We spent a lot of time with the bees this week.  We split our biggest colony, Candleford, and rather than letting them raise their own queen, we purchased a locally raised one just to see how that goes and to introduce some new genetics.  I’m getting nervous around the bees.  I’m not sure why.  I was more confident our first year!  I think it might be just that we are doing so much more with them now.  I’ve only been stung twice in two years, so that’s not the problem.  Stings hurt, but not that bad.  What’s worse is the possibility of being stung.  Does that make any sense?  Yes, I think it does.  Most of my issues boil down to control.  You sure can’t control bees and that is why I love them so much while being a little scared at the same time.

I am drowning in clothing and laundry this week.  We still have all the clothing out from winter because we are having a cool spring.  I’m sorting and making piles and bagging up things to give away.  It seems a little bit endless.  I am washing all the wool sweaters and just bought some zippered sweater bags to store them in until next winter.

We are moving very slowly in the garden this year.  The boys are helping me prepare beds.  English peas are up now and my strawberries are looking amazing.  If I could only grow one thing, I think it would be strawberries.  As far as feeding the family goes, I guess potatoes would be more practical.  But in some areas, I’m really not that practical.

Every day this week when I put Job down for his nap, rather than racing to get a bunch of housework done, I’ve been working on my cross stitch.  Sometimes making tiny x’s just has to take priority.


  1. The picture of your youngest 4 kids in the bushes is so sweet. Love it!

  2. You paint such an idyllic picture of life. I would say that you definitely have you r priorities in order! These pictures are, as usual, stunning!

  3. thank you for telling about your bee stings! I was wondering that very thing, when looking at your wonderful bee pictures (thanks for sharing them). I hope to keep bees someday, but am pretty cowardly about getting stung… So always wonder how many times it really happens. Yes, the suspense is the worse part i agree.

  4. I must know roughly how many strawberry plants you have?! We have two and it’s not enough . I want to install a horse trough and fill the whole thing with strawberry plants!

    My favorite smell in all the world is the scent of sun dried laundry. I love that about southern Arizona, you can sun dry laundry all year! Except for today. It’s actually raining today!

  5. Tiny x’ are sanity, and sanity is pretty important.

    In NJ, things are just starting to get green. You’re about a month further along than we are. It gives me hope!

  6. Making tiny x’s–love that. Your spring is further along than ours in the upper Midwest. Our strawberries have finally started growing. I have often considered, seriously considered, bees, but I have a severe fear of being stung. I absolutely agree the fear, the anticipation, of being stung is worse than the actual event (as long as it’s just one & you’re not allergic). Enjoyed your photos immensely. Especially the woollies drying.

  7. I don;t have bees, but I understand…whenever one of my kids is sick i am so anxious about the possibility of vomit. If it actually occurs, I just deal with it. Strange!

  8. Ginny,Your house sounds normal!!!!We have more wool sweaters,still hanging around,and also sleeveless tops .Mornings are freezing and by afternoon its 75 deg. and everyone is stripping layers!!I cant wait to see your finished cross stitch,sometimes what you want to do,should take priority!!!!Thanks so much for blogging,someday I might get the courage to!!!!HUG

  9. Brigitte says:

    Thanks for the picture of the bush with the red buds. My old neighbor had one and she called it spice bush. She said that they used to pick the hard red flowers and use them as a scent in their handkerchiefs. The picture brought back pleasant memories of my old neighbor, Miss Hoerner, who was an amazing flower and vegetable gardener. I almost never see the bush anywhere.

  10. jennifer bauman says:

    I love, love, love the picture of all your hand knit woolens drying on the rack! That is the picture of springtime, and you have such lovely hand knits! A wonderful picture of the children under the bush, too. Don’t be afraid of the bees. They are much too busy to be worrying about you.

  11. Sometimes I look around and I see that we are drowning in cloth. Diapers, towels, clothes…to be sorted, given away, pulled out. Yarn, fabric for sewing. Woolens to wash. It’s everywhere. I guess that’s better than…plastic? Good luck with the strawberries!

  12. Hi Ginny, Just now posted to this week’s Yarn Along. Thank you so much for hosting (it’s what gave me the courage 🙂 to actually start blogging (publicly 🙂 Anyways just wanted to thank you and compliment you on the strawberries. They look wonderful. (We’re hoping to start some this summer.) Blessings to you and your family.

  13. Your comments about laundry are the same here. I much prefer when we are solidly in a season and the rest of the clothes can go into the attic.

    I’m always cheered by “Seven Silly Eaters” — the illustrations are great and the best part is the massive piles of laundry in every single one.

  14. Beautiful, uplifting photos!

  15. Ginny…as always your photos are a pleasure for the eyes. And washing your woollens…I tend to just put them in plastic bags afterwards, but fabric bags just for wool make sense…I wonder if they are a certain fabric? Here, I have to store my wool in bags even when not in use because we inherited a moth issue and it won’t go away unless I spray chemicals, which I won’t. But my question for you (which I could find out on pinterest, but it is so much nicer to ask a friend) is what do you use for your embroidery supplies? What fabric? What thread? I am wanting to dive into that and need a little reassurance I’m on the right path. Much love and have a beautiful weekend,
    xo Jules

  16. I have bird anxiety. I know it sounds silly, but birds make be nervous with their unpredictability. My sister had a parakeet that she’d sometimes let fly around the house. I’d hide in another room until it was back in the cage. I don’t deal with our chickens; I’ve never been in the chicken coop among the flock. I can deal with any other type of animal, just not birds. My homeopathic doctor said it was a classic phobia for my homeopathic profile (He actually got pretty excited when I mentioned it to him off-hand. He called it “homeopathic gold” for diagnosis). Pretty weird, huh? My husband says maybe it was Hitchcock’s “Birds” movie that did it.

  17. Do you talk to your bees? When I am near one and feel scared I politely talk to them… I feel like it helps! 🙂 And we are praying for bees daily; bees are really important; have your read Elizabeth Goudge’s Linnets and Valerians? … Bees are in there and are portrayed as I think they are; as signs of goodness…. we pray for you often but also for you in that we pray for all bee keepers! esp. Christian ones! Lots of monastics keep bees and make beeswax candles, etc. They are just so important. I hope the feeling of fear can leave and peace come instead. Maybe you are overwhelmed with all the reading? anyway, I will pray for you! Your work is important! 🙂

    I love doing something quiet with my hands, knitting and baking esp. Today I hope to make a chocolate banana bread and a simple cinnamon cake! Praying for you! 🙂 Don’t be scared!!!

    • I have been reading the works of Agnes Sanford on healing and prayer…she told a story about talking to bees and having them respond. It was very sweet.

  18. I am anxious to see you cross stitch project when it is finished. I also love to see the bees. Its an amazing hobby but I don’t think I could do it. I hate getting stung.

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

  19. I love your tiny Xs, and your strawberries, and Job’s sweet face.

    The very last cross stitch project I undertook, and abandoned was an image of Jesus and the children, but the Xs covered the entire space, and it was a large space. I think the Xs with space in between is much prettier. I think I need to make a sampler, but now I’m not sure my old eyes can handle it.

  20. I can so relate to the anxiety around bees. Well with anything that has wings and can sting. (Bad experience as a child, I won’t retell because it would probably just raise your own) But I will literally run from them, even breaking a toe in the process. My husband was very interested in raising bees ourselves, but a sting from a red wasp last fall sent him to the ER with a severe, unknown, allergic reaction. Bee keeping plans have been scraped, and honestly I’m more than a little relieved.

    And as also a mother to a large brood (7 still at home), the amount of clothing at change of seasons, is staggering. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to live in a climate with very little change, like Norway. 🙂

  21. What is that a picture of in the 7th and 8th photo? I can tell it’s bee-related but I don’t know if it’s my eyes or my iPhone or what but I can’t quite make it out.

  22. I long to be able to go out without a vest! I miss having strawberries in my backyard, like we used to do before moving- We had patatoes too, and yes, it IS a very practical thing to have limitless on hand!

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