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What I Want to Do When I Grow Up

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

gardening

gardening

What do I want to do when I grow up?

My answer always was

Grow flowers and herbs,

Make wreaths and such

But bees and chickens?

Not even a thought!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

For many, many,  years, as a second grade teacher, I did a get-to-know-you activity with my students during the first week of school.  We designed All About Me T-shirts (on paper), adding different pictures and details about ourselves, to share with other classmates.  One section was to draw a picture of what they wanted to do when they grew up.  I always did a shirt design, too, and the kids thought it was funny that I drew something for “what I want to do when I grow up”.  I explained to them, that mine referred to when I retired, and could choose what I wanted to do with that part of my life.  What did I draw?  – always something to represent herbs,  flowers, and wreaths.  I saw myself growing herbs and making dried arrangements and wreaths with my herbs and everlasting flowers – something I loved doing, but just never seemed to have time for while teaching.

chickweed to harvest

chickweed to harvest

So here I am, 2 years retired, and what do I find myself doing?  I’m out in the garden, planting and weeding and harvesting herbs and flowers!  But not for making wreaths and dried arrangements.  Instead, it’s for use use in our BEEpothecary products, to compliment the amazing bee propolis!  It hit me today, as I was out harvesting lemon balm, oregano,  calendula, comfrey, lovage, thyme, mint and yarrow,  that I AM doing pretty much what I said I wanted to do when I grew up!  Pretty cool!  Of course the beekeeping and making beehive products were not even a blip on the radar when I was teaching.  The beehive products and a business to boot, not even an idea in our minds when we first got bees!  We just wanted pollination for our gardens and some honey!  Little did we know that some reading and research would lead us in this direction.  Our BEEpothecary adventure is an exciting, unanticipated addition to this next phase of life.

I’ve used herbs myself medicinally, for years, when doctors couldn’t help me or traditional medicine didn’t work.  And I’ve grown herbs and flowers for decades, but never really did much with them, because I just didn’t have time.  The harvest usually came in late August, right when I was heading back to the grind of getting ready for a new school year.  This year, with a great

Starting our herb infused oils

Starting our herb infused oils

A big batch of lemon balm in olive oil

A big batch of lemon balm in olive oil

spring and summer of warmth and rain, I ‘ve been able to harvest my herbs once already,  and today – a beautiful 75 degrees – I was able to harvest them a second time.  And Laurie has quite a garden going, from which we will get even more herbs to use.   It’s a good thing, too, since our business has grown to the point that we are now making 5 gallon pickle buckets full of herb-infused oils!  We’re going to need a lot to get us through the winter months!  It gives me great satisfaction to be able to use these natural treasures to make useful skin care and health products that others can benefit from.  Making things from something you have helped grow with your own hands and sweat and toil, is quite satisfying.  And working with God’s bountiful and beautiful creations – the plants and the bees and the animals –  always leaves me awestruck.

Now tomorrow, the plan is to clean out the chicken coop, after practicing the deep bedding method all fall and winter and spring – which means nine

chickens?

chickens?

months of layers of straw, chicken poop, wood shavings and more chicken poop.  Now this task should be interestingly awful –  but awestruck, NO!  I will be donning my muck boots and gloves and probably a mask to do this!  But I guess it is the price to pay after benefiting from God’s little chickens and their yummy eggs for all these months.  I’ll let you know if I survive!

 

 

 

Jeremiah 29

10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

 

Blessings for our Thanksgiving!

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Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays. An acquaintance wrote my sentiments to a tee and I would like to post them. So without further ado… She says, For weeks I look forward to preparing a beautiful meal and relaxing with my family. Sadly, Thanksgiving night invariably finds me deflated. I regret having gotten irritable in the final crazy minutes of gravy making and turkey carving or feel dispirited by the lack of meaningful conversation at the table. I miss the family members who are absent. I wish people would have gotten along better and connected more deeply. The list of discontents varies from year to year but the theme is the same: it didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped.

This year I am on to myself. All month I’ve been thinking about letting go of my imaginary ideals and showing up with an open heart for whatever happens. I anticipate that it may be a little hard to pull off on the big day. I know I’m not alone. For many people the holidays are a time of heightened need for things to be a particular way. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with wanting a lovely holiday. But high expectations can hold us in their grip. What we want to see blinds us to what is actually in front of us and diminishes it. If we then distance ourselves from the imperfect, that gap makes it even harder to connect to things as they are. It is only in approaching a thing — be it this particular holiday meal or an individual human being — with attention that we can fully appreciate it, for all its faults and strengths, for all its funky uniqueness. Paying attention with kindness opens us to the wholeness around us. From there it is a short leap to gratitude. That which we see deeply enough can virtually always be counted as a blessing.

As we each look around our Thanksgiving tables next week, may we focus on the kindness and generosity that is shared between us and give thanks for the day we have been given, whether or not it is the one we had imagined.

Blessings on your holiday table.  Don’t forget to invite a friend or two who need a family to share this day with! 

Thanksgiving-Dinner-Turkey

Honey Roast Turkey

Turkey ingredients

  • 1  12 – 14  pound  fresh or frozen natural turkey
  • 2 cups  water
  • 1/2 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 1/4 cup  finely snipped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons  finely snipped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons  snipped fresh thyme
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 2 tablespoons  butter
  •  Apple Cider Sauce (see recipe below) (optional)

directions

1.Thaw turkey if frozen. In a medium saucepan combine water, 1/2 cup honey, and about half of the parsley, sage, thyme, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil. Cover; let stand 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids.

2.Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Skewer the neck skin to the back. Tie legs to tail. Twist wing tips under the back.

3.Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using a flavor-injector syringe, inject the honey mixture into the meat of the turkey. (This may take up to 20 injections, so try to evenly distribute the seasoned mixture in the turkey. If the syringe gets clogged with a bit of seasoning, you will need to flush it out with water and a toothpick.) Sprinkle turkey lightly with salt and pepper.

4.Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles without the thermometer touching the bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 2-1/2 hours.

5.For glaze, in a small saucepan, heat and stir 1/4 cup honey and butter until butter is melted. Stir in remaining parsley, sage, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.

6.Remove turkey from oven. Cut the string between the drumsticks so the thighs will cook evenly. Remove the foil to let the bird brown. Brush about one-third of the glaze over turkey. Return turkey to oven and roast for 30 to 60 minutes more, brushing two more times with remaining glaze, or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and juices run clear.

7.Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Carve turkey into thin slices and, if desired, serve with Apple Cider Sauce. Makes 18 servings.

Apple Cider Sauce

 ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons  butter
  • 3 tablespoons  flour
  • 1 1/2 cups  chicken broth
  • 1 cup  apple cider
  • 1/4 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 2 tablespoons  cider vinegar
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper

directions

1.In a medium saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, broth, apple cider, honey and cider vinegar. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From the Laurie and Pete Dotson and Jeannie and Steve Saum,

We wish you Great Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving Eating !

(P.S. Take your Propolis and Honey and stay healthy this holiday season!)

Psalm 95:2-3  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.