Hiking, Climbing, and Dungeon Crawling

It’s been a long day, but for the most part, it was good. I usually like having Sundays to just chill, but we’re getting into a time of year when that’s not always going to be the case. I should clarify that my idea of “chill” could include walking, hiking, and anything that doesn’t include sitting around the house. But…it could also mean just that.

We were up early at the in-laws this morning, wanting to grab a few more geocaches before our weekend there ended.  The first three were “did not finds.” We were feeling pretty bummed. To be fair, we didn’t stay for long at any of them, partially due to muggles, partially due to just wanting to do some more exploring. After we couldn’t find the third one, I wasn’t sure if we should try to find a nano in a high muggle area, but Jon wanted to  check it out, so we did. He found it in a few minutes.

The next two were out in the country, which involved a bit of a drive and a turtle rescue.

It's okay, little turtle. At least you won't be a turtle pancake in the middle of the road!
It’s okay, little turtle. At least you won’t be a turtle pancake in the middle of the road!

The first “country” cache was a hike through some tall grass on the side of the road, and the other was a cemetery cache.  It was starting to get hot by that time, and Dad F was bringing us breakfast, so we headed back to house, ate, and watched some TV before heading back to MHK. I couldn’t resist, though, and found one more in Andover, a large that ended up being a hike across a field and an obstacle course through some trees.

We were on a time table to get back to MHK for a game, but we decided to take one last geocache detour (I know, it’s always “one last” with us). This one was about ten minutes off the beaten path, so we were definitely bumping up against our time. Once we finally found it, we weren’t sure if we were up for the challenge.  It was on what could be considered a hill but struck me more as a plateau, with the sides going almost straight up. The climb honestly looked like more of a challenge than I was up for. Jon managed to get to the top while I looked for a lower part to climb with no luck. I was going to let him find it on his own, but when I got back to where we parked, I figured all I needed was a little bit of courage.

Using the grass to help pull myself up and paying attention to my footing, I managed to get up the hill.  Out of breath and sweaty and gross, all I could think at that moment was “Holy cow, I just rocked my own world.” This was seriously another moment of pride for me.  The view was gorgeous and worth the climb, and shortly after I got up there, Jon made the find. Getting down the hill was a little less graceful. I literally had to sit on the ground and slide down because my knees and balance were not going to let me walk down that slope. Still, it was worth the dirt and the grass cuts I ended up with.

On the drive back to the highway, we came up on some uprooted trees that I thought were kind of haunting.

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We made it back to town, and even being dirty and gross, we got to our game on time.

I’m easing back into RPG games after kind of losing my mojo for it. Jon and I were invited to play in a Pathfinder game, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m playing a human fighter and our first encounters were level one dungeon crawly type things where we killed a bunch of rats and skeletons. It was fun! I’m not used to Pathfinder, so I’ll probably have more questions as this progresses. I’m excited to see where the story goes and getting to know the other players who all seem like cool people.

After the game, we headed to the campus library to distribute con flyers at a movies on the grass event. Unfortunately, shortly after we got there, Jon started shaking and feeling sick. I think it was probably a mix of not eating and dehydration, but it freaked me out. We ended up leaving before it started, but they let me hand out some flyers and put some on a table for people to grab.  I had a touch of guilt, but  I wasn’t taking any chances.  Everything is okay now. Jon’s feeling better, though a little run down.

We decided to stay in MHK one last night since my friend offered the extra night to stay at her house. Once I got here, I took a shower and sat down to handle some emails and other projects. Jon has a test tomorrow night, so I’m going to be doing some con updates and correspondence at Hastings.

It was a good weekend overall. We didn’t get as much activity as we’d wanted, but what we did get was fun.  The goal this week is to get back into our routine. We made our gym goal this past week, but not our walking goal. Which is okay. Now we just try again for the coming week.


Reunions, Nostalgia, and Chocolate Shakes

I had originally wanted to get up super early this morning and do some geocaching before we went to Jon’s high school reunion. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I hit the snooze for an hour, feeling the need to sleep in. It wouldn’t have been too bad, but we both needed showers and then we were just slow getting around. We grabbed Drew and went to Sonic for a late breakfast, and by the time we were done, it was time to head to the reunion.

It was a potluck lunch, so we stopped and bought two eight piece boxes of chicken at Dillons.  We brought food, but we didn’t actually eat there, which was partially on me because I was having some anxiety. I also just wasn’t hungry due to the late breakfast we had.

The reunion was being held at a large cabin on a farm near where Jon went to high school. It was a pretty area. In hindsight, I should have walked around more, both for exercise and just to enjoy the view.

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Instead, I sat around and visited with the other wives I knew and watched videos of Jon and a bunch of people I didn’t know. Which is really the thing about reunions…if it’s not your class, it’s just kind of weird and awkward. I think I was lucky that I knew a couple of people, but it was still a little bit uncomfortable.  On a more positive note, though, it made me remember my own high school years. Being that I don’t live in Michigan anymore, it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to one of my own reunions, but I still have great memories of high school. Part of me is okay with not going back.  Reunions sometimes dredge up the bad stuff too.  I have such good memories of my four years, and I’d kind of like to just keep those as they are.

We stayed for a couple hours before leaving. The reunion was going to continue at a local bar later that night, but we didn’t end up making it back. After the lunch, we found two geocaches in Derby and grabbed some lunch at Talliano’s. We hadn’t been there since before I moved to Manhattan. It was a buffet, but it was cheap enough for me to justify not eating a whole lot.  After lunch, we headed back to Rose Hill. I had a toothache most of the day and was ready to take some pain killers and curl up for awhile.

Back at the house, we watched The Muppets and hung out with Jon’s dad for awhile.  He always makes us choose what to have for dinner, even though we don’t have a preference and we hate choosing because they always treat us and we don’t want to pick something overly expensive. So I suggested we get burgers from the local burger joint and just chill at the house. They seemed cool with that, and I had another meal that wasn’t disappointing.

We went out geocaching again after dinner but got a late start due to having to come back to get a pen and picking up Drew. I thought getting more in the area would be easy, but we had a little trouble. The first one was under a bridge, but there was caution tape all over, so we weren’t sure about going in too far. We thought we saw something, but it would have involved reaching in and grabbing, and with all the creepy crawlies, I wasn’t doing that.  We found the next one, but it was dark by the time we tried the third one, which incidentally was also said to be a tough one. We looked all over and couldn’t find it, so we called it for Rose Hill geocaches, especially because this town is full of nanos, which are hard to find when it’s light out.  We stopped to watch a spider unspinning his web, which was actually a bit of a fascinating process, even though I’m not a fan of spiders.

Drew suggested we take a trip to Derby to get a Braum’s shake. A Braum’s chocolate shake is one of my favorite things. I should be glad we don’t have a Braum’s in MHK, because I’d be out of control with those things.  We took advantage of the extra trip and found three quick LCP caches to add to our list.  Before heading back, we stopped at Dillons for grapes and a package of pens for us to keep in the car so we have them on hand when we go out geocaching.

It’s been a long day and I’m sleepy. We’re talking of trying to get up early again tomorrow to hit some more caches, but not sure if it’s going to happen. Tomorrow is another long day, with a drive home, a Pathfinder game, and handing out con information at a Movies on the Grass event. Hopefully we’ll be home in time to get some good sleep for Monday morning, because I need to get a lot of stuff done this coming week.


All About the Car…and Some Other Stuff

To anyone who follows closely, sorry for not posting last night.  Things with the car were stressful, and by the time I actually sat down, I was too tired to put together a coherent sentence.

Before we hit the gym last night, we stopped at the HyVee gas station to get some water and a pre-gym snack since I was starving and hadn’t eaten a lot during the day. Coming out of the parking lot, the car did this weird thing where it rumbled, like it was going over a rumble strip. I thought maybe the terrain was weird, and the car didn’t shake in a scary way, so I continued on. After the gym, we decided to grab Chinese for dinner, and coming out of the parking lot, it did it again. By then I was a little freaked and unsure what to do.

We ended up going back to my friend’s house to eat and Google some possibilities.  I tried to relax, figuring I’d take it to the shop the following (this) morning, but of course, I just sat there and worried and shared my worry on FB.  I got a recommendation, some words of encouragement, and some ideas of what it could be. Erica chimed in and mentioned that Terry knew stuff about cars, which I think she’d told me before, but I’d forgotten. So he offered to take a look at the car for me last night so I wouldn’t have to wait until morning.

After taking it for a test drive and trying to recreate the shaking, he couldn’t pinpoint anything. We did some tire maintenance and kind of figured my other FB friend was correct in saying that it could be the traction sensor going off. To be honest, I’ve had the traction thing go off before during the winter, and it felt just like that. We decided to monitor it, but we didn’t want to put our plans on hold, so we decided we’d go ahead and take our trip to Wichita. I realize that sounds a little irresponsible, but I’m not a fan of sitting around and doing nothing because something bad might happen. That might bite me in the butt someday.

We went back to the house and finished the movie we’d started. The friend we were pet sitting for gave us a free On Demand code, so we rented Pain & Gain. I really enjoyed it, but the initial goofiness took a pretty dark turn halfway through.

A big thanks to everyone who helped and gave feedback. I sometimes get disillusioned with FB, but then people are awesome, and I remember why I’m still hanging in there.

After a double check this morning, we confirmed that nothing was showing as wrong, so we’d be heading to Wichita. I got out of work early, picked Jon up, took our ward to the pet resort for the weekend, and headed to the in-laws. We decided to geocache on the way. I broke down and bought a premium membership so we could use the function that finds caches based on a travel route. We’re still not entirely sure how to get it to work flawlessly, but Jon saved a few for us to find. We ended up finding four, including two cemeteries. They were pretty quick, and we made it to Rose Hill in decent time. I would even say that the drive seemed quicker than it usually does.

We chilled at the house for a little bit before going out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. We took my dad-in-law’s truck, and my history with that truck has been shaky, considering it’s a big truck with a big step to get into.  Tonight, though, I owned it. Got in and out with no problems. Yay, fitness.

At BWWs,   I played some trivia and had the chicken chopped salad, which was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Jon traded me a couple of his parmesan wings for half of it. Which was fine with me, though the parm wings were spicy. I also did not do well at trivia, but it was just for fun, so no big.

When we got back to the house, the guys (Jon and my brother-in-law, Andrew) and I went geocaching. Rose Hill is full of them, and we managed to snag four more before it got too dark. Three of them were nanos. I spotted the first one, and Jon spotted the second two. Drew found a micro key case. We searched for a fifth one, but had no luck in finding it. The area was torn apart, so I’m not even sure if it was still there.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a full walk in, but I feel like we were active with the geocaching, so I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Now we’re just relaxing and I’m taking care of some things on the internet. We’re probably going to have an early morning and possibly a late night tomorrow.  Jon’s reunion is during the day, and I have no idea what we’re doing in the evening. I’m hoping to hit some more geocaches around here, but we’ll just have to see what happens.

I was feeling overwhelmed this morning with everything we had to do and with a little worry about the drive, but we had no car problems and I’m now feeling much better. Ready to tackle the weekend and enjoy whatever comes, no matter what it is.



Miles to Drive

Today, I got back from a weekend in Wichita.

That in itself isn’t really the exciting part, though it’s always nice to be home after being gone for a couple days.  I didn’t update all weekend (I didn’t take my computer and I wasn’t feeling Felberto’s netbook), so now I get to rehash all three days for your entertainment.  Granted, it wasn’t anything majorly exciting, but it was nice and fairly relaxing and I got to spend time with my husband and in-laws and that’s always cool.

We rolled out of town Friday afternoon after I got my back thumped by my chiropractor. The drive was uneventful, and I was sleepy by the time we got there. Felbington and Drew (the younger of my two brothers-in-law) were geared up for a midnight Magic: The Gathering event, but I was ready to cash in about five minutes after we pulled in. Dinner was hummus and Roasted Garlic Triscuits, and let me just say that I could seriously make at least one meal a day out of those RGTs.  Sure, this doesn’t sound like a huge dinner, but I wasn’t feeling great or overly hungry, so it was kind of perfect.

On Saturday, I took the car to the Suzuki dealer for an oil change and tire rotation. There were no surprise issues other than that I need to try to find a local place to do an alignment since it looks like I’m getting some uneven wear. The dealership was actually kind of quiet, so no guy dressed in a Shark suit this time, but we did have lunch and I got some knitting done.

After that, we decided to try a pottery painting place in Wichita called Color Me Mine. It wasn’t bad, but On the Pot remains at the top of our list. Drew painted a hippo bank, and Felbicasso painted a penguin. It was originally going to be the Warmheart Penguin from the Care Bear cousins, but I think he gave up and just did the heart on the tummy.

Hippo with a sunburn?
So cute!

I decided to do something simple, so I chose a bowl with “swoop” sides (I didn’t even know what that meant, but it’s what the label said when i picked the object). I picked three colors and at first thought I was just going to do some simple painting, no details or anything like that. As I was painting the border, one of the guys made the comment that it looked like a giant mouth, which then inspired me to do something kind of disturbing.

Blank canvas
Sure, the inside is green...but note the teeth...Oh yeah, that's a bottom lip
Creepy eyes are creepy!

I was kind of pleased with myself in a deranged way.

Later, we did some shopping. I actually found a pair of shoes and two new tops, and we got a new slow cooker since our favorite chili slow cooker broke earlier this year. We had Golden Corral for dinner and I won this time…I didn’t overstuff and feel sick afterwards. Take that, Golden Corral!

This morning we had brunch at Granite City  in Wichita. I opted out of the buffet and went with a cup of soup, small burger, and fruit. Even that was a little much, but it didn’t help that I tasted a few things from Felby’s plate. The food was excellent and I’d definitely like to try that place again.

On the way home, we stopped in Salina and picked up our turtle and gator.  I took a picture but the lighting was crap, so I’ll take another one when I get the chance. Which reminds me, I still owe a picture of that crazy mug.

All in all, I give the weekend a hearty two thumbs up.