This is the one of the painted bee boxes I painted this year for the bee box competition. Which put on every year by good friend Jajala at the Nansemond Suffolk Bee Club. She does an amazing job organizing it, building boxes and promoting the competition. What I wanted to share in this post was that on New Years Eve "Jane" aka Jajala sent me a pic of a bee box that I had painted at the person who bought the box. All this is done for charity donations and for the sale of each box the money goes to help for bee research and other bee related things. If you would to participate you can contact the Nansemond Suffolk Bee Club and they can get you in contact with "Jane".
This is the box at the persons house....see how beautiful it looks there. It made me soooo happy to see this pic, as I never know who purchases the boxes or how much they go for....but I know Jane has said they get a fair amount them.
The goat, of course you knew I would paint a goat....as Ed says what does this have to do with bees......I just paint from the heart and whatever I want too.
My little dream cow.
Sunflowers and a bunny
You can see more of our boxes in the back we built ourselves and painted.
Here is the box I did last year and this one won first place. This is one of the mermaids I learned from Jane Davenport. I took classes at Donna Downey's wonderful artistic place.
Close up of her face of the mermaid.
close up of the scales of the mermaid I used the best stencil (not sure of the name sorry) I had bought one of those tiny circle stencils. I don't know who bought this one but it did win first place.
This was the third one I did this past year, I need something a little quicker as by this time I had taken on too much and really needed to get it done. This really reminded me of an Inspiration Wednesday from Donna Downy. I always love her style.
Just another side of the bee box.
Another side of the bee box.
Yet another side of the bee box. I really do love this bee box. I don't know who got this one.
This one was singing Mindy Lacefield so much I tagged her on Instagram which my Instagram is stampmom9
I had so much fun painting these bee boxes. I still have to pick up my boxes for this year...oh now to plan for that.
of course I love Mermaids and this bee box was my favorite.
Another view of the bee box and "Be Yourself"
The stencil is a Donna Downey and this girl is so cute. These bee boxes are such fun to paint.
Here is January 05, 2018 on January 03, 2018 we received approximately 12 inches of snow. The boys have not even been back to school since they got out on the holiday break in December on the 19th. Of course they are loving it. I mean LOVING IT!!! They have stayed busy playing games, playing in the snow, watching movies, helping me with stuff and doing a few puzzles...which I love to do also...I always try to get them buy one of those long extensive hard to do puzzles....but na they don't even want to start them....lol.
It has been very cold with temps dipping as low as 6 degrees for us which is like so unheard around here. The goats don't care at all for this cold weather......they haven't even been coming out of the building much. We have been giving them loads of hay and collards for their greens since they cant eat much grass right now. The bees got wrapped in heavy paper to help with insulating them in these extreme temps, which usually we don't have to do as our weather doesn't go into the teens or single digits.
I am really missing my nature hikes I can't take these temps at ALL. I have low iron despite the iron that I eat it is a malabsorption issue and I am taking this concentrated liquid iron supplement. So my hands and feet are ALWAYS cold so when I go out in these temps which I have to I have to bundle up and wear gloves and use hot hands. My hands even still just sting and hurt but I have to do my farming work outside no matter what.
Remember to try to keep staying positive and paint your heART out.
Happy New Year as we welcome in 2018 we think of all the new beginning's for the new year. I have a few things I am working on for the new year and a few goals I have thought about for the upcoming months. As a farmer I have been ordering seeds for the new planting season, working on getting the high tunnel ready for the spring time. I still have to clean out the smaller greenhouse. Which won't take long as all I have in there are a few things drying and some containers still left from last season.
I also did sign up when the new class came about as I have taken classes from her before and enjoyed them and I need a little extra motivation to complete some of my watercolor journals. She has this plan as long as you have or books, or have taken classes to NOT MAKE EXCUSES to not art for the day....which with so much going on in our lives that it makes it extremely hard to make art. I do put my heart into all my jams, jellies, pickles, soaps, and other items I sell but I do need just something that is for me. Most days I am so tired by the time I do sit down I basically just fall out...or I read a few pages in one of the books I am reading at the time. I do listen to audible books while working or in the car. So that helps me too. I use Audible by Amazon. But if you haven't checked out some of Gina's NO EXCUSES ART than please do.
We had a little celebration last night for the New Year we buy that sparkling grape juice every year and the boys just love it. I have been doing that with the kids since the oldest ones were little.
This is a YouTube video I made of this past years pics well lets just say some of them I had over 8,000 pics in my phone from just this year alone, head hung low told you before I do love taking pics have my whole life. My parents used to fuss at me because I took to many then also and of course you had to develop the film. So please enjoy some of our memories from 2017.
One of my favorite pic of the year we would walking in the Millpond everyday despite the cold weather while I was blessed to have Skylar stay with us while Crystal was deployed. I cherished ever minute and miss her dearly. I dream of the day to see hagain and I hope its soon....they live on the other side of the country so just not a couple hour drive.
We lost one of our best stud goats "Spitfire" back right after we had the markets had started back for the year we came home to find him, and it was too late there was nothing we could do. R.I.P. Spitfire....we love you!
We had an ice storm that was very hard on the high tunnel we didn't even realize how bad it was until our friend John called and said have you checked your high tunnel yet? Well we had not and after we did we were down their removing all the ice. Once all the ice was off it literally sprang back up from all the weight that was on it. That was a day I would not like to repeat lol as it was tough work and I work hard, but that over the head was a strain on ya.
We had temps pretty low last year too.
You can see the ice on the parking lots. Bruce and I went to get a few things. Around here we are not as prepared for ice or snow like up north.
Many of our goats had babies. This is Amy with one of hers running in the snow. The goats don't like rain or snow and will only come out to eat. They stay in the shelter as long as the snow or rain is falling.
2017 saw the loss of one our beloved man's best friends, Boomer whom we had had since 2008 and my oldest son had had since 2005. He lived a good life but it has been difficult healing from not having him laying on the steps or coming to sit beside me etc. He was like a puppy in the snow that day.
He had lymes disease and had been taking Lasix meds for two years after we found out. It had worsened by spring and finally
he passed on. Very hard to deal with in in our whole family. R.I. P. Boomer!
The kiddos enjoyed the snow immensely
We took a trip to the mountains as a getaway and went hiking it was refreshing and healing.
Bruce and I enjoyed quite a bit of mead this year. Mead is honey wine if you don't know. It really is yummy stuff!!
One of my favorite leaf pics of the year, reminds me how beautiful the sun is and no matter how hard life can be and how one can still hang on and wait for the sunshine as it will come you just have to believe.
We had a warm up in February and as usual the boys and Skylar like to ride on the golf cart. Good times.
We start early Feb to get ready in the greenhouse for the seeds.
We build all our bee boxes so we cut wood and work on them pretty much all winter.
The greenhouse with the seedlings started early in the year around the first of Feb.
I love this pic of Boomer and Skybear
Early growth of the tomatoes
In April my son and his wife had another daughter whom they named Clarrisa they now have four daughters.
Easter time we died lots of eggs and had a blast finding them.
We had three duckling hatch on the farm without even anyone knowing until Bruce found the mom and babies in the bushes he heard them peeping.
of course most days are some kinda bee days we are always spending lots of time in the hives.
I made these enameled jewelry necklaces for one of the school shows I do where the kids shop.
My daughter Amanda, and our granddaughter Aubrey with my mom flew to Wisconsin for Alexis and soon to be baby Ledger's baby shower. I was only there is spirit but I was glad the baby shower went well and all is well as they wait for the birth of the baby Ledger.
My jams and Jellies won a few ribbons again this year.
Our first grandson Ledger was born in June this year. Very exciting and wonderful. He is of course a very happy baby and growing up so fast.
We did get to go the Baptism that baby Ledger had soon after birth we were thankful to be able to go for a few days as we drove there and it is so hard for us to leave the farm and then at a time when all the plants are in the stage of being ready. So it was absolutely wonderful to be able to attend the Baptism and enjoy all of our family in Wisconsin. Our son Cody is the middle in the light blue shirt. Cody helped us with the farmers market so many of you may remember him.
A WHOLE LOT OF TOMATOES were picked this year and I mean a WHOLE LOT. It truly was a phenomenal year. We were SO THANKFUL!!!
We canned not only tons of jars of jam, jelly, but loads of tomato sauce, soup, and juice, plus regular tomatoes to make succotash out of or add to soups and chili's.
Bruce celebrated his 52nd birthday and I my 49th birthday of course we worked on our days.....farming takes no days off. No udder knows a weekend or a holiday.
Despite how tired you are some weekends we would ride down to the beach just so we could enjoy the sand between our toes and crashing of the waves and the awesome sunsets. Plus Skylar loves it!!
They absolutely love being there.
I did get some beautiful shots in that "magic hour"
We would go walking to the Wright Brothers Memorial.
Skylar and I have so much fun together with our leg poses....lol
Many days in the fields with the bees when it was 100 degrees and you could just "PAUSE" and take a few pictures of the spectacular beauty of nature everywhere. I have chose "pause" as my word this year. It will help me to stop reflect and pause upon the moment, the situation, or just life itself.
Lots and lots of cheese making......its an every other day event.
Lots and Lots of extracting honey from the frames.....I am hoping for this year we can get a larger extractor and maybe with a motor, uhmmmm???? IDK yet but one can hope right!
lots and lots of honey...most of the pics are on Instagram under stampmom9 if you would like to see them.
Lots of pickles lots of pickles!!!!
Lots of fun days together on the gator. You can see in the backgrounds the high tunnel getting ready for spring and the greenhouse too.
I wanted to show this...this is the castle that is buried on the side of Jockeys Ridge in the Outer Banks of NC when I was a kid the whole putt-putt golf castle showed. It is amazing a how the dunes change from year to year to year. I could not find a pic of it as it stood in its glory days but the image is buried in my mind all too well. I did find this little piece on it see it HERE. If you have a picture of it from back in the 70's or so please share with me and others. My dad had actually pulled in the parking area to go when I was around five or six but the wind was blowing and he decided otherwise. It is always exciting to me to see the castle now.
There has been a many of changes in our life from happy moments, to sad moments. Tears have been shed, laugh lines deepened, days that were #justpajamadays, days where STRESS was what you ate, drank and slept with. Days of sacrifice, days of cheerful happy moments where the tears of joy flow down your cheeks like rivers in a flood. Days where your heart reached out for others and you couldn't do anything to help them but HOPE and PRAY or donate something but a piece of you wanted to you just wanted to get on a plane and help them, but then the life that live wouldn't allow that. The days where you say "what was I thinking?" The days were the creative juices were flowing and you had to be doing something else and wishing you could be creating. The days when you felt down on yourself and out of the blue a text message came from one of your friends and it said "you are a ray of sunshine, thinking of you" your heart lifted and you shut the inner critic and went to telling yourself I am worth something and I am great. Those days when your kids make you cry and you don't why, those when your kids make you so happy and your are so thankful for everyone of them. Those days that you just to relax and enjoy yourself, those days when its a movie night. Those days when you get a book and don't want to put it down...but life is calling and those pages will have to wait. Those days when you cooked the best meal and poured your heart into it and your expectation's from everyone wasn't what you expected them to say......then there were those meals that you expected nothing they gave you the best compliments...which makes your heart sing. Those days when you couldn't sleep, those days when you slept so good and didn't want it to end. Those days when just wanted to see the sun shine. Whatever those days were make them count and try not to have expectations of what you think they should be just let it happen and ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!!!! As you look back on the past reflect on the happy moments no matter how hard it can be at times. Don't let inner critic judge you.....even if you have to write it down to remember I am somebody and I do SHINE!!!
Look forward to the future now and set your goals even if they seem to hard to accomplish you can do it...set your mind on it and let the universe know this and it will listen. Now I feel like Tam is flowing through my heart. She has done so much for uplifting me in her emails. I can't take her classes right now but do want to in the future.
I am working on my goals for this year and plans and blogging has been a goal for several years and I let it go as It takes me forever it seems but I am working on plans and strategies to make it easier. Remember everyday is a new day and new beginnings you can wipe the slate clean every morning if you are having the days that you don't think are perfect days, start over and don't be so hard on yourself. Let your heart sing and your love flow. Every day you write the pages.........