Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The History of the Big Blue Team


The Big Blue Team consists of Grandpa, Grandma (me), and our three grandsons (now ages 10, 8, 4). We live in St. Thomas, Ontario.

Our very first letterboxing trek was July 23, 2007. We started out with a shopping trip to collect supplies -- for letterboxing and for eating. A store-bought clown stamp and blue ink were selected for our team stamp. We named our team The Big Blue Team for a very important reason -- we couldn't agree to anything else -- and we were all dressed in blue. Our first find in St. Thomas was Jumbo. Our first find in London was London Calling. Our first plant in St. Thomas was The Onion in the Sky. This box went missing Winter 07-08 when someone (the city perhaps) cleaned up the area. The letterboxer who came the furthest to find our box was a little girl form England.

Our second trek was during a buying trip to Mississauga. We stopped to try and find Blair's Sheaves Tower. The location was fabulous but we never did find the box. A little disappointed but not too much. We took tons of beautiful photos. This location is so picturesque.

That same summer we also made a day trip to Mitchell's Bay and found Marine Park Series #2.


Our team stamp is now a store-bought train engine stamp which we ink blue to represent our team name and our home town.

June 3, 2008: We had the boys for the evening so we headed out to plant some new boxes since there were so few in our area. They are My Dam Letterbox, Ready, Aim . . . Letterbox, and New Onion in the Sky.

It was July 6 before we were able to head out on another trek. We started off by checking up on all our plants. It was so much fun reading the notes and stamps from letterboxers as far away as Buffalo, New York. We decided to check up on London Calling and Jumbo while we were out. We did a little first aid on Jumbo and when we returned home we contacted the planter to let her know we had done so and that she'd had lots of people find her box.

The second last week of July we went on a travel and camping trip with our grandsons and niece in a motor home. We had a marvellous time and even managed to find a few great spots to plant some letterboxes. We checked on Marine Park Series #2 and found it missing. We planted one of our own boxes as a temporary measure and when we were back home we contacted the planter about the first aid we'd done. We planted three letterboxes on this trip. In Dresden, ON we planted Freedom in Canada. Near Port Alma, ON we planted Windy North Shore. And near Dutton, ON we planted The Economist's Inuksuk.

We attended our first event September 20, 2008 -- Box ON! in Guelph, ON. What a great day. All the kids keep talking about now is when can we get back to Guelph and find more boxes. So many to find. So little time. The event was amazing and eye opening for us. And Taylor won the door prize!! Here is a list of our finds:
Traditional: We found all six boxes in the Box ON 2008 Parkside Series, and King of Town's Ham,
Traveler: Alma Mater , The Travelin' Canuck, Order, Order, Order, Read This, What Nation is my Trail Name from? , Trailfeathers' trail stamp of a bird, Jiggs' trail stamp, and Jiggs with Attitude
Cooties: Loose Tooth, Leave No Trace, and Got Ya
Event Stamp: A Loon for a Loonie, Royal Flush, and we found three of the Lord of the Rings stamps, Dora - Best Friends - The Big Humbo Jumbo, we found three of the Royal Choir stamps, Box ON Guelph, 2008, and Italian Renaissance Mask,
Other: Royal Coat of Arms of the UK, cupcake, and Canada Flag

One fine fall day we went to Pinafore Park to do some carving and make a plant. We now all have personal travelers: Superman, It's a Nut, Evergreen, Bessie and Hidden Gem. We also planted our very first hand carved stamp in The Hand Reaching Out.

On Thanksgiving Day (October 13) we went to London and found Old Oakie. It took us 3 hours because there weren't as many helpful people on the trail as we could have hoped for . . . lol . . . but we are so glad we found it. We had a great afternoon. When we came out of the woods, my oldest grandson looked at Grandpa hopefully and asked if we could "Call a cab back to our van" . . . lol.

I really miss not letterboxing in the winter so I've discovered virtual letterboxes and solved quite a few of them (27 actually): My Favorite Icarts 1 Box #1 and 2, Zoey 101, Simpsons 13, Finish This, What Bible Character am I? #12, Being Sonic with Wolves Part 5, Extinct, A Monumental Occasion, A Redneck Christmas Box #1 - 12, Staring Contest, I Got Your Nose, Do You Fight for Justice?, Wanna Waltz? Wanna Arm Wrestle?, Poor Kitty!!!!!!!!!!.

I also discovered LTC's this past winter. For my first LTC swap I carved Candy Cane on a white eraser. Simple . . . but then so am I. I received my own card back and 10 others which I really enjoyed. I have a few Candy Cane LTCs still available for trade.

I have participated in one postal so far: Peter Pan. A quick funny story to share about this one. My house and store keys went missing around the time I was participating in this postal. Imagine my surprize when I received AQMail from Mudflinginfools asking if I would like my keys mailed back!!!!!!

Well that's it for our history. We've already made one trek out in 2009 and can't wait to go out again.

See ya on the trail
Big Blue Team
St. Thomas, ON

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our first trek in 2009 - Family Day Holiday

We usually wait until spring to begin letterboxing, but today was cold, crisp and sunny . . . and I desperately needed a day off . . . to get away from it all . . . to spend some quality time with Grandpa.

We left St. Thomas at 8:09 am today.

Our first stop was Blair's Sheaves Tower. This was our second attempt and we FOUND IT. We are quite pleased with ourselves now. What a great way to start the morning.

Our next stop as That Chickadee Feeling. This was a bit of a tough find because there was a lot of ice and snow . . . but worth every slip and slide . . . and the chickadees are adorable.

Our third stop was O-2A Sky Master. What a great find. The carving was exquisite.

We noted two venues in the area we'd like to see -- The Children's Safety Village and Wings of Paradise. We've been to Wings before but it is definitely worth a second visit.

Our next attempt was A Walk in the Woods. Yep . . . just an attempt. I'm not sure if we were misinterpreting the clues or what . . . but we just could not figure it out. We'll do a little more research and give it another try next time we are in the area.

Wunderbar was another attempt. We found it but it was surrounded by muggles and we couldn't think of a good reason to go in after it . . . we'll go back next time with the grandkids to serve as a distraction.

Next we went to the Mennonites of Waterloo County - #1 Log Cabin Quilt. What a lovely walk. And the stamp was adorable. I can't wait for the rest of the series to be planted. We will definitely be back to find them.

Last stop before we headed home . . . Tastes Just Like Pu-erh. I didn't think the tea shop would be open but I wanted to check where it was for future reference and perhaps take a few photos. When Grandpa went to the door he spotted a note that stated the shop was opened Sunday and Monday by appointment only and included a phone number. We called. Karen invited us in and brewed a pot of Pu-erh tea. I loved it. I think Karen is the perfect hostess and I'm looking forward to a return trip to try more flavours . . . I spotted a bavaria chocolate rooibos that is calling my name . . .
It's been a long and exciting day. I hope to meet you all on the trail one day.
See ya at the Cut N Paste,
Big Blue Team
St. Thomas ON

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January is just a blur . . .

. . . and I already know there aren't enough days in February to contain everything I want to do . . .

Have you seen the February Pizza Box Kit yet? 

Here's a quick catch up on what I've been up to . . .

Did you hear Hal and I are taking ballroom dancing lessons? LOL . . . we really aren't very good . . . but we certainly do have a great time trying . . .

I hosted one crop in January and vendored at another . . .

I went to a St. Thomas Stars Hockey Game . . . Connie's wish . . .

We sang Karaoke . . . Rachelle's wish . . .

. . . where we sang Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to a very appreciative audience . . .

There is so much going on at the store that I just don't know where to start . . . some promotions have been cancelled (for a while) such as Saturday Make N Take and the Monthly Challenge Kit. Don't worry . . . you are going to love the promotions we are bringing in to replace them . . .

And please take a moment to check out Cut N Paste Online.

See ya at the Cut N Paste,