Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Little More Bee Drivel....

Well - it's just about all over -
I'm sure I'll find a few more sticky surfaces in the kitchen before I can say it's over for good.
The boychild (or should I call him the ManChild now?) took all the photos in this post - that's why they are decent!
He also ate the last of the blueberry muffins, drenched in honey.

I'm infatuated with bees and all they are and represent.
I want to bathe in honey.
I may re-pierce my belly button if I can find a bee belly ring.
(I just Googled it - and they exist )

I actually thought of getting a bee tattoo for about 2 seconds.
I've never considered a tattoo.
I mean - they fade and sag - and I have enough of that going on now without adding to my shame...thankyouverymuch.
Here's the long awaited video of me getting the honey off the frames.
Please do try this at home!
For all you experienced honey extractors - you may cringe.
And of course - there's even bloopers in this video - but I just keep going.

What I didn't show you in the video - is a close up photo of my first filtering process - I didn't know there would be a second.

Isn't it lovely?  See all that lovely wax mixed in with the honey? 
The smell was intoxicating.

Well - this strainer wasn't fine enough to get all the 'floaties' out of the honey - so I took my largest glass canister, tied a few layers of cheesecloth on the top of it, and proceeded to filter it again through that.  I put the jar in the oven, set on 170 degrees, with the door open, and let the honey warm enough to really drain well.

By the time I strained everything and drained the wax well, I ended up with a total of 23 half pint jars and 1 pint jar. 

I was a happy camper.

I had a big glob of beeswax, that still had quite a bit of honey in it.  I know I could have laid it out for the bees to clean up, but I was too anxious.
I simmered it in water, and the honey water and the wax separated nicely when it cooled.
I'll be giving the bees the honey water in a feeder next week.
I love it that nothing, and I mean nothing went to waste.
God, I love that!
I've ordered the supplies to make honey lip balms next week.

And just think - I get to do this all over again in the fall.

I am Jayme.
I keep bees.
Or do they keep me?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dreams and Bloopers

My video skills have gone from bad to worse y'all.

A little blooper for your enjoyment...

Busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger this week - but it's all good - all so good.
Stay tuned for more adventures, and a real video on getting the honey out of the frames and into the jars.

The girls have been super busy too!

I do want to say this before I sign out today -

Do you know that in May of this year, it will be 23 years that I moved to the country from the city of Chicago?

Do you know the first week I moved here I went to the library and checked out a stack of books on:


I enjoyed my very own honey in my tea this morning.
It only took me 23 years.
My time finally came.
What a sweet moment that was.
It was symbolic to me of never giving up on your dreams.
Never. Ever.
Fairytales do come true - they can happen to you.

You can have everything - maybe just not all at one time.

photo by nuchylee
Now....all I needs me is a goat and me dreams are fulfilled.
I just keep having a feeling it would be more of a nightmare....

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Just a Mild Burning Sensation......

.....and some localized swelling.

I got into the bees today, and I can't tell you how intoxicated I am at the moment!
My entire kitchen smells of honey.
Oh ma goodness.
I've got about 20 lbs of honey waiting to be bottled up!

I'm extra excited this year - since I feel like I know a little bit more than I did last year.

I decided to yank out the video camera and try recording some of it.  The frogs were so noisy - I'm not sure you can hear me or not...

It's not that exciting - really - but here ya go....

I cut out all the really boring parts where I'm just struggling with getting the boxes apart, etc...
(Mr. Ed - you will love the end!)

I just want to say this.
Get bees.
Just do it.

It's just a mild burning sensation with some localized swelling, and a little bit of itching for days.

It's so worth it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Winner!

Photo taken at Universal Studios
Thank you all for entering the giveaway - it's so nice to 'hear' from some of the lurkers!

I also wanted to clarify a few things -
Dana corrected me - I've known her way longer than I originally thought.
She's saying it was like 1990ish, maybe even 1989.
How did I miss ten years?
It's typical of me.  I kid you not.  I don't have much of a memory for things.
It's another symptom of ADHD - can you believe it?
I will look at Glenco like he's crazy and say 'what in the sam hill are you talking about?' when he's telling me about something we did, somewhere we went.  I'll swear up and down he's wrong.
Then he shows me a photo of me being there.

One friend swears I went to a Cars concert with her. 
She told me where we sat, what I was wearing, who we went with, and that I drove.
I have no recollection of being there.
And they were my favorite band back in 1980.
I still say I wasn't there - I don't remember it AT ALL.

In fact, I had to confirm with Dana that I had been out to visit her twice, cause I blended both visits into one in my mind, and thought I'd only been to California once!

I am going to announce the winner today.

But first.
A lot of y'all were surprised that I had a belly ring huh?
Do I not seem 'the type'?
I no longer have it - my pants kept rubbing it when I chubbed up, and it had to go.
Dana still has hers.
I thought it adorable - I even had a little Spiderman belly ring.
Adored it.
I am however not the tattoo type.

And I also wanted to explain my odd smiles in the last post's pictures.  I was in my 'smile down' phase.  I thought it an ingenious way of not showing my poor tooth/gum ratio when I would normally smile big.

The winner is....

Oh - wait - another thing to clarify...

These are the cards the winner will choose from!
And - I was amiss in saying that they had just started this business - they just re-launched it would be a better term - it was a re-launch under 'Nostalgic Press' - formerly known as 'RetroCool'.

I suppose I've tortured you enough -
The winner is -
Comment #48!
Nana Diana!!

My Photo

Nana Diana has been a regular commenter for a while, and has become quite dear to my heart.
Congrats NanaDiana!

Email me for instructions to claim your gift.

And thanks again to everyone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Introducing....Nostalgic Press! (pssst...a Giveaway too!)

Stacey and Dana of Nostalgic Press

I couldn't wait another day to tell you about a business venture that my friends Dana and Stacey have begun!
Before I do - I'll give you a little background on how I know these wonderful gals.

I met Dana back in - gosh - it must have been 1998 or so, at a Women's Conference.
Weird like I am - I met her - and said 'I have a feeling we are going to be great friends'.
Sometimes I just know things.
It's hard to describe.
I mean - KNOW things.

Disclaimer - yes..I'm fat - but I'm in no way as fat as that blouse-y get up makes me appear - really!  I wasn't!

Anyhoo - we formed a fast and fun friendship.
We enjoyed each other's company often - and there were always tears - mostly from laughter - some from sharing our hearts - but it was always so, so, so good.
I adore her.

We took road trips to Minnesota to see Sarah Brightman in concert - 

We'd go camping together and keep the whole campground up while we giggled at 2am by the fire.

And cooking?

She's one of the few friends that I have that adores cooking like I do.
We could talk til the end of the earth about things like Gnocchi with Sage Butter, and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Marscapone.

She gets me.

And then she got something else.
A bug up her butt to move to California to go to Culinary School.

I forgot to mention that she's selfish.
She done up and left me in or around the year 2000.

We had our belly buttons pierced together (well - not TOGETHER - but at the same time) right before she left for California as our 'friendship rings'.

I had the pleasure of visiting her in San Pedro, California a couple of times. Once was in September of 2001.
I was actually there when the planes hit the Twin Towers and my was a nightmare getting home.
A very somber visit, and sadly my last visit so far.

I was blessed to meet her friend Stacey while I was there - and all I can say about Stacey is this - you can't say enough about her.  There is no way.  You can't begin to put into words the fabulosity of this girl.
She's Snow White and Emily Dickinson all rolled up into a petite ethereal bite of sugar.

Well...Dana and Stacey have gone and started a wonderful business....

They are both lovers of all things vintage - and they have offered to give away a box of cards here on me olde blog!

Take a look at some of their offerings:

Greeting cards: Birthday, Wedding, Anniversary, Baby, Thank You, Friendship, Congratulations, Sympathy, New Home, Bon Voyage, Retirement and Military Support

The Coop Keeper's Favorite!  And - a box of these will be given away to one of my lucky readers!

Boxed Notes (Blank)

There's a bunch more on their website!
Trust me - if there is a need for a card - they have filled it!  Every situation you can imagine - except for maybe
'Sorry you have ringworm and hanker for a goat that Glen won't let you have'

I dont' think they have that one yet.

They also have t-shirts, mugs, magnets and all sorts of fun available through Zazzle.
Click on the link in their website for more information on that.
Oh - and did I mention they offer free shipping?

I can vouch for the quality and attention to detail these gals give everything.  Many of these cards are hand embellished as well.
They do custom work!

Please take a look at:
 To enter this blog giveaway - all you have to do is leave a comment!  No - you don't need to stand on your head, spin three times and Facebook it, follow me on Twitter or any of that other foolishness...just comment!  If you feel inclined - please tell Dana and Stacey what your favorite card is...

If you normally comment here as anonymous - please put your name at the end of your comment...thanks.

I'm going to let this run until Sunday, March 20th, before I pick a winner.
You shant be disappointed!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Did Ya Think I Forgot About Pink?

image from Yahoo News

I have to be honest with you -
with everything going on in Japan, I find it hard to blog.
Everything seems a bit trivial in my life -
the images of horror I'm seeing make my home, my gardens, my chickens, Glenco, my friends, my beloved BoyChild and my family all that more precious to me, and it's a sobering heart check of what's truly important in life.


It's beauty full, and it does go on - for some of us -
and the fact that I'm sitting here writing this proves that it goes on for me, and if you are reading this - then it goes on for you -

Let's try, let's try to go on.
Oh, and before I'm off this subject...let's not just 'go on' - let's live!  Let's thrive! - let's love and live and suck the marrow right out of the bones of this life we have!
Good Lord it's short - and there's no time to waste.


Lest you think I've fallen off my 'Pink Chicken' debt reduction wagon - I thought I'd best give you an update.

It's moving - but a lot slower than I'd imagined.

I've been 'frugaler' than frugal -

Ate out for what I believe was the first time this year - (it was my anniversary).

The only purchase I made that was unnecessary was the two ducks.  $10.
Cheaper than a therapist!

I cancelled my debit card early in February - makes it impossible to make a hasty purchase when you've no way to pay for it.

I'm on a strictly cash basis.
I own no credit cards.
I have no debit card.
I don't really ever carry cash with me either - unless I'm on my way to the grocery store.
All purchases are pre-planned.

The rising cost of gas and the incredible coldness of January hit the budget hard.
Despite turning the furnace to 60 at night and only 65 during the day - the heating bill remained the same!
Despite practically using candles for light - the electric bill stayed the same!
I do declare that furnace ran day and night for the months of December/January.
I do. Declare.

Dave Ramsey
(used with permission)

I'm not missing the home phone at all.

I called on February 9th to cancel Directv - and they asked me what I'd be willing to pay a month for it - I told them $20.  And that's what I pay now.  Glen's happy.  I'm not sure he was on board with losing his "Holmes on Homes" and the DVR. 
Gotta keep the hubby happy!

Food bill has been running about $300 a month.
Don't buy any processed foods at all anymore except Glen's potato chips. 
(please see statement above!)

A few trips to the Doctor took some money - new tire needed for the Heep - well, you get the idea.
Guess what?
Life happened!

I've been toying with the idea of getting a job but -
Aaron's toying with the idea of coming back to homeschooling.
(Be still my heart).

I'm not sure I'll reach my July 4th goal - but I'm not giving up on it. 

I might have to pimp the blog.
I have my skin oils all bottled and ready to go. 
I have other ideas, Etsy shop, etc.
I'm planning on dividing all my perennials and having a plant sale.

I'm planning on growing/canning as much of our food as possible this year.

I still don't think I could kill a chicken.
: - (

So I continue to come at my debt from the back door - looking for more ways to save - looking for other things to do with the talents I have, instead of leaving the home.

Just gotta get creative.
Gone are the days of giving up just cause things got a little hard!

I'm curious as to how YOUR debt reduction is going, and if you are still living in a shade of pinkness?
Do share your successes and struggles!

(Again I want to thank you for all of your wonderful comments and concerns on my ADHD blog post! I'm completely free of the meds now - and feeling good - sleeping again.  I'm eating a very clean diet, and it's helping tremendously (but may I interject here it wasn't fun at first) - I'm down 15lbs, and feeling fantastic! - working harder at scheduling my day, etc. - more on all that in a future post.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

things that excite me....

After Monday's bare all post - thought we'd do a little light-hearted fun today.
Thank you ALL for your kind comments and emails.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I'm trying every natural aid known to man, and I have to tell you - since eating right and exercising?  -symptoms are significantly reduced.
Glen was able to reason with me yesterday to only purchase two ducks instead of six.

I will be talking about ADHD more in the near future - and I must reiterate here that I feel that the diagnosis was freeing!  I am taking all of this with a great sense of humor, and I feel liberated - and understand my behavior so much better. 

Fear not - I still consider myself Superwoman.
My leotard was just in a bunch.
Sleep deprivation was my Kryptonite.

So yes - I got baby ducks yesterday.
We went to the Tractor Supply store yesterday to purchase a trap for raccoons.
They seem to be everywhere lately, but luckily  - no avian fatalities!

Good God -
they had ducks.
And baby chicks - luckily, they were out of the breed I wanted.

I get a physical pain in my chest just thinking about it.

They had six baby ducks in the tub. 
I wanted them ALL - no duck left behind - it kinda breaks my heart to separate them - but Glen thought two was enough.

Anyhow - started thinking about it and thought of a few things that excite me so much - it's almost hard to bear -
and they are:

When the baby chicks and ducks are in at the feed store.
Farmer's Markets.
Garden Centers.

I've been known to exit the car and forget to shut the door at farm stands and garden centers.
I've also been known to forget to turn the car off.
I just slam it in park and run.

What gets you going?

Monday, March 7, 2011

ADHD & Me aka 'All Aboard the Crazy Train'

ADHD Rock Star Tshirt

I've gotten quite a few emails regarding ADD/ADHD since I posted a couple of weeks ago that I started meds for it.

I thought I'd answer those questions in a blog post - and perhaps it could help others that have struggled throughout the years - or help them understand a loved one that may have the disorder.

Like many other 'disorders' or other issues that don't show up in a MRI or blood test - I was quick to dismiss this.

Everyone feels overwhelmed at times.
Everyone feels scatterbrained.
Everyone misplaces things.
Everyone struggles.
Everyone's mind races.
Everyone is impulsive at times.

It's normal.

And yes.  It is.
But when it impairs your daily life - perhaps you could use help.

I've always been hyper.
I never sat still as a child - I always, like now, had to have my hands busy doing something.
My poor mother.

image from
Used with permission

Bless her heart!
I remember when I was a child, growing up in our little apartment in Chicago - we had what we called a 'space heater'.  It was basically a hot fire box, gas charged, that heated the entire apartment.  Since the apartment was so small - it wasn't a big feat.
I couldn't just watch TV.  I had to have elaborate things going on while I did.
So here is this hot space heater with a grill looking top to it....the image about is the closest thing I could find to it - but ours had a top on it similar to a gas cooking grill.

I would cut strips of paper, wet them and 'fry' them on the heater.
Oh ya.
I was making 'bacon'.
I loved hearing the paper sizzle.
I can't believe I didn't burn the house down, or that my mom even let me do it!

I somehow acquired a roll of contact paper and set out to 'pretty' everything up in the apartment.
I covered the oatmeal containers, shelves, and I even covered my mom's large blue box of 'Kotex' (are you old enough to remember those ginormous boxes!?) making her a 'Kotex Dispenser' that I thought she could mount to the wall.

She never did mount that to the wall...come to think about it!

I remember in Kindergarten when Ms. Drebing left the room for a moment and had us all sitting in a circle with direct orders -'do not get up'.  As soon as the door shut, I was up...coaxing my classmates to get up - hold hands - stretch out - and we could make a really good circle, thereby pleasing Ms. Drebing.
She wasn't pleased. 
I stayed in for recess that day, along with the others I'd actually coerced to get up!

Unlike most other children with ADD/ADHD I did well in school.
See - that was the reason I'm nearly 50 years old and I never took this seriously.
I was on the honor roll - I liked school.

Fast forward to 1983.
I was newly married, setting up a house of my own.
It was a disaster.
It took every ounce of mental and emotional strength I had to keep things straight and put a meal on the table after work.
I was so resentful and frustrated most of the time.

This continued for many years, and like I've said before - buying this old farmhouse just compounded things.

Now - let's fast forward to the year 1998 -
I've been living in this old farmhouse - renovating it - had a pretty successful crafts business - my parents are elderly and quite ill - I'm babysitting my beloved Aaron who at this time is 3 -
and -
I weighed nearly 300 lbs.


I learned that I could calm all my frustrations with food.
Worked out well until I couldn't tie my shoes anymore, or breathe for that matter.

Classic ADD/ADHD behavior.
Self medication.

By 1999 I'd lost about 80lbs - mainly by just not eating.

It was right about then that I got my first computer.
God help me - I spent so much time on that thing.
Oh the wasted hours, that I can never reclaim.
It's why I'm super sensitive about being online too much now.
I know how easily my addictive personality could get sucked right back into it.

In 2002 or so, I really began examining myself and my behaviors.
Oh I'm SO introspective....maybe a bit too much.

I felt I really had a handle on things about the house.
I set up a pretty rigid schedule for myself, that I still follow today - as far as housekeeping, shopping, yard work.
It really has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

In 2004 I found the Coach that I'm working with again now...
With his help I lost 80 more pounds.
The picture of me with my friend Laurie - was me at my lowest adult weight...about 155.
I felt great!

Let's fast forward to today.
I'm overweight.
Again -
Not getting into that today - but I relapsed into old patterns and behaviors and one day, I woke up fat.
Sounds crazy, but that's how my mind views it.
I have no recollection of the getting fat.
For real.

In the last two years or so, I'd been reading all about ADD/ADHD, especially when I saw so many of the classic symptoms in Aaron.
And then I realized how similar we were.
I started looking at myself and lights started going on in my head.

Could I?
I think I am...
What if?

Then I saw a documentary called 'Totally ADD & Loving It' on PBS.
I wept throughout the thing.
I felt it described me perfectly, and especially the part in which Patrick McKenna says 'I felt envious of my friends who could just sit - and feel peace - I've never felt that'.
Damn that 'H' in the adHd!

When I started talking about going to a Dr. to look into it - I was met with concern from my friends and family -
"You're fine - please don't change -
what if they find something ELSE wrong with you (that was Glen's concern!) 
Glen was saying things like this ' You don't want them digging in your head - what if they start labeling you with other things, like OCD, GAD, Depression, etc.'

But go to the Dr. I did.

I requested medication - cause, honestly, up until this point - I felt that I had worked SO hard at lifestyle changes, and setting up routines, and eliminating clutter, and getting organized.

(this is getting long - sorry - but I hope it can help someone)

I was put on 20mg of Vyvanse.
The first week....
Oh happy day!  I was mentally organized!
The fireworks in my head went down to a flare.
My angry mob of thoughts fighting for the exit door were all in a line, waiting patiently.
I felt a whole new life unfolding in front of me.

Ahhh...the but.

I couldn't sleep.
At all.
Two hours a night if I was lucky.
Vyvanse is an amphetamine.

I also want to inject here that at the SAME time I started the medication, I started working with my Coach again to address my weight.  (More on that later)
I have to tell you - for the last two weeks - I've been emotionally/mentally pushed to my limits.
Completely changing my lifestyle of eating and adding about 90 minutes of exercise a day - doing alot of reading and homework for my Bootcamp, not sleeping, etc...

It was tough. 
A bit tough.
I haven't had butter in three weeks.

Week Two of the medication just about killed me.
My heart was racing, I wasn't sleeping.
I felt like I was coming out of my skin.
I was covered in chills and my pupils were pinpoints.
But I was focused, by God.
I was focused.

I cut the dose in half.
Still no sleep.
I was emotional.
I was also menstrual.
I was crying alot - Lord - you couldn't even say something nice to me without my eyes welling up.
I felt like gratefulness was going to kill me.
Doesn't that sound crazy!?
Oh, I felt crazy.
"Oh God, I'm just so grateful"
I seemed to say that alot...


Today - it's nearly 10 am and I'm still sitting here in my flannel nightgown.
I needed to get all of this out whilst it was fresh in my head.
I haven't taken the medication in four days.
I'm choosing sleep over it, for now.
I'm allowing myself to sleep in some now.

The first two days off the medication - and my head was really squirrely.
I felt like a tornado was going on in my head and I was a helpless victim of unorganized thoughts.
I called the Red Cross and they refused to come.
And yet - I functioned.
The house is clean, we are eating - I'm exercising - losing weight - things are rolling along pretty good.
Dare say - I more than 'just got by' - I may have even thrived abit.

For me - it all boils down to the thriving.
I'm no where satisfied to 'get by'.
To me 'getting by' is so close to death.
I want to thrive - I want to live - I want it all.

I'm going to try and be hyper vigilant about things right now.
It's easy for me to see certain behaviors that are classic symptoms.

Next time I'm tempted to bring home a box of baby turkeys with no place to put them - I can think 'oh Jayme, this is your ADHD talkin' - don't get the turkeys just yet'.
Next time, I'm tempted to bring home 3# of live bees when I don't know what the heck I'm doing - hmmm...perhaps that's impulsive.
Or a dog.
Or four more cats.

Maybe I can start thinking before I open my mouth a little bit.
Maybe I can give someone else a chance to say something.
Maybe I can follow my routine, and be thankful that I have extra energy to spare at the end of the day.
Maybe I can laugh at myself when I can't find the keys for the 9,779,988th time.


Maybe I'll go back on the meds again.
Maybe not.

I feel in a very 'maybe' place with the whole thing.
And that's ok.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Pie Tutorial Indeed

Good grief all mighty.

I changed clothes three times.

I had my hair arranged.
My lips were glossed perfectly.

I set up the camera - and half way through the video - goofed up so much, I had to start over.

Guess what?
No more half and half.

Went to the store.

Came home.
Rearranged my hair again.
Changed clothes again.

Re-shot the video.
Half way through - made another blunder.

Started over.
Washed the dishes, set everything up again.

The third times a charm, eh?
Was so confident and entertaining...
Started rolling out the pie crust, and the camera batteries died.

I'm giving up for the day!
Cause - crabby women can't make good pies.
It's a well known fact.
And crabby women don't make fun wives either.

If you're really hankering to get your pie on, check out the blog I did here:

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Change in Programming....

Due to a sleepless night, and a restless morning - and now an impromptu trip to Chicago -
the Pie Crust Tutorial will be tomorrow or Sunday.
I'm sorry - I have to stop promising to have things on certain days!  It never seems to work out!

I leave you with this:

I hope that you find the beauty in the mundane, everyday, not-so-glamorous details of your life.

Ultimately - it seems that more than half your life is made up of these moments.
Feel the warm water.
Enjoy the soap suds.
Appreciate the beauty of things accomplished and in order.

Half of your life is a lot to miss.

“…the powerful religion of ordinary life, a spirituality of fresh mopped floors…and clothes blowing on the line.” ~ Adair Lara

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beachballs, Cows and Hotdog Buns....and MORE videos!

Does the title intrique you?
Just a few of the things that I saw on my walk yesterday.

We've gone video crazy over here folks.
Please be patient with me whilst I get through this phase.
Enjoy it while it lasts - or endure it - where ever you may be on the subject.

Even Aaron is getting the bug:

You know it's been a month since our blizzard!?
I thought I'd take you on a little walk around the hood.
I needed to return a cast iron dutch oven to my friend, and help her with some organizing.
My car is being repaired at the moment, and I was going to wait for Glenco to get home so I could drive over, and I realized - why not hoof it?
Four miles round trip - not bad - the weather was half way decent, and I needed the exercise.
It's a win win!

Thought I'd show you a few of the things I found along the way.....

Isn't that sad?
Saw lots of carcasses.

Guess who met me on the road as he was coming home?

Das keepa of The Coop Keeper

My favorite picture of the walk - found on the way home.  Two poppy seed hotdog buns on some remnants of the blizzard.
How does this stuff happen!?

Well there you have it folks....a little tour of my corner of the world.

Still planning on doing the pie crust on Friday.

To answer a few of your coffee questions...the degassing is simply putting them in an airtight container and not using them for a day or two.  Giving the beans a time to 'rest'.

I just had to add this here.
It kept coming up when I was doing my YouTube videos.
Brought back so many fun memories of staying up late on Sunday nights to watch
'Monty Python's Flying Circus'.