July 30, 2010

Jersey Shore is a Disgrace to Italians!

Jersey Shore.

Jerseylicious.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

The Sopranos.

All of these shows are a disgrace to Italian-Americans.

No one in my family, either in the USA or in Italy act like these nutjobs.

No male cousin of mine who currently reside in New Jersey act like this.

No one.

It is such a poor depiction of what Italians are really like and I hope people don't buy into this crap.

The only reality show I have found that comes close to how my family acts, with love and intelligence and a deep, strong sense of family is a show called Jersey Couture which is on Oxygen.

Smart, beautiful, family-oriented business owners.

This is real Italians at its best.

Not these drinking, sexing, low-class, uneducated, loud, obnoxious bunch on television right now.

"Your life may be the only Bible some people read."
- Author Unknown

July 28, 2010

Summer Sun Conundrum

I love the beach and all things sand, sea, surf, ocean, waves . . . You get the picture.

The other day, I was at the beach doing what I love to do best - read.

Well, I flipped through my magazine and saw an article on skin cancer.

Yikes!

I could not bring myself to read it.

Not at the beach. I read it when I returned home.

I just felt so guilty to read the article while laying in the sun.

I have always had issues with the sun. But, the beach is my favorite place so off I go.

I don't spend hours in the sun like back in the day when I would spend summer weekends with friends at shore rentals, talking about the night out before and which guy we had met.

Now, 30 minutes on my stomach. 30 minutes on my back. And then, I am under my beach umbrella. For a total of about 3 hours.



I never would have thought to purchase a beach umbrella. But last year I did and it is the best investment I ever made.

Under $20 at CVS with an SPF of 100.

I am well hooked-up with tanning lotion supplies and always apply it before I get to the beach.

Well, Dr. M. I will be seeing you in September for my yearly full-body skin check.

Hopefully all will go well.

I really love the beach.

"A life without love is like a year without summer." - Swedish Proverb

July 26, 2010

Girasole - The Evolution of a Sunflower

In May, my father and I planted sunflowers. He planted the seeds indoors a few months prior to planting them in the garden. I thought to myself, how the heck are these little plants that can barely stand produce 7 foot tall sunflowers.

My father said, "Just wait."
And so I did.
Sunflower in Italian is Girasole which means "turn to the sun."

It seems that right before our very eyes, they grow and grow and grow.



My father has a lot of patience. Me, not so much. But, I am glad I did this summer because watching these Girasole in the backyard has been amazing.

Ciao for now Girasole. You made me smile in a summer that didn't have much to smile about.
"If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing
more than you can imagine, plant a garden."
- Robert Brault

July 21, 2010

Spa Week Review and Telling the Truth

This post has been a longgggg time coming.

I wrote it a while ago and am just posting it now. Please forgive me . . .

The week of April 12th was Spa Week. Held every April and October, participating spas around the United States offer select spa services for $50.

So, I decided to try a new spa near me and booked two different treatments on two different days.

The first was a facial. (This isn't me in the photo as my boobs no longer point towards the ceiling.)

source: MegaBeautyCenter

My esthetician was okay but some things were a bit odd. Namely, while letting the mask sit for a bit, she gave me an arm and neck massage. Rather than take my arm from the front, she sat behind me and pulled my arm to the back. I thought, "Good thing I don't have tennis elbow." When she was done with my right arm, she placed it on my tummy. However, when she was done with my left arm, she left it hanging out behind my head, flapping in the air.

Very weird. I thought, "Ok. Maybe she is not done yet." But she was done and I thought that if I didn't put my arm back on my stomach, she wasn't going to.

She also said I had nice eyebrows but that I needed threading. I have wanted to try this so if anyone has, please let me know.

When I went to pay, the guy at the front desk asked how everything was. I told him that it was okay but not the best facial I have ever had. He seemed taken aback and shocked. Dude, if you think for one minute that this spa has the best facialist in the world, you are sadly mistaken.

LESSON: Do not ask questions if you are not prepared for the answer.

For years, if a waiter or bartender or whomever asked me how things were, I would always say okay even if things were sooooo not okay. These last few years have found me telling the truth.

Case #1 - "How is your food?"

"Ummm, this rice ball tastes like it was made days ago."

Case #2 - "Caramel Frappuccino, double blended?"

"Actually, can you make me another one. I saw you touch your mouth while making it."

Case #3 - "How is your room? Is everything okay?"

"Well, when I arrived, I noticed some pubes on the toilet bowl."

Do not ask questions if you are not prepared for the answer.

I digress.

On to the second treatment which was an anti-aging body wrap.

source: SanctuaryMassage

I have had wraps before, but it had been a while. Although exfoliating wasn't involved, it was a really nice treatment. A cream was applied to my body. I was wrapped, treated to a great face and neck massage and then a nice, hot shower. Afterwards, body cream was applied and I left smelling like a Jolly Rancher.

The same guy was at the front desk and asked me how things were. Again, I told him the truth and said it was wonderful and I left with a smile on my face.
source: FoundryParkInn
See. The truth is important. How can someone do and be better if you lie to them?

Speak the truth. It will set you free.

"A half truth is a whole lie." - Yiddish Proverb

July 19, 2010

Fried Zucchini Blossoms (Flowers)

For as long as I can remember, my father has always had an amazing garden. He is so talented at growing his garden and he is tireless.

Some of the vegetables my dad grows are zucchini and butternut squash.
These plants produce flowers or blossoms. Bright orangey-yellow in color.
Dad picks these flowers first thing in the morning when they are open.

After checking for little critters, he then stuffs them with cheese - provolone or pepper jack. I like it spicy!

Then, as if making chicken cutlets, he drops them in beaten eggs (you will need a lot!) and then bread crumbs. In hot oil, they take about a minute or two per side.
Labor intensive but absolutely delicious!

We freeze them and eat them all year long. This year, we made about 400.

I think that may be enough to tide us over until next summer :) What do you think?

July 12, 2010

Clams Clams Clams

I am lucky to live a couple of miles away from the beautiful ocean.

On my brother's birthday last week, his childhood friend called to say he had gone clamming and that he would like to drop off clams for my dad.

He and my brother used to go clamming when they were kids and I just thought it so special that on my brother's birthday, which he didn't exactly know that it was, he brought over some clams.
Dad and I were very touched.

We ate them raw with a bit of lemon juice and watched them squiggle. They were so fresh and delicious!
We ate baked clams with bread crumbs, tomatoes, parsley and red pepper flakes.


We ate them with linguine.
The meals were outrageously delicious and brought back so many memories.

It was a great way to celebrate my brother.

Mangia!

July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Brother . . .

Today is my brother's birthday.

It is his 50th birthday.

A milestone.

A special birthday.

I hope that he is having a big 'ol party in heaven for his first birthday away from us.

He deserves it.

This is a birthday card I purchased for him and laminated to put at his grave today. The inside reads as follows:
"A lot of words unspoken.
Affection unexpressed.
Still, I hope you know it . . . as a brother, you're the best."

Happy Birthday Brother!

July 5, 2010

Yeah for Me! A Blog Award!

I am having a bit of a rough day today.

I opened my email for the first time this holiday weekend and I see that I received a Blog award.

The Girly Tomboy awarded me with this oh-so-needed boost.

Check out her blog! Lots of fun stuff.

July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

I am so proud to be American!

I appreciate our history which is fairly young compared to other countries.

I admire those who fight for our freedom because freedom is not free. Happy Birthday to us!

"This nation will remain the land of the free

only so long as it is the home of the brave."

- Elmer Davis

July 2, 2010

A Horoscope Made for Me

No one can predict how high you can fly until you spread your wings.
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