The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
April 2001

Clean Story, April 9

April Snow Showers, April 16

2001: | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec |

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Clean Story
Monday, April 9

Sorry it's been so long. I had a whacking great cold that lasted a couple of weeks and then got another lesser cold last week. And it's been hideously gray and cold. But now, ah now, the crocuses have crocused, the pussy willow has deemed it safe enough to show a little fur, snow is gone and the Siberian squills have bloomed on campus.

Should have been more cheerful, today, what with all the evidence of life, renewal, and all that jazz. Instead: grumpity grump grump. Maybe it's leftover crabbiness from the winter.

But still, it's a nice day so I went for a walk. Trudge trudge trudge. Over on Chicago and 32nd, the corner lot by the bus stop was turned into a community garden several years ago. In the summer on Saturdays local artists have art events for the local kids.

Since it's right across the street from a corner store, and next to a bus stop the art stop ends up with lots of trash. It's been my habit to pick up garbage when I go by, figuring every little bit helps.

Today I wasn't in the mood, and almost walked by. Grudgingly, I looked back and thought, well, just the bigger stuff, since I didn't bring gloves. The woman who lives in the house next door popped out and started to help. I've only met her a few times. I know she's the one who picks up most of the trash. We went at it and 15 minutes later the whole area looked a lot better. We dumped the trash in the bus stop bin (she has permission), smiled and went our ways.

Yes, it'll get trashy again, people are slobs — we swept back the tide with our brooms for just a few seconds — but we swept my crabbiness out with the flotsam and jetsam for the rest of the day.

Happy Spring, where ever you are, whatever you're doing, and keep sweeping!


April Snow Showers
Monday, April 16

April snow showers delay May flowers. Yup, that's right, this morning it was snowing here in good old Minnesota. After a fairly nice weekend for the bunnies and chicks and eggs of Spring, today's high seems to be around freezing; windy, and white. The snow isn't sticking of course, because the ground is too warm for that. Mercy.

Leftover Minicon out of town fans will no doubt be either horrified or delighted, depending on how they feel about the combination of snow and April.

Saturday I tried to talk Denny into removing the plastic and storm windows in the front room. Luckily, he was feeling conservative about it and declined.

In addition to everything else, the rivers are above flood stage, towns are fortified with sandbags and dikes. Over in St. Paul they've had to close off streets near the Mississippi.

Minicon was small this year. The con suite was impressive, though, combining a theme of Mardi Gras with the Minnesota State Fair. Alas, my back went out and I had to stay home Saturday and missed the party Geri Sullivan dreamed up.

Denny presented a slide show of some of his old pulp magazine covers which illustrated his running commentary on the course of an average convention. It was very well received at opening ceremonies.

Lady Poetess From Hell presented themselves on Sunday to a capacity crowd (well, Ok, it was a small meeting room, but it was filled) and got a partly standing ovation. Perhaps that half of the room had bad chairs. Many thanks to J.C. Rez, Laurel Winter, Rebecca Marjesdatter, and Elise Mattheson for sterling performances. Ruth Berman decided to sit this one out, and alas, Jane Yolen was kidnapped by relatives for Easter brunch.

Still, we had fun and so did the audience.

My favorite special moment of the convention was Sunday morning, when I came up the escalators and spotted Doug Friaf by himself on the edge of the hospitality area. Doug uses a motorized wheel chair. I went over to say good morning and asked by he was in this rather remote area. He grinned, and explained that he was part of the Easter egg hunt for Child Care. There was an egg just under his wheels, and another hidden under an up-turned bowl at his table.

Just then the were loosed from the opposite end of the huge room. I confess I did talk to a couple of little boys saying I knew where there was an egg, and hinted that they had to look for wheels in order to find it.

So snow, wind, wheels, flood and eggs, hooray for Spring in Minnesota.

Hoping you are all taking good care of yourselves


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
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Copyright 2001 by Terry A. Garey.