Just Let Go

For the past 13 or so years, I’ve been holding on.  Mostly, I’ve been holding onto STUFF.  When I left Stone Mountain and moved to California, I took a ton of stuff – for my new inn.  When I left California and headed back to the South, I carried a lot of it (plus more) back.  I’ve moved houses five times in the past six years.  One would think that this would be an excellent opportunity to purge items that you no longer need.  But in reality, all but the last move were incredibly traumatic for me, because they brought back memories of the California move and what a nightmare it had been.  I’ve moved some of the same things from state to state for most of my adult life.

To make matters worse, with becoming foster parents, we have accumulated so much.  Toys, baby equipment, and mostly CLOTHES.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my basement has an entire wall dedicated to childrens clothing.  I have 66 liter containers, filled with every size of girls clothing from preemie to 14/16.  In fact, I have THREE of these containers dedicated to size 3T alone.  And this is after purging 11 bags of clothes in the fall.  (Thanks to everyone who has given us clothes, but we’ll have to decline from here on out.)

Even if I organize or hide the clutter, it is still there.  It weighs on me, like ankle weights.  I can’t shake loose of the burden.  It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve been carrying around about 50 extra pounds since all of this started, too.  I’ve been unable to let go for two reasons primarily.  The years of pretty severe poverty programmed my mind to believe that if I got rid of something and then needed it again, I wouldn’t be able to afford it.  Thankfully, this is no longer my situation.  But I think I needed to give myself permission and say “Hey, if you get rid of that and you really need it again, you can buy it.  It’s costing you something to own it – your mental wellbeing!”  Second, I’ve needed a new perspective on bringing items into the house.  If I buy new socks, I need to get rid of the old, holey socks.  And my children don’t need 35 outfits for each season.

Oh, don’t even get me started on my curriculum hoarding!

It’s time to let go.  I went through my personal clothing this week and got rid of 7 bags of clothes; clothes that don’t fit, that I don’t like, or that I don’t wear.  Gone!  I organized my side of the closet.  I organized my dresser drawers.  I haven’t organized or purged these in YEARS.  I have clothes that I like to wear but can never find in my huge mountain of laundry.

I’m tackling the kids clothes next.  All those containers of clothes in the basement?  I may pull out a few favorites, but the rest are GOING!  And I’m paring down to 10-12 outfits per season for each child.  And why do we have 25-30 pairs of socks that we can never match up sitting in a hamper?  GOODBYE!

I’m hoping to work my way through the entire house and get rid of this burden of STUFF.  And who knows, maybe I’ll drop those 50 pounds along the way?

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494: 10 Ways I Can Spot an Aspie Girl

Some of this is very applicable to my girl! 🙂

Everyday Asperger's

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10 Ways I Can Spot an Aspie Girl

1. Deep, soulful eyes which perhaps dip down slightly and/or are very distinguished and large. There is someone in there with a story. There is truth.

2. An uncomfortable smile that cannot find a home which fluctuates between a chiseled, serious frown and the most amazing genuine smile, wherein the whole self and soul lights up—a childlike expression, too pure to be mistaken for anything else than authenticity.

3. Continual statements of second-guessing, checking for understanding, clarifying self, and offering out extra information in an attempt to be understood. Indications of never reaching a full conclusion, as there are limitless possibilities. Questioning self, harvesting advice, and then tossing everything out and starting anew. Having the kindling of multiple thoughts about multiple directions, all at the same time.

4. Fleeting, unnatural eye contact, that is either over-intense and attempting to linger or constantly…

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To Bee or Not to Bee…

We attended an event on Saturday with our local beekeeping club, where a package of bees was installed into a hive, a hive was split, and we petted alpacas and admired livestock guardian dogs 🙂

We didn’t know they were going to auction off the package of bees, but they did – which meant we had to bid on them (our nucs won’t be ready until late April… and we are impatient.)  We won.

And suddenly, we were beekeepers!  It’s been very cold this week, so we haven’t seen a whole lot of activity (although our Rapid Feeder does allow us to see the bees as they are eating, so we knew they were eating a TON.)

This afternoon, things warmed up to the mid-60’s and we suddenly had hundreds of bees taking orientation flights.  VERY COOL!  Scott and I could sit and watch the bees all day – if we didn’t have anything else to do around here!  We’ve started a Facebook page, which you can find under “Honeybelle Hill Homestead“.

Meanwhile, we have some Basque Hen eggs that should hatch on Sunday.  They went into lockdown last night.

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This breed is totally new to us (and fairly new to the US, actually.)  A dual-purpose heritage breed imported from Spain, Basque Hens are also known as Euskal Oiloa.  We are still on a quest for the perfect dual-purpose chicken for homesteading.  I still have an interest in crossing Dorkings to create a meat bird, but Dorking hens are SO broody, they make things difficult 😉

Until next time!

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Newbees: The hives have arrived!

After much anticipation, our hives arrived yesterday!  We ordered them pre-assembled from Poor Valley Bee Farm.  They were packed well and we didn’t have anything arrive broken.15994391_10154796481171215_1558560549615660912_o

What we ordered (all 8 frame size):

(2) A-line Lids/Covers
(2) Inner Covers
(4) Medium Hive bodies
(4) Deep Hive bodies
(2) Screened Bottom Boards with entrance reducers
(2) Mouse Guards
(6) Beetle Blaster traps for small hive beetles
Frames
Plastic Foundation
Frame holder
(4) Plastic Drone Frames/Foundation
Honey-B Healthy

Our bees won’t arrive for three more months, so we have plenty of time to get these all painted and ready for their bee residents.  We will all add additional wax to the plastic foundation.

Scott is building individual hive stands, as well as a bigger rack to place both onto.

We have bee suits, gloves, tools, a smoker, and a couple of books that we’re still going over.  I ordered Rapid Feeders from the UK to use for feeding.  I need to purchase some pollen substitute, as well.

Last week we attended a meeting with our local beekeeping association and met several area beekeepers.  We know we have a lot to learn!

The past two days, we’ve had honey bees flying into the garage to gather saw dust!  It’s been fun to watch Isabel’s reactions.  She wants to name them 🙂

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Newbees… Our first year of beekeeping

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We’ve been busying getting things at the new house how we want them; planting apple trees, blueberries, blackberries and other edibles.  Our chicken coop is set up and currently houses two bantam Welsummer hens who haven’t given us an egg in about three months!  They will be replaced this spring and we’re researching breeds to use as dual purpose, possibly the Basque heritage breed.

I might have added some beekeeping equipment to my Christmas wish list this year…  And Scott might have bought some of it 🙂

So I am the proud new owner of a hive tool, smoker, brush, frame lifter, jacket and veil!  Scott also got me a copy of The Beekeeper’s Handbook.

We dutifully sat down and watched six You-tube videos of bee school in Maine.  I think the total time it took was around 12 hours, including pausing and cross referencing our book.  We learned a lot – although we are sure they do things differently down in the South.

Here are links for anyone interested in watching:

Bee School – Episode 1

Bee School – Episode 2

Bee School – Episode 3

Bee School – Episode 4

Bee School – Episode 5

Bee School – Episode 6

We learned about the different components of a hive, installing a package or nuc, winter feeding, varroa mites and other pests, treatments, honey supers, workers, queens, drones, drone foundation for varroa mite management, swarming, how to start a smoker… just a ton of really good information.

We then proceeded to watch A Year in the Life of an Apiary, which is a series that was produced in the 90’s by the University of Georgia.  Some of the information on treatments is now outdated, but a lot of the info was really good (as well as applicable to our climate.)

Today we learned about small hive beetles from the University of Florida.

There is SO much information available online about beekeeping!  But we know that nothing replaces local contacts and mentors, so we’ll be attending our local beekeeping association’s meeting this week.

After doing more research, we found a semi-local breeder of Russian bees and ordered two nucs, which will be ready in April.  We’ve also placed an order for our hives, which should be here in a week or two!  I’m debating what colors to paint them in the meantime…

Will Christy kill all the bees?  Will there be any honey to be had?  Only time will tell…

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She’s OFFICIAL!

After 13 months, this precious little girl is officially ours!  We are thrilled to bits to have her as our daughter.  She is such a blessing to our family!

Naomi was born at just 28 weeks gestation and weighed 2 lbs, 8.9 oz!  She came to our family at 7 weeks old, weighing 4 lbs, 6 oz.  She’s now 14 1/2 months old and growing like a weed!

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I am so blessed to be her mama!

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Family Ties

We had a wonderful time traveling to California and visiting old friends and family.  We got to see my grandpa and two of his sisters, along with cousins, my step-grandma, and some very dear friends who are just like family to me.  We also got to attend the fair that I used to go to every year as a child and teen and ran into people I went to school with.  We were able to meet up with two friends who are now fostering!  One is fostering a little girl and boy and should be adopting them soon and the other has fostered many children over the past year, but they have all moved on to other homes.  It’s exciting to see how God is using people to care for His children!  Here are some photos from our journey…

 

I love Georgia, but I sure hate being so far from loved ones 😦  This was a precious time and I loved hearing my grandpa introduce us to people by saying “This is my granddaughter and this is my granddaughter, and this is my granddaughter, and this is my grandddaughter, and this is Scott…” LOL  (For the record, he really likes Scott!)

I don’t know when I will return, but I will treasure these memories forever!

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We are all in!

 

We did it!  We bought a 2016 Ford Transit 350 Wagon!  It’s a FIFTEEN passenger (but we did pull out two seats so that we’d have room for cargo).  It drives very much like a minivan, but is a bit wider to turn into tight parking spots.  The rear camera is nice and we got the tow package so that we can pull our trailer.

Excited to see how God uses this!

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