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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…!

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russia1

Free Land in Russia

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent a news article announcing free land in Russia. Could it be true? Yes, if you were a Russian citizen and felt the pioneering spirit, you could sign up for the latest in Russian-good-ideas-gone-bad. The Russian president approved the scheme whereby one hectare (2.5 acres) would be given…

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Signs of Summer

Personally, I’m in the midst of a number of special projects this summer, similar to mergers and acquisitions, time-consuming and not at all allowing me to move forward in other, vital areas. I barely know that it’s summer, other than my now-becoming-sporadic daily power walk. So today, I am recounting the highlights of summer and…

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Four Weeks Petya-Free

We are more than midway through and actually nearing the end of the month-long leave of absence our oldest son took from his job… and his university studies… and us. Volunteering as a camp counselor, I hear he’s heading out for whitewater rafting early in the morning. He sneaks the occasional text to us once…

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Monday Mottoes – #149

My husband recently likened raising children to growing a garden. Unless we weed it, feed it and water it, it won’t grow. Same with kids: let them do anything they want and you won’t get much good fruit. That is not a popular view these days, it seems. Walk into any public space— a store,…

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Monday Mottoes – #148

Women are great multi-taskers, whether in the home or in the office. We’re able to handle a number of things happening at the same time, on a variety of fronts. That’s just how it happens. Guys, not so much. It’s so-and-so’s birthday? A going-away or retirement party? Proposals to be written, spreadsheets prepared, a meeting…

dacha

When Summer Storms Come

Summer temperatures at our dacha regularly approach three digits, with the occasional violent storm thrown in for good measure. This is the south and this is how it goes. However, at our other house, midway up the Atlantic coast of the United States, summer still registers as hotter than hot and humid. It’s at times…

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Grab Bag of Glass Treasures

I’m a matchy-matchy, button-down collar, Execu-Type A personality. Which only goes to prove that even the most calculated, disciplined souls occasionally crave random beauty, just for the sake of it. Which brings me to glass. One day I will share my glass collection with you. I have the intricate, handblown Venetian items originating on the…

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Is Summer Camp Good for Adoptees?

In a nutshell: not. so. sure. Leaning toward not. And mind you, my son is not the nine-year-old, gone away for his first time to sleep-away camp. No, he’s the 19-year-old camp counselor. Here’s the rub: very little has changed since my days at camp, you know, back in the Stone Age. We were not…

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Quoits, Croquet and Bocce

I am not a snob, really, I’m not. However, as summer swings into high gear, all I can picture is a gathering on the beach, men in khaki pants and white shirts, ladies in white linen tea-length-or-longer dresses and sunhats, playing lawn games. And sipping lemonade. By the seaside. On a grassy lawn. What are…

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Camp Photos from Afar

They are in staff training for the next few days before the campers arrive. Smart move. I ask Petya to send group photos. Here the tribe leaders (counselors) are in a van, smiling wildly. They look normal and happy and dynamic. “Great group!” I text enthusiastically. “They’re all awesome, just like me, hehe,” I receive…