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

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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What not to eat on Halloween

answer doorbell
admire baseball player & giant hot dog
eat Kit Kat
watch Food Network Spooky Cake Challenge
answer doorbell
pretend to be robbed by Al Capone & his fellow gangsters
eat snickers
answer doorbell
answer doorbell
admire Hannah Montana
boys come home with their loot
eat butterfinger, tootsie roll, milk duds
answer doorbell, return to the boys' loot
finish milk duds, eat sweet tarts, eat another tootsie roll
answer doorbell
dump rest of candy into lucky trick-or-treater's bag
turn off porch lights
think about another butterfinger
eat another butterfinger w/ glass of milk (just to be health consious)

feel a little guilty...okay, a lot guilty
sick, sick, sick of candy
take 3 Rolaids, waddle upstairs to bed

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friendly Questions

Thanks to Cathy and Lisa,
and along with this came the following questions:

the Geico Gecko

Nutella... okay, okay I'm kidding!!
No, seriously... my espresso machine ... actually, my hair dryer

sense of humor
musical/artistic talents

black and brown (I'm boring that way)

procrastinator (this, from my husband)
helpful (this, from Jonathan)
Italian (this, from Nicholas)
a princess (this, from Timothy)

England, Ireland & Scotland


(Last of the Mohicans)
Duncan: "There is a war going on in the east. How is it you are heading west?"
Hawkeye: "Well, you face north and, real sudden-like, turn left."

Hawkeye: "Someday you and I are going to have a serious disagreement."

(Miss Congeniality)
Victor Melling: The last time I saw a walk like that was in "Jurassic Park."

(The Grapes of Wrath)
"How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him--he has known a fear beyond every other." - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 19

learn how to play the cello
finish my book proposal
hike the Grand Canyon

my decisiveness (see #2 above)

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Offer We Can't Refuse

My husband has always been a fan of the Godfather movies . . . and that was even before he married into my Italian family. Of course, my family is from northern Italy, so no Don Corleone or mafia connections for us.

But a few years ago my parents met and became friends with a group of second generation Italian-Americans who moved here from New York, and it is through them we get out Godfather fix. Their relatives were originally from southern Italy, so when you take their Italian heritage, mix it with a little Sicilian and Neopolitan history, stir in a strong sense of family, and then add that New York flair . . . you have the makings for a great party.

This was the third year in a row that Joe and I, along with the boys, were invited to a pig roast hosted by an Italian-American couple whose family is orginally from Naples. The party took place in their home, which offers plenty in the way of entertainment: a full-sized bocce court, two fire pits (one perfect for roasting marshmallows, the other for roasting an entire pig), and an entertainment room complete with a large screen television, a pool table, and a state-of-the-art wine cellar where they bottle their own vino rosso.

This year's pig roast included a live band, Italian pastries from a New York bakery, and a 20 lb. block of torrone in which great chunks were hacked off with a hammer and chisel and passed out to the guests. (I may have been responsible for eating 12.2 of that 20 lb block . . . but we won't go there.)

Here's the serendipitous thing: the husband's name is Don (my husband and I secretly call him the Don), and after last weekend's party my husband and I are planning to watch all three Godfather movies this weekend.

In the words of Don Corleone: Capisci?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Little Boy and His Planes

An entire day at an air show
with a little boy who is passionate about planes ...

Red Eagles and formation flying,
sky diving and stunt planes,
WWII Warbirds and the Battle of Midway,
pyrotechnics and exploding "bombs"...

and a five minute helicopter ride for a Mom
and her little boy who is passionate about planes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Morning Chores

It's early Saturday morning and Timothy climbs into bed with us.

Guess what? he asks.


Last night I had a giant booger in my nose.

And then what? I inquire.

It was on my finger.

What did you do with it? I asked, hoping that a tissue figures somewhere into this story.

Then it got stuck on my thumb.

Oh boy I think.

And then? I ask, needing to know but not really wanting to.

I don't know...I don't see it anymore. And he hops off the bed.

And I am thinking that this morning...I am changing all the sheets.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guided by the Spirit

Dear Nicholas,

For your Confirmation we wanted to give you seven books, each one representing one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Many of the books we thought to include (The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia series, for example) you already own, so the challenge was to find ones that would be new to you. We prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and this is what we came up with . . . they have much to offer as you grow in your faith.

Wisdom, in order to see God at work in our lives and in the world.
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom

Understanding, to enlighten my mind.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Right Judgement/Counsel, to know the difference between right and wrong.
Night by Ellie Wiesel

Courage/Fortitude, to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Knowledge, to know oneself and to know God.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Piety/Reverence, for a deep sense of respect for God and the Church.
A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

Fear of the Lord (awe of God), to recognize our all powerful God.
The Holy Bible

Mom and Dad

Nicholas with sponsors Aunt Laura and Uncle Patrick

Nicholas with Bishop Boland

The Knight and the Pirate

My brother-in-law, who is a member of the Knights of Columbus, volunteered to join the Knights of our parish for the Confirmation Mass. This was the first time our sons had seen their uncle in full regalia. Timothy was awed . . . is Uncle Patrick a pirate?

And you can see why he thought this . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shhhh...don't tell anyone!

While cooking for Nicholas' Confirmation dinner I thought I'd take a quick break and share this easy cake idea:

one chocolate cake from Publix bakery
+ one can of Pirouette rolled wafers
+ some coordinating ribbon

(And the fact that it all wasn't made from scratch? Let's keep that between us, shall we?)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Little Help From My Blogging Friends

My son's confirmation is next week, and as a gift we are giving him seven books with themes representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. For example, for the gift of Right Judgement/Counsel we selected Harper Lee's book To Kill a Mockingbird.

We have already thought of a few books, but I thought I'd ask you for suggestions. What books (any genre) would you suggest to represent the following:

Wisdom in order to see God at work in our lives and in the world.

Understanding to know how we need to live as follower of Christ.

Right Judgement/Counsel to know the difference between right and wrong.

Courage/Fortitude to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.

Knowledge to know oneself and to know God.

Piety/Reverence for a deep sense of respect for God and the Church.

Fear of the Lord (awe of God) to recognize our all powerful God.

(BTW, I got this idea a while ago from our Catholic Teacher Extraordinaire, Laura, and filed it away to use, thanks Laura!)

Capturing Moments

An early weekday morning . . . it's dark and the little one is sleepy . . .
I sit in a kitchen chair as he stands in front of me . . . I help him get ready for school . . . I tuck in his shirt, fasten his belt, brush his hair . . . his face is inches from mine . . . I breathe him in . . .

Leaving the Reconcilation service with my oldest son . . . talking about his confirmation next week . . . stopping at Wendy's . . . delighting in the fact that right now, in this moment, we are in a state of grace . . . we are angels sipping vanilla frosties

In an attempt to get my middle son to read more, I propose we read a book together . . . he is skeptical . . . he's not convinced . . . I read the first chapter of The Outsiders to him . . . he has a reluctant grin on his face . . . he likes Ponyboy

You must live in the present,
launch yourself on every wave,
find your eternity in each moment.
-Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dinner, Football Style

I am all about family dinners with everyone seated at the table passing plates of food and conversing with voices that tend to get louder and louder as the meal progresses.

But sometimes, such as on football Saturdays, it's also nice to do this: a crockpot full of Sloppy Joes, hamburger buns, carrot sticks, potato chips, and Halloween cookies . . . all placed on the kitchen counter with plates and utensils, ready for whenever anyone is hungry.

It works nicely when your living room is full of grown men, and medium-sized men, and one teeny tiny man cheering on Penn State.

And it works very nicely for me as I read, scrapbook, blog, and check in on the score from time to time.

-What's for dinner?

-Why, it's all there . . . just help yourself.