About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

25 Good Years

(Tiggerlane, The Neophyte Blogger , is host for this week's Fun Monday. She wants to know what's on our Bucket List, the biggies on our to do before we die list. Thankfully, lofty is not required. Tigger says to feel free to share the most whacky, bizzare things we want to do before we roll over permanently. P.S. maybe someone along the way today will explain the origins of the term "bucket list" since many of us still need to see the film.)

Are any of you, like me, getting pretty weary of the idea of Oprah being the Grand Arbiter of Everything from literature to weight loss to presidential politics? I still enjoy her show and read the O Magazine from cover to cover, but sometimes she makes me tired. There's one exception though, her Ask Dr.Oz segments with the very winning and informative Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roisen, authors of the YOU series--YOU: The Owner's Manual, YOU: On a Diet, and the latest YOU: Staying Young.

It's the YOU:Staying Young that's helping me with my bucket list. Early in this book, the good doctors provide a formula for figuring out your biological RealAge based on lifestyle and behaviors rather than simple calendar age. I took the test at www.realage.com in about 30 minutes. I found out what I was doing wrong--like I didn't know already--and what I should do differently to extend my warranty. However, if I don't make any changes--likely--they figure I'll live until 87 years old--that's 25 good years left. So, here's my list:

Animal Rescue-- the faces pop up on the computer screen too often. Faces of animals, mostly dogs and cats, desperately needing rescue--from overcrowded, overwhelmed shelters; abusive or inconvenienced owners; lost or discarded animals. I intend to help some of these creatures find permanent, loving homes by being a card carrying, working member of an animal rescue group like the humane society, Best Friends, or other shelters. Since retiring I've had a small part in finding good homes for a few dogs. There's Spencer the poodle who went to live with three little girls, Jo Jo the handsome black lab that my friend and I delivered half way to a training place for companion animals, and the three Great Pyrennes pups that were abandoned by, we suspect, an Amish farm puppy mill. They went to a Great Pyrennes rescue group to be socialized and homed.

Right now I'd love to foster dogs, but that's impossible because Willie the pitbull insists on being an only dog and since he's 11 years old I'm not going to upset him. When the time comes for another dog, I'll rescue a softer breed like a golden who would be all right with us fostering needy animals. In the meantime, I intend to continue trying to match dogs with good owners and work in a local shelter to exercise and socialize dogs so they'll be more adoptable. I'll also continue to work with rescue groups that coordinate cross country drives to get dogs from one point to another so they can be united with adoptive families. Have crates and economy car will travel!

Adventure Travel-- there's a huge wall map over my computer desk with push pins marking the countries I've been lucky enough to visit for pleasure or work. Most memorable trips include: Rocky Mountaineer train ride across Canadian Rockies, long distance walk across England, watercolor workshop on French river barge, horticultural tours of England, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and the United States, and volunteer work in West Indies and Ukraine.

Once you get the travel bug, it's like the nits that a couple of blogger friends are fighting, hard to ignore, much less get rid of. So, in my remaining 25 good years I want to see and experience as much of the world as possible. This year it may be a September train tour of Europe. . .

Watercolor Artist-- I have the perfect space to paint--a room with great light,tall drafting table with brushes, paint tubes and other supplies at the ready, and many art reference books close at hand. More importantly, I have time to paint. I've studied watercolor with three fine artists over the past 15 years. From them I understand that everyone is an artist, but you have to do the work, spending a small amount of time daily painting and drawing. I know this works because there have been periods when I've done this consistently over a full month and been very pleased with my work. So someday I'd like to be able to say "Yes, I'm an artist" and know that I have the work to prove it.

Health & Wellness-- I'm blessed with excellent health, strong body and relatively stable mind (well. . .). In the time that I have, I plan to work hard to stay well and happy so I can check off all the other things on my bucket list. Now, if you're still looking for some wild and crazy things to put on your bucket list, go over to tiggerlane to check out other Fun Monday participants.

(Image Credit: all from google--I really do need to figure out those pesky copyright restrictions to be totally aboveboard.)

43 comments:

Lane said...

I haven't come across the term 'bucket list' but I can't think of a better way to spend the next 25 years than helping dogs, travelling and painting. Wonderful:-)

Celeste said...

What a great list. I hope it proves to be 25 years worth.

laurie said...

those are all eminently do-able, too, which is nice. how frustrating it would be to have a bucket list of things that you would have to be a whole different person to accomplish.

mjd said...

I like your organized approach to this assignment. You have calculated approximately how much time you have left; and then, you have addressed some important areas to fulfill during this time.

Kaycie said...

I like your list, especially the travel bit. A train trip through Europe in the fall sounds like a great traveling adventure to me.

SongBird said...

Anyone who lists the care and rescue of animals first on their bucket list is a hit with me!

Faye said...

lane--dogs always come first and then the other things as they fit in.

celeste--your list was even more wide-ranging and insightful.

laurie--I'd be happy to really accomplish #1--they others are just the gravy.

mjd--like you, it's just the old educator coming out in my list.

kaycie--hope you got my e-mail? Best part of the train trip would be deciding which books to take along for needed scenery breaks, agree?

songbird--I hope I have the heart to do more for animals--the need is great and never-ending.

janet said...

excellent list

Randy and Kim said...

Great post. I don't think people should live for their bucket lists, but they should have ideas that are outside their norm. New experiences are healthy for the mind.

Alison said...

great list!!! I have a friend who has traveled across country delivering a dog or rescuing a dog...she loves it!

Peter said...

With the care you put into this list, and the time available, you should sail through this and a couple more lists.

A Slice of Life said...

You have such a wonderful and well thought out list. I liked reading it as well as your reasons for listing each item.

I'd love to work for some sort of shelter, but I think it would break my heart too much when I couldn't take them all home.

-Ann said...

Great list. You inspired me to take the real age test. 30.1 --> I was really hoping for under 30. Apparently, I can get to under 30 if I eat more fish and drive a bigger car. On second thought, maybe I can become happier with my lot in life. :)

Hootin' Anni said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, a water color artist!!! How awesome is that for putting on a bucket list. I think that would maybe be on the top 10 for me too, I just never thought of it when I did mine.

My Fun Monday is posted. I had a good time this week, voicing my opinions on Fun Monday.
Happy week to you.

ChrisB said...

Rescuing and fostering dogs would be so worthwhile. I was interesting in what you said about painting as this is something on my list to try!
Great list in my opinion.

Lil Mouse said...

it would be so nice to be able to help different animals but we cant right now..

gibnjen said...

I like your list! I am constantly wanting to take in dogs, but my 2 German Shepherds and my 5 kids are probably enough for now.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

That's a fabulous list. And I can absolutely see you doing all of the things on it.

You've been a lot of places. The travel nit has been nice to you.

Karmyn R said...

I think you have a very attainable list! I'd love to foster dogs too - or just have a huge place where I could take in all those old dogs who have been given to the pound at the ages of 10+ (too old to find good homes and just need some loving to end their days!)

Dreaming What Ifs...

Sandy said...

What a terrific list. and what a good dog mommy you are.

Moi said...

I hear you on the painting. Sigh, it's been at least two years since I last painted..... Someday I'll get the barn sorted into an art studio...someday!!

Sayre said...

Lucky dogs!!! I think that is a totally worthwhile thing to do with your life. We have had four dogs - all rescued from various situations. And they've been wonderful.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I think you'll fond rescue work so rewarding...but you've had a taste so you know that!

Joy T. said...

This just reminded me that I took that real age test a couple of months ago but was in a hurry the day I did it and never did go back to see what the results were. Der. You have a great list! Lots of wonderful and do-able things to accomplish.

Tiggerlane said...

Ah...animal rescue and adoption. I have a soft spot in my heart for these sweet animals...especially dogs. And you have a long time - 25 years! Now I'm off to find out my real age. Thanks for participating!

Jettie said...

A Terrific list and self fullfilling rewards for it!!
But You are brave I don't want to know how much time!!

Serina Hope said...

That sounds like a wonderful way to spend 25 years. I am with you on Oprah..she is attempting to take over the world

Heather said...

Great list! Hope you fulfill many of them!!

Linda said...

That's what I like - a realistic and thoughtful list! I enjoyed reading it and learned a few things too!

Sauntering Soul said...

For years I went to art shows, etc. and loved what I saw. One day I decided I would try it myself. I went to the art store, bought some inexpensive supplies and I've been painting ever since. Now I have a room stocked full of paints, collage materials, etc. It's such a wonderful way to relax.

I love the rest of your list too!

Michelle said...

What a wonderful list!! I hope you get them accomplished!!

Gattina said...

I really like your list. If I could do lists I probably would do the same as you I love animals, travelling and painting !

Sirdar said...

I remember doing something like realage once...it might have been that one. It was a long time ago but I think I was going to live for a while yet.

I heart you for doing the animal rescue thing. We have a dog that we can't keep and want to give her away, but she has an issue of protecting her place in a not so friendly way. She is so good with people and kids, but any animal that comes in the yard better submit. We gave her to my wife's parents out at the farm. She apparently wouldn't leave the cows alone and attacked and killed one of the dogs. Thus, she is back with us.

Hope you get to fulfil all the things in your Bucket List.

Pamela said...

now this is the way to have a bucket list... one that you have to keep filling because you keep emptying it.

wonderful post!!

ped crossing said...

Great list. I'll have to check out my real age.

KittyHawk said...

It IS an impressive list. And interesting that you've gone from thinking you would die young (too late for that ;-) ) to having 25 more years! Perhaps that's the result of being retired now and WANTING 25 more years! ;-)

-KH

Megnificent said...

Beautiful blog entry.

Sieglinde said...

I like your list....very nice!

Hootin' Anni said...

I'm back...just wanted you to know there is something waiting for you on my Wednesday blog!!

lisa marie said...

You have quite a list there. Interesting in the watercolor that we all have the potential. Amazing. I like the rescue animal idea too. You have a great list. :)

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

There's something for you to collect on my blog!

Debs said...

Great list!

Patience-please said...

I vote ten thumbs up for your list! (I'm all thumbs.) My husband is an artist and we live in an arts district. I don't believe that everyone is an artist, but I do believe that some people are called to create, and listening to that call is to realize your gift.
And your desire to help animals, as well as your responsibility to the dog you have, is laudable.

all the best-
Patience