60/40 Bon Viaggio!

Today, Johnny and I fly to Milan and start our big Italian Adventure.

The getting ready has been great fun. We have different styles, but we both decided to do capsule wardrobes and packing cubes.

Less is totally more, we both love it.

Maybe we went a little too far at times (John). He ordered these nifty cord holders. I placed them next to my nifty cord holders. Mine’s a sock, cut into un-rubber bands. But that’s OK.  We all do what we can, right?

I had so much fun putting my travel journal together, I had to stop myself from filling every page before we left!

We have a week on our own and travel from Milan to the Amalfi coast. Then we hook up with friends for a ten day culinary tour!

I’ve been practicing my IG Stories, because I’m planning on sharing some food! I’ve never done it before, so if it’s terrible, give a girl a break, I’ll get better.

Check me out! 

My friend Kathleen,grew up in Rome. She had very specific directions on fun things we must do.

Kinda like this…

You can still order some holiday parties while I’m away, Megan is taking calls!

In the meantime, I’ll see you when the pomegranates ripen.

Bon Viaggio to us!


Feistiest Mightiest Ninetieth

We did it! We sibs threw a surprise ninetieth birthday party for the Matriarch, the Grand Dame. The community weaving, whiskey loving, chain smoking Momma Jem, affectionately known as G-ma.

There was CAKE! Buttermilk vanilla with peaches and cream inside, pistachio and blackberries outside. So delicious sister, good job!

It truly was a family affair. We started planning on the Fourth of July, and Sister Sally the Seattle local, locked down the adorable community center and the jazz combo (they were really good). The brothers showed up, paid up and generally far exceeded expectations.

(Someday we’ll talk about brothers.)

The lady cousins ventured to Pike’s Place and did all the florals!

There had to be flowers for the master gardener!

She danced with her son at her ninetieth birthday!

She was, in a rare moment, overwhelmed.

I’ve seen my Mom cry three times. Once about spaghetti sauce, once from losing the love of her life, and last Saturday; seeing her East Coast sibs, nieces and nephews who lovingly made the journey, her chosen family, church friends and neighbors, her children and grandchildren surrounding her in celebration.

It was one of those once in a lifetime moments.

Here she is at the end of the night with my sweet Allison and little Jennie.

It’s a a long line of namesakes.

I have deep gratitude and appreciation to all who came and celebrated.

Thank you.

It was especially poignant to see her with her family of origin, as I lightly fell into long gone patterns from my youth.  There was so much love and support in the room, it created a  little bit of magic for all of us.

My mother is ninety years old and I danced at her birthday party.

If you know me, you know I’m not really a hugger. Because why? Because my Mom’s not really a hugger. But you know what?  Monday morning, before her toast and eggs, she came right up and wrapped herself around me.

Job well done.