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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


9 Ways to Stay Awake on the Road

Any long, holiday drives ahead of you?  College students and families heading to visit family and friends…. Recently, Petya and I made a couple of long treks as he drove six hours back to one house and then I drove the two of us eight, long hours to our second house. It should have taken…


Monday Mottoes – #114

I am very tired. Very, very tired. It stems from a number of realities, in my mind. A quick get-away that took many more hours of planning on my part to coordinate clothes, schedules, travel than the hours of the trip itself. We arrive home exhausted and rush immediately to a funeral of a dear,…


Our Scotties & the Time Change

Most of us with dogs are used to getting up at daybreak or before to take them for their first walk of the day. Yet, ever since our clocks fell back one hour, all of the dogs that I know are rising anywhere from one to 1.5 hours early. No one sent them the memo….


Counterintuitive Parenting

When a child is behaviorally struggling and acting-out, whether passively or aggressively, parents often pursue one of two tracks. Either they crack down and become more strict, or else they give up any thought of trying to control the situation. A third possible response exists. It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t always make sense. Yet, often, it…


The Road Less Traveled

Benedetto and I strolled along a lovely wooded path, enjoying the autumn colors.  As we did, I could not help but think of this poem by Robert Frost.  May all of us be bold enough to follow the right path, whether we seem to walk it alone or in the company of others….   Two…


Adoptees & The Shame of the Past

Sashenka will be turning 15 later this week. Fifteen going on three. She seems arrested, retarded in her emotional development, constantly depressed. Is it a type of survivor’s guilt, that she now has a great life, while orphanage playmates were left behind? Or, could it be angst over her birth-day itself, that she was born…


Life is in the Details

Most of us live lives of substance. We have major deals, relationships, careers, and issues going on. Those things are important. They’re the building blocks, the big chunks of our life. However, the details can tip the balance on one side or the other. Details, you know, the small things in life, really matter. I…


Dressing for an Archaeological Conference

I attend a number of archaeological meetings, yet this will be my first annual meeting or conference. Believe it or not, yours truly is going to be recognized for her humble accomplishments during this gathering. At a time like this, my thoughts turn only to the most important matter at hand: what to wear? In…


Miracle at the Wayside Church

You know how it is on a long drive— tummies start to hurt, nerves begin to fray. It’s no different for our two Scotties, Misha and Grisha, who become a bit perturbed when they can’t stretch out exactly as they want. After awhile, they weren’t on speaking terms. And then they saw the country church’s…


Much Meaning in an Infinity Scarf

It all started around the time of Mashenka’s birthday in May. Petya wanted to go and find a gift for her…. A call comes after he’s out and about. The conversation went something like this: “I think I have an idea. How about hair bands—the nice kind?” “Headbands? The fancy kind?” I ask. “Sure, she’d…