Friday, August 12, 2011

To Bee or Not To Bee

We have new tennants! Tom discovered them last night while mowing the backyard. We're not sure where they came from but he swears they weren't there last week when he mowed and I didn't see them earlier this week when I was at the back gate. Given the size of the hive they've been busy little bees LOL Tom's brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Vicki, raise bees so next time they're in town hopefully they can tell us a bit about what's going on. We're also checking in the neighborhood as we do have at least one bee keeper nearby and it's possible they've had a hive run away. At this point all we really know is they're gentle and good natured and aren't even disturbed by the noise of the lawn mower. Still, we'll be leaving them alone and keeping our distance LOL There's two more shots over in the 'photo' section including a close up showing the amazing number of bees gathered on the comb. Provided they don't belong to someone else and Jeff can instruct us it might be nice to have a bit of honey from our own property provided it leaves them plenty for the winter. We'll keep you updated as to what happens with our new friends = )


Sunday, 8/14/2011

Tom's brother Jeff arrived last night to check out the hive. He confirmed they were honey bees and said it was likely they'd come from a hive that had grown too big and split off. Best estimate was around 2000 bees in the hive. We missed the collection but Jeff smoked them a bit and then carefully trimmed the hive away and placed it in a bee box then left the box under the lilac until late evening. From his report the bees were happy to be moved as they were surprisingly docile and he wasn't stung even once. Boxing the hive and then letting it set gives the bees a chance to return to their new 'home' and settle in before being moved to a new, safer location. I'd have loved to have kept the hive but future tennants and the insurance company likely wouldn't have been to happy about it. They'll be safe and secure over the winter with Jeff and Vicki's other hives = )

I can't wait to see what other surprises - of the good kind! - the Cauldron may have in store for us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Updates All Around

Is summer flying by for anyone else? Is that just too universal of a question to even ask? LOL Things at the Cauldron have been moving along making for a hot and sweaty summer. At the same time we've also remembered to take time to enjoy the season and get out a bit. We started out the 'season' with the annual Christmas in July party hosted by friends Harry and Rory Galligher. Like the bike runs it's a bit different each year and this party was laid back and family style with plenty of great food contributed by all the party goers. New this year was a great band which I should likely mention here but I never did hear their name.

With Tom a bit burnt out replacing windows he turned his attention to replacing the front entry door while I continued the never-ending task of stripping and refinishing woodwork. There's pictures of each step of the way including an awesome job I did restoring a door frame and if I ever get a free moment I might even get them uploaded LOL We'll try for sometime in the next week but no promises there. We're both a bit tired of the constant tearing up and nothing put back together so I decided to spend some time in the east apartment living room closet. I think it was mostly to check out the color scheme but here this week, once Tom gets the molding installed, we'll actually have one 'space' complete. I find it hysterically funny that after almost 8 months of hard work the first part done will be a tiny closet ROFL We're only an army of two though and making good progress considering.

Our next 'vacation' was a trip to Wetzeland an annual biker swap meet held just outside Van Wert. It's a long weekend camping in a dusty field surrounded by parties, loud music, motorcycles and drunks. Surprisingly it's also really relaxing and we were able to spend time together lounging around camp as well as doing a bit of swimming. This years highlight was the performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Definitely an awesome moment listening to the crowd sing along to Freebird as the sun set over the pond.

It's good that our trip was relaxing as it will likely be the last bit of rest for the next several weeks. Due to an early summer hail storm there is not a roofing company to be found in the area and those willing to even schedule an estimate can charge way more than we're comfortable paying. So . . . guess who gets to learn the finer points of tearing off a roof and putting on a rubber roof? Yep, it ain't Tom, he already knows how LOL So far I have about 45 minutes to my credit, just enough to realize it's not going to be a lot of fun. I learned how to use the shovel to pry up the half inch layer of old roofing and spent some time hammering nails back down. For those of you who've never seen their naked roof believe me, it's not a pretty sight. I can understand now why the water just pours in downstairs LOL

Ya'll all know Murphy's Law too, don't ya? In this case it goes something like this. Day one of roofing Tom's up there by about 7:30am tearing off a four foot by 50 foot swath of roof and knocking down the old chimney. I got spared since we weren't supposed to be roofing and I had only flip flops and shorts. It was well after noon before I got him to quit and only then as he started to have cramps. He headed off to the local home improvement store to cool off and I headed home with plans to meet back up at the Cauldron later to cover the open roof. Have you figured out yet where this is going? LOL I'm home relaxing aka half asleep and suddenly I hear a huge growl of thunder and realize the western sky is dark and stormy and THE ROOF IS UNCOVERED! Have you ever seen a woman in an absolute panic? LOL I was slamming windows shut at home while I ran for keys and shoes and then raced to the building. I arrived just as the first drops began to fall and grabbed the only covering available, thin plastic painting covers. Armed with the covers and some pieces of wood I actually did a fairly decent job of getting the majority of the open space covered. It wasn't a lot of fun getting soaked or watching the lightening all around me or fighting the wind tugging at the plastic but it was kind of cool getting the job done. Luckily though Tom arrived just about then, muscled the roll of rubber sheeting into position and slickly rolled it right over the open area. Just as it stopped raining ROFLBO It couldn't have been more perfect or true to our style if planned LOL Soaked and grubby we loaded the rest of the soggy removed roofing into the pick up and called it quits for the night. AND, after a quick stop for dry clothes we headed immediately for the local steak house and hot food.

It's been an interesting and productive six weeks or so over all and I wish I could share more of the experience here. Unfortunately the combination of physical labor and summer temperatures leaves my good intentions snoozing on the couch LOL

We did have one low spot in this past few weeks - more like two separate ones. A nearby property that has sat vacant for some time was recently bought by the city. Since last year a vagrant has been living in a shed there unknown to most of the neighborhood. He was quiet and there were no problems with theft, trash, alcohol, drugs or anything. In it's wisdom the city decide to let the weeds grow and the landscaping die however decided to remove this harmless man. The sent a crew down to demolish his shed and haul his personal posessions to the dump. Yep, this is legal. He's technically a squatter on private property and his personal effects by law are considered to be abandon. Not right but it's the law. It also offended me and while I knew it wouldn't change anything I wanted the city administration to know my opinion. I made a circuit of four locations, each pointing the finger at the other, until I ended up back where I started. There my opinion was not listened to respectfully as should be due a resident who was being civil and polite. I was yelled at, treated as an idiot and ridiculed in front of other office personnel and visitors. Finding out the city cares more for it's rights than the rights of others and also that residents also can't have their opinions heard wasn't the best experience of the week. Anyone want to take a guess as to my vote on the next request for a tax increase? ROFL

Have a great August all!