Tag Archives: flowers

Summer Bucket List 2017


Every year, my summer bucket list gets shorter and shorter, but this year I’m finally facing the facts: it has to be super short or not done at all. It’s obvious that I don’t do too many things on a summer bucket list.

Although I’ve had my full list since 2003, I’ve only been making summer lists the last three years.

  • 2014: the first year, with a whopping 25 things (I did 7)
  • 2015: again, 25 things (but this time I only did 3)
  • 2016: last year, trying to be realistic with “only” 15 things (I did 4, and learned a 5th was illegal, so I didn’t do that one)

I’m all for ambitious goals, but I also like to balance it with some progress, which usually comes from a solid understanding of reality.

My reality is that I’m not willing to eliminate all other summer activities just to do the things on this list (this is in line with my overall goal of having non-obsessed bucket listing life balance and allowing space for spontaneous activity).

However, I still like the idea of having a smaller subset of my existing list (plus a few special things added just for summer), because it makes summer feel special in a way that’s somewhat challenging to do, now that I’m out of school and don’t have summer break anymore.

So… my much abbreviated (and way more realistic) 2017 Summer Bucket List has all of… 7 things on it!

(This list will be updated throughout the summer using the same key as the full list: bold = completed; linked = link to the post about it; * = in progress.)

Summer Bucket List 2017

  1. Ride a motorcycle
  2. Learn to make paper flowers
  3. Look out the window of a room in the top floor of a downtown skyscraper
  4. Have a picnic
  5. Eat rabbit
  6. Write 3 posts for this blog on previously accomplished bucket list items
  7. Organize my bedroom so it’s a restful space

What do you think of choosing fewer goals in order to get more accomplished? Do you have a summer bucket list? What are some of the things you have on yours?


Week 1 of the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge


There’s so much satisfaction when a big project is going well. That’s how I feel about this 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge. So far, I’ve loved the experience. It’s been a crazy week for me but one of the bright spots of each day has been the daily challenge activities. I’m having fun doing the activities, I’m being challenged, I’m doing some things I wouldn’t normally do, and other people who are participating seem to be having good experiences too!

The challenge went live on Nov 1, and is meant to help us stretch out of our comfort zones and appreciate that adventures don’t have to be giant to be special. We’re doing something a little adventurous every day for 31 days! (The challenge is now on-demand: 31 Days of Everyday Adventure email challenge.)

Here’s how Days 1-7 went for me. I’m also including some links to the partners’ posts about their experiences so far. If you’ve been participating and want to share how it’s going for you, feel free to add to the comments on this post. 🙂

Read about our experiences

Give flowers to a stranger (2014)

Flowers by Anderson Mancini (ektogamat) on Flickr - Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Flowers by Anderson Mancini on Flickr
Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Earth laughs in flowers.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers make me happy, especially daisies and similar flowers, because they look so friendly and cheerful. For this list item, I bought the most cheerful, bright orange flowers I could find, then gave them away.

The flowers were labeled “garden bouquet” which I thought was kind of cute. They were long-stemmed, with huge flowers. I think 5 or 6 came in a bunch, and I briefly thought about separating them to give away one to each person, but then I liked the idea of giving a bunch of flowers to one person more.

It took me forever to try to get the price sticker off the wrapper holding the bouquet. I was trying to hold the wrapper, plus the sleeve they give you so the flowers don’t drip water all over, plus another bag and I’m uncoordinated at times, so I was dropping things all over while trying not to squish the flowers.

My original idea was to give away the flowers to someone who looked like they were having a difficult day, like a mother whose children were causing grief, or to someone who just looked a little sad. I wandered over to the neighborhood center to find a distressed mother, but (thankfully) no such luck. All the children I passed were well-behaved and the mothers all appeared to be pretty happy (it was early in the day).

So I kept walking through the center until I got to a cupcake shop where two ladies (one older, one middle-aged) were sitting eating cupcakes.

I walked up to the older lady (she was sitting closest to the walkway), and said, “Hi! My name is Shelly and I bought these flowers and I’m giving them away to a random person today. Would you accept them?”

They both looked at me kind of weird, and then the lady smiled, and took the flowers. The younger lady said, “That’s so nice!” and the older lady who accepted the flowers said, “You’re just giving them away?” in an amazed voice.

I was a little surprised the older lady didn’t seem as intensely happy as the younger one, even though she was the one with the flowers, but I figured, hey, maybe she was weirded out that I chose her. I didn’t want to make things awkward, so I said, “Have a nice day!” and started to leave.

As I walked away, the older lady was smelling her flowers and the younger lady was still saying “That’s so nice!” Then, just before I headed down the steps to the exit, I hear the older lady shout:

“And it’s my birthday tomorrow!”

I turned around and she was grinning from ear to ear, smelling her flowers and laughing. I wished her a happy birthday, said something like, “It’s perfect timing, then!” and manage to make a graceful exit without falling down any of the stairs on the way out.

I really can’t believe how well this bucket list item worked out for the lady who received the flowers. It really was great timing!

Thanks to those of you who have voted for me in the Big Blog Exchange. If you haven’t voted, please consider taking 4 min of your time to vote for me in the Big Blog Exchange, to help give me a chance to win a foreign exchange blog trip. Click the button that says Vote for Me (right above About Me), enter your email, and confirm the vote via email (or it won’t count).