Week in Pictures

visitingethel

Well, we have no idea what is wrong with Ethel. Thinking she had developed bumblefoot, after a week of the meds on her foot doing nothing, we prepared for the nauseating task of doing DIY surgery to extract the gunk from her foot and..it doesn’t appear to be bumblefoot the closer of a look we got at it. My best guess is that when we pulled a thorn out of her foot a couple months ago, part of it didn’t come out and it got infected which is messing up her balance. Because she’s not just limping, she literally cannot stand up without putting her wings out and has this upside-down thing she does with her bum foot upside down while standing up and putting her head down upside down by her feet (almost like she’s preparing to do a weird somersault?). So I don’t know, I’m lost. I’ve decided to spring for a “birdie bootie” for her to wear when we go on vacation so that it will stay clean but right now we’re just baffled as we’ve had ducks limp before but with a bit of rest they’re just fine. I was thinking of that term “life and death on the farm” yesterday and, well, just not ready for that. Anyhow, when the other 3 girls come in to the run for their midday nap I notice at least a couple of them always nap outside the cage we’ve got her in (it’s an XL dog carrier that we used to move them out here in, works great) and sometimes I have Cocoa nap in there with her (she’s been dropping ‘water balloon’ eggs for a couple of months – more oyster shell isn’t helping btw – so I figure put the two non-layers in there) to keep her company. It’s tough.

hive

More bees are coming to Beloved Farms in 2019! Sadly, the combination of transitioning of our last hive from Portland to Astoria and trying a triple-box setup for the first time resulted in a very sad loss of our ladies, and so we are going back to the tried-and-true methods we’ve had success with in the past. The bonus? This year we are expanding to two hives!!! We just ordered our nucs from Bridgetown Bees again, as out here on the coast, the resources are almost nonexistent compared to Portland (let’s just say there’s no formal beekeeping association for the County and when 7 or 8 people I was connected to by a neighboring beekeeper started an email string to talk bees, they decided rather than have meetings or do a shared message-board on Google that everyone could view, they’d set up a Facebook page…thereby making it so that if you don’t do FB, you are naturally excluded from discussions. WTF people.). It will give us an excuse to go to Portland in April and decide between now and then if we want to do a second Flow Hive (see above photo for what it looks like – that was from our very first harvest) or a traditional Langstroth (me, I want to try a top bar one of these days but this year is too up in the air to experiment…but would love to hear from anyone who’s done top-bar beekeeping!). The Flow Hives are ridiculously expensive (our first one was free, so the thought of plunking down $600 for that is not a plus…then again, without one we’d need to buy an extractor so who knows, it may come out even in the end), and the knockoffs, while cheaper, have a lot of mixed reviews, so we’ll see what the verdict is…

It’s 2019! After a very vanilla New Year’s Eve (we went to the local brewery to grab a drink and see Will West & The Friendly Strangers, a Carolina-bred folk kinda groove….and going back into my archives, was also a band that an old friend’s husband used to play in well before I met my husband…the music was a bit too mellow for me who needs more to stay up late) getting to bed by 12:05am, we enjoyed the first day of the year together (thank you co-op for being closed!). ‘Twas a chilly one but we got out and crunched about in the frosty grass, while the ducks raced to the creek and we gathered some fallen limbs in the “woods” area in the back of our property, with the notion that if we leave them in the barn to dry out, they’ll be firewood for the day when we finally get a woodstove, haha…Anyhow, this week is one where I was very grateful that we didn’t get rid of our heated water bucket for the ducks, as 1/4″ of solid ice on their drinking water is not a good thing!

On a very happy note, we are thrilled that our vacation is coming very very soon! You see, folks, we’ve not been on a real vacation (3 day weekends are not vacations!) since 2015, when we were in France for what we had originally thought would be a “babymoon” and turned out to be where we grieved our first of six failed rounds of DEIVF. We couldn’t afford it at first and then after everything ended my back injury and eye surgery, then eventual move to the coast, all occurred and, well, bleah! But thanks to a multitude of frequent flyer miles accumulating over the past decade, we had enough to afford business and/or first class seats to Zihuatanejo! The first time I was there was just a couple months after starting this blog, as I fled to Barra de Potosi, just south of Zihua, for much-needed healing following the death of my father. This time? It will be a celebration for my husband and I of our love, to mark the eight years since he found me on this here blog (and the rest was history…), to mark my 45th birthday, and to get away from the cold and wind and rain for the bliss of a one bedroom villa halfway between Zihua and Potosi. Quiet. Sunshine. Togetherness. Just what we need – and amen for those miles that are covering the flights! I’m also super stoked that, because of the weird initial overnight layover at LAX, we’ve decided to extend that to 3 days in LA and catch up with our SoCal friends, from my dearest friend (we call each other Sis) who recently moved down to the OC, to old friends who were at our wedding (he stood up for Dan since Dan didn’t have anyone here in the US to bear witness, so sweet) and now live in Santa Monica, and a weekend in my one-time stomping grounds of Santa Barbara (2002-2005) where we’ll get to eat well, check out old haunts, and meet up with a former colleague and his wife who still live down there. My plans for my next trip to SB had always been postponed and they definitely were supposed to be to go see my old friend Angela until this happened. Take those trips, y’all. The world throws some serious shit at all of us and life is too damn short.

 

 

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