Sunday, September 30, 2007

Winterizing the Bees

The Bees - the one colony that survived the summer - is now set (as far as I can make them) for the winter. This was not a stellar year - of the three colonies (one overwintered, two purchased, plus a new queen) only one survived - either Minnesota Hygenic or Carniolan, I'm not sure.

This year we did everything we knew to do: serviced for varroa mites, prepared winter syrup, placed a pollen patty in for extra nutrition, treated for foulbrood, and (of course) buttoned up the entrance to the smallest hole. I know not what else to do.

Next year I'm planning to order another three hives - if the overwinter one survives, so much the better, we just have to get another hive. That's okay. This is a hobby which, by failing, I seem to be getting sucked into more.

I love beekeeping!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Future

Nighean gheal and I had a brief interesting dicussion on the future. It began when nighean bhan asked what a fortune teller was. I told her it was someone who purported to tell the future, and that we, as Christians and followers of Jesus, were not to engage in such practices (Deuteronomy 18: 9-14, Isaiah 8: 18-19). Only God knows the future, I told her.

Then nighean gheal said "Sometimes I think that the future won't be good." I responded "Yes, but we know God is there through it. He says He will always be with us." "I'll try and remember that" she said, and then we had moved on.

Good enough, and I hope she does - but do I?

I get terribly upset and concerned about things over which I have no control. I worry about the future world of my children. But do I account for God in the future? Do I try and remember that?


I apologize for the absence, but have been fighting a deep depression over the last two weeks.

Partially, I think it's due to the fact that I have let work get out of control. My associate leaving has created a work load to be distributed between myself and one other. Looking at the piles depressed me, depressing me caused the work to seem even larger, and what I accomplished even more insignificant.

This then feeds into the equation of feeling that one's life is being wasted. What am I truly accomplishing (in the big picture) by doing what I do? I don't save lives, I don't convert souls, I don't truly feel like I am contributing anything, that I am a little person performing useless tasks which will have no meaning 10 years hence, let alone 100.

And then I more depressed, and then I eat (using food as the one thing I can control), and then I get more depressed.

So I cried and yelled at God. Alot. Then I fasted today, and prayed that God would help me see some hope.

Did anything drastic change? No. We had a nice birthday dinner for nighean bhan, she went to AB, nighean gheal stayed home watching a movie (she felt ill - probably too much sugar and fat), and nighean dhonn got read and went to bed. Nothing earthshattering I fear - except the knowledge that this is what I have been given - and certainly the lives (and spiritual destinies) of my children and my wife will last far beyond 100 years - eternally, in fact.

So thankful none the less - and hopeful to boot!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seed Day

I received my seeds in the mail yesterday - 2 kinds of broccoli, cabbage, leeks, and an ancient (low gluten) wheat.

It is odd how something relatively simple (and cheap) can give a person so much pleasure. The cost was under $10.00. The anticipation of what I can do with them is, as they say, priceless.

The lesson here, I think, is that cost never total equals enjoyment - or usefulness. Done right, these seeds will lower some of our food costs, and be another sample of doing something which directly contibutes to my family - which makes me feel good.

And the challenges which come from there - planting early, doing my composting better, trying different amendments to the garden (not always successfully, I'll add) - give me pleasurable work, far removed from that which seemingly grabs so much of my time now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Driving to Work

Traffic to work has seemingly been getting worse - it takes a fully 90 -100 minutes to get to work, where previously it took 80-85 minutes. The worst part of it is simply the fact that I don't look forward to the arrival.

It hit me this morning that this is an intolerable thing. I recall doing The Firm, and in that, for all the things I didn't like, I can honestly say I actually anticipated going to work in the morning. E fhein still does that line of work, and I can guarantee you that with all the problems inherent in that line of work, he still looks foward to doing it every day.

And, said a very wise man, you can't be truly successful in a career you don't love.

I'm mulling this over. As I think I've said before, part of what keeps me from truly pursuing a new position is the sense that if I go somewhere else, the situation will become the same in about two years - my average stay in a job in this industry.

What would make me want to get up to go to work in the morning? What makes me get up now with excitement when I don't have to work? If I could hone and focus that, therein probably lies my answer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Harvesting Corn

I harvested my corn this weekend. Yes, it's late in the season, and no, I can never seem to time it right to actually eat anything that I grow. I grow it mostly for the corn stalks for my wife to decorate with and the kernels to make corn meal with - and, I suppose, the ever present hope that this year, I'll get some...

It was one of the mornings where you can tell that autumn is here: the air is a little crisp, the sunlight has that slight haze that indicates that the fall is coming hard. I moved through, pulling the ears off the the stalks, putting them to the side, then cuttin off the corn at the roots, piling the larger stalks to one side for shocking, the smaller ones to the left for eventual composting. I could hear the voices of my family coming out from the open windows as I worked away in the quiet morning air.

There is something about harvesting that satisfies my soul in a way that I cannot fully or rationally explain. Maybe its the thought that I had a (small) hand in coaxing the Nature that God created, perhaps it's the feeling of knowing I can grow something that is useful, perhaps it is a harkening back to the First Garden before the Fall. I cannot explain it, but only enjoy it - as is true of all truly good pleasures.

The corn now hangs in my garage drying, the cornstalks are in the garden (probably knocked over by the wind - again!) drying as well, another autumn season well begun.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Goal Setting

I am struggling within myself as to the place of goals in the Christian's life.

The problem: To what extent do the goals I determine represent God's will?

No, I'm not talking about those things which are proscribed by Scripture (those are generally obvious), but those things which seem to be left to the decision of the individual based on their relationship with Christ.

For example: What career field should I transfer to? Should I practice this, or that? This is allowed by Scripture, but is it a worthy goal?

At the moment, this is my grid:

1) Is it glorifying to God?
2) Is it Scriptural? (Does it represent something which is definite sin, or is it allowable?)
3) Will increase or decrease my pursuit of holiness?
4) Will it cause another to stumble?
5) Is it making the most of my time?