Where have I been all day?
Well, as decided yesterday, we set off bug bombs this morning. I have only had one flea on me- but that was one too many. The boys and I turned the dogs out, covered the fish tank, and headed out the door. We went south on Arkansas 59. Not being in a hurry, we saw the entrance to "Lake Francis", which is on the OK/AR border. We haven't ever actually FOUND Lake Francis in all the times we have tried to reach it from the OK side. We decided that we would go see Lake Francis.
Today was yet another day we didn't find the lake. Every road ended at a "Private Property, No Trespassing" sign. We gave up and headed on down to Lincoln. We stopped at the orchard store, where it was advertised they were picking peaches. Inside the store were three small sacks of pitiful looking peaches- for $7.00 a bag! So sorry... we can get them at Walmart for less than half that price. They also had a couple of sacks of scrawny, bruised apples, also $7.00 a bag. I went ahead and got a couple of quarts of local honey there, and tried a jar of sugar free cherry preserves, sweetened with fruit juice.
Since we still had a good 3 hours to kill at that point, we explored several local swap shops and antique stores. It is pretty cool that my 13 & 20 year old sons love exploring the old shops as much as I do. Ben found a crucible for his metal casting endeavors, and Dan found just the thing to melt candle wax in, to be able to hand dip candles. I found a hat that just screamed my son Christopher's name... but at $20, I passed it by. (A real jungle hardhat!) I found myself a deeper cast iron double fry pan/ dutch oven. I called Tom before buying it... and he asked "Don't we have ENOUGH cast iron?". (Becky and Ben both replied "You can NEVER have enough cast iron!") It was a real deal- less than half the price I had seen, even on sale. But I passed it by.
We got started for home, knowing we had to stop at WM for several things. However, we saw a banner that said "Blueberries and Fresh Produce!" and turned in that gate. I soon wondered if the sign had small print directing us some place other than the driveway we were on. It wended back farther and farther from the highway. We didn't see anyone. The road got a bit rough, but there wasn't exactly anyplace to turn around. We passed two unoccupied guard towers. All at once, the overgrown road opened up and there was a field of blueberry bushes, with apparently migrant workers toiling away. A man driving a little miniature Subaru truck drove up. He said we had missed blueberry season, for the most part, but they did still have a few gallons available. He led us still farther down the road. Ben and the twins remarked that if Stephen were with us, he would be checking his sidearm by now.
We got out of the car, and went into the blueberry shed. The little man talked on and on about their berry operation. He enumerated their tomato, cucumber, squash and melon plants... but said they were a couple of weeks away from harvest. All they had today was the few berries. We bought two gallons and started back up the road- it was a MILE to the highway! On the way out, we decided from the positioning of the guard towers, they were probably deer blinds.
After a quick run through at WalMart, we finally got home. The house was smelly and hot. I let it air a bare half hour before closing it up and turning on the air. I need to think of something quick and cool for supper and get it started.
We have yesterday's blackberries to deal with tonight or tomorrow, as well as the blueberries we bought today. I got about 4 lbs. of cherries at WalMart. (We can't get those fruit stand fresh here!) The load of laundry I started as soon as we could stand being inside this afternoon has finished washing, so I need to get that taken care of as well!
Have a great rest of your day!