Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Autumn letterboxing

Here it is Friday and I have been cooped up in the house all week except for a few short trips to the store. The weather has been cold, wet, and windy so I am staying warm. One day, Monday I think, I tried to get out on the letterboxing trail, but didn't get more than a few feet from the car. Today is expected to be a bit nicer, perhaps I can get out for at least one box. I really would like to have been out as the trees are at their fall peak. They have some very nice color now even though it is diminished by the lack of full sunlight.

I am also anxious over my cardiology tests. I have an appointment with the doctor Wednesday so I should know something by then.

As a result of being pinned in I have been doing a little catching up on this and that, but mostly following internet link trails to find images that fit with ideas I have for new boxes. Now if you have ever done that you know how quickly the time flies as you drift off into uncharted areas of cyberspace.

I did capture some cute possibilities. I carved a second "Trail Only" personal traveler which I have, due to lack of creativity, named "First Sergeant". I also carved the stamp for the first traditional box that I will be planting near home. and have organized things for another box or two in our "Topsail Treasure" series.

This weekend we are off to visit with Ellisa's family near Detroit. It's been awhile since we have been able to spend time with them and the kids are growing so fast... we are really looking forward to the visit. Payton's last soccer game of the year is scheduled for tomorrow. We missed seeing any of his T-Ball games and this is the last chance for Soccer. They live too far away. Our normal routine for tonight (Halloween) is to don costumes and sit out front in lawn chairs passing out candy to the trick-or-treat crowd. I fire up the portable gas picnic grill and cook hot dogs for Donna and I to eat, we really enjoy doing that. Occasionally, for nostalgia's sake, I will toss a few leaves on the fire to smell them burn. However, I think going to visit with family sound like even more fun.

Next week I hope to make the logbook, to finish creating, and to plant my new "Berea" letterbox.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meet the Texans

Here I sit wondering what happened to the last week. It seems as though I have done nothing. Thinking back I had to spend one day at home waiting for the cable guy and another waiting for an envelope to be delivered. The weather has been cold and wet which also tends to keep me in. But what have I done while here? I am also still waiting for the results of my stress test, it doesn't look like I will hear anything until my appointment on November 5th. I am still thinking that he will recommend another angioplasty and more stents at best.

I did spend a lot of time on selecting and editing images which I might use as the basis for carving new letterboxing stamps. I also re-carved my signature stamp this, the 3rd attempt at it, is better now that I have learned more about technique and have had a teensy-weensy bit of practice. I then carved a "personal traveler" which is basically a letterbox that you carry with you to share with others on the trail or at events. Finally I made a logbook for my new personal traveler "What's Up", a play on words for this blog - Up From the Top as in "Top Sergeant" i.e., First Sergeant or 1SG.

Yesterday Donna went to a wedding and reception for one of her co-workers. I passed on that, instead I escorted my new stamps to "Meet the Texans", my first ever letterboxing event. It was held in Hartville, Ohio about 10 miles SE of Akron at "The Hartville Kitchen" a huge restaurant with great Amish inspired food served as individual meals not family or buffet style. I tried the fried chicken (white meat) which turned out to be two very tasty breast halves along with three sides and rolls.

A little after 1:00p.m. when it looked as though nearly everyone had gathered we were seated in the dinning room. At that point we had nearly twenty adults and children sitting around the table inking and stamping with more joining in later. It was great fun and the food, although very good and not overly expensive, was the last priority for us. I suspect that the whole staff heard about all of those adults with their "Crayons and coloring books" who were hardly eating and letting their food get cold.

After awhile it became apparent the no one was near done. With a ton of folks waiting to be seated the staff seemed to be getting pretty antsy about us holding down all of those tables. It was proposed that we migrate to the local library a mile or two away... so we did. Someone quipped that this may have been the first progressive letterboxing event.

We continued with our ink'n and stamp'n at the library until they closed at 5:00 p.m. The bonus was that there is a letterbox at the library which was soon retrieved and added to our collection. One of the boxers present "Snapdragon" reads Ellisa's "Not So Simple" blog regularly. The requirement that I had stipulated for getting my personal traveler was to tell me the name of My (this) blog. She came here, looked and saw that I also list Ellisa's blog among my favorites. She told me of the "coincidence", I laughed as I informed her that Ellisa was my daughter. It was good for a chuckle. Several others seemed to enjoy the story of meeting my "Shrink" on the trail. After leaving the Library most of the group went on to do some nearby letterboxing. I was getting too tired to be out on the trail at twilight on a cold day so I headed for home. There were several cameras there so pictures are starting to appear on Atlas Quest already.

I had a fantastic time with friendly people, made my first exchanges, and collected several personal travelers. Now I will have to rework my logbook site. I loved every minute of it and I am anxious to do this again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trees, Letterboxes, Food, and Caring

The last few days have been interesting and different. Donna has had an unusual amount of time off so we have done more together. I needed the extra love and attention, and we sort of got a glimpse of what it will be like when she retires. Wednesday morning she went in late and worked late as it is parent - teacher conference time. We just hung out in the morning. She knew that I was worried about my stress test and tried to just be there. When she went to work I met the lead pastor of our church, Pastor Dan, for a long lunch. He wanted to chat and pray with me before the test, and it is pastor appreciation month so I wanted to treat him to lunch. That worked out well. I then scooted off to pick up a couple of letterboxes... to stay busy more than anything else. One of these "Cardinals Don't Migrate" turned out to be among the nicest of those that I have found to date and I do enjoy being out in the fall weather with the leaves turning. Plus I did not know that they don't migrate.

Thursday morning at the crack of dawn I was off to start the tests. It takes five or six hours to finish the whole thing. They did not find anything that constituted and emergency so they let me leave. The tests will be processed in the normal manner, I should hear the results in a day or two. I still expect that at a minimum they will want to do a "Roto Rooter" job on me. I was totally exhausted after the tests, but knowing that I had 99 boxes I felt compelled to break 100 before I became laid up in the hospital again. I ran off and picked up two easy ones in the same location then came home and crashed. That night we shopped at Marc's the local discount grocery store, and just enjoyed the time together.

Friday was similar a run to Sam's club for printer cartridges, Halloween candy, and few meat items followed by an nice dinner out.

On Saturday we went out to Holden Arboretum, which is about an hour east of us. There we took a walking tour (I used my scooter) which covered about a mile of trail. Again we had a great time out in the brisk fall air and checking out the various trees. It was interesting to see all of the variations in how the changing seasons had affected them. Our youngest son, Damon, has a girl that he has been spending a lot of time with who lives near where we were. Figuring that he was getting to know that area pretty well, we called him for advice on where to have dinner. He recommended a small family run Italian place which proved excellent.

Church and the ball games rounded out our weekend. The Buckeyes won and the Browns lost, no surprises there. Ohio State will be in for a real challange next week playing against un-defeated Penn State. It has been a very pleasent and laidback week which I have enjoyed dispite the fact that I am still pensive about the tests.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall, First Finders, Hitchhikers, and Hearts

Yesterday morning I found that I could not sleep so I got up around 5:00 am and messed around on the computer. I found a notice in my mail of a new letterbox and decided to go after it along with several others that are close to it at first light.

I did not get out that early but I was the first one to the box arriving about 8:15. I then worked several others in the area. While riding down a winding path in search of one of these I saw a man along with his two young kids coming my direction, then I realized it was my "shrink" who I haven't seen in several weeks. It seems that he lives very near where we were. He knows of my letterboxing interest and guessed what I was up to. Would you believe we made an appointment right there on the trail.

Later after returning home, and while doing the housekeeping choirs associated with yesterdays finds, I discovered that another new box had popped up so I added it to my list of boxes to attempt. By that time I was totally pooped out. I decided to lay down and was out cold. When I woke up I realized that I needed to get dinner ready ASAP so threw together a Chefs Salad. I should have called my Daughter and wished her a Happy Anniversary, but did not get to it until She called me about something else a couple of hours latter. Sorry Honey!

I seem to be having trouble functioning normally right now. I think it is anxiety over a impending Cardiac Stress Test Thursday Morning. I know that I get short of breath with even small amounts of excretion, so I suspect that I am in for another angioplasty and more stints... I hate hospitals and don't know how many more rounds of this my body will tolerate. Fret and worry!!

This morning I was out on the trail at sunup again trying to be the first finder and to stay busy. I found the other new box and a few others. Staying out keeps my mind occupied, I am getting exercise, having fun with the boxes, and enjoying the starts of fall. There was a hitchhiker in one of these boxes so I have found 11 new boxes and a hitchhiker in the last two days, not to shabby. My travel scooter has had a workout during these two days. I lave learned that a couple of other letter boxers who were hot after the new box yesterday morning had seen me on the trail.

Last night after dinner I settled down prepared to be disappointed by the Cleveland Browns again but it did not happen that way. I was shocked by there great performance. Do you suppose that they might actually have a good year?

I have not selected a team to cheer on in the world series, but I was not disappointed that the Phillie's won last night. It seems ironic that the Cleveland Indians got rid of Charlie Manual, but that a couple of years later he is leading his team towards a league championship.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Melted Cakes, Letterboxers, and Hitchhikers

Last week when I went after the six new "Making Baby Happy" letterboxes. I was onto them by noon, but even then two other boxers had been there ahead of me. As I was returning to the start point I saw a young women headed my way reading directions from a sheet of printer paper. As she came along side I saw a LBNA patch on her backpack. I informed her that she would be number four to finish the series - only the last box contained a logbook, so you don't know until you found the last box. We chatted a little about letterboxing then we went on our separate ways. This is the first time that I have knowingly come across another letterboxer while on the trail and she related the same experience. It was nice to have run into you "Buckeye Bulldog". It is common practice for letterboxers to exchange "Personal Tarveler Stamps" when they meet. I guess I better come up with one soon.

I also stopped off to get a nearby stamp this week as I drove past it's home while out running errands. I was lucky to locate a Hitchhiker waiting there also. Coincidentally this hitchhiker "Something Positive: Murr!" is the second one in a row that I have found which had been originated by Celtic Quinn.

Donna just took her birthday Ice cream cake out of the freezer to have a piece. It had melted badly and collapsed to half of it's original height when left in the fridge overnight. It looks a bit ugly but she still ate a piece saying that with the ice crystals that had formed it was more like homemade ice cream. She likes the coffee (Mocha) flavor so I think she will finish the whole thing. Oh well, If she likes it ....!

Ellisa had gotten her a fire pit for Mother's Day but it arrived very late. The kids set it up while they were here and we sat around the fire Saturday Night cooking and eating somemores until everyone had there fill. We haven't done anything like that for a long time. She really seemed to enjoy it. See Ellisa's Blog for Pics and more on the weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Family Birthday - Chinese Dinner and Ice cream cake.

Well we had a great family time this last weekend. Donna had a birthday recently and No. 2 son, Jason, has one in about a week. Those who could converged on our abode for the weekend to celebrate these events. Three of our kids, and our two grandchildren, along with Donna's sister and her hubby arrived for a Chinese carry out dinner on Saturday. My daughter and her two boys were here most of the weekend. We also did Bob Evan's for brunch on Sunday morning.

It was very pleasant to be able to spend time with family. We did the usual cake and presents. Donna can't exist without her coffee and she is into Dairy Queen ice cream cakes so I ordered a mocha one. When Damon put it away he stuck it into the fridge instead of the freezer. We didn't discover it until the next day so the remains are a bit of a blob.

I didn't get much else memorable done this week just routine stuff. Ohio State won again at football and the Browns had the week off. Baseball season is over for Cleveland and I have no favorites for the World Series.

I did get in a little letterboxing, just picking up some loose odds and ends, along with a new series of 6 with a mystery bonus box, that was just planted last week. By reviewing clues and then refining maps I discovered that there are two more boxes that are very close to the new six. Too little too late, more loose ends.