Monthly Archives: August 2013

Facts from Fiction

I love fiction. I read it and write it. Often I read and learn a lot about places or people thanks to the meticulous research of the author. Last night I finished a mystery by KP Hall set in Rome and Florence–not only did she include good detail in the book about Gelaterie, she listed an agency in the back of the book with travel helps and and their Food Lovers Walking Tour of Florence

Read on, Mac Duff!


Skipping. It’s what we do when we are young and so enthusiastic about our day or destination that we cannot keep our feet on the ground–it’s also what happens when we miss something–too tired to post Friday, still not feeling well, I “skipped”.

Today is parenting day–coming back from vacation we may find that while we were “skipping” with joy we may have also “skipped” some chores.

Time to catch up today. But don’t make coming home a day of chores. Save some time for joyful homecoming, for enjoying a return to normal routine. Break for a treat and remind your little ones that even though vacation was fun, there is no place like home.  Both types of skipping can be good for the soul–the kind we do for pure joy and the kind we have to go back and fill in–both are good, both can enrich and can be enjoyed.

Free Lunch exists!

I just won a free lunch from Kudzu bakery!

Exciting. Still not feeling 100 percent from last week’s flu–trying to trick myself into eating–ate some pistachios yesterday and soup. Today I started with cereal, had a blueberry drink at McDonald’s and today I am having tomatoes and mozzarella for lunch. Simple but food I like. Yesterday I cooked some pasta for lunch for myself–small portion, but delicious. Had some leftover sauce in the freezer –just the right amount.


School Days

Last night, while going through some old papers I found the brochure (still in the postmarked envelope) my mother requested from Ursuline Academy in Pittsburgh (305 S. Winebiddle Ave, now the WALDORF SCHOOL). The front says, This is the school for your daughter–and indeed it was my shelter from the world, my incubator for talent and ethics for eight wonderful years.

I also found the correspondence between her and the head administrator (my mom kept carbon copies of her typed letters) concerning my first tuition payments and the cab arrangements that would be needed to transport me to and from the school, a long distance from our home, esp since my mom worked, and not that uncommon in those days in the city.

They sent me to a private school hoping I would be taught religion (but I would have had that at the parochial school one block away also) and I am not sure why else. My love for Ursuline began on the first day and continues. I did not go to the high school . By 1961 the high school was so small, my parents and I agreed it was limited academically. The foundation tho had been laid for future confidence and success by the wonderful sisters I had. When you are considering back to school or first school or new school–think and pray about what you want for your child, what the school may or may not provide and how you will balance what the school provides with what you teach and offer at home.

I’ve spoken with many whose elementary school experiences scarred them instead of encouraged them. Where parental involvement was high, the scars are less visible. In my case, a loving tho not involved home, allowed the lessons of the school to sink in and  reinforced them.


I posted my seal of approval photo for Parma Ham company prosciutto instead of the photo of Seal with Kudzu pepper bread–all is not lost–try the prosciutto with a slice of provolone on the pepper bread–sheer heaven. I like to lightly toast the bread first. Just enough to bring a bit of warmth to the prosciutto