An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Name Game

This morning I helped out with the Halloween Party at my son's preschool. It's common knowledge that our little one hasn't been enthusiastic about the whole preschool thing, so we've spent a lot of time talking to him; in fact, we thought we knew everything about his class . . . down to the names of all his classmates.

Well, at today's party I discovered a few things . . . like gender and names have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

His classmate Alex? He is a girl.
and Brooks? She is a boy.
Logan, turns out is a boy.
Camden is a boy.
Reagan is a boy,
but Carter,on the other hand, is a girl.

I have a headache.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Dear Joey,

You know how sometimes you leave your car parked in the garage when your carpool picks you up at the house?

Well, this morning I forgot.

I got into the van, swung wide as I backed out of the garage, and rubbed my front bumper all along the driver side of your car.

You know how you liked that chicken cacciatore recipe I used a few months ago?

Well, that's what we're having for dinner tonight.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If at first you don't succeed . . .

Okay, Laura told me to find a book, go to page 55, find the 5th sentence and post it. I'd better do what she says or she'll write a bad haiku about me.

I closed my eyes and reached behind me to the bookcase. I pulled out the Dictionary. Not good . . . doesn't count. (FYI, fifth word on page 55 was animato.)

So I tried again. My hand located a romance novel that was tucked in the bottom shelf. Yikes! You wouldn't think that anything could happen so early in the book . . . but it does, and this is a family blog so I'm not sharing it with you.

Really, I'm not. Sheesh. (mental note: get rid of book)

This is not as easy as I thought it would be.

Then, my eye falls on The Dangerous Book for Boys, which is open face down on the floor. I pick it up. It's open to this chapter: Understanding Grammar: Transitive and Intransitive Verbs. Hmmm. My son has been having grammar woes, and I think it's funny that this is the book he has gone to for help.

Anyway . . . page 55, sentence number 5, and . . . okay. I am not making this up. The page has to do with Italy! Wow! Really, go check for yourself. Here's the sentence from a paragraph about Hannibal:

Rome was in real danger.

There. The third time was a charm. I knew I could do it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yukking it up for Halloween


Shaggy and Velma,
Mona Lisa, Da Vinci.
We are all adults?

Now go see Laura for more Yuktoberfest fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Engineer playing Pictionary

Last Friday we sat down with the boys for a family game night. We played two games of Pictionary; I was the common denominator for the winning team of both games whereas my husband was the common denominator for . . . the team that did not win.

My husband is a mechanical engineer and is very precise with his drawings. He draws very well, but he is not fast. Once, when we were teammates during a game, I could not figure out what in the world he was drawing. Later, he explained that his drawing was a cross section of a 2 x 4. The word was plank.

You're probably wondering . . . what about drawing a pirate? or a pirate ship? or a board over water with sharks?

Exactly my point.

Here's another example. During an All Play this past Friday my husband and I (this time on opposite teams) had to draw the word glasses.

Here's my drawing:

Here's his:

Guess which one took longer (waaaaay longer) to draw?

Not only is my husband methodical with drawing, but he's the same way with speech. The man doesn't waste words. I, on the other hand, do not shut up, which works very well with this game. I guess and guess, throwing out words completely at random. I figure that more words = more chances of a correct guess. My husband? He'll take maybe two guesses; they're usually correct, but then someone has already shouted the answer.

And I wonder if there is an Italian Pictionary gene? If so, my sister has it, too. When the entire family gathers for a game, we are not allowed to be on the same team; she makes a dot on the paper and I'll say something completely random like Beluga Whale, and I'll be right. It makes our husbands most annoyed.

In all fairness to my husband, he may not be quick on the draw, but he does provide us with some good laughs . . . and that's what game night is all about, anyway.

But secretly, because it doesn't happen very often, I do enjoy the fact that for once, in this case, my competitive boys clamor to be on my team. And that's a really good feeling.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Clear out a Room

We had a weekend in which the boys played football, watched football, and talked football . . . way too much testosterone, in my humble opinion. So when they settle on the couch to watch a little Monday night football before bed, I knew what to do.

"Tonight,I get the t.v.," I announce. "And I'm watching Dancing with the Stars."


It only takes three seconds, and I am completely and totally alone. Wearing my comfy pj's I stretch out on the couch and sigh contentedly. There's not a testosterone anything in sight.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What ever happened to Dora?

Last week our preschooler was invited to a birthday party for a girl in his class in which the theme was . . . cue drum roll, please . . . High School Musical.


What happened to Ariel?

or Snow White?

or Cinderella?

Or, for that matter, what ever happened to Dora?

Well, I have a problem with four-year-olds pretending they're in high school, dancing like they're in high school, and singing songs with high school themes. Our preschooler still sings Little Red Caboose, for goodness sakes.

We sent our polite regrets, and our four-year-old enjoyed a nice Saturday morning playing with his trains and pretending he was Diego on a safari rescue mission.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Memory Keepers

Today Laura posted about one of her favorite things . . . a vintage Lolly Pop box. She said she would rather have this one item from her childhood than any crystal or stemware, and I understand completely.

I believe that certain objects actually tell a story. When I walk through an antique store I am always drawn to objects that have been used: old farm equipment, or lace gloves, or a tattered quilt. These things seems to whisper their stories, and I love that. I can imagine a farmer's bowed shoulders as he hooks up this plow; a girl's excitement for her first dance as she pulls on those gloves; a young bride as she carefully unpacks that quilt from her hope chest.

I once bought a photo of a young woman wearing a dress from the 1800's, her hair piled on top of her head with a thick velvet ribbon. She had an interesting face . . . and I felt like I knew her. She is now propped in front of some books in our study, and I think of her as a distant relative.

So I totally understand Laura's attachment to a Lolly Pop box.

When I was a little girl I gave my Nonna a pink ceramic statue of a girl with outstretched arms. On the base was written "I love you this much", and when she passed away the statue came back to me. I had totally forgotten about it; in fact, I hadn't seen it in a long time, but I was so touched that Nonna had kept my little gift. Now it's one of my favorite things because it whispers to me that Nonna, by holding on to it all those years, loved me "this much".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've got mail!

Today I received this in the mail . . . my first paycheck for writing articles!!! About a month ago I started writing for a Catholic organization that publishes monthly parish newletters across the country, and now I will get weekly assignments for which I will get paid. Getting the mail has never been so fun.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Man in the Making

Last week I took my oldest son for a check-up, and that evening he has an important announcement.

"Guess what? Today I officially weighed in at 100 pounds. Doesn't that make me a man?"

I look at my son. He has spaghetti sauce on his cheek, his hair is sticking up in the back, his arms are like toothpicks, and he is talking with his mouth full. In other words, he is 100% boy.

My heart flip-flops, and I smile.

"You're the man," I reply.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Before I Go...

I am leaving tomorrow with my sister for a repeat of our weekend getaway of last year. Before I go, I'd like to share with you this fun, easy project. See the image below? It was made from photographs. I first did this when I was scrapbooking, and the result was pretty enough to frame. Here's how:
  1. Take a favorite photo and have several copies made (this was a photo taken of a fresco painted on a wall in an Italian Monastery).
  2. Place one photo in the middle of a piece of heavy paper.
  3. Cut the extra copies of the photo into shards...arrange them around the main photo so that the edges are straight.
  4. There. Instant mosaic...and when it's framed the sheen of the photo shards does make it look like pieces of tile.

Here's another example, except that I made several copies of a different photo (rose bushes) to use for the mosaic pieces.

And now, I'm off. Last year when my sister and I came back from our weekend getaway I had complete and total laryngitis...go figure. Ciao! Ciao!