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

dmv1

At the Department of Motor Vehicles

Our oldest son has been driving for almost two years. In the tiered system of driver’s licenses in the District of Columbia, a student driver slowly works his way up to full privileges. During the first year or two, only so many other young people may be in the car at the same time, usually…

ma1

Grinding Away at Grad School

Here’s to all of the women in university and grad school out there, who need to balance work and family life… while they study either to better themselves or their career. It’s not easy. It takes more than a village. It takes either total isolation, peace and quiet—that’s never going to happen—or it takes an…

summer1

The End-of-Summer Family Dinner

You may remember, we started the summer at Benedetto’s sister’s house some three hours away with a family dinner on draped tables and antique chairs sprinkled across the back lawn. By no design of our own, we ended the summer in much the same way, roasting corn and chickens on the grill, complemented by a…

girls1

Wild Women and Our Boys

Apparently, our teen boys are chick magnets. The fact that they don’t date has nothing to do with it, at least not that I can figure out. While I can understand possibly admiring a guy from afar, there are some pretty aggressive young ladies out there these days…. “What happened?” I asked my husband. “Apparently…

permit1

Learning to Drive… in Other Languages

Our kids continue to study Russian Lite throughout the year. I take them through the paces, the key to our limited success being that we need dialogs which will engage them. In college, you can use the normal, “What are you studying?” and “Do you live in the dorm?”, but for now, we need more…

roadtrip1

Preparing for Papa’s Roadtrip

Benedetto must go away for a day to tend to some business. Problem is, he leaves after addressing an evening meeting, drives all night, tends to his matters the next morning, and then drives back. As any family would worry about an overworked loved one, we try to see that he gets as much sleep…

prob1

When Adoption Doesn’t Work

Some adoptions don’t work. Just like some marriages don’t work. And often, you get a package, two-for-one deal. My inbox is full of those who have no one who believes them. The toddler/ teen/ young adult is a terror on wheels, and often one spouse never sees it. The smirks, the backtalk, the violence… always…

scotties1

Scotties Who Survey Their Kingdom

It was a very rainy day. Very rainy. So rainy that I didn’t want to go out and play. When the deluge finally subsided, I decided to stay on the back steps and survey my kingdom, but not put one paw onto the soggy yard. So here I sit, sniffing, enjoying, blinking beneath my bushy…

greencard1

The Green Card Interview

Foreign friends surround me and many have reported horrific experiences for their Green Card interview with the U.S. Government. Well, that day finally arrived for a girlfriend who’s been in America for over 25 years. All she wanted was to be legal. No, she didn’t walk across the Mexican border. That would have been much…

coq1

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…

The Daily Dilbert