About & Contact

Welcome to Pen & Hive!

Are you thinking about starting a garden, getting some beehives, or chickens but wonder if you can do all that in your suburban backyard? Are you just interested in upping your recycling game? Have you ever stopped to pick up a piece of furniture that someone had put out for the trash? Do you ever look in your kids' closet (or your own) and wonder if you couldn't simplify your life and make do with less? Interested in composting and want to get a rain barrel or grow more of your own food?

Then have you wondered if you are crossing over into some kind of weird doomsday territory? Have you asked yourself how much is too much? How much is just...weird?

Never fear. I'm a lifelong gardener, beekeeper, and rabid upcycler living the (mostly) sustainable dream with backyard chickens and a house full of trash to treasure furniture and decor. Yes, I think we can live with less but we still want to look cute doing it.Yes I think you can save your small part of the world. Adorably. No one around here is going to ask you to stop shaving your legs or coloring your hair.  There are limits, people.

I'm a former home school mom and lifelong gardener turned blogger and beekeeper turned entrepreneur.  I run a micro-apiary and sell honey and hand crafted skin care products and donate a portion of all profits to beekeepers in developing countries. I'm a docent at the state's largest art museum and am in the local Master Gardening program. I live in Tennessee suburb with my husband two dogs, a cat, some chickens, and several hundred thousand bees.

Come join me as I share simple and practical solutions for reducing waste, simplifying everything from your wardrobe to your pantry, and share beekeeping and gardening information in a relaxed way. You can do this!


You can buzz me by email at mkshort@hotmail.com
or follow me and comment by any of the social media links!






  1. Tripped over you by accident and at exactly the right moment. Longtime recycler, reuser and upscaler. Longing for bees and the ability to focus well enough, long enough, to finish creating the garden I've worked towards over a period of years. A ways to go yet, but haven't had a lawn to mow for ten years. My sister has the most amazing little farmstead, with ducks (had geese one year and decided never again, Ithink), unnamed chickens for meat and named ones for eggs. I admire but I also need clean time for reading, writing, and quilting. This is my Croning year, time to burn to find the gold and let the dross go, to travel forward with a lighter load, towards my heart's desire.

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by! All of the things I am interested in have evolved over several years and are still developing. I'm like you. More than I have now might make it difficult for me to find the time to do all the other things I love, like reading, writing, and volunteering. And quite often sitting and observing nature or quietly thinking my own thoughts in a quiet corner somewhere. Good for you on working on refining your life!