Harvesting Honey

Margaret was here because we were having a party to celebrate Luke’s 30th birthday. We’d had a fun family lunch and then the next day when Denis was visiting I mentioned the special ‘onsen’ hotel we’re staying at in Japan. I said it sounds like some traditional style of Japanese hotel or something.

Margaret immediately Googled onsen, and then started to laugh hysterically. We said what’s so funny and she read out how they are spas, where men and women are separated because it’s all done without any bathing suits on, IE nude. I said oh dear lord, poor Nicky walking in there with his dad!

So I feel kind of intrigued by Japan already, and I can imagine the exciting things we’re going to get to see. We’re spending three days in Kyoto, then the rest of the time in Hokkaido where her folks live. So it’ll all be a whirlwind.

Yesterday Mike the House Painter came over to learn the drill for the house and pets as he’ll be house sitting. He mentioned Luke and I said no, I think it’s better for you to be here. Luke likes Louie, but he dislikes the cats, and so I know it wouldn’t work.

You would shriek with laughter being around here, as the batteries in my landlines finally stopped re-charging, so I had to buy new phones. I took them home, opened the box, and carefully unfolded the instructions. Slowly I tried to put in the batteries, couldn’t, and had to go out to the garage and ask Luke to do it for me! Oh my God.

Then yesterday I thought my creative writing course had started, but of course it’s on-line so that’s another hurdle. I was going berserk for about two hours, was nearly in tears, then got an e mail saying it starts next week.

You can see how happy I am I’m now able to imbibe one cocktail per night again. I’d had 18 months off due to migraines, but am much-improved, and thank God for it daily on the dot of 4:00 PM. It must be a bit disconcerting for the kid to be able to set his watch by the sound of the blender like that.

I was hugely successful with the bees, as I managed to get seven frames of honey. I have them sitting in a Tupperware container, as even though I have the extractor, I’m waiting for the recommended honeycomb cutting knife. It heats, so apparently is well worth waiting for, according to the beekeepers I’ve asked.

When I lift the container, it feels like there’s about 20 pounds of honey in there, so that’s a good beginning. And you’ll recall the bees swarmed and moved out in April, so the 20% or so who remained had to work like crazy to fill these frames. And because of that I felt really bad stealing all of it from them.

I phoned the president of the local beekeepers association, and he said yep, everything above the queen excluder is for the beekeeper to take, so go ahead. I did, but it made me feel like a real heel.

So now the fun begins once I cut the combs, spin the frames to release the honey and pour it into jars. Lorraine my beekeeping friend said the entire kitchen will be sticky once done. Fun!