The young one was still complaining of a belly ache and spent the day resting and sleeping on the couch in the midst of the household chaos. He and his granddad, who also didn’t feel well were the only ones who rested and worked at recovery.
Sausage gravy and biscuits were made, but only son and I ate them. Daughter and her two littles arrived just before 10 a.m. with a flat of jars. Everyone was Deep Woods Off sprayed, given pails of varying description and off we went to pick enough berries to make a batch of jam. The littlest, almost 7 year old ate everything she picked. The eleven year old ate about half of what he picked, but daughter and I were able to accumulate enough berries that after we picked over them and crushed them, we had almost 8 cups, enough for about a double recipe of wildberry jam. While the jars heated in the canner, sandwiches were made for all who wanted one and once that was out of the way, the berry jam was started, jarred, and water bathed.
We ended up with eight 12 oz jars of wildberry jam for her. One was left uncanned, back left for them to begin enjoying and so it didn’t have to be canned in two batches. My water bath canner holds 7 narrow mouth pints, the big pressure canner holds 10, but it also tends to bubble over when you fill it an inch above the lids to water bath, so we only canned 7 for her pantry shelves and one she took home in hand to put in the refrigerator. The remaining 7 will be taken over to her house today along with a hat that was left behind.
About two years ago, the top boards on our large south facing deck began to decay and I put a foot through a board one day while out watering deck plants. In an attempt to keep with the green building theme that we had adopted while building the house, the deck was built with borate treated wood instead of pressure treated wood and we later found out that it should be under roof to make it last. It isn’t under roof, it gets wet and it bakes, getting too hot to enjoy on a summer day. We began replacing the rotting boards with pressure treated ones, but then it became apparent a year ago that the entire top needed replacing and we began looking into Trex or one of it’s competitors for durability and so it didn’t have to be restained every couple of years. Deconstruction was begun but with his schedule, it sat over the winter. His wife worked on it some while she was here farm sitting in February, and he attacked it yesterday with intent. To help speed things along, I joined him to stack boards that were to be burned, removed nails, screws, and brackets from boards. Also I was cutting boards to a length to fit in a burn barrel and cutting out sections that were still sound, though they were few and far between, most of the boards are rotted to mulch consistency. Unfortunately, removing the boards, we realize that the joists are also bad for the top couple of inches, so it looks like we will be starting over. I hate this for son, he built the deck for us, reinforcing it with hurricane brackets and making it solid and large and we enjoyed it for about a decade. As the day wore on, with us working together in the heat (both of us are fair, so it is long pants, long sleeves, and broad brimmed hats, we made good progress.
The section with no top used to be about a third again larger to the left of what you see, so most of the top boards are gone except just in front of the dining room doors and the joists for part of the large part of the deck are down.
Flipping the boards to remove nails and screws revealed some interesting life forms. This is a fungi, I guess. It was about the size of a quarter, some others like it were smaller, but they looked like sea anemones that looked like they should be swaying in the ocean.
We finally quit around 4, so he could pack up his car and take the still ailing grandson home. We took them into town for a bowl of Chinese hand pulled noodle soup and sent them on their way.
Once home, sore and tired, but fed, the weekend pickles making results were shelved.
So pretty to look at and enjoy when we need a jar of jam or pickles. The ferment was tasted and it is delicious, it was refrigerated this morning. As soon as there are more cucumbers and jalapeños to pick, another jar will be started. It is about time to start this year’s kraut, I sent the last jar home with son as they eat more of it than do we and it only takes a few days to ferment. I think I will wait for the ferment weights to arrive to help hold it in it’s own brine though.
Today, I really am going to rest. I am running on fumes and need some stiff sore muscles to have a chance to recover. Yesterday’s expected rain never happened, today’s chance has dropped from an almost sure thing to it may not happen. The flowers and garden are getting too dry, it is hot and brittle. We need some rain.