Friday, July 30, 2010

My Project

Some time ago I received an email from a friend who was doing a “Mission.” The mission was to do 101 different things in 1001 days. Kind of like a “Bucket List.” I thought the idea was nice, so I filled out my own mission. I had a range listed from things I’d always wanted to do to things that would improve my health to things I wanted to learn. However, after writing it down, I mostly I forgot about it. Every now and then I would come across it and cross off the few things that I had done, but I never really set out to actually complete the list (plus I think I had put down a few things that were slightly unobtainable at the time).

Fast forward a few years……..I still think the idea is a good one, and, with the very recent and extremely tragic and unfortunate loss of one of my best friends, I feel that now, more than ever, I should be enjoying the novelties of life and completing the things I have always wanted to do, before it is too late.

So here is my new project. 101 things to do. All to be completed by the time I turn 30 (which is less than four years away……**shudder**). There is no specific order in which they need to be done, and I will comment as I complete each task. It will be a journey and an adventure with challenges and obstacles, and a sweet sense of satisfaction and self-worth when I am done…..and hopefully, maybe, someone else will be inspired as well.

101 Things to do before I turn 30

1. Read “BBC’s 100 books to read
2. Memorize my favorite poem
3. Learn about mushrooms
4. Learn about bees & how to harvest honey
5. Apply/enroll in school for Masters degree
6. Learn a language
7. Learn to can foods
8. Learn to tie different knots
9. Be able to identify 30 types of different birds
10. Be able to point out over 30 different wildflowers
11. Learn the different arts of bonsai
12. Run a half marathon
13. Have a body fat % of 20-25
14. Enroll in yoga class
15. Have cholesterol in lower end of healthy range
16. Omit anything with partially-hydrogenated oils/corn syrup/MSG/artificial ingredients from diet
17. Don’t drink soda for over a month
18. XC ski for exercise in winter
19. Hike the Pacific Northwest Trail
20. Go sky diving
21. Visit (at least) 2 new countries
22. Go shed hunting (and find some)
23. Go mushroom hunting
24. Visit 30 out of 50 states
25. Hike 100 miles in Glacier
26. Start an annual “girls only” trip
27. Ski 10 different mountains
28. Visit 10 different National Parks
29. Organize camping box
30. Be able to fly fish on my own
31. Donate hair
32. Volunteer 300 hours
33. Purge clothes closet
34. Learn to make the bed everyday
35. Learn to put my clothes away after I take them off
36. Move/organize everything out of parents house
37. Begin writing again
38. Buy my own car
39. Buy a house
40. Save $5,000 in my savings account
41. Donate blood
42. Send a letter to everyone I love
43. Learn to paint
44. Learn to draw
45. Make earring holder (10.25.10)
46. Knit a sweater (10.18.10)
47. Learn to sew
48. Sew a dress
49. Make scrapbook for Costa Rica
50. Make scrapbook for Iceland
51. Learn to quilt
52. Make a quilt
53. Learn to make stained glass
54. Knit a skirt
55. Finish pink baby blanket (10.7.10)
56. Finish wildflower notebook
57. Work on full-meal recipe book (30 pages)
58. Learn to knit socks (9.28.10)
59. Make a t-shirt quilt
60. Put India pictures together on a CD
61. Organize all arts & crafts stuff
62. Buy a panoramic lens
63. Buy a wide angle lens
64. Buy a telescopic lens
65. Photograph another wedding
66. Buy clear sleeves for cards
67. Set up stock of photographs (cards, prints, etc)
68. Sell photographs
69. Get a new computer
70. Get an external drive for all my pictures
71. Organize pictures on said drive
72. Learn to use photo editing program on computer
73. Set up a website for my photos
74. Subscribe to an art/photo magazine
75. Submit photos to the RMSP monthly newsletter assignment
76. Write an artists statement
77. Brew my own beer
78. Go wine tasting
79. Cook 30 meals I’ve never cooked before
80. Send out Christmas cards
81. Have a real, hard-copy address book
82. Watch top 10 most influential movies of all time
83. See Shakespeare in the Park
84. Get a dog
85. Learn to whistle
86. Grow a garden
87. Get a new tattoo (sorry, mom)
88. See the northern lights in full color
89. See a moose (11.2.10)
90. Own 5 bras (at once) that (actually) fit
91. Work in a book store
92. Work in a yarn shop
93. Mend all holey jeans
94. Own 3 pairs of jeans (at once) without holes
95. Get all broken watches/jewelry fixed or get rid of it
96. Ride a rail snowboarding
97. Learn switch snowboarding
98. Be equally proficient at both skiing and snowboarding
99. Watch a meteor shower
100. Subscribe to National Geographic
101. Wake up early just to watch a sunrise

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shine on Amy Grace

Yet another reminder to teach us the value of life, how precious it is, and how easily it can be extinguished. Alive today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes we can see it coming and prepare, sometimes it is unexpected and catches us off guard.

Amy Grace, you had a way of filling every room you entered with your light, your love, and your laugh. I admired your enthusiasm and your spunk and sparkle for everything. You were vivacious, full of energy, and you lived and loved life to the fullest. The world seems a little emptier with out you in it, and there is an obvious void where you use to be.

I am going to miss craft time, and dressing up. Dance parties and midnight sledding. Adventures, bowling, drinking beer, and your infectious laugh. Most of all I'm going to miss you.R.I.P. lady. Hope heaven is one big dance party waiting for your arrival.

peace & love


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Day Off: The Tale of an Epic Adventure

Note: I am not at liberty to disclose the exact location of where the following events took place. All you need to know is that we are in Montana, in and/ or near the Bob Marshall Wilderness area.

Saturday marked my first full day off since we arrived to work at Spotted Bear Ranch on June 5th (or somewhere around there). Up until just a few days ago I have been doing the job of two people…..that’s when one of the guides decided to get married (ok, I’m sure they had been planning for quite a bit longer than that) and bring his new bride up for a few weeks and put her to work. Which has worked out very well for me because not only do I have another female counterpart, but I also finally got a day off. So did Cory.

I wanted a tough hike. You know, a steep leg-burning-I’m-so-tired-when-I’m-done-I-can-barely-make-it-to- my-pillow type of hike…..with maybe a little wading and fishing thrown in there too, for good measure. I guess, in the end, I got exactly what I asked for.

The plan was to go up to (creek #1), a hike we have already done before but know the fishing is good. However, when we got to the trailhead for (creek #1) there was already a car parked there, marking that someone had beat us to it (maybe not our final destination….but close enough). Slightly disappointed, but still undaunted, we turned around, looked at a map, and chose a different trail, deciding to go somewhere we haven’t been instead.

We chose a loop, one that would take us up (mountain name) then down to (creek #2) where we would follow (creek #2) out right back to the car. Shouldn’t take more than 6 or 7 hours. We’d be back in time for dinner.

The hike up the mountain was fairly strenuous (though I have not yet looked to see how much altitude we gained), but once we reached the top the view was absolutely spectacular. You could see the river, the bridge, and (almost) all the way down the reservoir. We took a few pictures, found a few wildflowers, and continued on our way. We got to the river just about two – two and a half hours after we started and ate our lunch of left over BBQ.

Next up was walking down the creek to get back to the car. Now when I say “walking down the creek” what I literally mean is in the creek, wading from bank to bank depending on which side looked the flattest and safest to walk on. The creek was quite canyony (which sometimes made walking/wading difficult, although, luckily, the deepest the water got was just a little below the waist), and since I’m kind of a wuss the water was cold on my feet (I did eventually get use to it). However, it was a very beautiful day, and at the first waterhole we came to I pulled out a nice little (15-16”) fish. The first 4 hours of the wading portion were quite enjoyable; we talked, we joked, we fished, we waded on.

Then it was getting close to dinner time (7:00pm), at this point we should have been getting back to the car in order to be at the ranch so as to not be late. No biggie though, so what if we won’t be eating with everyone else, it’s pizza night, cold pizza is just as good, right? We won’t be that late, the canyon appears to be opening up just after this next bend. We’ve already been walking in the water for over 6 hours now, another half an hour to the car, tops. Unfortunately that was not the case......

Bend after bend after bend appears before us. I slip on multiple rocks trying to hurry through the water. One cuts into my ankle giving leaving a gash just above the anklebone. I don’t pay attention to it and ignore the pain. Another bend in the river. The sun has slipped below the canyon walls. Another bend. And another. I feel panic starting to rising in my chest, all I can think about is that we are going to be the next episode on “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” I don’t want to be caught in the dark trying to wade through a canyon creek. We didn’t tell anyone where were going, they think we are at (creek #1), Cory tells me “go slow, one step at a time, don’t worry, we’ll make it.”

**Note: Mom, before you start to freak out we were prepared; extra clothes, enough food, a water-filter. We’re not total idiots.**

We tried to find game trails that ran parallel with the creek, sometimes it worked and we cut off a bend, sometimes it didn’t and we’d go right back into the water. Finally after about nine hours of wading we found the trail leading back to the road, and though the sun had dipped below the mountains it wasn’t yet quite dusk yet. 11 hours after we had started our adventure we were at the car. Cut, scraped, tired, bruised, and a little chilled, we were finally on our way back home, with cold pizza waiting for us in the fridge.

The. End.