Monthly Archives: July 2011

Grandkids Visit (2011)

Grandkids Visit (2011)


The time I most look forward to finally arrived, Cat and Sam came from Denver for a visit, this year bringing my Daughter, Kristy along as well.






They enjoyed a closeup look at the Honey Bees out in the Bee Yard. Mike showed them how we inspect each frame periodically to make sure that there is a working queen bee laying eggs, that the bees are finding enough nectar and pollen to bring in and store, and that there is no visible disease present.

They did indeed locate the queen on this frame and could see that she had been very busy laying eggs. And since it is the time of the year when the Sourwood Trees bloom in these mountains, the bees not only had enough honey stored, but they a lot of extra honey that we will harvest soon. The Sourwood is our premium honey and is desired for its smooth delicious taste.

Cat found to her delight that the bees are really quite gentle and most of the time not apt to want to sting.

Mike gave her a drone first to hold. The drones are the males and do not have a stinger. He crawled around on her hand, probably enjoying all the wonderful scents there.

In no time at all both Cat and Sam were fearlessly interacting with the bees and finding out what every beekeeper knows… that it is a joy to be among the honey bees and to tend their hives.



We had the 2nd Annual Cabin Porch Pickin’. The neighbors came for Barbeque and as is customary in the mountains, brought along their music. Cat had her mandolin and Sam had a borrowed guitar and they were ready to join in the jam. It ranged from rousing Blue Grass tunes, to lovely gospel songs where everyone joined in singing. Sam surprised us all by beginning the “Dueling Banjos” which the other guys quickly joined in with great gusto. Grammy (that’s me) even joined in one tune with my dulcimer and the band accommodated by playing at my slower pace, since I am still quit the beginner.

Below are samples of the jam for you to listen to………










Memories are the next best thing to the actual doing, and sitting on the cabin porch this evening playing my Dulcimer, the memories, along with our resident cicadas and frogs making their night noises, are keeping Mike and me company.

Blackberry Pickin’

Blackberry Pickin’

In all the profusion of spring wildflowers, there is a simple white blossom, and though it may be plain, it hints of the glorious berries to come later.

As spring is winding down and summer approaches, the tangles of prickly Blackberry bushes get so thick along our road and any meadow that was not earlier bush-hogged, that I would be tempted to curse the gosh-awful stuff if not for the promise of the berries. Then somewhere near the 4th of July, just when you think it would be nice to just torch the whole thicket before it can scratch one more bare leg, or the side of a passing car; we arrive for our weekend at the cabin and our world is covered with juicy, sweet, bumpy, Blackberries.

The nice thing is they don’t all get ripe at once. There will be ripening berries for several weeks to come. And just about the time the berries in the hollow begin winding down, the berries in the higher elevation up on the ridges are in full swing. This year, we have had ripe berries to pick for over a month and still picking.




Blackberries make wonderful pies and I have enough in the freezer to make pies all winter long.