2013 goals

I learned quite a bit reviewing 2012, and used that information to make a plan for 2013. However, it’s time to stop looking back and start moving forward!

Writing Goals
Post blogs three days a week:  I realize that blogging five days a week is not realistic for me, and trying to do so was causing more stress than pleasure.
Write 1000 words per week: I want to finish a writing project this year, but it’s a little overwhelming. I’ve decided to tackle it chunk by chunk.

Health Goals
Research and try migraine treatments: I saw my neurologist in November and there is nothing new on the horizon for the treatment of migraines. However, I am always receiving kind messages from caring friends who have heard that this or that worked for someone. I’m open to trying anything with the approval of my doctor.
pilatesConsistent exercise: I enjoy my treadmill and Zumba, but both tend to bother my tennis elbow. Yoga is challenging and I usually feel like a complete klutz, so I stopped exercising for a few months. An acquaintance mentioned her love of Pilates and gave me a couple of DVDs to try. So far I’m liking it!
PT for tennis elbow: Speaking of tennis elbow, I need to get back to doing the physical therapy. No excuses!

Household Goals
Organize every room and closet in the house: This shouldn’t be too difficult since there are just two of us living in our home. It’s really not too bad, but there are a few things in every area that are driving me a little nuts. There are 12 rooms and closets, so organizing one per month seems very doable!

Personal Goals
Read two books: For those who are voracious readers, this may seem like a very small and silly goal. I love to read, but it’s always something that gets shoved to the end of my priority list. I love history and set out to read a biography of every president before I leave this world. I’ve only read two so far, so I need to pick up the pace. The husband and I have chosen to eliminate some television so we can both spend more time reading.
Document family history: Again, I love history and what better way to explore it than by discovering the roles my ancestors played. I hope to keep scanning photos and documents my mom and I uncover while organizing her house (that’s another goal!) I’m limiting this to one day per week as it can burn a LOT of time.
Plan 34th anniversary trip: The husband and I take turns planning long weekends to celebrate our anniversary. It’s my year and I have some great ideas for a memorable getaway!


Spiritual growth: This is an ongoing goal. Truthfully, nothing else is very successful and I’m out of balance if I neglect to nurture spiritual growth.

I have a few other goals I’m considering, but for now, these seem realistic. And as always, I plan to accomplish them with *finesse!

What are your goals?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Vacation Dining

As part of the anniversary trip planning, the husband made dinner reservations for Friday and Saturday evening at two rather spendy restaurants by our standards.

On Friday evening we ate at Pelicano. Located on the Port of Ilwaco, the setting is very pretty. I love the water and boats (must come from spending so much time water skiing on the Columbia as a kid), so the ambiance was almost perfect. The weather was nice enough for al fresco dining and that would have made it perfect.

The husband started with the spring greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and sherry vinaigrette and I had the Caesar salad with garlic croutons and shaved Pecorino-Romano. Both were quite good. We ordered the Spring Chinook salmon with grilled asparagus, quinoa and lemon yogurt sauce. I’m not a big fan of asparagus, but this was delicious, and the salmon was incredible! I didn’t have room for dessert, but the husband enjoyed the Maker’s Mark Cheesecake with cherry sauce.

 We had reservations on Saturday evening at The Depot, which was offering two dinner specials; a 14 oz. rib-eye steak and a salmon fillet. We chose to order one of each and split them for a little DIY surf and turf. Both were exceptional, but the best part of the meal was the “Clamshell Railroad Clam Chowder” the husband ordered. AMAZING!

I don’t claim to be a foodie by any stretch of the imagination, but both meals were outstanding.

I was a little concerned about dining at these pricier restaurants. Normally, I’d rather enjoy one dinner and not care about the bill, then eat a much cheaper meal the second evening. However, since our breakfast was included in the price of our lodging and was so enormous that we didn’t need to eat lunch, I’m O.K. with the indulgence. I need to remember that the husband planned the entire weekend with the intent that it be special for me. And that’s what really matters!

My vacation dining *finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert   

What’s your vacation dining finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Memorable anniversary weekend

While planning with a limited budget isn’t the husband’s forte, he did pretty well organizing our annual anniversary trip. He was able to keep the location a surprise until we had to turn off I-205 North and head toward the coast. He’d arranged a weekend in Long Beach, Wash at Boreas Bed and Breakfast Inn.

I was somewhat surprised that he’d chosen the coast, since we’re always trying to escape the grey, cloudy, drizzle we experience too often (in our opinion) in the Pacific NW. However, when he explained his thought process it made sense. He was searching the internet for romantic hotels and resorts and then narrowed them down to those in locations we’d not been. When Boreas popped up, he was intrigued.

We’d been to a bed and breakfast inn previously and had a good time, although we did not like sharing a bathroom with other guests. Our room at Boreas, and in fact all the rooms, had a private bathroom.  We stayed in the Dunes Suite, which featured a feather-topped king bed, sky-lit private bath with a jetted tub and shower. French doors that open onto the patio, a wall of windows and skylight, made the room feel bright and airy. A hand-painted mural of the North Head lighthouse, the cliffs and the dunes of Long Beach gave it the proper “beach-y” feel without going overboard.  

The 3-course breakfasts were amazing and the portions generous. The first morning’s menu started with Pineapple Dream Coffee Cake with Toasted Macs and Boreas Berry Fruit Soup. I would have been satisfied if the meal had ended at that point, but we were also served ginger pancakes with chicken sausage. Oh, so good, but too much! The second morning we enjoyed Puff Pastry Cheesecake Tarts and cooked pineapple followed by Smoked Salmon Frittata and pan-fried potatoes.

At breakfast we had the opportunity to talk with other guests, which was interesting. The first morning we met two couples from the east coast who travel together to National Parks.  The second morning was made up of repeat visitors to the inn. Each live within a 2-3 hour drive, and have made Boreas their getaway of choice.

If I have any complaint about the inn, it was that breakfast was at 9:30 a.m., which is really late for us. We’re very early risers even on weekends and vacations and rarely sleep past 6:30 a.m., so waiting to eat for three hours was a little difficult. Because we were so full from breakfast, and our dinner reservations were at 5 p.m., we didn’t eat lunch either day. We began to get a little hungry around 3 p.m., but since we’d be eating in 2 hours, we chose to wait.

We had a lovely time, and the hosts were warm and welcoming. However, it is doubtful we’d return since we have so many other locations yet to explore. It’s my turn to plan our anniversary trip and I’ve already got a destination in mind. It’s only a year away, so I’d better get on it!

A marriage with finesse

Happy bride & groom – June 16,1979

Tomorrow marks 33years of marriage to my very best friend.  Since I’ve been featuring some of my friends each Friday, I thought this week would be a perfect time for you to meet the husband and get his take on our marriage.

Q: What’s the best thing about our marriage?

Special date – May 1978

A: Our deep friendship.  Since our first date we’ve been friends.  For over 34 years we’ve been able to sit and talk.  Sometimes one of us can say a word or a short phrase from a movie or sitcom and we both start laughing.  Only the two of us get the joke.  I love your laugh.  It always makes me either smile or begin laughing, too.

Dinner cruise – April 2010

Q: What’s the biggest misconception about our marriage?

A: That it’s always been “perfect” from an outsider’s perspective.  Those who’ve known us in the last half of our marriage aren’t aware of the bumps and collisions that have brought us to this very respectful and loving relationship. On the other hand, those who haven’t spent much time with us in the last half of our marriage are probably amazed we’ve hung in there this long.

Grand Canyon – March 2012

Q: What are your top three tips for a long and happy marriage?

1) Think of your spouse before yourself in every decision.  After all, every decision will ultimately affect your spouse.
 2) Listen.  We hear, but rarely listen as we should.  A lot of people appear to listen, but they’re really just planning their response.
3) It’s the small things and the unexpected gestures.  Be grateful for a smile, a kiss, a flirting wink.  Life is short and we never know when these little actions won’t always be available.  I appreciate each kiss before I walk out the door, the wave as I leave and the smile that greets me when I return.

Exploring the Oregon Caves – June 2011

 Awe – thanks, Sweetie! You’re the best and I’m looking forward to many more great years together!!


My marriage finesse level: 

Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert      

What’s your marriage finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)