Sweet Strawberries

Have you ever been to a pick-your-own berry farm? I never had during my 50+ years of life. Maybe five years ago, I bought a strawberry tower pot. It was a dismal flop – no berries! This year I decided to leave the growing to the experts, but still get the experience of fresh fruit.

This past week, my husband and I headed off to a local you-pick farm. As we were checking in, I could hear people around us who sounded like they do this every year. I felt like a child in a new school. Thankfully we weren’t given a lot of rules. Basically we were advised not to pick immature berries and to be careful not to crush the small plants.

The farm was very organized. Initially seeing the number of cars in the parking lot, I thought there might be a mob mentality – everyone lunging for the best berries. I was pleasantly surprised to find that each person was assigned to a specific part of a row in the expansive fields. Although our section seemed short, the berries were plentiful and it didn’t take long to fill up one of the containers we’d brought from home. Before a half hour was up, we’d picked about six pounds of delicious ruby-red fruit.

I found strawberry picking so enjoyable that there is a good chance I’ll go back next year. If I do, I will note the following: 1) Wear a hat and sunscreen. The weather while we were picking was lovely and we didn’t take long to fill up our containers, but I’m sure some days could be very hot and the berries wouldn’t be the only thing red by the time we were finished. 2) Bring a kneeling pad. Again, the short time we picked saved our knees, but it doesn’t take long for my aging knees to complain. 3) Choose containers wisely. The ones we brought from home were selected because they had lids. However, it was hard to stop picking when the containers were full. Ohh, this berry looks SO good, I’ll just add it to the top. Only with careful rearranging could we get the lids on two of the three containers. In examining the berry boxes they sold at the farm, I noticed they were large, shallow, and topless.

Due to my article last week, the thought that weighed on my mind the most was that I had to have a plan so the berries we picked didn’t go bad before we ate them. As soon as we arrived home with our precious cargo, I separated them into two groups: those we’d eat in the next couple of days as a side dish and those I’d make into a strawberry treat. I ended up making a strawberry cream pie (see recipe at http://www.iheartnaptime.net/strawberry-pie/). I also made freezer jam for the first time. I used the recipe at http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-no-cook-freezer-jam/.

 

What is your favorite way to use strawberries? Here are a couple pictures of the fruits of my labor:

An Update on My Wasteful Reformation

In my Breeding Worms post (http://wp.me/p7RX1h-kg), I confessed to having too many things that I buy and then never use. Of course, I can talk all I want about doing better, but the real truth comes out when we see how I implement what I say into what I do. I thought that a little accountability might be a good thing. To this purpose, I am hoping to make a monthly section that will be an update on my progress. In these updates I will go over how I’ve specifically tackled the steps I outlined in the initial post.

I’m jump-starting this idea by making an update today.

This past week I went through all the food on my storage shelves and in the pantry.  I used a black sharpie and labeled each item with the expiration date and shifted things around so that the oldest would be taken first.  I found a helpful group of record sheets (master freezer cooking planner pack) at moneysavingmom.com/downloads/freezer-cooking-planners.  Obviously, they are meant for freezer cooking, but I found that I could use the ingredient planner sheet to list the items I have on hand that are near expiration date.  The middle column has space to list recipe ideas, so I can brainstorm how to use these foods in existing or new recipes.  Although I did have to throw out a number of things that were too far past their due date, I was able to already make wise choices for use by just knowing what I had.  Take for example, the pie pictured above.  The recipe called for a traditional crust, but my husband doesn’t care as much about the crust as he does the topping.  I had some graham cracker crumbs that needed to be used, so that’s just what I did.  In the end, I felt better about using an ingredient that I may have had to throw out and I also kept from spending as much at the grocery store by buying a store-made crust.  Win-Win!

In about a month I’ll send out another progress report.  Root me along on my mission to be a wiser consumer.  And, if you care to join me and create a plan to make better use of what you have, I’d love to know.  The ideas each of us have can generate new insight for the rest and may motivate us to see our possessions with new eyes.

Thanks for following along!

 

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Breeding Worms (aka Wasteful Living)

I have a problem…I am wasteful. No big deal, right? I mean in the scope of sins we can commit, wasting must be near the bottom. But, it is there, over and over again, in the Bible.

The first thing that comes to mind is the story of the manna. In case you don’t recall the story in Exodus 16, here’s what happened: The Children of Israel had been delivered from their Egyptian task masters by a miraculous parting of the Red Sea (chapter 14). They were elated and they expressed their joy to God by composing a song about how great His deliverance was and how the Almighty would bring them into the Promised Land (chapter 15). Their satisfaction with their delivering Savior didn’t last long.  They hadn’t been on their journey very long before they angrily complained about being hungry. They went so far as to say that they should have never left their servitude because it was better back in Egypt. Instead of punishing these insolent people, God graciously provided special small, round pieces of bread, called manna. The people were to go out of their tents and gather it every morning. The one stipulation was that they were to take a specific amount. This guaranteed that they would have enough to eat, but not more than they could consume. Of course, some tested God. They took more than they needed and ended up leaving it overnight. In the morning, their wasteful bread attracted worms and it stank.

I’ve never seen manna. However, I have seen moldy bread, I have had food breed worms, and I have smelled the awful odor of rotten food. Why? Most of the time it is because I have gathered more than was needed. I love buying food at warehouse stores. I enjoy having a full pantry and an overflowing storage shelf of food. I love deals, which many times prompts me to buy unnecessary items. Sometimes I’ve even found out later that the reason they were “deals” was because they’d already expired or had an expiration date that was so soon that I couldn’t possibly use them before then. How many bags of garbage I’ve had throughout the years, all because I took more than I could eat or serve to others. There are times when I actually buy items with an idea in mind of how I’m going to be using them. The trouble is that I don’t have time just when I get home, I put them to the side, and then I forget about them. Other times, I honestly don’t have a clue what I’m going to use an item for. It just was a good deal. I’ll probably use it….

What was God’s reaction to the wasteful Israelites? Although God didn’t address the situation right after the Children of Israel transgressed, we do read that “Moses was wroth with them” (vs. 20). I suspect that Moses was just echoing God’s emotions. Moses had warned them not to leave anything until the morning. They did just what he told them not to do. Moses was God’s representative and the people showed their non-nonchalance for God’s Word by ignoring what Moses told them.

I don’t have to look very far into my life to find that food excess is not the only way I’m wasteful. I enjoy crafts. It is fun to create things for my use and for other people. But one look at my craft closet and you will easily be able to recognize another wasteful area. The trouble is that I go into things all the way. I buy all the supplies to make something and every variation imaginable. I explore my latest passion  for a little while. Maybe I even make some gifts from these craft supplies to give to others. Sounds good, right? The trouble comes in the fact that I abandon one craft for another. Then the process starts up all over again. Here are some things that I’ve done and then largely left behind: yarn crafts, card making, photo art, fleece creations, and the list goes on. The funny thing is that you might assume that I am artistic from looking at this list. I am not (emphatically). In fact, many times the reason I leave a craft behind to gather dust is because I can never produce what I’d imagined the outcome to be. With a huff, I stash the items in the ever-filling closet, and then look for my next project, which prompts me to buy more stuff, and the cycle begins again.

My closet is stuffed. In an attempt to organize it a few years ago, I bought some large wooden hangers. The dimension of these hangers meant I could put less in my closet. I reluctantly purged a good number of clothes so that everything would fit. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I saw a great deal on tank tops. The special price included a large number of colors for a reasonable price. Even though I didn’t really have a place to put them, I bought them because they looked like a deal I couldn’t pass up. Now here’s the kicker: I don’t even like tank tops! I will very occasionally wear one under a low cut or see-through top, but I basically stick to white or black in these cases.

It’s not just tank tops that have coaxed my credit card out of it’s slot. I have a ton of beret-style hats. They were a good price. I wasn’t sure what would match what was in my wardrobe. I bought every color I liked. Some still have the tags on five plus years later. I might still wear them…or maybe not. It’s also the compression stockings I bought because I thought they’d help me in some unknown way. Well, they helped me know where my kneecaps were with every step. I wore them one part of one day. Maybe an hour. They were then removed never to be put on again.

I could go on and on. The examples I’ve given are just the tip of the iceberg of my wasteful living. The question is what I should be doing about it. Following are the steps I’ve come up with for dealing with this problem that has become a lifestyle:

  1.  Think long and hard before I purchase something.  Do I really need this?  Will I use it?  Could the money be better used for something or someone else?
  2.  Remember that a deal is not a deal if it is not used.
  3.  Keep an account of what is spent.  It is not as easy to let money slip through my fingers unnoticed if I have to write it down in black and white.
  4.  Go through my pantry/storage goods.  Make a plan once or twice a week to use up older items in recipes.
  5.  Rotate foods in my storage areas so that the old is used before the new.
  6.  Sort through the items in my overflowing craft closet(s).  Can I use the items I have in new ways?
  7. Purge both my craft and clothing closets.  Throw out anything that is in disrepair or is too old to be of value.  Donate anything I am not planning on using again (be honest) so that others can be blessed through them and they aren’t just “breeding worms”.

Can you add any suggestions to my list?  Feel free to comment and identify your biggest “worm breeder”.  How can you rectify this area of your life?

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.  Proverbs 18:9

So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.  And she took it up, and went into the city…  Ruth 2:17, 18a

All of this reminds me of a poem that I memorized as a child.  It points out that some day I may live in need and regret my wasteful past:

‘Tis wilful waste brings woeful want,
And I may live to say,
Oh, how I wish I had the crust
That once I threw away!

One more thing.  What about my life as a whole?  God has made each of us with a purpose in mind.  He doesn’t purchase something only to lay it aside and let it breed worms.  God is no waster.  God paid a great price for each of His own (through His Son’s death).  His intention is to use us for eternal purposes,  but He won’t force us into use.  We can just sit in our tent and breed worms or we can bow to His will.

 

Note:  feature image credit:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/treegrow/

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Exploring Electric Bicycles

*You should know that I received no compensation from either the Pedego company or the area retailer for writing this article.  We paid for our rentals and tested the ride before I mentioned to the owner that I would be writing a blog article.

Hello and Happy June!

The goal of my blog has always been to direct people (especially those in the older sector) to new ways of seeing the world around them and hopefully bringing increased joy to their lives in the process.  Incorporated in this endeavor is refocusing our eyes on God.  I have found just in being the bearer of these ideas that my life has been enhanced and I think I’ve experienced a fresh appreciation for my life.  I hope my goal has been realized, at least in some part, for you too.

Sometimes my search for ideas to write about has led me to try new things.  This past week has had just that experience.  Over the winter, I heard about electric bicycles.  Actually, I believe my sister was the first one to tell me about them, but I had largely forgotten them until something prompted me to do a little research online.  Maybe it was the cold weather and my longing for springtime and the start up of bicycle season that initiated this search.  I ended up contacting the Pedego company and was sent a brochure.  The first thing that caught my eye were the vibrant colors.  The pages sported bicycles in bright greens, pinks, yellows, and oranges – to name a few.  There were quite a few style options, in fact, so many that I found myself getting confused.  I figured the best way to find out about them was to test ride one.  I was delighted when I found out that there was a dealership in Michigan that also rented out their bikes.

My husband and I drove about an hour to the nearest Pedego retailer.  There we met Greg, the owner, who selected a couple of bicycles for us to take for a ride.  I had a pink Comfort Cruiser and my husband had a blue Interceptor model.  Greg patiently explained how to use each feature of the bicycles and nicely supplied us with a couple of jackets to borrow for the ride.  I’m so glad he did because it was much chillier in that area than at our house and I’m pretty sure I would have been miserable.

Once we were out on the route Greg recommended, we got a chance to check out the differences in the two bikes.  The biggest difference between them were the kind of electric power they provided.  My Comfort Cruiser had a throttle.  This means that I had the choice between pedaling like normal or using the handle bar throttle.  With the throttle, I just needed to give it a twist of the wrist to supply either a burst or a sustained amount of energy.  I tended to use this feature when I went up a hill, crossed an intersection, or started up from a stop.  My husband’s Interceptor also had a throttle, but additionally it had pedal assist.  When he selected pedal assist, he could pedal normally, but the bicycle would add power to his pedal automatically.  With pedal assist, he could get some exercise and yet have the convenience of being able to go farther.

We had a lot of fun.  When the bicycle path was straight with no pedestrians, we tested out the speed of this new found power.  My husband’s bike was equipped with a digital display of the mph and he could get up to 20 mph with the pedal assist and 23 mph with the throttle.  I can’t imagine really needing to go that fast, unless I was being chased by a dog.

My husband commented that with both of his power features, he felt he could ride endlessly.  Of course, eventually a battery will discharge.  According to the Pedego brochure, there are many variables about how long the battery power will last.  The range is between 15-60 miles.  When I asked, Greg told me that the charge time for a completely discharged battery is between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the type of battery the bicycle uses.

So, why would anyone get an electric bicycle?  We love bicycling on the trails around our house, but we are quite limited by how far I can go.  We generally go 12-16 miles round trip.  The trouble is, I often misjudge my abilities.  I am notorious for thinking I can go a little further, and then a little more.  When I finally start to feel the effects of the distance, I still have to ride back to our starting point.  I well remember one bike trip when the beauty of the area enticed me further than my flimsy muscles were used to.  We ended up riding a total of 30 miles!  The last five were grueling, with my knees crying out with every turn of the pedal.  I really started to think I’d have to just wait on the side of the path until my husband could reach the car and then drive back for me.  Obviously this decision would have left both of us on our own for a period of time .  Not the safest situation.

Having an electric bike would save me some dignity.  There is a trail in a park near our house that I really enjoy.  It goes through the woods and we regularly see wildlife (deer and even snakes).  I should qualify the statement that I “enjoy” this trail because I do enjoy all but the last hill.  This hill seems never-ending.  Even worse, it is right along the main road that runs through the park.  I always wonder if someone will unroll their car window and yell some encouragement at me.  It is humiliating to have to get off and walk my bicycle, but I’ve had to do it.  This one hill makes me think twice about riding the trail.

Although I am still able-bodied (just weak on resolve to do regular exercise), there may come a day when I have arthritis or some other malady that keeps me from being able to pedal a bicycle.  I truly love bicycling because it allows me to see more of nature than I can see walking and yet be closer to it than I can driving in a car.  I believe I would feel a loss if the time came when I could no longer do this activity.  Having a throttle and/or pedal assist on my bicycle would enable me to continue to do an activity that has been so enjoyable.

If you’d like to get more information about Pedego bicycles, you could visit www.pedego.com.  You can also check out locations of the nearest retailers and see if you can rent one of these bikes.  I’m sure you’ll find the experience as fun as we did.

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When You Can’t Ask For Prayer

We were racing down the runway towards liftoff, but something wasn’t quite right.  I don’t know much about planes, but I’d never felt shaking like this on any other flight I’d been on.  It felt more like I was in a truck speeding down a pot-holed dirt road than in a modern jet on a smooth runway.  I found myself clutching the arm rests with my sweaty hands while I desperately tried to see past the plane wing that was blocking my view of the ground.  What was going on?  To my relief, we finally left both the ground and the shaking behind. I continued to hold my breath as we banked into a turn, but when we leveled off and seemed no worse for the vibrations, I started to ease into normal breathing and loosened my grip.  My respite was short-lived.  The pilot’s voice came over the PA system.  He acknowledged that the sensation we’d all felt was due to a malfunction.  The tread on one of the plane’s tires had been lost.  We would continue on to our intended destination where emergency crews would be waiting to assist our landing and the process of getting to our gate.

So many thoughts were going through my mind.  Shouldn’t we turn around?  I nixed that idea, as it would still involve landing on our problematic tire.  What would happen when we landed?  Would the pilot lose control and careen off the runway?  Would the friction cause a fire?  Maybe the plane would flip over.  I quickly counted the rows to the nearest exit and squeezed the hand of my son, who was sitting next to me.

The strange thing is that no one else around me seemed to have any concern.  There were no cries, no whispers. I couldn’t even identify a panicked glance.  Everyone continued on like it was a normal flight.  The attendants served drinks.  People watched movies.  Others read books.  Was I the only one that was worried?

I realized that my fears were not productive.  Each dire possibility that entered my mind just fueled my anxiety.  I couldn’t do anything anyway.  Or could I?  I decided that it would be more constructive to use my energy to pray.  I prayed that God would protect us.  I reminded myself that He had complete control over everything that was happening.  I didn’t claim to know His purposes, but I knew whatever way this story ended, His will was perfect.    I can’t say I prayed once and then left it with God.  I prayed, prayed again, and prayed some more.  Every time the fears would well up in my mind, I’d pray again.

I so wanted to call my parents to ask them to pray for us.  They’ve been such faithful prayer partners for years.  They’ve prayed for me in so many different instances and I knew they wouldn’t hesitate to pray intensely at this time.  I reasoned that, although I couldn’t call my dad and mom while in the air, maybe I could send off a quick email alert.  I’ve never tried to email anyone while I was flying.  I tried to figure out how to connect to wifi, but had no success.  I asked my son about using data, but he was sure it wouldn’t work.  I tried anyway.  It didn’t work.  I was so frustrated.  I needed people to pray, but there was no way to ask for them to do it.

What about you?  Have you had a situation that you desperately felt needed collective prayer, but were unable to ask for it?  Maybe, like me, you were some place that prevented contact with those who could have prayed for you.  Maybe you even now have a situation that is too personal to tell anyone about.  Whatever the reason for it, I think most of us have times when we feel very alone in our situation.

I’ve been thinking about Hannah in 1 Samuel.  There we read of at least two others that knew her deepest desire – to have a child.  The first was her husband, Elkanah.  He may have been praying that the Lord would open his wife’s womb, but we are not specifically told this.  He did go yearly to worship and offer sacrifices, but we don’t know if these actions were accompanied by prayer for his wife.  He seemed resigned to her plight.  The other person in the ‘know’ was Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife.  It is doubtful that Hannah found a prayer partner in her, since this ‘other woman’ seemed intent on taunting her. The surprising thing is that Hannah didn’t even seem to ask the priest to pray for her when she went to the tabernacle to pray.  If she had, Eli wouldn’t have mistaken her silent prayers for drunkenness.  I think both Hannah’s lack of reliance on the priest and his reaction to her showed just how far the priests were at this time from fulfilling their God-given role of intercessor.

When we encounter a need in our life that we are not able to share around the prayer circles, what are we to do?  Do we despair because we are in this on our own?  I think the key is understanding we aren’t alone.  Over and over again in the Bible, God reminded people that they weren’t facing circumstances by themselves.  Do you think that these verses have an asterisk  that sets you apart from this promise?

Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  Isaiah 49:10

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  Joshua 1:9

Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

I sought the Lord, and he heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.  Psalm 34:4

 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t ask others to pray for us and with us when we’re able to do this.  I strongly believe that God has allowed people to intervene on my behalf through prayer.  I’m sure that only Heaven will reveal the many times people have prayed and God has hearkened to their cry.  But I also don’t think that God is impotent in His own strength.  He doesn’t coldly wait to react only if a certain number of prayers reach Him.  He loves us and He is all powerful to orchestrate any plan that is in His will – all…by…Himself.

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  Psalm 59:1

 

Dear friend, if you are in a place today where your burdens feel like they are borne by you alone, look up!  God knows all about your circumstances, even if no one else does.    He will carry your burdens for you, if you’ll only let Him.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

 

 

 

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9 Carry-on Essentials

A few weeks ago we flew out to Hawaii. As I was packing, I realized that this was going to involve a long plane ride and what I brought on the plane with me could really impact my trip.

Let’s be honest, these days it costs so much to check a bag that many people bring a carry-on as their only bag. This is evident even before boarding the plane because typically an announcement is made that due to limited overhead space, the airline is offering to check carry-ons for free. If you are a single bag traveler, you may think you are carrying everything you need, but I still recommend checking the following list to make sure you aren’t forgetting something important.  Note:  this list doesn’t include things that would normally be in a checked bag (i.e.; basic clothing, grooming items, etc).

Here are the nine essentials I always make sure to pack in my carry-on: Continue reading

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Pineapple Tidbits

Hey everyone,

We just returned from a lovely vacation to Maui.  It was our first time on this island and it definitely had the “WOW! factor” everyone had told us about.  What do you think of when you think of an island vacation?   I suspect most people would immediately dream of relaxing on a beach chair and soaking up some rays.  If that is your idea of an exotic holiday, I will warn you never to travel with us!  We don’t ever lay out on the beach for the following reasons:  (1) Other than our daughter, none of my family were born with an ability to produce a tan.  The rest of us start working on our sunburn on the walk from the car to the hotel.  We plaster sunscreen on every exposed inch of skin, wear hats and sunglasses – and still we burn.  I actually freckle and burn.  My only hope of ever returning from a trip with dark skin is if my many freckles coalesce together some day!  (2) We want to see the sights unique to the area we are traveling through.  I feel like it would be a shame if we returned from Maui and all we could say was “we saw the sun”.  Granted, sun can be in short supply in Michigan, but if I want to get burned, I can lay out on a chair in my backyard and look at the same sun.  (3) I hate sand!  A couple of times I took my children to the beach when they were younger because I felt like it was a motherly sort of thing to do.  It might have been fine, if we could have ignored the sunburn pain, but there still would have been the SAND.  Ugh!  It finds its way into everything.  We’d always come away with it lodged in our eyes, ears, mouth (that after-the-dentist feeling), hair, clothing, and towels.  I’m pretty sure the beaches around here were a little lower from the erosive effect our family’s presence had.  The sand would then continue to show up for the next week at our house.

So now that you’ve made a mental note never to join us and expect a relaxing vacation, let me tell you about one thing we did on Maui (while avoiding the beach scene) – we went on a tour of a pineapple plantation.  There I learned a number of things about pineapple and had a chance to eat pineapple right in the field.  I really enjoy fresh pineapple, but I’ve never had really fresh pineapple before.  It was so much sweeter than any I’ve ever eaten before.

Here are some of the things I learned about pineapple growing: Continue reading

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Could I Live “Off the Grid”?

I recently spotted an article in a magazine about ‘going off the grid’.  I must say this thought has always intrigued me.  As a child I read many books about early settlers.  Living off the land sounded so interesting, at least on the written page.  It could be also that I have a little rebellion in me – an attitude that I don’t need anybody else.  So, I thought I’d explore some of the suggestions on ways to survive outside of using mainstream society and a self-analysis of how I’d do.  In the following post, I’ll take a look at four of the basic needs for human life – food, drink, shelter, and safety. Continue reading

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Being an Agreeable Person

I’ve been musing over some Bible verses lately.  Although some are almost humorous, all are essentially convicting.  These verses address the question ‘What am I like to be around?’  Unless you are stranded on a deserted island, you likely interact with others on a daily basis.  You may or may not live with someone, but you come into contact with people at work, at the store, on the road, at church, and/or at school every day.  Let’s look at what the book of Proverbs says.

Proverbs 13:15 – A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.  When something angers me, I seethe and stew it over in my mind.  As I mull it over, I dwell on the injustice of the matter.  How dare they!  I nurture my victim status in my mind.  I formulate what I should say (or have said) to set the other person straight.  Modern therapists would tell you not to hold it in.  Venting your anger is much healthier.  I can tell you that once I let my anger emerge from my mouth, I initially feel good, but in the end hurting someone else doesn’t solve the problem and often I live to regret my words.  Time may heal the relationship, but you can never retrieve the words you release. Continue reading

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Geocaching – part 2

Hello everyone,

So last week I introduced you to geocaching by telling you why you should give it a try.  This week I’m going to continue my introduction of this activity by letting you know about the different kinds of geocaches that are out there, the variety of geocache containers you could find, and some general rules that you should be aware of before heading out.  Let’s hope your interest was peaked last week and you are curious enough to want to get out and find one. 

You need to have at least 4 things to begin your search: Continue reading

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Geo…what?

Spring for me brings on a sense of wanderlust – defined as a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.  One way I satisfy my urge to discover new things is by playing a worldwide game called geocaching.  “Geo…what?” you might ask.  The simple definition is that it is a game where latitude and longitude coordinates for a specific place are downloaded into a GPS from a website.  These coordinates are used to find a container that has been hidden.

Geocaching began in the year 2000.  Prior to this time, GPS devices were used for military purposes, but around this time they were opened up to civilian use.  The first container was hidden to celebrate this new public use of satellite coordinates.  Soon the game caught on.  Today there are millions of geocaches hidden throughout the world.  They are found on every continent, including Antarctica, and there is even one located on the International Space Station.

Why should you geocache? Continue reading

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