Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trees! Bees!! My Knees!!!

Well, as we mentioned about a month ago via some pictures posted on Facebook, a large chunk of a large tree between our house and the neighbor's collapsed in the recent storm the Corning/Elmira area experienced at the end of July, which also brought a TORNADO to the Elmira area! Ron and our neighbor Chad and Chad's dad helped hack up the limb and haul it away.

However, what remained was even "scarier," the BULK of the tree was still standing! And the damage inside was obvious. This sucker had to come down. After first making a call to our homeowner's insurance about the first big limb down, getting a big check (!), we then called a few tree removal services for estimates. The winner was Clear View Tree Service here in Corning and they came within one day of calling. Aka, TODAY!

Sam with his trusty safety goggles on! He's SAFETY BOY!

In no time, the tree was DOWN, safely. The sun shining on the house now is BLINDING and obvious of a new void. Something definitely to get used to.

Another story about this tree is it's The Bee Tree. We talked about this several posts ago (... or at least i thought. I cannot find the link/pics!). I was thrilled to come home to not only the tree down, but a local beekeeper on the premises!! The Clear View guys have been in touch with Phil a few times, with big jobs like this. Phil was there to try and save the bees!

Spraying sugar water to keep the bees "happy."

This was easily one of the most fascinating things I've watched in a long time. The tree dudes cut thru the tree stump, already grounded, in a way that allowed Phil to get to the bees. After a few cuts, BINGO, the motherload. There were the combs, layered neatly, the workers scurrying about, and after much plucking and prying, eventually the Queen was found. It's her 'job' to lead everyone, now, to the bee box (I'd like to google this topic later, for the appropriate terminology). Phil got the Queen in and is giving the bee gang (!) the whole day to migrate into the box. He wants to come back tonight around 8:30 to get the box, hopefully with everyone inside!

Sam, watching Phil at work...

Thom and Hank were at school, but Sam was home with us, as well as Nanny who babysat for us the night before, and spent the night. All of us were mesmorized by the swarm, which even to the untrained eye, seemed rather chill. They were not ANGRY bees. In fact, Sam was right there with Phil, inches from the combs, watching him pry bees off and hunting for the queen. He was asking questions and found it all very interesting. I'm so glad he got a chance to see such an awesome thing!

The motherload!

It made me feel good to know that these bees were given the chance to go to a new home. I may even have a newfound respect for them. I've never totally FLIPPED with bees flying around, but i've never been as totally chill as Ron. Maybe that's changed... we'll see.

... as for my knees... they are fine. Just seemed fun to toss in another rhyming word. ;-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Old Friends, New Friends

23 yrs post Senior Year! Eek!
As many of us who use Facebook have discovered, reconnecting with old friends, all the way back to high school, grade school, even KINDERGARTEN, is all too easy. And it's amazing how in many ways, even though you may have not seen these people in decades, it's easy to fill in that gap with a familiarity much like what brought you together as friends in the first place...
GORGEOUS pond view! (The lake was at the bottom of the road...)

Huntin' for snails was THEE THING to do in the evening...

My friend Nicole and i were pretty good friends in H.S. We had art class together for four years (she's since become a Graphic Designer!) as well as a couple other classes i think. When i zipped around town in my parent's Dodge Omni, I often would pick her and her sister up for school in the mornings, or take them home. We went to The Outer Banks together one spring break - i remember THAT being a fun time!

Nicole contacted me a month or so ago to say she and her gang (Four kids: Alexa (17), Jackson (8), Kiki (5) and Patrick (4)) were heading north, from the No. VA/MD area, to visit her brother and his wife who live on Canandaigua lake. As the time got closer, details were ironed out, and I packed up my kiddos (our husbands were working!) last Sunday and headed up for a "reunion," as well as introducing our children to one another.

Kiki (5), Thom, Sam, Patrick (4) (sitting) and Jackson (8)

We had a BLAST!!! I'm sure Nicole will agree that the twenty-three year gap was not at ALL a factor in our picking up where things left off. There was some reminiscing, but a lot of chat of new things, stuff our kids are into, etc. Her sister in law, Tea, was an AMAZINGLY gracious host, and very tolerant of six children under the age of 8 running around her beautiful home.

We spent about 6 hours together and I think i've convinced Nicole (along with a lot of her own brain action) to try and make the trip to Western NY and the Finger Lakes region an annual event. She loved it up here. What's not to love?!?! A really nice visit was had. My kids loved her kids and vice versa. A super great way to spend a day!...