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Goodbye Post-A-Week Challenge…

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..and HELLOOOO Post-A-WEEK Challenge! As you can see from my last post, blogging had become less than enjoyable for me. It’s primarily because when I HAVE to write, it just doesn’t feel good. It did at first but I think that’s simply because writing ANYthing felt good but it soon became an obligation instead of an interest and that just wasn’t working for me. So in short, I’ve failed! I am taking up the Post-A-Week but won’t be setting any particular day or hour for writing each post. It’ll happen whenever it happens and I’m fairly sure that once a week SOMEthing will, in fact, HAPPEN. I will for today make use of the topic suggestion for all challenge takers which is…

If your house were on fire, what would you grab first?

I’m going to assume that you all know my first thought would be to scoop up my little stinker. That’s a given. I’m also not going to consider a rope ladder from the balcony as something I’d grab. Although I totally need to buy one of these as I’m in a 3rd floor apartment. So escape equipment and cheeky monkeys aside, I would grab the external hard drives. We’ve got 3 now and they’re filled with all our photos, home videos, music and movies. They’re easy to carry and hold so much of our lives on them. Eva’s first day home, her first laugh (I love that we caught it on tape!), our wedding, the music and movies we’ve enjoyed together. The flat screen would be missed as well as the Wii but I wouldn’t get emotional about them. If I lost all the documentation of our lives together as a family, I’d be devastated.

The Meaning of Dreams

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What do dreams mean really? Are they simply a playground for the mind while the body is unconscious or is there more to them? Some people believe they are the essence of truth…the truth according to the dreamer. They are our unspoken desires, masked motivations. There are books, websites, even professions dedicated to the interpretation of them. I would like to believe they hold the key to my inner self or at least provide a peek. I have difficulty figuring myself out and find it infinitely easier to analyze my dreamscape than my reality. I have incredibly vivid realistic dreams. They often have a beginning, middle and end which I’m told is unusual. That’s not to say that UNusual things don’t happen. They do. Every time I run in a dream I start on my two legs then drop down to use my arms as well. I can really haul ass that way, using my legs I go at a snail’s pace. I have lots of recurring characteristics. I have superhuman strength, always. When fighting in a dream I generally swing people by their hair and beat them against the ground repeatedly. Brutal right? Well in my dreams they’re definitely the bad guys. No matter what role I’m in, I’m always me. I may look different at times but I’m always the me I know myself to be and I generally look fantastic. Hey, it’s MY dream. Also, I’m never without my baby. Of course that’s only been since I had her but ever since, she’s with me even in dreamland although sometimes I’m searching for her. I have one recurring dream although it’s been awhile since the last one. I lose all my teeth, bit by crackling little bit while looking into a filthy mirror in a filthier bathroom. I spit them out into a blood coated sink and stare horrified at myself. Not looking so fantastic in that one. According to the website http://www.dreammoods.com it means this: “One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you.” Perhaps I’m just not as concerned about that anymore..good.

What I really hope is true about dreams is that they are REAL. An actual dimension for our innermost selves to explore and be genuinely free. A space where we can meet with other dreamers and interact in a way that’s clearly impossible in our body-bound reality. That would be, magic. Dreams would be QUITE meaningful if this were the case. Think about it…when your spirit’s set free, what does it choose to do? Without inhibitions, without physical or mental limitations, without consequences…what would you do, who would spend your time with?

What do you think? Do dreams really mean anything or is a cigar just a cigar?

Can I be a VEGAN??

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I’m not against eating meat. I love anything I can throw on the grill and generally take my steaks a little bloody. I’m a total carnivore or at least omni-. Giving up meat is something I’ve never really given serious thought until now. I just watched a video on the horrors of todays farming methods. It’s taken 10 minutes for me to stop the tears enough to write this. It was disgusting, heart breaking. I had an extremely hard time watching it but forced myself to. The cruelty is inhuman, incredibly vicious. I think that eating meat is natural for human beings but I also believe there’s a way to do it using a method that shows respect and compassion. Sure, some wild animals will rip throats out and gnaw on the faces of their prey while they’re still making sounds but that’s different. Beating a calf in the face and stomping on their heads, that’s not animal instinct. That’s…God I don’t KNOW what that is but it made me sick. If I could take a cow out, as painlessly as possible, divide the meat, tan the hide and really be grateful for what I had, that would be ideal. I don’t know if I can stomach meat that was treated the way I saw in that video. There were disturbing clips on poultry farms as well as fishing boats. Somehow the piggies and cows made the biggest impact on me. Is it shitty of me that my heart doesn’t break for fish and chickens? Well actually, I saw horrible things happen to little baby chicks. I swear that only an evil person could do what they did. How could you harm a sweet little chick?? All fluffy and adorable. Farming couldn’t always have been this way. I have always wanted a small farm of my own. Nothing that produced products for the masses but one with a few chickens for eggs, a cow for milk and piggies just because they’re so stinkin’ cute (and smart, so they say). Now I’d like it more than ever just to be able to save a few animals from the nightmare that is your mass production farm. If you’re curious about this video and want to check it out please do so knowing that it’s a gut wrenching piece. I highly recommend that you just take my word for it, it’s awful. If you’re at all sensitive, don’t watch. I feel very disturbed now having seen it. If you STILL want to see it, it’s here 

How do you feel?

25 Things you don’t know about me

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I saw this on another blogger’s post and thought it was highly interesting and decided to use it myself. So here we go:

1. My right shoulder dislocates. Some of my friends know this (as well as a few sparring partners from kickboxing) as they’ve had to pop it back in for me. It’s excruciating but once it’s back in place, I’m perfectly fine.

2. I get car sick. It started while I was pregnant and has never left me. Apparently my daughter does as well, she lost her lunch all over the back seat last weekend as we made our way up a curvy mountain road….poor little monkey.

3. I did a tandem skydive (skydiving while strapped to the front of a professional) once and will never do it again. It was terrifying, although I ended up being a pretty good partner and they used my video at a skydiving promotion in Kentucky. Woo hoo!

4. I love to sing. I can’t carry a tune but I’ll still belt it out at the top of my lungs….when alone.

5. I don’t have a favorite color. I’d like to, I even try to but they’re all the same to me.

6. My biggest fear is death. Mine and the people around me.

7. Lilies are my favorite flower.

8. I’m totally uneducated. I wanted so badly to go to a great University and be somebody but it just didn’t work out that way. I’ve tried to self educate along the way and think I’ve done a fairly good job. Don’t test me though.

9. I attempted to write a book and stopped after about 5 pages. Knowing that I had an entire book ahead of me made the writing sound forced. I tossed it and took up blogging instead.

10. I have a really hard time making friends. I always have. I hate to say it but it must be something about me, I’m the common denominator. The friends I do have though are fantastic.

11. I suffer from severe wanderlust. I want to see EVERYTHING.

12. I’m the world’s worst speller. Strange, since I love to read and write but it’s true. I have to spell check everything, even emails.

13. I have a cheese addiction. The stinkier the better.

14. I love the smell of a match just lit.

15. I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I think I’m past my prime at this point.

16. I value personality way more than good looks….but being rich helps 😉

17. I’m a crappy runner.

18. I really dislike playing board games. I can eventually get into it if it’s the only thing going on but I’d really rather share a drink and chat.

19. Groups of teenaged kids make me nervous. I’m really not sure why.

20. I adore the rain, even more so if there’s thunder! I’m still waiting for the big springtime thunderstorms to hit Italy.

21. I make killer meatballs. Seriously, they’re awesome.

22. Same as with colors, I don’t have a favorite food. Really, how can I choose? Eating good food is one of my favorite things!

23. Ever since the movie “23” with Jim Carrey, I look at the number differently and make note of it whenever I see it.

24. During a foot race in the 2nd grade I pulled the shirt of the girl who was beating me because I didn’t want to lose. What a little shit I was!

25. Coming up with 25 things about myself was more difficult than I expected.

The Honeymoon Phase-A Poem

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This is a poem I wrote for my husband our second Christmas together. I wasn’t working so funds were low. I put it in a cheap silver frame and a gave it to him as a gift with a handmade card. He loved it. I think more because it was from the heart than anything else. We were married only 9 months so everything was still new and sparkly 🙂 Ahh newlyweds…..

I love you Ti amo 我愛你 Ik houd van u Je t’aime Ich liebe Dich

                      From utter elation to days of deep sorrow

I know that you’ll be there

For you are my heart, my life, my joy, my love

You are the renewed hope in my long lost prayer

Nothing’s as beautiful as the love in your eyes

When you are holding me

Your devotion is saving me from myself

You’re the warmth of the sun in my arctic sea

There is no darker moment than one without you

You’re my sense of wonder

You’re the light I follow to passion and bliss

You’re the soothing rain to my enraged thunder

You’re the greatest adventure I’ll ever know

Heaven’s grace bestowed on me

You have filled my life with color, song and charm

As my heart’s love is a lock, you are the key

                                                                       Σας αγαπώ  私は愛するEu te amo  나는 너를 사랑한다 Я люблю вас

Above and below the poem is written “I love you” in various languages. This is the only poem I’ve ever written and, to me, it sounds a little immature but hey, it’s mine. My husband really appreciated it and now it sits on his nightstand. Love you Bib

Post-A-Week Photo Challenge Topic: Round

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I really need to turn off that time stamp. I like having it there for family photos so I know exactly when they were taken (and WILL know in the future) but for stuff like this it just looks bad. I still like the photo though and am using the arch of the branches as my interpretation of  “round”. This was a path that led all through a forest and down along this lake:

It was a lovely day 🙂

Make a top ten list of favorite things to do you haven’t done in over a year Post-A-Day Topic 107

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Oh MAN there are a lot of things I haven’t done (that I love doing) in over a year! Mostly due to my mommy status but also because I’m living in a foreign country and still don’t have the confidence to get around and get out there like I do when I’m home. Ok top 10:

1. Go to a concert-I love live music and really there are a lots of music genres that are kid friendly enough to take the whole family. I can totally do this, I just need to find the music…and get a driver’s licence. Which brings me to number two…

2. Drive-I used to love driving. I would go for long drives to the lake, mountains, or just around town. Here in Italy, I don’t drive. I never learned to drive a stick-shift and learning in this crazy environment has proven pretty difficult for me. Automatics are just not that common here. In fact, I have yet to see one although I’m told they exist. Italians are crazy drivers, very aggressive and uncaring of how the laws state you should actually drive. The more time that goes by, the harder it will be for me. As it is, more than 2 years have passed and I’ve only taken a short trip around the block. In America I drove across states, through blizzards, deserts, mountains, everything. Here I have a hard time turning left. Pfft.

3. Eat Indian food-Italian food is great but when it’s all there is, you get used to it. In the bigger Italian cities like Rome, for example, you can find all kinds of awesome ethnic fare but here in Pescara, it’s just not happening. Indian food is a favorite of mine and I miss it quite a bit.

4. Fit into my size 6 jeans-I WILL get into you jeans, Oh yes, I will wear you again!

5. Drink a mojito on a sweltering Italian Summer evening-How I skipped this last Summer is impossible for me to answer. I was just too busy coraling my youngster I guess. I’ll just have to have a double this time 😉

6. Ride on a boat-It’s been AGES since I was on  boat. The last time was in the Summer of 2006. I have a thing for bodies of water so of course floating on one is a great way for me to spend a day….or 10

7. Go fishing-it’s not really the fishing part I like so much, although I’m a GREAT fisher(wo)man, but more the whole day spent outside with a picnic lunch and drinks in a cooler, ahhhhhhhhh

8. Fly-I actually hate flying, I just like going places. I need a vacation!

9. Drink a proper chocolate malt milkshake-mmmmmmmm milk shake. Pfffft what do Italians know about milkshakes?? Nothing! That’s what!

10. Sleep in-Wait….What is that? Did I just type that?? I think I know that term but I’m not real sure……

How My Daughter Ends Up in All My Posts

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My WorldMy husband pointed out to me that I manage to mention my baby girl in every blog I post. It doesn’t matter if the topic is the devil in America or lucid dreaming, if I’m finding my relation to any topic I am finding hers as well. She’s my favorite part of me, the part I cherish most and if I have thoughts on any topic my foremost concern is, “how does this affect my little stinker?” I suppose this can become tiresome for you as a reader. I’m guessing most mommy’s do this but perhaps I’m a bit overzealous when it comes to parent-child togetherness. I am convinced that I am the only one who can properly care for her. Crazy, right? I’ve spent countless hours researching the best nutrition, games, room temperature, language learning techniques, discipline, shoe construction, sleepwear, vaccine spacing, car seat placement, the list is endless-trust me. I also practice toddler Heimlich moves and cpr on Pookie, her teddy bear.

She’s simply everything to me. My whole life. My best friend. I’m not sure what that says about me that my best friend hasn’t even celebrated 2 years on the planet but it’s true. She’s absolutely perfect. I know, it’s what all parents say so if you are one, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It still blows my mind that this little person came to life in my belly. Too weird. The whole process is out of this world. Well, I guess not. In fact, it’s the very basis of our world. Birth. In any case, she’s the coolest. But I promise to make an effort to keep the subject of the post and refrain from boring you with interjections of  “mommy thoughts” but I’m sure they’ll creep in every now and again, it can’t be helped.

Home

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Do you ever have the feeling you’re not at all where you should be? If it weren’t for the perfection of my little monkey I would be thinking I’d taken a wrong turn in Albuquerque. I think it has a lot to do with trying to feel at home in another country. I don’t know how so many people are able to do it. Able to find their place among all the…foreigness. Sometimes I wish I could just pack up and head home, tonight is one of those times. It’s not that I’m unable to be away from my family and friends. That part does get difficult but it’s more about just being home. Nowhere outside of America feels quite like home to me. I’ve never really been too patriotic, not caring much for politics but I do know that I miss the way the sky looks in Western America, how the feeling of infancy as a country brought a sense that everything was possible. Here, the sun doesn’t hit the leaves in the same way, the birds’ song-unusual. Here it’s just…different. I wasn’t raised here, consequently I have no memories here or at least very few. Having given birth to my baby here helped a lot with my feelings of displacement. Wherever she is, there is love. But every now and again I want to have her with me where I grew up, where I remember celebrating holidays with the people who know me best. My family. My friends. I know that years will pass and wherever I am it will feel more and more like home. In fact, most days I don’t even think about it. It’s just sometimes, once in a blue moon, I’m homesick.

Lunedi’ di Pasqua

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Italians celebrate the Monday after Easter with almost more enthusiasm than Easter itself. Also called Pasquetta, the Monday of Easter (Lunedi di Pasqua) is often a more relaxed sort of gathering and generally held outside. I could’ve completely foregone Sunday lunch at the packed little restaurant we ended up eating at with 12 members of my husband’s family. The food was overpriced and the service was incredibly slow. How they planned to serve a full house with only two waiters in any kind of orderly fashion is beyond me. The entire time we spent there was more of a hassle than a pleasure so after 3 hours of being there and still not having been served our entire meal, we left. My little girl can handle restaurants pretty well but that amount of time is really pushing the limits of a toddler’s patience.

I woke up today (Pasquetta) hoping for good times and that’s exactly what I got. And even though the day wasn’t sunny, I was. We’d planned to go to a lake about and hour away for a picnic and we were almost rained out but we were determined to get there and at least check out the area before calling the whole thing off. Turned out to be one of the best times I’ve had in months. There were a few sprinkles when we first arrived but not enough to keep us in the car. We unpacked our lunch and games and joined the other people who had decided to brave the conditions in the name of springtime fun. After eating we went on a long walk through the woods on a path made of slim wooden planks. It twisted its way through the trees and along a serene blue-green lake that mirrored the opposite shore beautifully. Oh my little one nearly lost her mind with excitement, a smile wide as her little face would stretch plastered in place the entire time. She danced, she sang, she called back to the frogs. She was in heaven. Nature has a way of affecting most people in a very meaningful way. I, myself, find a peacefulness not duplicated anywhere else when I’m in a natural setting. The path we took led to clearing in the forest where we found a few large groups of people in their 20’s and 30’s, cooking, playing soccer and listening to loud music. Perfect! We set up shop there for awhile, blowing bubbles and running in circles after my little monkey. By this time the rain had stopped completely and we were just soaking up the atmosphere. Afterwards we went to the lake’s shore where we threw a few pinecones and chased down other little kids my baby wanted to give kisses to. She’s a sucker for the youngsters.

On the way home she slept and the rest of us talked about what a perfect day it was. I’ll always remember today, the look on my baby’s face as she ran free in the wilderness, the tranquility. It was lovely. I want to go back as soon as we can.

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