Sunday, August 29, 2021

Back in the saddle

 Oh my --- what an enjoyable little break in the routine. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to K&A Quilt Studio for hosting us. It was great fun to finally meet Kate and Ann in person - I'd seen them many times over Zoom. The classroom is HUGE - that's all you can say to describe it -- huge, bright, great tables and chairs, fully equipped with irons and ironing boards. What more could you want? GREAT FRIENDS to fill the space. 

Well, we didn't fill the space to capacity, not even close, but it worked for keeping our distance, and that's important. Let's just say that there will be future mini-retreats at that store. Oh yes!! 

Another huge THANK YOU to everyone for the birthday wishes! I got e-mails, texts, cards, e-cards, notes on social media. What fun to hear from everyone!! Thanks so much. I feel very blessed. 

One thing that we were chatting about at the retreat was how much more comfortable we feel in our skin the older we get. Isn't that weird? You go through all that crap in adolescence totally NOT prepared for all the bullying, snide comments, petty fights, etc. OK -- so as an adult, that behavior still exists, but we feel so much more prepared for it. 

I'm at the point in life where I care about that stuff, and negative comments still can cut to the bone, but I get over it much faster, or I let it go and just ignore it or confront it. While I care about that stuff because it can hurt, I'm more at the point of NOT caring a bit what others think. Why would I worry myself about someone's bad vibes. Oh my --- life is just not fair!

I'm going to wait until tomorrow to share what happened in the store; today, I will show you what happened outside the store. YES -- I did some geocaching on my own, and with Ronda, and Dede came along for the ride for part of it. 

I know -- if you're not into geocaching, you might find this boring, but it's never boring. Trust me!

Oh wait -- here's a picture of the back of my car just before I left. Can you believe that I took that much stuff for two days of sewing? 

What I took to retreat

Well, I did take three quilts that needed to be returned to their owners, a box with the birthday cake, clothes, some sewing stuff, and of course, the portable office. 

Oh yes -- what happened with that bag? I took it in to the store when we arrived so I could dig out the portable speaker. Then in our excitement to leave the store and go for dinner, I left the backpack IN THE STORE. No access to it until the next morning. 

It was only when we were in the hotel room later, much later, and I had a thought in the middle of our conversation. NO BLOG!! My laptop is in the backpack, as is my charger for the phone. Sigh...............

However, I still went geocaching on Saturday morning. It was still dark outside, but that was OK. By the time I arrived back at the hotel, there was no power on that phone. And I remembered on a previous occasion that any hotel would likely have a cord. Yep  --- MANY people forget their chargers in their hotel rooms. So I asked at the front desk, and sure enough -- there was a charger for the Android phone. 

I sat in the small sitting area and whipped out that small blog post yesterday. OOPS  - sorry for that. Then off to breakfast with the others, and my phone was at 77% by the end of breakfast. Plenty enough for the geocaching session. 

While the others did their thing until the store opened at 10 AM, Ronda and I were off to geocache!

But wait -- here's our geocaching adventure from the previous night. I was out in sandals. NOT good geocaching footwear. 

Sandals are NOT good geocaching footwear

At one point, we were in a cemetery (in the corner, not disturbing anyone), but we had a small pile of rocks to clamber over, and on my way out, I slipped on some weeds on the rocks, and oops - there I was sprawled on the ground. At my age!! My only thought as I fell was - don't rip my shorts as it was the only pair of pants that I had brought. I could just imagine myself in my bright orange PJ pants for the rest of the sewing retreat. 

Fortunately, nothing ripped or tore, and I was fine!!!

Some of the caches are easy to spot once you zero in on the location. This was on the steel roadside barrier that you see along roads and highways. 

Easy to spot geocache

This was in a large hollowed-out stump of a tree. As a matter of fact, as you zero in on the coordinates, you start guessing --- Hmm -- it's THERE. 

In a large stump

But others are a bit tricky. And required a bit of ditch-digging, then across the road to a sign, and finally zeroing in on this fence. 

The gate to the cemetery

Ronda searched part of the fence; I searched another. We couldn't find the darn thing, and then I went and searched where Ronda had searched and VOILA -- there it was. I'll just say my fingers were longer than hers were and leave it at that. Oh yes -- you have to search EVERYWHERE. 

YES -- Up there is a geocache

The next morning, I put my running shoes on, and I was off. It was still dark at 6 AM, but that was OK. 

Much better shoes for geocaching

By the time I got to the first one, it was light enough to see it. 

Plenty of light now

Oh, boy  --- a little hill, and I need to be on the other side. It looks impossible, but there's a small STEEP little path, and I managed to climb up! Thank goodness for the running shoes. 

Up and over

And sometimes, you're faced with this. It looks impenetrable, but I plowed through it! I know -- perhaps short pants are also NOT a good thing to wear when geocaching. I did get a few bites, but I was fine!

I have to go in there? 

My reward was this pretty little spot, completely hidden from everyone. 

A little stream

After much searching, I found the cache lying on the ground about 20 feet from where it was supposed to be. So I moved it back to where one would think it would go - UP IN A TREE. 

A cache that fell out of the tree

There was one that I couldn't find. Perhaps it fell down that steep bank - I was NOT going after it. 

Then I hooked up with Ronda after breakfast, and we went out to a small hiking path - not a very well-groomed one, and we ended up at this tree. 

There's a cache in this tree

And we spotted a HUGE spider on a web that we walked around. I have ONE small clip of him clear on a short video - I'm trying to cut that frame out to show you. I love my phone, but on the macro lens, as always, it's tough sometimes to zoom in on the thing you want. This shot focused beautifully on the background, but I wanted the foreground. I must learn how to make that happen. 

That blur is a BIG spider with a treat in its spidey fingers

Anyway, the geocaching website has a new challenge (OH god -- I'm a sucker for a challenge). You get a certain number of points for each cache you find. The total has to be the same as the height (in meters) of a mountain peak - one per month on each of the seven continents. This month was Puncak Jaya at 4,884 meters. I'm done for the month. On September 6, the quest for the next summit begins. I'm saving the caches until then! 

If you know nothing about geocaching, check out the website. It's a FUN activity to do - you never know where you'll end up, and it's FREE. Well, the PREMIUM membership is $30 US per year. That's pretty cheap entertainment for the entire family. 

And on that note -- I'm out of here!! I've got loads to do today, and it's time to get started!!!!  

Have a super day!!!!


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