Things I Want to Do Someday: A List

The following is a list of things that I would like to do someday.  Some are more attainable or likely than others.  You can decide for yourself which ones those are.  These aren’t meant to be the “if I were rich” dreams, and although some of them definitely require some funds, they are all relatively “do-able”.

  1. Travel to Scotland.  I love all things Scotland, especially, as noted before, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I would actually want to tour some of the locations in the book as part of my visit.  Included destinations on this trip would be Wales, Ireland Cornwall, and now that someone from Jersey read one of my posts, I need to go there too.  And Guernsey.
  2. I want to keep chickens.  Maybe 5-6, possibly co-parenting with a good friend and neighbor.  This would be for eggs–not meat.  Murphy the Giant Puppy would need to grow up a bit, and that garage needs finishing first.
  3. I want to learn how to crochet.  I love knitting, and it is my preferred “needle craft”, however, there are just some things you can make better/easier with a crochet hook, like baskets.  I even have a friend willing to teach me.
  4. I want to spin my dog’s fur and knit with it.  This is actually a thing–it’s called chiengora.  I mean, my goodness–why waste all of that soft, soft fur?  I would settle for just spinning; I have a friend who knows how and I bet I could get her to teach me.
  5. I would like to write a book.  Probably set in Scotland.  Probably with bodices being ripped and broody Highlanders in kilts.
  6. I want to get my PhD.  Not sure in what just yet.  My first choices would be psychology or history, but I would need master’s degrees in those fields first.  My master’s is in education administration–but I can’t really picture myself as an administrator.
  7. I want to spend a week at a spa–the type that are for pampering, wellness, and relaxation.
  8. I want to go on a real honeymoon with my husband–not one the consists of driving home from our wedding in 90+ degree weather with the heater blasting so as not to overheat the car.  One that does not include being left as collateral with two puppies at a gas station in Garryowen, MT because our bank account was overdrawn and we had already filled up the tank.  My husband had to drive down the road to get money out of an ATM at a casino.  The two gentlemen working there were so kind, though…they even provided a bowl of water for my pups while I waited.
  9. I would like to vacation with my sisters–to somewhere like the barrier islands of South Carolina, or on Lake Michigan.  Just rent a cottage or beach house for a few days or a week.
  10. I would like to find a physical activity that becomes as necessary to me a breathing.  One that I would actually do on vacation.  Yoga?  Dance?  Clogging?  Running (ha!)? I don’t know.  All I know is that none of my attempts thus far have yielded long-term commitment.  Knitting doesn’t burn too many calories.  Gardening does, but is very seasonal.
  11. I’d like to meet the President.  When I went to Washington DC with other newly Nationally Board Certified teachers, we thought there might be a chance.  I mean, he was in town, and we were at the White House.  It would have been a great demonstration of his commitment to education had he just stuck his head in the room and said, “Hi!  Love you guys!”.  We would have been happy.  Arne Duncan was cool, but it wasn’t the same.  That was probably the only opportunity I will ever have in my life to meet a president.  Sigh.
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Arne Duncan is very tall.

There will likely be a Part Deux of this list, too.

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When Convenience is No Longer Worth It

Before I moved to Montana, I was all about convenience, especially in terms of food. I loved my prepackaged, ready-to-eat, microwavable food…my baby carrots, canned soup, Stouffer’s frozen entrees, salad in a bag, and fast food. I have a tendency towards lazy, so these products were definitely worth it. And please, don’t misunderstand–these products have their place. But I chose the convenience because it was easy and I am lazy–not because of a fast-paced, action-packed lifestyle.

When I moved to Montana, my husband couldn’t believe some of my habits. He couldn’t understand why I would buy baby carrots when I could simply cut up “real ones”. Why buy frozen pizza when you could make one? Salad in a bag? Really? He’s right, of course, although he has come to realize that it is okay to use these products occasionally.

What’s crazy is that after living here for 15 years, I’ve realized that I don’t want to eat that way anymore. Part of it has to do with my friends here. This part of Montana has a substantial population of people who want to live simply, eat freshly, and exist self-sufficiently. They are outdoor enthusiasts, protectors of the environment, and overall, just well-read, intelligent people. A little bit “hippie”, a little bit “granola” and altogether awesome. I’m not quite there yet–I am still guilty of using Miracle Gro on my flowers (but not my vegetables) and wearing make-up. I occasionally throw recyclables out. But I’m working on it.

I find great satisfaction when I look at my cubby of “put-up” salsa and pickles, or when I pull spaghetti sauce I made in the fall from the freezer. I smile a little inside when I use our freezer jam. Nothing tastes better than carrots I pulled from the ground or grape tomatoes still warm from the sun. It seems silly to me to use soup out of a can when it is so easy to make (although my boys do love canned chicken noodle) The elk that Eric provided is more delicious than almost any other type of meat (except bacon). Our milk comes from the creamery down the road. When our garage is finished, I want to start raising chickens for eggs, perhaps in cooperation with our neighbors.

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I am becoming much more cognizant of the various preservatives and additives in our grocery store food, and interested in finding ways to avoid them.

I’m not perfect about this, and I don’t want to be preachy. I’m not a health nut (not that there is anything wrong with that), nor a purist–I still love my Cheez-its and Skittles, cheddar cheese popcorn and McDonald’s french fries. My boys eat Chef Boyardee Ravioli. But I find pleasure in the knowledge that I am trying to be a healthier person, and provide some healthier options for my family.