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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lessons from July......

As I sit here on the last day of July, I am a bit out of sorts.
And, I know exactly why........ 

There's actually a few things that are contributing to how I am feeling today.....
FIRST of all--
I am suffering a major hangover. 
It's not from what you might think.
Although a few too many cocktails or glasses of wine can leave me feeling a bit woozy the day after--rebounding from it only takes about 24 hours (in my experience, at least!).
Rebounding from the kind of hangover I have takes a tad bit more.....
Getting back on the wagon of regular exercise, eating the right foods and staying hydrated with water takes more than just 24 hours.  
Especially if you haven't been doing it for an entire month (or, possibly more...).
Although part of how I am feeling has something to do with the extra bulge about my belly that I see in the mirror and that stops me from wearing certain things....there's more to it than that.
Eating shitfully and not caring about exercising and sitting around instead of getting up and moving and  not being conscientious about my choices is leaving me with an overall feeling of blah.  
In other words---I am not as happy as I deserve to be.  

Not caring for myself as I should is crueler and more damaging to how I feel than after a night of throwing back shots of tequila.
 Not that I would know anything about that....
What I DO know about is that our minds and our emotions are affected dramatically by how we treat our bodies. The food we eat plays a major role in feeding not only our bodies but also what makes us tick....or not tick. We eat to live.  It's the way we nourish ourselves.  Nourishing myself with sugar and excessively fatty foods is not very smart.
 Regular exercise not only helps us to tone our muscles and fight fat deposits but it also helps us to stay energized.  By sitting back and doing nothing only makes me more unwilling to get up do what I need to do to keep the fat at bay and to be energized enough to enjoy my days! 
Supplying ourselves with enough water keeps us alert by flushing the toxins that linger in our bodies. By reaching for anything but water when I am thirsty is putting more toxins into my body and not flushing it out.  Thus my bloated feelings and those major rushes and falls from more sugar or caffeine than I really need.... 
The fact that I know this makes it all more derailing. 
You see...when I was obese and I found myself in this place, I would feel so defeated and miserable and ashamed that I would ignore the fact that I knew what was doing it to me.  I was so tied up with the feelings of being hopelessly fat.  My guilt and my shame would cripple me from seeing what was really happening.....
Now that I know better.   I need to DO BETTER.   

 SECOND of all.....
Now that I am face-to-face with August....the month that I will celebrate my 7th Anniversary of Me and My Lapband.....and I am up against my 7 year Lap band appointment on MONDAY.....the reality of everything is waking me up.
I'm taking notice of the fact that I am feeling the way I used to feel all those years ago when I was this close to a doctor's appointment when I would have to get on the scale. 
Crazy thoughts like this are creeping back in....*I  NEED TO LOSE 10 POUNDS IN THREE DAYS*
The scale haunted me everyday when I was this girl......

THIRD of all......
We are going to the beach.   Yes, we are.  And, you know what that means?

And, FINALLY.....
 I worked too damn hard and spent too much time and energy and money to get to the Judi I am today.
My Lapband is the gift that I gave myself to help me get to where I am.
I've been a very disrespectful girl in July.........I was taught better than that. 

many apologies for my behavior!
Love, Judi 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Although I do not have any home grown zucchini of my own (my Italian farm boy isn't growing it this year.....)....'tis the ZUCCHINI season.  So,  I am patiently waiting for all of my zucchini farmer friends to call me up and say "NEED ANY ZUCCHINI?" 
To which I will respond...."As a matter of fact, I do need me some ZUCCHINI.....hand it over!"
In preparation of that momentous phone call, I spent some of my 1960's, 1970's and 1980's TV-watching time (while staying with my father) pouring through online sources such as Pinterest for new recipes and going through some of my trusty menu diaries seeking some zucchini recipes I would like to repeat.
As much as I love finding new recipes--I have to admit that I love, love, love my recipe and menu diaries.  They are in date order so I can never really look up recipes by any specific ingredient.  Therefore, I am always forced into going page-by-page looking at each entry and looking at my little scibbled notes---about the occasion, about the guests, about the menu, the table settings, any other tidbits of interest and there's always little sprinklings of comments about who loved what, what I might change next time I make it....and on and on and on.  Some of them make me laugh...other times I find I am *THIS* close to tears.  And, other times, I realize I may have had just a little too much wine or one too many cocktails when I was writing the notes....God knows *whatthehell* I was talking about!
So, as you can see....these diaries are like storybooks .....I  can get so lost in them......
What a e perfect way to get through those long hours of Barney Fife's and Aunt Bee's  ditzy yet well-intentioned antics and the random violence in Police Chief Bill Gillespie's Mississippi town!!!
Although I must admit, some of the recipes had my cravings in overdrive--it took everything I had not to run to the store and get all the ingredients and begin a zucchinithon!   But, when you are large and in charge of a rambuctious 94 year can't go too far....
So, I had to settle for just savouring them as I sat there.....saving my calories for when my father demanded his ice cream.....I couldn't let the man eat ice cream alone....
 Anyway.....there were 2 specific recipes that I could just taste as I sat there!  
 Given that I made both of these recipes before--thus being able to vouch for their wonderfulness--I wanted to share them with you to help you as you plan on how you will use all of your zucchini this zucchini season......  

According to my diary ramblings, I served this easy,  delicious dish in August  2010 with grilled lemon garlic chicken, grilled corn-on-the cob with basil butter and peach cobbler. notes indicated that we drank lots of mojitos! (no wonder I don't remember much about this evening!) We were hosting a small gathering as a farewell to our next door neighbors who were moving back to West Lafayette, IN.   Evidently, we could not eat on the deck due to a severe storm that came rolling in.  But, everyone raved about the scalloped zucchini!  And, my notes also indicated that I wore a new maxi dress that everyone referred to as a "hostess gown."   (yes, those are the kind of notes I write down after a few libations.....)

  1. 3 large zucchini
  2. 3 Tbsp. butter
  3. 3 Tbsp. flour
  4. 1 1/2 cups milk
  5. 2 cups shredded Italian Blend Cheese, divided
  6. salt
  7. pepper
  8. garlic powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking or casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.
  3. Slice your zucchini into 1/4 inch slices
  4. Layer the bottom of the casserole dish with half of the sliced zucchini.
  5. Season the layer of zucchini with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  6. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter on low, then add the flour.
  7. Whisk together until incorporated and golden brown.
  8. Slowly add the milk and continue whisking until smooth and thickened.
  9. When it’s smooth, add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until completely melted.
  10. Remove from the heat.
  11. Pour half of the cheese sauce across the first layer of zucchini.
  12. Place the remaining zucchini on top of the sauce and make your second layer.
  13. Season that layer well with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  14. Cover with remaining sauce and top with the other 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  15. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  16. Place the zucchini under the broiler for a few minutes, but watch closely being careful to not let it burn.
  17. Remove from the oven and serve warm (NOT HOT!)

This was a "show-off dinner" that we were hosting August 2012 for some visiting  associates (who are known foodies!) of my husband's.  THIS RECIPE I DO REMEMBER.....because I actually made it twice.  The first time was the test run because I get a little skitchy when I cook scallops (worried they will get tough!). Since I turned the first cooking of this recipe into a party by inviting my  2 spirited girlfriends over to taste test, I was super duper careful. It turned out impeccable!   I will never forget how we just sat there eating and moaning with delight.  For the actual dinner with my guests, we started out with  a little Apertivo before dinner with some classic Italian cocktails, cheeses and nibbles.  Thankfully, the scallops with zucchini turned out just as amazing as the first time.  Although....I should tell you that there was no moaning!   I served this with the Proud Italian Cook's Caprese Style Portobellas on top of Spring Mix drizzled with a balsamic reduction and risotto with marscapone and basil.  To end it sweetly, we served Lemoncello on ice, iced capaccinos and a gorgeous tray of cannoli and tiramsu petites, rum balls and cheesecake balls rolled in pastachios and chocolate from this tantalizing den of sin.  The notes that I scrawled--- "an elegant summer dinner that should score me some jewelry..."
  • 2 dozen sea scallops
  • Oil suitable for high heat cooking (I used coconut oil)
  • 2-3  zucchini, sliced thinly into ribbons
  • 2 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup light stock (I used seafood stock)
  • Juice from 1lemon
  • 2-4 ounce logs of soft, fresh goat cheese
  • lots of basil leaves, julienned
  • Coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pat the sea scallops dry with paper towels.  Lightly season with salt and pepper, and set the scallops aside.
In a saute pan, heat  butter with a splash of olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the shallots for about a minute – but not long enough to brown.  Add the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the zucchini ribbons and cook for a few minutes, continuing to toss the zucchini,  until it is just tender and the liquid in the pan has reduced a little.  Stir in 1/2 of the goat cheese with the lemon juice, until the goat cheese has melted and the liquid in the pan is sauce-like.  Stir in some of the basil, saving some for the final garnish.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat, but keep warm.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until VERY hot (cast iron is good, but any heavy-bottomed skillet will work).  Add a very thin layer high-heat oil) to the pan, swirl to coat, and immediately add scallops, flat side down.  Do not crowd the pan – you may need to cook the scallops in two batches, depending on how big your skillet is.  DO NOT move the scallops – sear them for 2 minutes, then turn and sear for about a minute (maybe 1 1/2 minutes) on the other side.  It is important not to overcook the scallops or they will be rubbery and tough.  They should be nicely seared on the outside, but should still be a little translucent-looking in the middle as you look at them from the side.  They will feel a little springy to the touch – not stiff.  When they are done, remove them from the pan and keep warm while you finish cooking them all.
To serve, place a mound of zucchini noodles on a plate, and place the scallops around it.  Add a dollup of the remaining goat cheese to the top, and garnish with the rest of the julienned basil.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daddy and me.......

Yes, that's what the past 10 days of been filled with......
Just when you thought I was gone from Stories from the Road because  I was frolicking on a beach in some exotic corner of the world, you come to find that I was actually just living in another little suburban hamlet...not far from Judiland....doing the 24/7 with my dad....along with a bevy of wonderful caregivers, I must add!  
My dad's caregivers and I......beaching it.....or were we "bitching it..."?

My sisters ventured off to the beach with their families while I stayed back to keep the home fires burning.....going to work, caring for my dad, listening to his stories, planning his menus, watching lots of Andy Griffith and other high-quality shows from the golden years of television, slipping him an occasional ice cream sundae,  dolling out his meds and keeping everything in his world right-side-up.  
My life was anything BUT right-side-up.  
As my sister's texted me pictures of the beach.....I texted them pictures of what was happening here in my world
Escaping to my own private outdoor bar by the air conditioning unit at my sister's drink wine and grab a smoke...

Loading up on caffiene and lounging at the office to keep up my stamina

More to the cache of my father's meds....

Yes, it's been quite an adventure.
Life will be returning to my normal frivolity and festivity shortly.  

Confetti and cupcakes all around....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mid-summer mania......

is making me SCREAM.......FOR ICE CREAM!
Then, I'm SCREAMING when the zipper on my  pants is SCREAMING "I CAN'T MAKE IT" ....

There is an explanation for this ice-a-mania I am currently experiencing.....

Here's the convoluted as this is going to sound, I am going to tell you all about it.  
Stay with me here....promise me, it will make sense in a Judi-kindaway.
You see....earlier in the summer---during a fit of planning for all of the summer guests at the B&B and on-site bar/restaurant  that I evidently run in my home,  I went on a little shopping spree.  I wanted to pick up a few goodies that would make things a little more welcoming, a little more fun and a little easier in the entertaining department.   So,I picked up a variety of things that I decided would fit the bill......
*A few sets of THESE
*2 of THESE
*Several packages of THESE

I am sure you see the all-about-eating-and-drinking theme I had going during my shopathon.
Yeah that's how I roll....
Although I probably needed none of these things, I am happy to report that they have all been serving up all of what I had intended for them.   Each of them have come in very handy and been used over and over again for various situations---from small gatherings to larger gatherings to just having things available for guests who are on their own while I am working or busy with other things.
One evening right before the 4th of July weekend, we hosted a small after-business-dinner "sundae bar" party for some visiting consultants that were in town to work on a project my husband was heading up. *I know what you are thinking--why not after-dinner drinks?  Yeah, well, that's what I first suggested. "That's a no-go Judi. We got non drinkers..." was my husband's response. Hence  the three days of that  puzzled look on my face as I tried to figure out what to do*   Once I got past the fact that we were going to do business entertaining without cutting up limes and lemons and stuffing olives with blue cheese, it was actually a fun evening to set up and shop for.   Lots of ice cream and yummy fixings and I even did a fun centerpiece--a balloon ice cream cone project  that I found on Pinterest (I can't believe I didn't take a picture...!!!).  AND, I was so excited that several of my new things came in very handy for setting up my BAR.  Especially those patriotic snack bowls that I bought on Oriental Trading.  It was a perfectly perfect evening....even without the cocktails.  Who knew?
( cocktails on the deck...I had our after-dinner  martinis hidden in the kitchen for Carmen and I!!!)

 Naturally, I over-bought when it came to the ice cream and the syrups and the whipped cream and the toppings.   But, you know....I didn't want to run out.   
Famous last words. 
Let's get real--how can we run out when we have 7 people AND 6 gallons of ice cream, 2 of each type of syrups, 3 canisters of whipped cream and godknowshowmanypounds of fixings? *Hey, I figured if they don't drink, they must eat lots of ice cream...right?*
Get it now?
Yes, I had leftovers.  LOTS OF LEFTOVERS. 
Thus began my desent into the land of nightly ice cream parties.  
Everything is just so easy.  Especially the fact that I have those cute little throw-away patriotic snack bowls....*no extra dirty dishes to do at evidence of my errant ways*
Sometimes I can be so-about the details....
Sure..... let's not forget that I was also left with 4 gallons of ice cream, lots of lots of syrups and whipped cream and toppings....*it would be criminal to waste  all of that*
But,'s really all about those cute little bowls....
Every night, I can't wait to get out one of those little bowls.....*it makes me so happy*
Alright...maybe it is about the ice cream slathered in gooiness and topped with goodness...
Or, is it about the bowls?

So many bowls!!!
 My mania continues....... 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This girl........

My darling daughter, my favorite shopping partner....Fashionista Toni!

Today is all about her.
And, a little about me. 
(and  a lot about my wallet...)
We have a full day planned. 
A girly, fun day.
Because THIS GIRL is 23 today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My father was right.......

I have gained some weight.  
But, my sister says that I look better with "a little meat on".
She said there was a time when I was looking too thin.  
My daughter says she doesn't remember the time when I was too thin.
My other sister said to let her know if she ever gets to thin so she can celebrate.
My husband said to quit worrying about it.
And, my son thinks I would benefit from some type of cross training to tone things up.  
My niece thinks maybe I should join a running group and start running.
My aunt said I should eat what I want now because when I lose my teeth, 
I won't be able to eat what I want.  
My uncle said my face needs some weight on it so I don't wrinkle up. 
My cousin thinks I shouldn't wear stripes around my father, it may be distorting his vision.  

Yes, my weight is a FAMILY AFFAIR.......
Everyone has a family.........!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My father.....the 94 year old Weight Watcher......

No, he's not watching HIS weight.
He's watching MINE.  

At my nephews graduation party this past weekend, I took a little break from the kitchen and sat next to my father with some chips and a small bowl of this amazing chicken cheese thing that my sister makes.  He had just consumed a huge plate full of fabulous food and was digging into a plate of cookies that my cousin had put in front of him.
As I was taking my first father cleared his throat....."You better watch what you eat"  he said.  I nodded appreciatively and proceeded to eat this fabulous chicken cheese thing. 
"You can't eat too much you know," he said.  
"Yes, I know," I replied...thinking he was concerned that I might have a Lap Band issue.
I took another bite.
"What else did you eat today?"  he asked.
"Not much, I have been in the kitchen," I told him.
"You better watch it," he said.
"I am fine," I told him. 
"I mean, you can't let your weight go up again!"  he said.
"What????"  I responded with surprise.
My cousin--who was next to me---looked at my father and then at me.  She shrugged her shoulders and smiled.
"You can't get fat like that again!  Have you gained any weight lately?"  he went on.
I looked over at my cousin.....she seemed quite amused.
"Maybe a few pounds..."  I quietly answered.
"I don't know about that! More than a few pounds I think.  You have definitely gained some weight!"  he corrected me.
"Really????"  I responded in disbelief.
"I lost a few pounds..." he proudly told my cousin.
"Okay Dad, that's great....enough..."  I tried to end the conversation....but I knew that it was probably futile.
"Yes, Judi, you look like you gained some weight.  You have to be careful.  You can't get fat like that again...."  he continued. 
"Okay, Dad.  I'm good.  Eat your cookies....I will get you more coffee...." again, trying to stop the conversation.
"I got coffee!  Did you eat any cookies?"  he said, pointing to his cookie plate.
"I will, later...."  I told him.
"Maybe you should stay away from the cookies.." he said, munching on a cookie. 
Then, he looked at my cousin and told her "You know, my mother was 300 pounds when she died.  She was always a big woman.  Judi looks just like her...."  
"Okay, Dad....we know...." once again, trying to diffuse this awful conversation....
"Yes, she has to be careful not to get fat again.  She has that tendency.  Runs in the family, you know..."  he said, taking another cookie.
I was just about to take his cookie away from him just to teach him a lesson.  But, I figured...the man is 94, let it be. 
"You better not eat much more, Judi.  Maybe you should just go on a diet...."  he said between bites of cookie. 
With that, I went back to the kitchen to eat the rest of my delicious chicken cheese thing....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken...everywhere a CHICKEN!

Don't even ask me how this happened but a total of 4 Rotissiere Chickens appeared at my house this weekend......not including the one I bought before the weekend!
Was there a blue light special on Rotissiere Chickens somewhere?

I should begin this all by saying that I seldom buy Rotissiere Chickens.  But, last week on an after-work day trip to Sam's that was wedged in between trips to the wine and spirits store, the beer store, the card store and the mall, I was weakened by the sight of them---at less than $5 and with dinner- making looming over my head and a night of more to do than humanly possible (and it was hot and humid!), buying one made a whole lot of sense to me.  So, I scooped it up and called it dinner....
 As it turned out, my moment of weakness was a stroke of genius.  Both my spoiled rotten, food-snob husband and my careful eater daughter were very satisfied with my version of that night's dinner---a purchased Rotissiere Chicken still in it's container, a container of store-bought hummus, a few pita breads cut up into wedges, some cut up cucumbers, a container of Greek yogurt, a pitcher of iced tea made from powder and 3 paper plates and 3 plastic forks and three red solo cups thrown on the kitchen island. 
With the little bit of chicken that was left over after that oh-so casual affair, I chopped it up, mixed it with some celery, mayo, almonds and seasonings and had a nice serving of chicken salad for the next day's lunch at my desk (which I promptly forgot that morning......).
Then, on Thursday night--after a full day of work with company and weekend guests coming any moment,  I found myself missing a few things that I needed.  So, I texted my hubby (who is usually spared these problems....)to tell him to standby because I would be texting him a list of things he would have to pick up on his way home because I could not leave the house again.    And, to put him on notice that I expected that he would be leaving the office momentarily.....since he has a bad habit of never leaving the office. 
I suppose he got it that I was pretty overwhelmed and up-to-my eyeballs in prep and he figured that I was getting a little cranky and that I might be too busy to drop everything and cook something so he might not be eating until later when the guests arrived (he does not cook....).  And, I'm pretty sure he got it from the uncharacteristically  authoritative tone of my texts that he was going to follow directions or else.  So, he decided to buy me a present while he was a grocery store getting the things on my list.   Yep, you guessed it....he bought me a ROTISSIERE CHICKEN.  "I knew we might be hungry and that you are too busy to make anything and I know you really liked it..." were his words when I looked at him with my whatthehellisthis? look.   Next time.....bring wine or gin, buddy. 
As it turns out, 3 other people who visited over the weekend decided that a Rotissiere Chicken would be the perfect gift for me too.....
I just don't get it.
Anyone have any great recipes for using up ROTISSIERE CHICKEN?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Declare YOUR independence......

Dance as if no one is watching.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Going to a picnic?
Throwing a backyard bash?
Want to impress your neighbors?
Need something to serve hungry and/or thirsty guests?
Looking for something delicious to indulge in all by yourself?
Then, may I suggest you get very cozy with BASIL....

My small kitchen basil plant (picture is from 2 years ago) sits outside my kitchen door but never gets a chance to grow very tall since it's my 'go-to' plant for all of my basil concoctions!  I'm constantly snipping leaves! 

You know.....I am the Queen of Basil.
Yes, I grow basil.
Beautiful, luscious basil.
Every variety of basil.
I am all about BASIL....

So, you came to the right place if you are seeking all things BASIL.....
(you are seeking all things BASIL...aren't you?)

Why am I going on an on about basil?  Shouldn't I be talking about flag waving and fitting into my favorite white jean capris?
Well, I will get to all another post....maybe. 

 For the moment....we're gonna talk BASIL until you probably want to hit me with a pot...!
Don't hit me!  Hit the Peeping Tom! 

The thing is....July is definitely a perfect basil month.
And, my basil crops are growing loud and proud. 
Plus, my mind is just swimming with basil thoughts.......!
How can I stay calm about BASIL??? 

Although I have several different varieties--I gotta tell you--my favorite basil is the regular basil (sometimes referred to as Sweet Genovese). 
So, I dedicate over 75% of my basil planting space to regular basil.
In addition to some very large planters that reside on the lower portion of my back patio that I tend to cut back about once every 1-2 weeks and use my cuttings to either dry or freeze for future use or to make a large batch of pesto or other basil laden sauce to freeze or share with friends, I also have a few small pots of this type of basil on the small cooking deck off of my kitchen---I call these my quick-snipping supply.  I run out there daily to get my basil fix on---I am pretty sure I add it to everything in the summer months...even water!!!   I just love the fragrant smell that greets me when I walk out of the door to snip my daily basil---there's nothing like the smell of fresh basil.  Plus-- I just adore looking out of my kitchen window and gazing upon their beautiful lushness. 
Yes, I am completely smitten with basil. get it.....I love Basil......

As your reward for putting up with my  grotesque gushing and oozing basil love.....I am going to share with you a few of my favorite newish basil recipes that you must try. They have been taste tested and given the Judi seal of approval and applauded by the family and friends who I force to eat a steady diet of basil each July and August....
 No, I am not not going to give you the run-of-the-mill pesto recipe (although I could do an entire blog post dripping with pesto love!).  I am going to point you towards a few recipes you may have never tried but should!  Trust me...with as much basil as I grow, I am always looking for new recipes using my crop.  Did I mention that I love BASIL?

And, now without further adieu......
(btw....when I made this, I omitted the sparkling water and added Tangueray Ten gin....of course!)

(I add nothing to the dip is perfect as is.  But, I never made the pita chips.I use store bought chips or cut up veggies for dipping.)

(I substitute feta cheese for the blue cheese because I don't like blue cheese.  This has been a standard summer dish since I discovered it I can tell you that its very well loved!!)

(I added  a few shavings of ricotta salada on top when I served it.  This pretty salad is seriously addictive. The flavors go together so perfectly...who knew??  I got a standing ovation for this one...well, almost!)

(We scarf down this Salmon recipe all year long using my stockpile of basil that I keep in the freezer but it's best with fresh-from-the-garden basil! This is definitely one of my favorite go-to salmon recipes.  I have also used the pistachio basil butter on scallops, sea bass and sole . Seriously wonderfully yummy)

(btw...I add a dollop of marscapone to this....oh yum....when I tell you that this is one of the most effortlessly elegant desserts on the planet, you need to believe me!)

(My neighbor told me that this is the reason why they love to be invited to a meal on our deck in the summer!  Yes, it is wonderful!   I use Pellegrino water (instead of  Perrier) because we are Italian that's what we have in the house at all times)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Good Morning July!

My beautiful city...through the lens of the talented Pittsburgh photog David DiCello
July is one of my favorite months.
And, it's not like it's even my birthday month.....
But, it does happen to be the birthday month of some of my favorite daughter included.
And, it happens to be the month that I finally got together with my favorite neighborhood boy....the guitar strumming engineer...way back in the '70's!.......
And, July is the month I got engaged to that neighborhood boy...way back in the '80's....
And, I've always loved The 4th of July.....which I suppose could be traced back to all of the excitement of anticipating the festivities and possibly winning the big car drawing in the little town where I grew up....
And, let's not forget that I just love the color RED.....and I think it looks so great with WHITE AND BLUE..... 

Sometimes it's the little things that are really the BIG THINGS.......because they are the memories that stay with us forever.....
My forever friend Debbie (a July birthday girl!) standing in my walkway at my house on the little street where I grew up....way back in the early '70's!

Kicking off 4th of July in the little town where I grew up....way, way the 60's!  


A hometown treat....walk up-street to Isaly's on a hot July day!

July 4th meant Cracker Jack in my hometown!

A hot July afternoon after a full ay at the pool and 15 cents in your pocket meant a SNOW KONE for the walk home...up all those hills! 
Here's to lots of  JULY MEMORIES of days gone by and to making new JULY MEMORIES to add to those!