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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…!

House Renovation


Monday Mottoes – #175

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in stuff? Maybe your office desk, or bedroom dresser drawers, or kitchen cabinets, or clothes closets overflow with an abundance that can barely be tamed. I know. I joke that we will be featured on the “Hoarders” TV show one day. But it’s not funny. Too much stuff…


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…


Back to the Happy, Happy, Happy Kitchen

Due to our great kids who have somehow been coerced into active service, our urban-kitchen-turned-Italian-country has returned to its rightful roots. The sleek, gray-and-silver room over which I slaved for some time, turned out to be too blah and bleak for our tastes. We decided to go back to a brighter color scheme, landing squarely…


Lost & Found in the Junk Room

When you travel a lot, just about any room in the house can easily turn into a junk room. Our second oldest son, Pasha, and I, decided to tackle it together. Double the fun and double the help. And, as often happens when tackling such a room, many old things turn up. “There you are!”…


Diamonds, Polkadots and Kitchen Rehab Disaster

Friends of mine have handymen on retainers. These guys are wonderful workmen who are so awesome, they often stay to eat dinner with the family. When they decide to jet off to Eastern Europe to see their own aging parents, our friends are left high and dry. Or hot and cold. One family did not…


The Eastern Shore

Passing through the Eastern Shore environs on a cool / cloudy / rainy day. There’s nothing like being off-season, or just-before-season anywhere. Alright, so some cafes or shops or amusements may be closed, but much of the time I’m a woman on a mission, just zipping through on my way elsewhere…. Spotted this “Love” sign…


International House Hunting

I love TV shows like “House Hunters International”. It never ceases to give me a good laugh when Americans don’t realize that, what we imagine to be normal, is rarely the case in the rest of the world. Living abroad, you might not have a car… and a place to park. You probably won’t have…


Chalkboard Challenge

Working night and day for months on end, I had hoped to take a mini-break in January or February. Before jumping right back on the merry-go-round, of course. But it never happened. I should be cleaning, organizing, getting all of my systems and storage in place for the next major push forward on other fronts….


Cleaning Up My Act… and Office

Coming up for air after months and months of deadlines, my mini-project of the day (which will take much longer than a day… or two… or three…) is a spare office. It’s a place where I camp-out when I require laser-like focus, not anywhere I need to greet nor meet anyone.  Unfortunately, the papers there…


Ridding Our Home of Raccoons & Opossums

Folks, it’s war. This raccoon, opossum, grisly bear or whatever has got to go. I haven’t slept for days on end and while the family was at the other house in the other city, I took matters into my own paws. The mothball-laden attic was clearly not enough. For awhile, it seemed like they were…