When a PICTURE makes you THINK of pasta!

When I was at the grocery store, I saw Pierogi, so many choices. I have a friend who gets in the mood for them. It’s interesting, because they are like Italian ravioli. Then, I thought, you’ve got the Asian pot stickers. All a little different, but the same idea with a different name.

Do you have a preference for any of these? I wonder, do the Germans/Austrians have something like ravioli or pierogi? I know they make great dumplings.

Thinking of dumplings, I’m getting in the mood for Matzo Ball soup now!

When Earpods go haywire!

Something really funny happened to me recently. I walk a lot and needed some Earpods. The Powerbeats that Apple recommends are good, but pricey. I have a pair, but they are getting old.

I was at TJ Max the other day and I saw these Earpods that looked pretty snazzy. Great price, around $35, I think. DONE, I decided to stop searching for Powerbeats, buy these instead.

There’s a reason why Apple always recommends using “their” products versus other brands.

Here’s what happened…

I charged these new earpods, which seemed to do well. I put them in my ears and headed out for a walk. My girlfriend called. I could hear her really well. I was feeling proud of my purchase and saving money. BUT WAIT… that didn’t last long.

Here’s where it went haywire. It was really windy, I went to put my hair behind my ear. Doing this, I gently touched the Earpod. Well, that hung up on my girlfriend and turned my audio book on. How weird is that. I didn’t push on anything, just barely touched the headphone. My girlfriend was calling me back and I was still trying to turn the audio book off.

Wait – there’s more. Somehow, these Earpods made my Garmin watch go crazy too. This has NEVER happened. Suddenly, my watch was indicating that I needed to count my breathing. I did E -V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G to get out of that breathing segment. No button I pushed worked. My Garmin watch kept telling me how PROUD they were of me for using the breathing segment. You know, those rah-rah messages they send us. I was really going insane.

Man-O-Man! When I took those Earpods off they were constantly flashing red/blue, red/blue. It was so annoying. I wondered what other device of mine these Earpods were trying to “attack!”

I had renewed appreciation for my Powerbeats. I never had an issue like this.

So, cheaper is not always better. Not in this case.

What electronic issues have you had lately?

Traveling: Italy in winter…

Whenever I’ve traveled to Italy, it’s usually been in the Spring right before heavy tourist season in June. My daughter was able to find a good flight to Italy, winter rates, so was just there. We’ve learned there are pros/cons to traveling off season.

She noticed not very many tourists, that’s a pro. She could take pictures of special places with no people around. However, major con, many shops and restaurants closed. They had signs on their windows, back in March. I told her, she would have to ask the locals where they go. Also, find grocery stores, she could make sandwiches herself. We chuckled, we like pizza, but not every day for 10 days.

I thought this was a beautiful photograph of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I didn’t crop the photo, because the sky is amazing. The light behind the clouds, above the Vatican, it gives us pause to think.

She also took this photograph of the Virgin Mary. I was pleasantly surprised to see she was able to light a candle. In most Italian churches they use the electric candles. Have you seen that? You flip a switch and the electric candle lights up. It’s not very spiritual, prevents fires, so I understand.

I have a few more photos I’ll share of Italy in the next posts.

Right now, airlines are having low fares on winter travel until end of March. BOOK NOW!

Spring is coming. The sun has been shinning.

What special adventures do YOU have planned?

Warning, California Prop 65 – Cancer and Reproductive Harm… on EVERYTHING?

Have you noticed this issue lately? You look at something, want to buy it, and when you take it out of the package or turn dish around on the bottom you see the CA Prop 65 Cancer and Reproductive Harm Warning.

I ask you, “Why are companies even allowed to make the product if they put that warning label on it?”

Take this flashlight. I found it over the holidays. An outdoor shop had a sample to test. I tried it out. I measured it, so you could see, it’s small, but powerful. I thought it was great. Well, I get home, I pull the NEW flashlight out of the box and THERE is the CANCER WARNING.

It’s funny. As soon as I saw the WARNING, I almost dropped the flashlight on the floor. You know, like if you suddenly saw a spider on your hand. Fling it away. What does that warning really mean? If I keep holding that flashlight I could get cancer?

This is maddening. I was in a furniture store the other day. I saw a leather recliner. Nice looking blue color. I went to look at the tag. It said, “CA Prop 65 – Cancer, etc. WARNING.” Really, a recliner too? Now, who in their right mind would buy this leather recliner? Do you want to sit in your expensive chair with the constant thought of cancer on your mind?. I saw some dishes at the store. Guess what, turned them around and on the bottom — the cancer warning.

I’ve seen the warning in the past, but lately, I seem to see it constantly. No wonder there are so many people sick with cancer. It seems to be everywhere. Did you hear the egg one now? Fried eggs could cause bladder cancer, but boiled eggs are Ok.

So, opinions — What do I do with the flashlight? Take the risk of getting cancer or return it?

Best Snowman of the Year!

This past weekend Chicago was hit with a lot of snow. It was fun to see a father with his child building a snowman. The hat is so perfect and the green scarf lovely – the perfect photograph!

It’s an artistic snowman. I like how the bottom spreads out, but somehow they made the stomach area look really round. Look at those sticks for arms/hands. This snowman makes me smile.

For me, so far, this is the Snowman of the Year! UNLESS, we get another snow storm, then let’s see what happens.

GUESS WHAT – Feb 2nd is Groundhog Day. Will Phil Punxsutawaney, the groundhog, see his shadow??? It’s a silly tradition. Has anyone ever checked to see if the yearly predictions were true?

A Coincidence…. What was at work here?

A few months ago I wanted to trace a photo and paint it. I needed tracing paper, so I went to the art store. The sales clerk was doing a flyer for the store, and happened to be tracing an old flyer. He showed me how to do it and exactly what I needed.

He armed me with tracing paper, graphite paper and media paper for the painting part. I had all of this in a shopping bag. I went home ready for my project. Something came up and there sat my shopping bag. Over time, I kept moving that shopping bag to different places in my office.

Since I am not an artist, I was afraid if I took those supplies out of the bag, I would forget what he showed me and how to use them. I know, it’s a basic technique, easy peasy, but for a non-artist until I’ve done it once, it was going to be a challenge.

Fast forward to yesterday. A funny coincidence happened. I decided, “that’s it,” I’m tracing that photo!! I looked in my office and couldn’t find the shopping bag. I didn’t have time to do a thorough search, but I kept thinking ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. Where could that shopping bag be?

Last night, I happened to need a blanket. It’s cold, snow again, so went to this storage container I have. As I lifted up the blanket, there was a surprise. My shopping bag with the art supplies was there. I smiled, because I would never have looked there for the shopping bag. I remembered vacuuming one day and moving the shopping bag into this storage container. A blanket ended up on top of it.

So, WHAT was at work here?

The Universe, St. Anthony or my Guardian Angel? I’m not sure, but when I saw that shopping bag I was overcome by feelings of “Wow – I can’t believe it. I would NEVER have checked in the storage container. Thank goodness it snowed, I got cold and needed the blanket!”

How about YOU, I’m sure something like this has happened to you too. Share your story.

Exercise – Hiking socks for those TOUGH days! Grrrr…

Let’s face it, winter can challenge our exercise routine. Below zero temps outside force us to stay inside. Some people can walk in place to a video, for me that is B-O-R-I-N-G. I just can’t do it. I’d go insane.

I introduce you to the perfect sock I found for TOUGH days. Yes, when I saw this sock, I thought – it is the answer. Wearing a mean scary bear on my feet would motivate me to weather the storm, right?!

One of my daughters was on board, she loved it. The other one said, “But he looks so scary.”

To which I replied, “That’s the point! Sometimes we need to push ourselves. Take control, “tough it out,” motivate ourselves in a funny way to brave the cold weather. These bear socks do that – LOL.”

Have you ever worn the Darn Tough brand of sock? Made in Vermont, U.S.A. They are the Mercedes of socks. Yes, smooth, light, slick and high end. Oh, and colorful. As soon as I put them on I could tell the difference from my less expensive socks. I was ready to climb the mountain.

However, something was wrong, seriously wrong. They were so narrow. Yes, so tight fitting. I double checked the package. It’s the right size. Why so narrow. I imagined how the Chinese women felt years ago when they bound their feet. So, I need to call the company and sort this out.

Some good news. If you look at the packaging, it says, “Guaranteed for Life!” That means there is hope for an exchange. Maybe a Men’s Medium? By the way, my feet are normal size, nothing unusual.

Their website is amusing. Funny that they need to say they don’t guarantee one sock lost in the laundry, a sock being burned or animal destruction. I’m sure there are other disclaimers. They do show some of the returned socks. Definitely worn – with love – not sure about that, but worn, for sure.

We have great weather for walking, but snow is headed our way. No more time to write. I’ve got to call the company, get a new pair of socks – PRONTO!

Listen to David Goggins on Spotify, he gets you motivated!

Happy Exercising!

A sign from a loved one in Heaven…

Signs from loved ones in Heaven are powerful. We know without a doubt exactly “who” the message is from! We are overcome with emotion. I received a sign. I’m still in awe of how this occurred.

The holidays can be a roller coaster of feelings/memories. After Christmas, where we had below zero temps, I was anxious for a walk and fresh air. I decided to go downtown, it was still festive with the lights up. The display in a toy store window caught my attention. My desire to go in was strong.

It was joyful, families shopping for deals. As I continued to the back of the store, I saw the puzzle area. I enjoy puzzles, so stopped to explore. I sighed, the usual puzzles of flowers, Monet, etc. Disappointing.

However, on the bottom shelf, behind another puzzle, I found FLORENCE. I smiled -> F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E. My mother’s home town in Italy. Of course, I had to have it. I clutched it close, it was mine!

Walking home, I kept thinking how strange it was to find this puzzle. Why, what was the meaning? I was overcome with memories of visiting my grandmother in Florence. I thought, perfect timing. Long weekend for New Year’s Eve, I would do the puzzle.

I started with the Duomo. Proud when it was done. As I continued, I found yellow and green pieces. Putting them together, I looked down and got teary-eyed. What a memory! Take a look at the photo. The pieces of this particular puzzle area, looked exactly like my grandmother’s building. Amazing!

Back then, we did not have cell phones. When I would go out my grandmother and grandfather would rush to open the window. I would hear the green shutters crackling as they opened them. They would yell down to me in Italian (they didn’t speak English), Ciao, baci (kisses), a presto (see you soon). I felt so much love every time they did this. There are more memories, of course.

So, a sign indeed!

Don’t forget Nonina and Nonno!

We are with you. We LOVE you! Go back!