Harsh Heat Index Postpones The Honey Harvest… and other humidity problems

Friday night I got a call that my nephew, Zane was in the hospital with an altered mental status. The doctors ran tox-screens, checked his spinal fluid, and ran a battery of other test. However, in the end they concluded that he had acute dehydration. He spent two days in the hospital but thankfully has now recovered.

Can you imagine that? A fit 13 year old boy getting that hot? Well we have had Heat Warnings issued across the country all last week and there is no relief on the 10 day forecast. I’m not nearly as fit as my nephew, so I am planning my beekeeping work accordingly.

Heat Index

By the way, did you know that heat index is a real thing? When sweat evaporates off of you skin it removes heat from your body but when the humidity is high, the sweat won’t evaporate quickly enough causing the body to react to the environment as if it were hotter than the thermostat indicates. So 90°F at 88% humidity will make your body feel like it is 113°F. So Beekeepers, heed the heat index!

I had planned to start honey harvesting this past week but I’ve been too busy to get out there and, with the heat index, it’s just as well. Besides, it wasn’t as if I didn’t have other project that I could work on. So I will postpone the harvest for one more week in hopes of less hellish weather.

Stop Reading Here

Now the rest of this blog has nothing to do with beekeeping (so if you are a beekeeper, you may want to stop reading now). However, if you are so overwhelmed with DIY projects that you feel like you are drowning, then read on and maybe my hellish to-do list will make you feel better about your life decisions.

My To Do List

  • My Day Job
  • My Night Job
  • Cook, Clean, and Family Time
  • The hot water tank is making a noise
  • Hives splitting
  • Honey harvesting
  • build more hives
  • three hive removals
  • mom’s car is making a noise
  • Mow the lawn
  • fix leak at my daughters house
  • roof my house
  • my son’s car is making a noise
  • level my foundation
  • remodel the kitchen
  • build my daughter a set of Corn Holes
  • build a new chicken house
  • my truck is making a noise
  • work on my invention
  • finish writing my novel
  • finish my B.S. degree in Safety
  • my back is now making a noise…

The list is totally true and absolutely dynamic as the order changes by what needs the most attention. Right now, while my bees need attention, the small leak in my daughter’s ceiling due to condensation on the A/C duct (A problem I thought I had fixed) made the ceiling fall down and that noise in my mom’s car was the rear trailing arm that has now broken and turned her car into a large lawn-ornament. So those two things just got moved up on the list.

Someone asked me the other day, why didn’t I just hire someone to do all of the work? That list would cost a $100K if I hired someone whereas I can DIY it for about $10K. Besides it’s all about priorities.

I’m not cheap. Last week I blew $400 dollars to find out the my dog was just a filthy little faker! I thought she was dying but it turned out she had quit eating for 4 days because she was having a really bad heat. As soon as she got home from the vet she was miraculously healed – she and I are still not speaking.

Anyway back to the ceiling repairs. It turned out that there was a one foot section of duct in the attic that need to be insulated better – that has now been done. Noah and I spent the rest of the weekend patching the ceiling. A task that took 3 hours longer due to the fact I had bought 5/8″ sheet-rock and had to drive back to Lowe’s (an hour away) to get the 1/2″ stuff.

I’m a decent carpenter but I’m no professional so everything takes me three times as long as it should. However, I am pleased to say we did a very nice job fixing the ceiling. It still needs a couple of more thin coats of mud to smooth out the joints but it already looks better than the builder’s grade ceiling throughout the rest of the house.

In a few years, I plan to build my dream home. I’ve already designed what I feel is the perfect house. Designing homes is a passion for me and I have a degree in Architectural Design and Construction Technology.

My wife and I own three houses (don’t be impressed, they all need work). However, this presents an opportunity to improve my building skills for our next home and try out a few colors and styles before we commit to them.

So this ceiling patching project is not just a chance to do some home renovations but a chance to improve my plastering skills. Because of that, I want the job done as close to perfect as I am capable of doing.

Over the next year, home renovations will be included in my weekly blogs and I’ll let you know what I learn along the way and some of the things we try out..

DIY

This project required us to cut out all the bad sheet-rock and replace it. We cut the whole much larger so that we could make the whole as square as possible. The less joints the better.

One unconventional thing I did – that may be totally stupid – was to use a sheet of green-board sheet-rock (normally used for bathrooms to prevent mildew). I put the sheet-rock with the green side in to prevent any future mildew. I’ve never heard of anyone doing this but it made sense to me.

After we fitted the new sheet-rock in place, we taped it off and put a skim coat over everything. By the way, in this case the tape we are referring to is for plaster work and does not have any sort of adhesive on it. Instead you put a thin coat of plaster one the backside and then smooth it into place.

After the plaster dried, we gave it a very light sanding and then put on a second thin coat of plaster. I am sure a better craftsman could have done this in just two coats but I plan to do at least two more coats to be sure it is smooth.

One interesting thing that we found during the demolition was the that under the sheet-rock was a solid wooden ceiling. At first I thought this was just overkill but then we noticed the fabric between the layers and realized that the house was so old that it had originally been constructed with a wood ceiling covered in a fine wallpaper. That was when houses were built to last and not just to save money.

When we finished with the ceiling (and was waiting for it to dry) I thought it would be a good time to cut my yard – given it has gotten so out of hand that explorers are planning an expedition to find origin of my sprinkler system.

Alas, the lawnmower wouldn’t start and so began a three hour back and forth to the shops to find the right fuel filter and spark plugs ending in no-joy as the parts all have to be ordered. Well that looks like next weeks project – and the to-do list gets shuffled again.

I think I may take a couple of vacation days from work and try to catch up on some of these projects… it’s all about priorities.

Since I was so busy this weekend, my wonderfully longsuffering wife baked a Honey Apple Cake with a Honey Sauce to go over it for this week’s Friday Recipe… so hit the follow button below to see that.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Alexandra A says:

    Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are super dangerous so thanks for shoutin’ that out there. It will only get worse, I fear. I love the detail about your dog – my Bull terrier (gone now) used to do the same thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hehehe!! I get tired just reading about all of your projects!! It’s great to be so motivated! Yes, heat stroke is real as I know from living on the hottest and driest continent in the world – so drink up and keep cool – those temperatures are just around the corner for us here in Australia!! I will be keeping an eye out for that cake recipe!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏
    https://donnadoesdresses.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      Just out of curiosity, how cold does it get down under?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It depends on where you are – the very southern state of Tasmania is closer to Antarctica so can get pretty chilly, under 10°C in winter. In the far north in Queensland and the Northern Territory it’s hot all year round. Where we are in Eden, on the south east coast facing the South Pacific Ocean, and about 500 kilometres south of Sydney, it’s pretty mild and it’s rarely below 10°C and it’s in the high teens all this week – 50s – 60sF? (I always wonder why the USA still use imperial measurements). When we are up in Wollongong, an hour south of Sydney it’s very mild all year round. The problem here is that we are in constant drought through climate change and poor management of water resources … sorry for the essay response … 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏

        Like

  3. You’re a very busy boy… Good luck with all the things that make noises!! That honey cake looks delicious. Hope you get relief from the heat – that’s no fun for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      Thanks, Martin. I can hardly wait for autumn.

      Like

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