Category: Commentary & Lifestyle

Take Me Back To The 80’s

Take Me Back to the 80's

If time travel were possible, I would have a time machine take me back to the 80’s. I wouldn’t go back permanently, bt taking a vacation to that decade would be fun. I’d bring back a lot of souvenirs…not that I’d need many, since I think I still have some memorabilia stashed at my parent’s house! Just kidding, I’d be bringing tons of souvenirs back with me. I wouldn’t miss that opportunity!

The 80’s were old school, with a blast of neon and high-top sneakers, ripped jeans, head bands, and stuff hair. Socks had to have just the right scrunch over the tucked in pant legs that were also pinned to make them tighter around the calf. They were simpler times with a complex wardrobe.

I was only 7 years old when the 80’s ended, so I know I didn’t experience them in their full splendor. I think I would’ve needed to be in my late teens or early 20’s for that. The music was and still is pretty important to me. Give me some Journey over Nickelback any day!

What I really get nostalgic about are the toys. Weren’t the toys great?

My personal favorites were She-ra dolls. Remember those? They were like the first action figures for girls. I had a few of them: Cat Woman, Entrapta, Angella, SweetBee.

Princess of Power: Cat Woman

Cat Woman

Princess of Power: Angella

Entrapta

Princess of Power: Angella

Angella

Dolls2_SweetBee1b

SweetBee

There was a similar set of female action figures made by Galoob which were pretty cool as well. They were Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones. I had two of those, Golden Girl and Dragon Queen.

Golden Girl

Golden Girl

Golden Girl Dragon Queen

Dragon Queen

They need to bring these dolls back! The She-ra dolls were made from 1984-87, and the Golden Girls were only manufactured for a year in 1985. Both sets of dolls had separate outfits and playsets that could be purchased. I think it’s weird these dolls didn’t last long. Maybe if these companies gave the dolls another go, they might be more successful.

It annoys me that there aren’t any female groups of action heroes. If you have a team, it’s all men except for the token female. Why aren’t the genders represented more equally? Sure, there are the single action figures, like those of Katniss from The Hunger Games, or Princess Leia from Star Wars–but it’s not like having that strong female group of women with each having a uniquely special power, and bright colored outfits.

There’s nothing wrong with having power and being feminine…as llong as it’s not objectifying. We don’t need toys with Playboy Bunny boobs.

There was a Kickstarter I read about once that was promoting a line of female heroine figures. I looked it up again, and they’re pretty cool. They’re called IAmElemental. If I were a kid again, I’d probably like these. But I don’t particularly like that the clothing is all plastic and the hair is all molded and not like real hair. I know the aim isn’t to be a fashion doll, but action heroes might like to change their wardrobe too, right?

Maybe one day the retro figures from decades past will be revisited, given a little makeover, and brought back. My Little Ponies were. My inner child can always hope!

 

Image Credit: Here and Here

6 Things Cold Regions Should Give Citizens

6 Things Cold Regions Should Give Citizens

Cold weather rant time! I despise Old Man Winter. He is my enemy. He is the reason the next few months will irritate the hell out of me. First, the sun is taken away from us an hour earlier due to daylight’s savings time and the daylight still continues to shorten–then we get a snowstorm.

The first snowstorm of the season moved in last night, an unwanted tenant. Ugh. I don’t remember liking Winter as a small child very much either. I could still walk then, but I couldn’t do outdoor activities without help, like sledding. My balance wasn’t that great either. Walking on icy cement was dangerous for me and all the snow gear made it difficult for me to move. It was so much fun! *sarcasm*

I hate freezing my ass off. But I also hate putting on more clothes because it hinders the little movement I do have. I go out only if I really have to because once I get cold, it’s hard to warm up and I just feel tired.

I’d rather be too hot than too cold. I’d rather take clothes off (obviously within reason) than put more on.

Anyway, states that have to endure harsh Winter months should get some perks, don’t you? I mean, with the season comes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the days are shorter and we are lacking vitamin D. We have to pay outrageous heating bills, there’s holiday pressure to plan and buy gifts thus adding to the hits our wallets take. Not to mention the hassles of snow and it’s removal. So, I have devised a list of 6 things cold regions should give to the citizens having to deal with the weather.

1. Give every household free or discounted heat. The utility companies charges keep going up, and it’s not like they are encouraging us to get solar panels to help gather energy for our own homes–not that we get much sun as it is.

2. Set every household up with a UVB Tanning Bed to encourage people to get more vitamin D.

3. Vitamin D in pill form (chewable gummies perhaps), would be good as well.

4. Mass distribute electric fireplaces made by the Amish.

5. Free grocery delivery to everyone so there is no need to make more trips outside than necessary.

6. Automatic snow plowing services. When I say automatic, I mean the city goes and plows driveways automatically because you live in that town. You do not need to hire anyone, it’s provided by the city for free (well not entirely, citizens pay taxes).

That’s all I can really think of now. Wouldn’t those things be nice? I thought about putting booze on the list but nah. That wouldn’t help much.

I suppose my ranting about Winter won’t make things improve, I only wanted to get this out of my system!

 

 

Reese’s In A Jar?!

Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread

The things food companies come up with! Reese’s wanted to go beyond their classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups once again, and have tried to make the candy into a spread.

I haven’t tried this. I probably won’t. From what I have read, the texture of this spread is gritty like their signature peanut butter inside the cups. Reese’s used to be my favorite candy bar. Since I was a little kid, I loved the combo of the chocolate and peanut butter, I didn’t mind the grittiness and slightly salty flavor. That’s what made them special. They were so yummy…

Years later though, they aren’t the same. Many foods taste different than they used to. I blame it on using more additives and cheaper ingredients. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are pretty much dead to me now. The peanut butter is grittier, the salt overwhelms the sweet, and the chocolate…uh, you call that chocolate?

Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Sticks are better than the cups. Even the cereal is better.

Maybe if they made this spread with smooth peanut butter, I would try it. Until then, I will stick to Nutella.

 

Image Credit: Popsugar

10 Questions: Game of Thrones Meme

Game of Thrones Meme

I am obsessed with Game of Thrones. I love it. It’s the best thing since sliced bread and then some. I’m not just talking about the show either, the books are just as addicting to me if not more.

The fantasy genre has never really been something I was crazy about. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great fantasy movies and books out there, but I have never felt strongly compelled to give them attention. I tried watching Lord of the Rings and it really bored me. I have seen a few of the Harry Potter movies, but didn’t get into them much either. I didn’t even try with that book series.

Usually when there is a book or movie that is given a massive load of hype, I run the other way. I ran screaming from Twilight like no other (not literally)!

Game of Thrones has me though. Perhaps it’s because it’s very medieval, and I enjoy historical settings and costume. GoT isn’t history, it’s in a fictional land with a certain amount of magic and fantasy woven into a good mix of drama, action, wit, and intrigue. George R. R. Martin just had a great formula when he began the book series. It keeps the reader wanting more.

I started watching the show in order to see and understand why it was all the rage. I hadn’t read the books, and I had just watched the Tudor series on Netflix and was looking for a new show to watch. When I saw the first episode, I had been a bit leery. There was a beheading in the first half (ewww…), and I think I remember the whitewalkers (aka zombies) being in the first episode too. If you know me, you understand my hatred of zombies! Regardless, I decided to continue on.

Once I got caught up with the show, I asked myself if I wanted to delve into the books. I waited until the last season was done airing, and this August decided to crack open A Song of Ice and Fire. Now it is November and I am one fourth into A Dance With Dragons which is the fifth book. I think I might be a little lost when I am done reading it! I will have to wait until the next installment comes out before I can continue.

I thought today I would answer some GoT questions as a blog prompt or meme. If you are a follower of the show or book series, feel free to answer these questions yourself as a blog post, and put a link to your answers in the comments below!

Game of Thrones Questions

Who is your favorite GoT character?

Tyrion. His wit makes the show! Sometimes you want him to shut up so he might save his own ass from getting into yet another predicament, but he figures everyone is out to get him anyway, so why not be a smartass?

Which GoT character would you choose to be and why?

Daenerys Targaryen. I am sure that is a common choice! Although her life hasn’t been without struggle, she’s coming out on top as she gets older. She is smart, gol oriented, kind, but not one to be messed with. She is also a pretty fair ruler. This bites her in the ass sometimes, but she learns from her mistakes and proceeds with caution.

Who is your least favotite GoT character?

It’s really a tie between Joffrey, Cersei, and Tywin. The more I read of Cersei in the books however, she is the worst. I have a feeling she will get her punishment in the end.

If you had to travel across Westeros with a companion or two, who would it be? Keep in mind, there may be danger along the Kingsroad!

Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly. Weird choice, I know. I think when on a trip across Westeros, it would be good to have a strong swordsman, and someone who is really intelligent to help keep the group on track and know other useful information. Plus, between the two I am sure they have plenty of stories to pass the time!

What weapon would you choose to wield in GoT?

Either a sword like Needle if it had to be an actual piece of weaponry, or knowledge and cunning. Physical weapons are important, but if you are a fool in GoT, you won’t last long for sure.

If you were going to live in Westeros, where would you choose to make a home?

Dorne. It’s warm there, they have stayed out of a lot of political stuff, and women can rule. Also, if you were born a bastard, they don’t ostracize you as the other parts of Westeros do. The make it such a huge deal in the rest of Westeros!

If you were to live in the Eastern lands, where would you choose to make a home?

Braavos. I wouldn’t choose to live there for the climate, but it seems like such a diverse place. There appears to be something for everyone in Braavos in the books.

Where would you definitely not want to live? Name two.

I would never live in the North. I already live in the North…Minnesota should change its motto to “Winter is coming.” It’s too cold and knowing there are zombified creatures north of the Wall creeps me out. I also would never live on the Iron Islands. It sounds like such a rough place to be.

Who would you pick out of anyone from the show or the books to rule the seven kingdoms if you had the choice?

As of now, I am torn between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. They seem like the most level headed rulers to me, but as I continue to read the books my opinion may change!

If you were the ruler of the realm, what would your top three priorities be?

  1. Making sure the Wall was well armed and equipped.
  2. Assigning a team to plan and execute a strategy to rehabilitate the war torn areas and get food production going.
  3. Destroy Harrenhaul. That place really needs to be put to the torch. Maybe I’d do the same to the Dreadfort.

Have fun answering these questions, and don’t forget to post a link in the comments so I can read your answers!

Audacity Magazine: My Second Writing Home

Audacity Magazine: My Second Writing Home

We all have a cause or project we believe in and want to see succeed. Besides this blog, one site I am involved in is Audacity Magazine. Back in 2007-08 I entered a contest and was chosen to become a columnist for this online lifestyle publication. I felt it was an important site for me to write for. I had a blog on Myspace back then where I liked to share my thoughts and opinions; it felt like an appropriate time to branch out and expand my audience. I stopped writing for a number of years for reasons you can read about here on the Audacity site. I don’t want to fill the internet with the same story!

Anyway, I had been told many a time if I wanted to return to Audacity and to my column, I was more than welcome. I was a little hesitant at first. You know…I have this “What if…?” syndrome that makes me anxious about things I choose to do. What if I can’t find enough to write about? What if I suck? What if…blah blah blah. Well, I can’t really live life asking that question all the time.

I decided the time was right. If I didn’t try, I’d never know if I could build my writing skills up again and make my voice heard. Let’s face it, I am a bit of a hermit! The time was also right for NaBloPoMo.

So, I am back at Audacity and warming up my typing hand in more ways than one (yes, I said hand–I type one handed while holding a stylus), and am gearing up for the fantastic year of 2015!

Why is the new year going to be so special? For one, Nathasha Alvarez, Audacity’s editor, has some awesome plans up her sleeve for the website’s growth.

She is wanting to hire some freelance contributors and began a fundraiser to raise $20,000 to compensate freelance writers with disabilities for their articles. If the goal is met, this amount can pay writers for 500 articles at $40 per piece.

Why is this so important?

It creates opportunities. Many people with disabilities cannot work full time jobs. Some really can’t work at all even though they’d like to. Their sole income is SSI or Supplemental Security Income from the government. Unfortunately, the amount of the monthly maximum SSI benefits is only around $721.00 in most states. There isn’t much left after bills are paid to go towards emergencies and other expenses. Living independently off of just that isn’t easy! And independence is important to us.

You can imagine then how far an extra $40 might go for someone. It might help pay for a necessary prescription, food, some gas to get somewhere, or to pay for computer repair.

It’s important for sites like Audacity to exist to serve as a creative outlet and sounding board for the disability community as well. Everyone has something they would like to communicate–awareness, commentary, opinions, and reviews.

I wanted to get the word out so other writers might drop by and have the urge to pen articles in 2015! Let’s fill the place up with great articles! You can find out more on the website.

Now, I don’t want to make this post sound like I’m giving an annoying solicitor’s spiel. I don’t want to pressure anyone to do anything, I simply want to inform and give people the option of donating if it’s something that interests them (I’d make a terrible salesperson).

Audacity is under the non-profit organization name of World Wide Ability Inc. So, direct donations are tax deductible. Sometimes, there are generous individuals who arrange sales of products where the commission is donated. Events like this will be updated on the donation page, but here I will list the main ways Audacity is raising funds.

Ways to Donate

Direct Donations: Point your browser to the Audacity Magazine donation page and click the donate button. Decide what you’d like to give. Even as little as $5 can go a long way!

Amazon Smile: We all love Amazon! Now you can shop and donate! Go to smile.amazon.com and when you are asked for your charity of choice, enter World Wide Ability Inc. 0.5% of your purchase price will go to Audacity at not extra cost to you.

Sponsor an Article: If you have a business or product, and you’d like it highlighted on Audacity by one of the audacious writers, you might consider a sponsored article. Each article is $200. That donation would in turn be able to later pay freelance writers for 5 articles. For more info on this, contact Nathasha at the email nathasha @ audacity magazine . com

I hope that even one person will take the time to check Audacity out and share it with their social networks. My fingers are crossed that will happen and some donations will result. At the very least, it would be fabulous to have more writers with disabilities on board and have more names join the mailing list!

 

Image Credit: WELS.net via photopin cc

5 Things About Me Blog Prompt

5 things about me blog prompt

Today is lazy Sunday and I…am feeling kind of lazy! Even though I am extremely tired today, I know I must post. There is no option in this NaBloPoMo project for me! While I have a few post topics stashed away in the topic pook I am creating, I thought now might be a good time to use a prompt to introduce myself a bit.

Yes, you could always read my About section for that, but writing prompts can be fun. I’d love to see other bloggers do this one and read their answers too!

The prompt I found today is from Mama Kat of Mama’s Losin’ It. I found her site today while I was perusing Twitter. She has some great ideas of things to write about and it looks like she publishes a post with prompts monthly.

The prompt that caught my eye was:

“Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe.”

So, here goes nothing!

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I was a self-taught Photoshop user as a teen (this was way before YouTube and I hated reading software manuals, so I just played around and figured things out). It was a similar thing with website design. I did have to read to learn that though. Then I bought FrontPage software and learned to use it. Since then, web design has come light years and I didn’t learn as time went on so the best I can do are some rough tweaks. At least I have somewhat of an idea of what I need to look for if I need to edit code. Yes, I was a geek and proud! I still am!
  2. I have an eight year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi named India. She is like my child. She barks at people when I need something. She doesn’t like most men or young kids, but she loves little babies.
  3. I love traveling. I find it invigorating to see new places, and I feel more energetic. Road trips are my method of choice only because I have a lot of medical equipment and I haven’t attempted to fly with it since I have had it.
  4. I am a total food snob. I can’t eat much in one sitting, but I have a deep appreciation of good food. I often feel really frustrated when I go to a restaurant and it seems the food wasn’t cooked with care. Food should be satisfying and flavorful, not bland and lackluster (it should also be organic, but that isn’t likely to happen).
  5. I hate carnations. I have harbored a hatred of them for years. They should be banned from public places. I know they’re a filler flower, but they stink and whenever I smell them I am reminded of funerals and hospitals. They’re not cute either.

5 Things I’m Knowledgeable About

  1. Disabilities. Not only because I have one and understand what it is like, but also because I have known a lot of individuals with various kinds. It’s good to have general knowledge of the different types because abilities from person to person vary so widely.
  2. The Internet. I can find just about anything, even if it’s pretty obscure. Thank goodness the internet exists because how else would I have learned most of the things I have learned?
  3. The virtual world of Second Life. If you don’t know what SL is, it’s similar to a game, but without a point system. It has a monetary currency so you can open your own business or be employed and really earn a little something. There are places where you can socialize, stores where you can shop for clothing or furniture to customize your avatar or virtual home. You can also do things there maybe you are unable to do in your own life. I have “played” there since 2008 and to be honest, it taught me a lot that stretched beyond learning how to simply navigate in there. At first I thought it was only clubbing and shopping. But then I realized charities also could benefit from inworld events. Designers often create exclusive items for events to benefit Relay for Life, Wigs for Kids, etc. I think I might need to do a separate post on it to fully describe my experience!
  4. Photoshop and image editing. I have been using it since I was about 16. Back then I really had no idea how powerful a tool it was. I think that version was 3.0. I liked to make random art with it. In college I gained a better understanding of its features. I am still learning new things about it as time goes on. It’s one of those programs where there is no end to the learning process and I like that.
  5. Creating WordPress sites. I won’t claim to be an expert, but I have installed and worked on quite a few of these. Each WordPress site seems to have its own life, and working on each one was a learning experience. There are always new things to learn about this subject as well.

5 Things I know Nothing About

  1. The Stock Market. I have always been curious about how investors successfully invest and get good returns. I know it’s sort of based on trends and forecasting, but I am not sure how it all works and can be understood.
  2. Organic Crop Farming. I can’t say I know absolutely nothing here, my dad is a farmer and I read articles about organic food and GMO crops and related subjects. I guess crop growing is something I am curious about, particularly organics. I wonder things like: How does a farmer know when to plant? Or how much? How is the soil tested? How can a farmer figure out how much yield he needs to earn his profits? I guess what I am saying is I don’t know exactly the detailed step by step process. It goes way beyond plant, water, grow, harvest, sell, and then profit (or not profit in some cases). I always felt like my dad just knew inherently what needed to be done…like a sixth sense.
  3. How hot dogs are really made. Though, I have a pretty good idea. I imagine it’s similar to how chicken McNuggets are made.
  4. What it’s like to be on TV.
  5. Making iOS apps.

5 Things I Believe

  1. I think if you really listen to your body, it will tell you what foods and beverages makes you feel better. It might be hard to notice, some may say it’s psychological, but I think it’s true. When I eat certain things like wild caught salmon or other healthy things, I feel slightly better. The sense is minute, but the same thing happens when I don’t drink caffeinated sodas and stick to natural sodas.
  2. I believe everyone is here for a reason. We may not understand what our reason is for being here or being who we are, but every person has a purpose.
  3. There are those who want to teach, and those who are born teachers. Those who want to teach are those who earn a degree. Those who are born may not teach professionally, but they simply educate by being who they are.
  4. I believe our government is made up of way too many leaders blinded by greed and they have lost their humanity. This doesn’t make for an effective governing body.
  5. Not to bring religion to the table, but I believe most religions are based on the same overall concepts and only communicate the concepts in different ways.

I hope you enjoyed reading my 5 Things! This became way longer than I anticipated, and it was more challenging than I though it would be too. It was a great writing prompt!

If you decide to do the prompt, please comment below or tweet me @Rangeelichick!

Random Thoughts on Beetlejuice

Random Thoughts on Beetlejuice

As a kid, the movie Beetlejuice completely freaked me out. I was six years old and it was the summer between first and second grade. My aunt and uncle were visiting us from the East Coast, and we had settled in my grandpa’s living room to watch it on the rented VHS tape (remember those?). They had a friend who was an extra in the film, so we were on the lookout for him (one of the dudes moving some abstract wood construction piece in the scene where the deck on the house was being built).

I particularly recall the part where Beetlejuice’s head is turned away from the camera, and these odd looking tentacles shoot out from the sides of his face as being the worst part. I laugh now to think it scared the crap out of me so much. I couldn’t really see anything!

The second creepy thing that made me shut my eyes is later in the movie. Adam and Barbara are coming back from a session with Juno, their caseworker from the Netherworld (or whatever you’d call that place through the attic wall), and they stretch the hell out of their faces to scare the living.

Um, yea…they succeeded in my case.

And let’s not forget when Beetlejuice becomes the snake, or when Adam and Barbara are floating during the bio-exorcism scene and decaying in their wedding clothes.

Gross.

But really, Beetlejuice eventually became my favorite movie. I have watched it hundreds of times! Tim Burton probably wasn’t aware of the cult classic he was going to create at the time he made that movie. Rumor has it there will finally be a sequel, however, a sequel is a touchy thing. It rarely will be as popular as its predecessor. Plus, Lydia Deetz is 26 years older than she was. I’m not so sure how the same essence of Beetlejuice can be replicated over two decades later.

I really want to be an extra in the sequel. I’m not an actor, nor trying to be—the movie is such a favorite of mine it’s just something I want to be a part of if there’s another film.

Anyway, in all the times I have seen Beetlejuice over the years, I have observed different things and have harbored little questions and opinions regarding little tidbits of the movie. If you are a Beetlejuice fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

  • The Maitland’s friend Jane: Why in the bloody hell is Jane stopping over at 6:45 am? Does she have no sense of time? If she were stopping by my house that early, she would probably be wishing she hadn’t! Plus, she isn’t only rude in her timing, but she is an interfering busybody. She is practically trying to sell Adam and Barbara’s home out from under them when they’re still alive. It’s none of her business where they choose to live. Hm, maybe she trained the dog to run in front of their car…
  • Manchurian Tung Oil: For years I never understood what Adam said, or what this was. I always guessed it was something for the model Barbara had asked their friend Helen to get in Oslo. Apparently tung oil is a furniture oil from the pressed tung seed from the tung tree. It’s origin is from China and it has been used for centuries. It dries on wood with a shiny, plastic like finish. Such a fun fact, eh?
  • The Dog: Is there no leash law in Winter River? Who is the owner of this dog?
  • The Crash: Does anyone else think Adam and Barbara probably should have survived that? If they were still within city limits and following the recommended speed limit, I don’t think they would have driven off the bridge. Shame on you Mr. Maitland!
  • “Diseased” and “Deceased”: I’m glad Adam owned a hardware store and wasn’t a doctor.
  • Lydia Deetz: It bugs me Barbara was referring to her as a little girl. Babs either needed glasses, or was really bad at judging age. Also, if Lydia had been the teenager that she was at the present time, her parents likely would have put her in therapy.
  • Otho: What a poser! Delia seemed sharp enough to figure out he was a sham. Oh, wait…she herself was a flake. Birds of a feather…
  • Sandworms: This is truly my WTF of the entire movie. The rest of the pieces all fit together, but the sandworms come out of left field. So, the ghosts step off the porch and fall into a weird dimension with giant worms. The best guess I can make is they are symbolic of earthworms. Sandworms are more like sci-fi serpents though.
  • Maxie Dean & Wife: I always wondered if they survived being rocketed through the ceiling. If they didn’t, how would Charles and Delia Deetz explain that one?
  • Beetlejuice: If he wrote his auto biography, what would it say? We know only a bit about his past. He survived the plague.
  • The House: I really wanted to see this house, but it’s fake! It was just a shell built near the town where the outdoor shots were filmed. I was disappointed when I found that out! The town is East Corinth, VT and not actually Winter River, CT. I knew from the beginning it had been shot in VT though.
  • Script: I found the original script online. There are quite a few differences in dialogue and decription between the film and original script (more differences the more I read)…I have only read a few sections, but I thought what I read was interesting. It gives more info that isn’t in the film.

Beetlejuice is one of those movies I can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. Another one of my top films is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I enjoy more than Tim Burton movies though. I’m not a big Halloween fan either, but I think Beetlejuice was a good topic for a Halloween related post!

What are your favorite movies or Halloween movies?

 

Image Credit: Rottentomatoes.com

 

My Summer Bucket List

Rangeeli Chick Summer Bucket List

Last summer, I decided to make a bucket list. I normally don’t do hyped up, goal oriented lists but I can handle short term bucket lists. I never make a New Year’s Resolution anymore because I feel there is too much pressure attached. Only 8% of resolution makers actually reach their objective. Trust me when I say, I have always been in the remaining 92%. Goals are great, but resolutions have a stigma associated with them that makes us think we need to do something that will transform us in a huge way. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and the key to making a reachable goal is to set an objective that is first and foremost realistic.

Bucket lists are somewhat similar to the almighty resolution, but I don’t think there is quite as much pressure or hype. Most of the time, a bucket list is made up of things to do in one’s lifetime. I have one of those hiding somewhere as well, but I wrote it maybe ten years ago. It doesn’t really apply to who I am today. My life has changed since then. My wants have changed a lot as well. This is why I like the short term bucket list a lot more–it is current and can grow with me.

I basically look at my list as things I’d like to do over the next three months or so. If I don’t get them done by the chosen time of completion, it is ok. I can still do the remaining activities on my list at some point, it just didn’t happen over the summer. I don’t beat myself up about it. Whatever I did accomplish I still feel good about. That should be the point; a bucket list is a guide, it isn’t a set in stone list that should make you feel badly about what you did not or could not do.

Last year when I made my bucket list, I wrote down 15 things and put them into three categories: Things to Make, Things to Do, and Places to Go. I completed only four things on my list last summer and semi-completed another, but in no way did I see anything on my list as failure.

So, what did I complete?

  1. Get some sun. I am normally a homebody–doing things outdoors doesn’t really thrill me. I hate bugs because I can’t really shoo them away very well, I burn fairly easily, and I get bored. On the other hand, I enjoy the heat of the sun, going out without needing a jacket, and vitamin D is extremely important. Making myself go outside felt good! I don’t know about you, but being in the sunshine really boosts the mood and makes me a little more motivated.
  2. Start a blog of randomness. I can only say I completed this about a third of the way last summer. I began trying to put together this blog and found a nice layout. The problem was my creative drive wasn’t really there. Now, I am happy to say I am in a more ambitious and creative frame of mind for this project.
  3. Read three books. I went way beyond this–I read over ten books from June to mid September. I was really in the reading groove!
  4. Attend a nearby arts festival. This wasn’t a very difficult thing to achieve. I am not sure I will go this summer as it sometimes isn’t all that fun due to big crowds and curbs. These two things aren’t exactly wheelchair friendly.
  5. Go to the Minnesota State Fair. I have never been to this fair and I had always heard about all the foods on a stick and the butter statue carving. Being the second largest state fair in the country (Texas is the largest), it is about time I went to it since I have lived in Minnesota my entire life. I didn’t eat anything on a stick that day, but I am an adventurous eater and was totally enthusiastic to try the new cow tongue tacos! Yum!

None of the above fell in the “Things to Make” category, so maybe I will try harder to accomplish making a physical object this year. Now, let me show you my Summer of 2013 Bucket List which will cover the entire summer beginning on June 1st, and ending September 15th.

Things to Make

  • Create a cute design for a t-shirt or other item.
  • Make a crafty piece of jewelry.
  • Make some DIY eyeshadow colors.
  • Cook at least four new recipes per month.
  • Finish the Rangeelichick.com Facebook page.

Things to Do

  • Read at least 12 books.
  • Record at least one public YouTube video.
  • Develop two regular blog segments.
  • Grow some fresh herbs.
  • Go through my closet and get rid of clothes I don’t want.

Places to Go

  • Take a trip to the Mall of America.
  • Go to at least three new restaurants.
  • Go to an Ikea. (I know, I’m weird! I have never been to one, but the idea fascinates me!)
  • Road trip to the East Coast. (This might be wishful thinking!)
  • Drive to a winery and do a wine tasting.

There’s my list! As I said, a bucket list should be used as a guide…a motivator. Most of them are pretty simple and realistic, and from time to time I will refer back to it as a reminder to stay on track. If some of my chosen items don’t get completed, I won’t feel as if I let myself down. It is simply ideas of what I’d like to do. I can always attempt to try again at a later date. Whatever I can cross off this list in September, I will feel happy that I have done what I have done!

Are you making a bucket list for the summer? I would love to see yours! Feel free to post a link to your list below or tweet me @rangeelichick!

 

Photo credit: meetminneapolis / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Olivander / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: ldandersen / Foter.com / CC BY-NC