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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…!



Monday Mottoes – #109

Failure. It’s a hard thing to swallow, even harder to admit. Maybe a business failure, a relationship failure, a childrearing failure, an academic failure. It hurts. It stings. It paints a big “L” for loser on the forehead. Or does it? A toddler learning to walk while falling down, bumping into furniture and tripping over…


Monday Mottoes – #108

There is nothing private anymore, have you noticed? From e-mail accounts to criminal records, from salaries to medical records. Nothing is off-limits. Probably the wisest move is to live as though everything will be public. Just plan for it and you won’t be caught off-guard. Which leads us to today’s motto: “What you eat in…


Petya Turns 19

He’s cute, he’s sweet, he’s manly yet compassionate and understanding. He’s our son, Petya, adopted from Russia when almost eight years old, the one to come home at the youngest age, but our “first-born” in every way. The orphanage described him as a real “muzhchina”, a man’s man, strong and capable. They were proud of…


Washed-Out, Washed-Up Pope at The White House

One of the top religious leaders in the world visits one of the top political leaders in the world in “The Pope Comes to Washington”. Where was the moral courage and spiritual strength in either of them? The pope spoke of hailing from an immigrant family, of the importance of families that are tolerant and…


Yom Kippur: Ashamnu

The Ten Days of Awe (“Yamim Noraim”) started with Rosh Hashana and draws to a close with Yom Kippur. This includes a full night-day-to-next-night total fast from food and water, along with repentance. The congregants place fist-to-heart striking symbolically and pointing to their own guilt while stating, “Ashamnu,” We have transgressed. It got me to…


Monday Mottoes – #107

We’ve probably all heard the oft-told story of the builder contracted to build a magnificent home. The investor had the best plans, the highest-quality finishes, and a great crew to do the job. But the contractor decided to cut corners here and there, often in areas that would not be seen by the average observer….


Happy New Year 5776

It is Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year, also known as the Feast of Trumpets. The shofar (ram’s horn) sounds 100 times in synagogue, summoning people to repent and rejoice. At home, we dip our apples in honey, symbolizing a sweet new year. There are pomegranates and a sweet, round, braided challah bread. Rosh HaShana…


Showing Up in Life

Researchers inform us that much of a college student’s success may be accurately predicted by their ability to show up to class. Sleep in, cut out, skip class, goof off—it all spells trouble. The same may be true for lots of life: show up and you’re well on your way. Whether it’s the office party,…


A Long-Ago Friend Surfaces

As a young man, Benedetto was an archaeologist living in Jerusalem. There, he had a friend, Richard, a young architect who also worked in archaeology, drawing site plans. The two had numerous adventures and misadventures, shall we say. Richard had already left the country, heading back to the U.S. by the time I arrived on…


Monday Mottoes – #106

Most of us can read the handwriting on the wall. You know when to fish and when to cut bait. It’s not hard to see that the business is going south or the marriage going sour. Naturally, it’s easier to throw in the towel. Why stick with it? You’ve tried for long enough, or so…