“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
Shel Silverstein


Toss the coin and make a wish, sweetheart.

Wish with all  your heart, want with all your might.  Believe, and watch it happen. Oh! The possibilities.

– Gemma Marie

Z fountain

Click here to visit Ailsa’s Travel Theme at where’smybackpack.



In years gone by, winter brought visions of sugar plums and brilliantly white snowy days, like these.

With icicles nearly a yard long.

With icicles nearly a yard long.

And decks dangerously weighed down.

And decks covered in white.

And trees totally bogged down and what might look like down!

Trees totally bogged down with what might look like down!

And views of the street - What street?!

And views of the street – What street?!

But this year, with the temperatures soaring to nearly 70 degrees, I would never have know it was winter.  No coats, nearly thinking I might wear my sandals, there were no signs of the Old Man at all.  

Ah, but I did have a reminder of the first day, though not by the weather.  My mom’s birthday falls of that day, so I didn’t need a snowfall to tell me it was December 21.

Happy Birthday, momma.  Ti amo, cara.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM December 21, 2013

December 21, 2013

Skate on over to Ailsa’s at wheresmybackpack to see more of what winter means to her and her blogging friends.  Click on the snowflake below.



I don’t get it!  I try to keep up.  I visit, and like.  I comment, and like some more.  I read and respond and try to keep up, but, well, I must be doing something wrong.  Maybe I’m reading  the people I follow in the wrong little corner of my WordPress app. Maybe I shouldn’t opt for emails from everyone.  Maybe I shouldn’t “talk” so much when I respond.  But I have things to say!

Well, anyway, here I am.  Late, as always.  No excuses.  Just reality.  I CAN’T KEEP UP!

Whatever.  I’m just going to go with the flow.



Visit Ailsa at wheresmybackpack and see more of what flows.


I’ve always wanted my own space.   A retreat, I suppose.  A  quiet spot where I could close the door and shut out the sounds of the street.  Somewhere to sit in quiet contemplation.  A no-stress,  peaceful corner – my own little world.  Ailsa’s challenge encouraged me to set the wheels in motion.  A slow, restful motion. .  It’s just a start, but I feel it’s a good one.  Welcome to my peaceful place.  Enter quietly, please.

I think everyone should have just such a place.  Apparently, I’m not the only one in the house that needs a place for peaceful contemplation.

peaceful dog

Rocky, the meditating dog


This challenge is hosted by Ailsa @ wheresmybackpack.


Cupcake is a busy girl. She’s a therapy dog, she ‘s a library story time helper, she has her own blog, and she loves dressing up in costume. A dog of many talents, she is a dear friend of mine and she looks stunning in purple. I think you’ll agree that she is one sweet little canine cutie. Her mom is a children’s author and together they make school visits to tell kids all about the life of an author. She has a closet full of outfits and a costume for every occasion. If you don’t believe me, looky here…

Not to forget, Smoki, Cupcake’s predecessor, these two shots are in memory of her.

"I love to stay at the Y-M-C-A..."

“I love to stay at the Y-M-C-A…” Another fashioneesta!

Visit Ailsa’s blog @ wheresmybackpack to get a glimpse at a whole lot more of Costumes.

I know everyone in prison says they're innocent, but I really AM innocent!

I know everyone in prison says they’re innocent, but I really AM innocent!



In my single digit years my dad worked as a jack-of-all-trades for a local church.  He would chauffeur the nuns and priests to appointments and help them with their shopping.  He passed the basket for collections and maintained the church building.  He was even the janitor at the catholic elementary school and kept law and order on the school bus, as he drove the uniformed kiddies to and fro.  I was always ready to join him whenever he had an errand to run for one of them, so on this one particular day, when the monseigneur requested his presence, I tagged along.   My mother argued that I had my first dance recital that evening, but dad, who had a propensity for disagreeing with mom, said he’d have me back in plenty of time.  He would not let his ballerina miss her first recital. When we arrived at the rectory, I asked my dad if I could play outside.  As the monseigneur was waiting at the door, my father waved me off and away I ran.

dance 4

The church parking lot was empty, and I remember running and skipping between the white lines meant for giant Oldsmobiles and big black Cadillacs.  I spinned and twirled and danced, while I hummed tunes that I knew I would be dancing to that very evening.  I hadn’t been whirling for very long before I heard my name being called.

dance 5

Directly across the street from the church lot lived a friend of mine, and when I saw her I was overcome with excitement.  She would be joining me at the recital that night, and my first thought was, “Perfect! We can practice together.”

dance 2

Waving frantically, I broke into a run, heading toward the steps that lead to the sidewalk.  The joy of getting to practice the one thing I loved most with a friend that shared that passion as well, had me on cloud 9 and I could barely contain my enthusiasm.

dance 3

Blinded by the excitement, I never noticed the steps in front of me.  In an instant, I was tumbling down the stairs and sliding, face first on the concrete, like Utley stealing second.  I remember screaming, and the rest is a blur.   I don’t know how much later, but I found myself cradled in my dad’s arms.  There was blood on his shirt and there were tears in his eyes.  At home, my mom tended to my wounds, while dad sat motionless in a kitchen chair, head in his hands.  I had bruises on my cheeks and my hands had been unmercifully scraped.  I remember crying, not sobbing uncontrollably or wailing, just softly crying.  I told my mom she had to hurry because we would be late for the recital.  I suppose I might have been in shock or something similar because I didn’t realize how badly I’d been bruised.  A tear dropped from my mother’s eye  as she gently cleansed my knees.  They were cut so badly that walking wasn’t even an option, let alone dancing.  At least not that day.

I never danced anymore that I could recall, I don’t know why.  I hate to think that I gave up, but that was a long time ago, and I just don’t remember.  I asked my mom today, but she didn’t remember why I never went back to dancing school.   It’s all good, though. I guess I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina, but I went on to do so many other things that have made me dance.  Maybe not like a ballerina, but in my 1

Join me and others over at  Ailsa’s blog and come see all the dancing going on over there.  Just click here.

Many thanks to Ailsa for hosting and to you all for visting. 🙂


There are oh so many shades of green.  Ailsa, @ wheresmybackpack has asked that we display a shade or two.  Of course this time of year, you think green, you think St. Patrick’s Day.

Even the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ is in on showing their green.

Even the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ is in on showing their green.

Now I’m Italian, but what they say is everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.  So, to all my “fellow Irishmen and women”, Happy St. Patrick’s day!

green 5

I don’t think this fella’s Irish either, but I could be wrong.

Click here to make your way over to Ailsa’s blog and take in a little more of the green, whether it be Luck of the Irish green or just plain ol’ My Favorite Color green.


In a little cafe, just the other side of the  highway…

It wasn’t really a cafe, it was a diner. But that’s not how the song goes.

Then again, in the song, it was “the other side of the border”, but there’s no border here. Just highway.

Have I lost you, yet?  I’m confusing myself.  Nevertheless, the walls of this cafe/diner on the other side of the border/highway are decorated with a potpourri of items, that to me, seem to have no rhyme or reason. Yet I love to eat there, always looking for what’s new in wall ornaments.  As you enter the building you see a couple of paintings.  Then you see a myriad of trinkets, signs, bottles, and what-all-else hanging everywhere.  It’s hard to eat without spinning your head, Linda Blair style – well almost Linda Blair style. (are you to young for that reference?)

The wall paintings are pretty cool, but the artist made at least one error in each picture.  Can you guess what they are?

Need another brick in your wall?  Stop by Ailsa‘s @ wheresmybackpack and take a peek by clicking on the link.

Thanks to Ailsa for hosting another interesting challenge.  And thanks to y’all for browsing, liking, viewing, and/or commenting.  I do appreciate your visit.

Credit to Jay and the Americans for the cafes and borders 🙂