Monthly Archives: June 2018

Just 25 Book Memes that Will Have Book Lovers Shouting “ME TOO!”

Take a break from Friday reading and enjoy these hilarious (and true) memes for book lovers!

25 Book Memes for Book Lovers

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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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18 Buzzworthy Facts about Bumblebees

A close relative of the honeybee, bumblebees are essential in pollinating flowers and plants that provide humans with most of the produce we eat today. They are usually found bumbling around forests, meadows and gardens, their fuzzy bodies full of delicious pollen and nectar.  As a matter of fact, nearly a third of all the food we eat depends on their pollination and the pollination of their brothers, the butterfly.

For some reason, several pollinators – including the bumblebee – are facing severe extinction…and scientists are struggling to figure out why (pesticides, food availability or mites might be contributing factors). Since so much of our survival and the survival of the rest of the animal kingdom is dependent on these furry little flyers, it’s so incredibly important to do what we can to keep these little buddies alive.

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In 2014 Whole Foods removed all of the fruits, vegetables and dairy products dependent on pollinators from its assortment to create a striking visual of what our grocery stores and supermarkets would look like without the bumblebee:

DAIRY, BEFORE AND AFTER:

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PRODUCE, BEFORE AND AFTER:

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Quite a difference, right?

Doing your part to save the bumblebee is as easy as planting some flowers in your garden and not using harmful pesticides on your growing produce. These bees are bred and born to keep the world turning and without them, humanity – and life as we know it – is bound to suffer.

If you want to learn more about the bumblebee and what you can do to help this little harmless creature survive, check out these 18 buzzworthy facts about bumblebees!

18 Buzzworthy Facts about Bumblebees

The world’s largest bumblebee is the Bombus dahlbomii of South Africa. The queens (bottom left) are described as looking like flying mice.

Bumblebees are among the most social creatures in the animal kingdom.

Bumblebee eggs are shaped like tiny sausages.

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A bumblebee flaps its wings 200 times per second.

Because of their super high metabolism, bees have to eat almost continuously. A bumblebee with a full stomach is only ever about 40 minutes from starvation.

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Honeybees are the only bees that die after they sting you. A bumblebee can sting you twice, however male bees do not have stingers and females aren’t that aggressive, so unless you really irritate a nest, you should be safe from bumblebees.

A typical bumblebee nest has about 300 to 400 worker bees, much less than a honeybee or wasp nest, which could have upwards of tens of thousands of workers.

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There are about 25,000 known species of bee and about 250 known species of bumblebees specifically.

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The queen is the only bee that survives hibernation and she’s left to create a colony by herself. Sperm stored up from mating the previous summer survives in her ovaries, ready to fertilize her eggs once she’s finally able to nest.

To produce a male bee, a queen as to lay an unfertilized egg. To have female bees, which make up most of the workforce, an egg must be fertilized.

To safely pick up a bee, scientists use a device called a pooter, which allows them to study them without harming them. The mesh covering insures that the bee won’t fly into the scientists mouth.

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When bees land on a flower, they leave their chemical signature behind from the oils on their feet. Other bees can smell those oils and know not to land on the same flower because it’s already been pillaged.

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If a bee’s nest gets too hot, worker bees post themselves near the entrance and fan the hot air out with their wings…like a little A/C unit. The ideal temperature for a nest is 86 degrees F. If it rises above 111 degrees, the bees will die.

Bumblebee nests are often in the ground or made of piles of leaves. They can also use abandoned nests of birds or mammals.

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The surname Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series is an old name for ‘bumblebee’.

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Bumblebees are mostly attracted to blue and violet flowers.

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The lifespan of bumblebees is pretty short. Drones, which are used mainly to fertilize the Queen, die immediately after reproduction. Worker bees can survive a couple months. A Queen can live up to one year.

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One way you can immediately help preserve the bumblebee population is to plant wildflowers in your garden.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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Crocheted Apple Amigurumi

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

I love this quote from The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich. Beautiful and sad, this passage is a subtle reminder of the importance of being thankful for simple pleasures and accepting those things we can’t change.

I, for one, almost always need a reminder to take a moment and be thankful…and this little crocheted apple buddy is just the reflection I need to slow down and breathe.

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The pattern for this crocheted apple can be found at GateandO Crochet. There are also super helpful images to help you complete your apples. You will need to translate the page into English, so some of the steps are slightly confusing, but I found it understandable, especially with the photos.

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I’ve made these in a handful of colors and I love having them on display to remind me to “taste the sweetness” as often as possible. They’re also great for decorating your home come fall!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Sometimes Things Just Happen

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“Sometimes things just happen to you. They just happen. You can’t help it. But it’s what you do next that counts. Not what happens, but what you decide to do about it.”
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Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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24 Desserts from Around the World

Tired of the same old cupcakes and cookies at every party or celebration? Up your dessert game by making Fairy Bread, Figgy Duff, Babka, Mandazi, or Qatayef Asafiri instead!

This collection of 24 international sweets is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth…and might even introduce you to something you never even knew you needed in your life.

From one side of the globe to the other, here are 24 dessert recipes from around the world!

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24 Desserts from Around the World

Australia – Fairy Bread

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Brazil – Brigadeiro

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Canada – Figgy Duff

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Denmark – Aebleskiver

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Egypt – Umm Ali

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Finland – Spoon Cookies

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Greece – Samali Cake

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Hungary – Blintzes

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Israel – Babka

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Japan – Mitarashi Dango

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Kenya – Mandazi 

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Lebanon – Baklava

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Morocco – Chebakia

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Netherlands – Poffertjes

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Oman – Chana Dal Halwa

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Poland – Paczki

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Qatar – Qatayef Asafiri

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Romania – Mucenici

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Switzerland – Zurich Apple Fritters

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Turkey – Apricots with Cream Stuffing

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Ukraine – Khrustyky

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Vietnam – Banh-bo

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Yemen – Bint Al Sahn

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Zimbabwe – Candy Cakes

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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The George Carlin Letters Book Review

Oftentimes we never really see a full person. We see their work self, their play self, their happy self, or the self they want everyone to see. And oftentimes, as in the case with George Carlin at least, the self that remains hidden from most of the world is the most beautiful and tender side of all.

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In the years before he died, comedian George Carlin released nearly 15 HBO specials, 20 CD’s, wrote 6 books and made countless appearances in movies and TV shows. In each one of those outlets, he talked openly and honestly about everything from religion to politics, all while staying true to the crochety old-man-style of humor that made him a legend in his own right.

But when the shoes came off at the end of the day, Carlin was a very different man. Gone was the hard exterior…gone were the attitudes about Catholicism, voting, aging, and stupid people doing stupid things. Once he got home, back to his comfort zone, back to Sally Wade, Carlin was a cupcake.

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The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade is a unique illustrated memoir written by Carlin’s second wife, Sally Wade. Filled with never-before-seen writings and artwork by the late great comedian, woven into Wade’s telling of the last 10 years of their life together, this beautiful book shows the hidden side of a man we all thought we knew. The real George Carlin was a romantic, an artist, a lover. He wrote notes to Sally daily…telling her how beautiful she was, how wonderful she was, how much joy she brought to his life. They shared wild and mystical pipe dreams, dreaming of flying around Jupiter and making it their own. They shared nicknames and created a language only they understood. Their love was real, ever-growing, and so secret and protected. It was a kind of love so many of us only dream of having.

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Published after he died, The George Carlin Letters show a very different side of a comedian we all thought we knew through and through. Heartwarming, sad, tender, and bittersweet, this book acts as one final love letter from Sally to George…and maybe even a heart-felt goodbye from Sally to George’s fans. This is the REAL side of the man we all loved…his soft underbelly that he kept so hidden from the rest of the world. In the most beautiful way possible, Sally helps readers see a side of Carlin only she witnessed, giving us a close, intimate look into one of the most romantic stories never told.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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17 Fun Facts about George Carlin

George Carlin did more than make people laugh – he made them think. Over the course of his long career, this legendary comedian released several albums, published a handful of books, recorded more than a dozen comedy specials, and even appeared in a few TV shows. He often challenged American thinking and way of life, as well as other hot-button topics like religion, parenthood, and death.

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Carlin would have been 81 this year…and lord knows he would have PLENTY to say about today’s world! Let me give you a taste…

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Way ahead of his time, right?!

To help celebrate this smart, yet satirical man, here are 17 fun facts about George Carlin!

17 Fun Facts about George Carlin

Carlin’s love of language stemmed from his father, who was an advertising manager for the New York newspaper, The Sun. Carlin’s grandfather, a NYC police officer, wrote out Shakespeare’s tragedies in longhand for fun.

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Growing up, Carlin’s hero was actor/singer/dancer/comedian, Danny Kaye.

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Carlin went to the same high school as Martin Scorsese and Regis Philbin…however he did not officially graduate because he was expelled. He would steal money from visiting sports teams and joked about having drugs on school property.

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In the 1950’s, Carlin worked as a radar technician on B-47s at Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base. He was court-martialed once after celebrating the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers winning the World Series by getting drunk on wine and telling off his tech sergeant.

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His love of language naturally evolved to a love of curse words, as well. He would write down the “most colorful” profanities he heard in his neighborhood and keep them in his pocket.

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Carlin was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1970’s for obscenity after giving a stand-up performance at Summerfest. However it was almost much worse. He happened to have cocaine in his pocket, which he handed off to a band member before exiting the stage where cops were waiting for him.

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Carlin was the first-ever host of Saturday Night Live. He was also the first host of Fridays (1980-1982), ABC’s attempted version of SNL.

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Carlin was almost aborted as a baby. His mother had a change of heart after seeing a painting on the wall of the doctor’s office.

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When Carlin was just 2 months old, his mom, brother and him escaped his abusive father by climbing down the fire escape. Carlin never saw his father again.

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When Carlin was 9, he and his friend Dave Wilson, would do stand-up routines at summer camp. Wilson would go on to become the longtime director of Saturday Night Live.

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Carlin’s breakthrough album, 1972’s FM & AM, earned him a Grammy Award.

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Carlin kept extensive files of material…about 1,300 separate files encompassing 44 years worth of collecting thoughts, notions, ideas, pieces of data, and material.

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Carlin was a great supporter of young musicians and performers. He actually called Eminem “a brilliant poetic artist”.

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Despite his cynicism regarding pop culture, Carlin was a big fan of the TV show, Survivor.

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Carlin also refused to vote.

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He may have come across as a harsh critic, but Carlin was actually a very sweet romantic. He was only married twice, the first one (which lasted 37 years) ending in his wife’s death, the second one ending in his.

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Carlin died on June 22, 2008 of heart failure. He was 71. His death occurred one week after his last performance at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In accordance with his wishes, his body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in front of various nightclubs he played in NYC, as well as over Spofford Lake in New Hampshire, where he attended summer camp.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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