The Task of Sisyphus: Battling Yellow Nutsedge in my Lawn

Prologue (get the tissue ready):

Oh sweet and gentle reader. Forgive my long absence please. I’ve had a rough road this last month. I won’t go too far into the details as I wouldn’t want your tender heart to shatter as mine has, but…

Poor Stumps was hit by a car a few weeks ago and killed. My sweet and precious tail-challenged squishy pancake kitty is no longer with us.

A pill made more so hard to swallow based on how she came into my life and how close she came to dying out in the wilds. If you’ll recall…

Help Save the Life of Stumps the No-tailed Kitten!

It’s too hard a tale to tell for me right now. Perhaps after some time has passed I can share more details. As of now, she is quietly nestled on the hill under her favorite willow tree. Complete with a homemade headstone which served as a cathartic healing for yours truly. Here she rests…

That hit me so hard it reminded me of when my father passed in 2010 and I found myself weeping at the drop of a hat and still do. What made matters worse was that it also made poor Sasha sad and confused. You see, they had just began to bond strongly. Here’s the two of them just two days before her terrible accident.

So hard to watch this for me, but please do watch it. A perfect example of how dogs and cats can be trained to break the old adage and form a strong bond. A perfect illustration of love and nurturing. Fuck. I’m weeping again…

Anyways. After the tragedy I was cleaning up around the house and I accidentally dropped the same set of bells that Stumps wore. The original set was crushed and coated in blood. Awful scene. awful. Regardless, once the bells dropped, Sasha came running over all excited with her tail going a million miles an hour as she looked around wildly for her little sister. I showed her the bells in my hand and her tail dropped and she looked over at the grave. She then dropped down to the ground and let out a huge sigh. Heartbreaking.

I decided at that moment that I needed to at least ease her sorrow. Although I am not ready, I decided for her sake that I needed to get another kitten immediately to bring the light back into her eyes. Even though my heart is still raw and shattered.

Remember a few minutes ago when I said I wasn’t going to get into this just yet? As you can see, I am a hot mess and apparently a liar to boot. Let’s change direction here before we all begin crying and rubbing snot all over our faces. Ever forward yes? In that vein, allow me to introduce you to Kevin. A lady kitten with a boys name. Don’t judge me, I’m weird and grieving.

That’s better right? Less morbid. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss with you anyways and the remainder of my paltry excuses are boring as shit so I’ll skip them and get to meat of this tale.

Continue reading “The Task of Sisyphus: Battling Yellow Nutsedge in my Lawn”

I’ll See You on the Dark Side of The Moon Pt I: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Alta, Wyoming

Part One: The Eclipse

As I stood in the lovely pastoral fields with their golden amber crops gracefully blowing in the wind I could feel a cooler breeze rolling down the foothills of the Grand Tetons. About waist high, this coolness began to increase out of the West. My senses began to come into a sharper focus than I’ve ever experienced before. Something inside the core of me was alerting me to something amiss in the once warm summer afternoon.

The birds and critters had similar ill vibes as they too began to look or fly around wildly trying to figure out what was wrong with their internal clocks. While the moon began its cosmic cock-blockage, all well-filtered eyes were turned skyward. All except for our president. His eyes gazed heavenward sans eye protection.

Steampunk nerd and friends.
The perfect private viewing situation!
Justin transfixed

Continue reading “I’ll See You on the Dark Side of The Moon Pt I: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Alta, Wyoming”

Waxing Dionysus: A Story about Making Homemade Wine

Grape Expectations:

It is a well known fact to my regular readers that I am annually bombarded with bumper crops of my Niagara grapes. A variety that I was told was actually a concord and didn’t find out otherwise until years later when I finally got it in the ground and it began bearing fruit. Fruit of lies and deception.

And to be completely honest, these grapes taste awful. Not a fan at all. But of the three varieties I have, this one of course is the healthiest and most robust. It has been a burden of mine for years now. Why not remove it you ask? Well, it serves another purpose as well. That of a cheap shaded patio nook to beat the heat of summer as illustrated below…

Repurposing an unused clothesline: The $50 instant patio!

And it definitely does the job it was intended to do. The only thing is it does so while bearing the most yawn-inducing harvest ever. However, I do enjoy sitting underneath it during those hot days of drought and strife.

The Grapes of Wrath…and Cool Shade.

This years’ crop is no different.  Once again the vines are loaded with juicy berries ripe for the picking.

The hens might be the biggest fans of these grapes. And who am I to deprive them of such ample vittles?

My friend Matt (who I’ll be talking about later) and I connected via a Facebook page called San Diego Backyard Fruit Exchange around the time of last years harvest. When researching my Niagara grape vine, he came across the following info: “Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’ is a cross of the V. labrusca Concord and Cassady cultivars, which are themselves hybrids. Concord is a hybrid of an unknown experimental interspecific V. vinifera and V. labrusca pairing, and Cassady is an unintentional hybrid that has V. labrusca in its genetic makeup”

Over the years I tried making homemade raisins, fresh grape juice as well as popsicles . But nothing would take away the lack-luster flavor of the Niagara. The raisins were the best results I’ve had from this vine and were actually quite tasty. However, the time it takes to process all the grapes to make raisins leaves much to be desired. I most likely will not do that again on account of my general laziness when it comes to repetitive and dull tasks.

The juice was way too tart for my liking and this may be because the skins of the grapes were included in the processing. The popsicles also sat in my freezer just hoping that I would eventually love them. But I abandoned them quickly and refused to make eye contact until I was cleaning the freezer out a year later. I apologized in my own way as I slowly lowered them into a stream of hot water in the kitchen sink while doing my best James Bond villain impersonation.

Grape popsicle: “Do you expect me to talk?”

Evil James: “No grape popsicle, I expect you to die” [screams of melty horror]

Continue reading “Waxing Dionysus: A Story about Making Homemade Wine”