Monthly Archives: April 2012

TURKEYS! …and Some Other Stuff, I Guess…

Today, I was supposed to meet up with a girl I met recently. We were going to go geocaching in Woodbridge. I sent her a text when I was ready to go, but she said she was busy and she’d text me soon. I waited around for a couple hours, but I was feeling kind of antsy so I decided to go to the summit of East Rock and pick up a cache there rather than wait around at home.

I love East Rock. I mean, the whole area. The neighborhood, the park, the mountainous part itself, everything. I’ll definitely be taking some pictures from the top of East Rock sometime, because the view of New Haven is beautiful, but today it was super hot and hazy out so I skipped the picture-taking. I found the GZ (Ground Zero – the term cachers use for the location of a cache) easily, especially since there were already a couple of people poking around there. It turned out that they were geocachers too, which I thought was really cool because I’d never run into other cachers. With their help, I found the cache relatively quickly and headed back down the mountain.

As I was driving out of the park, I thought about how I’d like to go hiking through the woods there. I really enjoy geocaching because it motivates me to hike in the first place. If there’s going to be a surprise at the end of a hike, I’m more likely to do it because right now, it’s hard for me to be enthusiastic about leaving the house most days. While thinking about all of that, I saw… TURKEYS!

I pulled over and captured the turkeys on video rather than taking pictures of them. Here’s a screen shot from the video:

So exciting! One of them pooped! Then they crossed the road and all the cars had to stop. There was a small bus with some jerk kids in it and they made fun of me for filming the turkeys but I didn’t care because they were turkeys! In the park!

After that bit of excitement (for me and no one else), Nate got a call from his mom asking us to come over. I texted the Craigslist girl (though I still hadn’t heard back from her) and told her we had to go but asked her if we could meet up in Wallingford instead Woodbridge. Wallingford’s a little further away but not too far, so I figured it’d be fine.

On the way to Wallingford, we stopped at Todd’s Pond in North Haven, which is another place we didn’t know about. It’s just this random pond on the side of a regular road that I’ve passed many times without realizing it was there. There was supposed to be a cache in a pretty obvious place, but it wasn’t there, I ran around taking pictures instead.

The waterfall was so cool. I wanted to sit and read so badly, but I didn’t have my nook with me. Someday!

I still hadn’t heard from girl I was supposed to hang out with. I decided she wasn’t going to text so I headed to Wallingford to search for a few more caches

I found a couple in a beautiful and peaceful cemetery with some neat old gravestones:

It was really hot for April, and while on the way to another cache I saw (and smelled) smoke from a brush fire caused by the record-high temperature:

I ended up finding a few caches in a few areas full of people, like one near Lowe’s and another behind Home Depot, then headed to an area that required a bit of hiking to find two more caches. There was a really cool tree that looked like a lady:

Actually, it doesn’t look so much like a lady anymore. I don’t know why I thought it looked like a lady. Oh well.

The hiking around was fun, but tiring, and the sun was setting, so I decided to head home. I found 10 caches total today. Pretty good, I think.

I never did hear from that girl, and I’ll admit I was a little disappointed. I was looking forward possibly forming a new friendship. I don’t feel like I have a very good first impression of her because she didn’t even bother canceling. It makes me feel like I might not want to bother making plans with her again. I mean I could have wasted the entire day waiting to hear back from her, and that’s not cool.

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Gum Paste and Fondant Lessons One and Two

Hello world!

I have now completed two classes in the third Wilton cake decorating course. This course takes place on Thursday nights rather than Mondays (which is the day I went to classes for the first and second course).

During the first class, we learned how to make a nice bow out of a 50/50 mixture of  gum paste and fondant.

Unfortunately, I dropped my bow (into the trashcan…on purpose…) before I was able to take a picture of it. This picture is from the Wilton website and is nearly identical to the one I made last week.

The bow was extremely easy to make, but I didn’t like it very much. It didn’t really look like a bow to me. Maybe it’d look better on a cake.

The second class was more fun, we learned how to make a calla lily, rose, and carnation, all out of gum paste.

A top and side view of the carnation I made in class.

This is the calla lily. We learned to the yellow bit in yellow sugar to give it some texture… a cool trick!

I love this rose. It was so fun to make and it’s so pretty, I can’t believe I made it!

You might be able to tell, but the rose is my favorite. I’m going to try to make another one out of clay at some point.

I guess that’s it for now. Next week: daisies and mums! I’m excited to do more work with gum paste, and I hope to be able to make more than just flowers in the future. I’ve seen some really cool gum paste stuff that looks like it was sculpted with clay and I’d love to be that talented.

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Geocaching in West Haven

Today, I went geocaching in West Haven.

One of the caches I found was in a tiny park in a residential area. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of it, but there was a statue there that was some sort of memorial as well as a bench or two. The best thing about the park were these beautiful trees with bright pink buds and blossoms.

I also went to the West Haven Beaches to search for two caches. It was really nice, despite the trash everywhere (Connecticut is so beautiful but some people have no respect for it!). I love the beach. Frequent trips to the beach are what I miss most about living in California. I can spend hours just sitting with my eyes closed, listening to the water. Anyway, the first cache was a quick find, but the second one required a bit of walking. I’m not going to lie, walking so far on beach sand was not easy, especially in the shoes I was wearing. I took them off at one point, but there were shells everywhere, and they poked my poor little footsies. I came across a large log and decided to sit for a while, then continued my trek down the beach only to realize a few minutes later that I’d completely overshot the cache! I had to backtrack a bit and searched everywhere but couldn’t find it. I checked the logs other geocachers had left on geocaching.com and found that several people logged it as a DNF (Did Not Find) and it hadn’t actually been found for quite some time. At that point, my feet were killing me after walking on the sand on top of all the walking I’d done earlier in the day, so I sat back down on the log and rested a bit more before headed back to the car. I took some pictures along the way.

I was a little disappointed that I’d walked all that way for nothing, but once I was able to take my shoes off in the car, I didn’t mind it so much. At least I got to go to the beach!

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Geocaching with Ruthie

I usually walk a dog named Ruthie once a day. Right now, her owner is in the hospital, so I’m stopping by a lot more often than once a day. Ruthie’s owner takes her everywhere, and I’m worried with Ruthie is super lonely because she’s not used to being at home alone so much. So, I took her geocaching!

It didn’t really work out very well. I went to two small parks and Ruthie was just too excited for me to really look around for the caches.

The first place we visited was Beaver Pond Park here in New Haven. Unfortunately, it was super dirty and gross, and I had trouble keeping a curious Ruthie away from the trash that littered the path. I didn’t find the cache (and I suspect it’s gone), but I did see a duck chillin’ in the water!

After that failure, I decided to look for the cache hidden in Eli Whitney Park, which I think might technically be in Hamden. It’s a tiny grassy area I drive by almost weekly but never realized was considered a park. In all the times I’ve gone by, I never even saw the benches or notices the pretty tree in the middle of the park.

There’s even a view of Lake Whitney. If I lived just a little closer, I’d love to hang out in this park and read all the time. In fact, I may have to ride my bike there some time. Anyway, I found the cache quickly (no thanks to the seriously hyper Ruthie who wanted to run around the park rather than look through bushes and trees) and then sat around on a bench for a while.

Before I left, I took some pictures of Ruthie because she was being adorable, as always. Just look at her cute little face:

I was getting hungry, so we dropped Ruthie off at home and headed to Taco Bell (because tacos are delicious), but not before I stopped for one more cache, which was actually very close to Eli Whitney Park. I accidentally drove right by the location because it was yet another place I didn’t know about, but once I figured it out, it was a quick find.

It’s just a little cemented area with a couple of benches that looks out over Lake Whitney. The view was surprisingly nice. I took a few pictures of the lake as well as a squirrel that was eating something in a tree. I decided it was eating a chip.

I really like how the trees are framing that last picture. Good stuff.

This place was really cool, but it was cold and windy and I was still in dire need of tacos, so I didn’t stick around for very long.

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The Ugly Granny Stripe

Inspired by both the granny stripe blanket on (in?) The Little Room of Rachell and the fact that I have way too much crappy yarn I’ll never use, I have started a blanket of my own. It’s a granny stripe (because they are neat), but it’s the ugliest one I’ve ever seen because I’m just throwing yarn into it so I can get rid of the stash. At first, I was kind of bummed that it isn’t going to look as nice as the others I’ve seen, but I’ve grown to love it.

It reminds me of my crochet beginnings. All of this ugly stashed yarn I’m using is from back when all I could make was a potholder or a crooked scarf and I had no idea what amigurumi was or that an afghan isn’t something you wear. I didn’t know how to do anything other than chaining, single crochet, and double crochet. When I bought yarn, I bought the cheapest possible yarn and didn’t care what color it was because I always said it was for practice. I wanted to “get back into crochet,” but I’d give up before my few rows of single crochet could actually become something, so I ended up with random half-skeins of puke-green or some horrible variegated mess.

And now, I am using those random skeins to make a blanket because, well, I shouldn’t be buying new yarn until I get rid of some of my stashed yarn, and all of this yarn is too ugly and/or not soft enough and/or there’s not enough of it left for me to make anything else. I did consider a yarn bomb, but there’s too much for that. No, it must become The Ugly Granny Stripe.

This is it so far. It’s even uglier in person. I love it.

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