Please welcome our newest addition to the family, Otto! He came us in October when this post was originally supposed to go up. I’ve updated everything with new photos and anecdotes.
At 2am I get a text message from my mother (who I live with) that says this: “careful not to let the new dog out” with this photo.
I groaned and rolled over to settle into bed. To understand that reaction you have to know that my teenage years were filled with stray dogs and fostered pups. Every month or two I would come home to a new dog that we had found or had been abandoned with us or once had actually been offered to us on the street by a distressed woman who was at wits end and moving to where she couldn’t keep her pooch. It was an incredibly rewarding but heartbreaking emotional roller coaster as we fell in love with those wet noses and dirty paws and repeatedly had to return them to their owners or find them new homes because they never meant for us to keep.
I fell in love right away. I called shelters and advertised on Craigslist to make sure he wasn’t missed anywhere else. It’s been a few weeks now. Without any answers to his origin, I’m pretty sure he’s mine.
 Months later he is definitely a permanent member of my family. We have had him neutered and vaccinated. Treated and cleared of the tapeworm and fleas he came to us with, Otto is a healthy and happy dog.
He loves nothing more than cuddling up with us in bed or on the couch and gets along famously with the family dog, Shadow.
So, I just finally figured out why no one seems to have seen my posts from the summer and fall: They never posted! I will put up a couple of them over the next couple weeks. Sorry that there was such a massive gap in posts for several months!
A couple days ago, I joined my friend Kitty Sharkey in extracting her honey. Last winter she lost her bees but was able to save the frames of honey in her freezer. If you’ve ever stored honey, you’ve probably noticed that it crystallizes if it gets cold. Interestingly though, it only does that between 40-32 degrees Fahrenheit. Below freezing however, the water crystalizes and leaves the sugar in suspension and when thawed it returns to its liquid golden state. That’s what Kitty did with her frames to store them for a time when extracting the honey was actually a possibility.
One of the perks of my job at the Biofuel Oasis and Urban Farm Store is that I have access to the equipment needed to extract the honey from the comb, so I offered to help her out.
Together, we uncapped the comb and used the extractor to spin out the liquid gold. The honey runs through a filter to remove all the stray wax, leaving only pure raw honey in the bucket.
Unfortunately my recent back injury made me unable to finish the project with her and she was up til the wee hours of the morning before she was done, but overall, the haul was around 45lbs from about 20 frames. Not bad for a lost hive.
Of corse this called for celebration so we dipped glasses under the stream of unfiltered honey and filled up with bourbon. Cheers!