Tuesday, October 14, 2014

41 by 41 Halfway Mark

It's been a little over 6 months since I started this 41 by 41 journey.  I sat down, made a list of 41 things that I thought my 41 year old self needed to accomplish.  Some have been wonderful, some challenging and others I'm realizing are not going to happen.  So in this update, I'm also editing a few of my goals.

For example, the riding my bike to the farmer's market isn't going to happen, the market won't be open until after my next birthday.  I realized that the reason I didn't do this one is that I didn't feel safe riding down the highway.  Instead, I'll change it something just as challenging, but still achievable.

I'm also so close on quite a few of these, that I imagine there will be a few upcoming months that I'll look like an overachiever.  There are 21 items left and 6 months, which leaves 3.5 things to do each month.  Still very doable.

Here we go:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Faux Trail Hike

Last Monday, I ran for 3 minutes.  Wednesday, 4.  Friday, an amazing five.  I didn't think I could do the five and now next Monday is 6 with Wednesday 2 sets of 4.

I have no lingering soreness from the runs so it's a good sign that my body is able to do this.  However, with just these small walk/runs 3 times a week, I'm concerned that it's not enough to bring down my weight and get me in shape.  Weight-wise, I gained a little these last couple of days but I was kind of expecting it.  Since being sick a couple weeks ago, I lost a bit and I think my body is equalizing itself.  Hopefully that's done with and it's all downhill now.

The last couple years I've been reading trail journals, Appalachian, Pacific Crest, The Way, etc.  It's not feasible for me now but maybe someday.  In the meantime, I'm going to take the miles that I go on my walk/runs and see how far I would be on the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia on Springer Mountain.  I do realize that a treadmill, a paved neighborhood or a state trail is no comparison to the real trail.  I don't have physical mountains, I have mental mountains to cross.  And no backpack or bugs or pumping water or bears, you get the picture.

So that's why this is a Faux Trail Walk like a Faux fur is to a real fur.  No animals were harmed in the walking of this trail.  I'll use this guide to gauge how far.

Going back to the beginning of my running schedule, I've gone 7.72 miles which brings me past the logging road, almost to Hawk Mountain Shelter.  Only 2,170.58 miles to go.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I was sick last week.  So like usual, I did a marathon watch of a television show.  This time I chose the Amazing Race.  Suddenly, I was hooked - I watched every season that I could for free.  What was it about this show that was touching me deeply even after I was well again?

Then a phrase kept popping up in my mind, "run the race."  I went to the verse in Hebrews that tells us to run the race of faith.  And not only to run, but to run so as to get the prize.

There was a team of two guys a couple seasons back, Tom and Andy.  They were quite good at anything physical that they had to go through and enjoyed it.  It was like the world was their playground.  On top of this, they were Christians and ran the race with integrity.  When it came down to a foot race for first place in a leg, they ran and won it by seconds.  They ran to win the prize.

I wondered, what would it be like to be in a race like this and able to go through each obstacle with joy as this team did?  More than that, isn't that what Hebrews is calling us to do in life?

As my mind spiderwebbed, I realized that not only do I want to run the race spiritually, but also physically.  Just think what could be done if my body was ready to face physical obstacles.  And in being fit and able, the mind is shaped and ready as well.

Time to start running again.  I started this week on a different C25K schedule than before.  Because I can still run a lot more than I did when I started the first time, I stepped it up.  This schedule starts me at running 2 minute intervals and today was 3.  I got through each training run by mental games.  It wasn't about the physical condition of my body rather it was my mind overriding and encouraging me to complete the task.

Once I'm able to run 3.1 miles straight, then I'll work on other things.  One step at a time.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August Update

Just yesterday, I posted my July update - or so it seems.  Time for the 41 by 41 update.

#4 - almost there, it's at the quilters.  After that, binding and voila!
#10 - Done, about 2 weekends ago.  I could've walked faster, next time I may take into "high" gear.
#21 - This one is a little tricky.  I took the cardi out and noticed a big hole in the center back.  The fronts which were on the needles, had a mistake in the cables at the very bottom.  It basically all has to be taken apart.  I've decided to knit a different cable cardi and started it last week.
#31 - Basically done, just have to order it off Shutterfly
#36 - still working on draft 2
#37 - booked for Feb 14th.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July Update

Cruise Night at the Drive-in with my brother and nephew

Ah, July.  The height of summer and activities.  Of hot temps, ice cream cones, boat rides and car shows.  Goal making?  Not so much.  July was pretty much a fail for me.  Here's how it went down, or didn't.

#1 - Find space for prayer.
This came up unexpectedly as a lot of spiritual things do.  God knows I like surprises.  I had imagined that after I repainted my craft room, I'd find a cozy chair and stick it in the corner for a prayer corner.  But in the interim, my prayer spot has become the right side of our couch, with a handy knitting project that I take out mostly to knit on when I pray.  It's not as ideal or perfect, but one can't always wait for those things.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Geek + History = Bliss

First off, a little background.  I'm the youngest of 3 adopted daughters and two "natural" born sons.  And of the five, I'm the only one currently interested in genealogy.  Add to that the irony that I'm obviously adopted, being the only one not caucasian.  I've worked with the family photos off and on and in my dad's last year, we went through as many photos as possible.  He was happy to pass it all on to me and trusted that I'd take care of the family history.  He wasn't surprised at all that I was the one interested.  First of all, I love museums and history and second, he said that since I was last, of course I'd want to know what happened before me.

I picked up the genealogy research again (before only going as far as the easy ancestry.com searches allowed), this time I went through every documentation as much as I could, making notes and citiing sources like a good English Major.

My dad's side can be traced back to the mid 1400's in England.  My mom's side, just to Great Grandparents and one set is missing.  So as I was studying the census records, I came across a name I hadn't noticed before.  She was listed below the family with a different last name and I almost missed it.  But there she was, as "mother-in-law."  Voila, I had discovered "my" 2nd Great Grandmother.

With a little more research, I found her husband's name and their children.  I was so happy to have stumbled on that tiny bit of info, that launched me back another generation.  It was like I had discovered hidden treasure.

I've been emailing with a distant cousin who was able to send me a photo of these grandparents.  And I've recently sent her a thumb drive full of my photos.  We're both pretty ecstatic and phrases like the "mother lode" and "new discoveries' have popped up.

This is all a bit exciting but also funny and ironic.  And I can't wait to make more "new" discoveries of these people that I've adopted as my own.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jazzing June

Three months completed and 12 of the 41 by 41 are checked off the list.  That's an average of 4 per month.  With 9 months to go, there are 29 things left.  I'll need to average 3.22222222222 items per month to complete them all.  Which I think is pretty doable if I try to go for 4 per month.  Some of the items take a bit more time and effort such as #4, #13, #18, #21, #24, #26, etc.  And some are fairly easy so I'll save them for when I need them.

I've considered changing a few of these as I don't know if I still want to do them.  Would that be cheating?  And if so, who am I cheating?  But for now, all items stay as they are.  Here's what I did this last month.

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 41 by 41 Update

These last couple of weeks have been great for my 41 by 41 list.  A few deadlines, some nice weather, and voila!

#2 - Finish Taxes.  DONE!  This was the first year I got to report my writing "earnings" on taxes.

#3 - Make A&B something.  Wedding gifts are done and ready to go.  Pic later in case she's following this blog.

#15 - Rock a part of the yard.  The part I had intended for rocks we decided to add wood chips instead.  So it works for me to cross that off the list.

#20 - Put flowers on parents grave.  Went yesterday and put some orange roses in the vase.  Lots of memories going to my home town again.

#30 - Done and printed by Shutterfly for free, of course.

#35 - Buy something sexy.  Yep, out goes the old t-shirt night shirts.  Time to reclaim some fun.

In progress:

#4 - all squares are done, just assembly, quilting and binding left.
#12 - started to declutter craft room, yikes.
#13 - bedroom and hall closet done.
#18 - a few more inches worked, may have to put it aside until cooler weather
#28 - almost there, just need some test knitters and gauge measurement

So now the list looks like this:

41 before 41

1)  Find space for prayer
2) Finish 2013 taxes
3) Make A and B something
4) Complete J’s quilt
5) Respond to C
6) Plate wall
7)  See a sunrise
8) Do an extreme couponing trip
9)  Drive the boat
10)  Drive the tractor
11)  Get a new look
12)  Get rid of past crafts
13)  Declutter house for move
14)  Clean drain
15)  Rock a part of the yard
16) Keep a manicure for 2 weeks
17)  Ride bike to farmer’s market
18)  Finish linen stitch blanket
19)  Set up accounts for online banking
20)  Put flowers on parents grave
21)  Knit cable cardi
22)  Take the train
23)  Write an article
24)  Share my faith
25) Buy myself flowers
26)  Paint craft room
27)  Explore international genealogy
28)  Design a knitting pattern
29)  Give A her book
30)  England part 2 book
31)  India year 2 book
32)  Eat Korean food
33) Organize family photos
34)  Try on a size 16
35)  Buy something sexy
36)  Publish women in India book
37)  Go to a play
38)  Take a Class
39)  Write a poem
40)  Cook something gourmet
41)  Schedule that photo shoot

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I've only finished one this so far for this month for the 41 by 41.  Yeah, there's still a few weeks to go but I didn't get all 4 last month either.  But, I have a few "almosts" and "works in progresses."

#2 - almost there, just a few things to verify.
#3 - had a minor difficulty.  Changing patterns and ripping back.
#4 - piecing is just about there.
#9 - I rode in it, does that count?  Didn't think so.
#17 - we pumped up the tires and inspected it, but then it rained for a week.  Bleh.
#18 - picked it up again, would like to enter it in the fairs.
#28 - written out, just need a few pics and some test knitters.
#40 - I'm thinking, poached salmon with hollandaise sauce, roasted baby red tomatoes with rosemary, green beans with almonds, baked rolls and some white whine/wine.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April Update - 11 Months To Go

About a month ago, I posted my 41 by 41 list.  Each month I'll update on how I'm doing with that list.  One thing that I've noticed is that I think about the things on the list and am surprised at how easy it is to cross things off.  The act of making the list and putting it out there is motivating me to complete each item.  A couple of times I found myself starting and/or completing a project and then realizing, "hey, that's on my list!"  So something is happening.  It also helps that I put realistic things on it that are a little challenging but not insurmountable.  So here's what I've accomplished so far.

Friday, April 4, 2014

3 Generations on a Wall

A few years ago I came across a photo of plate wall art.  When we repainted the kitchen, my plan was to use the plates that my grandmother gave me, plates that my mom's brother gave to her, plates from our cupboards and plates from garage sales to fill in the rest.  Pinterest pinning ensued.

I used super glue, Lochtite, my favorite, and glued sawtooth hangers to the backs of the plates.  I did try to

Monday, March 31, 2014

41 By 41

So the calendar caught up to me and I found the dial on my age turn over a decade.  It's possible that I've lived half or less than half my life already.  My brother didn't make it past 40 and my mom to 55.  Granted I'm not blood related but one never knows.

In the months leading up to my 40th, I played around with the idea of some goals before I hit 40.  I never really solidified any of them and this winter was deep and cold so motivation was low.  Instead, I'm turning

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Edible Bouquet

You'll need:
  • 2 packages of strawberries (or whatever fruit you can spear)
  • paring knife
  • wooden skewers
  • vase with a wide mouth (washed)