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

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

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Visit from the Holy See

About a month ago I noticed a new visitor on my blog: Holy See, Vatican City State.

Yes, that's right, someone at the Vatican visited my blog.

First I was in awe. Holy Toledo the Pope visited my blog!

Then I was worried. Have I written anything unkind? When was the last time I went to confession? Uhm...I probably shouldn't have said Holy Toledo.

Then I called my Mom.

My Mom . . . who with the birth of every grandchild declares to all the world that he will be the next Pope (not a mere priest, mind you, but THE POPE). She was thrilled about the holy visit: You write such nice things about your faith, why shouldn't the Pope read your blog?

Mom, please.

But then I figured it out: a few months ago the Bishop of Verona ceremoniously sealed and forwarded to the Vatican the formal papers nominating our family friend, Sandro Nottegar, as a candidate for sainthood.

And because I have written about Sandro a few times . . . well, it was those specific posts that were visited. It seems that the formal investigation has begun.

Wow. I am still in awe.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Choosing to Act

I am a cautious person. With decisions I ponder, mull, and consider all the facts.

And when it comes to questions of health, I don't like to take risks.

What am I talking about? Well, I have varicose veins AND venus reflux disease in my legs. There. I bet you didn't know that about me. Varicose veins...ugh. I even hate the words.

For years I simply ignored them and dressed accordingly: long, wide-legged pants, long skirts, stylish black tights in the winter, etc.

What I couldn't ignore was the fact was that they were painful, caused swelling, and were the reason for which, during my third pregnancy, I had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my right leg.

But the time came when I was tired of dealing with them. I was tired of planning my wardrobe around them. I was tired of having to elevate them. I was tired of hearing myself complain about them. And I was tired, very tired, of being afraid to do something.

So I did something.

I was referred to a vascular surgeon who is an expert in the field of VNUS closure, a minimally invasive procedure that closes a defective vein using radio frequecy waves. Since he diagnosed venous reflux in seven of my superficial veins, he said that taking care of the problem veins in four surgical procedures would relieve the strain they were placing on my deep vein system (which, thankfully, is disease-free).

So yesterday I underwent the first of what will be three outpatient surgeries (we're still haggling with the insurance company about the 4th one).

And it was fine. My husband took me in at 6:15 a.m. for the procedure, and by 7:40 a.m. we were driving back home. My leg was bandaged from ankle to thigh, but this morning I took it off and, other than a single stitch and some tenderness, there was no bruising or swelling.

One down, three to go . . .

Will it help? So far, so good. My doctor says that I will thank him every day for the rest of my life . . . I plan to hold him to that.

For now I am content that I faced my fears and chose to do something.

And boy does that feel really, really good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can You Say Outhouse?

So here’s the thing, my three sweet boys
I was in your bathroom today.
But when I entered I lost my poise
and stood there in utter dismay.

I shouted out so all could hear,
Why, oh why can’t you boys aim?
Who is at fault? It’s really quite clear
There’s no one but you three to blame.

Now aiming is something I know you can do…
It’s done in sports, I assume.
So make your aim so straight and so true
Like an athlete…in the bathroom!

Indoor plumbing is a privilege, you know
Its comforts you must respect.
And when nature calls and you have to go
Into the bowl your piddle you’ll direct.

Or else.

Love, Mom

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dancing through Life in my Dansko Clogs

Have I mentioned my love affair with Dansko? Their clogs are comfortable (I wore them to climb the hills of Tuscany, to walk the cobblestone streets of Verona, and even to play football at the park), they are durable (I've had the brown pair for 6 years), they go with anything (except maybe an evening gown but, who knows, the potential is there), and they look great with a pair of jeans.

This year I have my eye on a red pair . . . just waiting for a sale, or a coupon, or maybe a free pair from Dansko.Com?

So, that's what makes my Monday . . . Dansko. Now go visit Cheryl for more Monday marvels.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tiny Marching Feet

ants in the pantry . . .

the fault of he-who-must-not-be-named who for some reason always feels the need to repack a half empty juice box back into his lunch box to bring home . . .

a little bit the fault of she-who-must-not-be-named who forgot to unpack his backpack . . .

i am creeped out . . .

i am in battle mode.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Competitive Monster Rears its Ugly Head

Sister is back for the third summer in a row, and the week has somehow developed into some kind of sports camp with every day offering an introduction to a different sport.

She watched We are Marshall. When we explained that it was based on a true story she insisted on staying up late to find out what happens. The funny thing is that because it was a school/work night, Joe and the boys went to bed early so it was just the two of us: one who didn't know a thing about football, and the other who didn't know much more.

She played pool . . . holding the cue stick in one hand like a javelin. Timothy loved playing with her because she thought it was perfectly fine to move balls around to more much convenient locations . . . like directly in front of the pockets.

She joined us in watching and cheering the track and field events during the World Championships.

And one rainy afternoon, with Joe at work and the boys in school, I decided to take her bowling.

First we picked out shoes. She looked very cute in her dress and bowling shoes and she couldn't stop giggling.

Then I helped her pick out a bowling ball. We decided that ten pounds was about right, and she giggled some more as I showed her which finger went in which hole.

We walked to our lane, and after spending more time then I should have signing us in on the computer scoreboard, I gave her some pointers and turned her loose.

She picked up her ball, walked to the line, came to a complete stop and swung her arm back and forth a couple of times, finally releasing the ball in mid air so that it landed with a loud thunk. It very s l o w l y rolled down the lane and . . . STRIKE!

I don't know who was more shocked.

Then, when she did it again her on very next turn, I had a very Grinch-like thought: How, how can a nun from Tanzania, who has never bowled in her life, beat me? I will never, ever hear the end of it from my boys.

I know, I know . . . very uncharitable of me, but being the sole female in a house full of males has turned me into a competitive monster. Very unbecoming.

So to make amends for my grinchiness, that evening she and I stayed up to watch the television version of Titanic, which had us boo-hooing in grand style.

And I felt much, much better.

Sister visiting Timothy's Kindergarten class.

Sister and Timothy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Summer in Titles

One beautiful beach house (thanks, Nonna & Nonno!), five families, and a week to enjoy it all . . .


from youngest . . .

to oldest. You rock, Nonna!



We took our relatives to a Dixie Stampede Dinner show . . . horses, cowboys, trick riding, north-south rivalry, finger-lickin' chicken . . . in other words, quintessential americanism. And the Zio was smitten.


the youngest . . . and the center of attention.

With such a large group, everyone was on their own for breakfast and lunch, but each family took turns preparing a dinner. When we hosted our dinner we had everyone draw a number and then, when their number was called, run upstairs and select a hat. The catch? In order to eat you had to wear your hat. I collected hats for two months and the selection was, shall we say, unique.


He was innocent . . . I'm his auntie and I said so!

He really should not be smiling . . . I'm his Mom and I know so. He was in trouble.


My brother, the doctor, in that hat and that t-shirt.