Category Archives: Bucket List


I started planning my weekend on Monday morning.  By planning weekend trips, I’m trying to feed my wandering thoughts and find a place to run away to from a place I’ve run away to.  I like where I’m staying honestly but small town life, without the anonymity of the big town bustle, can be claustrophobic after years of big city living.

So my adventure this weekend hopefully takes me to Portland, OR.  There are a few factors weighing on that but otherwise, I’m off to Portland.

Why Portland?  Why not somewhere closer to where I’m staying?  Couple of reasons:

  1. The books.–If you know you me or have been on my blog longer enough, you know I’m a book connoisseur. I love books.  I love reading.  I have books that I’d like to getting and some that I need for my collection to complete series that I have finished and plan to read again or series that I need to finish.
  2. The food.–The last time I was in Portland, there was a great food culture there.  Pinterest was littered with what to eat in Portland, from the usual touristy things to the little known places that people have stumbled upon.  There are food cart clusters, each specializing in a few key things like pizza or burgers.  There’s restaurants with international fare and fantastic beer.  Speaking of beer…
  3. The beer.–This outside of the books and the food, is probably the number #1 reason to check out Portland.  There are over 100 different brew works so Portland is a micro-brew, small batch beer lover’s paradise.  There’s Rogue, there’s Deschuetes, there’s Hopsworks, there’s McMenagmn’s (first time I ever knew there was anything like a growler), and the list just keeps on going!
  4. The transportation.–Very rarely will I ever say I go to a city because they have a good transportation system.  I dog D.C. and Baltimore out like crazy, but Portland… Only place I am trying to find a park and ride so I can take public transit.  It’s well done, well scheduled and pretty well maintained.  And goes to the airport now.

Do you really need any other reasons to visit a great city that’s not so much a tourist trap as just an awesome place to be who you are?

I don’t.

Listening to:  Dinner cooking.

Reading:  The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.” ― Kristin Armstrong


Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Beer, Bucket List, Vacations/Travel

March’s Goals

So March…

February was another “stellar” month.  Shorter but no less exciting.  Completed:

  • Read 10 books.
  • Travel cross county (Day Zero Goal).
  • Visit California (Day Zero Goal).
  • Read 200 books (Day Zero Goal).

Awesome things happened last month though, and then some not so awesome things happened that are the reason my day is shaky.  However, moving past it and knocking things off my bucket list that I need to get done since it’s the first of the month.  Already posted my vlogs (March TBR and February Wrap-up) this morning before work.

Goals check-in:

  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,293.7.  15.3 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: 247.4 (down 5.2 lbs)
  • Books read: 14 books.
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts: 4

March goals:

  • Reach 250+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Start 1000 piece puzzle.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA).
  • Complete HRC’s Nargle 9k.
  • Complete a 24 in 48 hour readathon.
  • No fast food for the month.
  • Complete HRC’s DA 5k.

There are a few other things I’ll be adding to the list as completed this month that I don’t want to add here because I don’t know if I’ll actually do them.  *fingers crossed on them*

Happy Thursday!

Listening to:  Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Reading: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Quote of the Day:  “Some people may have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them. They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly, by ‘doing what comes naturally’; and they don’t stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose.” ― John William Gardner

Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, HRC

Change in Location

There have been few opportunities where I can change my life for the better.  One was going to DC, then having some amazing people who were great and supportive of my life and my career.  Another was meeting Ray.  I know I talk about Ray a lot but she’s pretty freaking special to me.

Then, just when life feels like it is going to break you, the Universe (or whatever external divinity you believe in) reminds you that good (and even great) things are out there.  You just have to be brave enough to take them.

Currently, I’m typing this on my laptop at a table 3,000 miles from home.  I’m still coming down off the high of even being given this opportunity.  I thought it wasn’t real up until I got told there was an action in the system for it.  Still didn’t believe it was real as I was driving out this way.  It probably won’t hit me that this is really happening to me until I get to work tomorrow and get settled.

Every missed opportunity from before…  I want to say has led to this moment.  It hasn’t though.  I screwed up on an interview years ago for almost the exact position in a different location.  Then there was Portland.  I had my hopes up and everything, only to have it land in my face 24 hours later with two words:  Not selected.  I kicked myself a lot for those, but I wouldn’t change the way all that happened.

Life is good and things are awesome.  And someone was willing to take the chance on me to allow me to the chance to work in the field.

All because I put my name in the hat to do something different.

Listening to:  Down with the Sickness by Disturbd

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Lirael by Garth Nix (Tim Curry is an awesome narrator!)

Quote of the Day:  “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become!” ― Eric Thomas

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice Column, Bucket List, Vacations/Travel

February’s Monthly Goals


I think the only things I finished was “Read 10 books,” “Start RTY 2018 mile challenge,” and “Record 10 vlogs.”

It’s been a really slow start to 2018, but we’re already a month in.  How does that happen?  Oh right:  Because I procrastinate!


Work has been great so far this year and after focusing on the books, sending one more kid off to boot camp, traveling to another’s graduation, dealing with the uncertainty of work (furloughed government employee), and just the general moodiness of S.A.D., I didn’t do much of anything this month.

But check-in anyways:

  • Miles reached: 1,231.74.  77.26 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: 252.6 (I’ve been fluctuating)
  • Books read: 27 books.
  • Blog Posts: 4
  • Vlog Posts:  11

For February, I have a detail coming up so I will complete a few things I didn’t think I’d get to do, and work is paying for it.

  • Reach 200+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Travel cross county.
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA)
  • Complete HRC’s Nargle 9k

That’s it for now.  I’m looking at other things to add to my list while I’m away but we will see.

Happy Thursday!

Listening to:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ― Osho

Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, Uncategorized

January’s Monthly Goals

So… New Year, new goals.

New month, new goals too.

I didn’t complete any Day Zero goals last month.  I did add a few, but that will be in next month’s post.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 1,138.8.  170.2 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: Saw 249 on 12/31
  • Books read: 28 books.
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts:  11
  • Completed six of the eight Hogwarts Running ClubVirtual Races.
  • Host Christmas.  It was awesome but exhausting.
  • Completed Bookish’s December Readathon.

January’s goals are just adding onto or finishing some of November’s goals, like editing my novel and such.

  • Reach 100+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Book Boston’s flights!
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Sign up to try kickboxing.
  • Start Run the Year 2018 mile Challenge.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.


Easy peasy right?

Again, Happy New Year folks.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals

2017 Accomplishments and 2018 Goals

Before the end of today, I wanted to get this posted.

Last year, especially the last few weeks, were interesting, and not in a great sort of way.  But the book of 2017 is done; has been for 19, almost 20 hours.  What all got listed on the first day of the year?  A lot.  What needs to get done?  Getting ready to go back to work/school tomorrow.  Everything else is done.

Speaking of done:

2017 Accomplishments:

  • Read 155 books Knocked the Day Zero Challenge and started working towards 200 books.
  • Go camping
  • Lost 100 lbs
  • Published a novel
  • Started a Booktube channel
  • Took a Cooking class
  • Joined the Y
  • Tried 10 new recipes from Pinterest
  • Wrote a letter to myself to be opened at the end of 1001 days Have to find it since we moved.
  • Made Prefect within HRC
  • Collected 200 postcards
  • Sent 200 postcards
  • Ran a 5k
  • Ran a 10k
  • Ran a half marathon 2 actually
  • Completed Maryland’s King Crab Challenge
  • Donated our unused/too big clothes to Goodwill
  • Completed Dave Ramsey’s financial classes
  • Get rid of 100 things
  • Make a Super Epic Rainbow Cake
  • Went to Disney’s Food and Wine Festival
  • Got our passports
  • Bought a new bed
  • Completed 30 miles in 30 days Did 34 intentional miles in two weeks.  Loved that challenge.
  • No alcohol for a month
  • Bought a house
  • Painted something cool
  • Went on a scavenger hunt in Charleston, SC
  • Watch our middle son graduate Marine bootcamp
  • Watched a drag show at Baltimore’s Pride Festival

That’s a lot.  Definitely not all that I wanted to accomplish by far, but that’s a lot.

2018 Goals:

  • Graduate College 9 classes to go
  • Publish another novel
  • Read 100 more books Bringing total number up books read for Day Zero Project to 262+
  • Build emergency funds back up
  • Submit a short story for a contest
  • Get commitment tattoos
  • Reach 2018 miles as a team
  • Make Prefect within HRC
  • No fast food for a month
  • Take a self-defense class
  • Plant a tree
  • Try kickboxing
  • Do Mentos and Diet Coke Challenge
  • Save all our change for the year
  • Donate our unused/too big clothes to Goodwill
  • Treat us to a spa day
  • Get rid of 100 things
  • Visit Boston
  • Go on a cruise
  • Visit Mom’s grave
  • Finish a cross stitch project
  • Take a pole dancing class
  • Dress up for Halloween
  • Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  • Say yes to something I normally wouldn’t do
  • Take a Thai cooking class
  • Take guitar lessons
  • Read 20 books recommended by 20 other people
  • Weigh under 200 lbs
  • Finish laser hair removal on face
  • Audition for a role in a play
  • Complete the 30 day Unsent letter challenge

Some of these are my Day Zero things; some are not.  There are 619 days left in my Day Zero Project to accomplish 72 more things.

Let’s get the party started!

Happy New Year!


Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals

December’s Goals

Thirty-one days left in 2017.

Time to start thinking about next year’s goals and getting my bullet journal ready for next year.  Can’t believe there’s only 31 days left.

I didn’t complete any Day Zero goals last month.  I did add a few, but that will be in next month’s post.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 1048.22.  260.78 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight lost: 4.0.  I’m so close!
  • Books read: 23 books.  Posting monthly wrap-up video here.
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  11
  • Complete a first draft during National Novel Writer’s MonthFinished on 11/21/17.
  • Complete five of the eight Hogwarts Running Club Virtual Races.
  • Complete eight challenges in November’s Read-A-ThinPosting wrap-up video here.
  • Host Thanksgiving.  It was awesome but exhausting.

December’s goals are just adding onto or finishing some of November’s goals, like editing my novel and such.

  • Reach 1150+ miles.
  • Lose at least 5 more lbs.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Start saving up for Boston!
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Sign up for Run the Edge 2018.
  • Host Christmas.
  • Complete Bookish’s December Readathon.
  • Complete two more virtual HRC races.
  • Come up with 2018 goals.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.

A lot of these are fairly simple and some will take time to do, but they are all doable.

Happy last month of the year!

Listening to:  me typing and Milo playing with things

Reading:  Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Quote of the Day: “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” ― Katharine Hepburn


Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Bullet Journal, Goals