Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What I wish I could be doing right now...

So, the Steelers won in overtime...yea!

But all I want to do is go back to bed.

At the end of the 3rd quarter, John looked at me and said "Let's go." I was shocked because we had just scored 2 TD's and had the lead again. But I wasn't arguing either. Once we were out of the seats, I asked him what time it was - 11:15pm! YIKES!

By the time we got home which was around midnight (because we park about a 15 minute walk away from the field for free and it takes about 30 minutes to drive home), the game was still on! So, at least we got to see the game winning field goal.

Thank God we left when we did!

I have one more quick case to assist on, and then it is home for me!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Will I make it?

Alarm off at 4:00am
Actually out of bed at 4:15am
In the car at 4:45am
At work at 5:00am

Just got home - 2:30pm
About to take a nap

Leave for the game around 6:30pm
Kick off at 8:30pm

Have to be at work at 6:00am tomorrow

Will I make it tonight?

The things I do for the Steelers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Yes, we are back at our house and yes, our power has been restored!

So, let me fill you in on some of the events over the past 24 hours:

Since the electricity has been out - I would call the house to see if it was back yet. If the answering machine picked up, it was back. Of course I was disappointed a lot. When I stopped by the house yesterday after work and a swim, I checked the freezer in our garage. I remembered that we had a big bag of ice in there along with frozen bottles of water. When I checked, the bag and the bottles were still solid ice. So I was determined to salvage the necessities from the frig: milk, lunch meat, left-overs, eggs, and cheeses by placing them in the garage freezer. What a brilliant idea!

Last night I ended up spending the night at Dani's because she lives about 5 minutes from the hospital. When I called the house to check on the status of the electricity at around 10pm - no answering machine. When I called again at 5:00am this morning as I was driving into work - GLORIOUS - the answering machine picked up! I was so happy, and then I realized that all of the food that I had so brilliantly transferred to the freezer was now going to be FROZEN!

By the time I got home, the milk was a solid brick gallon of ice and everything else was pretty rock hard too. I let it all thaw out a little in the sink for a few hours and now everything is back at home in the frig. That is except for the eggs - I pitched those.

Hopefully we won't have to go through 3 days of no electricity again - it really sucks! I am thankful for a cold refrigerator, lights, and of course cable!

It's great to be home!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Okay, still no power, and the electric company says that we won't have it back until THURSDAY

Living in a house with no power leaves few options for food, entertainment, etc. So John and I came up with a solution to benefit both of us - separate.

His parents have power and they live really close to the school where he teaches. My parents have power and they live about the same distance that we do to the hospital, plus our houses are pretty close to each other.

So John just left for his parents' house, and I am back at my parents' house until the power is back. Funny thing is - my parents are still at work, and have no idea that I am temporarily moving in! Aren't they in for a treat!

Still in the dark

Well since it's still daylight, we're technically not in the dark. But, we still don't have power!

So - here I am back at my parent's house to load their freezer with my food so that I can save it. Guess I should call them and let them know what I did (they are at work).

While I'm here, I'm taking advantage of what my house is lacking right now - cold drinks, TV, and the internet.

I will keep you posted on the status of our power. Damn you, Ike!

On a good note - Steelers beat the Browns (10-6) - they were plagued by Ike as well.

Also - no electricity = no cooking - looks like we have to go out tonight!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


And it really sucks when your electricity goes out when the Steelers are playing the Browns!

We lost our electricity at about 6:00pm tonight, so we waited it out, hoping that it would be back by 8:15pm for the kick-off. To pass the time, John and I started a mad game of 500 (or Gin-Rummy...whatever), and he killed me. When we still had nothing at 7:45pm, we decided to call my parents to see if they still had electricity.

Luckily, they do...which is where I am blogging from right now. See, it pays off living within 15 minutes of your parents!

So far there is no score, pizza is on its way, and my Dad is so happy that we spontaneously dropped by...should be a good night!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

San Pietro Avellana

Although my parents met in Pittsburgh, their hometowns are only about 45 minutes away from each other. So, we spent a day in San Pietro Avellana.

Who's still there: my mom's aunt and uncle - Zia Philomena and Zio Gino - along with their 3 sons - Corrado, Amico, and Armando. Corrado is the only one with a family. He is married to Donatella and they have 4 children - Michele, Claudia, Andrea, and Chiara. When we were there in 1981, Michele was only a few months old. There are a few other cousins of the my mom's that are still there as well, including Lena and Laura.

The day that we were there was the Assumption. Being a Holy Day of Obligation, we went to mass at the church in town - Sts. Peter and Paul. Although the town is named after St. Peter, I must explain the significance of another saint - San Amico. There are various pictures of his statues. San Amico performed a miracle in the hill that separates San Pietro Avellana and another town, Ataletta. The story goes like this: San Amico was gathering fire wood with his donkey when a wolf attacked the donkey and killed it. However, San Amico was able to tame the wolf, which then in turn allowed him to haul the wood back to the town. There was another miracle involving a spring of water - but I can't remember that one right now. There is a church built at the sight of this miracle in honor of San Amico, my Mom refers to this church as the "Church in the Woods." Because the people of San Pietro Avellana are so reverent to San Amico, a male in pretty much every family is named Amico. My Mom's one brother (who we refer to as Uncle Mike) is Amico, and as I stated above, her one cousin is also Amico. As you can see, Italians are very religious!

Anyway, Corrado had a picnic for us at his farm. It was a fantastic afternoon. Michele is engaged to a wonderful girl, Imola - she and I hit it off. She speaks English very well, so we chatted all day.

There are many pictures of all the people I mentioned, in addition to a few that I scanned in from 1981. Here is the link:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Roio del Sangro

After we returned to Civitavecchia, we rented cars and ventured to my Dad's home town: Roio del Sangro.

My Dad and his siblings still own the house that they grew up in. My aunt (Zia Maria) lives in Milan and goes to Roio in the summer. Actually, that is the trend there. During the year, there are only about 50 people who live in the town. However, when August hits, everyone comes back for an annual reunion - so we just happened to be there for all of the festivities.

Also my 2 first cousins were there: Donatella and Andrea. Donatella has 3 children, the oldest of which is just a few years younger than me, but only her youngest, Sharon, was there. See, Zia Maria is about 15 years older than my Dad, so her children are a few years younger than him. I hadn't seen either one of them since high school. Fortunately, Zia Maria and Sharon were just here last summer for Marina's wedding.

But pretty much, we are related to everyone in that town, it seems. The last time that I was there was in 1981 - I was 3. But those were my first memories, and there were things that I recalled doing and seeing 27 years ago. Marina and I posed for pictures as we did back then - it was so much fun.

The craziest part was our last night there. They had this huge party called the Boar Festival. They cooked I don't know how many boars, pounds of pasta, and served hundreds of people. There are a ton of pictures of this. They even brought in a HUGE live boar that was raffled off. No, we didn't win in - thank goodness!

I hope that you enjoy these pictures:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Carnival Freedom

We took a bunch of pictures of exterior of the boat, the interior of the boat, what we saw when we were on the boat, and things we did on the boat.

Some highlights:
  • John and I participated in the "Pool Olympics." First part consisted of 2 teams in a relay race. Each person had to put on a T-shirt, swim to the opposite end of the pool, get out, wring out the shirt into a bucket, put it back on, swim back to the other end, take off the shirt, and give it to the next person. Team to fill bucket first won. So, our team won. Then, we were in a competition with each other. With this one, we were given a spoon to put in our mouths by the handle with a golf ball in the ladle, swim to one end and back - person with the fastest time won. Little bonus - all the kids sat on the edge of the pool and kicked. I won!
  • We karyoked one night - tons of fun!

  • John had a photo-shoot with a statue by the pool.

  • Dancing at dinner with the waitstaff.

We also were surprised each night with a different animal created from a towel in our room. Those room stewards are pretty talented!

Here is the link to the pictures of the ship:


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Florence and Pisa

Our final port of call was Livorno, Italy - and of course we went to see Florence and Pisa. They are such incredible cities with unbelievable architecture and history.

We started in Florence where we toured various squares and admired various churches. We even had some free time to explore Ponte Vecchio, which is the bridge with hundreds of jewelry stores.

After a wonderful lunch, we ventured to Pisa. My mom actually cried a little once we entered into the square where the cathedral, the baptistry, and of course the Leaning Tower are located. It truly is a great site to see. We did the typical tourist pictures of pretending to be holding up the tower...you just gotta do it when you are there.

It was a great final excursion to conclude our cruise.

Here is the link to Florence and Pisa pictures: