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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…!

Field Trips

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Holidays are Here: Zoolights!

It’s that time of year in Washington, DC, when Pepco, along with other businesses sponsor the most amazing display of Christmas lights at the National Zoo. Whether still lights or high-tech dancing displays, each feature is more spectacular than the last. Most show animals, of course, whether on land or by sea. But there are…

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Rising at 2:00 am for Black Friday?

Are you part of the post-Thanksgiving frenzy of shoppers flooding stores today? Discounts, sales and slashed prices beckon for shoppers in search of the best prices. Personally, I enjoy shopping in a quiet, empty store whenever possible. Loud music, other customers impinging on my personal space and picked-over merchandise make me want to flee the…

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Solo Train Rides for Teens-?

Our oldest son was 18 years old last summer (almost 19) when we sent him on a train to NYC, where he was gathering with other teens to take a van to upstate NY to serve as a camp counselor for a month. He had flown to NYC the summer before, at age 17, running…

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“I’m Not Ashamed” Movie

We interrupt this two-part mini-series on adopted children, to give everyone a heads-up for a great weekend movie, “I’m Not Ashamed” by PureFlix. Rated PG-13, it follows the real-life story of Rachel Joy Scott, a young Christian high school student, shot and killed during the Columbine High School attacks of 1999. The two student neo-Nazi…

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Our Russian-American Kids Voted

So proud of our three oldest children, two of whom voted for the first time in this year’s early elections. The discussions regarding candidates and showing the kids how to research candidates’ statements and records bordered on the hysterical at times, but we got through it. If ever there was a case for changing the…

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Free Finds?

Driving down the road, I do a double-take. Our family just bypassed a perfectly-fine dining room table chair, with a sign announcing, “Free”. I laugh, imagining that most free furniture items are moth-eaten, broken, flea-infested or prove to be liabilities in any number of ways. Yet, I am inexplicably drawn to this chair. “Put it…

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Lost and Found

Minding my own business on a visit to small town America, bitterly cold weather and a chilly wind blew in. Freezing cold, I bought an extra hat and gloves. Somehow, over the course of several appointments, the two accessories disappeared. I briefly considered retracing my steps, but it would take way too long. Perhaps later….

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Making Family Memories at the Beach

One of our homes is not far from the beach, now recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  All of us moved mountains of debris over a couple of weeks’ time— pine cones, limbs and branches, palm fronds and everything else that goes with a tropical storm— from rising water to floods and mud. But…

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Hidden Cappuccino Calories

With a hurricane heading toward the East Coast of the US, our family has chosen to drive toward the scene of the crime and finish securing preparations that our friends started. So I am trying to turn my mind to other important matters while we all dig trenches for torrential rains to be channeled away…

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Phoneless and Homeless

The family headed out for a one-day getaway in honor of our oldest son’s upcoming 20th birthday. Hot on the heels of the successful meeting of my deadline, I was beyond exhausted, but happy. Leaving the house before dawn, we packed up the troops on our way between Point A and Point B… in order…