Archive for December, 2012

Rosy Cheeks & Prized Possessions

Monday, December 31st, 2012

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ~ Ansel Adams

me with rosey cheeks

This photo was always a conversation starter for Mom and me. For years I had a hard time believing her when she said it was really yours truly. I thought the photo was a doll Mom had, or at the very least, I figured she and Dad smeared some of her ruby red blush on my cheeks to make me look like a life-sized puppet.

(ITALIAN LESSON: nice Photo = bella foto)

The scene: a winter day with me just chilling in my comfy red flannel Christmas PJs (with matching rosy cheeks) showing off one of my mother’s hats and trying on the black leather gloves Dad gave her for their first Christmas together. Two little gloves that hold a very special place in my heart and soul, gloves that are even older than I am, which lie tucked away safely in one of my dresser drawers.

I just love nostalgia and special family treasures like these gloves, old photographs and my beloved Easter Basket (one year younger than I am) which I covered in the post, Pretty Precious Things.

When I found this photo, it reminded me of another sweet memory — those things money just cannot buy.
So now it’s your turn! Tell me about any photos that share a warm spot in your ticker!

Getting Saucy with Pasquale Caputo

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

“Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land.” ~ E. M. Forster

I love to laugh! Fortunately my parents did as well, and I remember listening in while they were relaxing at home enjoying their collection of Pat Cooper comedy records. Pat Cooper (born Pasquale Caputo) is a comedian every Italian should be familiar with. Cooper was born in Brooklyn, New York, and found his fame working the comedy clubs from Atlantic City to Vegas back in the 1960s. He found a whole new fan base with a number of erratic yet hysterical appearances on the Howard Stern radio show, and Cooper still performs at a few venues around the U.S. today.

I must have been about six years old when Mom and Dad were having their comedy hour, so I didn’t get all the jokes, but I found the album covers fascinatingly funny, and I loved singing along to the Italian songs.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ITALIAN” is still one of my favorite bits to play on vinyl. I was thrilled to find all of these albums again on Ebay, restoring the lost-over-the-years family collection. When I have a listen now, I feel transported back to those good old days of being a six year old, laughing and singing with Mom and Dad.

(ITALIAN LESSON: Thanks for the memories = Grazie per i ricordi)

In my twenties I met Pat Cooper, and I remember telling him how I loved listening to his records as a girl. He looked me up and down, winked and said with a sly smile “Come on, you were never a little girl”. It was a cute way from a guy I admired (who happened to be the same age as my Dad) to give me a little flirt. Good times, good times.

Who makes you laugh? Let me know in the comments section!

BONUS for all Cooper fans! Here’s a string of his tunes from back in the day. Just click HERE to listen. Buon divertimento (enjoy yourself)!

Naughty or Nice?

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

“Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip.” ~ Gary Allan

This past year, you may have been naughty, you may have been nice, but I really want to know if you are/were a “peeker”!

My definition of a peeker is someone who just can’t resist snooping around every nook and cranny of their dwelling to steal a glimpse of the gifts which await them Christmas day.

I’ll confess: I was a peeker. My parents loved gift-giving and when it came to Christmas presents throughout my childhood (and even in my adulthood), I really did win the lottery!

ITALIAN LESSON: snooping/to spy = spiare & BONUS: to spy through the keyhole = spiare attraverso il buco della serratura

Yes, I believed in Santa, but I also knew that once Thanksgiving passed, there would soon be presents hidden around the house. That’s when I sprang into action! My plan was simple: while Mom and Dad were busy making Sunday sauce, I’d tip-toe to the attic where I usually came upon a bunch of festively wrapped presents. Mom knew I was nosy, so she’d wrap my goodies almost as soon as she brought them in the door.

What Mom didn’t know, is that I had my own special snooping technique. I would gingerly unwrap just a tiny bit of the paper in the corner of the gift to see if I could make out what was in the box. Sometimes, if I was a bit too curious, I’d tear more paper than I should have, which required finding Mom’s tape to “repair” my damage. If I happened to come across a gift for cousin Tracy, I’d call her up and give her a little peek too. Well, knowing me, I probably bribed her with some task in order to share my find!

Even though I was a peeker, I enjoyed the anticipation of Christmas morning, and I still had the element of surprise all over again. Plus, if I didn’t see something I just HAD to have that year, I was provided ample time to drop hints to my Mom and Dad. Project peeking perfection, even though I may have ended up on the naughty list!

Oh yeah — I still believe in Santa Claus.


P.S. In that carriage I had my little black baby doll & my little white baby doll — Man, my parents were just too cool!

Your turn — Please tell me your peeking stories in the comments section below!