Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Holy Life is one tough assignment!

At least once a year, I do something stupid having to do with hubby’s beekeeping hobby. This was last year's story. I suppose it is time to tell this year's story, although I had hoped to just skip it.

First, I must give a bit of background information. All honey granulates, or crystallizes eventually. Honey that has granulated has not gone bad. Raw local honey contains active natural enzymes and antioxidants and has inherent anti-fungal properties. Granulating does not effect quality but quality can be diminished if honey is not brought back to a liquid state properly. Pure honey can be preserved indefinitely but it must be heated at low temperatures to preserve all of the healthy properties of honey.

We have an oven that has a low warm setting. When our honey begins to crystallize, we warm our oven and let honey sit in it for about an hour or so and then turn the oven off. Even when the oven is on, the jars are never too warm to hold in my hand. That is how I choose to safely bring our honey back to a liquid state. Okay, that is all for the tutorial.

On June 5, I noticed that we had some honey that was beginning to crystallize. I was in a hurry but before I left for an errand, I decided to quickly get my honey in the oven and start to warm it. I know that I was running a bit late and I was hurrying. My eye was also bothering me and I did not have my contact in my left eye. However, I still do not know exactly what I did wrong.

I arrived home about an hour and a half later. As I pulled into the garage, I smelled burned honey and realized something was very wrong. I ran into the kitchen and saw honey leaking onto the floor. Everything happened quickly. I did not even look at the oven setting but quickly pushed the cancel button. I threw open the oven door and saw the bottles had broken, the lids had melted or blown up. I cannot think of words to describe the HUGE mess! I can only assume that I put the oven on Broil instead of on Warm. The thoughts raced through my head in seconds, immediately upon entering the kitchen, I thought, “Oh, no! I have ruined our hard wood floor and our stove!”

I needed to leave for the airport in 45 minutes to go pick up my hubby from a business trip to bring him home. I FLEW into action! The short story is that I got the floor cleaned up and the outside of the oven so that it was barely visible as one entered the room and went to pick up my beekeeper hubby.

As a travel weary Bob got into the car, he said with a sigh, “I sure do love you, Babe.”

I blanched and said, “It’s a good thing!”

As I told him the story, my very dear, good husband laughed. Seriously, he did! Am I blessed or what?

Well, I scrubbed and washed with vinegar and did the best that I could on the oven and then asked Bob if he thought it would be okay if I ran the “Self-clean” cycle on the oven. We agreed to give it a try. The first half hour was without incident and so hubby got on a conference call in his office and I ran out to do a couple more errands.

I was only gone for a few minutes when my cell phone rang and Bob said, “Where are you? Every smoke alarm in the house is going off!”

I hurried home. BTW, there were about 50 people on Bob’s conference call and many did not know that he was running the conference call from our house. When the alarms went off, the phone was on “speaker phone” and Bob calmly said, “Excuse me a minute, we have alarms going off in the office. Let me go check that out and I will be right back,” which is when he called me. After several minutes we disengaged all of the detectors (the smoke alarms and one of the carbon monoxide detectors) and opened doors and windows. Bob returned to his conference call explaining a “false alarm.”

The oven cleaned up well and looked good—inside and out—the house aired out and finally I could chuckle—a tiny bit over the experience.

We had guests three weeks later. One morning, our carbon monoxide detector went off at 5:30 a.m. We had to wake our guests and send them and their toddler and baby outside while the fire department came and checked out our carbon monoxide detector. No carbon monoxide was found in the house but the alarm had probably been damaged by the smoke three weeks earlier and just gave out at that inopportune time when we had guests.

Unfortunately that was not the end. On July 25th, I noticed a puddle of honey on our basement ping pong table. I cleaned it up and washed the boards above it and replaced a ceiling tile.

Sadly we were not done yet. Within a few weeks there was more honey so I rigged up an aluminum pan under the ceiling tiles to catch the dripping honey and emptied it from time to time. Surely, I thought it would dry up eventually.

But it did not. In mid August, we began getting honey drips from several more new areas. When I realized that, I decided the problem was too big for me to handle and again called on my hubby’s help.

So today, while my sisters looked on, two wonderful carpenters came over to move the oven, replace some flooring and deal with my honey disaster. They said, they have been called on for some odd jobs but this was a first for them.

Tonight, I’d like to say, “All is well! The honey saga is ended.”

But it is not. Some honey is underneath the hard wood floors. The carpenters believe that they have most of it cleaned up but have drilled a few holes in the basement ceiling above the tiles to let the rest of the honey drain out. I heard one man muttering about feeling so sticky it was if he had bathed in honey. I could completely empathize!

We will put up another aluminum pan. The honey seems to be in one localized area. A box of new ceiling tiles has been ordered.

My husband still smiles at me and he tells me he loves me. He is not an ordinary beekeeper, he is a Real Keeper!

One of the carpenters today quoted Gary Thomas from the book the Sacred Marriage, “What if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy, but holy?”

I am thinking that Bob is sure getting holy. Poor guy, he had no idea that he was signing up for that thirteen years ago!


Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

With your sisters I rejoin: "Slow down. You move too fast...." I think that line is from "Feeling Groovy". As opposed to feeling sticky! What a story.

Wanda said...

Brenda...I can't believe that oven cleaned up so well...very unique funny story!

Bernie said...

Brenda, what a story, and what a mess....you did a marvellous job of cleaning that oven and everything else for that matter. I agree, Bob is a keeper....how wonderful for you that all is well now, I bet your house smells wonderful, just like honey (or is it burnt honey).... Have a great day my friend. :-) Hugs

Jacquelyn said...

I think you have the "holiest" husband around! Oh my goodness...what a story! I would be laughing except it seems so much like something I could so easily do myself. Just tonight, while trying to hand my son a dish of shortcake with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and the works, I instead landed it on our brand new beige carpet. I have no idea how that happened! I can't wait to go back and read your last years' story!

loiswilly said...

Hey, you've been holding out on your Therapist. You didn't tell me this WHOLE story! :0)

Anonymous said...

Oh Brenda.
Oh Brenda!!....I am sooo sorry this happened. Honey is almost THE worst thing to clean up....and it sounds like your clean up was an ongoing one. Bless your heart...and bless your husband.
I can only ask...how did you manage to get through this without throwing something....or crying...sigh. As a former beekeeper's daughter, I can relate to the reasoning behind the heating of the honey...and as a Mom, I can relate to broken jars of honey on the floor.
A little P.S. One customer of Daddy's thought that when it said to place honey in warm water when it begins to turn to the crystal stage, took it literally. He opened the jar, and POURED the honey in water to heat it on the stove. Things to make us smile...
Again...I am so sorry that this happened....and I hope the end of the cleanup is behind you.
With smiles to you....

Rachel said...

Wow, Brenda! What a story!