So we've been down to the coast nearly every weekend since mid August just waiting for the blackberries to really be on and ready. Judy and I picked some early in the season when we were hanging out with Grandpaw for the weekend and they were few and far between and tart. Two weekends ago we were invited to pick but we managed to stay too busy. This weekend I knew was potentially the last. The berries are starting to get mushy and there was rain in the forcast. So Saturday night we left Judy up at the house to work on dinner and Uncle Andy, Daphnie, the kids, and I went down to the Neals where we'd been invited to pick and went to it. Uncle Andy doesn't really pick he just enjoys using the loppers to get you into the places with lots of berries. The kids ate. I mean they picked, however they picked right into their mouths. Daphnie and I managed to fill a half flat to the top and overflowing. I was happy because it meant we'd be able to make up the low sugar blackberry jam I was hoping for. Ruby was a blackberry mess. She was down in the downstairs kitchen playing under the stairs and Granny got a cute little shot of our blackberry girl before she got a bath. In the morning Granny and I started on the jam. Ruby was a good helper in stirring the berries while they work cooking down. Letting her around the stove always makes me extra nervous and I think she sensed that my paranoia was going to thwart her full participation in the activity. She quickly abandoned us. As we cooked each batch and processed the jars I was ever so thankfull to be spending time with my Mom doing something to benefit my family in the year to come. Mom and Judy had this experience over 200 jars of tuna a few weeks ago. I can't handle the smell of fish even for a cause as worthy as the worlds best tuna. I look forward to next year in hopes of being able to put up salsa with my Mom, that's what she did all day Saturday while we were off playing at the waterfall. Together we'll be able to can more and maybe not let her spend the entire day in that basement.