Friday, March 27, 2015

Bee News.

Hutters...I am excitedly turning the real Honey Hut (my art cottage in the backyard) into something super fun/cozy/practical/I want to move into. It's going to take me a few weeks but I can't wait to share with you.
So. Earlier this week Krista made arrangements for the El Dorado Backyard Beekeepers Club to come out to her ranch and watch/inspect our hives. We met today and I have to say that in the company of such educated apiarists (who, by the way, wear NO protective bee suits at all!! So brave.) I felt incredibly well, uneducated. But anyways, so good to get guidance from such experienced beekeepers. The good news: Our bees have not swarmed or succumbed to CCD (colony collapse disorder) but are in fact thriving. One hive is healthier than the other, the less healthy hive has a bacterial disease called "European Foulbrood". Foulbrood is diagnosed when larve are not capped, and are instead unprotected by the hive. There are 2 types of Foulbrood: American and European. If diagnosed American, hives need to be burned immediately. Yeeaahh. A huge loss financially/physically/ agriculturally. Luckily we have European Foulbrood. Yay us! Typically beekeepers use an antibiotic to procure the success of the hive but we are choosing to not medicate, hoping the hive rights itself. According to
"Bee Bruce" (the EDBB specialist) our hive is thriving regardless of this Foulbrood and so we are cheering them on naturally. Other good news: We have confirmation to extract twice in the near future! Once in early May and once in early July. And boy oh boy is this good news...never have you met a more greedy hobbyist than a beekeeper! Below you'll see what "Bee Jim" calls "Monkey Chain". HA! That term just did me in...too funny.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Family Hike-Lower Echo Lake.

We took our Littles on a day hike to Echo Summit on Saturday, it was a gorgeous day. We didn't have a goal when we first got up there, just wanted to see how far The Littles and Pug could hike. But after we ate our packed lunch, we were all itchy to get on the trail.

We hiked the Eastern side of Lower Echo, about 1.5 miles each way.
The Littles complained minimally, were encouraged greatly by the promise of a spectacular view at our end point, beach play and lollipop rewards.
Our trail's end was this beach that isn't supposed to be a beach, the water is very low. Private cabins at our backs and the wind off the lake in our faces.
Tim and I were amazed at our Little Hikers, even Pug left us speechless. The reward at the end of the day's hike? HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE!! recipe here.
We dipped peanut butter cookies in the thick, piping hot chocolate, such a delicious reward.
On our drive home, Pug slept on my lap and The Littles made not a peep.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Trail Buddies.

Grady and I have been trying to take at least 2 bike rides a week, capitalizing on our good fortune of living near the beautiful El Dorado Trail.
Goo rides happily and chattily behind me in his little seat while I huff and puff the steeper portions first, then on our way back we squeal through the wind on the fast trip downhill. When we got back to the car yesterday, we pulled out his little bike and he peddled the half mile to Main Street. His little legs pumping through the "easy" (the paved trail) and the "rough" (off trail).
He rode into town like a champ, and we easily decided what was next...a Sweetie Pies cinnamon roll, of course!
After our treat he happily hopped back on his bike, stopping several times to check his tires. Unfortunately he forgot his tools, supposedly there was work to do on his bike but luckily he decided it could wait until we were home. An older gentleman who looked a little rough around the edges stopped us and asked us to wait while he pulled something painstakingly from his wallet. He handed Grady a $1 bill! Grady thanked him and put the dollar in his little birdhouse that hangs from his handlebar. Such a sweet gesture from a complete stranger.
I lucked out big time with this Little Boy. He really is the happiest child imaginable.

Monday, March 16, 2015


On Monday afternoons The Little Girls attend sewing classes at The Sewing Room. Their teacher, Miss Emily, guides her students through adorable and useful projects. They finished a fun skirt today (photo at the end) during class and while Grady napped, I took a little drive around the Southside of town to do a bit of exploring. And just as I was finishing up my quiet drive, I stumbled upon The Old City Cemetery.

This graveyard sits above Main Street Placerville, I've seen it from the freeway a few times before but wasn't quite sure how to get to it. Many of the headstones are broken or in disrepair, faded and covered in moss or fungus. But all of them are as old as the town itself, famous for The Gold Rush and it's nickname: Old Hangtown.
This lovely spot, surrounded by beautiful wrought iron fencing, has a special view of the town center and looking further East towards the Sierras. I'd like to go back and investigate further as I ran out of time and needed to head back to collect The Little Girls.

And when I did, they were all out on the steps of their sewing classroom taking photos of their finished skirts. 
Side note: In it's earliest years, this building was the town brothel! The tunnel from Main Street (a saloon or bar establishment downtown) to the classroom is still there, sealed off but nonetheless visible as a window to the past.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Little Hike.

For my birthday, I wanted to spend the day in the mountains hiking. Typically at this time of year hiking at high elevations means snowshoeing, which I was looking forward to doing except that there isn't enough snow currently to do so. So hiking it was! Grady, Luxen, Tara and I headed up to Echo Lake after dropping our Little Girls at school.
The Little Boys excitedly played in the bits of ice and snow piles around the lake edge.
We started off on a hike but once we got to a place we could look out over Tahoe valley, the boys started playing so happily and it felt wrong to pull them out of their pretending.
Goo did well for having such little legs to carry him. But he preferred the backpack so he could tell me what to do or "be my friend" as he would say. And whenever he was ready, I was happy to carry him in the pack, it feels so cozy like a big hug. 
I'm looking forward to going again soon, this time with Tim and Little Girls!

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Very Good Day.

This morning we all woke up very early (hard to do after Daylight Savings...) and went out to breakfast at Sweetie Pie's before taking The Little Girls to school. The occasion? My 39th birthday! After school started and Tim headed into the store, Goo and I went on a fun bike ride.
While Goo napped in the afternoon (hurray for alone time, especially today!), I made an upside down lemon meringue pie (i.e. pavlova). 
My sweet neighbor Nita came by and gifted these fantastic spools of ribbon to me! Such a treat.
The Little Girls had sewing class this afternoon and so Goo and I walked downtown and straight into the cheese shop (my favorite!).
After dinner I donned the obligatory birthday hat and we stuffed our faces with pavlova.

2 and 39.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2 Girl Dates.

This week I made a strong effort to spend quality alone time with both The Little Girls. Ivy and I went to the theater and saw the play "Brave Irene", we ate vegan donuts($$!!) and she chose a little stuffed bunny as a keepsake. Ivy named her "Tilvie" after a bunny we follow on Instagram (yes, that's a thing). We held hands throughout the play and she skipped along beside me the whole date. I loved our conversations and really appreciated hearing her (middle child woes). Oh! AND she got to sit in the front seat of the car, next to me--that was the real treat I am pretty sure. I didn't take any photos of my girl date with Ivy, cameras weren't allowed in the theater and I was having so much fun with just her, I forgot all about capturing the moment.

Same with my girl date with Savannah.
Savannah and I went out last night to Chipotle and then to TJMaxx. She was so funny, talking a mile a minute and shoving food in her mouth like a ravenous beast! She was telling me all about her friends and 3rd grade boys. Then we ran into one of those boys at the restaurant! She was so embarrassed and wanted to hide behind me but he was obviously shy and bright red in the cheeks too. She didn't stop talking all throughout our shopping trip and was so silly. It was as if she knew she only had my complete attention for a short while and had to make the most of it. She would do a very awkward and ridiculous marching dance every time she tried something on in the fitting room. I took a video per her request, I won't show it here but believe me it is crazy. There were 2 sounds in TJMaxx last night: Ed Sheeran's song coming from the overhead speakers and Miss Savannah Jane's giggles erupting from any and all departments as we made our way through the store. It was so so so much fun.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance.

The Littles are down in The Little Girls' room right now, playing kindly with each other and so I figure I have about 10 minutes until the next fight/disagreement/help wanted/help needed type situation that will inevitably present itself.

Friday night was the Daddy Daughter Dance! Tim brought home flowers for Savannah and Ivy, we took these quick photos and they were off to a pre-dance dinner with Kevin, Wrenna and Amani, Mike and Gemma. Once they were out the door, Grady and I headed over with Krista to Tara's house. After the dance all the guys joined us with their daughters and we got to hear all about the dance.
I love this tradition and celebrate the adults (ahem...moms) who make sure the dance continues from year to year.
Oh, and I started my seeds last week. Look how quickly the tomatoes and tomatillos have grown! I can't wait until real Spring!
uh oh. Grady needs help with a photo frame he broke. He is in a fluster because he doesn't want Savannah to see. I'd better be done.