Monday, November 30, 2009

Ally Gator

I'd like to introduce you to Ally....

TB Making

...I've entered her in the HooHaa TB Race!

She's totally going win.

Totally.

The HooHaa TB Race is looking for a few more people.
So if you a geocacher and want to get a trackable in on the fun... go check it out!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Postcrossing - Egypt

Egypt

Distance:
12,047 Kms (7,486 Miles)
Travel time: 23 days

What is Postcrossing? Find out Here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wally the Warthog

Wally the Warthog is a Geocaching Travel Bug. I'm entering him in The Annual Great TB Race. Hopefully he wins!!

I snapped a few photos while getting him ready.

"Hmmm.... What's this??"
TB Making


"AAAaaaAHHhhhhhh"
TB Making


"All better!"
TB Making

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Flashback - Long Overdue

Molly & Me!

Do you ever look back on certain things and feel embarrassed that you ever did those things in the first place? You know... things like painting your walls pink and blue? Or dying your hair too dark? Those things that leave you thinking 5 years later "What the hell was I thinking?"

Well, I'm looking back - and I'm cringing this very moment.

In my defense I don't remember much of this sliver of my life. I was in this apartment for a little under a year... and the roommate I had did a 180 personality-wise on me half way through living here. She was a really nice person, we just clashed to much in the end. I worked at a big supermarket at the time, and hated it. I knew I had to quit that job the moment I woke up from a dream trying to scan my blanket. It truly was a nightmare!

P.S. This is "my best friend from Ashland," Molly -NOT my roommate at the time! She came to visit me in Cincinnati. What a good friend! Looks like we made cookies too. Yum!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Plug!

Lisa in NZ

I just wanted to plug my sisters blog real quickly! She is currently on leave from her tour in Iraq. She decided to go to NZ for some R&R. While I'm sad not to have her here at home, I'm glad to see her traveling the WORLD! I don't think it is an opportunity I'd pass up, so I don't blame her. Who wants to go home - have everything "back to normal" and then have to leave. again? I think that would be a lot harder. Anyway - go visit and comment!

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

. . . . Now go put up your Christmas lights!

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Don't forget the tree!

Our Tree

...But most importantly...

Stuff your face!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Leg!

I've been at it again.

Over the past month, here and there, I've been working on Thanksgiving postcards. If you've been visiting this blog regularly, you know I've been making fabric postcards for the holidays. If not, well... now you know.

I've been making less and less each time - but I'm still making them. Christmas will probably be my last homemade card ;-) I think I have finally perfected the process though. If only I could sew a little better - It just isn't one of my talents. I think I called my mom 20 times last week trying to figure out how to fill and put back the bobbin :-/

Anyway. I wanted to share my Thanksgiving postcard here, because there is no way I can send everyone I know one. Consider this your virtual Thanksgiving card from me!

Postcard

Gobble Gobble.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Powder Factory

I stumbled upon this powder car while... you guessed it, Geocaching. The car was situated near the front of a little park near the Santa Cruz River. There are no train tracks around now, but who knows what might have been there years ago.

Powder

I snapped a picture of the wheels because they weren't your typical locomotive wheels. I asked my mom (she knows everything) and she said she thinks they are like that so they could go on the tracks and the road. I'm not really sure, but it makes sense!

Wheel

I wanted to post these pictures so I started to do a little research to see if I could come up with any info to accompany them. As usual, I got a little side tracked. I came across info about a powder factory and horrific explosion that happened over a century ago, near where I grew up.

This powder factory still stands today. Just outside of Cincinnati, it sits along the Little Miami River and Bike Trail. As kids, we'd ride our bikes past the creepy building. I knew nothing of its history then, but the dark quiet building with its broken out square windows, really gave me the heebie-jeebies.

As teenagers, we heard it was haunted - and I did find various bits of information while googling, but I'm not going to get into that... We'll leave that to the Ghost Hunters. Word around town was that you could also find the occasional loser at the factory - there for various loser activities. Hah.

The Old Powder Factory at King's Mill
Photo by: lilysecret42

The explosion that happened at the factory (it might actually be the one across the river, I'm not entirely sure) happened in 1890. It is a very interesting story. You can read a eyewitness account here. I also thought it was interesting how they described the injured. Nowadays they would just say "critically injured" but back then they pretty much told you what injuries the people had and if they expected them to live.

Pretty interesting stuff!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Grass Couple

Well, Mrs. Blue Grass insisted she was needin' a trip to the day spa. Something about the sauna, a mud bath and hair extensions. I don't get it but I scheduled her a trip anyways.

The Grass Couple

While the wife was away, I decided to go fishin'. I made my way to Lake Glisten for a weekend stay.

The Grass Couple

I was out all day drinkin' beers and enjoyin' the wilderness. I ate supper by the fire and slept under the stars. It was a great trip.

Sunday evening rolled around and I finally caught me a fish!!

The Grass Couple

He was rather tasty!

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Postcrossing Sunday - Finland

There is no stamp on this postcard becuase it arrived in an envelope.

postcards

postcards

What is Postcrossing? Find out Here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doh!

You want to know something funny?

I got lost for the first time while geocaching.

It's funny because I was only 400-some feet from my car. It's even funnier because I had just talked to my Mom's husband, Dan, about setting waypoints. I was saying how for most of the ones around here I don't set a waypoint because I know where I am and the caches I go for aren't too far away. He agreed, but said they were useful in Tucson Mountain Park, especially if you are going on a long hike.

Well guess what?

That's right.
I got lost in Tucson Mountain Park and I didn't set a waymark.

It was the last of five caches I was grabbing before dinner and the sun was setting. I was chitchatting on the phone while making the find. I had been talking with my friend for the previous four finds, and had no problems. I made it back to the car right away every time. Little did I know, this last cache would be different.

I found the last cache and signed the log. When I stood up, I realized I had no idea which way to go. I headed in the direction I thought I need to go, but after wondering around and seeing unfamiliar things . . . I knew I was going the wrong way. I tried the trackback thing on my GPS - but I honestly couldn't figure it out - and I had already circled and zigzagged all over the place.

Knowing I wasn't THAT far away from my car, I started to push the panic button on my keys. I was hoping to get a sound/direction to work with. But after walking around and having no luck with that, I knew I had to be getting farther away from my car.

Tucson Mountain Park

I was probably wondering around for 20 minutes total. I hadn't gone into full panic mode, but the odds were against me. The sun was setting and I left my geocaching bag (water snacks) in the car... because the cache was only 400 feet away! Sheesh. At least I had my cell phone. If I couldn't find my way back I figured I could always call mom and give her my coordinates - I wonder if I would be considered a mystery or virtual cache...

I hung up the phone and set my GPS to the cache I had just found. From there, my second attempt to find the car was successful. Thank goodness!

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Lessons Learned:
*Everything in the desert looks the same!
*Always take your geocaching bag with you.
*Don't talk on the phone while caching. It's too distracting.
*Mark a freakin' waypoint!

P.S. I feel pretty dumb for getting lost so close to my car!


What is Geocaching? Answer here.
Profile for ErikaJean

Friday, November 20, 2009

Moonrise

There is a saying around these parts....

Santa Catalina Mountains
Santa Catalina Mountains

When the Catalina's are pink... It's time to drink!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exoskeleton

I found the exoskeleton of a scorpion in part of geocache today!

scorpion shell

From Wikipedia:

Young scorpions generally resemble their parents. Growth is accomplished by periodic shedding of the exoskeleton (ecdysis). A scorpion's developmental progress is measured in instars (how many moults it has undergone). Scorpions typically require between five and seven moults to reach maturity. Moulting is effected by means of a split in the old exoskeleton which takes place just below the edge of the carapace (at the front of the prosoma). The scorpion then emerges from this split; the pedipalps and legs are first removed from the old exoskeleton, followed eventually by the metasoma. When it emerges, the scorpion’s new exoskeleton is soft, making the scorpion highly vulnerable to attack. The scorpion must constantly stretch while the new exoskeleton hardens to ensure that it can move when the hardening is complete. The process of hardening is called sclerotization. The new exoskeleton does not fluoresce; as sclerotization occurs, the fluorescence gradually returns.

I didn't know scorpions molted. I just never thought about it. Pretty cool though! It reminded me of all the cicada shells we used to collect as kids. I grew up in Cincinnati - where we get the 17 year cicada's (I've seen/heard them twice).

What's the most interesting thing you've found in a geocache?


What is Geocaching? Answer here.
Profile for ErikaJean

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do You Benchmark?

I thought I'd do a little post about benchmarks, because it's not something I haven't really touched on before. Many Geocachers search for benchmarks while out caching. It is something you don't have to have a GPS, to do - though a GPS does make finding them easier. So if you are interested in Geocaching, but don't have a GPS, maybe try looking for some benchmarks first!

From Geocaching.com:
What is a Benchmark?
A benchmark is a point whose position is known to a high degree of accuracy and is normally marked in some way. The marker is often a metal disk made for this purpose, but it can also be a church spire, a radio tower, a mark chiseled into stone, or a metal rod driven into the ground. Over two centuries or so, many other objects of greater or lesser permanence have been used. Benchmarks can be found at various locations all over the United States. They are used by land surveyors, builders and engineers, map makers, and other professionals who need an accurate answer to the question, "Where?" Many of these markers are part of the geodetic control network (technically known as the National Spatial Reference System, or NSRS) created and maintained by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS).

Now, I don't go out looking for benchmarks like I go out hunting for caches. However, if the cache description tells me there is a near by benchmark, or I happen to come across one - I will make the find.

Ironically, I have found 4 benchmarks in the last week. All of them happened to be right near caches. It is typical, but not mandatory, for the "finder" to upload a picture of their GPS by the Benchmark. Here is what many of the pictures end up looking like:

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Some benchmarks will also have a Witness Post.

11/17/09

Here is one Witness Post that has seen better days.

11/17/09

I've only found 6 bench marks, so I can't give your a very detailed lesson, but I can point you in the right direction. You can learn more about benchmarks and benchmarking here.

If you are not a Geocacher - I hope I've at least introduced you to something new!

If you are a Geocacher I'd like to know... have you gotten a benchmark before? Do you only get them while caching, or do you seek them out even if there is not a cache near by?


What is Geocaching? Answer here.
Profile for ErikaJean

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Grass Couple

Howdy! We got home from our Honeymoon late last night. We've always wanted to explore our own back yard, that's right - The Good Ol' U S of A. So that's what we done for our Honeymoon. It was quite the road trip, but we had a good ol' time. Nothin' like bein' trapped in a car, spendin' all wakin' hours with yer loved one. There were a couple of Amazin' Race moments when Mrs. Blue Grass was behind the wheel, but we didn't get too lost.

Here's a little glimpse of our trip...

We climbed all over the rocks in New York City's Central Park.

Honeymoon

We stopped in Ohio to get some growin' tips from the local farmers. Of course we had to get ourselves a photo with the World's Largest Pumpkin while we was there.

Honeymoon

Our car broke down in South Dakota's Badlands. God bless America for AAA. They filled up our gas tank so we could continue on our journey. I blame only myself for that mistake. I took a potty break and forgot to fill 'er up.

Honeymoon

And before headin' home, we worked on our tan in California.

Honeymoon

We also did some bird watchin' along the way. The Mrs. was lucky I didn't bring my huntin' gear along.

Honeymoon Honeymoon

As you can see, It was an amazin' trip. There were a lot of hot 'n seamy moments and we spent most of out of nights cuddlin' up by the fire!

Honeymoon

Honeymoon

Germination is fun!

Bye Y'all!

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Postcrossing Sunday - Scotland

I love it when hobbies collide.

I got this Postcrossing card from Scotland, the sender is a geocacher!

postcards

postcards

While geocaching.... I drove past the old Marana Post Office. I didn't know the building (remnants of it any way) existed. There wasn't a cache here, but I would have never traveled this road if it weren't for geocaching!

U.S. Post Office - Marana, Arizona

Come on In!

Yes, I love it when hobbies collide.
Geocaching, photography and Postcrossing!

What is Postcrossing? Find out Here.
What is Geocaching? Find out Here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall Fun and Flowers

Today was a beautiful day here in Tucson, Arizona. At 68 degrees Fahrenheit, it's finally starting to feel like fall in the Sonoran Desert. The community is buzzing and various activities are kicking into gear.

Sunflower, a local retirement community, held its annual Craft Festival. My Mom and I decided to pay a visit and see what they had. We weren't expecting much, but in the end we were pleasantly surprised. We spent our money on cookies and raffle tickets. I'm assuming I didn't win that quilt - since I haven't gotten a call yet.

Though we saw many nice things at Sunflower, this sign was by far the best thing we saw - especially since it was spotted at a retirement community. ;-)

Found @ a Senior Center

After Sunflower, we decided to visit a church craft fair. The church was about 30 minutes away, and it being such nice day - we took the back roads.

As my mom drove, I told her about a cache I couldn't find. As we approached the cache location, my Mom offered to stop and help me look. Of course I took her up on that offer! I ended up spotting it - I swear I looked there before! We signed the log and then I ran across the street to snap some pictures. I think this horse was annoyed I ruined his afternoon snack.

Neighhh

We got back in the car and continued on our way. The church craft fair was so-so. I think we were the only people there besides the people selling their items. It's always awkward to look quickly and walk by. I feel like I need to at least find one semi-cute thing and Oo-and-Ah over before moving on. I feel bad just walking by their ugly stuff. Mostly because I know they put effort and energy into their work. Am I alone?

They did have really pretty roses at the church though, and they smelled so good.

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I think I spent more time taking rose pictures than I did looking around at the craft fair.

They had just about every color of rose imaginable.

Smell The Roses Smell The Roses

Here is a quick video of a bee in motion. I didn't have my tri-pod, so its a little shaky ;-)



All and all, it was great Saturday. What did you do?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Geocache With Me.

I had to get out of the house today, so I decided to grab a quick geocache. If you want to come with me, click play! Just ignore my poor camera skills and "Ums" ;-)



What is Geocaching? Answer here.

Profile for ErikaJean