An Attitude of Gratitude

Me and my girl, Penelope Katherine.

January 2018 has given us a gamut of things already, hasn’t it? Zero to sixty degrees within the range of a week or two, a flu epidemic, and all kinds of flooding and wild weather. It seems as though we are into the new year with quite a bang. 

In the midst of all that, I managed to write three chapters of my next book. (yay!) I’ve had a lingering sinus cold but I loved my usual time with Penny and my mom. I try to practice good self-care (something I’m not always great at), like getting enough rest and drinking plenty of herbal tea with Jim’s delicious honey.

Penny turned two years old this past week. I keep looking at her and thinking Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I was trekking to Pittsburgh to meet her for the first time. Today she’s a bright, active, social, loving child.

Lately, I have been thanking God all day long and especially when I am in one certain place. When I get into bed at night, with my warm flannel sheets,  homemade quilt, and fluffy pillows, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude comes over me. I know how blessed and fortunate I am. There are times when I think of my grandparents. They came over on the boat from Greece, in the 1920’s through Ellis Island, with the thoughts of making a better life for themselves.

Two generations later and we have that better life. My grandparents lived on very little and used the teachings and traditions that had been handed down to them. It was reflected in the food they prepared, the gardens they planted, and the hospitality in the little store that my grandparents owned. Neither of my grandparents spoke English when they came here. My own mother had to learn English to go to school. Greek was her primary language and she still speaks it fluently.

Me in my yiayia’s store when I was a little girl.

How often do we stop and think about the things we have? If we are blessed to have good jobs, food on our tables, a warm house, and money to pay our bills, that is something many do not have. If we donate to charities or volunteer for them, that is a way of showing gratitude. To be involved in something wonderful, outside of ourselves, is a precious way to give thanks.

I hope you take the time today (and every day) to be thankful.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.  2 Corinthians 9:15

 

Join me on my graceful journey.
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A Honey of a Day

Honey Gifts for Everyone
Honey Gifts for Everyone

It was a day of sweetness and friends. A bee-utiful education combined with ice cream sundaes and honey. The opportunity to learn more about the environment we live in.

Jim (my husband) and Michelene (my daughter) officially launched their bee business last evening. They hosted their first Honey Party as “Beefuddled Farms,” a name Jim chose a few years ago when he entertained the idea of creating a business out of his hobby.

Michelene Share Her Bee Knowledge
Michelene Shares Her Bee Knowledge

Michelene joined Jim in his bee business almost from the beginning. They learned together what it takes to make a hive from frames and bees. The hard lessons, like losing bees over a very cold winter, have also been part of the education. They have perservered. Two years ago they had to replace almost every hive they had but they did it. They used their experience to manifest a greater success for their bees.

There was finally enough surplus honey to host this bee party. Everyone paid a small admission to come and the reward was a Beefuddled Farms honey sample. There was also ice cream sundaes with teddy graham cookies and honey. In celebration of this event I made homemade lotion from extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, our own beeswax and lavender oil. I sold nearly every jar.

Some Serious Spinning!
Some Serious Spinning!

I have to say I learned a few things I didn’t know about bees. If you spray your lawn with pesticides, you are not helping the bees (how did I not realize this?). Planting bee friendly flowers and even a vegetable garden gives the bees something to pollinate. I know this for a fact. The flowers in our yard and the vegetables in our garden are lush and healthy.

You have to follow your own local ordinaces if you’re thinking of having bees. If you can’t have them where you live, consider purchasing honey from your local farmer’s market. There is a big difference in taste from supermarket honey to local raw honey. Not only does it taste better, but you are giving yourself immunities to local pollen. Just remember, no raw honey for children under two years of age.

There should be a Beefuddled website up soon. For now, follow Jim and Michelene on their honey adventures on Instagram at @BeefuddledFarms. If you’re on Facebook they’re at Facebook.com/BeefuddledFarms.

Thank You for the Beautiful Weather
Thank You for the Beautiful Weather!

 

Jim Scrapes the Frames. The Screened In Area Kept Bees at Bay
Jim Scrapes the Frames. The Screened In Area Kept Bees at Bay.

 

Scraping the Comb. Photo by Kris Hughes
Scraping the Comb. Photo by Kris Hughes.

 

The Sweet Honey. Photo by Kris Hughes.
The Sweet Honey. Photo by Kris Hughes.

 

After the Scraping, This is the Honeycomb. Jim Melts this into Beeswax.
After the Scraping, This is the Honeycomb. Jim Melts this into Beeswax.

 

Lotion on the Left, Extra Honey in the Middle, Gifts on the Right.
Lotion on the Left, Extra Honey in the Middle, Gifts on the Right.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”
Henry David Thoreau

Join me on my graceful journey.
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