The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
November 1996

My Manure is Frozen, November 13

Dover Two Mice, November 21

1996: | Nov | Dec |

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My Manure is Frozen
Wednesday, November 13

That's what I said to Denny in tragic tones yesterday and he laughed, cruel heartless person that he is.

This is not my personal manure we are talking about, but still my manure. I bought it a couple of months ago, noting that the soil in the garden could use a little help. Ten forty-pound bags.

I had gone out to clean up the dead plants, then thought I'd spread some of that manure. The bags were stiff and stuck together, and lying right where we need to park the car.

He won't laugh if things don't thaw out enough to shift them before he has to clean up the garage in order to fit the car in before the first blizzard. Due to a padlocked gate where the padlock freezes shut every winter, a tiny, overgrown passage between two garages, and stupid positioning of the door that gives access to our yard from the garage, getting the car into the garage needs two people and a certain amount of careful maneuvering.

One person springs out of the car at the front of the house and runs around the back to open the garage from the inside while the other person drives around and into the alley. The first person gestures and guides while the second person tries to get the car into the proper position in the garage in spite of a right angle turn, a large car, the lilac bushes, and probably a lot of ice on a slightly sloped piece of concrete. The car fits only if you have gotten it in at a straight angle. The other challenge is to not knock down the garage from the inside. It is not a trivial operation.

Once you get the car in, you cannot leave by the large door and expect to be able to lock it — no, no, this cannot happen. It doesn't lock from the outside. You must lock it from the inside. And if you block the door to the yard with the car, the people door, which is an innie, will not open.

It's all very complicated, and since we live on a snow emergency route, we must be able to get the car in the garage if there is going to be more than 5 inches of snow because we have to get it off the street.

Sometimes, we then can't get it back out again, because the alley is hopeless. . . .just one of those winter things here in Minnesota.

Anyway, my manure is frozen.


Dover Two Mice
Thursday, November 21

Dover caught the second mouse, after months of endeavor. He was so pleased with himself. The mouse was not pleased. Mostly, it was dead. I distracted Dover (not difficult) after a while and gave the rodent a sailor's burial at sea. Took two flushes.

We still aren't sure if there are more of them around but I guess we will find out. If they would only learn to use the litter box and not chew inappropriate things. . . .

The lettuce finally gave up the ghost (imagine little lettuce plants with wings, caroling their way to Salad Heaven) in the cold frame. So the garden is officially Closed for the Winter. But on the very same day, the first seed catalogue arrived! Yes!!! Hurray!! There is hope!

The local squirrel found the first of the brazil nuts I put out. I discovered that brazil nuts keep them busy for a looooong time, and they don't raid the bird feeder as much. I still haven't found the feeder's wooden plug that they stole, and need to think of another way to keep the rain and snow out. Of course, I could just jam the lower half of the squirrel in, but I'm sure the RSPCA would get after me for Inappropriate Use of a Squirrel's Naughty Bits.

In the current episode of Denny and Terry Fight Entropy, we are trying to find out why the car won't get out of first on cold mornings unless we manually jam it into second. A phone mechanic suspects moisture in the vacuum system. No, it doesn't use tubes, and no, you can't clean the floor with it. '78 Thunderbird's lights etc., run on elaborate tin can vacuum arrangements instead of electronics.

I know there is a leak in the lights, because the headlight covers open up at odd times after the car has been standing for a while. Frequently, the headlights have a rakish wink.

So we have to wait for a really cold morning and leave it at the tranny place so the mechanic can judge the vacuum/moisture mix. Isn't science wonderful?

Today we are getting a decent snow, first real one of the season. It looks very pretty. The nights won't seem so dark, now. Luckily, we got the ice up off the sidewalk from the sleet and crud last weekend. Mere snow seems almost harmless after that.

Well, back to trying to find cataloging copy for "Important Plants of India". You'd think if they were that important, someone somewhere would have catalogued it on-line.

Oh, The Joy of Home Winemaking has hit the Heinz Mark on the OCLC database! Yup, it's in 57 libraries that are linked to that system!

Keep warm!


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
1996: | Nov | Dec |

| 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | Current Month |

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Copyright 1996 by Terry A. Garey.