Tuesday, April 29, 2014

.:tudo por causa de um feijao com arroz:.

ok, estou baixando a armadura pra escrever um post em portugues porque, sinceramente, nao teria nenhum sentido em qualquer outra lingua existente no globo... claro que sei que meus amigos brasileiros vao rir bastante com meu novo uso da lingua, mas acredito que vao ser gentis o suficiente (essa é especificamente pra ti, drico) para nao transformar a desertora em piada publica, ao menos nao na minha presença... ;)

o massacre de noticias negativas em relaçao ao brasil, mais especificamente o rio, ultimamente me fez pensar e lembrar de um rio de nao muito tempo atras... quando era interessante matar aula para ir à exposiçoes de arte no CCBB, seguidos de uma tarde caminhando na orla até cansar de ver o mar... quando shows do casuarina na fundiçao eram acompanhados de amigas e habibs de manha, com a cabeça doendo e os sentidos um pouco entorpecidos devido à maresia, os pés doendo de tanto dançar, o gurpo grudento por causa do clima tipico da cidade e um sorriso no rosto pra completar...

lembro do rio com as aulas de sabado virada depois de dormir e acordar umas tres vezes no metro, com os bailes-aula do CDAC quando se dançava com trinta parceiros diferentes ao som de samba de gafieira rindo o tempo todo com as piadas, os passes errados e aqueles miraculosamente certos... de comida japonesa entregue em casa, e de restaurantes que abrem pra almoço sò pra voce e o dono ainda senta à mesa junto pra te fazer companhia porque, afinal, vc é um cliente fixo... dificil nao pensar no poder restaurador da pedra do arpoador, quando tudo que era necessario para curar um coraçao maltratado era um por-do-sol, a cançao do mar , caneta e papel...

dificil ignorar a alma boemia, a solidariedade despreocupada e genuina, a leveza de ser... mais dificil ainda é acreditar que em algum momento tudo isso começou a deteriorar... ainda me recuso a acreditar totalmente... prefiro manter a imagem do rio nao corrompida pelo advento da modernizaçao do sistema de educaçao, das upps e melhorias para copa...

hoje me deu saudade do feijao com arroz, do sol, do samba... e ainda que tenha ido em vao procurar feijao, voltei pra casa munida de guaranà antàrtica, com uma disposiçao carioca no intimo e dançando sò ao som de mart'nalia... e vou guardando esse pedaço precioso onde fica protegido, pra ser passado adiante quando chegar a hora, pra ensinar a arte de sorrir despreocupada e de curar tudo (ou quase) com o som do mar...

Monday, April 28, 2014

.:define family:.

I was caught up short when pre-testing(because of course, there is the pre-planning, the planning, the post-planning and pretesting, the shifting, the testing, and the actual lesson, now, every body knows that, right?) my lesson yesterday with my "volunteers"(ok, it would be more like unaware-inocent-victims-bombarded-with-questions-in-my-hope-of-getting-valid-feedback, but volunteers will do ^^)...

the topic chosen to develop the lesson (and introduce valid vocabulary) was family... no mystery there, everybody has a family... everybody knows what it is all about, a group of people who love each other and work hard(sometimes harder than the others) to share experiences, learn, and grow together, enjoying the journey with the company they have... easy, yeah?
image taken from http://www.rmact.com/

I'd have to say no... sure, some years ago a family would be a mum, a dad, the average two kids and a half and close it with a bow... if you were really brave you'd go for a pet... this is how I grew up, and very few people would escape this prototype, this perfect mold... then there would be the "different" kids... they would be considered spoiled because were only-children or raised by their grandparents in the absence of parents... some were the potential outcasts because: how can a child be raised well by a single/divorced/widowed(insert social judgement here) parent, or even worse, with a whole lot of family living together in the same place? people would pass judgement on things they didn't understand and didn't even care to try...

then the number of divorces grew, and most kids would be split in between houses, parents (of the so perfect family) fighting and raging, the role model shattered to pieces... now being divorced/separated was as normal as it was expected... most people would accept the idea of parents in different houses, with different families, but then, poor kids from the first marriage would end up lost in the middle... not here, nor there... but for the average observer they were still part of a family because it was normal, right?

of lately one last concept has been introduced triggering legal issues and debates on rights and things (yeah, I'll leave the technicalities to my dear lawyer friends, let me stick to the social aspect, ok?), the concept of same sex unions originating a family... you may be shocked, but take a minute to consider the case scenario... two people who love each other decide to be together, to support the partner through the difficulties in life, to cheer when they succeed on sth, to share love and respect, and eventually, while growing together, raising a small being, educate this new person with the values they share, and hopefully help create a better world complete with wise and understanding  grown-ups...

now remember we are talking about two men, or two women, take your pick... no more, no less, that's what a homosexual union would be like... and if you ask me, they have more chance of being more honest and sure about their choice than the average judgmental mary-sue... why is that? what do you expect from a middle-class girl? to study, graduate, get married to her mr. right, work, have kids, be the perfect character in society... people have been massacred with this idea, so much so that if a person is not that sure this would be the easiest path to follow through (and maybe discover that it wasn't really what the person wanted to do with his/her life)... and that couple people so openly criticize is so certain of their conexion, their feelings, their choice, that they fight pre-conceptions... they stand their ground to live their happiness... and sure, such strong, independent, rational people can't be considered unworthy or unfit to educate somebody, can they?

I could go on and on forever defending people's right to live as they believe to be the best way for them, single, married, living together, with friends, with partners, with pets, with children, without... why should labels matter that much? why should somebody be shocked when shown the photo of a happy family? because they are not happy through the way you were expecting them to be
? it doesn't make any sense... really? today I'll settle on being disappointed, and hoping for a change... we can still hope...


Saturday, April 26, 2014

.:the one with the ice cream:.

"friends" reference means it is the dreaded ironing day and that good old tv series keeps me company... but we are celebrating the first 'gelato artigianale' of the year... (can I hear a hooray?!) the ice cream shops here close during winter season and open again for the hotter months... In our neighbourhood there are 4 good ones... the nearest one is in the "piazza"(yeah, totally picturing tom hanks' speech on his big bad bookstore... ^^ girly movies rlz, nice way to give your brain a holiday...) and that is where we introduced the pea to the wonders of italian ice cream... you are wondering about her reaction, right? sorry to disappoint you, but she loves ice cream just like her mother, which would be not that much... too cold... says her, say me... 

it was fun just the same, loads of flavours to choose from, small children smearing ice cream on their parents' clean clothes, rally jeeps passing by preparing for the annual competition that takes place on the hills behind our house... (it is a long race around europe/africa and they drop by here when it is spring... the sound of their engines at midnight makes for a lovely lullaby... ;) 

another first for the pea was the bike ride... on her first summer she was too small to ride a bike, then there were the cold months, and we moved to rio (this mamma is not crazy enough to get her daughter up on a bike in rio, thank you very much)... so it is no wonder that I've been waiting for her first bike ride since our return... I've been asking my husband to set up her chair on my bike for a month now, and what does he do? sets it up on his bike instead... talk about trust... on the bright side, I guess our daughter continually calling me while riding got her opinion on the subject clear enough... ^^ he is getting it changed tomorrow... 

so, all in all, one year away and things haven't changed a bit...same good, same old... next up will be the 'sagras' with their fireworks, popular music and typical cuisine... the crickets have already returned, and so have the aspargus, artichokes and, in a short time, so will the cherries... yummy... the first berries of the summer season... talk about enjoying the moment, even if the season has its drawbacks it means hot weather is just around the corner... sure, time flies by fast enough and then before we realize it, we will be submerged in the best stark fashion, sporting heavy coats, freezing our butts and trudging in the snow... "winter is coming", just not today and I'll make the best of everyday until it returns... =)

hope you guys have a great weekend! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

.:happy bomb day:.

Update on this week's events... (sorry, no "happy, happy, joy, joy" the allergy and the meds are getting to me... )

We survived Easter! Yay! family affairs and animosities between brothers summed up to a weird half empty table where people seemed to be playing at "keeping mum"... uhum, not our brightest family moment, but hey, no confrontations... yeah, I hate confrontations, will avoid them if I can e-v-e-r-y time... so that would fair a positive outcome, right? good... 

next point in question: the much hated allergy season... then again, let's recap... flowers = good, pollen 0 bad... hot weather = great! (finally!) people who think mowing grass is necessary = seriously, what were they thinking?!? it is grass, just let it grow... what if you can't find your children in the garden anymore when they go out to play? I'm sure they are having fun (and allergic people are raising statues in your honour all over the country from the northern mountains to the coastal heel... just go with that feeling and sacrifice a few small ones, they will find the front door... eventually...)

all this to say allergy hit hard... meaning asthma attacks keeping me up all night, and medications and a two year-old making me tired all day... I'm so ready to be over and done with the allergy season, really, sign me up for summer fun... yesterday I gave in and decided to start taking the meds... but those scientist guys should really take into consideration the whole purpose of taking drugs... they should make you feel better, right? so it is kind of tricky to understand how not breathing properly before the drugs would be considered improved when all you get in return for using said drugs is nausea, fatigue, a headache and a running nose... when you figure that one out please enlighten me...

sweet mother-in-law (and witty)

luckily I have a very good old lady to call mother-in-law who offered to keep the pea entertained this afternoon while I sulked on the sofa (yeah, have I mentioned we discovered there is mold in our bedroom behind the wardrobe? it is gross, just waiting to get out of the wall and start walking and it would trigger more severe attacks of asthma at night? uhum... lucky me... and sofa time out is the solution... ) so after a two hours nap I could get to prepare a nice dinner to thank the good souls that gifted me this so needed rest...

on the bright side? all those long nights with no sleep made for a good reading time opportunity... yep, the lungs are crap but the eyes still work well, thank you very  much... AND I get to enjoy all of tomorrow with the hubby at home...

here the holiday is tomorrow, something to do with the republic pretending they really grasp the concept... anyway, this year I'm calling it "bomb day"... as a reminder from their glorious european past people here stumble sporadically on old bombs... all left overs from WWII, and those need to be dealt with... tomorrow is the chosen day to neutralize and remove it... so by 7 am five neighbourhoods here will have been evacuated as a safety measure... the surreal thing is, when I told my husband that some places in the city were to be evacuated because of a bomb emergency his reaction was mostly "blasè" like: "oh, yeah... every once in a while an old bomb pops out... no big deal".... it amazes me everytime how the power of repetition can make people overlook extreme situations... here it is bombs, somewhere else it will be beggars, in another place still shooting, so on and so forth... it becomes routine, but let me tell you a secret: none of it should be!

ok, let me stop this bright silver lining of a post here before people start listening to the album "tempestade" and moping around their houses... guess being sick just make people miserable, or it is just me...

let's close with sth good, my favourite quote of GoT so far (sure, my last favourite quote which is the most I can give you right now because I'm not even close to finishing the books):
'My brother is undoubtedly arrogant," Tyrion Lannister replied. "My father is the soul of avarice, and my sweet sister Cersei lusts for power with every waking breath. I, however, am innocent as a little lamb. Shall I bleat for you?" ' 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

.:the pea:.

"It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself."

I don't know who wrote this (I've looked for it, but everybody was referencing back to someone else), and it may sound tacky or something out of a self-help book, but all it makes me think about is the little one we have here... (ok, truth be told, even if it were a quote about potatoes somehow my mind would go in that direction anyway, still...) she turned out to be the most beautiful person in the world because most of those true moments I got to experience first hand... And there is another one, the most amazing thing in the world which is the sparkle of knowledge... The flicker that goes through her eyes the moment she understands something or makes some connection...

video
she teaches you patience, and learns about it as well....

she is fierce and curious, but all the same uncertain and afraid of the unknown...


she makes you find awe on a shop display of balloons...

and brightens up your mornings with wrestling-tickling-giggling matches...

she is everything I need to learn, and more... 

.:achille's heel:.




Do you know that glam rock group with a lead singer who was south african?the name was sth like the queens, heard they were good... So, in this song they have there is a piece in the lyrics that goes: "bad mistakes, I've made a few", I'm sure you know that one, yeah, champs? ;) so sorry, freddie, but I beg to differ in there, I don't believe in bad mistakes... Stupid mistakes? Yeah... Harmless ones? Sure... Huge ones? Sound like my kind... But bad is not really a good definition of mistakes for me, if only because they teach you not to be that reckless/stupid/oversensitive(insert cause of the mistake here) again... That if you are paying attention... Otherwise, I' sorry for you, but hey, there is still hope! Hang in there! ;)

I've already blabbered about changing, and moving on here... Let's say this is kind of a companion piece (written more than 2 years ago never thought to be published and edited because of an early/late conversation with a friend), right? Ok... This think cleared out I'm totally pro to making mistakes, they are good, they are useful, and more importantly, they show you are doing sth... So what would be bad if mistakes aren't? The not making mistakes part... Sounds confusing, yeah? Well I hope when I'm through you won't look like I'm speaking greek with a french accent (uhum, I realize that so far it is that bad, but never fear... lol)

Where was I? Oh yes, mistakes... To begin with, a mistake is sth you made, so it involves actually DOING something... If you decide not to do anything that is just abstention for me, it is not a mistake, it doesn't involve any kind of effort, you chose not to act... And that is not worth being entitled mistake... It is a kind of hiatus, a sea of possibilities that you decided to let go...

Particularly I don't like to feel in the dark, questioning what would have been, most often than not if I am curious about the outcome I just do it, then if it is not working I try a different thing, but nonetheless I try... Why? Because I hate what if's... They can keep you up at night like the worst of nightmares... A road you could have taken and just ignored can have the power of looking all the more appealing as time progresses, we tend to expect the best and idealize the whole outcome... Ok, maybe that is just me, and it is enough to avoid creating "what if's" like the plague...

Now, where would you say the problem lies? It hasn't always been like this... And I really thought I had cleared all the roads not taken syndrome (if you may call it that) being free of what if's... Ha, so naive... The truth is I've overlooked and underestimated an old non-decision which created the biggest what if ever... And it has become my very own personal achilles' heel... The one that can bring you down in seconds no matter how hard you can fight... Now I have two questions: 1) why would somebody voluntarily do it to oneself? and 2) can you heal an achilles' heel once it is already there?

Monday, April 21, 2014

.:here kitty, kitty:.

here in italy the holiday is today... all in all it makes sense... people spend easter sunday eating more than they should, drinking more than it is wise and inhaling obscene quantities of chocolate; so it is only fair they spend the day after at home trying to understand what their digestive system is doing...

yeah, and amazingly enough I'm not included in the lot... I know, impressive, yeah? and so out of character... lol...

anyway... so today we got to enjoy a nice lunch with friends, cold meat, cheese, asparagus, polenta, and wine... ^^ (cabernet and torcolato) just something to start detoxing... ;)

one of the best things? talking, laughing, having people amuse themselves at your daughter's antics, and seeing an old friend...

an old cat friend...

I miss this troublemaker a lot... loads... more than it is fair... once in a while we get to go visit her during the day... her new human pet has made a habit of leaving the gate open so that we can get in and play with the cat... (uhum, I know... friends like that are priceless...)  most often than not the cat will see the little toddler and run a mile challenging speed limits... but when the young girl manages to control her happy outbursts the cat stays close... and it feels so good to have her again even if for just so long...


he says that we've given him a faulty cat... point in question? the animal sees a rat and is all "hmmm, yeah, cute dude... then again, why are you poking me with that thing? let me be..." but let an average house fly come into sight and she goes literally crazy, doing acrobatic jumps, twists until she can nail the fly midjump... so, maybe she is a bit uncommon... but that is the beauty of it, isn't it? uniqueness and all that crap...

yeah, normal rat killing cat would be good, I know... but hey, she is fun to watch... ;)

Friday, April 18, 2014

.:all about the small things:.

long day... sometimes miss the days when things were simpler... but, then again, maybe simple is overrated... that is when you think about the small things...



a daughter playing in her private tent...

a new nest at the entrance of your house...
risotto ai funghi with white wine...
uncomplicated like that... some simplicity to help... enough to face the holiday and everything that looms around it...
so, there... deep breath to take the plunge...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

.:crepe day:.

so, guys, we are back with a foodie post... ^^ the game changer today is a balsamic vinegar reduction called "glassa" here, you know, because it is THAT good...



really, I'm seriously infatuated with it... it goes perfectly with salad, crepes (today's menu), baked pears (or any other fruit... cantaloupe? yep! apples? good and done!) and blue cheese (I know some people can't stand smelly cheese, or any cheese at all, but this is just heavenly), and I'm anticipating our easter lunch featuring veal with that goodness to coat it... really, I could literally eat it with a spoon...

now, things to consider before starting; if you're gonna do it, do it right! get a GOOD quality balsamic vinegar otherwise you're just wasting your time and money (because, let's face it, not even bad balsamic is what I'd call cheap for a condiment)... secondly, vinegar is NOT water (or milk)... it is basically alcohol, so much that people should ask your id when you buy it (ok, kind of stretching a little, but still, I would give it to my daughter)... but again, that is why it tastes so amazingly delicious... ^^ and last, but not least, don't expect your mixture to look ready when you turn off the heat, it needs to sit for a while... the recipes will tell you the thing should look syrupy as consistence goes, but the truth is: it shouldn't! It will most certainly look syrupy when it gets cold... while still hot it will be dense, but that is about it...



there! are you ready to start? you will need your favourite mixing utensil, ONE part brown sugar, and FOUR parts balsamic vinegar... I used 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup vinegar... It can be kept up to 3 months in the fridge (though I bet it will be over before a fortnight), but use a glass jar with lid...



put the vinegar in the pan, turn on the heat to medium and add the sugar... mix for some minutes until you feel the sugar has been completely dissolved... then keep on mixing sporadically until it comes to a boil...



don't wait to see those angry bubbles you get with water... see those shy buddies around the edges? that's what you're looking for, otherwise you'll ruin your glassa... when it hits that point turn the heat to low and wait patiently for the mixture to reduce, mixing once in a while...



very important, keep your head away from the fumes!!! yep, that would be the vapour... but remember this stuff is extremely alcoholic? as in, all the alcohol is evaporating before your eyes... if you manage it, all right, or you could just get drunk with the smoke... if you choose the second option tell how it went, and if your nose and eyes survived the experience...

So... getting down to business... it should simmer for about 20 minutes, no much more than that... and sorry about the voice, and the blabbering, and the strange instructions, if you manage to hear anything at all... just a video was the best way to have you see when to stop...
video

there... when it looks like that it is good... it sticks a bit to the bottom of the pan when you move it... the mixture sure looks denser, but not syrupy at all... relax, you are good... another thing, it will be about half the original amount, so you should take that into consideration when thinking about quantity...

now, bottle it up and leave the jar open until it cools down... after that it is only using it or putting it away in your fridge for future use...

and this:



is our final result... some smelly cheese with speck, crepes filled with mixed vegetable and besciamella, with our lovely glassa  on top of it... Buon Appetito!

ps.: we couldn't wait for the glassa to cool (it doesn't take long, about 10 minutes) because we love it that badly...










Tuesday, April 15, 2014

.:making up:.

no, no fighting... actually I'm talking about make up, the thing that goes on your face... well not really your face if you are a man, and not into it, but still, on some people's face... *way to be eloquent...

so... I don't wear make up very often, let's say once in a blue moon, shall we? and I could exploit some of the very popular excuses for not wearing it... like the "I don't have the time", but putting on make up doesn't take that long... seriously, not even five minutes and you're done... another one would be "I just can't get it right", which for me wouldn't work either... I put on my make on my wedding and was pretty happy about the results, on both wedding days... sure, it took me all of 20 minutes to do it, still, time well spent... the last excuse I can remember is that "it is really bad for your skin", and honestly? so is the sun, and the wind, not to mention how many wrinkles smiling brings, but I couldn't care less...

what comes down to MY reasons for not putting on make up that often... I am essentially a plain jane... and I like it, blending in is a comfortable feeling for me, at least look wise... if you see me around you won't take a second glance, unless you stop to talk to me... and for me that is perfection... I don't want to be spotted when entering a room, or stared at when strolling around... I feel good in my skin, meaning I love being average looking (not pretty, not ugly, not tall, not short, not fat, not thin, do you see where I'm going?) and wouldn't take it any other way...

then, sometimes you want to make a statement... you want to impress, look good, and what is a plain jane to do then? put on make up... and I do it... on special occasions, for special people, for covering up foul mood or sickness... and, amazingly enough, people notice when I choose to go out of my no-makeup ways... it doesn't take much, concealer, eyeliner, lip balm and bang, people compliment me on how good I look... there, done... I feel good, they feel impressed, and eventually the same people who were gladly aware that I too can doll up if I want dish out the tricky question: "why don't you do it everyday?"...

clearly the answer is already implicit there, isn't it? let's change the case scenario... pretend that instead of my clean slate everyday self my co-workers/students/friends always see me with a beautiful fake face on... that would rapidly become common place, they would get used to it, I would get used to it... and being a teacher has a huge drawback: you live outside the classroom... how so? do you know those day offs you have, when you get out of bed at 7 am, brush your teeth, wash your face, pull you hair into a weird ponytail, hastily put on an oversized T-shirt, old sweatpants and your flip-flops expecting to hit the street market so that you can stock up on fruit and vegetables for next week? uhum... if you are a teacher you know where I'm going... THOSE are the days when you meet each and every student you've ever had... again, the thing is, if they are used to see you with your make-up on the first thing that comes to their mind is: "hell, how washed out she looks... is she sick or what?"... yep, and their look would totally give them away, and let me tell you, this wouldn't be the most ego boosting situation in my book...  on the other hand, if people always see you with a clean face it won't make any difference, because you always look that way, they don't expect you to look any different...

besides, I'm not very fond of how I feel with make-up... it gets me uneasy feeling the skin stretch when I smile, and I always get shy around people when I'm wearing make-up, I blush when receiving compliments on my appearance... and honestly, I used to be shy and blush more often than not, but now it is not like that, and I don't miss being that girl... sure, if I made a habit of it, like a morning ritual (showering, brushing teeth, putting on make-up) I would get used to the feeling of it and feeling like myself no matter what, but the day is not today...

today is the day I get to paint myself in beautiful colours to distract the eyes... because this is what I should look like for my on-line student...



and this is how I'm really feeling today...

the flu from last week never really left me, but today it was back with a vengeance... remember the film "you've got mail", when meg ryan has the nasty flu? yep, try that minus the daisies well-wishers, and not at all captivating, because you know, this is real life, not a hollywood movie, but you get the idea... not pretty, neither fun... but let's face it, the worst thing that could happen when you get the flu is to have your daughter catch it from you (which has not happened)... the runner-up? having your 2-year-old daughter NOT catch it (which happened here, and the result? drained mamma)... when all you need is a cup of tea and some rest,  running around (and jumping, and dancing) doesn't sound so appealing... but that is what you get (and by you I really mean me... )

Friday, April 11, 2014

..surprise, surprise:.

or the heading could go sth like: why you shouldn't underestimate your toddler's assessment of a given situation, but the it would have been a tiny bit too long...

we are talking about the slide drama here... guess you remember my daughter sudden dread of the slide... she started screaming and crying to come back down through the stairs and get away as fast as if the cookie monster were hunting her down to get hold of the last chocolate biscuit...you get the scenario, not that pretty... the thing has been going on through about 2 weeks, and today I finally decided to take the matter in my own hands...

what was a good mamma (who is trying desperately to teach her daughter to be brave) to do? only one way out, get up there in the slide, hoping against hope that I was not that fat as to make the whole thing come crumbling down, and show my little girl it was a fun harmless game... ha!

so there I go climbing the stairs in an awkward hunchback posture not to hit the ceiling all the way to the platform... she was safely watching me from the floor... and then I told her: "visto? adesso basta sedersi e scivolare."(see? now all you gotta do is sit down and slide)... ha, silly me... as I got closer to the wood bars that refrain kids from throwing themselves down head first I noticed some movement... and the some buzz... and when I saw them I guess one thought only crossed my mind: FLEE!!!

yep! picture me stumbling down the steps arms flailing, fire track on the ground and all the lot... ok, it wasn't that dramatic because I'm trying to teach my daughter bravery, remember? and I'm not that failure of a role model (not the best either, but anyway)... to be faithful to the description I started backpedalling when I understood what was hidden there in the slide house... WASPS!!! and it is not like two or three lost boring flying monsters who decided to take a panoramic route... they were dozens of wasps happily settled there, wanting to go nowhere else...

now, why my daughter spotted then a couple of weeks ago still these bigger kids are glad to go through the wasps wrath just to slide a bit...thx, but no... no risking my neck (or mu daughter's) for the sake of ephemeral amusement...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

.:looking back:.

ok, not in the mood to keep wallowing without doing anything about it I started thinking about the impeding events of next week... which led to activities I can do with the pea... which led to the prince of egypt, because, you know, an animation is always a good idea... which reminded me of egypt... ah, egypt and the babymoon... it says something about me that the only time as a grown up when I felt completely comfortable about wearing a two piece in public was when I sported 18 kg plus above my average weight? uhum, I know the word: unique... ^^ thank you very much...


yep... sun, beach, local concoctions, narghilè... sure, snorkelling wasn't that easy with a six month baby having a great time by kicking your lungs, but still fun...



lying with my feet up...


... a lot... ;)


a selfie, just because...


and that will be all for today, folks! get ready for the holiday!






.:the one with the dream:.

Today I take the liberty of posting something for me... so that I can make my heart a little bit lighter, and so that I can remember things that are important... the ones that really matter...

last night was a strange night, a night with a dream that got me thinking, and upset with the conclusion I reached after doing so... having the pea sleep a little faster than usual I had a slightly longer quiet time, one that was enough to trigger a dream, about my mother...

I think of her often, I miss her everyday, some a little more than others, today more than most... it was a simple dream, one simple enough, a chat, bonding, exchange of opinions, love, and care... it was long, and yet, not long enough... I could feel the dream slipping away, willing as I was to keep it going a little more, just a fraction of time... you know the feeling, keeping your eyes purposefully shut, fighting the oncoming awareness that the waking hours bring, wishing to keep hold of your dream because you know that when you open your eyes it will be as far from reality as anything could ever be...

my mother is a special person, always has been, always will be... biased! I'm her daughter, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm positive she is the best person I will ever be able to meet through my entire life... she is like the go to mother figure for all those who got to know her... loving, affectionate, serious, but kind... and selfless, I guess this is the most important trait to describe her personality...

there is a lot about her I want to keep safe in my memory... there was a scent about her, whatever she touched or cared about held that scent... it was one of my favourite things when returning home from a trip... just a hint of this perfume and I would feel home, safe, loved, invincible... it meant she was there, if I ever needed, I could find her... and then there was the voice... sweet, calm, like no other... she could infer respect without raising her tone, and oh my, could she make her point and have you cowering before your wrongdoings with only a small little word above more than a whisper... she held that power, she was the heart and soul of the family... it was her who could make everyone listen, and understand, and be a wee more tolerant, just because she was like this effortless... you couldn't help it being near her...

sometimes it was nice just to joke around her, because she was too serious for her own good... I like to think I used to make her problems a bit smaller by making her smile, and laugh... the sound had the power to warm my heart in the worst of days... sometimes I would unceremoniously flop down on the sofa lying my head on her knees, because it felt good, I was a part of her, just like she will always be a part of me... I would stay there long minutes, just talking, or laughing, or singing while she skimmed her fingers through my hair... love radiating from every small gesture of her... she was a shelter, my best yet...

I can recall her eyes, the brown, the glint of happiness that flickered through them when she was particularly proud of something I had done... it made achieving something all the more worthy... because she cared, and rejoiced, and because she was proud of me so was I... I still see her hands on my own, the long fingers, bony joints, even the unkempt nails I used to criticize so vehemently...

but then, that is about as much as I can remember clearly... the rest, the things that really matter are starting to get foggy... her voice, her laugh, her scent, the little things that added up to make her that much special... I hate my memory for that, and the time that flows by too fast, washing away with it a part of my heart... I don't want her to become a faded painting, one that deteriorates all the more under the spell of years passing... so today I cried myself awake because in that dream all the things my mind refuses to remember faithfully were there, pristine, crystal clear, and I had to let it go... I'm feeling blue because I'd like to make it stop, to have a way to do so... I want to keep her with me, for as long as I can, for as long as forever...

although this is how I'm feeling today, I know that in the end it affects me but it is not the essential... I will always remember her teaching, hear her advice when I most need it... I feel her encouragement when doing something she would approve of, and her censure otherwise... I can see all too clearly how she would treat the granddaughter she never got to hold in her arms... I can still feel her love, whole, enveloping, eternal... and by the end of the day I know that is what really matters...

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

.:lazy morning mode on:.

we started up this morning on a lazy haze (first song of the day? jason mraz... you get the mood... ^^), thanks to beautiful crispy spring mornings... ^^
as usual, after I can't keep awake anymore to keep tucking the pea in and making her slumber back to sleep in HER OWN room my husband gives in and brings her to our bed (:/ yeah, me? not really a fan, but better sleep some than none, even though my thoughts are made explicitly clear... maybe too much...)

so, when this happens I wake up to a small hand tugging at my hair... and a little voice calling: "andiamo in soggiorno?" (let's go to the living room?) cue: out of bed, hmmm, not really now... here enters the pad, I-pad on its better james bond style to save the day giving me 10 extra minutes to get my surroundings straight... on the long nights of motherhood the gadget has become a vice... it stays on my bedside table, and I get to read sth without disturbing my sweet hubby while I wait for what seems like the hundredth call of "mamma"... not great for the sleeping routine, but saves me a lot of sanity, meaning that instead of dreading the next call after having JUST started relaxing in bed again I just get to skim through some good fiction until I have to get up again... (*dear new old student, hope this answers your question: "do you EVER sleep?" lol)

going back to morning habits... see how she wakes up? uhum... this is her bed hair, not fair right? what does a toddler need good bed hair for? every single person in the planet (talk about hyperboles) already thinks toddlers are cute, no matter what their hair look like in the morning... her overgrown fringe reminds me a little of kurt cobain, though (every time I tried clipping it the result was a weird haircut I wouldn't wish my worst enemy, let alone push it on my daughter)... minus the troubled soul and musical talent, wait, come to think of it, yeah, her musical talent is right there with his... kkk...

anyway... our morning hair (or overall appearance for what it is worth) couldn't be any more different, but do you see those toes? she has the same nasty habit as her mother, kicking off socks while sleeping... dunno why, but they feel good out of bed, but once you are all cuddled in they just don't feel good anymore... it is a mystery... but luckily we've made a game of it... most often than not one foot from the pair gets lost among the layers of blankets, and we play at find the stray sock... sometimes we succeed, others we don't and may have been known to sport different socks on each foot a la dobby when walking down the streets... all in all it adds to a fun laundry day, great opportunity to practice her matching skills... see? win win situation...

so even though a non-morning person gave birth to a morning little being we manage it pretty well, and we are happy... now, there are things that don't make your sedentary self happy... like what? say your daughter's preference for the slide (picture only encouragement necessary: yes, sweedie, climb up and now slide down... very good! weeeeee!) changing suddenly to the see-saw (her: come and play mummy... me: *groan... sure sweedie)... the cruel part? with a two-year-old the see-saw never gives you a break... if she decides to play with a friend you handle it lifting her up and down with your arms, if there is no peer available you need to hop on the opposite side and your tights get a hell of a work out...

hmmm, now how do I get to steer her back to her slide-loving self? any suggestion is welcome, my arms, tights and whatnots thank you...

.:random post:.


scenes that come up in our family:
Scene one: *Little lady lying in MY bed, feet crossed, tv on just before dinner... 
me: vieni a fare il bagno? (let's have a shower?)
her: non, mamma.. 
me: e perché non? (and why not? - when I really wanted to say : e chi c**** pensi di essere per dirmi di non?!?, italy has been affecting my wished reactions... all that mediterranean groove... )
her: sto guardando pimpa... (I'm watching Pimpa)
me: Thais!!! (angry menacing tone, or so I thought)
her: va bene, mamma... pazienza... (all right, mum... patience...)

Scene two: *little lady looking at one of my poor plants...
her: mamma, il fiore è stanco? (mum, is the flower tired?)
me: non, è morto... (no, it is dead)
her: *jumping around with dolls and singing local song "maramau perché sei morto, quando il vin non ti mancava?"

Scene three: *riding with dad and me 
her: cos'è? (what's that?) *pointing at poppies...
me: sono dei fiorellini rossi che crescono nei pratti e fanno le persone felici... (they are red flowers that grow in the fields and make people happy...)
her: anche io! (me too)

Random fact for a random post, did you know that pupils dilate when a person finds sth attractive? Yep, light is one factor to cause dilated pupils, poisoning another, then effects of drug use, among others... Again, I had always imagined what caused this effect on cats, you've been there, when they hunt the colour in their eyes practically disappears, the pupils turn round where they were only slits seconds before... Excitement of the hunt makes it magic, involuntary body reaction... Now, there, I've got the answer... And also maybe how my husband knows how to drag me from a bookshop before too much damage is done to our pockets... Yeah, the pupils could be a sure give away, given that you can't controll it and all.. Again, one can always plead to be poisoned, or high...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

.:old habits, new ways:.

we don't do a lot of tv here.... first it was about investigation series, films always on pc, the news as well, and that was about it... then came the pea... first year it was almost the same, she used to sleep early - incredibly early, like 5pm early - and leave us the nights free (yeah, every parents' dream... what if she would be up at 3 in the morning feeling like she was all done with the sleeping bit? happens... sucks, but happens...) so the series were still there, we had to cut a bit on the films, or else, the films played and we were there, kind of, our bodies were certainly there...

now it is a whole new business... the little lady decided that she doesn't do early bed time anymore, so we stay clear of the telly for as long as it is possible during the day to keep her moving and playing... in the evening it should be mickey mouse clubhouse and bed... it is, most often than not... but then, there are those nights when hubby is tired of "meeska mooska" and watches our favourite shows anyway... yep, which ends up on a toddler watching bits and pieces of CSI right before bed time... can you spell disaster with me?

yesterday was one of those lovely nights... today coffee is more than ever my best friend, strong but sweet... strange combo, but I've never pretended to be normal... again, in Italy, it is almost like choosing to eat puppies alive, but hey, they eat song birds on stick so I guess we are even, right? oh, what is with the rambling...

anyway, it can't be helped, the night you start feeling under the weather because of some overenthusiastic open windows spree you are bound to have a toddler up until 3 am disturbed by nightmares... (come on, spiders? what if I let her watch spider man? maybe she will hunt spiders down to get bitten and acquire herself some neat superpowers, right? there is hope...)

so what do you do? apart from dragging your comforter with you everywhere, you read her a story (or ten), cuddle, sing, storm out of the room to try and scream some frustration out because you really just wanted to be tucked in your bed, go back into her room and repeat the pattern to exhaustion(yours or hers, whatever comes first - and be sure, on the best hunger games fashion, the odds are never in your favour...)

the fun bit? it helped me discovering she knows how to speak portuguese... how would I get that from an almost sleepless night? well, after some very long hours fighting my urge to just let her there and go back to the comfort of my room she kind of got that I was not in top form... and guess what, while I was there sitting on the floor next to her bed, willing to pay whatever it took to have a good snooze fest, she stared down at me, run her fingers through my hair and started telling me the story of Little Red Riding Hood... in portuguese!

yeah, melting... so even though the fever was getting higher, my body ached, and I had already been through three packets of tissues, I hung in there... because she is worth it, every little piece of it... eventually she fell asleep, and I was free to go lie in the couch because I couldn't stop sneezing and it was almost morning, anyway... I got myself a nice cup of tea and replayed the bed time story in my head... ^^

how can anyone make you want to climb the walls one moment and have you smiling like a fool not long after? I guess that is what makes her so special, my portuguese-speaking-story-teller-little-lady...

ps.: the photos? completely random... the second one is linked to sweet shot tuesday...P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley



Monday, April 07, 2014

.:just so:.

I am far, almost as far as I could get, but some things still get to me... they can make me angry and disappointed... angry at my inability of doing something, anything... disappointed at the carelessness of those who CAN do everything and decide to do nothing...

brazil is preparing to host huge events, and for one year I got to see the chaos that ensued... I can only guess that instead of looking up the things are most likely to have gone downhill for the last months before the WC... if you are not there trust me when I say it was not pretty... streets looking like rally course rather than what they should be, overloaded public transports, mugging and thefts, pollution at its most, skyhigh prices, just to start with...

just to add sth in the mix, you know how governments are very selective on where to invest public money... health and education a good first choices, but lo and behold, no money left for those... stadiums and highways are more important... and who gets to know about this? only the ones who live there...

this week has come with the massive advertisement of the next animation hit Rio2... no moment could be better to trigger foreigners' curiosity about the natural beauties brazil has to offer... everything and beautiful and perfect to welcome the tourists... those organizing the event must be counting their lucky stars, right? sb from the animation studio thinks: "oh, well, let's release this sequel about now so that we can sell tickets, with all the buzz about the world cup that would work..."

image taken from: http://www.hdwallpapers.in/rio_2_movie_2014-wallpapers.html
foxy? yeah... do I plan to watch the film before the games end? no... not as a protest or anything, just because sometimes the whole of it makes me sick... don't get me wrong, I love animation movies just like the next girl, I go around the house singing disney/pixar songs at the top of my lungs (I know, the neighbours should get at least a big basket come easter... poor things), but just now, only for today, I can't wrap my mind around all the wrongdoings involved to put up a show and host an event... just because while they are making money disregarding the inhabitants people are thinking of a way to make their lives bearable, the long traffic ridden journey to work worth it... I'll stay clear of these captivating birds until I can stomach everything involved in it, at least to the point where I can really enjoy the film without having my mind going in third gear about political affairs, social decay and dirty businesses... some may say I'm overreacting, really, you don't have to understand it, just accept it is my view of things
and respect it...

so only for today let's say I'm not looking forward to the next cartoon to be released...

and in case you were wondering, this is what they say here about the film: "Due squadre di pappagallini che si danno battaglia nel cuore dell’Amazzonia. Acrobazie alla Zico o alla Pelè. Un tributo al calcio, anima del Brasile, e un omaggio al prossimo Mondiale. "(la gazzetta dello sport - 06 aprile)

ps.: sorry about the bitter post, but there are those days when people's unawareness just get to you...

.:you make me sweat:.

No, check your dirty mind, we are talking about the weather again here... and you know what? the same old thing from every morning, you freeze out of bed, you wash, you drink coffee, you wake up (uhum... see why coffee is a necessity?), and then come the chores... whatever it takes to get the house ready for the tornado to come, also known as my daughter...

anyway, usually this means freezing another bit, but not today... guess what, open windows, heat off and I was sweating!!! Yay! maybe you there in rio are thinking "ok, woman's lost her mind... you are alive, you sweat, that's how things go"... but there you'd be wrong.... sure it is not the same hot as in rio, like I-will-take-a-chocolate-inside-my-bag-so-that-I-don't-pass-out-in-the-middle-of-the-street-with-low-blood-pressure-kind-of-hot weather, but it is I-get-to-wear-my-legs-out kind of hot... and it makes me happy...


this means a good cup of coffee in one hand, pad with a classic on the other one, feet up, sun shining and green view outside... a lazy morning sponsored by the in-laws... sure, at our house we don't do shoes (we being sweet pea and me, hubby is kind of strange like that, go figure... shoes, pfff), so I can't ditch the knee socks yet, you know, cold floor+bare feet=not really my thing, but they will be the next to go... can't wait...

in other news, I'm playing the waiting game... keep your fingers crossed for a nice opportunity to turn the tables in the career department... still, no news until may comes around...

have a nice day, you all... sorry, but I gotta go outside suck in as much vitamin D as I can... ^^

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

.:bookworm:.

yesterday the little lady had her first library experience... we are glad to report that she had a surprisingly low number of happy outbursts (aka screaming at the top of her lungs to show just how glad she is), that number being two... the first one when she saw how many books there were in the place and discovered she could really touch them, the second moment when she found the Peppa Pig section (that is what I call going downhill)...

we managed to leave the place with only 7 borrowed books, I was really surprised, and my back thanked for the low number (we are allowed to borrow up to 30 books at once)... going back home I dutifully told her a story from one of the borrowed books (guess which one, yep, shameful) while she relaxed on her stroller... I knew reading upside down would be handy outside classrooms sooner or later...
that's how geniuses work

I love she is interested in things around her, and entering the what is it? and why? phase... it sums up to fun elaborating answers... you ask me how? one example:
Little Lady: (while pointing at poppies)
Me: those are poppies... they are red flowers which grow in the fields and make people happy... ^^
yeah, sil, broken toy... that is all her doing, not a finger from mamma in the lining up

Yep... I'm that kind of mum who gives their children unnecessary info that will come back and bite me someday in the future... I just can't help it... too much fun...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

.:the one with few words:.


uhum... guess you remembered the famous tv series the title recalls... at a time where everybody who watches series is obsessed with the last episode of how I met your mother I still stick with my friends... specially on this sad day know as the ironing nightmare affair... it rolls every two weeks or so around here... hello, fellow procrastinators!!! 


anyway... today's post is not very wordy... just some beautiful flowers to go with the sweet shot tuesday, an ode to nature... 


really, just go outside and see the world... it is amazing... ;)



linking the first photo to Sweet Shot Tuesday...

P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley
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