Strawberry Fields

In tonight’s episode, our intrepid homesteaders make progress on rebuilding the 2nd floor (AKA first-floor ceiling) where the staircase was removed. Thanks to my father-in-law, I got one of three beams up and attached.


Here’s the end where it rests on the outer sill:


Here’s the other end, with an indent routed out so the second load-bearing beam, when it is installed, will push flush against both the new and old beams.


This is called “sistering” beams or joists, and in our case kills two birds (nay, three) with one stone. It corrects the deflection in the existing beam, where the single 2×6 was inadequate for a 12-foot span. It makes the floor above more sturdy (less bouncy). And it spans the stairway opening, providing a “new” joist which will support floorboards.

The sistered joists are joined with nails and bolts; glue is also advisable but I didn’t have any today. I will use glue for the rest.


Also with father-in-law’s (and Marsh’s, and Marsh’s mom’s) help, we finally got the stoves out of the van where they’ve been since I picked them up at Sears. They were shockingly heavy, and I was very glad to have gotten a dolly.

Now they and the cooktop are IN the kitchen, where they will remain until installation.


So what about strawberries?

I ate a ripe one today, a wild fraise du bois, from The Land. Saw no other ripe ones, but a few unripe ones. We’ll have to be wily to harvest even enough for a bowl of cereal or yogurt.

The one I ate was smaller than a kernel of corn, and was juicy and sweet.


I spoke wrote too soon! Just now, in a pelting rain, I browsed the undergrowth in our “front” yard while Homer failed to do his business, and found seven more ripe strawberries, a couple larger than a kernel of corn:


They are SO good. Makes you believe in … something.