“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bees and Me


I have not always had a love for bees. When I was a child I remember the huge bumblebees with their large droning sound. I was quite afraid of them. It was just ignorance and over the years I have learned a thing or two about them. Whilst developing my large flower beds, I have become very fond of the humble bumblebee. When my husband came upon a nest of bumblebees in our shed this weekend, I wish he had stopped and talked to me first.

I looked out the window to see my husband holding a large bundle of bamboo stakes with what looked like a big clump of grass clippings stuck to the end. The clump fell off onto the grass and then he dropped the stakes and ran to the other side of the yard! Now this could have had an unfortunate ending, my husband was lucky!

I just had to go see what was going on. By the time I got down there, he had figured out that this was a bumblebee nest. Most of the bees had flown away, but a few where whirling around and buzzing in a very annoyed fashion. They quickly calmed down and I was able to get a better look at them. Sure enough there were several bees checking out their nest to see what on earth had happened. The bees are not aggressive and no one was stung, even after being dropped from two feet to the ground! How many of us would be so calm!

After doing a little research on the web, I devised a plan of action to give the bees a new home. I found a fabulous site that helped me figure out what to do with the hive. After the bees calmed down a bit, my husband scooted a snow shovel under the hive. The bees were not too happy about this but again they calmed down quick enough. The bees were in the shade so I proceeded to do more research and decide where to locate the hive in our yard.

When dusk approached it was time to move the bees. Wearing my protective rose gloves (just in case), I gently picked up the shovel and carried the hive outside of our fenced yard into the wilder area beyond the compost pile and located the hive between two large shrubs. I put a few small rocks on the ground and gently pushed the hive onto them. The  bees came out and buzzed about and I backed off until they calmed down again. I then gently placed some of the nest material (an old mouse nest) back onto the top of the hive. I waited about ten minutes or so for any stray bees that left when I moved the hive to return. I then placed a large wooden upturned flower planter over the top of the hive. We watched for a few minutes and there where no angry bees about, so my husband took a couple of really large rocks and placed them on top of the planter to keep the raccoons out. We left them for the night and hoped for the best.

The next day a few bees were still back in the shed looking for their hive, but after a couple of days they seemed to have found the new hive. I observed bees coming and going out of the hive (planter) at the bottom through a small opening. We thought they would use the drain hole at the top of the hive, but the bees had other ideas. So far, so good. The bumble bees seem to be adjusting to their new home and they are not in our shed anymore. We had a great outcome with our bees, but I would recommend you do your own research before attempting anything similar.

I am very happy that our bumblebees are still here in my garden and this experience forced me to learn even more about these incredible and endangered creatures. If you would like to learn more about bumblebees or bees in general here are a few sites I can recommend.

http://www.buzzaboutbees.net        http://www.beesource.com
http://www.bumblebee.org/  
http://www.loudounwildlife.org/HHHumble_Bumble_Bee.htm

source

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My First Recipe Post

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I made this ice box dessert and my family loved it. I thought I would share it with you today. This is my first recipe that I have posted and I hope you like it.



Deluxe Icebox Dessert



Cake Layer
     10          ounces  frozen pound cake -- defrosted
     ¼            cup  sugar
     ¼            cup  lemon juice
     ¼            cup  water


 Filling
      8            ounces  Neufchatel cheese 
     ½            cup  sugar
     2 ½         cups  milk
     8             ounces  instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
     2             cups  Cool Whip®


 Topping
     2              cups  Cool Whip®
     2              cups  strawberries
     2              cups  blueberries
     1              tablespoon  sugar


Slice the pound cake in approximately 1/4 inch sections. Enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Slice and fit extra pieces of cake into any gaps between slices.

Prepare lemon sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour over the cake slices. Place casserole in refrigerator while preparing the filling.

Place the softened cream cheese in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix the cream cheese well scraping down the sides until it is well mixed. Add the sugar and mix again scraping down the sides until well blended. Add the milk slowly whiles blending and scraping down the sides until mixture is a creamy consistency with no lumps of cream cheese. Then add the pudding mix and blend again. Check after 2 minutes the mixture should start to thicken up.

Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the Cool Whip and slowly blend in. Scrape down the sides and finish blending with a large rubber spatula. Spread the filling on top of the cake layer. Return to the refrigerator to firm up at least one hour.

Clean berries. In a large bowl slice the berries and add the whole blueberries. Stir in the sugar. Set aside while preparing  the cake. Serve cake in individual bowls or on a dessert plate.  Top with the additional cool whip and the berry mixture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Garden Fresh Embroidery...No Joke

A carrot, a pepper and a bunch of celery walk into a bar...

No it's not a joke, you'll have to make that up yourself. And technically vegetables can't walk anyway but I thought it sounded funny, so I used it in part of my description for my hand embroidered dish towels.

Trio of Veggies





 Somehow you have to try and make dish towels sound kind of exciting and after writing a few of these descriptions you get a bit loopy or maybe it's the heat again. Anyway look at these, I think they are pretty cute and would be fun in a kitchen.


Garden Fresh




Pineapple Tropics

The pineapple one would be really nice on a drink tray next to the pool. These were done last winter and they look even better now that we are into full all out summer!

These are for sale in my Etsy shop which is in the slider widget on the right side of the page, or just click on the caption under the picture and it will take you to that description.

Thank you for visiting. Have a Happy Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Scent of an Angel...

She is a cute little country angel with a pretty dress and the smell of fresh linen! Made from lace and scraps she now hangs out in my office.

Sweetie Angel Sachet

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Silly Saturday

Sometimes we need cute and sometimes we need silly and sometimes we need both.
Let me present...

Violet Days: Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel
by Chris Monroe





Read more about Chris here. Have a great weekend.




Friday, July 1, 2011

Still Time for Whipping Up July 4th Crafts








I love the website Tipnut and they have another great selection of July 4th Patriotic craft themes from around the blogosphere. Some simple and others elaborate but all extremely festive and fun. Check it out if you are in need of a few last minute ideas for your 4th of July get together. Click on the link below to find some fun projects.


July 4th Crafts & Printables
July 4th Freebies