Monday, October 31, 2011


While some of the states were spending Saturday getting dumped on and covered in snow, we had an amazing fall day. Which is a really good thing as I volunteered to take the Cadettes on a Geocaching adventure. Big Boss had to work so I left Mouse with her dad and Songbird and I went to play.

Our "teacher" was very very enthusiastic.  So much so that he just volunteered to do this for the older scouts as its so early in the year that the girls haven't had their fundraisers to have money to do activities.

And he had his mascot along with him -- D. Knomer.....who has his own FB page apparently.  Mr. Knomer had his picture taken at his found caches.  Too funny.  The girls thought it was a riot.

The day was cold and frosty but absolutely beautiful.  And I happened to be with a set of adventurous girls that had no problem leaving the well traveled paths to bushwack a bit. All the fall leaves were fun to wade through.

But one of my favorite spots was a bridge on one of the trails.
Luckily it was the older girls or I would have had a bunch of wet kids to deal with. These girls are old enough not to get wet at every opportunity.  Our younger ones? Any water is an invitation.
Searching the area for the hidden cache.  Songbird decides she is too big to reach the prize and directs one of the Cadettes to get dirty. Hah!
And dirty she did get.

I've known others that have done geocaching, but this was my first time. I have to say that it is rather fun and a good family thing to do in the out of doors.  If you've ever wondered about it or thought about it and have kids that like to romp in the woods I would absolutley recommend it. And since there were disc golf baskets all around the woods also you could probably easily combine two activities with your family.

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Experiment in Green Cleaning

Homecoming weekend, the teen wanted to go through my jewelry to see if I had anything she could wear with her silver dress.  I actually have some silver jewelry....which I pulled out and discovered that it was long past cleaning time.  It was all black.  Oooops.

I had recently read a blog post at Down to Earth on Green Cleaners. One of the cleaners was for silver.  I have seen this in other books and such but had never tried it. Each time I had pulled out the silver cleaner and coated the jewelry, let it dry, and then rubbed the heck out of it to get the black tarnish off.  This green method promised a no rub, earth friendly version.

I decided it was time to give it a try since I am out of silver cleaner and don't want to go buy any with a possible move on the horizon (as the movers won't pack cleaners).  I do have to admit that I really didn't think it would work.

So, following the directions on Rhonda's site here's how it went.....
Line the sink with tin foil.  Hubs was cooking up a storm in the kitchen so I used the bathroom.

Put all the crazy black jewelry on the tin foil and just cover with boiling water.
Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda (bicarb).
The reaction is almost immediate! Way cool.
Let sit for ten minutes then take jewelry out and dry.  She the water? After ten minutes it was a grey color.

And the finished product?

So tell me, why did we ever start buying silver cleaner???  Start to finish it took maybe 20 minutes.  Not a single harsh chemical.

So if you've got some silver jewelry stuck in the back of the jewelry box somewhere waiting for a cleaning, take 20 minutes and do this. So worth it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


One of the best things about Ohio are the State Parks, woods and Girl Scout Camps. It is very beautiful here and the state is proud of it. They offer so many programs for kids and adults. It will be very sad if all the budget cuts kill off these programs.

Last weekend we had a fun Scouting adventure at one of the GS camps. It was an Orienteering/Maps learning weekend. There were offerings for all age groups except Daisies.  I wore a different hat this time as I was not needed with my older girls -- I got to go as just Mouse's mom and an extra set of hands. Well - maybe I was a little more than that since we had a camp fire at lunch.

The little girls did some fun map activities for a couple of hours and then we had lunch. Hot dogs over the fire. Some of the bigger girls taught fire safety to the littles.  After lunch the girls did a scavenger hunt following directions put together by the older girls. Then came the thing they all came for.


This bunch of girls LOVES to get down and dirty in the creek. And even though Mouse was sick 2 days earlier....she was ready to go that day.

Part of the appeal of creeking is to find a clay bank and COVER themselves in clay.  This weeks bank was a green clay so it was interesting.

Right now Mouse is fascinated with make-up so she decided the clay was her make-up.  Oh what a job she did on her face.  My personal favorite was the "mascara".  I had to inform her that mascara does not belong on the eyebrows also.  (Especially not extra large and crazy Chinese eyebrows, thank you very much.)
 And I should be given the Mom of the Year Award. Because when she asked if she was beautiful, I said yes.  When what I really wanted to say was: "No, you look like a Chinese Oscar the Grouch."  Because she did.

Just sayin'.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Way Cool Tour

Well, I am very unhappy to say that my pictures for this post were no good. I did try and email the company for copies of their digital  photos but no luck.  So here goes a post with a photo pulled from the web that is not my own. So Sad!

Due to some family business, I made a mad dash to Nebraska recently. I was looking for an excuse to get out that way to see my girls...and one came up. Perfect timing in more than one way.

While visiting I did something way cool. I picked up the phone and called Accuquilt.  After all, I was in the area.  And they ARE AWESOME.  Withing two days I was taking a tour of this office and factory and seeing just how it was done.

Because you know I LOVE my GO! Cutter.  And not just a little.  If mine broke, I think I might actually consider selling one of my children to replace it.  Probably the oldest one.  He cooks so he should go for a good price.

So, on the appointed day, FigNewton and I set out for the factory. She was my navigator - which is good because she is almost driving age and needs to know how to get to important places like this. Right?

When we walked in they had a sign up saying welcome to all of us by name. That was cool!  I'd show you a picture of that but it had FigNewtons real name....and since she's wanted in 14 countries it would be a bad ideal.  (You know I run with a rough crowd, right?)

We had our own special tour guide. First we toured the offices and saw many cool quilts that they had done. To work at Accuquilt you actually have to make something. Is that not cool?  And that includes the guys.

Everyone was so friendly and stopped what they were doing and showed us what they do. The computer guys were the coolest.  I probably shouldn't admit that, but they LOVE to show you what they do and show off them fancy computers. Very impressive stuff. (And I'm not being funny!)

And the owner Steve? What a character.  And he made sure that the guys in the factory got the message to let us run the lasers.  What's not to like, right??

After meeting all these cool faces that I recognized from the web site and videos and pictures, we were taken into the factory where the dirty work is done. And yes, I did get to run the lazer! Somebody out there is getting a die cut that I actually programmed!

The blades are actually made in a sister facility in Lincoln so we didn't see those made. But I was very impressed with what we learned about the other facility. And if you want to know more about it you will have to go to Nebraska and take your own tour.  Hah!

After the factory we went to the shipping department and met the ladies who put it all together and send it out. A very friendly bunch I must say. And did you know they put a scent in the packing material so it smells good when you open the box? Kinda cool, huh?

Of course we were given a little goodie bag and a magazine....and even though it was not that close to Halloween...the candy was a flowin'.  LOL.

It was a fun time.  And it might have even inspired my partner in crime to try her hand at a quilt one day. They made her promise to send pictures to them when she does.

You know there is nothing better than a product you love -- except when that product comes from a place full of friendly people with a social conscious.     If any of you end up in the area I highly recommend calling for a tour.

Now I'm just hoping they put on another retreat. I missed the last one because it filled up too fast!