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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…!



In The Valley of the Shadow of Death

My heart goes out to those who are in the waning years of their life. Often, their families try to arrange the best care possible— whether at home or in a retirement or assisted care facility. It’s a tough call. My mother-in-law has been living in such an assisted-living home for the past five years….


Monday Mottoes – #203

Possibly the one truly non-renewable resource is time. It’s a commodity in great demand, yet many simply give up and throw in the towel, rather than harness their daily schedule. Could it be phone calls, e-mails, stop-byes and interruptions at the office that eat up your time? I had a friend who oversaw an entire…


Who Controls Your Future?

If you asked me who controls my future, I would say, bottom line: God. But no so fast. We have a part to play, as well. Which is both the terrifying, as well as the exhilarating, aspect of the equation. When we miss it occasionally and then suffer the consequences, that’s not God. That’s us!…


Monday Mottoes – #202

It’s the craziest thing. The anomaly continues. The more I turn down business, the more clients clamor for my attention. Sometimes, I believe I’m being saved from disaster by the ability to say “No”. It just happened in the last hour. Two different groups hoped that I would consult with them during the same time…


Refusing Business-!

It was very odd and it’s happening more and more: I needed to turn down business. The offer on the table involved semi-realistic folks with semi-unrealistic expectations. I had to face the difficult decision that it would most likely be in all of our best interests to not work together. Money down the drain, or…


Monday Mottoes – #201

Henry Ford was not only an inventor and automobile manufacturer, but as were many from an era where thoughtfulness was esteemed, he was a thinker and we could say wise. I like his quotes. They cut right to the heart of the matter. Today, we’re looking at dusting ourselves off and starting again. If I…


High School Homeschool Graduation

The end of an era. Pasha, 20, and Mashenka, 19, were graduating from high school. Nine years and eight years prior, both had arrived from Russia, woefully behind in their studies. Attending Russian internats, the orphanage boarding schools, most adults acknowledged that a quality education was not a top priority for kids who would most…


“Problems” Hold You Back? The Art of Resiliency

Maybe it’s me. I deal with many different kinds of people in regular professions or in volunteer positions. It always amazes me how, when folks have problems, their entire life seems to ground to a halt. Now, believe me, I understand all about life-threatening illnesses and the time a family member needs to devote to…


Monday Mottoes – #200

This is our 200th blog post in the Monday Mottoes series— time for something different, maybe a departure from productivity, success, business…. Around our home, we’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. Our oldest daughter, Mashenka, 19, had a girlfriend she had met long ago at camp visiting with us for most of the last…


Monday Mottoes – #199

It’s summertime, a lovely time to get ahead in life. When everyone else seems to be lazing around in hammocks or by the pool, you can be forging ahead in life. After all, vacay does not mean delay. Take the laptop with you. Make notes on the legal pad or the iPad. Strategize and scheme….