Our last trip to Arkansas yielded some very nice firsts! We had the chance to break in this nifty Lodge grill for instance. It was love at first breakfast, the charcoal starter thing-y had us up and scrambling eggs before I could finish slicing bagels – THAT’S FAST! Normally my problem with charcoal grills is all the waiting but this thing makes it a breeze!
This was the first time we were able to sleep in the house (on the floor), eat in the house, go to the bathroom in the house (figured out the toilet has a crack though), wash out dishes in the house, clean ourselves at the house (sort of) – in short we were able to be at Addie’s without leaving for anything!
That left more time for exploring!
As we were walking the land behind Addie’s we came upon this creek. When we visit Addie’s we usually have a LONG list of stuff we’d like to get done and most of the time the kids are working right along with us. So when the opportunity to take a muddy break presented itself I couldn’t say no. Watching my kids negotiate this very wild, non-manicured, non-saftey checked creek was the best part although I’m sure my kids would disagree. Armed with a stick to check for snakes (water moccasins would be common) and check water depth they very carefully explored. It took 5 minutes just to get used to the squish of the creek bottom and non-stop bugs swarming them and the cool temperature of the water. They became pretty bold after that though, testing that tiny vine as a swing (above), exploring deeper waters, so much braver than their mom! We still had to walk back to the house after this creek adventure which brings me to a product review.
The kids received these LL Bean boots as a Christmas present. They are expensive and not many boots can do what the Bean boot does….or is supposed to do – good for walking, perfect for wet ground, really, really good looking. The only thing I can stand by is the way they look, they are a very handsome boot. But getting them on and off is a pain and walking in them is a nightmare – two things that put them in the NOT buy again category. What I’ll try in the future are another pair of Blundstones (you totally saw that coming I’m sure) worked over with a little magical product called Obenauf’s. Although not marketed for waterproofing, with trial and error we’ve found it to be a good protector of the already water resistant Blundstone boot. Perhaps we’ll need rain boots for the crazy wet days but for day to day needs, we’re back to Blundstone.
The work at Addie’s still overwhelms me, there’s so much to do, so much for me to learn. But one day, I’m hoping to sit down at a table like the one below, with friends and family and tell stories of our early misadventures with this land and this whole process and marvel at how far we’ve come. Sounds good right?!
There’s been a little interest in what my family is packing.bringing and wearing on our upcoming trip to France. We are trying to keep all new purchases to a minimum however there were two things that were needed. 1. Shoes, we actually all needed some shoes for this outing. We had a tall order: needed to be sturdy, comfy, could get wet (not soaked hopefully but wet), had to be comfy walking, not just on a flat trail but up hills, down hills, around hills and because I like to make things impossible, I wanted SOME element of style. Well folks, I found it ALL in a Blundstone.
My husband has been swearing by this “Austrailian cowboy boot” for years, when we go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, he has Blundstone’s on his feet – not Nike, not New Balance, no Adidas…..Blundstone’s. He had already insisted on these for the kids. “No muddy laces”, he said. The kids boots arrived at Christmas so they had time to break in and I realized two things, 1. the boots didn’t really require breaking in and 2. When your kids are 7 and 5, they grow fast, especially in the foot area. So now my kids are both in their second pair of boots – fingers crossed no one grows in the next 6 weeks.
I was a harder sell, I was confident my old trustworthy Camper boots could handle one more trip, but after a few of our “practice walks” I realized I was feeling every pebble and the water was finding ways in to my socks. I have troubled feet and I knew I could trust my Campers so I ordered a new pair. My brand new Camper boots arrived and they were NOTHING like my old ones. Thin leather, narrow foot bed, thinner sole……they didn’t even look as cute as my old ones.
“Alright, alright, I’ll try the Blunnies”, I told my husband. Long story short, they have rarely left my feet since they arrived. I’ve probably logged over 30 miles in them so far. They are completely comfy, super light, I love the “moto” styling, they remind me of my beloved Doc Martins from the 90’s however my feet do NOT look huge in them (that was always my complaint with Docs). They arrived with a solution to apply to the boot to help with water resistance, seems to work really well. I am very happy, very confident these shoes will keep us all walking happily wether in France or down the street.
Next time, our second purchase, my SMALL backpack.