#29 Shade Garden

#29 on my 35 things to do when I am 35 was to make a space for a shade garden in our backyard.  We have a perfect place right along a fence line that is completely shadowed by the house for the morning sun and by our neighbors big, beautiful Japanese maple for the remainder of the day.  In all of the previous places that we’ve lived we’ve had pretty intense southern exposure which is wonderful for a great many things, but not so great for ferns, hostas and whatnot.

We moved to our current place 2 years in August and have been focusing attentions on the front of the house to make it look at least inhabited and to start the vegetable garden.  But we do spend a lot of our time in the back in the summertime so having a nice full garden will be lovely!

When my 5 year old and me were out and about the other day getting our toes painted my hubs and my 3 year old industriously made the beginnings of our new shade garden.  Can’t wait to finish it, fill it in with some dirt and get my hands dirty!


#18 Get a Pedicure



#18 on my 35 things to do when I am 35 is to get a pedicure.  It’s one of those little luxuries that I never make time to do, nor want to spend the money.  I think the last one I got was right after my 3 year old was born – so once every three years?

I think, however going forward may be a different story because my 5 year old is fascinated.  One of her school friends gets manicures regularly with the painted on designs (she is an only child by the way) and I imagine the playground comparisons are pretty fierce.  Anyway we made a special day out of it first going swimming at the YMCA and then to the spa for pedicures.

Great fun!



Creating a New List

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making a new list for my upcoming birthday to carry on the tradition of last years 35 things to do when I am 35. Creating this list last year was inspired by seeing someone I admire do this and share her accomplishments throughout the year, as well as a bit of a birthday panic of not really remembering where the last year went. Creating the list this past year has forced me out of my comfort zone and to pursue things that I would not have otherwise. I look at this past year with pride and a sense of accomplishment and am excited how I can take the foundation that I created this past year forward into the next.

Some of the items on my list in hindsight are more of a ‘to do’ list – which I STILL HAVEN’T DONE. Goes to show the power of dislike of sitting in Government offices like the County Building to fix Lulu’s birth certificate (#20) in which they managed to completely and utterly misspell my name – to the point of not even being recognizable (its actually quite impressive how they thought of how to add g’s and n’s to my first name…very creative). Or sitting in the DMV, Social Security Office, and others to make sure my name is listed correctly on official documents (#19). The sheer thought makes me groan, but I know that it needs to be taken care of.

To start thinking about making my new list and wanting to make a good list for myself I checked out from the library “Creating Your Best Live: The Ultimate Life List Guide“. Reading it makes me feel a bit mid-life crisis self-help bookie – but so far it’s been a good inspiration point to start thinking holistically and reinforcing the power of list making.

I’ve always been a list maker as a way to organize my thoughts, to-do lists, as well as the ever satisfying “check” in the box once an item is complete (and yes I draw the little boxes too). I’ve extended this to my kids as well – when we are all home and want to give them an idea of what to expect for the day and empowerment to choose we create an illustrated list that we create together and cross off as we go through our day. This is today’s list for example – we’ve been cooped up for the past few days with one and then all of us with strep. I feel great besides the burning throat and being completely contagious. So on the docket for today:


#1 Run in a Race

I did it, now I just have to figure out how I am going to do it. I registered for the Sound to Narrows 5k on June 11th.

Yes, yes I know that 5k is just over 3 miles says the nagging cross – country runner of my previous self. But that was a loong time ago.

This one on my 35 Things to do when I Am 35 list took me a while to confront – and its been something that I have wanted to do for a long time. But life gets busy, you have a couple kids….

So with the birthday right around he corner the race is technically after my 35th year – but no one here is a stickler for rules,right?

The big kick to action was a realization of my recent weight gain. Since starting my current job under 3 years ago I have gained forty pounds!?!? Yikes! I don’t know what that says about my job, or my age, or what. But I’ve started a training program, we’ve joined the YMCA, and plan to kick ass at the run.

# 30 Worm Composting

I just made the order through Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm for 500 red wrigglers for my #30 of my 35 Things to do when I’m 35. I have learned a few lessons of the study of worms – Oligochaetology (i just looked it up because knew it would be an interesting word) over the years.

7 years ago I bought my first worm composter at a home and garden show in Seattle.

I loved it, studied up, read Worms Eat My Garbage and felt relatively prepared to take on the adventure of vermiculture (worm farming hooray!).

The first go-round I overfed them and it became an anaerobic pile of stinky rotten food.

The second go-round the bin was going gang busters. But then record freezing temperatures….

This will be the third and final (because it WILL be successful) worm farming and composting.

Each time it’s taken me a bit of time to regain the desire to try again after knowing that I was the sole reason for the mass-death of 100’s or 1000’s of these invertebrate animals. Not exactly pets, but you find yourself rooting for them every time you put in a piece of bread or slice of apple. And take silent joy in seeing how they devour it and turn it back into rich compost.

Wish me luck!

35 things to do in a hurry!

My birthday is just a little over 1month away and it has been a year since writing my 35 things to do when I’m 35. I need to start making my list of 36 things for my 36th year of life as well as see if there is any more “things” that I can accomplish without driving myself crazy.

There are a few items that settled themselves and were out of my control. For instance #15 that i wanted to can summer bounty from our garden. Well rainy and cold summer last year resulted in a tiny crop of all that we planted and cherished the few fresh tomatoes. So no where near the amount to allow any canning.

Also there were some items that I had several examples such as spend a special day alone with Maren (#4) – but was waiting for a day that I actually had pictures to post. I am kicking myself for not taking any photos of the psychedelic Yo Gabba Gabba performance at the Tacoma Dome and cupcakes following and a trainride in-between the two.  Super fun day.

My #35 “laugh until I cry”  story makes me sad that there weren’t more to choose from –  was the only one time in a whole year?!? It is one of those “you had to be there” stories so don’t think I’ll go into it  but had to do with one of the kids, a piece of ham and a slide.

I am so glad that I did this – for so many reasons. It forced me to do things that are completely out of my comfort zone and it made me really pay attention and take note of small little accomplishments and goals.

Over thus next month I hope to checkoff some outstanding ones that aren’t too involved and take the time to reflect on this past year as well as think about this upcoming year.