Friday, May 25, 2012

Possums, wine...

Good Morning Everyone,

Well I thought I had better post.  I have felt like the proverbial hamster in the wheel.  Running, but not really going anywhere.  I have just had lots going on, gardening, parents, D, and then watching the homes of two of the house neighbors while they go out of town, so I was on garden watering duty last weekend and this weekend in their gardens they have going, which D helped me to do as by the time I got done, I was literally ready to drop over.

I have the garden on the north side, partially in.  We are waiting to see if the south neighbors leave for the Memorial Day holiday, if they do, we will set the anchor post for the big gate we got from park neighbors that sold their trailer and moved into their different house.  It is a chain link gate about 4 ft. tall by 5 ft long.  It is very sturdy and should keep two legged and four legged varmints out. Then I will set  out my melon transplants and some winter squash out on this south side to ramble around for the summer. I may be too late, but I have really got a late and slow start to the garden season anyway.

This year, in particular, is very cash strapped.  I think because of my handling of my parents household, and also helping to pay their utility bills, which have increased with a vengeance, is really cutting into my budget.  It comes out in the end, but to be honest, I am taking my income, D's income, and the folks income, and combining them in order to cover the bills, which come at different times in the month, which makes for a three ring circus of remembering things.  I do have utilities come out of an account which my parents have, which come out on an auto payment, I just remember to place funds in.  It is easier for me to remember.  I am thinking of having my utilities done the same way. Everything comes out in the wash, but its just horrid, the utilities, how they have increased, which I know the reason, especially for us here, as we depend on coal burners to get our electricity and they are shutting down the coal burners.  I will say, if they shut all of them down, I and many, many others WILL NOT be able to afford the bills at all, period. I rest my case, as I will start on a rant, and I don't want to do this so early in the morning for me anyway and on a holiday too, and not enough coffee.

I had some excitement here yesterday morning.  For the last few weeks, I have been setting traps for possums, which we have had a huge amount living here, under the trailer, and in the junk that is thrown in the back of the lot.   I think I blogged about them last year, catching several.  We have caught 5 babies, about 8 weeks old, we took them out and turned them loose in the country at a spot that is able to support them, food, water and shelter and the rest is up to them.  But yesterday, we caught a large one, a female that was visibly sick, which I suspect was rabies, in the dumb form.  We were careful to handle the trap from the porch, and then I called a deputy sheriff  I know personally, and he got our animal control to come over and retrieve her for us.  Then, she has to be destroyed and then sent to the UNL lab south of town to confirm the rabies.  We cannot have this around here at all, and this was one thing I was so concerned over, rabies.  My outside cats have their vaccines, but we have stupid people living around here, and so this confirms the fear.  I am sure that the owner and the moron mouthpiece will find another way to blame me for the rabid possums....(evil thought...I would like to take this possum and turn her loose in their office and see how they deal with it). I thought I also would post that I have worked for veterinary offices for many years, and handled rabid animals, so I assure you, we took precautions in this matter.  Gloves, and long metal  pipes to handle the traps so your hands do not come into contact with the critters. We were very, very careful.

I also, with all of this going on, have been doing something that I did not think I could do at all, period... I am making wine! Yep, good ol' hillbilly wine.  I had a very large beautiful wine bottle on the porch that my parents had and I got it out, cleaned it up, made my wine base of unsweetened fruit juice that was the frozen kind, took two of those, added a qt of a apple juice I had on hand, unsweetened,  heated this slightly on the stove, added sugar, let it cool down slightly, added my regular bread yeast, about two teaspoonful, and just let it sit.  It bubbled, and was quite happy under the sink, in the dark. I let this set for about a month.   And then I decanted it in some other glass bottles, and placed it in the frig to chill, and WOW, let me tell you, it turned out just wonderful.  And I will tell you, it has a kick to it.  It is so wonderful and flavorful, nothing like what I bought in the liquor store.  It was wonderful, and I am so proud of myself, it was something I did not think I could do.  I am planning on doing a lighter version of a citrus wine, the stuff  I did do, is a berry, apple, pomegranate, and it was just wonderful. 

Well, other than that, that is about all that is going on in my boring life.  Gee, possums, wine, sounds like Beverly Hillbillies theme going on here, (no offence to anyone)!
I wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day holiday to my US readers, and a wonderful weekend to my European readers.

Hugs to All.


  1. Boy oh boy Vicki ~ You are certainly busy.

    How will you guys have electricity when they stop using coal? I just don't get it at all. But, like you, I won't get into a rant either.

    I hope you are able to get the nice gate up and get things done in your garden this weekend.

    I just checked our weather, it's a sunshiny day after several days of rain and gray skies. The temp is 84 but feels like it is 97, summer is definitely here. Being in the air-conditioning feels GREAT.

    We had raccoons on the roof last night that woke us up. I hope your possum population will decrease.

    Congratulations on your wine. It sounds delicious! A glass or two of wine at the end of the day is nice. We enjoy it before and during supper. The Good Book says to 'drink a little for your stomach and your many infirmities.' I look forward to hearing about more of your different flavors.

    Have a great weekend dear heart.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Denim, Awesome on the wine. If you do more acidic type fruits you might run into some problems. My favorite hops blend is very high in acid so I just use a little less in my beer brewing. Use the Zests and stuff in small amounts and you can get great flavors.

  3. The very mention of the word 'Rabies' over here gets the doom-n-gloom merchants telling us we're all going to die. They are petrified of it!

    The wine sounds great. I've posted my recipe for Elderflower Champagne today. Very little alcohol, but wonderful flavour and lots of FIZZ.

  4. You have been very busy. You are a good daughter and neighbor; they are all lucky to have you and D.

    I loved hearing about the wine. I want to try some but when I read about all the equipment you needed, I back off. Your sounds quite simple. I am just wondering about how much sugar you use though.

    Next time you make it,take notes for me.

    Hope you have a quiet, relaxing weekend.

  5. If the possum turns out to be rabid, the health department will probably come out and talk to the owner of your park about how he could be sued by any tenants who could've been bitten. You've done an important service to all your neighbors. Remind them of that next time they're ugly to you.

    the gate sounds like a wonderful idea. They say good fences make good neighbors. Heh. You might need to put a lock on it though.

  6. What an interesting post Denim, though the thought of a rabid possum about the place is frightening. As Ilene said, you have done everyone a good turn and should not be castigated for THAT.

    I have been making wine for many years, with a break when the children were smaller and life more hectic. I had a bumper crop of gooseberries and damsons last year, so turned much of that harvest into wine. It's great fun and I feel like an alchemist when it is bubbling away in the demijohn!