Merry christmas, my smattering of readers!
So, you may ask, just where were YOU yesterday when you failed to post anything to this here blog?
Glad you asked: because I had a very productive day yesterday, and it takes me back to about a year and half ago when my energy levels were not being sucked dry by the most mundane of tasks. All this adjustment of meds and forcing myself to work through that fatigue and weakness is working rather well, I do believe.
My day started with an MRI on my brain (so they can tell me there is nothing there, yuk yuk), and I have to tell you this: if you must have something like this done, it is absolutely a terrific idea to have it very early on christmas eve, especially if the trip begins at the ranch and requires that you head into the city. There was virtually no traffic there or back, the MRI department was not backed up (thanks to a 0745 scan time for yours truly), and everyone was in a festive mood over and above their usual good humor. This particular scan takes about 40 minutes, but with that out of the way, I was able to get on with the rest of things.
Those things included another trip to the beeyard. Winter will come, eventually, and from the forecast it appears it’s just going to change from summer to winter overnight. This is not entirely unsurprising, as it’s generally the way our seasons move from one to another: overnight and with a rather stunning immediacy. The bees, however, need to be put into the best situation for them to get through the periods where it will be too cold for them to fly, and that usually means swapping hive bodies from top to bottom, as they generally tend to move upward in the hive. With the swap, they’re back on the bottom, and as they eat through stores in the lower level, they’ll migrate to the top to continue waiting for spring. Unlike most places, we do have a lot of days in “winter” where the bees will be flying, but unless winter switches off suddenly and gives us back our warmer weather, it’s unlikely they’ll find that things are blooming as they are right now with the lingering summer. The job of the beekeeper is to make sure they have stores in place to eat, and to feed them if they don’t. Having them in the lower level of the hive will help them regulate their hive temperature on the coldest nights. I try not to open the hives very often during winter, to avoid allowing heat to escape, but since it’s pretty mild here most of the time, I’ll probably get a peek or two at them during the period.
Hives 3 and 4 got swapped yesterday. I found the queens in each box, and they both have outstanding stores of honey – enough, in fact, to be a bit nervous about if they don’t eat enough in the winter, because come spring, being honeybound will itself create swarm conditions. When a hive is honeybound, the queen has nowhere left to lay eggs, which turns on the little “let’s get someplace roomy!” light in their brains. If I’m able to get into the hives over the next couple of months on good days, I can check their progress at working through their stores to make sure as we head into spring we’re in good shape. This is why we had a honey harvest in January of this year, in fact. While the harvest was not huge, the girls were tremendously productive and the weather warmed so quickly that we were already seeing blooms in February. They got busy and started loading cells with nectar without the winter stores being depleted. Lucky us, given that the late honey run (the end of last year) is the dark honey that a lot of the fam and friends enjoy.
After some fun with the bees, I headed out to the front gardens to sow some carrots and radishes. I figured if the weather is going to stay rather temperate, we could take advantage of that a bit. Before I was able to sow seed, I had to do some weeding to clear the row, and put the black plastic back down on half of it where it had been blown off by the winds. The plastic is supposed to lend me a hand and keep weeding chores down a bit, but it doesn’t do much good if it isn’t in place. But, the row is fully weeded, the irrigation lines back in place, and two types of carrots and two types of radishes are now out there, lurking.
Still not quite done for the day, I jumped on the treadmill for close to 15 minutes, walking and continuing to read toward the finish line of the book currently occupying the lead spot on my Fire. Yes, it is still Vera Stanhope, but I’m getting closer to the end with each walking session – and the thing about this is that my reading is done while walking. So, if I get in two sessions, that’s about 20-30 minutes of reading time, and since I read incredibly quickly, I get a good pace to completion at the same time I get in a nicely-paced walk.
The rest of the evening was spent hunting down peoples’ out of date scripts, deleting bogus files, editing trojan-injected files to remove the bad code and cleaning the spam from affected servers, answering the few tickets that made their way in, and listening to a bunch of holiday music, the youtube links for which I posted to facebook.
No writing. Still. I did come across some commentary about the little voice in one’s head that tells you everything you do sucks. Not from a professional writer or a shrink or any of those sorts. Just a guy I happened to stumble on. His talk raised an interesting point about not fighting with that little voice for me: instead of trying to duel with it, what would happen if we (I) were to grab it, shake it out, and see what’s wrapped up in it that’s causing such stress, preventing you (me) from Getting Shit Done? Naturally, this does not only apply to writing or any other singular thing. It’s as equally applicable to writing as it is to, say, losing ten pounds, or getting a painting into the works, or getting that list of chores done. That is what I am pondering this quiet evening now that the christmas carnage phase is over and we’re drifting into the holiday weekend.
All the best, Faithful Readers. Be well.