Spring Bucket List - Update #2

Welcome to Progress Report #2 of how I'm doing on my 20 Things Spring Bucket List. My second month in to this challenge has been interesting, a bit funky even, in that I've been very, very distracted with first, evaluating whether or not to move from our current location in order to achieve a decades long dream to live by the ocean, then second, deciding to go for it and list our current 22-miles-inland home for sale.

P.S. - We received a solid offer on our home just four days after listing!

So onward to my Spring Bucket list update. And just like the last time, I'm linking up with a group of other terrific bloggers to share Spring Bucket List updates, so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see who else is participating, and to visit their blogs for additional spring inspiration.

Progress Report #2 for 20 Things On My Spring Bucket List
  1. Make a batch of low-sugar jam with spring berries. Yes! Completed previously here.
  2. Grill spring artichokes. Yes! I followed this recipe, which featured a delicious lemony-garlic olive oil marinade, and they were absolutely delicious. The key is to boil the artichokes before grilling them. After that, the ideas and recipes on how to serve them are virtually endless. Even a simple rub of olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper added just before placing on the grill is fabulous. Seriously, you can't believe how much flavor a little time on the grill gives to the humble artichoke.
  3. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner outside at least once. Yes! We've been enjoying our front yard patio during California's glorious spring weather as much as possible. And in doing so, we've much enjoyed seeing birds, squirrels and our neighbors, not necessarily in that order . . . ha!
  4. Make three new cocktails. Pending.
  5. Make three new BBQ dinners. Pending.
  6. Try three new restaurants. In Process. I reviewed new restaurant #1 hereFor our second new restaurant we visited one of our pending Top 10 OC Restaurants, Sushi Noguchi, along with another couple. We loved this restaurant! We ordered a variety of shareable items from their award winning menu, and fell head over heels for this delicious Tuna Poke, served in a Hawaiian style spicy garlic ponzu sauce. We will definitely be back.
  7. Take a family picture during our vacation in Kiawah Island. Yes! Completed previously here.
  8. Make three lunch dates with girlfriends. In Process. I met girlfriend #1, Faith, at my place to start things off with lovely chilled glasses of rose from Oregon's Willamette Valley, before moving onto a nearby fast casual place, Mendocino Farms, where we ate, talked and laughed for hours. We picked fast casual, by the way, because we both enjoy the ability to linger for as long as we might wish without being hurried along by a waiter or waitress as can often occur in 'normal' restaurants. And I have a date with girlfriend #2 this coming week.
  9. Join a yoga studio, and go! Yes! I signed up for a two week intro package and attended my first class this weekend. It was both hard and fun, because, whoa, is my upper body ever weak, and I'm already signed up to attend my next three classes over the coming week.
  10. Strength train two times each week. In Process. I did this consistently the week before we left, and also during our stay in Kiawah Island, because it included usage of the resort gym. Distracted since returning home with all things real estate related, now that we are close to opening escrow here, I should be able to get back to it.
  11. Take six bike spinning classes. In Process. A bike spinning membership is included in the above yoga intro package, and I've taken two classes so far. I love them, and they are way easier than yoga 'cause my legs positively rock in comparison to my wrists/arms/shoulders!
  12. Bicycle at the beach. Pending. As a side note, we have been spending oodles of hours at the beach house hunting, but I'm thinking that probably doesn't count???
  13. Kayak. Pending.
  14. Lose 10 pounds. In Process. I haven't weighed myself for a few days, but I've ramped up my workouts and decreased my caloric intake significantly, and I can tell I'm losing weight by both my clothes and the mirror, just not how much. I'll get on that scale very soon though!
  15. Sell or giveaway all our old motorcycling gear now that our motorcycles are sold. Pending.
  16. Clean out garage rafters. Yes! Completed previously here.
  17. Volunteer three times. Pending. Our decision to relocate has impacted this significantly, in that I really do need to wait until we relocate to our new location in order to determine what/where volunteering is feasible. In the interim, I'll be volunteering to input wine competition scores at an upcoming OC Wine Society event. Thinking that counts somewhat, yes?
  18. Read one book for pleasure each month (Book club selections don't count!). In Process.  I reviewed book #1 hereFor my second book/month I read Circling The Sun by Paula McLain. This book is based on the real life of adventurer Beryl Markham, and written in a style termed 'novelized memoir,' which I interpret as meaning that while the facts, characters and situations described are factual, certain details pertaining to the actual conversations and thoughts of Beryl Markham are a bit novelized. It does make  for easier reading as compared to a straight biography, even as the reader may sometimes question whether things were done quite as portrayed. Still, as a result of this being someone's actual life, and not a wholly made up story, I found it to be a very compelling read, even if wasn't quite the level of writing I enjoyed during last month's read of Still Alice. I can say, however, that it left me with a resolve to work harder at living my own life a bit more on the edge, as that Beryl Markham was quite a woman!
  19. Join Spanish discussion group to keep up with my language studies. In Process. A group of interested Spanish speakers is being assembled at my UU congregation, and I've added my name to the list, but no date has yet been set for our first meeting.
  20. Find a new online Spanish tutor focused on Advanced Beginners. Yes! I did an online search, and landed on italki, a well rated website that connects language students with teachers via Skype, that amazing online program that allows people to communicate face to face for absolutely free. I had a trial lesson with native Spanish speaker Rossi, and it went great. I've had two Skype sessions with her since, and plan to continue at a pace of one 60 minute lesson weekly.
My count indicates that so far I have seven of my 20 items completed, seven in process, and six still pending. Putting our home on the market has wreaked havoc with some of my Spring bucket list items, but I'm not giving up yet, so be sure to return on June 21 for my final report, and to also see what's on my Summer bucket list!

More Things On My Spring Bucket List Update #2 participants:


  1. Sounds like you've made some serious progress! Way to go!

    1. I really had fun coming up with this lists and then working to get it completed - keeps me stretching!

  2. All of this while listing and securing a contract on your present home AND searching for the perfect ever-after home? You get a gold star! Great job.

    Ok, let's talk artichokes. Hmm, how can you boil them yet have them remain in tact to grill? I missed that lesson (and a host of others) in my culinary training with mom. They look scrumptious. I need to branch out from corn every night for supper. Might need you to hold my hand as I try to prepare these.

    I have decided that weight is not just a number on the scale. And now quite regularly walk right by said scale without giving it another thought. The fit of my clothes is the best way for me to determine if I am losing weight or indulging in life a bit too much. And my PC's comment yesterday that my arms and shoulders are looking 'cut'! What?? Be still my heart.

    Going to check out italki as soon as I get finished with subbing for the year. Oh, the plans I have that don't revolve around checking out library books.

    Hope you have had a chance to check out Michael Ann's (Out and Back) recent kayaking adventure in Alaska. I don't even think I would like kayaking but after seeing her pictures, might have to try it!

    Thank you for joining in, Tamara. Means so much to me to have new blogging buddies!

    1. The artichoke is one plucky vegetable - it can take a lot of boiling yet still remain intact. You want to take it out of the boiling water just as the leaves begin to feel pull-offable (if that's even a word!), then let it dry a bit before marinating and placing on the grill. (PS - Made your Mexican lasagna some weeks ago and loved it!)

      Yes, hope you look into italki, as I'm enjoying it tremendously. In addition to speaking face-to-face via Skype, my instructor places a link into our Skype text box, which I then link on and activate during our lesson. Honestly, technology is amazing!

  3. Congrats on the quick sale of your house! You are a busy and adventurous woman and your commitment to exercising your mind and body is inspirational. BTW, I plan to join in on the Summer bucket list.

    1. We received a second offer this morning, so that was very nice as well in validating all the updates we made here. Happy to see them go to another couple/family if it gets us close to the beach. Pretty sure we will go with a full move option, rather than attempting to pack anything ourselves - I know how much work you put in on your end to do so, and it convinced to not even try!

      Look forward to seeing your Summer bucket list, and think you'll much enjoy the ongoing motivation it gives to each season. In spite of how crazy this month was due to deciding to, then selling our home, I still felt compelled to work my list and it was all good. :-)

    2. I'm glad I've already moved as I sit here thinking how wonderful to have others do all the moving LOL! It is the best choice for sure.

  4. You have done well my friend. Especially since you were busy selling a house and looking at others. Kudos.

    1. What a month for sure. In that we're opening escrow here, then starting our coastal home search in earnest tomorrow, I'm not thinking it will get better anytime soon. But still, exciting changes!

  5. Congrats on the quick sale of your house! All your renos and diligent maintenance prior to the listing paid off. Well done on your Spring bucket list, too. I'd love to try Sushi Noguchi. Look forward to reading your Summer bucket list.

    1. Thanks Natalie, we're excited too for this next chapter. Heading to the coast tomorrow to house hunt, and are so happy to already be at this point of the transition.


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