Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review

In January one of my photos made the Flickr Blog. That same day, January 8th 2011, tragedy struck Tucson. 6 people were shot to death, 13 wounded by gunfire. About 2 weeks later I visited one of the makeshift memorials. I also hiked 7+ miles to a waterfall and visited Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone.

In February I found my 500th geocache and attempted to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. It also snowed in the desert and I walked across Tucson's famous bridge!

In March I was a little geocache crazy. I found my 600th geocache, went geocaching on a bicycle, and geocached my first "shape."

In April I went to a Postcrossing meet-up and visited an abandoned mine.

In May I made some felt food, shared my bed with an ugly creature, spotted a bobcat in the back yard, and walked an average of 1.29 miles a day!

In June I made a LOT of stuff, found my 700th geocache in the dark, and saved a rabbit.

In July I celebrated my 5th anniversary of my blog, went nuts, and PhotoShopped my sister.

In August I hunted and killed scorpions, made some snail mail and some shirts.

In September I made a "Find It" game and some snow-globe postcards. I also taught my self how to crochet!

In October I found 105 geocaches in 1 day, participated in the World-Wide Photo Walk, and carved pumpkins with Brandy and my sister Sara.

In November I posted more about my trip to Florida in October... I went shark tooth hunting and saw some alligators. I finished my first crochet project and  my first embroidery project. On Black Friday, I went geocaching!

In December I only posted 8 times, eek! My friends Amber and Stephanie visited from Ohio. I got a new job ... and I haven't had much to blog about lately, but I'm hoping that changes in 2012 ;-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Postcards

I didn't send out any Christmas cards the year, but I did participate in the Handmade RR Christmas swap over in the postcrossing forums. I've really enjoyed making handmade cards lately and haven't sent out any regular postcrossing cards in a while. Anyway, I thought I'd share what I've made. I tried to keep them fairly simple this time around.

Postcard.Postcard
Postcards!.Postcard.Postcard
Postcards!.Postcards!

Friday, December 16, 2011

CacheCrazy!

I'm honored to have one of my posts featured over at CacheCrazy.com. If you're a geocacher you will love this site - So please go over, have a read and leave some comments!

If you are not a geocacher, but would like to learn a little more its a great place to read up on the game. You will also find other outdoor related gems while you are there. There are multiple authors so there is a little bit of everything for everybody! Go have a look for yourself.

Resolutions

Because I start a new job next week, I'm starting my new year next week as well.... Which brings me to New Year's Resolutions. I've never been a much resolution maker but as I said in a previous post "new job, new habits, new year." So I'm going to change things up this year and make some real resolutions.

  • Lose 60lbs! I hope to lose more, but I think I need to set myself an obtainable goal...and 60 seems do-able for now.
  • Log 366 miles on Daily Mile.
  • Run a 5k. I'm thinking in the fall.
  • Save up vacation time and money and visit/drive to the Grand Canyon. I'm thinking late summer.
  • Be more "money smart" and work on paying off some loans. I would like to make a serious dent in a couple of them.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

J-O-B

After a 5 question interview, submitting my fingerprints, getting some hair snipped off for a drug test, taking a lie detector test, peeing in a cup and two TB tests.... I have a new job. After this week I will be leaving the wonderful world of nannying (no, I'm not being sarcastic - I loved it) and joining the "regular" workforce.

I'm excited for a new change and step in the right direction career wise. However, I'm really really really going to miss wearing sweatpants and T-shirts everyday. I'm going to miss the money too! Nannying had way more hours to offer. I'm hoping to still work on the weekends and possibly some evenings to make some extra cash and see the kiddos I'm going to miss so so soo much (just thinking about that makes me want to cry!).

The only thing that sucks about this new job is that I've practically had to buy myself a whole new wardrobe. Scratch that, just a wardrobe period.... I didn't have much of one to begin with! I still only have 2 pairs of dress pants, so I need to look for some more. Blah, I HATE shopping.

On a more positive note, I'm really looking forward to having a more regular work schedule. As soon as this new job starts I plan on packing ALL my lunches and making them all HEALTHY. It won't be as easy to run to McD's for lunch or snack all day in general.

New job, new habits, new year!! Though I start this job and work the last 2 weeks of 2011... I would just like to say....

Bring it on 2012!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Visiting Friends

Two old friends from high school visited the past week. (Which explains my lack of posting!)

A&S
A & S @ Gates Pass, Tucson Mountain Park

As expected, we were able to pick up right where we left off and had a blast hanging out. It was really good to see some familiar faces here in Tucson. Unfortunately though, they brought Ohio's shitty weather with them when they came. No joke. It was about 75 the whole week before they came. When they got here, it rained three days in a row and I don't think it went over 65 (if that) the whole time they were here. Bad weather when company is in town... Seems inevitable.

I still had to work when they were here, but it only ended up being 2 of the 5 full days they were visiting. We dealt with the weather and squeezed in what we could between the clouds.

IMG_8625
A & S @ San Xavier
We went to the San Xavier Mission. I've been here before for a virtual geocache, but I was glad to have a chance to visit the beautiful church again. We also walked up a nearby hill that had a little grotto area and a nice view.

IMG_8658

Pan

We took one of my favorite shots of the week up on that hill...

Jumping for Joy BW
Jumping for Joy

There was also a little crafting while they were here...

Crafting

Button Tree
My button tree!

And some hiking, though not as much as we had hoped, thanks to the weather...

DSC05933
Catalina State Park
DSC05936. .DSC05955

I'm so glad they got to come for a visit! Fun was had by all :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday, No Thanks.

I didn't participate in the madness that is "Black Friday." I never have and I probably never will. This year instead of all that craziness, I went Geocaching! It wasn't raining on Friday, but it had the night before. Things were very wet....


Slippery....

Black Friday Geocaching

...And Muddy.

...So even though these pictures suck, I'm glad I brought along my crappy point and shoot and not my dSLR!

We were in the middle of nowhere as usual:


We found 11 caches in the shape of an 11. The one there on the side was a mystery cache that you could find after completing the other caches. The series was placed on 11/11/11 ;-)

11

They were all fairly easy caches - there aren't many hiding places in these parts. The mystery cache was large enough for travel bugs, so I got to leave the ones I picked up in Florida.

Black Friday Geocaching Black Friday Geocaching
After the 11, we headed to the nearby town, and snatched up a couple more. I ended up with 16 finds and two DNFs.

Much better than standing in line and battling the crowds! What did you do Black Friday? Did you shop or do something else?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble Gobble

In addition to the pilgrim hat shirt, I also made a turkey shirt...

Gobble Gobble!

I love this one. You can find the easy Template/pattern/instructions here. The only change I made was using 9 feathers instead of 11.

Gobble Gobble!

My turkey's butt is a bit lopsided... it gives it character though, don't you think? I'm not to great at curves with the sewing machine - so don't look too closely (made you look!). I used batik fabrics for the feathers. They're my favorite, my mom made me a whole quilt out of them! Actually the two bottom/side feathers and the middle yellowish one are from the scraps. The other batiks were from some fat quarters from Hancock's. ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

El Tour de Tucson

Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving the Tour de Tucson takes place here in and around Tucson. 9,000 bicyclists ride their bikes around town for fundraising purposes. All skill levels participate and they had the choice of doing a 111, 85, 60 or 42 mile ride. The 111mile ride runs through our neighborhood, and for the first time in the few years I've been here, I went out to catch a glimpse.

I really wanted to see the leaders of the race, so we walked out to where they would be passing by, put up our lawn chairs and waited. After about 30 minutes or so they cam zooming by. The guy in the blue, Eric Marcotte, ended up winning the race for the second time in a row.
Front Runners

We hung around for a while and watched other groups of people go by, and the occasional lone rider. I'd hate to be out riding alone. It think it'd be a lot easier to keep pace and motivation within a pack of other riders...

El Tour de Tucson

El Tour De Tucson

Three and four hours later we were still seeing people ride by while we were out and about for luch and running other errands. The more "serious" riders in the front had police escorts and could pass through the intersections with ease. Even though there were police officers directing traffic, the later riders had to stop at the intersections when instructed.

 
It was neat to go out and see some of the riders f the Tour de Tucson. I'll probably have to go out an see them every year now! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Cannot Tell a Lie

I got to do something interesting today. Even though I had no reason to be, I was super nervous.


Don't worry, I passed! :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mailboxes

I don't do much Postcrossing these days, but when I see a neat mailbox I like to take a picture. There were a lot of cute/different mailboxes on Sanibel Island in FL and around the FL beach communities in general. These were the only two we stopped to take pictures of and I thought I'd share...

Mailbox

Mailbox

If you could have a decorated mailbox, what would it look like?? I think I'd pick a swan. There is a swan mailbox we drive by on the way to our grandparents house that I love!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Handmade!

A little guy I know is turning ONE! Of course I had to make him some handmade gifts... I found this cute fox pattern on InnerHooker's shop on Etsy. It is my first completed crochet project.

Hat Complete!

I think the one ear got knocked a little crooked before taking this shot.... As you can see I gave him my lens cap to hold. It gave me that one extra second to take the shot before he ripped the hat off and charged the camera!

I also made a couple of shirts. I'm getting pretty good at making these things really quickly.

One

Since Thanksgiving is coming up I decided to make one Thanksgiving themed- It's a pilgrim hat!

Pilgrim Hat

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Love the Smell Of...

My Mom cooked up a fresh batch of applesauce this afternoon and the wonderful aroma it got me thinking about smells. There are so many smells out there to enjoy. Some remind us of holidays, certain places, certain people, and just memories in general. Some don't remind us of anything and just plain ol' smell good

Apple Sauce in the Making Apple Sauce in the Making


I though it'd be interesting to post some of my favorite smells (wow I'm really running out of blog topics here) and to find out in the comments what some of your favorite smells are (that's your cue)...
  • I loveeee the smell of those horrible cinnamon scented pine cones that are around all the craft stores this time of year. I don't care how overpowering it get. Smells good!
  • FRESH CUT GRASS. My goodness, do I really miss the smell of fresh cut grass. We don't get much of it here in the desert!
  • Gasoline. I don't know. Don't ask. I just like the smell for some reason. I know I'm not alone either.
  •  Snow on its way. I swear, it smells different when there is snow on the way. I don't know how to explain it - but I love it. Okay, I just googled it. Gasses or something get crystallized into the snow so I'm not crazy.
  • Fresh Popcorn and bacon, but not together and only when the smells are fresh - not lingering later.
That's all I can think of at the moment. I'd love to hear what smells agree with your sniffer. And while you're on the subject of ones you like... which ones do you hate (besides the ones we can all agree on like poo, trasha and anything rotting)?. I know some people love it, but I hate the smell right after it rains! And seafood, any seafood smells - blech!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#Geocaching in Florida

IMG_7409

While I was in Florida I had to do some geocaching. One more state to add to my list (13 so far)! The lighthouse above was a virtual I found on Sanibel Island.

Right below the lighthouse there was a little sign explaining how the lighthouse came to be:

IMG_7411

...And right next to the sign - was a benchmark!

Score! Two for one. Actually, make that three for one. The lighthouse was a benchmark too! There was also a cache nearby, but I missed it because I didn't know which one was the virtual and which one was the traditional cache on my gps! Doh. What I wouldn't give for an upgraded unit...

So in all I got 1 virtual, 1 earthcache, 2 benchmarks, and 5 traditional caches.

IMG_7486

Not too bad. I would have liked to gone after some caches that in involved hiking, but it was either too mosquito infested, too wet (we got some good rains while we were there), too humid, or too expensive (the state park was 8 bucks and there was only one cache).... The motivation wasn't really there to get any more, but I'm sure I'll be back ;-)

Profile for ErikaJean