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Posted in Beekeeping, Christian living, communication, health and wellness, Hobby Farming, Life, Uncategorized

Baby Bees – Arrived

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our baby bees to the Darg-Kelvin family! After much anticipation and frustration, yesterday we were able to pick up to nucs or nuclear boxes with a queen and some rather unhappy bees who have travelled a long way; been inspected and then travelled to the farm in the back of a pick up.

We had expected them the previous week but thankfully they weren’t ready as the weather was foul! The week they were ready was amazing weather, this week back to foul! So they arrived in perfect conditions.

There was a bit of an issue as one of the boxes wasn’t sealed well and we had some “escabees”! Naomi sat in the back seat watching the escape, giving us a running commentary of how many were finding the  rushing air too much, and ended up blowing off the back of the truck! We had to don our suits as soon as we got home as they formed what is called a beard on the outside of the box and then got a little upset when we shifted them around to their new home. Some settled on Paul’s tool box so we had to take the truck and then the tool box near the garden to try and coax them in to their hive.  At this stage we have opted for the traditional box system but will look into investing in a “Honey Flow” hive from Australia, a system that has taken the bee world by storm!

Carol our mentor came to help us set them up which was much appreciated as there was some nervousness regarding certain aspects of setting up and she was like a midwife, guiding our questions and our concerns!

It was very exciting to watch them start to settle into their new boxes. There were 5 frames sent in the nuc and we set up another 5 frames in each box to begin the process of building wax onto and collecting honey to make brood and build their numbers. We have opted for plastic starter frames and it was recommended we give them an extra coat of wax and we also plugged the edges with wax to stop hive beetles hiding in there (a design problem apparently).

We are feeding them a sugar mixture for a few days just to keep them settled. Our flower garden planted around their new home will be amazing but they have so many honeysuckle vines and a local wild violet that is out and blackberry vine flowers and all the flowering trees on 16 acres, we think we won’t have to sugar feed them for too long!  I am sure we saw quite a few out already searching for flowers after they spent some time circling around their new home orientating. It is amazing that they circle their area getting their bearings on the hive and then take off within such a short time.

We saw one queen in one hive but not the other. So we have to go back in the next few days and have another look otherwise it can be a little problematic and we will have to get another queen asap.

They also had a little “swimming pool” built for them out of an old bird bath. They need water so we just decided to put the bath close by.

It was fascinating to watch as they settled and started immediately to clean up their new home. We watched as a few came out with the dead bodies of their counterparts, either squashed or perhaps overheated during transit.

“Bring out your dead!” Naomi commented, as we watched them toss them off the side of the hive. We left the transport box as the few stragglers found their way into the hive and cleaned off any useful material on the inside of the little box. They were leaving nothing behind and getting rid of anything that wasn’t productive to the hive!

Three bee lessons from today!

  1. Stick close to the source. The ride on the wind might be exciting but will soon send you reeling when it picks up speed! Those bees who thought they should look outside of the hive soon found more than they bargained for! Our God is our source of life just as the queen is. Always stick close to where He is regardless of the temptation to experience the “excitement” of the world!
  2.  Stay on top of things! They are not called “busy bees” for nothing. They are always busy, as should we. Not just flapping our wings either but with purpose and vision for what we are doing! They cleaned up the good things, wax, pollen, any thing else that was beneficial to their hive and left the superfluous or potentially harmful things behind! “Get rid of those things that so easily entangle us,” Paul the apostle says! Those dead bodies were immediately tossed. What do I need to toss from my life that is potentially smelly and disease spreading?
  3. Be prepared! There was no way any of us were going to go near our little bee friends today without the correct clothing. Suits with hoods, to stop them coming up to our faces, every zipper closed and Velcro closed to stop crawling critters as well as leather gloves with elastic to keep them closed. It was soo hot and we looked like space   walkers or rappers in Naomi’s case as her suit was too big and her crotch hung down passed her knees, but it is worth the safety factor. Don’t try to walk this life without the proper clothing! Paul again tells us in Ephesians 6 about the armour of God. So many times we become blase about the fight we are in and forget to put on the armour that helps us fight against the enemy. That is a blog in itself…but just a quick reminder we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers!

So we start our journey into keeping bees! I am sure we are going to learn a lot more as we keep pressing on!

Until next time

Be blessed and keep busy

Narelle

 

 

 

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Posted in Marriage, travel

Green Peas and other Green Stuff – A New Day Has Begun

Well, finally! It’s here…Green Peas and Other Green Stuff! My new blog!

I have had numerous other sites that I used for blogging but this one is my first in Word Press that hopefully won’t disappear like the others. So Green Peas you ask? What does it mean?

As a child growing up in Australia, the one thing I couldn’t stomach or maybe there were a few, but the worst were the vegetables my mother cooked. At that time, a common form of cooking was to cook your vegetables in baking soda. It was supposed to green the vegetables but in my mum’s case nothing helped when you boiled them deep in water and copious amounts of salt for much longer then required. Even now I sit here and could gag at the thought of eating them! (Foot note: She did improve as the years went on!)

Anyway – Green peas and beans were probably the most chuckable for me and came to typify everything I found hard to swallow. Many times life cooks us up a pot of the unpalatable stuff.  The interesting thing now is I love vegetables – any and all. There are very few things I don’t eat and in fact I appreciate food so much more – probably too much now! So sometimes what seems hard to bear can turn around and create some wonderful moments we otherwise would not, could not have appreciated.

This blog will be about all the things that go into the pot of life – relationships, journeys, questions about life, thoughts, health, adventures, trials, victories – the list is endless.

As a couple of over 50’s in Paul’s case over 60 we have some stories to tell and some we won’t – but this blog will be a sharing, caring place discussing some of the hard questions of life, and sharing the joy of moments as well. We would love to share our lives with you and invite you to come along, comment, add thoughts and just enjoy.

It’s a new day for us, not just the blog, but this stage of life as well. We have been travelling and doing things that we dreamed about for many years. Semi-retired, kid free, and young enough still to explore our world we have become aged hippies as my eldest daughter called us! Living out of suitcases for the past two years, we have done and seen some amazing things. I will re-post many of the posts from our time in the Philippines and also add some of my older posts from previous years, more for my own benefit as a reflection on the years past.

I love a scripture that says we go from glory to glory. Life is not about remaining as we are but moving on in this journey and loving each step of the journey as we go on changing and growing until the day we die!    Let’s live until we die!

I trust this blog will be a blessing to you..

Till next time,

Blessings Narelle

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christian living, health and wellness, Life, Love, Parenthood, Uncategorized

The Birth of

I wrote this while waiting for my 6th grandchild to be born in 2012. What was it? Tell you later…

Well today is D-DAY Delivery day. What a long 9 months it has been. But we have so much to be thankful for.

Where do we begin with this past 12 months? Josiah’s diagnosis of A.L.L. Acute Lymphatic Leukemia saw us in and out of hospital until just recently. We have traveled a long road; diagnosis; shock, treatment, ecstatic as responses to treatment, and pain of watching him go through the distressing mucositis which ulcerated his entire mouth and esophagus down to the anus; loss of hair; ballooning and gorging from the steroids to all the fevers and sicknesses from a compromised immune system.

After finding out in April this year intensive chemotherapy was over and maintenance would begin we were shocked to discover Sherri was pregnant.

They were not sure how it happened. Come on – after 3 children! But the treatment of Josiah had caused a bit of a mental block as is often the case with parents with children undergoing treatment. So number 4 is being awaited. We are sitting here in the labor ward as I reflect on the past year and its highs and lows.

After the high of Josiah finishing his intensive program early, and discovering Sherri was pregnant, we were hit with another blow. Sherri was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension: A disease of the heart and lungs that ultimately and worse-case scenario ends in death of the mother, or perhaps requiring a heart lung transplant. However, after weeks of levels climbing we called for prayer!

Doctors were amazed when after only a few days in hospital undergoing bed-rest and no other intervention, her levels came down! Doctors went back to the drawing board because the levels of this disease, NEVER go down. Despite another diagnosis of some “Anomaly”  levels have not gone back up over the past 9 months. After a projected delivery date of 28 weeks, here we sit at 36 weeks awaiting the birth under very calm, happy conditions with Sherri’s strength intact and in fact stronger than at the beginning of the pregnancy with no symptoms of breathlessness or fatigue.

So we stand amazed at the hand of God over her life. I remember after spending a night of research lying, crying in the arms of my husband saying, “I wish I could take this on myself – I have had our family she has 4 little ones.” When all of a sudden even as the words came out of mouth I remembered that I didn’t have to take it on myself…that is what Jesus did at the cross. He took our sicknesses and infirmities upon Himself!

That same morning Paul came in to my office and said, “No one has to die to give her a new heart and lungs – Christ died to give her those.” With those two revelations we have been able to stand in faith and in her healing, praying and believing for safe delivery for not only her but her child also.

We also heard a tape on how Satan wants our Seed. But that is another story…Oh by the way – it was a boy!

 

Posted in Christian living, Life, Love, Second Coming, Uncategorized

Irma, Harvey and Jose

As Irma pushes towards the coast of Florida most people will be readying themselves, their homes and their families for what has been described as one of the worst storms in the Atlantic.

Having been in the Philippines post Haiyan, I have seen first hand the devastation a storm of this size can cause. Coconut trees which bend to the ground in storms, snapped off like matchsticks; almost 100% destruction of housing; livelihoods destroyed as the fisher people’s boats were smashed against the shores; I have to be concerned for the people’s of the Caribbean and also for those in the low lying islands off the east coast of the US.

It’s interesting the thought, “Believe for the best, prepare the worst!” So a many fail to heed the cry and can become complacent thinking, “They always warn us and nothing happens!”

It reminds me so much of what happens when we talk about the coming of the Messiah! Jesus told us to be prepared! Watching and waiting because we don’t know what time He is coming back. Like a good reporting agency He gave us signs to watch for and be alert. However, many have become complacent thinking so many generations have been waiting and saying it looks close! Complacency and apathy should never become part of our faith lives. Look up as we read the “weather reports”, He is coming back and we need to be prepared.

For those in the path of Irma- Be prepared. Stay safe!

Blessings

Until next time

Narelle

 

Posted in Christian living, communication, cross cultural living, grandparenting, Life, Marriage, Parenthood

Love is – Not Arrogant or Rude

20170112_153645Arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.

Arrogant synonyms: haughtyconceitedhubristicself-importantopinionated, egotistic, full of oneself, superioroverbearingpompoushigh-handed, swaggering, boastfulbumptious, blustering, patronizing, condescendingdisdainfulcontemptuousimperiousproudvainimmodestloftylordlysnobbishsnobbyoverweeningsupercilioussmugpretentiousaffectedscornfulmocking, sneering, scoffing; informalhoity-toity, high and mighty, uppitysnootystuck-uptoffee-nosedfancy-pantssnotty, jumped up, too big for one’s boots, big-headed

Rude: offensively impolite or bad-mannered. “she had been rude to her boss”

Ill-mannered, bad mannered,  impolite,  discourteous,  impertinent,  insolent,  impudent,  cheeky,audaciouspresumptuousuncivildisrespectfulunmannerlyill-bred,  churlish,  crasscurtbrusquebluntungraciousgracelessbrashunpleasantdisagreeableoff-handshortsharpoffensiveinsultingderogatorydisparagingabusivetactlessundiplomaticuncomplimentaryuncharitableunchivalrousungallantungentlemanlyunladylikearchaic malapertcontumeliousrare underbred, mannerless

Love is not arrogant or rude. Hm..On looking at these I wonder at the times I have placed myself above others, with feelings of being of more importance. I also look at the synonyms of rude and see, sharp, short, offhand, unpleasant, disagreeable and see my myself in the mirror of His Word.

I know we are not condemned but the Word is a mirror and as I study the reflection of myself in it, I see the areas I still lack in walking in love!

Love is not arrogant, proud or rude. I am quick to judge others when they are rude to me, slight me, are disparaging, tactless etc, but judge my own self with a far less stringent measure, knowing I don’t intentionally aim to hurt others, yet think they do to me! I need to keep watch over my own self, my feelings and attitudes. It is no easy task and as I study this passage so easily quoted yet so hard to live, I am reminded that it is only by Grace are we able to walk this walk and live in that place of love. Love Him and others.

It is ok to love those who are friendly and loving toward us but when others turn their backs on us, treat us with contempt or hatred, are rude, arrogant, kill, maim, or torture us, how do we responded?

Do we respond in kind? One of my challenging scriptures (of which there are many) is the one that says we don’t trade insult for insult or evil for evil, but overcome evil with good! This is no small feat and again, it can only be done by His love outworking in us. We set the frame work of putting off those things of malice, bitterness, hatred, and putting on His clothing of humility and love.

Oh!!! This so easily flows off the keyboard or out of the mouth but to live this life…well like us all, I struggle to put off those things. Sometimes we continue to pick at the wound received, reciting, rehearsing the hurt, reliving the pain, and wonder why it starts to bleed again! Best to cover it with the soothing oil of love, and bandage it with His Grace and Mercy. Oh again so easily said, but such a challenge to do!

Anyway this is the mirror I stand in front of tonight as I think of Him and how He loved me even when I cursed His name and turned my eyes to the world, constantly looking for love, affirmation and security. His is the only love I can trust in fully and I must walk in that knowledge that I am so loved by Him and stand above reproach in the eyes of my God. So are you!

 

 

Posted in Christian living, communication, grandparenting, health and wellness, Life, Love, Uncategorized

Finish the Race Well!

Finish well.

Recently in my bible study I have been reading about the Kings of Israel and Judah. David’s kingdom was split early and there was contention thereafter with not only their common enemies but between themselves as one nation – a very sad state of affairs for a people who had been chosen by God to bear His presence in the sight of the nations!

What struck me though is how often the kings would start off well and due to influences of those close to them or other nations they slipped into ways that forsook their God who had delivered and set them free! They forgot the One who loved them!

I was extremely struck by one King. Uzziah. Uzziah was 16 years old when he became King and ruled for 52 years.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord – until he didn’t! He started off so well – setting his face to seek the Lord while Zechariah the prophet was around, and it caused him to prosper.  He fought battles and won; became famous and strong; built towers and cisterns; had large herds and incredibly productive farms because he loved the soil; made amazing weapons of war; and built a great army – until he became strong! Then he became proud forgetting God and becoming unfaithful to Him.

He became so proud he entered the temple to burn incense before the Lord something only the priests were permitted to do!  Azariah and 80 brave priests confronted him and drove him from the temple.  As he became angry at the priests, his forehead immediately became leprous. He became separated from his world at that moment. He lost his kingdom as his son took his place on the throne and he had to live separately from everyone until his death, and as well was excluded from the House of the Lord.

Pride and anger- these are what caused him to be struck by leprosy. We see from another example of Miriam who also suffered this fate, hers being a judgement for her jealousy and criticizing of Moses. These sins opened up their lives to this form of judgement. Uzziah’s case of leprosy started on his forehead which was a virulent form of leprosy.

They are good examples for us to learn from. So often we can run a great race in our faith early on and as Jesus warned in Revelation, lose our first love! Anger, pride, jealousy, a critical spirit, all of these can rob us of the final victory lap to the finish line.

A friend of ours recently said he has asked his father to show him how to age well. I think that is such an important aspect of this walk of life. So many elderly end up proud, critical, and angry causing people to shy away from them. There are others who maintain a sweet, positive spirit and they are a delight to be around. We can run a sprint powerfully but life is a marathon and it’s the finish that really counts!

As I consider some of the aspects of aging well, I think it begins and ends with staying in the Word of God, continually renewing our minds and spirits: Staying on fire with the Holy Spirit: Staying sweet in the spirit and not letting bitterness and regret, or resentment creep in and become like leprosy – a scaly disease which overtakes our lives! These will separate us from the Lord, our family and from our position in the Kingdom.

Live life well – until the end and hit your targets!

Until next time

Blessings Narelle

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Posted in Beekeeping, Christian living, health and wellness, Hobby Farming, Life, Uncategorized

The Birds and the Bees!

Our bees are coming! Well so they tell us. It is a bit like waiting for an overdue baby! Each time we get excited that they are coming – they tell us our nucs are not ready.

For the uninitiated such as myself, a nuc is not an N – U as in umbrella  and  C as in cat but an N – U as in unicorn and C as in cat or short for a nucleus. It is where a queen has separated and started to form a new colony. They then put it into a box with 5 frames and on delivery you put it in to your waiting brood box.

Then the true wait begins. They orientate and start to gather pollen and nectar to make honey feeding and breeding their babies as fast as they can to inhabit the hive so that they can work to produce their food – honey. Our first aim they tell us this year is just to keep the hive alive. The percentages are extremely high for the death of hives throughout the nation here and across the world.

Without bees we are told there will be some big issues! So we are going to do our best to get these babies through the winter and hopefully enjoy the taste of success as well by being able to rob a little of their efforts for ourselves and our effort.

We purchased a plastic frame we were told is a good way to start and then found a design flaw which allows hive beetles (a pest) to crawl up into the sides and top and bees are unable to get to them. So last week I sat for hours pressing soft wax in to the frame edges to stop the beetles being able to get in to them. We will see if it works.

Paul, Naomi and I also prepared a lovely garden bed for them, sowing an amazing amount of wild flowers so they can feast throughout summer.

I am surprised at the amount of feeding you have to do currently as opposed to years gone by when the hives were virtually set and leave. Now there is quite a lot of “farming” needing to be done including keeping pests etc out and overrunning the hive. Paul is having flashbacks to his childhood when he used to watch his uncle care for over 80 hives. He is amazed at just how much he remembers, which is just as well. However, we are blessed by a lovely neighbour who is also secretary of the bee keepers guild we have joined who has agreed to be our mentor. My phone calls and emails are testament to her patience with us plus she is great at pulling ticks out!

It is all exciting and hard work as we work on the farm putting in loads of vegetables but we are enjoying the harvest of our first spinach and lettuce already! I love that you can taste the difference!

On the home front at the beach house we have been blessed by the two families of doves making their nests on and under the front verandah. What a sweet delight to watch the mummies and daddies do shifts in sitting on the nest and feeding their now hatched young!

They have both chosen prime real estate, one on the head of a stuffed antelope and the other under cross beams under the verandah. Both are out of the elements and away from predators!

Nature has been all over us with ticks and chiggers (don’t ask) but the birds and the bees are a nice bonus! Oh and don’t forget the 5 or so snakes we have found as Paul cleaned the wood pile! Unlike Australia – they were all harmless! We are arranging for an epee pen as part of our beekeeping tools and as well I made up an essential oil mix to keep the ticks at bay!

A recipe I found is as follows:

a base of coconut oil, drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, lavender essential oils. I also added some water to enable spritzing but found on the first attempt I added too much, which watered it down too much. It does need to be reapplied frequently due to sweating and wearing off. I am happier using that then poisons.

So a lot of fun and hard work in the past few weeks, which meant having to make time while the weather is good to get things in to the ground and growing! But which meant little time at the computer to write!

So a change of pace at the beach, and then back over to the farm to hopefully await the anticipated arrival of our Nucs! Will keep you up to date on our journey into beekeeping.

 

Until next time (with photos of our newer babies)

Blessings Narelle