Friday, October 29, 2010

Sarah In Wonderland

Sarah has finally outgrown "trick or treating".

I remember the first time she went, when it was all new... you could see the moment the light went on in her head. "If I knock on peoples door, and say trick or treat, they give me CANDY" you could see the little wheels turning in her mind as her eyes followed the candy from the bowl to her bag, and then the synapes fire, the light goes on....and then she is running to the next door like all of a sudden there's a realization that there's not nearly enouph time to knock on all the doors in Colorado Springs in one night.

After the first couple of years, most of the memories are about costumes that don't fit right, and are so thin that they dont keep in nearly enouph heat, , Icy roads and sidewalks, below freezing winds, and frozen toes. All for a bag of candy that would feed a small city that somehow translates into dental bills the size of Texas.

Last year instead of Trick or Treating, Sarah invited some of her friends over for a Halloween party. She and her mom made a huge assortment of "Scary" treats, Dry Ice "Witches brew" and all the decorations to transform our home into Spooky delight.

It is now officially a "tradition"... this year it's a theme party "Alice in Wonderland" (the new Johny Deb movie is scary in it's own right) so our basment is undergoing a transformation from TV room to Rabbit Hole and Wonderland.

Sarah wanted a "Mad Hatter's" Cake for a centerpiece, and somehow talked me into making it. The nice thing about it is everything didn't have to be straight, and perfect since it was the Mad Hatter's it turned out pretty well.

Life goes on, and it's the memories that you have forever, so we'll do this for the next few years, and will always be able to look back on Sarah's Halloween Party's.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life's Grape

I blame most of this on my mother, somehow she managed to pass on to me a love for the soil and anything that grows... maybe it has something to do with countless hours spent "weeding" the garden, or "picking rocks" out of the ground, so the plants would have a fighting chance at growing. Whatever the reason, it is in my blood now.

When we first moved to the Springs, I planted some grape vines... (that was 10 years ago) I imagined in my mind how nice it would be to make grape juice in the fall, and how nice it would be to have fresh grape juice thoughout the winter months. There are few things as comforting as a nice glass of fresh grape juice, (not "Welche's" from Wal Mart) but the real thing.

I knew that grape vines took a few years to get established, and you had to keep them pruned, and all of that, and I'm a pretty patient guy. My parent's and my wife's parents both had grape vines growing in their back yards in Utah, and they would have had to take an axe and flame torch to them to kill them off. Every year they would have grapes hanging in beautiful clusters all along the fence, with little to no effort on their part, so it couldn't be that hard to grow grapes could it.

Utah and Colorado....NOT THE SAME. I started out with 5 vines, now I have 2. Through freezing winters, hail the size of golf balls, wind storms, Ice storms, and rain that would make Noah envious, it is amazing I still have these 2 vines left.

So you can imagine my elation after 10 years of waiting to finaly have grapes on my vines this year. Ok there wasn't bushels of them, but there were a lot...Ok, maybe not alot but there were quite a few...well, at least 5 lbs, OK, Ok it was like 5 small clusters. But they were beautiful.

I convinced my wife that we couldn't let these beautiful grapes go to waste, and that it would be a good "Investment" for future bountiful crops to come, if we purchased a steam juicer.

The Juicer arrived via UPS a few days later, and I went out and picked my grapes, brought them into the house, got everything set up and 1 hour later had 1 quart of fresh grape juice, right from my own grape vines.

Yes, factoring in the cost of the juicer, that 1 quart cost me about $60.00, it somehow didn't matter. And next's going to be a bumper crop.

To offset the cost of the Juicer it didn't take much convincing from my wife to make the 9 hour drive to Utah, to some more grapes from her parents...

We ended up with about 3 bushels of grapes, and we also got 3 boxes of apples from my parents. So now we are the proud owner of 34 quarts of Grape juice, fresh apple juice and some wonderful apple sauce...

So thanks Mom, I'll send you a bottle