Saturday, December 29, 2007

a new letterbox is born

Wow, the whole family (consisting of me, my husband and my daughter) managed to get up and out of the house before 9 am today! *self congratulatory applause* We decided to take a pre-breakfast hike so that I could plant my first letterbox. I think we found a good spot - it's a nice little hike with a great view, not real hard to get to. It's one of my favorite short local hikes, a place I see coyotes more often than not. (hence the title of the box - Coyote Hill) We didn't see any today, though.

So..it's up there now. I hope it gets some visitors soon and isn't lost, destroyed or eaten. I'm already plotting my next plant.

Hmmm....where will it be?

Friday, December 28, 2007

third and fourth find..wait, no, fourth and fifth

Today I dragged my daughter and one of my friends off to find some boxes. This was my second treck up the hill to find 4th of July Thousand Oaks. Found it this time and was mortified to discover that I'd pretty much been SITTING on it the first time I looked for it. It'd be nice if I had a sense of direction. My daughter actually found it before I got to it..so who knows if I'd have missed it again?!
Then we went off to find Under the Old Oak Tree, which was a really pretty hike on a trailhead I didn't know existed! I've only lived in this city for, oh about 20 years so it makes sense that I'd be unaware of it. *rolling eyes at myself* What is WRONG with me? How have I managed to A.) Not have known about letterboxing although I've been carving stamps for 12 years and B.) not known about this beautiful trail...especially since I've been hiking for 20 years!!!???
It's sad. It's very very sad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

think inside the box

I just finished carving a stamp for my first letterbox plant. I hope to put it together and hide it in the next few days, hurray!! I've decided I don't like the pink speedball speedy-cut stuff all that much. It's not bad, it carves pretty well, but it's sort of..too flexible? It doesn't give the best imprint because it's sort of rubbery when you press down on it. Oh well, lesson learned. It still came out pretty good and will be hidden somewhere in the great outdoors very soon.

Other than that, not much going on right now. I'm a dog trainer and this is a BAD month for me. No one wants to spend money on their dog right now, with the holidays and all. I'm really hoping things pick up in January. Christmas puppies?? If business doesn't pick up soon we're in trouble!

Stupid mortgage. Hmmph.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

a Christmas tree of sorts

Happy last wednesday of the year! This Christmas marked the first time in over a decade (can I really be that old??) that I've carved a stamp for someone as a Christmas gift. I even decorated a little box for it, stamping the image, a tree, on the top and embossing it. It came out pretty nifty if I do say so myself. I'd post a picture of it, but I'm suffering from post-Christmas lethargy and am unable to rise from the sofa.

I'm trying to get inspired to carve something to place in a letterbox, which I'm determined to hide in the next week or so. There aren't enough in this area and I'm itching to plant my first one. I figure if I carve one specifically for a box, rather than hiding one that I've had for a long time, I won't be as sad if it goes missing. Goofy logic, but it works for me.

Alrighty, back to my lethargic afternoon. *yawn*

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Phoebe's Cabin-third find!

Today we got ourselves up early and set out to find the Phoebe's Cabin letterbox (clues are on the letterboxing.org website). I was excited about this one because it's in one of my favorite hiking areas. This was a fairly brutal hike - uphill, mostly switchbacks, my hamstrings were begging for mercy. What's funny is that I've been doing cycling and pilates classes twice a week..and I was still dying. So much for being in shape. You have to earn this box!!

So we finally got up there and began searching for the box...when I noticed that the paper containing the clues was no longer in my pocket!! (No worries about the box being found by someone who shouldn't - it was so windy today the paper's probably in the ocean by now) I was crushed!! How the heck would we find it NOW? Naturally, as we sat there trying to figure out where it might be, about a dozen people parked themselves nearby. The trail leading to the box continues up to a popular local mountaintop, so it's a busy one. These people had stopped to snack, and apparently to let a gaggle of young boys run around and yell. Yay.

As they were getting ready to leave, I wracked my brain trying to remember the clues. I retained enough of them for Jim and I to puzzle it out and found the box!! Hurray!! I would have been really bummed if we'd hiked all that way for nothing. Not that a hike is ever for "nothing", but this was a tiring hike and I was really looking forward to finding it. It was very rewarding and I now have the third imprint in my log.

It's been an artsy weekend. I'm working on a carving to give a friend for Christmas, I got tattooed by one of my favorite local artists (Natasha of Skellramics-check out www.skellramics.com) yesterday, and today we found the box. Art-filled weekends make me happy.

Now it's time to placate my aching muscles with some vodka and V8. Cheers!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

second find...one of a kind!!

Alrighty..today marks my second letterbox find and I think it's going to be one of the most memorable even as time goes on and I've found many more. I went hunting for "A Night at the Movies" in Camarillo and got a lot more than what I was looking for. It's not giving anything away to say that the box is located in a busy parking lot - and we found the location (my husband was with me this time) pretty easily. Unfortunately, there was a car parked right next to it, with the passengers still sitting inside. I couldn't get to it without them seeing, so we parked further away and decided to wait them out. They didn't leave right away, though. No, instead they exited the front seats, entered the back seat and proceeded to.....well, it's the back seat of a car, do the math. In the middle of a crowded parking lot. In the middle of the afternoon. Untinted windows. Yeah.

Luckily it didn't take very long and they left. *snort* So we drove back over to the location, I got the box, did my thing and returned it to its hiding spot. I know I should expect to encounter various obstacles along the way....but this was one obstacle I was definitely NOT expecting.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Find!!!

I'm in the midst of a letterboxing tsunami!!! I've been carving stamps for years but somehow managed to remain oblivious to letterboxing until a few days ago. Don't know how I managed that, but there you have it. So....I was perusing the net, checking out sites with carved stamps and kept coming across that word. Letterboxing? What's that??

I started researching it and stumbled across Mark Pepe's website. I emailed him asking how I could find letterboxes in my area and he pointed me toward Atlas Quest!! So today (the very next day) I went out and bought a log book, picked a signature stamp from my box o carvings, and set out to find one.

I attempted the 4th of July Thousand Oaks location (and my legs are very sore) but couldn't find it. I did find a man praying loudly in Spanish, another man picking up aluminum cans and a person possibly living under a tree up there..but no box!!! I was crushed. I'm sure it's there and I'm just too dumb to find it. *sigh* I looked for a really long time though. A big red-tailed hawk landed a few feet in front of me, allowing me a nice long look at him before he took off again, so something good came of it all.

Still...I REALLY wanted to find a box today. So my daughter and I set off to find the Sycamore box in Newbury Park...and we found it!!!! Hurray! The first stamp in my log book, and the first log book to be stamped by me!! Mark told me to prepare to get addicted and he was right. I'm already completely hooked.

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.