I figured that I would break this list up, partly because it’s a bit overwhelming to list all 35 things in one post, and partly because I have not actually come up with all 35 yet, so here’s part one.

Now, I had mentioned that I invited my birthday guests to write down what my 35 goals should be. Here were some:

  • take a hot air balloon ride
  • fly to the moon
  • go blonde
  • swim with sharks (I got that one twice)

While I am adventurous and want these things to push me out of my comfort, I also want them to introduce more fun and reveal more dreams (big and small) that I already have. So after some thought and with some initial brainstorming with friends, here is my first stab.

  1. Get something published
  2. Pick a cookbook and make every recipe in it
  3. Go to an archery range
  4. Sit in the Timbers Army section at a Timbers game
  5. Run a 10K
  6. Adopt a child*
  7. Roast a duck
  8. Work at a food cart
  9. Visit a continent I haven’t been to yet
  10. Learn to roast my own batch of coffee beans
  11. Dress up and do the Portland Zombie March/Walk
  12. Go one day without electricity
  13. Have a gluten-free week
  14. Participate in a winery harvest
  15. Color something I have never colored before

I have done a few things on the list so far. The first thing I felt propelled to do was to self-publish a cookbook for my staff and other close friends. I have been talking about the idea for years, but always had a reason why it shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. I documented some of my most used and group-friendly, budget-friendly recipes and used blurb.com to make it into a small book called Feeding Community.

I went without electricity all day on Earth day last April (although I still used my iphone and ipad, but I didn’t charge them on that day). It was a delight to go out for a picnic welcoming dusk and end the day in candlelight.

I did a week without gluten and I didn’t feel the extra energy and less achiness that many people profess. I guess I don’t have celiac disease. Or maybe all the energy that I gained from eating no gluten went to making food that had no gluten. It’s a lot of work, and at the end, I just wanted a croissant. Or a cookie. Or most of the food that I usually eat. That will not be a new lifestyle for me.

I had a dream job in the fall after I left my job of 13 years with a Christian non-profit in July. I was the chef for the harvest crew at a winery in Newberg. For 6 weeks, I went in every day and got to cook for 10-20 hungry people and join them for these moveable feasts around the vineyard, following the sun, drinking incredible wines and sharing it with amazing people. It was the best way for me to work a harvest, because I am not physical enough to pick grapes or labor over big tanks of grapes. But to cook and feed many people, overseeing the whole process around me, it was a dream.

And #5 and #6 are in process. I am training for #5, and Birch and I are filling out many pieces of paperwork for #6. It is exciting and funny that adopting a child is on the same list as roasting a duck. But I have wanted to do both, and both required some guts, research, and a varied level of risk. The duck turned out well. The adoption will take longer and we’ll see how it turns out.