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

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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Diamonds on the Soda Machine?

Yesterday was one of my husband's Fridays off, and while he worked on staining the front door I was inside dusting. The windows were open, so I decided to put on a cd and crank up the volume so we could both hear it.

I selected Paul Simon's Graceland, which I think is one of the single best albums of all time. The percussion, the African rhythms ... just beautiful.

And there, on track no. 5, I made a startling discovery: up until that very moment I thought the lyrics to the song were diamonds on the soda machine. Imagine my surprise when I heard diamonds on the soles of her shoes.

Huh? I grabbed the cd and sure enough ...

When I told my husband he was, quite frankly, speechless.

As I'm sure you are, too.

In my defense, refer to my previous post ... it will explain everything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's not what we say ... it's what we mean to say

My mom, my sister and I have this quirky trait: we (unknowingly) swap out words to come up with new titles.

For example:

Me, to the boys: Nonno and Nonna are in South Dakota today. They are visiting the sites where Dancing with the Wolves was made.

What I meant to say: Dances with Wolves


My Mom, to us: Have you seen that new television show, Two Seconds to Win It?

What she meant to say: Minute to Win it


My Sister to me: You know, that movie Postcards from Verona is coming out on DVD today.

What she meant to say: Letters to Juliet.


Me, to the boys: Why don't we watch a movie tonight ... how about Wind Breaker?

What I meant to say: Air Bender


That last one had my boys rolling in laughter ... especially when it took me a good five minutes to figure out what was so funny. When I finally got it (that's another quirky trait I have ... it takes me a while to get it) I had to admit it was funny ... I mean, can you IMAGINE a movie entitled Wind Breaker? Sheesh.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

King of the Kandy Kastle

This past Saturday night we let Timothy plan Family Night. This was his first time in charge, so he took it very seriously.

Here's what he came up with:

Food: pizza
Faith: say the Our Father together
Fun: play Candy Land

Of course, earlier in the day we took Nicholas and Jonathan aside and set some ground rules: no teasing Timothy about his Family Night, go along with whatever he planned, and everyone must participate (even Nicholas's friend who was spending the night with us).

So, after some pizza we sat around the kitchen table and Timothy led us in saying the Our Father. Then he announced that we were all playing Candy Land and, to their credit, not one of the teens groaned or rolled their eyes.

And because the game only comes with four gingerbread men, Joe and I sat back and watched four boys (ages 6, 13, 15,15) play some serious Candy Land.

They cheered when they pulled the Queen Frostine card, groaned when Mr. Mint sent them back to the beginning of the board, and called each other some really, really bad names such as Gramma Nut, Plumpy and, most insulting of all, Princess Lolly.

At the end of the night, Nicholas may have been crowned King Kandy . . .

but Timothy was the real winner because his first Family Night was a big success.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Little Caesars Dancing Girl

Saturday evening I decided to leave the men at home and run an errand. Truthfully, the "errand" was an excuse; I was tired and looking forward to an hour by myself.

At a busy intersection I passed a Little Caesars carryout restaurant which is famous for their $5 pizzas. Ever since their grand opening a few months ago, the Little Caesars mascot has been a permanent fixture at that intersection and we have been thoroughly entertained. The mascot dances, waves, and twirls around. The mascot is cute.

This evening, however, the mascot wasn't there; instead, on the corner was a teenage girl, wearing a reflective vest (it was starting to get dark) and holding a Little Caesars posterboard.

And she was dancing. She had earphones in her ears and she was waving her posterboard and she was dancing. Joyously.

She was twirling and whirling and so into the moment, oblivious to the traffic and the noise.

And she made me laugh ... out loud.

I drove through the intersection and turned around. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I just felt as if I had to thank her for her joy.

As I pulled into the parking lot outside the restaurant the girl was walking back. Her shift was over.

I stood by the door. When she approached I told her what a good job she did and how her joy was infectious.

And she laughed.

And I laughed.

And that's it. My errand was over and I went home.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Nose Knows

Things have been smelly around here. Really, really smelly.


One word ... football.

Who knew boys could get so stinky? When I pick my son up after a three hour practice held in 95-degree heat, I crank the air conditioner ... and crack the windows so I can breathe.

When we get home, his dirty clothes cannot, under any circumstance, be tossed into the hamper; instead, they are hung outside on the back porch to dry . . . and air out.

After the last game, even his football gloves smelled funny. Everything but his cleats went straight into the washing machine.

Stink. Stank. Stunk. If blogger had a scratch-n-sniff feature ...

Okay. We won't go there.

On the other hand, here's Timothy's pezzetta (his blankie).

He has slept with his pezzetta ever since he was born. It used to be one blanket, but after a scary couple of hours when we thought it was lost, Nonna cut it in half and made two pezzettas.

And here's the best part: his pezzetta has the most wonderful smell. It smells sweet, and good, and cuddly, and so much like the little boy. When I make his bed in the morning I hold it up to my face and breathe deeply. It gets washed frequently --in the same detergent as his other clothes -- but it still has its own special smell. How does this happen?

I truly don't know . . .

but I sure wish football players had pezzettas.

An October-ish Christmas Present

Dear Joey,

I know it's early, but I really, really would like a new camera for Christmas.

Remember, I had wanted to buy one before our trip to Italy, but decided against it for two reasons: a) I felt guilty spending the money before we even left the country, and b) I wanted to give myself time to research exactly what I wanted.

So I've been limping along with our old digital one, the one that takes a good three minutes to snap a picture . . . three minutes in which everyone has to keep smiling like idiots and not move a muscle.

Now, thanks to my brother and my cousin Dami, who both have done the camera research for me, I know exactly what I want; in short, I want what they have. Simple, right?

And here's what I was thinking: maybe it would be good to get the camera before Christmas so I have time to study the instruction manual.

And since Thanksgiving is just a few weeks earlier, and we always travel over Thanksgiving, maybe it would be a good idea to have the camera then.

Oh, and about Halloween. Isn't it sad how the two older boys don't dress up anymore? But aren't we lucky that we still have Timothy who, this year, wants to be Luke Skywalker? It's too bad our old digital camera takes such lousy nighttime photos, though.

So, what do you think? And just to make things easy for you, don't worry about wrapping it . . . finding Christmas wrapping paper in October might be a problem.


Standing still, grinning like idiots ... waiting for the picture to take.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why God Matters

Why God Matters
a book review

I once read that in our faith journey, one either goes forward or one goes backwards . . . but one cannot stand still.

As a busy mother with three sons, standing still wouldn't describe my life. With my boys in Catholic School, it seems as if our faith is woven into the very fabric of our family: Mass on Sundays; big, Italian celebrations for every Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation and Marriage; monthly Reconciliation; grace before meals; Sunday night rosary.

And yet, I wonder if my relationship with God - my personal faith journey - is being overshadowed by all the running around I am doing to live my faith; in other words, by doing things in the name of my faith, am I losing sight of God, the source of my faith?

This is one of many questions addressed in the book Why God Matters by Deacon Steven Lumbert and his daughter, Karina Lumbert Fabian. Through personal stories, scripture, and references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church they have written a straight-forward book reminding us that when we look for God in our ordinary day-to-day life, it then becomes extraordinary.

It's a simple book by a father and daughter, but its very simplicity highlights the richness of our faith.

And it inspired me to view every day as a gift in my faith journey . . . a journey for which I will neither stand still nor retrace my steps, but one in which I will continue to move forward.

Why God Matters
How to Recognize Him in Daily Life
by: Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert
book website: go here
Excerpt: Chapter 2