"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage."
C. S. Lewis

Rest In Peace Muffin 1992 - 2013

December 9, 2013

Today we lost our dear sweet Muffin. She was with us 21 years. We found her on the soccer field when Natalie was in kindergarten. Someone had dumped this young kitten and how could we leave her there?  Muffin was a beautiful tortoise shell color with a long silky coat.  We brought her home and she never gave us any trouble. She adapted to all of our moves, from Ventura to Bakersfield finally to Tehachapi. Not to mention all the climate changes from the Coast to the heat of Bakersfield to snow - she experienced it all with aplomb.  Over the years she had several health scares but always bounced back.

And how about all the other pets that she accepted in to our family - Heidi, Bo, Lady, Annie, Stella, Sophia, Roman and Meri - did I forget anybody? Muffin accepted all the changes that came to her and never lost her sweet lovely spirit.  We are so thankful that Muffin passed peacefully in her sleep.  We will miss you Muffin - you were a lovely part of our family.

Beekeeping 101

19 May 2013

Our continuing adventure in Beekeeping . . . We picked up two nucs today - A nucleus consists of 3 to 6 frames of bees, including a Queen, workers, brood in all stages and honey stores.  This is the third
year we are attempting the art of beekeeping. They are wonderful, fascinating creatures - but as
we attempt to manage hives, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Some of those being disease,
starvation, extreme weather, swarming to name a few.

We picked up our bees today from Bill Lewis of Bill's Bees. Bill is a commercial beekeeper that
has a gift for teaching and mentoring those of us who want to take this challenge on. There were approximately 50 attendees at the class today, many of them picking up nucs.  We went through
our nucs locating the Queen (Italian), eggs, larvae, capped brood, nectar, capped honey, and pollen. Some of the nucs had more honey than others, some more brood - each colony is unique.

Italian bees are known for being very gentle - Bill is wearing only a veil and hat - most everyone had their full gear on.

Each year's Queen is marked with and international identification - the red dot you see below. When the Queen slows down her production - this makes it easier to spot your Queen and "cull" her if necessary.

You can also see nectar in the cells in the above picture. The bees will "fan" this nectar with their wings, causing dehydration. When that point of dehydration is reached, they will "cap" the cells with beeswax. Nectar is 80% water and honey is 14 to 18% water.  The bees know exactly when to "cap" the cells - thus providing and ideal storage system.

Bill's dog, trying to go for a ride with us.

Roe v. Wade at 40

26 January 2013

Every Child A Wanted Child

Every child a wanted child. That is the mantra I heard growing up in the 60’s. It sounded so noble. Even though birth control pills were readily available it wasn’t enough so we legalized abortion in 1973.  And what has that done for us?  Aside from the fact that approximately 55 million babies have been aborted - is every child a wanted child? How many of these babies are girls? These babies will not be “empowered” women able to be lawyers, doctors, scientists, teachers, mothers and wives. The news every day seems to have stories of battered, dead children - mother’s and father’s killing their children. I contend that abortion (and 55 million dead babies) hasn’t produced “every child a wanted child” - instead it has dehumanized life at it’s most innocent and vulnerable state. And what of the women who are the victims of abortion.  Many women experience depression, regret, nightmares for years after their abortions - did we "empower" them with this "choice"?  How noble are we?