Monday, November 30, 2009

Celebrate 1000!

I already wrote about finding my 1000th geocache but the next day (11/15/09) we had a Geocache event to celebrate (GC20C75).  What better way to celebrate than with the friends you have made through geocaching and a few friends you introduced to geocaching?

We gathered at a local pizza parlor for great pizza and of course great conversation.  We got to see some people we hadn't seen since the last caching event in our area and also meet some new people.  Here are a few pictures of the people who were there.

We also had some delicious cake (carrot cake!) we ordered from a local bakery.  Well worth the extra cost to go through a bakery.

We also had a drawing with some prizes donated by cachers and ourselves.  Quite a few people left with a prize.  I wish we had more to give out!

Like most events we had a table dedicated to the TB's.  There were several for trade and a few coins for people to discover.  Yes, those busts are TB's.  Their goal is to travel from event to event.

This is Craig and I with the portion of the cake that came off.  It is shaped like the Wheel of Fortune wheel and each space has a milestone # and the corresponding GC code for our milestone caches. Good thing we didn't DNF the cache we planned on finding for our 1000th!

Not only did we celebrate our 1000th find but we surprised one of our favorite cachers in the area (CascadesClimber) with a birthday cake.  He told his wife not to tell anyone it was his birthday because it was our celebration but we had to get him a cake of his own.  We sang him "Happy Birthday" and made him blow out his candles.  He isn't 28 at all....not sure how old he is but we do know he has grandchildren.

Overall, it was an excellent time had by all.  We are looking forward to the next event which is this weekend!  I will post about that one next week.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Postcrossing 4!

This is my favorite postcard so far.  It is so adorable.  Is there anything cuter than babies and puppies?  I really like the black and white postcards so far.

From: Sara
Galicia, Spain
Distance: 5,134 mi (8,263 km)
Received: November 20, 2009
Travel Time: 10 days

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update on Leia

I called Craig while at work today and he told me that Leia's owner came and got her.  :(  Well, I am sad that she is gone but I am glad someone is very happy right now to have her cat back.  Someday we will get another cat and hopefully it is as great a cat as Leia was.

Leia the Stray Cat

In August, Craig found a stray cat outside of his work.  The cat ran under the car and Craig called out to her, "Here Kitty."  He didn't expect her to come but she ran straight to him!  He picked her up and she started purring and climbed up onto his shoulders.  We had been talking about getting a playmate for our cat, Luke, but hadn't gotten around to it.  Craig decided to bring her home.  We watched out for ads in Craigslist and the local paper without seeing anything.  She also had no collar so we figured she either didn't have owners or she didn't have owners that cared very much.  So she became our cat.

We talked about names for the kitty and being the nerds that we are we decided on Leia.  Luke and Leia our two cats.  Now we love Luke a lot but he just isn't a perfect cat.  He pukes all the time, he isn't very nice to people (us included sometimes), and he has seizures on occasion (obviously not his fault but it is scary to deal with).  Leia is not perfect either but she is very friendly to other people and us.  One bad thing about her is that she misses the litter box a lot and we find poop next to it instead of in it.  Very gross and annoying.  Leia has found a spot in our hearts though.

Now that I told you all the wonderful things about her and how much we love her on to the sad part of the story.  Last week, Craig was petting Leia as she was lounging on his chest and he noticed that Leia has a microchip.  We decided to do the right thing and we took her into the local Humane Society on Saturday.  We were hoping for the best (well, the best for us) since we wanted to keep her.  When the woman working opened our carrier she said, "I know this cat." Uh-oh.  " She took Leia out of the carrier and said, "Yep, this is Ricky Booby."  Leia is a unique cat.  She is all gray with a small amount of white on her neck, but what makes her really unique is the fact that she polydactyl.  Polydactyly is have extra fingers or toes.  Obviously, in Leia's case extra toes.  Since not many animals have extra toes she is easy to recognize.

It turns out that Leia's owner moved from her neighborhood and Leia jumped out of the truck.  We found her soon after this happened.  The owner has been coming into the Humane Society and calling often to see if she was brought in.  She actually used to work at the Humane Society and that is how she acquired Leia.  We learned that Leia's name previously was Ricky Booby.  I find this to be a very unfitting name for such a lovely cat.  The woman at the Humane Society is actually friends with the owner.  She called her up and gave her our phone number so she could call us and set up a time to pick up Leia  Leia came home with us until the owner can get her.

We set up a time to have her picked up yesterday and I was very upset all morning.  But low and behold the owner never showed up!  We called and left her a message about rescheduling but have not heard back from her yet.  Does the owner actually want her or not?

Craig called the Humane Society this morning to have them get a hold of the owner again.  We will see what happens and I will update you when we know what will happen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Postcrossing 3!

I thought I would publish another postcard today.  I don't plan on making a schedule of when I post since I never know when I will have the time.  It has still been just as exciting to receive my postcards.  I have two more postcards that I have received but I will upload on another day.

From: Lera
Mons, Belgium
Distance: 5,062 mi (8,147 km)
Received: November 16, 2009
Travel Time: 6 days

This postcard is very intriguing to me.  It was built for the International Exhibition of Brussels in 1958.  It is the major landmark of Brussels.  Quite a unique site!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seattle Geocaching Trip.....Our 1000th Geocache Find!

Craig and I have been planning this trip for about 1 month. It seems like we never get time off together and especially not to go caching. Since we are both in school usually homework comes before caching (at least for him!). We both took Saturday and Sunday off to celebrate this occasion. We decided to go to the Seattle area to find our 1000th(!) geocache.

I worked Friday night but was able to get most of the stuff together to prepare for this trip. I made the required pocket queries and got fixings for food while on the road. PB&Js and a couscous salad. I filled our caching backpack with fresh swag items. I brought my notebook that I keep track of my challenges and other cache info in. I was ready to go.

Craig and I woke up at a decent time and actually made it out of the house by about 9 am. If you know us then you know this is a major accomplishment. We usually say we will leave at a certain time and then we won't leave until about 2 hours after that time. We really need to work on that. I thought we did well this time with as little sleep as we had.

Our plan for the trip was to find 3 challenge caches that we have completed but needed to make the final find. This included the following caches: Fool's Errand-A Washington Challenge Cache (GC1HPN3), Cache By Numbers-Challenge Cache of Washington (GC16R01), The C5 Streak Challenge (GC1E0RB). We figured we would find all of these on one day so we wouldn't have to make a second trip if we didn't need to. So off we went.

The first cache we went to was Tacoma Travel Bug Vault (GCHPR1). There was not much to this one but we were able to drop off a TB and grab a geocoin.

Then we went to canine cache (GCHTJY). This cache was located in a dog park. Craig and I don't have a dog but wish that we did. We are big lovers of dogs so we were happy we got to see some to pet and love on. Here are a few pics from this cache.

Craig near the cache location. Cool, hollow tree.

This is a mushroom near the cache. It was broken and red inside. I thought that was odd.

This a view looking down onto the dog open sand area for the dogs to run around in.

On to the next cache: Cache By Numbers- Challenge Cache of Washington (GC16R01). This is a cache I talked about previously in my Geocaching challenges blog post. We of course parked in the wrong area and ended up walking a little ways to the cache location. The cache itself was not a hard one to find. A classic hide in these neck of the woods.

As we were leaving this cache a car pulled up. I wondered out loud if they were cachers. We continued on our way and I kept looking back as we were walking away. We saw them go right to the cache and then get back in their car. Cachers! I wish we would have waited so we could have met them but we had to keep going.

Next cache was an easy drive up cache at a pizza place. The cache was called I Wanna Rock! (GCT5YN). Not much to say about this one.

The next cache was one that I was really looking forward to because I worked so hard to make the requirements to find it. The cache is The C5 Streak Challenge (GC1E0RB). It is an unknown/challenge cache and I had to cache for 65 days straight before I was eligible for the find. We got to the cache location with the printout emailed to us by the cache owner prior to our trip up there. We looked high and low and were unable to find the cache. We were at the cache location for about 45 minutes or even an hour. We made the decision to leave because we wanted to find our 1000th cache before it became dark. That was a very hard decision but it turned out to be the right one to make. It turns out that we were at the wrong coords and that we were looking in the wrong spot! Oh well we will get it next time we make a trip that way.

Since we spent so much time at the last cache we made the decision to go for some easy ones to make sure we had time to get the last cache before dark. We drove to the next cache which was in a park.

Selena's Letterbox (GC163RQ) is a letterbox hybrid cache which means it has a letterbox aspect and also a geocaching aspect. I enjoy these and have an account on 2 letterboxing websites but don't usually go unless out caching. We do have a stamp and a book that we put the letterbox stamps into. The park had really nice trails to walk on.

The next cache was in the same park. The cache was called Communitas Hortus Ortus (GCV5F0). This cache was in great need of maintenance because it was very wet and rusty. We also found a letterbox about 1 foot from the cache!

The next cache was The little White Gazebo (GC1C814). It was at a gazebo in a shopping center next to a Starbuck's. It was a nano cache so it had the potential to be difficult but Craig found it fairly fast.

The next cache was behind the very same shopping center. Altoids cache (GCWV26) was a camoed altoids tin (Which I don't recommend in the rainy state of WA!). It was a quick and easy find which is just what we needed. The container was wet and rusty though.

On to the next cache which was one of my favorite types of hide. Kirkyard #2 (GC173ZG) is located in a cemetery! I love finding cemetery caches. I know that some people get creeped out by cemetery caches but I love them. As long as the cache is respectful of the graves I think it is wonderful to have caches in cemeteries. Okay, enough of my rant. This cemetery was very interesting.

A few of the interesting grave sites. The headstones were in another language. Unsure of what language it was.

The next cache we went to was Brackett's Landing (GC1M52F).  This cache was in a small little park on a river.  It had picnic tables and a few benches.  It looked like a great place to stop and sit during the summer.  This cache was small and was easy to find.

The next cache we went to was Fool's Errand-A Washington Challenge Cache (GC1HPN3).  This cache is the cache we planned to have be our 1000th cache find if all went well.  When we arrived to the cache location it was starting to get dark so we knew we had to find it fast or else we were going to have a really hard time.  It can be quite difficult find a cache in the forest when there are so many possible hiding spots.  Craig took the lead with the flashlight and I followed behind with the camera.  Luckily, Craig found it really easily.  So we found 1000!  I don't know how Craig felt about the moment but I felt a great sense of accomplishment with finding that many caches.  Not everyone can say they have found 1000.  

Craig right after he found the cache!

Our usual milestone picture.  Cache is in bottom right corner.

To round out the day we found one more cache on our way home. Freddy's (GCHWYH) was just a quick stop and grab so we had 12 caches for the day.  Since we found at least 1 puzzle cache that day and a total of 12 caches that made us eligible to find another challenge cache we had been working on: A Baker's Dozen Challenge Cache.  We will find that final cache another day.

Overall it was a great day of caching.  I got to spend some much needed time off with my hubby.  We made the milestone that we were working on and the specific cache that we planned on finding.  We did have the 1 DNF but that happens sometimes.  Now we go for 2,000!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Postcrossing 2!

I don't have much time to finish the post I am currently working on so I thought I would do this one real quick. I received a new postcard on Saturday and thought I would share it.

From: Gabriele
Kaisiadorys, Lithuania
Distance: 5,217 mi (8,396 km)
Received: November 14, 2009
Travel Time: 12 days

I like this postcard a lot and this was a pleasant surprise in the mailbox upon our return from Seattle. I think it is an interesting design. I was still just as excited to receive this one as I was for the first one. I received another one yesterday but will save that for a few more days. I should have 3 more in the mail to me. I think this new hobby of mine is rather addicting but it is so nice to get something in the mail other than bills!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another quick work story...

I had a pretty crappy day at work today but about half way through my shift a resident said something that made my night just a little bit better. For those of you that haven't read much of my blog yet I work in a nursing home for residents with dementia or Alzheimer's. That said here is my story.

I was pushing my med cart to the med room since I was finished giving out the evening pills. The residents had just finished dinner about 30 minutes prior so they were scattered around the dining/living room area (the court). Here is my conversation:

Res: HEY WAITRESS! (yes, he was yelling)
I walk over to him...
Me: Yes, _____ what do you need?
Res: There is a big piece of cake on the floor. (cake was dessert)
Me: Don't worry we will sweep it up. We won't leave it for the ants.
Res: What about the uncles?

This simple conversation had me laughing and made my night a little better.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


From: Iza
Lomza, Poland
Received: Nov 10, 2009
Travel Time: 7 days
Distance: 8,506 km (5,285 mi)

I am so excited I finally got a postcard back. I bought a photo album to put my postcards from around the world in. I will keep you updated on my postcards. I should have 2 more in the mail to me!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My career path.

As most of you know I am working on becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). I am currently a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). I have been working on this goal for a long time now. A long, hard 8 years!

I have been have second thoughts about what I truly want to be when I "grow-up". I know as an RN I want to work in Labor & Delivery. When I was in nursing school I had one day in L&D. Only 1 day! I was able to see a cesarean and a vaginal delivery. Seeing a vaginal delivery was probably one of the most amazing moments in my life. At that moment I knew that this was the path I would take with my nursing career. From that point on I knew my future.

When my mom had me 27 years ago she went an alternative route and had me at home. She also did this with my younger sister. She had a nurse and doctor to come to the house but I don't think I liked that idea and came out before they got there. I was caught by my mother's friend who was a midwife in training. She was there to take pictures!

I have known for a long time that I want to have a natural birth. And I mean all natural. No pain medication. I know that some people may find that crazy but that is what I want. I want to have my children on my terms. Women have been doing it for thousands of years and I plan on doing it also. I also have previously thought that I would want to have my children at a stand alone birthing center. I now think that I want to have my children at home. One thing I know for sure is that I don't want to have my children in a hospital.

For the last year or so I have been contemplating the idea of becoming a midwife. I still want to finish and get my RN degree but I think I want to continue on to become a nurse midwife. I don't know everything this involves but I am pretty sure that this is what I want to do with my life. I respect everyones decision to have whatever birth process that they want but I want to be able to support people in the type of birth that isn't quite standard.

I have so much that I need to learn about before I make my final decision but right now it is the way that I am headed. I am kind of excited.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My First Night Cache

I have gone caching at night many times. It isn't that hard at this time of year since it is dark at 5 pm. Geocaching at night presents some problems and also some excitement. If you are like me then the likelihood of you dying or getting injured very bad goes up A LOT! I am very clumsy and trip over things easily. Which as you can imagine can be a pain in the butt at night.

If you are in the city caching at night you may get the cops called on you when you are looking around places with a flashlight.

Tonight, I went with Blue Crane and Kyle98632 (my best caching buddies!) to a real night cache (GC1Y1YW). It was the first one that I have found! What I mean by this is that the cache itself is designed to be found at night. The three of us got to the starting point since it is a mystery cache and we don't have the coordinates to the final cache location. We use our flashlights and search around for tacks on the trees to glow when the lights shine on them. They are a reflective material.

So we walked down the trail going from lit up tree to lit up tree. After a little bit we have to go off the trail into the woods. We were able to find the cache easily at the end because there is a large number of tacks on the tree the cache was hidden near. I really enjoyed this cache experience. I wish I had done one while I was living in Georgia.

Now to the exciting part! We were walking back to the car along the main trail when we hear a rustle in the woods. We shine our flashlights in the direction of the noise but we don't see anything. We proceeded to walk a little bit faster and we heard some more rustling in the woods so Kyle98632 (who is afraid of Sasquatch and other made up creatures!) started yelling and making noise so we didn't get attacked by this random animal. I got more freaked out because I kept hearing noises so we started running to the car. Once back to the car I had to get into the trunk and Kyle98632 kept an eye out for me. We all got in the car, caught our breath, and let our heartbeats slow down a little before we left.

Before we left Blue Crane started laughing and tells us that he was actually throwing things into the woods to scare us! All that fear for nothing! It was funny though. I still owe him one though. Blue Crane you better be scared!

Kyle98632, Mrs. Wheeler(me) of Wheelers of Fortune, and Blue Crane.
Blue Crane with the cache.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Geocaching update....

I haven't said much about geocaching lately. If you read the page related to challenge caches you should remember I said I was working for 101 days in a row of caching. I am happy to announce that we are only 3 days away from reaching 101! I am very excited. It has been a tough 101 days. On most days I limit myself to just 1 cache at a time so I don't deplete the caches in the area. If I have time I go for a short drive to grab a cache that is a bit further away.

I have learned a few things during in this process:
  • I can accomplish something I want to as long as I make the effort and put the work in for it.
  • I still hate lamp post type caches, but on some days they are necessary.
  • Caching alone is not nearly as fun as when you are with others.
  • I love to cache but I am not that obsessive about it.
Since I was the one that wanted to try and achieve this goal most of the cache finding is left up to me. Wonderful hubby has bailed me out on a few occasions though. Plus, on some days we are able to actually cache together. Our work and school schedule is not condusive to any sort of time to spend together. I am looking forward to going caching when I feel like it and on my own terms. Not to make sure I get my daily cache. Some days it is just such a chore to find that daily cache. I don't remember what that feels like anymore. There is a challenge where you need 200 caching days in a row but I don't know if I am going to make it that far. We will see what my record becomes.