Monday, August 17, 2015

Just Bathroom Humor

My wife and I had planned to harvest honey last week but the temperature here reached 103F with a Heat Index of nearly 115F.  That compounded with the fact that I was at the doctor's office or hospital all last week with either my mom (who has a torn rotator cup) or my father-n-law (who had a stent put in).  All in all, the honey is still safely tucked away in the hives.

However, I have a totally non-bee related story.

While my father-n-law was having surgery, I had an upset stomach.  I didn't want to use the bathroom in the waiting-room for fear someone might hear me.  At the age of 41 I am still shy about using the bathroom. (though obviously I don't mind talking about it after the fact)

So I searched the hospital and found a more remote public toilet.  As I entered it was obvious that I wasn't the only one in there.  The smell was putrid to say the least.  Nonetheless, I figured that given the current smell, at worst, I would just blend in.  So I entered the other stall and dropped-trou.

From the capped-toed oxfords in the stall next to me, I could tell he was a much older man.  Which made sense, because it must have taken decades to brew the smell he was making.

Normally in this sort of situation, I practice delicate sphincter control to prevent any rude noises.  However, this stench was unique and I really didn't want to spend any more time than I had to.  So I bared down and, in doing so, let out a fairly audible fart.  If it had a smell, it wasn't strong enough to alter the paleolithic stench that was emanating from beneath the dividing wall.  Just the same, I paused and grimaced at the sound.

That's when he said it, "Mmmmmm... Giving it away."

I cringed.  Did I mention I'm a bit shy when it comes to bathroom issues?  Not to mention, this was not the best place to strike up a conversation.  So I stayed quiet - hoping maybe he would take the hint.

In a rush to finish my business, I again made an audible sound.

"Mmmmm." I heard from the stall next to me.

Are you f***ing kidding me? I thought.

Then he said, "So you take a right on Third?"


"That will get you back to the Casino."

Yep... It sounds like an old joke but he was on his phone the whole time.  Can we please start public shaming people who talk on their phones in the bathroom?  At best it's rude to the person on the other end.  At worst you make the person in the stall next to you feel like he is being ambushed when he is at his most vulnerable.

Well anyway... This week it is raining so I won't be doing much beekeeping this week either.  However, the weather is cooling off and if all goes well, we will go out this weekend and gather about 10-gallons of honey.  Not bad for a hobby.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another one bites the dust

I'll keep today's post fairly short.  For starters, this past Friday I visited the apiary.  I was shocked to find that the very hive I found the queen in last week was completely empty 7 days later... Damn the luck.  I am now down to 7 hives.

Also, since the bees have not built any wax on the frames I had bleached, I decided to place uncleaned frames in the hive and see what happens.  I did this by marking the frames with a "G" like in the picture here.  I then placed them in the hive with one bleached frame between each.  I did this to see if they build on the unclean frames and still avoid the bleached ones.

Lastly, in years to come when I am a successful beekeeper, i will look back on these early days and remember just how far I have come.  I want to remember that it wasn't easy and that the bees were not my only hurdle.

That said: I still have not finished cleaning the 400 frames I have in my trailer.  It has been over a month.  The truth is, I just feel so... I don't think it's depression but something like that.  I am still waiting to hear back about the USDA job.  I really want this job.  It is good pay, interesting work, and it would be here in the Delta.  Though it is hard to tell who wants me to get the job more; me or my wife.  I am very qualified for the job but it was open to the the whole country and so I don't know what the talent pool looks like or what my chances are.

The whole thing keeps me in a constant state of anxiety.  Even now, my palms are sweating and I have a headache.  If I don't get this job, I don't know what I will do next.  My wife has been working a lot of extra days at the hospital and so we are financially okay for now.  I am so proud of her but I feel equally awful putting such a burden on her.  She really is a God sent blessing.  We both pray constantly for this job.  I want to be optimistic but no one knows God's plans.

Tomorrow, I plan to muster all of my will power and finish cleaning (without bleach) those 400 frames.  My wife and I are also planning to go and collect honey from The Beast on Friday.  For that I need my trailer.

I have another blog called, 5 Things I Am Thankful For.  I started keeping it back when offshore work began to get rocky 18 months ago.  I don't write in it very much but I wanted to post the 5 things here today... it always makes me feel better and it is a good way to openly thank God for all he does for me.

1. My wife has made so much overtime that we are actually in the black.  Even in these hard times, our cup runs over.
2. My wife... just that... she is the greatest mate I could ever imagine.
3. My dog... Mabel is often on my 5 things list but it is because her kind face and loving nature always helps to brighten even the darkest of days.
4. Both my kids are in college (well my youngest starts this month) but I am thankful that they BOTH have academic scholarships.  This eases our burden (we used to pay $5000 per kid for private school) and I am so proud that they are so smart.
5. Had I never gotten laid off, I would have never considered looking for a job on land.  God is always so active my life that I have to believe that even when things look bad, they are for a good reason.  I don't know for sure I will get this USDA job but I feel like I will.  God is always kind to me.  Over the past 4 years I have been off work two other times.  Each time, when it was over and it had all worked out just fine, I always looked back and would say to myself, "I wish I could have just relaxed and let God deal with it."  So I am thankful that God has a proven track record in my life and that even though I have problems with my faith, God still takes care of me.