• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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Can this count as my Versatility III post?

Oh Goody.

Tanning – I found this at Target today. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. I bought it. It smells like teen-beach-summer. I love the beach. I love the ocean. I love California. I lived in Florida. I hated Florida but I loved the white beaches. I used to tan like crazy when I was in high school. And I used this rare blend of nature’s rich tanning oils to tan/burn turn into tan. As a result of excessive teen tanning, I have a really nice brown spot on the side of my face. Got it checked after my son was born. Doctor said no worries, it’s just an age spot. Age spot. Ten years later, my spot is still with me. My friend recently told me she liked it. I’m using the Hawaiian Tropic as my after shower moisturizer. It’s heavenly. And it brings me back to Virginia Beach and steamy Poquoson, VA backyards.

Exodus from the Field – This has to do with running. And nature. 6 weeks into our C25K program and I still don’t feel like much of a runner. Yesterday, for example. I was set to head out into the field for Day 2 of Week 6. I waited until like 9:30am. I headed toward the field, 5 steps out of my door, and a fox came running out the field. A fox! So awesome, the Fox is back! Shoot…A fox, damn, hope he didn’t eat the baby turkeys. We have 8 baby turkeys and a mom in the field. I decided to take the path not taken by the fox. But as I stepped into the sun and the field, I caved. It was hot, steamy, the field grass had gotten so high, there were bugs everywhere, large flying black bugs, and a bullfrog belching in the ditch. Nature was turning me off. I didn’t run. I went inside and did Tracy Anderson instead. I’ll run tonight. I didn’t run that night. I’m out of the field for the summer. Did I mention ticks?

Running – I did, however, get up and run at 6:40 am down my tree-lined lane. Back and forth. But when my (somewhat) creepy neighbor showed up on the lane during my run, I detoured to my driveway. Cheating on my 10 minute continuous run while I waited him to clear from my private track. I want to be a runner! I’m not, however. New plan: Run more than the C25K. I think I need to run more frequently. And get up earlier. 6am. And, have a solid goal to run towards. Ed, my husband (and ultramarathon runner) and I are signing up for this race in October: Down and Dirty Mud Run. He will have just finished a 100 mile race the week before and said a 5K would be a good way to ease back in.

Teaching – I feel like I spend a lot of my time looking for a full-time job. I have 3 master’s degrees. I’m over-degreed. I’m an adjunct professor of Theater at SUNY Westchester Community College. I’ve taught in all kinds of places, small private colleges, big state universities, private high schools, professional theaters. But I’d never taught at Community college. It was a different ball game. My first semester I couldn’t wait to be done and never come back. I didn’t get these students. I couldn’t relate. Why didn’t they do their homework and why do they talk like that? Then I remembered what a  great teacher told me, “Teach the students you have, not the students you wish you had.” I started looking at them in a new way. They have jobs. Some are supporting their family. Just getting to class on the County bus can take hours. They didn’t learn academic discipline in high school. For many, they are first generation college students. They are naive and unworldly. And they need a teacher to respect them. I went back for Spring semester, enlightened. How can I make meaningful learning experiences for these students? It was a great semester. Full of learning and mutual respect. I’m going back in the fall, (barring a full time better paying gig), to my eager, appreciative students who have showed me that naiveté can be a blessing.

Theater – Theater is what I do. I don’t want to get artsy touchy blah blah and say it’s what I am.  But it’s what I love. It’s what I love to teach. It’s a world I understand and am endlessly fascinated by. This summer I’m luring some actor friends up to Cold Spring for a Retreat. For a few days, we’ll start exploring a new project to do. I’m promoting a Grass Roots/Local/Rural Theater movement. I think it’s the new wave, the new hip theater trend. Go Local, get out of the City. Here’s a blog of a company I started that’s now on permanent hiatus. But we did some cool work on Macbeth for a while. Shakespeare’s my guy. http://sprezzaturamacbeth.wordpress.com/.

My Kids!, Family, twins, food, academia, wine, travel, silly silliness, people humans i love humans, Photography, I hate clutter, Clean laundry is the best smell in the world, if I could do it over again I’d be a musician or a dancer, Music!, vulnerability, romance, people doing things that they don’t realize they can do and then they surprise themselves and everyone else because it’s Good.

That’s enough. This is unedited pure versatility. 


versatility – part II

Part II of the Versatile Blogger Award:


I think I may have a mild form of obsessive compulsive disorder.  Maybe it’s just a lot of weird habits.  Or maybe I just don’t like clutter, and I like to tidy-up, and to straighten things, and to have a clean bathroom.  And is it so strange that I can’t sleep with my closet door open, or my bedroom door shut?  I also go through quite a few anti-bacterial hand wipes.  However, I do spend a lot of time on public transportation.  And really if you open any of my cabinets and drawers, the contents would come falling out.  It’s not like I alphabetize my CDs or even have my socks paired up.


I absolutely do not like to wander around naked.  Or sleep naked.

Childhood Dreams

Growing up, I do not remember really having any burning desire to pursue any particular vocation.  Not a teacher or a doctor or a hairdresser.  I do remember loving to dance.  My sisters and I would have these funny little dance contests.  One of us used to pretend to be the bad dancer and the other the good dancer.  This was all done to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, of course.  I think I would have been a good performer.  I still have a secret desire to do so.  On the other hand, I do like to tell people what to do (should I have said lead people or motivate people towards a common goal?).  What can I do with that “skill”?  I have tried many, many things and taken many classes, but alas I am only a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.


Sometimes I use my husband’s razor to shave my legs and under my arms and I don’t tell him.  I carefully dry the razor off and put it back in the medicine cabinet where I found it.  So he can then shave his face.  Ick.


I can fly a single-engine plane.  I know I should say that one of the most memorable moments of my life was when I had my children (I was so drugged up that I actually don’t remember it anyway), but it was my first solo flight. Wow! I will never forget that day.  Flying for me was one of those things that I loved to do even though sometimes it absolutely terrified me.


I know my real age is almost 44.  I have managed people, had jobs with authority, am mother to two children, appear to be a grown-up, experienced, worldly woman.  I do know that I am truly a very capable and independent person.  But, honestly, I feel like a bit of a sham or a fraud most of the time.  Inside I’m thinking that can’t be me.  I am only 20, right?  I know nothing yet.  I don’t take myself too seriously.  Labels such as wife and mother don’t seem to belong to me.  I even feel strange calling myself a woman when I am more comfortable with the term girl.  Maybe this is a good thing.


I sleep in socks….all year round.

it’s good to be versatile

We interrupt this blog for an important announcement: I’ve been tagged as a versatile blogger!  Many thanks to Laura at SeeGirlRun for the props!

The Rules (there are always rules):

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself .
  • Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
  • Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

So, seven things about me.

  1. I love foreign languages. At one time I thought it would be really cool to be an interpreter at the U.N.  I speak a smattering of Italian, French, German and Spanish.  I learned Italian when we lived in Naples Italy for three years in my early 30s and can hold a decent conversation after many hours explaining various gas leaks / plumbing problems to the tecnico.  My High school French classes have stuck with me.  I learned German basics when I lived in Stuttgart in my 20s (noch ein bier bitte!).  And finally, after one junior high semester of Spanish I still remember how to count to 100 and say hello, how are you, I’m fine and you?  I would love to be fluent but I just get by instead,  sometimes speaking a mix of French and Italian (Fritalian) when I can’t remember the appropriate word in the appropriate language.
  2. I once received a shocking proposition from an Italian Lothario! As I mentioned, when we lived in Italy, I spent a lot of time with the tecnico that worked on our house.  Salvatore was in his late 70s  – a grandfatherly figure with a twinkle in his eye.  He spoke no English and suffered through my broken Italian at first but by the end of three years I could hold my own in our conversations.  Before we moved back to the states he stopped by while my husband was at work for one last goodbye.  He led with “I want you” as he gazed up into my eyes (he was only 5′ tall and I am pushing 6′).   As I’m thinking to myself “You want me to what?”, he followed up with a barrage of “I love you, I love you, I love you!”.  OK, now I’m getting it.  Obviously I had been sending signals all these years.  I thought I had been saying “I smell gas” when in actual fact I had been saying “please take me now”.   He told me that lots of American women go home with Italian babies.  Somehow I managed to choke out that I wasn’t that kind of woman and ushered him out of the casa.  Yeesh!  It still gives me the shivers.
  3. I had a mid-life crisis. OK, well not really.  I just had a major career change.   I used to be an engineer but at 40 I went back to school to get a B.S. in Interior Design at night with a full load while continuing to work as an engineer full-time during the day.  I went year round.  It was a busy three years but I did it and I loved it!  I practiced residential design for a couple of years but currently I do commercial work.
  4. I dig photography.

    ode to monet by opiliones

    I took a film photography class during my first year of engineering school and fell. in. love.  My flickr name is Opiliones.  I haven’t posted much since I started my new career but one day I’ll get back to it.  You can see my most popular photos here.

  5. I like projects. I always have something crafty going on.  I learned how to crochet when I was ten.  I used to hang out in my yellow bean bag chair, crocheting granny squares while listening to Gordon Lightfoot on my record player (um, yeah, it was the 70s).   These days, aside from fixing up our house, I’m making rugs, scarves, stationery and jewelry.  I have an etsy shop which is currently on hiatus until I have time to get my act together and photograph my growing stash of jewelry.
  6. I like to write. I had lots of dreams as a kid and one of them was to be a writer.  Probably because I was such a dedicated reader.  It was either that or environmental scientist (again, it was the 70s), or an interior decorator (!).  I loved writing stories when I was a kid and still have some of my early work tucked away.  Through the years I’ve indulged my writing fantasies through online classes and blogging.  Running in Pants is my third blog.  The first one is kaput but my second blog, Mixed Bag, is still up and running.  Although I haven’t updated it in a few years, I’m surprised that it still gets daily hits.  Power of the internet.  My last post was a listing of six weird things about myself – and for the record I did get rid of the braces.
  7. I’m a breast cancer survivor. And that is weird to think about.  It was only a teensy tiny bit o’ cancer (Stage O) and was removed with a lumpectomy.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to have chemo, didn’t lose any hair, wasn’t exhausted all the time.  But I did have to do six weeks of daily radiation – no dramas there either.  It’s been well over a year since I finished my treatment but one of my girls is still slightly tanner than the other.   Weird.  Anyway it all worked out and I was given a clean bill of health.   Doing the Komen race was my public “coming out”.   I don’t intend to hide it anymore.

So, there you go.  More information than you needed or wanted to know about yours truly!  I don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with 15 people to tag that haven’t already been tagged but to get started I’m passing this on to:




Looking forward to what you all come up with!