Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Entries
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Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
PopClogs

Well, I’ve made a PopClogs account now. It seems it’s what all the popular kids are doing, so I had to join in. It’s actually pretty nice. Mostly it’s nice just SEEING so many familiar friends.

The end of this place isn’t the end of our friendships.

Look me up if you go there. Same Crunchy name. Same Crunchy avatar. Ya can’t miss me.



make tamales (read all 2 entries…)
Tamale Success!

It always surprises me how far just a leeeeetle bit of meat will go, when made into tamales.

I slow-cooked a pork roast with taco seasoning, onions, and salsa, and frankly got greedy and ate two or three servings of it by myself yesterday when nobody else was around. Then when there was only about one serving left, and I knew I still had to feed my family, was when I thought to make tamales. I shredded the pork, used the broth and fat to make the masa dough, and got my son to help me wrap them all up. They turned out wonderfully! We made several dozen tamales, and everyone is enjoying them very much.

I was surprised my son liked them so much, as he really doesn’t like pork and would not have wanted the pork roast had I served it straight (the way I ate it). But he thought the tamales were great!



make tamales (read all 2 entries…)
a "together" kind of food

I have a taste for tamales today. I’ve made tamales before and they were a HUGE hit at a church Christmas event. You’d think these white folks ain’t never had ethnic food before! Tamales are a Hispanic tradition, and though I don’t talk about it much I do feel plenty proud of my 1/4 Mexican heritage. I need to pass along those flavors to my kids sometimes.

Truth is, I’m a spice wimp though. I can’t handle anything hotter than “mild”. I don’t like food that hurts my mouth! I cannot understand why anyone ever does… even though I’m sure it makes my Mexican Grandmother turn in her grave to hear me say it.

Tamales, like all peasant food, are all about maximizing how many people you can feed for a tiny amount of money (and a huge amount of time/labor). It takes all night to sit and wrap a zillion tamales. But the benefit is that you then HAVE them, and they can either feed a crowd or you can freeze them for later.

Kids are welcome to help. It’s one of those things best done together. Food is all about togetherness, when it’s done right.



survive the zombie apocalypse
is this the zombie apocalypse?

After reading Tarrador’s entry I have finally been persuaded to join this goal. I’ve always rather enjoyed end-of-the-world movies anyway.

I never thought I’d approach the end of days like folks in movies do, though. I really don’t assume that in times of trouble people devolve to dog-eat-dog. I think times of trouble gives people opportunities to shine for each other, and become mutual heroes. People are at their best when helping one another, and that’s what we do here especially.

But if the nukes are descending, or the zombies are wandering, or the dogs have been released, what do I want my last moments here to be like? It won’t help to hide away and not interact. That’s just killing myself ahead of time. It won’t help to whine. Nobody is listening who could change anything. So I guess all that’s left is to resume doing what we’ve always done here. Listen to one another, try to help if possible, but at the very least be an active witness to our mutual journey. I won’t hide any longer, ignoring people who might have really needed to hear a word of comfort that I might have been able to give. If I can, I will be there from now on to comfort and support my friends and community. Even if we do end up getting our brains eaten tomorrow.



Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
are we still here?

Well… the sky hasn’t fallen yet… do I dare hope the site isn’t closing?

I’ve been acting like a little girl whose father is leaving on a trip, so she won’t hug him or speak to him, because she’s mad he’s leaving and she knows how much it’ll hurt being lonely for him. In that same way, I’ve been reluctant to add many new entries here, because I know how much it’ll hurt if/when they disappear.

I’ve heard counter-rumors that the site really won’t close. I wouldn’t mind so much if it just got abandoned. It’s the deleting of all my/our history that I find so offensive. I would be very glad if it would please just stay up and let us live here on our own terms until WE decide we no longer want to.



Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
lost

People have messaged me about 43T closing soon. I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. I’ve invested seven or eight years of my life into this place, with thousands of entries and maybe hundreds of friends. I’ve changed so much. The support and love and encouragement and acceptance I’ve found here are like nothing else I’ve ever known, and has been largely responsible for the positive changes I’ve made in my life. This place has made me a better person.

I don’t know if I can go to Popclogs or any other site, though, and expect it to take the place of this site. I have written so many entries here, and there is no way I could just lift that history and transplant it somewhere else. I feel very angry that all my words are going to be deleted. It’s like someone coming in my house and throwing away all my diaries.

I’m kinda devastated, to tell the truth.

I can’t quite face this. I know I should be making every effort, getting all my friends’ e-mails, making new accounts other places I’ll see them, etc. But I can’t quite believe this is happening. I can’t understand why this place needs to disappear. Even if nobody wants to monitor it or whatever, I don’t see why it has to be erased. I feel betrayed.

I don’t know what will happen with me next. I don’t know where I’ll go from here. I don’t know where I’ll be able to invest my heart after this betrayal. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to put so much of myself out there again, just to have it all thrown away. I’m so lost.



~-~Monthly Goals~-~ (read all 3 entries…)
April

Hmm… What did I accomplish in April?

  • I finished my Hexie quilt top!
  • I had a birthday, and enjoyed a lovely lunch with a very good friend, and got several cards from other friends, and felt super-loved.
  • I saw not one, but TWO plays! Made extra-special because shared with a good friend.
  • I spent an awful lot of time lying still, nursing a sore back or nasty migraines. I suffered a lot this month. But I feel very glad I still managed to stay relatively cheerful and comparatively productive.

Hardly any of this falls under any “goal” I set for myself. But I figure I should keep track of it anyway, to be proud of what happened whether it was planned or not.



make soap (read all 9 entries…)
homemade soap is a pleasure

I very much enjoyed making soap last time I did. It wasn’t even hard. No harder, really, than cooking a pot roast. The only tricky part was figuring out the balance of ingredients, and sourcing a few of the odd ones (like lye). But I still have all those supplies. I should be able to find that old website again that helped me calculate my recipe. I remember vaguely what ingredients I liked best in my finished soaps.

I look forward to having homemade soap again! Last time I made it I gave nearly all of it away as presents. This time I think I’ll keep it for myself to enjoy. Using store-bought soap always feels like a cop-out after having experienced the pleasure of custom-designed soap!



Sew an apron (read all 6 entries…)
A new project to keep me busy.

After finishing my hexie quilt, I still feel the need to have something to hand-sew. So I’m sewing an apron.

Years ago I set the goal for myself to sew an apron, and though I had a sewing machine available to me I never finished it. It always seemed like too much fuss to bother with, compared to the rest of my life. Now sewing is what I do to relax, so this project is being resurrected. Even the old apron pieces are still around, and it is them I am sewing now.

This is a fancy apron. The pieces are shaped like flower petals, so it forms a sort of circle skirt. There will not be a bib, but I’m making it reversible, so I need to sew a little more than an entire petally circle to make this apron. I know it’ll look a bit goofy, like a Christmas-Tree skirt or something, but it’s what I want.

This is a way for me to use up a bit of my old fabric stash. It’s time for me to start addressing these old crafts and projects and collections of supplies I’ve accumulated. I need to decide to use them or let them go. I REALLY don’t want to let anything go, but my daughter is starting to watch “OCD Cleaners” and I’m feeling guilty, so I need to show progress.



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
Hexie Quilt Photo

Let’s see if I can make this work…

The finished size of this quilt top is about 4×4.5 ft. I had been going to add a few more rows to the border, but when I saw it like this hanging on the wall, I just felt that it was done, and I should stop.

How do you like it?



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
Done! (phase one)

The quilt top is officially done now! Yay!

After finishing the frame of dark green around the border of light green around the chaos of a pink-flowered hexie garden design, I feel happy and satisfied with the way it looks now and am calling it finished.

Just in time for the end of the month, too! So now I will display it on my own wall for a few days to enjoy it, then I will take it to the fabric store for them to display during the month of May. In June I will retrieve it to begin work on the actual quilting of the quilt. Then it will be DONE-done.

Maybe after that I will Scotchguard the thing and add a label and hanging sleeve. Then it will be DONE-done-donnnnnne!



Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
Asexuality

I’ve been researching asexuality lately. I’m beginning to think I might identify as demisexual or graysexual. I do like sex, sortof. But I also seriously, deeply enjoy NOT having sex. I like the freedom I have in a world where I need not worry about anyone else’s sexual opinion or needs concerning me because I’m just not connected that way.

I have a lot of trouble defining my own sexuality to myself. I know it must be hella confusing for anyone who would ever want to be in a relationship with me. I used to be willing to do pretty much any sexual thing with anyone I was in a relationship with, and I thought that was fine. But often it seemed “not quite good enough” for them to know I was willing, but not actively pursuing sex. They wanted me to want them, not just “participate”. Personally, I thought that was plain greedy of them. If I’m giving you all the ACTIONS you request, why must you encroach on my FEELINGS/THOUGHTS as well?

I think guys have often been mad at me, feeling somehow like I had an unfair advantage since I had the thing they wanted, but they didn’t have an equivalent thing I wanted. I think they wanted to use my sexual desire to manipulate me, though I never used their sexual desires to manipulate them. The truth is, I just wanted love. I wanted affection, and cuddling, and protection, and friendship, and financial solidarity, and parenting help. But sex was just optional to me. I generally don’t feel deprived for not having it.

TMI warning!

About once or twice a month I get a sexual urge that bothers me enough that I have to “deal with it”. It feels like a sort of maintenance, rather than like anything even vaguely relationshippy. I’m as likely during these moments to be thinking of nothing in particular, or thinking of a woman, or an alien, or a natural process like a river or something as I am to be thinking of a man. Yet I still consider myself basically straight… sort of. Mostly. Kind of.

I just found the online asexuality forum AVEN, and a documentary on Netflix called (A)Sexual, and a YouTuber named SwankIvy. These are helping me learn more about this brand-new movement to identify and help introduce language to people with different attitudes towards sexuality than others. Having no words to describe it, having no discussion about it, it makes me feel like my experience is not just not validated, but is erased from being a part of public reality. Adding these new concepts into the mix to raise awareness grants a certain hope of possible acceptance.

I do still want love. I need relationships. I need friends, and I want to have romance. I want someone to cuddle, and I have so much adoration I could shower on someone! But in my ideal scenario my “someone” would be someone who was rather like me, instead of someone so hyper-sexual that they could not appreciate or accept me for being different. I would not want to be put again into a position where I am somehow made to feel guilty for being who I am, wanting what I want, giving what I am able to give.

I don’t know whether it will be possible for me to get involved with the asexual community, though. It is estimated there might only be 1% of the population that might identify this way, and it isn’t like there are any “Asexual” bars out there. I would like to join a meetup or something, just to have a chance to feel the energy in a room full of people NOT all thinking on some level about trying to get each others’ pants. I would love to strike up close, intimate friendships with both men and women, and not have to worry that they are obviously going to lead to sex sooner or later and be blamed for being a tease if that’s not where I want to go.

I’m not sure what my next steps may be. More research, I suppose. There is a lot to think about here.



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
quilt progress, feeling sadly solitary

The borders around my hexie quilt are progressing nicely. I’ve added several rows of the plain light green background, and an accent row of the darker greens I use for “leaves”, as well as a single flower at each corner. Adding these rows of borders is helping give the “story” of the quilt a bit more honor (by way of framing and “matting”) and places where the eye can rest.

It is slow going, though. I hoped to be farther along by now than I am. At this pace I will have the dark green accents finished by the end of the month, but probably not the second round of light green borders around that. This month has been very rough on me. I’ve suffered a bad lower backache most days this month, and of course my usual number of headaches/migraines. I’ve felt very weak. It’s like just getting through the day is like running an obstacle course. Getting anything done like sewing, housework, or errands, seems hugely taxing on top of that.

But still, slowly and steadily, the quilt progresses. It is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. I am enjoying the process, and rather dread the day I won’t have it to work on any more.

The English Paper Piecing group I tried to start seems to be fizzling. Not sure if it is anything I’ve done badly, or whether it’s just such an unpopular sport that even people interested in it don’t want to bother doing it together. There are five of us in the group, and at our last meeting four of us decided not to show up. That hurt. I don’t know what to do about that. I hoped I could recruit more members by sewing in public such as at the library, but I’ve been too weak lately to make that trip.

We’ll see how it goes.



Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
A lesson learned from meditation practice

Once, I studied meditation. Didn’t follow it much, never got much out of it, except I learned one thing. A technique.

It was this: While meditating, though the goal is to keep your mind clear, thoughts will likely intrude. Rather than grind on the thoughts or berate yourself for having them, just notice they are passing by, and let them keep on passing. Perhaps imagine setting each thought on a leaf, and sending it downstream, or in a bubble to float away on the breeze. Recognize they occur, but do not indulge them much. You can think about them later, when it is their turn, perhaps. Right now, you are fully occupied with holding an empty mind, so these thoughts are welcome to depart.

This is how I’m dealing with my thoughts of dying lately. They are thoughts that pass through my mind frequently. I treat them like cottonwood seeds, floating past on the breeze. My job is simply not to give them a place to sprout. I am impermeable, like a well-paved cement street. They may collect in the gutters like drifts of snow, but eventually they WILL be blown or washed away.

In this way I allow that even when thoughts of death or suicide come at me in a flurry, seeming to fairly choke the air with their multitude, I still remain somewhat untouched. This is a fact: thoughts of death occur, and they seem innocent, fluffy, and attractive as they drift past. It does NOT follow that “I want to die”.

I am not to be blamed for the occurrence of thoughts or impulses. I am only responsible for how I respond to them. Since I know these particular thoughts are antithetical to the life I choose to pursue for myself and my family, I do not take ownership of them. I do not welcome them, water them, or tend them. I watch them drift past. Sometimes singly. Sometimes in a flurry. But they do drift away if I simply let them go.



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
Hexie Quilt Borders

I got the four corners all sewed and attached.
April is Quilt Show month at Pacific Fabrics, so I had to take down my quilt top, as only completed quilts can be shown. I’m happy, though, because this gives me time to work on it, ready to display again in May.
Now I’m working on putting borders around my basic rectangular shape. I hung the quilt top on my wall and noticed that it really needed some framing to help set it off properly. Having the pattern right out to the edge is not really pleasing to the eye. We honor things we value by giving them frames, and a certain amount of space around them. So that’s what I’m working on now.

I’ve drafted another pattern to include the five more rows of plain green fabric that will surround the “flowerbeds” portion of the quilt. Well, four rows of plain with one accent row of color which includes another flower motif at each corner, for interest. That should be enough “quiet” space to make the quilt look its best.

After this is all done, I don’t know for sure whether I’ll want to add embroidery to the quilt, or actually finish it AS a quilt, or whether I just want to display it as a top. I said before that I didn’t really love the quilt, but it’s growing on me again. I guess part of that is the knowledge that I don’t really want to start from scratch with another quilt, nor do I have a clue what colors or patterns I would use to make another quilt. This may well end up being the only hexagon quilt I ever make. If so, I guess it’s important that I hang on to it.

Next English Paper Piecing class is this Friday. I think I’ll ask the girls if they might like to consider writing a book. That would be a fun project, I think. We could feature all our different original patterns, as well as the wisdom we’ve gleaned from testing various products and techniques.



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
Hexagon Quilt Corners

A week ago was our first English Paper Piecing class, and we had three girls besides me show up. Another couple of people saw what we were doing and showed interest, and might decide to join us next time. We are all having a lot of fun sharing this craft together, and we feel like we’re at the front of a real movement gathering.

It makes sense. Hand knitting and crochet having taken off so well in the past years goes to show that people are ready for the challenge of take-along hand crafts again. Hand sewing is very similar to hand-knitting in that it is simple to do, restful and repetitive in its motions, yet always interesting in the variations available in patterns, color, and fabrics to choose from.

I have successfully drafted a pattern that can be added to my hexagon quilt as corners, reflecting though not mimicking the original design. One corner has been completed, and I have a very good head start on the others by having the fabric cut out and my travel sewing kit ready to go at all times. I’m enjoying sewing in public mostly, as that makes me feel more connected to people, even if I’m not directly talking with them. I’m always catching happy glances as folks show interest in this nearly forgotten craft. People are often surprised how easily it goes together, and what a beautiful result it makes.

My next EPP meeting will be a week from now. I hope to have at least one more full corner done by then, if not all four, so that I may then use class time to attach them to the main quilt. Promised pictures will have to wait, sadly, because with my computer issues I obviously cannot make good on them right now. I did have my daughter take a snapshot with her phone and e-mail it to me, but I was never able to figure out how to translate that photo attachment to something y’all could see here.

But anyway, I’m alive and well, if not much in touch. I’ll be around again eventually. Love to all!

-Crunchy



Joyride (read all 12 entries…)
been getting out lately

One of the little blessings to have come out of having a borked computer is that I finally got so bored at home that I got myself out and moving again. In the past week I’ve been to the library three times, and have been to the ferry park once. Now that spring is here the weather is warming up and the sun is shining, and I’m very happy to be out and about finally!

I must confess, though, that my muscles had atrophied so far from disuse that the first day I got home I was SOOOOOORRRREEEE! My legs hurt something awful, and I spent the next whole day in bed. But I did get out again, and now things feel like they’re getting stronger already.

Sidenote: Our main form of entertainment at home is watching shows on Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. Without any of that available, I’ve had to make do with reading books again. I’ve read “The Mermaid Chair”, “The Help”, “Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.”, “By the Shores of Silver Lake”, “The Stainless Steel Rat Returns”, and one or two others I can’t recall. I tend to finish about a book a day. The good thing is that I got my son to read the Stainless Steel Rat book with me! I would read a chapter while he relaxes, then he would read a chapter while I sew. It is a pretty good arrangement. He is happy to be spending the time with me, he’s learning to appreciate a new book genre, expanding his vocabulary, and warding off the infinite boredom of having nothing to watch. So that’s cool.

One of my goals to keep myself from stewing at home is to take my sewing outside. There is a table in the library right under a frosted skylight which has excellent light, and I have tried sitting there to work on my hexagon quilt. Though I was just minding my own business I naturally attracted some attention. I got to speak with several strangers about the joys of hand-sewing, and one young teen and her mother thought it was just the coolest thing they’d ever seen. I gave them the time and place for our next English Paper Piecing class and invited them to come sit with us. So that makes me feel good. I’m giving myself a chance to be with people instead of isolating myself terribly much. This, plus the change in the weather is making me very happy lately.



Talk. Confess. Enlighten the world. Let it go already. (read all 337 entries…)
Computer Issues

Dear 43T Friends:

My computer is on the fritz. I won’t be able to communicate much until it is fixed. My only computer access right now is at the library, for up to one hour per day when I’m able to get there, so obviously that is very limited. Please don’t think anything’s wrong with me, or that I’m ignoring you on purpose!

I have no idea how long it will take for me to get things back to normal. Until then, I hope everyone here takes good care of themselves. I love you all!

Crunchy



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
a little more work on the old quilt top

Yesterday I was at a gathering of creative ladies who like to hang out once a month and work on their (separate) projects together. I met a nice lady named Amy who thought my English Paper Piecing was interesting, and she decided to join the little class we’re doing tomorrow at Pacific Fabrics. I feel proud! I just made our membership grow by 33%!

The hexagon quilt top I made was put on display at Pacific Fabrics. However, they had it pinned to a backer board, because it’s hexagonal shape wouldn’t hang well on its own. That hides the construction details of hand stitching that I so want to show off. Therefore I’m now working on building up the corners to make it rectangular. I hope to have that done before class at 5pm on Friday.

I’ve already cut out fabric for another flurry of hexie sewing. I haven’t got the pattern straight in my head yet, but I figure I’ll be able to eyeball it, using elements I’ve already got and filling in as needed.



sew a hexagon quilt (read all 33 entries…)
Starting Over

I decided not to mess with the work I’ve already finished. I brought the completed quilt top to the fabric store, and gave it to them to display, to advertise for the EPP class we’re starting. Everyone at the store was gaga over it. It made me proud, and I’m very glad that it is going to a good cause. Encouraging others to appreciate and take up this fine hand craft is worth it.

I will now start from scratch, taking with me the lessons I learned from the first one, and make a new quilt top which hopefully will please me better when it’s done. I’m really very happy, and looking forward to another month of creativity and joyful obsession.



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