Hopeful 46/52

Well, we had a visit from the apiarist last week and we had three options for the bees and they were:

  • Find the hive and vacuum the bees out carefully and locate them in another hive.
  • Poison the hive and kill the bees – with the likelihood of bees coming back to the same location.
  • Leave the bees in the roof cavity and let them do their thing and provide a safe haven for them.

So, we tried the first option using a thermometer to find their location as bees in a hive operate at around 37 degrees. We found a potential location – as the area was warmer than the others and then the crowbar went into the ceiling to make a hole and out flew 3 bees, so we were close! Inside the hole and up through the plasterboard we found insulation and decided that it was not worth creating more random holes in our ceiling not knowing exactly where the bees hive is. The problem is that the area where the bees are is above the stairs and it is likely the ceiling cavity which is up to the roof. The roof is the second level of the house and it is too high to access (even for solar panel installers!).

The second option was out as we do not want to kill bees, that would be a terrible thing to do and again you have to get up to the roof to find the location of the hive and then clean everything out including all the wax and honey because if there is a tiny amount left behind the bees will come back.

My husband and I just looked at each other and decided we did not want to create further damage to our renovated house not knowing where the bees are living and then we would have to line up a contractor to help us fix the ceiling. On top of all that, we would have to go up there to put chemicals in there to get rid of excess wax etc. Below is the list the apiarist left with us if we were to say bye to the bees – so we were not too keen at all.

Clean Up
New Bee swarms almost always try to reenter the same area during the swarming season, September to January.

To minimize the potential of this reoccurring the following is strongly recommended, after we’ve removed the bees and hive.

Give yourself up to half a day minimum to do this if a larger hive

Don’t miss a step or take shortcuts……you’ll bee asking for trouble!

  1. Wash all honey out with hot soapy water, OR at certain times of the year other local bees/wasps will clean the honey away better than humans can.
  2. Scrape off and remove all wax with a paint scraper…including any hives located nearby that were previously exterminated. Sand it out if possible. Don’t leave more than a thumbnail of wax in the affected area.
  3. Thickly cover and entomb all the residual waxy film with something environmentally UNFRIENDLY..eg bitumen tar or 3 layers turps based paint
  4. Apply generous expandafoam to affected areas and also adjacent cavities. This is to minimize space for future hives.
  5. Externally cover gaps the thickness of a pencil with mortar, good quality silicone, timber quads etc, within 5-10 meters of the affected area.

In the end, we decided bees around the world have enough to deal with (colony collapse, chemicals, fertiliser, climate change etc) so they can shelter in our ceiling cavity way up high in the sky. We chatted to the apiarist and he said that they are far away from anyone to cause any harm plus they have an incredible array of plants surrounding them to pollinate. We now have 30,000 bee friends living with us, so it is very exciting to watch them go about their day. The bees can guard their honey like gold up there too!

The other thing, it is freezing cold in November with lots of rain as climate change is happening in full force – it is supposed to be spring?!? I discovered that the bees really do not like flying in the rain as when the rain hits them it is like a missile on their little bodies and they can die – so being mindful of all this, why not let the bees live inside the roof cavity.

NEWS ABOUT MS H

Another wonderful thing happened this week with the launch of the Christmas campaign at the Royal Children’s Hospital, have a look at who is the face of the hospital this year. Enjoy here is my darling daughter, her surgeon, and me in an interview about our healing journey ❤️‍🩹 click on the pic to have a read of our interview.

Hopeful 45/52

Now our house is attracting bees to nest inside our roof – I tell you this year has been nonstop drama. Of course, I do not want harm to these amazing insects, so I have had to contact a bee saviour through an Aussie apiarist network to get these guys into a home that will be better suited to them! It has been fun to document the bees that have been hovering around the house but we all think it is preferable that these little guys nest somewhere else.

My garden is loving the rain and today we are not in winter temperatures with a high of 12 degrees! Last week we enjoyed one week of sunny weather until it turned on us again and we are now in the depths of coat-and-hat weather. I am not a fan as I feel I suffer from seasonal affective disorder with these grey clouds! Thank goodness for many cups of tea and woolies to keep me warm.

This last week I have been venturing out and trying new things like running but then I injured myself and had to go to the chiropractor and he suggested I practice my running on grass and softer surfaces to prevent pain in my sacroiliac joint. It has been lovely and free to run around by Merri Creek with lots of trees around in the fresh air and sunshine, it is a perfect nature connection for me!

Last Sunday I started a ceramics wheel throwing course for 6 weeks at a local art studio. I have always loved ceramics since my studio time in Sunnyvale, CA when I did it for at least a couple of years when we lived over there. Now I just want to fill my creative tank with something that balances out the last subject of my Uni course which is mathematics. I am finding the readings so boring but I know I have to get through! I now know what my children feel when it comes to dry subjects in their courses at school, I have to see that light at the end of the tunnel and get through. At least, it is one subject and I can break it up by working 3 days a week from next week until the end of term – this means there will be no time to procrastinate!

A mantra to get through – maths is important as it is a part of our everyday lives. Plus I have to keep up with the High Distinctions and Distinctions that I have been receiving in each unit.

Hopeful 44/52

Nearly 2 million words checked since I began my undergraduate degree in 2016 and today I began my final unit for the course. I still have one placement to go next year and that will be it! It is strange to think that I will not be studying anymore as I really do enjoy it. Today I was procrastinating just a little bit to get going but once I started it was all good!

Last week was a strange one starting with a work PD day with an inspiring talk on indigenous perspectives. I knew it was my last week to play before the teaching period began so I was getting lots of last-minute projects completed like the garden and some sewing ideas. Also, there was a lot of catch-up on the home school assessments for my daughter, I had so much going on the last term with the placement. I finished the week with a well-deserved chiropractor appointment. Oh, and work on Friday was lovely with a small group of 22 children who had a great time outside with no rain.

The sun was out on the weekend at last and I made the most of it by enjoying time in the garden and getting my tomatoes out into the sunshine! In the arvo, I went to see Greenhouse by Joost at the cinema and it was truly inspiring to discover innovative building materials in the house and see the food prepared by the incredible chefs there.

On Sunday I started walking to learn to run and it was a lot of fun as my plan is to run by the creek in amongst the bushes and the trees. I have a couple of friends who choose to run for their exercise so I thought why not give it a go it felt so free! We shall see how I go, the woman at the trainer store today said 6 weeks in this mode and take it from there. Maybe in the new year I will be able to run like the wind?

Hopeful 43/52

It was hospital week this week and time to visit the clinic and talk to the burns team. It had been a while since I had been to the hospital and it was good to see that there was a monarch butterfly on the sculpture in the atrium. We took the tram in and it was so easy as it stops right outside the hospital. Ms H is doing really well with her skin healing – patience and consistency is the key. We are also on the waiting list for laser surgery to happen in the next couple of months. Overall, the physio exercises are helping with the skin movements where her OT also discussed areas to focus on her hands so it reduces tightness. She also spoke to her social worker and had some photographs documented. Always a big day at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

My favourite day of the year is Halloween though being in Australia it is beginning to wane due to the lack of enthusiasm by me to make a costume and no parties to go to. There was a great opportunity to go to the kindergarten disco for my work so I went out to hang out with the children for an hour or so dressed in my owl costume. Now that costume took me at least a month to make with all the fabric scraps and it is inspiring me to make another bird of some kind – maybe I can think of an Australian bird for next year, perhaps a rainbow lorikeet! My son made a costume as No Face from the Miyazaki film Spirited Away.

Hopeful 42/52

Another week flew by and we land on the weekend as my oldest was ill on his birthday, I organised a family day out to see the Paul Yore exhibit at ACCA which for me was incredible! I really enjoyed walking through all the rooms beginning with the needlework and embroidery to the more immersive pieces examining capitalism. The family was not so keen on the artwork but we did have some excellent discussions about the artwork.

After our time in the gallery, we were famished and ready for a family lunch together. On our way home, we all enjoyed a Sri Lankan feast with hoppers, string hoppers, and pol sambol. This was my second time here and it is always delicious.

To continue the art theme over the weekend my friend and I went on another adventure to a show in Brunswick East where we checked out the art studios and the art created from items that may otherwise be discarded. It was so inspiring!

I ended the weekend with some mini golf with my friends from work and we played 18 holes – this sugar skull was my favourite! Afterward, we enjoyed a delicious pub meal at the Cornish Arms hotel which has plenty of vegan options on the menu. Such a busy weekend and so much fun.

Hopeful 41/52

This was my first week of freedom on my uni break! So I spent time catching up on organising my space and also worked an extra day which was great to actually meet the group of children I was supposed to work with at the beginning of this year.

It was also time to catch up with my friend who enjoys hanging out at the University of Melbourne! We found the Science Gallery accidentally and we wanted to check out their new exhibition Swarm. It focussed on whether you are “hardwired to be part of the pack”. The exhibits were interactive and lots of fun. We sang to fruit flies to see if they reacted to our voices on their own little dance floor, we listened to the internet with lots of speakers hanging from the ceiling plus we also listened to plants talk to each other! We saw a synthetic pollenizer flower and sat on a toilet listing to data scraping from Instagram pages which were very scary indeed. There was 3D printed food and listening to stories from indigenous people of our land.

The cat artwork was a random wall art in the city when we went to lunch at Crossways, a tasty feast of curry and rice and papadams with dessert and salad. Overall, I am enjoying my free time and making the most of it by preparing some fabric to do some sewing next week! So good to catch up on the garden and all the other hobbies that I miss when I have been studying and working.

Hopeful 40/52

A beautiful full moon was in our skies last weekend and it was just stunning. It was a week of completing my last assignment for the teaching period plus many other fun activities that I had on my calendar.

The first event was a volunteering event out in Fawkner with the Merri Creek Management Committee, where I was weeding out invasive plants in their open spaces. What a job that is, when you think you have got them all you look from another perspective and there is more. It seemed so overwhelming but it means that there are fewer seeds around to reproduce as we pull these plants out roots and all.

I was also getting rid of furniture and bringing in some beautiful new pieces into our house. It was also my first day back at work for term 4 with the echidna 3-year-old crew. My friend also wanted me to join her for a gig out to see Allara and Olenka on Friday night which I loved!

Over the weekend I enjoyed some time out with my friend for brunch and spent time with the parents of children I work with at a working bee clearing out stuff at work. For Saturday night dinner we caught up with friends for Italian and then went out wombat wandering under the full moon. It is so good to feel that life is full again!

Hopeful 39/52

Overall our 8 days in Queensland turned out to be pretty relaxed with lots of sunny warm weather and a trip to the city to go to the Gallery of Modern Art. I could not visit Queensland without a trip to the beach so I would get up earlier and go for a wander along the beach to do my exercise in the sunshine. I could not resist a photo with the pride flag stairs leading to the Queensland Conservatory of Music 🌈

Hopeful 38/52

Finally, the time came for us to fly away in an aeroplane! This trip to Queensland was cancelled twice due to covid and now we have made it to the sunshine state. I am so glad I am here in the Spring, with the temperature in the mid-20s, it is so hot and humid. H is suffering from wearing the pressure garments as the fabric does not breathe too well. Well, at least it prepares her for summer in Melbourne and staying up in her room in the shade. It seems like the longest weekend so far, as we only arrived on Friday as we are in holiday mode and sharing a bungalow with two teens it seems the time has just slowed right down. I still have to be motivated to study as well, which can be pretty easy with no distractions from crappy free-to-air TV.

We spent time with the family yesterday and today my son met a friend who lives locally and we went out to a Tex Mex joint for lunch – Cactus Jacks. As we are wandering around, I have been admiring the amazing spring gardens here as anything can grow in this sunny weather. My mum’s garden is flourishing with lavender and a rare-looking monstera. Plus, I am loving the warm change of weather and seeing the sun every day with the wonderful bird sounds in the morning. The nighttime has plenty of scary sounds, so I did some research and they are just possums and bats fighting in the darkness.