Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Busy Days but Good Ones

I've been busy this past week or so. 

The bee-technician was here and confirmed I have no hives on my lot. 

The mobile-home-repair contractor, who did my roof coating a couple weeks ago, was here to check for possible under-the-home leaks. He said I'm okay for now but will send an estimate, which I asked for, for the re-piping under the house, should it come to that. 

I'm working on the monthly newsletter this week. 

And I'm working on a pair of men's crocheted slippers for a park neighbor's order and on a dozen button-face angels for a friend for her order. 

This morning, I decided to try some more Sun Tea outside - it's cool here, in the 50s mostly this week in the daytime, and I'm not sure it will "brew" but I need to find out - I love the sun tea- no bitterness, and a gentle delicious soothing flavor. I often use that to heat in the microwave for some quick hot tea, as well.

I'm trying a slow-cooker apple cake for the first time today. It's cooking now in the crock pot. I did add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. The slight liquid in the dried berries should offset the dryness of the nuts and not change texture or anything - I also sprinkled a little cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg - will let you know how it comes out - can't wait - should be smelling it very soon!

And tonight while I am sleeping, I will be slow cooking another batch of pea soup with a really meaty ham bone and it will be ready when I get up in the morning.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bee Free - That's Me!

Once again, my Lord, you have come through for me. Yes, I know I spent that money for the bee technician to come check things out for me, and yes, I am thrilled that he found no hives and I do not need any further action. But I do not feel I wasted that money. I was very scared, as you well know. I don't know why something so small, considering the size of some of your other creations, can frighten me so much.

He said that this time of year they are rather active, foraging for food that is getting scarce in the colder weather. He feels they must have smelled something sweet to draw them here. Then I remembered that about two weeks ago, the little throw rug I keep in front of the fridge was soiled by some watermelon juice that I spilled when I took out some watermelon pieces. I took it outside at the time, planning to wash it with the hose before tossing it in the washer, and promptly forgot it. That might have been the drawing factor.

The fact that the few I saw, on my double-wide mobile home lot, were sluggish made sense to him, also. 

I mentioned that this meant, even if I didn't have any signs of a hive on my own lot, that it must be one of my nearby neighbors, within two or three lots of my own. He said that the hive could actually be as far away as a mile from my place - that was something I didn't know.

These bee-dudes are very brave, IMHO. He said that out of every 10 calls he handles, 8 are rather like mine, but that at least 2 are troublesome. He has been stung many times, the worst a few years ago. That time, a hive on a lady's home had grown over two years time before she was finally stung herself and called it in. By then, it was hanging from the eave at the top of her second story, down to the top of her first story. He was almost up to the top, on his ladder, when they spotted him and attacked. He took about 30 stings and that time, he ended up in the hospital.

Father, thank you so much for your help in this matter. I am grateful that I, and my rescue-kitty, are not in any danger. But I do also ask you protect whoever's property is hosting that hive. Fill them with wisdom and encourage them to call it in as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bee-sy Business Has Me Concerned

Sunday afternoon, I was sitting on my back steps (driveway) and noticed 2 to 4 bees (2 for sure) flying quietly around my head while I was reading. I am terrified of them and somehow managed to stay calm and get up and inside without exuding fear or speed, and shut the door. I didn't even hear them buzzing when they flew around me. Then I saw nothing the next two days.

This afternoon, late (around 4pm), while I had my back door open so my 4-yr-old kitty could walk in and out (she stays on my driveway), I flicked something off the handle of a spoon that was sticking up out of my dishwater in the sink. When I fished it out, it was not a fly as I expected, but a bee. I've got it and will transfer it from dishwater to plain water tonight.

I don't know if I have a hive in/around my mobile, or if they are on a scouting mission from a nearby home or tree. I don't even know if companies that handle them charge for an inspection...I guess I'll be on the phone tomorrow for sure.

Father, you know I can almost still feel the stings from those bees and that wasp from when I was a child. You know how frightened I am of them. Strengthen me now to stay calm and find me the right expert to give me the right answers. Meanwhile, protect me, please, as you have always done, from any major harm or damage. I will be waiting to see how you get me out of THIS one.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Looking Back at this Year So Far

This has been an amazing year. Yes, I still miss my "nephew" who passed away almost two years ago. And, yes, my "shelter kitty" is still getting used to me in many ways even after being here almost 3 years.

But, already, this year, I have new eyes (cataract surgery early in year), my regular colonoscopy (every 3-5 years because of previous cancer), have lost 20 pounds nice and slow, am rarely in need of my arthritis pain meds these days, have no other meds to deal with even at my age, have managed some de-cluttering, defrosted (3 years late) my upright freezer, am making healthy and delicious meals to put in the freezer, and I have a newly sealed and coated roof on my mobile home.

Each of these things, when, and while, they were occurring, were stressful in some ways. But with the Lord's help, and the love and prayers of friends, I not only got through each situation, but I also came through each one much better than I had a right to expect.

Today's procedure went very well. I see the doctor on 12/1 to find out about a minor biopsy he took while performing the colonoscopy. But there was nothing fearful discovered for the immediate future.

Father, you have blessed me in so many ways, not only this year, but all my life. I thank you for this, with all my heart, but I also ask for your compassion and mercy and help for some of my friends in immediate need. You know of those on my prayer list- please shower your love upon them and hold them up while you are working out the solutions to their problems. I place my trust in you.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Liquids Only Today - What Fun!

I'm in the middle of brewing a hot cup of coffee, which I will drink black today. Tomorrow morning, I'm headed out for a procedure and today is all prep, food-wise. I do this every 3 to 5 years because of my history of Stage 3 colon cancer in '99. This year is the 4th in this round, so I made myself a promise to do it before year-end. That way, when Christmas comes, I can thank the Lord for my new eyes (cataract surgery Dec. '14 and Jan. '15), my scheduled colonoscopy, and keeping my labs to the point that I still need no meds for blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. It will have been a good year, health-wise, if all goes well tomorrow.

Anyhow, I am, by nature and, I admit, by choice, a "foodie." The thing that I've changed over the past two years is the type of food I eat. I'm a grazer and a snacker. So, with the help of my trusty, faithful crock pot, and armed with the right foods at "grab and go" level in the fridge, I've managed to eat the "right" foods when I feel the urge.

Today, however, will be a challenge. It is a challenge every time I do this. This time around, I've tried to plan for liquids that I like, or at least ones that I "sort of" like. 

Black coffee (it feels more like "food" when I sip it) and my "Sun tea" for warmth throughout the day, for one. I have a double batch of lemon jello (I already had 2 big spoonfuls - yummy!), and, for when I think I'm about to go crazy and eat the cat's food right off her dish on the floor, I can pop the 2-liter bottle of diet ginger ale or sip a more satisfying glass of apple juice.

Through the years, I quit trying chicken broth. Not all chicken broths are suitably "clear," something I found out to my regret when I had to re-schedule 4 years ago. Some chicken broths have dehydrated pieces of veggies, etc., in them. For this procedure, that's a no-no. Maybe next time around, I will research them carefully and try to select one that will be safe in my case. I do admit that the chicken broth is satisfying at times like this, and I have several cans, several types, in my cabinets, but will not risk the wrong one for now.

One other thing I will do, because I know me and food, will be to distract myself whenever I feel a nibble-urge. In my cluttered home, that's very easy to do. And with my crafting obsession, again, that's easy to do. I just need to be careful I do not do so much that I work up an appetite I cannot give in to today.

So, this will be interesting, my friends. See you on the other side, tomorrow, and hopefully, once again, I will have good news afterwards.