An interesting game

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Therese Z over at Exultet has an interesting take on the Ten Things You've Done game. (I couldn't play that one, 'cause I couldn't think of 10 things I have done that no one else had. Now as #1 on my list I could put "I have held Steven Riddle's hand." OK, so Julie D. could say that too, but give me a break here!)

Anyway, Therese Z. wants us to list the Ten Things We'd Like To Do Before We Die. And the caveat is, you can't say "cure cancer" unless you're really an oncologist working on it! Be realistic, and tell us your real Top Ten list.

I'll post in the comments box with the rest of you!

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via Exultet and Summamamas. I'm afraid my ambitions are rather boring, but they are my ambitions and I can't very well deny them. (1) See Samuel happily married with family and children all around, or, see Samuel as the first... Read More


Ten Things I'd like to do before I die:

1. Be published by a publisher that puts books in a real bookstore so I don't have to tell my friends and relatives they have to go to a website to buy my books.

2. Have hand cross stitched Christmas Stockings for my whole family. (3 down 1 to go!)

3. Go on a luxury cruise.

4. Sew up the fabric I've bought!

5. Lose the 45 pounds I gained since my transplant.

6. Take my baby to Disney World.

7. Go to Disney World with JUST my husband.

8. Speak at a Writer's conference.

9. Go back to Lourdes.

10. Live longer than my grandfather and father did.

My Ten Things:

1. Go back to Rome, this time with my husband and son.

2. Remodel my kitchen.

3. Have a well-landscaped yard. (Note, I didn't necessarily say I wanted to DO it, I just want to HAVE it.)

4. Drive a motor scooter (like a Vespa).

5. Be a grocery checker. (I've always wanted to scan stuff with a scanner.) It might not be for long, but I'd like to try it.

6. Hike the Grand Canyon. This would entail getting in better shape first.

7. Act in a play.

8. See Hawaii.

9. Write something that was so good that someone printed it out and stuck it on his bulletin board.

10. Learn how to samba, mambo, tango, etc. and actually go somewhere and DO it.

Mama T, I like #9 a lot. I have a feeling you probably already have done this, though perhaps no one bothered to tell you.

My ten things:

1. Live near my sisters again. It's been a long time.
2. See my children grown and happy and faithful and be a grandmother.
3. Work for Ron Howard (preferably choosing the music for his movies)
4. Go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
5. Go to New York.
6. Go to the Rose Bowl Parade.
7. Travel Europe some more.
8. Drive around the US in a little Airstream.
9. Go to Hawaii again.
10. Lose weight and keep it off.

1. Make prosciutto from wild boar that I killed myself. This would preferably be an experience that I would share with Amalia.

2. Fill my house and garden with frescos and mosaics, almost to the point where Melanie thinks I might have finally lost it. This would imply mastering the fresco and mosaic media.

3. Have a small, artisanal distillery in Tuscany, producing grappe and various herb-infused liquers.

4. Carve my own tomb out of marble, combining Baroque themes with the forms of Etruscan sarcophogi.

5. Have in my wine cellar a little niche, walled almost to the top, with a light-triggered speaker behind the wall that says "for the love of God, Montressor" when an unsuspecting person walks by.

6. Have memorized the Well-Tempered Klavier, the Goldberg Variations, Soler's Fandango, and at least ten pairs of middle period Scarlatti sonatas, and keep them in active repertoire.

7. Cross the Sierra Nevada on foot (and no starting in the foothills, either. Must start in the Central Valley and end in the Great Basin, perferably going through Amador County, OR south, going through the Mt. Whitney area, Death Valley, etc.), with a sketchbook and a field box of watercolors. Will have to wait until Amalia is old enough, because this is the sort of thing that a youngster ought to do.

8. Get my Italian and Portuguese to the level where I am confused for a native speaker by native speakers (something I would have thought impossible, until I encountered a Norwegian fellow from Oslo who spoke English with a flawless Scottish accent. I really did not believe him at first when he said he was born and raised in Norway).

9. Get my Latin to the point where I can read Scripture comfortably.

10. Take a gigantic hike through Italy, something like Apulia to the Alps, bringing along the sketchbook and water colors.

1) Learn to play the bagpipes & march in a St. Patrick's Day parade.
2) Rome redux, like MamaT.
3) Sailboat the Caribbean.
4) Learn what Jesus was writing in the dust before the adulterous woman (I'm guessing the next life)
5) Hike the Appalachian trail
6) Read all of Shakespeare's plays and/or Proust
7) Hoist up the John B's sail; see how the mainsail sets
8) Write like the wind.
9) Quit embarrassing my patron saints
10)Conversions of family members

Erik: Re #5 Bwaaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa!!!!!

My ten things
1)Do kickboxing
2)Have 3 or 4 icons going at once and paint daily
3)Have a real vegetable garden (not just a tiny kitchen garden I have now)
4)Return to enjoying cooking, and cook simple delicious meals daily
5)Go to Divine Liturgy every day
6)Have a large perennial garden, with layers of color, that took 20 years to do.
7)Learn to use a pottery wheel and make cozy bowls, mugs, vases, with lovely glazes.
8)Have a rustic get away, with only open shelves for cabinets, only 2 rooms, a great porch, and QUIET!!
9)Be involoved in a regular way with the homeless shelter
10)Not care what anyone but God thinks of me

Erik, it is scary how many of your goals are similar to those on my (as yet unposted) list.

1. Prevent at least one abortion;
2. Bring at least one woman who has aborted her child to repentance;
3. See one particular loved one fully reconciled to the Church;
4. Be as good a man as my dog seems to think I am for at least one day;
5. Make pancetta and thuringerwurst from scratch;
6. Brew tasty ale from scratch;
7. Master at least one major work of JS Bach on an appropriate instrument other than the voice;
8. Contribute to the establishment or renewal of a healthcare organization that is completely and enthusiastically Catholic that provides the full spectrum of healthcare;
9. Introduce at least one cafeteria Catholic to the Theology of the Body;
10. Become fluent in Spanish.


Making pancetta is easy. See page 156 of the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. I would modify their recipe to include grappa, fresh cracked pepper (I use a five peppercorn mix) and some allspice, though.

In no particular order:

1. Go on a literary tour including, but not limited to, the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, Jeffer's Tor House in Carmel by the sea, and Millay's Steepletop in Maine.

2. Hear the voice of God (wouldn't THAT be scary in our society).

3. Convince my children to convert to Cathlocism.

4. Visit the giant redwoods.

5. Be reconciled with God.

6. See the Tilma of Guadalupe in person.

7. Take the 6 plus hour Wild Cave Tour at Mammoth Cave.

8. Go SCUBA diving.

9. See my kids all grown and happy with their lives.

10. Make a difference.

1. Go on pilgrimmage to Fatima and Mexico City to see the Tilma of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe

2. Learn at least 3 more languages fluently (German, Spanish, and Russian)

3. Marry a man who brews his own beer and smokes cigars

4. RV around to my favorite national parks

5. Hike around the Grand Canyon

6. Read all of Chesterton's works (even articles)

7. Family trip to Rome to meet Il Papa

8. Go on honeymoon to Croagh Patrick for three day retreat before getting marriage blessing in Rome

9. Put my photos in some sort of book

10. Conversion of my sister and a close friend

Ten things I would like to do before death ...

10. See the Braves finally win another World Series.
9. Swim in a vat of Guinness at St. James' Gate.
8. Taste every Irish Whiskey still in existence at the time of my death.
7. Brew the best doggone batch of English Style Brown Ale in the world. While smoking a fine maduro cigar.
6. Live in abject poverty.
5. Live in 5 more Olympic games host nations, at the time of the Olympic games there.
4. Read all of the works of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.
3. Finally figure out my vocation.
2. Truly live.

And number 1: Achieve Sanctity (heroic virtue)

Strange Sojourner, I think you should meet Cole, who posted just before you. Something about that brewing and cigar smoking rings a bell!


"Alas, poor Cole, I knew her, MamaT. A lady of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."

10 things desired, though, does not make ten acquired.

Hamlet Act V, scene I



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