Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yes, fellow beekeepers: I'm baaaack!

It has been seven months since my last post on this blog.  So needless to say, I am a little behind.  Nay, I'm way behind.  Even thought I had the best intentions of jumping online and update my blog, something would come along and my ambition would be set aside.  But I do appreciate the messages or emails from several of you who just wanted to make sure that I'm still alive and kicking. The good news is, yes, I'm very much alive and kicking.  The bad news is that the realities of life got in the way of me keeping everyone updated on what was going on.  So let me catch everyone up from then until now.

The last part of 2011 was somewhat of a mess for me.  I'm fond of telling people that I was wide awake on New Year's Eve, not so much to celebrate the grand entrance of 2012, but to make sure 2011 was gone for good (and good riddance too).  

My mom was sick quite a bit in 2011 which included several hospitalizations, so my brother and I had to make sure my dad was taken care of while she was away.  Plus there were countless trips to and from the hospital too.  Luckily she got well and was able to finally come home.  Once she was stable and settled at home again, we got to go on vacation in September and spent a great week at the beach.  But it seemed as if once I got back home, life got hectic with work and other things that took up a lot of my time so many things fell by the wayside.  From Labor Day to the New Year, especially during the holidays, it is a really busy time in the broadcasting business anyway. 

I started feeling really bad in mid October, physically ill, and thought I may have developed an ulcer.  But as the days passed, the pain I felt became more localized, so I finally went to see a doctor (after changing my self-diagnosis to a hernia).  Thank goodness I'm not a doctor.  It wasn't an ulcer or a hernia; it was my appendix which was at the point of rupture.  After having a CT scan, the doctor would not let me leave the hospital and they started pumping me full of antibiotics for an early surgery the next morning.  Thank goodness it all came out just fine and I only had to spend two and a half days in the hospital.  My only real pain afterward was the bills that started rolling in.  I think I received a bill from every doctor within 10 miles of the hospital.

But then November rolled around and more problems came along.  As I started feeling better, our beloved Fritz, a Dachshund we adopted from the local pound, started feeling poorly.  We took him for several visits to the veterinarian to find out what was wrong, but an ultrasound revealed the worst fears we had.  He had cancer of the liver.  In the thirteen years he was with us, he had been through so much.  He had survived several surgeries to remove stones in his bladder and various cysts here and there too.  In the last three years he became totally blind, but he did really well with it because he had learned his way around the house and was always with us.  But this cancerous tumor was something he couldn't fight and we knew time was running out and running out fast.  Two weeks after the diagnosis, old and weak, he lost his fight.  With us surrounding him with all the love we could muster, he drew his last breath and left us for good.  Truthfully, it was one of the toughest moments in my entire adult life. And four months later, it is still hard and not a day goes by when I don't think of him.  I plan to post more on him later.

The Christmas holidays rolled around on time, and while I had finished everything I needed to do (including shopping and cooking)..I started feeling really worn down on Christmas Eve.  Thinking that I was just physically and mentally tired from the holiday rush, I finished what I needed to do and had dinner that night with my family at my parent's home.  After dinner, I went back to my own home and was so tired that I just couldn't hold my head up so I went to bed.  You guessed it!  Just a few hours later, I was really, really sick.  I'll spare you the gory details, but it turned out to be a really nasty case of the flu.  I finally got to see my family doctor on the day after Christmas (being a cheapskate, I wasn't going to fork out $500+ for an emergency room visit) and one shot and two bottles of medicine later, I finally started to feel better. So much better that I stayed up on New Year's Eve to watch 2011 leave for good.  It was a really bad year and I'm glad it is gone forever.

I'll spare you January and February of this year other than to say they were pretty good months overall.  And March has been pretty darn good too.  My area of North Carolina was in spring weather way before it arrived officially on the calendar.  Luckily all four of my bee colonies survived the winter although I probably wasn't as attentive to them last fall as I should have been.  Over the last month, hardly a day goes by that I don't see a flurry of bees in front of each hive although one of them appears to be weaker than the rest.  I plan to spend some time over the next few days with them and see what is going on internally.  But as you can see from the picture, my girls are definitely taking advantage of the nice warm days of spring.  

So yes friends, I'm back.  I plan to try to post regularly and let you know what is happening with me and the bees at our humble apiary in the Triad area of North Carolina.  And once again, thanks to everyone who sent a message to check and see if I'm still around.  It means so much to know that even though I haven't met many of you personally, you still care.  Beekeepers are like that!   We're a special lot!

Bee good!