Bees Are No More

     My second package of bees this year didn't make it either. *sigh* (again).  They gave it a good try.  I thought that maybe putting the packages into the hive on two of the coldest, rainiest (that's a word is according to spell check :-) stretches of weather (two different times!), was the problem.  According to an experienced beekeeper here in Northeast Wisconsin, probably not.  He thinks it is more likely that the bees came from California before the queen was bred.   When there is no brood being layed right away we are already behind.  It was either that, or my queen died soon after I put them in.  I never could find the queen when I would check on them,  but I have an inexperienced eye.
     This second package at least started to get some comb made, but then I noticed there was no brood,  and very few bees.  Thinking all was already lost, I didn't check them for two weeks.  When I did check there was a queen cell!  A spark of hope....and then two days later there were about 2 bees.  I'm not the only one that lost bees.  Lots of beekeepers around the area did.

There were 3 combs this size on 3 different top bars.

      So, I will be taking everything I learned this year, soaking up all the reading on bees that I can this winter, and trying again next year.   I think I'll try a regular hive and this top bar hive again next year, just to compare.

.....dr momi


Need A Caption.....

.....because we all need to laugh a little.

What? Haven't you heard of puppy-pilates?

Last weeks "Need A Caption" coined by
Marissa at:  Life On Our Side Of The Mountain

                                                      What's your caption for this week?

.....dr momi


Medicinal Herb -- Yarrow

     I collect yarrow every year, but, I have to admit I collect it for it's crafting properties first.  I love to use dried yarrow in flower arrangements, and decorating fall wreaths.


     This year I will be collecting enough to be used medicinally too.   Yarrow is specific for fevers.  Drinking a cup of yarrow tea will cause you to sweat, which will lower a fever and help get rid of toxins.  I would not use it right at the beginning of a fever.  I'd let the fever do what it's suppose to do.  (kick in that immune system)  But a fever that is hanging on,  I would use it.  The flavonoids in yarrow and the action of dilating peripheral arteries, will also help to bring blood pressure down.  Yarrow will also help to stop bleeding due to the tannins in it, .....a good reason to store some in your emergency kit.

     I have to admit that yarrow is not as easy for me to "slam" down as the herbs that just taste "green".  It has a distinct taste -- pretty strong.  (It tastes like the crushed leaves smell.)  I still store it, because I will use it if I have to.  I really doubt you would be able to get it down small children.  I don't think you could mask the taste.  Just a little too medicine-y.

Strip the leaves off .  It's the flower heads you want,
whether you are crafting or using it medicinally.

Dry it upside down.  When dry, the flower heads will
stay upright, making it a beautiful dried flower.  If
you are storing it as an herb, crumble the flower heads off
of the branches and store in a glass jar, out of the light.
Steep about 1 TBL. of dried flowers in hot water for a cup of tea.

When picking yarrow in the field, please be sure not to pull  up the roots.
(The roots come up easy.) Yarrow is a perennial. 
 Use a scissors to cut it,  and next year it will grow in the same place.


The information on this blog is being provided for education purposes only. Statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your health care provider with all questions concerning your health.

.....dr momi


Sunday in Pictures

After supper bubble fun.

Grandson Logan in bubble heaven.

Cleaning the perch from the afternoon's catch.
Son Matthew with his son's Ryan, and Riley.

I asked Grandson Brayden what kind of fish it was.
"Walleye!"  (it's a perch)
His Mom said "don't ask him to kiss it because he will."

.......well, you try to get 5 children under 5 with S'mores in their hands
to look at the camera and smile.  :-)

.....dr momi


Medicinal Herb - Elderberry Flowers

     We are just starting (2-3 weeks late) the elderberry bloom  here in Northeastern Wisconsin.  Now is the time when you are riding down the back roads, to mark the wild elderberry patches.  You'll get good at it --- to the point where you will be saying,  "oh there's some, but, I can't get to it! :-(."   Make your mental notes on the places you can get to, so you can go pick the berries this fall.  If the patch is further in than the ditch, please get permission from the land owner.  Perhaps offer him some wine or elderberry pie :-).

     Elderberry flowers are medicinal. I dried some last year for the first time.  I never did make tea out of it.  It ended up being chicken food. ..... I should have used it when I had that nasty cold.  Elderberry flower is suppose to get rid of all that upper respiratory phlegm just like mullein does.  It also helps with fevers, making it a great flu remedy.  I know that's what was in the back of my head for keeping it and then I never did get the flu...yea!  I'm drying more this year, specifically in case of flu.  If I had small children I would use elderberry flowers.  Probably using the tea in some jello....any way I could convince them to eat it.  (That's what I would do, you have to decide for yourself.)

     Once you get used to identifying elderberry flowers, you won't make any mistakes gathering the wrong thing.  However, if this is your first year checking this all out, you might want to make your mental notes and make sure it is elderberries that grow on that bush later.  Then next year harvest the flowers.  Here's my same need to get a good field guide.

This is NOT Elderberry Flower (not the kind we eat)
This is the red elderberry that bloomed about 3-4- weeks ago.
It's not a "flat" enough flower head.

.....again, NOT elderberry flower.
Red elderberry will give you a tummy ache.

Elderberry Flower
This is the elderberry flower you want to pick.
Notice how much more "flat" the flower head is.

Elderberry Flower just starting to bloom.

NOT elderberry flower.
Even though this is a bad picture, I think you can see that the flower heads are too small.
This is dogwood.  It flowered about 2 weeks ago.
Patches of dogwood from a distance can look like elderberry,
but up close, not so much.  Right now the dogwood and red elderberry are done blooming,
so anything you are marking as a patch, will probably be elderberry.

     Dry the whole flower head on some paper towel.  When dry, just crumble the flowers off of the stem.  Store in a glass jar, out of the light.  A handful of dried flowers to 3 quarts of water.  Bring it to just before a boil, take it off the burner and let it steep.  I would drink 3-4 cups over the day.


The information on this blog is being provided for education purposes only. Statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare provider with all questions concerning your health.

.....dr momi

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop


Need A Caption.....

just where did I leave my dentures...?

Last week's "Need A Caption" coined by:
texwisgirl at The Run-a-Round Ranch

What's your captions for this week?

.....dr momi


Double ER Visits

     Yesterday nephew Alex was sawing branches off a tree to put up a deer stand, the saw slipped through the branch, down onto his other hand, and he pulled back before he knew what had happened.  Yup, he actually sawed the top of his hand.....15 stitches. (including 2 in the tendon)

     Today, nephew Jake (Alex's brother) was going to go fishing.  He was on the dock as the boat came in, his hand was on a metal post, the boat was too fast and smashed the web of his thumb into the post.  Six stitches later he's still smiling.

     Their mom can't believe it......

     They go on vacation this week......

Just before vacation....
I figure one can cast, and the other reel the fish in :-)
(I'm adding finger splints to my emergency kit.)


Sunday in Pictures.....

Remember this sad looking geranium I
started way back in March?

Getting beautiful now.
Planted with white double petunias.

Mama Hen's ducklings are about her size already!

Can you pick out Nine of Nine?
He/probably She, is on the left taking up the rear.
She's half the size of the others but as strong as can be.

Butsch is back with us!  He was 6 months old on Friday.
It was determined that he is a bit fearful and insecure.
They are going to give him a chance.
Right now I think he thinks his "job" is to play all the time!
We have lots of work ahead of us.

                          "Happy Father's Day Dad!"

......dr momi


Garden Invaders

     I tried that video tape fencing.  It sure does shine and shimmer, and make a noise in even a slight breeze.

     It did not break or stretch, and was easy to put up.  I only used two old video tapes I bought for 25 cents each at a rummage sale.    ..............but,.....and it's a big but, sure doesn't keep out the ducks!  Chickens were a bit more cautious, but give them time and I'm sure they will be in the garden too.  Looks like I will be buying net electric fence to keep them out. (all ducks and chickens are back in  their pens for now....awwhhh.)

    Look who else has been in the garden......

....a wild turkey.
Rick says it's a hen.  She probably has her nest close by.
Oh yeah....I'm sure she'll be bringing the babies around soon.

.....and a deer (or two or three)

.....and the fox.
I'm sure she is making a round every night.
Never know when I'll leave that chicken coop door open!

  I may put my small experimental fence up on the other side of the garden and see if it does anything with deer, turkeys, and fox.......not too hopeful.

.....dr momi


Need a Caption.....

Just Hanging Out

Last weeks "Need a Caption" coined by:
Esther at Laugh With Us Blog

Let's hear your captions for this week!

.....dr momi

Simple Salmon

     Rick (my husband) has started to fish for salmon on Lake Michigan.  This Sunday was our first taste of fresh salmon on the grill.  As my son put it, (as he was taking a bite), "this isn't even 9 hrs. since he was swimming".  That's pretty fresh.  Here's our absolute favorite way of having salmon.

Simple Salmon

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 TBL. brown sugar
1 tsp. rice vinegar

6 salmon fillets -- no skin, about 1 inch thick, serving size

Mix all ingredients except fish in a bowl.  Pour into a gallon size resealable bag and add the fish.  Turn the bag over and over to make sure all the fish is coated.  Refrigerate for 1/2 hr.

Remove fish from the bag and discard marinade.  Cook over the grill for about 5 minutes per side.


In the marinade.

Just off the grill.

Can't beat fresh salmon!!
 .....dr momi

Linked to:


Sunday in Pictures

I spent the weekend at Holy Name Retreat House
on Chambers Island.  Chambers Island is in the middle of Green Bay
(the water) just off the small town of Fish Creek in Door County.
Door County is the "thumb" of the state of Wisconsin.
I came home refreshed spiritually and physically.

I drove in the driveway, opened the car door, and Ryan said,
"Grandma can we hold a baby duck?"

Supper was waiting, --- the first salmon of the season.
"Simple Salmon" on the grill, garlic bread, dilly beans, and strawberries.

After supper everyone goes out to weed the garden.

Grandson Ryan watches daddy, and wishes he could do it.

We gave Ryan a hoe and he went at the pathway.
Kept him busy for a long time :-)

There was the usual rough housing.

Granddaughter Gracie spent 1/2 hour "refusing to eat".
Her mom said if you don't eat your supper -- no dessert.
She finally broke down and gobbled her supper.
She got a cookie and wanted a popsicle
"for her other hand" :-)