Hot Rocks Hope


Hope on Hot Rocks

We have some slabs of granite that we put by the wood stove to warm. Then they get moved over to the entry of our tiny cottage so boots can be placed on the hot rocks. This dries the boots, or in this case warms the Hope. We don’t bring the boots to the wood stove because I would rather keep the dirt in the entry grate area where it is easier to clean up. I have a hunk of soap stone that was used in this same manner on wood stoves and at the fire by the settlers for warming beds and toes. Soap stone has the distinct advantage of being easier to carve and smooth.

In the background behind Hope you can see my Muck Boots and hers. We all have Muck Boots. We were introduced to them by friends who accidentally left theirs at our house after a bonfire party – Hi Tom & Family!

We had been looking for good boots. Warm feet are critical in the winter. All our other boots fall apart fast. In the worst of winter it actually isn’t so bad because the weather’s dry since it is so cold – you just wear extra socks. But it is rather frustrating in mud seasons, even dangerous as you can get frost bite. Mud season come twice a year around here. It’s nasty to be ankle deep and feel that cold squirt into your boot.

Ben, who’s feet fit, tried them on. After Ben’s one day trial of Tom’s boots Holly and I went to the Farmway store in Bradford and picked up a pair for me as my boots were decrepit – it was the end of the season and they were on-sale plus we got another discount for our Farm Bureau membership. I don’t always agree with the politics of the Farm Bureau but we have it in order to get our farm insurance and I appreciate it for that.

After a week I liked my boots so much that we went back to Farmway and got some for everyone as the sale was still going on. Those boots are still water tight and strong after years. Normally we wear out a boot in a couple of months. The woman at the Farmway, who’s husband has dairy cattle, said that the material of the boots resists the acids in manure better than other boots. She may well be right. We did have one boot that failed at a joint right away and they replaced it – faulty manufacturing. Holly punctured the tops of hers on a sharp stick when she fell in the woods this summer while we were marking trees, but the boot is still waterproof even with that hole in the outer layer. I’m impressed.

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I would love to have a pair of the shoe kind for in-town walking because they’re so comfortable. But for on the farm we all like the warmer, taller boots and just roll them down in the summer. The height is critically important when the mud is deep.

Note that this is not exactly a paid advertisement – We got our Muck Boots long before being contacted by a Muck Boot representative. They offered to send us free boots in exchange for a review and ad in the sponsors list along the side. I was perfectly happy to do that because I had already planned to write about the Muck Boots – They’re something that works and I love my Muck Boots. In fact, I’ve mentioned them quite a few times before and they’ve appeared in various photos over the years on our feet and off.

Outdoors: 25째F/11째F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68째F/65째F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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17 Responses to Hot Rocks Hope

  1. ~Tonia says:

    I would not be with out my Muck boots!! I am also getting my girls a pair this year. Tired of the cheap rubber boots giving out so quickly.. They arent growing As fast now that they have hit the teen years.. My husband also has a pair he punctured them and they are still waterproof..
    Muck boots are Great and well worth the money!!!

  2. Beau says:

    Great post… and cute picture! We don't have livestock (yet!), but I've got muck boots! They're actually old shrimper boots, now with cracks in them but I wouldn't be without them either.

    I love your warming stones… when I was young my father would tell me stories of PA winters, and putting rocks at the bottom of the bed to keep warm at night.

    Your cottage and butcher shop are amazing. Thanks for stopping by…

  3. Ryan says:

    That floor looks like it would hurt bare feet.

  4. Ryan, that's just the steel grate right in front of the door. It catches the sand and dirt coming in the door making it much easier to keep the house clean. Besides, us Vermont country folk have tough feet – The rocks outside are much sharper and harder on bare feet. :)

  5. Greetings Walter! I just got my first pair of Muck Chore Hi boots last week and I LOVE them… thanks for promoting! I also picked up a pair for my hubby and my mom. I'm curious if you have the Chore™ Mid or Hi? The Hi is a bit too snug on my mom's more muscular calves and since I've seen pictures of your muscular calves I was wondering if you had any issues with this?

  6. Michelle says:

    I work at a store that sells Muck Boots (among other things) and the only reason I've ever had someone return them is to get another size! They are wonderful boots, I recommend the Arctic Sport to folks all the time for winter use. It's the only boot that I'll buy for winter use for our family. Sort of like buying Carhartt, it's more expensive at the cash register, but it lasts so much longer!

  7. dinkleberries says:

    OK, so where's the ad? I'm pretty sure I need some of those. I'll have to remember the longevity is worth the price, =P Thanks

  8. See in the Sponsors section on the right column or go to MuckBootsOnline.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love my Muck boots, provided to me as a smart gift from my sister who lives in Maine. Our boots cover all the bases here on Cape Cod, from mucking out the goat barn to clamming on the flats, fishing from shore and hunting the marshes. Hardly a stranger to boots, I was particularly psyched to find that they also cover all the seasons – hot, cold, muddy, icy, and everything in between. The one drawback we've noticed? They seem to encourage super-stinky feet and deadly socks, especially during the summer months. For all their benefits, I think smelly socks is definitely not a deal-breaker.
    My two-year old is the only family member without a pair, and as pair after pair of rubber boots split and crack and leak all-too-quickly, I am constantly trying to build up the courage to lay out the extra expense of a pair of Mucks for his rapidly growing feet.

    Thank you, Walter and fam for this wonderfully useful, interesting and entertaining blog!

    Beth on Cape Cod

  10. LJB says:

    I love my muck boots, too. I have the knee highs for High Mud season as well as extra body warmth in the winter. I have the shoe highs for other seasons. I have had some joint failure (in the boots, not me) after 2 years, but use some marine silicone for temporary relief, and will replace the boots in the spring when the excessive water turns from snow and ice to mud. If they are making better boots these days, hallelujia!

  11. Marie says:

    I love my Muck boots too! I bought a pair (Arctic Sport) 2 years ago after moving to Vermont when I couldn't find anything else to fit my wide feet. I love the arch support and how warm they keep my feet, but wish they had better ankle support. I'm still looking for a regular winter boot that I can wear comfortably to snowshoe, etc.

  12. Cool. Well I'm getting a pair of these for my husband! And then a pair for me. Because we're in northern New Mexico, all of our fruit trees have large irrigation rings around them, and when my husband irrigates his fruit orchard, he also spends some time stomping the water filled vole holes around the trees in his cheap rubber boots from Wal-Mart. (Detestable varmints, worse than porcupines, if you ask me, and my dogs have had run ins with them too.) I think these would definitely do the trick, and I won't have to worry about his feet getting cold in the late spring and fall.

    Perhaps when the orchard grows some more, I can turn my hogs loose in there and they can devour the voles. Although I'm afraid they might dig to China trying.

    Oh, and I love that photo of your little girl. That looks like the perfect way to warm toes. Excellent idea with that grate at the front door. I may try that with all of the mud and dirt etc. we track into our house.

    Best, Kimberly

  13. Cool. Well I'm getting a pair of these for my husband! And then a pair for me. Because we're in northern New Mexico, all of our fruit trees have large irrigation rings around them, and when my husband irrigates his fruit orchard, he also spends some time stomping the water filled vole holes around the trees in his cheap rubber boots from Wal-Mart. (Detestable varmints, worse than porcupines, if you ask me, and my dogs have had run ins with them too.) I think these would definitely do the trick, and I won't have to worry about his feet getting cold in the late spring and fall.

    Perhaps when the orchard grows some more, I can turn my hogs loose in there and they can devour the voles. Although I'm afraid they might dig to China trying.

    What a cutie your daughter is. That looks like the perfect way to warm little toes.

    Best, Kimberly

  14. karl says:

    we use the hot rock method too. they are usually flat creek stone of feet warming size. smaller round stones warm the inside of boots before venturing out.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bear feet? I wouldnot think you would want to let bears in the house! :> :> :>

    Jessie

  16. Seven Crows says:

    Excellent idea with the hot rocks! And how do people find that the Muck boots are sized for men? If I am looking for a man who ears size 9 1/2 shows – should I go up to 10s in the Muck boots or bigger to make room for socks?

  17. Good question… I wear a 9.5 men's for most shoes but wear a 11/11.5 in my winter Hoser Muck Boots and a 11/10.5 in my summer Scrub Muck Boots. I wear the winter ones with double socks. They have good insulation but it is cold here and the extra socks make a difference. Or maybe I just used to always wearing double socks in the winter – cotton+wool.

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