crane

Sometimes...

Sometimes I think he's at school... or at work... or off to band practice... or at a game.  And it feels all right that he's gone, and then I remember, and it still feels all right.

He's happy, he's safe, he's with a family he finds fantastic in a situation and culture he's learning about at a massive rate, and it was like he was just in the room with us, showing us around his new house and showing us the compact city just outside his window in a video call with us.  And then he's gone again when the call is done, but we know he's doing well and learning hand over fist and loving the situation he's landed in and it's all good.

And, just like when he's away at school, at work, or even when he went off to Europe, Chicago, or other places on his down, I get back to doing all the things that I want to do with my life.  There will be more of that.  He will be back in four months, but then he'll be off to college and the rest of his life, so I get on with mine.

One of the things I really had to get back onto was the bees.  They really needed some fall attention, and I'd been watching the mite levels by drawing out the sticky bottom board to see how they were doing. 

I also needed to get the supers off so that they would be sure to fill the bottom of their two deep boxes before winter came, and so I went through the slow work of getting each frame out of the supers and getting all the bees of each one, all on Wednesday morning. 

What was funny was that a neighbor who talks to no one else in the neighborhood came up to the fence while I was in the middle of this operation, and she started to talk to me just over the fence while the bees are boiling about with the fact that I'm robbing them of all their summer's work, and she's just merrily chatting me up in the midst of all that. She thought it was so cool that I was able to keep bees in the backyard, which it is, but I'm not sure I'd go up to an open hive in the middle of the day with the bees buzzing all over and not be a little... cautious?

Anyway, she didn't get stung, to my great relief, and I finished up the job, taking pictures of all the girls that I could see.  The interesting and important thing was that I didn't see *any* mites on them. Which surprised me, but when I took the sticky board out of the bottom, it corroborated the evidence within, there were very few mites on the boards.  I powder sugared everyone I could see, anyway, and got all the way down into the deeps.

That's when they got kind of upset with me.  My smoker had also gone out, but I was too close to closing everything up for me to stop, so I kept going, and unluckily, two of the girls found their separate ways under the elasticized ankle cuffs of my beekeepers' pants, and they both stung me.  Solidly.  I am so grateful for my bee venom shots at my allergy clinic because while they were both painful and spread and they swelled up a little, they were nothing like the grapefruit sized swelling I had from my first sting.  In fact, they counted as my shots, and I called them into the clinic so that they could keep track of it.

I got two full supers off that day, which may well amount to more than four gallons of honey.  I'm going to spinning it out this weekend.

John and I have done a lot of errands together, and it's been fun just getting out and doing things together, and one of the things that I worked on a lot today was the church's rose garden.  There are about a hundred roses, and someone else has been tending them. But I got a chance to weed, deadhead, water, prune, and redistribute piles of mulch someone was kind enough to bring.  I sat with some of the bushes today and tried to get them untangled from themselves, cutting out crossed branches and cutting back where there had been clusters of flowers so that the new bud will go in the right direction.  It's a little late in the season for that; but I thought I'd give them a chance.

*laughs* I guess I'm trying to give me that chance.  Cutting out the things that I let grow from neglect and keep myself from damaging myself by trying to go in a direction I shouldn't have let go so far.  And giving energy to the buds that are more likely to bear flowers.

One of the things I'm getting back into is the painting.  Here's a few swallows I'm trying to get right.  The tails are so distinctive, and trying to get the proportions and shapes of the bodies and wings and tails right have been a challenge, and, as always, I learn more from the outright failures than the successes.

The walking is going well, and having a goal each day is good; but with the stings, my ankles have been giving me some trouble when I walk.  Or when I'm going through the rose bushes, bending to see what I need to do.  It's very cool that I can now do that after all the shoulder, arm, and neck problems, and having the shins bother me *more* than the arm, shoulder, and neck was amazingly cool in an odd way. *laughs*  I am quite happy that my neck bothers me less than other things. 

One nice thing is that the sky has cleared a bit, and today there was a really great thunderstorm that cleaned a lot of stuff out.  So I was able to get this shot of the Front Range, near our home.  Sometimes I think I should send Jet pictures of stuff from home so that he can show his Yokohama family what it's like where he's from, but then I don't want to make him homesick, either.  So I'll just put them here, instead. 

So yeah. I miss him, but not too much, and I'm getting on with all the things that need attention.  I actually made myself a short-term project basket, and emptied part of it by sewing a button on a shirt, patching a linen towel that had torn, and actually finishing a needlepoint piece I'd started ten years ago with Jet when he started a needlepoint project of his own, a bookmark that he hasn't quite finished, yet.  It's kind of cool, now, that I have a place to put such things when I come across them, and amazing when I have some free time to just sit with the basket and figure out what I want to do out of it.  There's an unfinished R2D2 in there, a self-propelled trike, holey socks that need to get darned, and bits of lamination for bookmarks.  It should be fun to see what goes through there from now on.

In cleaning out various parts of the house I've now found rolls of fine leather that I can finally make journal covers out of, silk that I'd bought a long time ago for better book binding with the beeswax my bees have made me, and parrot feathers someone had given me a long time ago for making quills... fascinating what I'm now finding to do.  And I found the form for the Longmont Restorative Justice program, and it's pretty fascinating, too. We'll see what adventures I'm up to next.