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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


The Girlfriend Cometh

Petya, age 20, has a girlfriend. She lives far away, but is coming to visit next week during her university break. Our son, in his own inimitable style, is preparing. We need to work on the guest room. Lots of cleaning has taken place in the room that became a catch-all, as well as an…


A Girl’s Ambition… in a Boy’s Pants

That doesn’t sound right, does it??? Our kids are preparing to work a volunteer job at a Washington advocacy firm. Excitement levels are running high, not knowing whether they might be trusted with an actual task of significance, or if they might only file, make coffee and answer the phone. No, I take that back….


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 – #173

Right now, I’m living with some half-hatched, larvae-like kids and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Happily, things started turning around on Friday when they decided to get with the program and have a nice holiday dinner on the eve of Russian Christmas. Girls helped with the mushroom and onion piroshki, slicing, dicing,…


Russian Christmas

Russian Christmas Eve begins tonight on January 6th, with the actual holiday on January 7th. Orthodox Christians celebrate this date as the birth of Jesus due to a difference in the Gregorian and Julian calendars. So Russians sing carols house to house, enjoy a meal of 12 different dishes and attend church. In our family,…


What’s the Worst That Could Happen in Our Kids’ Future?

Don’t answer that question.  We’re not talking about a life of crime, just everyday laissez-faire and ennui. The worst that could happen? I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, so it’s not hard to imagine when it comes to our kids in their late teens and early twenties. All but one seem determined to head nowhere……


Holiday Chocolate Overdose

We were once at the vet’s when a pooch was rushed in who had found some holiday chocolates, gobbled down the box on a low table, and then had to have his stomach pumped lest he die. I am that dog. Well, not really, only mentally. You see, every year people purchase tons of chocolates…


Allowing a Son or Daughter to Crash & Burn

To look at it, on the surface, our children are model individuals. They really don’t have that many bad points. Whether that may be attributed to the children, or to the parents, is hard to determine. There are some kids who just go with the flow and live in harmony and do their best. We…


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…