#96: Becky – Goodreads Challenge

Approaching 2018, I knew I wanted another reading challenge, but also knew that this was going to be a year of podcasts, so I set my goal accordingly: 65 books (down from 100 the last few years). Even without supplementing with audiobooks, I still beat my goal by reading 72! (I also listened to a bazillion podcasts.) This number might have been higher if one of the books hadn’t have been the massive tome War & Peace. I’m feeling the pull back to audiobooks, however, so 2019 will be much more balanced.

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

#99: Becky – Dorothy Jenson Art Book

Becky’s mom passed away two years ago, and since then Becky has put an enormous amount of effort into a book that will tell the story of Dorothy the artist. (Hey there, this is Ben. Becky’s having a hard time writing this one, so I’m going to try and tell the story for her.)

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

Dorothy had been an artist her entire life, and left behind decades of work for others to appreciate. She had been blogging her artwork for many years, so when it came time to compile a book of all her work, Becky had a fair amount of documentation, but at the same time knew how large a task it was.

She designed a coffee-table book that captures the breadth and depth of her mother’s work, and tells the story of each piece, often in the artist’s own words. It’s a perfect tribute to a loving mother and talented artist, and a copy lives in the house of every member of her immediate family.

#91: Becky – Finish Stockings

I did it! I made four intricate, hand-sewn stockings that are so completely out of my style bubble. We now have heirloom stockings for the holiday season and I have found another tool for managing my anxiety. I discovered that cutting, sewing, and puzzling out these patterns was very soothing. Luckily, I have a family friend in need of stockings, so I get to keep sewing!

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

4th Annual BDB Weekend

This is one of my favorite traditions! (Becky-Debbie-Becky) A couple years into it we decided to make a set date every year, so that we didn’t have to go through all the hassle of trying to coordinate an actual weekend. This year we stayed in an adorable house right near downtown Olympia. We filled our days with Afternoon Tea, sunny walks, Christmas shopping in excellent small shops, buying too many books, talking, and eating great food. We even completed a scavenger hunt on the grounds of the state capital! As usual, these days were the perfect blend of adventure, friendship, and relaxing.

#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.