Friday, May 27, 2011

The 29th Summer

Ahhhh, summer. How can it be described?  It's different for everyone and everywhere.  For me this year there's not much change from my normal fall/winter/spring schedule except I no longer go to work at 5 pm.  (Hooray, school is out!)  My list of activities no longer has to stop in the evening and basically has endless possibilities.  Now the only thing our schedule will be revolving around will be the heat.  
Dallas heat.  How can it be described?  It's kinda hot in the morning and then once 11 am hits it's not 'kinda' anymore but just hot.  It doesn't stop until the sun hits and then, if you're lucky, it goes back to "kinda hot."
Fortunately, it's not sweltering yet and summer is fresh and innocent in my mind.  What does this mean for me?  Time to make my summer goals.  It's my last summer of my twenties , so it's only right that I make at least one big (but attainable) goal.  
keep house clean
reorganize my recipe binders
read my summer book list (please see last post)
take Katherine to the pool once a week
paint our bedroom and bathroom
*begin the “learn Italian at home” course I got for Christmas four years ago
keep basil and cilantro alive
plant mint 
go on more walks
*the one big,but attainable goal
Now that the list has been proclaimed, I am reminded that I have a dirty stock pot in the sink that needs cleaning...  and so it begins.
Basil, still alive and growing, as of May 27th 2011

Cilantro, still alive and growing, as of May 27th 2011

The Imperator, not quite a hot dog but will be soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paperback Travels

The concept of 'world travel' crosses my mind frequently throughout the year.  When March hits I get starry-eyed just thinking about a trans-Atlantic flight and by May I get butterflies in my soul just thinking about medieval streets and mass transportation.
Unfortunately, I do not jet across the world on a regular basis.  I occasionally plan make-believe European vacations in my head and once a year I enter the Olive Garden Italian vacation sweepstakes as many times as possible (  Five years submitting my name has still produced no lucky win. Alas, Europe will just have to wait a little bit longer for this five foot two museum goer, food and wine lover and history maniac (is that what I am?) to step foot on her soil. 
Be still my beating heart and take heart other travel kindred spirits who, like me, love to jet-set but unavoidable obstacles prevent you from actually going.  There is an option...books.
Books?  Yes.  Books.
Every summer I jump into at least one book that takes my traveling mind to Europe.  Two years ago, a biography on Marie Antoinette took me to the inner circle of Versailles and the busy streets of Paris.  Last summer Francis Mayes, once again, let Cortona became my neighborhood and near by Italian regions were my backyard.  So where to go this summer?  I'm not for sure all the places I'll read up on, but here's my initial summer reading list and I intend on getting my European travel fix while sitting and reading on the beach in my mother-land.
La bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language
Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
Lunch in Paris
Queen Victoria: A Personal History