2010 in review

The following stats were to delivered to by inbox, courtesy of WordPress.com:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads:  This blog is on fire!

(LOL, I bet they say that to everybody.)

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 50 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 61 posts. There were 180 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 62mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 4th with 67 views. The most popular post that day was A Little Color on a Dreary Day.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were theeasygarden.com, networkedblogs.com, mail.yahoo.com, backyardchickens.com, and sufficientself.com(All my favorite forums that I frequent.)

Some visitors came searching, mostly for deworming chickens, ivermectin for chickens, where to find morel mushrooms, ivermectin/bees, and Jason Perlak(Maybe I should drop him an email and let him know he’s famous!  🙂  )

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010. 

1

A Little Color on a Dreary Day October 2010     
1 comment

(This was one of my favorites too.)

 

2

Opening the Bees April 2010
1 comment

3

Honey for my Honey June 2010                       
2 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com

(My favorite memory from 2010!)

 

4

Jelly from Wild Grapes October 2010         
6 comments

(I really liked how the photography turned out on this one.)

 

5

SeedsNTrades Shareware February 2010

 

Well, there you have it.  2010 was a good year for me.  I feel I made a lot of improvements in my life this past year and set my mind toward more to come.  There’s so much I want to do.  I love having this blog to collect my thoughts and record my progress, as well as the day to day humor and blessings in it all.  One Sunny Acre will hopefully chronicle many more goals accomplished for 2011 as I work to fully appreciate and utilize the good things in life God has graciously given me and to be a better servant for Him.  I feel so blessed.  I am so thankful for my family and my home.

Moving

…over to Blogger! 

I am in the process of moving all my content at One Sunny Acre over to Blogger, which I’ve found better suits my blogging needs.

The new site address is http://onesunnyacre.blogspot.com/

Please come by and check out the new format and improvements and let me know what you think!

If you are currently subscribed here, you will need to move your subscription over there.  There are several new options for subscribing via RSS/Google Follower/NetworkedBlogs.  I’ll be leaving this site up for a few months to help redirect.  This will be the last post entered here on WordPress.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll like the new site.

Visiting the Bees

Today turned out to be a nicer day than I expected; sunny, warm and slightly windy.  The morning started out cold, but made its way up to 72 degrees by the afternoon.

My mother-in-law, Carol, came up early to entertain Ava for the afternoon.  Once I got dinner started (potato soup), I grabbed up my gear and hurried down to go see the bees.

Although I observe them from outside the hive often, the August heat and humidity prevented me from donning the full bee suit and going down to take a peek.  My wasp sting scare set me back a little also.  It took two more stings–bee and wasp–for me to discover that with enough Benadryl (about 4 doses of the liquid version), I can be sure that I won’t have a crazy allergic reaction.

Prior to that I had just put on another super, experimenting with top bars.  I found out later that the bars I used were too narrow and even with waxed guide strips they would not likely make nice comb.  I expected that they would just go ahead and make freeform natural comb and I wasn’t too worried about that since I had a queen excluder on.  I figured I could still harvest it, even if it were a mess.

But I was not expecting this:

A completely empty super!  Peeking down between the (horribly inadequate) top bars I saw nothing–nada–they didn’t do anything upstairs.  All that time, wasted. 

The brown screen you see is the queen excluder.  It keeps the queen from moving up and laying eggs in the honey super.  Like I said, I was prepared to deal with freeform comb.  I figured they’d just draw comb diagonally here and there, like they did with the lid when I had the mess to fix earlier this spring.

Ah well, I guess I am learning.  At least they are still alive, haven’t flown off and appear to be completely healthy!  I’ll do things differently next year.

Now this was something I was glad to see:

 

The inner cover was nice and clean.  No ants this time!

My husband has come with me all the other times I have worked the bees.  Today, with the day length getting shorter, I couldn’t wait for him to come home and I worked them by myself.  It was actually much more relaxing for me not to have to talk through it.  I just took my time and enjoyed their buzzing company.  No pressure.  I worked off all the burr comb that I could see on the upper deep, pulled out a couple of frames to inspect and put everything back together.  I’m going to leave that empty super on there just like it is.  I will use it to accommodate a Ziploc bag sugar-water feeder with some terramycin in it when I go back to look at them next week.

I’ve got buckwheat sown in most of my garden plot right now and with all the rain we’ve had, I expect it will germinate soon.  This is the first time I’ve planted buckwheat for a cover crop, but what I’ve read on it says that it should be in bloom 3 weeks after it emerges.  It’s a favorite food source for bees and will make for nice fall forage for them.  I hope that with feeding them and adding on another super, maybe they’ll put up some buckwheat honey.  I will probably just leave it on there for winter, just to be sure they don’t starve out; although what they have now should be enough.  It’s the same set up I wintered them on last year.

After my husband got home and we all had dinner, I left myself very little time to go out and look for mushrooms today.  I got about a half hour to walk the tractor path back into the woods on my Dad’s farm.  I didn’t find any mushrooms, but I didn’t go home empty-handed.  I found some big persimmons.  Ava liked them and said they were like jelly.  They taste better than they look.

There was also a very pretty sunset this evening as I was coming back across the hayfield.

 

It was a good, fairly productive day.  🙂

No Go

Just got off the phone with Rocky’s owner.  She rode him “one last time” and realized she couldn’t part with him.  I guess I understand… I was wondering how anyone could part with such a handsome horse in the first place.

Well, moral of the story is:  Don’t count your horses until they’re in the barn!

One Year

I was just standing at the sink cutting up vegetables for tonight’s dinner, wondering what I want to do tomorrow for my birthday “date” with my husband, when it suddenly occurred to me that I had blogged about my birthday date last year.

And that means it is also the one year “anniversary” of my adventures in blogging.  How could I have missed this milestone, this momentous occasion?

Yes, I had to stop right in the middle of making dinner to post this… I am a day late, but I had to make it right!

Well, this also happens to be a very busy time of year for me anyhow, so I guess I can cut myself some slack.

It really doesn’t seem like it has been a whole year though.  How funny that feels when I think about it.  Much like when you start your family, there is something about watching children grow up that makes time really fly by, when it seemed that it stood still waiting for life to BEGIN prior to that.

I confess I really don’t get to write as often as I’d like to, or think to, or have something worthwhile to write about.  Many things go on in my life that I’d like to tell the whole world about, if only I could find time.  Living with a toddler will do that to you.  Often by the time I get around to it, I realize it’s no longer relevant or “in season” anymore.

But really, even if no one else ever read my blog ever again, I’d still keep posting.  A little here, a little there as it came to me.  I feel like I am keeping a journal and I enjoy looking back on it all.  And sometimes you guys comment–and in my hectic, solitary, mommy-life here on my One Sunny Acre, where things get done when I get around to it–it’s as if someone stopped by and paid me a visit (minus the shame of a messy house.)  And it’s refreshing.  So thanks for reading!  🙂

Maybe when I get all these beans put up, I’ll get back around to catching up on some posts!

Hardest Working Person in America Contest

I know some of you will be interested in participating in this.

Mitchum Deoderant is sponsoring this contest to find the "Hardest Working Person in America" and one of our own Jackson County residents, Jason Perlak has made it to the Top 10.  Jason and his wife founded the Wilderness Christian Camp which offers spiritual support and outdoor activities like hiking and rustic camping for troubled teens who just need unplugged from the world for a bit.  Any votes you can add will be appreciated.  Top prize is $100,000, all of which will go toward improvements for the camp.  You can vote once per day from each computer you own/use up until August 15th.  Click the banner below to check it out.  Thanks!

Mitchum - The Hardest Working Person in America

Horsey Neighbors

It’s always been high on my wish list to be able to look out of my kitchen window and see horses grazing in the field beyond.  Originally this dream came with the desire to have enough acreage to pasture my own horse.  With only one acre to our property, my gaited paint gelding, Journey, is kept on my Dad’s farm 10 minutes down the road.

We got some new neighbors last April and recently they brought in their four horses, which I will enjoy watching in the 13 acre field below our house almost as much as if they were my own.  I get to enjoy them without having to pay for their feed and care, which sounds like a good deal to me!

This is their little herd of four mares.  It’s been raining a lot lately, but I ran out the door with my camera when I saw they were close enough to the fence line to get some good shots.

Horsey Neighbors

I haven’t asked their names yet, but will when I get a chance.  I have a hard time remembering the kids’ names anyway, so I don’t want to seem overly interested in the horses.  Ha.

This dappled gray mare is my favorite.  Aside from being very pretty, she is also the most friendly (and dominant) of the four.

Dapple Gray Mare

This mare could be the twin sister of my own horse, Journey, except that she is probably 2 hands taller than him.  Her markings are brown and his are black, but the placement is very similar.

Journey's Twin Sister

They also have four cattle as well.  Here are the two steers.  (Don’t get attached to them.  They won’t be around long.  I will call them Cheeseburger and Steak’um.)

Steers

Here is a cow with her calf.

Cow and Calf

My chickens came running up to the juncture of the two fence lines as if to say, “hey, we’re cute too! ”  (Or quite possibly, “hey, where’s our treat?”)

Laying Flock, Summer '10

The grass is always greener on the other side!  I don’t know how long this fence will hold up to four horses stretching over and frequently scratching their rumps on it.  I think they’re going to want to run a strand of electrobraid.  It was originally fenced for a couple of dairy goats and for use as a rabbit pen for training the beagles the original owner raised.  The field is very overgrown and brushy and it will work great for the goats my neighbors are planning to get to help clear it.  I think they are getting “fainting goats”.  I’ll get pictures of those too when they arrive.

Grass is Greener...

Attack of the Killer Wasp

My husband has been on vacation from work this week and we’ve been trying to get a few projects done around here while he’s on “Stay-cation”.  (Aren’t those the best kind?!)  We were getting ready to build a double gate for the chicken/soon-to-be goat yard, taking measurements and checking the plumb on the gate posts when we decided one of the posts needed a brace, so I went to the little red barn to pull out a landscape timber from the big pile of scrap wood.  I was standing there, tossing a couple of pieces of wood around, when a wasp spotted me and decided I was a threat to her nest.  She flew out in a fury and quickly stung me on the leg.  Dang!  I hate wasps!

I didn’t think much of it, because I’ve been stung by a wasp before, so once I was over my initial consternation I walked to the backdoor of the basement to get an ice pack out of the big freezer and went back to work.  Some 15-20 minutes later I started feeling really itchy all over.  It was a 95 degree day working outside, so I figured it was just some heat rash.  I told my husband I was really itchy and he said my face looked red and splotchy.  I went inside to check it out and found that I was covered head to toe in awful hives!

Did you know that you can suddenly develop an allergy to stinging insects even when you’ve previously been proven demonstratively to not be allergic?  Neither did I! 

About this time last year I had been stung by a wasp on the forearm when I went to the farm to feed the horses.  I had nothing more than a red, swollen, itchy place on the sting site, maybe 2 inches in diameter.  I have also been stung by my bees 4 times since I got them.  Three of those were on the same day, and one this past April on my cheek.  Those stings barely produced a tiny, itchy bump where I was stung.  (I don’t know to what degree successfully scraping off the stinger that the bees leave behind may have helped me.)

Well, I fortunately had a few Benadryl in the medicine cabinet and I took two of those.  I could feel the swelling getting worse and worse and I got scared so I took a third, crushed up in a glass of water.  In addition to freakish hives all over, my ears puffed and got red-hot, and the skin around my eyes, and weirdly enough the skin on my ankles and wrists puffed up too.  I later learned that this is called angioedema, a step up from hives in symptoms.  I never had any shortness of breath and my lips didn’t swell, thank God.  That would be the next step up–anaphylactic shock.  I live 20 minutes from the nearest hospital!

After looking around on the internet for some advice (and not knowing that I should have been calling 911), I figured I better go to the Quick Care, just in case.  They weren’t open and after the long drive there sitting in front of the AC turned on full blast, my hives started going away.  We stopped in Fruth and picked up some liquid Benadryl (faster acting) and I took another dose of that and decided to go home.  The ER is so expensive, even with insurance, it’s prohibitive.  I was glad to not have to go.

I called my family doctor today to see if I needed an appointment with an allergist and she chewed me out for not going to the ER.  She said I was lucky I had Benadryl and that it could have been BAD.  She called me in an Rx for methyprednisolone (don’t read the papers that come with it or you may think you’d rather not take it anyway–nasty stuff).  She told me I could still react to the sting even a couple of days later and told me to keep taking 25 mg of Benadryl 3 times daily.  My leg is so swollen I can’t make out my kneecap, but the Rx seems to be helping that go away.  I’ve got a doctor’s appointment Monday.

Soooooo… Lesson learned:  Any allergic reaction to a sting is a bad one.  If you have itching/redness/swelling anywhere other than the sting site, it’s an allergic reaction.  If you have shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or your lips start to swell–you are in big trouble.  You should call an ambulance/head for the ER before any of those things happen, because you don’t know at what point the allergic reaction will stop progressing and you would rather be safe than sorry!  Not being able to breathe is a bad thing.

If you are like me and think you’re too tough to go to the ER and didn’t know this stuff before, well now you do!  Be careful stomping around in those barns this time of year, ok!

I am hoping and praying that this will not stop me from keeping bees.  I have read that you can be allergic to wasps and not be allergic to bees.  They also have a desensitization program they can do for bee stings as well.  I am guessing that the 3 rounds of antibiotics I’ve had in the past two months (2 for an abscess tooth and a Z-pac for bronchitis) may have messed with my immune system and brought on this sudden allergy for me.  I’ll know more when I talk to my doctor Monday.

Killdeer Nest, Update

Forgot to mention this a few days ago…

The folks down at the little church did spot the nest and put a few stakes up to alert people that the killdeer’s nest was there.  Mama killdeer wasn’t bothered by the new objects and is still faithfully sitting on her nest.

As I understand it, she will relocate her babies once they hatch.  That would be a good idea.  We have a lot of barn cats around here.

Killdeer Nest

We found a killdeer’s nest while we were out for a stroll this evening in the parking lot of the little church at the end of our road.  I’ve seen killdeer before and usually see a lot of them in the Walmart parking lot of all places, but I’ve never seen their nest before. 

The bird will try to decoy you away from her nest when you first come upon her.  She fanned her wings out low and ran a few feet away making a high-pitched “eee-eee-eee-eee-eee” call, trying to get us to follow her away from the nest.  As we came closer, she flew away.  Ava’s got a thing for birds right now and is always trying to catch them.

The eggs were really well camouflaged and blended in well with the gravel.  She laid them right in the middle of the gravel, not off the side in the brush like you think she would.  The nest is sparsely lined with leafy debris, not so soft and comfy like most bird’s nests.  The eggs are also much bigger than I would have expected for such a small bird, about the size of a ping-pong ball.

I am afraid someone will run over the nest when people arrive for church tomorrow.  I thought to try to put some bricks around the nest or a sign or something, but after I thought on it for a bit I figure the killdeer will be put off by that and may be more likely to abandon her nest if I “blow her cover”. 

So I only came back to take a picture of the pretty eggs.  I hope they’ll make it!  They were in a section of the parking lot that sees less traffic, so maybe they’ll be ok.

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