According to the All Knowing BabyCenter.Com, at 35 weeks, It’ll is now the size of a honeydew melon.

Honeydew, honeydew melon, It’ll and me.

Looking at this picture (don’t know about y’all, but I had to take a step back from my computer in order to take in the entirety of my whaleness) makes me think that perhaps it is time to start doing the Please-It’ll-Don’t-Come-Early-Dance, as opposed to 99.9% of my compatriots on BabyCenter.com, who are starting their spicy-Mexican-food-and-evening-primose-rose-oil, etc, regimes in hopes of being D-U-N with pregnancy.

But my Honeydew must still return to California once more, to make sure that the new queens he carefully grafted and introduced into each hive last moth have been given their proper Royal welcome, and therefore I have no desire to be D-U-N just yet.  So let’s hope that It’ll isn’t as impatient as his/her mama typically is.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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Honeydew and I have a beautiful new niece, and we spent some time earlier this week getting to know her a little better.

Honeydew is more natural with children than any other man I’ve known.  His ease around them, whether they are throwing up into his hands, like our nephew did over New Year’s, or hanging off of him like he’s the latest thing in jungle gyms, which he prefers, is fascinating to me – and in some ways, a little intimidating, too.

Even when a newborn starts to fuss, Honeydew is unruffled, and seems completely accepting of the fact that babies, being babies, are programmed to cry, and it often has nothing to with the competence or charm of the baby holder, and that this stage of life only lasts for so long.  I have a sneaking suspicion he will be a fabulous infant comforter in the months to come, and that I will have much to learn from him.

During this getting-to-know-you session with our niece, I discovered that Honeydew has some rather unorthodox tricks up his sleeve in the realm of calming tiny children.  When newest niece began to cry, and Honeydew’s bouncing and rocking failed to make a dent in her turmoil, he began to howl right along with her.

And she stopped crying.

And I put the camera down, and laughed until I just about cried.

What a goofball.  Sure glad he’s my goofball.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.

Over the weekend, the roads were closed.  But all was well because I had my chocolate ice cream, my salad greens, and my husband.

On Monday, Duck Lake Road reopened but the snows returned and the winds picked back up.  Honeydew and I figured that the road would close again by mid-afternoon, so he got going.  He called me from Browning, 40 miles south, to tell me not to try to attempt to leave  unless absolutely necessary, as he’d found West Shore Road, the dirt road we live on that connects to Duck Lake Road, plugged with snow.  He’d taken his pickup through our neighbor’s pasture and over some barbed wire, and had made it out, but had doubts that I could do the same.  His attitude towards my snow driving skills would have annoyed me last winter.

Not this year.  The amount of snow and wind and bitter, bone chilling cold we have received have all contributed to my attitude change.  I did not grow up driving in the fluffy stuff.  I am not an expert, nor does it seem that I am naturally inclined to successful navigation of snow covered roads.

Tuesday, more of the same.  Duck Lake Road open, but West Shore Road plugged, no access.  Brother Dear had an appointment with a client in Cut Bank, so he took the through-the-pasture-and-over-the-barbed-wire route and made it through.

Wednesday, still no plow.  No chocolate ice cream, either.  But the sun came out and the snow settled and Brother Dear told me he thought I could make it out of the pasture.  He assured me that if I got stuck, he’d come to my rescue, and stuck his fully charged cell phone in his pocket to reassure me.  I took a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition.  And with a little gunning it, I too escaped the pasture.

Armed with a newfound confidence, I drove one handed on my way back from the post office, snapping pictures along the way.

To the left, you can see the tracks leading to the pasture.  Straight ahead is where West Shore Road should be.

Here’s the entrance to the pasture, and the barbed wire.  I’ve never purposefully driven over barbed wire before!

It is so hard to take good pictures in flat light and snow, but here’s the “route” through the pasture – I had just come off the steep part, which I used both hands to navigate.

Here’s the exit from the pasture, through our neighbors’ driveway.

And here’s a look back at West Shore Road – the tracks to the left lead off to the South Shore of Duck Lake, straight ahead is again where the road should be.

Arriving home, I called Pseudo Sista and told her that I thought our previously laid plans for dinner would still work, that the pasture-route wasn’t as bad as I had feared, that she should come on from Browning after work.

And so she did.  And she made us yummy pizza and we ate the last of the salad greens and  fell into the easy conversation that years of friendship bring to a table.

Overnight, the winds picked up a bit and more snow fell.  But the winds “only” blew about 30MPH, and I suppose I’ve become desensitized to them, after our weekend of 114MPH gusts.  At 6:30am, I checked the road report: Duck Lake Road, open.  So I figured that West Shore Road was still fine, that the tracks would have blown over but would still be solid.  A plan was formed: I have a Tahoe with good clearance.  Pseudo Sista has a Subaru, a fine car, but lacking in clearance.  I would lead the way from the Warehome to Duck Lake Road, and she would follow in my tracks, be at work by 7:30am, and all would be well with the world.

We left in the breaking daylight at 6:45a.m.  At 6:50a.m., Pseudo Sista was walking down West Shore Road to the cabin, to rouse Brother Dear from his slumber and request a tow.  And I was sitting in my Tahoe, stuck sideways in a drift.

I think cabin fever is officially settling in.  Send chocolate ice cream, greens, and backhoes.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.

Honeydew!

And just in time to refill the woodbox, fix the kitchen sink, and plow out the driveway, too.

Though I’d be equally happy if he wanted to sit at the kitchen table and drink coffee and discuss the weather with me and eat all the chocolate-chip-pecan-cinnamon-banana bread I made in preparation for his arrival.  And the apple crisp.  And the turkey soup.  Honeydew is very fun to feed.

Honeydew is very fun, period.  And after a full month without him, I’m ready for some fun.  Welcome home, honey!

And just in case your darlin’ has been down in California for the last little while, living the oh-so-glamorous life of the commercial beekeeper, here’s a great ‘naner bread recipe that’s sure to please and can withstand the United States Postal Service, too:

Cinnamon-Pecan-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 bananas, mashed (2 cups mashed banana)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, plus another 1/2 cup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F .

Grease and flour a standard size Pyrex dish – this recipe is big enough to make a “sheet cake” of banana bread, perfect for dividing into plastic containers for gifting.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs. Stir in the chips and pecans (do not overmix!) and pour into the prepared pan. Take the remaining 1/2 cup pecans and garnish the top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up – for the last 15 minutes of baking, I turned up the heat to 350 to crisp the edges and top of the bread.  ‘Cause that’s the way I like it.  Enjoy!

Adapted from the Rachael Ray recipe.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

On the internets, I refer to my darling husband as Honeydew, which seems to amuse rather than offend him, despite the resulting ribbing he takes from his friends.

When we were first dating and I was extolling Honeydew’s virtues to a treasured girlfriend from law school, she thought I had taken to calling him Honey Do – that works, too!

At any rate, most of my dear friends and family are aware of this Honeydew/Honey Do moniker, and often surprise me with trinkets and gifts that remind them of Honeydew, like this fabulous beer my best friend’s husband recently procured for my amusement.  It is Fuller’s Honeydew, an organic brew from England.  And the bottle made me long for college decorating days, when the height of chic were cabinets tops proudly displaying empty bottles.

Ah, college.

2011.  Photo credit to Mark Luxbacher.  Glacier County Honey Co.   All Rights Reserved.

Earlier this week, Honeydew and I trekked to Missoula to present “our story” to a University of Montana Law School class that will be using Glacier County Honey Company as their real-world hypothetical in the land of business transactions.  I believe the general idea of this partnership is to help the law students see that the study of business transactions will be of assistance to both those lawyers who will advise mega-corporations like Coca-Cola, and to those lawyers who will hold the hands and wipe the brows of teeny tiny corporations like the Glacier County Honey Co.  So, pretty much, all lawyers.  I wish the business transactions course I took in law school had included such a hypothetical.  Perhaps then I wouldn’t have needed so much hand holding when Honeydew and I set up our own business!

On the other side of the partnership, Honeydew and I will gain the benefit of our company’s strengths and weaknesses being assessed by about 80 law students possessing the distance from Glacier County Honey Company, and beekeeping/small business in general, necessary to making reasonable assessments about our business.  We’ll probably pick up some new blog readers and honey devotees along the way, and we’ll certainly get a sense of satisfaction in contributing to our state’s lone legal studies program, though perhaps that satisfaction will run deeper for me than for Honeydew.

As I stood at the bottom of the stadium-style lecture hall, shifting my growing weight from one monogrammed cowboy boot to the other, I considered for a moment all that had brought me to this very odd moment – attempting to engage a lecture hall of students enrolled in the very same class that brought me my lowest grade in law school, not because it was so difficult, but because I found it so incredibly dull.  And so I took a deep breath and resolved to inject some enthusiasm into whatever it was I was about to say about our company.

And as I began to speak, ever so ineloquently, I’m sure, I remembered that it’s never hard to speak with conviction about what you love, what you believe in, and what fascinates you, even though you may not be sure of all the answers.

I’ve thanked Honeydew before for introducing me to the beekeeping biz – I hope he also knows how much I appreciate his unflagging encouragement of my fascination with his winged ladies.  Not every husband would be willing to let his wife lead a presentation on which he is the acknowledged expert.  I suppose it goes without saying, but I will anyway, because he reads my blog religiously when he is in California, that I am very lucky that he treats me like the Queen Bee.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

Brother Dear has really been feelin’ the Christmas spirit this year.

He bought Honeydew and I matching Snuggies for our stockings.

We’re invisible!

Oh, if only we were.  Hope your Christmases were … snuggly.

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.