Cancer + bucket list + handmade jewelry + Bali = LOVE

BALI : What’s at the top of your bucket list? 

Dec 8

Spill. Where are the places you want to visit?  Do you have a travel bucket list?  Should I start a travel series on the blog?  Should I start liking beets?  If I eat beets, will hair grow on my chin?  Why do pickled beets smell like the inside of a rhinoceros belly button?!

There you have it.  My perplexing life questions.

If travel was free, you'd never see me again.

I do think a travel series could be a hoot tho.  Should we do this together?  You tell me where to go and Michael and I will knock it off the bucket list.  This may be your only chance to tell me where to go. *insert big toothy grin*

PS.  I have champagne taste and a soda pop pocket book.

Ever since this blog post & video about Michaels terminal cancer, our bucket list priorities jumped straight to the top of queue.


We’ve also been swinging at cancer like a Southern church lady swings her purse.

You may remember from a few month ago, my hubbys cancer moved into his central nervous system.  What’s worse than terrible?  It was that.

It has been a time of  leaning, loving and anticipating heartache and change throughout this whole cancer journey.   A time to find the light, in the midst of the darkness.

BALI was THAT place for us.

I don’t know how else to describe Bali, other than: !!!!!djkfjds;fdjf;dkjfirjefaWOW!!!!!

The people of Bali are the best part.  The very best part.  They are the happiest souls I’ve ever met.  They are hard working, kind and spiritually grounded.  They are full of love.

What happened in Bali ?

One day…we drove for hours… deep into the mountains… over hills…near lakes…saw a volcano… spotted wild monkeys … to meet a Balian healer.  There are no words to describe our experience. It was life changing.

 This man.  I n c r e d i b l e.  So full of love, with such a divine gift of healing.


Meeting a Balian healer in Bali, Indonesia


After arriving back home, Michaels cancer in his spinal root nerves had IMPROVED.  His blood work had improved, his spinal cord improved.  Back flip!!! (excuse the pun) Celebrate!!   Wooooohooooooooo!!!!

With the excitement of the upswing came a down swing.  Unfortunately, we recently had the crushing news that the cancer is still on the nerves of his brain.  Leptomeningeal metastasis.  The brain trumps the spinal cord in order of priority and concern.  Sorry I said that trump word.

The oncologist has strongly urged Michael to start a daily oral chemo pill.

Still.  Hitting the pause button.

Yes, it is only a pill, but it is still chemotherapy.  Every day.


Do you love to travel? See more about beautiful Bali here and explore the island...and all the handcrafted, hand made jewelry made with love by Balinese artisans.

Do you love to travel? See more about beautiful Bali here and explore the island...and all the handcrafted, hand made jewelry made with love by Balinese artisans.

Because sometimes what you don’t do is as important as what you do.

We’ve come to learn that cancer (even terminal) is a similar process to mourning.  It doesn’t get easier – it just changes.

Our goal is to continue to hoodwink cancer.  Sucker punch it.  Throat punch it.   Brush its teeth with a brick.  

Who says you have to do that in a hospital? A bucket list fucket list sounds like way more fun.   This dreaded disease takes so much; I just hope that the journey continues to give something good in life, even if just a little.

Travel is good.  Really good.

Cancer is like having a naggy little jerk in your head going, “Should I really be spending my time doing the things that I really don’t want to do?”  It’s like taking a big twirly straw and sucking up your energy until you’re a California raisin.  It’s a real eye opener.  It’s scary shit.

I suppose travel is a form of escapism.  I feel responsible to not be really sad around others.  When your world feels like it is coming undone, you just make different choices.

Wanna know why?  *smothers cigar with heel*… I’ve noticed something lately and I’m desperate to know if I’m alone in this and/or drunk.  When you travel… your big problems seem smaller. You see life through a different lens.  And you don’t have to make your bed.

For the win.

And hey, you can have wine during the day, while on holidays.   Let’s put it this way. Certain alcohol has beneficial antioxidants.  And I like to fight cancer sometimes.

Beeeteeedubs, it’s hard to find wine in Bali. I stared at Michael with the kind of desperation that usually only exists in times of war.  But there were palm trees.

Traveling to Bali also meant that we could indulge in a bit of local beer, enjoy the quiet beaches and the even the bustling streets.  I tried to resist bringing home every nook and cranny of the island.  I did shop for pretty jewelry along the way!!

Shop here for beautiful handmade necklaces and bracelets. Lovingly hand made in Bali, Indonesia and gift wrapped for YOU!

Many moons ago, and when I first started this blog… I used to travel to Bali for clients.  I bought furniture, home goods and so much more.  It has inspired my entire design career.  You can see much of Bali in my home here, in our treehouse and in the cabin.

This time, we really enjoyed meeting Balinese artists and buying jewelry.  Nothing is made in a factory.  Every bead, every tassel, every pom pom is put on by hand.  One by one.  Handcrafted.  Made with love.  I just had to bring some of that home.

They are available here in my blog shop, and only in small batches.  I only have some styles listed in the blog right now, but will add more in the next few days.  There are bracelets, necklaces and anklets.  So super duper pretty!!!!

Each one is gift wrapped.  Like the knitting needles and door track hardware, the packaging is just as important as what is in the package.  I’m a weirdo like that.

My best advice (far better than the time I told my best friend to cut her hair in a mullet style..which turned out to be AWFUL advice) is to remember this…

Miracles happen

Gratitude changes everything.

Guys, I love you and I’m so grateful that you take the time to leave me love notes in the comment section.  Legit.  I read every word.  You matter to me. I would climb a moderately sized mountain for you.

Your words help us to slog our way out of the cancer swamp and live la vida loca on the beach of good health with little umbrella drinks in our hands. ( Thank you Auntie Patch for leaving that comment for me! )

Your words grab my heart.  Thank you.

Spill it.  What’s on your bucket list?


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  1. Carla Work-In-Progress

    December 13th, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Wow! I’m so grateful that you write this blog and that I some how found my way on your list. (Don’t ask how because then I’ll be telling age, as I truly don’t recall.) Yours is the ONLY blog that I leave as unread until I have the time read it because skimming the highlights would be like pouring a glass of wine, swirling it around in the glass, sniffing it (like I really remember what I learned that many years ago at my first wine tasting what the smell should tell me) and then fast forwarding to when I’m rinsing the glass and pouring the remnants of it down the kitchen sink and placing the glass in the dishwasher. Negative! (Well, only that one time that I fell sleep after only a few sips and woke up the next day and something was floating in it) I read your every word because I always do an open mouth laugh multiple times before I’m done. Not to mention I learn something, or I’m inspired to research something so I can learn something and I’m moved to the point that I feel like I’ve had a sneak visit with a good friend even though we knew we should’ve been doing something other catching up with each other’s lives, go to the brink of tears and come back around the brushes to laughing like third graders that only has to worry about homework and making their bed! I just said all this to say that I haven’t gotten up the nerves to share my ups and downs as you have but your openness and honesty empowers me not focus on all that’s goin the way I want it to but instead, continue to go right even though life feels like it’s going wrong! You and your family are in my prayers and I’m sending you all the love that can be sent through electronic communication! GOD blessing always!

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    December 17th, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Hi Carla!

    So happy you are on my list too and believe me sista, I end up doing things like that too.. and then wonder.. whaaaaa?! How’d I get here, but hey, I’m glad I found my way here 🙂

    Hello menopause. It’s knocking on my door all the time. gah.

    PS. I hope you are a blogger or online influencer because your writing is spectacular. You go girl !! I loved reading YOUR WORDS!

    Big love, big laughs, big everything… (except big butt) hahahaaa…but I’m inching that way with my holiday food baby… Maybe I should shop for some maternity pants to prep for my holiday eating?! #ThankYouStretchyPants

    Lynne xo

  3. Lor

    December 19th, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Beautiful. Beautiful souls, beautiful journey. Thank you for sharing. And we will all share our positive thoughts and prayers and love in your direction.

    <3 <3

  4. Marla Housekeeper

    December 28th, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Lynne,
    We’ve been in contact recently as my husband also has Bing Neel. Reading your blog helps me, your honesty speaks to me. We are coming up on our 17th anniversary since original diagnosis, I’ve been feeling as though I’m grieving which has been hard looking at all.the years battling cancer. How long has it been for you? After going through my husbands dramatic change to bing neel 2 years ago and stem cell transplant in February, I am just exhausted and sick of cancer. I’m normally resilient but I think all the years have caught up with me mentally and physically. We need a trip, but that’s not a possibility due to finances from the strain financially from medical. One day at a time, faith always keeps me going. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Aliyyah

    January 4th, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Lynne,

    First, I adore you blog. I love the way you write – so raw and natural. I came across some of your blog post re: Cancer. I have lost a loved one to this nasty disease and hear almost every day about someone being diagnosed. It’s horrible! My wedding caterer is experiencing the wrath of cancer, but has been experiencing some positive outcomes from her experiments with Gerson Therapy. you can read more here – and via her regular updates on instagram

  6. sharon lamonica

    March 3rd, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Hello Lynne, you have my heart ♡•♡•♡ I adore your words and bravery. Thank you for sharing your life, journey, love, and wisdom. Your intimate blog has made me experience two opposite emotions in sync. Tears are running down my face while laughing out loud and ugly crying. My heart aches for your beautiful family. Thank you for being so incredible and raw. I’m sending you B I G L O V E!

  7. Nean

    March 30th, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I’m so glad I have found you! Thank you for your bravery, raw emotion and deep found sense of humor. Keep kicking cancer in the teeth! Your words have such an effect. I am at the beginning of a dread journey myself and we are answering it with travel as well. Our bucket list includes such simple places, Denver, Charleston, island life. They lead to family. And that for me is what life is about. I love the chunky blankets and am addicted to making them. Thank you for such a great place to come and hang out! We must get some coffee together sometime and a bottle of red.

  8. Ash

    June 13th, 2017 at 11:51 am


    I am so happy to have been introduced to your blog this afternoon – even though I have just begun to scratch the surface, I already feel like I’m catching up with an old friend. I have gone through three bouts of cancer myself, and can’t think of a better way to heal, and love, and reconnect than to travel. I find that people are the best versions of themselves when they travel. The top of my bucket list is South Africa, Argentina, and Morocco. I feel fortunate to be crossing Morocco off this spring when I move to Taghazout for the month.

    Please keep fighting, being grateful, and enjoying your time together; don’t let cancer take more from you than it already has. Your family will be in my heart.

  9. Laura Altobelli

    July 20th, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Oh my gosh, these pictures. So beautiful, I could eat them. I truly believe the sea has untold healing powers—just looking at that water unleashes a powerful sense of calm over me, and that has to be good for my health. As far as my own bucket list, so many places I want to see – Tuscany, Santorini, Barcelona. If I ever win the lottery (which will never happen because I never play), or if I ever get up the nerve to start my own blog and find a way to turn around my financial situation, I would love to hang up my current career and start my own animal rescue. I need to start taking some more plunges, because life is short.


  10. This homemade bread recipe tastes like life at 10 years old --> all delicious & nostalgia-like.

    June 14th, 2019 at 11:51 am

    […] |   Wooden cutting boards handcrafted in Bali Indonesia (read about our bucket list travels here) […]

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