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

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Four Corners of a Situation Room

This time of year our dining room is used for everything EXCEPT dining.

Instead, in the weeks leading up to The Great Exodus which is otherwise known as Masters Week, it becomes The Situation Room. Think of it as Headquarters, Home Base, Mission Control, Central Dispatch, and War Room rolled into one.

Our Situation Room is a disorganized organized system of multi-tasking. It can be a little frightening to venture in, and between now and Masters Sunday it will only get worse, but rest assured that before we leave it will POOF! return to being a dining room.

In the meantime, though, here's what's going on (clockwise from top):

Corner 1: Planning a 50th anniversary party means stockpiling vases, decorations, bonbonniere, candles, and Jordan almonds.

Corner 2: Those framed prints are on Joe's Honey-do List. And the Zazzle boxes? My files containing guest list, save-the-date cards, invitations, deejay info, catering info, reception menu ... I mean, it's like I'm planning a wedding. My parents should just go ahead and get married again.

Corner 3: In between planning a party, preparing to rent our house for Masters Week, and doing all the normal, every day stuff I always do (cooking, cleaning, carpooling), I also have to work. So my work station is set up in the middle of The Situation Room so I can write, assemble bonbonniere, and fold sheets all at the same time!

Corner 4: Did I mention Master's prep? Freshly laundered sheets and towels are folded and stacked on the dining room table waiting to be carried upstairs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fashion Advice from My Sons. Really?

Saturday I came downstairs feeling good about myself. I was wearing skinny jeans, a black t-shirt and Italian leather loafers, I had on one of my biggest watches, I was having a good hair day, and I was sporting a half tuck -- you know, the new craze in which you tuck in just the front of your shirt. Take a look ...

The Half Tuck

Anyway, I was feeling -- dare I say it? -- decidedly put together, as in you go, girl!

But then it started, one after another like some kind of bad comedy routine.

"Why is your shirt like that?" Jonathan asked.

"That looks dumb, either untuck it or tuck it." Timothy said.

"You forgot to tuck in the rest of your shirt," Joe remarked, a little later.

Really. Fashion advice from the same guys who thought G.I. Joe looked good standing next to the Holy Family? Who were certain that a Bob the Builder umbrella added a certain flair to interior design? Or who insisted that a fuzzy, leopard toilet seat was cool?

Yeah. I rest my case.

I'm not feeling G.I. Joe with the Holy Family.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Life Lately: All About Spring (daffodils, pressure washers, spring cleaning with style, and the spring break that almost wasn't)

Nana's Daffodils

Ten years ago Joe's mother (Nana) planted some daffodil bulbs in our backyard, and every year those golden daffodils herald the arrival of spring. And although Nana passed away six years ago, the daffodils continue to bloom. Thank you, Nana, for this springtime gift.

Nana's daffodils bloomed this weekend.

The Amazing Pressure Washer

Joe spent the past two weekends pressure washing our driveway and getting rid of a year's worth of dirt, grime, and mold. The photo shows where he stopped last weekend, and where he started yesterday.

You don't notice how dirty a driveway gets
until you get out the pressure washer.

Spring Cleaning with style

Yup. It's that time of year again to don my purple gloves and cocktail ring and start that spring cleaning.

The ring adds a certain je ne sais quoi ...

The Spring Break that Almost Wasn't

Nicho came home Friday night, a stopping point before driving to Myrtle Beach for his spring break. This is his first official spring break trip, with just four friends at a beach location, and it came compliments of i Nonni who gifted him their RCI timeshare for his 21st birthday.

He has been looking forward to this for months, and Saturday morning he and his buddies were all smiles as they backed down our driveway.

A few hours later he calls us in a panic. The resort wouldn't let them check in because i Nonni forgot to include his name in the exchange rental, and they weren't budging. Despite Nicholas having all the paperwork in hand, no name on the contract meant no check-in. Period.

Now Joe and I are in a panic. We called RCI. "Sorry." they said. "Try talking directly to the resort." So we called the resort and talked to the front desk clerk. "No problem!" he said to me. "Just have your parents call and/or email RCI to put Nicholas on the contract."

Uh, huh. HELLO! Where are my parents? SOUTH AMERICA, that's where. We have no way to reach them. They email us whenever they have access to the email but, right now, they are incommunicado.

So we did two things: Joe, on one phone, tells all the boys to go sit in the lobby right there in full view of the front desk. Be polite, but be very visible. And it wouldn't hurt to look pitiful. I, on the other phone, asked to speak to the manager (arrivederci unhelpful desk clerk).

In the end, after explanations, entreaties and promises, the manager allowed them to check in provided that my parents, upon their return stateside on Tuesday, call in to verify everything.

And just like that we rescued a Myrtle Beach spring break for four, hard working college students -- including two who already have summer internships lined up, one who made the Dean's List this past fall, and three who have been friends since kindergarten.

Super Joe and Super Bia

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What to expect when you're expecting your parents

This week I will be picking my parents up from the airport, and every time they return from one of their adventures I never know what to expect.

For example, last year my parents were returning from a trip to Sweden, Norway and Russia, and as I was standing there at the arrival gate what to my wondering eyes should appear but ...

my mom, wearing blond pigtails and a Viking helmet.

A few years ago when they returned from a trip to Mexico, my Mom was wearing a sombrero and carrying -- believe me, the auditory memory is still there -- some colorful maracas.

When they returned from Thailand, perched on top of my mom's head was a pointy straw hat because, you know, she was going straight to work in the rice fields.

So this week they're coming back from a High Seas Adventure (with 30-foot waves I mean that literally) where they sailed around the tip of South America and toured Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Which begs the question, what to expect at the airport?
This time I am somewhat prepared because a few days ago I received the following photo via WhatsApp ...

my mom, in Chile.