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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Join us for international adventure with our fast-track family holding Old World values while adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go...!
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Sashenka Turns 14

Our youngest, daughter Sashenka, turned 14. It was a week fraught with giddy highs and skipping gait, along with sullen lows. Birthdays never used to do that to her, but as a Russian adoptee, I had heard of this behavior in so many others before. They rued the day they were born because apparently, it…

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Very Interesting Veliky Novgorod Finds

A friend sent me the New York Times article sharing some interesting news from Veliky Novgorod. At first, my mind traveled the snow-covered path to Nizhniy Novgorod, which I’ve written about before (http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/love-that-lasts/, http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/russian-adoption-delays-and-detours/). It was here my plane was diverted once for six long hours on Valentine’s Day afernoon as I tried my hardest…

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An Adoptive Child with Brain Damage

Big brain damage we can spot a mile away, but slight brain damage… it’s a tricky thing. You might think that your adopted child is being difficult. And she is. But it might not be her fault entirely. Such is life with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Unless a child is severely affected and you’ve made the…

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A Do-It-Yourself Painting Project

Today I am painting the back steps. Oh yes, I am. Oh no, I’m not loony. Oh no, there’s not anyone else to do it. Husband? Children? All TOO BUSY. Very important people. No time for the mundane things in life, of which there are plenty. Workmen, you say? I’m all for it. But every…

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Monday Mottoes – #61

One day at a time. One step at a time. Break it down into manageable steps. Don’t take on more than you can handle. All wise words. I like looking at the big picture, but, let’s be honest, sometimes the big picture is simply… too big. It can be overwhelming. Maybe you’re facing a health…

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Putin Threatens to Pull Plug on Gas

Most every winter, the story is the same: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin cuts off crucial gas supplies to Ukraine, ensuring that they freeze for a month or two and are able to remember who butters their black bread. This year, the story is changing. Putin is threatening Western Europe’s gas supplies as sanctions against him…

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Out to Tea

It’s been awhile since I took my two daughters out to a proper afternoon tea. This time, we decided to invite the whole family. Note to self: do not undertake a proper tea with white tablecloths, white-gloved wait staff, and gleaming silver serving pieces unless everyone is first properly rested. (Not a given in our…

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Meaningful Family Meals

Benedetto and I were raised in two different types of families. His felt that family meals were important events and did everything in their power to delay dinner until all of the kids came home. My family, on the other hand, came and went with an air of independence, while still enjoying most dinners together….

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An Autumn Doggy Walk

Misha and Grisha, our Scottish Terriers with the Russian names, love this time of year. The crisp air and brisk wind must remind them of their genetically-native Scotland. They’ve invited you to join them as they remember a recent constitutional out-and-about. It was a usual day, the two of them appearing suspicious and simply too…

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Monday Mottoes – #60

What makes you spring from your bed in the morning? What gets you motivated? What puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step? In general, that’s the direction in which you should head. Not that we always undertake activities that are pleasant, enjoyable, and amusing; however, the alternative is not the…