Three hours down! No, it doesn’t seem like much. But every little bit helps.
This past weekend was the SOLV Annual Spring Beach Cleanup. We chose to clean up at Ona Beach state park, where we’d visited in February.
The weather was pretty typical – windy! That prevented us from doing as much as we wanted to, because the wind just laid us bare. So, we went through the wooded areas of the park to collect stuff. We ended up with one bag of trash and a coyote carcass. Ick! It was very close to a picnic area – we’d have left it alone if it wasn’t a potential hazard.
Next month for Earth Day, we’ll be doing invasive species removal at Clackamette park. I love doing that kind of work, because it’s really rewarding to rip the heck out of noxious plants! Hopefully we’ll get a few more hours in there too.
Several times over! My coworker is collecting handknit items for a local NICU. So, since preemie items use so little yarn and so little time, I’ve been using project scraps from work and knitting little hats during meetings and breaks. So far, I’ve made four items: three hats and a set of booties.
The smallest of these is ‘plum-head’ size. Seeing just how small it is makes me think about why I knit for charity. I’d like to think that the little bit of added warmth and comfort that the recipient gets from this hat will increase the chance of survival by any amount.
Ok, I’m 1/5 of the way there. I sat my butt down with a Vogue pattern and 3 yards of rayon jersey and got to work.
I went by dressmakers’ size standards and made the size 22 (roughly equivalent to a size 16 in the stores). I decided not to alter anything and just do what the pattern said. Unfortunately, that seemed to be the wrong choice. The dress is huge! like, really, really big. It’s a store size 22. Crazy! I’d post a picture, but it’s really unflattering. I have worn it a few times still. It’s so comfy and soft. There are a few things I can do to make it look a little better, and I do plan on doing that.
I love the pattern, though, and I found the jersey easy and fun to work with. I will definitely be using this pattern again – and I plan to make alterations next time! I already have fabric for this dress take #2. Now that the weather is really getting warmer, I’ve really been itching to get my dress-making on. 🙂
Ohhhhh my goodness, it was a marathon of darning but I did meet that goal by the date specified, which was 2/12. I’m glad I put in the goal that it was all darning in the pile as of 1/1, because there are a lot more holes to patch now!
I patched 15 pairs of socks. whew. I’m so glad that’s over now, because I have a lot more socks I can wear again!
Well, at least I can say that we’ve been busy knocking things off our list and working on some longer term goals. We’ve also been busy with life in general and dealing with our little noxious weed garden! ;-P
I’m going to try to update everything that I can think of, in their own posts – not necessarily in order, but hopefully it’ll at least show our progress. Here goes!
We went again to go hunt for some geocaches. We’re still obviously pretty new to it, but it was totally fun! We hiked five miles through Mt. Talbert Nature Park and found four caches. There are a lot more there, but we’re noobs, so we couldn’t find all of them.
We did get to hike through Endor:
And we found two travel bugs! One was a dream catcher, and we decided to share our dreams with it before sending it back out into the world. 🙂
It’s the little one, all the way to the right. The others are from South Dakota, Alaska, and Washington, respectively. Hopefully that will recharge the little guy and keep him happy in his travels!
We’ve now found 8 caches – not too shabby.
To help manage our 3 lists (K’s Goals, Our Goals, and V’s Goals), I’ve made a Google spreadsheet which has 3 tabs where we can manage the 3 lists. Thanks to the “Inline Google Docs” plugin, we can then post a single line on those pages here in WordPress and then it puts a nice, pretty, columned list on the page. Makes for better management, better list keeping, and allows us to sort, and do all kinds of things to the list while maintaining the integrity of the list numbers. Overall, good times. 😉
Over the next few days we’ll be cleaning up the lists.
So, we finally did it. We picked up a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx, some maps, and started the wonderful adventure of Geocaching.
We’re currently focused on caches that are within 1 mile of us. The first one we found was called “Tink’s Hideaway”. It was a rainy day around 4:00 (sun goes down around 5), and after parking and walking into a nature area we didn’t know existed we got our feet wet with using our GPS. After some struggle learning how the satellite fixing works (or sometimes doesn’t very well), it was a downed tree where the root system was hallowed out. The cache owner hid the cache in a camouflaged tupperware container with a picture of Tinkerbell in the center, then hide it behind a bunch of other large broken branches.
After that first find, we’ve been doing progressively harder and harder ones. So far we’ve found 1 micro, 1 mini, and 2 traditional ones with 4 failed finds (got to the coordinates, but failed to find the cache). Again, mostly learning how to use the gps, how to properly search for caches, developing our “geo-sense”. Once we knock out the ones within 1 mile, we plan on expanding out to 2 miles. I think within a 2 mile radius of our house there are 177 caches. Along with that we plan day hikes in the greater Portland area or when we go camping / trips, we’ll grab cache coordinates and try to find as much as we can. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to find a cache based on luck, weather conditions, your “geo sense” as they call it, and of course… avoiding muggles (non-geocaching type folk).
As far as where to get locations, geocaching.com manages it all for you. It’s the center of the community, where every logs their caches, where everyone logs coins, travel bugs, and people post logs on what they find (or don’t find). Some of the larger caches can be used for exchanging items or moving around coins and travel bugs, where as the smaller mini and micro caches simply have a really small rolled up log book you sign when you find it. The bigger ones of course have a log book too. Once you are done finding and leaving items or simply signing the log book, you put the cache back the way you found it. Of course, you want to make sure to grab and open caches away from the prying eyes of those Muggles.
I highly recommend this activity for anyone who hikes and wants to get into caching. It’s fun, educational (because you learn how to use a hiking gps), and even if you want to do it for the game aspect you can get into it cheap with a Geomate Jr. There’s also a really nice sense of community, especially once you start a travel bug, geocoin, or your own cache.
..Twice! We’d planned on trying out 24 dishes that were totally new to both of us. (since I bake, I’m not counting baking new things unless it’s a type of baked good I’ve never made, like a tart or turnover.)
So, Sunday, we did it twice! That means that we’re already 8.5% to our goal.
For breakfast, we had Potato pancakes:
They were pretty good. I think we’ll add this to our breakfast rotation. I’ll change a few things for next time, like draining the potatoes. I know this recipe was entirely made possible by the food processor I got for Christmas – there’s no way I’d want to shred all those potatoes by hand first thing in the morning!
Then for dessert, one of my favorites:
Churros! I love them. Actually, anything with cinnamon sugar is good. But these are a guilty pleasure. These as well I’d change a thing or two on, but they were so easy. I will definitely make these for family fajita nights!
So, a good little leap towards accomplishing that goal – even if it’s an easy start. Next time we’ll try something a bit more challenging!
Woohoo! We haven’t gotten there just yet, but we’ve made reservations to visit these two places. For V’s birthday this year, we’ll be staying in a teepee along the John Day river for five days while we explore the amazing fossil beds. I’m super excited about this. Before we get there, we’ll want to tackle a few other goals – stream/fly fishing for V and for me, losing enough weight to fit back in my hiking pants.
Later in the summer, we’ll be camping at the base of Mount Mazama, home to Crater Lake. We’ll spend five days there as well, hiking around the rim of the crater. Hopefully by then, we’ll accomplish our goal of learning our SLR cameras inside and out, so we can get that ‘perfect shot’. Maybe if we have time, we can jump down to the Rogue River for some rock hunting.
I can’t wait!