This month on Friday the 13th I found myself at summer camp on purpose. I know. I wasn’t there for purposes of making a horror movie come true, though, I was there to learn how to read a map and shoot a bow and arrow.
I attended the Washington Outdoor Women’s weekend workshop and it was held at an honest to goodness summer camp. There were girls’ and boys’ dorms, a bonfire circle, a cafeteria and a gong to call everybody to meals. The camp was entirely filled with women who gathered to learn or hone outdoors skills. After listing my top choices for classes I realized that they would all apply to things I’d need to know in the case of the Zombie Apocalypse.
My first class was Map and Compass where I learned how to read a map, work a compass, account for declination and how to find myself on a map when I’m not quite sure where I am. I was surprised at how much fun it was, very much puzzle solving, and I might just get into Orienteering.
Next I took archery and I managed to hit at least somewhere on the target every time, which I counted as far better than what I expected going in. I even hit the very middle of the target once! I’m pretty sure it was a mistake, but it still counts.
My last class was Wilderness First Aid. We used oranges to learn to clean wounds and got the inside view on how to stock a first aid kit. I always suspected but now I know that those first aid kits you can buy aren’t worth it, you’re better off making your own collection.
The only bad part of the weekend was the dorm situation. I barely got any sleep and it made me a grumpy human. The trouble was that the bathrooms were in the dorms and those dorms held about 80 women and there was no way to shut out the noise of running water or industrial toilets flushing late into the night and very, very early in the morning. It was a huge downside to an otherwise amazing weekend. (The weekend was held at a different camp the year before so the reports I got from friends didn’t apply to this weekend. I’d much rather have been sleeping in a tent outside.)
Washington Outdoor Women is a great organization that uses experienced and enthusiastic teachers. For the map and compass class one of our instructors worked with Search and Rescue and had just finished hiking the Pacific Coast Trail at age 68. Our archery teacher had finished first in nationals several times and was able to talk us through all the different forms of archery for competition and hunting.
If you are interested in the outdoors I can definitely recommend looking into Washington Outdoor Women, it was great to learn new skills surrounded by supportive females. And you don’t have to live in Washington there were women attending from Oregon, Montana and Idaho. It was indeed like summer camp, only you didn’t have time to get homesick. See you there next year?
· comments  · 11-7-2013 · categories:events ·
I’ve been saving up a few games on my iPad for our upcoming trip
This is a Sega game from Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert an Double Fine Productions. I have not played it yet so I’m just hoping that the on screen controls all make sense. Yay for vintage games. (iTunes.)
The Walking Dead
What? I know, I have been holding onto this game for a long time. I played the first chapter and decided to keep it for the upcoming long plane ride. (iTunes.)
I actually played all the way through this and have been trying to forget all the good stuff so I can play it again. This game is so very charming and sweet, I actually played each level as a sort of bedtime story. This is a simple and entertaining point and click animated game. (iTunes, also on Android.)
Draw A Stickman Epic
I played through this before but they’ve added a levels and completeist elements since then. Also it’s all Halloween themed right now! (iTunes.)
This one is a suggestion on my part, I played the PC version of this a few years back and really really enjoyed it. I’m not sure how the on-screen controls will translate. In this game you are a little mermaid creature who wakes up with no memory and have to explore the underwater world, memories come back as you explore. There is a little combat but you can largely zoom past all the nasty creatures instead of fighting. (iTunes.)
Are there any iPad games you’ve been playing lately? Any that were surprisingly amazing?
· comments  · 11-4-2013 · categories:technology ·
We are at the point in our trip where we are heading out to more remote areas and so I’ll be hitting pause on my Kinder Egg A Day posts until we have returned to a place where I don’t feel so guilty spending time at my laptop. I’ve got a few posts lined up to fill in while we’re busy chasing rainbows. See you soon!
· comments  · 10-29-2013 · categories:mumbling ·
This is the third egg from a box I bought in Belgium.
I see feet!
Oh my gosh. Oh dear. Is that a body that’s been cut in half? Is that a dead shade of pale? Are those intestines!?
Nope! It’s just a Smurf figurine. A Smurf figurine that looks like a zombie holding it’s own intestines. The little skirt there is made from a bit of fabric, a nice touch. Still, look at that thing. Shudder.
· comments  · 10-28-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
This is another one of the eggs I bought in Belgium. I started unwrapping it before taking the photo here, oops.
What? No little bits?
It’s a puzzle!
I’m always surprised at how much they can fit into the Kinder Surprise capsules and this is no exception. This is part of a wild animal theme, but this time the
ostrich emu is way cuter than before.
· comments  · 10-27-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
The next three eggs are from a Smurf branded box bought at a grocery store in Bruges.
Oh dear. Is that… teeth?
Are those naked legs?!
Whew, thankfully it’s just an ostrich! Ostriches have strange feet.
· comments  · 10-26-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
This is the third girl themed egg from a box of three that I bought in Bruges.
That blue thing is a stiff sort of fabric.
When assembled and the little green cup is slid up it’s a beautiful flower.
And when it’s down it reveals a fairy. You guys I’m completely in love with this. I’m going to call her Princess Magic Face.
· comments  · 10-25-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
This is the second of a box of three girl themed eggs I bought in Bruges.
It’s the blue meth!
(Note: No. No it isn’t.)
Oh my god it’s half of a woman and a methed up sea monster! Run in fear!
Sing it! “I wanna go where the people go”.
It’s one of the Disney princess collectibles. I’m not feeling all that into collecting a whole set of anything (I learned better back in my Happy Meal days) but it was still fun to snap the pieces together. I am actually doing my best to be disgruntled by the brand tie-in toys but so far they are charming. I’m aware that much of this unavoidable charm is fueled by the scarcity of Kinder Surprise eggs in my everyday surroundings but still, these continue to be more fun than I’d hoped.
· comments  · 10-24-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
I bought this three pack of eggs in a supermarket in Bruges. Note the lovely flowery pink decoration on the top? I have another box of boy oriented eggs to come later.
It’s not a Disney princess! (There were Disney princesses printed on the side of the box.)
It’s a… huh. What is that?
A psychic weather predicting bear? If so, what does it mean that the bear is permanently wearing a warm scarf? Are we doomed to cold days?
When you press down on the head the wheel of weather spins, and when you let go it pops into a specific weather prediction. Well, actually, when you let go the bear falls over, slides across the table and falls onto the floor. But once you learn to hold onto the base of the bear then you get a weather prediction.
The bear was correct for today, it’s sunny! Today is our last day in Bristol and we needed some clean clothes so I’m typing this from a laundromat that happens to have a cafe and a really lovely little hidden back patio. I’m sitting in a shady corner looking at ridiculously cheerful petunias wave a little in the breeze. Bristol, you’re amazing.
· comments  · 10-23-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
This is a second not-Kinder egg that I found in Bruges.
The chocolate for these eggs, which I completely failed to post a picture of in this post, was good. It was like the decent Easter chocolate I’d get as a kid. It wasn’t as waxy or as salty as the Kinder egg chocolate.
Both of these eggs were branded with an airplane movie tie-in.
It’s cute! And again, the parts for this plane were incredibly small. While I was charmed by the wee-ness of both planes I’m finding myself impressed with how cleverly the Kinder brand manages to stuff larger toys to assemble in the same sized capsule. By comparison a tiny airplane seems like cheating.
· comments  · 10-22-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
Last weekend I checked off an item on my life list and the first of four things I’m hoping to do while on my trip to the UK. I ate a Liege style waffle while standing firmly on Belgium soil. While standing in Bruges to be exact.
We found the first one within less than an hour of arriving in the city. It was delicious. Warm and yeasty and sweet and the perfect way to shake off the the slight panic brought on by finding all the train station listings in Belgium to be in Dutch and therefore completely incomprehensible to us and being without a SIM card for Belgium. Oh the horror.
The next day we set out to find more and, delightfully, it wasn’t difficult. I’m including the time stamps below so you can see how easy it is to stumble from one waffle place to the next. In all of these we bought the hot waffles from the window of a shop and ate them while wandering around.
And after that we really needed to stop and go find some salad for dinner.
The next morning we had a waffle from this adorable van. We ate it while standing in a park and looking at a Medieval cathedral. Bruges I love you.
· comments  · 10-21-2013 · categories:food · travel ·
These are not Kinder brand eggs, but they are essentially the same thing. Scott and I were visiting Bruges last weekend and we were walking back from a quest for rare beer when I spotted a family standing on the sidewalk, the little boy had unwrapped a chocolate egg and had just cracked open the chocolate to reveal a capsule inside that was clearly not the standard yellow Kinder capsule. I have never wanted to grab candy from a baby more than that moment.
They were standing outside a convenience store so I did an abrupt 45 degree turn and pushed my way inside and there they were! The not-Kinder eggs looking very, very much like Kinder eggs. We retreated from the rain to open them in a pub, much to the amusement of the French speakers at the next table.
The seam in the egg is very neat, turns out it’s because there isn’t a which chocolate layer inside.
The capsule is transparent.
And inside are very small bits.
Very very small bits.
The little parts here are so small I wondered how much that would make the US safety people shudder at the thought of a child swallowing them.
It’s a teeny tiny airplane! Branded to the movie, but we didn’t bother with the stickers right away. Even though putting it together was very easy I’m still delighted.
· comments  · 10-21-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
While I’m in the UK I’m getting my Kinder Surprise fix by opening an egg a day.
A girl egg, from a Tesco Metro grocery store.
Hang on, this is suspiciously like the other one.
I was right! It’s another bracelet, this one in a different color.
Let’s review shall we? The last four eggs produced these pairs of items. I’m unreasonably fascinated by the color coordination going on here.
Next up: Kinder Surprise eggs bought at an entirely different store.
· comments  · 10-20-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
While I’m in the UK I’m getting my Kinder Surprise fix by opening an egg a day.
Ladies and gentlemen we have a boy egg.
This looks familiar.
Why look, another one of these nifty spring loaded cars. We can race!
· comments  · 10-19-2013 · categories:kindereggaday ·
The sky even put on it’s best spooky display for us that evening.
Remember back when we managed to sidestep the issue of a tiny house keeping us from holding a dinner party by renting the back room of a restaurant and the result was an awesome time? Well that experience led us to holding another gathering in a setting that I wish I owned — we held a bonfire party in the midst of a corn maze. And it was festive as hell. If you can manage to find something similar I highly recommend doing this. Heck, let’s all make it an annual tradition.
It was late September but the corn was really, really tall.
Last year Scott and I visited half a dozen corn mazes because I love them. We went to one night maze at Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm and it was spooky and fun but half way through the maze we were surprised to come across an area with bonfires and a little concession stand selling cider and s’mores kits and suddenly it was THE BEST THING EVER. Turns out? Bob’s Farm has totally dialed into my desires because they have small and large private bonfires areas that they rent out.
I thought about this for an entire year until Busywork was headed over for a visit and responded to my subtle suggestion (Can we do this? Let’s do this! Please!?) with a yes. So, we invited a bunch of people, gathered all foods that can be heated on sticks (hot dogs, s’mores), borrowed some commercial thermal carafes for hot cider (thanks again Maggi for the hook up with Caffe Vita!) and we were on our way.
We warned everybody to wear waterproof shoes and bring flashlights and we took care of the rest. The idea was to find your way through the first half of the maze, join us for warm sugary foods and head back through the rest of the maze. A few people became stuck in the corn maze for a while and we had to send Scott (former Eagle Scout) in to retrieve them which was a bummer. The corn maze was so much easier last year, I swear! If we do it again I’ll suggest joining us first to fuel up before heading into the maze.
You guys, if you can you should totally do this. It was great.
All photos above belong to Laura and are used with permission. Thanks Laura!
· comments  · 10-18-2013 · categories:events · halloween ·