|How does this color of grapes produce that color of juice?|
After a week of misery, my gallbladder calmed down and I was able to help out and speak at Diamonds In The Dust, our church's first ladies' retreat. The retreat was mostly Zelma Baker's idea. She is a great organizer and delegater, but she really wanted me present-- because she doesn't like to talk up front, I think. Or else because she had this delusion that I know how to put on a retreat because I've been to so many.
Fact: showing up to talk is a very different operation from organizing an event from the ground up.
So Zelma said she had been reminding the Lord that I need to be well enough to be there--in case He forgot.
|Zelma is standing over there, with the white sweater, facing this way.|
Well. He didn't and I was, and it was a good good day, with lots of hard but redemptive stories shared and also a lot of tears, which is a good thing when it's empathetic "Oh Sister, I feel for you," tears.
And the food! Baked goods and yogurt in the morning, then for lunch chicken salad on croissants, other salads of subtle spice and flavor, desserts on multi-level plates. It looked delectable. I ate lettuce, since I am on a low-fat diet to keep my gallbladder happy.
|Aunt Susie welcomed people and got them all registered.|
Paul said he doesn't want me to ever endure another gallstone attack, and he doesn't want me to try home remedies and then be all worried about a flareup if we go visit Amy in Thailand or I have a speaking event coming up.
All right then.
My dad is still here but will be back in Minnesota before I have surgery. He keeps busy picking my grapes, writing letters, and reading.
Dad's new book is selling well. I put it on Amazon as a Kindle book and it's selling better than my books. That is a strange sensation when you are an author with fragile self-esteem and you track the Amazon rankings and your dad is doing way way better than you.
Next thing someone will ask him to speak at a ladies' retreat.
What is it with fruit this year? The blackberries were prolific, the strawberries were plentiful, and my grapevines went completely crazy, twining clear around the lilac bush and producing hundreds of thick clusters of grapes.
Most of them are the green kind that are meant for eating. They aren't like grapes from the store that you bite into. Rather, you hold one up to your lips, pop the slippery inside into your mouth, and drop the outside peel on the kitchen counter. Or that's how some folks in this house do it.
There are way way more grapes than we'll eat, so Dad has been picking them and I steam them and can the juice.
He is very happy about this task. I am happy about grape juice, but every time he comes in with two more brimming buckets I have the sense of large waves about to swamp my canoe.
"Dess iss usht 'the tip of the iceberg!'" he yelled a few days ago, hauling in two buckets' worth.
On Tuesday night, when I was making supper and getting ready for Diamonds in the Dust the next day, Dad lost his glasses. He thought they fell out of his pocket when he was picking grapes.
Have you ever looked for a pair of glasses in a tangle of grapevines and grass?
Each of us went out at least once and carefully separated vines, patted around, bent down and looked up.
Finally on my second or third try, there they were, hidden in a clump of grass under a sweep of vine.
I was very thankful.
On Wednesday I canned 5 jars of juice, went to the ladies' retreat all day, and came home and canned more.
Yesterday Dad kept hauling in buckets full, resting, and going out for more.
Finally I said, "Vee feel fon de grapes denksht sin faddich??"
He said, "Ich glaub ich bin bissell ivvah de helft."
[How many of the grapes do you think are done?
I think I'm a little over half.]
As you can see, I have been digging in back corners for more jars. I'm almost ready to go borrow vessels not a few from the neighbors.
Last night I was very tired.
But we have lots of grape juice to keep the wolf from the door this winter.
In other news, a stray cat came by a few months ago. The kids named him Herbie Furbie, and while he was brave enough to come sneaking by for food after the other cats were done eating, he was also very nervous and would run off when we tried to befriend him or pick him up.
But he must have decided we were trustworthy people, because he had a batch of kittens under the porch.
This is so typical of how our life goes.
Quote of the Day:
Me: Hosht du all my grape juice ksenna??
Dad: Ya ich hop. Ich vayss net vee du alles geh-du gdicksht, avvah du dusht!
Me: [faint...because Dad is not one to give compliments, and compared to Mom I am a serious slacker.]
Translation--Did you see all my grape juice?
Yes I did. I don't know how you get everything done, but you do.