Finn got the wild idea about two weeks ago to have herself a yard sale. In typical fashion, the thought struck her on a Thursday, and she announced her plan to us to hold it the following Saturday. We quickly advised her to put it off a week for both logistical and commercial reasons: the neighborhood across the street was holding their spring yard sale this weekend, and that always gets lots of traffic.
Jen and I started making lists of stuff to drag down from the attic and up from the cellar, and by Friday night we had a sizeable stack of stuff piled on the front porch ready to go. We lucked out with good weather. I ran out to get breakfast and by 8AM we had two tables piled with goods on the front lawn flanked by furniture of all shapes and sizes. We get lots of eyeballs on Frederick Road, so the cars lined the street pretty much all morning. We said goodbye to a lot of toys, kids’ clothes, large furniture, and other stuff; Finn sold a lot of jewelry and some books. I tried to get people interested in the futon frame but nobody would bite. By 11:30 the traffic slowed so we hauled everything inside and counted our earnings: about $175 plus a ton of quarters.
As the sky got dark I went upstairs to roll a second coat of paint in the old blue room and then went down to the basement to rebuild a carburetor for the Travelall. The wind picked up and the rain came down all afternoon. Jen and I watched the first three episodes of the Mandalorian season 3 and then we all hit the hay.
At around 11:30 we heard booming and crackling very close outside, and opened a window to see one of the transformers behind our house alternately exploding in green flame and then barfing hot red lava down the side of the can. As I was looking up the I’m-not-calling-about-a-gas-leak number for BGE, our lights went out. I reported the issue and we went back to bed. In the morning our electricity wasn’t back and the estimates were saying 4PM for a return to power. Jen and I took Hazel for a long walk and then we hit the road in search of a generator.
We’ve had our fair share of electricity outages here at the Lockardugan Estate; in the first ten years we must have lost power five times. It’s been better since they replaced the transformer directly behind us (that one used to explode every time it rained) but we’ve lost an entire fridge and freezer full of food twice in the last ten years, and that shit ain’t cheap. I decided to look for a portable generator/inverter both because I didn’t want another huge object taking up space in the garage, and I also wanted something we might be able to take camping. After visiting two stores we drove to Columbia and found a nice Craftsman 2200W unit (basically a rebadged Generac) to bring home.
On the back lawn all went well until I pulled the “don’t start this without oil” tag off and looked for the manual to tell me where the oil fill was located: there was no manual. Nothing on the side of the box, and nothing on the web page for the model I’d just bought. Noting it was manufactured by Generac, I looked on their site and found what I needed. Once it was full of oil and gas it fired right up and I plugged the fridge in, and it never skipped a beat. So that’s a nice bit of insurance to have out in the garage.
Fill a half-gallon jar with grapes. Add a cup of sugar and fill the jar to the brim with the cheapest vodka you can find. Shake it up and stick it on shelf for 2 months. Take it down, shake it up again, and let it sit another 2 months. Pour the 4-month old liquid through a cheesecloth and enjoy.
Best. Hooch. EVER.
Hmmm. That sounds like a plan, considering that we’ve got another 5lbs. of grapes on the vine to go. Jen?
If you’re overly concerned by either recipe (jam or hooch), have no fear. I just got my union card from The International Brotherhood of Taste Testers (You may have read our union periodical, “Testy Culls”) and I can be on the job within minutes.
Hoooooch. Does that mean when I get sloppy on it I can call myself “Hoochie”?
Dave, you crack me up. You’ll be the first non-Lockardugan person upon whom I call to inflict, I mean, to test our jam. That is, of course, provided that the botulism doesn’t flatten me first.
The Verdict: Freakin’ awesome.
Jen sez, “now I have a marketable skill for when the international monetary system breaks down and we return to a feudal society.”
Trade ya some raspberry for some grape. Does raspberry make good hooooooch too?
“Testy culls.” Dave, you crack me up too.