Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pictures of Rory

Here's a little photo update of Rory:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When Life Gives You Honeycombs, Make Beeswax!

I made this yesterday.

What is it, you ask? Why, it's a bar of beeswax! I melted it down from this:

Dave brought home a bag of honeycomb that his colleague had given him. The bees ate all of the honey that was left after the comb was harvested, so it was just a bunch of wax. I melted it down, sorted it out, and rigged up a mold. I've never done anything like this before so I decided to just jump right in and figure it out. I messed up several times, but finally got to my desired end result!

I needed to put the honeycomb in something i could boil it in. It wasn't going to fit, so I grabbed some tongs.

Filled the jar.

By this time, my water was ready!

In went the jar!

Progress check:

After about 15 minutes, all that was left was a jar of sweet-smelling goop.

Here was my first mess up. I let the wax harden in the jar and realized I couldn't get it out! I put the jar back in the boiling water just long enough for the outside to melt. Then I tipped the jar up so the wax came to the front and stuck a butter knife in and cut it in half. I sliced off the bottom where solid particles had settled in the wax.

I wanted to create some sort of mold so that I would end up with a solid block of wax. I thought that putting some Saran wrap in a little container and re-melting the wax would work well. I shoved my solid pieces in here and popped it in the microwave.

After I took it out of the microwave, there was this weird brown stuff in there! I grabbed a fork and scooped it out. No big deal, right?

Wrong. The wax had gotten so hot in the microwave that it melted the Saran wrap. That's what that weird brown stuff was in the cup!

Whoops. I had to think fast, because the wax was cooling. My next great idea was to make a bar-shaped mold out of tin foil. I had wanted to make a foil mold in the first place, but knew I couldn't put it in the microwave. It should have occurred to me to make a tin foil mold and melt the wax in a different container. Oh well. I'll remember next time!

I was able to pour the wax into the foil with only a couple of drips on the counter!

Then to let it set...

After it cooled, I peeled back the foil to expose my solid bar of beeswax!

Then I attempted to smooth the edges by running the bar under hot water until it was pliable. It was still a little bumpy and fingerprint-y but it was good enough for me.

So that was my first experiment with melting down honeycomb for beeswax. I wasn't looking forward to cleanup, but I found that if I ran the dish or utensil under really hot water and then scrubbed it with LOC kitchen cleaner, it came off quite easily! (But you have to use the LOC. I tried it without and it didn't work, hence the reason I used it!)

Dave said he will probably be bringing more honeycomb home, so I'm looking forward to perfecting my technique! I don't know what I'll do with all this wax... Maybe I'll make a candle when I get enough, beeswax smells heavenly!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Car Seat Jumble

When we first put Rory's car seat in our car, we put it behind the passenger seat and put Bruce's behind the driver's seat. This made everyone happy except for the person sitting in the passenger seat who was forced to sit with knees pressed up against the air bag compartment, silently praying that the car NOT get in a wreck.

Dave and I fought over who got to drive for the better part of two months. Normally I drive, but his long legs were harder to cram in such a small place. (Mine weren't that much easier, especially considering that I'm bigger around!)

A few weeks ago, all the men in our extended family went on a camping trip. Our car was needed to haul Dave's brother and nephew, so we had to take Rory's car seat out of the back to make room. When I put her car seat back in, I decided to try putting it in the middle of the back seat. This way the car seat fit between the two front seats, allowing us to scoot back and stretch out. (And I got to start driving again!)

The only person who didn't neccessarily benefit from this new arrangement was Bruce, as he was squished between Rory's large seat and the door. I asked Bruce how he felt about the new arrangement before I actually hooked the seats in, and to my relief, he said he liked it! He adores his little sister and was thrilled to be able to sit closer to her.

There are additional benefits, as well. Since she has someone to look at back there, she usually stays awake and engaged which is great for keeping her nap schedule on track! When she cries, Bruce is right there to talk or sing to her, or just to provide her with the momentary relief a pacifier can bring. She loves watching her older brother and I am really happy that they can have a special time together. The bite-sized responsibility is good for Bruce, too. I can tell he likes being able to be the one to care for her and attend to her while we aren't physically able to do so.

So for now, this works. And soon enough, she'll be a year old and we can turn her seat around!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I've not been updating lately. The reason? Because literally 95% of my time online is done on my iPhone. I hadn't found an acceptable way to post from said iPhone, so I was doing what I could do... Twitter!

But I've found an application that should make it easy to update from my iPhone. So we'll see how this goes!