Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Koh Phi Phi. Thailand.

I'm not sure why I keep posting these random travel pictures. Wait, I think I do--it allows me to procrastinate while still thinking I'm getting something accomplished, that is, organizing our out-of-control cd files. But I still like the glimpse back. I just wish I could get back in that transparent water.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Swan Lake Canoe Route. Alaska.

It was three years ago but at least once a week we still talk about "that summer in Alaska." It was exhilarating. We were happier than two pigs in slop.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Friday, 27 March 2009

Blue Grotto. Capri.

Simply because I would like to go swimming in that, right now.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


So happy it is spring! I always love whatever season we're in but this one is really tugging at my heartstrings. I can't wait for camping, bike riding, to make the rhubarb pie I've had dog-eared, wearing sundresses and skirts, and making a new ice cream each week. I'll take all of those things, please.

Monday, 23 March 2009

I'm all about making things lately. Knitting projects, designing fabric for a special blanket, making cards, and trying to take better photographs. Some days I only have five minutes to carve out from the day in order to work on something, but I'll take what I can get. It's the little things in life.

image via Laughing Squid

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Good times were had by all.

Although I am thoroughly enjoying the arrival of spring in northern California, we wanted to hold onto winter just a bit longer to go skiing in Lake Tahoe last weekend. Our friends Chris and Naomi went with us.

Moments to hold onto --
  • Steve and I hadn't been downhill skiing since living in Rhode Island four years ago. (Yes, Rhode Island, the little state that could, actually has a ski area--Yawgoo Valley.) Much to the amusement of Chris, my sweet husband kept comparing Yawgoo to the Sierra at Tahoe ski resort..."This bunny hill is way bigger than the one in Rhode Island"..."This ski lift is longer than the one in Rhode Island"...."There's no rope to pull you up the hill like in Rhode Island..."
  • The wave of relief that rushed over me when I spotted Steve on the Sugar 'n Spice run. We had gotten separated in a hairy moment early on and when I got to the bottom, he was nowhere to be seen. Somewhat worried, I headed back up to the summit to do the run again in the hopes of finding him. Sure enough, there was husband, leather jacket and all: falling, slowly getting back up, skiing a few feet, and falling again. Bless him. Maybe he wasn't quite ready for that run. As he puts it, "I love to ski. I'm just not good at it." He is the most good-natured person I've ever met.
  • Waking up to nearly two feet of snow Sunday morning.
  • Me actually thinking I could handle even 5 seconds of an advanced run. It was the last one of the day and I thought I'd take a shortcut to the end--next thing I know, two things happened. 1) A skier behind me yelled, "_ _ _ _ me!" (Apparently I had messed him up?!) 2) I wiped out. I slid down the rest of the incline on my arse.
  • Stuck in gridlocked traffic the next day heading out of Tahoe (roads had been closed, everyone wanting to get out of town before 9 more inches of snow hit), we got bored and started pelting Chris and Naomi's car in front of us with snowballs. They were unarmed.
  • Being proud of my husband who didn't need to pay no stinking $30 to have snow chains put on our tires, like other people stuck on the side of the road. He could do it himself.
  • Halfway home Chris and Naomi turned off the highway and onto an unmarked exit. We were thrilled when we eventually saw the sign for Madrona winery -- we were going to go wine tasting in the Sierra Foothills, an area we hadn't explored yet! Yay for fun friends.
There was more, too--brand new sleeping bags, margaritas, freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches (my favorite camping dessert, although we weren't camping), and the luck of my husband playing Let it Ride and winning money within minutes. I heart weekends.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

A dream of mine

I would like to buy this very charming-yet-affordable bicycle, paint it light blue or white (or leave it yellow?), add a rickety basket and a leather saddle.

It's at our local bike store. Every day on my drive home from work I sneak a glance while at the stoplight to make sure it's still there, waiting for me to snatch her up. We'll go on all sorts of loopy adventures together.

Monday, 16 March 2009


Our beloved Zio died last Thursday. He was my great uncle, nonna's oldest brother, the glue of our family. No one in our family even called him by his baptized name, Francesco. He was simply Zio. Uncle. He had smile lines as deep as canyons, had a roly-poly tummy on a body that was shorter than mine, always had red wine with every meal, and never missed an afternoon nap. Even if that meant he was napping in a straightback chair, he would still doze. He was a lifelong priest, monsignor of my mom's hometown church and hugely respected, adored by everyone. He celebrated mass every day at a nearby church, including on the day he died. Zio married my parents, my maternal and paternal grandparents, all my uncles, aunts, and cousins. The day of my parents' 30th anniversary mass, which he celebrated, he sat at the altar afterwards drinking the leftover communion wine. Just like that, he gulped it down. Zio didn't pull any punches.

A few years ago when we were over at his house he asked Steve to take his blood pressure with one of those store-bought, cheap-o cuffs they sell in the medical equipment aisle. The numbers were on the high side. He just shrugged, smiled with that twinkle in his eye and asked Steve to take it again...and again and again until the damn thing gave him a reading he was happy with. We're talking like eight times.

The last time I saw him was last September, sitting out on his porch in Oristano. He was wearing his typical uniform of black on black with the crisp, white priest collar. Ti voglio bene; anch'io ti voglio bene. And he gave me that big smile and hug of his. A great, great man.

Below is what Steve and I have affectionately coined The Jack Nicholson Shot.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Molly Wizenberg

Tonight I went to a book signing in the city to meet Molly Wizenberg, author of the magnificent blog Orangette and tremendous book A Homemade Life. Orangette: oh my goodness, how I love it. Typically blah Mondays have gotten much better just knowing that Molly's probably going to post a wonderful never-let-me-down recipe and I get to read a great story behind it to boot. Actually, the recipe is gravy; I read her blog for the writing. Reading one of her essays really fuels my wanting to be in the kitchen more. Therefore I am, and my belly and mind (and husband) are happy so it's a pretty great thing all around.

I've been so excited about going to this book signing that initially I was planning the start date of my new job around it--but when I sorta said that out loud to my recruiter I realized how ridiculous that sounded and decided to plan the event around the job. Luckily it all worked out. Molly--did I mention I have a girl crush on her?--turned out to be exactly as she sounds from her blog: gracious, warm, and completely kind. The whole thing was so nice--she read a chapter from her book; coincidentally, it was the very chapter I had been reading on my lunch break today which made it even more meaningful.

When it was my turn to get my book signed I think I started stammering, blushing, and just generally being retarded all around. It went something like mumble mumble giggle I mumble wow am such a giggle huge mumble fan giggle awwww wow mumble bye. Hell, I would have thought I was retarded too. I hate being shy.

To answer my marm's question, though--it was absolutely worth the hourlong trek into the city after work and then the drive back to Napa afterwards. Plus I found myself on the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun was setting, and I toasted it with the macaron I was nibbling on. So, to recap: great book, great author, golden gate bridge, and macaron. How could that not be a great night?

Saturday, 7 March 2009


I think the element of surprise is important in a marriage. Which is why I (lovingly) threw a pie in my unsuspecting hubby's face as he got in the car after a long day of work.

I love this man.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

'Tis over

Okay, so I (and my whole department) have been laid off. Never mind that I suddenly have never felt older than this very moment (filing for unemployment three months before my 30th birthday! nice barometer for success.).

More importantly, I'm really going to miss all my peeps--I don't think I've ever had a job where I've laughed so much. It was good for my soul. Blurting out sheep calls during meetings. Stalking Garbage Van. Talking to invisible video cameras. Being foul-mouthed and just generally gross with my work husband, like two 12 year-olds. Jumping on only the green squares while going down the hall. Prank matchmaking via email. Convincing Susan an interior decorator was going to help us redesign our office. And her getting back at me for that with the worms.

Laughing so hard my stomach hurt.

I know everything happens for a reason, and I'll be better tomorrow. Wallowing stops tonight.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

There's the sinking feeling that during those wonderful moments from last weekend I didn't take the time to stop and appreciate and absorb and retain--those are the times that get me through the shit patches. Um, like the one we're weathering right now.

but I'm eating the husband's homemade pizza right now and I love him and it very, very much. That, and my little sister is going to make a beautiful bride.