Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bugleann Hits 2500

Well, yesterday I found my 2500th cache.  I remember when we found our 10th and I was thrilled with that and here we are at 2500.  Every milestone cache is a cause to celebrate.  For me, it's not so much about the number itself, but more about the journey we are taking along the way, such as...

  • spending time with my family
  • getting outdoors
  • making new friends
  • visiting historical locations
  • discovering things I'd never see unless I was geocaching
  • pushing ourselves to new limits
  • acting like a kid again
Afterwards my Mom and Dad took us to The Brat Stop for lunch to celebrate.  Oh, that's one more highlight to geocaching - good food!  German brats, potato salad and red cabbage.  Did I mention how delicious it was??

It's all good!  Ok, next milestone - 3000!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cache Crazy Tuesday 07-30-13

Please join me over at Cache Crazy and learn all about Earthcaches!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Massillon Bridge and an Ancient Indian Trail

We recently spent the day geocaching in Forest Park, Illinois and we visited a really interesting cemetery named Forest Home Cemetery.  Forest Home was originally an old Indian burial ground until 1835.  Then for awhile it was 2 separate cemeteries - Forest Home, established in 1877, and a German cemetery established in 1873 named Waldheim, which means Forest Home.  The 2 cemeteries then merged in 1969.  One of the charming aspects of this cemetery is that you can still see the original cobblestone pavement through the asphalt....

This cemetery has many historical features.  One of them was the Massillon Bridge and there's a geocache commemorating it.  The original bridge was built in 1895.  There's a lot of history about the Massillon Bridge Company and you can read about it here if you like.

 The bridge is extremely narrow and only one vehicle can pass over it at a time.  Mom and dad searched for the geocache....

My favorite cache location at the cemetery was the Ancient Indian trail.  At one time an Indian trail skirted the forest and ran along the Des Plaines river.  I like to imagine the Indians from another era walking along the same ground that we were standing on.  I just think that's pretty cool.


The cemetery has several other historical markers including:

Civil War General William Sooy Smith

Graves of two children lost in the 1903 Iroquois Theater Fire

Haymarket Monument

Personally I enjoy doing the cemetery caches because they are filled with local history.  As long as the geocaches are placed with respect and don't disturb the graves or anybody visiting them, then I don't see a problem. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Return of Standing Bear

Last year I hosted a remarkable, real time series following Mike McLaughlin, aka Standing Bear, as he hiked the Appalachian Trail to raise money for his children's charity.  On September 3, 2012 he completed his goal and in the process raised thousands of dollars for kids.  We were all so proud of him and what he accomplished.

Last Sunday Mike embarked on his newest adventure and again gave me the honor of following along and documenting his journey.  I couldn't be more pleased or excited.  Here's a recap of what Mike shared with me as he was literally rushing out the door....

I will be gone for six weeks, and plan to climb the 48 four thousand footers in New Hampshire with my wife Brooke and a couple of MBA students from my school (they'll be doing about 15-20 of the 48 during the final week of the trip).  But in addition, I will be hiking the Long Trail in Vermont.  The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail run concurrently for 105 miles, so I have decided to hike the 168 miles of the Long Trail which does not run concurrent with the AT.  So at that point I will have completed a section hike of the Long Trail.  If I have any time left over, I'll climb some of the four thousand footers in the Adirondacks.
I have had flags made for several youth organizations that I'm supporting and will be taking a photo with each flag at every summit.  I plan to make a video montage for each organization with all the summit photos, so that they might use the photos in their fundraising efforts. 
Remember the students I said will be joining me for the final week?  One of them, a student named Abhi from India, said he came to my school after hearing about Hike4Kids.  He too wants to help children and he has been instrumental in our service events the past year.  He told me he'd like to climb Everest with me for kids, but since that's out of our price range we're going to temporarily settle for Mt. Washington and the rest of the Whites   :-)
Also, I will be bicycling across the U.S. in January and February and speaking at schools and youth agencies along the way.  I won an international award from the GMAC (TeamMBA) a couple weeks ago and a lot of business schools asked the GMAC if I would speak at their school.  Plus, I have had interest from other groups, so I am going to speak at different venues as I bicycle across the country.  I'll be biking the Southern Tier route, starting in San Diego and heading to Florida.  
This trip is technically a fundraiser, although I haven't explicitly asked for money like I did last time.  I didn't want people to feel pressured, as my main goal is to raise awareness.  I'm hoping the organizations for whom I'm displaying flags can use the photo montages I create to help them raise money from their existing donors.  But if people would like to donate they can donate directly to the Family Resource Center or to Marygrove (their choice) either through the Unite4Kids website or the Hike4Kids website.  I think the Hike4Kids website might only have a donation link for the Family Resource Center while Unite4Kids has both.  We are rushing out the door in a few minutes otherwise I would check. 
You can also visit the Hike4kids FB page  or the Unite4kids FB page for more updates and information.  Please visit his blog to read Mike's post before he left.  You can also search through my blog for posts on Standing Bear to read about his adventures last year.
Keep going Mike - we're behind you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shhhhh Petey is Taking a Nap

The other day my dachshund did this......

Those are my crochet bags hanging there. Both have yarn in them.  Petey climbed into the larger one and fell asleep.  How cute is that??

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cache Crazy Tuesday 7-23-13

What should you have in your caching bag?  Jump on over to Cache Crazy and find out what I keep in mine.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Be Yourself - Everyone Else is Taken

Are you familiar with Beth and her blog "Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken?"  She is an extremely talented photographer and her awesome photos are what initially drew me to her blog.  But then I stuck around because she intrigues me and I love the way she writes.

Back in May she had a photo contest and guess what?  I won!  I got to choose any photo I wanted on her entire blog.  I bet I spent an hour going through her work.  SO many gorgeous photographs.  After careful consideration I chose this one for a number of reasons.  First, it was taken at the beach and you know me - I'm a beach girl.  But the simple stacking of the stones is relaxing and calming and I actually have a similar stack of stones sitting like that on a shelf in my bedroom.  This photo is just so me!  Have you ever looked at a picture and instantly got it?

Beth also included a notecard using the same picture, which I then gave to my husband for his birthday.  It perfectly describes my life and how I feel about Louie because we are stacked together against whatever the wind blows our way, but at the same time we balance each other perfectly.  I can't imagine living my life without him.  He is my rock.

Beth just oozes talent and if you need tips or photo inspiration I urge you to look at her work.  Visit her blog and take the time to enjoy her perspective on this world. 
Thank you Beth for sharing a part of your soul with the blogging world.  Pictures do speak a thousand words and your photos always reveal a unique combination of strength and vulnerability.  You have a habit of showing us the inner beauty of your subjects and I often see things that I normally would have missed.   Because of you I realized that we are all often more fragile and vulnerable than we let on.   And that's ok.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet Carey with Style

I'd like you to meet my friend Carey and show her some support on her new business venture.  Carey recently became a rep for "Thirty-One Gifts."  It's a company that sells personalized items like purses, bags, totes, organizers, umbrellas, stationary and thermals.  Thirty-One Gifts has dozens of products that are perfect for on-the-go or at home. 

Carey's website is: if you want to have a look and her business email is  She has her own party going on there right now and if you click on "My Parties" it's called Carey's Christmas in July and anyone can purchase on it between now and July 25.  She's having a drawing with that party, and one person will win a free gift.  Plus, anyone that is willing to host online parties with $200 in sales can get a minimum of $25 in hostess credit, a half price item with half price embroidery, and the chance to purchase a discounted hostess exclusive. The more money the party generates, the higher the hostess rewards.

If anyone is interested, Carey could add you to her monthly 31 email with the special sales and her private FB group page for 31.   And she promised me - no spamming.  This way you can also just go and shop directly through her website or she can set you up to host an online catalog qualify as a party, there has to be $200 in sales.  

Check out some of the cute bags Carey designed herself.   She designed 3 large bags just for taking to the Islands. One has a flip flop one that says "Just Beachy,"  there's a blue and green one that says "Turtle Tracks," and a beautiful Island Damask that says "Love2Shell."

One more thing - Carey just found out yesterday that there's going to be a big outlet sale starting Thursday July 18th with prices up to 70% off.  They only do it once or twice a year...but it's by email invitation only. If anyone wants to shop the sale, they'll need to email Carey asap at and she will add you to her 31 email and make sure they get the invitation on Thursday. Then you can start shopping as soon as you receive the email. The sale runs through 3am ET on Saturday, July 20th.

If you need a special gift item - check them out.  Looking for a home solution?  Check them out.  Go visit Carey's website - check them out!  She's a sweetheart and I know she'll appreciate you stopping by. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Apple Blossom Dreams

If you like to crochet, then you've got to go over and visit Apple Blossom Dreams, where Liz creates some of the most gorgeous items.   Everything she makes explodes with color and inspires me to try new things.

A couple of weeks ago Liz had a fun contest.  She was looking for a name for her trusty scooter.  And guess what?  I was the "Name that scooter" winner!  I came up with the name Blossom.

My prize was this awesome hat that Liz made, one of her crocheted flowers and a bag of skittles... Doesn't the hat look exactly like a bunch of skittles?

Please go over and visit Apple Blossom Dreams and take the time to browse through her blog.  I guarantee that you'll find lots of beautiful items like pillows, blankets, scarves and my personal favorite - her Granny Rose crochet-along.  One of these days I'm going to tackle that project, but I'm just not ready yet.

Thanks again for the fun hat Liz!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Turtle Eggs

We see a lot of turtles at the lake and they love to lay their eggs in my yard.  We often get up in the morning and see freshly opened holes littered with broken egg pieces after baby turtles hatched the night before.  On occasion we even find the baby turtles crawling through the grass, slowly making their way to the lake.

But last week we finally got to see something we've never gotten to see before - a turtle actually laying her eggs.

First she found a nice spot and slowly dug out a huge hole with her back legs, piling a small mound of dirt behind the hole....

When the hole was to a depth of her liking, she quickly starting plopping out eggs.  After she laid each egg, she brushed a small layer of dirt over it with her back flippers....

When she was finished laying the eggs she brushed the remaining dirt over them and crawled away.  Looking at this spot, you'd never suspect that it held a bunch of turtle eggs, would you?

Does this make me a grandmother??

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Soda Showdown Part 2

I hope you didn't miss my post 2 weeks ago about the "All American Soda Showdown."  If you did, then jump back here to read about it first and then come back.

Last week we had a different group of family members visiting us at the lake, and when I told them about the Soda Showdown, they asked insisted that I take them to Aurora to participate in it themselves.  Believe me when I say that they didn't have to twist my arm too far.  All anyone has to do is mention black cherry soda and sea salt caramel fudge and my butt is sitting in the drivers seat.

4:00 pm sharp had us at the front door where we were warmly greeted by Hitching Post owner Su.  Crossing the threshold of the Hitching Post is like taking a step back in time to an era where the shop owners knew their customers and took the time to sit and chat a spell. 

Since it was the 4th of July holiday, Su chose to go with a patriotic theme of red, white and blue sodas.  Check out the tub filled with the first 10 selections, chilling on ice.  Remember, for $ 4.95 you get to taste 20 different sodas and you get to keep the decorative shot glass to take home with you.

Miss Tracy told me that it was ok to call her a soda jerk, but she's entirely too sweet to go by that name.  We decided on Miss Carbonation instead, although soda aficionado would accurately describe her as well.

We lined up at the bar counter, and waited patiently for our session of the testing to begin....


Tracy joined me in a friendly shot.....

 ...and then sent us down to the other end of the counter to Miss Susan, who was waiting with the next 10 samples.  I really enjoy the historical background of the different sodas and Susan knew lots of interesting things.  These girls know their stuff!  We had a fun discussion about Virginia Dare soda.  Has anyone out there ever had Virginia Dare soda? 

Check out the array of bottle caps....

By the time we were finished sampling soda, they had a good crowd gathered.    Here's a hint - get there early!  The Soda Showdown is extremely popular and it was crowded there by the time we were finished with our sampling.  We scooted next door to the Old Country Store to get my fudge fix....

If you want to know anything about fudge, be sure to see Miss Dianne.   She clearly loves her job and enjoys chatting with her customers.

 Look at me trying to narrow down my fudge choices.   There was a gentleman in line ahead of me who couldn't make up his mind as to which piece of fudge he wanted.  I am not ashamed to say that I would have kicked him in the shin if that pointing finger of his would have wavered anywhere near the small chunk of sea salt caramel that remained in the display case.  Lucky for him that he chose a different flavor and he left with his fudge in hand and his shin intact.

I selfishly took the last piece of sea salt caramel as well as a few others and we were on our way home where we did our own fudge tasting.  This is all that remains of the sea salt caramel, cherries jubilee, peanut butter and heath bar flavors.  Ssshhhhh......these tiny pieces are back in the box and stuffed behind a bag of lettuce in the crisper to be eaten by me and me alone when nobody else is around!

In case you were wondering, of course we also brought home a wide variety of sodas.  Want to see what we picked this time?  First you have to grab a cute carton....

Dang wins for the best soda name.  I just love saying it!  Dang!!  I happened to look at the bottom of the carton and found out that Dang is part of the Imperial Flavors Beverage Company.  They also sell shirts, caps, jackets and assorted merchandise with the Dang logo.  Like their logo proclaims "Dang that's good!"

Then we loaded the cartons with different flavors.  I just love all the designs and some of the sodas have the cutest caps.  They are all so colorful.  I also get such a kick out of some of the great advertising slogans on the labels.  Triple Cola says "Drink it for vim and vigor" and Lucky club soda encourages you to "Drink guilt free."

Goody red pop says "Thirst come thirst served."

Lemmy brand is the original sparkling lemonade drink and tells you to say "Lemme have a Lemmy."  The Cheerwine brand gets my vote for best bottle shape.  It has that old fashioned feel to it.

And then there is the Americana brand.  I tasted their cherry cola flavor for the first time and thought it was really good, but my  heart still belongs to the black cherry.  I stashed a bottle in the back of the refrigerator and today my husband pulled it out and asked if we could share it for lunch.  How rude is that??  Of course I did share it with him.  Wow - What some people will sacrifice in the name of love.

Soda Showdowns will continue throughout the fall at The Hitching Post and Old Country Store, so if you're anywhere near Aurora, Kentucky be sure to stop by.  The showdowns take place on Thursdays only, so plan accordingly.  Here's their website if you'd like some additional information.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cache Crazy Tuesday 7-9-13

What do Lake Michigan and hot dogs have in common?  Geocaching of course.  Join me over at Cache Crazy for the tail tale....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kentucky Horse Farm

We drove past a horse farm last week and saw the most adorable little baby horse.  Is that technically called a pony?  We just had to pull over to the side of the road and take some pictures.....

 I loved how the baby followed so closely behind his mother, no matter where she went....

I wanted to pet that baby SO badly!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...