Posted by: David | November 18, 2007

Sunday before Thanksgiving

It started out nicely. We had some yummy buckwheat waffles for breakfast and got right outside to work. My wife gathered up her dahlia bulbs, got the de-icer connected up to the horses’ water tub, and I went to the dump (“transfer station” that is) then returned to deal with the final item needing attention in the garden. The brussels sprouts. But first, a couple of final pictures, in daylight, of the house and garage/shed. For those of you who are following this fascinating project …

Looking south. Nice matchup to house. There’s my car off to the left.

From the backyard, looking northeast.

OK, no more garage pictures, ever. I promise. Unless we build another one. Which we’re not. So then, the brussels sprouts. They’ve been through a few hard freezes now, and look somewhat dejected.

Brussels sprouts plants enjoying their final moments in the mid-November sun.

Uprooted, sawed off the roots, stripped the leaves, and into the root cellar. Hope they keep a while. Maybe I’ll try freezing some.

Next project is the upgrading of a shed into a greenhouse (more on that later). Initial efforts involved stripping old roll roofing off the shed and trying to remove a 3-foot boulder that’s in the way. The boulder is just a little too big, so I started on the strategy of trying to split it. Maybe this sounds a little crazy? Well, granite boulders split pretty nicely, it turns out. Especially if you have the right tools. Which I don’t. But I gave it the good college try. With a 6-foot pinch bar, a shovel, a handheld sledge hammer and star bit chisel, and a woodsplitting maul, I attacked the boulder for the better part of an hour. That’s round one. The boulder pretty much won that round. My wrists hurt now.

Next was a visit to a family member in the hospital.  I did the driving.

I’m an excellent driver. Cruise control set to 60mph.

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

DHMC is like a little city. It’s a pretty amazing place. My daughter worked there for a couple of years in one of the oncology research labs. When you need hospital care, it’s the place to go around here. There are these amazing glass rooves in the main concourses. You look up and see sky. And the occasional balloon (see my new banner photo above- or below for when I change it). That picture captures, for me, some of the essence of a large hospital. Picture a scene of how the balloon got up there. That saves me having to write it. Our family member is recuperating nicely.

It’s a helium balloon trying to go higher than the skylight.



  1. LOVE the Brussels Sprouts! and congrats on the garage. I was totally amazed how many homes in New England aren’t built with garages! But then I found out that it really doesn’t get as cold here as I imagined… (I’m in so. Mass…)

  2. Thanks CuriousC, so you’re a brassica fan too?

    And yeah, there seem to be more barns, sheds, and other outbuildings than garages up here in NH.

  3. Sigh…you’re living in my dream house, on my dream land. And I think those are my dream brussels sprouts growing in the yard. Wonderful!

    The way you talk, one would think that you’re approaching your 75th or 80th winter. From the pictures, it appears that either you’ve misrepresented yourself, or I need the phone number of your plastic surgeon.

  4. Oh moonbeam, thanks for the sweet compliments! It’s a whole other layer of satisfaction to know that some vicarious gardening enjoyment can be spread over the freakin internet!! And please keep in mind that the mirror sunglasses are hiding the huge bags under my eyes. The love of a good wife and daughter and lots of pedalling keep me looking a little less than my 51.5 years. And the oats and flax meal help too I bet.

    I made the obligatory post-thanksgiving turkey soup last night and put about 3/4 pound of brussels sprouts in. They were yummy. I’ll be eating it for lunch all week.

  5. Shopping List:

    Brussels sprouts
    Flax meal
    Mirrored sunglasses

  6. Also:

    rolled oats

  7. Question, David: How long do I soak the oats in the vodka?

  8. Actually moonbeam, add a banana, a peach, and some low fat yogurt to those lists and you have all you need to make a fantastic smoothee, except for the mirrored sunglasses. (Tip: don’t light the cigarettes, and be sure to remove the filters.) I like to put a few chunks of liver in mine!

  9. Ooo! Guess what I had for dinner last night! BRUSSELS SPROUTS! with a lttle bit of turkey bacon…. and a piece of Cranberry Pear Pie for dessert.

  10. Thanks, Dave– I’m looking forward to my first oatmeal-yogurt-banana-peach-vodka-liver-Marlboro smoothie!

  11. OOOOOO! Brussells sprouts and BACON! (Your comment reminded me of a MadTV sketch– give it a couple of minutes…) What a great idea! Think I’ll try the pig kind tho. Thanks CuriousC! And that pie sounds pretty good too. I’m intrigued by the grape pie recipe on your blog. Most people I mention it to sorta turn up their noses. Which just motivates me all the more …

    Moonbeam, that there’s the breakfast of champions! Marlboros eh? In the interest of better health, I’d recommend Marlboro Lights. Actually, come to think of it, loose tobacco is a lot more economical, so how ’bout that little roll-your-own packet of American Spirit organically grown tobacco. Now there’s some health food!

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