Tag Archives: Ouch


Poor Abigail.  She has some bones she hasn’t yet broken.  That number is shrinking though.  You may remember a while back she broke her wrist while riding her scooter.  I finally found the x-rays.  I have a real thing for x-rays I guess.  I really like to see what’s happening inside.  It’s just fascinating that we can see inside a body without being Superman and without doing surgery.

Broken wrist x-ray
Can you see the break?

Anyhow, if you check out Abigail’s big arm bone towards the head of the bone, you can see the break.  Not bad (aside from the fact that broken bones are always bad) and she is completely healed by now.

Broken wrist x-ray
I think it is easier to see here

Of course, she couldn’t be completely in one piece.  Last weekend, somehow, she broke her toe.  She didn’t complain much and I don’t remember when it even happened but she started hobbling a little bit.  I looked at her toe and it was bruised badly…like black and blue and red and ugly.  It was her little toe so I figured it was no great loss but Emily wanted to get an x-ray to make sure it was ok.  They headed to the doctor and he confirmed it (but we didn’t get copies of the x-rays).  She has her toes taped together for a few weeks and should be fine.  Still, it’s another broken bone…

X-ray of a healthy wrist
Her other non-broken wrist

I wish I could say this will be our last broken bone report but I know better.  Abigail is growing into her body so I figure there will be more “moments”.  That’s ok and if I had my druthers, I would prefer broken fingers and toes to bigger bones!


I went up to the deluxe shed by myself last weekend.  We are pushing pretty hard to get a few things done before the snow flies.  I was doing a lot of work under the house and had successfully ducked the cross beams for a couple of hours.  Towards the end of the day (luckily!), I misjudged my duck and smashed my head right into the cross beam.  I had a hat on which sort of protected my head, but I got a little messed up.  If you are easily grossed out, do not continue reading!

I was not painting with red paint…

I was wearing work gloves to protect my dainty hands so they were pretty dirty as you might expect.  When I hit, it dropped me right on the ground.  It wasn’t a matter of teetering around and then sitting down stunned.  It put me down hard.  My hat came off and I knew I had done damage.  My hat was off my head and I immediately put my nasty gloved hand on my head.  Sure enough, I was bleeding and had just smashed dirt into the cut.

Glad I had big band-aids and candy!

I staggered over to the car where, luckily (once again) I had remembered the first aid kit.  We keep a fairly well-stocked first-aid kit with us when we are working.  Since we are working with power tools and low hanging beams, it only seems wise.

Yes, that is a piece of skin in my hat

Anyhow, I self-doctored and texted Emily…  It sort of makes me laugh a little when I read it now.  As I was texting, I went back to my hat.  I found the chunk of skin that was ripped off still in the hat.  I decided not to keep a souvenir.  I think that was the right decision.  I will always carry with me, though, the memory of the squeaking noise that skin being ripped off my head made.  It was awful and that is how I knew for sure I had done damage.  It looks ugly and gooey now but I think I will make it through ok.  I definitely need a better story to explain the scar though…

Stingy stingy

This weekend was supposed to be the weekend I harvested honey from my hives.  I started as I always do by donning my suit listening to Johnny Cash. So I open each hive and check how things look through the small hole in the inner cover.  If all is well, I usually remove each frame, one at a time,  and shake the bees from it before I walk it over to Emily who waits inside the door to receive the frames.  I finished the hives at my house and headed to the next location.  It seemed pretty normal.  We started the same way and got one hive done.  I opened the second hive and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Bees are never thrilled with honey harvest day, but it has always been manageable…until this weekend.  I opened the outer lid on the second hive and it erupted with bees.  I thought it was odd but decided to press onward.  I got a number of honey frames out before the bees really came out.  Most times when I get in a hive, I only smell honey and the normal smell of happy little bees.  There are two main scents that bees release when things are about to go badly for the beekeeper.  The first warning one gets is a strong banana smell.  I know it sounds weird but if you smell bananas when you get in a hive, the bees are upset.  Sometimes you can continue, sometimes it’s best not to try.  The second smell is more ominous.  I can only describe it as the smell of a junior high locker room – it’s a strong b.o. smell.  When one smells that in a beehive, it is time to get away and fast.  I never did smell the banana smell but I definitely got the locker room smell but by then, it was too late.

Anyhow, once the attack started, I knew I wasn’t going to get any more honey off so that wasn’t an issue.  In all seriousness, staying conscious was more my goal.  At various points, I couldn’t hear anything but buzzing.  I also couldn’t see out of my veil as it was black with bees.  I started smashing bees as best I could so I could see to get a hose.  My father-in-law (who had a suit on thankfully) was able to get a garden hose to where I could pick it up.  I sprayed water in the air such that it felt like rain.  The bees thinned some which helped.  I continued to spray which settled things down to a manageable level.  Emily mixed up a few 5-gallon buckets of soapy water for me to pour into the hives.  You see, soapy water is the safest way to kill bees and it works fast.  I dumped 15-20 gallons of soapy water over each of the two bad hives to kill them.

Once both hives were essentially dead (some bees were still in the field…I poured more soapy water on them after dark to ensure no bees were left), I headed into the house to see the damage.  This picture of my back was the worst but my shoulders and front weren’t much better.  I wish I had taken a picture of my suit.  It had thousands of stingers in it as well.  Emily started to count the stings on my back but stopped counting at 200.  I fully expected to need my epi-pen (which I had thankfully) or at least head to the hospital but my reaction never got much worse than what is in the picture.  I took 2 benadryl and slept the rest of the day Saturday and most of the day Sunday.

I know I am pretty lucky that this didn’t end with a sad story.  It’s a good warning to anyone working with bees (or anyone who happens upon bees).  Honey bees are typically defensive only when provoked and are somewhat predictable…but not always.  I have never seen a hive react like this one did. When bees are unpredictable, they can be dangerous or even deadly.  These hives are no longer a threat.  I just thank my lucky stars that nobody was hurt…

Ok, so all this stinging stuff made me think this stuff…

Well, Sting of course…singing his coolest song ever!

And Ali – I wish I had been able to dance a little more and sting a little less…