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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Recent entries from CrunchyBread
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Reading this entry today, I am struck with the need once again to invite you to Popclogs. I have found over fifty of my 43T subscriptions there, and Jon who runs it is actively responding to ongoing requests to make the site more and more usable for us all. It would break my heart not to get to read your occasional heart outpourings. I hope you make an account at Popclogs soon, and look me up once you’re there.

This site may be going down, but the community we know and love FROM here is not broken. We exist together there now, and I miss you and hope to see you there soon.

(((Tarrador))) 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadI know you are right

The place is disappearing like Fantasia being consumed by The Nothing in The Neverending Story. I don’t know why. It doesn’t even make sense to me that just because the Robots decided to stop believing in it that it simply disintegrates like this. I’d have thought that would take an active dismantelling, not just ignoring the place.

Maybe it’s like a bar closing, but the patrons won’t leave, so first they cut off all drinks, then they flash the lights, put up chairs, etc.

I’m starting to feel quite unwelcome.
(By THEM, not by any of my old friends here, of course.) 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadTell me more

about the mint and lemongrass! How do you make a bug repellent out of that? It sounds delightful!

(All the rest of your work sounds very impressive also, but obviously I’m more focused on hoping to pick your brain over something I can do too!) 5 months ago


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. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadhomemade tamales

If you enjoyed canned tamales, I have to say you would be impressed with the difference homemade makes! You can adjust the seasonings added to make them exactly how your family likes best. It really is worth looking into. They are very cheap and simple to make, store well fresh or frozen, yet are always delicious.

With your gluten issues, this might be an especially good recipe to learn. You can vary it by adding different meats, any kind of peppers, or sauces (either homemade or bought).

I exaggerated the trouble it takes to make them in my above post, because obviously I’m fishing for sympathy. But really, it only took my son and me half an hour to roll up several dozen of these, then another hour to steam them.

There are recipes available everywhere, so I won’t bore you with mine. Once you know the steps involved, though, it is very easy to adjust the recipe to be whatever you love. It is the original convenience food! 5 months ago

CrunchyBread 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadTamale 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! 5 months ago

CrunchyBreada "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. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadall I can say is...

I’ve heard people hope. They’ve reinforced that the story of site closure is a rumor, not a confirmed fact. I’ve heard other people say otherwise, but they also said they knew the “end of days” was slated for late June. Well, it’s July already. I’m feeling like Jan 1, 2000, when many people were holding their breath over they Y2K bug that never happened.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and all this will turn out to be not what we feared after all!

Either way, though, I’ve decided to quit hiding. That doesn’t help. FWIW I want to continue to truly LIVE here, until I can’t. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadis 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. 5 months ago

CrunchyBread 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadtaboo subject

People tend to be short-sighted, and to project a lot. Whatever is true for ME must be true for EVERYONE, right? So if I don’t have celiac disease, it totes doesn’t exist, right? RIGHT!?

I’m sorry you have had to suffer so much. Talking about digestive/bathroom issues is very taboo, and I can see how that would make it so difficult for you to get a clear picture of whether your situation was truly wrong or not. Whenever a subject is forbidden to be discussed, people with real problems cannot get the attention or help they need. It’s sad, really, and I’m glad you found a way to realize you deserve better, and to MAKE yourself better.

I wish we all could just realize sometimes that even “taboo” subjects MUST be discussed sometimes. We need to make safe spaces for even the difficult subjects to be aired and compared, so we can all check in with each other to know whether we’re all really okay. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadare 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. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadlemon curd

I haven’t made lemon curd in forever. I love it though! Now I want to make some… but I have no lemons… or sweetened condensed milk.

I do have some fresh limes, and regular milk, and cream. Do you think these might substitute well enough?

I know limes are different from lemons, and sometimes slightly bitter. Maybe add a pinch of salt to counteract that? And it might need a bit more sugar, depending… I’m not sure exactly what the sweetened condensed milk does, so that’s why I’m not sure if cream might substitute.

But I’m thinking if it works it might taste like key lime pie! 5 months ago


She looks so completely happy. As she should be! Such a beautiful child, obviously brimming with love. 5 months ago

CrunchyBreadI would love you to be right.

I’m afraid I’ve never been an optimist, though, so I can’t actually put any faith in the hope.

Thank you for having been my friend. Thank you for your honesty and support. I know you’ve struggled with many of the demons I’ve wrestled, and somehow knowing that it isn’t ONLY me makes it a bit more bearable.

If the site does close, I will miss you very much.

I will miss very very many people here very much. I’ve had more friends here than I’ve had in the whole rest of my life put together. More honest, caring, sweet, supportive interactions. More pure joy and humor. More kindness and understanding. More patience.

Having struggled (as you well know) with thoughts of suicide so many years (though not so much recently) somehow this feels like a punishment, or at least a test. Something about “so you thought death was no big deal? Let’s see how you deal with the death/cutting off of 43Things! Muwahahaa!!” Somehow it feels like a lesson about the value of life, and connection, and how it shouldn’t be wasted or thrown away.

It tears me up inside, it really does. I always thought dying would be no big deal, and if I were the one dying obviously it WOULDN’T be a big deal. Once dead, you have no feelings left to hurt. But I’m not dying, I’m the one being left alive and bereft of the love from here. It’s like being orphaned, with my whole family dying, but ME being left alive and lonely. I should be handling it better, but honestly inside I feel like a five year old, just crying and wailing and sad that nobody will be there for me anymore.

I suppose I could do more about that if I tried. I could make a popclogs account. I guess that’s what a lot of folks are doing. But somehow I can hardly bear that idea. It won’t be the same. Even if it were close to the same, how could I trust all this drama wouldn’t just happen again in a few years? I’m not good with this kind of abandonment. (Not by my friends, of course, but by the site.) It feels like I’m in a hurricane, and my whole town is being blown down.

I wish you the best, Zeroid. You have mattered to me, and I know you have mattered to many other people here. You never write much, but everything you say is always kind and full of a tender human spirit of compassion and connection. Whatever struggles you feel or face, you are a wonderful person who has still helped other people with THEIR struggles. I guess that makes you some kind of saint.

There’s a lot of saints here. But it may be about time for the band to play. I’m trying to face it with some modicum of strength, but if I don’t please forgive me.

When the Saints Go Marching In5 months ago


I need to say this before we can’t say any more…

I have always loved you, as a very dear friend, and you have meant so much to me.

There are so many other people from here that I should say that same sentence to, but with my eyes frozen unblinking into the oncoming headlights of site closure, I’m not getting around to saying it. But I must say it to you. Thank you for being here, being my friend, making me laugh, making me think, and helping me become more of the person I want to be.

You are among the most inspirational, warm, and supportive people here. I will miss you very much.

I agree with pretty much everything you said in this entry. I’m glad you voiced it, because I haven’t had the strength to put these thoughts into words myself. Thank you for sometimes being MY voice, when I could not even bear to speak.

I have a hard time facing the end of this site, and all its (MY!) history. It is like facing a sort of death, or at least an amputation. I am so lucky that this site has been here, to help me change from who I was into who I have become, and am still becoming. Nothing else, no single other resource in my life, has ever been so valuable. And you, my dear friend, have been an important part of that. Thank you.

Best wishes for a wonderful life, wherever your feathers may float you. My love goes with you. I wish you always joy.

5 months ago

CrunchyBreadNot a tasty one, though...

Maybe one made out of 100% fiber.

like tree bark, maybe…6 months ago


It’s just such a shame that the NAME “popclogs” is so… ugh. 6 months ago


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. 6 months ago

CrunchyBreadThat stings!

Ohhhh! That sounds awful!

I’ve never been stung by a bee either. I think they’re much sweeter than people give them credit for.

I’ve also never been stung by a wasp, but they sound MEAN!

I got stung one time by a yellowjacket, but again that was my fault. It was in some weeds that I was chopping, while using my leg as support. It got crushed against me hard enough to break it’s stinger off in my skin, and you know normally yellowjackets don’t leave their stingers behind. I couldn’t pick the stinger out with tweezers, and the wound started festering after a few days. I managed to extract it finally by using a paste of baking soda, held on with duct tape. That sucked it right out, and everything got better after that.

So, you and I should go into beekeeping together, since we obviously have the charm to get along with bees! We’d very politely ask “Pardon me, bees, but would you mind awfully if we were to share in just a bit of your wonderful honey and beeswax?” and they’d say “Oh certainly not! Do help yourselves!”

It’d be great. :D 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadYou are doing really so great!

That sounds like you certainly have a happy and well-adjusted child, taking potty training on at a pace she can handle. I’m so proud of you! I’ve known many parents unwilling to allow their kids to pace themselves, and feel pressure to get them trained NOW, like if they don’t somehow the kid will end up never learning.

I always told myself I didn’t need to worry about them going to Harvard and not being potty trained yet. Fussing at them would only make us both stressed out and cause bad memories instead of the totally no big deal it was.

I had a sister who wet the bed until she was like nine or twelve or something. Our family was rather cruel to her about it, but shaming her never helped her stop. We didn’t know what caused it, and didn’t know how to help her deal with it, and the one thing I learned was that shaming was the worst thing we could have done. I swore I would never do that to anyone again. I so deeply regret my participation in mental torture, that probably exacerbated the problem for my sister, rather than helping her grow out of it. Many things about my birth family are pretty screwed up. I hope everyone can find forgiveness in their hearts.

But that’s my story and it has nothing to do with you. It’s only a comparison, so you can see how GREAT you are doing and be proud of yourself! Some of us haven’t always been so great. But even those of us who screw up can often learn better, and maybe even deserve forgiveness eventually. 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadherb varieties

I’m a big fan of trying just everything and letting the successes and failures sort themselves out. Then I know what works for me, and I don’t fret too much about things that died because of the circumstances I have to offer. Many herbs are very hardy and forgiving, not to mention tasty!

Other people might well decide to alter their circumstances (start indoors, put up a greenhouse, more watering, etc.) but I figure I yam wot I yam, and though I don’t want my plants to die, I just have too many other issues in my life to bother wasting much worry on an herb.

Some things are wonderful enough to want to re-plant every year, even if they don’t overwinter, though. Probably my very favorite herb is lemon thyme. Even if it didn’t survive the winter (it did) I would definitely put that one in again every year, because it is prolific and tastes great on EVERYTHING!

I love wandering through the gardening section of stores and discreetly plucking an inconspicuous leaf to crush and smell. I feel like a criminal, but it’s the only real way to know what you’re getting! That’s how I learned how very different various sorts of the same herb can be. For example, I do deeply love that kind of smooth-leaf basil I buy in the grocery department, but I hate the sawtooth edged basil they sell in my nursery. I don’t know their different names, but I know I would never bother to try to raise the one, and I’m bereft without the other. So I buy it again and again in the grocery department as a “live” plant with roots but no soil, you know? But it never lives for me. So I end up just freezing the leaves, and that works pretty well to retain the fresh flavor.

MMMMMMM! Fresh basil, tomato, and mayonnaise sandwich! Nothing else needed, thank you. Lunchmeat would just get in the way. It is my iconic “taste of summer”. :D 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadit was my own fault

I was messing with it for quite a while before it finally got fed up and bit me out of sheer frustration. I don’t blame it a bit. 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadoh, SNAP!

Yes, I was always afraid of snapping turtles, which lived in the streams near my house as a child. They aren’t kidding about the bite power of those guys! 7 months ago


Oh, yeah. A dog’s bite is WAY worse than a snakes. THOSE are pretty crushing and awful. I got bit once by a dog when I put my finger through a fence, and that dog didn’t appreciate it. I’m lucky it only hurt, but didn’t seriously injure me. Dogs are made to rip things apart. Snakes aren’t. I’m much scareder of dogs than of snakes. 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadnon-venomous bites are no big deal

How did being bitten feel? I thought I described that in some detail above. What else can I say? It was a pricking sensation, not terribly strong or crushing. The garter snake was only about a foot long, and its jaw was less than an inch wide. The ball python was about seven feet long and its jaw was two or three inches wide. Its bite was naturally stronger and deeper, but no more crushing than a firm handshake. The teeth probably poked a quarter of an inch through my skin, so that was like a series of somewhat nasty thorn pricks, but I get thorn pricks every year when I gather blackberries so it wasn’t really painful. It was just terribly surprising.

Garter snakes mostly eat slugs, I think. So they’re great for your garden. But a slug doesn’t take much hunting, really. Ball pythons eat mice etc. but they swallow them whole. The strike mostly just grabs the mouse, then the body crushes it just enough to make the thing stop struggling, from asphyxiation. Then the mouse is swallowed whole. They’re only “strong” compared to mice.

Thank you for your sympathy, really, but it’s okay. I’m rather proud of myself for having had a few small adventures with animals. Ask me sometime to tell you about shaking hands with a tarantula! 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadTwice Bitten

I’ve been bitten by snakes on two occasions. Both were non-venomous snakes. One was a garter snake that I found in a field. I like garter snakes. I was a kid, and I caught it and kept it as my “pet for the day”. I kept it in my pocket and showed it off to my brothers and let it slither over my hands like that scene in “Labyrinth” when the crystal ball turned into a snake. Then eventually the snake got effin’ pissed at me and finally bit me to make me let it go. It hurt less than getting scratched by a blackberry thorn. Mostly it itched. Mostly I was just sorry I made my day-pet so mad at me.

The second time was a ball python at a science lab. It was my job to feed it live mice. I would put the snake in the feeding box, then put in mice one at a time until it no longer wanted to eat any. This time, I put it in the feeding box and then found all the mice were gone. When I reached into the feeding box to pick up the snake to return it to its cage, it struck at my hand (naturally thinking my hand was being offered as lunch). It let go right away, but I had some interesting puncture wounds on my hand in a semicircular bite pattern that took a week to heal. I confess, getting bit that time bothered me and made me cry a bit. I thought the snake would never bite a person and I felt personally emotionally attacked by the snake, worse than the bite. But of course, the circumstances were unusual. Once I figured it out I forgave the snake and all was well again. 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadQuilt value

Quilts sell for all kinds of prices. They don’t make sense all the time. Some quilts sell for $2500, some for $25. The biggest difference is not really the workmanship or even historical importance of a quilt, so much as it is the education of the buyer. People who would pay a lot for a quilt are people who understand WHY they should pay a lot. Average people just see them as blankets, and value them as such.

TBH, considering a hand-pieced, hand-quilted queen-sized quilt may easily have taken anywhere from one to five years of a woman’s life to make, I think even high-end prices are really undervaluing the time invested. Therefore, I’ve come to believe that quilts should basically never be sold. They should be treasured by the ones to whom they are gifted, in the memory of the love of the giver. There is just no way to put a good monetary value on the investment otherwise. 7 months ago

CrunchyBreadPotty Training memories

I don’t know much about potty-training, despite having raised two kids of my own. I honestly have no memory of how we accomplished it! It just seemed to happen, eventually, by the time they were three or four or something. I wasn’t worried, as I knew sooner or later they’d figure it out. I remember I used to rather enjoy changing diapers, as it was really quite an intimate moment of quietness between me and each child. We always had a bit of a hug and maybe sing a little song or whatever. I was just very relaxed about the whole thing. Still, I remember how vastly grateful I was when I realized I no longer had to buy diapers, as that was a major expense!

I’m very interested to hear how this rewarding with marshmallows goes for you. How old is Anya? Does she talk much at all?

I had a thought (which feel free to ignore if it isn’t useful to you). What do you think of the idea of taking Anya into the bathroom with you whenever you need to go, and using that time for her to watch and copy you? (I assume you are using a little potty for her, which maybe she could sit on at the same time you use yours.)

Come to think of it… I don’t think my kids ever liked using a potty. I seem to remember they only wanted to ever use the big toilet, though I know I bought potties for them… They needed a stool to reach it, of course. I don’t think they even liked having an adjusting seat made for their little heinies. Gosh. I guess my kids just liked to balance or something.

I remember my daughter had a fear of flushing, though. She hated having her feet on the ground when she flushed. Wasn’t afraid of the sound, just somehow thought if her feet were on the floor when it happened, she’d get sucked down the toilet too. She always wanted me to hold her off the ground, or she climbed onto the sink counter.

I forgot all that, until you started talking about it. Thanks for jogging some rather nice memories for me! :D

Hope Anya’s potty-training goes very well. 7 months ago

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