31 January 2009

Two Weeks from Today...

Two weeks from today I will be arriving in Italia.

Spending a week in Tuscany and then on to Rome and southern Italia for a week. I've been traveling to Italy now for 10+ years. Last year hubby and I spent a week in and around Venice before heading south to Rome for a week. This year he's not joining me.

While in Rome I will be visiting with my favorite Auntie who lives in the trendy artisian quarter of Rome called 'Trastevere' and has since the late 60s. My Uncle is retired from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and continues to work as a Consultant to many of his previous clients.

I am in the "what shall I take to wear mode" while trying to keep my single piece of luggage within the 50 lb weight restriction limit. It's always a challenge.

I will update you all next weekend on my progress.

Travel poster from here.

30 January 2009

20 Worst Supermarket Foods

I just love msn.com and their news blips and stories. Today the story below caught my eye and I know you will enjoy reading about things we shouldn't be consuming. The article deems the TWIX bar as the worst candy bar.

I'm sure it is a favorite of many. Of course here in Virginia where sugar is ingested like water it is probably at the top of the list. Were you aware that 1 package (2 ounces) contains 280 calories, 27 grams of sugars and 14 yes, 14 grams of fat! And 11 of those 14 are saturated fat). That saturated fat content is equivalent to 11 strips of bacon!

Now who among us would consume 11 strips of bacon in a day? Come on, fess up all you bacon eaters out there.


The TWIX candy bar was first introduced in 1979 and was known as a "Raider" bar in France, Germany and several other European countries until 1991 when Mars decided to standardize its name. The change was not well accepted in countries such as Germany where customers mocked the name change as a transparent attempt to sell more candy bars by simply updating the name. The TWIX candy bar consists of a cookie center topped with carmel and coated with milk chocolate.

For more tasty tidbits click on the link:

29 January 2009

It's Not Just Roquefort Cheese on the Hit List

Anne at Just Another American in Paris reported on this story on January 18, 2009. She has a great blog by the way and I do enjoy perusing it.

It appears there are other items that have been hit by the 300% tariff other than just roquefort cheese. In today's Washington Post article it points out that besides Roquefort cheese, there are dozens of European luxury products that were attacked with high tariffs. The list includes, among other things, French truffles, Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water and "fatty livers of ducks and geese," which apparently is how Washington trade bureaucrats say foie gras. All items that I consume regularly...not. Though, I do indulge in Irish Oatmeal on a semi-regular basis.

Here's a link the today's Washington Post article just in case you want to read more about this timely topic:

War on Roquefort Raises a Stink in France

24 January 2009


If you haven't tried a clementine orange, you are missing one of the sweetest little treasures of the orange world. They have an enticing aroma, are juicy, tender and oh so sweet. Even after they are peeled you can pick up the peel and the aroma still lingers in the peel.

Pure pleasure in each and every bite.


The origin of clementines is shrouded in mystery. Some attribute their discovery to father Clement, a monk in Algeria, who tending his mandarin garden in the orphanage of Misserghim, found a natural mutation. He nurtured the fruit tree and subsequently called it "clementino". Others, like Japanese botanist Tanaka, believe that clementines must have originated in Asia and found their way through human migration to the Mediterranean. Whatever their origin, the fact is that clementines found their natural climate and soil in Spain, where they developed their particular aroma, sweetness and taste. Commercial production of clementines began in Spain in 1925. Today there are 161,000 acres dedicated to the cultivation of clementines.

Clementine's are the tiniest of the mandarins. Imported from Spain, Morocco, and other parts of North Africa, clementines are a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin. They are small, very sweet, and usually seedless. Most people think of clementines as small tangerines, but they're a different variety entirely, with a distinctive taste. The Clementine is an excellent eating orange. Its small size and lack of seeds make it particularly popular with kids. Clementines have been available in Europe for many years, but the market for them in the United States was made only a few years ago.

All I know is these are the yummiest little treats ever and I just love pulling them out of the refrigerator, slowing peeling the soft orange skin from the flesh and popping a segment into my mouth. The sweetest taste ever!

Tomorrow I shop for groceries and a bag of clementines are on the top of my list.

19 January 2009

Winter Icicles in My World

Laziness has many disguises. Soon "winter doldrums" will become "spring fever.
Please check out That's My World where people from all over the world share pictures of their part of the world.

15 January 2009

Skywatch View from a Churchyard Window

Some of my favorite haunts are old churches and cemetaries. This week I have chosen a shot of the sky reflected against the window of the Presbyterian Church in Fincastle, Virginia.

The church was formerly worshipped in by the members of the Church of England, this church became Presbyterian shortly after the close of the American Revolution. It was built prior to 1770 on land given to the town of Fincastle by Israel Christian. Originally the structure faced East, it was remodeled about 1840 and again in 1943.

Please take time to visit Skywatch Friday where visitors from all over the world post their fab photographs.

13 January 2009

What is Your Wish for 2009

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

(Fate is kind, she brings to those who love the sweet fulfillment of their secret longing)
Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you thru
When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true

The song When You Wish Upon a Star won the 1940 Academy Award for best original song and introduced in the 1940
Walt Disney movie Pinocchio.
Writer: Leigh Harline
Lyrics: Ned Washington

Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.
James Matthew Barrie -1860-1937
Scottish Dramatist and Novelist best known as the creator of Peter Pan

What is your WISH ?
What are you willing to SACRIFICE for it?