Thursday, May 16, 2019

Riding with Intention

I went for a long bike ride today to clear my mind. It was the first ride I've taken in my beautiful new town since we moved here last summer. God I feel so free on that bike. It is one of my absolute favorite things ever to do. Feeling the wind and smelling the fresh air.. and the beautiful things that I saw. So many beautiful things that I tried to capture with my lens but cannot even begin to describe in photos and words. 
I had intended to maybe just go around my block but I kept going.. and going.. and going. For miles. I do this a lot. I start driving or riding and just go with no idea of where I am going. I wander, often.. to wild places. I didn't know the roads or the area much. I just rode. And I stopped when I saw something beautiful or needed to breathe. About 5 miles in I ended up at the bottom of such a steep hill and had no idea where I was. I began to worry that I wouldn't be able to make it back home. 

But I did make it. And I almost made it halfway up that steep hill. Almost. 

I rode about 12 miles I think. I guess I needed it. I'm feeling a lot of things this week so I rode my bike. And it was so good. 

Things I learned and remembered during today's ride:

- Sometimes where you think you are going ends up very different than what you imagined.
- Nobody will understand your journey the way you do. This is your ride and people will judge you no matter which way you go. Just go.. be a good human being with good intentions and do your best, then go forth and let it go. Anyone who is still having issue with you, is really struggling with themselves. 
- Switching gears is necessary to be able to navigate the roads in your life. Never be afraid to switch gears when you need to or you may spin out. 
- Being alone with yourself is good. You are born alone and will die alone. Being comfortable with that is so very important and puts so much in perspective.
- There will always be more "important" things that need to be done. This life is now. Slow down. Enjoy the moment and don't feel guilty for doing so. You have one life to live. That's it.
- Perception is so important. The hill is only unmanageable when you look too far ahead or listen to others who say it is a certain way. Look down at the road in front of you to form your own opinions, and you will get pulled along.
- If you keep trying and trying and it still isn't working. It is ok to hop off the ride. It's ok to stop and sit down and let go. It is ok to turn around and go a different way. Nothing can be forced. You can only do the best you can.

- Sometimes the only person who can appreciate where you are, where you've been or where you are going - is you. This is ok. 
- One of the best feelings in the world should be coming home. Home is not always a place you go to. It is the people who love you. It is safe and steady. I always wanted my children to feel that way. If you don't feel that way, ask yourself why. I'm so lucky to have a wonderful partner who is my home, my safe place and my best friend. You deserve that too.

I'm not sure if I left my ride solving anything much. I read somewhere yesterday that if after you have tried, and tried again looking for a way to solve a problem, you still have not found the answer... then it may simply be not so much a problem you have to solve but a fact you need to accept. I think those are wise words as hard as they may be.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

30 Free Spring Ideas and Activities for Caregivers of Children

Photo by Robin LaRoy, A Little Acorn Learning Mama

1. Take out old make-up or face paints and paint each other's faces.
2. Play a game of tic-tac-toe together.
3. Color a picture of a butterfly.
4. Have a dance party in your living room.
5. Make a homemade drum out of empty containers.
6. Go on a wildflower hunt outside.
7. Have a picnic with your children in your backyard.
8. Take a dog for a walk.
9. Take your children outside before dinner and play catch.
10. Look for shapes in the clouds today.
11. Be more mindful of how much water you use today.
12. Empty out one drawer that needs decluttering together.
13. Stack and balance rocks you find outside.
14. Paint plain flowerpots and turn them into something beautiful.
15. Play a game of marbles together.
16. Make a flower out of beeswax modeling material.
17. Try meditating for 15 minutes today.
18. Let the children go outside and roll down hills!
19. Watch the sunset together.
20. Pick flowers outside and press them in a big book.
21. Create a better recycling system or inspire someone else.
22. Go to a local park for the day.
23. Go outside and sketch a part of nature in full detail.
24. Let the sun hit your face today. Pause and let it warm you.
25. Have the children set the table for meals today.
26. Lay with your child at bedtime for 15 minutes and let them do the talking.
27. Wash your floors together.
28. Organize a game of kick the can with neighborhood kids.
29. Set up a special date with each one of your children alone.
30. Review any negative feelings you've had this past month. Why?

Friday, May 10, 2019

Granny Square Making and 4 Free Crochet Patterns

As many of you know, I just love to crochet. One of the most simple and beautiful things to make, in my opinion, are Granny Squares (or as my teen just called them Granny 'Patches' lol).  There are so many types of squares you can make from the very simple basic square to the more involved designs that 'patched' together can make the most beautiful blankets and projects. 

My friends over at A Child's Dream were so sweet and generous and sent me my very own care package of goodies after I worked on their Handwork Basket Giveaway (be sure to enter!). These products really are so beautiful. I prefer natural fibers and the vibrant colors of this 100% wool yarn they offer are so hard to find. It is so soft and does not feel like wool at all. I also just love their Brittney birch hooks. For those of you who are used to the metal crochet hooks typically found in craft stores, you have to give these a try. Use coupon code ACORN10 for any of your purchases through the end of the month to receive a 10% discount created just for us. 

Many of the students in our Beginning Crochet Course have really mastered the craft. It would be a natural step for them to start experimenting with Granny Squares next and I hope to share these patterns below with them as well. If you have always wanted to learn how to crochet, please join us. It is an ongoing five week ecourse that you can do at your own pace including emails, written and video tutorials. One of the most valuable parts of the course is our private support group where we all share and help one another. You can stay in that group as long as you wish even long after you complete the course.

I've been making these squares a little each day. I love idea of making a nice pillow or even a bag out of them. I may cut some pretty flowers out of the wool felt they send along and see if I can add them to the center of my squares or make some pretty hair clips like I used to offer in our Etsy shop. 

For those of you who already know how to crochet, below are some really wonderful squares to try out for free. 

Daisy Granny Square


Primavera Flower Granny Square

Owl Granny Square

Retts Granny Square

I would love to see what you make! 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Reclaiming the Village

"It takes a village to raise a child."

But what happens if there is no village?
Photographer - Amy Figley
When is the last time you were able to borrow eggs or milk from your neighbor when you ran out?

Speaking of neighbors, do you know yours? Do you know their names? Their children? Their lives?

Do they know you?

Photographer - Janie Mote
Are you alone in "the village"? Most of us are.

I want you to imagine....

Imagine a place to live where you know everybody's name (sound like Cheers minus the beer, doesn't it?). Imagine a place where your children are watched over not only by you but by others who care about them and know who they are. What could that do to the choices some children make? Could it create change?

Imagine a place where you and your family know you have plenty of people to call in case of an emergency, a place where you look out for one another and call upon each other (rather than Google) when you need help.

Imagine sharing skills and friendship with others right outside your front door, a place where you know people's struggles and you help ease their burden. Imagine a place where you get the same in return.

Imagine a place filled with neighborhood friends of all ages on porches, back decks, apartment terraces and playgrounds. Imagine your children cared for by others that you know and trust when you are not home.

Imagine not being alone anymore.

Imagine this place and then look outside your home.

It's there.  It only needs you to rebuild it.

I am asking for your support in helping us Reclaim, Rebuild and Renew our villages, one family at a time.

The first family is you.

This will require you to get out of your comfort zone. All change begins with us first being uncomfortable.

Here's how:
  • Get to know people on your road, in your apartment building or extended community. Stop to say hello or ask a question. Be prepared at first for some people to think you are odd or annoying. Sadly, it is not commonplace to start small talk at the mailbox anymore. Do not be discouraged. Remember that is what we are trying to change. Keep on.
  • Create a neighborhood watch program. Gather a group of adults to walk the streets together, taking back what is rightfully yours and your children's. Coordinate keeping outdoor lights on at the same times each night to create a safer environment. Take turns keeping an eye on things in groups outside.
  • Build a community garden. It can be in your own yard... but ask neighborhood children and adults to help and take home vegetables. Leave a 'Free for Neighbors' box of veggies outside your home whenever you have extra.
  • Coordinate a parent group in your neighborhood and organize safe outings for children so they can get to know one another.
  • Organize a garbage clean up to make your area a cleaner place to live. 
  • Focus on the elderly in your community.  Visit them, bring them meals, mow their lawn, take them to appointments and learn from their experiences.  
Photographer - Sarah Teo
  • Barter. Tutor a child in return for landscaping help. Teach computer skills in return for car rides. What can you give?  What could you use in return? Money is not always necessary when people are willing to work together to lift each other up.  
  • Offer to teach a skill at your home or on your porch - knitting, cooking, language.
  • Start a book club with neighborhood people.
  • If you live in an area where there is a large population that could benefit from English as a second language classes, offer them. Create a group of people that can help one another learn to write, read and speak in a new language. Then, in return, ask to learn their first language so you can expand your knowledge as well.
  • Schedule weekly nature walks around your home. Invite neighbors to come along. Get to know your outdoor landscape and space together. Invite special visitors to speak or share insight.  
  • Start a walking club. 
  • Help new parents find relief. Offer advice, supplies, breast feeding support and friendship. Offer to sit in the living room and hold the baby when a new mom needs a nap.  
  • Host a small backyard music concert! You can find others in your neighborhood who play instruments and invite them to perform or just play recorded music together.
  • Think about the seasons and holidays. Organize an Easter Egg Hunt, a Summer Party, a Bike Parade or a Trunk or Treat event in your driveways.  
  • Start a monthly mom and dads night out for neighborhood parents to get to know one another.  
  • Host movie nights indoors or on a screen outside.  
  • Consider opening up fences, creating paths to one another's homes and taking down some mental walls while still maintaining your privacy.  
  • Beautify your neighborhood together. Plant flowers, clean up trash and debris and restore old spaces.
  • Make a neighborhood playground or take turns having children rotate backyards each day of the week after school where one parent supervises.  
  • Make a community newsletter.  Ask for contributors - writers, classifieds, events.  
  • If you own a pool, consider hosting swimming once in awhile to those who do not have the same. 
  • Put benches, picnic tables and chairs in your front yard and encourage others to do the same. Talk to people when they walk by. Say hello (again, at first you will be the neighborhood crazy man or lady but that's OK!) Move your fire pit to the front yard and invite anyone who walks by to join you! 
  • If you live in a more isolated environment, expand this community by doing the same with people from church, school or work.
  • Start an annual neighborhood block party. Take back your streets and play games, eat together and bond. 
  • Create emergency plans together. Write it down. Make sure everyone knows where they can go for help and who has what to offer. Talk about fires, natural disasters (and sadly, yes, shootings) and other occurrences that you can help each other with. Consider a phone chain for emergencies. Remember people who need extra assistance. Be the ones they can count on.  
  • Post your neighbors phone numbers and emails on your wall and in your phones and have them do the same. When trust has been built, consider sharing house keys in case you are away or there is an emergency. 
  • Take care of your neighbors pets, plants and yard when they go away.  Be a presence in an otherwise empty home.
  • Have a community tag sale. 

Create an amazing world right where you live.

This article was originally published in 2014. Please feel free to share it at your will as long as the following biography is included:

Eileen is a former Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, work at home mother and the owner and publisher of Little Acorn Learning. The Little Acorn Learning guides have captured the hearts of caregivers and children all over the world. Based on seasonal themes and festivals, Little Acorn Learning inspires a love of nature and the home arts while supporting the caregiver's soul. Be sure to join the mailing list to receive special offers, FREE lessons, verses, songs, recipes and much more each month right in your inbox. And please follow Little Acorn Learning on Facebook and Instagram to continue to be inspired in your work with children. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Handcraft Giveaway from A Child's Dream and 10% OFF`

We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with yet another amazing sponsor who works with the same intention of helping caregivers create magical childhoods while also nurturing their own creativity. 

A Child's Dream is such a magical place.. a dreamy source for all natural materials to support all of your crafting needs. It has been a place I have gone to over and over again while my children were growing up, for supplies for my little school and still now for my own handwork projects.

This generous giveaway basket (a $70 value), will be gifted to one lucky winner. Additionally, A Child's Dream has created a special coupon code for all Little Acorn Learners who would like to get 10% off their purchase for the next two weeks! Just use coupon code ACORN10 upon checkout. 


What's included? 

Nature Spun Wool Yarn (3 skeins worsted)
DMC Pearl Cotton (3 skeins)
Embroidery needles

Holy Dream Come True is Right!  What will you make? 

How to Enter:

1. Simply comment below or on our Instagram Post telling us what your favorite type of handwork is and what you are working on or hope to work on soon.

2. Share this blog post link on Facebook inviting friends to check it out or Tag 3 friends on our Instagram Giveaway Post who are also crafty!

3. Head over to A Child's Dream and look around! If you see something you like, use the special coupon code just for Little Acorn Learning customers and followers: ACORN10 (this coupon is valid for 2 weeks after today)

Best of luck to you!  

Our Giveaway will end on May 11th and a winner will be randomly selected and announced from the comments here and on Instagram. Come back to see who won!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Warm Welcome to Our May Sponsor, Oak Meadow!

Oak Meadow has been such a wonderful company to work with over the years. We have always promoted one another's work, advertised together and I once even drove up to visit the team and their beautiful Vermont location.

I am so happy to once again offer their homeschooling resources to my viewers and customers. While we do much of the same work in the younger years, Oak Meadow offers a full homeschooling curriculum through high school which makes them a perfect bridge from your Little Acorn Learning.

This month, Oak Meadow is offer 20% off for a Mother's Day to Memorial Day Sale (May 12-27th).  The weekly lessons they offer are rich in experiential learning, actively engaging the student's mind, body and imagination. Your children will experience a multisensory education as they explore letters, numbers, color, song rhythm, and verse while learning about themselves and the world around them.

Reattaching Honeycomb to a Frame

As a new beekeeper, I was bound to make a mistake. As some of you may have been following the videos over on our Facebook Page and here on our blog, one of our colonies rejected their Queen and decided to merge into another hive. We tried to redirect it by swapping hive positions, but the bees were not fooled.. and they all went BACK to their preferred Queen and sadly, the other Queen died. I decided to cut my losses and enjoy working with my three colonies, one which is in mass-production considering it is double the amount of bees now. I think they truly know best and there was something about the other Queen that they sensed making them reject her. The amazing part was that even when we swapped the hive positions, they didn't redirect to Hive 1 or Hive 2.. they found the Hive they first merged with again.

Well, as we were working and with everything being so crazy, I made the novice mistake of leaving one frame out and a big space inside. The bees in crazy hive then took it upon themselves to fill that void with honeycomb that was attached to the lid. Not only would this make a huge mess eventually but everything would just be totally out of control inside so I consulted with a few people and I was told to cut the comb off the top and carefully attach it to an empty frame with rubber bands.

I was so super nervous about this. There are approximately 20,000 bees in that hive and most were inside this day because of the rain. Luckily, my partner was much more chill about it and we walked each other through it step by step and did it successfully without a sting! Watch the entire video of us doing this together over on Facebook.

I've left the hives alone for a few days and went down today. The activity levels are out of control!  Especially the merged hive. It made me a little worried that they were swarming or something was wrong but I was told all looks fine from my friend and I believe they are just working double time since it is the first beautiful day after a long stretch of rain. 

This experience has been truly so amazing. I love it. If anyone is considering beekeeping but feels intimidated, please reconsider. It's such a gift to our planet and it is really something you CAN do. Don't doubt yourself. While I am learning as I go, I am happy to chat with you about our experience and send you in the right direction for more guidance.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

When Good Parenting Hurts

I know I’m not the only one guilty of over-parenting at times. Watching our children struggle hurts. There is a natural inclination for us to want to help them.

For example, your child cannot do the monkey bars. She is so sad that her older sisters can do it and she cannot. So, each time you go to the playground, you help her across the bars by holding her body. “There you go, you did it!” you say.  She did? 
As parents, we need to know when to sit with the discomfort of watching our child struggle long enough to allow them the chance to succeed. What if all of those times that you went to the playground your daughter struggled, fell, got up and tried again?  
What if you used your hands instead to wipe away her tears and told her to keep practicing? She would eventually get it. Your heart may ache during the process but, this time it would truly be her success to celebrate. She would know that she is capable.
These are the moments we need to give our children back.  Success does not often come along with instant gratification. It comes with hard work and learning how to pick ourselves up after we fall down a few times.
How will our children ever learn how to pick themselves up if we never let them fall in the first place? 
But how do we know when to help or when to wait?
My youngest child suffered from such separation anxiety during the first month of Kindergarten that she actually became physically ill and would shake the night before a day of school. I tried everything to help ease her into the transition and feel comfortable and safe but nothing worked.  
After weeks of trying, I finally said “enough is enough” and decided to pull her out of school and let her detox for a few months. It was affecting her health and emotional well-being. She wouldn't eat worrying about school the next day. She wouldn't sleep. At only four years old, she was the youngest in her class.
I worried I was being over-protective. Well intentioned friends, family and staff at the school told me to just drop her off and let her cry. They said it would get better. But after weeks of trying it didn't. I worried that she'd never go back to school if I took her out..but the truth was that she needed me to honor where she was during that time in her life. She was not ready. She needed slower introductions to social situations without me helping. She needed time. 
And, in this case, it was the best gift I could have given her. 
After keeping her home for a few months, we sent her to a Waldorf Kindergarten and then held her back a year so she once again started traditional kindergarten the following year. 
It was like magic. Honoring where she was and allowing her time to grow enabled her to absolutely LOVE her kindergarten experience. That little girl is now twelve years old, in middle school, has sleepovers, a lot of friends and doesn't want her Mommy to tag along. This is something back then that I could have never imagined for her. Or me. 
But in other cases, I became aware of "rescue parenting" tactics that were creeping in and hindering my children’s ability to learn how to problem solve and grow into self-sufficient and independent human beings. 
For example, one of my daughters struggled more with fine motor skills growing up. I would watch her fumble and take 20 minutes to tie her shoe laces while her younger sister zipped through the task in 3 minutes. My heart would ache for her. 
When she did tie her shoes the knots were often loose and would come undone again. As a result, I found myself helping her or finishing up so she would somehow feel better about herself that her shoes got tied correctly. I wanted to protect her self-esteem. I didn't want her to trip! My intentions were good.
What I found, however, was the opposite. She eventually shared with me that she felt horrible that I always had to help her. She didn’t mind the time it was taking her to tie her own shoes. It was on her time and as long as she was given a little extra time to get ready (and not expected to do it at the same time as everyone else), she was happy. She was being patient with herself and the process and I was unsatisfied. I was afraid she couldn't do it. What message was I sending her? 
I promised myself that no matter how much she struggled, I was going to let her do it herself. Even if it meant waking her up a bit earlier in the mornings so time was not an issue. Even if it meant the laces became untied and she had to do it again and again.
It was hard and it sure as hell was not instant gratification. It took what seemed like forever. 
BUT, I’m proud to say she now ties her shoes VERY and is a teenager! No Velcro necessary. All without me… can you imagine that?
Knowing when to help and when to wait is a hard balance for us as parents. I believe, however, that if (like me) you work on becoming mindful about pausing before you help and make it a priority – you will soon begin to recognize when you are helicopter parenting and when you are truly helping your child in a beneficial way.
And yes, I’m talking to you (and me again, as a reminder to myself):
Mom with the middle school child who could easily learn to make his or her own lunch but you are afraid they won’t include all of the necessary food groups. 
Or you, Mom whose daughter desperately wants to learn to do her own hair but you do not like the way it comes out when she does it so you do it yourself rather than letting her learn by trial and error (and go to school looking like that). 
Or you, Dad whose teenager keeps oversleeping so you help them out the door by packing up their bag, grabbing their lunch out of the fridge or a million other things that you do each morning to make sure they make their bus on time. 
What would happen if they missed the bus, along with first period and had to stay in for detention that day?  Maybe they will be less likely to press ‘snooze’ the next morning? 
What natural consequences can we allow our children to endure so they can learn from life firsthand? 
How many times have you zipped up your child’s coat out of love rather than letting them struggle a bit to learn how to manage it themselves? 
Or cut up your older child’s meat rather than allowing them to learn how to properly use a knife?
Or called the parents of the neighbor’s child who just made your son cry without giving him the chance to go work it out first?
I've done it TONS of times! And still do. As a matter of fact, I just made my middle schooler's lunch last night. Again! 
Often, in our effort to help our children, we are actually stealing away their independence.  We are telling them (without words) that they are incapable, dependent and they can’t do it themselves.  
“Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.”  ~Robert A. Heinlein
Life and learning is not always easy. Let’s not always feel like we need to make it so for our children. 
My new goal is to make sure whatever I’m doing is helping my child to feel loved, self-sufficient, strong and capable. I want them to have the tools to grow into confident and independent adults that are not afraid to meet a challenge, struggle or yes, even to fall flat on their ass once in a while.
So the next time you go to open up that snack for your child – STOP! Give your child the chance to try to learn how to do it for himself. 
“You want a snack? Great, go make a healthy one.”
“You got an undeserved C- on your school paper? That’s horrible! Be sure to work that out with your teacher in the morning and let me know what the plan is.”
“Your friend has been unkind to you? That must have been really hurtful. I hope you can work it out. You have been good friends for so long. You will know in your heart how to find the right words or the decision to make.”
When to step-in and do something immediately:
-       Your child is being bullied.
-       Your child’s health is in danger.
-       Your child’s safety is at risk.
-       Your child needs advice or more ideas to figure out how to handle things on his or her own (but let him think it through himself first!).
-       Your child seems depressed.
-       Your child has really given it his all but truly needs more help from you.
-       Your child has physical or mental disabilities that require more assistance.
- Your child just isn't ready to do what you need them to do.

Otherwise, back-off moms and dads and go enjoy a well-deserved moment or two of peace. 
Feel free to share this article to help others just please keep the bio below in-tact: 
Eileen Foley is a work-at-home mother to four daughters. She writes and publishes Waldorf inspired ebooks and facilitates ecourses for parents, teachers and caregivers at Little Acorn Learning. For over 10 years, Eileen applied her love of nature-based learning in her work as owner and lead teacher at Little Acorn Playgarden in Connecticut. She worked at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School as their Lead Afterschool Kindergarten Teacher and ran the Morning Glories Program for Parents and Toddlers. Eileen also has worked as the Student Service Director for the Lifeways Northeast Training Programs for Early Childhood Providers. Visit her blog, Little Acorn Blog, or her Facebook Page  or follow Little Acorn Learning on Instagram for more great ideas and activities.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

And, Just Like That.. I'm a Beekeeper!

This is actually round 2 in my adventures (or attempts) in beekeeping. I tried to keep one hive at my old home many years ago but because of the close proximity to my pool, it was a disaster. All of the bees spent much of their time enjoying the chlorinated water while we dodged them to swim and eventually one of my daughters got stung on the diving board. So that was the end of that! 

It is a much different situation at my new home. We have a lot of property and a beautiful pond for the bees to enjoy. I tend to just go for it when trying something new .. so, I figured if we were going to give this beekeeping thing a try... and we wanted to harvest a bunch of honey, why only get one hive?

We got four. 
That's 40,000 bees! 

We ordered our bees and hives. I set everything up and struggled with location for awhile. I was afraid putting them next to the pond would ruin it for us as we really love to visit and sit there and have coffee on nice days. Luckily, I have a friend from my old town who is also keeping bees and she encouraged me to put them next to the pond as it would be a beautiful addition to it.  I'm so glad I listened. The bees really mind their own business and are very peaceful. Their goal is not to sting, it is to build and protect the Queen and the hive. We've been coexisting pretty great.
 Picking up the bees in the first place was pretty insane to begin with. I showed up at a garden center and there were four boxes with one queen and approximately 10,000 bees inside of each box. I literally picked them up, put them in the back of my jeep (which has no real trunk) and off I went.. even stopped through a drive thru to get a coffee on my way home. All I kept thinking is if the attendant only knew what was in my trunk when handing me my order... oh and also that I better not get in an accident or that would be a major disaster! 
At home, we boiled sugar water, filled the feeders in each hive and my fellow beekeeper friend came over to help us load the bees. "Loading" the bees isn't a very smooth process as it sounds. You basically crack the top of each box open, pull out the Queen box, cover the main box quick as all the bees are inside, uncork one side of the Queen, put her box in between the frames and gather up a lot of bravery to literally dump, hit and shake 10,000 bees into each hive. I wasn't the best at this job with Hive #1. My partner discovered this is apparently some unknown talent he possesses so he did Hives 2-4 successfully.

 Needless to say, we did it!  And without a sting. 
A few days later, I noticed Hive #4 had little to no activity and Hive #3 had double the activity. I checked and the Queen in #4 had never been released (the bees are supposed to eat through the candy corked side to let her free and the little box should be empty like this one).. 
but all of her bees just bailed on her and moved into Hive #3 and left her there. 

After talking with the man I purchased the bees from and also my friend that helped us, I decided to go down to the pond today and swap the location of Hive #4 with Hive #3. The thought process is that the bees that are out foraging will follow their flight patterns back into the empty hive and hopefully adopt the abandoned Queen.  

I was nervous as I literally had to lift up the hive with about 20,000 bees in it and move it over. I did a Facebook Live of the process if you'd like to see it. It went great and I'm glad I went for it. There are already tons of bees entering Hive #4 now and I'm hoping for the best. 

While I was down there, I put in all of the frames I could fit, checked on each hive (and all have been producing comb!) and filled the feeders.  

This entire experience has been so amazing and learning about the bees and how they work is so interesting and inspiring. I'm even more invested in helping the environment and these beautiful creatures to thrive now. 
I'll go back in a little less than a week to see how everything looks inside. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Crochet Easter Egg Pattern

These little eggs are so easy to work up and are a great way to use up extra yarn. They can be put on your spring nature table, given as gifts or even added in your child's basket. If you make enough of them maybe you can go on a hunt! You can do them all one color or you can keep changing yarn to make striped eggs.

Supplies Needed:

Extra Yarn
Play with Various Sized Crochet Hooks
Filling (wool is best)

Round 1: Ch 4, join with slip stitch to make a ring

Round 2: Make 6 sc inside the ring, join with slip stitch and add ring marker to help count rows
Round 3: *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, rep from * around - the rest of the pattern will be worked in the round so you do not have to join with slip stitch at the end of each row... use stitch marker to gauge when to start next round.
Round 4: *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 4 sts, rep from * around
Round 5: *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 5 sts, rep from * around 
Round 6 *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 6 sts, rep from * around 
Round 7: * 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 7 sts, rep from * around 
Round 8: *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 8 sts, rep from * around 
Round 9: *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 9 sts, rep from * around 
Round 10: 1 sc in every st around 
Round 11: *sc 2 tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, sc 2 tog, 1 sc in next 4 sts, rep from * again
Round 12: *sc 2 tog, 1 sc in next 2 sts, sc 2 tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, rep from * again
Round 13: *sc 2 tog, 1 sc in next st, sc 2 tog, 1 sc in eext 2 sts, rep from * again
Stuff egg with fiber and continue to close off:
Round 14: sc 2 tog all the way around 
Close off with slip stitch at end and fasten. Weave ends. 

By the way, if you do not yet know how to crochet we have an amazing and very affordable online course for beginners. It is a full 5 week course which includes emails, a private group and video tutorials as well as personalized support from the instructor, myself and fellow students. You can start anytime and work at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.

We hope you join us and get HOOKED too!