The Bucket List & The Beehive

You haven’t heard too much from me lately. And that’s because—well—I feel really good. So instead of writing about living—I’ve just been living. Kinda fun. Life has become one big field trip doing all the things on my bucket list.

I’m a treehugger, so I have a treehugger’s bucket list. It includes things like formulating the perfect compost recipe, exploring Yosemite in the Springtime and learning how to harvest honey—which I did this week.

We drove along scenic Lake Hodges, through the rocky hills of North county San Diego ’til we arrived at house where a beehive sits on a chair in the front yard. Normally, visitors would just see the beautiful yard; speckled with the light that filters down through shade trees. A nightblooming cereus snakes its’ way into the trees’ branches. There’s a pond flowing with aquatic life like lotus flowers, fish and native frogs. A tank nestled into the landscape holds water harvested from winter rains. This front garden is a feast for the eye. But it’s just the beehive on the chair that catches my attention.

“A swarm of bees showed up in the tree one night, so Bill put on his bee suit, picked it up and dropped it into the hivebox on the chair. We should probably move it to the backyard.”

Friends Bill and Sunni will probably move the hive…eventually. But today they’re harvesting its honey—and I’ve been invited. These are the kinds of things I get to do now, as I wait to get better—or worse.

When we arrive at their house, Bill has his big stainless steel honey spinner propped up in the dining room. It works with centrifugal force. And the sweet amber gift flows into mason jars. Nothin’ better on an English muffin or in a cup of tea than Bill and Sunni’s honey. We’re eager to see if raw local honey really can cure our allergies. And  I can cross another wonder off my bucket list.

I’m looking forward to exploring Yosemite in the Springtime. That road trip starts next weekend.


You can see exactly how we harvested the honey on Bill Toone’s blog here:


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46 comments on “The Bucket List & The Beehive
  1. Jim Pilling says:

    i just heard a comment on the radio up here in Eugene, Oregon from a University of Oregon State professor that the bee population in the USA is dropping about 30 % each year. That is a big loss for an important food product as honey is. Glad you are able to enjoy the honey in the San Diego area. Keep thinking positive and enjoy your trips. .

  2. Bill says:

    You wanna’ do some “tree huggin” don’t for get Sequoia National Park, spring summer or fall BIG trees to hug
    Love ya

  3. Kathie Belle says:

    Blessings! I worked in Yosemite as a young girl on my college summer break, and fondest memories are conjured up when imagining your upcoming trip. Should be glorious this time of year! Hike a trail, and dip those toes in the icy cold streams for me!

  4. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the beautiful springtime. My favorite time of the year. I am happy to hear you feel better. I will pray for your continued “feeling good” everyday. Great guy with a great family…

  5. Bobbie C. says:

    Oh my goodness, Loren. I haven’t heard of the night blooming cereus since I left Jamaica where I grew up! I remember friends had one at their house and we would go outside after dark and look at the blossoms. They are white, aren’t they?

    I have never thought of harvesting honey as being somewhat ceremonial but that is what I was thinking when I read about it in your blog. Your friends sound like wonderful people. And you, sir, are sounding very relaxed and happy. Perfect:)

  6. Jill says:

    So glad to hear that you are too busy living to write! Keep on keeping on! Praying for your complete healing and can’t wait for the next installment of Adventures with Loren! 🙂 Be blessed!

  7. Greg Lefevre says:

    Yosemite is God’s Disneyland !

  8. Susan R. Wise says:

    Excellent “bee hive” adventure for you & Susie! I’ll bet, the natural honey, will be a great allergy cure for you two! Best of luck on your Yosemite road-trip, do be sure to take many photos – such wonderful memories! Love & prayers from me, Susan & Julian Wise

  9. Peacewolf says:

    Have a great time in Yosemite ! It really rocks!springtime there is amazing I hope there is an ice cone at the foot of Yosemite falls.

  10. Jeanie Morshead says:

    Loren, glad to hear you are feeling better. Enjoy your adventure, and take lots of pics! Btw, did you know that honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties? The Docs @ Rady have us Triage nurses tell the parents to use a tsp when their kids have a cold and/or sore throat. Hugs!

  11. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    Rock on Loren. Enjoy the ride. As always, I wish you and your family well!

  12. audra burcham says:

    Not much honey here but I had my Banjo restrung and can entertain the hummingbirds, my dogs and the hard working bees visiting my flowers. Enjoy Yosemite! Happy Spring! audra

  13. pamtanzey says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling well and having fun! You are one of the big things I miss about San Diego. I hope you have a wonderful time in Yosemite.

  14. Janis Pollard says:

    Life is grand. Smart, taking the trip before the summer onslaught.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Glad to read you are doing good and that honey looks yummy
    Enjoy your trip and stay well.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Prayers are sent your way! Enjoy life to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I hope the dogwood trees are in bloom in Yosemite. Enjoy

  18. Claudia says:

    Glad you’re feeling good and can continue with your adventures. Local grown honey is the best! Enjoy both and will be in my thoughts and prayers for safe travels.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Spring is the BEST time for Yosemtie. I hope you feel up to a little Backcountry hiking. Donahue Pass is one of my favorites and full of magic.. ‘Tho, I have a feeling you make your own magic in nature. Party on, Loren. Party on.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hang in there, positive thoughts, prayers and plans to make Loren! ❤

  21. Tracey Cribbs says:

    Hi Loren,
    Glad to see a blog today. I love honey, that sounds like a lot of fun. I will have to add that to my list of things to learn to do. Enjoy the honey! Dont forget to take some with yah on your road trip. Hugs and positive vibes and prayers coming your way daily from us here. John and Tracey

  22. Joanne Monia says:

    So glad your feeling well!!!!……keep on bloggin’ and keep on keepin’ on! Travel safe 🙂

  23. Frayer, Susan says:

    I’ve watched you for many years and enjoy your posts of living thru something you can fight. God Bless you.

  24. Andy Casillas Hein says:

    Have a great ride to Yosemite. Remember to stop and stretch now and then cause it can be a real butt numb’er of a trip. Take along some honey for your teas etc. Hide it from bears though, don’t want to see an event you hadn’t quite counted on for your bucket list. Getting down into the Valley will be an awesome sight. Have fun you two.

  25. Jackie Owens says:

    HI Loren. My grandfather=in law used to have bees and the honey was the best ever. And it is true that is has miraculous qualities for healing many things. Try it you just never know how wonderful it can be. Hannah is a true chip off the ole” block. Loved her latest episode re” The Lotus”. Great stuff, I know how proud you are of your children. You and Susie have done a wonderful parenting job.Not an easy job. Congratulations and keep on plugging.and Keep the faith.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I cant find words to express my feelings about you and your family. Strength, love, resilience, humility, talent, beauty are but a few. I have been beyond impressed with you and your family, but then again Im not surprised I was. You and your wife have raised some amazing kids. Truly… they are Special Loren. Different then most of the young adults that roam the streets without direction…. They are driven and inspired young people and Im very excited to see what the future brings them. again congrats on succeeding at the most important thing. Being a father.

    I applaud you sir and I keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    Keep smiling and laughing. My prayer is that you always find a reason to do so.

  27. Janie Klein says:

    My mom raised bees when I was a kid growing up in Linda Vista. We lived on a canyon and she kept her hives down there away from people. The bees never stung my mom and she got plenty of delicious honey. The minute my dad would go around the hives, the bees would start to swarm and most of the time he would get stung. They didn’t like him. You ask why? He always reeked of booz and the bees don’t like booz. LOL to us kids because we didn’t like the smell of the booz either. Just a fun story………..

  28. Anonymous says:

    Keep livin’..keep lovin’ life! Stare at a waterfall for me.

    With love, jim h.

  29. Patti Newton says:

    Anytime you want to play with bees come on over to Elfin Forest (the house you and Susie looked at to buy about 27 years ago) — we have two hives!

    Oh, and by the way, all the comments above… ditto! 🙂

  30. Sonia says:

    Loren, you truly are an inspiration. I just came up to my 1 year anniversary of when they told me I had Renal Cell Carcinoma on the 26th a year ago is when they did my surgery, and it has only been until now that I feel like living fancy free and wild, so what I am saying love everyday be wild go out on that limb dress withoutatching who cares as long as it’s what you want cause you are the butterfly with all it’s magnificent colors and just enjoy your journey! I will always love you from a distance but I want you to know that even though we are not close nor have we ever meet I appreciate you and I applaud you for allowing me to know about your journey.

    • Warna says:

      Hi BrendanI have two questions for you.I’ve just had my first comrimceal casting and was wondering how long it takes casting directors , directors and their clients to decide whether or not they want a particular actor?I’ve applied for a number of comrimceals and other tv work on Spotlight and not heard anything; as I have heard how important it is to have a showreel on there ( which I don’t yet have) I’ve put a few clips on CCP which I sometimes give people the link to. Is this the right thing to do? I’m a bit worried it might do more harm than wishesHazel Bawden

  31. Harvey Shapiro says:

    Loren: Too many years ago you gave me the gift of understanding when you interviewed me about an embarrassing political folly. And now you are allowing me to enjoy your trips and reflections on this new journey. And your family is kicking in to boot. Thanks for being you.


  32. Kris Quart says:

    fun and yum…..i am so happy to hear how good you feel and that you are LIVING life to it’s fullest!

  33. connie G. says:

    Glad to hear you’re continuing to enjoy so many of our world’s wonders. Thank you for sharing; such a gift you give to us. My life is fuller now that you share more of your life with us.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying life. God bless you & your family

  35. Sherry Walborn says:

    Thank you for teaching us how to “live” and to “see”. Smiling knowing you are enjoying life and feeling better. Peace dear friend.

  36. CeCe says:

    The Sierras in spring are incredible! I worked in Sequoia National Park for a couple of years and it is something that stays with you always! Enjoy your writings and praying for you! You have been a part of San Diego and as such, a part of my life for many years! God bless.

  37. Terry Williams says:

    Hi Loren – before you leave, please see Lee’s email re the fund-raiser we want to propose to you. Thanks, Terry Williams

    • Doaa says:

      Hi BrendanI am also awaiting your book with exteiemcnt! I have been a commercial model for 2 years and have enjoyed it, I now want to move into film and television, I have drama school training (Central school) but went straight into commercial modelling as I just wanted to work- any suggestions how to move and change into it? Ive tried the normal way of approaching and writing to an agent but feel it gets lost with all the applicants- as is inviting them to see me in some plays/screenings I have been in, Thanks for your help!! Betty C xx

  38. Oh how wonderful! Honey is amazing! Let us know when you start your own hive and honey-making process, Loren…we’ll be lined up to buy it! 🙂

    Have a wonderful trip to Yosemite. Take lots of pics and let Susie know we’ll be here for her, too, should she need us. We love you guys! Safe travels~

  39. dianne says:

    So happy to hear you are feeling better, fresh honey like everything else fresh is wonderful! Enjoy you trip!

  40. Frans Vanleeuwen says:

    Wonderful blog! Where could one get organic honey in San Diego?

    • robin says:

      Most of your local farmers markets have local organic honey Frans!

    • Sunni says:

      Our honey bees can wander off as far as three miles collecting pollen, so can’t say that the honey is 100% organic. However, our gardens are and I know that they do forage in our yard a lot. We had a good harvest and have half pints if you would like some, just send an email to

      • Delores says:

        That God is faithful to turn our monniurg into gladness. He can take this tragic experience and make beauty out of it by giving me understanding and compassion for others and teaching me to cherish my family on earth even more.

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