Friday, May 28, 2010

Came, Saw, Conquered

Kelley is here! What a fabulous time with her!! She wanted to go to Italy, so....we did. She arrived early Sunday morning and by 10pm that night, we were on our way to the Eternal City! After a long lie in (she was so jet lagged), we headed to the major sights. Along the way, we met our friend Marco for a fabulous dinner and night out (ouch!), had awesome weather and laughed til our sides hurt. Everything that hanging out with your bestie should be! I will so miss her when she leaves tomorrow bright and early. So, so much!!! Give your best friend a hug and tell her how much you value her friendship and love her. I know I will be doing that with lots of tears tomorrow at the airport. the top of the cupola on St. Peter's

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Potential Throw Down With the Chicken Lady

Sometimes I love living in our host country. Yesterday I did not. I think that our host nationals are rude. (Who says Parisians are rude? You have never been here!) Now, my disclaimer is that not all are rude...I have made some wonderful German friends. The chicken lady is not one of them.

I was dropping a book off at a friend's house and the layout of the road was such that I could make a giant loop---her house, around the block, back to my house. So, I drop off said book, and make my way up and around toward my house. I turn on to a somewhat small-ish street and in front of me is the chicken lady. It is actually a green and gold colored van that sells eggs out of it. (At one point in time, chickens were sold too. I have no idea why they are no longer available.) The chicken lady stops. Barely pulls over and this is a narrow street, my friends. She is in front of a driveway, which is illegal for any one other than a German national. I give a friendly beep, in hopes she will scoot a little to the right, so I can pass. She does not acknowledge me. Another beep. Nothing. I feel my blood boiling. Beep. The back van doors swing open in a flourish and I am told (rather nastily) to back up and go around. I am not attempting to turn around. I ask her to move over a bit. No, and the doors slam shut. Oh, she didn't, did she?! Beep. Long pause. Beep. Long pause. Beep. Long pause. Beep. (My children's ears are burning with what I spewing from my mouth right about now.) The lady that lives in the house across the street comes out for her eggs. (Really, she could have used the quarter mile walk to the corner store.) She throws her hands up and gives me a look. Oh, that is so the last time I chit chat with her when I see her! I am starting now to practice my stink eye. Eventually, a worker who had buckets of stucco in road moves them and I proceed to go around, with no joke, mere inches next to the chicken van. If I didn't have places to go, I would have pulled in front of that chicken lady, put my car in park and waited. But, I was too chicken.

Remember Spring Break?

Spring Break seems so long ago! I realized today that I failed to update about our great vacation. I will make it short and sweet....
We cruised with our great friends to the Black Sea. Mark and I have cruised on this line before and weren't to impressed with it. We had low long as we got from point A to point B, everything in between was a bonus; the ports were the lure.

We started out in Genoa, Italy and after spending a night in Milan with friends we boarded. The ship was small. And clientele, very geriatric. Needless to say, our group's 4 kids were the majority of the Kid's Club. So from Genoa, we sailed to Rome. How I love that city!!

O eating gelato in Piazza Navona

Then on to Athens. Every time we go there, I think it's our last, and inevitably, we go back.

Plaka in Athens

Then, on to Istanbul, Turkey. Mark had been here before, but the rest of us were new. We hired a private tour guide and I didn't regret it. What an amazing city! And the Grand Bazaar...I think that I could spend days there. Although, I started to see the same thing over an over. Then on to the Ukraine; Yalta first, then Odessa. It was a really beautiful country! I really liked Odessa- it reminded me of St. Petersburg. (Odessa was Catherine the Great's summer getaway or something like that.) Big, colorful buildings and it helped that the weather was nice!

Church in Yalta

Boys in Odessa

Then finishing up in Sorrento...

and then to Taormina. I remember when I studied in Italy, 2 friends went to Taormina for their mid-term trip and talked about how much they loved it. I understand why. Back to Genoa then, and a long drive home.

Sweet mother of pearl, I can not find a way to upload Turkey pictures!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 14

First, Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms out there. I wish I was on the same continent as my Mom to give her a big hug, take her out shopping, and have lunch together. Perhaps next year. This year, I called her and I will go upstairs to a secret box (which isn't so secret anymore) filled with old silk scarves she gave me. I have not used any of them. I kept them in that same box, because when I open it, it smells like my Mom. I love it and her. Awwwwww, gosh I miss her!

I remember at my Grandparents house, a wonderful picture that my Grandfather made. When he passed, my parents asked me if there was anything special that I wanted. I loved the picture Grandpa Ernie did. It was silhouettes of my Grandma, Grandpa and their 2 boys (my Dad and Uncle Bob). The silhouettes were made out of metal. It is great. My Mom had already taken it off the wall and put it aside for safe keeping at that time. Now, it hangs in their house. I figured it was time to do these of my boys. Of course, with paper, not metal!

So, I took profile pictures of each of the boys. The pictures are nice because the shadow really let me know what the silhouettes would look like. I didn't plan the just worked that way.

I bought some acid free black and white paper. I printed the pictures and glued them on to the black paper with a glue stick (very little). Then I cut out both the photo and black paper at once. I then glued the silhouette onto the white paper and framed them in cheapie frames. I love the way they turned out. O's is very much him. H's is him, but not as obvious as O's. Maybe we need a family one?