Friday, April 3, 2015

The Dirty Truth About Spring at Our House

I am exhausted and sore. Last night I told my son I felt like I'd been hit by a truck which he said might be an exaggeration, not to mention cliche. Clearly I'm too tired to be original!

"Okay, I feel like I got run over by a kid with a bad attitude on a bike."

"That's better." 

This has always been a tough crowd.

beekeeping equipment

It's spring and I have no off switch. Sunrise can't come early enough. My wild, barefoot, 10 year old self is reincarnated every year about this time. It doesn't always mix well with my 50 year old body. The result is that things hurt, but in that good way. Achy muscles feel good when you know you've been super productive. My lazy winter body that lounged on rainy afternoons reading in cozy chairs and napping by the fire is being shown the door. Oh, and the door needs to be cleaned.

How did everything get so dirty? Every spring I can relate to those British housewives who took down all the blackout fabric from their windows after the war. "Have we been living like this the whole time?"
The windows are dirty and everything needs to be wiped down, but I'm too busy tromping around outside in my bee rain boots to care.  I'll think about mopping the floor...someday.

rain boots

 Coming inside for a drink of water makes me feel like a caged animal. "There's no sunlight in here! I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" And that's with all the windows open. On Saturday I was taking advantage of a cold snap to do weed control around the bee hives. After putting down some weed barrier (read old piece of linoleum) and covering it with mulch I thought the garlic chives coming up all over the garden would make a good border to hold the mulch in.

bee hives

I spent 2 hours digging up plants from where I didn't want them and planting them in a row around the hives. In the snow. Okay, that sounds dramatic and they were just flurries, but still.  It's the south, y'all and there was snow! AND PEACH BLOSSOMS! The bees must have cabin fever too because a bunch of them came out and covered the front of the hive. I'll bet they're up to their little bees knees in spring cleaning.  I finished around the hives and hauled a bunch of rotten timbers I'd used for several years as border to the curb. Using a wheel barrow makes me feel like a real human. I don't know why.

I highly suspect there is some latent farmer gene running around in my DNA.

beekeeping equipment

This week I: painted the honey house, chicken coop, potting shed, and stored hives. Set up the rain barrel and painted it. Built a potting bench in the potting shed using old windows my son salvaged for me. Did hive inspections and added honey supers. Cleaned the back porch. (Note: screened in porches are a pain to clean) Organized and cleaned beekeeping supplies. Created a new chicken run so the girls can keep the blackberry patch weeded. Planted spring lettuce and hung my Tibetan prayer flag over the patio where I like to do yoga early in the morning.

May all living things be well and happy. 

Tibetan prayer flags

Except red wasps. I spent one entire afternoon hunting them down and killing them.  Die, red wasps! I can be slightly obsessive about it. Remember Tom Cruise's character in Taps? It's like that.

I finally sat down, driven in by the rain (and sheer exhaustion) to write this. The dogs, chickens, and bees all went in during the thundershower but now everyone is back out busily doing their thing.


Did I mention I love spring?

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