Lesson 1417 – Lions and Tigers and Bells, Oh My


In the words of my kids, I really need to take a “chill pill.”* So what’s got me so worked up?

The first two days of our Border to Border New Hampshire walk.

Although it’s likely that we’ll be dropping some weight along the way, we’ll be starting at our heaviest on the days when we’ll be walking the most.

22 miles for the first day, 26 for the second.

Not only that but we’ll be using packs that are at their heaviest (supplies will be fresh, unnecessary items won’t have been dropped yet.)

What we’re talking about is a lot of weight on feet and joints that are um, problematic to begin with. And we’re asking our bodies to carry this extra weight for a long distance.

Yup, I’m worried. I’m making list after list of what to bring and then crossing off what we *may* not need. A lot of what I’m packing is “just in case” stuff, because that’s what moms genetically do. We pack extra pairs of clothing in case someone spills something. We pack extra diapers for babies in case there’s a blow-out. We *always* pack more snacks than could ever be eaten because, well you know, a hungry child, even a potentially hungry child is just not a pretty sight.

And how can I survive 14 days without books and fun things? Granted I don’t need to carry 5 books but what if I finish one before I can pick up another? I mean, it could happen, right?

So I’m running around doing research on the internet and talking to as many people as I can. Someone this weekend told me to attach bells to our pack in order to alert bears of our presence. I don’t know if it works but walking around New Hampshire sounding like Santa’s sleigh tickles me enough to do it. Put bells on the shopping list.

And then there’s my son. “How’s the packing coming along, Griffin?”

“No worries mom, not worried about my pack or the distance at all. It will all be fine.”

“You’re not worried about the distance?”


Ah to be young again.

In the meantime, excuse me, I’m off to get those anti-bear bells for our packs.





*Not really related to this post other than the writing “chill pill” made me think of this. 

There’s a popular song playing right now by Mike Posner with the starting lyrics of “I took a pill and a beeza.”

“What’s a Bezza?” I asked my daughter. “Is it a new names for drugs? Is it what he calls beer?” 

There aren’t too many times I get *that* look from her. This was one of those times. 

“Mom, it’s a place as in – “I took a pill *in* Ibiza” she said rolling her eyes at how clueless moms can sometimes be.

Once I stopped laughing, I decided that that term should become a permanent part of our sometimes unique house language. 

“Hey, could you go grab me a beeza?” 


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Lesson 1416 – The Old Man of the Mountain Endures

People who know me personally, know that I’ve worn a particular necklace for at least the last10 years (who can keep any more accurate time than that when you have six kids.) Marc got it as an anniversary gift from our “favorite jeweler” Fran Cooke (he’s made a few pieces for us over the years.) and it depicts New Hampshire’s famous rock formation called the “Old Man of the Mountain.”


The Old Man was famous largely because of statesman Daniel Webster, a New Hampshire native, who once wrote: “Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.”

Men, men, men, men (and a few women to boot.) Continue reading

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Lesson 1415 – Tips for taking care of your feet while on a looooong walk


Because like a Boy Scout, I want to always be prepared – I’ve been doing a bit of research on foot care when on a looooong walk. Here’s what I’ve come up with.



Tips for taking of your feet while on a looooong walk

Let’s face it your feet are going to be very important when you decide to go on a multi-day loooong walk. If your feet hurt or get injured best case is that you will have a horribly painful time and worst case, of course is that you’ll have to stop. Preparation on your feet should start weeks before your actual walk. Continue reading

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Lesson 1414 – Mom’s Garden


When my mother was in hospice, I would go around the building snapping pictures of flowers from the many arrangements found in rooms and hallways. I’d bring the photos back to my mom to show her while she was confined to her bed. We had a running joke that my photo collection was “mom’s virtual garden.”

I’ve always been taught that when you find a penny it means that someone in heaven is thinking about you. My mother is now gone, but I find myself drawn to taking photographs of flowers.  Perhaps it’s the colors, the beauty, or maybe I’m just adding to the virtual garden, but whatever the reason is, when I see flowers I think of my mom. And that’s not such a bad thing.

Please enjoy these as much as my mother would have. Continue reading


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Lesson 1413 – Necessary packing list for a long walk


A few days ago, I posted a list of Unnecessary (but necessary to me) items that I will be bringing on my Border-to-border New Hampshire walk.

It’s going to be a little tricky because for the most part (until we reach lower southern New Hampshire anyway) we are going to have to carry everything we need on our backs. If you’ve ever seen any hiking movie (Wild, A Walk in the Woods) you know that people (I) tend to over pack. I’ve always been the “well. we might need this” kind of person (if you doubt me check out the piles of Stuff in our house.)

Here’s one of my big concerns. Our longest days will be on the first two days (22 miles and 26 miles respectively.) We’re not going to have much leg or back muscle yet. We’re going to be carrying packs and walking a fair distance (after those two days, our longest day will be a breezy 16 miles.) Because of our joints we are going to have to be very, very careful. We can’t blow out our tires on the first few days.

The list of what we need to bring seems to get modified on a daily basis. Is that the lightest shirt we can bring? Do I really need to bring a full bottle of lotion? (I’m still struggling with this one but I’m thinking no.) Continue reading


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Lesson 1412 – There is a downside to Pokemon Go


I’ve been going on (and on) about Pokemon Go lately, but there’s a reason. Marc and I spent a good portion of the weekend outside. Walking. Sometimes with our kids, sometimes by ourselves cruising around catching pokemon and having a good time.

At one point we went to Concord, NH where I was able to snap this photo. Pokemon Go is giving us all a common language. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Pokemon Go might be our best bet for World Peace. Continue reading

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Lesson 1411 – These little piggies are going for a long walk


Yesterday I got my first ever pedicure. It was because of a gift certificate from a friend who had heard I had never had one. In. My. Life. “You need to do this,” she told me.

So I decided to bite the bullet and not only did I get a pedicure, but I also got a manicure (I know, living the life of luxury.)

I posted a photo of my bright pink-nailed toes on Facebook, but in looking at the photo this morning, I wanted to use it to show exactly why I have so much trouble finding shoes that fit well.


Not bragging but even when short, I think these pink piggies look cute.

First, I have short, stubby toes. I’ll never be able to play piano with those little piggies.

Second (and I blame my 6 kids’ pregnancies for this this) my feet have widened and stretched. I used to be a Women’s US size 7 narrow pre-pregnancy and now I’m a size 9 – 9.5 wide.  Do you see the freakin’ width of that toe area? Continue reading


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