Sammy Update

Sammy the Cat came home this afternoon feeling so much better than when he went to visit Dr. Steve Dotson at Bristol Animal Clinic. His abscess has been drained and he’s been pumped full of antibiotics (as there is no way I could get a pill down that throat). We’ve been trying to keep him in the house, and he’s been fairly pleasant, although he’s swung at me with his paw, bit at me and growled. I will admit, however, that some of those were in play.

After spending $170 on this little devil, I don’t want to let him out. However, about two hours ago he slipped out. I’ve been calling and calling.

I went and got Mike up and told him Sammy was gone…probably eaten by a coyote.

He went out on the porch with me to call and look for Sammy. He looked up toward the pergola and guess what he saw?

He won’t come down. I’ve held out ham and cooed at him. He just looks at me like I’m a small bug.


Sammy The Cat

Sam the Sinister Cat went to the vet today. He normally gets very sick in the car, but he felt so bad that he did not eat this morning, so he was “running on empty.”  He wasn’t very sinister either.

The lump that seemed so hard and didn’t seem painful when I first discovered it turned out to be an abscess.  It was opened today by Dr. Dotson and he is spending the night at the Bristol Animal Clinic.  I know it is scary for him to be caged and at the vet clinic overnight, but  I’ll bet he is much more comfortable  there than he was at home last night.

Since I’m working tomorrow, Mike will be picking him up.

I miss that mean little face tonight.  I’m the only one he likes!




Mendota Daily September 26

We’re in about the 4th day of fall, and the nights are getting very cool here in Mendota. I love sleeping in on these cold mornings.

Tomorrow I will not be sleeping in. As I mentioned in the post earlier this week, Sam the Cat has a lump on his little neck/jaw area. I did not think it was bothering him. I just found the lump on Monday while petting him, so I made an appointment for next Monday. Sam is a challenge to drive to the vet, and I wanted to be the one to drive him. Since I’m working on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week, I felt Monday was best since he did not appear to be in any discomfort and was eating normally. Now, however, he is in pain, and I’ve left my vet a message that he’ll have to see Sam tomorrow. Sam was abused as a kitten and he’s really a mean cat. He’ll have to be sedated before the vet will even be able to touch him. He also gets car sick. Poop pee puke. You get the picture.    I hope you weren’t eating when you read that!

We’re still working on projects and getting ready for winter. This weekend, I worked on the beehives.   I worked and took these pictures just as it became daylight as I wanted the bees to be inside their hives and not hanging around the entry way as they do during the day. 

Here’s Hive #2. If you look  at the base of the hive, you’ll see an opening going across the width of the structure. We leave that open during the “honey flow” so the bees can get in and out easily. If all is well, these hives have many thousands of bees bringing in pollen and nectar, and traffic can get quite congested. It reminds me of Federal Express in Memphis during take offs and landings.   Quite fun to watch as they zoom in with their little pockets full of pollen. 

As the weather cools and the bees become less active, we close this off. We do this to keep out cold and pests such as mice.

Here’s a picture of the same hive after I inserted a spacer.  Look at the bottom now…

When it gets much colder, we’ll close this off to a very tiny opening which is much smaller than what you see in the picture above. I’m very worried about my bees and how they’ll do this winter. They are positioned so that they don’t get strong wind, but they also are in the shade.   I’d really like for them to get the morning sun and the evening shade but it’s reversed.  If we know in advance that there is extreme cold this winter, we may bubble wrap the hives to help hold in warmth. The bees will cluster around the queen and keep her at about 85 degrees.  In summer,  they fan her  to keep her cool.

It is also time to remove the vents from the top of the hive.  In the picture below, I’ve removed the cover, and I’m getting ready to remove the vent.  The dark brown that you see under the screen are a few hundred bees. 

The vent is very useful in the summer. Just like in your house, the hot air rises and the vent allows the heat to escape. If you have attic vents, it is a similar principle.


In the picture below, I’ve removed the vent and placed the heavy block back on the hive to keep the roof in place.  I left the vent on the side of the hive so that the bees will be able to get back into their hives.   On the day following, I picked up the vents and took them home.  I’ve now got to ask Gerald how I clean them up to store it for winter.  We’ll be using these vents again next summer.

I really enjoy these bees. I was up at the hive this evening swapping around Mason jars of sugar water for these little guys. They’ve got used to my being there every day and are paying little attention when I make the swap. For some reason, one got up my sweatshirt sleeve (I wasn’t wearing the protective clothing). “Yikes,” I thought..”I’m going to get stung.”  Wonder of wonders…I did not!! Thank you little bee (who by the way would have been dead tonight had he or she stung me.)

 There is so much to learn and so much to risk if you do something wrong.

I will be so happy if next spring I have four hives of healthy bees.

To those who buy our honey, we greatly appreciate it.   We are working hard to provide a quality honey and to to our part in restoring honeybees to Southwest Virginia. 


Mendota Daily July 6, 2012

Sam the Sinister Cat takes a moment from being mean and suns himself on the patio while I am working my tail off inside. (He’s allowed into the house where there is A/C — just won’t stay in…apparently, he’s a little devil!)


Gracie’s Ramp

Our “dear girl” Gracie Barker Beaule is a 12-year old Golden Retriever.   She’s lost a lot of her long hair on her tail, but she’s still pretty.  I love her little white face.

She has arthritis in her back legs and hips. She can barely bend her back legs and going up and down the two steps that are required for her to enter or leave our house has become extremely difficult. She managed an awkward “hop” going down, but I worried that she would break her leg or her hip.

However, my husband and brother in law built her a ramp. Check this out:


She goes up and down with ease. I’m convinced this has added months to her life (and such a precious life it is).

Of course, there’s always something.  In this case, it’s Sam the Sinister Cat who still worries her.  He gets under the ramp, and like the little troll he is, he jumps out and scares Gracie.

He has a bad reputation for doing these things.  Look at this…

MOST WANTED!! Sam The Sinister Cat

He’s on the Mendota, Virginia Most Wanted List.

Sam on Ramp

Look at him…sunning himself.  He doesn’t feel guilty for terrorizing Gracie.  He does not care.    I’m sure he will keep scaring her until he gets caught.

Sam The Sinister Cat – Known Disguise

He’s very sly.   If he feels that folks around Mendota are suspicious, he pulls out one of his many disguises.  He sometimes wears a mustache.

If you have seen Sam the Sinister Cat, please leave a comment on this blog.



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