Mighty Life List

Do you read Maggie Mason’s blog? You should. I’m always happy when I see a new post in my reader. Anyway, Maggie has a “mighty life list” – 100 things that she wants to do before she dies. After months of reading about her crossing items of her list, I thought it might be interesting to see what I came up with if I thought about all those things that I want to do “some day”. So here is my Mighty Life List. I’m up to 68 items, which gives me lots of room to add, as I discover new and exciting things that I want to do before I go.

1. Learn to bake bread.
2. Read Ulysses.
3. Eat sushi in Japan.
4. Complete PowerSpeak languages online course (from DCPL) for Spanish.
5. Visit all 50 states (Layovers in the airport/driving straight through doesn’t count): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, CaliforniaColoradoConnecticut, Delaware, District of ColumbiaFlorida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, MaineMaryland,  Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, NevadaNew Hampshire, New Jersey, New MexicoNew YorkNorth Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, OregonPennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

6. Eat a lobster roll in Maine.

7. Marry Jami.
8. Become knowledgeable about wine.
9. Make mayonnaise from scratch.
10. Buy a new sewing machine and learn to machine quilt.
11. Write a snail mail letter once a week for a year.
12. Go hiking in Acadia National Park.
13. Have dinner at Chez Panisse.
14. Learn how to make 5 different cocktails.
15. Go for a carriage ride through Charleston.
16. Eat beignets and muffeletta in New Orleans.
17. Go to Opening Day at Nationals Park.
18. Can pickles.
19. Go skiing.
20. Visit every library in the DC system, take a picture, and check out a book.
21. Be completely debt free (including the mortgage).
22. Learn to knit socks.
23. Host a crab boil.
24. Have a book review published.
25. See a movie at Screen on the Green.
26. Take a walk in the National Arboretum.
27. Go to the Kite Festival.
28. Tour Lincoln’s Cottage at the Old Soldier’s Home.
29. Go ice skating in the Sculpture Garden.
30. Attend a DC United game.
31. Make truffles.
32. Make homemade ice cream.
33. Donate 10% of my income for one year to charity.
34. Take my sweetie on a weeklong trip to Italy.
35. Sell a quilt.
36. Catch a fish.
37. Visit Fallingwater.
38. Hire a (well paid, very appreciated) biweekly cleaning service.
39. Host an exchange student.
40. Do the 365 day photo project.
41. Eat at Nora.
42. Fly first class on a cross-country or international flight.
43. Find someplace to volunteer regularly.
44. Read all the Caldecott Medal Winners: 2013: This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, 2012: A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, 2011: A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead, 2010: The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, 2009: The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson, 2008: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, 2007: Flotsam by David Wiesner, 2006: The Hello, Goodbye Window Illustrated by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster, 2005: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, 2004: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein, 2003: My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann, 2002: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, 2001: So You Want to Be President? Illustrated by David Small; text by Judith St. George, 2000: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback, 1999: Snowflake Bentley, Illustrated by Mary Azarian ; text by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, 1998: Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky, 1997: Golem by David Wisniewski, 1996: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann, 1995: Smoky Night , illustrated by David Diaz; text: Eve Bunting, 1994: Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say; text: edited by Walter Lorraine, 1993: Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully, 1992: Tuesday by David Wiesner, 1991: Black and White by David Macaulay, 1990: Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young, 1989: Song and Dance Man , illustrated by Stephen Gammell; text: Karen Ackerman, 1988: Owl Moon , illustrated by John Schoenherr; text: Jane Yolen, 1987: Hey, Al , illustrated by Richard Egielski; text: Arthur Yorinks, 1986: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, 1985: Saint George and the Dragon , illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman; text: retold by Margaret Hodges, 1984: The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice & Martin Provensen, 1983: Shadow, translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown; original text in French: Blaise Cendrars, 1982: Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg, 1981: Fables by Arnold Lobel, 1980: Ox-Cart Man , illustrated by Barbara Cooney; text: Donald Hall, 1979: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble, 1978: Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier, 1977: Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions , illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; text: Margaret Musgrove, 1976: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears , illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; text: retold by Verna Aardema, 1975: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott, 1974: Duffy and the Devil, illustrated by Margot Zemach; retold by Harve Zemach, 1973: The Funny Little Woman, illustrated by Blair Lent; text: retold by Arlene Mosel, 1972: One Fine Day, retold and illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian, 1971: A Story A Story, retold and illustrated by Gail E. Haley, 1970: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, 1969: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship , illustrated by Uri Shulevitz; text: retold by Arthur Ransome, 1968: Drummer Hoff , illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley, 1967: Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness, 1966: Always Room for One More , illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian; text: Sorche Nic Leodhas, pseud. [Leclair Alger], 1965: May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor; text: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, 1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, 1962: Once a Mouse , retold and illustrated by Marcia Brown, 1961: Baboushka and the Three Kings , illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov; text: Ruth Robbins, 1960: Nine Days to Christmas , illustrated by Marie Hall Ets; text: Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida, 1959: Chanticleer and the Fox , illustrated by Barbara Cooney; text: adapted from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales by Barbara Cooney, 1958: Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, 1957: A Tree Is Nice , illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry, 1956: Frog Went A-Courtin’ , illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky; text: retold by John Langstaff), 1955: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper , illustrated by Marcia Brown; text: translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown, 1954: Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1953: The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward, 1952: Finders Keepers , illustrated by Nicolas, pseud. (Nicholas Mordvinoff); text: Will, pseud. [William Lipkind], 1951: The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous, 1950: Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi, 1949: The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader, 1948: White Snow, Bright Snow , illustrated by Roger Duvoisin; text: Alvin Tresselt, 1947: The Little Island , illustrated by Leonard Weisgard; text: Golden MacDonald, pseud. [Margaret Wise Brown], 1946: The Rooster Crows by Maud & Miska Petersham, 1945: Prayer for a Child , illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones; text: Rachel Field, 1944: Many Moons , illustrated by Louis Slobodkin; text: James Thurber, 1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, 1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, 1941: They Were Strong and Good, by Robert Lawson, 1940: Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, 1939: Mei Li by Thomas Handforth, 1938: Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book, illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop; text: selected by Helen Dean Fish.
45. Stay at the Library Hotel.
46. Listen to live music in Austin.
47. Go to a comedy club.
48. Learn how to identify 10 birds found in DC.
49. Visit Barcelona and photograph 5 buildings designed by Gaudi.
50. Go to a professional conference, not held in the city in which I live.
51. Ride the Wuppertal Schwebebahn.
52. Tour the Pope-Leighey House.
53. Visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
54. Have dinner at Palena.
55. Have dinner at Komi.
56. Pop Popcorn on the Stove Top.
57. Make Homemade Peanut Butter.
58. Go to a performance of the Washington National Opera.
59. Visit all the Presidents’ Homes/Libraries: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, James Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama.
60. See a show at the Woolly Mammoth Theater Co.
61. Visit the FDR Memorial.
62. Take a yearly anniversary trip with Jami and sans bebe. (I’m going to consider this achieved when we have done this 5 times – although, of course, I hope we’ll continue after that!)
63. Learn how to paper piece a quilt.
64. Make ricotta cheese from scratch.
65. See a moose. A live one. In the wild.
66. Take a physics class.
67. Sew an outfit for Frances.
68. Ride my bike to work semi-regularly.

Mighty Life List

Diet for a Hot Planet

Diet for a Hot Planet is subtitled “The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It” which should give you a good idea of what this book covers. Anna Lappe (the daughter of Frances Moore Lappe who wrote Diet for a Small Planet back in the 1970s) does a good job of explaining how the food we eat contributes to the climate crisis. There’s a lot to think about and I haven’t processed it all yet, but I know at the very least I will be figuring out how to limit my purchase of items containing palm oil. To establish palm oil plantations (which is apparently in everything from cookies to soap), developers cut down rainforests and drain peatlands (massive amounts of dead and decaying plant matter which are covered by water). When the peatlands are drained this plant matter is exposed to air and begins to oxidize, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Lappe states that ” [t]hough peatlands cover just 0.2 percent of the earth’s surface their destructions is associated with 8 percent of total global emissions” (p. 30). There’s lots more about this in the book – and about other ways that agriculture and food production impact our planet, so if you are interested (or want it explained better) I recommend that you read it.

(I got Diet for a Hot Planet through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program for free. Lucky me! I will happily loan it out if other folks would like to read it.)

Diet for a Hot Planet

TBR: When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead was the only children’s book I put on my To Be Read list. I had read about it on several blogs last year and it won the 2010 Newbery Medal, which is a good endorsement. It’s science fiction-tinged chapter book that follows a 6th grader in New York City in the 1970s. She receives several mysterious notes from someone that seems to know the future – her future. By the end of the book, I was really enjoying it, but I probably didn’t really get caught up until the last 30 pages, so I can’t give it a ringing endorsement. It was certainly an easy book to get crossed off the list though!

I’m speeding through these To Be Read books though – only 5 left on my list and it’s only March. I think my chances of success are high!

TBR: When You Reach Me

TBR: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

I’m a big history buff (if I did college all over again, I think I would be a history major), but my fondest love is for Social History. I’m not as interested in wars and governments as I am in the history of people (although of course wars and governments have quite an impact on people). When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins is a great look at the history of the last 50 years and how it has affected the lives of women. And everything has indeed changed – so drastically in my mother’s lifetime – that it’s amazing to be reminded of how different things used to be. Collins writes an interesting and very readable account of this time period and shows just how far we’ve come, and what issues still remain.

In addition to wanting to read this for the TBR challenge, I’m also hosting Book Club this month, so this was my selection for that. I’m looking forward to hearing what other folks have to say about the book.

TBR: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

It’s a Small World

Yesterday was the first day that same-sex marriages were celebrated in the District. (Couples could apply for licenses starting on the 3rd, but the District has a mandatory 3-day waiting period for all couples). Imagine my joy when I watched the video accompanying this article this morning of three of the first weddings and saw… the woman who previously owned our house! Lorilyn (also known as Candy) Holmes, the woman wearing the black suit in the image you see, was the seller of our house, which had been her childhood home. It’s a small (and this week, quite happy) world.

It’s a Small World

Three Food Choices

One of my favorite food blog, Cheap Health Good, asked the following hypothetical question this week:

Q: You can only eat three dishes for the rest of your life. They’re dishes, not single foods; this means you can choose bananas, but you can also opt for Spaghetti Bolognese. You must consider proper nutrition. Side dishes are not allowed. Which three do you choose?

What a challenge! Well, mostly because you have to consider nutrition – there are plenty of things that I could eat forever that have very little nutritional value.

I think I would choose:

Tuna Melts! Okay, not the most nutritious – but I do include lots of veggies in my tuna melts. And we eat them every single week now, so I don’t think I could go without them for the rest of my life.

Farfalle with Tomato and Zucchini – My go-to recipe for last summer, adapted from this recipe in Food + Wine. (I cook use “grown-up” zucchini, so I cook them a little first and Farfalle is the preferred pasta in our house, but otherwise I follow the recipe). This is great for using up summer garden bounty and so yummy that we never managed to take a picture of it last summer – we always went straight to the eating. And I can’t imagine life without pasta.

Corn Chowder – I use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking and it is just perfect – fresh and tasty with a little bit of bacon. Mmm, bacon.

What would you eat?

Three Food Choices