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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…!



How Does Your Garden Grow?

Spring has sprung and it’s time to plant a garden.  Generally, Benedetto and the children do it, not understanding that I was the original Russian gardener in my childhood.  From what I can fathom, most every Russian gardens.  That’s what dachas are made for, right? Italians, on the other hand, might garden, but they usually…


Waiting for Hamantaschen

So, inquiring minds have wondered as to my lack of hamantaschen posting this year.  Purim happened over the weekend, the holiday commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from the hand of the Persians.  Hmmm… history repeats itself if you consider Iran and Israel of today. One of the most delightful aspects of the holiday…


Maslenitsa Merrymaking 2014

Blini, blini, and more blini.  Russians everywhere have been celebrating Mas’lenitsa during the past week.  Both a pagan and Orthodox Christian holiday, it includes eating lots of rich pancakes comprised of butter, milk, and eggs.  Of course the American variety is thick and fluffy, and cakelike, whereas the Eastern European type is the lighter blini…


Paleo Power or Atkins Achievement?

My oldest son and I could afford to lose some weight.  When we were abroad a couple of months ago and surrounded by all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner buffets, he went wild.  I had limited the kids to one or two small desserts, and no ultra-sugary breakfast items, even if they thought it counted as a…


The Chicken Soup Project

Alright, so Hilary Clinton didn’t want to be known for baking cookies.  In my opinion, there are worse things….  Personally, I like spreading cheer and calories through gifts of food to those who need it, or want it. Recently, I’ve been on a chicken soup gig.  If you’re sick, elderly, or simply on my heart,…



(Due to multiple hack attacks over the past two weeks from a certain area in the world (!), this should have been posted earlier.  We apologize for the delay.  Looks like every other post is messed-up, too….  Please bear with us!) Tonight is Christmas Eve in Russia with special foods simmering, folks heading out to…


Mohammed’s Old City Pizza

Almost 40 years ago, Benedetto was a young college student working in Israel for the summer when he stumbled upon Mohammed’s bakery.Cats wandered in and out at will, and characters appeared at all hours of the night, since he often baked while the rest of the neighborhood slept.  It was the perfect place to eat,…


Happy Thanksgiving 2013

May your turkey be moist, and your time together, meaningful.  May your conversation be uplifting and joyous.  May you remember the less fortunate, and focus on what you do have, rejoicing in God’s goodness.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Psalm 111 Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the…


Thanksgiving Thoughts in Russian

Lots of things still don’t compute for our kids, home from Russia now for 4-5 years except for our oldest.  When it comes to holidays, it can be a comedy of errors as far as what they understand. I send forth my first verbal volley. “What’s a traditional Thanksgiving meal consist of?” I wonder aloud….


Monday Mottoes – #14

What gets you going in the morning?  Is it a sense of mission, a feeling of purpose, some happy music or a power breakfast?  Maybe it’s a quick workout, or a walk with the dog. Which brings us to today’s motto:  “Morning has broken.   Mr. Coffee has spoken.” While I normally drink decaf coffee,…

The Daily Dilbert