So What Happened to April?

I knew I hadn’t blogged in a while.  But a month and a half?  How did that happen?

Well, I’ll tell you how.  In mid-March, I started the Whole-30 diet.  30 days, no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes. It’s Paleo with a vengeance. I didn’t make the whole 30 days.  I lasted 21.  But in those three weeks I learned a lot.

  1. Eating this way totally stopped my habit of crying profusely while cutting onions.
  2. Eating this way reduced early stage arthritis swelling and inflammation over all.
  3. It is possible to get through the day without soda, but water and komboucha get really old after a while.
  4. It is possible to live without bread, and plantains make a reasonable facsimile and a really good sandwich. But bread is easier and smells divine.
  5. Potatoes and tomatoes make me bloated, gassy and make my hands go numb. I’ve suspected nightshades for a couple of years, but have never been disciplined enough to really pin them down.
  6. Protein is expensive when you start eating it three times a day, even when you collect eggs in your backyard.
  7. I am not wired to eat breakfast.
  8. It is just not possible for me to want to eat enough meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts to get enough calories and enough salt to maintain reasonable energy levels.
  9. Even my son the carnivore yearned for veggie nights.

It was the salt and lack of calories that broke the diet.  For three weeks I had no energy.  I couldn’t get anything done. Brain fog. The weather during those three weeks was really cold and windy and the farm work got put on hold anyway.  But as soon as the weather broke and warmed up, I was now three weeks behind and in desperate need of salt.  And calories.  Bread and soda have resumed their place in my daily constitutionals and energy levels are way up.  I’m still three weeks behind in planting, and I’ve stopped starting new things in the seed room, until I can cut that down to two weeks.

Though the weather has warmed up, the soil is still cool.  Good for greens.  Not so good for tomatoes.  We had a late hard freeze, like 20 degrees hard freeze, that took all the early hoop house tomatoes, despite several layers of protection.  The freeze also killed the fruit set on the plums.  Pears are iffy, but the peaches are making a go of it and the apples bloomed late and should be fine.  Blackberries, cultivated and wild, are looking very happy.

On our first really hot day, which came after a spate of really cold days, I put on my bee suit and prepared to do the first inspection of the year.  My plan was to lay on a honey super on my one surviving hive, and possibly make a split if the colony was booming.  It was, but it was also covered in ants.  And by the time I got out to the bee yard, I’d been in my suit in the barn (aka the Toaster) for two hours.  When I finally lifted the lid on the hive, I was in first stage heat stroke and not thinking very clearly.  So I sprinkled lots of cinnamon to repel the ants, took one of the three medium supers off to make a second hive, replaced the super I took off with an empty, plus I added queen excluder and a honey super to the old hive.  I did not check the frames for swarm cells, or newly laid eggs.  I didn’t find the queen.  I just moved boxes trusting the bees to work it out.  Then I found myself some shade, drank a lot of water and slept the rest of the day.  Just not adapted to work in the heat yet.

The new hive was very quiet for two weeks.  But now I’m beginning to see foragers coming and going.  I should probably feed them to tide them over until they build themselves up.  And I really should check and see if they are even trying. Just add that to a very long to do list.

Add in rehearsals and several concerts, family demands and life in general and that’s how one loses an entire month.

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