Oh my goodness! So much has been going on and I feel like it’s time to catch you all up!
First and most important: my dad’s health is fine. The biopsy was negative for cancer and while he has to deal with continued annoying pain, the scare is over. I am trying to talk him into acupuncture, but so far no luck. My parents came home from years in Hong Kong having picked up many Chinese customs, but I guess acupuncture is not one of them. We’ll keep looking for ways to solve his throat pain, but at least we don’t have to battle cancer, so we are grateful. At seventy, my parents are so grateful for their health and really do live wonderfully active and juicy lives while they can. They are ridiculously busy and so very fun!
And now, about that house that we looked at – the one that checked off all our boxes but didn’t really speak to us? It was a fantastic house and property but Russ did not like that it was situated on the edge of a corn field, insufficiently nestled. Well. Two weeks after we viewed that house, enormous billboards went up all around it. That house will soon be nestled within Paris’ newest subdivision. Being engulfed by a sea of new houses would be, for Russ, the only thing worse than a corn field! It can hardly be considered a home in the country when you are surrounded by suburbia. We definitely dodged that bullet. Whew! And so the search continues....
On the bee front, I was overwhelmed by the wonderful response from the community after I put the word out that I was in search of homes for beehives. I can’t believe the kind offers I received! So we poured over google earth images and traced water sources and looked for orchards and green space and landed on some choice spots. There are three properties, in three directions out of Paris, which will house a total of twenty hives for us later this spring. I’m told that beekeepers don’t like to let other beekeepers know where they place their bee yards. Beekeepers are a strange lot, indeed! Russ and Dad and I went to a beekeepers’ meeting a couple of weeks ago and laughed aloud several times during the evening. There were some real characters – an eccentric group for sure. I think you could have a reality show starring some of those folks and it would have a great following. It was pure entertainment! At one point, I turned to dad and whispered “Are we just like them? And I just never noticed?” Maybe not us. But Russ would fit in just fine!!! And he, a spectator up to this point, is going to join us in the apicultural activities this season, having received his very own XLT beesuit for Christmas. Bishop Family Bees is about to get very busy! I’ll share more in the coming weeks as we leap into action.
I’ve also been taking an online business course and it is amazing. I have had so many aha moments when I previously thought I had this online business thing figured out. It feels so good to learn new things and connect with a community of people who are also building a new business online. I am feeling so challenged and encouraged! Colette and I are working to revamp our website and business to include other fair trade gifts beyond just the awesome chocolate we have featured so far. So many gorgeous products are finding their way to me…. I can’t wait to introduce them to you!
On the Airbnb front, we have had many lovely guests stay with us in our home at William and Willow. I love hosting people in our home, and Russ makes an amazing breakfast. We are a pretty good team! We’ve hosted a few people who are here to scope out the town because they think, that out of all the towns in Ontario, they’d like to settle here. I guess the secret is out – it is a wonderful little town. Of course, it won’t be a little town for long if everyone keeps moving here, but I understand the draw. I didn’t intentionally choose to live here, but you’d have a hard time getting me to leave at this point. There is something very special about our little Paris. And the new cheese commercial proves it!!!
There’s much more to tell you, but since this is already reading like a Christmas letter, I’ll end here. We’ve got a house full of family and friends here this weekend. There will be plenty of time later in the week for us to finish catching up. Thanks for following along on the journey!
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!