What’s in your bucket?

Bucket List.

I find it either a glass half-full or half-empty kind of activity. It’s kind of like buying a cemetery plot in many instances, you aren’t going to do so unless the moment presents itself upon you all at once. I’d like to look at it as a kind of insurance, the glass being half full. I didn’t decide to create a bucket list in looking at it as tasks to do before I die, but as activities to accomplish along my entirely long and fulfilling life. I don’t want to find myself at age 70 and suddenly have the urge to create one, with minimal time left to accomplish it. No, I want ALL the things to be able to get crossed off of my list. I think no matter what stage, what age, and where you are in this journey called life, it’s a great way to catalog your goals and ambitions in a clear and focused manner. What have you got to lose? All it costs is some paper, a pen, and a little time.

You’re probably thinking that there are just too many things you would like to put on your list, it’d would simply take forever! The idea to create a bucket list of my own was sprung from a site that listed “101 Things To Do Before You Die.” Sure, there are thousands of things I would like to do before I die, but I don’t have all day Sir! I have a life you know.. 😉

Ten. Ten unique and utterly on-the-dot pinned goals should suffice. I personally know that narrowing down your goals can seem quite painstaking, especially for those who certainly would list 101 things! But in the end, I want to be able to accomplish, as I’ve said, ALL of my goals…so I will make the number more manageable and simply give each goal a tidge more tenor, without being the least bit ambiguous.

I’ll start of with the easiest.

1. Feel Healthy. To be clear, 100%, walking on sunshine, singing with the birds, dancing in the rain happy and healthy. It’s been a bit since I’ve felt completely healthy. Now, I do believe that there will always be little ailments and medical issues here and there, and even ones that make a profound impact in your life. But at some point, I want to feel completely energized and medically sound like I have before, and stay that way. One month without a medical appointment? Yes, please!

2. Grow a Garden. One that will house both the flowering and fruit/vegetable producing sorts. Have you ever seen Jamie Oliver’s show on the Food Network? Every episode, he goes out his back door into his garden, and picks something fresh and organic right off the stem to use in his recipes. Want. I would like to someday not to have to pay so much for vegetables and fruit and rather eat what it in season by what is seasonally and readily available to pluck right out of my own soil. The Farmer’s Market in Gainesville may have gotten me into it more than ever, but back in High School my mother and I had a garden of our own. With wildflowers we picked, tomatoes, beans, and CORN. Sadly, Florida soil is too sandy for the deep roots, but they grew around 4 feet tall!

3. Dye My Hair Dark Brown. Easiest to hardest and it’s put at third? Oh yeah, I’ve been saying I was going to do this “next semester” for over 4 years now! Everyone has their fears haha. My mother and father both have a rich, dark brown hair color. My mother had blonde hair and it slowly turned darker as she aged, and mine is too. Although blondes dooo have more fun, I believe my hair color should match my intelligence 😉 In all seriousness though, my hair will be dark brown by the time I’m 30; it is already a light brown, naturally. I think it will make my green eyes pop, don’t you think?

4. Own a Home With a Fireplace. I’ve always found it a luxury to have a cozy space to warm up in and cuddle with the one you love most. And lets not forget the S’mores. There’s something just so memorable about sipping steamy hot chocolate topped with marshmallows by a warm fire in Winter, while being in the convenience of the inside of your own home. Or drinking wine by the flickering light, it’s light keeping you warm and toasty. Santa will appreciate it too! 😉 You don’t really see those in Florida…

5. Marry My Own “Mr. Darcy.” And live Happily Ever After. Simply said. Word of the day ladies, Romance. Which leads me to my next item..
6. Read all of Jane Austin’s Novels. More importantly, read MORE. And no, weekends full of peer-reviewed journals and educational textbooks do not count. regretfully. I have so many books still awaiting for me to curl up, open them up, and enjoy. Because we all know that the movies just don’t turn out the same.

7. See Yellowstone Park. As you may know, I’m fond of wolves. I would love to see wild wolves up close as well as the numerous other animals that live and thrive in the park. As of 2011, at least 98 wolves resided in yellowstone, in 10 different packs. The wolf pack has declined 60% in the Northern Range since 2007. Part of the declination of the population is due to Distemper. If you’ve ever had a puppy you know that they usually receive 4 rounds of distemper. But what IS distemper? It’s a mental illness, which can effect how a wolf hunts, and what it is susceptible to. Symptoms parallel a combination of the flu and rabies, and is highly contagious.  On a brighter note, Yellowstone has the world’s largest collection of Geysers! I’m amazed every day by nature’s beauty.

8. Climb a Mountain. No, not the usually stated Mt. Everest. I would like to hike a mountain closer to where I live now. Possibly somewhere in South Carolina? Sassafras I say! There is a gorgeous waterfall that can be seen while on the Foothills Trail, an 80-mile hiking/backpacking trail that runs from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park. I would also love to see the Appalachian Mountains, which is pretty close at less than two hours away!

9. Drink Champage in Champage, France. Only sparkling white wine that comes from the Champagne region of France, in the northeastern part of the country, can actually be called champagne. That’s why here in the US you see so many bubbly white wines called “Sparkling Wine.” In Europe, it’s  actually the law! It has been illegal for non-Champaignois vineyards to call their lot of wine champagne ever since 1891. It is so important that such a claim be made that it was reaffirmed in the 1919’s Treaty of Versailles—the one that ended World War I. Traveling is without question on most people’s bucket lists.  I’ve always adored the Parisian lifestyle, and since I love wine, well, this simply makes sense.

10. Last, and certainly not least, Visit Croatia. My dad’s side of the family is from there, and they also have absolutely gorgeous beaches. (The beaches are always on travel.com’s Top Ten Beach Vacation Spots for the wealthy. What is less known is that there has been quite a long-stand of genocide in the former Yogoslavian nations, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s tragic. And even more so that we as Americans are rarely informed on crisis that our US army isn’t in direct conflict with. A good movie that showcases some of the reality taking place is The Whistle Blower, a movie that is set in post-war Bosnia. If you like suspenseful, yet informational movies, I suggest it.

What’s On YOUR Bucket List???

First time for everything they say.

Visiting Columbia for the first time, Eric and I decide to do some snooping. With our little miss Scooby Doo in hand, we embarked on our own Mystery of the Forgotten Lake. Not as forgotten as thought but certainly barely populated with people and pretty darn hard to find.

Lake Murray, the most serene lake that you can sort-off (key words) swim in. We had visited Sequicentennial State Park, located only 25 minutes away from us, prior to going to the Lake since the state park offered a lake as well, but went only to find out that out bathingsuits would not be used that day, as swimming in the lake was not allowed. Lake Monster? We’ll never know. After learning that swimming was prohibited, we decided to look elsewhere and with a quick swish of the mouse and google’s help we found Lake Murray, swimming and dogs both allowed and only a 35 minute drive away. Sounded like a plan!

If you’ve never been, the lake itself is settled in a very high-pigment red clay. That said, don’t wear your best swimsuit as it is likely to turn red! Eric’s swim trunks were gonners from the first dip.. Unexpectedly, I found out that it was literally Eric’s first time in a lake.  Not too many lakes to be found in South Florida I’ve been told, but then again with the beaches is there a need? Making the best with what we have, and not wanting to drive an hour to the coast of S. Carolina, we made due, and found a little piece of paradise in the middle of the state.

There were two lake amateurs in my car that day, as it was Luna’s first time ever in a lake. Now, with the breeder that had her before we adopted her, they would take all of the pups to the Indian Reservation close to Hawthorne, FL, so she may have experienced something there, but as she was so young this might as well have been her first! And boy was she not that excited about that less than clear water! She was thrilled!…to swim ashore that is. Maybe if there was only some salmon swimming about… To her defense we could not see below two feel deep once w were in the water as the red clay would ge turned up and pollute the water around us that was just a moment before clear

It ended up being quite the adventurous day! Eric and I were proud puppy parents , filming all of Luna’s first swim. When it came to snapping photos, we bought a one-use waterproof Kodak camera, more expensive but I highly advise it for any water fun that you wish to catch on film. Luna seemed to fit in perfectly with the scenery of the forest laden Lakeside, a wolf in her natural habitat! Luna is part wolf, as you may know prior to this blog, and the wolf in her is Red Wolf, which most of the population of actually reside in North and South Carolina! An island off of South Carolina was actually used as a captive-breeding plan when there numbers became extremely low, you can read more about it in HERE.

The amount of pines in the wooded area of the park (in other words, what wasn’t the actual Lake,) seemed to stretch on for miles. It reminded me of Twilight. Yes, twilight. No Vampires jumping from tree to three though I assure you. There were about four different trails throughout the park, and the three of us embarked on the longest trail that day, which took over an hour and a half! Luna seemed to like the land more than the sea, so much sniffing to do on those trails!

When it came to Luna and the water, one would think, “wolves, wolves like water…Luna will like water.” Oh no, not this lady. She loved to splish and splash in the water within a two-foot radius of the shoreline, but any farther and the only direction the wet-rat looking pup would swim in would be towards shore. Scaredy cat? Or wolf instinct I’m not picking up on? I’ll never know.

What I did find out that day was thought provoking in itself.  I never knew how much Luna actually cared to be around us, or simply cared for us in that matter. Hybrids by many people are said to be shy, unattached and more or less disinterested in their owners overall safety in comparison to that of a domestic dog.

Driving to the Lake, we got a little lost. The path to the location is pretty much off in a very country setting, with long roads and big houses. Money to live by the lake, that we surely picked up on! Once we found the park, there were no designated dog area signs, and as I do not want to get a ticket, I wanted to make sure they were allowed where we were going. As I saw a woman with two golden retrievers by the tack shop near the entrance, I quickly jumped out of the car to catch her before she walked away, all the while as Eric was slowing the car to a stop still. As I got out so that I may ask her what areas she takes her dogs in the park, and as we have the windows half down, if unknowingly half-haphazardly, Luna jumps right out of the car that is still in motion! Talk about Pupppppy Poweerrr! Have you ever seen those safety belts for dogs used in vehicles? We may need to invest. Did she jump because she saw the other dogs a bit away? Was she wanting to get out due to boredom? Or did she just want to jump ship to follow mom?

Like a new shell hitting the shore, the tide comes up, today as before.


Thanks for visiting!

If you are a weightlifter, strongman, exercise enthusiast, or just looking for a good read, do head over to Eric's blog RIGHT HERE..
He is my inspiration in more ways than one, especailly when it comes to pursuing my writing.

Oh, you know you want to be stronger, doesn't everyone? ;)

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