Destinations, Dreams and Dogs

I'm Alexandra (Russian-American) married to Benedetto (Italian-American). We first met abroad, and currently have four Russian kids (two boys, two girls)... two Scottie dogs... living in two houses... together... for part of each week.... whenever we're not somewhere else in the world.  (Are you following this?)  Join us for some high-class adventure:  www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com.

The Beauty of a Family

There, by the side of the highway, a small drainage ditch tributary gently ran in a trickling stream with a family of swans navigating it. The intrepid father, called a cob, led the way. The mother, a pen, followed farther back, leading the babies, a flock of cygnets ....more

A Whole Bunch of Housewares

Tchochkes. Knickknacks. Small trivial articles intended for decoration ....more

ISIS’ Financial Crisis

From the beginning, it was clear that terrorists make terrible financiers. Good at death and destruction, pillaging, raping, and hostage-taking, ISIS didn’t peer far enough into the future to consider that they would need to subsidize their systematic horror. (As a matter of fact, they didn’t have the foresight to consider branding, since they changed their name with as much regularity as they changed their city of interest.) Beheadings by boys, and violent overthrows by creatures approximating the underbelly of beasts required big-ticket items like arms and vehicles ....more

The Power of Persistence

Most every day I take a power walk-run. That’s not to say that the gym is not in the picture, but frankly, I enjoy being outside, since it’s rare that I am not inside a car, an office, a home, etc. I try to head to an inhabited, commercial, parklike setting ....more

Monday Mottoes – #85

You might be a man or woman, an employee, a parent, a spouse or a friend. Somewhere along the journey of life, something has gone wrong. Boundaries have been crossed, whether verbally or physically, creating great angst and debilitation ....more

Therapeutic Horse Petting

It had been a long day. Naturally, I was trying to cram in even more. Yet, we missed out on an event due to rush hour traffic ....more

Chilly Spring Day at Chatham

On our way to points elsewhere, the family made a stop in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at an historic, Georgian-style house overlooking the Rappahannock River. Once a huge plantation with dozens of outbuildings, from dairy, to fish hatchery, to orchards, gristmill, ice house and stables, the 1,280-acre estate also utilized the services of about 100 slaves. The late 18th century home was built by William Fitzhugh, who finally put the house up for sale in 1796 because he had hundreds of guests visiting each year, driving him into near-poverty ....more

Reality Shows I’d Like to See

We all know the winning combo of winning reality shows on TV: Big characters. One-of-a-kind personalities. Access to places or situations we would otherwise not see ....more

Top Time Wasters

It’s different for everyone, but the temptations are there. How to waste time in 101 ways…. What are your top time wasters? ...more

Monday Mottoes – #84

The longer I live, the more important it becomes to keep things simple. I am used to holding multiple meetings and appointments semi-simultaneously, burning the candle at both ends while burning the midnight oil and multi-tasking in 101 ways. It’s nuts ....more