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

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Follow the Star . . . Nativities around the World

Every year since 1983 the city of Verona displays a collection of over 400 nativity scenes from around the world in L`Arena, a Roman amphitheater. The exhibits are lit with special effects and the visitor becomes a participant as he/she strolls from scene to scene. An enormous Star of Bethlehem reaches out from the Arena into the beautiful Piazza Bra, which is the social center of the city.

In our little corner of the world, these are some of our favorites we set up each year . . .

Who says nativity better than Fontanini?

Joe's aunt, who lives in Bethlehem, PA, has given us many beautiful nativities over the years. The first one was the Lladro inspired one we received for our wedding,the latest was this one.

This one was handmade by a local potter; the stable I found in an antique store, the star is from Puerto Rico.

Our most unusual one: this American Indian nativity scene from our parents after they took a trip out west. It is one of our favorites.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


What I love about Thanksgiving:

~pumpkin pie with cappuccino;
~traveling to be with family;
~Thanksgiving cooking smells;
~apple pie with cappuccino;
~family football: all guys + me + my two sisters-in-law;
~cathing the first two passes in the family football game;
~that calories don't count on a holiday. Right? RIGHT?
~and my favorite . . . Thanksgiving is simply about gathering for a meal.

How perfect is that?

P.S. I also think that a holiday about being thankful is a perfect way to set the tone for the Advent season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dr. Dave

My baby brother is a doctor in internal medicine and I must say it’s very nice having a physician on call in the family.

As soon as he graduated from medical school my sister and I began calling him with all our baby questions: how much motrin for a 13-month old? decongestant or antihistamine? when is a rash contagious? is it normal for poop to be this color?

I know we drove him nuts … especially considering that he was practicing in another state and pediatrics was not his specialty (something he reminded us over and over again).

Then there are my parents and all their friends … you know, with their various and sundry ailments.

Mom: David, I have a question. Rosa’s left eye twitches and she wants to know if it’s related to her medicine. What’s that? The name of the medicine? I have no idea. Oh, and Stella’s bunion is bothering her … what should she do?

Sometimes we like to put him on the spot. One Thanksgiving we were sitting around the table discussing – of all things – tropical diseases like buruli ulcer disease and schistosomiasis, and on cue we all turned to David.

David: Look, I am not a doctor on infectious diseases! Internal Medicine … remember?

Sheesh. Touchy, touchy.

All kidding aside, he is always there for us.

~When I had a DVT in my leg during my third pregnancy, for months afterwards I would periodically call him in tears thinking that I had another one. His was the voice of calm reassurance that all was well.

~When Jonathan was worried to the point of tears on a private matter, he called Uncle David and all was right with the world again.

~When my nephew had to see a neurologist, David took off work and drove down from North Carolina to go with my sister and brother-in-law to the appointment.

~When our Dad was in the ER, David drove through the night to be with him, staying a couple of days until he was discharged.

Yes, it's nice having a doctor in the family but, truthfully, it is as a son, brother, husband, and father that we know him best.

The doctor part is just icing on the cake.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Conversation on a Sunday Afternoon

I was reading when Timothy came and snuggled next to me.

"Mom, who is your boyfriend?" he asked.

"Well, Daddy is," I replied.

"Who is your little boyfriend?" he continued.

"Let's see ... I guess that would be you," I said.

He nods in agreement.

"And I think you're my girlfriend," he remarked.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beat the Guesser

Tonight we were all sitting in the family room when our little guy brings down the bathroom scale to play his version of the old carnival game, Beat the Guesser. He had us all guess his weight, and then he stepped on the scale and the closest guesser won a fake pirate doubloon.

The two oldest got caught up in the game. We tried to guess Nicholas' weight and, of course, his brothers gave insulting guesses like 268 pounds.

My husband went, and because he's tall and lean, he's hard to figure out; in fact, he always beats the guesser at the carnival.

We were all laughing.

There was a pause . . . and all eyes turned to me.

Uh oh.


No, no, no.

No way, Jose`.

That scale and I have a rocky relationship and up until this very moment I was having fun. What? Are you kidding me?

Uhm . . . Monopoly anyone?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

From the Booth ... A Dad's View (guest post)

Aquinas' football season ended abruptly last night - driving for the dramatic, winning score before an incomplete pass on 4th down on the 10-yard line. Their final record was 6-4. Our middle son Jonathan has played several seasons for Columbia County during middle school, but this was Nicholas' first venture into the world of football. We were a lttle surprised this summer when he wanted to go through conditioning and training, etc. in order to play on the team. As a sophomore, he primarily played on the JV team, but dressed for all home varsity games and most of the road games. He also saw his first action on the field in a Varsity game! We are very proud of his perseverance and dedication (he never wanted to miss a practice), and look forward to two more seasons of Friday Night Lights. Here is a picture with me, the proud Dad, with the disappointed player after the loss. The Fighting Irish played hard, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Nicholas w/ Dad

Nicholas w/ Papa two weeks ago

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If You Vote for Me I'll Make You a Cappuccino

Recently I entered a Porches on Parade Concert which involved submitting a photo of our front porch decorated for Autumn. I am one of three finalists.

The winner of the contest receives a beautiful evergreen Christmas wreath ... but not just any wreath. THIS wreath is handmade by Master Gardener ML at MCLHgarden, and I know it will be gorgeous!

Now, I won't tell you which porch to vote for ... but gosh darn it I would love to win that wreath.

If you go to MCLHgarden, you can cast you vote on the sidebar on the top right.

Here was my entry ... now go vote ... I make wonderful cappuccinos:-)