What’s On Your Bucket List?

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The Coffee King and I were out to dinner the other night with friends. A cute, little hole in the wall, where the owner takes your order and brings your food. The menu? Italian, of course. Talking over baked ravioli smothered with mozzarella cheese you can stretch and twirl around your fork, my friend Lisa and I were discussing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I told her, “I’ve always wanted to go to that. It’s on my bucket list.” We’re going next year.

Do you want to see the world? Learn another language? Play an instrument? Write a book, perhaps?

My list is long and strange at times. I want to sing in front of thousands of people while wearing leather pants. I’ve always wanted to be a rock star, but I can’t sing and I don’t play an instrument and at my age, no one wants to see me on stage if they couldn’t benefit from watching me in my twenties.

On my list is take singing lessons and learn to play the drums, piano and violin. It might not be too late to go on tour. Heck, if the Van Halen brothers can still do it pushing 60 why can’t I? Who cares if they didn’t see me in my twenties. I’m still cute. Just older. (I can talk myself in and out of anything. I think it’s a disorder.)

I want to learn to speak Italian fluently and not the dialect from the village of my crazy family. Though, how can’t you love a word like “Zingada?” You’re not getting that in any Italian text book, let me tell you.

I always wanted a dog. Check. photo 1 (7)

Graduate school. Check.

Publish a book. Double Check.

Book Two in the Gabriel Hunter Series

Be a best selling author. No check, but I’m not out of the game yet, though I do need the help of others on this one.

One of the things on my list was learn to drive a stick shift. I bought a car with manual transmission in 1997. That forced me to get good at it because now my car and the Coffee King’s car were both sticks. I felt like the cool kid in the cool club. And my heart swells a little with pride when someone slides into the passenger seat next to me for the first time and says, “you can drive a stick?” Yup, I’m that cool. I sold that stick shift in 2001. Noodge 1 was 8  months old and my car was too small for all his stuff. Plus Noodge 2 showed up about a year after. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children. But the Coffee King holds true to himself. His car today is a stick so I can still be cool from time to time.

I like checking things off my list too. Feels like I’m accomplishing something. My life is fuller, my mind broader, anything is possible.

So tell me, faithful reader, what’s on your list?


Sorry Doesn’t Clean the Floor

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Do you know what’s bad about being an OCD clean freak? I can clean everything better than most. There are few who can rival my cleanliness one of them is my mother. That woman can clean. Did I ever tell you about the time she cleaned 40 year-old dirt out of grooves in a counter top? She’s impressive, but I digress.

Accidents happen. We knock over a two liter bottle of Coke onto the floor. We splash tomato soup, we spill coffee. We don’t do any of this on purpose. We didn’t set out to dump the juice just to see what would happen. But just because we didn’t mean to do it doesn’t mean the mess can be ignored. Someone has to clean it up and that someone is usually me.

When a glass goes over and it’s contents race across the kitchen table headed for the space where the center leaf meets the table top my wonderful, amazing family stares at it like a car accident in process. This only leads to the soda seeping though the seams and splashing on the floor. Experience keeps me calm in a cleaning crisis, so I’m the one who jumps up and dives in; paper towel at the ready. When the shock from the spilling accident wears off my guilty  loving, caring family member punctuates my wiping the floor on my hands and knees with, “Sorry.”

And they are. They truly are. They didn’t mean to pull me from my place at the table I just plopped down into after making a dinner I didn’t want to cook. You know I hate cooking. They didn’t mean to drag me away from my writing so I could clean up the juice they spilled. They really are sorry. I know how much they love me, appreciate how much I do for them, value my place in our fantastic family.

Yeah, well…

Sorry doesn’t clean the floor.


P.S. I’m launching a newsletter about my books, current and future works, and appearances along with fun activities for my younger readers. In November, there’s a holiday giveaway contest you won’t want to miss out on. I would love for you to sign up. All you have to do is click the newsletter image in the left side bar of the blog. You’ll be asked for your name and email address. Simple! No one will solicit you (and if they do you tell me and I’ll beat them up with a cannoli) and I promise the newsletter will only show up in your inbox 4 times a year. Thank you!!