Friday, January 30

could you go back?

I'm facing a change in the coming months. I usually look forward to new adventures. But this change is not taking me somewhere new. It's taking me back.

There are a lot of great reasons to move back, after all we didn't leave because we were unhappy there. We left because we wanted to experience life here.

So, I'd like to get your opinion. Hear you experiences. Link me up blogger friends. Now that you've lived abroad, could you ever go back? Have you? Never will?

Cause I'm starting to get some crazy ideas. Ideas like, "why not Spain? or how about India? or maybe even just Rome? We're already here. The bandage has already been yanked off. Now that we're out, where else could we go?"

Like a kid skipping school.

edited to add:
It's become clear that you might need a little more information to actually weigh in on this. I'm the kind of person who could be happy anywhere. Maybe I'll give you the bigger picture soon. That said, don't tell me what you think I should do, tell me what you would do.


see Written Inc for more simplicity

Strange Pilgram tells all... or not.

Punkette explained to me yesterday the difference between her mind and her brain. Her brain just makes her do things... her mind is where she thinks about them.

The universe just turned white. Forget yogis, have a couple of kids for a daily dose of enlightenment.

So, although I like saying "brain" more, I guess the buzz in my head is really going on in my mind. You see I'm really excited about this list of prompts I've been collecting as blogging fodder for February. And since you all have signed up for NaBloPoMo (or at least to come here every day and taunt encourage me through it), I'll give you a preview of the seeds that are sprouting like wildfire in my mind... (get it out!!!)


Sorry, I got lost on the tip of David Tennant's finger. I typed out the list, but then decided, on second thought, not to post it. I fear posting it will kill any curiosity you might have in my blog over the following month and I'll be left in an empty black padded room with only my own hair to pull out.

After all how interesting does "curtains" sound? Yea, that's on the list, and the story behind it will BLOW YOUR MIND!!! So suck it.

You see what too much thinking can do to you? Rude and not ginger.

Thursday, January 29


The Italian word of the day (see sidebar) is cosi' meaning like that.... as in...

Oooh baby, do it like that.


I like that hat you're wearing.

Actually, cosi' is more accurately like so. The punk's tennis instructor says it a lot. I mean, when showing the kids the proper way to swing the racket. Not when we're in the throws of passion. Oh, wait. That never happened.

Hey, THANKS! Lisa at I didn't get the message for this very flattering award!

Wednesday, January 28


This morning, on the bench.
wooden, painted green but worn, under as enormous pine tree
Waiting for the number 5
whenever it comes, 8 has passed twice now, I could take the 9 and transfer, but there is no bench at that stop, no tree either
I was making some notes
collecting ideas for my "suck it" theme, there are always good looking men in that apartment, it looks like there isn't much furniture inside, why?, maybe because it's dark and the curtains are sheets, look at these two, he takes his sunglasses off at the window, oh, eye contact, maybe this could be a post
When the gardener stopped to sweep under me
do you have to sweep in this exact spot RIGHT NOW? Do I look like I need a sprinkling of dust?

"Ciao" he says
ciao... I mumble mid-note, into my scarf
"I said CIAO... respond to me when I say ciao!"
Listen fucker, you're sweeping crap all over me! I'm sitting here, just waiting for the bus, just trying to take notes, enjoying the tree, avoid looking into the window across the street... and I said "ciao"... assholes should go down on the list
"Ciao" I say more clearly.

Sometimes it's better that I don't speak the language so well.

Tuesday, January 27

five fabulous things about me

Thanks Jeanne at The Raisin Chronicles! And to think I was hesitant to start blogging because I thought I'd only get comments from jerks. SO not true (now watch them de-lurk from the woodwork).

1. I was asked to elaborate on my post on Italian husbands. For the sake of enlightenment, I will elaborate on number 9. Putting cheese on fish will get your arm broken off.

We once were eating at a restaurant in Venice. Three of the four of us ordered fish while Punkone opted for a simple pasta with meat sauce. I had long ago weaned myself from automatically sprinkling Parmesan cheese on everything Italian. No one at that table would even imagine putting cheese on fish. But, Parmesan on pasta Bolognese... all good! So...

My husband asked the waiter if we could please have some parmesan. The waiter's face went white. "Why?" was the response. My husband indicated that Punkone wanted some for his pasta. The waiter suspiciously eyes the pasta and concedes reluctantly. He arrives with the cheese and places it directly next to my son's dish and steps back. My husband reaches across the table to put some on Punkone's dish for him and in that instant, the waiter grabs my husbands arm. "No sir. I'm sorry. But we, here in Italy, do not put the cheese on fish."

I nearly choked on my fish, stifling my laughter. My husband, responding in Italian, says "I agree that it would be sacrilegious to put cheese on this wonderful fish. Now please kindly allow me to sprinkle it on my son's Bolognese."

Still in suspicion, the waiter releases my husband's arm, watches the sprinkling of cheese, and then briskly removes the bowl of parmesan from the table.

2. My husband and I met at a party hosted by another Italian I knew in grad school. My girlfriend was on the prowl that night. As I was engaged, my mission was to help her scope out the guys. When I set eyes on my husband, I said, "how about him?" Her response was "not my type" to which I replied, "oh, he's SO my type."
Later in the evening he commented on my dimples and then we went dancing at a gay bar named "Club Marcella." I won't elaborate but best "date" ever.

3. I have just one cavity that was filled without anesthesia by a dentist who didn't wear gloves and pumped a pedal on the floor to get the drill going (in 1993). He also said "oops" at one point while he was drilling. I thought I was in an Ed Wood movie.

4. My parents have a parenting style that is perfectly illustrated by one vivid childhood memory.

We had just arrived to a new campground and my brothers and I made a mad dash for the playground. It was a spectacular space, but remembering it now, there was nothing but a field of dry grass and some old playground equipment. The defining feature of the playground was the tallest slide I'd ever seen. It was one of those narrow, scorching hot metal numbers. And insanely tall. Even now I'd think it was tall. I remember it was at least 12' high. My brothers and I couldn't wait to see how close to super sonic we could get.

My youngest brother was probably about 3 or 4 at the time. But he went on up those stairs just like the rest of us. I had done my first slide and was at the bottom waiting to go again. When the little guy reached the top and tried to sit down, he flipped himself right off the side of the side. And dropped directly into my father's arms. I'd hardly noticed Dad was there, but there he was.

5. In college I was asked to assist a blind girl that needed to take Chem Lab 101 for her degree. Her name was Ramona and she was AWESOME. I would go to lab with her and try to explain the experiments to her and keep her safe. Not as easy as it may sound. Imagine trying to describe to someone who is blind the significance of a change in color of the precipitant... no real concept of a colored, clear, or cloudy liquid... she can't feel the liquid like she normally would... she refused to wear lab gloves (which basically "blinded" her). I tried to get her to be as autonomous as possible. I timed how long she should pour to get 10 mL so she could then fill all the test tubes herself, but still she kept sticking her fingers in to check.

We had some good laughs with the whole situation and started going out together. One midwestern winter night, Ramona and I were out bar hopping and it was icy as hell. I was a 6' stork back then and she was a deliciously routund 4'. So the uncoordinated walking stick was guiding the blind butterball across the sheer surface of an ice topped parking lot when I slipped and vanished from her sight. She knew I was still there, wanted to help me up, but didn't dare move to try to find me. It didn't help matters that we were pretty drunk and laughing our silly asses off.

I'd like to pass this FUCKING fabulous BLOG award on to

Derfina at Life in the River,
Pearl at Pearl why you little...
Black Hockey Jesus at The Wind in Your Vagina
Kavi at Kavi's Musings
Bella at That Damn Expat
Paige Lacey at Turning Paige
Naperville Mom at Ponderings of a Porcupine

And my favorite newbie is:
Skinny Love at Day Dreamer ... amazing photos and inspiring words... please go check her out

Monday, January 26

I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea...

I've decided to sign up for NaBloPoMo again (see my cool badge on the left). Why?

1) because I think I wrote some pretty good posts back in November and my creative juices are running a bit dry lately.
2) because February is the shortest month in which to do this self-inflicted torture

And, because February sort of sucks (winter dragging on, St. Valentines Day, lollipops (?)). In honor of the month of love, I started a group called "Suck It!" and made this little phrase my theme for the month... should be interesting.

So, I'll invite you all to "Suck It!" ... just pop on over to NaBloPoMo and sign up.


Sunday, January 25



yes, mad about Saffron
yes, the Coldplay song
yes, stale peeps
yes, daisies and daffodils

I once had the pleasure of attending a yellow birthday party. Yea, that was the theme. Yellow. The invitations were yellow. All the food was yellow. The guests wore yellow. Winnie the poo came, because, you know, he's yellow.


Punkette was already in full punk power way back then. Here is a photo of her with her partner in crime, attacking the tower of yellow cupcakes.

Have a mellow yellow monday!

Your husband (not mine) might be Italian if...

he complains that you're not romantic enough.
he cooks better than you do.
he grabs his balls when a black cat crosses his path.
he won't fly on the 17th.
you fear penalty kicks will kill him someday.
you now find it perfectly acceptable to eat cookies for breakfast.
he's nearly deaf, and after seeing fireworks in Italy, you understand why.
Italy is only Italy when you're in the region he's from, otherwise it's just "fucking Italians."
putting cheese on fish will get your arm broken off.
your children call you sexy and smack your butt.

Saturday, January 24


This week's thematic photo from Carmi at Written Inc is "surprise"... I have two...

I was sure the gecko was part of the painting and was just thinking to myself, "How whimsical that they painted little lizards into the fresco" when it moved.

baby sis was born while you were sleeping... surprise!

And the classic photo for the family album, my son holding his baby sis just hours after she was born.

Hotel Capuccini

I'm curious and awaiting the completion of renovations on the historic hotel Capuccini. It's said to have one of the most astonishing views along the Amalfi coast and was where all the rich and famous stayed in the last century. It was closed several years ago when the license to operate could not be renewed due to a dramatic increase in the cost to obtain the license. I know for certain that it's been closed for at least the last twelve years, even though you can still find reviews of the hotel online. It is now being renovated... a very slow process in Italy. The past two summers I have watched the mules and heard the work from the port below where the Punks sometimes play.

You can see the hotel in this photo as well, covered in scaffolding in the middle on the right hand side.

I came across this interesting article about Hotel Capuccini published in the New York Times in 1899...


Apparently, and not surprisingly, this is not the first time the hotel has needed renovations as it was built in 1212 just before the crusades. The CRUSADES! It talks about the town being connected to Salerno by railroad, which it never was. The only way to get there now and then was by road (be prepared to travel green, if you know what I mean) or in the summer, by boat. It mentions the need of a harbor, yet to be built and talks about the paper mill, still in operation.

And things that haven't changed in over one-hundred years... that people from all walks of life flock to Amalfi for it's beauty and people.

Friday, January 23

growing up expat

A friend of mine just forwarded me a Newsweek article "A Team of Expatriates" that mentions that many of Obama's top advisers lived abroad as children and discusses how that affected their world view and their view of America.

This is something I think about quite a bit in regard to my own little family. Moving abroad is very stressful. Punkone started elementary school in a place where he didn't speak the language. In a place full of kids that were different from him. Because he has an Italian name, his teachers wouldn't give him the extra tutoring offered to a girl in the same situation but coming from Pakistan. His outbursts were classified as simple behavior problems. They refused to consider that it might be related to the fact that he simply wasn't following what was going on around him and was getting overwhelmed and frustrated with the situation.

Well, without going on and on, it was a trying year for Punkone. Fortunately, he is an optimistic kid and just kept dusting himself off and hopping right back in the ring.

But I see a change in him. He's changed from the happy, easy going toddler he was two years ago, into an explosive almost bi-polar kid. Everyday is either the "best day ever!" or "the worst day of my life!" (to this I always respond with a smile and say "the worst day of your life so far"... which maybe doesn't help so much). Some of this is certainly his personality and may have evolved in this way regardless... but I can't help but think the added stress of living abroad didn't help matters much.

Is it ignorant of me to stick to the convictions that living abroad will benefit this child? Must we struggle in order to grow?

This makes me recall an idea that has been replayed over and over again in my head from the movie Matrix (overall, not a great film, but bear with me). It was the reasoning behind creating so much suffering in the artificial world... that humans were not happy having everything perfect... that they needed the suffering... that they preferred it that way. I have formed different opinions about this sentiment over the years. At first, I thought, bull shit. How could humans not be happy in a world without suffering? Now I might argue that, no, we (as humans) don't prefer to suffer, but maybe we need to struggle. Maybe we get so much more out of ourselves and life by getting shoved out of our comfort zones.

Of course, I'd much prefer to struggle with a new language then struggle to feed my family. But maybe growth happens in either situation. At what point do the scales tip from growth to deterioration?

I seem to have gotten lost on a tangent. What was my point?

Ah... inflicting the struggle of moving abroad on our children for their own good. Making them endure being left out, confused, even lonely. I wish this move had been easier on him. Would I do it again? Yes. Despite it all, I see already a stronger person developing in Punkone. One more tolerant (overall). One more open. And one who I think will be glad for the experience as he grows and hopefully, make him a better citizen... of the earth.

Thursday, January 22

what we're watching

I know this isn't a parenting blog... you'd be ill advised to take parenting advice from a woman who refers to her young children as punks. And it's even less a movie blog. But I adore this film...

Azur e Asmar... an animated film by Michel Ocelot, is simply stunning. Sounds, visions, and simplicity. The colors are intensely beautiful. The language is smooth and sophisticated. The story slowly unravels... in contrast to Pixar, this film is a meditation. For your kids.

A story of two boys nursed by the same woman. Brothers in their hearts. Her gentle chats nurturing their dreams of becoming heros.

Did I mention that the colors take my breath away. It's such a beautiful film.

Wednesday, January 21

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, the punk perspective

This past Christmas, we decided to stop for a few days in Napoli. While there we visited Pompeii and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli where most of the artifacts from Pompeii are now exhibited. My little trick for prolonging the attention spans of 7 and 5 year old punks when touring archeological museums is to give them the camera. This is the punk-eye view of our tour of the museum...

We start with the bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri. This was a villa outside of Pompeii, closer to Mt. Vesuvius and was owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law (don't worry, that's the end of the history lesson).

As I brought up in my aged post, while looking at these statues I keep thinking that these are from 2000 years ago... look at the faces the punks captured! When I try to imagine the year 4000 it seems impossible, but look how little the expressions have changed in the last 2000 years... (another game we play is coming up with things the statues might be saying... feel free to suggest your own thoughts)

(1) hair guy

(2) woman looking forward

(3) man looking right

(4) woman looking right

(5) man looking left

(6) man without top

Then, incredibly, a perfect replica of myself!

And one of hubby too!

This is stunning... an image of wind in stone.

I love this... looks remarkably like a pair of Tevas!

And finally... naked bull wrestling... things never change.

The End

Tuesday, January 20

passing words

It's the middle of the night and I've decided not to sleep. For some reason sleep is haunted tonight and I just prefer not to deal with it. And I dive into the world.

My wanderings lead me to Kavi... who has graciously supported me since I started this blogging adventure just a few short months ago and I feel I need some of what he might have to say. I do not leave empty hearted. So much so, so much full, that I must pass on these words.

There are wonderful things in this world. Things that we miss. When I spot a bit with my eagle eyes, I'll try my best to pass it on...

pleasurable piove

I have a physical response to rain (piove). It's as if a smile wells up from within my lungs and just pops itself to the surface of my face. I can help it. I don't understand it. But the core of me loves a rainy day.

google images

Droplets catch your eye
Things you normally pass
The sound as you wind up the road

The grey sky gives way
To lit windows below the road
People in their kitchens

Through the drip, the slush
Waiting for the bus
More aware in these moments
In the rain.

Also, much gratitude to Louise at Carmine Superiore for the Lemonade Award! You too have a wonderful attitude. In appreciation, I've added her blog to my gr'amore (get it... gram- amore) badge in the sidebar.

Saturday, January 17


Carmi's Thematic Photo for this week is aged. You can imagine the vast majority of what I photograph in Italy falls into this category. Age is everywhere. Castles, churches, ruins, artifacts... Evidence of society, so similar to what we are living now, from a thousand years ago. Forget 2100... imagine that things might not be very different in 3009. 4009. Would the Roman's have believed it? Believed that the same basic systems would still be in place TWO THOUSAND years into their future?

Back to the Thematic Photos....

walls of Belfort Castle, Trentino-Alto Adige


relatively infantile, but still aged

bath in Pompeii (the nooks between the small statues were used as lockers)

and my favorite angel, Castel Sant'Angelo, Roma

edited to add: Thank you so much Carmi for choosing my caption "Nitty-Gritty" for last week's caption this and welcome to everyone passing by from Written Inc. I decided to leave my Thematic Photo post up for a few more days because of this honor. I hope you stay a few moments and check out the blog... see especially the resiliance and culture shock posts... I think they are my better ones.

Friday, January 16


I hate shopping. Especially in Italy. Land of skinny little people. Everyone is thinner and shorter than me. It is impossible to find shoes, shirts, dresses, even bras here. Especially bras. For some reason, bras do not come in a variety of cup sizes. WTF? They do vary, so you're trapped into trying on every friggin' style in the store. And none of them fit as well as the one you took off.

There are women with big boobs in Italy... WHERE DO YOU BUY BRAS?!!?!!

I'm in a pissy mood because I have to buy a dress. Long ago I learned that I don't shop well under pressure. I got in the habit of buying things I liked when I happened to just stumble upon them. All the planets have to be aligned, the right side of the bed woken up on, the right time of the month... doesn't happen often. I don't worry about it. And I stopped shopping. I've been SO much happier.

But now I have to buy a dress. A solid black tea length dress for my brother's wedding ceremony. Easy enough, right? I've been "keeping an eye out" for this dress for months now. To avoid the whole shopping thing, see? But it hasn't happened. I'm going to have to actually go look for it.

find me, fit me

In Italy, my size is boarderline normal. I'm what they call a 48. This sounds HUGE, right? But translates into a 12 in the US. Still, most stores, if they carry it at all, get only ONE item in this size, so you usually don't find it on the rack. They have to order it. They take your money and then two weeks later tell you that it's no longer available. Grrrrr.

So, wish me luck and sanity. I'm going shopping tomorrow.

little house/rock wars on the prairie

When asked to recount my favorite childhood games for a project at Punkette's school, I took the easy route and said I liked jumping rope and wrote out the words to a few of the chants/songs we used to sing while jumping. I did enjoy jumping rope. But, what I really loved to play was "little house on the prairie."

I had an obsession for this story. I watched the TV series and read all the books. I had long, straight hair that I would put into braids. I even had a bonnet that I wore when playing "little house." My best-friend Jamie also loved Little House on the Prairie and we invented this game together. I generally played the part of Laura and she always wanted to be baby-sis Carrie.

Now this is where the ditch comes into play. It was our very own Plum Creek. A perfect place for us to hide out and explore. We could roll in the weeds, squeal at crickets, and find the perfect spot for a picnic. But the ditch was not ours alone. My brother's also played near the ditch. Generally this wasn't an issue, but today, they happened to be at war. Because on the other side of the ditch lived "the mean kids." And for some reason, today they had started a rock war. Yea, I know.

Deep in their pioneer world, Carrie and Laura were trapped. Some no-good outlaws had backed them up into a corner. They weren't after the girls, but a battle was going on and Laura had to keep her little sis safe from harm. In desperation, Laura got a hold of Pa's rifle from the shed for protection and decided to make a run for it. Carrie, too young to understand the real danger, ran out too soon and Laura made the quick decision to fire when she realized the danger.

Me: Bamm!
Jamie: Christine! You really shot me!

Surprisingly out of character, Jamie had her hand on her head, staring at me in shock. I stared back at her incredulously. But then she took her hand off her head and it was completely red, covered in blood. This snapped me right out of the "little house" zone.


She had gotten caught in the crossfire alright, of my brother's stupid rock war. Hit right in the noggin. And, man alive, that girl could bleed. By the time we got to my backdoor, half her face was covered in blood. It was streaming down her shoulders, her arms. Fortunately, I have a mother who wouldn't jump if a bomb went off under her chair. I'd never seen so much blood in my life, but figured that, from my mother's response, it was no biggie. Mom let us in the house as if we were coming over for tea and cookies, stopped the bleeding, cleaned her up, and probably made sure she wasn't going to pass out before she called Jamie's mother.

I'm sure we were at it again the very next day.

Thursday, January 15

the ditch

I lived in a suburban neighborhood growing up. All houses, pre-sidewalks and fences. Yes, sidewalks and fences had been invented, smart ass, but our block just didn't use them. Back then. You know, the olden days. Kids played in the street and had the whole of the neighborhood backyards to romp through. There were a few fenced yards, but those people generally didn't have kids and were, in our minds, turds on a log. No fun. (We were convinced one woman was a real live witch and then horror of horrors, my parents hired her to babysit us one night. It did not go well.)

All of our happy childhood was contained within that one block. All our friends lived there and all our time was spent there. The ends of the street were off limits and venturing beyond was sure to earn you a week inside. At minimum. It wasn't too much of a temptation, mind you. At one end was a corn field where we were sure the farmer would run us down and chop us up into bits with his combine (think Frank from the movie Cars) and at the other end there were some woods that just seemed spooky and full of those trees from the wizard of oz that yelled obscenities and threw apples at you. So, we were generally content with our block and found plenty of adventures to be had within these bounds.

Within these bounds, running down the back of the backyards was the ditch. The ditch was glorious. Overgrown with cattails, green and brown stuff, and a thick black mucky bottom that smelled like sewage if you were ever unfortunate enough to get any part of your body stuck in it. It was a pure and bountiful source. A mountain spring. Of fantastic ideas and worldly adventures.

For the budding naturalist, the ditch was where you could find tadpoles and dragon flies, butterflies, and mosquito larvae. Brown warty toads and crickets galore. And a great place to throw rocks or stir up the muck. No fish though, although we spent many long hours sure that we were going to bring dinner home.

For the escapist (that's me), the ditch was where you ran away to. I'd pack up my 'kerchief with food to last until I could harvest enough milkweed and nectar for my next meal, tie it to a stick and hit the road... or ditch rather. "So long family! I'm fed up with your madness, with 8 o'clock bedtimes, and your measly cookie rations! See you in my twenties, if you haven't died of heartbreak from missing me so much!" Sometimes I'd swing by my best friend Jamie's house (she is the STAR of the next story) and bring her along too... we'd have a glorious time.

Parental note: When you're shopping about for a place to raise your brood, and find yourself turned off by the cesspool, the scrap yard, the garbage strewn woods nearby... think instead of the precarious FUN to be had and endless, countless, hours OUT OF THE HOUSE that your children will willingly spend. So there may be a few incidents... isn't that what childhood is for?

Wednesday, January 14

ricordi i giochi

Punkette brought me some homework from her scuola materna the other day. The teachers or perhaps a parent volunteer are organizing a collection of stories from the parents about what they used to play back in the day, when they were wee little children. In the eyes of my two punks, this is called "the olden days." Don't know where they got that from.

So, I set out to describe what great fun I used to have as a child. Well, all kinds of games were played. But something that I could describe, in Italian, to the nuns and dozens of sweet innocent 3-5 year olds, not to mention all the nosy parents.

I took the easy route and told them that I liked jumping rope with my friends (I really did) and wrote out the words to two of the songs we used to sing (Down In the Valley and Cinderella, classics!) and taught them to Punkette so she could sing them to the class when it came time to present her Mamma's story.

I thought it best.

Better than the stories that first came to mind. Which I'll get to, I promise, but first I must tell you about the ditch.

We're sorry. This broadcast has been interrupted by a workout. This is not an effective workout, but a fruitless attempt on the part of the author to firm up her flab before her brother's wedding in 6 weeks. We repeat, this is not an effective workout. Had this been an effective workout, the workouts would have commenced months ago and with a frequency of 3-5 times a week.

Tuesday, January 13

color guard in my cupboard

Know the story "The Indian in the Cupboard?" I always fantasized about having a live little person that could ride around in my pocket. On my shoulder. Someone I could whisper to. Someone to whisper to me.

Now I blog.

But check this out:

Fantasy meets reality.


I had given up sweeping landscape photos... unless there was a child in the foreground... as they almost never do the scenery justice. But I'm going to start taking these photos again. Lots of them, and then tweak them with this trippy Tilt Shift application that I found out about from Captain Dumbass.

WOW. Check it out! This is a suburban Italian town nearby. Don't you feel like you're watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood? I wish I had more shots it worked well with. The effect perfectly captures my sensation of life not being completely real. A tilt on reality if you will. Either that or it plays on my fear of becoming a giant.

Monday, January 12

trials in vegetarianism

Hubby has sworn off meat. I think this is great. Some years ago I ate vegetarian for a year. Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving. Sorry Braja, but the slaughtered bird was just too hard to pass up. It might please you to know that it made me sick when I ate it at the end of the year.

But the experience was an eye opening one and changed my diet for the better. Even after I started dabbling in murdered fare again, it wasn't a daily, or even meal-y routine. I had just found so many other things that I enjoyed eating. And meat is expensive, and I'm just a bit grossed out by it (but it tastes so damn good).

So I'm happy and surprised that hubby has gone vegetarian. He needs it health wise (astronomical triglyceride levels) but his main rub is the meat industry. We've watched a lot of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" and he's also read Fast Food Nation... basically the more we know, the less appetizing meat becomes.

Also note "meat" to hubby does not include all our wonderful friends of the sea. I don't think he could ever in his life give up eating fish and seafood.

ANYWAY getting past the reasoning behind our choices, I'm now having a great time preparing vegetarian dishes. Problem is, hubby is not very excited by them. I think part of the issue is that I'm jumping right to what I was eating near the end of my year of the veg. He's always complained that I eat like a rabbit. Or a bird. Lots of raw veg and seeds... LOVE them. He does not.

google images

I really want him to keep this up, and I fear if I don't start coming up with something a little less vegan, he'll quit. I went bonanza with beans and rice last week and he's just sick of it. He liked it at first but refused to eat it three days in a row (go figure). I stir-fried some potatoes with peas and carrots last night. Tonight I'm thinking something tomato saucy on a pasta.... or maybe a risotto.

But I thought I'd ask... what's you're favorite vegetarian meal? Keep in mind we're in Italian mountain boon-ville and the standard fare here is meat meat meat... maybe some kraut, potatoes, and polenta, but smothered with more meat. So no tofu or dishes with wonderful Indian or Chinese spices (this restriction, by the way, eliminates 90% of my favorite vegetarian dishes).

Friday, January 9

caught on camera

Hello Christine. It's me. No, not freshman Christine. She was such a dork. Writing you the address of druggie help groups for fear that Senior Christine would be a stoner. No. This is Old-fart Christine. Yea, I've been here all along. You can fool yourself with a spontaneous nature and child-like fascination with the world, but guess what, old farts are like that too.

I thought I could sneak up on you in the mirror someday, but I wasn't expecting you'd let a five year old loose with the camera.

Alright, so we all know you have bushy eyebrows and you keep telling yourself how cool your gray hairs are. But there I am. Those aren't dimples anymore sweetie... they're certified wrinkles. Baggy eyes, soft saggy cheeks.

Anyway, you little punk, keep up the good work. Keep loving and looking and following your gut. I know this picture makes you smile now. Remember that. Let wrinkles only show where smiles have been.


Seriously though... you might want to start wearing some lip gloss.