This picture makes me happy

Order and Happiness Has Been Restored to the Basement

This picture makes me happy

I don’t know what happened to the basement (which is where I do most of my work during the winter months). Somewhere along the line, the basement became unmanageable. And then it spread. The garage became unmanageable, too.

[I attempted to write a paragraph explaining what I think happened to create such chaos in the basement, but then I realized that you probably don’t really care about that, do you, Reader?]

It’s impossible to do good work in the middle of such disarray, and I’ve been hoping to bring some order to it all so I can get back to working happily along, but I became paralyzed by disorganization. I couldn’t even begin to make sense of it all.

I’ve been publicly complaining that I can’t seem to tackle the basement. I thought that perhaps peer pressure might help motivate me. It didn’t. No one really cares about my basement. A couple of weeks ago, I bought some industrial shelving at an estate sale. I thought the shelves might be my answer, but they sat in a pile all disassembled and only made matters worse. I grew in a funk about it.

And then Deb got some free time and some energy, and she directed all her powers to restoring order. First, she cleared the garage and rearranged it. Then she took on the basement. It’s an ancient basement, and the ceiling is low, so she spent days stooped over and banging her head on rafters when she forgot and stood tall. While she did all of that, I took care of the leaves. I think she wanted me out of her way…which was fine with me because I am hopelessly ineffective in that basement right now. I raked every leaf in our yard and from our gardens and from every nook and cranny and mulched every last one of them while the basement transformed.

And now the basement looks better than ever. The floor is clear. There is order. I can breathe and work down there again.

No, it’s not complete. I have been given a list of basement-related tasks to accomplish this week, and from what I’ve seen of Deb’s determination these past few days, I had better check those things off my list lickity split or pay the piper.

 

Full of surprises and delight

Natural Delights and Surprises = Crystalized Honey

Full of surprises and delight

I tell you, Reader, so many people have asked me about crystallized honey lately that I’ve decided to write about it.

First of all: Honey lasts forever. And I mean forever. As in eternity.

Second of all: The composition of honey may change over time.

Third: Raw honey changes more than pasteurized honey because raw honey contains good and natural surprises in it. Whereas pasteurized honey is stripped of these delights. Good and natural delights change over time. Which is what makes them good…and exciting. Right? The more we try to control change, the less fun we have in this life, Reader. Take it from me.

Fourth: The more tiny bits of natural surprises (such as pollen or wax) in the honey, the more little things there are on which crystals will begin to form. This has to do with science, and I’m not going into science here…let me simply say that the less your honey is strained and heated, the more bits of nature remain in it. And this is exactly why you want to buy local honey—honey that has not been stripped of its local pollen. Local pollen in your honey tastes like home. It also helps those who eat it develop immunities when it comes to local allergens.

Fifth: You want your honey cloudy with little specks of colorful pollen in it. You don’t want your honey clear and runny. You want your honey the way you want your bread or your rice…you want it dense with nature. Not white.

Sixth: So, we’ve established that it’s a good sign if your honey crystalizes because it’s a sign that you are eating closer to nature and the earth.

Seventh: Some of the blossoms on which the bees forage crystalize more quickly than others. So, if your honey crystalizes, it’s a sign that the nectar from which your honey comes was collected from a certain blossom at a specific time of the year. Which is very cool. It’s one of the bonuses of buying honey from a single hive as opposed to buying honey gathered from all over several unknown continents and mixed together and heated in a giant vat.

Eighth: The crystals are reversible. If your mouth prefers to eat your honey without crystals, simply heat the honey-containing jar slowly in a pan of water until the crystals disappear. Or set your jar in a sunny place.

We strain very little of the wonder from our honey. You can still taste the Ohio in it. Which means it will eventually crystalize. Because it is that awesome.

 

Nicola's first harvest from Hive Gobnait

Don’t Click on this Link Unless You Want to Salivate

Reader, it’s harvest time. And let me simply introduce you to two first harvests. I’ll let the images speak for themselves. No more from me about how wonderful this is. No word from me about toasted medallions of french bread spread with butter and warm, fresh, local honey. I don’t want you writhing in envy.

Nicola's first harvest from Hive Gobnait
Heidi and Anne and their first honey harvest

Of course, if you want this experience for yourself, call me. I’ll get you set up.