A couple of weeks ago, Will went with our carpenter friend, Tom, to look at an old bulldozer that Tom was interested in buying — a “fixer upper.” Well, Tom bought the bulldozer and Will bought an old dump truck cheap that was also a “fixer upper.” It hadn’t run in six years, it had a gas tank that gave me the shivers after one peek inside, and it had small trees growing in the dirt in the box. Will figured he could get it going as a 1963 truck is SO much easier to work on than a new one. Well, he was right (after we caught the carburetor on fire with a backfire!), and the truck started! The next day, Will and our friend, Jim, drove over to drive it home (15 miles or so). I said a few prayers, remembering the fire, and went to work weeding. With all the rain, our garden weeds are HORRIBLE this year. After about an hour I was shocked to hear a rumbling noise, and a rusty orange dump truck crested the hill. It got home. To make a long story short, Will cleaned the carburetor in carb dip, put a kit in it, and it runs. So he went off to our gravel, piled high from the spring basin project. The same rain that made all those weeds grow also made the driveway muddy. And that big dump truck, piled high with gravel, bogged down in the mud, BUT GOOD. Even our tractor wouldn’t pull it out. Old Yeller was laid up, getting its gas tank and new hood painted, so we had to call our neighbor. David took off on the four wheeler, because the truck was stuck in the middle of the driveway. In a few minutes, Jerry’s big blue four wheel drive tractor was hooking up and David hauled the orange truck out of the mud. I’m telling this, so you don’t think everything always runs smoothly for us. We have those yucky, crabby days, too. It’s the real world here in the backwoods.

Readers’ Questions:

Floating green beans

I have been lucky and have had a few green beans to can so far this year. I have been following the instructions in your canning book, and am confident they are tasty, but the green beans are floating to the top, with water at bottom, they are just not as pretty as some I have seen. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Cindy Adams
Florence, Alabama

Floating vegetables are usually ones that have been raw packed. They are perfectly good, but just float. If you would rather have non-floating beans, try heating them to boiling in water, then packing the hot beans and boiling water together in your hot jars. That should do the trick. — Jackie


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