Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You never know what you'll find on Internet!

I've been fooling around on-line today. Got a bad cold and don't feel like doing very much that involves dragging my body around!

So, I discovered this neat gadget that determines the reading level of your blog. This blog was rated "College Undergrad" level...

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

Well thank goodness, considering I teach at the university and all...at least I'm up to my students' speed! But what's got me confused is that my other blog "Molfetta Daily Photo" is rated at "Genius" level! What does that mean? That I'm more intellectual when I talk about Molfetta then when I talk about home life? I guess recipes, poems and conversations with my children don't require a lot of big words! Sticking to the basics works fine around here!

Next, I found a great site for registering to vote overseas. The Overseas Vote Foundation will take care of everything for you...get you registered, get you an absentee ballot...all on-line! You can even vote on-line! I'm excited since (gasp!) I haven't voted in a US election since I've lived abroad...that means for the past 21 years! What a lame citizen I've been! Well, that's about to end!

And on a lighter note...if you love bags, but despair about the high prices, guess what? I found a great contest where you can win a free handbag from handbagplanet a handbag producer that will be celebrating the launch of their on-line site by giving away one free handbag every hour on October 15th. Check it out!

Okay, it's time to drag my cold-infested body away from the computer and start cleaning up around here. Why don't mommies get sick days?

Monday, September 29, 2008

What is this...a zoo?

The other day my younger son, G., came home from school dead set on getting a hamster. He had never talked about wanting a hamster before. And it's not as if we don't have animals around the house. Take a look here and here for proof!

D. and F. were against the new addition, but my thought was that it would perhaps be a good idea for G. to have a responsibility all of his own. Generally, F. takes care of the dogs, I take care of the cats and D. takes care of the bunny. And it was a heck of lot better birthday gift idea than *another* Nintendo DS, which is what he had wanted. So, we now have Boris, a Russian hamster, living with us! He is very cute and innocuous...I just hope he likes red, that was the only cage they had at the pet shop!

No sooner had we pulled into the driveway with Boris and his supplies in tow, did I find a little birdie lying on the ground! Now, I have to admit that I do not like birds. I mean, they're great to look at as they fly by at a distance (the greater the distance the better!), but I do not like getting up close and personal with birds. So, we sent F. out to the rescue. This little guy, who G. promptly named Tino, seemed perfectly fine, but he had one leg pulled up and seemed unable to fly. We made him as comfortable as possible in a basket lined with some soft rags and decided that if he survived the night we'd take him to the vet.

Well, this morning he was alive, though not especially well, and I took him off to the vet's in a shoebox. Her diagnosis was neurological damage rather than orthopedic, as in the leg isn't broken. Later today a friend of hers who studies veterinary medicine at the university, and knows more about birds, will pick up Tino and take care of him.

Tomorrow we're due back at the vet's with Tigro, the kitten, for vaccines and we'll let you know about Tino's progress.

D. was a bit exasperated by all this animal activity yesterday and cried out, "What is this...a zoo?!" But, really he's just as crazy about all our pets as the rest of us!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sveta's Turkey Loaf

One of my favorite resources for discovering new recipes is to ask a friend, "What are you cooking today?" If it seems like something that might go over well at my house, I cook it that very day.

Because often I do get stuck in a recipe rut...fixing those "sure hit" recipes time after time. Well, yesterday I spent the morning on a wild shopping spree with my Russian friend, Sveta, who told me she wanted to fix a Turkey Loaf. And guess what we had for lunch at my house yesterday?

Here's her recipe...


1/2 small onion
300 g. deboned turkey breast
300 g. fresh ricotta
1 egg
some bread crumbs (how much? depends on how compact you like your loaf)
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of ground nutmeg
some parsley
a dash of extra virgin olive oil
300 g. sliced speck ham

Heat oven to 180° celcius. Blend all the ingredients (except the oil and ham) in your food processor until you have a fairly smooth mix. Lay your slices of speck on a sheet of waxed paper (in Italy they have what's called "carta forno" which is similar to waxed paper, but without the wax) and form a loaf on top of the ham. Wrap the ham around the loaf, using extra slices to close up any uncovered areas. Grease your cooking dish with some olive oil and gently roll your loaf into the center of the dish. Bake for 1 hour, approximately.

Optionally, you can use a slightly larger baking dish and add diced potatoes, seasoned with a bit of salt and olive oil, around the loaf.

My kids were still raving about how good it was when they went to bed last night! Now, that's my measure of a successful meal

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Fell Down and Went Boom

Two days ago I blithely sauntered out my front door, down the steps and across the raised concrete pathway when...suddenly...my right foot slid out from under me in a completely unexpected direction and I started to fall.

In that millisecond of time between starting to fall and landing, I thought to myself, "Self, how can I stop this fall?" and the only answer that came to me was, "Self, you can't. Go with it." And, that fast, boom I was down in the mud.

The next thing I saw was my younger son G. looming over me in the sky, looking rather concerned.

G: Mommy, are you laughing or crying?
Me: Both. Ha, ha, sob, sob!
G: Why?
Me: Crying because it hurts. Laughing because I feel really silly.
G: Yeah, you look pretty silly. (eruption of relieved giggles...)

And then he had to pull me up off the muddy walkway and help wipe the mud off my jeans, and away we went on our original outing.

As if nothing had happened at all.

Until that evening.

When everything started to hurt real bad.

Older son D. wanted a bedtime cuddle with Mom, so I invited him to curl up with me on the big bed on the condition that he not move too much 'cause Mommy was not feeling too well.

Me: D., you're moving.
D: Yeah, so?
Me: Well, when you move, you move me and right now I don't want to move 'cause everything hurts.
D: Why?
Me: Well, you know, Mommy fell down today.
D: So?
Me: So I hurt myself when I fell down.
D: Why?
Me: Well, I banged my ribs and my hip and my arm and they hurt.
D: Why?

This was not a very fruitful conversation up to this point, two people talking at cross purposes, until I realised exactly *who* I was talking to. This is Mister "Fall Down All Day Every Day and Pop Back Up as if Nothing Had Happened." Mister "Basketball and Soccer on Concrete? No Problem."

Me: Okay, right. So, when you get older it hurts when you fall down.
D: Why?
Me: Well, your body just kind of gets tighter and less elastic.
D: Oh, I get it! Like when babies fall down and they just bounce back up 'cause it's like they're made of rubber!
Me: Yeah, that's it. Mommies aren't made of rubber!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Forgotten Language

Remember when you were little and it all seemed so clear to you? I remember being 10 years old and vowing to myself "I will *never* forget what it feels like to be 10 years old!" And now? I can't imagine what I was going on about at the time!

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to return to our childhood point of view every so often? Just to remember what it was like? And to feel what our children are feeling right now?

Forgotten Language
by Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fried Nolca Olives

Right. So, by now you've figured out that I live "amid the olive trees." And a great by-product of living in this particular setting is....we have lots of olives!

Today's "If It Ain't Easy, I Don't Cook It" lesson is on the preparation of fried black olives. These are Nolca olives and they have a lot of "fruit" to them. They are completely inedible raw (like all olives, as far as I know), but fried they are quite delicious!

The olives should be washed in cold water and then dried thoroughly. Heat a fair quantity of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and throw in your olives, plus some halved cherry tomatoes, some fresh basil and a pinch of salt.

Cook over a medium-high flame to get started. Then cover the pan and reduce the flame to the lowest possible setting. Shake the pan to mix the olives regularly. Cook until the olives soften.

Serve as an appetizer with bread and cheese, if you like. Yum, yum!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This powerful and exciting singer is apparently not well known in the States...is this possible? She has such an amazing voice and upbeat style, plus she's beautiful.
She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 13 and then with breast cancer at age 35, but she has always fought back and is definitely a fighter and a survivor! Check out her website!
This is not one of her more recent songs, but I love it...and her!

Paid My Dues, Anastacia, 2001

You can say what you want about me
Wanna do what you want to me
But you can not stop me

I've been knocked down
It's a crazy town
Even got punched in the face in L.A.
Ain't nothing in the world that you keep
me from doing what I wanna do

'Cause I'm too proud, I'm too strong
Live by the code that you gotta move on
Feeling sorry for yourself
Ain't got nobody nowhere

so I...
(Held my head high)
Knew I (Knew I survive)
Well I made it (I made it)
I don't hate it (Don't hate it)
That's just the way it goes

I done made it through
Stand on my own two
I paid my dues, yeah
Tried to hold me down
You can't stop me now
I paid my dues

so like i told you
You cannot stop me
I paid my dues

Now I'm still tested everyday
people try to mess with Anastacia
gotta nothing in common
cause I handle mine
and I thought I better let you know

I'm no punk I can't get down
I don't give a damn about who's around
that was just fine 'til now

So I...
(Held my head high)
Knew I (Knew I survive)
Well I made it (I made it)
Oh I (Don't hate it)
That's just the way it goes

I done made it through
Stand on my own two
I paid my dues
Yeah yeah

Tried to hold me down
you can't stop me now
I paid my dues, yeah
yeah yeah yeah

Took so long to get me here (here)
But I won't live in fear (fear)
You try to steal my shine (shine)
But first they wanna build you up (up)
Then they tear you down (down)
It's a struggle tryin' to bubble
so I...

(Held my head high)
Knew I (Knew I survive)
Oh I (I made it)
(Don't hate it)
Said that's - just - the - wayyyyy
(I done made it through)
(Stand on my own two)
I said I paid my, I paid my dues

(Tried to hold me down)
But you can't stop me now (you can't stop me now)
(I paid my dues) I paid my, paid my dues
(I done made it through) oh
(Stand on my own two) oh

(I paid my dues) I paid my, I paid my dues
yeahh (Tried to hold me down)
But you can't stop me now (you can't stop me now)
(I paid my dues) I paid my dues

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Motherhood: sound bites (2)

G: Mommy, if you entered a beauty contest, you would win, for sure!

Me: Oh, I don't think so!

G: Oh, yes you would! (pause) But maybe you're a little bit too old...

Me: Too old?

G: I think you have to be between 20 and 30 years old.

Me: Actually, there are beauty contests for older women, you know.

G: Well, they wouldn't even let you participate if they saw you.

Me: Why not?!

G: Well, you are just *too* beautiful. They would turn you away at the door. All the other women would be afraid to compete against you.

Me: You know, honey, external beauty is really not the most important thing in life. I think it's more important to be a good person, to be friendly and kind to others...

G: Oh, I know that. I'm just trying to flatter you!

Me: ....

(This boy has been watching too many episodes of "Le Veline"!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via FirstGiving.org)
and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:

1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;
2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you've made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.
We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.

1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fundand help spread the word!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Lunch is generally the main meal of the day for most families here in southern Italy. Many people are either finished with work by midday, or able to return home for the lunch hour.

On those mornings when I don't have to work, I like to prepare a complete homemade Italian-style meal. That means a first course, a second course, a side dish and, perhaps, even a dessert.

But, as you probably have guessed by now, I am a lazy cook. If it ain't easy, I don't cook it, right? Today's lunch was right up my easy cookery alley.

Here's what we had...

First course, Pumpkin Soup. This pumpkin was one of the volunteers that grew in our garden this year.
pumpkin, potatoes, water, boullion cube, seasoned croutons

Chop pumpkin and potatoes into cubes and place in cooking pot. Use about one third the quantity of potatoes as compared to pumpkin (that means less potatoes!) Add water to just below level of vegetables (more water makes a thinner soup, less water makes it thicker). Depending on quantity of water, add one or two boullion cubes. Bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are soft. Blend with a hand blender. Serve with seasoned croutons.

Second course, breaded chicken cutlets. These got eaten up so fast that I hardly had time to take the picture. This is the last piece left...

Ingredients: chicken cutlets (chicken breast sliced into thin flat pieces), 1 egg, bread crumbs, milk, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil.

Directions: Beat egg in a dish, add a splash of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Put bread crumbs in another dish. Heat oil. Dip cutlet in egg mixture and cover both sides with egg. Next, place the cutlet in the bread crumb plate and cover completely with crumbs. Fry in hot olive oil till golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Dessert: chocolate chip cookies! I always use the Original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with a couple of variations. I use only half the quantity of chocolate morsels that they advise and I double the quantity of walnuts (I love walnuts!). I also take the cookies out of the oven a couple of minutes earlier than recommended, so that they remain soft!

So, there was no side dish today...but, hey, nobody's perfect! We got our veggies in the soup!

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am Supergirl

So, just wasting time (of which I have very little to waste, but when the opportunity arises I waste with gusto!)...I took this Which Superhero Are You? quiz and here are the results...

You are Supergirl
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Green Lantern

Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.

I think that description fits! I'm going to feel like Supergirl all day today!!!

Why don't you try? http://www.thesuperheroquiz.com/

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Kitty on the Block

Welcome to the family Tigro! You are the sweetest, cuddliest, cutest kitty on the block!!!
(Take a look at the rest of the menagerie here...)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Good Time Was Had by All

Last night we celebrated the end of the summer with a mega barbeque dance party at our house. Well, it wasn't all that MEGA in terms of participants...there were 16 adults and 18 kids from ages 4 to 13...but it was mega in terms of good food, good friends and fun on the dance floor!

It started raining at about midnight but that put no damper on the fun. We just moved the party onto the covered patio and sent the men out to buy hot cornetti with cream at the all-night bakery!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Motherhood: sound bites

Junior High School, Day 1.
After-school conversation, in the car on the way to buy school supplies.

D: "Junior High is great! I'm so glad to be finished with elementary school! I feel so big now!"

Mom: "I'm so happy for you, honey!"

D: "Yeah! I can't believe it...I never thought I'd get to this age!"

Mom: "What?"

D: "Well, yeah, with all the risks out there in the world..."

Mom: "What?!"

D: "Yeah, like that time you pulled me out of the path of a moving car...or that time I almost drowned...I'm lucky to be alive!"

Mom: "Oh, dear..."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fried Peppers

This is the Queen of "If It Ain't Easy, I Don't Cook It" recipes...nothing could be simpler.

First, gather and wash a bunch of green or red (not spicy) peppers. These are from our garden. They are not bell peppers, they're smaller and skinnier.

Next, place them in a frying pan with a couple of tablespoonfuls of preheated olive oil.

Add some cherry tomatoes cut in half, a clove of garlic also cut in half and salt to taste.

Cook covered at a relatively high heat until they soften to the consistency you prefer.

Serve warm.

It's that easy. And so delicious!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to School

Today is the first day of Junior High for my older son. What fear! What joy! Change, the great unknown!

Have a great year in your new school!

Two Schools
by Henry Van Dyke

I put my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise,
“Go out,” I said, “and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize.”

My heart came back again:
“Now where is the prize?” I cried.
“The rule was false, and the prize was pain,
And the teacher’s name was Pride.”

I put my heart to school
In the woods, where veeries sing,
And brooks run cool and clear;
In the fields, where wild flowers spring,
And the blue of heaven bends near.
“Go out,” I said: “you are half a fool,
But perhaps they can teach you here.”

“And why do you stay so long,
My heart, and where do you roam?”
The answer came with a laugh and a song,
“I find this school is home.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Italian American Boys

People call my sons "American boys" but just as a joke. They are so completely Italian. It has taken me a long time to come to peace with that. Or better, to come to relative peace with that, because it still makes me somehow sad that my sons will not have so many of my American childhood experiences.

But, one of the important lessons I have learned in being a mother is that my children are not little versions of me. They have their own personalities, interests, points of view...and language and cultural experiences as a result of being "Italian boys."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Last Time Down the Slide

On the last day at the beach club, both of my boys left crying.

"Goodbye, beach club! Goodbye, swimming pool! Goodbye, high dive! Goodbye, water slide! See you next summer!"

The summer is so long when you are a child, but the school year is even longer!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Think Positive!

This video is dedicated to a friend who needs it...she knows who she is!

Jovanotti, Penso Positivo, 1994

(Refrain: Io penso positivo perché son vivo perché son vivo,
io penso positivo perché son vivo e finché son vivo,
niente e nessuno al mondo potrà fermarmi dal ragionare,
niente e nessuno al mondo potrà fermare, fermare, fermare)
quest'onda che va, quest'onda che viene e che va (x4)
Io penso positivo ma non vuol dire che non ci vedo
io penso positivo in quanto credo,
non credo nelle divise né tanto meno negli abiti sacri
che più di una volta furono pronti a benedire massacri,
non credo ai fraterni abbracci che si confondon con le catene
Io credo soltanto che tra il male e il bene è più forte il bene.
quest'onda che va quest'onda che viene e che va (x2)
Uscire dal metro quadro dove ogni cosa sembra dovuta
guardare dentro alle cose c'è una realtà sconosciuta
che chiede soltanto un modo per venir fuori a veder le stelle
e vivere l'esperienze sulla mia pelle sulla mia pelle.
quest'onda che va quest'onda che viene e che va (x2)
Io credo che a questo mondo esista solo una grande chiesa
che parte da CHE GUEVARA e arriva fino a MADRE TERESA
passando da MALCOM X attraverso GANDHI e SAN PATRIGNANO
arriva da un prete in periferia che va avanti nonostante il Vaticano.
quest'onda che va quest'onda che viene e che va (x2)
la storia, la matematica, l'italiano, la geometria,
la musica... ...la fantasia

Friday, September 5, 2008

Interesting Pizza

There's pizza and then there's PIZZA. Anyone living in Italy long enough becomes a connoisseur, able to identify the "better" pizza on the basis of the crust, the quality of the toppings, the combination of the toppings, the type of oven used (electric versus woodburning) and the skill of the "pizzaiolo" (pizza chef) to put it all together.
My favorite place for pizza here in Molfetta is Salvatore Bufi's restaurant. It is not actually a pizzeria, but a fine restaurant, but on Saturday nights he whips up some of the most delicious and ingenious pizzas I've ever tried.
This beauty has a thin crust and is toppped with tomato sauce, pit cheese, red onions and mushrooms. Delicious!
What's your favorite kind of pizza?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Slice of Life: Fun in Andria

Yesterday afternoon was spent in one of the most irritating ways possible...going to the dentist. Ours is in Andria, a town about a half an hour drive north of us (this is already irritating in and of itself. It's not like the States here, where a half an hour drive is a drop in the bucket, here a half an hour drive is a big deal!).

Andria is famous for its dairy products and organized crime. Neither of which were on offer at the dentist's office, although the cost of braces for two kids does feel a bit like extortion! And an hour in the waiting room had me ready and willing to commit at the very least some vandalism...

But, between shushing, threatening and physically seperating my sons during that hour, I had time to remember another exciting day in Andria some years ago...

My husband was there for work (at a dentist's office...what a coincidence) when his car was stolen from where it was parked right outside the door. In fact, the dentist's secretary saw the whole thing and said, "Mr. Grillo, they've stolen your car," without getting too agitated...after all, this was Andria, they're used to that kind of thing!

F. went running out to see what he could see (which was nothing 'cause the car was long gone) and was surrounded by various witnesses of the crime who basically said, "He went thataway!"

The next hour was spent driving around the "best" Andrian neighborhoods in search of our car.

Meanwhile, one of F's employees called him on his cellphone and...surprise, surprise...got the thief! Who, fair enough, said, "I'm not F. I'm the guy who stole his car. Tell him to bring me money!"

Which brings us to an interesting angle on the whole car-stealing industry. There are those who steal a car and send it off for sale in such interesting places as Albania; there are those who disassemble a stolen car and sell off the parts; and then there are those who ransom the car back to its rightful owner...we got one of those. Which, from a strangely practical point of view is...better? Well, not really, but at least you have some chance of getting your car back, if you can afford it!

To make a long story slightly shorter...F found his car parked in a dead end in a nasty corner of town and...hotwired it and stole it back! He even got his cellphone back because it was still in the car...whatta guy!

So, as you can imagine, I have mixed feelings about Andria and dentists in general.

And in a completely unrelated note...I found this picture to the left here while searching for images of Andria.

Maybe he's our thief!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Funky Bahia

Thought I'd let you listen to Sergio Mendes in one of this summer's biggest hits as the summer fades away...

Makes you want to dance in the sand one more time, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

32 Things You Never Wanted to Know About Me

When you're not sure what to write...why not answer a bunch of random questions that perhaps no one would ever think of asking you!
(I stole this list of Qs from another blog, The Daily Rant. I hope she doesn't mind!)

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? My son G., he's a riot!

2. What were you doing at 0800? Feeding the cats.

3. What happened to you in 2006? That's so long ago! I went to the States for the summer with my sons, but without my husband. We moved into our lovely new house in the countryside in August. I lost a lot of weight. I went to my first Women's Fiction Festival in Matera with my author friend, Shannon McKenna. I did a lot of jogging.

4. How many beverages did you have today? Tea, orange juice and water. I need to drink more liquids!

5. What color is your hairbrush? It's made of wood and is a light brown.

6. Where were you last night? Out and about with my son G. to sign him up for roller-skating lessons, then dinner and TV at home.

7.What color is your front door? Dark brown wood.

8. Where do you keep your change? In my wallet, where else?

9. What’s the weather like today? Variable. First overcast and cool, then hot as hell, now overcast and cool again...

10. What’s the best ice cream flavor? Chocolate chip forever! but with big pieces of chocolate!

11. What excites you? Isn't that a rather personal question?! Well, let's be bland...a good book, going dancing, flirting, a good basketball game...

12. Do you want to cut your hair? No! I actually just did and I miss those inches of dead ends.

13. Are you over the age of 25? WAY over! LOL!

14. Do you talk a lot? Yes, but only with other people and animals.

15. Do you watch The OC? Oh, please.

16. Do you make up your own words? Yes – particularly in Italian, when I don't know or remember the word I just invent one that MIGHT work!

17. Are you a jealous person? YES.

18. Name a friend whose name starts with an ‘A’? Angie!

19. Name a friend whose name starts with a ‘K’? That's pretty hard here in Italy where the letter K doesn't exist...but I do have an American friend here named Kristen.

20. Who’s the first person on your received call list? The babysitter.

21. What does the last text message you received say? "My phone batteries are low. We'll wait for you at school." Fascinating, huh?

22. Do you chew on a straw? No. What a question!

23. Where’s the next place you are going? The bathroom, but what else is new?

24. Who’s the rudest person in your life? My son D. But, he means well...doesn't he?

25. What was the last thing you ate? Chocolate chip ice cream, of course!

26. Will you get married in the future? That's a nasty question to ask a married woman!

27. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last 2 weeks?Prince Caspian” Ok, I admit, it's the ONLY movie I've seen in the past 2 weeks, but I did enjoy it very much. And it was MUCH better than Kung Fu Panda in French while in France...hard to enjoy fully as I don't understand French!

28. When was the last time you did dishes? Last night at 11p.m.

29. Are you currently depressed? Not particularly, although the whole September-back-to-school thing does get me down.

30. Did you cry today? Not yet.

31. What was the last thing you said aloud? "Why did you go out of the yard?"

32. What car do you drive and what bumper sticker(s) do you have on it? An old Peugeot 206. No bumper stickers but the hatchback is covered with little star stickers that G. decided made the car prettier!

Monday, September 1, 2008


So, how did you spend your Sunday morning? Relaxing with breakfast in bed? Sunning at the beach? We had the best intentions of spending a relaxing family day together, but no sooner had we arrived at the beach when... Aack! My oldest son fell to the ground rolling around in intense abdominal pain. Since he is also known as "The Drama King" we weren't sure if it was all a show...or not. But when we suggested going to the hospital and he didn't say "no" we figured it had to be for real.
Just as quickly as it came on, it went away about an hour later, but not before having to CARRY all 42k of him into the emergency room, having blood drawn and analyzed, fever measured, belly poked and...the best part of all...then having to drive ourselves to Corato, a town about 20 minutes away, because in our hospital there is NO pediatric ward!
He's fine now, was fine yesterday afternoon, actually, and that's the best possible thing. I think it was GAS!