Abigail Keam’s second installment in the Josiah Reynolds mystery series, Death by Drowning (Worker Bee Press, $15), picks up where readers last left Josiah after a tangle with a crooked cop, a murder in her beehives, and a shooting in her home.
As Josiah recovers from her fall down a cliffside, she must relearn how to do everyday tasks. This doesn’t stop her mind from working overtime, though, as she tries to solve the mysterious death of a friend’s nephew. It seems that Josiah will find herself in another sticky situation that just might endanger her life again.
Like Josiah, Keam is a beekeeper living in Fayette County.
“All the info about beekeeping in the Josiah Reynolds series is accurate,” says Keam, winner of 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair. Keam’s passion about her craft is obvious in her novels, and to further educate her readers on the matter, she quotes these facts:
* Honeybees pollinate one-third of all our food.
* Honeybees are under siege. They are dying throughout the world due to stress, pesticides, loss of foraging habitat, and parasites such as mites.
* There are 3,000 beekeepers and 8,000 hives in Kentucky.
* Kentucky makes more than 30 different kinds of honey, such as locust, clover, wildflower, buckwheat, tulip poplar, honeysuckle, and sourwood. The United States makes around 300 different kinds of honey.
* The nectar of a plant determines the taste, color, and texture of the honey.
* It takes 2 million flowers to make only one pound of honey.
* People are being encouraged to plant clover in their yards and let the dandelions grow. These yards are called Grandma Yards or Retro Yards. Have your yard like your grandmother’s, where there were flowering plants mixed in with the grass. Bees need these plants, even in the suburbs and the cities. A totally grass yard benefits no one unless you have a cow.
On several occasions in Death by Drowning (which recently won a 2011 Gold Medal Award from Readers Favorites), Josiah speaks of cooking with honey. Keam, too, uses honey in her recipes, and suggests readers try her recipe for honey wine salad dressing. Simply mix 5 tablespoons of warmed honey with 3 tablespoons of sweet white wine (or wine vinegar if you prefer), then drip the mixture over salad greens for a yummy and healthy treat.
When buying a new appliance, check the black and yellow EnergyGuide label. This label provides an estimate of the product’s energy consumption and efficiency. It also shows the highest and lowest energy-efficiency estimates of similar models. Most major appliances—such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and clothes dryers—are required to have these labels.
50 years ago in Kentucky Living: The big night
We are happy to announce the winners in “The Big Night” contest, in which we asked you to write in to tell us what happened to you or members of your family the night the electricity came on in rural Kentucky.
—Addison F. McGhee, director of public relations, Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
Dear Mr. McGhee:
When the electricity came on in rural Kentucky, our Big Night had come. Prayers were answered, wishes granted, dreams come true. It was like sunshine where shadows were.
We don’t have to sit so close to a lamp now as our light shines all over the house.
Our children could easily do their home work since our electricity was in operation. Not much danger of accidents now as they trudge off to bed.
Many of our farm animals will be saved as we have light to work with them in their infancy.
Now all can bid farewell to the old wash board and tub. We cook good nutritious food for our families now and have time for other things and aren’t too tired to enjoy them.
Mrs. Hardin Willoughby
The real Bill Monroe
We goofed in cropping a photo to the wrong person in last month’s item about Bill Monroe’s birthday celebrations. Of course that’s Bill on the right, with his mandolin. The fiddle player is Kenny Baker, who passed away in July 2011. Thanks to Lee Ratliff of Hodgenville for being the first to call the mistake to our attention. Ratliff, a retired U.S. Army veteran who describes himself as a long-time, die-hard bluegrass fan who knew Monroe, told us that among the tip-offs was that “Bill didn’t laugh a lot” (although he seems to be enjoying himself in this picture). Ratliff said he once heard someone point this out to Monroe, who responded, “We take it serious.”
Fun writing contest
Nathan Miller, author and 7th-grade language arts teacher from Cynthiana, is sponsoring a free writing contest.
Miller’s comical children’s mystery, The Official Librarian, encourages students to have more fun reading and writing.
“Kids today spend so much time texting or on iPads/iPods and playing games on computers, they’re forgetting how to spell—let alone write or read cursive or how to form a proper letter or address an envelope,” he says. “I thought I’d have a Name that Dog contest for my book’s sequel since October is the Humane Society’s Adopt-a-Dog Month.”
Miller is inviting the public to help his protagonist, Bessy Beebody, by entering a name for the new Dalmatian who helps save the day. All suggested names should relate in such a way as to honor Mark Twain, whose The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn figures in the plot of Miller’s book. See details at www.officiallibrarian.com. Entries must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2011.
Church of the century
Kentucky’s 100-year-old Berry Christian Church in Harrison County may still look the same although the congregation’s younger these days. Sunday morning, October 2, members and guests will celebrate with a special program followed by a catered meal and all-day singing. Many former preachers from the 1950s will be returning from various parts of the country for the occasion.
Winning with poetry
Victoria (Torie) DiMartile, as a senior from Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell, emerged second among nine finalists and 53 state champions from around the country in the 2011 National Poetry Out Loud recitation competition in Washington, D.C.
This was the sixth year for the contest, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
As winner of state finals, sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council earlier in the year in Frankfort, DiMartile and chaperone received an all-expense-paid trip to compete nationally. Representatives from Kentucky have finished in the finals five times in the past six years. Torie is now a freshman at Centre College.
The August 1 drive into work turned eventful for David Neal, lab supervisor of East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s Dale Station in the town of Ford. He was driving behind a van hauling a trailer filled with construction equipment when it swerved, careening into a ditch after knocking down a mailbox and two trees. Neal pulled to the side of the road, running to the van that was ready to burst into flames. Luckily that morning Neal wore steel-toed boots rather than his customary loafers. He kicked until he broke the windshield, enabling him to pull the driver to safety. Neal has been nominated for a Touchstone Energy Power and Hope Award, created to honor co-op employees who’ve gone the extra mile to help those in need.
Climbing every mountain
Businessman Martin Douthitt from Jackson in Breathitt County is one mountain away from reaching his decade-long goal of climbing the tallest mountains on each continent. Mount Everest still looms in his dream. Earlier this year, Douthitt, then 65, got through the planned climb to base camp at 17,000 feet of the more than 29,000-foot Everest before returning home. “There’s a chance I’ll have to have knee surgery,” Douthitt, now 66, explains. “If not, I have a guide and Sherpa porters all lined up, and I’m in the process of working out sponsorship.” If Douthitt can escape surgery and climb pain-free with cortisone shots, he plans to conclude his efforts in March 2012.
Quote: James Fallows
We have to recognize that coal is going to remain our primary fuel for generating electricity so we need to make it cleaner.
—James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, at the Kentucky Chamber Business Summit in Louisville, July 2011