Posted by: x | December 31, 2011

The End

Thanks for reading during the past year.

It was fun to share things here with you, my few dear readers.

We started a home school in September, which has taken much of my time and creativity away from this blog.

Thankfully, something new has come along, allowing me to post photos much easier and quicker than I could on this blog.

If you still care to keep up with my random thoughts and the goings on of our little family, you can join Google+ and add me to your circle. I look forward to connecting with you. Until then….

Have a wonderful and blessed 2012!

 

Posted by: x | October 10, 2011

Speak out

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.

And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(executed by the Nazis in 1945)

 

Posted by: x | October 8, 2011

Love, Audrey

Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering — because you can’t take it in all at once.

— Audrey Hepburn


Posted by: x | September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I’ve been using the computer much less over the summer, so I’m not sure how many people will see this, but I can’t miss a chance to say how much I love my mom.

My mom has the sweetest smile. Once, someone said that my smile looked like my mom’s, and it was one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.

There are lots of talkers in the world, and many who are good listeners, but my mom excels at both. Talk to her on any subject, and she will have something knowledgeable to add (with the small exception of technology — but c’mon, that’s not very important). My mom truly listens to people as well, which is why anyone who walks away from a conversation with her knows that she really cares about them.

Thanks, Mom, for talking and listening and smiling and everything else you do so well. We love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday!

 

Posted by: x | August 8, 2011

My Dad

 

 

Today is my Dad’s 54th birthday!

Yesterday we all celebrated with crabcakes and corn-on-the-cob, and a very minty chocolaty cake. And by special request, watched three episodes of “Flipper.”

I am a lot like my dad. We are both passionate and opinionated. About everything.
There have been times when that didn’t help our relationship.
But as I we’ve grown older, we’ve grown closer, instead of farther apart.

Life has a funny way of progressing.
As a small child, you believe everything your parents say.
As an older child and young adult, you hear different voices that begin to convince you to think otherwise.
But then you start to grow up, and think through things for yourself.
And you realize, that actually, your dad really was right all along.

If you know anything about my family,
you know that this is the best gift I could give my dad:

Dad, you were right.

I love you!

Happy Birthday!

 

Posted by: x | July 4, 2011

Recipe for America

How to Bake an American Pie
by Karma Wilson

Preheat the world until fiery hot with a hunger and thirst to be free.
Now find a giant melting pot on the shores of a great shining sea.

Pat out a crust of fruited plains, then spread it as far as you dare.
Fold in some fields of amber grains, enough for all people to share.

Add purple mountain majesties. Measure out meekness and might.
Pour cupfuls of courage, as much as you please; then leaven with dawn’s early light.

Ladle out liberty fought for and won and justice for both great and small.
Whisk in waterfalls kissed by the sun; then fold in sweet freedom for all.

Spice with ideas seasoned with dreams and customs from faraway lands.
Add roaring rivers and bubbling streams and towns built with strong, loving hands.

Drizzle in rays from a glowing sunset. Abundantly flavor with care.
And this is important, so never forget to add some forgiveness to spare.

The secret ingredients cannot be bought, so borrow from heaven above.
The key to it all is to pour in the pot plenty of faith, hope, and love.

Now roll out a top of spacious skies to cover this country of ours.
Place in God’s grace and allow to rise. Then garnish with fifty bright stars.

Enjoy this Independence Day!
Happy 4th of July!

 

Posted by: x | July 1, 2011

Italia!

On Valentines Day, my man said that he wanted to take me to Italy, one of my favorite places in the world.

But how could we afford it? Who would take care of our girls? When could we fit in such a big vacation?

We finally settled all of these questions, and decided to stay in Chianti and visit Firenze.

And so, at the end of May, we found ourselves here.

We rented a studio apartment at this beautiful villa, and spent time wandering around the olive groves and vineyards.

We even got to see where they make the wine!

Then we were off to Firenze (Florence)!

We visited the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).

We climbed the 465 stairs to the top of the Duomo, where the view was amazing!

We frequented a local ristorante where my man tried the Bistecca Fiorentino, and realized that Italians can make more than good pasta.

And of course there was plenty of vino…

…and gelato too.

Unfortunately there are no pictures of the gelato. I always seemed to eat it too fast for some reason.

A side note about gelato:
It had been 11 years since I had Italian gelato. Since that time, I had tried so many places this side of the Atlantic that claimed to make real Italian gelato, but it was never the same. I finally gave up, and thought maybe I was just remembering it better than it actually was. But then I went back and had real gelato again, and realized it was not all in my head. It was every bit as heavenly as the first time I tasted it.

We also went to the Uffizi to visit Giotto and Botticelli.

And of course we shopped!

Because while there are many wonderful things made in the U.S.A., there are some things the Italians do far better…like shoes!

We tried to rent one of these, but it didn’t work out.

Oh well…maybe next time :)

And last, but not least, we crossed the Arno to visit the Boboli Gardens.

It was an amazing romantic adventure.

Thanks again to all the people that made it possible by watching our girls while we were gone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: x | June 20, 2011

Condiglione

I have never liked tuna very much.

I remember eating it a few times when I was in college.

You do desperate things when you’re hungry at 3am.

But I have been preoccupied with Italian food lately, and ran across a recipe titled “Condiglione of the Ligurian Coast of Flowers.”

How could I resist making something like that?

Then I realized it is the Italian version of Tuna Salad, and so much better than the American version (just slather some tuna with mayo).

And it was delicious.

Here is what you need:

Tomatoes, Onion, Yellow Pepper, Cucumber, Garlic, Basil, Oregano, Black Olives, Canned Tuna, Hard-boiled Egg, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

I wish I was like my friend Tracy, and could tell you that all this fresh produce came from my garden, but unfortunately, herbs are the only thing I can grow.

I did find this in my garden though! One of the many fun surprises of living in a new home.

But I’m getting distracted.

Chop up the tomatoes (would be better with 3-4 Roma tomatoes, but this was all I had) and cucumber.

Cut the sweet pepper into strips, and the onion into thin slices.

Mince the garlic, mash up the egg, and roughly tear the basil and oregano.

Now I should tell you that the real recipe includes two salted anchovies, washed, de-boned, and cut into cubes. My man was not going to stand for that though, so I’ll have to wait for another time to try those.

Anyway, throw (or just place) all the ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil over the mixture.

Add salt and fresh ground pepper and toss!

Be sure to give it a good stir just before serving.

Now that is some tuna salad that I can get excited about.

 

Posted by: x | June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Today’s sports memory is dedicated to my Dad.

May you experience this again one day.

I love you! Happy Fathers Day!

Posted by: x | June 18, 2011

Funny how a week turns into a month….

Hello?

Anyone out there?

Does this blog still exist?

I went on vacation…to a place long ago and far away.

Just for a week though.

Then I went on vacation again.

Somehow all that vacation turned into a month-long siesta from my blog.

Not that you missed me though.

But now life is back to “normal” (whatever that means), so here I am.

And here are some things you can expect to see here soon:

  • Italia!
  • The Beach
  • Italian Food
  • The Army
  • Italian Art
  • An Anniversary
  • Italian Culture
  • Comings and Goings

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