A year has passed since the start of this Bucket List Quest. 13 months to be exact, and for those paying attention…. I allowed myself one more month to accomplish some tasks using the excuse that giving birth to a baby put me out of commission for at least a month so I needed at least that much more time to see what else I could still accomplish. For the record, I still plan on eventually tackling every task on my list and when I do I will blog it here, but some of those items will take time.

I started the project purposely because I felt 2012 started bad for me (literally, those first days I was miserable),I felt restless and knew I needed to put my mind to work to distract me.  Am I in a better place now having done this project?  To be completely honest, No. It served it’s purpose well.  I found myself distracted, at times consumed by accomplishing certain tasks.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun with many of the tasks.  I learned a ton with other tasks. I made new friends. Lost some friends. Sure, I grew from it.

I feel like there are many reasons why we feel the need to strive to be better or outdo ourselves and others. To compete and compare.  Find false or shortlived fulfillment in little jobs we take on.  Not to say that all that we do is out of vanity or whatnot.  But I found that for me, I was doing all these things and  not coming out on the other side feeling like I had truly made a positive change/impact in my life.  Was that the goal? I never stated it was the goal… but there were many little moments where I wanted that to be the goal.

So, a few people have asked what my project for 2013 will be.  I have mulled over this for quite some time. I had a few great ideas.  Some I liked a whole lot and even got started on when it turned January 1st.

But, I’ve changed my mind. Sort of.  I have a project. I’ve started it.  It’s every day and it’s exhausting.I am consciously aware of my project every day, every hour, sometimes every minute for hours on end.  Can you guess it?

My daughters.  I’m reinvesting my time and energy in to being a better mother.  Natalie & I together made our 2013 bucket list (Holly of course will tag along!).  So far, there are only 40 things on the list that is taped to her door.  I am no longer looking to be the best at working out, eating right, crafting something off Pinterest, hosting fabulous parties, baking a cake, drinking too much wine, having a fancy job or checking in at fancy restaurants or destination locations.  If any of that happens to fall in to place, great. If not… fuck it.  It’s not about that.  It’s about being the next Mom of the Year. Thank you everyone who followed along for my 2012.  My 2013 will be documented here:

Here's to many more self-family-portraits!

Here’s to many more self-family-portraits!


#89- Open Mic Night

I am a frequent patron of Half Moon Bay’s M Coffee on Main Street.  While it’s not the trendiest or classiest in coffee shops,  it suits my needs quite well.  Most notably, the other locals go there and they tend to be outspoken liberals who loudly voice their opinion on politics, business, functions and more recently the proposed parking meters downtown.  I tend to sit quietly with my laptop, my tea and my ears to catch up on what the weekly newspaper won’t tell me. I am, after all,  my mother’s daughter.

One of the things M Coffee does is a monthly open Mic Night for Poetry and Spoken Word.  Spoken Word.  The term makes me giggle cause I think, Is there something other than words when we speak? So, #89 made my list as a way to check it out.

But for whatever reason, the Third Thursday at M Coffee and the stars never aligned for me.  So, I decided to google what would be available on one of my frequent trips back in to Sac/Davis.  Turns out, LOTS.  I opted for Open Mic Night at Luna’s Cafe on 16th street in Midtown Sac.  It seemed promising.

Luna's Cafe Sacramento

Luna’s Cafe Sacramento

In retrospect, I’m not sure what to think of my experience.  I’ve heard Poetry and Spoken Word done before, but at church and maybe occasionally on TV.  This was something else.  And I would hate to use it as a generalization of an entire subculture of Urban Poets, but it was amazingly awful.  I know of plenty of people who would take a screwdriver to their brain than go again to Luna’s Cafe the night I did…. and I loved it!  It maybe a weird neurotic quirk of mine,  but I take delight in finding myself in awfully bizarre and seemingly uncomfortable situations, cause there is nothing else you can do but laugh and then later use it as “This one time at a Poetry Reading I went to….”

Where do I start?  I showed up on time as the “Featured Poet” was being introduced.  A local Sacramento Resident who, in his 60 years, never ventured outside the 40 block radius that is downtown.  He was the most boastful, humbled, immature radical I’ve ever come across.  He talked of nothing but how humble he is…. and his poetry was nothing more than of the mind blowing and divine sex he has had. Picture an unattractive man screaming the words CUNT and COCK multiple times as he described his orgasms. This, coupled with his proud story of how he was banned from many other places because of his poetry.  As if he were some trail blazer. Puh LEASE.

Luna's Cafe Sacramento

Featured Poet

I inquired quietly to the waitress about Open Mic Night.  She told me typically that there is one featured Poet and then everyone else can come in and sign up with the Host to also read.  She told me this poet here use to be a regular years ago until he started scaring people away, so now they limit him to once a year or something.  My lucky Night!!  I could see what she meant because an hour in to it he was still on the stage and most of the small Cafe had cleared out. A. MAZE. ING. and sad.

#58- A Trip Down Under

The more I get out and do things, the more I appreciate  the State I live in.  There is a book in circulation I came across once called Weird California, and it had page after page of crazy sights, monuments, people, wonders, etc. and at one point I saw a page about the California Caverns. Caves to me seemed like something only found in primitive regions of the Earth… and I guess I don’t even know what that means.   But I never considered there would be caves in my neighborhood, so I thought taking the time to check one out would be well worth it (#58).

The California Caverns are out somewhere past Amador County / Angels Camp. I know what you’re all thinking…. why drive past all my favorite wineries only to decend a few hundred feet into a smelly old cave??  It was tempting, for sure, to throw in the towel halfway in to the drive and wine taste instead, but…. I had to be reasonable. Important to note:  my friend Leslie, who is the ultimate spontaneous and fun-seeking friend I have, came along for the adventure- in fact she has joined me for other bucket list items that I sadly did not get pictures of her with me!  Leslie’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious.  I loved having her has a co-worker because when we got together with our ideas the classroom would become Pinterest on Crack.

Anyway,  we made the drive out (1 1/2 hours) to the Moaning Cavern.  Open year round everyday and reasonably priced, it offers several different options to descend into the cave accompanied by a proficient tour guide.  It was FASCINATING! We opted for the stairway to Hell, vs. rope propelling/ zip lining/ watersliding.  Largely because Holly wasn’t quite up to the physical skill level needed.  Natalie on the other hand was a tad bummed she couldn’t do the “rope swing.”

Some images from inside the caves….

Granted, it was a little difficult figuring out the best settings for taking pictures in a cave, and at one point the tour guide turned off the lights completely so we could see just how NO light could get in whatsoever.  Great place for a Haunted Halloween party!  Or Hide-n-Go-Seek in the dark.

But yes, very family friendly and I didn’t think too bad when it comes to a workout (only 400+ steps on the stairs), claustrophobia, and fear of heights.  We might go again when the girls are much older…. thank you Leslie for being awesome company!

#4- No Easy Read

Reading the entire New Testament was an interesting task for me.  In retrospect, this is probably one bucket list item that I wish I did a little better- I had always wanted to take Theology courses.  Hopefully one day when I have just oodles of time maybe I will. My personal opinion (one that maybe most people share) is that this book is extremely powerful and has A LOT to say.  If I am going to spend much of my time reading it, I’d like to understand what I am reading. Which brings me to my first problem.

I didn’t understand a lot of what was written.  Granted, I’ve grown up with the Bible so I’ve had many pastors and preachers take parts of the book and break it down for me so my overall general understanding was present, but there was SO SO much of it that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  I know I can google a lot of it, but if I stopped to do that every time I needed help… I might not ever get done.

Second problem (which goes hand-in-hand with first problem):  I’m not sure if it’s my version that I don’t care for, but I felt like the writing skills of some of the authors was a bit…. poor.  Or maybe part of it was translation? Stories jumped around, characters were coming in and out, lots of repetition of the same story, and quite frankly it felt like at times there was some missing parts. Other times I felt like I was reading the diary of a cult leader.

I’m not trying to ‘critique’ the Bible. Because I know enough to know that this is the most critically examined piece of writing in the history of man and that each chapter can be summarized and explained to me if I sought it out.  So it’s not like I am questioning it’s content so much as I am questioning and critiquing my ability to read it.


Coincidentally, I managed to arrive on time to church this morning, and today was the first day of the “77 Days of the Bible” series.  Like the Pastor shared, it’s not just about how much and how often you read, it’s also about how much you understand and apply in your own life.   He talked about how many people have the resolution to read the entire thing, but most don’t go about it the way God intends.  It seems God also saw my sloppy job and aligned the stars just right so I would hear this Pastor’s message.  I hate when that happens.

So, yes, I accomplished this task (#4) but I resolve to consistently go to church so I can participate in the 77 days.  It sounds like it will be more successful for me.


#99 has been left blank since the beginning of 2012.  Not intentionally. I, at a few points, had put out a request to friends to suggest something for me to add, something maybe new or exciting that I hadn’t considered.  I did get quite a bit of input and took up some of the suggestions, but one space still lingered and I didn’t want to just throw something on to the list that didn’t inspire or motivate me.

But, since the creation of my list I had one task always on the back of my mind.  At first, I thought it was silly, or that Blake would find it silly. I considered how I would even document it and if I could do it without sounding too sappy. To give a little background, as I came up with my list I also considered things that had once made me so happy. So happy I’d want to do it again.

Last night, for the third time in the last month, I saw a shooting star. I pointed it out to Blake who rushed me to make a wish- hurry! In a mental, split-second panic I thought of what I wanted at that moment, and my mind went to my friend Beth and her husband, Dale. Dale had suffered a heart attack and Beth had been by his side for the past week. I made a silent wish for Dale to recover.

As I laid in bed later last night, I counted my blessings as I typically do and then thought about Beth and the shooting star.  Like many of her friends, my heart was broken for her. I couldn’t help but start to cry, thus waking Blake up. I won’t lie, I wanted him to wake up so I could tell him that I loved him. When he asked what he could do, I remembered the one thing that had once made me so happy, the same thing I had wanted to put on my list but thought it silly.

“I want to fall asleep holding your hand.”