#93: Becky – Read War & Peace

I read a lot. But I don’t read many classics. For some reason, this year I got it into my head that I should read War & Peace. Although there are some 1300 pages, there’s only 361 short chapters. Perfect for one per day for a year!

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge.

Yeah. I can’t read like that. I ended up rushing through the last quarter in October, just to finally have it finished. Did I like it? Parts. Do I now know way more about Russia during Napoleon’s invasion? Yep. Would I recommend it to others? Hmm. Maybe.

#94: Becky – Do the Puyallup

I spent the first decade of my grown-up life living in the Seattle area, and I loved attending the Puyallup Fair. There is an international photography exhibit as well as the usual awesome state fair stuff. This year I convinced a beautiful friend of mine to drive up with me and do the Puyallup. (It’s possible I had to entice her with the promise of a quilting exhibit.) It was a great day trip all around, complete with tons of fried food and all the treasures in the Collections Hall.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!


#97: Becky – Sister Retreat(s)

I have absolutely love having my sister Sarah be a local. Not only do we see each other several times a week, but we can escape for adventures more easily!

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Our first adventure was a full day at the beginning of April. We set off early and basically drove where the wind took us. We hit up many Roadside America stops, toured a metal detector museum and an historic cemetery, hiked a waterfall, and ended up at the coast in time for sunset! Great day.

Our next adventure was bigger! We drove up to Port Angeles, WA and took a ferry over to Victoria, BC. We spent several days exploring and eating our way through this fair city. Highlights included: Afternoon Tea at the Empress, a guided food tour, a real fancy multi-course dinner, a 3 hour zodiac tour of whales, the Royal BC Museum, and just a whole lot of walking around talking endlessly. It was so good. I can’t wait for the next one.

#98: Becky – More Oregon Coast Trail

I’m still chipping away at this mighty goal! This year I had two opportunities to add coast miles.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

At some point last year, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I was missing a section from the North Coast! Our January weekend at Oceanside provided the perfect opportunity to fill in that 5 mile stretch. We could not have ordered in better weather.

Later, near the end of July, I was able to continue my journey south. We rented an Airbnb in Reedsport, so Ben could work remotely while I spent my days walking. It was great having a support member with a car! I was able to pinpoint the exact location where 8 years ago Margaret and I had been picked up by taxi when we had to call it quits on our adventure. It was pretty emotional to have Ben drop me in that place and begin walking south. That first day I did nearly 6 miles, all along the side of Highway 101. On Day Two I walked through the entire town of Reedsport, through Winchester Bay, and onto the beach a bit for a total of about 8.5 miles. My final day was a doozy. Nearly 14 miles all along the beach in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. There were no outlets, so I was completely on my own until I could get to the southern access point.  Next up, Coos Bay. I’m getting closer to the border!


#96: Becky – Mom’s Blog into Book

Between 2008 and 2015, my mom kept a personal blog. This was separate from her art blog, and it’s where she wrote daily musings about her sewing, gardening, and baking projects; her foray into veganism; her and my dad’s travels and home improvement. Oh, and there was a lot written about her grandkids.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!

This is a really intimate glimpse into the mind of my mother, and now that she’s gone, it’s important to me to have a copy that I can pull down and flip through. So I did.

As it happens, we only barely rescued it; Google was about to delete it for inactivity when I started this project, and if I had waited even three more days to start, none of this would have been possible. The biggest struggle I faced with this project was finding a company to print the book. I ended up using Into Real Pages for this (back before their website broke), since they were the only service that could deliver such a large volume – breaking it into multiple books would have been too expensive, since I wanted to make 6 copies (one each for my dad and each of his children).

I spent a lot of time on this, tweaking layout and type and design to allow my mom’s voice and vision to live on. It was worth it. My dad bought all the books, and gave one to each of his children for Christmas, so now every household has this hefty chunk of Grandma Dorothy’s musings.

#99: Becky – LibraryThing

While helping organize the library at the Gardner School, I discovered how easy it could be to organize my book collection. Which is extensive. And one thing I’ve found about having a big library is that it collides with my love of finding used books at thrift stores – sometimes I bring home duplicates.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!

That ends now. I signed up for a nearly-free ($5 per year) membership at LibraryThing, which is the software that Gardner uses to organize all the books in all of their classrooms, so I know it can handle the size of our family’s collection. It’s super easy to scan in a new book, but also to search my collection while out to see if I already have something.


As of right now (after Jólabókaflóð) I have 681 books in my library! This whole thing makes me so happy.

#92: Becky – Fix Teeth

This was the year of my teeth. It started early in the year, with multiple trips to the dentist to have all seven of my childhood fillings replaced. They were failing and tiny cavities were appearing underneath them. Next I had to have a crown replaced. It was not a pleasant time.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!

Since we currently have excellent dental insurance, it seemed like a good time to just take care of all my issues Starting in June (middle photo) I embarked upon the journey of ClearCorrect braces. As of today, I’m just a month out from being completely done! Then I get to have the “knobs” removed from my teeth and will be wearing retainers for awhile.

I’ve been asked over and over how I “like” clear braces. Well. They are the single most annoying thing I’ve ever dealt with for 7 months in a row. I can’t wait to be done. They are painful and require lots of maintenance as well as lifestyle changes.

Would I do it again? Maybe? Ask me when they are completely finished.

#95: Becky – Personal Trainer

Having finally gotten my back/hip problems under control earlier this year, my next step was to re-train my poor body in how to function properly. I knew that doing any type of group class would only lead to getting hurt again. I needed individualized attention, and nobody to compete with.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!

I had already sourced an excellent trainer (RJ at Fit Ave), who came highly recommended from several people, and amazingly they had just moved to a new location within a mile of our house! The last 7 months of hard work and personal attention from an amazing trainer, and I am transformed physically and mentally.

(Ben here. I also joined this gym, going to the group classes three times a week, and I’ve been seeing results beyond what I expected. We’re both super happy with RJ and the Fit Ave community.)

This is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.  I’m nowhere near “finished,” but I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to continuing this journey. Five stars. Two thumbs up. A+++, highly recommended!