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Doings around town

Just a short post. I’m going to close down for most of the next three days. Will pop in occasionally to check comments, but otherwise be out in the sun hammering and nailing.


We had a big old bee swarm on our street a couple of days ago. I could have seen it from my windows had I known. But the woman with the trees full of bees didn’t have my phone number handy and wasn’t venturing out to inform the neighborhood.

Never saw a “live” bee swarm. I think it would be cool. The beekeeping neighbor who eventually dealt with the swarm looked at me incredulously when I met up with him yesterday and told him this was something I’d seen only in pictures. He and his girlfriend said, “We had four swarms last year.” So I guess eventually I’ll get to witness some swarming and humans dealing with it.

My next-door neighbor is also thinking of getting a hive, and I wouldn’t be averse to having a few myself someday.


I learned all the exciting details at a party. Yeah, not a party person. But every few months, a pair of neighbors hosts a lunchtime get-together for anybody who happens to be having a birthday. The birthday people get envelopes full of scratch cards and everybody catches up on things.

I’m gradually noticing that my neighbors are a bunch of very smart people. The regulars at the party range in age from 30s to 86, with three little schoolboys showing up toward the end. We’re of diverse backgrounds, from a former California vineyard owner to a Finnish housewife (and widow of a cop). Yet when hot-button political topics arise, I never feel like an outsider.

People like me (and you) are supposed to be so radical, so fringe, so out of the mainstream. Yet on every subject that’s arisen at these gatherings — from the woeful treatment of boys in public school to government curbs on free-market genetic testing to (of course) guns — we’re either in agreement or able to work with each other’s points of view.

Very liberty-oriented these people are.


Finally, I just did something a little scary but wicked good. Put the emphasis on both wicked and good. 🙂

Might be a couple of months before I can say more about it, but for now, picture me with a cheshire-cat grin.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty May 1, 2015 11:26 am

    How marvelous to have good neighbors like that! I’m so glad for you. Will be watching for your very good news. 🙂

  2. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 1, 2015 4:44 pm

    If you look for bee books you will be struck at how many women are authors. The one article about beekeeping that got me excited enough to try it was by a woman in one of those eastern magazines (e.g. New York Review of Books) whose writing was so appealing you just had to be a beekeeper after reading it. Unfortunately (sorry for the build-up) my memory fails me and I cannot find it. It’s on the tip of my tongue…

  3. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty May 2, 2015 5:13 am

    I’ve always loved bees, but never tried to raise them. My youngest son was seriously allergic to bees or wasps, so it was never a good idea when I had the opportunity.

    Here in Wyoming, we don’t have a lot of fruit trees or flowers for the regular honey bees, and so don’t have many naturally, but more and more people are putting in hives. I’ve been fascinated by all of the other insects around that are obviously very active in pollination of the wild plants here, as well as my garden and few fruit plantings. I love to see the big, beautiful bumblebees especially, though they are not common. Just yesterday I watched many hundreds of tiny black critters flit around in the crab apple blossoms. Will have to see if I can identify them.

  4. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack May 2, 2015 5:34 am

    Well, Paul, after all most bees are girls…

    Fascinating creatures.

  5. Karen
    Karen May 2, 2015 5:59 am

    Claire, enjoy the sunshine and hammering. Just be sure to keep your thumbs out of harms way. 😉

  6. Claire
    Claire May 2, 2015 1:15 pm

    Thank you, Karen! So far, my thumbs have been in no danger, as the worst thing they’ve been exposed to has been my computer keyboard. Had to reinstall my OS this a.m. Maybe some thumb-banging this afternoon.

  7. Claire
    Claire May 2, 2015 1:16 pm

    Thanks, all. And yeah, you just might say my neighbors are the bees’ knees.

  8. LarryA
    LarryA May 2, 2015 8:16 pm

    People like me (and you) are supposed to be so radical, so fringe, so out of the mainstream.

    We used to be. Back in the day the Survivalist SIG members were fringe even for Mensa.

    Last couple of years, though, “regular” people who have known me for years keep pulling me off in a corner and saying, “You know all of that stuff I thought was crazy? Well, where can I find out more about…”

    The times they are a-changin’

  9. Pat
    Pat May 3, 2015 4:19 am

    “…picture me with a cheshire-cat grin.”

    Somehow you were able to kick Gottlieb in the balls? (Metaphorically speaking, of course)

  10. Claire
    Claire May 3, 2015 6:32 am

    Pat — 🙂

    not telling.

    intriguing guess, tho …

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 4, 2015 8:08 am

    [Well, Paul, after all most bees are girls…]

    The ones that are worth a damn, anyway. 🙂

    The main honey flow where Claire lives is probably blackberries, and maybe things like fields of clover if any are nearby. And maple blossoms in the early spring, of course. No, it’s not like NE Wyoming… I wonder what sagebrush honey would taste like, heh.

  12. Laird
    Laird May 4, 2015 8:23 am

    “. . . picture me with a cheshire-cat grin.”

    Since most of us don’t have any idea what you look like it’s difficult to picture you with any sort of grin, cheshire-cat or otherwise.

  13. Karen
    Karen May 4, 2015 12:06 pm

    The black hat picture at the top of the page could have a Cheshire cat grin.

  14. Claire
    Claire May 4, 2015 12:31 pm

    Yeah … just a sort of twitch-at-the-corner-of-the-lip one, but I can see Hat Me grinning Cheshirely. 🙂

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