The Bee Hive

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

Monday, March 31, 2008


I read about this challenge on Green Gringa's blog and then followed her link to the original on Crunchy Chicken's blog. The button above should take you right there. Or the button on the side. Either one.

The idea is to reduce one's consumerism and draw attention to one's own impulse buys and unnecessary purchases. Wish me luck! I am not a huge spender or even materialistic, but I do buy things when they strike my fancy. I have greatly slowed down on my magazine purchases in the past year. I used to buy around 10 each month. Now I buy Texas Gardening and Mary Englebreit's Home Companion most months and Taste of Home now and then...and an occasional craft type magazine of one kind or another. I do spend on video games and consoles and online games, but I think I have all I want now. No other purchases planned until The Sims 3 comes out in March of 2009. I am counting the days on that one! I'm pathetic, I know. But on the other hand I am extremely selective in the video games I buy. Only new offerings from the 2 game series' that I play.

From Crunchy Chicken's blog, here are the items to cut out on the challenge:

No new clothes

No new gadgets

No new furniture or housewares

No salon services

No makeup

No tools

No whatever the hell else people buy

Want to join in? Follow the link to Crunchy Chicken's blog.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008


Zachary spent the night here last night, and Mathieu started out here... but "If you're going to treat me like a baby, I'm just going to go home!". I said, "Okay." and you should have seen how fast I packed up his stuff!!!

What preceeded his comment was he had been dressed for bed and laying down on the couch with me, watching Zach play a video game. Then he said he was thirsty and asked for ANOTHER can of Dr. Pepper. I said, "only one Dr.Pepper." and that I'd get him a drink of water. He said he doesn't like water, but that he would accept tea. So we went to the kitchen where he wanted not the small glass, half full, that I gave him, but a BIG, full glass.

So, I drove him home and we parted amicably. Zach and I stayed up until 2a.m. and 4a.m., respectively, playing computer and video games. But I still woke up at 9:30 (late, for me) and Zachary was already up by then.

This morning Zach and I went to Sinton to watch Mat's first t-ball game. He did well. He ran (fast!) to the base without hesitation when he hit the ball. Unfortunately, once he got to second base, his attention wandered and he was squated down sculpting and pushing off the dirt from the base when he should have been running to third. So he stayed on second base an extra go-round, missing that whole


When his team was outfield, he played right field or shortstop. I couldn't tell which. No hits came that way, though, so he and his buddy compared socks and cleat treads to pass a little of the time.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our oldest son lives and works in the American Embassy in Baghdad. He did call a little before noon today, not saying anything about what was going on there. And I hadn't heard the news, here, yet at that time. He hung up when the loud sounds of helicopters overhead started drowning out our conversation. I know he called so that in case I had heard the news, or when I did hear what was going on, that I would know he was okay as of 11:40 US central time. ....sigh....

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter. We went to Mass this morning, got tacos afterwards and now I've just returned from taking Shabree back to Corpus Christi. Isn't that a great chalked message? Samantha, Andrew's fiance, did that yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo until the sun was kind of dim and it had been walked on a little bit.
As I said in my previous post, we had our Easter get-together yesterday. Shabree had her 12th birthday mid-week, but we included a birthday cake with our early Easter dinner. The icing is penuche, which my mother and aunt used to make ages ago. It was my favorite when I was a child. Penuche icing must have been popular around then. I remember when Mother started making it, and it seemed like so many other relatives and her friends made it then, too. Now, I never see or hear about it any more. A recent post on Cookbook Junkie's blog reminded me of it. This was the first time I have ever made it.
Laughing about me trying to pose her with the cake, so that her hand or arm hid the part where it had already been cut and sampled, she insisted that I pose with the cake too, and bend my arm to try to hide the cut place. I hadn't even thought about taking a photo of the cake until Andrew or Shabree (I forget which one) suggested it... two slices too late.
Speaking of Andrew, here he is posed by the tumbleweed he brought me a week ago, which I made into a sort of primative Easter basket/nest door decoration. No, he really isn't crazed and dangerous, like he appears in this photo. He is soft-spoken, quiet, kind, gentle, musical and artsy...and he likes to pose like a deranged person whenever I take his photo. Sheesh!
This is his fiance, Sam, who did the chalk drawing. See? Could a crazy person be engaged to someone this normal looking?
Then here is a shot of Garrett and his girlfriend's son, Corey. Everyone was just hanging around in the backyard after dinner. I didn't get a shot of Chuck, Amy, Reagan, Zach or Mathieu then. Chuck was taking a nap and Reagan and crew didn't come until later.
Our menu was much simpler this year than in the past. I used to be a regular Martha Stewart in many ways. I don't have the energy any more. We had it here at the house rather than at the cabin. Garrett did the barbequed ribs and Chuck did the barbecued sausage and hot dogs. I made a big Mexican Chef Salad, mass quantities of deviled eggs, the cake and we had a watermelon, too. That's little marzipan cookie carrots and cabbages and peas in the shells. No jello eggs, fruit salad, or ham and asparagus or the other half a dozen things I used to be sure to make. No complicated treasure hunt, hula hoop contest, bunny hop or bunny ears... just a small, simple Easter Egg hunt. I really liked not being stressed out before and exhausted afterwards.


Saturday, March 22, 2008


Shabree spent her spring break and birthday here, and Zach and Mat were over almost every day, too. We had lots of fun, and really stayed busy. I'm going to miss having the three of them over so much. These photos were taken a couple of days ago - Shabree with Midnight, then Zach with Midnight. The hens are doing great so far. We get an egg from Goldilocks every day. Midnight should start laying in a couple of weeks. I have 'pre-Easter' photos from today, but I'll post those tomorrow. With so much going on with everyone, we had our Easter dinner and get-together this afternoon. Tomorrow, after Mass, I have to take Shabree back to Corpus Christi.


Monday, March 17, 2008


So this is my work crew I had this afternoon. And behind them is part of what we did...completely reworked my herb garden. It's still in progress, naturally, with another of those cinder block raised beds to put somewhere, but I am happy with it so far. I went to Beeville and got the blocks at McCoys, then got 5 large bags of soil. I know I am going to need more, but for now, it's good. Tomorrow, I hope to get the new herbs planted in both raised areas, and start on getting the soil prepared in the front of the old beds. It sure is going to look sparse for awhile until the plants get big and bushy. And I am going to have to dig up a new area to replace the part in the herb garden where Mathieu has created his 'frog and garden snake town'.

Andrew and Samantha came today and brought Shabree her birthday present a couple of days early - a pair of chickens. They are bantams. She named them Goldilocks and Nightshade, although that is subject to change.
I have an appointment with the dentist in the morning, and then I want to go get some fresh chicken feed and maybe a better laying box set-up. Then it is home to put Goldy and Nightshade into the chicken tractor which Zachary re-stapled for me today.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008


...but it is a little late to start from seeds. At least tomato seeds. Look at that row of cardboard. Did you ever see a more crooked row? I drew the rectangles and had Zach cut most of them out. Mathieu marked the spaces through the holes, onto the ground. Then Zach dug most of the holes (every other space) for the buried water jugs. Garrett came over during Zach's break, and did a couple too. Then when I fitted the cardboard back over the spaces, it was all off kilter, requiring some extra cuts in the cardboard to even fit it over the places that had jugs buried. But, oh well... the beauty will be in the delicious tomatoes.

Of course, no one really gets the concept of what it is meant to be/do except me. The idea is to cut down on weeds, conserve water and water efficiently. The jugs (Yay, Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng!) each have a small hole in the very bottom that should slowly deliver a good watering directly to the roots of the tomato plants. The tomatoes are planted in every other space...tomato plant....jug....tomato plant....jug... There will be more cardboard (to deter weeds and conserve water) between the other plants (okra, onions, bell peppers) as soon as I get some more. And there will be cardboard between the rows, as soon as the seeds (mesclun, chard) we planted come up. I'm afraid it is a little late for the mesclun, as we are already having 95 degree temperatures. It won't produce for long.

And see the middle of the garden where Shabree is standing? That is all the unplanted space I have left. And I have the Three Sisters (corn, pole beans and squash) and watermelon seeds remaining. They aren't going to fit! I guess I will plant a hill or two of watermelon and the same of squash.

I went to Corpus Christi to pick up Shabree for spring break this afternoon. She has been really interested in gardening lately, so she was only too happy to help me get the okra and pepper plants and tomato seeds in today. Shabree and I have plenty of herbs to plant this week too. I am going to get some cinder blocks - the kind with two holes in them - and align them to make a square, raised bed to put at the corners of the existing herb garden. That is on tomorrow's agenda.

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Monday, March 10, 2008


Shabree has been showing my blog to kids at school and they don't believe I'm her grandmother.
So here are photos of her at my house yesterday after Mass.
We went clothes shopping and she got a lot of clothes which will be her birthday present from us. I guess we'll have her party next weekend unless the weather turns really bad. She wants a barbeque - hot dogs, sausage and ribs.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I finally got the garden tilled. Chuck rented a tiller yesterday and when he was unloading it, Garrett saw us out there, jumped over the adjoining fence corner and came over to help. Chuck got the first two passes done, and then Garrett finished the rest. I am SO glad it is done! :)


Thursday, March 06, 2008

3" X 3" MINIS

I made these for a 3"x3" challange. This one is Dandan (Cinnabar).
This one is Ash Wednesday.
Yesterday, I got all ready to take my van into the shop to be fixed (the horn isn't working) and then inspected, only to find that the battery was dead again. Chuck had just jumped it the evening before. Blah. I'm hoping to get it all done today, but...

Yesterday Lydia and I went out for lunch, then I went to the office later in the afternoon to get a new newsletter copied and sent out to the religious education families. That night, I went to Mass and then the parish council meeting. So I missed American Idol, but did get home in time to see the finale of Project Runway. Yay, Christian! I would have been happy if Jillian had won too. Her line was so cute (most of it), and I liked the knits she added. Rami had some pieces in his line that I loved, but some that I really didn't like, too. I hope all three of the finalists go on to successful careers as designers.

Tonight is Survivor! I am hoping Ozzy wins this season. He deserves it. He is so knowledgeable and capable about the outdoors and survival things, plus he is extremely athletic and very intelligent as well. And nice. Gosh, last week, he got sent to Exile Island, and in the short time he was 'looking for food', he followed all of the clues correctly (including swimming to another nearby island and back), found the idol, carved a replacement, and transfered the real one from his hat to his bag, right in front of Kathy and she didn't even notice a thing!

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Monday, March 03, 2008


Blue Hawaiian Boone's Farm wine is blueberry and coconut flavored. Ohmygosh! Two of my favorite flavors. So good that I had two of these right in a row. I MAY even buy some more when the first bottle runs out. I wonder if Boone's Farm will ever make a Candy Cane flavored wine? If they do, I'm a goner. Let's see...the original recipe that started all this was for a Shrek Float, only I never did find Boone's Farm Melon Ball flavor. So what would this one be called? How about a Smurf Float?

Sadly, Stewart is leaving today to return to Baghdad. And my week will be spent sewing toga type costumes for the religious education students' play which will be held on the 12th. Um...maybe sew is not the correct word. They are toga-robelike-things...and some aprons. I bet I could cut and fold and drape well enough to pass... Maybe just sewing a couple of hems here and there... And with the judicious use of hidden safety pins... Voila! Maybe.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008


I am exhausted. I don't know why I totally deflate on Sunday afternoons, but I do. Mass and classes went very well this morning, and we had a parish family breakfst in the hall, too. No teacher locked a student in the classroom this week. Ahem... Of course, the boy who thought it would be fun hiding under a table while the teacher's back was turned, and the group was leaving for play rehearsal, and who wasn't counting on the teacher locking the door behind her, didn't pull that stunt again this week-end. ;) It was so fortunate that I was still finishing up my work last Sunday, and decided to gather up the breakfast room garbage and take it out to the garbage can on the other side of the second classroom building, before joining the rehearsal. I had heard someone screaming and kicking the door or something, and immediately thought someone was locked in a restroom. I ran for that wing of the building but no one was in there. When I did find him, he had to wait for me to go get my keys and let him out. He had been crying, and was very glad to be out. Anyway, things went much smoother this week. :)

Garrett got a new car a couple of days ago. Here he is with it.
Needless to say, he is walking (drivng?) on air these days. He loves his Porche.

Andrew was over that day too, and so I got both of our younger sons in the photo.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


This is actually the first page in my new art journal, but I was late in finishing it. So far, I haven't written anything on it. So really, it is not finished yet.
This one is, I think, the third one I did. Kind of plain.
Then this one I did yesterday. Still no writing, and I have no idea what I will write on it when I do get around to it. I just feel like I have nothing to say lately.