April 21, 2024

Well, of course they'd issue a frost warning!

This is blog post #400 here at Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway. I don't have anything profound to say, but I will say thanks for coming along with me as I record my day-to-day life as a country girl.

Yesterday was a beautiful day! Blue skies, gentle breeze, and abundant sunshine. I went out to my garden and sowed some seeds, and decided to get the begonias into the planters. I'd checked the ten-day forecast and the overnight lows weren't all that low. 

Well...What a difference a day makes. Now, today, there is a frost warning for tonight. Go figure. 

Losing a few wax plants won't matter much in the overall scheme of things, but I went out and bagged the lot of them with plastic grocery bags. Will it make a difference? Hell if I know. Will it really frost tonight is the bigger question. 

I knew it was risky when I planted them. All I can do now is see what the night brings. I have more plants if some of them don't make it. Be prepared they say.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, frost warning, gardening, begonias, wax plants, country lifestyle, rural living, taking chances, spring weather, weather watch 

April 19, 2024

The 2024 garden - ready, set, go!

The clock is ticking. One by one, it's time to plant the 2024 garden. The cabbage is already in and the strawberries are next, maybe even today if our fifty percent chance of showers proves to be no showers. 

All the buckets and grow bags have been filled with amended soil. It was a huge job, but worth it. Next year, I won't need to dump each of them and remix. I'll need to add a few nutrients to each container and use that nice auger bit Ron got me to loosen the soil and mix in the feed. 

Refilling all the containers was hard work. I got a scoop of garden mix soil from the local nursery to refresh the dirt and got to work. I worked across several days so I didn't wear myself out and it was time well spent. I'm determined to pace myself. Ron's passing has left me with a lot of hours to fill. I don't need to hurry through my tasks so that I can return to being his caregiver. I didn't realize how many hours a day I spent caring for him, not that I regret or resent any of them. 

I'm eager to get a plant in each container, but I must have patience. I must wait on the weather. Always before, Ron was my "weatherman," advising me of frost warnings and overnight low temps, and the possibility of afternoon storms. Now I have to remember to check the weather apps every day. Taking a daily screenshot is easier than opening the app multiple times a day, at least for me. 

I will miss Ron's company as I spend time in my little garden. He would pick a sunny spot and talk to me while I worked. When I finished, I'd sit in my garden chair and we'd talk of idle things while sharing memories or wistful thoughts. Deuce is good company, but he's a quiet sort. 

I suspect this next year will be full of bittersweet moments. I just hope they don't overwhelm me and make 2024 my last garden.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, weather apps, country lifestyle, rural living, bittersweet, black Lab dog, frost warnings, life after loss, container gardening, cabbage, strawberries

April 10, 2024

i didn't need them, but...

I'm not called The Mad Canner just for fun. I earned the moniker. Earlier today I had to go to town for a few things and made a stop at Walmart. I always check the aisle the canning supplies are in because YNK (you never know). 

Well! Imagine my surprise to find 140th Anniversary limited edition Ball jars! I didn't know they existed. I'm on the mailing list to receive new product notifications from Ball and I didn't get anything about these jars. 

I may be "single" again, but I'll still can. What a blessing it has been to be able to grab a jar of something off the pantry shelf and have an instant dinner. 

What will I put in my fancy jars? I'm not really sure but I think perhaps blueberry pie filling. A pint jar is perfect for a six-inch pie which is perfect for the single person. 

So many different things to consider these days. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, Ball canning jars, country lifestyle, rural living, home food preservation, blueberry pie, living single

March 22, 2024

Trust your instincts


It's not good news. Today the Lord of the Manor will undergo a biopsy. He has a mass in his lung.

My grandmother would frequently admonish me to trust my instincts. She was spot on, and I did. I knew there was something more serious going on with him than what the doctors knew. I didn't know what it was, but I knew. 

I wasn't surprised when the doctor said the scan showed a mass. Himself smoked most of his life. He gave them up on October 18, 2006, smoking his last cig in the parking deck at Johns Hopkins before going in to have half his liver removed. That was cancer, too. My father smoked and he died from lung cancer so I've been down this road before. I don't think the Lord of the Manor was surprised, either. I think he sensed it but said nothing. 

Where we go from here is a bit unclear. He has decisions to make. It's his life and his body. He has to decide what he's willing to endure in the way of treatment. Having survived cancer almost twenty years ago, he knows what chemotherapy is like and he stated in the past he doesn't want to go through it again. I'm not sure I have the authority to force him. I was beside him before and it was horrible for him. They also serve who only stand and wait. 

I don't know what this day will bring. I only know I will trust my instincts as I stand and wait, and I will support the man I love in whatever decision he eventually makes. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, cancer, instincts, rural living, chemotherapy, country lifestyle, life decisions, treatments

March 18, 2024

My favorite part of spring

The daffodils are in full bloom! It's my favorite time of spring. I've spent years planting daffodil bulbs all through the woods and all over the manor, and it's beginning to pay off. Down in the lower forty, there are blooms scattered about, enough that I can see the areas I need to plant this year. 

Planting daffs in the woods may seem silly. Flowers need sunlight to thrive! In early spring, the trees still need to put out leaves. The daffs get plenty of sunshine. 

I'm getting older and smarter, too. Yesterday, I was giving the lane its spring tidying with the John Deere 1023 tractor, so I took a moment to drag the backhoe bucket through the trees to make a little trench. When I separate the largest daffodil clumps, I'll have a place to drop the bulbs and dirt to cover them. My knees will be grateful. Shoveling can be hard on them. 

There are more annual chores to be accomplished. The mobile lawnmower repair man is due to arrive today to change the oil, put in a new spark plug, sharpen the blades, and if necessary, put in a new air filter. I paid a good price for the John Deere x370 mower and I like to keep it serviced. 

I hope the daffodils are still blooming at the end of this week when the Lord of the Manor will return home from his stint in a care facility. It's anyone's guess if he'll get to see them next spring. 

In the bulb there is a flower

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
in cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be, 
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There's a song in ev’ry silence, seeking word and melody.
There's a dawn in ev’ry darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, John Deere 1023, John Deere x370, daffodils, care facility, In the bulb, country lifestyle, rural living, end of life

March 10, 2024

March crocus and March winds


My mother's garden was full of little "snow" crocus. I'm not sure how she accomplished it! I've tried to get the smaller varieties established on the manor but to no avail. This property seems to support the larger varieties, and that's really okay. 

Years ago I planted a row along the eastern side of the patio and finally - finally! - this year they really put on a bit of a show. I wish the Lord of the Manor was here to enjoy it with me. 

It seems strange that I've spent over forty years planting bulbs all over the place and I still don't seem to have enough crocus, daffodil, tulips, snow glories, and bluebells. I've reconciled myself that I never will have my woods full of daffodils, or if I do, I'll be dead before I see it again the next spring. Such is life. 

Today was the classic March day - rain, wind, sunshine, snow squalls, fluffy white clouds, blue sky, and then do it all over again. I hated to go outside in the wind, but the Lord of the Manor is in rehab for physical therapy and I'd promised him coffee from home. Now that I've returned home, I think a cup of tea in front of the wood stove may be in order.  

March always brings a mixed bag of weather that can be frustrating to those living in rural areas. I, and many others, are eager to be outside preparing for a garden and tidying the yard. A cold, wet, and windy March doesn't lend itself to such activities. 

Some days my outside activities are no more than walking around the property and observing what is blooming. And some days, that's enough.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, March, crocus, daffodils, bulbs, country lifestyle, rural living, gardening, yard work, tea, coffee, weather



February 28, 2024

The first daffodils of 2024


I've been searching for a ray of hope and sunshine this past week. With the Lord of the Manor in the hospital once again, I've been struggling to hold "it" together. Running back and forth to see him, giving Deuce the necessary attention, taking care of household matters, and lastly, taking care of me is exhausting. I confess to increasing moments of despair. 

In the midst of it all, I looked out the window this morning. I mean I really looked out at the yard and the woods for more than to check the weather. I saw the early yellow daffodils blooming. And I cried. 

My grandmother consistently called daffodils Easter flowers. It used to annoy me, but I'd give a lot to be able to hear her say those words again. 

The hidden bulbs that push forth the sunny yellow flowers remind me that good things lie beneath it all and are working toward goals I can't fathom. 

Sometimes, I need to give those forces time to unfold the blessings coming my way.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, daffodils, Easter, blessings, rural living, gardens, country lifestyle, grandmother, hidden agenda

February 21, 2024

Where did they come from?

We've certainly had some nice, sunny days this February. And the countdown to spring stands at twenty-seven days! Deuce and I took full advantage of the sunshine and fifty-degree temps this afternoon. I "worked" and the dog wandered about the yard.

I don't worry about him when we're outside. He's eight, and disappearing off the property is something he's yet to do. Even when we walk down the lane and Cousin Dave is outside, Deuce will look at me and wait for me to tell him it's okay before he trots down to meet his favorite cousin. 

So I worked at various things. One of my woodpiles was hastily stacked and I've hated looking at it all winter. The cousin insisted I put skids (pallets) down, which did not work. For one thing, critters took up residence in the dry space the pallets provided. Not good, not good. The second thing was the skids themselves. They were old and they collapsed under the weight of the firewood. Oops. Sorry, not sorry Mr. Possum. Your squatter rights have been rescinded! 

Anyway, I restacked the firewood the way my grandfather used to do it. I used two trees as end supports and stacked as high as my head. Then I moved to the other side of one of the trees and stacked to the next tree. It not only looks good, but it created a little windbreak for when we split firewood for the 2025-26 season. My woodyard will be nice and tidy for the summer. 

But that's not why I'm writing about today. Before I started stacking, Deuce and I took a stroll around the manor. I spotted crocus blooming in a spot where I've never planted crocus bulbs. I can only assume the wind played a big part in it. 

Spring will be here in the blink of an eye. It'll be time to switch to full gardening mode. I'm grateful for these sunny days that give me the opportunity to get so many things off my to-do list before the summer heat hits and I melt. Melting is just not pretty.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, crocus, spring, seasons change, firewood, yard work, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, black Labrador Retriever, gardening

February 17, 2024

Four to eight inches - sounds risque but it's not

 

We went to bed last night with a fair amount of dread hanging over us. The weather forecast was for up to eight inches of snow. I anticipated a morning spent on the John Deere 1023 pushing snow. I should have known better. Once again, the weather guessers missed the mark. 

Yes, it did indeed snow. I put the total at 2.5 inches. That puts our February 2024 total-to-date at 10.5 inches. Not bad for us in our little micro-climate, in fact, it's typical of the snows we get. Historically we get a lot of these little snows in January and February. 

I'm happy not to need to hop on the tractor and push snow in the cold. I did go out (in my slippers) and take a measurement and a few pictures, though. We don't need to go anywhere today, and if I did decide to make a fast trip to the grocery, the Colorado is a 4x4. No problem. 

The snow covering the trees is lovely in the morning light. I've created a page for the photos here

I'm not sure what this day will look like now. I'd planned to be outside for an hour or so, but that won't happen. I'll take Deuce for his morning stroll and come back inside. I can enjoy the snowy woods just as much from the comfort of my recliner. Some days, I like to act my age. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, snowfall, rural living, country lifestyle, winter weather, John Deere 1023, snow removal, Colorado 4x4, beautiful woods, snowy woods

February 16, 2024

The impulse purchase - it's not a bad thing!

I confess. I do shop at Walmart from time to time. They have quite a few pantry items at much lower prices than the local grocery. For example, our favorite Ragu spaghetti/pasta sauce is $.71 cheaper per jar. If I'm re-stocking the pantry with ten jars, that's quite a savings. 

So I was at Walmart, and I took the opportunity to wander around in the garden department to see what was already set out for the season. The seed packets called me over. It was a summons I couldn't ignore. Seriously! It was not my fault!!

Joking aside, I've been thinking I should include more flowers for the bees in my garden. The Lord of the Manor has, in one of his rare absolute authoritarian edicts, forbidden me a beehive. Okay, so he's scared of bees. He can't stop me from feeding the wild ones, ergo, flowers in the garden patch. Last year, the bees "worked" the begonias and marigolds, so expansion is called for in 2024.

I've got a seed starting area set up in the den using grow lights. This will be the first year for it and I hope it works out. In past years I've set seed trays in the sunroom, but that is also my office. With everything else going on this spring, I don't need that chaos in my workspace. Add to that I plan to reinstall the shade cloth over the sunroom porch around the first of April. That cloth blocks a lot of sunlight and keeps my office space cooler in the summer, but it would also block sunlight the sprouts need. 

The first of March is my target date for seed starting. A little before or a few days late matters not. Some time between the middle and end of April, the seedlings will migrate to the greenhouse to harden-off, and then be planted in the appropriate container around the first of May. And then we can sit in the garden and watch everything grow until it's time to harvest. 

I really think having lots of flowers mixed in with the veggies will be pretty to see and help create a relaxing area. I hope so, anyway.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, seed starting, gardening, rural living, country lifestyle, shade cloth, greenhouse, container planting, beehive, seed packets, seasonal living, organization, planning

February 4, 2024

Hard work helps

 

The past two weeks have not been anything to brag about. The Lord of the Manor's illness has tested us yet again, and this time we've failed. It's easy to blame one or the other, but we've both allowed anxiety to overcome us. It has not been pretty. However...

The Lord of the Manor's situation is improving, and I've taken the opportunity to escape the house. Granted, I'm only doing things I'd be doing anyway, but it's away from his demands. Today went well. Yesterday, not so much.

We're in the middle of what the old-timers call the January thaw. Yes, it started in January so the term applies. Yesterday and today, the weather was perfect for this time of year and I took full advantage of it. 

  • Pick up sticks and limbs blown down
  • Burn the sticks; brush
  • Bring over firewood
  • Spread mulch from tree-trimmers on tractor path
  • Restack parts of the woodpile needing it (sort out the too-long pieces and throw on brush pile)
  • Spread clean crush gravel
  • Prepare and set Brush Crusher 4200 on the new pallet

City dwellers may think that a short list, but anyone living out in the country knows just how much time is involved. And I did all that while running in and out of the house to check on the ailing partner, doing a load of laundry, and preparing two meals and an evening snack each day.

I may be woman, and I may roar, but bedtime is nine o'clock. 

I'm very pleased to have this "pre-spring" clean-up almost finished. I've got one spot to get the fallen sticks and limbs from as soon as the ground dries up enough to get the tractor in there. 

What did I do before I got the John Deere 1023? I worked harder! The tractor is a game changer. 

I wish I could say I feel at least a smidgeon of guilt about running out on an ailing spouse, but I don't. The outside work is therapy for me. I'm physically tired, but I feel so much better. Today there were no harsh words spoken on either side. This is a good thing. 

Tomorrow will bring another test. I need to go to the landfill, and I must stop at UPS to send an item back to Amazon. How will he react to being left alone? Will he be patient and stay in his recliner and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee? Or will he pull another stunt and end up lying on the floor until I get home and pick him up? 

It's a coin toss, but I will leave and run my errands in the morning. And when I return home, hopefully, I'll be able to get into the lower section of the woods for the deadwood. 

Spring is coming, though. Working in the woods, I've spotted daffodil sprouts everywhere! It gives me hope that this time of trial will pass and I'll come out the other side even stronger. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holy Tree Manor, The Hideaway, John Deere 1023, Brush Crusher 4200, rural living, country lifestyle, daffodils, caregivers, firewood

January 27, 2024

When life gets a little too real


The last week or so brought some of the most difficult days I've lived through. The Lord of the Manor fell seriously ill and was transported to the local hospital by ambulance. His diagnosis was both simple and complicated -a UTI. 

For most people, that's serious. For him, it's deadly. We're still waiting for word as to whether or not his kidney transplant was affected. I'm actually reassured that his kidney specialist didn't blow up his phone trying to reach him. 

I brought him home and he promptly pulled a stunt that landed him on the floor. Harsh words ensued. I didn't want to bring him home. I wanted him to do a stint in rehab where he would get better care.

It's not that I don't look after him, but I needed a respite. Not that anyone cared, obviously. 

It's very difficult to care for someone who fights you every step of the way. I've lost some respect for him, and certainly my feelings for him took a beating. One shouldn't abuse the person who feeds you (and does a whole lot of other things for you).  There will be repercussions in the coming months, although none of them will be life-threatening. Just annoying and very frustrating. 

It's easy to excuse the behavior and the words by telling oneself "he was sick." He was. But I believe he counted on that and used illness to drop the filters and say things he'd thought for a long time. 

In the early stages of my mother's dementia, she said things to me that I recognized as the filters giving way. She said the things she really thought about me and it hurt me deeply. The repercussion of that is that she is in a total care facility. I handle her affairs, but not her. 

Will this difficult time pass? Yes. They always do. But I am already changed by it. Too many of my "what ifs" came to life this past week and the events didn't leave me where I thought they would. I'm in an entirely different space. 

Sometimes a woman needs shelter when life gets too real, and the pity is when there is no shelter to be found anywhere. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, illness, dementia, infection, country lifestyle, rural living, healthcare, hopelessness, depression, emotional abuse


January 20, 2024

Another day of snowy weather followed by sunshine

Yesterday was one of those days that we didn't bother to dress in street clothes. Yes, the Lord and Lady of Manor spent the day in flannels and slippers. I think it did us a world of good to take a day off from everything, or almost everything. He watched an old movie and I "worked" on the computer. When the snow stopped, I ventured out and took a measurement.  So add this to what we got a few days ago, and it's eight inches for the week. That's pretty good for us. 

Today dawned bright and clear! Lots of sunshine and only a few fluffy clouds. I hopped on the John Deere 1023 and ran the snow pusher in and out the lane a few times, cleaned off and started the vehicles, took Deuce on a walk-about, and shoveled the sunroom porch for His Majesty Loki. The cat wants out, but let his furry little paws touch the snow? No. 

Deuce is a different matter. He wanted to go romp so off we went. I even managed to get a video of our short stroll and get it uploaded. The link to it is below. 

A couple of snow days a year are good for my soul. I always resented having to drive to the day job when it snowed. The last ten years I worked, I didn't. I worked from home. Some change in the world is good. 

Snow falling is beautiful and peaceful. In the woods, everything stops to watch, eve the squirrels. I stepped out onto the patio (it's covered and screened) for a few moments just to listen the quiet, and to reflect on how very blessed I am to live on the mountain. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway





Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, black Labs, snow, snow days, rural living, country lifestyle, snowfall, a writer's life, Deuce's Day, KC Kendricks, YouTube video of black Lab, John Deere 1023

January 16, 2024

A real snow day


The weather guesses got it right! I woke to snow - real snow - on the ground. We had about three inches at nine o'clock this morning, but the forecast for my location is up to six inches. We'll see. It is still coming down. 

Snow on the ground means it's time to burn the brush pile. So I did. It's still smoldering, and I should put my jeans and boots back on and go shove everything back to the center of the burn, but I don't think I will. The recent winds brought down a lot of small limbs and the brush pile will grow again. 

There are a lot of things I could accomplish today. The current work-in-progress is at chapter ten. The writer side of me is pleased it's that far along and says I should work on it. 

The retired me says it's a snow day and I should READ a book, not WRITE one. The retired me says put on a pair of warm flannels, fix a cup of tea, and simply watch it snow. 

But I think the me who likes to work on her family tree is going to win. I've collected a lot of obituaries over the years, and I'm on a mission to see where they fit in the genealogy. I think if I work on that for a couple of hours, I'll be ready to settle down and write for a bit. 

Unless Deuce and I go play in the snow. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, snow, black Labs, genealogy research, a writer's life, rural living, country lifestyle, family tree, snowstorm Heather, weather guessers, KC Kendricks, Rayne Forrest, gay romance fiction

January 9, 2024

Dreary days

It's a given that our Mid-Atlantic January will be full of dreary days. We had a day of sunshine yesterday, but we knew this storm system was coming. I'm grateful it's rain and not snow, although I am seeing the occasional odd snowflake. 

We're warm and dry. The woodstove is cranking out the BTUs, but since the Lord of the Manor isn't feeling too well these days, we've cycled the heat pump to bump it up a notch. 

We doggy-sat Sadie this morning, and I think the weather brought out an entirely different side of the dog. She was not her usual nice little girl. Ohhhh, no. She paced the floor, refusing to sit or lie down, and trying to use telepathy on us. She stuck her head through the cat port to try to get to Loki's feeder and getting her loose wasn't fun. I took her outside for her outside activities, and she almost pulled me off my feet. It was so bad I did give her a yank, which she ignored. 

But not even Sadie was a diversion from the weather. I spent some time writing, and then an hour or so doing some promo while I had that "forbidden" third cup of coffee. The wind is constant, and my sunroom office gives me a good view of the treetops swaying back and forth. So far, only one dead stick has hit the ground. The rain is good for the trees, though. 

With the rain beating on the windows, I got this notion I should take a picture of the raindrops. It was harder than it seemed, but it's a good record of this dreary January day. 

It does make one appreciate the sunny days even more.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, rainy days, winter storms, January weather, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, sunshine, high winds, maple trees, coffee 

January 6, 2024

First snow of 2024: Recollections of days gone

The weather forecast was, as usual, all about *could*. We could get snow. We could get rain. We could get a mix. I didn't doubt we were going to have precipitation because Loki the Cat took up residence on the corner of the bed and would not be roused even for a hit of his cat crack (Temptations Mix-up cat treats). 

It's actually snowing - the first snow of 2024. Part of me wants to bundle up and go outside with the dog, and another part of me wants to go downstairs to the den and read beside the woodstove. Since I'm blogging, it's a good guess I'm doing neither.  

At this hour, the forecast stands at 4-8 inches. That's quite a spread. They always leave themselves room to be wrong. I'm not too worried about it. I have a well-stocked pantry and more than enough firewood to make it through a day or two. The snow-pusher is mounted on the John Deere 1023 but I doubt I'll need to use it. The Colorado is 4x4, and eight inches of snow won't be a problem for it if some emergency happens and I have to go out. 

Back in the days when my mother was herself, snow was the impetus for phone calls. As soon as one of us spotted snow, we called and when the other answered, we did a little sing-song of "it's snowing, it's snowing I saw it fiiirrst!". It was something we did, without fail, and Alzheimer's took that from us. 

They say with Alzheimer's the person is still inside there, somewhere. I don't see that with my mother. Who she was is gone, and who she is now is a stranger. 

The snow is lovely as it falls to ground. Even the sad memories can't detract from its beauty. It tears at my heart to remember how much Mom loved to see it snow. She won't even see it from her room in the nursing home. 

So I take a deep breath and let go of what I can't change. And I watch the snow fall and I remember for both of us. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, snow, Alzheimer's Disease, mother, memories, cats, games, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, loss of parent

January 1, 2024

Honey Bee jars


I confess. I love the Ball Keepsake jars.  I scored eight of the Honey Bee keepsake jars and now I need a special project to use them. 

Part of my garden plan for 2024 is to grow more herbs and freeze-dry them. That may be the perfect use for these honey bees. We'll have to see as the season develops. 

It's never silly to use and enjoy the things you like. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway


Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, Ball jars, Honey Bee, gardening, herbs, home food preservation, collectors