Day 16 Beer, Babies, and Grapes

Getting up this morning was so wonderful!  After last night’s storm, we woke up to puffy white clouds and snow on the hills and mountains!  It was beautiful!  Of course my day always starts the same…get up, make breakfast, and start “school”.  I have to say that there are pros and cons for sure with homeschooling.  One of the pros is that you only have one student to worry about, and you can gauge how quickly you move through material based on how they are doing.  The con is, I have to teach math…not to be the ultimate sterotype…but yes I am a girl and I hate math.  That’s right…I said HATE a word I hate to use.  Math feels like a cruel joke to me…that I never seem to understand…even when I think I have got it…ha…the joke is on me!  Well today was “Concept Review” day…in other words Reid had a test.  Yes, I made the test based on what we have worked on…don’t worry I am using the 5th grade Common Core Standards…hopefully he won’t be too far behind when we get back.  Reid actually likes math, but I sometimes feel that my negative attitude rubs off on him…oops!  Well, for whatever reason, Reid taking his test today was painful…not because it was too hard…but just because he did not want to do it.  I actually ended up heading outside for a bit…I couldn’t even stand to watch.  Here is the best part…he totally aced the test…so I am not so sure why he had to make the actual taking of it so incredibly difficult!

After the fun of school time was over, it was time to head outside.  We were finishing up make grape juice, and then labeling beer.  If you know me at all, you know that sometimes when I am in the kitchen, things can get…hmmm what is a good word…interesting.  I choose interesting because lots of different things can happen…from reading the recipe wrong and having to scoop out things, to pots overflowing, things smoking and burning…and always a huge crazy mess at the end!  It is exciting stuff when I enter a kitchen!  Well the grape juice that we were making was in an outdoor kitchen…lucky for all of us!  The process involves a wood burning stove, a double boiler type pot with a hose coming out, some empty glass jars, lids, and a pot with sugar water in it.  The idea…I think…the water underneath boils to steam and goes up through the grapes that have been mashed somehow…and then out comes boiling hot purple liquid (grape juice) through the hose.  You pour a little sugar water into the bottle, then stick this hose thing in the bottle so the boiling hot purple juice can flow in, pull the hose out and up into the air to stop the flow, put the lid on, turn the bottle upside down to cool.  Hey simple right?  Well during the time that the water is boiling and steaming and creating the precious purple juice, I am labeling beer bottles.  I am told every 20 minutes or so, cruise over to the stove, drain out the grape juice, stoke the fire, put water in the bottom of the pot, and then head off on your merry way.  Got it!  Please for a moment before I explain what occurred when I went to fill the grape juice jars, please shift your mind into black and white, imagine I have red hair, and that I am married to a Cuban band leader…then you will be ready for what happens next!

I am actually feeling confident as I approach the stove, this will be a breeze!  I grab a jar from the box and set it on the ground, I grab the hose off of the hook above my head…I am ready!  Well let’s just say that the molten hot grape juice came flowing out of the hose like the Colorado River on steroids!  I mean it GUSHED out of the hose…I filled up the bottle in a matter of seconds….and dutifully held the hose above my head to stop the flow of this boiling lava…well I know you will never guess what happened…not only did the juice not stop…I swear it flowed out even harder!  Imagine a garden hose on full blast…except purple steaming liquid is shooting out…and I mean shooting out everywhere.  It is on the table, all over the ground, on my shoes, in my hair…like a grape juice shower…a hot grape juice shower!  I am trying to control this thing and reach for another bottle…I manage to reach a bottle and fill it up about half way when the juice just stops…we are talking from out of control flow to nothing in like 3 seconds.  It took me a moment to fully comprehend what had just happened to me!  I couldn’t help but laugh at what a dork I was!  It looked like some kind of low budget horror film…the grape juice being the blood…and me being the idiot teenager who had just become Jason’s latest victim!

Then I suddenly realize that I need to clean this up before Monika or Gregor come by…I don’t want to be remembered as the idiot American WOOFer who couldn’t even fill up a jar of juice!  I quickly clean up, regain a bit of my composure, and head back to labeling beer!  Now here is the best part, for the rest of the day, the grape juice barely trickled out of the hose…and no one could figure out why…how’s that for irony?

Well so much for the beer and the grape juice…let me talk about the highlight of my day…the babies!  These cute little twin girls (yes in my life I am surrounded by twin girls :-)… are blonde haired, blue eyed cutie pies!  They are about 6 months old, and are chubby and adorable!  Tonight I got to babysit while their mom was at their older sister’s recital, and their dad was getting the cows in from the pasture.  Now you notice I am not using any of the children’s names…this is not some kind of protection from the internet…it’s just that they are Slovenian…and I can barely spell names in English! So I am tasked with watching these cuties…as their mom is leaving…she tells me that they are ready to fall asleep.  Now you have to understand something here…these are farm babies…and they can seriously sleep through anything.  I have seen their dad drive a tractor right next to them when they are sleeping in their stroller…and they don’t even flinch!  So I am prepared basically to sit and watch them sleep…then something happens…they pop open their bright blue eyes…and they look at me like “Game on sucker”.  Actually, I didn’t mind at all that they had no interest in sleeping, that they wanted to be played with, held, caressed…these are all the things I no longer get to do with Reid.  I was blissfully in baby land for the whole evening!  It was heaven!