2014 became a year of projects, big and small.
The biggest, most pressing and most time consuming project continues to be the bees. Keeping them alive. So far I've peered in over 300 hives since Christmas and things are looking good, I must say. Only two dead and many are just busting at the seams.
Permit me to show off some of these monsters:
I'm glad we did an early round of feeding in December.
As you can see, these ladies are ready for more.
Round two will be a heavier feeding.
I've got a question for the beeks out there--
Why am I seeing capped brood this early? Not everyone, but definitely over 10% of the stronger hives have capped brood!
What the heck is a drone doing, hanging around on January 1st?
Between the bee work, other projects continue.
The barn addition is coming along nicely.
We're just about ready for metal... but we're waiting for it to get bitterly cold just to prove how tough we are.
And getting around to the title of this post...
Mason finally got his long awaited clubhouse.
Let me explain. At some point last winter a portion of our deck, loaded with firewood, fell in.
It was crappily built. By me. Eight years ago.
I didn't use treated lumber for the joists, as everything was scavenged off an old house. It was done on the cheap, the entire thing built for under a hundred bucks. But as so often happens, in the end I paid for my frugality.
So this past summer it was back to the drawing board.
Treated lumber this time!
About the time I was putting the last of the deck boards down, Mason approached me with, "Dad are you going to build me a club house like you said?"
"Sure Mason. I forgot all about that. As soon as we get the deck done, we'll jump right on it, ok?"
So about a month later, I had decided to get fancy with the railing. I have a thing for old osage.
This took a awhile, and in the middle of it came the question. "Dad... what about my clubhouse?"
"Sure thing, Mason. Doesn't this look pretty?"
By October, things were looking good on the deck and I guessed Mason had forgotten all about his clubhouse as he was now fully immersed in the excitement of first grade.
I was wrong.
We were full swing into concrete one Saturday morning in November. The next project-- Pouring the pad for the honey house addition... and again came the question. "Dad??... clubhouse??..."
"By Christmas, Mason. I promise."
This time I just felt too guilty. Mason's project was actually going to make it on the list.
The next day Mason pointed to where he wanted it and I started digging post holes.
So if you saw Jayne's last post, you can see that it wasn't quite done by Christmas. But close.
As the thing took shape through December, I have to say, I really got into it. The swing set was Jayne's idea.
My idea was to make it look somewhat like the Swiss Chalet I've always wanted. True, it's on stilts, and there are no mountains around...
But we can use our imaginations can't we?
It has since become a kind of Texas roadhouse Swiss Chalet.