Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Congressman Kline, the republican that represents Minnesota's 2nd district, just sent out one of those impersonal form letters telling us all what great work he is doing. I always find these letters to be a bit comical considering I've written Mr. Kline on numerous issues and from what I've said you'd think his staff would be capable of figuring out who they should and shouldn't send their generic letters to.

The latest:

February 1, 2012

Dear Mrs. Valadez:

In his State of the Union address last week, the President called on Congress to advance initiatives to help increase America's energy independence and help the private sector create jobs.

I could not agree more.

That is why it was extremely disappointing when the President recently rejected the Keystone XL energy pipeline which would transport oil from Canada to Texas. Construction of the Keystone pipeline, which was recommended by the President's own Jobs Council, would create tens of thousands of jobs. The initiative would also further develop our vast energy resources and partner our country with North American allies to lessen our dependence on hostile regions of the world.

Gas prices in Minnesota have doubled since January 2009. Lisa, a constituent from Carver County, commutes about 50 miles round-trip each day to work. As gas prices hovered near $4 per gallon record highs last summer, she told me she felt like she was being "sucker punched with no means of self-defense" every time she pulled up to the pump.

Four years ago, I helped champion an all-of-the-above energy policy – a strategy that will help eliminate uncertainty, bring down prices, and position America for greater energy independence now and into the future. We advanced this cause last year when House Republicans launched the "American Energy Initiative," an ongoing effort to stop government policies that are driving up gas prices; expand American energy production to lower costs and create more jobs; and promote an "all of the above" strategy to increase all forms of American energy. Click here to read more.

To receive additional updates on legislative activity and my work in Congress, visit my website at As always, please feel free to contact me on any matter of concern to you.


Member of Congress

I should have pointed out in my response to his staff that I find it interesting that Mr. Klein didn't care about those rising gas prices when George Bush was president but instead I sent the following.

I respectfully request that Mr. Kline not misrepresent facts when sending out informational emails. Mr. Kline has assumed that the average citizen doesn't have the intelligence or inclination to do their own research on current issues.

The only thing the POTUS has done worth commending since he was elected is denying the permits necessary to build the Keystone Pipeline. Not only has such an undertaking not been proven to be environmentally safe but it does not create tens of thousands of jobs. This is clearly something Mr. Klein either hasn't educated himself on or continues to claim when he knows it to be false. TransCanada, the company requesting to build the pipeline, has already stated that little more than 6,000 jobs would be available on a given day and independent research say those numbers are inflated. Aside from the few thousand jobs that would be created, the jobs will be temporary construction, lasting two weeks to about two years. As for being independent of foreign oil. The oil is still foreign, having come from Canada, and aside from that fact, only 5% of the oil is going to remain in the U.S. with 95% being shipped out. The pipeline doesn't bring energy independence nor does it bring long term employment. What it does bring is the possibility of environmental destruction that we would not be able to overcome. So please, in the future, if you want to misrepresent the facts, send the information to someone who doesn't know better.


Clearly, Mr. Republican Kline and Mrs. Centrist Me do not see eye to eye on the issues. No harm no foul. It isn't as if I expect this man to change his view or his tactics because I write him opinionated letters about saving the environment and its inhabitants but at the very least I'd expect him to hire a group of people to review his mail and use their noggin when sending out information on all the "great work" he does. Can't my tax dollars at least go for that? or maybe I should just learn not to click on anything coming from his office.

Monday, January 30, 2012


When I took my beekeeping course two years ago there were a few beekeepers on hand to show us treasures from the hive. One man and his young daughter had a tiny beehive candle that I fell in love with. I asked if they sold the mold, which they did not, but they said I could purchase one from a bee supply company and make my own once my bees started giving me some wax to use.

Well, I've waited ever so patiently for my honeybees to create a surplus of honey and beeswax for me to take but we've gone another year without any extras. Am I sad? Not really. Our bees know what they are doing and why they do it so I just have to make do with other people's extras :D

The other day I drove over to Natures Nectar, our honeybee supplier, and picked up 4.5 lbs of beeswax to make candles with. There is nothing better than beeswax straight from the hive, except, of course, HONEY! Beeswax from a local beekeeper is the best! I have to keep my kids from pawing all over it, wanting just one last sniff because it smells so amazing!

Here is our lovely slab of beeswax:

But... beeswax in slab form doesn't do me any good when I'm about to make candles so I had to break it into chunks.

Once the beeswax was cut up I had to get my mold ready. I purchased this cute little beehive mold from Mann Lake, the same company we buy most of our bee equipment from.

I heated up the wonderful beeswax in a double boiler.

Poured them into molds.

and what did I produce?

The cutest little beehive candle ever :D

Now for the giveaway. I've not been the best "blog giveaway" person but all of that is about to change. I'd like to start 2012 off right by sending one of these cute candles to someone in the blogosphere to say THANK YOU for reading my blog. The only thing you have to do to qualify is post in the comment section on why the survival of the honeybee is important to you.

The winner will be determined by random number generator (online) and announced on this blog February 10 :)

Friday, January 27, 2012


My friend Teresa over at Raising Our & food is having an awesome blog giveaway. Don't miss out! Teresa will be sharing some of her sisters amazing handmade soaps with fellow bloggers so make sure you follow the link above to get all the details and enter for a chance to win.

This giveaway is for residents of Canada & the U.S.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


While doing some reading on capitalism recently I happened to come across another writing blog titled "Forbidden Heights." I don't know much about the author of this blog other than I think his name is Frank but I do know I enjoy the articles he has shared and I can identify with his purpose for writing. I think this article in particular is worth sharing:


(Click the Title to Read the Entire Article)

There are many other ways in which vampire capitalism can draw the lifeblood of the masses. It can take control of all resources or means of production in a particular channel and even create an entire industry - often at a cheap "introductory rate" - to attract people away from other competitors or less-offensive, community-oriented systems. The Monsanto Company, as an example, has been the subject of much controversy in the agricultural world. Over time, vampire capitalism can systematically strip away options making it exceedingly difficult for the individual to avoid participation in an enslaving paradigm. How many of us in the United States for example can simply forgo having a car, and all of the mandatory, associated costs including insurance, gas, maintenance, registration, etc, in order to carry on with daily life? Any person or entity trying to circumvent the channels of vampire capitalism through self-reliance or creativity is either cast out, crushed through economic, political or legal means, or simply bought out of the way. From local farmers to grocery stores to hardware stores to independent bookstores and movie theaters, many have gone out of business or have been bought out by the heavyweight competition in the industry. A drive today through any average American city or suburb will take us past a repeating, nondescript landscape filled with strip malls proudly beaming neon signs of chain restaurants, department stores and supermarkets, all owned by large corporations eager to maximize their profits. And while they may advertise a million products tailored to one's "unique lifestyle" and needs and tastes, it is not too difficult to be overshadowed by a feeling of sameness.

Thank you Frank at Forbidden Heights for allowing me to share a piece of your article on my blog.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I thought this video by EARTH JUSTICE was a great way of explaining FRACKING. If you are interested in what the debate is all about, please watch the short youtube clip.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Thanks to Maryam Henein, director of Vanishing of the Bees, for sharing the link to this video on twitter.

Monday, December 26, 2011


2011 was the creative, energetic sense. I've felt completely uninspired since mid summer. I thought turning 40 this year would somehow reignite my spirit but no, all energy seems to have gone wherever my muse went.

I never make New Years resolutions. I believe a person can change at any time, they don't need to save it all up for the turn of the year. If I want to change something about myself or what I'm doing I'll do it when the moment strikes. Funny though that the moment seems to be now when we're about to venture into 2012. So...I think this blog post can officially be considered my New Years Resolution post. Having it all written down for everyone to read makes me more accountable to my goals in some way.

Here are my top 10:

1. Read two books a month and share a review of one on my new "writing" blog. Stop reading 3-4 books at the same time, never really finishing one.

2. Buy that Canon and become the awesome beetographer I'd like to be(e) :D

3. Appreciate friends more. Not that I don't already appreciate my friends but I need to show it more.

4. Focus on mastering the whole knitting thing. I've been working on mittens since winter 2010 and still haven't figured out how to finish the dang thumb (and I've been shown at least 3x's). I've set that project aside numerous times but if I don't figure it out I'm going to lose my mind. YES! I tend to obsess over such things and if I don't stop that soon I'll never get anything knitted before next Christmas, which leads me to #5

5. Stop being such a perfectionist.

6. Keep working on my domestic goddess skills. (Gardening, Canning, Cooking, Beekeeping).

7. Be a better blogger. I deleted my blog and found that I really do miss the writing and also connecting with others in the blogosphere. No more talk about deleting blogs. Which leads me to...

8. Blogging on a schedule. All my posts here at Within The Hive will be about creative ventures & family. The other blog will be for writing whatever moves me. I'll have to keep the long-winded posts separate from the creative shares. I've decided I'm going to dedicate one day a week to both blogs once the holidays are over.

9. Stop making promises I won't keep. That is a big one. I'm going to become the "maybe" or "I'll think about it" person. No more using the word YES because I really hate that word.

10. Keep working on staying healthy. More exercise and staying away from animal products. I really really love cheese though and the vegan cheese doesn't melt on hot sandwhiches the way real dairy cheese does. So we'll call that one a work in progress but I have an entire year to get it right, right? :D

That's it. Nothing too complicated. Hopefully by staying a little more focussed my muse will return and I'll feel energized enough to make 2012 my most creative year yet :) I'll be back to blog after the New Year!