Something happened between the time of my last blog entry and now. It has been six years! Feels like a whole lot more than that.
First thing that happened was I got a job. So of course all of my self employment endeavors came to an end… at least put on hold. I did work on the bee hive but that had to fold as well since my job required me to relocate.
Fast forward to the present. I have retired, sold my house, bought a cargo van, and plan to live as a vagabond. I am not interested in living in one place or being tied to home maintenance. I wish to travel around the country on back roads, visit family and friends, and enjoy all the natural wonders that exist out there. Come along with me as I continue to follow my heart and explore whatever this world has to offer.
Today is my birthday. It has been very nice. People on Facebook are reminded of the day and wish me well. Old friends out of the blue call me up or e-mail me and surprise me with their thoughts of happiness. A simple gift of a piece of chocolate cake from my roommate. What could be better? Life is good. I am content.
I get to do whatever I want. How many people in this world get to say that? I thrill over just being able to sit here writing my blog and listen to Pandora with headphones on my head. Music is such a wonderful gift. Crash Test Dummies, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman (Grateful Dawg), Maria Callas, and Patti Smith. Don’t forget to sing along.
I just got back from a trip across the country to visit my brother who I haven’t seen for over 15 years. Surprised the shit out of him! It was great. And I got to see his three sons, my nephews, as well. We are all getting old. Life goes on regardless of what choices you make or opportunities you let slip by. I am trying my best to not let opportunities get away.
Honey bees are very interesting creatures. They are a matriarchal society and extremely organized. The reason I am discussing them is I am officially becoming a beekeeper, otherwise known as apiarist. I did some research and took a beekeeping class from Paul Cronshaw (“The Beeman”) at Fairview Gardens ( http://www.fairviewgardens.org/). Next step: build a beehive. The plans for building the highly popular 10-frame Langstroth Beehive are readily available online at The Bee Source (http://www.beesource.com/). I bought a 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ sheet of plywood last night and will start cutting the boards for the hive today. I’m so excited!
Honey bees do wonderful things for us. Did you realize that without these workers we would suffer a serious food shortage? Their top job is to pollinate plants many of which are the plants that produce our fruits, vegetables, nuts, wine grapes, hops for beer, etc. And recently several perils are affecting the mere existence of the honeybee. Their numbers have been dwindling. Many things have been identified as killers of the bees so beekeepers are becoming more and more vital to the survival of the honeybee and as stewards to the survival of U.S. agriculture. Beekeepers can travel across the country with their hives to service crops in need of pollination. ROAD TRIP!!!
Now about honey. Some people say that taking honey from a beehive is stealing from the bees. In the purest sense, this is true. But bees who live in southern California rarely need to depend on stores of honey for survival since normally there are nectar bearing flowers available to them year round. This is especially true for the urban bee with households maintaining flower gardens in their yards. So honey is a big perk for beekeepers.
Another direct product from the bee is beeswax. Did you know that burning beeswax candles produce no soot? And it’s great for polishing wood… and surf boards. Actually, the list of uses for beeswax is HUGE! I will have to develop the list for myself as my wax stash grows.
Enough blogging. I must begin building. I will post photos to document my progress in future posts. Sign up for your very own bottle of pure, organic honey real soon.
I better get cracking on launching my business. Being unemployed I cannot use the excuse that I have no time. I applied for an Etsy account and did a few things to set up my store but mostly have been spending lots of my time researching and reading all sorts of online information about starting a business. Etsy has a tremendous online source of information and various methods of support. After all, if the Etsy stores are successful then Etsy is successful as well. But I am feeling frozen in my efforts. This is all new to me and I suppose I am afraid of failure. Classic, right? So I have an appointment to meet and discuss my business plans with someone from SCORE counseling. SCORE (http://www.score.org) is “a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed” according to their website. Maybe with some hand-holding I can get past my fear and jump into the task at hand. Discipline versus procrastination.
The desire is to be sole proprietor of my own company and spend my days doing the kind of work that I enjoy. I have a few ideas for what I would like to pursue as a business besides selling my handcrafted jewelry. Starting a small farm on my property is another. When I eventually move onto the property to live full time I hope to add chickens, goats, sheep, possibly alpacas, and a fish pond for talapia. I could still continue my jewelry business and expand into fiber arts thanks to the generosity of my four-legged friends. Wish me luck or, better still, kick me in the butt and say “get cracking!”
The new job just ended. It was NOT a good fit for me and apparently for the owner . I am not a willing victim. I have a problem with lack of respect from an employer and do not buy into the concept that anyone is better than anyone else in this universe. I witnessed so much drama and verbal attacks on several employees in the short time I was at this job and it sickened me. People are frozen in fear and walking on eggshells. Job safety conditions are also a serious concern for me and the company uses a lot of high health-risk acids and solvents but behaves as though they are using very small quantities. No thank you. Life is too short. I’m sorry to leave my coworkers because they are all wonderful and good people. I wish them all the best.