Next month I turn 38. Which gives me two more years in my 30s. In a little over a year I will be 39.

Enter #The39List.

While enjoying my high school reunion Friday evening, I came up with an idea — to go out of my 30s with somewhat of a bang. I decided to come up with a list — a meaningful list of things I want to do before I’m 40.

39 things to do in my 39th year of life.

Now, with that said, I’d love for it to be all about travel — but hey, I’m not a millionaire so it’ll have to be within reason.

I’ve had a couple of days to think about this and the idea has evolved at bit.

I’d like to do things that tap into my core desires. See this fab website for more information on core desires.

I already have some things on my list — but will not be sharing said list until my 39th birthday, which is over a year away yet.


Signs your getting old(er) and the need to live each moment

As I was staring in the mirror the other day at work — those lights are so unkind in the bathroom — I saw I’m getting more and more grey hairs. I plucked one out of spite and then kept seeing more. I can’t pluck my entire collection of grey hairs out so I just walked away.

Then later, I actually used the words “She’s a young pup…” for the first time in my life. How can I be old enough to refer to another adult as a “young pup?”

How does this stuff happen?

Then Friday was my 20th-year high school reunion. 20. As we all gathered around the table, we all realized the last time we saw each other as a group was when we were around 17 and 18. Now, we’re looking at 40. Then we realized if we wait another 20 years, we’ll all be almost 60.  There’s a LOT of living to be done in the next 20 years. Already, we’ve lost a few class members and a teacher to death. In another 20? I don’t want to think about it.

I look back at the last 20 years since I’ve been out of high school and there are so many wonderful moments as well as painful moments. But looking back I wouldn’t trade ANY of them.

I rolled in from my high school reunion around 2 a.m. the next morning — and was useless that day after only a few hours of sleep. Reminding me I’m in fact, not 17 anymore. This person needs adequate sleep now!

Sometimes, I utter the words “i’m getting older” and it is met with these words “oh you’re not old…just wait until you’re xyxy age.” My retort: You were once my age. You once had these SAME revelations. And I know I’ll likely say the same thing to someone some day — though I do hope I remember how invalidating that statement really is. Yes, dude, it’s invalidating. Because once you were allowed to feel just as I am now about your age. (So psst…I deserve to feel it too).

With that said, the past 20 years have FLOWN. Just flown. And it’s a bit scary to me to think 20 years in advance … things in my life will be vastly different. Many people in my life now will no longer be here. And it’s a harsh reminder to show up to life. Live it for TODAY. Not for next week. Not for Friday. Not for next year. Because next year turns into 20 before you know it.

Long, rambling post…but when your’e almost 40 your mind wanders. LOL

Fish, floods and trees

Recent rains have filled the lake behind the house again!

So, after a busy day at work, I had a great idea (while the lake was still in flood stage) — I was going to go fishing!

The frogs were singing, the ducks were swimming around the lake — perfection right?

So, excited I was. I grabbed my fishing pole, took the worms out of the refrigerator and headed to the top of the bank. I baited my line. First issue was the barn cat, Julio. He was very intrigued by the hook and worm. After shooing him away at least a half a dozen times, I cast off. I watched eagerly as my line sailed through the air, down the bank and …. into a tree. Stop the music.

My first thought? FML. I caught a tree before my line even hit the water.

So, down the muddy bank I go to retrieve my line. I grab onto tree branches on the way down to ensure I don’t fall into the water.

After untangling my line from the tree, I decided to stay halfway down the bank — to avoid any more trees.

I cast my line into the water this time. Success!! Down comes Julio, who sits beside me to watch.

I sit. And I sit. And my rear begins to sting. What?! I get up, look down and I had sat in green briar. If you don’t know what green briar is, it’s this vine with thorns that grows and grows and grows. And truly, it’s not pleasant to sit on, especially in shorts.

So this time I stand. And wait. And wait. Not a bite. I saw about 20 ducks and a stray cat, who literally went into the lake trying to catch a frog to eat. But that’s the extent of the action.

I pull my line in, snagging several small trees on the way up (of course). I discovered my worm had come off somewhere along the line — yes, pun intended. I reach down to get another one and try again — I’m not a quitter after all. Only, I had left my worms at the top of the bank, before catching the tree earlier.

So, I just decided to pack it in. Apparently catching fish was not in my cards last night.


I’ve been doing a lot of reading on mindfulness lately and what it means in my life. And it really hit home today when I was out on a walk.

I usually take a walk after print deadline at the paper I work for. This is for me to clear my head, rest my eyes, ect. Today I found myself (as I normally do) answering emails and texts as I’m walking down the street.

And it occurred to me — this isn’t mindful — AT ALL. I was missing the entire point of my walk!

I was worried about a work situation. I had all these emails to answer.

I had to remind myself: will the work situation be there in 20 minutes? Yes. Will those emails explode in the 20 minutes it takes me to walk? No.

So, I put the phone away and I focused on my walk.

I focused on the cool air and what it felt like going into my lungs — and the sheer beauty of that breath, because it’s promised to none of us.

I focused on the song the crickets were singing all around me — they are here for such a short time each season.

I focused on the way the water pooled around areas of the railroad tracks.

I focused on the fragrance of the flowers I was walking by.

Then I started over and focused on the cool air passing through my lungs.

I listened to the crunching sound my shoes made as I walked over sand on the sidewalk.


Now that I’m back from my walk, there are emails to answer, work things to do — and I aim to do all those now. Mindfully. Giving them my full attention.

Health food store disaster

So it’s like a bad joke — a woman walks into a health food store — you finish the sentence.

And I came out with cheese puffs.

Who goes into a health food store and comes out with cheese puffs? Apparently, yours truly. LOL

So how did this happen?

I’m on this quest — an unusual quest for me. I’ve decided to learn as much about nuts as possible (you read that right). The idea originally came from a scene from the movie “Best in Show.” Look it up it’s really good. In this scene, one of the characters is driving down the street naming off all these nuts. Pecan nuts. Walnuts. And so on. It’s hilarious.

So, I decided I wanted to name as many nuts as possible, as well. I was shocked how many I could NOT name. That led me to a Google search, which led me to a wealth of information about nuts around the world and their culinary (and non-culinary) uses. It’s actually quite fascinating how many different nuts there are.

This led me to a whole new quest. To find unusual nuts to taste. But, walking around stores in the town I live in, I’ve struck out, badly. Apparently nobody in this town has any use for any type of nuts other than the ordinary.

The nut isle is lined with pecans, macadamia, walnuts…all the common nuts. I even found some pine nuts at the health food store. But nothing out of the ordinary.

So, when my third attempt to find a new nut to try failed, I wandered around to the cheese puff isle. And the bag made it to the car with me…I swear I do not know how that happened. I swear it just hitchhiked into my arms. (Sure…right).

But, I must say — the cheese puffs are amazing. They’re made with aged bleu cheese and aged cheddar. And are made with non-GMO ingredients.

I’m feeling even more nutty now.

Editorial on traffic laws

I wrote the following editorial on traffic laws: post can be found here: Traffic laws

It became apparent today as I crossed the street (and almost got hit because the person turned left when I had the walking light without looking)…that now we all have to WALK defensively.

My words below:

It’s not unusual in Emporia and other areas these days to see motorists breaking traffic laws — the light turns red and cars keep going and many motorists have forgotten entirely what a blinker is.
It’s now critical for drivers who have a light that just turned green or the right of way to look several times to make sure two or three cars aren’t running the red light.
It’s commonplace to be behind a driver who doesn’t use their blinker when turning — worse they decide to turn abruptly in heavy traffic.
Drivers passing on curves on two-lane roads is becoming more common.
Many drivers don’t even bother to look for pedestrians in crosswalks — or try to share the road with bicycles and motorcycles.
With summer approaching, kids are out of school and many events are taking off — safety is crucial any time of the year — but even more in the summer. This weekend, the Dirty Kanza 200 will be held. There will be more pedestrians, bicyclists — and yes more distracted drivers — out and about.
So, here is are a few reminders for drivers:
  • First and foremost, traffic laws exist for safety — not to annoy drivers.
  • Blinkers exist to let drivers around you know you’re turning (so use them; they’re on the steering column).
  • Red lights and stop signs mean stop (not “start tearing on past”).
  • You must share the road with bicyclists and motorcyclists (they have just as much right to be there as passenger vehicles).
  • Crosswalks exist so pedestrians can safely cross the street — and you must yield to them.
  • Seatbelt usage is the law.
  • A solid, double line on the road means it is not safe to pass (so just don’t do it, the life you save could be your own).
  • Texting while driving is dangerous and even deadly — and against the law.
  • Driving while intoxicated is a deadly combination — and is against the law.
  • Traffic laws aren’t jokes. There is no destination that is so important that you risk your life or the life of someone else because you had to run that red light, or send that text, or fail to yield, or get into that vehicle intoxicated.
  • Share the road. Obey traffic laws. Also drive defensively. Because no matter how careful you are, another driver may not be.

Let’s all arrive where we’re going this summer safely — and do it for the sake of others too. The person you injure — or worse, kill — could be your own family member, friend or neighbor. Even if the person is a perfect stranger, they are somebody’s family member, friend or neighbor.

Sometimes we all need a break

Just like the title of this post states: sometimes we all need a break.

In my case, it’s from social media, certain people and aspects of my life. For the purpose of this post, however, I will only focus on social media.

I was reading a post on Facebook that a couple of friends of mine shared. They stated that they were taking a challenge of being off of social media until Sept. 2.

That got me to thinking: why, oh why, do we spend SO much time on social media? It’s like going to the refrigerator 10 minutes after you were there last. Has anything changed? Is there different food than there was before? Did something magically appear that you didn’t notice 10 minutes ago? Unless you went to the grocery store in the past 10 minutes, the answer is likely no.

It’s the same with social media. It’s often the same types of posts, the same people, the same sugar-coated information. Often we tend to put our best faces on social media, ignoring the rest, presenting ourselves a certain way to our “friends.”

I wonder how much I really *know* my Facebook contacts. I know for me I hate to be negative on social media and I firmly believe it’s NEVER EVER a place to air your dirty laundry. It’s tacky and it only makes you look bad. Keep the dirty laundry at home, where it belongs — not on social media for all to see.

Then there are the others who flat lie on social media — and forget they lied in the first place, contradicting themselves. Really? Do you think nobody notices?

It’s old. It’s tiring. And it’s time for a break.

So, while I’m required to manage my work accounts, that does not mean I have to go down the rabbit hole day after day, night after night, looking through my Facebook or Twitter feeds. It’s a time-waster as best. And soul-sucking at its worst.

I’m turning myself to the “real world.” To “real life” where birds, trees and LIFE exists. Rather than sugar-coated half-truths that we all tend to post on social media. I might even (gasp) make a phone call to a friend or family member.

The poignancy of auctions

I’ve been to many auctions in my lifetime — is is the best place to score a bargain right? And you never know what you’re going to find.

Yesterday’s auction, however, was different. Because I knew the people who’s estate was being auctioned off. In that moment, as I saw their stuff being held in the air, I gained a new perspective on auctions.

Item after item, going for $1, maybe $5 if it was a “special” item.

Things that meant something to these people.

These items are just items to people in the crowd, but to the people who formerly owned them, the items were their lives. Things they loved.

That quilt that just went for a dollar — someone’s mother made that. Handmade it.

That plate that went for a few dollars — that plate was made in Germany and it hung on the kitchen in the home of this couple — they loved a particular breed of dog, thus the beautiful painting on the plate.

That gun that sold for 20 dollars — it was a Christmas gift. It came in a kit. The gentlemen who owned it — it took him a year to put it together. A year. The family who purchased it inspected it and placed it in their lap. No clue the significance of the item.

That little rolling pin pendent that was sold as part of a box — lost in the box — the women who owned that loved to collect rolling pins. It was a unique gift given to her.

A pair of binoculars actually went for $40. I later found out why it meant so much to the man who ended up getting them. He came over and explained an inscription on the instructions — it was a Christmas gift from a man who used to be a professor. It meant something to that one person. To everyone else, it was just a pair of binoculars.

I don’t think I’ll ever look at an auction the same again. Every single item in that auction means something to someone. And likely somewhere in the crowd there are family members hoping someone will just bid a few more dollars. Just a few more. To pay expenses left by the person who passed. To pay expenses for a surviving spouse.

Somewhere in the crowd someone knows the story of each item and silent tears fall as they watch their family member’s whole life go for next to nothing.