Friday, June 25, 2010

YAY Got Stung By A Bee!!

Today, Sis tells me, "I heard the bees are gathering over at neighbour's place, they will swarm, you might wanna go take a look." (I thought another neighbour told her that, turned out Dad did.)

And they did!

It was soo much FUN watching them (better than TV!), watching what the neighbour will do, getting bits of his wisdom and experience...
(His son and the family were just planning a barbecue, both son and grandson are allergic to bees and can't come near.. so they weren't too thrilled you can imagine.)

I just went there in short sleeves and wooden clogs lol - no headcovering or gloves - wasn't sure what was happening or if the neighbour would let me watch or help.. Mostly I kept safe distance anyway..

Neighbour let me watch and it was highly fascinating! They gathered on the vine and for a while we just watched if they would settle and where the queen bee could be. (They only settle if the queen bee is there.) He used some smoke to get them in a wooden small hive or back to their original hive and to 'calm' them, and then took the rest like a 'grape' over a plastic bucket - and that's when I got stung by a bee who probably thought she's had enough of it all! (probably didn't keep enough safety distance either!:)

I think I probably need to write it down or record it, for future references! :)
Even Dad was fascinated with it all, over lunch - it's good to have some fascinating topics to discuss at lunch lol!

I did get stung by a bee, but this is actually a GOOD thing (not for the poor bee). At least now I know I'm truly not allergic (was a bit scared after all the scary tales of people being allergic.. I only got stung 2x before, and was always more sorry for the poor bee than for myself.) Also, bee venom is supposed to be healthy, so YAY!

Neighbour suggested rubbing it with onion. He doesn't get any reaction, after so many years with the bees - they mostly don't sting him either! (His family members are not so safe though!)

It almost didn't hurt, and after Mum's instructions I put it under VERY hot water (such that you almost can't stand it and put the arm in and out from the tap intermittently - Dad did this with his finger and had no effects at all!)
My arm was a bit red, this almost went away after the wonderful walk I took!
(I hadn't been on a walk for 2+ weeks, being ill and in the house= one cranky Layla! No wonder my blog post yesterday was soo miserable! Must go for a walk EVERY day now!! Even if it rains cats or dogs or caterpillars!!)
I had much worse reactions the previous times when I didn't use hot water and only put vinegar on the stings.. I may experiment with onion next time too.. (I'd LOVE to learn beekeeping without bee stings but I'm being realistic here!)

I googled and found bee sting cures include heat (water or heat from cigarette butt) OR cold (?), OR onion, or some other vegetables - I think tomato was mentioned? (probably would need to check still..)
Grandma says their Mum just told them to put cold knife blade over it, or just dig up some cold earth, if they were outside.. I think some plant leaves were mentioned too.. Hm, this could be a whole separate blog post (or article?) lol!

Apparently, some people are still allergic, it's good to know many can minimize effects with natural means!
I only have the area slightly red - So YAY!! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Relaxation, Mosquito Nets and Re-evaluation of It All..

It's been a while since I last posted, again. /sigh/ What can I say, it's the summer? :)
Meanwhile, Slovenia beat Algeria, almost beat the USA and well - the UK won the other day! (It was too depressing to watch the bad game so I talked to the beekeeper neighbour instead! He told me some cool things!:)
Mind you, I am NOT a football fan, but if Sis and Granny both watched-?? It was a great game, 1st half od SLO:USA game, then I just lost interest lol!
Lots of bees came to drink from a barrel at our house, it was quite interesting.. The neighbour said he thinks bees know if something is toxic and avoid it, I'm not so sure myself..?

We didn't have the eco stand then after all - the event was 'double booked', some kids that would like to partake had a concert on the same day and couldn't, some were not so very much into eco things (or would need to be inspired more!) It was the end of the year...?

Apparently the shop took off the posters we had on the 1st eco stand when cleaning and they disappeared :( we also didn't have any good promo materials anymore (hopefully we'd manage to get or make more during the autumn/winter!) - and I got ill..

No surprise, since everything was quite hectic!
The potatoes needed de-weeding, and as I'm not such a fast expert (yet?) it took a while, basically the whole week, just at the time when we could practise with the kids! - It's not easy to be a wanna-be farmer and eco activist at the same time, sometimes!! I was hugely disappointed with myself! (for not setting it all up better, or earlier on, or getting other people on board to help before!) All the teachers and kindergarten teachers I know were busy with things this time of year too!!(I had no idea I wouldn't have time either!!)

It's all volunteering and goodwill at this time, so basically, who cares?
I do not wonder anymore why the government hasn't done something like that yet - grassroots campaigns etc, raising awareness at local levels - it seems to take talking to a lot of people and well, it's much easier to just build something than do these things!

Still, partly it was a success - creating together with two not-so-eco moms opened up opportunity for discussing eco things (without preaching!) and we had fun too! (One has written an eco song, she sings beautifully! I hope I'll get her to finish it and record it!) And some kids WERE interested! (I just didn't have enough reliable ones to carry the show!) It rained on the day, anyway! (The event still went ahead, but I hear there were not many people/visitors...) So, hopefully we'll create something later on! It would be GREAT to have a team of people who could jump in instead of me if I'm too busy or ill or something...

Partly, I feel burnt out... Part of me just wanted to jump on a plane and go to a totally different part of the world, maybe that is just escapism?
It's very annoying that some people I talked to (and a book by an eco biz expert!) all said that it's better to do things for free/without outside money at first, and later on (maybe next year) apply for EU funding or such.

It's annoying to know a lot of people (and non-profits) do get huge amounts of money for way worse projects than these!! And since I was warned project theft occurs, it's difficult to know who to trust... and to what degree.. (And since we renovated, where are some e-mail addresses I apparently misplaced??)
I think I lost some of the drive and motivation, or maybe it's just the summer? I do hope to get them back!!

My family want me to start earning money with the eco things asap!! Or at least to not lose money with these things! Dad is quite against the eco projects as he sees it as 'nagging' and 'obstruction' and 'slowing things down' - probably does not fancy women butting into men's domains like building and renovation??

I see it as perfect opportunity to educate, inform and inspire suppliers, merchants and manufacturers too.. I have shocked a few sales people when I asked what the window shutters and anti-mosquito nets are made of and if they can be fully recycled lol!!

Dad and Sis just want it done 'as soon as possible'! And I admit for a week it was too hot to research and then I got ill, oh dear.. Better already, hope it all clears soon.. Was wondering whether to try to get a (home) office away from home though, to minimize distraction... I'm officially ill so this minimizes distraction, still the renovations or farm/garden work are somewhat unpredictable.. And I still hate housekeeping, both cooking and dishwashing.. I tried my best last year, but then Dad just asked 'Why are you trying to be a good housekeeper?' (when I was trying to go zero waste) and he didn't appreciate it at all!! (He wants me to get a hotshot job/career and get married and give him grandkids!)
Granny thinks Dad may have onset of Alzheimers too (?) I thought maybe ADD/ADHD.. He didn't know the other day what a gardening concept meant that he taught us!! It hasn't been easy... :( He's behaving now that I was ill but I don't want to have peace only when I'm ill-??

So, I'm still figuring out my options, and hopefully I'll hear about some short-term funding opportunities soon too?
I wrote up some good eco programs/plans, and they could probably get funding too.. And now people just want me to do it all for free? hmm?
It seems I got pulled up too much into the pro bono/volunteer stuff and forgot to work on the profit centers/moneymaking.. I understand my parents too, it seems difficult to clone myself and do two or three different things at a time..

While resting, I read some good books ordered from Bookdepository, on time management and organizing etc.. Some things were quite helpful. I may do some reviews later on.

I did take some pics of the balcony, not sure how wise it is to put it online, color is very specific and I'd prefer to stay a bit incognito? We'll see.. :) Still have 2 balcony windows to paint, it was raining meanwhile and the wood needs to be dry for painting with tung oil too..

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tung Oil, Milkpaint and Farm Work Pending

Sorry I've neglected this blog a bit. Again, lol.

Meanwhile, I've painted the newly glazed balcony with tung oil, after previously painting it with milkpaint (that the neighbour mixed from wallpaint pigment and - you guessed it, milk!) Apparently the Chinese used tung oil to protect their boats 2000 years ago (?) so I hope it would protect the balcony well too - and that it's the 'good' kind! (slightly nutty smell... brings out the beauty of the wood indeed, ideally we'd take this into account when making the balcony, some wood does not have so much beauty, lol! It's mixed with linseed oil, so not sure how 'waterproof' it is, we'll see.. Probably more eco than some other variants though..)

I've also been on a trip with beekeepers and talked to people about starting an eco non-profit locally.. We'll see how it goes..
The balcony and the terrace now have roofs, there's still lots of stuff to do though..
Dad wanted windows and stuff ordered 'now now now' it annoyed me to no end though - when else is there a better opportunity to ask businesses how green their products are than when well, shopping??
Still to call for some window protection - PVC or aluminum? Aluminum is costlier (so Dad says noo!) I really dislike PVC though, so still to find if it's PVC or some less toxic plastics? And apparently aluminom comes with foam added inbetween?? Can this still be recycled then?
I was too cross at Dad to call the company today and find out, sigh.
Dad hates my eco projects and thinks they're a 'hassle' (slowing things down and bloody interfering, sigh). What else can you expect from someone who worked in chemical industry almost all his life??

The 2nd eco stand was planned to be in 2 weeks, we don't have local talent or content available yet, and not sure if we'll get it ready by then??
Why was it planned on the same day the kiddies have a concert already?? Bloody lack of coordination and stuff!!

I've been distracted with this balcony work and now with farm work (ugh! I wish Dad informed us sooner than the night before!) It's very difficult to plan any meetings or phone calls or anything this way!!
Off to de-weed some potatoes, sigh!!!