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

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Do You Say Goodbye?

Today my brother-in-law, under the advice of his doctors, accepted the fact that his body cannot withstand another round of chemotherapy. He and his wife (my husband's sister) have now embarked on a new journey of decisions: how, who, what, where . . . without knowing when.

But in the midst of the tears, and phone calls, and conversations back and forth is God's grace of acceptance . . . and a love that is greater than anything.

But it still hurts, and saying goodbye is still so hard.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the . . . Kitchen Table?

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away there lived a Wise King and his beautiful Queen who was known far and wide for her shiny, dark hair that fell in curls down her back. Her hair, which was always silken and never frizzy, was the inspiration for many ballads and all the knights in the kingdom . . .

but I digress.

The King and Queen had a son who was handsome, talented, and very smart. The only problem was this: when dining in the Banquet Hall his table manners were scandalous.

They tried everything to correct this problem: they scolded, they reminded and they punished, but the handsome Prince said he kept forgetting.

Soon, things became very tense in the Banquet Hall, and this would not do.

One day the Queen was brushing her beautiful curls, wishing her son could see what others saw when he eats.

And this thought prompted an epiphany.

The next evening in the Banquet Hall, the handsome Prince noticed a mirror propped against his goblet. Curious, he looked around, but everyone in the Banquet Hall was looking at their plates.

The Prince sat and quietly studied his reflection. He slowly scooted in his chair, sat up straight, and proceeded to eat without stuffing his mouth. He didn't hold his fork like a shovel, he wiped his mouth, and he sipped instead of gulped.

The King smiled, the Queen smiled, the Prince grinned, and the Banquet Hall echoed with cheers and laughter.

And everyone lived happily ever after.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Confessions from Hilton Head

My sister and I went for a bike ride in the rain.

TRUE! We rode our bikes in the pouring rain . . . and it was such fun! We also walked on the beach in the drizzle and watched a Bocce Tournament while holding umbrellas. My hair was FRIZZY all weekend long.

My sister rode my husband's bike.

True! And let's just clarify that half my husband's height comes from his long legs, so riding my husband's bike is like riding a horse. Okay, a little exaggeration, but still. My sister's legs are a little longer than mine, which is a good thing because if I had had to ride his bike . . . well, can you say impale?

We did our best to hide from my parents and the Italian American Club.

FALSE. Truth be known, we had dessert with them Friday night, went to see the finals of the Bocce tournament Saturday morning, had lunch with them at a Seafood Festival, and then joined them for dessert again Saturday night. We couldn't help it . . . they are fun (AND they kept feeding us).

My parents and the Italian American Club stayed at the Disney Vacation Villas.

TRUE! Go figure . . . all those seniors, and they stayed at Disney. My sister and I did not stay at the Disney Villas.

We saw a seagull walking around with a peg leg (i.e. no foot).

TRUE! And it was mean and wouldn't share the dead jellyfish with the other seagulls.

We talked way too much and laughed way too much.

FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. Sisters never laugh and talk too much. Ever.

We got plenty of rest.

FALSE. Too much to see, too much to do, too much to talk about . . . really, who had time for sleeping?

We went to church Sunday morning.

TRUE! We are good, Catholic girls; besides, my mom was somewhere on the island and we didn't want to get in trouble.

My father's team won the Bocce Tournament.

TRUE! Yes, yes he did. Twenty-four teams competed, and my father and his partner came in first place. Bravo Dad!

Friday, April 23, 2010

No Pity . . . Puh-leease.

What my husband will have to handle this weekend while I am out of town:

-field day at one school
-early dismissal for all three boys
-carpooling between two schools
-a class birthday party (my son's best friend)
-t-ball practice
-cooking and preparing all meals


Before your heart melts with pity for the poor guy, here's what I did before my trip:

-prepared the boys' field day clothes
-wrote schedule of early dismissal times
-purchased and wrapped the birthday present
-had my son sign the birthday card
-cooked sloppy joe's for Friday night's meal
-purchased lasagna and garlic bread for Saturday night's meal
-stocked the fridge
-sent in picture money, t-shirt money, and field trip permission form on Thursday so he wouldn't have to do it on Friday
-AND, did all weekend laundry by Thursday night


But he's still the sweetest guy ever and I do appreciate him letting me have this weekend with my sister.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pizza Wart . . .

what my son calls the bubble that forms on a homemade pizza crust while in the oven.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Compliments of Ua-the-Blonde (see previous post)

This, from my sister:

During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:


When asked why she had such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Joke's on Us

Every year about this time my sister and I plan a weekend getaway . . . just the two of us.

This time we are going to Hilton Head Island. Our hotel is reserved, and we are full of plans that include dining, shopping, biking, sun-bathing, and talking into the night.

Here's what we didn't plan on: the entire Italian American Club of Augusta (which includes our parents) also on Hilton Head Island this weekend for a Bocce Tournament. I mean, what are the odds?

But that's okay, we'll be forewarned because they are, after all, a very large group of Italians. The noise level alone will let us know exactly where they are at any given moment.

Which gives my sister and me plenty of time to duck out of the way in completely the opposite direction!

(ua the blonde, bia the brunette)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Before You Know It

This morning my son, Nicholas, and I were up early, and with the rest of the family still sleeping we decided to go out for a driving lesson.

And get some donuts for breakfast.

Every Sunday afternoon for the past three months my husband has taken Nicholas out driving, but this was my first time to be in the car with him. He was a little nervous; I was curious.

He drove out of our neighborhood.

Speed up, I said helpfully.

We came to a red light, and chatted while we waited for the light to change. He turned left on a green arrow.

Speed up, I said.

The irony of my words struck me. I thought how life, especially when it comes to our children, seems to speed along much too quickly: from toddler, to teen, to young adult...seemingly overnight.

I did some Math: next year he'll be driving by himself, in two years we start visiting campuses, in three years he'll be going to college.

Three years goes by in a hearbeat.

I glanced over at him and felt reassured. Yes, he was becoming a young man, but he was still awkward teen. He had major bedhead (after all, it was 7a.m. on a Sunday morning), he was sitting on a pillow (my husband's car sits very low), and he still has braces. I also remembered how he fumbled and dropped the car keys getting into the car.

My heart did a flip-flop.

We purchased the donuts, and he turned out of the parking lot to head back home.

Speed up, I said.

Slow down, was what I meant.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sometimes, Too Much is Too Much

I like sports, truly I do,
but sometimes I'd like
to bid them adieu.

A season? Ha! Doesn't exist;
It's year-round, I say.
Summer, spring, winter or fall
Really, they won't go away.

There's football then basketball,
both college and pro.
Then there's golf and there's baseball...
Toooo much to follow!

I like sports, truly I do
but sometimes I'd like
to bid them adieu.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Easter! (every day)

Easter is not just one day. It doesn't end once Mass is over, or the last jelly bean is eaten, or the new outfits are put away.

No, Easter is a season. After going though forty days of preparation during Lent, we now have FIFTY days -- from Easter Sunday until Pentecost -- to celebrate and rejoice.

Recently, an article in The Word Among Us listed fifty ways we, as families, can celebrate the Easter Season. They have some wonderful ideas. I went through the list and borrowed some, modified others, and added a few of my own.

Celebrating Easter as a Family

-At mealtime, say an "alleluia" after grace.

-Light a special candle every evening as a reminder of the light of Christ.

-Fly a kite to celebrate the wind of the Holy Spirit.

-Have everyone select a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) to cultivate.

-Take a short trip to a shrine, monastery, or church.

-Plant some seeds.

-Make a point to smile more often . . . spread the joy.

-Read Acts 2 (the descent of the Holy Spirit) in English, Italian and Spanish.

-Talk about the road to Emmaus. Go for a family walk along the canal.

-Plan a meal for Pentecost Sunday. Visit Catholic Cuisine for some ideas (Twelve Fruit Salad for the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit; Red Velvet Cake representing the fire of the Holy Spirit; Pasta Alfredo for a "white" meal since Pentecost is also known as "Whitsunday").

-Discuss Christ's call to be "fishers of men" . . . plan a fishing day with Nonno.

Happy Easter!

~photo taken at Arlington National Cemetery

Monday, April 12, 2010