CITO Geocaching Event and Walking Club

In honor of Earth Day, Groundspeak and the geocaching community held a CITO weekend this past weekend. CITO stands for “Cache In, Trash Out,” and it’s a movement to encourage geocachers to help clean up the environment while we’re out searching for caches. Jon and I aren’t as good about CITO as we should be, but it’s something I’m aiming to improve on this year.


Anyone who participated in a CITO event earned a souvenir, so of course I couldn’t resist (I love my badges and rewards). Our local geocaching group was holding an event to clean up our section of adopted highway. We were up early and out the door and meeting everyone at 10:00 out at the scenic overlook. After visiting and eating a donut, we split into groups and each took a mile of highway. Luckily, things weren’t too gross, though I did almost fall in some mud once.

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Our strategy was to drive along the side of the road and get out every few yards to pick up stuff. It seemed slow going when we both got out and walked a stretch, so we’d take turns getting out of the car and doing a section. It wasn’t bad at all! We came away with sore backs, but the fact that we completely rocked those bright orange clean up vests more than made up for it.

In other news, I finally took baby steps towards building a local walking club. I’m starting small with a Facebook group and friends. Eventually I’d like to reach out to people in the community, but I’d like to build a foundation and do some more research. Right now, it’s a good incentive to schedule walks and stick to them. If I know other people are expecting me, I’m more likely to get out there and move.


New Glasses and Olive Garden

I got sidetracked last night with my current knitting project and went to bed without posting. However, not much of note happened. The day went by really fast for a Monday. I think the highlight was probably free dinner from our gym. It was member appreciation day, so they brought in Cox Bros. BBQ for dinner.

Yes, you read that right. Tasty BBQ. At the gym. But in all honesty, it wasn’t anything unhealthy. It was carbs and protein, and it was good to eat right after a workout.

Today wasn’t as fast, but I got a lot accomplished at work. My new glasses came in today, so we swung by and picked those up. They’re pretty similar to my old ones in how they look, but the non-glare coating is pretty boss, and night driving was really easy tonight.

The gym was next. With the weather getting cold, I think we’ll be there more. Which means if I want to do more jogging, I’ll have to make friends with the treadmill. Not sure how I feel about that.

We had another geocache event tonight, this one a dinner at Olive Garden to celebrate 11/12/13, which is really just a good excuse to have an event. I think Jon and I had only been to this OG once before, so this was kind of a treat for us.


There were a lot of cachers there, and I’m pretty sure we got told by management to quiet down. I’d planned for an entree, but they let us do the soup/salad/breadstick thing for dinner, so we happily did that. The chicken gnocchi soup was so good!

It was late when we got home, so I just showered and am now getting ready to settle in with some pre-sleep reading.

Until tomorrow…


A Little Down, a Little Up

I’m going to kick off this post with a touch of seriousness and say that depression sucks. Today was definitely a down day for me, and I’m blaming depression because in all honesty, there was nothing that happened to me that was sad or anything that should have made me as mad as I felt at times.  It comes and goes, and it’s better than it was several years ago, a fact I attribute to my husband and to being more active.  That doesn’t mean I’m “cured.”  Now that the days are shorter and the weather is getting colder, I think my seasonal affective disorder is kicking in. We made it to the gym tonight, but I’ve been struggling with getting there, even though I know I feel so much better when I do. I think I need to start kicking my workouts up a notch though. I’ve been talking about doing that for about a month, but it really is to the point where I’m not working up a sweat, and I kind of want to.

I am going to end this bit of depression talk with a little PSA: if you’re depressed, please seek help. Talk to someone. Go on meds if you have to. Exercise. Do whatever you have to to make yourself better,  and remember you’re not alone. I’ve always been open about my depression, so it saddens me when someone is struggling with it, and for whatever reason feels too ashamed to reach out.  Believe me, you are part of a larger group, you are not alone, and you are not at fault.

As down as I felt all day, after a workout and some time with Jon, I perked up. After the gym, we grabbed some dinner, then had time to kill before our geocache event. First, we were going to go geocaching, but it was dark, and I know myself and my tendency to get frustrated, so we decided to nix that idea. Then we were going to go to the library and use a computer to try to solve some puzzles on a local mystery cache trail. However, there were no parking spots. We ended up at the mall where we finally found little zombie dolls to attach to our zombie travel bugs.

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I think we’ll be sending those out into the world this weekend, unless we get wild and make our own geocaches to put them in, which will take a little extra time. My zombie is so cute (mine is the vampire girl), I kind of don’t want to get rid of her now.

The event started at 8am at the top of Manhattan Hill. There were several people there we’d met previously, a few who remembered us, and a couple cachers who wanted to meet us since they’d seen our names online. It’s such a good group of people. They’re all friendly and cool to talk to, and even though I get anxious being around new people, once I’m visiting with this group, the anxiety goes away and Social ‘Manda shows up. This event was a “flash mob” to get together and earn the souvenir celebrating Geocaching in Space.


After visiting for awhile, we said our farewells and came home. I’m going to finish this up, map out some geocaches for the weekend, then shower and get some sleep. I’m prepared to feel better tomorrow, and I want to be productive. Two days left of the week! Yay!




Tengaicon 2013 – I’m Calling it a Sucess!

It’s just after midnight, so I guess technically I missed my daily blog deadline, but I’m still awake, so it counts. We just got home a little bit ago, and I was tempted to put off yet another post so I could crash. But I wanted to get something out about today, so here goes, with apologies if anything sounds off or wonky…I’m really tired.

I don’t think I’ve talked much about Tengaicon, so here’s some back story. It’s a local, one day gaming convention in MHK that’s been going on for close to a decade. It’s had its ups and downs, and last year it had a streak of bad luck.  In an effort to help get it back on track, I headed the committee for this year’s event. At the time I volunteered, I was in what I like to call “crazy planning mode.”  I figured I’d eventually burn out, but the goal was to make sure everything was ready before that burn out happened.  I wanted the end goal to be a plan of action that could be followed and built upon the following years.

For the last year, our committee has been organizing and getting things in place. There were several meetings at the beginning of the planning period, but eventually, as things came together, they tapered off. By the time we were a week away from the con, I felt that everything was on track. Sure, I let the ball drop a little bit. We could have done more marketing and PR, and there were a few details regarding food that missed the mark. But that was really all in hindsight, and I was cautiously optimistic that we’d have a good convention (and by cautiously optimistic, I was worried and stressed that no one would show up).

For our crew, the con stuff started last night when we met at the hall to set up.  Set up was quick, as we had a good volunteer crew. This morning we were back at 8 to put the finishing touches on the hall and to pick up some last minute things at the grocery store.  From the time the doors opened at 9:30 to sometime in the afternoon, we seemed to have a steady stream of people.

The day was fun! We had several local gaming groups attend, and they each brought in a good number of players. We also had casual gamers show up who found something that interested them. We had Tab Creations, a local game maker/company, come and demo a new game that’s going to be a Kickstarter project. We had our dice table, our silent auction to raise money for Child’s Play, paint and take, local artists, and concessions.  Everyone I talked to seemed to be having a good time. We got a lot of positive feedback and everyone was really nice.

Besides the demo, I didn’t do any gaming since I was trying to make sure everything was going well. I wanted to make sure all my volunteers had breaks, that all of our vendors and GMs  were thanked, and that the gamers were having a positive experience. I’m not sure if I was able to really talk to everyone, and I think I accidentally let a few people go a little long without a break, but I think things were okay and nobody seemed burned out by the end of the day (I did have a few flashbacks of my days as lead cashier at Glens, though).

Jon and I made it out by 11, sticking around to make sure the last few groups made it out okay and doing last minute hall cleaning. I’m grateful to everyone who helped and played. In the final counts, we ended up making a profit and I believe we had over 100 attendees. For a small convention, this was pretty awesome.

We still have a few things to do, like contact the silent auction winners who weren’t there to pick up their stuff when it ended, and set up a post-con meeting to recap and make a plan for moving forward. I also want to email everyone with thanks and put some notes and schedules down on paper to pass on to whoever my successor is going to be.  Because seriously, I’m so happy with how this turned out, and I want any future convention to continue to improve on what we accomplished today.

But those things can wait for tomorrow. I’m falling asleep typing this, so I think it’s time for much needed rest. I don’t think our double day of working out is going to happen tomorrow, as my back is killing me tonight. But we’ll see. And while I realize I’ve failed on pictures for this post, I think I’ve persuaded Terry to give me some of the pictures he got today in hopes of putting together a special Tengaicon picture post.