That Time I Crossed “Mess With Some Bees” Off of My Bucket List: Catholic Stuff Saturday

by | May 5, 2018 | Bees, Catholic Stuff Saturday | 77 comments

Hey, look! It’s me with a handful of bees!

I have mentioned before that I have a weird bucket list. You guys asked for details. Well, it includes things like . . .

Heroically land a commercial airliner after the pilots have become incapacitated:
Well, Sean Connery, I can.
Kill (re-kill?) some zombies:
Give myself stitches:
and Execute a Superhero Landing:
I have not seen this movie, and don’t know who this gal is, but that’s what I want to do. I have seen this:
The list also includes bees. So when my friend Micaela found a swarm of bees in her hedge, it was like a dream come true:
I just happened to have purchased a basic beekeeping starter kit, when we bought a house with two poolside cabanas that turned out to be full of bees. But, as it happens, bees don’t necessary want to move into a hive when they already have a perfectly good cabana. So, I still had all the gear, ready to go. 
And, Micaela had read this blog post, and told me about it, so we were pretty much experts.
I loaded up the kids the next morning, drove to her house and we cut the branches, and scooped the bees off the branch and into the box! It was AMAZING. They were all buzzing around us, but without honey or babies to protect, they are quite docile. And we even saw the queen bee go into the hive box.
See for yourself!
We got the box all closed up with the queen in there, and then gave them the rest of the day for the scouts to come back. After bee bedtime, I came back, loaded the box into my minivan and drove it home.
It’s now situated in our new little orchard and we’ll just wait and see if the bees feel like sticking around. Anyway, it was a really cool experience. I recommend it.

They seem to be settling in well.

Bees in slow motion: the thing you didn’t know was missing from your life.

Next order of business . . . 
I’m working on a little project that is not a cookbook but is cookbook-related, and I have therefore been looking at my cookbooks, and researching other cookbooks. Cookbook, cookbook, cookbook.
Here’s what I’ve got now:
I’d love to know what your go-to cookbooks are. I know I should have something by Pioneer Woman, I love her online recipes, but she has so many cookbooks, I don’t know which to choose. Smitten Kitchen, and Brown-Eyed Baker are my other favorite cooking blogs, but I don’t have any of them in book form. So . . . lay ’em on me. 
The awesomest thing I have encountered so far in my cookbook research is the fact that the cover 1931 first edition of The Joy of Cooking features St. Martha of Bethany, patron saint of cooking, “slaying the dragon of kitchen drudgery.” What could be more awesome than that?
And speaking of books . . . let’s do a bookish Catholic Stuff Saturday.
It’s May, the month of Mary, which means it’s the perfect time to get into, or back into, the habit of a family Rosary. 
Here’s a post on why:


And a post on how:


To help you on your way, I’ve got giveaway copies of The Rosary in Art for Children by Mary Cooney! And, extra bonus, The Stations of the Cross for Children by Carolyn Cooney.

There will be three winners, one here on the blog, one of Facebook, and one on Instagram. Stay tuned for those. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post telling me the last time you said a Rosary. You’re allowed to say never, especially if you’re planning on these books giving you the inspiration to start a new habit!
The winner of last week’s giveaway for the LEGO Catechism is . . . Jonathan of The Catholic Woodworker! Congratulations, Jonathan. You’re going to love this book. Please email me by the end of the day on Monday to claim your prize.


  1. mel

    About 4 nights ago? We try to say it nightly but…yeah. Four nights ago. 🙂

  2. Ann-Marie Ulczynski

    This morning! I set a goal to pray it everyday this month (haven’t done that since college!). Bees are so fun. Do the ones in the cabana produce honey?

  3. Isabelle

    Yesterday! With the group we created (rosary for the mums, liturgical living activities for the kiddos – we crowned Our Lady!) these books would be just perfect to keep the kids focused while we pray!
    Sooo, that’d be 8 mums and 22 children (so far, the eldest is 6!) benefitting. I’d call it pretty efficient! 😉
    I also wanted to say, I’m so glad you started blogging regularly again, the internet wasn’t the same without you!

    • Kendra

      That sounds lovely! We do the same thing with our homeschool group!

  4. Jazlyn

    Last summer. However, I think these books would make it easier to reintroduce a family rosary with our kids.

  5. Amanda

    This morning, while I ran errands!

    I like pioneer woman’s first cookbook best. One of them is organized into holidays, but they are sadly lacking in saints’ days. Perhaps a gap SOMEONE could fill….

  6. Ann Marie DeLaRosa

    Yesterday…we are trying to get back in the habit! My son is almost three and sometimes the family Rosary is a struggle. I would love to have an item like this in my toddler arsenal to help him stay focused a little longer!!

  7. Jana

    Ooo. I love my How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. He was one of the judges on BBC's The Great British Bake Off (on Netflix it's called Great British Baking Show). I've tried several of the recipes and my family likes them. I want Mary Berry's books but they are pricy.

    Make it Paleo by Bill Staley and Haley Mason is good. They also have an cookbook for entertaining that I hear is good.

    Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is very good. She has neat information about how traditional dishes were prepared and the nutrition associated with traditional cultures.

    If you want some flavors that are different from American with the usage of turnips and other uncommon vegetables try Scandinavian Christmas by Trine Hahnemann. I discovered the book when looking for St Lucia day foods.

    As for the rosary, my husband and I say it daily after the kids go to bed. So, last night I said it. But I still struggle with it. If my husband is away for the night I often forget to say it. 🙁

  8. Ashley Strukel

    Wednesday morning we had an hour drive to a field trip so we did the holy heroes joyful mysteries in the car.

  9. Christine

    Hmmm… a long time. The kids and I said some Hail Marys when we got our Mary out of winter storage.

  10. Mary McGiffin

    About ten days ago… Mine are almost always spontaneous car rosaries with the little kids, either because it pops into my head or theirs. We don't always remember, but when we do, we always say yes!

  11. Francy Pantsy

    Three days ago while taking a hike! Mine usually end up being walking or car rosaries, but we did do a decade after dinner for Lent! ��

  12. Molli Mc G

    I say a decade with the kids every night, and try to fit in the rest during the day, but am not always successful at completing the whole rosary. I don’t know why it seems so hard- it’s easy, short, valuable, but I still struggle.

  13. Hannah

    Yesterday with the help of EWTNs children rosary on YouTube with another mom and our 6 kids 4 and under

  14. Cheryl Goheen

    Yesterday. I've been trying to get into shape so I'm working out to the Rosary Workout on YouTube. It brings a whole new level to sacrificial penance.

  15. Rebecca

    We pray nightly as a family… so, last night. Funny story: we only say three decades with our kids because that’s about what they can handle now, but then we sing the Salve Regina. One day when we were able to say five decades, our son asked, “What, I thought there were only three decades before we sing?”

  16. Anonymous

    Yesterday- I pray the rosary while I nurse my youngest! When they’re no longer nursing I say it while putting the kids to bed.

  17. Kristin mcnabb-friedmann

    Last night, as my daughter and I we're waiting for her x-ray results in the ER. (Yay, no heel fracture!) I say it every night before bed, and we try to do a family rosary once a week.

  18. Kristin Dvorsky

    Last week on our walk! It's nice to listen to the audio, that way I don't get distracted 🙂

  19. Schafergal (Ashley)

    This morning. In the car. With the Relevant Radio app. And plenty of distractions from littles. But that’s just how we roll these days. I’ve been working on “a distracted/pre-recorded Rosary is better than no Rosary at all”

  20. Katie

    Yesterday! While in labor/ giving birth to my 4th. We have been trying a daily decade with the kids though that's been going well!

  21. Stephanie Shoulta

    I started one last night but my guardian angel had to finish! I really didn't want to fall asleep but that's what I get for praying in bed!

  22. Susan Staudt

    30 minutes ago. My husband and I say one together every day (we’re both retired).

  23. Jessica

    I said a decade with my son’s kindergarten class yesterday at their Mom’s Day.

  24. Lisa Burek

    Yesterday- we did a consecration to Mary in December and have really enjoyed praying it daily since then!

  25. Hannah Jasmine

    Fave cookbooks: The first two Pioneer Woman cookbooks (the spine of one is orange and the other yellow); Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; an obscure edition of Betty Crocker that can only be found in thrift stores; Joy the Baker's cookbook; Cheesecake Extraordinaire.

    And because this has been a crazy week sigh grandparents visiting and lots of evenings messed up, I do not know when the last time was I prayed the rosary. I'm thinking someday earlier this week, but possibly it was one day last week.

    • Hannah Jasmine

      *With, not sigh. Oh, ye indefatigable autocorrect. Also, digging that cookbook cover!

  26. Maureen

    Last night! I try to say the Rosary every night. I usually start, but rarely finish!

  27. Rachael

    I was so good at sticking to the habit during Lent, but it's been spotty since. I think last time was probably at least 3 weeks ago. But I'm going to start making it happen!

  28. Christy

    A few weeks ago in the car. I should probably make a better habit of it.

  29. Lizzie

    We tried to do a rosary every night during Lent…..we didn't do every night but did do maybe half of the 40 days!

  30. Karen Perez

    Good Friday! Until I read this post, I didn't realize how long it had been! Yikes.

  31. Sara Rooney

    Um… too long ago to remember. But in reading the comments I really liked the one that said "a pre-recorded/distracted Rosary is better than no Rosary at all" I may have to make that my motto now too.

  32. mommyofA.L.S.

    Thursday evening with my in-laws. We video chat praying a Rosary every Thursday night.

    • Kendra

      This is such a cool idea. I think my kids would really get a kick out of inviting their Chicago grandparents to join us for a facetime Rosary!

  33. Rosie

    Pioneer Woman cookbooks are really just the same as reading her blog, not really worth the money IMO. There aren't even very many recipes in each!

  34. Stephanie Muecke

    Last week. But I have been wanting to make a book of pictures for my kids to look at as we pray a family rosary! Would love this!

  35. Anonymous

    I last said a rosary a week ago while at the Catholics Online retreat/conference. As for cookbooks, I don't use them much but one of my favorites that I think you might like is The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking.

  36. Layla

    Oh, goodness. It's been a long time since I actually finished a rosary. Sometime during Lent.

    Bees are so fun! We have two full-sized hives and a nuc, named for St. Abigail, St. Dominic of Ossory, and Bl. Solanus Casey. (All have very fun bee-related stories.)

    • Kendra

      Ooh, do hives get names? That's so cool. We have 22 chickens, and the kids know the name of each one!

  37. Hillary Cusack

    My last rosary was last night on my way home from my bachelorette party. Partly because I was overcome by gratitude for the friends God's placed in my life and the little ones He's blessed them with that I got to play with/hold, but also as part of my attempt at a 54 day rosary novena in preparation for my wedding day 13 days from now. That's….not going so great, but I keep trying!

    Also, old cookbooks are my favorite. My roommate had one once that described in detail how to beat an octopus to death on a rock before cooking it, or how to skin squirrels. Amazing what kind of world our grandmothers lived in!

  38. New homeschooler

    This morning, when I was walking my son in his stroller. I like to peg my rosary to this daily walk, as at least I know it's one thing I'm doing right in trying to raise my son in the faith, even if I fail in a myriad of other areas!

  39. a Pettis

    last rosary was Wednesday…..but we will pray our family rosary tonight before bed with all the kiddos!!

  40. Jodi Reel

    I prayed the rosary yesterday, by myself when I had some rare adoration time. Praying the whole thing as a family? Not since lent. I have always wanted pictures to go with our family rosary! We usually just say a decade. Pictures would help.

  41. Elizabeth

    Probably Good Friday. I haven't been Catholic very long. Someone suggested praying the Rosary as a family every day during Lent, and since I homeschool, it was easy to incorporate into our morning prayers. We just did one decade; I didn't want to overwhelm the children and make them hate it. It actually turned out to be something they really enjoyed. (I had to work on relaxing and not minding interruptions for help figuring out which bead we were on from the younger ones. I think one of the Rosary boxes with flowers or something that you physically move from one space to another are in order for the youngest ones – easier to keep track of.) Anyway. Since we were doing it for Lent, we haven't prayed it since Easter, but it would be nice to do with them again. Maybe May being for Mary is just the reason I need.

  42. ElizabethS

    The Mennonites have the best cookbooks. "More with Less" is the classic, but I especially love "Extending the Table".

  43. Audie

    Last Rosary was on May 1st at our Church's May Crowning event.
    Best cookbook – America's Test Kitchen! It tells you why the recipes work, and it has all of them from each episode from every season. I'm using it constantly.

  44. Allegra

    Last full rosary? I'm not sure. We try to say 2 decades as a family each night, but I know we didn't yesterday, so I think Saturday was the last time. Working our way up!

  45. Ali

    My favorite go to cookbooks are the 3 from Our Best Bites. I find their recipes very adaptable for my allergy laden family and universally tasty. I also love that they provide alcoholic drink options for alcohol drinkers, despite being a Mormon blog.
    I love retro cookbooks – especially Better Homes & Gardens & Joy of Cooking. We found a hand typed LA Women's Club cookbook from 1941 when we moved into our current home. It has awesome recipes like two different recipes for candied figs, ground steak pin wheels, tomato custard on toast, glorified eggplant, and celery ring. There's also a section for large groups, with perfection salad for 50 and chicken rice ring for 100 and "Empanadas for California History and Landmarks Celebrations."
    Other books I use are Marion Cunningham's Lost Recipes, The Southern Foodway Alliance Cookbook, Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro and the All American Cookie Book by Nancy Bagget.
    Can't wait to see where this project goes and WOW about the bees!

  46. Brianne

    One week ago? Two weeks ago? It’s all a blur with the new baby!

  47. Anamaria

    Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking! Some really easy stuff, some really hard stuff, some bizarre, some normal- all with super clear directions. Definitely my go-to. Also love both Smitten Kitchen cookbooks, Rachel Roddy's My Kitchen in Rome, and Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (pescatarian deliciousness for those days- their other books I have not liked as much)

  48. Joanne

    yesterday…..and for the month of May started a "chain" rosary with 20 women from my church. We are all given a particular decade to say for the month. 20 of us joining together to pray. Mary must be smiling! Hail Mary!

  49. Amy

    Today before Mass. Two years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to pray the rosary daily. Best. Decision. Ever.

  50. amateur crafter

    The last rosary I prayed was last night. My husband and I pray it (or at least a part of it) nightly.

  51. Jennifer Barbosa

    My last rosary was on a Monday-a living rosary with our HS co-op after May Crowning. This week has been a bit off with sick kids but I do strive for a daily rosary.

  52. Joanne

    Question….do you or any readers have a rosary app for Google phone you would recommend? I have tried so many. Would like a reliable one, not too slow, and no accent! Sounds weird, I know, but some of the beautiful 'accented' ones and before you know it I am talking like I am from another country!!! Rolling the R's etc. Thanks for input

  53. GTomooka

    Yesterday on the way to pick up my kids from school. It's about an hour drive for us. I'm so grateful for our carpool. However, on days that I drive, I do get at least one rosary in!

  54. Orris Family

    Last night! My husband and I pray it everyday day together. We usually have our 5 kids (8 mo to 12 yrs old) pray it with us. But they had may crowning at school and did it, and my husband was busy dealing with wet insulation under our camper. So we let kids skip praying with us.

  55. Mary Beth

    Does it have to be an entire rosary? The last time I prayed a decade was probably Tuesday. The whole rosary at once–probably back in November.

  56. Hilary Kearney

    Glad my article on how to catch a swarm helped you! Nice work. One thing though, that is not the queen. It’s a drone (male bee). It’s very common for new beekeepers to confuse the two. Keep reading and have fun! You might like to take my online beekeeping class now that you have bees

    • Kendra

      Thanks! I guess we still have a lot to learn! We actually lost this swarm, and went and bought one locally and it seems to be doing well, my sons are taking classes from the Los Angeles Beekeepers Association.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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