26 October 2014

To Canada With Love - Sundays in My City

As another Canadian soldier was killed this past week I thought I'd repost something from several years ago instead of more pictures of Italy.

 


I am currently deployed to Afghanistan. I just came from a ramp ceremony. It’s where they carry a casket to the plane to send home. His name is Brian. He was 42; from Ottawa. He has a wife and 2 daughters; one who shares my name.

Attendance is not required but it is something I feel everyone should do at least once. Just like I think the news should show flag-draped caskets arriving home. The men and women dying here are not just statistics. They’re people with families and they need to be honored and their sacrifice needs to be known by the general population. A population that’s busy trampling each other to get to the sale items at Wal-Mart. Priorities seem misplaced from here.

It was cold and very windy out on the flight line. It was difficult standing at attention. You had to brace yourself against a wind that was trying to blow you over and you couldn’t wipe the snot running from your nose or rub your eyes that were stinging from the wind and dust. But whatever the weather (and it does go to both extremes here), I’ll be out there. Because I don’t want to forget those fathers, mothers, sons and sisters. Because the next time, it could be me.

Next week I’ll travel home for the first time in 6.5 months. After 2 weeks I’ll return for another 6 months. Whatever your feelings on the war, I encourage you to attend a ramp ceremony for a returning soldier, airman, marine or sailor if you happen to live near a base. This war will not end if people at home are permitted to forget that it is still happening; that people are still dying.

And don’t tell my mother I said it could be me next time! As far as she knows there is nothing dangerous here, I never leave the safety of the base and the Taliban never fire rockets into our camp!
 
 My thoughts are with Canada this week.
 
 

Unknown Mami
 
**I am not in the Armed Forces; I merely work for them. I deployed as a civilian and enjoyed the protection of US, Canadian, Dutch and British Forces; for which I am eternally grateful.  I do not wish to be seen as making the same kind of sacrifices as those who sign up to protect and defend.

19 October 2014

The Colorful Houses of Burano - Sundays in My City

A popular Venetian destination is the island of Murano. Murano is known for glass making.  We went there.  I was bored out of my mind and mom and Gran weren't that impressed either.  So we hopped back on the water bus and moved on to Burano; an island known for lace making.  I wasn't looking forward to this stop and lace making was equally boring for me but the colors on this island were incredible and taking pictures of the houses was more than enough to occupy me so mom and Gran could do their thing without me wanting to run away.

There were so many colors!!!


Orange over purple with teal blue shutters!
Apparently there is striped fabric available to match every house color so that you can fashionably let some air in without giving all the tourists a view of your living room.



Colorful reflections!


Such a beautiful little island! I'm glad I got to see it.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a place you didn't want to visit?

For more sights from around the world, head over to Unknown Mami and check out the rest of the Sundays in My City posts.

Unknown Mami

11 October 2014

Eating Italian - Sundays in My City

Part of any vacation is the food. I love food! Most of my day is spent thinking about when I get to eat next and what I'm going to eat. So as soon as we decided to go to Italy I knew it was going to be a trip filled with pizza, pasta and gelato! As I mentioned in my last post, I have a lot of pictures!

I didn't take a picture of everything we ate and although I did take a picture of every gelato I'll save them for another post.  Here are some of our eats from the trip.

I don't remember exactly what Gran got but she didn't care for it much (not the only time that happened). 
Panzerotti are fried pockets of heaven! 
I got mine with mozzarella and tomato.

A nice view for dinner
This pizza was huge!  And delicious!!
Pasta at the Florence Central Market
Gelato from a veggie restaurant on a absolutely beautiful day.
Pesto pasta
Gran finally got the spaghetti and meatballs she'd been wanting!
Mama enjoying lasagna
All that remained of my spaghetti aglio e olio! We only ended up eating here because Gran had to pee and simply walked into a restaurant to use the bathroom as we couldn't find a public bathroom nearby. Since she used their bathroom they made us sit down and order something. I was Not happy.  But this ended up being my favorite pasta dish of the entire trip!
The only blueberry gelato I saw and it was excellent!
One of my two favorite gelato places and it was Right. Next. Door! to where we stayed in Milan.
Dishing out my extra dark chocolate.
The pizzas we made in our pizza making class ready to go into the oven.
Mom and Gran enjoying their pizzas
And the gelato we learned how to make.
The tasting part of our wine tour

Italian guys in straw cowboy hats making pasta at the Florence Central Market
What's your favorite Italian dish? 

Linking up with Unknown Mami for good eats and sights from around the world.

Unknown Mami

05 October 2014

Over 600 Pictures - Sundays in My City

I just returned from a trip to Italy with my mother and grandmother.  I took over 600 pictures and plan to put together a couple posts about the trip but, for now, here are a few of my favorite shots.

My first of 20 (I kid you not) gelatos...wasabi.  As soon as I saw it I had to try it.  Let me tell you, this flavor should not exist. It just isn't right!
Gran's hands after making pizza dough.



A small vineyard that we just happened across.  No filter or special effects used.







It's been a while since I joined Unknown Mami for her Sundays in My City blog hop.  You should check it out!

Unknown Mami

23 September 2014

A Happy Rescue Story

I've mentioned before that I volunteer to walk dogs at a local (local to me) rescue.  I love spending time with these dogs and it's so great when we get to see one of them get adopted (it's also a little bittersweet because we get so used to spending time with them and we miss them when they go).  One of the ones that has been there since I started volunteering was adopted over the weekend.  I had no idea that he has never been in a house before. He's spent almost his whole life in a cage.  Hard to imagine that such a happy dog had such a rough start to life.

Brolin (along with another dog that was with us, Zephyr) came into the Floyd Animal Control in Georgia, as a neglect case over 18 months  ago. They were driven in a transport to a rescue western Pa, where that rescuer had them brought to the facility where we board rescue dogs around June of 2013. However, the PA rescue group never made a payment for them at the facility, and so their future looked bleak. Rather than allowed the two dogs to be taken to Baltimore County Animal Control, AAHA (Adopt a Homeless Animal rescue) took them in, and paid to board them, as well as paid all of the costs of Brolin's Lyme disease and heart worm treatment.   Below is a  photo of Brolin  when he was taken into the Floyd Animal Control.

Poor neglected little fella
Zephyr was adopted a couple months ago.  Brolin, who absolutely loves people, loves to cuddle and give kisses, LOVES going for walks and is great on a leash...for some reason we just couldn't find a home for him.  I sent out word to people I know and asked my brother (who works for a vet and knows lots of dog lovers) to do the same. One of his colleagues picked up Brolin the other day and is already in love with him (no surprise there as he's a fantastic dog)!  He's now living large on a 8-acre farm and adjusting to the new experience of being in a house.  No more cage-life for this awesome dog!!

Brolin with his adopters when they picked him up.


I can't wait to go visit this sweet boy at his new HOME!

24 August 2014

Dirty Girls! - Sundays in My City

Yesterday my Mama and I did the Dirty Girl; which is a women-only mud run which raises money for breast and ovarian cancers.  My Mama's baby sister died of ovarian cancer 10 years ago come this December so Mama did it in her memory.  It was awesome seeing many older ladies participating.  Some of them skipped all the obstacles but I give them all the credit in the world for just walking a 5k in the mud!








It was Mama's first 5k and first mud run and she did GREAT!

Have you done a mud run or a 5k? Have you done one with your Mama?

Unknown Mami