant relatives still living nearby, that they could meet. A museum board member (left) called me and we all met at the museum for 4 or 5 hours, while Erich worked feverishly to gather and scan as much information as he could in the time they had. Keith Petrus joined the group and added much to the topic of Skidmore history and genealogy, plus helped pull out and search through boxes of old newspaper clippings and other memorabilia.