Thursday, January 31, 2013


Two weeks ago, we noticed usual activity surrounding the bees. When we went to investigate, we saw our hive was under attack by robber bees. Eric reduced the entrance to the hive. I covered the hive in a sheet.

But our measures we no match for the robber bees. Within a day, our six box high hive was an empty shell of the thriving bee metropolis it once was.

Eric pulled what honey he could from the hive. I cannot express the deep sadness and loss I feel. I went out the very same day on a quest to pick up a swarm. A friend said she had spotted one. When I arrived to the canyon, the bees were not there. I now have a mobile swarm capture box with veil, spray bottle for sugar water and assorted tools to help with the acquisition in the back of my car. We are on the cusp of swarm season. I hope to pick up two swarms to start two new hives at Camp Ramshackle. If you see any swarm in the LA area, in particular Northeast LA or Pasadena, please post a comment to let me know. I'm on the hunt.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

Flourless chocolate cake to be exact. A dear friend celebrates a significant birthday this year. To celebrate, I presented her with a flourless chocolate cake. Our dear friend Phoenix has been making quite a few lately. I used his recipe. Wonderfully easy to make. And the product is tastebud poppingly delicious.

What week doesn't deserve a bit of celebration? Wednesday for being Wednesday. Birthday optional, I say. Give yourself a gift and make a flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
12 oz. chocolate (I use the dark chocolate chips from Whole Foods)
1 cup Earth's Balance (butter for dairy eaters)
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 dairy free milk (or regular)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Oil and dust 9" spring form pan.
2. Melt chocolate.
3. Cream butter, add sugar, eggs, melted chocolate, cocoa powder and milk. Transfer batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Although in my oven, I bake it for a full hour until the top cracks. Let cool on a cake rack. Break from spring form pan. Dust with powdered sugar. Eat and be happy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cork Bandolier

Pirates, or at least pirate weaponry, are hot again at Camp Ramshackle. My youngest son with his art director sensibility decided he would like to make a bandolier. We talked about the project and came up with this idea that made for a fun afternoon project. Plus, he looks pretty wicked and ready for the high seas now. Calico Jack, take note.

29 corks
2 toothpicks
2 pieces twine, approximately 48" each

Tape the toothpicks to the end of the twine. This will serve as a sewing needle to attach the corks. We color coded the toothpicks, which helped us assemble the corks without twisting the bandolier.

Drill two holes in each cork about a half inch from the ends. I used a larger drill bit so it would be easy to pass the toothpick needles through the holes.

Sew the corks together using both twines parallel to each other.

To secure the cork in place, loop back into the same hole.

And tighten. Once all your corks are on, size the bandolier to fit your pirate, then tie off the ends.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I received a call from my funny friend Maryellen Hooper. "Is everything okay?" she asked. We talked for about an hour as she returned home from from a comedy gig. We talked about holidays, family, yada yada yada. In the end she said in what's with the blog? How come you aren't writing as much? I explained I had been writing quite a bit but not on the blog. I've been at work on some projects.

Maryellen understands this. Two years ago, Maryellen went through a similar dryspell with her Stinky Flowers blog. She had an eyeopening experience when she realized she had written a total of seven entries for the entire year. She made a resolution to write more and as a woman of her word, has done so.

This new year, I have made only one resolution. To laugh more. Not that I don't already laugh a lot, but I want to laugh more. Good thing I have friends like Maryellen. She keeps me laughing. And I appreciate the blogging nudge, Maryellen.