Good evening to you, dear Reader! It's been quite a week - all good!
Yesterday, JJ's chapel was officially begun. My neighbors, Kyle and Jeff , with Dave's help, worked on digging the post holes for JJ's chapel. Our ceremony started with a prayer and a toast to the chapel. Wine for the toast was donated by Michael (Door County dry cherry wine). We poured four glasses. As I readied myself to read the dedication, Kyle and Jeff moved closer together and held hands. It was so moving to see them do that! Before we we raised our glasses in a toast I read the following dedication:
Today we dedicate JJ's chapel. May JJ's chapel - this simple, tiny chapel we're about to build - be open to all peoples, of all faiths and of all needs and to those who have no faith.
I ask of you that they come here with peace in their hearts for the Land, for me, and for all the creatures who reside here.
May you guide them here from all corners of the earth, from all walks of life. May those who make this pilgrimage find compassion and comfort and joy here: a lightening of the load they carry.
Help them find their way in the world.
May each person who comes to JJ's chapel and the Land find something special here. Something that uplifts them and adds beauty, love and joy to their lives, and in their hearts. May they take what they find here and add to the greater good of the world.
I don't know how the chapel will reach out to those in need, even how JJ's chapel will evolve, but I trust that You, dear God, will show me and show all of us it's true purpose.
Thank you, dear God, for my helpers who are making this possible. Those here today, Dave, Kyle and Jeff. Thank you for their sincere efforts. It is truly appreciated.Thank you, too for those who are helping who cannot be here today - my dear family - Jeff and Angela, Linda and family, Judy, Mom and our extended family. Thank you for my dear friends,Michael, Ken and David, Smitty and Chris, Alana and Nancy, and the members of the First Presbyterian Church in Paw Paw, and so many others. Thank you for all the helpers who are in Heaven now - Jack and JJ and so many others who are dear to us. Let their benevolent spirit and Yours, dear God, smile down on this simple chapel and keep it whole.
In your name, dear God we dedicate this chapel with the work we start here today. We dedicate JJ's chapel to you, dear God, and to those we love.
Thank you. "
When I looked up from reading this, Kyle, Jeff and Dave said, "Amen." It was so touching. It was just as I hoped it would be. The day was perfect. The Land was serene. Jeff was a whiz with the post hole digger. He made it look easy!
The photos above show Big Al coming up the lane first, followed by Jeff in his Bobcat. Both Big Al and "Dude" were part of the ceremony. Other photos - Kyle and Jeff, Jeff and Dave, and finally when all was done, Dave took a photo of me with the ceremonial wine. It was perfect.
Earlier in the week, Chris and Smitty came out to fish with Shawn, Smitty's son. I didn't get any photos of them because of dealing with my cantankous bees (more on that later). Shawn asked me if he could bring out his girlfriend, Haylee, (of 8 years) and I said, "of course." My fishing family is growing and I couldn't be happier! They are all so sweet! Wonderful manners, wonderful fun! Uninvited guests are not welcome, but these fishing friends always ask. In fact, as I look out the window as I'm writing this, I see Chris and Smitty fishing across the pond.....
Here they come. They just drove up to the cottage. ....
I go out the door to talk with them and Chris asks about the bees. As he asks about the bees and I'm telling him how docile they are right now, he gets stung on his eye once, and then again! How awful! Chris and Smitty are now fishing down on the lower level - can you blame them, dear Reader? I think I'm going to have to send my bees to "Bee Manners School."
And therein lies the tale of my bees this week. They swarmed for three days in a row, and each time I risked life and limb (no pun intended) by climbing up in the tree and cutting off the branch where they swarmed. They fell into a box I had for them and then I dumped the box over their bee hive. This was repeated for three days. By the third day I was getting a little impatient with them and thumped the upside-down box pretty hard. I don't think they appreciated that. We're always told to "gently" brush the bees out or "gently" tap on the box to get them to drop into the beehive. Ha!
Dave Feltes (my fellow bee classmate) called me back and said the reason they keep swarming is there is already another queen in their old hive body AND in the new hive body. So I quickly make up a "super" for them, and I have yet to see if they found out the third bee hive (super) is just for them. The photos above show the bees in the tree and then hanging on the birdbath. What a sight!
Last by not least -as I may have explained - earlier in the week I went to University of Wisconsin Soil and Plant Analysis Lab in Madison. The manager has now come up with some plant retardants which may be affecting my perfectly-formed 2-month-old-two-inch-high plants which have refused to grow. We're getting closer to finding out what's wrong with them. It's rather exciting.
And then I received my tax bill for my property (I always pay both installments at once and will do so again this year) and my new tax bill for the 4 acres that I paid for - more on that later.
It was/is 91 humid degrees and boy! it's hot, hot, hot! I'm sweating and realizing this is already summer!
Have a great "summer evening - enjoying the breeze as it cools down, dear Reader. I'll keep you informed about all that's happening out here on the Paradise Ponderosa!