Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30, 2008

Okay, here we go...!

Item #1: We had spinach tossed in with our pasta, so we are both happy to count that as our veggie with dinner. It wasn't too bad.

Item #40: H played for 300 more grains, so we are up to 20,600...long way to go, but we have plenty of time!

Item #54: Those voicemails paid off ... I heard back from the dance studio & after ruling out about 14 days in May, we finally hit about a day in June to have our lesson!

If it weren't cheating, I'd give myself credit for #80 and #85 by sending a box with some soapmaking supplies to an online buddy who expressed interest in the hobby. But I know it's cheating -- both because I can't say I "used" the supplies today ... and also the package isn't exactly "random". *grin*

A few more grains.

I uninspiringly played for 300 more grains of rice. Too many new words are starting to make my brain hurt ;).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29, 2008

We both had very long days & are extremely tired, so it is with especial pride that we log our accomplishments for the day:

Item #1: We both had subs, laden with lots and lots and lots of veggies. We are confident this meets our "veggies with dinner" requirement. We're on day 15/30 ... halfway there!

Item #40: As noted below, H played for more rice. *grin*

Item #58: Another halfway mark. We've finished our 3rd week of walking for an hour a week, of our 6 week goal! SA-WEET!!

Item #80: I made 5 bars of soap today, honey oatmeal. I gave 2 to Kim & 2 to H & kept one for me! It's kind of experimental, so I'll have to see if it turned out okay!

I think we're heading to bed early. I've got a mountain of paperwork that will just have to keep until tomorrow!
Completed another 2800 grains of vocabulary words on Free Rice. Yay H! :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28, 2008

Item #1: We had veggies with dinner ... so that makes day 14/30. *grin*

And that's all we did for today! We thought we might get some walking in, but the weather was not cooperative. And I thought I might get some soaps made, but time was against me. Maybe tomorrow. If I'm lucky!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008

Item #1: I actually had a very late lunch, so late it was almost dinner, but it was virtually vegetable-less. Unless you count baked beans, which I don't. So, 3 hours later, I had "dinner", which had peas & carrots & bell peppers & onions in it. H had some leftover salad. Mission accomplished! Day 13 of 30!

Item #58: We went for a 10 minute walk, at which point H begged off & we decided to walk 10 minutes tomorrow, instead. Hey, as long as it adds up to an hour a week, we're good. And we're planning on walking on Tuesday for 20 minutes, which will make our hour in time for week #3 to wrap up. We're golden.

Item #63: We attended an adoption seminar today, at Journeys of the Heart. It answered a bunch of questions. And raised a ton more. We've decided to attend 2 more, given by different agencies, just to get more of a feel for our options. Once we've done those and done more talking and soul-searching, we'll decide what our next step is.

Item #80: I pulled out all of my soapmaking supplies. I really do have a lot of fun doing this, but I think I've made soap for just about every person I know, and at some point, people just have enough soap, know what I mean? *grin* So, I am just going to make up this last batch, with the supplies I have on hand (probably enough for 20-25 bars), and then shelve the supplies for a couple of years until I get some new recipes or molds or some new spark of interest. If anyone wants some soap, let me know! I'll try to send some your way -- cocoa butter or glycerin? Or if anyone's got some good recipes for including herbs or exfoliants, let me know. I am thinking about getting experimental with some dried lavender I have, as well as with grinding up some oatmeal. Who knows? It might work!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26, 2008

Item #1: We had scrunchy salad for dinner, so we had LOTS of veggies. Day 12 of 30. We rock.

Item #35: I researched Cirque du Soleil. There's a show coming near us in a couple of months ... but most of the decent seating is sold out!! So, I signed up for their mailing list so we can be faster on the uptake next time! :D

Item #43: See below or click here. Good luck tomorrow, Lauren!

Item #58: We went for a beautiful walk at the Arboretum. We're getting lots of use out of our camera, too!

Item #43

YAY! We helped my friend Lauren reach her goal! She is walking tomorrow, so we topped off what was left. *grin* Damn, but that feels good. If you're so moved to help her, consider donating a couple of bucks to her, or to a member of her team. We were able to use PayPal, which just makes it so much easier, in my opinion!

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25, 2008

Today feels like it just raced on by! And we expect the weekend to do the same!

Item #1: In addition to having red bell pepper, onion, and peas IN our dinner, we had corn on the side. Day 11 of veggies with dinner -- success!

Item #61: I looked in the park district brochure I received in today's mail. No cooking classes. We'll have to look elsewhere!

Item #89: The park district has individual music lessons for kids ... and specifically mentions banjo. Maybe there's a lead in there somewhere.

I am loving all of this purposeful & intentional living. It helps us keep eyes peeled for opportunities to grow!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 24, 2008

Item #1: Veggies galore for dinner as we both had giant salads with lots and lots and lots of veggies. This is day #10 of veggies- with-dinner. We are 1/3 of the way through this item. YAY!

Item #78: An eye exam, many attempts at trying on frames, and $314 later, H will be picking up his glasses in approximately 2 weeks. We've just got to wait for the call from LensCrafters!

Item #82: The photo says it all. Our old one became non-functional about 4 months ago. I anticipate us having some kind of shredding party. Maybe we should combine it with #27 and have friends over. *grin*


I just love the concept behind this thing. Read more about it here, if you like. Watch it & observe your reaction to it ... and post!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

Item #1: Another vegetable with dinner. Asparagus. Which leads me to ...

Item #41: ASPARAGUS! YUCK! I can tolerate it when it's mixed in with other things, but I ate 2 whole stalks before I just couldn't take it anymore & scraped the rest on to H's plate. He loves this stuff. *shudder*

Item #79: Over lunch, H said, "Hey! Why don't I take treats in to work this afternoon?!" So he took some sliced up watermelon & pineapple ... and they just devoured it!!! WTG, H!
H has donated 4000 more grains of rice to the UN World Food Program! Go H! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April 22, 2008

Item #1: H had asparagus & tomatoes ... I had a salad with lettuce & cucumbers. See below for where we went!

Item #40: I played for 2,280 grains of rice, bringing our grand total to 10,000 grains of rice. Only 990,000 to go!

Item #58: We went for a walk down to the neighborhood park & back, a 20 minute round trip, thus completing our 2nd week of walking an hour a week. 5 more weeks to go! *smile*

Item #99: We jetted out at random & agreed to stop at the first restaurant (any one we had not been to before) that grabbed us. It was Noodles & Company. Dang. It was really good. Just a quick bite, but very tasty with lots of vegetable options & nutritional information readily available. We give this one two thumbs up. And we may wind up with Item #30 if it continues to be this tasty!

And it doesn't meet any of our challenges, but I quite enjoyed attending a flower arranging class where all the attendees donated money for the Discovery Hike for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I hope that the person we sponsored (Kris Linde) meets her goal & does a great job hiking the Grand Canyon! If you're so inspired to donate, I send you my heartfelt thanks & a virtual hug!

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 21, 2008

A whirlwind day for both of us. We managed to get in veggies with dinner, still working on Item #1. Nothing else was accomplished. Ah, well. we can't be powerhouses every day, now can we? *wink*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20, 2008

Item #1: We didn't really have a dinner, per se, but we both had veggies in the latter half of the day during our gaming fun, so I am counting this one as done.

Item #58: Yesterday the weather was quite gloomy, so we postponed our walk until today. I was a bit concerned since we had scheduled to play board & card games with our friends almost all day long ... but towards 6 pm, we began closing up shop & openly shooing people out. I am so glad we made the decision, because our walk was refreshing and beautiful ... just see below!

Item #75: In the process of completing the aforementioned walk, we had our first monthly trip (11 more months to go!) to the Morton Arboretum. We got there at the tail end of the day & got some, I think, pretty pictures to boot!



Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19, 2008

Item #1: Yes, more veggies. 2 salads with dinner, at Sweet Tomatoes. They make it so easy.

Item #23: Thanks to my very good friend, Kim, my exercise ball is now inflated to its proper size. It's been slowly deflating for, uh, years, to the point that now I want to use it at home, it was pretty much useless. She offered to come over and inflate it (isn't that sweet???!), but the timing was bad, so I ran over to her house several hours later & now it is done. Awesome! You rock, Kim!

Item #41: Beets ... THUMBS DOWN. I don't care that others said they were bad beets. They were still icky. One step up from tomatoes in my book. Maybe half a step. H tried cooked cabbage, which he said he doesn't like. I never got the final verdict on that, but he did eat it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008

Item #1: I made a side of stir fried veggies (red bell pepper, carrot, snow pea, green onion) to go with our asian meal. This makes day 4 of veggies with dinner.

Item #54: I left a message at the dance studio. Hopefully they'll call us back soon to schedule!

Item #63: I registered us for an adoption seminar! We'll go in another week & a half. I'm excited ... and nervous!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008

Item #1: H had my lunch leftovers, swimming with vegetables ... I had a side salad (see below) with my chili at Steak N Shake. And I decided I was still hungry & got some fries. But I will not pretend that french fries qualify as a vegetable. *grin*

Item #40: H played for another 3,500 grains of rice today. WTG, honey!!!!

Item #41: If reevaluating 5 foods at lunch was not enough, my salad at Steak N Shake had chopped green bell peppers on it. Which I am confident I do not like. However, I ate them anyway. As with most of the foods I've been reevaluating, I will put raw, chopped green bell peppers in the "tolerable" category. I will not, however, be letting them contaminate any cooked items (pizza, stir fry, etc.) any time in the near future. They have too much of a bitter "bite" for me to enjoy them.

Item #58: We are off & walking, into week #2 of 7. We both walked 20 minutes today & plan on doing another 20 minutes on Saturday. GO US!!!

Prepare to be amazed ...

People who know me know that I'm a picky eater. And I don't like veggies much at all, which is why Item #1 is such a challenge for me. I admit it. I'm prejudiced against vegetables. If I know ahead of time what I'm eating, my mind's already made up that I won't like it. So, today, I drove in to the Borrowed Earth Cafe, which serves only raw food & met up with a friend, and I pushed my limits.

I had their "Far Easter", described as an oriental feast of fresh julienned vegetables (dear lord ... not even identified!!) blended with an out-of-this-world teriyaki sauce (I like teriyaki) rolled in a collard green leaf (yuck!!) with jicama "rice" (that stuff's okay). And it came with two (horribly unidentified side salads). The challenge? Eat it & don't look too closely. Just pay attention to whether or not I like it. My friend Carrie was awesome at encouraging me to consider my palate, not my prejudices. For dessert, I had "baklava", with pastry made out of dried (I think) fruits & filled with various nuts. When all was said and done, this is what I wound up consuming, between the entree, 2 side salads, and dessert:

Things I already knew I liked: red bell peppers, carrots, pineapple, raisins, radishes, snow peas, cilantro, walnuts, pine nuts.

Things I was surprised, VERY surprised, to find out are actually okay: (1) broccoli, both stem & florets, chopped fine, mixed in with other crisp veggies was tolerable. If they're raw in future salads, I probably won't pick them out. (2) napa cabbage, which was substituted for the collard green leaf. I found it to be bitter, but tolerable. (3) Fennel bulb & fronds. I've always found fennel to be overwhelming, but this time it was tolerable. (4) Pistachio nuts, snuck into the baklava, were ... like everything else I listed .... tolerable, when mixed with other things. I wouldn't have known they were in there if I hadn't seen them.

Things I found out were just as nasty as I remembered them to be: tomatoes. Just can NOT tolerate them. Disgusting. I drank a whole glass of water after eating a very large grape tomato. *shudder*

So, 5 points to me for things I reevaluated for Item #41, for a total of 6. 4 more to go. I can do this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16, 2008

Item #1: We had a zucchini & onion thing with our baked tilapia with fresh lemon pepper. Day #2 of 30. Sweet.

Item #40: H played for 1,600 more grains of rice after he posted below, so we've got a new total. We'll be at a million in no time. *grin*

Item #41: I'm not a huge fan of zucchini. I love zucchini bread ... but otherwise, it's got to be hidden with other veggies. Lots of other veggies. I tried it, pretty much plain tonight. I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again, but I will eat it if it's put on my plate.

Item #58: H walked tonight for 20 minutes, so we are both at a total of 1 hour for our first week. Simply put, we rock!

Updated 101 Challenge info!

H worked further on #46 and "worded" away another 3020 grains. H and L also walked another 20 minutes (item #58) to further train their bodies for the upcoming "walk-a-thon" in Orlando (aka Walt Disney World). Finally H completed #73, and upped his percentage to a total of 4% from 2%. Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My sweetie, H, now has posting privileges!

So, if you see posts from Haeleth ... you'll know why! I'm sure we have millions of readers, after all, who might otherwise be confused. Riiiight. *grin*

April 15, 2008

Item #1: We had peas with dinner ... day one of 30, making sure we are having veggies with every dinner. I went grocery shopping & bought asparagus, zucchini, red bell pepper, carrots, green onions, salad mix, and snow peas ... so that should hold us for the next several dinners, too. *grin*

Item #40: I played for 1,000 grains of free rice ... and H played for 1,100 grains ... through

Item #58: We went for a 20 minute walk, down to the stoplight where some construction has started on our road. So far, it just looks like they're redoing the curbs. We'll see what unfolds next.

I also put up these round wire things for our peonies, hammered in stakes with reflectors on them & put reflectors on both sides of the mailbox. And spread out a bag of mulch. H cleaned the grill ... and discovered the seal on the gas valve may be broken. None of these things was on our list ... but we felt damned productive all the same!

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14, 2008

Item #71: COMPLETE! I didn't honestly think we'd have something crossed off our list in as few as 4 days, but as happenstance would have it (see 4/11 post), we now are the proud owners of a newly installed mailbox. I am ridiculously happy. It's nothing special, just our previous mailbox mounted on a new post ... but it now means we can have larger packages left in our mailbox & nothing squished, too. And we don't have an eyesore sitting in our front lawn. I am planning on picking up some self-adhesive reflector spots at the hardware store sometime soon, to make it even more pretty! Oh, and if anyone in the greater Chicagoland area needs any construction (or mailbox installing) done, I can highly recommend Barlar Construction!

Item #58: I also did 20 "extra" minutes of walking, in addition to my regular workout. My sweetie's going to have to play catch-up, now! We will both walk tomorrow & he will probably walk on Wednesday to round out the hour for the week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11, 2008

Well, #71 is getting moved up on the list. Last night, as I was folding laundry in our bedroom, I heard a loud pop-bang-thud & peeking out the window, saw that our mailbox had been nailed. Since it was a temporary mailbox, standing in for our regular mailbox, which was the victim of a plowing incident last winder, we now have two non-functioning mailboxes. I've put out feelers on Service Magic, hoping we can find someone who has more expertise than we do, to get this taken care of!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 10, 2008

This is our first day & we are making some progress on the master list.

Item #40: I played for 1,000 grains of free rice through
Item #41: My brave sweetheart tried lentils, which he knows he loathes. He has announced that when put in soup with spicy goodness, they are tolerable. He is going to struggle to find 10 foods he knows he doesn't like. I, on the other hand, can find 100, easily. It will be a challenge for me, a real stretch, to try some of them again, too.
Item #58: The flip side of #41 ... not much of a stretch for me, but a huge stretch for my sweetie. We walked for 20 minutes around the track at the gym, 1/3rd of the way through our week's worth of walking-time. I pushed myself hard, to keep my heart rate up, but since I take hour-long cardio classes a few times a week, the walking wasn't brutal ... but my sweetie's not used to this much activity all compressed into one short burst, so he really struggled & was a trooper, and did his stretching afterwards. And then we treated ourselves to veggies galore at Sweet Tomatoes. *grin*

1 day down ... 1000 to go.

101 Challenges in 1001 days

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Why do this as a couple? We are looking forward to providing each other with challenges as well as with support. This list should be a wonderful guide to how we want to push ourselves & move closer to our mutual goals.

When are we starting? Thursday, April 10th, 2008

When will our 1001 days be up? January 6, 2011

Where can we see updates? Go to the main page of the blog here, and see what we're working on ... and what we've accomplished! Items in blue are in progress, currently! Red items are DONE!

What if we want to join you & create our own list? Please do!! You can go to the original website to get more ideas & support, too!

1 Eat a vegetable with every dinner for a month
2 Avoid deep fat fried foods for 1 month
3 Have a crab dinner
4 Dine out, just the 2 of us, once every 2 weeks for 2 months
5 Get out some cookbooks and magazines and review recipes
6 Create a meal together once a week for 3 weeks
7 Buy a DVD, come home, and make popcorn
8 Visit every public area in the Magic Kingdom
9 Go on a cruise
10 Visit Hershey, PA
11 Visit Yellowstone
12 make caramel corn with Aunt Mary Ann
13 visit Mary Lou & do some painting
14 find a roadside fruit or vegetable seller & make a purchase
15 go to Starved Rock
16 visit the Art Institute
17 spend 20 minutes a day, just playing with & petting our cats, for 2 weeks
18 extend a loan on
19 sign up to play secret Santa for 4 kids with Chicago Sun Times' Season of Sharing
20 Make a $50 donation to
21 fix sword anchor in wall & fill holes
22 have house powerwashed
23 inflate exercise ball to proper size
24 clean gutters
25 Go an entire week without swearing or cursing
26 Make a Chinese banquet for friends and family
27 Make homemade ice cream
28 Plan a treasure hunt
29 No fast food for one month
30 Find a new restaurant worthy of becoming a new favorite
31 Find one bread recipe to make regularly
32 Pay off a credit card
33 make cinnamon rolls from scratch
34 Read three books of the Bible.
35 See a Cirque de Soleil show.
36 Go to Adler Panetarium
37 Go to the Shedd Aqauarium
38 Go to the Art Museum in Milwaukee
39 Stay at a B&B in Madison, Wisconsin
40 Donate 1,000,000 grains of rice through (99,350/1,000,000, started 4/10/08)
41 Reevaluate 10 foods/drinks we claim not to like
42 Don't say anything negative for 1 day
43 Support a charity walk/run (4/26/08, sponsored Lauren, walking in the March for Babies)
44 Grow basil and make pesto with it
45 Look for additional blades for Cuisinart
46 Take a class at Brookfield Zoo
47 Visit Yosemite
48 See the Northern Lights
49 Go for a picnic in a secluded spot
50 Go to Kohler Waters new Spa
51 Lose 15 pounds each
52 Spend every Tuesday (changed to SATURDAY) night without computers or TV for 3 months
53 Spend a whole day in jammies, with no outside communication (phones, computers)
54 Take a dancing lesson (we actually took 3!)
55 Go one week without soda
56 Visit Field Museum
57 Eat only food we create from scratch for 2 weeks
58 Walk for 1 hour a week, for 6 weeks (4/10/08-5/20/08)
59 Pay for the person behind us in line
60 Donate $5 to charity for every item not completed on this list by the due date = $80 for the 16 items left uncompleted. We've got a couple of places we're considering donating this. We'll update in our final post.
61 Take a cooking class
62 Get 8 hours of sleep every night for 2 weeks
63 Go to an adoption seminar (completed 4/27/08)
64 grow something (tomato, oregano, zinnias, summer 2008)
65 Visit Wales
66 See Hadrian's Wall
67 Visit Caneel Bay
68 Limit computer usage to 1 hour per weekday for 2 weeks
69 Sit on porch or in living room for 30 minutes every day for 1 month
70 fix driveway
71 install new mailbox (started 4/11/08, completed 4/14/08)
72 put $1,000 into savings
73 add 1% more into 401k for 1 calendar year (started 4/16/08)
74 use no credit cards for 6 months, barring travel expenses or bonafide emergencies
75 Go to Morton Arboretum at least once per month for 1 year
76 Buy new car
77 Buy new bookshelves for living room
78 Buy new glasses for DH
79 Take treats to work for no reason at all 5 times (5/5)
80 use up soapmaking supplies (4/29/08, 5 bars of honey oatmeal soap, 5/1/08 4 bars rainforest glycerin soap, 5/10/08 10 small bars jasmine glycerin soap, 12/11/08 3 bars coconut cream soap)
81 use all body lotion, body wash, soap, shower gel, and body scrub before buying more
82 fix or replace paper shredder
83 Make a crock-pot meal once a week for one month
84 Make ravioli from scratch
85 Send 4 random care packages (4/4)
86 Buy produce at farmers market 10 times
87 Go 3 times to a place where DH will feel comfortable wearing his snazzy shoes (1/3)
88 vaccuum both cars & wipe down all other components with Armor-All
89 Search for a banjo class & sign up, if DH can find one
90 Locate a nearby Teavana store & patronize it at least once
91 Replace all burnt out halogen bulbs in kitchen
92 put house numbers on house
93 get recycling bin for kitchen
94 fix master bedroom closet door
95 stay within holiday shopping budget for 2008, 2009, and 2010
96 Watch the sunset from the top a mountain
97 buy new winter coats
98 Have a candlelit dinner
99 Visit 30 new local restaurants: Noodles & Company (4/22/08), Champps (05/03/08), Cebu (05/10/08), Islamorada Fish Company (6/2/08), Carrabbas (6/10/08), Walter Payton's Roundhouse (08/07/08), Pappadeaux (08/21/08), Boudin SF (9/2/08), Sarpino's (10/6/08), Redstone (10/19/08), Go Roma (10/26/08), The Yardhouse (11/7/08), LaBriola (1/3/09), Ra (1/17/09), Dmitri's Pancake House (2/7/09), Cosi (2/14/09), Amber Cafe (2/14/09), Glen Prairie (2/28/09), Honey Cafe (7/3/09) Petterinos' 9/5/09, Elephant and Castle 9/6/09, South Water Kitchen 9/7/09, Five Guys 10/27/09, Pompei 01/16/10, Wow Bao 2/13/10, Park Grill 2/13/10, Cooper's Hawk Winery 2/15/10, Flat Top Grill 03/5/10, Weber Grill 03/13/10, The Patio 3/20/10) (30/30)
100 get a new compact digital camera
101 Clean out clothes closets. Sort into Keep, Sell, Throw Away, and Donate.