Sunday, January 01, 2012

My 101

Well, I think it's time to admit that I've been woefully derelict in keeping up with My 101. Here's where I've moved the needle in the past few months:

101 things to do in 1001 days

Learn to juggle
Take a martial arts class
Make a will
Make a living will
Train to run 3 miles without stopping
Try a yoga or pilates class
Go to the Lauren Rogers Museum
Learn to play at least one song on the guitar (or, sheesh, just PRACTICE once in a while)
Write a food article and get it published
Write at least one poem or short story
Plant an herb garden
Make fresh pesto with basil I grew
Drink wine in California
Eat salsa in San Antonio
Treasure hunt on Highway 49
Host a New Year’s open house party
Visit the famous fried chicken place in Lorman
Go the fall flower show/festival in Crystal Springs - I did this! I actually took a day off work and did this! It was great. I took tons of pics of plants, bought a hilarious piece of yard art, and ran into a frew friends!
Learn more about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Give blood
Learn to play the harmonica
Get my piano tuned
Buy sheet music for a song I like and learn to play it on the piano
Learn to do a passable waltz
Go ice skating
Attain APR accreditation
Read at least 3 current books on my profession
Take a road tour through the Mississippi Delta
Enroll in a Millsaps Enrichment class of my choosing
Take Clay to Disney World
Celebrate my birthday in style
Boil/steam a live lobster
Go to a rodeo
Host a formal tea, like at the Savoy
Write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper
Perform in at least one stage production
Attend at least one college alumni event
Get back in touch with some of my college professors
Book a session with a personal trainer
Learn more about how to maximize Adobe Photoshop
Plan a surprise party for someone
Replace at least three outdated light fixtures in my house
Plant some vegetables and keep them alive long enough to harvest them
Plan and take at least one “destination trip” in honor of a holiday (Salem at Halloween, Plymouth Rock at Thanksgiving, etc.)
Stop cussing. Seriously STOP.
Renew my passport
Spend an entire day in complete silence (This one is going to be very difficult.)
Check out a library book, read it, and leave a note in it for the next reader.
Attend one religious service of a faith other than my own, just to observe
Start buying more goods that are made in America
Find a professional mentor.
Act as a mentor to someone who needs me
Take Clay fruit picking at a local farm
Make something yummy with what we pick
Take Clay to the Petrified Forest - We did this one! What fun! We took the forest trail, flumed for gems, and bought some keepsakes from the gift shop. This was a great day!

Buy him a bag of shiny tumbled rocks
Take Clay to Rocky Springs
Take Mom to the opera
Rent a boat and go deep sea fishing with dad
Do a “Godfather Week” at the house, where we eat Italian food and watch the Godfather series (once Clay goes to bed. Eeek!)
Go camping
Have an indulgent breakfast in bed.
Have my eyes checked (Dear Lord, I’m getting old.)
Take a weekend trip alone. COMPELTELY ALONE.
Win a bet
Look up more shadow puppet instructions and expand my repertoire (Dog, deer, dinosaur, rabbit, and bird are getting kinda old.)
Throw a tapas and wine party
Go on a picnic (Because you can never have too many.)
Toast the sunset
Go see an author read from his/her work
Fly a kite.
Ride a horse
Go see a fortune teller or psychic
Ride a train
Find the perfect swimsuit
Have a facial
Move more of my bills/notices over to electronic or auto-draft
Clean out/shred as necessary in ALL of my old files (Gulp.)
Add money to a parking meter about to run out
Repair the back yard arbor
Whittle something
Kiss a new baby
Throw a Mediterranean party with grilled lamb, veggies, tzatziki, the whole nine
Start a personal, meaningful family tradition at Easter
Photograph a sunrise
Go to Pepsi Pops
Go to a ceramic painting shop and paint something cool.
Take a family trip to the wildlife preserve in Louisiana
Learn how to change my own oil in my car
Learn how to check and flush/fill fluids in my car
Learn the basics of how my car works
Get a book on constellations
Try to identify at least five of them in the sky
Write a love letter
Surprise someone
Put Christmas decorations on the outside of the house - We did this one! We went above and beyond our normal wreath on the door with two tiny trees flanking the door (adorned with bows), red ribbon wrapping the two front columns (a la peppermint), a lit garland, and both colored and white lights.
Have sandal heels re-tapped or CHUCK THEM
Make a care package for someone
Buy something hand made.
Visit a place that’s rumored to be haunted
Tape and edit a video to create a FINISHED PRODUCT.

Start date: February 16, 2011
End date: November 13, 2013

More merrymaking

We had such a joyous holiday season!

One night, we bundled up and went out to see the lights at Winners' Circle Park! Every year, the City of Flowood pulls out all the stops, stringing lights all over this public park. Admission is free, Santa is in attendance, and train rides and hot cocoa are available for a small fee. There must be thousands of lights, and they are absolutely gorgeous. We dialed up one of the Clay's buddies and met he and his family out there. We rode the train, saw Santa Claus, and basically ran wild along the beautifully illuminated trails. What fun!

We also enjoyed the festive atmosphere at the Mississippi Museum of Science's Christmas Festival. Again, tons of lights, a live nativity, and lots of live music (both choirs and instrumental groups). Again, we sat on Santa's knee (shyly asking for a pair of binoculars). We also got the chance to peep inside the museum at night, gaping at all of the aquariums and running into a few old friends.

On Christmas Eve, we met up at my sister's house for a delicious dinner. For the menu, we decided to focus on greatest hits. We started off with munchies - a melted brie topped with Mississippi honey and sliced almonds, served with crackers. Then a gorgeous rosemary wreath studded with olives, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella balls. (I found this cute recipe idea on Pinterest. It looks very festive, is super easy to to put together, and is actually healthy.)

For an entree, we had a gorgeous rib roast. Nine pounds of rib roast was PERFECT for 10 people (8 adults, 2 kids). To accompany it, we served green bean casserole, salad, rolls, and potatoes roasted in the drippings from the roast (unbelievable). Dessert was a decadent homemade cheesecake with chocolate sauce. (Grace is an awesome baker!) I could definitely see this becoming our go-to menu for Christmas each year. Everything was delicious and tasted of the holidays.

Yesterday, we finished up our holiday celebrating with hubs' side of the family, and it was GREAT! A huge spread of fried turkey, amazing ham, casseroles, dressing, and the most sinful caramel brownies you can imagine. Tons of present opening, laughing, talking, plus a quick walk! My father-in-law cracks me up. (Plus, he has a quality that reminds my of my dear grandmother - every plan he touches flourishes and grows. I admire a green thumb so!) And Clay loves seeing everyone, petting the dogs, and playing video games with cousins and uncles.

What an amazing Christmas season. I gotta admit, this one was particularly good. We are so blessed to have our health, our families, and all of the undeserved gifts we enjoy on a daily basis. Here's to a warm and wonderful 2012.