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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Elmer's Glue and a Roaring Good Craft

This summer, I was so excited that our What to Do Cube was featured in a Family Fun magazine article. I was even more excited when a representative of Elmer's Glue contacted me and asked if I was interested in learning more about their Let's Bond initiative. Their research showed that "activities like a simple, 20-minute craft using just a few materials yield countless academic benefits leading to long-term success in school subjects like math, reading and writing."

The Let's Bond campaign not only shares the results of their research but also offers some simple craft ideas perfect for moms like me who want to do crafts, but have trouble finding time. 

And did I mention these crafts are simple? If you read my blog, you know I have big dreams when it comes to crafting and there are lots of crafts I wish I could do. But those little craft setbacks don't stop me from coming up with random ideas for kids' crafts, costumes and projects!

So of course I said I'd love to take a look at the craft kit that Elmer's puts together for younger learners through their Early Learners Academy. When it arrived, my youngest was thrilled with the classic lunchbox style. He dove right in and unpacked the supplies. 

He was actually very surprised that the glue sticks were not round. And that was the point! I learned that these glue sticks are uniquely shaped to promote proper grip of writing utensils. My sister-in-law said her mom would love a full set of these for her preschool classroom! My youngest also liked the purple color of the glue. He knew exactly where he had already spread glue and when it was dry. 

I showed him the picture of the finished craft, a Lion Mosaic made from torn paper and glued onto a brown paper bag. He was thrilled to make a lion but he did NOT want to make it on the paper bag! Instead he got to work right away in my office as I sat next to him and talked about his ideas. He didn't actually need my help, and I don't think he wanted me to do anything for him. Instead, I think he loved the fact that he was able to show me his skills. We had seen a lot of different kinds of art on our recent vacation and so creating his own design and talking about why he was using a certain color or gluing a certain piece of paper in that specific place really validated the whole project. 

As I observed him turning his idea into a beautiful creation, I thought about what else his nimble little fingers will create in the future. I enjoyed his answers to my questions about what the lion was feeling ("happiness") and where the lion lived ("the savannah") and if he wanted to be an artist ("I already am"). I know that doing these kinds of crafts helps develop his fine-motor skills and his language skills, but I really think there were some benefits for me, too.

I felt calmer and happier watching him work. He didn't need my help and didn't want it, but that didn't frustrate me or make me feel left out. Instead I felt pride at his self-confidence and willingness to try. I was actually impressed he didn't feel the need to follow the predesigned project (even though it is super-cute) but that he wanted to implement his own unique design. It was such a positive experience for both us that it inspired me to do more crafts with all of the boys this summer.

I picked up some modeling clay and we laughed together mixing colors and making crazy shapes. We finished up some wooden models and tackled painting them. All of these craft projects took some time and meant I had to let the laundry sit unfolded (no biggie) or put off another chore until later. But the time we shared was priceless. And I definitely feel like we bonded.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Scarlett DNF

The calm before the freak-out
I like to try new things because I feel there is always something to be learned from those experiences, even if we learn that we don’t like something. Yesterday I had to learn how it feels to DNF. Unlike poor Hester Prynne, no crowd gathered to disparage and mock me. In fact, I don’t think anyone there outside of my family knew or cared that I didn’t finish. But I care and right after I pass through this phase of humiliation and regret I hope to move on to learning how to handle other such freak-outs.

What really has me frustrated is that I base my courage to do a lot of things in life on my physical activities. I finished the MuckFest course, of course I can finish writing a novel in a month! I finished an Olympic distance triathlon, of course I can read my poetry out loud!

So if I use physical success to boost my courage in other endeavors, how do I apply a physical failure to other endeavors?

Presque Isle Triathlon

I registered for the Presque Isle triathlon a few weeks ago, excited about the flat, fast bike and run course. And the swim in the bay didn't worry me.

My run and bike training has been good but problems with the skin around my eyes has made it hard for me to get in the pool. In fact, I wasn’t allowed to swim with goggles for the first two weeks of August, so my swims were basically some half-effort head-above-water kicking and pulling drills.

As the race neared, I wondered if I should do it. We were out every night the week leading up to race. Then I had some kind of stomach distress on Wednesday and Thursday and I decided Thursday night not to do the race.

Friday I felt better and guilty for skipping the race. Two things happened: the race my husband wanted to do was sold out. And the Magic 8 Ball said “yes.”

The pit crew for Racer 161
So I scrambled last minute to get our hotel reservation back, pack up the three kids, pack up all my tri gear, get gas in the car and get dinner for the road. I made record time on the drive to Erie. We visited the race site Friday night. The water was cool but welcoming. Gentle waves caressed the pebbly beach. I found my transition rack and spent the evening prepping my gear and mentally reviewing my race plan.

Race morning we were rushing, but it couldn’t be helped. I squeezed my bike on the rack and laid out my gear. I found a fellow runner from Pittsburgh who was doing his first triathlon and gave him a pep talk, which I now feel was hypocritical and ironic.

The race director announced that the current was strong enough to change the direction of the swim. No problem - buoys on my right, not left. Yellow swim cap on. I cheered and clapped going into the fog-blanketed water. I was pumped! A small chill ran up my spine but the temperature was manageable. I could do this. I even had the multisport feature on my Garmin set correctly! I attempted a few freestyle strokes but waves crashed on my face. I spluttered and surfaced, frustrated. I decided to breaststroke to the start buoy.

We started. I tried my freestyle. Waves rocked me. I couldn’t get into a rhythm. I coughed and choked on water. Switched to breaststroke. My chest felt tight and I couldn’t get my face underwater. I would go under, breathe out, surface to breathe in and get more water in my face.

I started to worry, then get scared. The first buoy seemed so far away. And for the first time, I called to a guard for help. I clung to his float.

I started again. Made it to a kayak. The woman in the kayak talked to me calmly and it helped me relax a little. I got the courage to make the turn around the first buoy and she was waiting for me.

“You’re doing great,” she said as I clung to her kayak again.

I talked about my kids to the woman in the kayak. I told her how I had encouraged them to push past their fears in swim lessons this summer.

My foggy goggles made the next buoy seem far. I contemplated going for the next kayak, the white one.

The jet-ski and patrol boat hovered close. I couldn’t calm down. I said I wanted to stop. The woman in the kayak raised her paddle and the jet ski picked me up.

As soon as I climbed up on the deck of the jet ski, I regretted it.

I looked back and my first thought was “It’s not that far!”

But it was too late.

I emerged from the water and began the long walk of shame down the pier to let the race officials know I was out. I was sure everyone was staring at me and whispering “DNF” behind my back. It’s not like I was injured. I was just scared and couldn’t tap into any calming self-talk. Race volunteers who saw me sobbing gave me water and told me I could finish the bike and swim on my own, not officially timed. Maybe I should have, but at that moment my spirit was broken.

I felt guilty for dragging my husband and kids two hours to Erie to watch me fail. Later at lunch, I fished for reassurance from my husband asking him if he would be disappointed if I DNF'ed my lunch, too. He has been awesome through this whole challenging (disappointing!) experience.

With a little help from my friends.
And then of course, there's the boys. When they saw me crying, the boys burst into tears. I got lots of hugs even in my soggy wetsuit.

“I’m sorry you’re sad, Mommy,” my middle son wailed. “But can we still go to that sandy beach like you promised?”

I said of course, because life goes on.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Glowgolf Review and Giveaway!

Have you seen the new Glowgolf place near Ross Park Mall on McKnight Road? We drive by it frequently and my kids begged me to take them there. Right after school got out we attempted to visit but they weren't open yet. Later on in the summer we headed back and finally got our glow on. 

And since you're here reading this post, you get a chance to get some glow on, too because I'm giving away free passes!

Finding Glowgolf is easy. Head up McKnight Rd and take the first entrance into the mall. Don't head toward Ross Park Mall - Glow Golf is in a building outside the main mall area that used to be a furniture store. (How's that for Pittsburgh-style directions? "You know where the old furniture store was?")

Right inside the doors the boys were eager to try the Laser Maze. We had to buy tokens since Laser Maze was not included in the golf price, but my two oldest were really excited to try it out. The staff explained how Laser Maze works: You put in your token, select your skill level and then try to move through the maze of lasers to touch a glowing button at the other side of the small, dark room. Then you have to make your way back and touch a glowing button near the entrance. Spectators watch you move through the maze on a small television. My older boys did this three times each. They really wished the room was bigger so the maze could be longer.
Neon clothes are a must! 
Then we moved on to golfing. We picked clubs and the staff person explained how to charge up your golf ball so it has extra-super glow. Frankly, the younger boys were a bit more interested in finding the glow charging stations than golfing, but they did golf. Sometimes. There are three different courses, but they weren't named when we were there so I can't actually tell you which one we did. Some of the holes were pretty challenging but I tried to push the boys to think about angles and vectors. No summer slide for us! Each boy got a hole-in-one at some point along the course. 

Glow Bracelets were included

The great parts about Glowgolf are the air conditioning, the indoor bathrooms, the lack of insects and the lack of weeds where one might lose a ball. The tough parts were the fact that at the time we went, there was no real guide on how to follow our assigned course, so we ended up doing hole 12 a few times because we wandered onto the other courses. Also, despite the few glow art pieces the interior really does still look like a furniture store. But the staff assured me when the glow tape they ordered arrived the courses would be better marked. And my kids didn't care that it looked like we were in a furniture store at all.

The Spinning Starfish was a tough hole
Glowgolf is great for days when the weather keeps you inside (like, this entire summer??) and it really does offer a fun afternoon or evening getaway. I think there is a lot of room for setting more of a scene and ambiance, but again that's me being picky. My kids didn't care at all. And we received Frequent Player Cards (fifth game is free!) and $1.00 off coupons for our next visit. Here's what the boys said:

Youngest: "Really cool."
Oldest: "Awesome!"
Middle: "Kinda good. The golf balls didn't stay glowing long enough. I had to keep recharging mine."

If your kids are restless and need a recharge, I'm giving away two free passes to Glowgolf on McKnight Road. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

2014 Bookworm Triathlon Race Review

 July was a busy race month for me! I did the Sweet Sprint, the YMCA Butler Triathlon, and then the Scottdale Library Bookworm Triathlon on three consecutive weekends. It was tiring but it was also tons of fun. And I couldn't miss a triathlon that supported a local library. Triathlons and books and my favorite guys: a perfect combo.

The Bookworm Triathlon offered a new thing for me to try: a triathlon relay team. Since my husband hurt his leg he couldn't run and he still avoids swimming, so I did the swim and the run while he rocked the bike. It was awesome being on a team with the coolest guy I know.

But it was also the first time we had a pit crew: our boys! We had a great plan - I'd swim and my husband would keep an eye on the boys while they all cheered, then when he got on the bike I'd take over watching them and then he'd take over again while I ran.

The race was pretty short: 300 yd swim, 15 mile bike and 3.1 run. This event also offers a Super Sprint and a Duathlon. I was hoping to get more details on how the relay would work and what time our heat would start. Unfortunately almost all of the emails from the race director went into my spam folder. So we headed down as early as we could manage with the kids in tow.

 It was drizzling rain and and the race organizers were very friendly and we were able to get the van into a spot right next to the transition area. Check-in happened in the library and the bathrooms were super clean - bonus! Things were a little confusing when it came to body marking (because I hadn't received the earlier emails) and we didn't know if we were in the Over-100 or Under-100 Relay group. Did we add our ages three times? Or only two? We went with  adding our ages twice since there were only two of us on the relay team.

The pool was in the community center right next to the library. Very convenient - but still I almost missed the start of my swim heat! There was no time to warm up in the pool so I jogged a lot to get my heart rate up and when I could get in the pool, I did one or two quick laps. The pool tasted salty, not like a regular chlorinated pool. There were four big lanes with three people swimming in each lane. I was happy with my time, 6:20, and a teensy bit happy that I beat everybody in my lane, and one lady in the lane next to me!

 My nine-year old was my official race photographer and he captured some seriously funny photos of me swimming, as well as a classy slo-mo video.

We had to run to the door of the pool and pass the timing chip off to our relay partners. My husband grabbed the timing chip and headed across the small road into the transition area in the parking lot. He was able to run across some carpets but he did have to cover a good bit of asphalt in his bike shoes. He had a great bike time, around 45 minutes, and I was able to keep track of him using Find My Friends.

He described the bike ride as "Nice ride, leave small town USA, ride through country back into town down hill hell-bent for leather."

The boys read books, ate snacks and argued with each other in the van.

After the bike, my husband had to rack his bike and then run to the bike exit to hand me the chip.
Then I set out on the run. The run was an out-and-back that had a nice little downhill to a trail in town that was nice and flat. There was a little problem on the course where the paved trail ended and a small gravel trail shot off to the right. At least two people didn't turn right but turned around at that point. I kept going and found the actual turn around point.

I finished, which meant climbing the small uphill back to the race staging area, and felt great about my time, 24:46. Our overall time was 1:19 and we were very proud. We thought we had a decent chance of winning our relay group. But when the results were posted a team had a time of 59 minutes! We were pretty surprised a team could have beaten us by 20 minutes. We weren't super-fast, but where could they take twenty minutes from us?

After the race we enjoyed a really delicious snack selection of tons of fresh fruit, protein bars, cookies and more. And don't forget the Bookworm part of this event. Next to the library was a lovely gazebo and some benches that were memorials to people who supported the library. One had a really perfect quote for our family: "More blessed than me you can never be, for I had a mother who read to me."

We waited around in the off-and-on rain through the awards ceremony hoping to come home with medals. At the very end of the ceremony, the race director explained there was a problem with the relay timing and they'd send us our medals. And they did…three medals in three separate envelopes, all of which were torn in the delivery process and put into those special plastic bags the post office uses when there's a problem. Some say "Over 100" and some say "Under 100" but we don't mind. Really we just had fun racing on the same team together.

My oldest thought we should give the medals to Dad because he doesn't have as many as me (ha!) and my youngest was thrilled that we had a medal for swimming, biking and running. He loves wearing our race medals and running around the house.

Overall, there were some hiccups during the event but nothing terrible. The organizers were friendly, answered all our questions and it was great we were able to bring the boys. I'd really consider doing this event again next year with my favorite racing teammate.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Try It! Venture Outdoors Tyke Hikes

We love hiking around Pittsburgh with our kids. It's really easy to find great hiking spots on trails in city parks and in the numerous parks outside of the city. The hard part is finding trails and hikes that work for the youngest in our family who is only four years old. That's why Tyke Hikes, offered Venture Outdoors, is such a great idea! 

I'm excited to announce I have two free passes to any upcoming Tyke Hike, so don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!


Venture Outdoors is hosting a Family & Community Festival on August 23rd from 1-4 PM. The festival is free and open to the public and offers a climbing wall, kayaking, biking, geocaching and more! It sounds just about perfect for our family…maybe yours, too!

Here's more info about Venture Outdoors:

"Venture Outdoors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting the people of Pittsburgh to nature.  We have a wonderful program called Tyke Hikes that strives to build a strong relationship between young children and the great outdoors.  
Tyke Hikes are created specifically for young children under the age of 5 and their caregivers. These easy hikes take place in stroller-friendly parks around the Greater Pittsburgh area. The program’s interactive and educational curriculum encourages kids to touch trees, look for bugs, and discover the world around them. However, kids aren't the only ones having fun on a Tyke Hike! While the kids are busy exploring, moms and dads will have the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded parents. The hike ends with a gluten-free/dairy-free snack and a craft, and Pittsburgh’s littlest adventurers will go home with a newfound appreciation and excitement for nature. 
Venture Outdoors’ mission is to make the outdoors accessible to all members of the Pittsburgh community. In the past, Venture Outdoors has been able to hand out free Tyke Hike passes to inner-city families who have limited access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Tyke Hikes’ proceeds go towards the continuation and growth of this practice, helping us to get all “Kids on the Right Path.”
You can visit Tyke Hikes for a list of upcoming public Tyke Hikes. Venture Outdoors also books private Tyke Hikes for birthday parties, child-care centers, summer camps, and more."

I bet you can't wait to go on a Tyke Hike! Get started with two free passes to any upcoming Tyke Hike. These passes expire on Oct 31, 2014, so don't wait - enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 25, 2014

Travel to Spain with Kids - Food

Our family recently returned from a trip to Spain and I have to say it was one of the best family vacations we've had. We experienced a lot, but instead of cramming all of the highlights into one huge post I am going to focus on one topic per post. This post is all about FOOD. 

We traveled in June and our visit started in Malaga, in Andalucia and toured the south of Spain for about a week and then took a train to Barcelona for another week. 

Our hotel in Malaga, the Tryp Guadalmar, was right on the beach. This area of Spain is also known as Costa del Sol. It was sunny, but also quite dry so not unbearably hot. 

Being right on the beach gave us ample opportunity to enjoy the fresh seafood at our local chiringuito, or beach cafe. The staff didn't speak much English, but the menu did have English translations, and I was not afraid to put my six years of Spanish classes to work…even though I took those classes almost two decades ago. We ate several meals at the Chiringuito Servando and enjoyed each one. We had our first sardines (sardinas) and anchovies (boquerones) here, and enjoyed tasty tomatoes and olives, too. 

Sardinas de espeto
The drink of this region was the tanto de verano, or summer wine. I also enjoyed a glass of sweet wine, but found it a little too sweet for the warm weather. Each person dining received a rather large bread roll, which I eventually declined because some in our party were only eating bread and then whining they were hungry thirty minutes later. 

While we didn't get any pulpo (octopus) at this chiringuito, we did enjoy clams and of course lots of helado. A few blocks away from our hotel were three little restaurants we also enjoyed. Tick Tack served up an amazing paella and excellent Copa del Mundial viewing. Next to Tick Tack was El Rincon, where we dove into yet another helping of paella and more boquerones. My youngest loved the little fried fishes with a generous squeeze of lemon on top.
Easier than peeling crabs. 

We had a rental car and that made it easy to visit various places around the Andalucia (pronounced "Andaluthia") and enjoy even more food! I'm not sure if it was the altitude or the brass band playing in the bull fighting ring, but we enjoyed some of the best olives (aceitunas) at the small cafe in the Castillo in Malaga. Don't get me wrong, the olives all over Spain were incredible, but for some reason these stood out in terms of tangy flavor. Also in Malaga we enjoyed a nice Moroccan meal at a tea house called La Teteria right by the Museo de Picasso, but unfortunately the amazing tea that I ordered never arrived! So I can't say if the tea was any good.

Outside of Malaga, there is one little town I recommend you visit to find one little tapas place. Go to Antequerra and eat at Arte de Tapas. Here is a photo of us toasting our arrival at the highly satisfying dining establishment. My boys were happy to start with water after a hot day, but their go-to beverage was Fanta Limon. Now when it comes to food at Arte de Tapas, you can order the tangy almendras soup I couldn't quite finish, or you can order the tuna salad my oldest son adored, but you must, must, must get the lomo. In fact, get it twice like we did. And you can say gracias (or "grathia") later. 

On to Barcelona! After such delicious food in the south, we wondered what Barcelona would serve up. It did not disappoint. Our hotel, the Princesa Sofia, located conveniently close to Camp Nou FC Barcelona's home stadium, served a typical Spanish buffet breakfast. Their coffee offerings were a bit fancier than I was used to, but I adjusted quickly. I didn't get a photo of the xuxos, a creamy sweet croissant style pastry, but I adjusted to eating those, too!

In the Gothic Quarter, we indulged in chocolate from Fargas where you must get a bag of catanies, and caramels from Papa Bubble. The large orange with a swirl of chocolate on it in the photo is from Fargas and was so sweet everyone in my family took one bite each and said they were overwhelmed. Barcelona doesn't skimp on anything, including flavor.

Also in the Gothic Quarter, we had a delightful lunch at a place called Gabriels that served a fantastic selection of monteditos. Monteditos are little sandwiches and places like Gabriels offer a mouth-watering variety. You can order a set of 5 or 10 and take your pick of their whole selection! Wash it down with some dry cava (sparking wine) and you're ready to tackle the next tourist destination.

If you get a bit peckish while you're exploring, or perhaps you need a protein boost while viewing the city from the heights of Tibidabo, then you must find the nearest Enrique Tomas store or stall and get yourself some ham in a cone. Yes, even picky eaters love this ham in a cone.

My son described it as "bacon mixed with ham." He was happy to enjoy it in his Neymar Jr. jersey before the back injury when all still seemed right with the world.

The whole family fell in love with Creps Barcelona, and it turned out to be the only place we ate at twice in Barcelona, if you don't count the hotel. The chips and cheese we ordered was crisp and delicious, the cheese came in a little honey-sweetened oil, and my four-year-old asked delightedly if we were eating bark.

Each boy found something they really loved to eat while we were in Spain, and for my oldest son it was all about patates bravas. At first he took them plain and only dipped them in mayo, but then he started to enjoy them with the various versions of the bravas sauce served at each restaurant.

After a long day of hiking, shopping, eating, and snapping photos, Mom and Dad needed to relax with a classic cocktail. Thankfully Barcelona has developed a delicious habit with gin and I was able to experiment with some delightful varieties of gin and tonic. And thanks to duty-free we were able to bring home some of my favorite gins! Alas, the ham we tried to bring home suffered a terrible fate. I get sad just thinking about it. Farewell, delicious ham. And thanks for the food memories, Spain.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Not Killing Plants

I love gardens, but I kill plants. I wish I didn't! I wish I had more time to focus on my garden. Let's be honest, it's not just about having time to focus on the garden. It's also about having the mental energy to focus on the garden and not forgetting. Every year I start some seeds, and then I forget about them, I don't put them in a sunny place and they get all leggy, I put them outside and they get eaten or frozen…basically I have a black thumb. 

But that doesn't stop me from trying again! 

Potatoes in a Pot!
This year I was determined to grow potatoes in a container. I felt I was really letting my husband's ancestors down by not growing this simple root plant. And I found a bunch of potatoes in my pantry that had already sprouted, so why not try growing them? I read directions online and got the supplies I needed, cut the potatoes into cubes and let them dry a little, and put them in a pot with good drainage. Then after a few days I glanced in the pot and realized squirrels had probably unearthed all my potato cubes and eaten them. Failure. Then we went on vacation, and when we returned I saw leaves peeking out of the pot. Assuming they were weeds, I took a closer look and thought, "they resemble the tobacco leaf." (I lived on the Eastern Shore of MD for four years. I know those plants.) I dug a little and found potatoes! I hadn't failed after all!

Green tomatoes
In an attempt to reduce my failures, I scaled back my expectations for this year.

I stuck with tried and true tomato plants, and then my friend gave me two more tomato plants - even though she was fully aware I had already killed two broccoli sprouts we got from Phipps. I managed to get her tomato seedlings into the ground and they are busy producing fruit. I've also started pruning these plants back sooner to prevent them from getting all jungly.

We've already enjoyed one delicious, ripe red tomato this summer and I imagine we'll have lots more to come.

The spinach we planted as seeds didn't make it, and neither did the chamomile. We started purple basil…and we ended it. Luckily two green basil plants made it past seedling stage alive. We tried cantaloupe and I am sure a seedling or two sprouted but then they died, too. The pumpkins are flourishing, and I think the kids will be pretty excited to decorate pumpkins from our very own garden. If they make it to October.

The pepper plant managed to cling to life, even after I pulled it from the garden when I mistook it for a weed. But the beans I planted near the adorable bean trellis was eaten by some hungry critter. I'm not sure that's my fault.

But the squash, zucchini and pumpkin seeds we started survived! The squash and zucchini have wonderfully large blossoms on them. I do like to cook some squash blossoms, but I'm leaving them on the plant. I'm not worried about them now, they usually produce excellent fruits in the spot where I grow these hardy plants.

What I'm worried about now is pollinators. I've heard that we're losing pollinators and it worries me. Bees are essential not just to little gardens like mine, but our major food production orchards.

So in addition to the vegetables and fruits we're growing in the back garden, I went a little nuts buying native plants that attract pollinators, like bee balm, rudbeckia, zinnia, mallow, larkspur and lavender. I'm really hoping butterflies, hummingbirds, bumblebees and honeybees find some delicious places to hang out and do their jobs in my garden. Because I owe those little pollinators a lot of gratitude for helping produce the fruit we love in this house.

I'm still working on a fiction-based-in-non-fiction story about bees. I read some incredibly interesting books about bees, how they dance to communicate, how they carry pollen, how they change jobs in the hive and basically work and fly until their wings literally fall apart and they die. I gained an incredible appreciation for the little ladies and I'm hoping to get to a honey farm with my friend this summer.  

Some come on little bees, bring your girlfriends and visit my garden.