Strawberry Fields

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


EDIT:

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:

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

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