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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

My Brother-in-Law the Beekeeper

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway (you knew I would, right?): We have a rather eccentric family.  My brother-in-law (husband’s sister’s husband) has decided to become a beekeeper.

Yes, he has a real job.  He’s a highly-intelligent science teacher.  He can discuss anything on a wide variety of topics which is a wild ride when he and Benedetto get together, two peas in a pod.  But in his spare time, he’s invested in bee hives, or whatever you call those white boxes off in fields.

Since most beekeepers don’t like swarms of bees buzzing around their own abode, he’s arranged with a nearby farmer to keep his hives there.  On a visit, somehow it’s decided that we all need to make the journey to the farm and visit the worker bees to make sure they’re not taking a coffee break, or something.

And so, we saddle up the SUVs and head out to the Funny Farm, a dilapidated dream of an estate, dating from way back when.  A half-standing, fieldstone, barnlike edifice concerns me in terms of safety, while the farmhouse itself could have been attractive in another era, and if it were kept up. Goats run free, except for those baby goats in a pen.

The kids loved it.  We visited the bee boxes, learned about what it took to produce how much honey, and wondered about my brother-in-law’s sanity, since he wore no beekeeping outfit at all.  He would look good in a pith helmet with netting.

We bought some farm-fresh eggs, and called it a day.  Fast-forward to the end of summer, and the honey is here.  He showed us his big vat of honey, and how they had bottled and labeled the harvest.  It was not hard to sample, seeing as he makes his own bread, as well.

A bit of honey, a bit of bread.  Or was that a bit of bread, a bit of honey-?  Either way, it was delish.  I can see him selling to local chefs, or farm markets.

Artisanal.  Unique.  Yum.

Have you ever thought of doing something unusual as a side job?





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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    Yes, Aleksandra, I REAR wild.Russian.children!

    I’m not sure what my ‘real’ job is… I’ve been a textile colourist (dyer), weaving teacher, financial analyst, computer software architect and implementer, nursing student, hospice volunteer, …. I’m a [very] amateur painter in watercolors. I sew. Therapeutically. As in: When I’m stressed, sewing calms me. I rear Standard Poodles and harbor two fish (one Betta, one Gourami), innumerable Russian exchange ‘kids,’ two toads (Buffo americanus?) and now I have a CRICKET FARM so we can feed the toads. I take my lovey-horse (who stepped on my toes on Sunday) swimming.

    The question is, “Do I need another unusual side job?”

    OH, and I study Russian on the side. I finally watched a Russian movie last week: Kavkazkij Plenik! I have a whole stash, but little time.

    And, did I mention that my two wild Russian daughters are ADDICTED to [get this!] the 6 episode BBC / Arts & Entertainment version of PRIDE.AND.PREJUDICE? Don’t ask me, but they’ve watched it FOUR TIMES. I, OTOH, have watched it only once! D (younger DD) has memorized some of the lines, adopted the accent, and now calls me “Maman!”

    I am thinking of starting a sewing machine clearinghouse for those who have working machines they don’t use and can’t sell for any real amount of money so that they can donate the machines to organizations that can USE the machines, organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs and Alternatives for Battered Women… Lots of work between me and that clearinghouse, though!

    No, I need a job in the center, not a job on the side! LOL.

    • avatar admin says:

      I hear you, Gwendolyn. I am reading the MOST fascinating book, “The Path to Purpose” by William Damon. Fascinating stuff about people changing careers and looking for deeper meaning and purpose–i.e., what’s the foundational motivation behind what I do, that answers the question of “why?” http://www.williamdamon.com/pathtopurpose.html

      I found it on Amazon for a song, and the research that he does re: what makes people happy -vs- what we think should make us happy is fascinating. Very helpful ideas for children as we seek to guide them in a direction that would be good for them. I’ve probably marked 90% of the sentences on every page, lol, or at least as far as I’ve gotten when 4 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 husband have to talk to you when they should be doing something else and you take 2 minutes out of your day to actually read something….

  2. avatar Kerry says:

    I am already an art teacher, adoptive mom, and I sew, spin (wool), knit, weave and felt; and I show dogs (we have 5 currently!), so I am a bit off center as well. But- I would so LOVE to have bees!!! (and sheep and goats!) Checking out your pictures, I would also love to have a charming old dilapidated farm like this! Absolutely beautiful! (Don’t think my DH would agree- I have trouble getting him motivated for renovation projects!)

    • avatar admin says:

      That’s cool, Kerry, spinning wool-! I’m impressed. I’ll have to post the pics of the goats, there were no sheep that I saw there…. I just took a photo for my BIL of some hives–there were dozens, probably over 100 in one place in the country. Naturally, we thought of him, so I power the window down, lol, still far enough away, but you could hear the bzzzz!!!

      I know what you mean about the dilapidated farm. I see potential in any building and renovate these kinds of buildings for refugees abroad. As I started walking around the farm, my husband was like, “Okay, get in the car…”, he could see the wheels turning, lol!

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