Lately I’ve come upon a lot of time – back in mid-April I was fired from my job (it’s quite OK, probably was the best thing). Thankfully both of us were gainfully employed and along with the severance package I received (which included my vested vacation) and unemployment benefits we are doing just fine. We’ve elected to keep the boys in full time day care because my goal is to return to work.

It would be impossible to spend every moment job hunting – it’s not realistic. So, while I have time with both boys in care I’ve elected to indulge I some self-care that I wouldn’t be able to do w/out this unique space in time right now.

Here’s my list (and I’ll probably end up writing about them as I check them off) and in no particular order:

  • Ocean Fishing. I’ve never gone fishing in the ocean before and I’ve never caught anything bigger than a trout that weighed a few lbs. Now a 3lb trout is nothing to laugh at, but I want to pull a monster out of the ocean. My dad has a friend visiting from Kansas over Memorial Day weekend and they have invited me to go on a 6 hour trip out of Newport. Consider this one pending. 
  • Catch some trout. I love trout and I love sitting on my ass somewhere waiting to catch one. I like cleaning them and I like frying them in a cast iron with a little bit of seasoning like my mom did. I need to put new line on my pole (it’s old — and it’s the same pole I have used my whole life) and figure out where some good spots are.
  • Read the Harry Potter books. I know I’m not the only person on the planet who hasn’t read them but I feel like this is a pop culture phenomenon I should have under my belt.
  • U-Pick and can it. And tuna. A few years ago my dad bought my a nice pressure cooker and I’ve only used it once when my aunt taught me how to can tuna. I have a big canner too and all the supplies (I got a little crazy and bought dozens of jars on Craigslist). But we have little kids – so I’ve never gone crazy like I remember mom doing. Since I’m now eating a paleo diet and getting away from all processed foods (I’d like my family to also) home canning should be where it’s at for me. This activity will highly depend upon the job timeline.
  • Portland Japanese Garden. Never been there. I’ve never spend a day waking around Portland either.
  • Go line dancing. I like country music and back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I loved to scoot my boots. This will require going out at night and a companion. I’ll have to work a bit on this one.
  • Play Bingo for money at a Bingo Hall. I have plans to do this next Friday with a friend. Consider this pending.
  • Sit at a park on a nice day and read a book and sip a drink. We have a half tent thingy for shade and I can totally see myself laying on blankets and pillows under it and vegging out. There might be a nap too. This might coincide with the Harry Potter books. I want to just waste the afternoon though.
  • Walk on the beach forever. After the guys are at work/school I’ll just head over to Lincoln City with a cup of coffee and then walk on the beach as long as I feel like. I’m talking miles here.
  • Volunteer for something. I’m way out of touch with Salem on this — I’m going to have to do some research. I want to do the jobs they have the hardest time finding people for. In the times I’ve had to coordinate volunteers before it seems we always had a ton of people willing to do the “fun and pretty” stuff. Maybe I’ll clean dog kennels at the shelter or something like that.
  • Hike to the top of Multnomah Falls.
  • Hike a hand full of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. It crosses near the Santiam Pass that is just about an hour and a half from here.

Wish me luck out there!! And, don’t be shy to send me suggestions. What have you always wanted to do?

—Mel.

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