Posts Tagged ‘antidotes’
One of my favorite pastimes when I’m in camp or at the lake is to sit and sketch. I did take a lot of art in school but I’m far form a professional artist by any means. I just have always enjoyed drawing!
Sketching is a low-cost hobby, it’s highly portable and people think you’re totally cool. When Jessica and I stopped in Jerome the last time, we literally sat on the roadside and drew buildings. I think we had three different groups of people stop by to tell us that they thought it was totally cool we were sketching and to express the wish that they had artistic ability.
And I’m here to tell you: talent has NOTHING to do with nature drawing!
Because the act of sketching is a lot like fishing: you do it to enjoy the process, not to guarantee you have dinner!
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Gather your supplies
Personally, I use a Mead Academie Wirebound Sketch Book. It is spiral bound but has perforated edges, is inexpensive and the paper holds up even to water colors. And as for supplies, frankly, I think Crayola does a GREAT job. I recommend getting colored pencils and water color paints to start out with and then move on to chalk or oil pastels. You can get really brave and get water-soluble colored pencils or oil pastels.
2. Find something to draw
This can be as complex as a landscape or as simple as a flower. Spend some time really LOOKING at your subject. If you were going to just draw an outline, what would it look like? What colors are there?
3. Always use a blank sheet
It’s terrible to have a really great sketch sharing the page with something that can only be called a doodle at best. I also recommend starting as close to the middle of the page as possible as well. It’ll give you the maximum room to spread the subject matter across the page.
4. Jump in and get started
Just pick a spot and get started. The middle or the top; bottom up or from the lower right corner, it doesn’t really matter. Just get pencil to paper and start the sketch.
5. Get over yourself already!
If you ask a 5 year old if she can sing, she’ll ALWAYS say “Yes!” It doesn’t mean she’s going to be the next Taylor Swift however. But she understands that she has the ability to sing. And you have the ability to draw. Enjoy yourself and enjoy a new way to capture memories. And for all you parents out there: it will demonstrate to your kids in a powerful way that you are creative and enjoy taking the time to really LOOK at something.
- Date your sketches. I also try to include the place and who I was with.
- Take a photo of your subject. You might want to finish the sketch later or just have a good giggle as to how your sketch looks nothing like what you were drawing!
- You can choose what to include and what to leave out. Feel free to add details that aren’t really there or remove aspects that you don’t want to draw or find unattractive. It’s like instant Photoshop.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques and drawing tools. Yes, watercolors make my paper wrinkle but I LOVE working with the paint.
- Corral all your supplies in a tote so when the mood strikes you don’t need to go hunting for your favorite eraser.
And if you want to learn more about Jessica, head over to her blog: http://www.SeeJessBake.com
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.
Welcome to 2012! There’s a tradition in the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” Family of spending some time every January 1st to write down our goals for the coming year. This year, however, those plans were derailed by needing to prep for the arrival of all new carpet in my parents’ house.
But, just because it wasn’t a formal goal setting session, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some goals and plans for 2012.
This year, I’m trying to minimize the goals like “52 weeks of 5 blog posts a week” and substitute it for goals like “meaningful blog posts, every week” to give myself some flexibility and recognize that real life happens while I’m NOT on the computer.
Of course, I do have some goals that are pretty specific. One such is to hunt down all the posts where I’ve promised I’d work on updates and changes and actually get them done! And yes, I realize that it might be for my own piece of mind rather than because it is just absolutely necessary that every single yurt in Montana be listed on the website.
One of the things I’ve got planned for 2012 is to see the culmination of a year’s hard work on my part for Arizona’s Centennial Project. After all, Arizona is the 48th state in the union so that means that in our lifetime there will only be THREE more state centennials. I find that exciting to be part of history.
I also have big plans to nurture my creativity in more eBooks and videos. I’ve got quite a few projects in the beginning phases that I just can’t wait to get to.
What about you:
Do you set goals for the coming year? What are they?
A few weeks ago, I was asking my Facebook friends for some help coming up with ideas for the FindYourGeocache.com blog. GEO*Trailblazer 1 said that I should be stopped and questioned by the Secret Service and then write about it. But, since HE’S had that experience, I thought it would just be easier to ask him to share his story with us.
Here’s the story of meeting the Secret Service while out geocaching. Now THAT’S hard-core!
Let’s turn on the Way Back Machine, which by the way you Ole Time Cachers will remember. Back to a time when Geocaching did not exist and SA did, that’s “Selective Availability” for those of you who do not know.
I guess you could say I was the techie for the time and did not know it. I was learning and teaching GPS. I was more into Benchmarks due to the fact it was one of the ways around SA by knowing the error for the day from known coordinates (Benchmark).
A good friend told me I would like this new game called Geocaching and he gave me the web site. Not having a computer made it hard for about the first year and there were no cables or any way to hook a GPS to a computer (my, things have changed!) At that time, you relied on entering each point by hand OH and my GPS then only has 2 decimal points (Benchmark second part Triangulation) used to find GZ (geocache, benchmark).
Now you are wondering what all this has to do with meeting the Secret Service while Geocaching.
It would take a novel to write all the things I (we) were involved in and around this time.
The reason for our visit (GEO*Trailblazer 1 & Tiggr) was a Lewis and Clark Mission 200th Anniversary. We walked in the footsteps of our forefathers 200 years to the day in many places as they did (back to novel).
Our Mission were Geocaches and Benchmarks:
- HV1846 MERIDIAN STONE
- HV1847 ZERO MILESTONE
- UA0016 FREEDOM
- HV4442 WASHINGTON MONUMENT
- GC8347 a Woodchucks Paradise
- GC2E52 Mile Zero
This is where the fun started as we were walking the Ellipse and making tracks. We rounded the corner to the Washington Monument of the ZERO MILESTONE and were getting the required clues.
I set my GPS at the Benchmark in the Center of the Compass Rose of the Washington Monument and was turning to talk to Tiggr when I noticed 5 little red dots in my heart area.
From my experience I know what this is and I look up and see a Secret Service Agent coming at me saying. “Sir what are you doing?”
Without hesitation I said in a loud voice: “GEOCACHING!”
I would give a million dollars to have a picture of his face at that very moment he was awed yet had to continue with his duties.
Tiggr was saying the whole time this was going on, “I told you that you were going to get us in trouble with that thing.”
But I took advantage of the situation even while going through a complete shakedown; I am a Warrior and can keep a cool head even under pressure and got to explain all about Geocaching.
After he was satisfied he asked for my ID at which point I gave him my ID and USA Freedom Corps ID and he disappeared.
A few minutes later he returned gave me back my ID and said to have a great tour of the City.
By the way, we were there and had a full run of the city with hardly any people as the City had been evacuated due to a storm approaching.
When we got home I found out the reason for the shakedown…The Original 100 Documents of the Founding of our Nation were being put on display at the very time we were out front playing on the White House Lawn.
(Back to the novel)
We also visited Philadelphia, Plymouth Rock and some very historic Benchmarks on that trip. Hmmm, maybe I really should write a novel as I have just touched the surface of the deep and wide adventures I have made while geocaching.
Readers Weigh In:
- Have you ever had an exciting encounter with law enforcement while out caching?
- If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact me and I’ll feature YOU as a guest author!
If there’s one thing I LOVE about my job at EatStayPlay.com, it’s getting to participate in all the fun outdoor recreation adventures. This past weekend I got to camp (in a tent in November!), kayak (with otters), geocache, hike, and fish. All at Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood, Arizona.
Now, the interesting thing about this state park is that it’s just barely out of town but feels like its miles away from anywhere. As you can see from the campground, there isn’t a lot of shade and you’re pretty close to your neighbors. BUT, what it lacks in charm, the park more than makes up for in amenities.
This was CodeWolf’s first camping trip with the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” Family. And his second introduction to camping period, so I wanted to take him someplace that wasn’t too rustic. The RV had power and water hookups (but we were in a tent!) There were flush toilets and hot showers (which didn’t actually HAVE any hot water!) And, we only had to make two trips to Walmart for supplies.
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to fish at one of the park’s two lagoons. They’re fed from the Verde River and stocked with catfish, bass, bluegill, and trout. The secret gotta-have-it-bait? Nightcrawlers!
I was the big fishing “winner” catching a bass, catfish, and bluegill.
I also learned some things on this trip that I’d never realized before.
- Otters are cool to watch but ruin the fishing.
- I never met a sign I didn’t want to take a photo of!
- It is possible to stand ON a geocache and not realize it.
- I might think I look funny in my big hat but it’s nothing compared to how I look in a beanie!
- Most people are completely oblivious to deer standing RIGHT OFF THE TRAIL
Keep an eye on this week’s blog posts for more insights, tips, and tricks I learned from the trip! And, if you want to read more of my camping wisdom, check out the article Mystery Mondays: 31 Things I Learned
Of course, like any good trip, it wasn’t without its hiccups! ESP Boss built me an AMAZING rack that fits over the back of my truck so I could haul all the camping gear AND the two kayaks. And, of course, I didn’t get a photo of it! But, I’m hoping to get in another camping/kayaking adventure before fall so I’ll be sure to get photos then.
But, to build the rack: well, let’s just say I had planned to leave about 11 am.
Then leave by noon.
Or SOMETIME on Friday…
By 2:15 Nicole & I were FINALLY on our way.
What is fantastic about this kayak rack (aside from the fact that my dad built and it was free) is that I can slide all my gear under the kayaks! I picked up a pair of Rubbermaid Action Packer tubs.
What’s really cool about these containers is not only are they tough, hold all my gear AND keep it dry, but the way the lids latch on make them really secure. I never had to worry about the lid flying off the tub while in the back of my truck! Plus, they’re lockable!
And it was so hot it was a good thing that we had the kayaks! It was nice and cool on the water.
Here are some camping tips:
Get a crate that just holds your water container. When you’re traveling, the water jug sits inside the crate so it is less likely to get punctured. In camp, you can turn the crate and the water jug sits on top. (Plus, you can get an extra storage cubby!)
Bring a tablecloth. Picnic tables in campgrounds are very handy and very dirty! A table cloth (plastic is fine) makes camping feel more civilized.
Buy new bug spray. Yeah, I brought along the bug spray that had been hanging out in the bathroom cabinet for a year and then had spent a week riding around in my truck. It did NOTHING. The mosquitoes feasted on Nicole and I! Gross!
Keep the camera handy. When we were heading back on Sunday morning, we encountered this enormous flock of sheep bopping along in the road. Nobody would have believed it without the photo!
If you blog about camping or the outdoors, take photos of the mundane things. I’m forever writing an article thinking “I have a picture of my _________” only to realize that I didn’t have photos of a campfire, stove, or tent!
All in all, we had a great time. Just look at how GREEN everything is!
If you’ve been reading my free weekly newsletter, you know I had two summer interns working on researching more states for EatStayPlay.com. Keith actually worked for me last summer and Gabe is brand new to the EatStayPlay.com team this year. During their 8 week internship they researched places to go camping and fishing in Montana and Texas as well as the State and National Parks.
And, they also turned 18!
18 is one of those milestone years so instead of just getting them a card and a gift certificate, the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” Family decided to throw these two a surprise party!
Little did the boys know, not only had I arranged for The Queen Mother and ESP Boss to come, but I’d also contacted their mom’s and siblings to arrange work schedules to come and celebrate with us.
I’ve never thrown a surprise party before (but had always wanted to) and I do have to say it was a total success. The Queen Mother whipped up a ton of grilled hotdogs on the Coleman Max and everybody chowed down. (The Queen Mother also made a to-die for birthday cake!)
Let me brag a bit on my two “boy-ohs” so you can see just how fantastic it was having them work for me this summer.
- Both graduated from Chino Valley High School in 2010
- They’ve been friends for FOREVER (I think 6th grade or so)
- In one summer they’ve added well over 1,000 NEW attractions to the EatStayPlay.com database
- They are hard working, on time, polite and always on task
So, what’s up next for the EatStayPlay.com interns?
Gabe will be enlisting in the Army at the beginning of September. He’ll be taking August to visit family in Washington, do some physical training, and get in some fishing before he goes off to Basic Training.
Keith will be working for EatStayPlay.com through August. At the end of August, he’ll be moving to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University. He’ll be sharing an apartment with his older brother, Nathan. (Nathan worked for EatStayPlay.com in Summer 2009.)
Congrats gentlemen! We wish you all the best of luck!
While I was in Flagstaff camping, I got to check up on all the caches I placed last August. I was really excited to see how they had fared after a winter of snow, wind, and rain.
I haven’t hid that many caches (13) so I’m not really sure how often I needed to check on them. The ones in Flagstaff are kind of tricky, since I live about 2 hours from them; not really practical to scoot over to check after the first DNF!
The first cache we checked on was The Quiet Zone. This cache is a favorite of mine, but I was concerned about the container; the prior three people searching for it had been DNF. As I drew closer to the cache, it was clear to see what had happened.
A bear had made off with the cache!
I found a better location and replaced the container. I was rather disappointed that the original contents had disappeared as well but there was no way I was going to argue with the bear!
But I did have to wonder about No Cows Here. It’s just off a trail bordered with tall Ponderosa pine trees. It is just off a main road so a lot of people look for it. But, for some reason, No Cows Here gets a fair share of DNF. Now, I’m pretty sure that has to do with bounce (the GPS signal gets interference from the trees) but I don’t feel I need to point that out. The cache seems so obvious to me — hidden but under a rock pile that just seems to scream: Here’s the cache!
So, what’s your take? Post a hint that the trees might interfere or leave it as is and trust to people’s geosense?
And for Cousin Trees, I changed the altitude of the cache just a bit. (I moved the cache from UNDER the tree to being IN the tree.)
Do you think that I need to explain that in the hint? I think saying something like “YBBX HC!” would be too much of a giveaway. What do you think?
To decrypt that hint, use Geocaching.com’s decryption key.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
(letter above equals below, and vice versa)
Readers Weigh In:
- How often do you check on the caches that you’ve hid?
- Do you rely on people’s geosense or do you try to make your hints obvious?
- Do you like hints that say if the cache is under something? (A rock, tree, etc) What about hints that say the cache is in a tree?
I had so much fun on our vacation. The weather was to say the least, very strange. We got to Pine Grove Campground and it was just plain HOT the first week. And very windy. And the fishing was lousy. We explored back forest roads and saw lots of wild game, deer, elk, antelope, turkey, ducks, squirrels and ONE skunk. The second week, we experienced rain, hail, wind and very cold nights.
Sad to say we feel blessed though, because we did not have to breathe forest fire smoke or worry that our trip would be cut short due to the Hardy Fire or the Schulz Fire. We had explored Schulz Pass and Lockett Meadow and found both to be beautiful areas. Now it seems that the whole Lockett Meadow area is threatened by the fires. The Outdoor Princess is a bit put out because we had JUST taken photos of the campgrounds in that area for EatStayPlay.com and now she’s afraid she can’t put them up; the fire might have destroyed the campgrounds.
As we leisurely ate dinner or just sat around talking, we got to watch lots of campers setting up their camps. It was wonderful seeing families together and young parents with their children making memories.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that for that first dinner meal at the campground I bring it prepared. Setting up camp after a long drive is hard work even when everybody pitches in to help. It’s really no fun if somebody still has to cook a meal too.
On this trip I took a hearty albóndigas soup. Heated that up, set out a roll of Ritz crackers and we were happy! [I'll post the recipe this Friday; it's yummy!]
I also took several baggies filled with frozen orange smoothie mix. I let those thaw a little bit, poured that into a cup and called it dessert.
We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful state. I just wish everybody had the opportunity to visit northern Arizona. Looking up through aspen leaves with that brilliant blue sky behind those quivering leaves is a gift beyond compare.
My favorite part of the whole geocaching process is not finding the cache, signing the log, or even trading swag. My FAVORITE part is actually reading the log. I love reading the history of the cache, noting when items were placed for trade and when they moved on.
The best logs have a little “snippet” in them; the story of the find, the drive, the hike, etc. I love reading the antidotes. This is one of my favorites! It was one of the first caches we ever found. It’s near Williams, Arizona, above Kaibab Lake. Kaibab Lake actually has a TON of geocaches nearby but this is the only one I’ve found personally: GC86B4
But, of course, like anybody, I was puzzled by some of the things said in a log. What, for instance does:
TFTC TN SL mean??
Is this short hand for:
This Find Took Climbing. Tired Now. Sleep Later. ?
Well, it took me a long time, but I think I finally have most of the cache signing jargon figured out. These are the most common abbreviations I’ve seen.
Common Geocaching Abbreviations:
ATCF – As The Crow Flies. Point to point mileage, irrespective of roads or barriers. Note that it’s not a true point-to-point distance, as the distance calculated by a GPS is actually measured following a mathematical model of the curvature of the earth.
BYOP – Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil. An acronym often used by cache owners to communicate to other geocachers that you will need to bring your writing utensil in order to sign the cache logbook.
CITO – Cache In Trash Out. On your way to find the geocache, pick up trash and clean up the area. CITO is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers have been dedicated to cleaning up parks and other cache-friendly places around the world. Learn more at www.geocaching.com/cito.
CO – Cache Owner.
DNF – Did Not Find. An acronym used by geocachers to state that they did not find a cache. This is also a type of online log on Geocaching.com and is useful for alerting cache owners of potential issues. Cache owners who repeatedly receive “Did Not Find” logs should check to see that there cache has not been removed.
FTF – First to Find. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds to denote being the first to find a new geocache.
GCxxxx – Abbreviation for a cache identifier used on geocaching.com. Also known as GC code.
GPSr – Global Position Satellite Receiver. Slang for a GPS device.
GZ – “Ground Zero. The point where the coordinates displayed on your GPS exactly match the coordinates given for a cache. Can also mean the location where the cache is hidden, does not necessarily mean on the ground since many caches are hidden above or below the ground.
L: - Left. Means that they left a trade item. Usually logged like this: L: Keychain
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer.
LN – Left Nothing.
LPC – Lamp Post Cache. A very common hiding place for micro caches, this exploits the fact that the shroud (or “skirt”) on lamp posts that cover the anchor bolts are usually not secured, and can be lifted up to provide a hiding place.
MEFF – Most Esteemed First Finder. (I’ve never personally seen this one but I could see how it might exist!)
MKH – Magnetic Key Holder. The hide-a-key box, usually intended to conceal a car or house key, can be utilized as a ready-made micro container. Since they are usually not water tight, logs need to be within small zip-lock baggies, if the container is going to be out in the elements.
MOC – Members Only Cache. A Members Only Cache is one that’s reserved for Premium Members of geocaching.com. MOC caches are designated with a icon. Only Premium Members can display a MOC cache page, and consequently, only Premium Members can log a MOC.
NIAH – Needle In A Haystack. A small cache placed in an area where there are a great number of possible hiding locations.
P & G – Park and Grab. A easy-to-find cache that you can get very close to by car. Sometimes written as “P-n-G” or “PNG”.
PAF – Phone A Friend. Usually done in the field, via cellphone. This may take one of two forms. If the cacher is hunting a cache without the cache page information, he or she may call someone who will look up the cache page and relay the description and hint. In other cases, the cacher may phone someone who has already found the cache, in hopes of getting additional information about its location.
PI – Poison Ivy. Meaning that poison ivy (or sumac) might be in the area and finders beware!
R.O.W. – Right Of Way. Often, the area between a street and the sidewalk.
SBA – Should Be Archived. Log type indicating that there is a severe problem with a cache (missing, destroyed, inaccessible, or on private property without permission). When a SBA log is made to a cache, a copy of it is automatically sent to the geocaching.com administration, who then route it to a local reviewer. The official log type is Needs Archived but the term Should Be Archived came first, and has stuck.
SL – Signed Log. Every geocache item should have a paper log near it and geocachers will sign the log to show they found it. They typically sign their geocaching.com username instead of their real name.
STF – Second To Find. The Silver medal winner in the race to find a cache first.
SWAG – An acronym often referred to as standing for ‘Stuff We All Get.” It includes the trade items left in caches by geocachers.
T: – Took. Usual short hand is something like this: T: Keychain L: Golf Ball
TB – Travel Bug. This is a blanket term for any trackable including a geocoin.
TFTC – Thanks For The Cache. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds. Occasionally written as T4TC.
TFTH – Thanks For The Hide. (or Hunt). Occasionally written as T4TH.
TN – Took Nothing.
TNLN – Took Nothing. Left Nothing. The cacher did not exchange an item from the cache contents.
TNLNSL – Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log. Similar to TNLN above, but also indicating that they signed the cache’s logbook.
TNSL – Took Nothing. Signed Logbook.
TNX4GC – Thanks For The Geocache. Similar to TFTC.
TOTT – Tool Of The Trade. This generally indicates that some type of tool or instrument may be required to retrieve or gain access to a cache. The nature of the tool is usually not specified, but there may be hints within the cache page. It could be an actual tool, such as a screwdriver, or something as simple as a long stick to retrieve a cache from a high perch.
TPTB – The Powers That Be. Refers to the upper echelon of the geocaching.com administrative hierarchy.
UPS – Unnatural Pile of Sticks. A common telltale sign of a hidden cache.
UPR – Unnatural Pile of Rocks. Refers to common practice of stack rocks on top of the cache to hide its location. The resulting pile often stands out to natural formations.
URP – Unnatural Rock Pile.
XNSL – Exchanged Nothing, Signed Log. A variation on TNLNSL (see above).
YAPIDKA – Yet Another Park I Didn’t Know About. Refers to the fact that some caches bring people to parts of town they know little about.
If you want to read the original log post, it’s available at:
Now, here’s a question for all you senior cachers out there:
Is it more common to use the abbreviations in the written logs in the cache or in the digital logs on Geocaching.com?
And, in doing my research, there are a TON of abbreviations I’ve never seen before. Is that just me or are they rare?