A freelance writer is born….

Just under a year ago, I started this Blog as my first endeavour as a non-academic author. Since then, I’ve had an article published in an online forum and a poem selected for inclusion in an anthology; both under my pseudonym. The first was unpaid and the second payment is on a royalty basis and as one author among many royalties will be minimal and a long way off.

However, today I can count another milestone: My first article published as a paid freelance author. Yesterday I attended the Sault Ste. Marie Annual Dog Show. I then wrote about it for SooToday. Today, that article was published as “Dispatch from a dog show“. At the end of the month I’ll submit my invoice and I’ll be paid for what I wrote. Not it’s not going to get me out of debt in a hurry but it’ll certainly buy me a soy white-hot chocolate at Starbucks now and then and help me complete my bucket list.

Unfortunately with summer on its way I may need to stop them soon as fruit smoothies will start ruling the day and exposure to citrus becomes more problematic. However, I have enjoyed the occasional ones that I have managed. So whatever you drink, raise a glass with me, to me – Nikki Shaw – freelance writer!

Photograph courtesy of Kirsten Wilson.

Revised Bucket List – Items #1-15

A few weeks ago I updated my Bucket List, taking into account the items that I’d been able to check off. So my new list had just 12 items:

  1. To be a bridesmaid
  2. To visit New Zealand
  3. To live on the ocean
  4. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  5. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  6. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  7. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  8. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  9. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  10. Go indoor skydiving
  11. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  12. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

My lung rehabilitation is going well and it looks like I will be able to get out walking sooner, rather than later. My Alberta friend just sent me a care package which was wonderful. It contained chocolate bark thins which taste fantastic, a book about a woman who has lived and survived a life similar to mine filled with health issues and the best part: a pair of walking sticks.

Having had a knee replacement last year and expecting the second later this year she has a pretty good idea of what a wonderful gift this is. I have a horrendous sense of balance. Kai is actually trained to help me with it specifically. These walking poles will help with that immensely. Now all I have to do is train Kai to heel while I’m using them 🙂

So these poles and my improvement at rehab. suggests that I’ll be able to start achieving item # 8 soon.

While searching the internet for something else entirely I came across the North Beach Cabins. The North Beach Cabins are in the Naikoon Park on the Haida Gwaii, in northern BC. The cabins are an introvert’s idea of paradise –  the perfect remote vacation. They definitely make my list at #13.

Items #14 and 15 are a bit of a cheat. They are activities that I’ve actually already done, before I got sick. However, I enjoyed them so much that I’m going to include them on my new list as activities to aim for once again. So items # 14 and 15 are to swim with dolphins and to attend a rodeo. While I’ve swam with dolphins in preservation centers I’d love to actually swim with them in the wild. Likewise, I’ve attended the Calgary Stampede rodeo and the end of season rodeo at the Double JJ resort but I’d like to attend a rodeo that’s just part of the rodeo circuit. So here’s my newly updated bucket list:

  1. To be a bridesmaid
  2. To visit New Zealand
  3. To live on the ocean
  4. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  5. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  6. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  7. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  8. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  9. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  10. Go indoor skydiving
  11. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  12. Train Kai in Rally Obedience
  13. Stay at the North Beach Cabins
  14. Swim with dolphins, in the wild
  15. Attend a regular competition rodeo

Success at achieving some of my bucket list items!!

In the past couple of weeks I have managed to achieve several items on my bucket list and I’m so excited that I just had to write about it again, without adding new items just yet.

You might remember that my list is currently up to 20 items with some having been italicized to mark them as in progress the last time that I reviewed the list.

  1. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work
  11. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. At least once a day, do something creative
  19. Resume dress-making
  20. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

Firstly, I’ve kept up with my aim of doing something social once a month, and with the help of the public library, their scent free policy and an extremely helpful librarian and other book club members, I was able to attend a book club meeting! That’s #1 on my list met for this month.

My hair hasn’t reached my waist yet but it is significantly longer than it was – if I straighten it – marking progress towards item #6. I also think that if I was 5′ something, instead of almost 6′ tall, that it would be waist length on almost anybody else!!! Though that would be cheating!!

I’ve pretty much come to terms with my RADS diagnosis though I’m still frustrated by the limitations especially as I have finally made it back to work admittedly in a very restricted fashion. So that’s major progress towards items #9 and 10.

While it wasn’t quite planned, I even managed #17 and had a picnic in my car earlier this week. I’d had a doctor’s appointment at the hospital and only just under two hours later also had a group to attend at the same hospital. Given the extortionate cost of parking I sat in my car for an hour and read my book, having a picnic lunch!

Lastly I got out my sewing machine and whilst I haven’t made a dress yet, I have turned an old T Shirt that I couldn’t bear to throw away into a cushion and I’m part way through a bigger project. #19 can be checked off!

  1. To be a bridesmaid
  2. To visit New Zealand
  3. To live on the ocean
  4. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  5. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  6. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  7. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  8. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  9. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  10. Go indoor skydiving
  11. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  12. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

If I take out all that have been accomplished or had significant progress made, as you can see, a lot has been accomplished in the last couple of weeks. So much so, that I’ll have to start thinking of some new items for my list as 8 of them have now been marked as either “in progress” or “accomplished”. It’s a great feeling!

How’s your list coming along?

 

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be…” William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

I was reminded today of this quote from Hamlet: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be…”

Some time ago I lent my sewing machine to another person, who used it for some months before returning it, having bought themselves a new sewing machine with the almost throw-away comment that mine was no longer working.

At the time, I didn’t have the ability to deal with the situation and point out that in my opinion, when you borrow something it should be returned in either the same condition or better. Certainly, not no longer working especially when you then just bought yourself a new one and left me with something apparently no longer fit for purpose. So I simply put the sewing machine aside and swallowed my anger and resentment.

However, today I got out my sewing machine so that I could resume dressmaking in accordance with my recently revised bucket list. I was, of course, expecting it not to be working and was intending to see if I could fit it myself or at least find out what was wrong.

Ironically, as I’ve let it sit for at least a year putting off doing this, there was nothing wrong with it. I wiped it down, oiled it, threaded a bobbin and the needle and proceeded to run through all 20+ stitches on an old pillow case. It worked perfectly.

It was certainly a nice surprise that it was working after all.

However, the experience reminded me of the rest of the quote from Hamlet which often gets forgotten:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be. For loan oft loses both itself and friend. And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

The meaning of which is simply, that when you loan something you are likely to lose both the item and the friend to which you loaned it. That if you borrow something, you don’t have to work for it yourself quite as hard and that if you are true to yourself, you wouldn’t lie to anybody.

I’ve certainly found out the hard way, not just with the sewing machine but with significant amounts of money that loans and financial entanglements are a great way to ruin a friendship or relationship. That especially when money is involved, people tend to make false promises or assurances.

Therefore, I am going to use this sewing machine experience to remind myself of what I think is the most important message in the quote – to be true to myself.

Does that mean that I won’t ever loan anything to anybody. Not at all. It simply means that I won’t ever loan anything that I can’t afford to give them. In which way, if I don’t get the item back there is a good chance that the friendship or relationship can still survive.

Likewise I will never borrow anything that I don’t give back when I’m meant to, and in the same condition as it was in when lent to me or better.

Now for those of you that have borrowed things from me recently, this doesn’t give you permission to simply keep the items, it just means that I gave it to you to borrow knowing that if I don’t get it back I can cope without ill feeling towards you. Unlike the borrower of my sewing machine for whom I have felt great resentment for quite some time!

Today, I choose to let that resentment go. Whether I could have done so if the machine had in fact been broken, I’m not quite sure.

However, to paraphrase Steve Maraboli from his book ‘ Life, the Truth, and Being Free‘: Today is the day that I choose to stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to my soul. Instead I will get even with people…but not those who have hurt me, I will simply forget them, instead I will get even with those who have helped me.

I challenge you to do the same….

Bucket List – Items #1-20

So it’s been a little while since I last looked at my bucket list but I’m delighted to say that I am getting closer to accomplishing some of the items on my list. As it last stood, just over a month ago, I had 18 items:

  1. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid wait and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. At least once a day, do something creative

With the help of a fantastic friend and some amazing staff at local facilities I have been able to keep up my plan to do something social once a month. Unfortunately, it takes a great deal of effort, increases my risk of allergen exposure greatly and I pay for it afterwards for several days in recovering from the impact of just being in a space with other people and their scents. However, on balance it’s great to be able to resume somewhat of a normal life for an hour here and there.

So I’m achieving #1. Items 9 and 10 are also moving forwards. The details have yet to be worked out but a plan is being developed that will allow me to return to work, initially just part-time, as of next week though I will be working from home. Unfortunately the minimal social activities that I have undertaken have demonstrated that I can’t manage the impact of scents very well physically and that the allergen/anaphylaxis risk is too high to return to my actual workplace. However, I am delighted that my employer is working with me to accommodate my disabilities.

Losing my steroid weight is a very slow work in progress but with sticking to a regular routine and eating regularly I have turned the corner and started to lose a little of the weight. I start a respiratory rehab program next week, again with a great deal of precautions in place, that should also help me take off the weight.

Unfortunately, the weather has been so changeable and I’ve been so reactive that I haven’t been able to get out and walk yet. But I will! So item 13 is a work in progress.

The last item that I’ve managed to start progressing is item 18. Each and every day I try to make sure that I do something creative, even if it’s as simple as colouring in an adult colouring book.

So what comes next? Looking at my bucket list I still have a lot of items that depend on my regaining my health and reducing my allergies. That’s looking less likely but I’m not giving up hope yet. However, I think that in order to be able to see progress I need to add my next items in categories that I can do from home.

Years ago I used to make a lot of my own clothes and in fact made several formal evening gowns for myself and others. While I can’t see a need for formal wear anytime soon I do still have drawers full of fabric and patterns and think that it’s time that I start dressmaking again. Just because I’m at home most of the time doesn’t mean that I need to spend all my time in leggings and sweatpants! Though to be fair, if I made them for myself it would probably be cheaper and a better fit than buying online. So item #19 is to resume dressmaking.

The last item for now is to work with Kai and Molly on Rally Obedience. I can’t trial in normal obedience because I can’t hear the commands being called out and I’m not fluent enough in ASL to use an interpreter. However, in Rally Obedience there are stations with signs telling you what to do with your dog at each point. Kai’s obedience as a service dog is incredible. However, for more formal obedience he is somewhat unstructured and tends to always position himself to be able to see my face. So I’d like to teach him better positioning with alternate commands simply as a brain exercise for both of us. Molly will join in for some training but given her age, often works best as the distraction for Kai!

I don’t know if we’ll actually compete but it’s actually a possibility as the CARO trial is held outside at the local KOA campground each August so as long as I can control seasonal allergies I may be able to attend and participate in it. If we do compete it will be for fun. Kai’s service dog training will always come first so if he alerts during a trial that will always be the priority, even if we fail the trial. However, with over 40 commands to work on it will help keep both of us active and hopefully, I’ll be able to get out in my garden to practice once the weather improves. If not, my basement will suffice.

So there we have it, 20 items on my new bucket list. As before, the ones in italics are the ones that I’m accomplishing or making progress towards.

  1. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. At least once a day, do something creative
  19. Resume dress-making
  20. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

How’s your bucket list coming along?

Updated Bucket List – Items #1-18

Last time I reviewed my new Bucket List I had 17 items and little progress towards any of them. However, I’m now delighted to report that I can cross off one item and have made significant progress towards three others:

  1. Coffee with a friend in our local Starbucks
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work.
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic

Yesterday, with a great deal of help from my friend I was able to cross off #1. In fact we went a step further and didn’t just meet for coffee in Starbucks but we actually met for coffee in a small local mall. Thankfully, it doesn’t have a juice/smoothie vendor and the food court is small enough that between us we could keep an eye out for potential concerns.

On arriving at the Mall we had a quick review of how to give me an Epi Pen (just in case) and then had a small wander around the mall. My first time doing so in about 6 months. Unfortunately, the cleaning machine was out, and in use, for part of the mall and that scent was too strong for me to manage so I didn’t make it to the book store. However, we did have coffee! The cleaner in the food court very kindly agreed to clean the bathrooms while we did, rather than washing the floors and tables down, at that time. It seems that the cleaning services in the Mall all use a citrus/strong scented solution for washing the floors.

Kai alerted a couple of times that I needed to use my inhalers and ultimately that we needed to leave, due to scents and my reactions. I’m so proud of him.

Funnily enough having decided to make this alert extremely obvious while we were in the hospital (jumping on, & pawing at, my head literally) he remembered how to do it more subtly, but still insistently, yesterday. If I didn’t know better I’d think it was deliberate on his part as a few patients had commented on not seeing him working, not realising that his usual alerts are very subtle and not obvious unless you’re looking for them. He can’t really have decided to show off, can he?

I am so thankful to have a friend who was willing to ensure that she was completely safe (unscented) to be with me, and to then look out and advocate for me. Unfortunately I can’t often advocate for myself as I can’t get close enough to the scent to ask the person concerned if they’d help me out.

So #1 is completed! Though it will definitely stay as a goal to meet on a regular basis.

I’ve also made good progress towards items 9 & 10 (Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life & Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work.)

It’s a fine balance. Much as it was great to get out of the house, and meet for coffee yesterday it took a lot of courage to do so and I needed a lot of help to make it safe enough.

It’s all about living in this moment.

In this moment there isn’t a citrus fruit or product in my vicinity so I enjoy it. I need to be cautious and take appropriate precautions but I’m not going to give up on life just because I know what could kill me & how likely that is. I could still get hit by that proverbial meteor!!

Oddly enough I’ve also made some progress towards items 6 & 12 (Waist length hair & Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight).  I realised how much longer my hair has grown over the past year when I braided it for the first time in a while during my hospital stay and the braid came quite a lot further down my back. My hair is still very fine and my entire braid thinner than most people’s bangs…. but it’s growing!

Also, despite eating hospital food I actually lost some weight in the hospital. I’ve still got a long way to go to get back to a healthy weight , after the impact of the steroids, but I’m finally not going up every day!

So given my recent success in meeting item 1 I’m going to replace it with a new item. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social.

I’m also adding a new item to my list. At least once a day, do something creative. That could be as simple as writing this Blog or colouring. Alternatively it could enable my trying out a new craft, or one that I haven’t done in a while, or can’t do as well as I used to so rarely do anymore. It could be writing a poem, a story or exercising my somewhat limited artistic talents. It could also be cooking a meal or baking something that’s a little more complicated than taking it out of the box! Just because I’m only cooking for me it doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve to cook an interesting meal for myself.

So here’s my updated list. The items in italics are those that I’ve made good progress towards!

  1. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. At least once a day, do something creative

How’s your Bucket List coming on?

NB. Please note that Epi Pen’s come in cases. So to use one you need to take it out of the case first. Then it’s…

Blue to the Sky, Orange to the thigh

Which means take the blue cap off and make sure that end is towards the sky, swing the pen and ‘stab’ the person with the orange end on the outside, fleshly part of their thigh (through their clothes) and count for 3 seconds. Call for an ambulance and paramedic service.

If there is a delay in getting emergency services you may need to give a second pen. Most people with severe allergies, and known anaphylaxis reactions, will carry several of them on them. I also carry inhalers and liquid Benadryl which can also help buy me some time.

The Epi Pen needle is on a spring within the orange section and the blue cap releases the safety catch for it. You are never exposed to the needle. So it’s completely safe for you to give to somebody else if they need you to.

Bucket List – Items #14 – 17

It’s been a while since I worked on my new bucket list. At my last count I had 13 items…

  1. Coffee with a friend in our local Starbucks
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motorhome (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work.
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather

If you’ve been reading my posts you’ll know that I was able to do a little towards number 13. Unfortunately, my reactivity then increased and the weather deteriorated so I haven’t been able to get out much in the past few weeks. Hopefully, that will change soon.

I’m also actively working on items 9 and 10.

I haven’t managed to cross any off completely yet but some of them are within sight, which is a good feeling.

So what’s next?

A trip to Harrison Hot Springs in BC. I’ve visited a number of times both staying in the resort with their pools, which make use of the hot springs themselves, and camping in the area using the local pool to access the Hot Springs. Unfortunately the sand castle competition, which I’ve visited in the past is no longer running. However, there are lots of other events in the summer to experience.

I’ve always loved the idea of skydiving and have a good friend back in Edmonton who was a member of a local group and I went out often to watch them on the weekends. However, with brittle bones it’s not really advisable for me. However, I was reading the other day about indoor skydiving and how a centre down in the USA had been able to help a child with much more severe OI than I have skydive safely. So I’m going to add indoor skydiving to my list. It may not be in Niagara but at least I know there is somewhere that does it and maybe I could plan it for next year, along with attending the Niagara wine tasting festival that I had to cancel attending this year.

When I was a student in England my first husband had a good friend whose dad was getting his pilot’s licence as a hot air balloon pilot. As a result, we spent many weekends camping and chasing that balloon all over the English countryside. Usually a group of us would get together at a balloon meet, often held at a Stately home during a festival or fete and due to the weather conditions we’d fly early morning and just before dusk in the evening. This was before cell phones were prevalent so air-to-ground radio was all the communication we had, if we were lucky. We had some amazing adventures. I tended to drive the chase vehicle leaving others to navigate (following the balloon by sight and matching that to the roads on the map and the best way of getting to it to retrieve the balloon and passengers once they landed). Anyway, during that time I heard a lot about the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival and always wanted to attend. So that’s also on my list.

All three of these bucket list items include extensive travel so given my current health restrictions perhaps I’d better add something a little more realistically attainable at this time….

Go on a picnic. Nice and simple and at this time of year it will involve staying in my car. However, there are some lovely places within a few minutes drive of my home (That are also not far from the local Emerg and that also have cell cover) where I could pack up the dogs and take a picnic to sit for a little while looking out at the countryside or the St. Mary’s River or Lake Superior. Stretching my boundaries a little from only ever leaving home to attend medical appointments or very rarely to pick up groceries.

So here’s my updated list:

  1. Coffee with a friend in our local Starbucks
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motorhome (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work.
  11. year long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic