It wasn’t all work and no play here in Middle Tennessee under the leadership of bootcamp master, Mr. Basketmaker. Ben got to spend some time with his new favorite dog, Jackson.
(Can you see poor Chance over there on the porch? So easily replaced… he used to be Ben’s favorite!)
If you have been following my blog for some time, then you know that Jackson adopted us by showing up almost every day for at least three months shortly after we moved here from New Hampshire. And, honestly, we are so glad he did! And that we were lucky enough to adopt him in return. And because of his personality, I knew him and our nephew Ben would be instant friends. Often times I feel a little down on behalf of Jackson because it’s just Mr. Basketmaker and me and Chance. He really needs a family with a young boy. He’s a “boy’s dog through and through.” But I guess he’s stuck with only “us.”
However, as soon as Ben arrived, Jackson has stuck to him like glue! Or maybe it’s vice versa?
The main and most important thing to get done on Day Two of Mr. Basketmaker’s bootcamp, according to Ben, was to go to the store and buy some camo pants! You see, he’s from an urban neighborhood outside of Chicago and, according to him, doesn’t see much camo clothing around. But this kid has country in his blood. I absolutely believe you are born the way you are. And this boy is “country” one hundred percent! (sorry to my sister – his mom!) And he flat out asked me in a direct tone, “Auntie Kiki, can we go to Walmart where you said they sell camo stuff everywhere?”
So off we went. And came home with a new pair of camo pants and an army-green shirt. The happiness in his eyes when he put these clothes on as soon as we walked through the door was contagious.
But there was one problem. He needed a belt so he could attach the new knife he just got in his field box from Mr. Basketmaker! So I grabbed one of Eric’s and helped him put it on, along with his new knife and holder. Can I add here that he wore these clothes for two days straight? Even in bed while sleeping!
So after our little shopping trip it was time to venture in the woods with Eric to collect materials for a couple projects. But it then began to rain, and pretty heavily. I was concerned that maybe Ben wouldn’t like being out in the rain so I opened the door and asked Ben “Do you want to come inside and wait until the rain stops?” and Mr. Basketmaker immediately said “We are mountain men. We love the rain.” And Ben piped in half-a-second later, “Yeah, we are mountain men.”
What else could I do but close the door. And be glad that I wasn’t out there getting all soaking wet. Which they did. But both of them didn’t seem phased in the least.
Here’s Ben showing me some natural cording he will be using as rope for one of his “missions.” They appear to not be totally soaked through but close to it!
While out in the woods, he also picked out a nice, large branch that will become his very own walking stick. Here he is, after a lengthy explanation by Mr. Basketmaker on the safety and proper use of a draw knife, removing the bark.
They’re starting to dry off but not much! Ben is completely oblivious that he is wearing wet clothes.
And sanding. I must add that since the wood was wet, and it was a low grit paper, there was no need for a dust mask because there was no dust being drawn out. But he is wearing noise cancellation headphones to protect the ears!
After the rain let up, they went outside to start Ben’s next mission before it got too dark out… constructing an outdoor cooking tripod thingy (hey, I’m a girl who is not that “country” yet…). I hope he’s paying attention because he will be tested on this come Friday!!
And here’s Ben using the vines he found during his rainy excursion out in the woods, as cording to tie the branches together and firm up the tripod (the same ones seen in the photo with the green bucket).
I love this photo because it was getting pretty dark, which you sort of cannot tell in this photo due to the lighting on my camera, and Ben was still focused and hard at work completing one of his projects. He was at it all day and we both were so proud of him! And that night he said he couldn’t wait to start the next morning! I’d say this is looking like a satisfied customer!
Check back tomorrow for Ben’s next redneck bootcamp adventure!