Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh Deer!

Yesterday was my nephew, Jon's, 13th birthday! He's an absolute delight, and he loves nature. At the last minute, I decided to attend his hockey game, take him for coneys, and then off to a nearby nature center. Although just a few miles away, I'd never heard of the 100-acre Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center in Troy, but many people said you can see deer there.

Can you see deer? We lost count after 22! Here's a few highlights from his day!

At this point, still no deer.... And then... Bam!

It was really cool! Some of the deer grazed within 5 feet of us and several literally followed us, after dusk, along the trail back to the nature center!

What a great place, and Jon said I'm the best aunt ever!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

12-12-12 Flashing!

Right now I'm sitting with my feet up, working on my Some Kind of Wonderful project. It's the first time in months I've had a chance to work on my own stuff. I'm wearing my flannel jammies. Ginger is purring next to me. My house is decorated with my favorite Christmas quilts. I'm really feeling in the holiday spirit.

So, how did you celebrate 12-12-12? If you were a geocacher, you were probably attending a flash mob! Me and my caching buddies (CB's Da Finns & TaGeez) attended 3 events, went on 2 cache runs, and had 1 First-To-Find!

Here are some of our moments:

12:12:12 am flash mob

12:12:12 am flash mob

TaGeez - scrapcat - Da Finns

WikidKriket - scrapcat - SnakeyLicks - TaGeez

12:12:12 pm flash mob

Souvenir issues by Groundspeak to any cacher that cached or attended a caching event.


No pics from the last event - too tired!

Happy caching!



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall in Michigan

Had a great time geocaching with my Sister at Tollgate Farm yesterday!

It was a absolutely gorgeous!

And we had the nature trails all to ourselves!

After, of course, attending the Lego Kidsville in Novi first!

Happy Sunday!



Sunday, September 30, 2012

So Relaxed I'm Purring

A good, new friend invited me up to her family's cabin near Caseville/PortAustin for the weekend. The scenery was stunning (just the start of Michigan's color change). The food was fabulous (produce from the Farmer's Market and burgers from Walt's whose motto is "Nobody beats Walt's meat!"). And really relaxing and enjoyable company. I really loved spending time with the Lemmens & Somershoes! They are good people.

Missy and Diego, as well as Marilyn and Mike, drove me all over the tip of "the Thumb".

We visited lovely beaches. The water was so blue but low. Missy said water levels are 2 feet below normal and sand bars are more visible.

This park was really cool because the beach was so pristine that you could see small bird tracks and snake tracks in the sand.

We stopped at a wonderful Farmer's market in Port Austin.

And saw a really cool bank (converted into a restaurant) near the entrance.

Mibbs & Merlirin also gave me a tour of several historic cemeteries in the areas. Diego is standing next to a really cool headstone at Port Crescent Cemetery. The man buried here helped make the bricks used to build this chimney - aftera fire destroyed the chimney, his family used the stones to build his headstone.

This cool stone, which looks like a Chinese coin, is in the Caseville Township Cemetery.

Of course, the highlight of a trip for a group of geocachers is exploring the local geocaches. And my tour guides rocked! Headless Horsemen Bridge, the "Froggy" cache, their personal caches and a great bridge from the Michigan Lost Town series. This is the Village of Port Crescent bridge.

This Geocache series features Michigan towns that no longer exist. Reading the history is very cool - many in the Thumb were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. Here's a really cool gas station that Missy stopped at on the way home - the cache was missing, but the location was really neat.

I must admit that I'm saddened the weekend went so quickly. I had a blast talking with my new friends, playing card games, discussing our favorite episodes of The Big Bang Theory, eating ice cream at the local putt-putt.

But, maybe if I'm on my best behavior, they'll invite me back next year!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Needle Has Been Busy

See? I told you I've been working on my blocks! I've been working on the appliqué all week - the embroidery shouldn't take long. Pretty cool, eh?

Though, I have to admit, I'd probably get more done if I wasn't distracted by this!

The family went caching at Willow Metropark - working on our MGA12 puzzle.

Will share block close ups when the stitching is done!

Happy stitching!



Monday, September 3, 2012

What Happened to Labor Day?!?

Remember as a kid when Labor Day was a big deal with a 3-month weekend, barbecues, and ice cream? When did it turn into catching up on chores for the upcoming work week? Luckily, I've been invited to a dinner party Tonight, so that will brighten things up!

Finished another block for my journal quilt (and another signed strip too!). It's a lot less wonky in person.

I did find time for some fun. Here are some favorite pictures from the Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve in Southfield from yesterday. I love the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone!

I couldn't get a good picture of Carpenter Lake - the deck was in shadow yet the lake reflecting so much light.

Happy Labor Day everyone!



Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Busy Day" in Dayton

I can't believe that summer us coming to a close! Time for at least one more adventure! So, early yesterday morning, off I went to Dayton with Lorna (WikidKriket) and Corey (SnakeyLicks).

Where to? The Boonshoft Museum in Dayton, OH for the GPS Adventure Maze. According to the site:

Get lost in the GPS Adventures Maze and learn how to find your way using GPS!

You'll learn about traditional and modern navigation, explore ways GPS is used, find out where the technology is heading in the future, and discover geocaching, a family-friendly treasure hunting game in the great outdoors.

As a geocacher, it's a way to learn more about the sport we love, counts as a "find" (since you have to locate the prize - the exhibit) and an excuse to get together & meet other cachers from all over the country.

For a day adventure, it wasn't the smoothest of beginnings. The coordinates took us to an unfabulous back door of the museum, and, after make our way to the front, one of our party walked into a pole, drawing blood.

SnakeyLicks & WikidKriket
SnakeyLicks & WikidKriket
But we made it! Heading up to exhibit hall, we were each given a game card and spent the next hour solving puzzles, finding caches, and learning the history of geocaching.

We had great fun and quickly secured the codes to move room to room.

In the end, you had to take the clues you gathered on your game piece to determine "where in the world you are". My game piece had me in Puntas Arenas, Chile. Here's Corey enjoying the rest of the museum.

If you are new to my blog (it's a quilting and caching blog) and have never heard about this fabulous game/sport/hobby, visit my post here.

So, what did I mean by a "busy day"? This was called an "Event/Maze" cache. On the way in, we met some new caching friends over a "Traditional" cache - we used our gps to find a treasure box (called a "cache") in the woods. After the exhibit, we enjoyed a "Letterbox" cache - based in another popular hobby called "letterboxing", we followed instructions and not coordinates to find the treasure box.

There are about a dozen different types of caches - the variety keeps the game interesting - some being much more difficult to complete than others. And so far we managed to "find" some of the hardest already! As the day was young, my group decided our mission in Dayton was to complete a "busy day" - successfully log six or more different cache types in a day.

Here we are at a "Virtual" - one of the rarest types, you must locate a specific historical marker or object and answer questions to get credit for the find. This is a sculpture of the Wright Brothers' bi-plane in downtown Dayton.

Lucky for us, there was an "Earth" cache right across the street. Earth caches teach the cacher a lesson on geological formations or occurrences. To gain credit for the "find", one must answer questions based on the location and normally upload a group picture to prove you were there. Here I'm goofing around with my sister in front of the Hydraulic Jump.

Afterwards, we tried to complete a "Multi" cache but failed. A Multi cache will require you to go to one or more locations to gather coordinates to find the final stage, the cache. We gathered our clues - on a haunted bridge - but the final alluded us.

In a panic as darkness and rain were setting in, we scrambled to find one more cache type to complete our "busy day". Luckily, a nearby "Puzzle" cache advertised itself as super easy so we made the 3-mile trek over the river. A Puzzle cache is exactly that... Solve a puzzle and the final is revealed. Sometimes you have to gather clues from nearby signs or solve a crossword puzzle or decode a cypher. Luckily for us victory was ours around 7pm with the final cache in hand!

Here is my screenshot - the smileys show I found six different icons in a day.

For those that know me well, I'm sure you've noticed the number in the upper right corner. This week I made my 1000th find!

Thank you for letting me share my Busy Day with you!

Happy caching!


P.s. Please note that all definitions above are my own interpretations. I love this sport. If you'd like to learn about the other types of caches or more about geocaching, please visit I am not a paid endorser - I'm just a geo-nut!

P.p.s. Yes, and I'm still a quilter. More finishes to share this week!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vitamin D at Tollgate Farm in Novi

I’m still plugging away at my projects but everything is in the “in between” stage - lots of applique completed and prepping for the embroidery. 
In the interim, I thought I’d share some photos from my “happy place” yesterday.  Tollgate Farm, in Novi, is a 160-acre farmstead, currently owned by Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Americana Foundation.  
I was introduced to it by my friend Lauri – we would grab our lunches and visit its beautiful pond while we ate.  So many birds & butterflies, plus several retired horses (from Greenfield Village).  Besides the stunning paths weaving through some beautiful flora, there is a children’s garden, a rose garden, a greenhouse, a sugar shack and nature trails (yes, plus two geocaches!). There’s no cost or donation obligation.
Yesterday, while waiting for a friend, I snapped a few pictures with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. 

Here is a picture of the pond from an earlier blog post:

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Inside | Out Art and Cracking the Whip

It's that time of year again!

The Detroit Institute of Arts has taken up residence in our local communities! Thirteen towns in Southeast Michigan are hosting the DIA's Inside | Out Exhibit. Approximately a half dozen reproduced Masterpieces dot each town - hung outside coffee shops, libraries, boutiques. It's a fabulous way to introduce everyone to the original gems housed downtown and gives us an excuse to explore small towns.

So far this season, Lorna and I have explored Canton, Northville, Ferndale, and Troy.

We've discovered that Canton has some wonderful outdoor art made by local artists (loved the glass and iron sculpture outside the library).

Downtown Northville has great Angus burgers at a bar with outdoor seating.

Ferndale's works are TOO close to a great new taqueria called The Imperial.

Troy's art is located in it's historic village (of which, neither of us knew existed!).

I believe we may be visiting Waterford and Clawson next. Alongside the art, the Michigan Geocaching Organization has hid a corresponding Geocache at each location. We love a good puzzle!

Never fear, though. Ginger has been hovering on my armrest all night making sure I meet my appliqué goals for my SKoW. Who knew that I'd grow to actually enjoy the "A" word! I'm also pleased that I've learned not to stress over the "perfect block" and am having fun! I'll share some pics once the embroidery is complete.

Hope you have an outstanding weekend!