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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…!



Sandwiches for the Homeless

We got together with friends to provide sandwiches for a homeless shelter. Schools, corporations, congregations do stuff like this. Why not us? Everyone was assigned a job. I was the one with the idea, so I became the de facto supervisor. One family volunteered their home. One guy volunteered to price the food items. Some…


Coffee With Healthful Spices

The jury is still out on coffee and whether or not it’s good for you. Or not harmful, at least. Is water-processed decaf as dangerous as chemically-processed decaf? Is that as beneficial as caffeinated? Being more Euro-oriented in my younger days, I used to laugh at the Americans who needed to have a dusting of…


At the Jewish Deli

It’s the end of the school year. Somewhat. Our kids still have a few odds and ends to finish up, such is the nature of homeschool. You don’t finish, you don’t finish. In any event, the days are getting longer, shall we say, and the search for summer jobs is on with a couple of…


Our Boy’s Business Lunch

Petya will turn 19 in late September, going to college part-time year-round and working part-time. He started as a volunteer at his office right after his 15th birthday, an intern-of-sorts, becoming a paid employee a couple of years later. Almost four years later, the boss that initially brought him on board was going to retire…


Russians and Ice Cream

Russians love ice cream, that’s all there is to it. They will eat it in the summer and winter, and that’s really something when you consider a raging Russian winter…. They will consume the pre-packaged Eskimo variety, or the soft-serve in a cone. Today, I took my kids over to FunRussian.com online where Viktoria told…


Diet Soda is Out

I knew it, I just knew it. After my doctor revealed that my new portion size is one-half of one carrot, with perhaps 1/4 of a brussel sprout thrown in for good measure, I could not find the most likely culprit hindering my Slim Jim makeover. A pile of spinach? A tiny tub of Greek…


Monday Mottoes – #77

Food is a funny thing—can’t live without it, sometimes can’t live with it. Every other physical dependency one can kick either gradually or cold turkey. Food—not so much. It always amazes me concerning the regional proclivities of foodies. If you’re around the Boston area, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner. In the southwest, you…


Candy Store Mafia

My husband is Sicilian, not that he can help it. He’s not dark and swarthy, more brown hair and hazel eyes, and an all-round nice guy. But stereotypes die hard, as the rest of us from Russian backgrounds understand. He walked into a candy store the other day with a couple of our kids and…


Steaming Sahleb

The mysterious hot sahleb drink is served on Middle Eastern streets throughout the freezing winter months. Often served in outdoor kiosks from large, silver, samovar urns, the drink approximates a pudding-like dessert created out of ground orchid root. You heard right. Orchid root. It’s a thick, fragrant drink that will warm you from the inside-out….


Happy Italian Holiday Foods

Just when the family is deep into Hanukkah jelly donuts and potato latkes, Benedetto is directing us toward his compadre culture. It’s not like we celebrated any Italian Christmas traditions for the first 25 years of our marriage, however, the children may be spurring his walk down memory lane in the last decade. So here…