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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…!

Health & Beauty


I Could Have Had Sauce???

The other day I picked up a frozen meal from the grocery store. Now, keep in mind that 99% of the food in our family is home cooked. It might be past midnight and I don’t go to bed until I get up and turn off the pot of whatever is simmering on the stove….


On Not Letting Yourself Go

It’s an uphill battle as the years pass. It would be so easy to just “let yourself go”, even as houses, cars and clothes start to fall apart with time. So do people. To counteract that trend, we need to eat healthy foods, stretch and exercise while keeping the mind sharp, as well. An attractive…


Warmth in the Middle of Winter

Have you ever been carried away to a warm spot— whether physical, emotional or spiritual? Maybe it was a warm beach on a wintertime getaway, where you felt the pulsing heat soaking into your bones. Perhaps it was a hot cup of coffee or a bowl of soup by the roaring fire as snow fell…


Kicking Chaos to the Curb

I have lowered the boom. We are quashing chaos. My children come from backgrounds where their lives were out of control. That’s putting it mildly. Ending up in the Russian orphanage system signaled a definite upturn in events for them, which only proves how chaotic things had become. It was desperate. Sad as that may…


Monday Mottoes – #172

It was New Year’s Eve, not the late, late hours before midnight, but definitely after dinner. My son and I headed to the gym in an effort to stem the spread of calories from an indulgent holiday dinner. Not that the meal was so over-the-top, but, let’s just say it was definitely more than our…


Reluctant to Resolve?

I know, I know, it’s that time of year again— goals, resolutions, aims— and you’re skittish. I understand. What’s the point of dreaming and thinking and planning, if come next December, you’re right back in the same boat? You’re reluctant to resolve. You see no earthly reason to make big plans and then not have…


Daughter-in-Law-to-Be Gifts?

This is a category I have not yet explored. Our 20-year-old son seems fairly serious about a certain young lady. Now that the holidays are here, I hear that her family has a symbolic Chrismukkah stocking hanging for him in their home. She is coming to visit us soon and I consider what we might…


Monday Mottoes – #171

Blank pages spread before us for 2017, what will we write? What will we imagine or dream? Does the inspiration come from outside of us, or deep within? What’s a priority, what deserves our time and attention? Is it God speaking to us, our mate calling out for attention, the boss asking for more, or…


When Mama Falls Sick During a Holiday

The other day at a holiday gathering, a friend of mine commented that she has never seen me sick. “I mean, really, after 20 years, I can’t remember a time— ” she marveled, wondering what was my secret? Naturally, I thanked the Lord and spoke of washing one’s hands upon occasion, and not touching the…


Oops: The Case of the Missing Mustache

Our oldest son, like his father, sports a beard. Petya keeps his neat and trim, and so does Benedetto. Both look dapper. Until the other morning. “Oh, no!!!” our son comes running from his bathroom. “What happened?!” I shout. “My hand with the electric trimmer slipped— half of my mustache is gone!” he gasped. Sure…