Monday, November 1, 2021


There are some quilting components to the blog today, but you'll have to wait for them. I need to show you that I do other things than declutter my house and quilt!

When I decided to do a geocache for fun in August, I got hooked on this challenge. Yes -- challenges seem to be my thing, and it was all for a virtual badge! In this case, you have to collect so many points each month that is the equivalent of the height of the highest mountain on one of the seven continents. Yep - I was hooked. Month three just ended, and so far - I have got all the virtual badges. But just!

Yesterday was the LAST day to qualify for Mount Elbrus, which is in Russia. In the morning, I had about 2,000 points, and I needed 5,642. Yikes -- I need a serious intervention! There are some easy caches that I could have done, but NO -- I wanted to do it the old-fashioned way. And this is what happened. I see there are still a couple of hours left this morning, so technically, I could have been caching all night, but I was done by mid-afternoon. 

I headed out in the car - it was Sunday and quiet. I was tired of being stealthy in the city, so I headed to a country location. The country is not far away from here, as I'm technically in the country with a four KM drive. That won't last for many more years, and then the cities will be connected. Sigh.....

The first one should have been easy. Despite being Sunday, a churchyard wasn't that full, and the cache was at the far end of the cemetery, so I went for it. I circled that big tree MANY times but could not find the TINY little cache. I was about to give up, but I read through the previous finds - it's so much easier than in the old days! OH MY GOODNESS -- there it is. This tiny little camouflaged capsule. 

Tiny geocache in a tree

There was only one problem. I'm technically supposed to sign the paper that's inside. Well, that wasn't going to happen. Even if I pulled down on the branch, I would likely have been able to unscrew the cap and get it, but I would need three hands to put it back (one to hold the branch and two to screw it back in place), and I was by myself! I took a picture and logged in, and I was on my way. 

Then I went to a nearby park. There are several here - this should be easy. Well, I should have realized by the name of the cache - Thorns and mud  - that it might be a slog, especially since we've had a LOT of rain lately. 

Thankfully, I knew that it was going to be muddy and had worn my SHORT rain boots. Well, I should have known better than to plunge ahead. I did cross several creeks and literally bushwhacked my way through thorns and bush. At one point, I did ask myself what I was doing but then forged ahead - I've come this far. I did NOT find the cache, which was a bit of a letdown, but that's geocaching for you. Was it there? or Was it me? It certainly wouldn't have picked up accidentally - not in that remote spot. 


But it couldn't have been that remote - I found golf balls there! There is a golf course at the exterior of the wooded area, but I was at least 50 M inside the perimeter of the forested area. Their aim was WAY off!

Golf ball in a REMOTE part of the forest

So while my rain boots kept my feet dry, and I had to carefully cross the small creeks as there were times when I thought I wasn't going to be able to plow through with those short boots, my pants and arms were SOAKING wet. 

My pants were soaking wet

And I mean that I could have wrung water out of them! But hey -- it's all in fun! I had a vest on and no gloves, but I could have used gloves as it was still slightly on the chilly side. 

I found a cache in the trees on the way out, which wasn't so bad; however, I was very wet by now. There were lots of tall wet grasses and thorny bushes that were very wet. Well, there are several more caches here, so let's keep looking. There was one near this monument, but look at all the water I had to cross to get to it! Yep -- it was a wet morning, to be sure. 

A monument in a pond of water

By this time, I had searched for four and found three, so that was pretty good. It's time to get back home, have lunch, change clothes and head back out because I was still missing quite a few points. 

There's a park not far from the house, and there were two earth caches, a two-part puzzle cache, and a couple of regular caches. Although it was only 2.4 KM from the house, I decided to take the car. What a beautiful spot, and even though I've walked past this place or drove past, I've never stopped. This was an excellent place to get points -- I could do ONE walk around the lake and do three caches simultaneously! 

An urban path 

There was an urban (civilized) path to follow, and it wasn't busy. I learned a lot more about stormwater management, man-made islands, and how we need to be protecting our environment!!!

The leaves around here never did turn vibrant red, but still pretty all the same. 

Fall colors

There's part of the stormwater management system at this lake. We are so fortunate to have these quiet spots in the city! It was about 1.5 KM to walk around the lake's perimeter, so a perfect hike for most people. Considering how nice the afternoon got, it was never got busy. Although two girls were sitting on a bench right where I needed to look for a fourth cache in this area, so I passed on that one. 

Part of the storm management system

While looking for a different cache, I came across this view looking up into a tree! Pretty cool!

Look way up!

Then it was back home to log all three caches that I had found or collected information for. The earth caches require you to answer a bunch of questions about the topic of the earth cache, and I prefer to do that on the computer. 

Darn -- I'm about 600 points short!!! It was about 2:30 by this time. I have quilting to do! NO -- it's a gorgeous day - you can quilt later, and besides, I really did need a "day off."

I had a two-part (puzzle cache - worth more points) that was waiting for me to search for. So I decided now was the day. It was walking distance from the house, so off I went. I ended up on the corner of a bustling intersection. Funny how I went from very remote to very urban!

Chicago may have a big silver bean, but we have a big silver ball!

A giant silver ball

It's pretty cool to take your picture looking in the ball. Now - where to find the cache on this busy corner?

Reflection in the ball

So here is the cache - that tiny silver dot beside my pen, so you can see how small it is. How did I find it? I confess that I looked at the clue, and from that, I was able to find the teeny, tiny cache! 

A teeny tiny geocache

OK -- my phone is bizarre this morning. The alarm for a certain hour has just gone off - it's like the last hour didn't exist, according to my phone! Let's restart it. And you know the buttons are NOT well thought out on the phone when a message comes up and says -"are you trying to restart your phone?" They have to fix those buttons for the next version - we don't care about Bixby, and I wish that button were somewhere else, like on the other side, like it used to be. But I digress!!!

I got home, and it was only 3:30. I made my geocaching quota for the month! Yipeee!!! Well, the day is still young so let's see what else can be accomplished. The magazine quilt was already loaded on the long arm, so it got quilted, trimmed and the binding is stitched on - one side only, but that's OK - I can finish that during Monday sewing today, and the sleeve is ready to be pinned in place. It'll be in the box by 5 PM tonight. 

It turned out fabulous!!  Then I had this small customer quilt, which should be easy enough, so that got done as well. 

Customer quilt - DONE

Yes -- I got caught up with the customer quilts. All the quilts are trimmed, and I need to make three labels for one customer this morning, and I'm up-to-date. I don't have as many this month, so I don't need to push as hard, which is good since I now have a bit of writing to do. 

The embroidery machine and the serger are sitting there waiting for me to make samples, so that will be the focus this week, as well as the nine presentations! And there's nothing scheduled for next weekend! I need to get out and find some geocaches!

My phone must be set to a different time zone - it still comes back at the wrong time! I walked 16.5 KM yesterday! Phew!!! That means I'm making great progress on my Virtual Challenges, and I've got about 546 KM left to finish for this year. That should be super easy  - barring any issues, I'll be done by mid-December!

Progress on the cross Canada walk!

Well, I'm off to spin class this morning. It's weird because the class is more open as the restrictions have been lifted, but we still get to reserve a bike which I like. 

One thing I've noticed - if I get my eight hours of sleep, I don't need a nap! If I get less than eight hours, I need a nap! 

Have a super day!!!!


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