Archive for the ‘my favorite things’ Category

My Beloved Bull & Total Bull$%#!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.” ~ W. C. Fields

Some precious objects we own and adore, break. Family heirlooms can be destroyed by a hurricane, pipes can burst (been there, done that) and horrid fire damage can break you into a million pieces just thinking about beloved possessions lost.

Ever since I was crawling around on the floor as a little one, I remember Dad having this bull on his dresser. Dad was a Taurus, and I believe Mom bought it for him as a birthday gift after I was born. (Mr. Bull’s close up below.)

bull1

At night, the bull had the task of keeping Dad’s wallet tucked in its back, and Dad’s watch perched around its horns. He always did a fine job, that little bull, and I was always fascinated with it for some reason.

(ITALIAN LESSON: Bull = Toro)

Fast forward a few decades when Mom & Dad were having some financial issues (caused by a certain family member, a.k.a. “user” who shall remain nameless), and had to put many of their belongings in storage between moving to a new house. Ok, so far, it sounds like something many may have had to struggle with. Only it gets bumped up a notch, since this “user” never paid the storage fees as he was supposed to, and my parents had their heads in the sand, and the place ended up being bulldozed to make way for another dreaded mini-mall.

Dad’s bull, along with thick photo albums, keepsakes, tons of loose family photos, my Grandmother’s china from Sicily, a few fine antiques, and my father’s “famous” Knights-of-Columbus gear — all swept away in an afternoon, or most likely sold to some vultures at auction. I know Mom had a hard time telling me about this, because she knows I’m a very sentimental person.

Ok, I better stop here, because it’s a very sore spot for me, and you know what I am capable of (referencing Shaken Laptop Syndrome.) I can’t even bring myself to ever watch Storage Wars, because I find myself getting sad, angry and overwhelmed.

You may wonder how I have this bull photographed. Well, I hunted one down and found him — the exact one, GRAZIE EBay! I’ll just keep pretending it is Dad’s. ♥

Please tell me about something cherished you may have lost, or rediscovered — I’d love to hear about it!

Quisp or Quake?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

“Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Ahhh…the simple pleasures of being a kid. Last night I saw a cereal commercial on the tube, and I was instantly reminded of my personal breakfast “showings” which would take place right in front of my face at the kitchen table.

Mom was great about buying the cereals I loved, like Quisp (it was either Quisp or Quake, and I was a Quisp gal), Frosted Flakes, Trix, Honeycomb, Fruit Loops and Sugar Smacks — loved how they used the word SUGAR as a selling point — and you’d get a cute little prize inside (those trinkets were so exciting to find)!

My little show was simple. In front of me, facing forward would be my cereal box of choice. As I enjoyed my cold milk-filled bowl of delicious sugary flavor, I would rotate the box and read the sides, saving the pièce de résistance (the back of the box where ALL the fun stuff was) as my finale!

Such free and simple entertainment for a kid. How I miss those days of carefree living and having all the time in the world to read my array of cereal boxes.

ITALIAN LESSON: I have cereal for breakfast = mangio cereali per colazione

I’d love to hear what your favorite cereals were (or still are). Please share in the comments section HERE.

Nostalgia Warning! You Know You’re Italian if….

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

When I found this wonderful video this morning, MAMMA MIA my eyes watered! So many little bits of nostalgia I can relate to, and I hope you can too — or simply sit back just enjoy (and be Italian for the day).

ITALIAN LESSON: have fun, enjoy yourself: divertiti

A few I considered the pepperonis on my pizza were:

• The “sangwich”! Dad always enjoyed a nice prosciutto, salami and provolone cheese sangwich (and pile on the peppers)!
• Being almost as tall as your grandmother by age seven. CHECK!
• Thinking nylons were supposed to be worn down by the ankle. MY NAN ROCKED THAT LOOK
• Catholicism – the only religion there was, right? UNLESS YOU WANT A ONE-WAY TICKET TO HELL
• You have relatives who are not really your relatives. YEAH, I’D SAY I HAVE 984 COUSINS TO BE EXACT
• Talking loud is normal. REFER TO MY ORIGINAL LOUD FAMILY POST.

I’d love for you to share any of your memories PLZ COMMENT HERE whether you are an ITALIANO or not. GRAZIE!!!

Top O’ the Christmas List

Monday, December 12th, 2011

“Christmas makes me happy no matter what time of year it comes around.” ~ Bryan White

Before I get to Mom’s annual yuletide meltdown (which is pretty funny, and no one was harmed in any way — except an inanimate holiday decoration — year after year I might add) I wanted to jot down a few of my Christmas traditions I still cherish, and I’d love to hear a few of yours.

SANTA CLAUS! Waiting with hot cocoa in hand outside in the chill of winter for Santa to arrive on the roof of Epstein’s department store in Morristown, NJ. After Santa made his descent to the crowded pavement to greet his adoring fans (courtesy of the fire department’s bucket ladder) I was able to meet the one and only Saint Nick and whisper my top gift picks in his ear.

Holiday Specials: I couldn’t wait for CBS to announce when the cheerful array of Christmas classics like Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and all the rest, would air. We’d make a family night of it, enjoying trays full of Ritz crackers with dabs of peanut butter & jelly, washing them down with bubbly Asti Spumante.


Peek-a-boo! Mom and Dad would have my gifts wrapped and stored away in our attic, but being the naughty little rat in search of my cheese that I was, it was my own tradition to grab a glimpse of a couple of my Christmas gifts. I became quite skilled at tearing just a tiny bit of wrap to peek at what was waiting for me under that paper, then I’d quickly tape it back up. Yeah, I did feel a bit guilty, but I just couldn’t help myself!

Opening one gift on Christmas Eve: Even though I may have been a naughty little bugger and peeked at a few gifts already, I was always pleasantly surprised to open my goodies from ma & pa Santa! Just one on Christmas eve — all the rest would be waiting for me under the tree for the official opening Christmas morning.

Chocolate Cherry Cordials: My favorite gooey and delicious holiday treat. I hope Santa brings me a box this year!

Christmas Lights! Dad used to drive us all around the neighborhood to ooh and ahhh at the pretty Christmas lights and displays – this was such a treat, and it’s still one of my favorite things to do!

ITALIAN LESSON: What is your favorite = Il tuo favorito?

Please share one, two or more of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments section, RIGHT HERE!