Life With Andrew

Please now see photos and things on my Flickr account:

Flickr - Various Photos and Videos

April, 2015

We have honey bees! I have wanted honey bees for decades. Well, good things come to those who are patient, eh? We went through a local outfit, Ballard Bee Company, and they set us up. We still don't know too much about beekeeping, but after three weeks, they seem to be healthy and doing what they are supposed to be doing. For the first season, we are supposed to be opening the hives and checking on them weekly, which we have doing. To watch the growth and development of bee hives is pretty fascinating.

The two hives after install. Bees like sun and heat. It activates them to go out and forage.

Install Day - our first hands-on experience with the bees. We have two hives - one with Italian honey bees and one with Carniolan honey bees. Both chosen for their easy temperament and NW heartiness. Each of our bee packages comes with 3lbs of bees and a queen, or about 10,000 bees. By July, they should grow to approximately 50,000 bees per hive. At the end of summer when the honey is harvested, after leaving honey in the hives so the bees have food over the winter, we should expect 30lbs to 40lbs of honey per hive for ourselves. A half gallon container is about 5lbs of honey. Well, that should do it for us. We will be giving away a lot of honey.

I assembled and painted the hives. The black frames in the boxes are where the bees do all the work. They give them a head start with the combs.

November, 2014

This cool rusty bee landed on an artichoke flower and stayed there for 24 hours. It is now the namesake of our backyard farm - The Rusty Bee Farm.

A beautiful bouquet from our garden last Summer. My wife has an easy, natural knack for putting these things together.

This Barred Owl hung out in our backyard for a day keeping an eye on our chickens.

Our big first year acorn squash harvest.

September, 2014

Here are photos from a recent trip to Chicago. I spent the first 27 years of my life in Cary, Illinois, which about 30 miles NW of Chicago. All the roots of my family are mid-western.

The lion at the Art Institute of Chicago, resting place of perhaps my favorite painting, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks from 1942. Hey, I like film noir, too.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

Nothing says 'Chicago' like hotdogs...and deep dish pizza and the blues!

The famous Crown Fountain

Info on the Crown Fountain and The Bean

Not a great skyline photo, but Chicago has some par excellence turn of the century commercial architecture.

Chicago architecture is world-class and second to none.

If you happen to be a Chicago Blackhawks fan, these photos are kind of fun. They were having their big annual convention. By the time we got to it, it was closed down, but I was satisfied with what I saw. I'm not a total crazy fan.

Here are some great photos of The Bean

We also went up to northern Wisconsin - Eagle River, WI - where us Derr kids spent our summers growing up.

We kayaked down a stretch of the Wisconsin River.

While kayaking, we came across this kind of backwoods tavern which sold $2.50 cheese burgers. So we had a burger and a Leinenkugel beer - the pride of Wisconsin.

During our travels, we came across this restaurant that was well known for, uh.....

The hockey team I played on this summer won our division. This is a photo after winning the championship. I'm the black sheep - I am standing second from left, not smiling and the only one wearing a generic jersey (or in hockey lingo, a 'sweater'). We won 3-1 and I scored one of the goals. I was number three in point leaders for our team this summer. Last year, I was actually number one.

A fun half dozen from our chickens - perfectly good eggs!

Here are a couple of flower photos from this year's garden -

September, 2013

These are some photos from our trip to Mt Robson Provincial Park, BC and to Galcier National Park, Montana. We have done a lot of hiking in the Rockies, but on this trip we saw some best scenery we ever. After Labor Day is great time to go - the bulk of the tourists are gone and things are a bit quieter.

Men can like flowers too. These are from our garden this past May and June - thanks to my wife!

My new favorite Thank You card - from a customer's grandson. It is now framed and hangs next to my desk.

Check out the size of these chunks of salmon that some friends gave to us!

The two new chickens have begun laying - beautiful brown eggs.

April 2013

Two new chickens! They are 4-5 month old Black Australorps. It is interesting, and sometimes painful, to see the new pecking order unfold. The chickens you once thought were so sweet, turn into mean-spirited little she-devils. I guess that is nature, though. Kidding aside, all is well with the flock and we expect to have the new hens begin laying handsome brown eggs in a couple of months. They are very pretty and are more docile and gentle than the Barred Rocks we already have.

September, 2012

Beautiful late Summer hike up to Lake Vahalla off of Stevens Pass.

July, 2012

We did this hike up to Snow Lake on the top of Snoqualmie Pass. An extremely popular hike. We turned around when we ran into snow. Snow Lake was still frozen at 5,000 ft.

April, 2012

The Greater Seattle Hockey League 2012 Division 8 Champions!! It was a great first year of hockey! (I'm standing second from right.)

January, 2012

Me with family. I just turned 50 - not too old to start playing hockey - I say.

The chickens are still doing what they are supposed to do - giving us fresh eggs every day.

September, 2011 - We road-tripped down to Northern California to Redwoods National Park, then back up through Crater Lake National Park.

Freakishly huge trees.

The Pacific, of course. It's great to have both mountains and the ocean back-to-back to stomp around in. In the Pacific NW, you can throw in rain forests, too.

Crater Lake from Mt Scott, the highest peak in the Park. Besides the spectacular lake, the entire rim of the caldera is beautiful, sub-alpine country. A road skirts the rim for a great drive and access to trails.

This shot is from another peak - The Watchtower. Gazing on Crater Lake is kind of like gazing on the Grand Canyon - it is always changing with the light and is hard to take your eyes off of.

August 20, 2011 - This is Colchuck Lake, near Leavenworth in The Enchantments area. The day before, we did the Mt Lillian hike at Blewett Pass. From that one, we could see Wenatchee, the Columbia River, Mt Rainier and beyond.

August 6, 2011 - Thorp Mountain - There were so many wild flowers, from start to finish. They spurred us on all way up the steep climb, which came in handy. It was a sunny Summer day, with great views.

The one chicken that doesn't mind, too much, being handled. It seems like she actually likes hanging out with us.

First egg! It was a big day. Since then, all four have begun laying and we now have eggs coming out our ears.

July 23, 2011 - Kachess Ridge

July 9, 2011 - Lake Twenty Two

Here are a few photos from a trip to Jasper National Park - Alberta - in the Canadian Rockies at end of June 2011


5-19-11 - It is finished!

Interior of coop. These chickens will not start laying eggs till the Fall, so to discourage them from 'roosting' (sleeping) in the nesting boxes, I have not lined them w/ wood shavings.

We have four three-month old Pymouth Barred Rock, brown egg-laying hens.

5-1-11 - The coop is mostly finished with just a few details remaining. Then I'll build the fence.

Almost complete.

4-19-11 - Framing is mostly finished.

The framing is almost finished.

Finally - construction on the chicken coop has begun!

The framing is almost finished.

Here are a few photos from mine and my wife's brief trip out to Yellowstone National Park at the end of August and beginning of September, 2010:

Mt Washburn.

If you have time for only one hike, this is the one you want to do - Mt Washburn, 10,223'. Yes, it is 3 miles up and 3 miles down, but the trail is mostly open for views, and once you get to the top, you can almost see the entire park. You can even see the Tetons 100 miles to the south. It is a great place to be for sunsets. At the top is a fire lookout and a place to get out of the wind and eat lunch. Year after year, there is a resident herd of big horn sheep. Tons of wildflowers!

Elk rack.

Yellowstone is actually a really wild place. The Park says that not even 1% of all the visitors leave the pavement. That is ok w/ us, because we can go to even a popular park like Yellowstone, hit the trails, and rarely even see other hikers. Margo and I met in Yellowstone in 1985.

Snowing in August.

It can snow on any day of the year in Yellowstone. Summer is not even over yet! One bad thing about the snow though - you can now see the bear tracks on the same trail that you are on - which we did on this hike.

Margo On Trail.

My wife, Margo, on the dusty trail near the Roosevelt Lodge / Tower Junction area.

Perfect Breakfast Joint.

Small town breakfast cafes are one of the ultimate road trip experiences. I can't remember where this was exactly, but it was somewhere in the middle of Idaho. You could tell who the locals were, because they walked in, got themselves a cup and helped themselves to the coffee. If the small town is a farming community, like this one, it's even better.

Andrew and John hiking.

This was taken in late June on the Ingalls Creek Trail, which is about 25 mi. north of Cle Elum. I'm on the left, along with my friend, John. John is an attorney specializing in Elder Law. You can reach him at

Coming soon, I hope, a chicken coop and bee boxes in my backyard. This is where I am going to put the chicken coop.

The chicken coop will be here.


I'll have my bee hives/boxes here. I've wanted bees for years, decades, actually.

The bee hives will be here.