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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…!

Home & Family


Crockpot Coq au Vin

My husband and I were raised in families that loved to read. Some family members poured over big books, others loved to leaf through catalogs and cookbooks. This proved to be a wonderful way to relax and gain inspiration. Benedetto’s interest in eating various cuisines extends to cooking the foods, as well. So, as a…


A Pet’s Passing

I am thankful for every day we enjoy with Misha and Grisha, our amazing black Scottish Terriers. They are big love machines with little guy bodies on sturdy legs, happy to run, eat, and sleep. And of course do their big business, which they’ve been doing a lot of in recent days, but that’s another…


Letting Out the Leash

It’s a principle that may be used in training humans or animals: letting out the leash. In the beginning, the child or the puppy is kept on a short leash, speaking figuratively, not literally. And yes, I have glimpsed kids on actual leashes and been horrified by the sight, so let’s not even go there-!…


Our Girl’s Good News

We’ve been chatting with the kids about summer jobs. Granted, half the summer is over, but still, they can dream. Their ages are 17.5, 17.5, 16, and 13.5, two boys, two girls, all who arrived from Russia at older ages. The first boy is headed to college in the fall, the second boy is entering…


Crazy Car Conversations: The Tinkle Tax

Our family spends way too much time in the car. Shuttling between two homes with two boys, two girls, two parents and two dogs, it’s actually easier not to take the plane with our personal pilots and other paraphernalia. We arrive faster and fresher by driving. I thought. We may need to rethink that. During…


Another Funny Summer Flick

Do you want a movie full of adventure, a bit of Russian language, and dogs? Look no farther. This is a film with no swearing and plenty of good messages. The bad guys get into trouble, and the good guys/dogs come out on top. On Netflix, our family watched yet another in the series of…


Choose Your Battles-?

I have four teens in the home. I guess we could stop right there. For most moms, that’s shorthand for: I’m aging faster than the speed of light. Generally, our kids are good, so we’re blessed. Really. Of course, I’d have to acknowledge that I run a very tight ship, which probably is shorthand for:…


The Little Boy & the Little Free Library

Leawood, Kansas – A 9-year-old boy and his family started a “Little Free Library” in their front yard and are being ordered by the city to take it down. The small, elevated box with a sign that reads, “Take One, Leave One” is a no-cost, neighborhood lending library. We first saw this idea in practice…


Our Girls… Five Years Later

It was around this time, five years ago, that Benedetto and I found ourselves in a remote region of southern Russia, adopting two sisters. The weather was hotter than hot in a land with seemingly no air conditioning. Before my husband arrived, I remember sitting in a tiny square near the orphanage, a quilt placed…



I have turned into that caricature of a woman who searches here and there for her glasses, while they’re propped on top of my head. Forgetfulness is not so much annoying in and of itself, as much as it’s a waste of time. From the other side of the house, I decide to text my…

The Daily Dilbert