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Archive for June, 2008

Life is about choices

Life is about choices. Sometimes easy, sometime difficult. For those that know me, making decisions can be tough sometimes. I usually second guess myself. Anyway, I’ve made a tough decision about my life and I am at peace with my choice. On Monday, I will have Bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

This decision has not been an easy one. Most of my family and friends have been very supportive of my decision to have this procedure. It does not come without risk. I am scared but excited at the same time. Perhaps the most difficult part of this process has been since my return from a stupendous trip to Italy, I have had to partake in a liquid diet. High protein and low fat drinks and concoctions made with protein powders. My mind is hungry but my stomach is satiated. I am doing this for myself and my future. My husband and I have the opportunity to experience life’s unfolding adventures, and I want to continue to be healthy and do so. I am not doing this out of any type of vanity whatsoever, in fact I am happy with myself the way I am. However, I have discovered some health problems over the last two years and I have made a decision to turn these problems around, so I can continue to experience my life to the fullest.

Think of me on Monday morning June 30th as I begin my “new and improved” life. I will be dreaming and scheming of a new business adventure while I am recovering from surgery. Hint: It involves being paid to travel!!!!! How sweet is that? La Dolce Vita……

The above photo is Roscoe from “Cat Naps in Italy”.

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During our trip to Italy we had the pleasure of visiting the American Cemetery in Florence. What a memory indeed. The sun was high in the sky that morning as a slight breeze strolled along with us. I had heard of a cemetery in Italy where someone from my hometown was buried during World War II. My husband programed the GPS unit and off we were to visit this famous place. I did not expect to see what my eyes came upon. I have visited all of the memorials in Washington DC and none compare with this place.

First of all, the Italian men hired to keep this cemetery up do a remarkable job and they are very proud of what the do. Secondly, the two American men that operate this cemetery are so well-informed of all of the the American Men and several women who are buried there. My heart was deeply touched as we walked around to visit the graves of those we did not know, but felt a closeness to. The grounds are kept immaculate and nothing was out of place. The grass trimmed to the slightest growth, the trees strictly manicured. These men gave there lives for us and the rest of the world. They could come home to a final resting place, but where they are is a tribute to their lives, each and everyone of them. That morning I felt an extreme rush of sadness come over me and wondered about those men and women involved in a war half way around the world today. Some of these families never got to see the resting place of their loved ones, so we visited them all and thanked them for what they had sacrificed for us. One day I will return once more to visit this special memorial again. All of the photos may be seen on my Flickr account if you click on the link at the side of this page.

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Thanks to our friends!

the mayor of fusi, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Now that we are back home in the States, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say “thanks” to our friends Cyndi and Danilo for the wonderful Italian hospitality. Your friendship means so much to us. We had a delightful time visiting you and look forward to seeing you again real soon. Ciao Bella! Thanks for the special Birthday Meal and wonderful cake from Fusi. Our friends over at Esperia Travels sure make the best travel guides in the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy!

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I’m back home now…..

gelato of course, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

We are back. Home. That is. So saddened by having to return back to our routine without espresso, gelato, vino and good food. In fact I’m done eating for a couple weeks. Only high protein drinks. I’m having surgery next Monday the 30th and will be out of commission for a couple of weeks. So Italia seems so far away from us. We did, have an incredible time in Italy. We spent two days with our great friends Cyndi and Danilo, ate very well and did not have a “restful” vacation at all. Counting done the days till next year.

Stay posted for my trip report here on the blog! Ciao for now!

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Arrivederci!!!! Time has come to leave my desk and go home and pack for our Italian Adventure 2008. I think and daydream about Italy and become incessantly obsessed with planning for over a year, only to find is so close to leaving and I still have not packed!!! Life will stand still when we arrive in Italy. Stress will be checked at the gate, and all work-related thoughts will be be left behind like lost luggage.

When we arrive we pick up our rental car, set up the GPS unit, and head out to the local COOP, for some supplies for our hotel room. I have requested early check in at the Park Hotel Chianti and then perhaps take a dip in the pool and then head out for some fortification. My Birthday celebration will last the entire time we are in Italy!!!! Although my husband does not know that at the moment..heheheee. I plan to consume lots of Tuscan treasures, indulge in the local vino, sample many flavors of gelato, and bask in quality time together while traveling to our favorite place int he World!

I will disappear from the cyber world until June 20th, during which time I will meld into the Chianti Region of Italy. Until then Ciao!

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Time to Travel

lovely lavender, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Whew, what a week. My colleagues and I had to travel to the southern part of the state to do a presentation and attend a conference on Thursday and Friday of last week. Turns out it was not so bad after all. I tis always a great feeling to leave an audience inspired by what we do. Well I received a call on Thursday afternoon form home stating that the local paper mill in town is closing its doors once again and as a result there will be another layoff of several hundred people. Will this ever end? The price of gasoline and petroleum all over the world has created a crisis. This is just another devastating blow to the local economy. What is happening to the world?

On another note…we leave for Italy at the end of the week! I have been counting down the days since last year when we returned home. we will be meeting up with Cyndi and Danilo in Italy, and I have brought some special American treats for them. In the meantime I have been packing and coordinating items for us to bring, clothing, supplies and etc… Don and I will be meeting in Boston for our flight from Boston to Munich to Florence on Lufthansa. Hopefully we will encounter no problems on our flight. Ciao for now, counting down the rest of the week!

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