Life List 31-40 And a Reevaluation

posted by Momo Fali on August 5, 2015

Almost five years ago, I started a Life List on this site. FIVE YEARS, people. That’s practically a lifetime in itself.

I started with 10 not-so-easy items, then added 10 more to the list a couple of months later, then 10 more in 2014. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t accomplished any of them.

But, lately I’m on a roll! I’ve knocked five items off and I want to add a few more things until I get to the magical 100 mark. Of the original 30, two have been removed so I’ll technically have to come up with 102, but challenges are growing on me. I got this.

To review (with new notations):

1. Graduate from college.
2. Run a half marathon. (Done DID it.)

Half Marathon
3. Travel across the United States in an RV.
4. Stand under a Giant Sequoia.
5. Hike into the Grand Canyon.
6. Get published.
7. Become a Certified Interior Decorator.
8. Paint a picture. (It’s not gorgeous, but it’s painted!)

9. Camp in a tent, on a warm beach.
10. Visit all 50 states.
11. Visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
12. Get a tattoo.
13. Taste each chocolate in the Intense collection from Richart Chocolates. (Doesn’t count toward my goal anymore, because I think I really just wanted some chocolate that day. Apparently.)
14. Go skinny dipping. (You don’t get a picture of this. Also, when I say “dip”, I mean DIP. Because nighttime, ocean, dark, JAWS. Also, don’t tell anyone. Wait…)
15. Grow my own tomatoes.
16. Take a dance class.
17. Learn how to properly skip a stone.
18. Sample 100 types of beer. (Good golly, that was fun. Thanks to recent trips to four great breweries – Madtree, Landgrant, Lineage and Wolf’s Ridge – as well as an expanding palate, I was able to cross this off!)

19. Renew my wedding vows with my kids present. (Um…yeah. That’s not happening.)
20. Breed a dog and keep one of the puppies.
21. Learn to play guitar.
22. Go on a winter campout.
23. Hike in Zion National Park.
24. Learn to golf. (With some accuracy.)
25. Participate in an adventure race.
26. Learn to paddleboard. (I did it! But, there’s no picture because I needed all the hands. Here’s WHERE I did it though. Then my paddleboard sank and I got stung by a jellyfish, but STILL. Done.)

Key Largo
27. Visit the Vatican and attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
28. Float in the Dead Sea.
29. Sit in a natural hot spring.
30. Take a photography class.

Now for some new meat!

31. See the Northern Lights. They try to tell us we can see these from Ohio sometimes. That doesn’t count.

32. Ride a snowboard. I’ve skied plenty, but I understand this is entirely different. I’m going to need a helmet.

33. Go whitewater rafting.

34. Learn to play the drums. Together with #21, I can be my own band.

35. See a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. I love live music. I love the outdoors. Enough said.

36. Ride a Segway. Because, Paul Blart wants me to.

37. See a Broadway show.

38. Canoe or kayak down the Colorado River.

39. Write a screenplay. I’ve told one other person this in my entire life. She wrote me a note that I carry in my wallet. It says I will. I believe her.


40. Go snowmobiling. The only thing better than bitter cold, is bitter cold wind in your face.

Have you started your Life List? What are you waiting for?


posted by Momo Fali on July 8, 2015

Every single day I think about writing, but there are a lot of things I can’t share right now; things that are too painful, too wonderful, too much of one extreme or another which affect not only me, but people I love. It’s been almost a year since my life was turned upside down, but there are still a lot of things left undone.

A few days ago I went out and bought an old-fashioned, spiral notebook and some pens so I can write again. That way, I can get rid of anything I don’t want to be seen. Even though it’s easy to delete my entries on the computer, there is something cathartic about tearing the papers from a book, crumpling them up and tossing them into a dirty trash can. Of course, the good stuff can stay and when the time is right I can share those nuggets here. They are worth the wait.

I will say that the good in my life most definitely outweighs the bad, but I will also say that it’s possible to love one thing and hate another with equal intensity. It’s possible to be deliriously happy and heartbroken at the same time. It’s possible to live every day with such extreme highs and lows that you feel there will never be middle ground again. Thankfully, I have good friends to help me get centered.

There has been an almost complete lack of sunshine this summer, but it made things like a recent trip to Cedar Point even more sweet. One day the sun was out and we went to the beautifully renovated Breakers Hotel and enjoyed the lakeside pool IMMENSELY. It was my favorite day of the summer thus far. It was warm, relaxing, fun, gorgeous and my favorite way to spend a day. Period.





That evening, after frolicking in the indoor pool and hot tub (I have lost the ability to do underwater hand-stands and swim the length of a pool under water…thanks a lot 40s!) we enjoyed a nice dinner and a trip to the arcade. After the kids went to bed it was great to have some adult time, a relaxing a walk along the beach and some quiet moments watching lightning flash in the distance over the lake.



The next day was partly sunny and cool, which is the perfect weather for an amusement park. Cedar Point keeps adding more and more great coasters (this year’s new one – The Rougarou – did not disappoint). We thought my son was too short to ride Maverick, but after getting an official measurement (and wristband) at the park office, he JUST made it. Maverick is now tied with Raptor as my favorite ride at the park, with Top Thrill Dragster a close third).


Here’s my daughter and I, giving a thumbs-up at the end of the ride while my son apparently thanks heaven he was tall enough.



He doesn’t seem happy at all, does he? Red lips, courtesy of Dippin’ Dots.


I still love you, Raptor.

So, from one extreme to the other…that’s how my life has been lately and if it turns out half as good as that weekend was, then it’s just fine if it stays that way!


Cedar Point tickets and overnight stay at Breakers Hotel provided by Cedar Point.

May’s a Jerk and Steak is Life

posted by Momo Fali on May 28, 2015

I have no explanation for my absence other than the fact that May is kind of a jerk.

It rolled in with me crossing a half marathon off my life-list on a beautiful morning, then the sun appeared and flowers bloomed, there were weekend getaways, fresh air, laughter, and friends started coming out of their homes like spring-struck zombies carrying grilled hamburgers and coolers of beer. See? May is a jerk because it makes all the other months look bad.


There are a lot of things going on my life that I can’t discuss here; like, my bangs for instance. We really shouldn’t talk about my bangs. They are in that awkward, growing-out stage where I have to apologize for them a lot. I’m sorry for my bangs.


My whole life is like my bangs, really. Everything is in that awkward, growing stage where you aren’t sure of your footing or where your next step will lead. That is why I almost packed a bag and flew out to Utah on a whim to hike in Zion National Park (another life-list item). Because I’ve heard there’s no better time to walk up the side of a cliff than when you aren’t sure of your footing. Wait…maybe it was my estranged husband who told me that.

But, despite being unsure of the road ahead, I am eager to see where it leads. Facing so many unknowns – facing fears I never thought I would need to face…EVER – well, it’s resulted in me being a lot more fearLESS. I guess some people would call it an awakening. Either that, or stupid. Whatever you call it, I think it’s pretty grand.


Let me see if I can break it down into something everyone can understand. Beef.

Let’s say you always order chicken. Occasionally, when you’re feeling a little crazy, you get yourself a piece of salmon, but most of the time it’s just chicken. You always get chicken, because you don’t like steak. Plus, steak is expensive.

But, everyone keeps telling you how delicious steak is and you’re really missing out by not ordering it. So, one day you think I’m going to try this ONE MORE TIME and you order a ribeye that’s been marinating for, what tastes like, a million years. It’s tender, it’s delicious, it melts in your mouth. You really have been missing out. You hate it when your friends are right!

It turns out that all this time you were just ordering the wrong cut of meat. And, this is not a metaphor for my relationship, it’s really about steak. And, life. Steak IS life. Take that, chicken.


So, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying all the steaks. I’m noticing how blue the sky is, how beautiful the music sounds, how joyous my children are, how cold the beer is, how soft my bed feels, and I’m letting it all marinate and enjoying it on a big, fat, life platter.

And May has been a LOT of that. I guess she’s not so bad after all.

Cracking up and Unbreakable

posted by Momo Fali on April 30, 2015

There is something I need. I need it as much as water, air, food, clothing, shelter, coffee and beer. If I am to be a functioning member of society, I need laughter.

For a while, I didn’t have much laughter in my life. The reason I know about that ‘functioning’ thing I mentioned is because I was barely doing it. I kind of floundered through my days. And, we’re not talking about lightly-seared or grilled flounder, but stuffed. With potatoes. And, chorizo. Heavy. With a side of squash.

But, slowly, light began to creep in and now there is laughter every day and I’m functioning again. Sure, sometimes I flounder, but mostly I’m wild-caught, with a squeeze of lemon. Light. With a side of asparagus.

Amid the financial crisis, the turmoil my kids are dealing with, and the loss of touch with family, I can still find something funny each day. It really is the best medicine.

So what’s my secret?

1. Inside jokes. I have inside jokes with my co-workers, friends, kids, and even the pharmacist. When you can laugh about something and no one else knows what you’re talking about, it makes it extra funny. For instance, I can just say the word, “Georgette” and one of my friends is cracking up right now.

2. A funny family. We have been through some awful times together and we can be completely serious if we need to be, but more than likely you’ll find us cracking jokes at a funeral. Probably as part of the eulogy.

3. Three friends who make me laugh every day. It’s not always the same three, but there are at least three people I talk to, text with or see in person who know just what to say to get a giggle out of me. If, by the end of the day, there haven’t been three, then I’ll text one of them so I can meet my quota.

4. Comedies. I don’t care if it’s Paul Blart Mall Cop, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or my current personal favorite, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which streams into my room via Netflix every night – watching something funny does the trick. Bonus, Kimmy and I both have an unbreakable theme going on which is kind of an inside joke, except she doesn’t know it because she isn’t real. But, darn it, if she were, she would totally be my friend.

5. My kids. The surest way to get me to laugh is for me to make my kids laugh first. That’s right. I tickle them. Sure, it’s actually torture and completely cruel, but it’s funny! Or, I can just give my son a Tootsie Pop.

tootsie pop

I hope you laugh today.


This post is sponsored by Netflix as part of the Netflix Stream Team.

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