Monday, May 31, 2010

Homemade ginger ale--part 3 (by Kat)

Alternative title: It was the best of weekends, it was the worst of weekends.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, to be honest. I'm still digesting a lot of what happened this weekend. I'm still in a weird place, knowing I want to talk about it and yet not ready to meet the critics of the discussion. What I'm going to say today is my post--and not a reflection of Bet. Gripes come to me--not her. And yet, I'm not sure I want to hear them either. But, I do know I need to talk about what happened, and this is the place for me to do that. So there.

Anyway, some really great things happened this weekend. I'll start there...

I learned to make ginger ale. We're calling it ginger juice. For the second batch, I made a whole 2 liter bottle full. I used the half a lemon I had left, plus an equal amount of lemon juice from a jar. I reduced the amount of sugar, using just 3/4 cup for the 2 liters instead of the 1 cup my original spin on the recipe called for. Instead of cold water, I used slightly warm. I started it last night, then left it overnight in the bathtub. By noon the bottle was hard and ready to go in the refrigerator. I liked this timing better, as I didn't need to put the bottle in the fridge overnight, with its resulting slow-down of the fermentation process. This batch didn't taste as good as the first batch, but we've all been glugging it down anyway. I think fresh lemon juice is the key, and going full bore on the sugar. I'll keep you updated as our tests continue.

Mr. Boom has been contemplating a yard project for a while now, and decided this was the weekend to implement the plan. We have an outdoor fireplace that sits on our wood deck most of the year. We haul it off the deck and out onto the brick pathway of our backyard a few times a year in order to use it. But, presto-bingo! Not any more. I built the first rock wall, which was deemed "a menagerie of cockadoodoo" by Mr. Boom. Seriously, that was the word he used. I'd have been insulted, but I was laughing too hard.

He "disassembled" (name the movie!) my wall and rebuilt the structure. I have to hand it to him, it does look a lot better. I put the row of spiky rocks along the top in a tribute to the Teton Mountain Range, where we've had many a wonderful outdoor firepit experience. Mr. Boom conceded teh addition, and we lived merrily ever after. Well, the bricks still need to be laid underneath, but we can ignore that chore for a very loooooooong time, I'm sure.

Final really cool thing? "So Easy to Preserve" came in the mail. I've been devouring this book. I'm really looking forward to canning this summer.

Okay, on to the crap.

Um, if you don't like bad words, you might want to stop here. I'm quite likely to pull out a full slate of them, and working where I do, I know 'em all.

(After thinking it over, I've mad the bad words transparent. Read 'em if you want, or not, or whatever)


On Saturday evening, up in the hills, Mr. Boom and I found ourselves in the middle of a storm of bullets. Neither one of us was hit, but a branch a few feet over my head was snapped by a bullet.

Zweeeee---------bam. Zweeee---------bam. Over and over. We were hearing the bullets fly by before the sound of the gun firing them reached us. I hope to God I never ever hear that fucking sound again. We were hiding behind trees, but this isn't an old growth area, and the capability of a twenty year old pine to fully block a well-proportioned adult body is laughable. Except it isn't when the fucking bullets are flying by.

The odd thing is, they sound a little bit like hummingbirds.

Mr. Boom fired his shotgun in the air to let the ass-hats know that they were firing into an area with people in it. The shots only came faster at that point. I tried so hard to be skinny. And we had to move down the hill. Which meant not being behind trees. Then we had to cross a holy fucking shit swamp meadow to get to the car. While the shooting continued.

And then a couple young kids came up the road on dirt bikes. The shooting had stopped by then, and the kids turned around and went back down the road. We drove up the road to find out where the shooting was coming from. We couldn't find anybody. We figured that since the shots were so clustered, they must be shooting at a target and the bullets were going through. We thought they just didn't have a good enough backstop. But we couldn't find them. Maybe that's a good thing?

Anyway, we came back into town (three hours of driving for nothing!) and thought we'd call the sheriff in the morning. What could/would they do at 10:00 at night, anyway. Mr. Boom did some math, and figured that based on the number of rounds they were firing without reloading, the fact that the bullets going by were sub-sonic, the time between the bullet sound and the gun blast sound (think counting for the thunder after seeing lightening), and geography, the fucking assholes were more than 500 yards away, shooting an AK-47. There was no backstop involved. I thought about that distance for awhile, remembering the branch cracking above my head, and wondered what kind of force was behind those bullets. More math, and then the answer. The same as a 9mm at point blank.

Sunday I was shaky, but okay. Today I spent a good deal of the day in or near tears.

I'm feeling better now, but fully anticipate a third night of terrible dreams.

But you know what?

I fully support our right to keep and bear arms. All kinds.

I just really fucking hate 90% of the people behind those guns.

I just about died on Saturday, and I'm not ready, and the asshole who did it was more than 1/3rd of a mile away. Fuck'em!

You're still here? Wow.

You deserve something nice.

Here's the mommy bird in our birdhouse checking that the coast is clear.

Coast is clear--she's on her way to get more grub!

Daddy taking over, just like all good daddy's do.
Rock on, Daddy.


  1. Oh that's horrible and scary, good thing you were not hurt.

  2. It's a shame there is always some idiot that will act without thinking. They never think things will happen to them. They would call it an "accident" instead of the carelessness and foolishness that it is. The same applies for so many behind the wheel of cars or on bikes. They are just as deadly only we are not quite so aware that we have dodged a bullet as they wizz by. While there is a place for guns (especially in the right hands) does ANYBODY really need an AK47? As you would be aware, I live in Tasmania where we witnessed the worst massacre at Port Arthur by Martin Bryant (at the time my husband had been visiting the area with our two small daughters and left earlier than planned - divine protection I say) but this event triggered a HUGE debate in Australia and the government was expected to take some sort of positive action. Well they decided to declare guns illegal without a licence and many, many other restrictions. They instigated a "buy back" of guns and spent millions of dollars removing these guns from the population. Has it stopped people being shot or killed? No. I think they would have been far better off investing those millions into the mental health system and getting more people the help they need. Remembering depression is also a mental health issue and one of the most common and often the most lethal.
    I celebrate that we still have you with us. Go on and have a good cry and vent that anger.