It’s the Best Time of the Year….for CAKE!!!

  Hello Banditas and Bandita Buddies!  Guess what day it is???

I’m betting you guessed from the picture….It’s my birthday.  Grins.

Now, I don’t usually make a huge deal out of my birthday.  In spirit, I am now, and probably will always be, an approximately 12-year-old juvenile delinquent.  Ha!  However, this is one of those OHHHHHHH!!!!  Birthdays.  You know, a decade birthday.

I was going to make people guess which one, but that can get downright embarassing.  heehee.  Also, I don’t look my age – thank you, darling mother, for those good skin genes! – and people invariably guess my age at at least a decade younger than it is.  It helps too, that I have young children.  (I was downright OLD for motherhood, or so my OB/GYN informed me at the time…grrrr!)

My aforementioned mother was also very young-looking for her age.  She also had children at a much older age than most in her generation.  Seriously.  Now a-days, no one even blinks when you say you waited till your thirties to have kids.  Back then, when my Mama was having kids, she refused to even tell US her age, as when someone found out her age the other mothers made terrible fun of her, in a mean-girl kind of way, for being so much older than most. 

Oh, and did I mention I was the youngest of four?  And the “Oh, my we cannot be pregnant AGAIN, can we?” baby.  Hahahah!!  So my Mama was heading for fifty when she had me.   She was born in 1918.  Yes, people, I’m serious.  Not long before she passed away, at 72, someone asked her when she was going to turn fifty. 

I love that, and so did she.

However, at some point, you have to admit to people that yes, you really are THAT age.

So, this year I decided to come clean and actually admit my real age.  When people have asked in years past – frequently guessing a much lower number – I just nod and smile.  Now, you, my darlings, get to know the big secret of the century….

Well, half a century.  Today, I turn fifty.  EEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!

This news has absolutely bamfoozled many of my friends.  Again, it may be because I have the sensibilities, goofiness, and appetite of a pre-teen boy, but virtually no one has believed me when I’ve confessed the true number.  The responses have been funny, and startling, and downright hilarious.

“You’re kidding, right?  C’mon.  You’re like, 37.   You’re my age.”  (Uh, no.  You weren’t born when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  I watched it on TV.)

“Liar, how old are you REALLY?” 

(I wanted to tell her that I was 888, but only looked 41, just to see what she said, but she was having a coronary just accepting 50.  Also, I didn’t want to start any Nicholas Cage-type rumors.  Grins.)

“But…but…but…I just went to your 40th birthday party, like, a couple of years ago!!”  (Time Warp!!  Look at your daughter, dear friend…she’s nearly 10….) heehee.

One friend, alas, has had such trouble accepting that I could have been her babysitter (I was 12 when she was born), that she’s telling everyone she knows that I’m turning 50 and she just can’t believe it. 

Now, this is kinda like saying the baby’s ugly.  I can do it – tell my age – but don’t YOU go ’round blathering it to everyone.  :>  Leave them their illusions about my relative youth or age, please.  Snork!!!

Also, for some reason, everyone has decided that this milestone deserves cake.  Lots, and lots, and lots of cake.  The chocolate cake up above was presented, with singing, at Thanksgiving.  This one on the right, was presented to me at a committee meeting today.

Oh, by the way we interrupt this GORGEOUS cake, with it’s beautiful copy of the cover of my next book, (Thank you Lyndsay Llewellyn!) for a news bulletin I’ve been meaning to tell ya’ll….

Thanks to that damn hurricane ’round about Halloween, (you know, that wee breeze named SANDY), Deadly Charms is delayed until January or February.  My editor is in New York.  Yeah.  No power for three weeks puts things in a holding pattern.  (“I’m sorry, Ghostrider, the pattern is full…”)

Back to the cake…it’s red velvet cake.  It’s about 10 inches HIGH.  That is one BIG cake.  HUGE.  The edges are deckled like a book.  I was so moved by this.  These ladies are on a committee with me.  We’d never met until September of this year.  This had to be one of the sweetest things ever.

And I’m a sucker for my name on a cake, and on a book cover.  I got ’em ALL on one cake!  WOOT!!

That said, my husband is throwing me a party tonight.  I had to discourage him from getting a giant sheet cake.  (What IS it about cake this year?)  Beloved that he is, he bowed to my wishes and got me pumpkin pie.  YES!!! 

He, thankfully did not attempt to make this a surprise.  Bless his heart, he also discovered the true irritant about a December birthday as he tried to make this a big occasion for me: December birthdays take second fiddle to holiday parties, concerts and plays. 

It may be a small group, but that’s okay, more pie for me!!  Bwahahahah!

Pie notwithstanding, I’ve done a LOT of thinking about this birthday.  What have I accomplished in my first half-century?  

I’ve gotten a LOT of things on that bucket list checked off.  Gone to France.  Walked on fire.  Rode bareback.  Won a Best in Show with one of my Dalmatians.  Found and married the love of my life.  Had two beautiful sons.  Wrote books.  Got them published.  Sang a capella in a choral group not affiliated with school.  Sang Messiah with a 300-voice chior (see Thursday’s blog!) Nearly got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  Drove a race car.  Shot skeet.  Saw wild dolphins.  Tried various weird foods.  Read LOTS of books including the Bible, Koran, Torah, and Tao Te Ching.  (I’m still confused.   SNORK!!!)  I’ve also accepted that I’ll never be a size 4 (my bone structure alone is bigger than a size 4!) even when I’m in the best of shape.  I’ve accepted who and what I am, and that if others don’t like it, they can lump it.  Grins. 

There’s a lot more, of course, big and small.  However, more importantly, what do I want to do in the second half-century? OH SO MUCH!!

SCOTLAND.  That trip has to be soon.  :>  Learn to speak Gaelic.  Remember French.  Get to Black Belt.  Go running again. See the rest of the 50 States  (I’ve seen 39 and counting.)  Visit Anna and Christine, Helen and Barb in Oz.  Go visit Anna S in England and KJ in Toronto.  Oh, and little things like “Hit the NY Times list”  and  “Have my book be turned into a movie”  and “ACTION FIGURES!!”  Grins.

I have gotten a start on this, by the way.

I’m back in Tae Kwon Do class and moving back up the ranks.  I’ll have that black belt before my NEXT birthday.  :> Watch out, Demetrius!!

I also run my first road race next weekend.  I’ll be stretching myself, for sure.  I’d gotten this App you see…(yes, there IS an App for that!  It’s called Couch to 5K and I recommend it!)  I got up to that “running a 5K” point.  Yeah!  My pals talked me into entering a road race.  We all thought it was a 5K.

Nope.  It’s 5 MILES.  Uphill.  Both ways.  Possibly with snow as it’s on Dec. 15.  *hyperventilating*

Okay, trying for calm here…I picked up my race packet tonight.  The Celtic Solstice Run.  My number’s 2880.  All those 8’s.  Love that.  Eight’s my lucky number.  Maybe I’ll survive this road race thing after all.  And hey, there’s a Celtic Sheep on my premium running shirt, and while it would have been more fun for it to be one of those long-horned Scottish cows I want to see in Scotland’s fields, this works for me.  More luck.  Grins.

There’s a lot more on that list of things “For the Next Bit” including the fact that I plan to be healthy and hearty up to 130, but I won’t bore you with the deets.

Of course in all this reflection and planning, there are also things I won’t ever do again:  Settle for less than my best, or less than I deserve.  Lie to myself about whether I’m happy doing what I’m doing.  Pull my own chain link fencing.  Jump out of perfectly good airplanes.  Re-insulate the attic.  Hang wallpaper myself.

I’ve been-there-done-that (except for the plane – I won’t even GO there!), and I’m old enough and wise enough to pay someone for the chores, and not delude myself about my mental state.  Grins.

So what about you, darling Banditas and Buddies? 

What’s on your Bucket List? 

What do you want do accomplish by the time you’re 50? 

Or if you’re beyond that milestone, you gorgeous thing you, what do you want to do before the next OHHHH! Birthday?

What daring thing are you going to challenge yourself to in this next wonderful year?  Finish the book?  Jump out of a perfectly good airplane (and if so, WHY, for heaven’s sake!?!)

What kind of cake do you love on YOUR birthday….or do you like PIE better?  (Yes, I know we talked about this during a pie/cake fight a year or so ago, but hey, I’m 888, I forget these things.)

 I’ve decided that I’m going to run a road race IN Scotland.  Somehow.  Before I’m 60.  Grins.  I’ll report back…

BTW, this is my new Author Photo…what do you think?  (Cassondra made me post this and ask.  Grins.)

Now…tell me about YOUR Bucket List!!

 ALSO…Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Deb Marlowe, Addison Fox and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!

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  • Cassondra Murray says:


    Happy Birthday, Evil Twin!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Cassondra, at least YOU know how to keep the GR in line. I will not worry about him wreaking too much havoc today! 🙂

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    Ha! Come here, Goldie. I’ve got a house that needs cleanin…

  • Jane says:

    Happy Birthday, Jeanne. Ooh, I love red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, but for my birthday I always try to get an ice cream cake from Carvel. I would definitely like to see more of the world and visit the Uffizi, Prado and Louvre and the archaeological sites in Egypt, Turkey and Italy.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jane!! Oooh, the Uffizi! I’d love to see that too. And go back to Paris and see the Louvre. The times I’ve been there, unluckily, there’s been a guard strike or a closure for some other reason. Sigh.

      I like your ice-cream cake tradition. ice cream cakes are delish. What flavor ice cream for you?

    • Cassondra says:

      Ooo…Jane, I’ve never had Carvel. But I LOVE ice cream cakes. That’s been our tradition too, but from Baskin Robbins, cuz that’s what we have down here.


  • Helen says:

    Whoo Hoo Happy Birthday Jeanne have a great party with all of your family and friends I so wish I could be there as well.

    I love your bucket list it would be awesome if you could visit Australia what a party we could all have. For me I would love to travel overseas and see some of the wonderful countries there are especially Scotland and The Highlands one day. As for cake I love all types and red velvet is great although not that popular here in Oz I have bought a couple and loved them.

    Again have a great day Hugs

    Have Fun

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Thanks so much, Helen! So you’re with me on the Scotland trip. I SO want to see the Highlands. I’ve read so many wonderful books set there, and of course I have ancestors there ‘way back, so I really, REALLY want to see it. I’ve seen vids of the Highland tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. Want to see that.

      And those cows…gotta see those. Grins.

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    I wanted you to post that new photo because it’s so gorgeous!

    I will have to think about my bucket list a bit…building onto the house is on it. Maybe even picking up the house and moving it somewhere a place where I can’t see security lights…only stars…Hmmmm…

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Oh, man! A pal of mine just donated to Heifer International in my name. *sniffle* I love that group – they “teach a wo/man to fish” instead of just throw money or food at a problem!

    How cool. *sniffle* That’s just….cool. I’m so rich in friends!

    • Cassondra says:

      Jeanne, that’s an awesome thing to do for you! And the whole “teach a man to fish” thing…that’s the way, isn’t it? A rising tide floats all boats.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Keep chatting ya’ll! Let me know those Bucket List items. :>

    I’m for bed…need my birthday sleep so I can eat cake tomorrow! ha!

  • Happy Birthday, Jeanne! And wow, your hair has gotten a lot longer since I saw you in June. Cool picture.

    A lot of your items on your bucket list are on mine. I want to visit Ireland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Want to learn to ride a horse, see at least one of my books turned into a movie (but have outrageous dream of seeing a YA series of movies), I want to be in a movie, visit every state, hike the Appalachian Trail, learn to write screenplays and sell at least one to Hollywood.

    Love both cake and pie. Fave cakes: chocolate, carrot and lemon. Fave pies: Chocolate, lemon and pumpkin. Yum, now I’m hungry.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Trish! Ooooh, I’d LOVE to see your YA series turned into movie! Esp. The White Witch. That book is so visual it would make a great movie!!

      I’m with you on virtually all that bucket list, except the hiking part. I love day hiking, but the Appalachian Trail has some “must camp rough” parts. Ummmm, no. Grins.

      Oooh, Lemon Cake. hadn’t thought about that for a while. My Mama used to make a gorgeous lemon cake.

  • Mozette says:

    Happy Birthday, Jeanne. I hope you have had a wonderful day.

    What’s on your Bucket List?

    My bucket list is very long… and most often what’s on it is usually things that I didn’t know what I wanted to do until somebody suggests it. Sounds crazy? Yep, thought so.

    What do you want do accomplish by the time you’re 50?

    Ooohhhh… lots of things. But I don’t plan my life and that’s how my bucket list gets accomplished.

    Or if you’re beyond that milestone, you gorgeous thing you, what do you want to do before the next OHHHH! Birthday?

    Well, my next OOOOHHH Birthday is next year. So, that gives me time to achieve a few things. One of those things is to throw out things in my house and life that I do not use… Sooo, next year is the year of the uncluttered townhouse!…. well, here’s hoping! 😀

    What daring thing are you going to challenge yourself to in this next wonderful year? Finish the book? Jump out of a perfectly good airplane (and if so, WHY, for heaven’s sake!?!)

    Oops… just answered this one 😉

    What kind of cake do you love on YOUR birthday….or do you like PIE better?

    Mum’s been promising to make me a Ginger Crunch Cake… so I hope she makes me one for my 40th. 😀

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, my. Ginger Crunch Cake! That sounds divine!!!

      And the uncluttered thing. Yep. That’s on my list too! :>

    • Cassondra says:

      Ginger Crunch Cake…OMGosh, that sounds good.

      And to unclutter is definitely on my list. I want to do this next week, actually, though doubt I will get time to do so.

      I have this idea…that I could throw out/give away 2/3 of my clothes and be a lot better off. Even the ones I really like. Just get rid of them and simplify.

  • Happy Birthday, you gorgeous woman!!!! I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Well, Jeanne, I know you’re probably tired of hearing this by now but I would never have guessed you were 50 either! Love the author photo. You are rocking that sexy look! And yes, that is a stunning cover! Can’t wait to read this one.

    I hope you get your black belt and all but you REALLY need to work on coming to see us in Oz! Remember that our RWAus conferences are in winter so you won’t be too hot. We’d love to have you!

    Funny you mention the Couch to 5K–I’ve done it too and now I love to run. Don’t know how I’d go uphill in a snowstorm–best of luck with that! I’ll be thinking of you.

    Many hugs for your big day! Have some cake for me:)

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Christina! You’ve done Couch to 5K too? isn’t it fun? I didn’t think anyone could make running fun, but that made it manageable and fun. :> This 5 MILE thing though…not so sure about that!

      Coming to Aus for RWAus would be SUCH a fabulous Bucket List thing to accomplish. I’d just love that. Hmmmm…. *plots, plans*

    • Cassondra says:

      Christina, are you serious? Now you LOVE TO RUN???

      I have hated to run. My. Whole. Life. Not running fast across the yard–when I was a little girl, I loved that, and racing cousins down the driveway. I was pretty fast. But that long-distance, aerobic stuff? HATE. IT.

      I love to walk, and have always loved to walk. I would look into this couch to 5K think if I thought it could help me actually enjoy running.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Cassondra, I’ve never “loved” running, and like you my Evil Twin, I never needed to actually jog/run other than to play w/ friends. However, I decdied I had to do more than walk. Hence the Couch to 5K.

        It was pretty fun. For running.

  • Jeanne, squeeeeeee! It’s your birthday! That’s fantastic. Happy, happy birthday! You adorn the planet, my friend. Speaking of adorn, that’s one gorgeous photo of you! And you look about 28. You’re not joking about the Ma’s skin genes, are you? By the way, love that photo of her too! And hey, eat cake. Marie Antoinette can’t have been wrong! Love the cake with your cover. How cool is that? Congratulations on all you’ve achieved out of your bucket list. Wow, that’s really impressive. And definitely include a visit to me in Oz in the next 50! No ifs and buts, soldier! Have a wonderful day! I’ll raise a glass to you tonight and wish you a wonderful year ahead! xxx

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Anna! Thanks so much. Next time I see you, you get a massive hug and kiss for saying I look 28. And no, I wasn’t kidding about my Mama. She was at least in her late 40’s in that picture, and looks … about 28. Grins.

      I WILL get to Aus at some point. :> I will, I will, I will. :>

      And how lovely that there will be glasses raised all over the planet today. Anna S said that too. (Of course given that we’re all Banditas, we’re probably raising a glass on any given night! Hahaha! Thanks for thinking of me on THIS one, however!)


  • Mariska says:

    Wohooo..Happy Birthday Jeanne <3<3
    you do look younger than your age 😀 love the pic and love the red velvet. nom..nom..nom..LOL

    i have always had cakes, especially chocolate cakes on my birthday, i wonder what will Pie make the difference ? hum…i must try that next year 🙂

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Markiska! Great to see you!! And yes, the red velvet is nom, nom, nom!

      But Pie? Ahhhhhhhh, PIE!!!! grins.

      Thanks for the good wishes. What’s on your bucket list??

  • Mary Preston says:


    I must say you are looking good for 888.

    May the next 888 be just as kind.

  • Barb says:

    Happy birthday Jeanne…. I have about a month before a OHHHHH birthday and it is way past yours so I don’t think I will get much done before then as I I am still doing things for Christmas….
    Not sure what cake I like as I like them all lol

  • Deb Marlowe says:

    Happy Birthday, Gorgeous Lady! Wow! Great photo, girl!

    Love your bucket list! Mine is long and has included Australia since I was a teenager. I will make it happen! Finally getting 1984 our of our bathroom is high up there too, for this year. Taking the kids to Dragon con and hanging with some Bandita buddies too–I might do that this year!

    And any cake is good as long as chocolate is involved.

    Happy Birthday!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Deb! DragonCon is on my list as well. Since Bandita Trish, Nancy and my good friends Jean Marie Ward and Jana Oliver always go. Everyone assures me that I would “find my people” there. Heehee. Those are my “other”people, I guess as I have some great peeps here too. :>

      And yes, cake – esp chocolate – is always good!

      • Cassondra says:

        Jeanne, I’ve been to DragonCon, and honestly I think I probably would find my people there, if there just weren’t so damn many of them.

        I get energetically drained in about 10 minutes of being in those kinds of crowds. I have not figured out how to *tap into* the energy that is DragonCon. It was that way for me at RWA national conference too, the first time I went. It was just too many people in one space. I learned how to compartmentalize there, though, and suspect I would at DragonCon. I admit that I’d love to have time to just sit and watch the costumes go by.

        • I could wish Dragon*Con weren’t quite so crowded. I enjoy people-watching, but I don’t enjoy people-jostling. In some venues and at some times, it’s fine. Other times, especially when there’s a big event letting out, I try to find a wall to lean against until the main wave passes.

      • You would find your people. It’s my tribe–or one of them. This is my tribe, too.

    • Deb, I’ll be at Dragon*Con, so let me know if you’re going.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Hey, Deb, maybe this is my year for Dragon*Con, too! I’ve been told for many years how much I would love it – and I know I would! I keep thinking one of these years I’ll get around to it…2013 has a nice ring to it. 🙂

  • Happy Birthday, Jeanne! I would need a very small before 50 bucket list since I’m only a few months behind you. But the top of my real bucket list is travel to England, Scotland, and Ireland.

    I guess the daring thing I’m going to attempt this year is dating. It’s time to get back out there.

    Isn’t it great to have a mom who gave you such fabulous genes. My mom is now 85 and you would never guess it. Her sister is 87 and just looks so much older than my mom. Most people would put my mom in her early 70s.

    And congrats on the beautiful cover!!! I love it.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Christie! Well, I would have guessed you as years behind me, not months. :> Good Irish/Scottish skin for you too. Grins.

      And that is an audacious Bucket List thing, but I can honestly say that the second time around dating really is SO much better. You can decide in about 10 minutes if you’re interested and move on if you’re not. Grins. And you’re not very quick to settle for anything either, having been ’round that block once. Ha!! I’m living proof. Heehee.

      *raises Poinsettia drink Sven just brought* Here’s to Christie dating in 2013!!! WOOHOOO!!!

      • Cassondra says:

        *lifting glass along with Jeanne and Christie*

        Indeed. I would be a much better dater–and a much more difficult date–now than I was back then. My low tolerance for bullshit has come into its own over the past 20 years. And if he acted like a jerk, I’d just get up and leave, right then and there. Life’s too short.

        I know that sounds mean, but ah, well.

    • Christie, good luck with the dating! I predict great success. I hope you get to make it to those countries.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        I too predict great success for Christie, Nancy! She’s such a cutie, she’s smart, she’s funny, and hey, she’s downright awesome because she’s a Bandita.

        Yeah. You go on with your bad self, Christie!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Happy Birthday, Jeanne! Wow, those are some very good genes your mama gave you! I’ve seen you up close and personal and would have bet good money that this was your 40th. 🙂

    German chocolate is my birthday cake of choice. Yum!

    Australia is on my bucket list too, along with Scotland. Hopefully, some day!

    That is one gorgeous photo! Your hair has gotten so long. Very sexy look!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey PJ! I’m beginning to think we need a Bandita Trip to Scotland. Grins. It’s on a lot of Bucket lists today! Grins. We could probably get a really, really, REALLY good rate! hahaha!

      And thank you for your kind comments. Yes, my hair’s gotten REALLY long. That’s more by neglect than design, I must confess. Ha!! My DH likes it *eye roll* and the photographer did too, so… Grins.

    • Cassondra says:

      Wooot! A vote for German Chocolate Cake!

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    Happy birthday Jeanne, you really don’t look your age.
    I had one of those milestone birthdays this past January, unfortunately it wasn’t 50..LOL

    My bucket list includes Australia and the British Isles before I am 70 which is the next Ohhhhhhhhh.

    The author photo is gorgeous! You look younger in it than you do in the header photo.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Dianna! See, another UK Bucket Lister! grins. Interesting that you think I look younger in teh bottom picture. Maybe that’s the Nic Cage effect. SNORK!!

      Seriously, one of the reasons I had new photos taken is that both Cassondra and Nancy, along with my friend Sophia Nash kept bugging me about the “Suburban Soccer Mom” quality of the header photo. Sigh. That was taken at least five years ago too, so you’d think I’d look younger in that. HAHAH!!

      They all said it didn’t fit the image of a suspense writer to look like I was about to serve tea to the Jr. League. Snork!! Hence, the new photo.

    • Cassondra says:

      Dianna, you CERTAINLY don’t look your age. I’ve seen you in person and I would not have guessed you were anywhere near your late 50s at that time.

      You got the good genes too, girlfriend!

  • Kaelee says:

    Happy Birthday Jeannie! I would have guessed 40 as well.

    I’ve traveled a bit and would love to be able to travel some more. Top spot on the list keeps changing but New Zealand, Australia, the British Isles and Italy rotate around up there regularly. I’d also like to see the bluebonnets in Texas and the Californian poppies. I haven’t been to the north of Canada or Alaska. I need to see quite a few more States. Unless I win the lottery I will be internet traveling which is a lot of fun.

    I love that you list that you have tried various weird food. I will eat almost anything that someone else eats on a regular basis with the exception of blood products. No vampire gene in me.

    I like pie better than cake, almost any kind will do. My favorite cake is a nice spicy carrot cake with icing.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Kaelee! I love your list! Had to LOL that the countries rotated through the top spot. Grins.

      Scotland stays firmly entrenched at the top of mine, but the others rotate around in the batting order. Grins. Aus, Nova Scotia, PEI, Italy, Monaco, NZ, Lichtenstein, back to France, The Yukon Territories. Yeah….

      And I see you’re another “pie girl” like me. :>

      And the weird foods thing is because my childhood was very straight and plain as far as food went. I didn’t eat shrimp or “real” (non-square, non-breaded) seafood until I was in college. :> I also didn’t eat any ethnic food other than Americanized Mexican food, until I was in college either. That means my definition of “weird” is pretty broad! I now love Indian, Morrocan, some Thai, Italian of course, French, Persian, and “real” Mexican and South American cuisine. :>

      I’ll also eat just about any kind of seafood! Ha!

      • Cassondra says:

        We are similar in the food thing because it just wasn’t available around where I grew up. My brother, about once a year, would come down from the north, take me to a movie, or to eat in the “big town” a couple of hours west–and we’d eat Chinese at a really great Chinese place. He taught me to eat with chopsticks when I was 12, and I’ve loved trying different foods my whole life–any time I can taste a part of another culture through its food and wine, I’m there.

  • Kathryn Jane says:

    Happy Birthday Jeanne!
    Love your bucket list. A trip to Scotland is on mine too, along with a horseback adventure on any continent but North America. Also I will visit Alaska and the east coast of Canada, own a beach cottage, have one of my books made into a film, volunteer with a horse rescue program, and a PTSD program using animals.
    There are lots of other things on the list of course, but these are the highlights!
    Love your cakes, wish I could eat cake but alas, food allergies have made food intake a necessity and no longer look for pleasure there. But I’ve learned to love, even savor the smell of food. 🙂
    Have a great birthday!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Kathryn!! Oooh, love your Bucket List! I volunteered for a therapeutic riding program when I was in college. It was so rewarding! You’ll love that when you do it.

      And the east coast of Canada is just delicious, and on my list as well. Hey, you could put the cottage there and we could do writing retreats there…..bwahahahah!

    • Cassondra says:

      Kathryn, I’d love to know more about the PTSD with animals thing–particularly horses, but also dogs.

      Are you involved in any of that now?

      • Kathryn Jane says:

        I don’t have any real information, just got hooked on the idea when I read about one of the characters in a Catherine Mann book, then saw several programs about how prison inmates do training animals etc. All of it stimulated the creative corner of my head.
        I’m a retired horse trainer and have done a lot of PTSD research (One of my papers won me a scholarship… Check out the… so it all comes together for me 🙂

  • Shanah says:

    Happy Birthday! You’re amazing at 888! 😀 I love your energy and your attack on life. I think my bucket list before I turn 50 (I’ve got a decade to go) is to try and capture some of your energy, launching my writing career, and surviving my 3 year old’s growth spurts. I think that last one is going to be the hardest. And if I don’t move to Scotland, I am definitely returning some day for a visit. Hope you have an incredible birthday, Jeanne!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Shanah! Oh, that 3-year-old bit IS the hardest on you, survival wise. My boys didn’t go through the terrible 2’s they did the atrocious 3’s. Grins. The scary thing is that my 12-year-old is nearly as tall as I am! YIKES!! My nearly-8-year-old is gaining on him too, which is even scarier, but those growth spurts where they suddenly shoot up? Scary!!

      Since I credit my kids for keeping me laughing and young, you’ve got half the ingredients already in your arsenal. Hahaha!

      What genre do you write in? Are you a romance writer like us or something else? And what sub-genre? Paranormals? Suspense? Historical??

      And MOVE to Scotland? Ooooh, now THERE’s an idea! I’ve heard the taxes are lower…. :>

  • catslady says:

    Happy Birthday!!! And you’re only as old as you feel (so they say lol). I really don’t have a bucket list. I got to do a lot of things the first 15 yrs. of my marriage and then we had kids lol. Now my wishes are for my children! I like white almond cake or chocolate with any cream type icing. I can’t stand that really sugary icing lol.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Catslady! I have a whooole ‘nuther Bucket List of things I hope for, for my children.


      And I hate that sugary icing too. That may be what turned me somewhat off cake. I like the cake parts, but skip the oh-too-sweet icing! Grins.

    • Cassondra says:

      White Almond Cake?

      That sounds wonderful and really interesting!

      I don’t like the sugary icings either. I like whipped cream icings and their ilk.

      • catslady says:

        Oh surely you’ve had it. It use to be what a lot of wedding cakes were made of. It’s the almond extract that makes it so good. Some cakes add almonds to the icing too but that’s optional.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Oh, I have another Bucket List thing my DH and I were just discussing. :> Actually, it’s a resolution for the year. Ready?

    There are several TVs in our house. My resolution is that if said TV is old enough to vote and go to war (18 in the USA), or worse yet, old enough to drink (21 years in the US), then it GOES this year. Time for an upgrade.

    I have to have something better on which to watch FOOOTBALLLLLL!!!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Jeanne, that’s our bucket list for this Christmas actually–upgrading the electronics. We haven’t had actual tv in YEARS, but I want any tv that is thicker than my kitchen cabinets GONE. I have an antique armoire (primitive) we are redoing to put in a flatscreen. Hoping the Christmas sales are good to us.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jeanne, I think it’s plain WRONG that my mother has a flat screen TV and mine, like Cassondra’s, is the size of a train car. How does that even happen?? So yes, I’ve contemplated stalking internet sales and finding a flat screen we can afford. I hope GoodWill is ready for the behemoth we’ll be hauling in!

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jeanne!!!!

    When I turned 50, no one I worked with would believe it either, except they knew I had grown kids and grandbabies. One doc asked me if I was a child bride…hehehe. I told him yes, and I was the youngest student in my nursing school class. He asked if I’d gone when I was twelve. hehehe. Then I asked, how old do you think I am? He said, uhm…40?

    So bucket list huh?

    1. Go To England/Scotland for a vacation
    2. Cruise to Alaska
    3.Take a driving tour of New England (with my critique partner Sandy Blair up in NH, this is a very real possibility.)
    4. Publish my books and have thousands of people reading them (check)
    5. Finish my Nursing Degree and possibly my MS so I can teach
    6. See all 50 states…only been to 15
    7. See Broadway musical on Broadway (check x 3)
    8. I’d love to see my books turned into movies. KIDNAPPED and HUNTED would work on the big screen and CLOSE TO HOME would work for LIFETIME MOVIES, don’t you think?

    • Cassondra says:

      Suz, my bucket list would look a lot like yours! I SO want to visit New England. I have a series that I want to set there, so eventually I need to do it. It’s those pesky time and money issues. I’ve never seen the New England coast except flying into airports.

      A cruise to Alaska–and a driving tour around Alaska–are also on my list.

      • Another place I intend to go, hopefully next fall is New Mexico, Cassandra. I, too, have a book I’d like to set there, but I need to “walk the land” a bit to get the feel right. I’d also like to attend the balloon festival!

        • Jeanne Adams says:

          Suz, have to say, I’d have put you in your forties NOW. :> ANother “good genetics” girl! Grins.

          Love all your bucket list! And you’ll both ADORE New England. It’s delicious.

  • Jeanne, Happy Half Century!

    What a beautiful cake for Deadly Charms (which I am so looking forward to reading!), and I love you new photo.

    I like chocolate cake with fudge icing for my birthday, though I wouldn’t say no to yellow cake with caramel icing or red velvet cake with buttercream frosting. Or even white cake with lard icing. *sigh*

    Bucket list? Hmm. Definitely a visit to Australia and New Zealand. I’d like to see Scandinavia and Poland, and there’s something about Iceland that’s very appealing. When there’s no volcano erupting.

    Closer to home, I’d like to see Alaska and Hawaii.

    As long as we’re wishing, I’d like to see my mages on the big screen.

    • Cassondra says:

      Nancy I want to go to New Zealand for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is to see the countryside where LOTR was filmed.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Thanks, Nancy! I’d LOVE to see your mages on the big screen. Griff and that big…staff. Snork! It’s such a visual story, it would be PERFECT>

      And I’m with Cassondra and Caren, New Zealand for the Hobbit/LOTR filming spots, and hey, a good band would work too, Caren!

  • Diane Sallans says:

    Uh Oh – you mean we’re supposed to accomplish out bucket list by 50?

    Hope you had a Happy Birthday!!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Jeanne, you gorgeous thing you – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We had our RWA chapter Christmas party today, so at least I got a party of some sort for your birthday. Ha!

    I LOVE the picture. It’s very Stevie Nicks hair you’re sporting there – the tousled, I just got laid look. It totally works for you! 😉

    I’ve already done any number of bucket list things, but visits to England, Scotland and Austria are all on my list! Sadly, my husband only wants to go where he can scuba dive and we can snorkel. Although people DO scuba dive off Scotland, it’s not really a thing, you know?

    There are no major things I don’t think I can accomplish on the list. I will never jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but I might rappel off a skyscraper. Why not? I’ve rappeled off natural stuff plenty of times! Not sure I’ll get my goals met by 50 – which would only give me 2-1/2 years! – but…someday.

    My favorite birthday cake is my mother’s fresh apple spice cake with caramel icing. Favorite. Cake. Ever! It’s also a pain in the ass to make and my birthday is always around Mother’s Day, so no guarantees I’ll get it anytime soon. 🙁

    I hope your party is awesomely good fun! I’m sure it will be. Save me some pie, you gorgeous thing, you!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      SVEN!!! WE NEED MORE PIE!!! Grins. There, Caren. That should insure you get a big fat slice with real whipped cream, if you so desire. Grins.

      Thank you so much! You’re the best.

      And I’m so excited for you that you’ve been to so many gorgeous places. You’re right though, scuba’s not so popular in that cccccold water off Scotland. :>

      The cake sounds divine, btw. Yum!!!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Oh, and I just figured out I’ve been to 30 of the 50 states. I’m basically missing the middle of the country and the west. Need to convince the DH to take a loooong road trip out west!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      There you go! :> I’m missing Washington State, Montana, Wyoming, and some of the Midwest – Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, that sort of thing. I’ve been to Hawaii, but not Alaska, so that’s on the list too. :>

      There are so many wonderful things about each state, I’m always excited to vist a new one. :>

      Anybody else visit all of them? My sister lacks only Hawaii to have seen all of them!

      • Caren Crane says:

        See, the problem with getting the DH onboard is there has to be a point to the road trip or he won’t go. So, if we take a meandering trip through all those flat states he’s already seen (OK, KS, NB, etc.) I’ll have to find things for us to see. Granted, something like “World’s Biggest Ball Of Yarn!” would totally work, but I’ll have to do all the research first! 🙂

        Jealous of your sister! One of my sisters actually lived in Jackson Hole, WY for years, but it was when the kids were really young, so we never got out there. That was probably my best chance at seeing Wyoming and Idaho, though I seriously want to visit Glacier before the glaciers are completely melted!

    • Cassondra says:

      Caren, there are a whole bunch of states I haven’t seen.

      I want to see more.

      I think a charm bracelet with all the states I’ve visited would be cool. I really do need to start collecting charms again.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Jeanne! We wish
    you many returns of this special day! And
    cake, I love cake! There can not ever
    be too much cake!

    My bucket list is topped by a return visit to
    Venice, then visits to Australia, Scotland,
    and Great Britain. Lots of travel plus see-
    ing as many of my grandchildren as possi-
    ble graduate from college.

    Pat C.

    • Cassondra says:

      Amen Pat! *high fives* No such thing as too much cake!

      Cake cake CAKE!!!!

      I love pumpkin pie too though. ;0)

  • Jeanne – So sorry that I’m late to the birthday. As you mentioned, I was at my chapter’s Christmas party all afternoon and then played catch-up once I got home.

    You most certainly look your age. The boys keep you young, even when it feels like they’re bringing on the grey hair. 🙂

    Bucket Lists – Travel is on the top of ours as it is on so many others’ lists. I’m lobbying to go to Paris in 2013 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. But there’s lots of other places I’d love to travel – even in the US. I’ve never been to Yellowstone, or Seattle, or the Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico. Love to see it all, Would love to visit Australia (but can’t imagine traveling that long in the plane’s cheap seats – ouch!)

    I want to sleep in a castle, hit the NYTimes list, win a RITA, go up in a hot air balloon (I’ll have to do that solo – dh is afraid of heights).

    Hope you have a great party at home. I’m raising a snowman cookie in your honor. Have a great year.

  • Louisa says:

    Darn it! I was at work and missed the party! Although most Lair parties never really end do they?

    HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO MY DAHLINK FELLOW DUCHESS !!!! I hope it was everything you ever dreamed and more.

    And I sincerely hope you make daily sacrifices to the gene gods, because you do NOT look even CLOSE to 50!!

    I am ahead of you by 5 years and I KNOW I look it! When I look back at my first half century I realize I have actually managed to knock quite a few big things off my list.

    Bungee jumping. Check

    Hang gliding. Check

    Mountain climbing. Check

    Worked as a professional opera singer. Check

    Written a book. Check (four so far!)

    Learned to speak a foreign language. Check

    Rode to the hounds (in England, sidesaddle no less!) Check

    What’s left?

    1. Return to England for an extended research visit.

    2. Visit the church in Wales where my Great great grandparents were married.

    3. Become a multi-published author of Regency set historical romance.

    4. Work full-time as a writer.

    5. Parachute from an airplane. 🙂

    • Cassondra says:

      Louisa, I LOVE your list!

      And you’ve done so many already! Excellent way to live life, I think. Clearly, you are not afraid of the edge.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Thank you, dahling Duchess! :> And how TOTALLY COOL that you rode to the hounds! I love that!

      But why, oh WHY would you want to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane?

  • donnas says:

    That is an awesome cake. My favorite is white cake with real icing and strawberries. But Im a sucker for any kind.

    Great photo!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Thank you EVERYONE for popping in today and sharing the fun of my big day. It was just lovely, really, really lovely!

    The capper was that tonight I group of pals came to the house, organized totally by my DH, and we had steak and talapia and asparagus from the grill, along with ham, and big salads and side dishes, wine, beer, soft drinks, etc. Then….CAKE. and PIE! Grins.

    It was just…all out fun. I got sung to, *blush* and we had the aforementioned cake. And Pie. Heehee. I got flowers from a friend in TX, and funny cards too. It was wonderful.

    Thank you, again, everyone, for making the day just that much more special!