Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meme: Have you ever

OK-I'll play . Not sure WHY but looks like fun - you may change your mind about me after reading this:-)

have you ever...

1. gone on a blind date? Yes, once and only once.
2. skipped school? Yes, OK this is a prelude the rest of this meme as I was a rebellious teenager.
3. been on the opposite side of your country? Well - this is pretty much a quote taken from Girasoli's blog at
"Yes. I grew up in Massachusetts and now live in Hawaii. That is pretty much as opposite as you can get." Please change 'now live' to 'lived'
4. swam in the ocean? The ocean runs in my veins.
5. had your booze taken away by the cops? Yes and he turned out to be a former neighbor of my family.
6. lettered in a high school sport? No. Com'n-I went to a Catholic all-girl's high school in the 60s --the only sport was basketball or cheerleading. I'm too short for basketball - was a cheerleader for one year before I got bored by it all.
7. cried yourself to sleep? Yes-unfortunately, many times.
8. played a musical instrument? Yes, piano and a brief stint with an acoustic guitar.
9. sung karaoke? Nope. Singing in the shower only or with Ty to the oldies while driving.
10. cheated on an exam? Not that I can remember.
11. played spin-the-bottle? For sure.
12. laughed until some sort of beverage came out of your nose? Probably.
13. watched the sun rise with someone you care about? Yes.
14. ever been arrested? Nope.
15. gone ice skating? Yes, many times.
16. been skinny dipping? Yes, many times.
17. been on television? Yes, when I was young-Rex Trailer.
18. thrown up in front of a date? Yes.

Credit for her creativity in thinking this one !

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PhotoHunt: View

If I'm breaking any rules, it's not intentional. I'm just too tired from a week of busyness to make a decision. So, I give you Views from four of my favorite places in the world:

Orvieto for its sensibleness, simple and exquisite beauty. The fog had not yet lifted which made for an eery backdrop to the iron scrollwork.
Rome for its reverence in history, steeped in tradition.

The Alhambra in Granada for its mysteriousness - and at dusk it's magical!

Kaneohe, taken from the Pali Highway in Hawaii -- just because .. way too many warm thoughts to list here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, Sarah p-l-e-a-s-e!

You know I generally don't talk about politics on a public forum, but I'm still shaking my head over this inane comment from a woman (and I say that with emphasis because, halleluia at first I thought it's about time we are finally represented but ..), who may hold a powerful position in our country (and we all know what condition that's in) with a hostile attitude. Sarah, give me a break, please!

Did you happen to hear the Katie Couric interview of Sarah Palin last night? She asked why Sarah didn't get her passport until just recently? Sarah's snooty reply in effect was: I was not one of those who upon graduating college, her parents gave her a passport and a backpack. Noooooo, I worked two jobs most of my life until I was married ... Most of my learning about the world has been done in other mediums like books ..

This mentality is scary .... and I'm a bit angered by her seemingly resentment of people who have passports (ergo, travel)! Yikes, I went to college, have worked two jobs, raised a family (most of the time as a single parent), went back to school and STILL GOT A PASSPORT!

So, we have the maverick and the dimwit on one side of the ticket. I will conclude this by saying: I was a Republican until this year and changed my status based on the inefficiencies of George Bush and the same from McCain - it's not working - let's try something/someone else.

Her original quote: "I'm not one of those who maybe came from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents give them a passport and give them a backpack and say go off and travel the world. No, I've worked all my life. In fact, I usually had two jobs all my life until I had kids. I was not a part of, I guess, that culture."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hey, Paisano!

I don't know why I am always amazed when I run into someone that I later determine is related to me. The probability is, upon reflecton, quite high.

There were 10 siblings on my mother's side and each had at least 3 children (30). Seven boys (God bless my grandmother) on the other side (one bachelor and one childless) and each had at least 2 children (~10). In 1985, we had a family reunion for just one side of the family and 164 people were present. So, when I run into someone who has a family surname, I ask them about their family. After the preliminary questions of where did you grow up and parents' names, there's a connection made. This happened today in a phone conversation with someone. After speaking to him, I asked his name for my file reference - and sure enough - we are related!

Even when I was living in Hawaii in the 70s, I was contacted by a cousin who resided there (and I had only met him once - much older than I). I hardly knew him, but he was family and it felt good to be with family so far away from home.

When I was younger my father and mother would sometimes describe someone in conversation as "you know, he's a paisan." Seriously, I think everyone with a bit of Italian blood is related. After all, if you read about the emporers, kings, masters of arts, and even the popes, they fathered many families......hmm, makes you wonder?

Times Like These

A whole lotta lovin' going on here within the last 24 hours - good news for me, my fiance found a job and ......

Feels Like Home- West Meets East

You just know it when it happens. Like an pair of worn jeans, it just feels good...

Today is the 3.5 month anniversary of my fiance's relocation from Hawaii to Boston. (I know what you are asking ... it's for l-o-v-e, as he says.)

An ongoing discussion is 'adjustments' -- to each other, to East Coast living (weather, pace of life, local idiocyncracies, accents, directions, locations, job seeking) to pets. He seems to have just flowed naturally into it. Of course, having an easy disposition and great outlook on life sweetens any adjustments.

I think you reach a point at any relocation where you just KNOW when it feels like home. Funny how that happens. You just know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stay in love and it will decide everything

Nothing is more practical
than finding God, that is,
than falling in love.
In a quite absolute, final way,
what you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed
in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes youwith joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
~Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We Are Who We Are

Pride and Passion - a program from PBS - wonderfully nostalgic (to me anyway) that could have been taking a page/write a book about my family. The Italian traditions (holidays with relatives bursting out of the rooms of the house along with the gastronomic overabundance of carbo-rich foods and pastries) and familial roles (momma nona rules, aunts, uncles, cousins) but also the shared sentiments of both my grandparents and parents about being the 'immigrant family' - thus, the lowest in the societal order. I'm the 'American with an Italian ancestry' that was described in this piece. My grandparents were the 'Italian-Americans', and my parents were the 'American-Italians', first generation U. S. born. Both were eager to improve the world of their children and were willing to endure, sometimes with denegration, ridicule for their seemingly foreign ways. But their strong family bonds and vibrant culture sustained them. And that survivorship was passed to the newer generations.

Even though their reason for leaving their homeland was the sense of new opportunity, the risks they faced still seem daunting to me. The North End of Boston in the '60s is the closest I will get to understanding my parents' lives growing up as immigrant children in the early part of this century. My mom's family shared a three-bedroom flat with 10 siblings and one bathroom on Snowhill Street - directly across from the Copps Hill Burial Ground, where my cousins and I played tag. My dad was one of 7 boys in a three-bedroom flat on Prince Street. I couldn't stand 10 years of sharing a room with one sister.

But, the desire to understand these older times is one of the reasons I enjoy the small Italian towns. One day I hope to venture on my own to Avellino, to walk the streets of my ancestors, to whet this passion for connecting, understanding, immersion.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Pablo Neruda

PhotoHunt: Road

Finish line of the Falmouth Road Race - an annual road race which has morphed into an annual family tradition on an August weekend at the Cape. Family participants have numbered from 2 to 7, from 18 to 60 years of age. This weekend rivals only the 4th of July celebrations for summer family celebrations.

It's great fun -

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oneness - Thought to carry this weekend

The moment I first heard of love
I gave up my soul, my heart, and my eyes.
I wondered, could it be that the lover
and the beloved are two?
No, they have always been one.
It is I who have been seeing double.


Autumn in Boston

Surprised? Bet you thought I'd be posting a foliage photo. Gotta love being in Boston in the fall, especially if you are a sports fan - Boston Red Sox, Patriots and college football. Ahh, can it get better in Boston when the weather is turning a little cooler?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PhotoHunt - Wild

Cape Cod - another place you will find me. This is a wild beach rose, growing along the sand in front of a Falmouth beach.

Georges Rouault and Conflicted Souls

What’s old is new again.

I’m not one to write about political beliefs on a public forum, but it’s evident that our current global society (economy, environment, world peace) is broken. This is not a political statement, or even a social commentary: it’s just the reality.
Just look at the front cover of the New York Times

Maybe a stretch, but I can compare the current atmosphere with that of Georges Rouault, a painter (1869-1958) influenced by social commentary. I recently viewed his work which is spiritually, and at times mystically, infused by his definition of the human and social condition of his time. His view of people who were yearning for justice in a world of hypocrisy and pretense. He crafted his subjects ‘masked’ to hide their worldly suffering or secret plans.

Somewhat a universal and timely message.

"Nothing is old, nothing is new, save the light of grace underneath which beats a human heart. The way of feeling, of understanding, of loving; the way of seeing the country, the faces that your father saw, that your mother knew. The rest is chimerical..." ~Georges Rouault

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It could be a great Soxtober or an even GREATER Soxtober after this evening ~ com'n Beckett!


It is the story of two wolves barking within. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness & mostly revenge. The second wolf is filled with love, kindness, compassion & forgiveness. Question: "Which wolf will win?" Answer: "Whichever you feed." ~Native American Tale

Monday, September 15, 2008

File Under: Loco

Would you wear such a hat? I encourage creativity but THIS is Fashion Week -- go ahead stretch the limits with haute couture but I think it's a sure bet you wouldn't see anyone - even the fashion forward Carrie Bradshaw - wearing something this inane. File this under: loco

PS: Two years ago I was in NYC during Fashion Week and literally bumped into Vanessa Williams getting out of her limo. I was so surprised (surprised but not speechless-apparently) to be face-to-face with a celeb that I quickly turned to my daughter and said "Look, there's Tyra Banks!" Vanessa was very gracious.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Wanna Go!

Yes, I've been to Hawaii - many times -- three in the last two years. Lived there briefly. But I wanna go again! I miss the land. I miss the people. I miss the smell - I swear it's the permeation of the intoxicating, sweet-smelling plumeria that aids to my addiction to these islands. Of course, the warm weather and constant sun helps.

So, my friends leave next week for Kauai, probably my most favorite of the islands (followed closely by Maui). I'm jealous. I'll just have to dream about Hanalei Bay, which has to be the most pictureque beach in the islands, and the rugged beauty of the Napali Cliffs.

As the song goes: "When you see Hanalei by moonlight
You will be in heaven by the sea."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Opening Doors

I thought of this photo that I took from Civita today while I was facilitating an introduction of two people from the East and West Coast in a marketing effort.

I actually think that the Slow Travel Board (link on my home page)solidified my wanting to see this walled city, Civita di Bagnoregio. Orvieto and Civita - now two of my favorite out-of-the-way cities.....

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ~ Thick Nhat Hahn

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

Today, on a day I remember with such sadness, I saw a photo that reminded me of a contemplative time in my life. I was spending weekends in Vermont with a photographer friend. This was over 25 years ago, but I still remember the serenity this place engendered -- Jenne Farm.

My prayer today - to more serene days and peaceful thoughts for those people and memories we have lost and hold dear in our hearts. Peace, patience and understanding, menehune

No more words, hear only the voice within. -Rumi

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For One More Day and Eat, Love and Pray

"If you had the chance, just one chance, to go back and fix what you did wrong
in life, would you take it? And if you did, would you be big enough to stand

Stirs up a lot of emotion~
So, who would you spend one last day with and what would you say?

My mom. She died as I began my tumultuous teen years, and I was not a pleasant person to be around. 'Challenging' would be a mild word to describe me during that time of self-centeredness and rudeness. It's a path most teenagers detour to at that time in their lives - some exit quicker than I did.

I wasn't equipped with the foresight to see my mom's pain both physically and psychologically. I regret that. Humbly, I would ask her foregiveness. I would ask for her words of wisdom as a mother. Yes, that's it. No instructions come with how to mother and raise children. It's the kindness and goodness of our mothers who guide us through this delicate time of nurturing.

Motivated by another relevant book, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Love and Pray. I followed my intuition. I was (it's ever-present) on a spiritual journey of sorts a few years ago in my life. Reconnections had a very strong pull in my vortex. A very close friend whom I hadn't seen in over 15 years came back into my life. Then there was a love from my past whom I once shared a history with over 20 something years ago. This inner voice spurred me to reconnect and reawaken this past relationship - even though it seemed unlikely just because we were in different places on the globe. I wish both my mom and Ty could meet. He would make her smile.

Wednesday's Musing

And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sox are Coming, The Sox are Coming

Don't look now but the Red Sox are inching closer to first place in the AL East! Yeah! See
If you are on that webpage, check out the right-hand entry, A Fenway Promise, an emotional story about a deceased father's wish coming true for his sons. Fenway nation has heart~

PS: Not sure why the linking feature isn't working..

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tommy Emmanuel and Jake Shimabukuro

Last year around this time I was exploring the Italian Riviera and was treated to an impromptu private concert of two classical guitarists/teachers. They introduced me to the creative brilliance of guitar-picking Tommy Emmanuel . His music, coupled with the new discovery two years ago of Jake Shimabukuro while in Hawaii, provided a double delight! Serendipity.

They have played together in concert. Hope you agree that these two are pure genius and enjoy each other's talents. Watch their duet together here at

Monday's Tidbit of Thought

"Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, September 7, 2008

To Be Or Not To Be

Late Saturday night - check that, early Sunday morning's quote:

Comes to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come the edge, he said.
They came. He pushed them .. and they flew.
– Guilluame Apollinaire

Taken lovingly from my cherished dear friend's daily word. I love this quote. So many 'things' in life prevent one from fulfilling her desires ... intimidation, fear of failing, time, money ... this quote is my mana....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mea Culpa

I have changed my settings to allow comments. Can you tell I'm a newbie at this?

Could be Italy

but it's not. It's the North End of Boston. A place my grandparents emigrated to from Italy - Avellino to be exact.

My family, along with cousins, aunts and uncles would travel into this piece of Americana == back to their neighborhoods. It was a yearly ritual every Sunday in August to lean out the tenement windows on pillows and watch the processions of Momma Nonas shrouded in black and barefoot, praying the rosary behind the hoisted statue of the saint for the celebrated feastday. A few of my uncles were the bearers of the statues. And, apparently quite a few of us, the second and third Italian-Americans share these traditions. I overheard a father telling his young teen daughter an almost identical story as mine.

These photos were taken at the Fishermen's feast. The largest feast is, of course, St. Anthony's, on the last weekend of August.

My Hawaiian fiance is liking the fried dough, a staple of these festivals. My family called them 'johnny cakes'. I don't have an explanation of why they are called johnny cakes. Googled them and defined as made with cornmeal. Not so in this family - and I think that is pretty much a generic term for Boston - at least. If anyone knows the history of this, I would appreciate hearing it. Mahalo!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The 43 Meme - Captured

Deborah at Old Shoes-New Trip posted a list of 43 interesting city squares, plazas and piazzas from around the world. She is challenging her SlowTrav friends and travel blog readers to list the number of squares they have visited.

The rules:
Copy this list into your own blog and put an asterisk after each city square you've actually spent time in. (Riding past in a taxi or bus doesn't count.) Please include the link back to Old Shoes-New Trip in your own entry and then leave a comment on Deborah's post so she can find your blog and admire your count.

The Forty-Three MEME from Old Shoes, New Trip
1- Piazza Del Campo, Siena, Italy *
2- Piazza Della Signoria, Florence, Italy *

3- Staromestske Namesti, Prague, Czech Republic
4- Markt, Bremen, Germany
5- Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium*
6- Piazza and Piazzetta San Marco, Venice, Italy*
7- Piazza Del Campidoglio, Rome, Italy *
8- Krasnaja Polscad, Moscow, Russia
9- Sultanahmet Meidani, Istanbul, Turkey
10- Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy *
11- St. Peter's Square, The Vatican *
12- Place Des Vosges, Paris, France
13- Place Vendome, Paris, France
14- Place Des Terreaux, Lyon, France
15- Place Stanislas, Nancy, France
16- Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain*
17- Schlossplatz, Stuttgart, Germany
18- Plaza De La Constitucion, Mexico City, Mexico
19- Praca do Comercio, Lisbon, Portugal
20- Trafalgar Square, London, UK
21- Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, Germany
22- Konigsplatz, Munich, Germany
23- Winter Palace Square, St. Petersburg, Russia
24- Piccadilly Circus, London, UK
25- Piazza Duomo, Milan, Italy*
26- Piazza Dell'Unita D'Italia, Trieste, Italy
27- Theaterplatz, Dresden, Germany
28- Maria Theresien Platz, Vienna, Austria
29- Hosok Tere, Budapest, Hungary
30- Plaza De Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
31- Times Square, New York City, USA*
32- Tian'anmen Square, Beijing, China
33- Praca Dos Tres Poderes, Brasilia, Brazil
34- Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Canada*
35- City Hall Plaza, Boston, USA*
36- Plateau Beaubourg, Paris, France
37- Tsukuba Center Square, Tsukuba, Japan
38- Place Du Nobre D'Or, Montpellier, France
39- Placa Dels Paisos Catalans, Barcelona, Spain
40- Parliament Square, Canberra, Australia
41- California Plaza, Los Angeles, USA
42- Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
43- Potsbamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

Let's see. That would be 12 of a possible 43 on this list ... many more miles to travel ... I have to get out of Italy more often, I see!

Fun post!!

Thoughts for this Weekend

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Boston, my home town

Beantown, the City of Champions, the home of the Cod .. whatever you call it, it's where I hang my hat ... these days .. Boston. Born and spent most of my life here with some brief hiatuses to my second home, Hawaii.

In the cool evenings of September in Boston, when the warmth of the day is becoming a memory, the feel of autumn begins to tug at your memory. On the East Coast we are fortunate that Nature repeatedly gives us a kaleidoscope of rich colors to view this Earth.

So, as not to forget that summer may be an Indian Summer, and not to rush the new colors of fall, here are some of my favorite photos of New England. Aloha!

Dontcha just love this?

Love is always bestowed as a gift --
freely, willingly, and without expectation....
We don't love to be loved; we love to love.

~ Leo Buscaglia