Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas was tight this year money-wise so it was pretty stressful.  I thought it was one of my more favorite Christmas' though.  I spend quality time with Craig, friends, family and went geocaching.  I thought I would share some of my Christmas Eve with everyone.

Here is a picture of our "Christmas tree"!

I know, I know, we are so nerdy!  I know you were all thinking that when you see a Han Solo cardboard cutout in my living room.  And you are right.  Craig and I could not afford a Christmas tree so we had to make do with what we have.  I think he is a wonderful Christmas tree!

This is our fireplace lit up.  A stocking for me, Craig and our kitty, Luke.

Lindsey and Phil came over for lunch. Lins and I made enchiladas.  Yummy!  Vegetarian Chili and cheese for me.  Chicken and Cheese for everyone else.  I gave Lins her wine charms and I got a awesome scarf that she knit for me!  She loved her wine charms and I equally love the scarf she knit.  I unfortunately did not take any pictures while they were over.

I had to go to work from 4-8 so I was able to get home in time to enjoy the rest of my Christmas Eve.  Our friends, Amber and Josh stopped by to pick up their presents from us. Cookies, etc. and a Christmas ornament.  They gave us our gifts a few days prior.  I got an awesome beanie!  Love it.  Josh and Amber decided to go on a cache with us.  This was their first cache.  We have told them all about Geocaching but they have never gone with us.  But before we went caching we decided to go to the local lake and check out the lights.

One of the islands at the local lake.

Craig and I.

Hi Frosty!

After the lake we looked at some lights on the way to the geocache.  This time we just did a drive-by.

One of the houses.

The cache was another night cache.  This time there is no scary story but we had an excellent time.  Josh had the awesome idea to bring hot chocolate with us so that is what we did.

Amber, Josh, me, and Craig toasting at the cache site with our hot chocolate.  Best idea EVER!!!

The lighting is bad but I wanted to try to show you what they used for this night cache.  These are fire tacks that glow in light.  So you go from one tree to the next shining your flashlight to see the next tree.  This is the final tree and the cache is pretty much right there.  I had a great Xmas eve with friends and especially at this fun cache.  I hope everyone else had a great time also.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Postcrossing 7!

This postcard has a personal connection to me.  It is from Slovenia the country my Grandfather, Frank, was born.  When he was born his birth city was in Poland but the borders changed after WWII.  My grandpa has always said he was Slovenian.  After some research I found out my grandfather was born in Novo Mesto.

The person that sent this postcard didn't write much on the back.  What was there was in another language and it is messy so I wasn't able to use an online translator.  I did some research on Koceje instead.  From the middle of the 13th to the middle of the 20th century Kocevje was a German linguistic enclave.  The language was a Bavarian dialect called Gottscheerish or Granish   The language is now considered endangered with very few native speakers left.  It is also the place where thousand of Nazi collaborators were executed by Tito and Partisans.  They were thrown into pits and caves that were then sealed with explosives.  

From:  Darja
Kocevje, Slovenia
Distance:  5,610 mi
(9,029 km)
Received:  November 27, 2009
Travel Time: 9 days

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm on a streak....

I just wanted to update everyone on my geocaching streak.  I am up to 146 days in a row!!!  It has been very difficult lately since I am running out of caches in the local area.  I also don't drive the 35 miles to school a few times a week which was giving me to find some non-local caches.  I am trying to get to 200 and then I am quitting!  I need a break.  There is a challenge cache that requires you to have 200 days before you grab the final.  I am looking forward to that grab.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Loggin' Country Gift-and-Greet II

It has taken me way too long to blog about my latest geocaching event.  I meant to do it much sooner but life has gotten in the way...studying for finals, taking finals, getting ready to move to a new house, work, etc.

The event in question is Loggin' Country Gift-and-Greet II (GC1ZBTV).  It involved exchanging geocaching related gifts via drawing and a cookie exchange.  I was actually able to talk Craig into going by telling him about the cookie exchange.  He got right on board once I mentioned that.  I talked to some local cachers and decided to carpool and get some caches on the way.

We met CascadesClimber and GeoMimi55 in the morning and headed on out.  We rode in their car since ours is always so messy!

This is Mt. St Helens.  We are used to seeing the Mt. from the southern or western side so it is always an amazing sight to see from the north.  You can really see the immense crater from the 1980 eruption.

Geomimi55 and Cascadesclimber posing for a picture near a cache site.

A few graves near a cache.  The mother of this family outlived her entire family.  Her husband and one of her kids actually died on the same day.  How sad!

This a dam near one of the caches we stopped at.

I liked how the plants seem to be taking over this old school bus.

Geomimi and I looking at the swag.

GeoMimi working the greeting table.

The host, Hoppingcrow(in the santa hat) talking to some of the guests.

Don't forget to sign the LOG!

From the left: TBs, cookies, gifts, guess the # of beans.

Gift exchange drawing.

I got to meet OhJoy!  I was very happy to finally meet her.  I enjoyed talking with her.

Craig and I had a great time caching with CascadesClimber and GeoMimi55.  When we moved to this area we found out very fast that they hide the most creative caches, they have the most found caches, and they get a lot of FTFs.  Craig and I sort of look up to them.  It was great to get out there and cache with them.  Turns out they pretty much cache the same way as us.  Not much of a surprise.

The event was a lot of fun.  We got a nano cache, an unactivated geocoin, a groundspeak logbook, and a pelican container in the gift exchange.  We also came home with some yummy chocolate chip cookies!  I was very excited to meet OhJoy!.  She is really nice.  We got to meet many other cachers at the event and also out looking for the local caches.  We also saw many familiar faces.  All and all it was a great day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Postcrossing 6!

It has been awhile since I have posted one of my postcrossing postcards so here is the next postcard.  Vilnius is not only the largest city in Lithuania but it is also the capital.  There are more than 40 churches in Vilnius.  In 1995, the world's first bronze cast of Frank Zappa was installed in one of the Vilnius neighborhoods.

From:  Evelina
Vilnius, Lithuania
Distance:  5,240 mi.
(8,433 km)
Received:  November 23, 2009
Travel Time:  13 days

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Xmas Presents

Like many other people this year, I don't have a lot of money to spend on Christmas presents.  I have decided to make some presents this year.  I know a lot of other people are doing the same thing.  I thought that I would share some of my creations.  I can't show everything until after Christmas....

This is a cute stuffed puppy that I made for my niece, Zaida.  It is one of my first completed projects.  The most complicated project that I have attempted.  There are some mistakes but I think it turned out great anyway.

I made these wine charms for two of my friends.  They both like to drink wine so I thought that I would make them something special for their wine glasses.  I have not made these before but I think that they turned out well.  I will probably make more of these in the future.  They were super easy to make.

I am working on some more presents and hopefully I will have some more pictures soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nursing Orientation

Today I finished a two day orientation to the nursing program I am starting in January.  Two long days but I am glad that the school provided this orientation.  My situation is a little bit different than a lot of nursing students since I am an LPN and am reentering the nursing program partway through.

I think that I have written in a previous post that this is a stressful situation for me.  I have been out of the nursing program since April 2007 so it is quite an adjustment to get back in there.  I don't remember many skills or info that I haven't used since then.

The nursing orientation was pretty much a review session.  We went over nursing care plans (which I hate!).  We practiced IV skills, medication math problems, etc.  This takes such a weight off of my shoulders.  I am rusty on some of the math but overall it isn't bad.  I also was worried that they might want care plans to be done differently but it was pretty much the same.  I want to do some reading while on break to get back in the swing of things.  I am getting more excited though.  The light at the end of the tunnel is finally beginning to be visible.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Creative Being

Growing up my mom made a lot of clothes and things for us.  She sewed pillowcases and outfits.  I learned how to cross-stitch at a young age.  I liked to draw and make things.  Even if they weren't all that great.  I have started a new endeavour.

My mom is teaching me to sew.  I have wanted to learn for a long time.  I sewed with my mom a little bit but since I don't have a sewing machine of my own all my knowledge disappeared since I never used it.  My friend had a baby so I decided to make her son, Jacob, a baby quilt.  What a project to choose as my first project.  I have been working on it for a couple months and it is almost finished.  I only work on it every other Friday when my mom has off so it has been slow going.  I am excited to write a post with pictures once it is finished.  It is turning out great.

I also have many other projects I am working on.  I have a lot of pregnant/just given birth friends so I am making bibs and burp rags.  I also am making a stuffed dog for my niece, Zaida.  That is her Christmas present.  Most of these projects are near completion so I will not post pictures quite yet but know there are pictures to come.

I am excited to finally feel comfortable knowing I can create something.  My imagination is the limit.

Postcrossing 5!

This is a view of cat-lover's hometown, Aachen, Germany.  Aachen is a spa town along the border of Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands.  The Aachen Cathedral was the coronation church of 30 German kings and 12 Queens.  I imagine this is quite a tourist town.

From: cat-lover (no name given)
Aachen, Germany
Distance: 5,098 mi (8,205 km)
Received: November, 21, 2009
Travel Time: 5 days

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fall Quarter winding down....

My fall quarter of school is winding down.  In one week I have my Anatomy & Physiology final.  I am nervous but at the same time I am very glad to have this quarter finished.  I am ready for a quick break and then I start the LPN to RN nursing program at the local college.  Which has me very nervous but excited at the same time.  I am ready to finally finish my RN training.

I have a lot of things to get down before I start the nursing program but I am working on it.  I need to get books and uniforms.  I need to take a drug test.  I am starting to get anxious.  I need to just keep telling myself I can do it and take some deep breaths.

Sorry for the rant but I wanted to get it out of my system.  Thanks for listening (reading)!