OK, so I'm not completely convinced spring isn't just around the corner... but maybe I'm wrong about it being spring already here in the NW.  :  ) This is what I woke up to this morning:


Honey, I Love You

Who would think that Valentine's weekend would best be spent processing honey? Well, it was! The room we were in was heated to about 75 or 80 degrees to start with while it was maybe 50 outside. Then add the heady scent of fresh hot honey and wax and well, I was in nirvana. Taking the hot knife to gently cut off the sheets of wax caps, watching them slowly peel away and fall into the bucket below, was sensual. Cutting like smooth sheets of butter. The honey would sometimes gush out of the comb once these seals were undone. By the end of the afternoon, I was covered in honey and all the happier for it. It was like I'd spent the day at a spa I was so relaxed. I would do this over and over again. 

This is urban homesteading at it's best. We don't have our own hives, but we have friends that do. After an afternoon of playing with the stuff, we got to take home a gallon of it! Well worth the trade in labor. In fact, I think we got the better end of the deal when you consider we were even fed lunch! 

Pictured above: Me cutting the caps away from the comb. Then Jovi and I at the extractor - Jovi would place the comb in the barrel and then spin it. The heated sides would help the honey to be viscous enough to run down the walls after being pulled from the comb by the spinning. Then we drained the extractor (which had a filter in it) through another few layers of filtration. We also had a little bat friend in the room with us - happy little warm bat. 


Mixed Signals

While the rest of the country has been in a deepfreeze, spring has been popping up in the Northwest. It's hard not to get excited about the daffodils that have sprouted in the back yard and to see them as proof that spring is surely well on its way. Can nature be fooled? Can her little babies be confused?

There are signs around me that this year holds surprises in store for us. I have snowdrops blooming in the back yard. Bulbs I have never planted and have never seen here. Not even in those first springs on Copeland Street, that were preceded by icy winters. We did have a bout of super cold (for the Northwest) winter for a few weeks... We have had an unusually warm and sunny January. I saw bulbs coming up at work too that I've never seen before. The squirrels were super active last fall, digging furiously in new places. Perhaps we're seeing the stashes they never needed?

I like it. I choose to read it as a sign of hope and happy things in unexpected places at unexpected times. If you don't spend enough time just being, just sitting still, these are just events. When I'm being still enough, aware enough, present enough, these are beautiful gifts.


Apologies to my friends in the rest of the country...

Daffodils up.
Garlic, shallots, yellow onions up.
Fresh sprouts of chard dot the garden beds.
Parsley back.
Tell me it's still winter?