Mercury is Retrograding

It has just been one of those couple of weeks… The stress level is high. Communication has been on the fritz. Every time Mohawk and I speak it ends with one of us wishing the other had no vocal chords.

Then it all came to a crescendo last night. That was it. I had to look it up. And the answer was YES. yes this insane year is ending, quite literally, with Mercury in Retrograde. Poor 2016, it is like the ugly stepchild. 

Anyhow, I digress. Last night, we realized that we had no idea where Dave’s cell phone was, so we turned the entire house upside down searching, to NO avail. It is still MIA.

But in the fruitless search, more technology disaster struck…

I was getting ready to move the couch, when I felt and heard the ominous, unmistakable crunch of an LED screen. Yep, my Chromebook had ended up underfoot in the turning over of the living room. 

I would have taken photos, but my heart was just as crushed. So I did what any angry person on Keppra does, and used it as an excuse to toss it across the room. What? It was already a goner, might as well satisfy a bit of the angst. 

So, we march forward through the bitter cold, final hours of 2016, without a computer, and one less cell phone in tow. Mercury will grade, or whatever it is it does…and 2017 will begin. And in all likelihood a phone will mysteriously reappear. But this is certainly a year for the books!

Getting Ready

Here we go! Just a few days away from a new beginning. I know, I know, we don’t actually have to wait for the first of the year to set intentions, or roll out some goals and take action. And believe me, we don’t. But this year in particular, it is just going to be so symbolic and meaningful to begin the New Year.

2016 has been rough. We’ve lost some of the people closest to us. My mom, Dave’s best friend, and so very many more. It is going to be nice to have  a clean slate and move forward into this new year with their love and support behind us. We know they would want that for us.

The thing that I’ve realized about 2016 is that, while it has been sad and difficult to get through, it has been all about making room. Sometimes in order for change to happen, or for new flowers to bloom, you have to have an overhaul. You have to till the soil and start fresh if you want your new crops to be abundant. In order to ensure the access to water, air and nutrients as needed, it is important to till the soil every few years. So 2016 has been a tilling year. And we are the soil. It doesn’t feel fantastic, and it has required a great amount of strength and growth for us to adjust to new changes and the lack of so many wonderful people, but sometimes you must make room.

Sometimes, in order for a new light to shine, an old, bright light must dim. 2017 will be a year when many new people get to shine and light the way for the world. They will follow in the footsteps of the many wonderful people the world lost this year. They will pick up the torch and carry on. They will have the tools necessary, and they will shine.

Shine on you crazy diamond. Shine on.

Changes

We’ve been away again… we’re sorry! We miss writing for you all and staying connected, but lives have been busy, and we’ve been going through so many changes.

A new school year to say the least, has required a lot of adaptation! Early alarms buzzing, trying to balance working out and eating right (still haven’t gotten the workouts down yet!), and being present in our personal lives. Despite the fact that teaching middle school is a very natural fit for me, it is definitely a new beginning, which means a lot of learning!

We’re also just adjusting to life in a small town – it is so different living in a rural area, when both of of us have spent our entire lives living in the urban hubs of the Bay Area. When we first got here in April it wasn’t so obvious because we spent most of our time on Dave’s family’s land and exploring the natural wonders we are so lucky to live near. But now, we are integrated into the community, and it definitely comes with its own personality! I don’t think we’d ever go back, small town life is for us!

Adjusting to grief in its many forms has also been consuming. Time has definitely eased the pain, though everyday brings its own feelings and its own challenges. While time eases certain feelings, it also seems to dig a little deeper into my psyche in certain respects.

To further add to the many changes we have gone through, I’m currently dealing with a new medical venture. On my 29th birthday I experience my first grand mal seizure. I want to share this new adventure with you. It isn’t fun. It certainly was NOT how I planned to spend my birthday… but I think there are important stories to share in this. Perhaps lessons I can share, so you don’t have to learn the hard way. So stay posted – I’ll be sharing my journey through doctors visits, medical tests, and life after a seizure, soon!

Much love to our dear community. Thanks for all of your support in our ever changing ventures!

Handheld GPS for Geocaching

When I first heard about Pokemon Go! My first thought was that it was an awful lot like geocaching. Funny thing is, just before it came out, I was busy researching what GPS I wanted to buy to make my geocaching even better. For the past few years I had been using the free app C:geo to make my finds. And that worked really well…until we moved out into the redwoods! We rarely get a decent enough signal on our phones to actually track a cache down. So Mohawk and I decided we needed to get a better tool so we could continue to build our Geocaching habit.

After reading many reviews online, and trying to weigh the various issues like cost and functionality, I settled on the most basic handheld GPS, the Garmin Etrex 10. It’s black and white, and doesn’t have tons and tons of bells and whistles. But let me tell you what we love about it so far:

👌Price! The price for this unit is on point with our limited budget, especially because we are also trying to build up our camping gear, which takes some major 💲! We paid around $100 after taxes. I saw it online between $80-100, and it just depends on s/h and taxes at the end.

👌Signal. This thing connects fast, gets a strong and consistent signal, and we LOVE it. It’s nice being able to really hone in on GZ, and spend our energy actually finding the cache, not questioning if the coords are bouncing.

👌Trip Odometer – this is a fun feature for us on a number of levels. First of all, it lets us know how soon sunset is (1 hour 9 minutes away), so we can gauge if we have time to complete our walk before dark. Out here we don’t like to take chances because of the night crew! 🐺 It also tells us our speed, time spent moving and still. This is super cool because it doubles as a fancy device to help us towards our fitness goals. Two-for-one?!? Heck yes!

garminetrex10.jpg

👌Easy to download geocaches! So, at first, I thought I was going to be sad because my primary device to use at home is a Chromebook. I logged onto geocaching.com and I clicked “Send to GPS,” and it turns out I have to download the little plug-in thing, which my Chromebook isn’t beefy enough to do. 😞 BUT, wait! Don’t lose all hope yet, because the fabulous InterWebz helped me out, as always. I realized I could simply download the GPX file, and transfer it directly to my Garmin. Easy – extra step, but easy. No paper needed, no signal on my phone needed, and I’ve got everything I need to grab those caches!

For us, this was a great first GPS purchase. Basically we decided to go with this one because it was simple, doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles we wouldn’t even know how to use anyway. Someday, we plan to purchase a second one, and by then we will be a little better versed in how the handheld GPS works, and we will know exactly what features matter to us. I’m also super thrilled to get out and adventure in the acreage here at home.

Let us know if you have a recommendation for our next handheld GPS, or if you have any tips and tricks for us as we learn how to use this great gadget!

 

 

ReCharging at Indian Rock

Yesterday, we awoke with the intention of setting out to find fresh goat’s milk, so we could begin perfecting our technique of creating our very own goat’s cheese. But alas, sometimes, there are other things in the works. Sometimes, a friend texts you and asks you to go to Indian Rock with them (and you accidentally assume it’s a casino you’ve never heard of – then they clarify it’s a beautiful park in Berkeley, CA *DOH*) and you just have to go on an adventure.

Indian Rock is a series of rock formations at the top of Solano Ave. in Berkeley, CA. And there is really something to be said for climbing the public streets, feeling the burn in your gluteus maximus, as you ascend the alleyways and step by step get to more dramatic and panoramic views of the bay you love so much.

We reached the final peak around 3 pm. We were rewarded with SWEEPING views of the Bay Area. We took a good hour to sit at the top of the hill and enjoy the power and energy of being in a majestic spot – feeling the surge of energy knowing that this exact spot was likely inhabited by our ancestors throughout history.  That these rocks were used to crush acorns to create flatbreads. Its an amazing feeling being steeped in history. Sometimes being in a place like that is exactly what you need to recharge. So goat cheese just has to wait!

We also had the distinct pleasure of introducing our friend to his first Geocache! Wait, what’s geocaching, you ask? It sounds like that’s another topic for another time! But believe me, it’s fun, and it totally makes you feel like a big kid.