Tuesday Night:

There is so much going on all of a sudden, I can hardly catch my breath~ It's been grand!

Friday Michael took me to Maggiano's in Naperville for a delicious lunch. I've been speaking with an Italian accent ever since!

Saturday Smitty brought his wife, Becky and Becky's friend from Batavia (Nancy) to fish. It was great to have them here! The first photo above is of Nancy, the second one is of Becky, Nancy and Smitty, and the third one is of Becky and Nancy on the  "cottage side" of the pond. When Chris brings his wife sometime, we're all going to have a "fisherman's" party out here. Batten down the hatches, everyone!

The pond was really ugly and murky on Saturday, but surprisingly it has really cleaned itself up. I'm amazed! Usually it takes longer, but it was only a "mini" flood, so that must be why it's cleaning up so well. For future visits from Smitty, Chris and the ladies, Dave and I took the round picnic table to the south side. To celebrate the new picnic table spot, Dave and I took a rest from our labors and ate some pizza overlooking the pond. Now I have three picnic tables all around the pond (and creek).

On Sunday I put the new bee hive body in it's new resting place. I didn't look at my bees on Sunday, which is why today I had  a big catastrophe. (More on that later.) I spent Sunday afternoon at the Presbyterian Church listening to the Ensemble Monticello play a beautiful concert for all Paw Paw residents (and surrounding communities). David and Ken started these concerts when they moved here several years ago. The concert highlights the Eulalia Breeze Scholarship Fund for high school students who study music and are in need of some financial help for lessons, sponsorships to music camp or even an instrument. There were four very talented Paw Paw students who performed with the Ensemble Monticello, featuring their hard work in the music field. It was really rewarding to see these students - and their improvement - with wonderful help from the scholarship. I was impressed!

Yesterday I took my beautiful tomato, pepper and basil plants up to the University of Wisconsin Soil Analysis Lab in Madison. You see, dear Reader, my plants are now almost 2 months old and they are still the same size they were 5 -6 weeks ago. They have simply stopped growing. They look in perfect health, their root system is super, there is no sign of deficiency from the soil, but they simply will not grow. This is the second year this has happened. As this is my livelihood, I decided to give my specimens to the experts in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin. I feel it is in good hands now.   On the way up to Wisconsin I saw this statue of a turkey along I-90, so I pulled off  the road and took a shot (by shot, I mean a photo shot) from inside the car on the shoulder of the road. I want one like this, only I would like it to be of a blue heron. Pretty cool, don't you think?

This morning was a quiet morning with a quiet pair of geese on the pond - yes! it was the real Gordon and Gordeeta. I'm not quite sure what happened to the other noisy couple, but today the "old" Gordon and Gordeeta were back. Sometimes both couples are here  - with the new couple being extremely loud - and sometimes it's just the old couple swimming quietly in the pond like old times.

Just so you don't think I've been lazing about I want you to know, dear Reader, that this morning I planted beets, a few pickling cucumbers, some radishes and geraniums. I watered them all, staked and tied up sweet peas, finished painting a few places I missed on the bee hive body, mulched the strawberries with fresh straw, and mulched other garden beds-- all by 10AM! I didn't rush, but worked steadily.

This afternoon Dave came over and squared up the pins outlining the chapel. Then he sprayed orange paint on all twelve places for the future footings. We are now awaiting a neighbor with a post hole digger to dig the post holes. This will save us a lot of time over digging all 12 of them by hand.

My Farmall Cub was delivered today from Leffleman's and works like a charm. They really did a nice job on it. It still LOOKS old and decrepit, but it runs like a top! I have many places I can use that dear little tractor! Welcome back, tractor!

If that isn't enough excitement for one day, the bees decided I was ignoring them - and they decided to swarm. By mid afternoon today, I saw thousands of bees flying through the air, so I quickly got into my suit and veil and got busy splitting my first hive with my second bee hive, which is now right next to the first bee hive. (see photo above). I thought I had stopped the bees from swarming, but no! After talking with Steve, the beekeeper, who told me the queen is too heavy to fly far... I found them swarming right outside my door in the apple tree. How could I have missed them? It is an amazing sight! I got the ladder out, cut off the branch which fell to the ground - stirring up a hornet's nest, so to speak - and managed to get some of them into the new bee hive.  But alas! I must not have captured the queen for they re-swarmed on the very same tree. I again cut off a branch and took that to the new hive. I had to do it one more time, and the third time I think I managed to get the queen into the new hive. We'll see tomorrow if that worked. What a day! I'm exhausted!

Did I say I was exhausted? I do believe I did...and I AM!

It's been exciting around here - and I'm glad I can share all the excitement with you, dear Reader! May you have a quiet, enjoyable evening appreciating (what I hope is) your calm life. Nighty-night, dear Reader, nighty-night!


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