The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
July 1999

Getting Better All the Time, July 10

Back from Colorado, July 26

Title of the Month: Foreign Body Prevention, Detection and Control:
A Practical Approach

1999: | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec |

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

Getting Better All the Time
Saturday, July 10

The carpal tunnel menace is healing, though I still have some trouble. I'm wearing braces day and night and taking lots of ibuprofen, but can function at a low level. They've re-done my workstation at work, and I have to make some changes at home, as well. We're about to go off on vacation so that will remove me from temptation for a little while longer, as well.

The garden is somewhat overgrown because I can't pull weeds. Oh darn. It looks colorful anyway. My new purple daylilies bloomed, and a huge trumpet lily bloomed too. Darned if I can remember what it was called so I can get some more. I had gotten most of the planting done before this syndrome came on, at least.

This morning I sat out in the back enjoying the multi-colored yarrow, pink cleome, petunias, impatiens and the sunflower the squirrels planted in the strawberry pot, and blew Wonder Bubbles at them all. Not sure how they got there but found the half jar of soap bubbles with a 'magic wand' in the garage. Party leftover? I keep it next to my chair and when the spirit moves me, blow iridescent bubbles and watch them sparkle and drift in the air. It's very soothing.

Dover hates them and retreats reproachfully for the back door, so I only do it if he's inside. Nelly ignores them. The little girls next door have yet to figure out where they are coming from. Hee hee.

My youngest niece Rose was visiting a week ago. The weather was awful, and Denny was off with the car seeing his mother, who just had a pacemaker installed (she's doing fine, thanks) so we spent much of the time watching Denny's Mystery Science Theater 3000 tapes in the comfort of the air conditioning.

We also bused to a couple of bookstores (those heavily invested in Xena material) and Rebecca took us to the town of Stillwater by the St. Croix river, where we reveled in antique and junk stores and a wonderful place full of collector's dolls run by Tibetans. Normally I wouldn't care about dolls that much, but with such nice company, it was great fun. It's the only store I know of around here with its own Tibetan nun. Rebecca, of course, knows her. Of course.

We took Rose to dinner at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant and although she had never been to one before, Rose took it in her stride and ate with her fingers and the injera bread (sort of a thin tasty sourdough pancake that looks for all the world like a big washcloth), scarfing down the lentils enthusiastically (we got the vegetarian plate, but for those meat eaters out there, the Ethiopians are heavily into beef, as well).

Many thanks for all the good wishes I received via email. Sorry I couldn't reply, but hope you all understand. I hope the dreaded End of the Fiscal Year doesn't do this to me again next year.

Take good care of yourselves, my friends,


Back from Colorado
Monday, July 26

Have returned from what an old friend of mine used to refer to as "God's Country". Colorado was spectacular. Mountains, desert and everything in between, clean albeit thin air, scenery, beautiful animals, birds, wildflowers. . . wow. The cabin where we stayed was at 8500 feet so we didn't tend to move around much, but that was okay, we simply sat, stunned by the peace and beauty, listened to the radio, and read. About once a day we'd get in the car and make our way down the gorgeous mountain and beautiful canyons to go to Colorado Springs or Pueblo, efficiently cleaning out bookstore after bookstore. The car got to use all its gears and although it was a bit slow, was very steady.

I also sort of attended my umpteenth high school reunion. "Sort of" meaning the altitude got to me and I missed a day and didn't really feel well the next. Many of the people were from the years before me, but it was still nice to meet them again.

We went to an American high school overseas in the 60s. Non-military people somehow get the idea this is a posh sort of thing, like going to Eaton, but really, it was simply an American high school run by the U.S government for military dependents, as we were known.

It was perhaps a little more strict—the government didn't want anything nasty getting out to the foreign press, and most of the students were dorm students since their home bases were too far away to allow a daily commute, and I think the teachers were much better on the average, because they had to be to get the job, but really, it was normal. Well, except for the alerts, when all the jets on base would suddenly take off and you'd just have to freeze until the teacher could be heard again, except for Dress Up days, when we had to look spiff for visiting dignitaries, the compulsory pep rallies, compulsory attendance of sporting events, mass medical experiments, the Senior Class Trip to Rome (we went in buses that broke down, on very little money, staying in strange scrappy hotels and hostels, eating endless suppers of boiled chicken and getting jerked around by the couriers), the fact that about half the student body changed over every year (I was there for three years—very unusual), little things like that.

So it was good to be among people once again who remembered just how weird the whole thing had been and didn't think I had been poncing around with dukes and the like. We were strangers in a strange land, half in our own world of hamburgers and "Teen Angel" and the Beach boys, and half in England with bangers, Cliff Richards and the Beatles before Ed Sullivan.

Really missed you, Noel, and Sue. Wish you had been there. Thought back to those lunch hour discussions and the work we put in on the year book and all that sort of thing. Didn't really like high school, but I liked many of the people I met.

So, back home (we went out via Nebraska and came home via South Dakota and the Mitchell Corn Palace) to heat and humidity. Ah, yes, humidity. Great stuff. The cats were happy to see us, even though they and the flowers had been very well taken care of by Ken and Giovanna. I look at the weeds that grew in our absence, but do not feel very inclined to do anything about them because I might sweat to death if I do. There are some green tomatoes, at least, and the morning glories are coming into their own. Have to go for walks in a shopping mall. Feh. Feelthy capitalism, but at least it's air-conditioned feelthy capitalism. Still, only a few more weeks and it's winter.

Stay cool, my friends,


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
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Copyright 1999 by Terry A. Garey.