Wednesday, August 31, 2011


A person chooses to bungee jump. The person prepares meticulously, mentally and morally and chooses to jump.
Off the side of a mountain.
From a bridge.
For what?
For one moment of adrenaline, for the rush that comes with the freefall, for that one moment of will I live or will I die?
To mask the sensation of vulnerability and flatline that accompanies the daily grind?
Live in the vulnerability for an extended period of time.
Shake hands with vulnerability.
Standing with two feet planted firmly in the ground may be the greatest adrenaline rush you ever experience.
And it lasts for a comfortable while.
Until life presents you with another opportunity to jump.
It is possible to fly with your feet on the ground.

To heal our wounds, we need courage to face them.- Paulo Coelho

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Italian Line Dance

Walk a straight line.
Go to the mall and window shop.
Drink your coffee while mentally planning the week.
Eat your grilled chicken salad with the same honey mustard dressing that you love because you know the flavor works.
And if you suddenly stop and turn around quick-like?
If you walk the straight line and always look forward, and suddenly side step it to the left with a headswing?
If you skip the salad and go straight for the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake heavy on the whipped cream?
Go off the road.
For a minute.
You may just see a little girl laughing hysterically as her brother desperately tries to find her in a pick up game of hide and go seek between two walls.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I hopped on the train that was an hour late. Strangely, it was the first time I'd ever had a train in Italy that late. I couldn't really complain, the humidity had dropped and the wait was fine.
I read my book.
I made my way to my seat to find a four year old boy sleeping on it next to his Mamma.
I sat down in the seat across from mine and smiled politely. Mamma looked relieved.
Four minutes later an adorable guy of about 20 years of age stuck his head into the compartment and politely asked, "Signora, is that your seat?"
I pointed to the sleeping child and the seat by the window occupied by his Mamma, and replied, "No, that's my seat."
The adorable guy, looked at me and said, "Ok, no problem."
He went to sit in a pull down seat in the corridor.
Amazing to know that there are still polite 20 year olds left in this world.

20 minutes later the angelic sleeping child awoke.
The child sat across from me.
His mother next to him.
Adorable 20 year old took my window seat.

I continued reading.
Over the next twenty-five minute period, Big Mamma's leg stretched into my personal space, leaving me just enough room to receive periodic kicks in the shin from angel child who apparently also loved to scream.
Just as I was tempted to throw the child and his Mamma off the train for being, well, rude, obnoxious, painful and loud....the most incredible thing happened.
There was another beautiful couple (without children) seated in pull-down seats in the corridor.
I glance to the left and as if in slow motion, the girl part of the couple pulled out...
A light-up, music playing
The devil child's eyes lit up.
I gasped in shock.
And the child was occupied for the rest of the ride.
Yet another miracle in Tuscany...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Post number 1,020: Jodi Meets Paula in Florence

Well, after 4 years of blogging, of sharing lives, of living the ups and downs of the daily grind and those moments of difficulty and exhilaration...we finally met.
And when we met, there wasn't an awkward moment, we kind of just continued speaking as if we had been in the middle of a four year conversation.
Paula is beautiful and the rest of her family- I got to meet Julie...spectacular- I give her about six months until she's on the cover of Seventeen Magazine.
They put the Brady Bunch to shame.
Keep in mind, it was about 104 degrees in Florence, the kind of weather where just standing provokes the dripping face sweat kind of thing. And there we all were, hugging, sweating and talking.
We talked about kids, life, family, friends and the Nucleus 5 upgrade while shopping for thongs and makeup.
The perfect meeting for two women who have gone through life's major transitions...
It was as if I had known her all my life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Divine Intervention

Tired of all of Man's sins, God decided to create another universal flood.
First, however, God called upon the most deserving of all men on Earth and told him: "Listen, a universal flood is coming, you must continue to have faith and you will be saved."

A few days later, the flood began, so the man escaped to the roof of his house and began to pray: "God, I beg you to save me from the flood, I believe in You."

While he was praying, some guy arrived with a boat and said, "Hey man, let's go, jump on or you'll die!!"

And the man replied, "No, no. You go on ahead, God will save me."

However, the water began to rise and when it reached the house, another man arrived who said, "Move it or you'll die!!"

And the man replied, "No, no, God will save me!".

But nothing happened.

At this point, the man was about to drown, when yet another boat arrived and those aboard screamed, "Come on, jump in or you'll drown!!"

Again the man said, "No, no, God will save me!"

The man then drowned.

However, since he had been a good man on Earth, he went straight to heaven.

Once he arrived, he went to find God and asked, "Why didn't you save me?"

God looked at him and replied, "Oh, I sent you three boats, didn't I? What else was I supposed to do?"

Open your eyes.
Keep the faith.
Sometimes the most effective Divine Intervention occurs over a plate of pasta in Tuscany.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Swiss Banker

I took the train to spend the day in San Vincenzo with a friend of mine. We shared stuff. Private stuff. Girl talk.
Woman talk.
She shared her kids.
The greatest sharing a woman can give to another woman is to share her kids.
We spent the day on the beach, swam in the sea and played with some rackets and a little yellow ball.
So simple.
On the way home as I was getting off the train. I met a short, petite 60 year old Asian woman with a limp who spoke English. She worked for a banker and had travelled from Switzerland to Milan to Grosseto to catch a train to Capalbio.
She was lost.
I carried her bag for her and helped her find the right train.
As we were trying to find the right train, her boss called her on her cell phone. The woman had been travelling for over 24 hours.
She was green.
I heard her speaking to her boss and the only words she repeatedly uttered were, "Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir."
She had to wait another two hours for the right train. Capalbio is like 30 minutes from Grosseto.
She told me a car would come to the station at Capalbio to pick her up.
I left her sitting on a bench.

I spent a relaxing day on the beach.
She spent 24 hours travelling to reach a place to work for an asshole.
I hope she was paid well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Alone

For fifteen days I do not have to cook three meals a day.
My laundry load is two thirds lighter.
I do not have six children buzzing my doorbell asking for Jordan and Sofia every fifteen minutes, nor is my telephone ringing with requests for movies, sleepovers or the like.
Silence reigns.
With the silence comes the anxiety accumulated from the past year of making it all work, making it all come together, juggling work, lessons, meetings and school events.
So, today I treated myself to a massage.
And as I sit in front of my computer eating mint chocolate chip gelato, after having said goodnight to Jordan and Sofia...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Jo from Australia came to visit me the past couple of days. She's been following the blog for three years and we've become closer over the years. Amazing meeting her in person, she's sent me letters at critical points of this journey without ever knowing it.
The second time she came over my house she confessed that she found me intimidating. Me????? I'm probably one of the most down to earth people around. Somehow, she got the message that I have it all together, that I'm this wise, wonderful woman with a perfect life.
No idea how that happened. Three years I've been dealing with broken pieces, struggling to fit them together in order to complete a new puzzle. Every post is a reflection of a moment, a struggle and a serious effort to find the light in the darkness. There is always light in the darkness.
People have been so totally shitty to me, people that I love and who I am determined to respect. I refuse to be a victim in my own blog. So I concentrate on the beautiful people who have helped me grow.
I choose.
And I try to make choices in my kids' best interests.
There was a moment when I threw away the sweats for skinny jeans.
There were moments on Sofabed Island, where I berated my brain trying to find the right answer to the question, "What is love?"
I don't know what love is, I only know that it comes in many shapes and forms...the best thing is to love everyone, and at a certain point the love strategy comes back around to you. You learn to love yourself, because you finally realize who you are.

And that's really all you can be and do.

That realization slams your feet on the ground and brings peace.
I said hello to a guy on the beach I thought I knew. I was wrong. He followed me from the beach to my car and asked me for my telephone number. He may have been 24 years old. At first I was nice when I told him to get lost. He didn't get it, so I had to get bitchy.

A 65 year old man started hitting on me on the train, luckily Jordan was sleeping. I told him I didn't speak Italian.

So much shit has happened in the past three years. Character forming shit.

In one 24 hour period, I wear running shoes, flip flops, sandals and heels.
I communicate with families, throw out the trash, fight with Jordan over X-Box and Sofia for stealing my new lip-gloss.

Me, intimidating???

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Shoulders come in many different shapes and sizes.
There are baby shoulders, Grandma in the nursing home shoulders, separated women shoulders and happily married men shoulders.
The happiest shoulders are those which have two chubby legs dangling from each one with a pair of sweaty, sticky hands drawing shapes on the top of a bald head.
It can become exhausting transporting those chubby little legs, as cute as they may be. And with heartwrenching regret and a bit of relief, the touching moment comes when you have to gently place those legs on the ground and with a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the shoulders encourage that child to walk on his own two feet.

And that child walks on, stumbling along the way with a band aid here and a kiss there until he becomes too big to sit on shoulders and develops a pair of his own.

If the stumbles are accompanied by the kiss...the shoulders will shoulder the world with heart.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Airplane Drama

Well, we made it home. The flight was smooth except for two things: there was a one hour thunderstorm just when we boarded at Philadelphia (apparently my bags were left outside in the middle of it because I'm still drying clothes), so we had to sit for an hour and a half without that.
At about 2 am USA time, Jordan felt sick.
We were sitting in a row of four seats. He was on one aisle seat and I was on the other with Sofia sitting next to me and a seat between the two of them. At a certain point, he leans over and says, "Mom, I'm going to be sick!" He was holding the vomit bag.
I said, "Run to the bathroom!"
He got up and started towards the bathroom, that was the moment I realized that he didn't have his processor on because he had been trying to sleep. I tried to get his attention, but the plane was dark and he had already begun running.
I was on one side of the plane and he was on the other and the only thing I kept thinking was that he would be throwing up in the bathroom, locked inside and not able to hear me.
I ran around the plane to his side, but he was already locked in there.
We talk a lot about CI moments, but this was one of my first "Deaf" moments. Sounds odd, but it's true.
I started shaking the door, but like softly because I thought someone would come after me.
I paused and shook again.
I slightly began becoming agitated, when after the fourth shake that at that point was earthquake, he opened the door.
He said, "Oh yeah."
So, he left the bathroom door unlocked, I stood outside the door, and all's well that ends well.
Well...I had him put his processor back on and told him not to ever take it off again on the plane. I also told him to hold onto it tightly when he goes to the bathroom;-)
Home sweet home:-)