Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I made some vegetable soup in the crock-pot yesterday. Here is what went in:

My creation
1. Spicy Hot V8, 2. Tomato Sauce, 3. Crushed Tomatoes, 4. Celery, 5. Carrot,
6. Potatoes, 7. Onion, 8. Garlic, 9. Peas & Corn, 10. Kidney Beans,
11. Green Beans, 12. Water, 13. Bay Leaves, 14. Salt, 15. Pepper, 16. Crock-pot

This is the second time I've made this soup. It's so tasty. A little on the spicy side - but Mmm Mmm Good. The best part about it... It's SO easy to make. I use a mixture of canned, frozen and fresh ingredients. I toss it all in the crock pot and leave it alone all day! So its kind of like cooking without really cooking ;-)

I am going to try some real cooking this weekend. Well, I guess technically it would be baking. As long as I can find Pie Pumpkins, I'm going to attempt a pumpkin pie from scratch! It could be interesting.... I plan on blogging about it of course!

Pppssstt. Here is the pie I made!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I just wanted to say congratulations to my BFF Jessica and her fiancé Ryan!! I don't know why I didn't post this sooner, but they got engaged few weeks ago. I'm so happy for them and excited to be the Maid of Honor at their wedding in July!

I totally swiped this photo from Jessica's Facebook profile (Jess, I hope you don't mind!). Look at the romantic picnic by the lake he set up! Too cute!

I can't wait 'til Jess visits in October. I have to check out that new bling! ;-)


Friday, September 25, 2009

FTF Friday!

I come home from babysitting around 11am on the days that I babysit. The first thing I do when I get home is check my computer, my e-mail first. This morning, I was excited to see that a new cache had been published. I was even more excited to see that it was right around the corner. I then looked at the e-mail time stamp. It had been published for 3 and a half hours already...

Doubtful that I was going to make a FTF, I decided to go make a grab. I had a TB(what is a TB?) I needed to get rid of, and hadn't found a cache in a while. To my surprise... I was the First To Find! I signed the log and swapped TBs and made my way to the car. I SHOULD have walked.... but you never know when you might get a FTF, so I drove ;-) I'm glad I did, for all I know someone was right behind me!

What the heck is a cache, and what the heck is Geocaching? Find out here.

Profile for ErikaJean

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The reason I haven't been able to sleep well the past couple of mornings.

Fireplace Progression

Apple Annie's


We left about 7am, stopped at McD's for breakfast and then headed toward Wilcox, Arizona. The drive was an hour and a half long. Destination, Apple Annie's. Sadly, I forgot to load my GPS with caches before leaving the house, but I'm sure we'll be back.

If you haven't had an apple fresh from an orchard - you haven't really had an apple. I worked at an apple orchard while in high school, and it is still very hard for me to pick up a waxy bruised-to-death apple off the grocery store shelf. It just doesn't compare to the crunchy-crispness of a fresh orchard apple. MMmmm, I'm spoiled. If you're ever in Cincinnati, you must go to Rouster's Apple House (the place I worked in high school). You can't pick your own Apples, but you can pick your own blueberries... and the cider... A - MAZE - ING.

The apple cider at Apple Annies in Wilcox, AZ though, not so amazing. I know cider tends to be up there in price... but this stuff was 6 bucks for a HALF gallon. Yeah right, like we'd buy that. We'd each only get ONE glass out of that. Besides, they weren't offering samples.... I bet if they gave me a sample I would have caved and bought it ;-)

We did buy a fresh pie and caramel apples. I'm 24 years old and still haven't mastered the art of eating a caramel apple.

This U-Pick orchard was much more upscale than the last one I went to. They had fancy pickin' tools and wagons that took you to the pickin' trees.

Pickin' Tools

There were tons of apples scattered about on the ground. It's easy to pick an apple, but for the inexperienced picker, it's also easy to bring 2 or 3 others down with it. We got better the more we picked, but couldn't seem to stop. It was too fun!

Rotten to the Core

It's sad though, to think about all the apples wasted.

Besides the overpriced cider, and our horrible picking skills - the trip to Apple Annies was worth it. I got my Granny Smith apples, so I'm satisfied!


Monday, September 21, 2009


My mom used to plant Marigolds in front of the house where we grew up. The flowers grew like crazy and were often held off the sidewalk by a mini white picket fence. Ours were smaller and more gold than this one I found over the weekend at Apple Annie's, but it still brought me back for a second.

Buzzzzy Bee

Did you know that the Marigold is an extremely effective herb for the treatment of skin problems?

It can be used wherever there is inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage; for example (some of these are gross), crural ulceration, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, mastitis, sebaceous cysts, impetigo or other inflamed cutaneous lesions.

Odd, but interesting.

I wonder if a Marigold would would help treat the swelling induced by a bee sting?

Did I teach you something new today?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Attention Geocachers - Grand Opening Special!

Have you checked out CachingContainers.com yet? They have a variety of geocaching containers. You can get a basic lock-n-lock cache container or something more tricky. They even have pill bottles, bison tubes and nanos ... all camo-ed and ready to go! Custom colors are available upon request for most caches, which is fabulous for the desert that some of us cachers live in ;-)

They are running some good specials right now, so I suggest you hop on over after reading this post! You can even get a FREE nano for helping to spread the word! You can find out the requirements for the FREE nano here. Even if you're not a fan of nanos these little guys would make a great FTF prize in your next cache. They would be great for event prizes too, but I'm probably going to be hiding mine!

After browsing the store, I think this cache is the coolest! It is perfect for all the hot weather here in Arizona! It would be neat to ask people in the description to log the temperature when they found it.

What the heck is Geocaching? Find out here.

Postcrossing Sunday

Trip to the Mailbox!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Signs of the Time

We went on a mini road trip today. If you look at the following signs you maybe able to guess where. If you can't figure it out, you are just going to have to wait for future posts! I took a TON of photos as usual. All these signs are signs from today. Be sure to read the "Slow Down" sign.

Fresh Baked

Hoser Shoe Some Like it H-O-T The Best Kind of Apples!

Slow Down... Please?

Neat Stuff The Thing?

Benson Motel

I realize this is becoming quite the photo blog. I just can't seem to help myself. I just love taking pictures and I see no reason to stop and no reason to stop sharing them here ;-) I hope the pictures aren't slowing down anyone's load time. If so, please let me know in the comments!

What's the coolest sign you've seen?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coyote or Wolf?

We found this statue near a micro geocache. We wondered though... is this a wolf or a coyote? We think coyote, given there are tons of them here in Tucson. There was no sign indicating what the statue was. What do you think?


Oh yeah, here is the micro we found. It was attached with Velcro to the light that shines on the coyote/wolf.

Geocaching Geocaching

What is geocaching?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gettin' Crafty - Fabric Postcards

If you are a long time visitor, you may know I have made fabric postcards in the past. If you are not a longtime visitor - check out my Valentine cards, St. Patrick's Day cards, and my very first fabric postcard.

I've been working on some Halloween postcards lately. I decided to start ahead of time this time so I can make them extra awesome. I think I have succeeded. Much more detailed than cards I've done in the past! I will probably send them at the begining of October so people can plaster the postcards to their fridge for decoration if they want. ;-)

Here they are yesterday - right after I painted them.
Gettin' Crafty!

This time I hand stitched them - My poor little fingers hurt (the cards are thick for mailing and hard to push a needle through)... So I may have to go back to the machine for the rest. I used a blanket stitch on the edges. I never knew how to do one, so with a little googling I found this video that sort of shows you how. I didn't make my stitches perfect... becuase this is Frankenstein people!

Here are the two I've hand stitched so far.

These little Frankenstein guys have glitter in there eyes! I love it. And yes, I know Frankenstein has bolts in his neck - but the one I found for a reference picture looked just like this - so I went with it. There is paper on the back, ready for a stamp and a personal message!

If I have the time and energy, I'm going to make pumpkins out of the orange they are on. There are more than 5 people I know that NEED cards ;-)


Thinking out loud...
I've been toying with the idea of selling these on Etsy... In the end - I probably won't, but what do you guys think? I think it'd be a neat idea for b-day party invites, shower invites, Christmas cards... and much more. I'd have to have an example of each - then make them when ordered....might be too complicated and rushed....

Eh. I'm leaning towards no.

Anyway.....I enjoy making them and sending them to friends.... just 'cause! :-) I love surprise random mail... even though they might be reading this. oops.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Blog

I thought I'd let you in on another blog, where I've been busy posting....

"Welcome to "Strangers Shedding Pounds." This is a little project that Demara and myself thought up... tonight. We know each other through Twitter and our personal blogs - But have never met in person. We both struggle with weight issues and want to change that! We hope to cheer each other on though this blog, share our thoughts, feelings, diet methods, exercise methods and more. Who knows, we may even inspire others going through the same thing."

Postcrossing Sunday

Click photos enlarge.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Closing in and Signing the Log

The more you read,
The more you know.

The Location...

The more you know,
The more you grow.

Getting Closer...

The smarter you grow,
the stronger your voice.

Do You See It?

When speaking your mind -

Made the Grab!

Or making your choice.

....Sign the log!

All about geocaching.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Virtual Cache in Ruins

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Coolidge, Arizona

Casa Grande Ruins

This was the last cache of the day on Tuesday. It cost 5$ to get in, and while I'd like to say it was worth it... I was kind of bored with the whole thing. It was just "meh" in my opinion.

Casa Grande Ruins

I had to read signage and answer 5 questions to claim the find. The answers weren't too hard to get to, so I snapped some pictures before leaving.

Casa Grande Ruins

And for you History buffs:

Casa Grande, or "Big House," is a 4-story structure built by the Hohokam in the mid-1300s. Constructed with layers of caliche mud, the walls of the tower are 4 1/2 feet thick at the base. This mysterious structure, with holes in 3 walls, is believed to have been used for astronomical observation. Casa Grande is the largest structure built by the Hohokam and represents the height of their architecture.

Casa Grande Ruins, the nation's first archeological preserve, protects the Casa Grande and other archeological sites within its boundaries, including remains of a walled village near the Big House and vestiges of other villages nearby.

Geocaching? What's that? Click HERE to find out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

IPOD - More Than Just Music

Paperless <span class=

In the past I used to print out "cheat sheets" for myself while geocaching. These usually contained the size of the cache, the difficulty rating, the terrain rating, hints and important info in the description. These cheat sheets prepared me for the caches, and helped when I had problems locating the caches... Annoying to compile, but necessary in my opinion.

While I know many people are paperless geocachers - I thought I couldn't be one. I didn't have a fancy GPS, and I didn't have a phone with internet. I did however have an IPOD... And yesterday I finally did some Internet googling and found out how to use it to store cache information. I downloaded MacCaching (which hadn't worked for me in the past but now does). Then using my premium membership from Geocaching.com, I ran a Pocket Query. After opened the .gpx file on MacCaching, I exported the caches to my IPOD.

The information goes to the notes section of my IPOD. It tells me way more than I put on my cheat sheets and is much more convenient! I can see coordinates, cache owner, type, size, difficulty, terrain, full description, hint, and the last 5 logs.

While I know this is nothing new, but to me it is truly amazing. I wish I would have done this sooner!

Geocache? Huh? Click here, to find out more.

Lesson Learned

Fine Food... I Bet.

I found 14 of 19 attempted geocaches yesterday. I had 25 in my GPS, but pooped out after the virtual and headed home. I was going on only 3 hours of sleep and I didn't eat very well either. I usually have a cooler with food and drinks packed - but yesterday was more of an eat-and-run kind of day. Though I drank a lot of fluids, I don't think it was enough in the 103∘heat.

I got home around 3:30, showered, logged caches, took a short nap then went out to eat with the family. I felt SO terrible. I had a horrible headache, felt a little dizzy, and just not... right. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Drinking the lemonade didn't help... but as soon as I started eating, my headache let up a little and I no longer felt sickly.

After eating, I came home played on the Internet for a bit - then passed out. I slept 7pm to 6am. I even missed Big Brother. I'm obsessed with the show. All I can say is, thank-god for TiVo!

So? What have we learned?
*Get a good nights rest before a planned day of caching.
*Eat a good breakfast.
*Pack snacks and drink, as well as a lunch/dinner if you will not be eating out.

Geocache? Huh? Click here, to find out more.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sundae Sunday!

Today has been dubbed IBOL Sundae. We've all been "ordered" by Mr. IBOL Guy to enjoy elaborate ice cream treats.

Mr. IBOL Guy, your wish is my command!

Tools of the Trade

My IBOL Spoon

My IBOL Sunday

My sister Lisa also participated in IBOL Sundae, you can read about it here. Erin, her battle buddy blogged about it too... AND My mom has a post in the works about it!

What is IBOL?

P.S. It would have been neat to call this MY BOL... because IBOL stands for Iraqi Bundles of Love... and this is MY bundle of love... also my BOWL. hehe ;-)

My first post about IBOL.

Postcrossing Sunday

This techinically isnt a Postcrossing postcard, but it is a postcard (from Kuwait).

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Still Here.

I'm still here. I'm suffering from a mild case of blogger block.... aka, nothing has been going on lately. I'm house sitting this weekend.... so that doesn't really help out my situation.

Here is a random picture from my grandparents house in Michigan.