Musings & Miscellany

Fall 2021 Bucket List

Happy day, reader dearest!

As usual, when the email came from Leslie at Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After  about the Fall Bucket List posting, I had a moment of panic. The same panic I have four times yearly. In my brain: Good grief. Where has (insert previous season) gone?

You’d think I would know where summer went since I’ve been chafing at the bit for a new season and some cooler weather, but now that it’s here, I’m wondering what happened.

With perspective (That hindsight 20/20 thing!), I know what happened. Right after publishing my Summer Bucket List, Mama had a cardiac procedure and I’ve spent most of my summer with that occupying my mind and days. Which means I need to give myself some grace and be tickled if anything from the Bucket List finds itself on the Done and Dusted List.

I don’t know if any of you struggle with Tick-the-Box syndrome, but I certainly do! Intellectually, I know my value has nothing to do with accomplishments, but because I am a human being. We are human beings, not human doings. Flawed and beautful. Our value doesn’t depend on what we do. Simply on who we are. Which might actually be scarier… Hm. Maybe that’s why we prefer the lists and boxes.

We are so conditioned to measure! That’s the M in SMART goals, right? Pretty much any goals or lists, Bucket or otherwise. So let’s just get this over with…


SUMMER 2021: Keep up the weekend (bike) rides and making progress on the Couch to 5 K. I’m finishing up week 2, so by Fall’s Bucket List, I should be able to run 5K non-stop. That or 35-45 minutes… That would be a real confidence booster to me. Now to stay uninjured! Well. That uninjured line item didn’t work out very well… But I’ve recovered and am back onto Week 4. There’s been so much morning rain that we haven’t gone on many bike rides at all. We did do tons of hiking and steps the weekend we took our oldest grandson camping. Does that count?

Bike, Handlebars, Nostalgia, Nostalgic, Vase, Flowers

FALL 2021: Keep up the Couch to 5K as the mornings get darker. That’s going to be hard, but running is good for my mood (NOT during the run, mind you) and I am struggling with my mood lately. Even when I get nothing else done in a day, if I can get my exercise in, I feel like it hasn’t been a total loss.


SUMMER 2021: Clueless. Pick a counter? Finish bottom cabinets? Trying to keep it super small since this one has been one heck of a struggle and I cannot control the weather. (Imagine if you could… Such pressure!) Still struggling. Found a counter, but don’t know how to get it… ALL the handymen, home renovation people are backed up. No one even wants to give estimates. Cabinets? The last two bottom doors are off and have been waiting for a day that isn’t rainy or 95 degrees for painting. This should NOT have to be so freaking hard, people. I think I need to look for a deeper reason that I’m not getting this done.

FALL 2021: We’ve been eyeing a gas fireplace insert. Maybe we’ll have better luck with that?

I think what I need more than a remodel is an attitude remodel about our house… I think I’ve been taking our home for granted and it’s time to show her some more love of the everyday maintenance kind.

There’s a list of little jobs that need sorting. I need to stop waiting for someone else to take care of them. (Neither of us are particularly handy. I mean, I can remove a U-bend under the sink to extract a lost ring and put a new flapper in the toilet tank. I’m fabulous at hanging pictures. Mr. CP is great at cutting things in the garage with the big saw. But we just aren’t do-it-yourselfers.) AND I need to get another estimate for the exterior work we need done. If you are a praying person, please lift that one up. It’s ridiculous.


SUMMER 2021: My goal? To spend more time outside in our garden and eat out on the patio more frequently. If nothing else, having morning coffee out amongst the birds makes me happy. That means getting better about getting ready so that I can do that rather than grabbing my cup of joe and heading for my desk. That’s a bad habit I want to break! YAY! Finally something I CAN say I’ve accomplished. I have been eating either breakfast or lunch outside, weather permitting, or sometimes just catching a few minutes out on the back patio in the evening when it’s time for a rendevous with my Italian beau, Duolingo…

FALL 2021:  Get our pots planted and decorate the front porch for fall. I should be able to handle that, right? We also need to order new mulch… That’s a long shot, people.


Why not add Style to the list? The other categories haven’t been going so very well, so this is one that should be right up my alley. I get dressed every day. Or maybe it will end up being more of a cobbler’s children have no shoes affair! We’ll find out in December, won’t we?

FALL 2021: I have this fun book called 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf and I think it’s time to try out all 50! I won’t finish by the next post, but starting at the beginning and plugging away should be an interesting way to learn something new. Join me on Instagram to see the looks as I try them out! I suppose it’s a different kind of style challenge.

How About You?

Do you struggle with a need to Tick-the-Box? If not, HOW do you do that? PLEASE! What season are you heading into? Do you have a seasonal to-do list? What bucket list categories might you find your wishes grouped into? What’s your favorite season for outdoor activities? What is the last home project you completed? Are you a talented DIY-er? If yes, are you interested in DIY-ing at someone else’s house? #nothingventurednothinggained What’s your favorite way to wear a scarf? Do tell…

Stylishly yours,


  • Gail Joan McKelvey

    Jodi, I need some advice. I live in an active adult community in TX. My life style is fairly casual with a few dressy moments. I know I have way too many pieces of clothing. For a basic wardrob how many things do you really need. 4 pairs of white/black/blue pants, 3 red tops, etc. I realize that it would vary between people. I know my body type, I know what colors look best but I don’t know how to pair down! Any suggestions.

    • Liz K

      Hi, Gail! This is Liz. Did you mean to message me, or Jodie Filogomo? If me, My answer to you depends on a couple of factors, the first being your laundry situation. Your wardrobe has to work with the way you do laundry! Are you able to do laundry at home? What are your laundry preferences? More frequent small loads or larger less frequent loads? Also, do you prefer to hang most of your clothes to dry or tumble dry them? And how often do you wear a piece before washing it? I live in the hot and sticky South, so that varies with the seasons. I need more summer tops than cooler weather ones for that reason. It sounds silly to start with laundry, but building a wardrobe without taking care logistics into account doesn’t work!

      You are correct that numbers, items and colors are super personal. I always suggest tracking what you actually wear, what I call your Working Wardrobe. The easiest way to do this is to clear a small space (Say a foot?) on your closet rail and section it off with ribbon or a cardboard tag. That will be where you put the pieces you wear over the next month. After wearing an item, put it into the Working Wardrobe section of your closet for the next month. Knowing what you actually wear gives you a great starting point to determine what and how much you really need! Yes, you’ll need to keep some special occasion wear, as well. Everyone needs a few pieces, including something to wear to a legal or financial appointment, or (heaven forbid) a funeral. I have oodles of blog posts about Capsule Wardrobes where I discuss numbers and balance. You can find them here:

      • Gail McKelvey

        I meant you, Liz, sorry! I have a washing machine in our apt, so that is no problem and I too live in hot sticky (TX) so I wash clothes A LOT! The drying space is extremely limited, so starting there is a really good suggestion. I went back and re-read some of your capsule posts. Gave me somewhere to start…but I do like the 32 pieces = 400 outfits best. I rarely wear dresses and never wear skirts anymore, so that adds to my wardrobe right there. Now if you can tell me how to get over the negative feeling of getting rid of perfectly good clothing we will be all set! Yes, I will donate! I keep telling my husband I am frugal and he keeps saying, that I am not frugal I am CHEAP! Family trait, my sister says it runs in our genes! Thank you so much. I appreciate your taking the time to get back to me. I like some of Jodi’s suggestions, but I want to work with what I have and my style is more conservative than hers. Don’t tell her I said that! HA! Thanks again! Gail McKelvey

        • Liz K

          It’s a fine line between Frugal and Cheap, Gail! Glad to be of help. If you don’t wear dresses or skirts, don’t push it. Personally, I prefer them to shorts in hot weather–better air flow! LOL! That negative feeling? Asking myself: If I saw this pre-loved, would I buy it again? If not, it doesn’t deserve a place in my closet. I try to remember that if I’m not wearing it, blessing someone else with it is the best use of my money. Keeping the value of my closet space top-of-mind can be a great reminder to buy by value, not price.

  • Cindy Clark

    Hi Liz – If you really want advice about the need to tick the box here’s mine: During difficult times, lower your expectations. You are not in an ordinary period of time.

    Your mom’s illness is a source of significant stress, both in terms of the additional time and the additional emotional toll it takes on you. You’re required to get to, attend, and come from her medical appointments. Your ability to schedule work for your own business is subject to the whims of medical schedulers. you’ve got to take additional time to reschedule your own work. These interruptions chip away at your ability to maintain even an illusion that you have control over your own life. And you can’t discount the heavy emotional toll a parent’s illness has on you. Plus you get to do it all during Covid!

    Now is not the time for additional projects, ambitious or otherwise. If you really feel the need to “tick off the boxes”, then give yourself credit for everything you do. Let’s say you got out of bed today. Check it off. Did you shower and brush your teeth? Another check. Are you wearing clean clothes? Check. Did you and your family eat off clean plates, or did you have to use paper plates? Yet another check! You’re doing a lot automatically. Give yourself credit for it.

    I am so impressed that you are managing a household, caring for your mom, and running your own business simultaneously. Not to mention taking pictures for Instagram with a smile on your face. If you’re wearing a costume for Halloween, it should be Wonder Woman!

    • Liz K

      LOL! I used to have a WW Cuff Bracelet! I have certainly lowered the bar; giving up on that illusion of control is a daily (sometimes hourly) practice. A few weels ago, I started writing down what has gotten done instead of looking at the Still Incompleted and that has made a huge difference in my stress level. I’ve been choosing three to-do’s for each day and deciding which ONE really needs to get done and letting the rest go. I’m blessed with the kindness spilling over from your comment, Cindy. Thank you for warming my heart. Hugs. (Germ free ones, of course!)


    Liz, I am so excited about your shoing us many ays to ear our scarves!! I may have the same book!! No is the season for scarves because things are coolng don a bit. If you live in Arizona a cool day mid-afternoon is in the 90’s!! My husband and I to years ago had a patio the length of the house built. This asn’t a DYI project!! Our major DYI days are gone due to health issues!! Small art projects ie making a reath etc. I can try to do but it ould take me a hile!! I’m not a natural check your box kind of person but for so many years I made myself do so!! No, in retiirement and disabled I’m simple unable!! It made me feel I asn’t orthy as a person until my husband talked to me. So, I try to do hat I’m able. Some days that’s not much, unfortunately!! I rite goals for the year and ork on those!! These are uplifting!! Really looking forard to your Fall Capsule ardrobe!! Your such a encourager!!

    • Liz K

      If you want to see the different scarf ties as they roll out, Natalie, you’ll need to stay tuned on Instagram, or on the Instagram roll here on the website. Maybe I’ll need to do a blog post every ten or so…

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