Looking at My New Routine

Calmkate posted a question on her Fun Friday blog – What is your new normal routine? In response I give you this reply:
So as many of you know I geocache. For anyone unfamiliar with this hobby/game it uses a handheld GPS to locate containers (called caches) that are hidden all over the world. Each cache will have a log to sign to prove you were there. You then record your find online and send a message to the person who hid the cache. So far Sparky and I have found caches in all the continental US states. We are planning (unless COVID-19 completely ruins it) to attend GeoWoodstock this coming August in British Columbia, Canada and then take a cruise to Alaska to geocache in that state! Although geocaching can be done solo, it is really more fun when you go with someone. To that end saintvi and I geocached our way down to Arkansas and a little on the way back (although the weather on the way back was not cooperating). We went places I’d never have dreamed of going. I saw strange and unusual things. We had a lot of fun.

Buttercup had a ammo can cache under the flowerpot. The Beauty Saloon was in the middle of nowhere in the back roads of Arkansas. I believe the road we were on was dirt! Cemeteries always have interesting caches and a little history too.

This was a school house again in very rural Arkansas. The giant dirt moving truck was up on the top of a hill. We got lost trying to find it and were rescued by the postal carrier who of course knew the way.

These are a couple of photos showing saintvi and me having fun. The first we were taking photos of our shadows when a family stopped – we felt a little silly but still got a great photo. The second one is our victory picture after finding the cache on top of the Razorback Tunnel, a.k.a. the Bobby Hopper Tunnel or Banyard Tunnel. The tunnel opened in 1999 to complete the I-49 leg between Fort Smith and Fayetteville, AR, and is the only automobile tunnel in the state of Arkansas. This one was not easy to get to especially since I was navigating “the saintvi way”. Of course the return trip to the highway was much easier…
Sadly the new normal does not allow geocaching with friends. The parks are all closed. We are permitted to walk and hike but they want you to stay around your home. Since we’ve already found the caches that are available within walking distance, we are not adding to our numbers.

Anyway since I can’t get into the ceramic studio I’ve had to find another creative outlet. Instead my newly found routine has included working on my pathtags. Pathtags are small discs the size of a nickle that are enameled with a picture or design and traded with other geocachers or left in caches as swag (little goodies for others to find). So far I’ve completed 2 pathtags and I’m working on one for Sparky. Here’s a preview of what I’ve done so far…

My old pathtags were for GeoWoodstock in 2018 and 2019 respectively:

Sparky had a pathtag that was done for him as a memorial to out dog Ranger. It was a beautifully done tag but now he wants his very own.

So the routine looks like this: (The amended routine for Calmkate’s Friday Fun is in bold)
Up and at ’em by 8:30 AM. Do my daily online puzzle and word challenge. (I’ve been sleeping in to 9:30ish except on Tuesdays when we get up at 6:30 AM to make the senior shopping hour at the local grocery stores)
Work on my pathtags. (I’ve finished 3 and submitted 1 – I’m holding off until I’m sure the event won’t be cancelled. Instead I’m working on my poetry compilation.)
Check my WordPress site and make comments and replies.
Live stream the Angelus or Stations of the Cross. (Now that Lent is over and we are in Eastertime, I’m tuning into Father’s daily “chats” which are both amusing and enlightening.)
Fix lunch followed by clean up and our post-lunch walk around the neighborhood.
Do household chores (depending on the day dust, vacuum, mop, laundry, clean baths or kitchen, etc. this has not changed one iota and will probably continue to infinity and beyond).
Work on a “special” project – like cleaning the blinds or organizing the DVDs… (We are down to the big stuff – paint the bedroom ceiling, clean out the garage, reseed the lawn, and wash the windows. Of course with the snow in April those will have to wait until it gets a little warmer outside!)
Read. Started to reread the Harry Potter series in preparation of watching all the movies again. (So I’m still reading but not Harry Potter. I’ve moved on to Mr. Norrell & Jonathan Strange. It is an 800 page book that is a little daunting but starting to grab my interest. I’m trying not to read it in one sitting. To that end I’m limiting myself to 50 pages a day.)
Write a little poetry if I’m so inspired… (I’m inspired. I have been able through NPM of April to do a poem a day but since I don’t post daily I have a nice stack of poetry for some future posts. I am going to ride this wave of creativity until my muse decides to take a nap.)
Make dinner and clean up after. (I’ve started to get a little creative. We are doing breakfast for dinner. I’ve pulled out my “Cooking Around the World” cookbook and we are going to do a little world tour…)
Watch a little Netflix. Currently watching The Witcher and The Good Place. (Nope. Now I’m watching The Magicians and the Great Cake Bake-off or something like that. It has the pitiful DIY bakers trying to recreate baking masterpieces. They are mostly fails. I feel so bad for them but they are pretty funny.)
Check the computer again and then it is off to bed. (So I’m trying to keep up with everyone but some people tend to post in spurts – like 5 or 6 times a day which makes it hard since I’m not on all day. Then there are some of my friends that live in far away time zones and their posts come up when I’m asleep. I’m trying but I find that I’m missing some posts. Please forgive me!)

64 thoughts on “Looking at My New Routine

  1. what fascinating little badges and an interesting idea to entice one off the well worn paths! Nice to see you both having fun, like the shadow pic 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve got a healthy mix in your new daily routine … I thought I might have to relocate next week but maybe not after all 🙂 I came for a few days and now been here nearly a month and it sure is paradise for lockdown

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    1. The pathtags are fun to collect because the owners get to write a little story about the meaning behind the tag to post on their pathtag page. There is a code on the back that allows you to tell where you found the tag and a leave a message for the owner. Lots of great stories out there and a nice way to meet other geocachers too! We want to geocache in Australia someday. There are lots of caches all over the world and we want to try to cache on every continent!
      I’m glad you are safe and comfortable too! I know that you probably miss your own place but you are probably in a better spot as far as being able to enjoy the ocean and all the other sights!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your routine. i think sharing helps provide new ideas for others to adopt. In Australia we have a Lets Go On A Bear Hunt movement to cheer kiddies up, the idea being that on walks or drive bys they count the number of teddys they spot in the front windows of homes. Today, i had to wash windows and thirty year old teddy bears in preparation. I think adults are enjoying it more than the children!

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    1. Sounds like a great way to have fun! I bet the kids in my neighborhood would enjoy it too – not sure how we could get people to participate since our community office is now closed…

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  3. Can you place your own cache, or do they have to be sanctioned by someone? The one I stumbled upon on one of our mountain bike trails is fun to revisit because it’s contents change all the time.

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    1. Judy you can place a cache (it is free) but the cache details must be “approved” by an official reviewer who give their blessing and then posts it on the official website. It then shows up on the world map and others can download the coordinates and go find it! Go to geocaching.com and enter your city/state and the map will show you all the geocaches that are within a 10 mile radius of your location. The contents change because if someone finds it and takes some swag they leave equal or better swag.

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    1. As you know murisopsis means mouse vision and it is my geocaching name. I did a rabbit because in our family we used the phrase “quick like a bunny” to tell the kids to hurry. When we are trying to get a FTF (first to find) we’d say we had to be quick like a bunny… I really do like mice!

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  4. I think we’ve all suffered a few disappointments, things we were looking forward to that won’t happen until we get the ALL CLEAR on the Coronavirus. Glad you’re making path tags, a sort of reassurance to yourself that things will, eventually, go back to normal.

    I find that the days run together. I might fail a dementia test, not knowing what day it is. No, really. Last week, I was busily making my Lenten special, macaroni and cheese, for dinner. My cell phone rang and when I picked it up, I noticed it said “Thursday” on the display. I’d been all but certain it was Friday. I had eaten meatless meals all day long.

    With but a few minor tweaks to your list, Muri, I have outlined my own typical day. 🙂
    Up and at ’em by 7:30 AM.
    Read and reflect on Lenten meditation in my Little Black Book.
    Feed the cat and dogs. Bring in the paper. Make myself breakfast.
    Do household chores (empty dishwasher, fold laundry, sweep/vacuum, dinner prep, etc.)
    Do the mini-crossword in the New York Times and skim the headlines.
    Make coffee in my French press.
    Read posts on WP Reader and comment, then scroll aimlessly on FaceBook.
    Fix lunch followed by clean up and dog walk to the beach or around the neighborhood.
    Read a book (currently, The Plague by Albert Camus) until my eyelids get heavy.
    Work on my afghan.
    Make dinner and clean up after. Brush and floss.
    Watch whatever is free on Amazon Prime. (Currently, SVU and Interrogation).
    Off to bed by 11 pm.
    *Poetry is written at the Muse’s beck and call.

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    1. Sounds like a good routine! I sometimes need to poke my muse into action. I do that by reading poetry and then listening to music or by staring out the window or going for a walk… and then I force myself to write down random thoughts. Eventually (after a few days and some sleep where my subconscious works things out) I’m able to get something on paper – a first draft that then can be revised to something I can post…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that you geocache. (I need to research, does one Have to have a gps to do it?)
    I did not know about pathtags, though; cool. Cache swag!
    NPM very soon; maybe it will be a bit more popular, given the givens. 😉

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    1. Hi Kim! You can use a smart phone if you don’t have a handheld GPS. The best app is geocaching.com and is also the website where you can log your caches (if you don’t want to take the time to log on the phone). Anyway it is a really fun activity with caches all over the place! Some are hard and some are easy (there is a difficulty and terrain rating on each cache page).
      I’m really excited for NPM this year. Saintvi wanted me to post a poetry challenge so I’ve been working on one to post on April 1. Hope you can join the fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, for details! It could be all kinds of fun, here in the deep South.
        I will be reading your pieces, and hopefully sprinkle a few of my own around, this month.

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  6. I am one that my new normal is the same as my old normal except disinfecting or wash my hands a 1000 times a day instead for a hundred. Also no sit down meals for the foreseeable future.

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    1. Yeah all the restaurant dinning rooms are closed so everything (if you are feeling adventuresome) is carry-out/curbside pick-up or if you can afford it delivery! Hand washing is a real pain – had to breakout my stash of special soap that I picked up on sale after Christmas. We are now using “hollyberry” that has sparkles in it…

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        1. I recommend Silicone Glove from Avon or any other similar product. It really does keep your hands from drying and cracking. Wash hands, dry them, apply hand lotion and work it in until completely absorbed, then apply a small amount of the silicone glove and work that in. You can wash your hands about 3-5 times before having to reapply and your hands will be smooth and soft!

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                    1. Best lotion I found is baby lotion, vaseline, and vitamin E lotion all mixed together. It last a while on the skin but it washes away to easy on the hands.

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      1. So far, we are okay. We do all we can to stay safe but I still have to tutor. I lysol like crazy b/4 and after kids. LOL. Wash hands, use sanitizer, etc. Yes, she is still going strong.

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        1. I hope you are wearing some sort of mask! If not you should make your own using hair elastic bands and a bandanna… lots of videos online and it is better than nothing (if you change it when it gets moist)…Please be safe!

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  7. My routine is so busy, the exhaustion caught up with me today. I didn’t get dressed until 7:30 pm and then only because my legs were cold (I was wearing a big tee shirt I sleep in at home and a robe). Since I was putting on leggings, I had to put on underwear, and since I was doing that, I figured I might as well go whole hog and put on a bra and a warm shirt for letting the dogs in and out. Now I’m too warm. Hopefully I’ll find my energy tomorrow and be back out there shopping and delivering groceries to all the homebound. Most of my customers are now people who can’t risk coming in contact with the virus… cancer patients, people with elderly parents staying with them, and those with or living with someone with a compromised immune system. It makes it worthwhile, but I feel doomed to catch the virus eventually. I also feel more and more certain that GeoWoodstock and the other events will be canceled this year. I’ve had the feeling since things got crazy while we were in Arkansas, and you know in my family we have The Gift!

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    1. Don’t make me have to do the “gypsy curse”! There had better be GWXVIII because I got may passport and everything!! I was going to order my pathtags but now I’m worried that it would be unwise to order the one for GeoWoodstock… Son#1 delivered bananas tonight. We passed made the exchange by putting the bananas on the porch and then dropping the $$ after we retrieved the fruit. Had to wash them with soap and water and toss the bag and wash our hands like we were contaminated with a zombie virus. Tomorrow we are heading to Meijer and wearing our masks. We plan on stripping down and putting everything in the wash as soon as we get home – then a shower and the decontamination of purchases will begin. Please stay safe and if you don’t have a mask – make one…

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  8. Geocaching seems like a lot of fun. Your tags are so cool! I imagine it’s a really cool community to be part of. Haha – Buttercup. Cute. You seem to have a pretty good routine going on. Take care! peace

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    1. It is a lot of fun and there are every age and ability that participate. The caches with terrain ratings of 1 are wheelchair accessible. We are really looking forward to getting out and finding some caches now that the weather isn’t below zero… Stay safe and healthy!

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    1. Me too! I have a full day tomorrow since one of the grocery items is furniture polish so I can dust. Dusting is one of my least favorite chores. I’d rather vacuum and do 20 loads of laundry than dust. Sparky did all the ceiling fans in the whole house and even cleaned all the light fixtures. Now I just need to get him to wash the windows. Maybe I can wash the windows and he can dust… He said we could try to find a cache on April fool’s day but I’m not sure if he was pulling my leg or not!

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  9. Your post makes me think of a the book ” Remarkable creatures ” by Tracy Chevalier. Two women(1810) are exploring the seashore along the cliff to find strange fossils a perfect romantism like what I felt in seeing the photo of your shadows in a wood . felt this romantism.
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. Thanks Michel! There was a river below with 2 different bridges – a new one and an old one. It was very picturesque but we had more fun making shadows in the late sun! I call it silly but we did have fun and have some really good memories of the trip.

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  10. You have a full schedule, as I would have guessed-as one’s use of time is set in childhood, and is more influenced by what we see our parents(especially our mothers) do, as a matter of routine.

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    1. Yes. Childhood was only occasionally “boring” and heaven help you if you made a pronouncement of such. We would be set to cleaning or some other task. If we ever complained of being cold we were told to put on a sweater and then start moving – moving as in cleaning. We rarely were bored or cold!

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  11. thanks for adding in more detail … I had wondered why this wasn’t showing in my reader until I realised it’s an older post 🙂
    Thanks for linking it Val!

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    1. You are so very welcome! I have all my April posts already scheduled due to posting poems and I didn’t want to wait until May. I hope you like the new revisions!

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  12. There are some geocaches hidden in our beautiful park (Stanley Park) here in Vancouver, British Columbia. We often come across people poking into fallen logs and crooks of trees…I hope your trip doesn’t get cancelled…your day resembles ours and makes me smile!

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    1. I am checking daily to see if the event will still go on. It is expected to be a Mega meaning 500+ people in attendance. Geocaching s such a great hobby and meeting folks from all over the world makes it that much more fun. GeoWoodstock XVIII is being held in the Fraser Valley near Abbotsford unless it is cancelled.

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      1. British Columbia has flattened the curve but our chief health officer has just cancelled all of our spring/summer festivals, perhaps your event will be held via video-conferencing if it gets cancelled…the information re: softening our lockdown changes daily it seems! Good luck!!

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            1. Thanks! I was listening to the radio and they reported that Canada has closed the borders to all except trucks and citizens returning from working in the US. I’m not sure when that went into effect or if the particulars are accurate but it doesn’t bode well for the event in August…

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    1. I read the 4th Harry Potter book – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in one sitting (736 pages) in one go. I picked it up from the bookstore after work (~5:30 PM) and since the rest of the family was on a BoyScout trip out to Chesapeake Bay for sailing I started reading as soon as I got home. I read until 6:30 AM… Only breaks were to grab a bite and to take bathroom breaks. I was exhausted but I enjoyed the book immensely! I hadn’t had a marathon reading session since Watership Down which had just over 400 pages…

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