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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Laundry, writing and grapes. What they have in common.

 As I may have mentioned earlier, my grape crop came in early this year.  So far I have three batches of wine going, one at 17% alcohol and another at 15%.  The third is still waiting for the yeast, so its not cooking yet.  Florida grapes don't ripen in big clusters, they ripen one at a time, so picking is time consuming  While I pick, I contemplate the great questions of life.  On this day I thought about the act of grape picking compared to the task of doing laundry and writing.  This is what I came up with:

I don't know how it is at your house, but at mine laundry is a never ending task.  I can wash, fold and put away five loads of laundry, turn around and find something in the dirty clothes basket.  I think little gremlins with attitudes wait until I'm all finished, then dump more dirty clothes in the hamper when I'm not looking.  Picking grapes is like that.  No matter how long I pick in the morning, I can turn around and find one more grape that is ready to be picked.  I could pick 24/7 and still find one more ripe grape.  The only reason picking comes to an end is the grapes that I don't pick eventually get eaten by critters or rot.  Sometimes I wish my laundry would get eaten or rot so I wouldn't have to deal with it.

Writing is like picking grapes too.  Imagine that a grape vine is the manuscript, the out stretched suckers the sentences and the grapes the words.  One grape vine can extend quite a ways.  When I write, I am always walking down the vine, cutting words, sentences or whole sections.  To produce the best grapes, the vines need to be pruned once a year.   Manuscripts are the same, they need pruning to make them stronger and more productive.  Tweaking a manuscript never ends.  No matter how many times I read through it, I find a word I think could be left out or changed for a better word.  It never ends.  

So now you know how grape picking, laundry and writing are connected.  Until next time, keep your words crisp, laundry moving and grapes fermenting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Video of Gabriel and I swimming

I forgot to add the video of Gabe and I swimming to my last post, so I am putting it here.  Enjoy.


http://www.youtube.com/user/FrancisRitchie

Anything Goes

I suppose I owe my readers a picture of me jumping in the pool with my clothes on.  After-all, I did say I would if I failed to post once a week.  I am astonished my last post was way back in June.  I will post the picture as soon as I find someone to take it for me.

It has been a hot summer here in Florida, fortunately, not as hot as other places.  Did you see on ABC news the steak they cooked on the dash of a car?  And we used to think it was hot when you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.  I just read on Facebook, that a friend of mine had her toenail polish melt on the sand at the beach!  Now that's hot!!

My grape crop is ripening early this year.  I already have two batches of wine started.  I'm excited this year, my white grape vine(it has a proper name, but there is no way I would spell it correctly and I'm sure it's not in spell check) is producing enough grapes to make wine with.  I sampled it this morning and it tasted goooooood.  I go out early every other morning and pick for a couple of hours, then jump in the pool to cool off.  Gabriel, our Flat-Coated retriever swims with me.  He's so cute, when he first started he only used his front paws, so when his fur got heavy with water, he sank.  He can now do two lengths of the pool like a champ.  I'll post a video of us swimming together at the end of this post.

My daughter is getting ready to return to her studies in North Carolina.  We will be joining her in September for her twenty-first birthday.  I now have to come up with $500 to give her.  There's a tradition in my family, my grandmother did it for my mom and uncle, Mom did it for my brother's and I and now I must do it for my child.  The deal is, if you can make it to 21 without smoking, you will get $500 on our birthday.  The reasoning, if you can go twenty-one years with smoking, chances are you will never start.  So far it has worked.  No one from that side of my family tree smokes.  Well, I'm going to sign-off now.  Think of me while I'm out picking grapes, sweat rushing down every crevice of my body, then in a year, think of me sipping on a cold glass of home brew.