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Pause. Pray. Proceed.

I’m sleeping like a rock these past nights.

I’ve seldom had trouble sleeping, but I never expected quitting that job to feel so liberating. I actually work a lot more now than I did when I “worked.” I move more. I accomplish more.

So, here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

  1. I feel better
  2. I cook healthy meals every day,
  3. which means we’re eating at home more
  4. (and if you don’t yet know Pioneer Woman Cooks, let me introduce you).
  5. Cash stays longer in my pocket,
  6. though I do do do miss my daily Starbuck’s Americano with one pump carmel syrup and a drizzle of half & half.
  7. I do not miss eating lunch at my desk in a windowless Yellow Hell.
  8. (I could go on and on here about a blabbing blabbing blabbing boss, but I won’t. It’s not healthy to live in the past and carry it around like that. Nope. No more about it. That’s history.)
  9. I’ve reduced my daily insulin because I’m eating better and moving more. This can only translate into GREAT.
  10. Every day I make moves toward developing the bee business. Why not? It’s what’s in front of me right this second, and I’ve simply decided to do what’s in front of me. I am trusting the universe on this one.

I should have taken a picture of it…maybe I’ll go back today since my time is now my own.

Yesterday, my afternoon plans shifted around when I got a call from Jerod about his bees. You see, Reader, we’re all feeding our bees right now in hopes that each colony will store enough to carry them through winter. I won’t go into detail here, but feeding often sets off some very very active behavior, and Jerod’s bees exhibited some excitement yesterday. Enough excitement to disturb the carpenter doing some work near the site of the hives. So, we went over to calm them down.

There’s a huge open lot where Jerod keeps his hives, and his grandfather let it go to weeds this year just for the bees…and yesterday Jerod took me on a tour of the wildness. It’s awesome. And it’s beautiful. And it made me wonder why on earth we ever mow our lawns.

Seriously, since I began keeping bees, my desire for a well-groomed yard has shifted. I now look at closely mown, manicured, weed-free lawns as dull. And worthless. I’m much more interested in those wild places to which any bee or bird or snake or mole would fly and slither and tunnel.

I’m of a mind to let my yard go to weed. I like it.

Reader, I’ve got some time on my hands this morning because last week I resigned from my job. On Wednesday, I gave two-week’s notice and immediately took two-week’s vacation. But the remainder of last week was sort of peppered with resigning-from-work, cleaning-it-all-out stuff, so today is actually the first day of not working at that job which I did not ever like for even a minute.

I feel terrific. And, you know what’s so interesting? I’m not even telling anyone. I mean, yes, I’ve told a few people, but all-in-all, that job meant so little to me that I don’t even feel the need to tell anyone that I’m not doing it anymore. I attended a dinner party on Saturday night, and I didn’t even mention the resignation. Not a peep about it. I’m just letting it go.

This week, I plan to cook. And invite people for dinner. And get the tires changed on the wheelbarrows and the hand truck. And clean the basement. And feed all the bees. And construct some beehives. And walk the dog on his favorite trails. I’ve got a few projects to pull off this week, and now I’ve got the time to take care of them.

What we’ve already recognized is that more free time for me means more free time for Deb, too. She can go to the gym rather than walk the dog. She can come home to nice meals that are less expensive than those we eat out, and we can invite people to join us because the house can be clean. This translates into more at-home time for Deb…which she loves and which she has too little of. Yes, I’ll eventually need to get a job and make some money and contribute financially. But, for a little bit, this is nice for both of us.

(Do you realize, Reader, that this job meant so little to me that I don’t even have a “work” category set up on this blog? I’m filing this post under “the mundane.”)

As if on Amphetamines

I still have that stiff-neck thing. It’s been going on for over a week. I’m almost positive it’s because I haven’t been riding my bicycle, but who has time for that?! Right now, I have time only for bees.

Bees are everywhere. I have bees in yards all over town. I am elated with them. When I expanded my apiary from 2 hives to 15 (well, to 18 if you include hives I don’t own but am overseeing as if my own), I never expected to increase knowledge exponentially as well. I am on fire with learning.

I seldom think much about honey. I think more about what the bees are doing and how I can manage build up. Which, of course, will eventually lead to honey. But that’s not my point this year. My point is to…well, you don’t really need to know my point, do you, Reader? I have one. Or two. But it may bore you to hear me explain it.

This last weekend I visited beeyards (and their bee stewards) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I lost track of time. I was late for dinner. Deb was a bit perturbed…”very” may be a better word. I don’t know how to defend myself when it comes to her frustration. Yes, I was late. Yes, I sort of thought about calling, but I didn’t do it. No, I don’t know why. Yes, if she’d been that late without calling, I’d have been pissed, too. But while I’m in the middle of the bees with those people, none of that really comes to the forefront of my consciousness. It’s that time of year when time gets away from me because of the bees. In the winter, I sulk around here waiting for action. I am a dullard. In the spring and summer, I am on the go go go go go as if on amphetamines.

Top-bar hive (from reclaimed material)

The Crick in my Neck

I’ve got a crick in my neck like you wouldn’t believe (is “crick” a colloquial term? I don’t think may people around here say it. They say “I have a stiff neck.”). This is Day 3 of it. Maybe I need a massage. I’m sure someone could wring whatever’s stuck out of me. Deb’s given me some good exercises to do for it, but I forget. Odd, isn’t it? That something bothers me like crazy but then I forget to do what’s supposed to make it better. That would never happen to my mother. If it makes you better, do it, she says. No excuses.

She thinks I always have excuses.

Or maybe a long hot bike ride would do it. Maybe I need to sweat from exercise rather than from exertion. There’s a difference, I think. I’ve been sweating from exertion, but it doesn’t feel as cleansing as the kind of sweat that comes from a bike ride. I think my body is sending me a message: Go for a bike ride.

 

As you know, Reader, my phone has been ringing with requests for bee removals. And as you also know because you visit me here every day, my new default response in life is “yes.” However, I’m no idiot, and when I finally see where I’ll have to go to collect these bees, I am not above refusing. I mean, I’m a 53-year-old woman, and I shouldn’t be climbing that high on a ladder and dealing with bees. Which doesn’t mean I won’t do it, it just means the price just went waaaaaaaaaaaaay up…because now I’ve gotta rent a lift, etc. And I charge for risky. So, I guess I’m still saying “yes,” but I’m also saying it’s gonna cost you. So far, no takers.

But I’ve got my business all set up and waiting. I’ve got a Tax ID #, a checking account, a credit card, and Square—the gizmo that plugs into my iPhone and scans credit cards and deposits the money directly into my checking account. How cool is that?! (I haven’t used it yet.)

However, tomorrow I’ve got a bee removal job. The homeowner says he’ll remove the siding from his house, and I’ll collect the bees. He also built a platform for us to stand on so we may not need a ladder. I’ve invited Nicola to help me, and she has yet to turn me down…she requests that I call her Big Daddy on all bee removals, so I do.

My friends on the bee forum want me to video our first removal, but I don’t have a video camera. I’ve gotta admit, it would probably be worth documenting. Especially the part where I call Nicola “Big Daddy” all day.

 

I set a newly-built top-bar bee hive near where we set our trash (the guys in our village drive down our driveway to collect the garbage…no one wants to see all the garbage piled up near the street. Yes, it’s a snobbyish place to live, but it’s got its benefits).

Anyway, the garbage guys collected my newly-built top-bar hive and it went into the crusher. Fuckers. They say they didn’t do it, but of course they did. Granted, it may have looked like garbage. I’ve been building these things from recycled lumber, and they aren’t pretty to anyone but me. But, seriously, who would throw something that definitely looks like something useable into the garbage? I’m pissed about it. Their supervisor said he trusts his “guys,” and said that if I don’t believe them when they say they didn’t throw it away, then I’m calling them “liars.”

Is there no way to question why people might say they didn’t do something when it’s quite clear they did do it without technically calling them liars? What I’m saying is this: I set that hive where we place our trash. Deb placed our trash right next to the hive on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon when I arrived home, the hive and all the garbage was gone. And no one ever steals anything around here. So, that’s what I’m saying.

I collected more stuff from which to make another hive, and I’m building it this morning. I’m making this next hive from cedar fencing…it’s rough-cut lumber, and I love the way it looks. I’ve decided to be like the bees: When we go into their hives and remove their comb for any number of reasons, they don’t spend time being resentful over so much wasted work. They simply go about repairing and rebuilding. They probably look at us as if we’ve got a few screws loose for destroying what to them is so valuable, but then they get back to work. That’s what I plan to do this morning.

I like these hives:

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