Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Awakening

   The feeling that I've used that title before shouldn't be so nagging, as it seems every spring is a new awakening. Especially now that I hibernate through the wet Pacific Northwestern winters. This winter was the wettest on record, and the discovery of such eased my worries about how crazy I was feeling for those months. January was especially hard, regardless of a week long trip back to Oklahoma (which was delightful.) I survived on wine, Netflix, and sleep. But the sun has been showing its face and my spirits have risen higher than I've felt in a long while.
    The trees are in bloom - our two plums and the apple. Our mountain ash and the Japanese maple have both filled out with leaves and our bees are busy at work. I haven't written in so long and I feel the need to summarize our current happenings:

Plum Tree

Japanese Maple

Apple tree

-Bees have been split into two hives to encourage growth without swarming. I have gotten one sting already because I wore my black cycling tights during a hive move. Oops. The swarm of Carniolan honeybees Rae caught last summer didn't make it through winter. As we don't know their history our best guess is that the queen was old and stopped laying eggs through the winter, diminishing the hive numbers until they could no longer sustain warmth to keep them going. We have given a lot of their left over honey to the new hives and are slowly processing the rest for ourselves (I am especially invested in this part since my allergies are quite acute this time of year.)

Iris hive before the split

-Cistern is hooked up and collecting rain runoff from the roof. It is piped to the duck pond where we will be able to fill and clean for the ducks. The duck pond is piped to a spigot and pump that Rae will soon be installing in order to use for garden watering. The cistern also has a direct line for watering that bypasses the pond. Rae designed this whole setup and continues to blow my mind with his foresight in developing our property into a small, sustainable homestead. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and I'm typically just falling in behind his lead with the projects and ideas. He is a planner, a doer, an active thinker. I am amazed at his steadiness and drive. If I'm posting a photo of it there's a high chance it was his idea. I need to keep in mind to give him more credit for all he does. Alternately, I have finally been researching some of my own interests and will begin a few projects soon (time and resources allowing.) When partnered with a doer its important to make room for my own things, to remind myself that I am also able and productive. The long winter made me forget about using my two hands, moving with my own feet. It feels nice to be out of the grey soul muck and working toward something with my own power and interest.
Rae inside the cistern before placement.

Cistern in place!

-Ducklings brought home on Saturday! As of today they are six days old. They cheep loudly when we're not in the bathroom with them, unless they are napping. We've given them a little taste of swimming, during which two of them excitedly dove into the water and darted around like fish! Since they don't have feathers yet we only let them swim for a short time under supervision before drying them off and putting them back in their box under the heat lamp. I'll be learning a lot in the next few weeks!

-Rumi is currently lying in front of the closed bathroom door, wherein the ducklings are nested. She whines at the door and asks to be let in. She sticks here head in the box and wags her tail, licks the ducklings that I hold up for her. She's the momma of the house and constantly has an eye on every creature. Such a tender heart.

-Kittens Keiro and Augustus wake us each morning climbing on the bedroom furniture, jumping from one body to another and rustling in whatever makes the most noise. They are 10 months old now and seem to be losing some of the kitten fat that made them so round for a while. They are filling out with muscle and every week seem to feel heavier and sturdier. They have this miraculous cat ability to annoy the shit out of you and then melt your heart the moment you're ready to kick them out of the house. Sweet little demons.

-Gardening/planting: my asparagus is in the ground, along with some artichoke. Our main garden rows will be sitting this year for soil development so I'm trying to be content with my herb garden in the front yard and pollinator planting around the property.

-Recently started Seattle Tilth's Master Recycler Composter course on the Eastside. I'm traveling a bit East out of the city to educate myself further on the sustainable practices that I've called 'hobby' for so long. I'm loving it so far and enjoy deepening my experience in something so desperately needed today.
Enviroscapes visual aid in showing how rainwater runoff and pollution effect the environment.

-Randomly, it seems, I chose an online course over Vital Signs. It's some review from college anatomy/physiology with a more in depth look at each process in the body. I'm not sure exactly what I want to use physiological knowledge for but I find it so interesting. I went the BS route in school because I felt a holistic body/mind approach to counseling (and life in general) was something I wanted to invest in, and I'm finding over ten years later that hasn't changed. Not feeling the need to tie everything together just yet but I'm loving it.

520 Bridge Opening Ride!

This was the best part - biking the interstate express lane!

 I'm sure I'll think of something I've missed, but that's a good plug for my loves far away. Cheers!