You know it’s cold when you can see your breath in the house. Brrr! Thank goodness for warm woollies and hot cups of tea and luscious winter sunshine streaming into the kitchen.
On Saturday, our lovely Canadian friends, Sallie and Marshal, came over to help us rob our remaining beehives. It is always way more fun doing big projects with good friends. We had a splendid time visiting as we cut caps off the bee frames, spun them in the spinner to get all the honey out, then tucked them back in the beehive so our bees could get back to building again.
We ended up with heaps of honey and mounds of honeycomb. It’s so cold that it’s taking ages for the honey to filter through cheesecloth, but it’s going to be gorgeous when it’s done. I love filling clear glass jars with our honey, lining them up on the counter, and watching the late morning sunshine turn them into luminous, rich gold.
After a warming lunch of Sallie’s grandmother’s famous soup, we headed out to the orchards armed with 6-foot crowbars and shovels and dug 24 holes and planted 24 trees. Phew! We laughed how we all sink our teeth into a project and don’t let go until it’s done – even when we should! We hobbled our way back to the farmhouse wondering how on earth we were going to move for the next two days. We’ve been nursing bee stings (Marshal seriously looks like a Klingon after a particularly nasty sting on his forehead) and monster blisters (me, good heavens, my right hand looks like it’s been through the wars) and aching muscles (every last one of us), but boy are we happy with the completed orchards.
In years to come we’ll harvest pears and quinces, plums and peaches, apricots and olives, pomegranates and apples and figs, and all sorts of citrus varieties. When that happens, all our aches and pains will be distant memories.
In a couple of weeks, we’ll head to Sallie and Marshal’s to help them build a sauna and put in their spring garden. Life is so much better when you can share the workload and support each other in achieving dreams and goals that are much more feasible with many hands pitching in to help.
Yesterday morning I went out and watered all the trees, making sure they had a good soaking in as they established roots in their new home. Then I checked on our established trees. I was astounded to see the apricots already in bud, ready to flower any day now. Winter is flying by, and before I know it, spring will be here.
After all that hard work, we were ready for a rest, so yesterday was spent in comfy chairs watching movies, in bed taking naps, and tucked under a warm blanket reading the next few chapters of a good book.
This week is all about writing – travel pieces, picnics and tea parties, magazine features, my weekly self-sufficiency column, and putting together the outline for my next book. It feels great to tackle each project then send it off to my editors, done and dusted.
What are you working on this week? xo