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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sometimes you just have to be sneaky...

Whew! I bet this got your attention. The photo doesn't even do it justice because that shirt glows. It's bright pumpkin orange. Crayola orange. A Sunkist orange couldn't be more orange.

Now, don't be shy...everyone who thinks this shirt is a little (eh hem) loud, please raise your hands.

All righty's unanimous.

Someone (friend? foe?) gave my husband this golf shirt. When he wears it he looks like a walking, talking construction cone. It's not a color he normally wears, but for some reason he likes to wear this shirt when he goes to the range to hit some golf balls.

A walking, talking construction cone with a golf club.


But look what I discovered this morning...

the icky shirt at the bottom of the laundry hamper.

I am thinking that I will keep it buried in there...under a mountain of clothes...and it will be there waiting to be washed...waiting forever and ever and ever...

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The rafting photos I posted yesterday caused quite a stir. I received an email from Wildwater Ltd. Rafting saying how they loved the photos and even recognized the guide. Then they said our photos gave them an idea for a contest in honor of their upcoming 40th anniversary and asked if they could use them on their site as promotion for the contest.

Of course, we all think it's funny. No . . . we think it's hilarious. We're going to Hollywood! was the common phrase on both sides of the Atlantic.

The only glitch is that they referred to the photo as a vintage rafting photo. Hmmmm. Now, I ask you, if the photo is vintage, does that mean that those in the photo are vintage, too, as in old?


But it doesn't matter . . . we're going to Hollywood, baby!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

August 1985: White Water Rafting on the Chattooga River

To my cousin Damiano and his wife, Irene, who recently went on a calm, romantic canoe ride during their first week in Canada: look here...this is what you need to do! (click on the photos to read the captions)

The funny thing is that the guide kept yelling instructions in English and I kept shouting the translations, but in the excitement things got a little garbled. In fact, soon after this photo was taken, we went down a rapid and got stuck in a whirlpool. The guides (ours and the ones in the other rafts) had to rig up a pulley system to pull us out one by one. Just a tad embarrassing...

Monday, June 22, 2009


Timothy, it's time to go to bed.
(He ignores me, pulls out his toy cell phone and proceeds to dial.)
Who are you calling?
I'm calling God to see if he'll let me stay up.
pause pause pause
He said I could.
Timothy, looking at a photo album and pointing.
Mommy, where are you?
I'm taking the picture.
Question repeated 534,857 times (it was a rather large album).

Jonathan, why are you going to bed so early?
I'm really tired.
He grins.
Besides, I need to replenish my body and soul.

Timothy, you cannot say the word "idiot".
Nicholas and Jonathan say "idiot" all the time.
"Idiot is a bad word. The next time they say "idiot", come and tell me.
So, Nicholas can't call Jonathan an "idiot" and Jonathan can't call Nicholas an "idiot"?
That is right. There are no "idiots" in this house.
And I can't say "idiot", either.

Later, it dawned on me that during the course of that conversation we said "idiot" eight times. So who was the idiot, I ask you?

Me, after Pablo celebrated his first Mass as a newly ordained priest:
God, I have three sons. Do you want one? I know they don't seem "priestly" right now, but maybe in time...?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Holy News

1. Pablo, a family friend who studied at the North American College in Rome and who very graciously gave us a personal tour of St. Peter's Square and Basilica when we were there two years ago, will be ordained a priest this weekend. His ordination will take place this Saturday at the Cathedral in Savannah, and Sunday he will celebrate his first Mass here in our church.

2. The documentation papers to have Sandro nominated for sainthood have been ceremoniously sealed by the Bishop of Verona and are en route to the Vatican. You can read his beautiful story here and here.

3. Sister Gaudiosa, the nun from Tanzania who has become a member of our family, will be visiting us again this August. You can read about last year's visit here and here and here.

Buon Viaggio

My cousin Damiano and his wife, Irene, are leaving Italy today for a year in Canada. Irene received a research grant/scholarship, and Damiano will continue his work via computer.

Here's to a new adventure to a wonderful couple. Buon Viaggio! Buona Fortuna!

Bia, Joe, Nicholas, Jonathan e Timothy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Antique Store

This past Saturday as we were leaving Helen in the late afternoon, we drove around a bend and there, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was an Antique Store.

Not just an ordinary antique store, but one in an old Victorian house. I smiled at my husband (whom I love very, very much) and despite facing a three hour drive home, he very graciously pulled over and parked.

When I entered, my heart went pitter-patter. Antiques everywhere . . . in every nook and every cranny. Antiques on all three floors. I could have spent hours in there, but my husband and three sons were waiting in the van, and I had ten minutes . . . fifteen at the most.

I worked fast, and there, on the second floor hidden behind an old ironing board, I found a three-legged corner table. I knew it would be perfect for the bare, sad corner just outside our downstairs powder room at home.

Here's the best part (and you might want to sit down for this): the price was $15, as is.

As is???? It was perfect!

So my husband (whom I love very, very much) climbed up to the second floor, moved a pile of antiques out of the way, carried my table downstairs, paid for it, and rearranged our suitcases so it would fit it in the back of the van.

Did I mention that I love my husband very, very much?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wired for a Smile

Why did you get braces?
Did they take your teeth out and put them back in?
Does it hurt?
Can you take them off so you can eat?

If my teeth get bent or squished, can I have braces, too?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Murder on the Chatahoochie River

This past weekend we took the boys on an overnight family adventure: we drove to Atlanta Friday night where we went to the Mall of Georgia, ate out in a nice restaurant, and spent the night in a hotel.

Then, on Saturday, we drove to Helen, a small town built to resemble an Alpine village complete with gingerbread trim on all buildings, cobblestone alleys, clock towers, and German restaurants serving the finest bratwurst and viener schnitzel.

Bavaria nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

After a morning hike to Anna Ruby Falls, we explored the town looking for a nice place to eat lunch. We found a German restaurant with outdoor seating on a balcony overlooking the Chatahoochie River. We ordered our food and watched the people below us floating down the river on inner tubes.

All of a sudden our son, Jonathan, gasped. We turned to look at him, and he looked horrified.

"I accidently dropped my knife over the balcony," he whispered.

We could hear shrieking from the river below, and we all froze.

A thousand thoughts were running through my head. My son just skewered someone, and I could just see the headlines:


How did he drop a knife of all things??!! Why did we let Jonathan, of all people, sit next to the railing . . . Jonathan, who lost a soccer ball down the side of mountain in Tuscany and, when we bought him a new one, lost that one as well the very next day on a different mountain. Jonathan, who fell out of bed and chipped his tooth.

I wondered if there was any (gulp!) blood?

We knew we had to look over the balcony, and in slow motion we all got up, leaned over, and winced.

People everywhere, yelling, shrieking . . . and laughing.

And there, in the midst of those floating pink and blue inner tubes, a knife, shining on a rock under the surface of the water.

So what did we do? We calmly sat down, politely finished our meal, and valiantly tried to contain our laughter.

Knife? What knife?

Helen, Georgia

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Two and a half hours

Today I had a workout . . .
a marathon of a workout.

For two and a half hours
the sweat poured down
and the calories burned.

For two and a half hours
I cursed through the pain.

Two and a half hours
of hell on earth . . .
shopping for a bathing suit.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I prefer A,B,C's in my books, thank you very much








So here's the deal: my husband has something against the 26 letters of the alphabet. The books he reads only have numbers . . . charts, graphs, columns, data tables . . . in other words, numbers everywhere. How, I ask, can you read numbers? Who wants to curl up on a rainy afternoon with a book of numbers? What's up with that?

I don't know, but something tells me Jonathan is headed that way . . .