web analytics

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…!

Home & Family


In The Valley of the Shadow of Death

My heart goes out to those who are in the waning years of their life. Often, their families try to arrange the best care possible— whether at home or in a retirement or assisted care facility. It’s a tough call. My mother-in-law has been living in such an assisted-living home for the past five years….


Who Controls Your Future?

If you asked me who controls my future, I would say, bottom line: God. But no so fast. We have a part to play, as well. Which is both the terrifying, as well as the exhilarating, aspect of the equation. When we miss it occasionally and then suffer the consequences, that’s not God. That’s us!…


Flash from the Past: Fun Summer Flick

With summer fading on the horizon, and back-to-school supplies and schedules concerning those who need to be concerned, it’s a great time for a summer film. Not to mention days on end of rain across the U.S.’s East Coast, which makes for good viewing weather…. So our family hunkered down the other night to watch…


High School Homeschool Graduation

The end of an era. Pasha, 20, and Mashenka, 19, were graduating from high school. Nine years and eight years prior, both had arrived from Russia, woefully behind in their studies. Attending Russian internats, the orphanage boarding schools, most adults acknowledged that a quality education was not a top priority for kids who would most…


The Family Woman and the Professional Woman

The family woman and the professional woman: and never the twain shall meet. And neither shall either be “enough”. Trying to balance “it all” and have “it all”, well, good luck with that. There’s always going to be something that gets the short end of the stick. Often, that could be you. Notice, I did…


Monday Mottoes – #200

This is our 200th blog post in the Monday Mottoes series— time for something different, maybe a departure from productivity, success, business…. Around our home, we’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. Our oldest daughter, Mashenka, 19, had a girlfriend she had met long ago at camp visiting with us for most of the last…


Comparing Your Kids to Others

Our family’s children, most of them moving from their teens to their twenties at this point, fall short in a variety of ways. They’re not so sure about their future plans, they might want to talk back upon occasion, they lack in the area of personal initiative…. But on the whole, when coached, they possess…


You Can’t Go to the Slammer— It’s Your Birthday!

A funny thing happened on the way to Benedetto’s birthday party this week. One of the cities in which we lived informed him that he was in violation of one ordinance or another and would immediately be fined something to the tune of $1005/day, or he would need to spend the next 30 days in…


The House is on Fire!

Yes, I know, these kind of things never happen to you. But in our house…. Long story short, yesterday we had a kitchen fire. Benedetto had started heating some oil in a frying pan after a very busy day when he was preparing some things for dinner. (All I can say is that I am…


A Myrtle Beach Vacay-!

Just about the time I’m going through my own way-of-sorrows renovation stories (and believe me, I have enough work to be done in my places that could keep me busy another 20 years…), we have friends who have accomplished an amazing feat with a 1950s beach house in lovely Myrtle Beach, SC. This is one…