Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pumpkin Tails - Pumpkin wants a birthday present too!

I just found what Pumpkin needs for my birthday - a kitty sized chaise lounge made out of cardboard! Like most cats he loves boxes.  He sleeps in them, on them, doesn't matter.

As I was browsing on Google Reader I found this:

I LOVE it! It will look so much better than the various cardboard boxes that end up hanging around the house because as soon as they appear they have a cat in them.

If you want the pattern for your own kitty chaise go to

Enjoy! I know pumpkin will!  Now to start saving boxes...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beware of the jellies


If you have been reading my blog for awhile you probably remember my story of our trip to Lipari and my run in with a jellyfish.  Incidently, I still have a scar on my arm from that encounter which was two months ago!  Anyway, after hearing my story one of my grandmothers clipped an article out of her local paper and sent it to me.  It is about jellyfish, particularly in the Mediterranian, and how their populations are exploding because of climate change.  I thought it was really interesting so I looked up online so I could share it here.

Stinging Tentacles Offer Hint of Oceans’ Decline

So, if you are planning on taking a swim at any of Sicily's beaches this summer (or any in the Med, for that matter) keep an eye out for the jellies. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Instant Human - Just Add Coffee

I just got an email from my hubbie.  He thinks I need this:

I can picture myself wearing this often...particularly somewhere on the California coast on a foggy morning, dragging myself in jeans, flip flops, and this sweatshirt into a local coffee house, wrapping my hands around a steaming latte and...sigh....all would be right with the world.

Image courtesy of

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pumpkin Tails - Locked in the Closet

When I woke up this morning it briefly crossed my mind that pumpkin hadn't curled up in bed with me after Les got up.  I didn't think too much about it and meanered to my computer where I checked my email, caught up on Google Reader, and chatted with a friend online.  Around 10:30A I started feeling really hungry so I went downstairs for breakfast. 

I was getting comfy on the sofa, plate in my lap, watching a bit of the olympics when I heard this not-quite-normal rustling sound.  I thought it might be pumpkin playing with something but it sounded louder than usual.  I set my plate down quietly and crept around the house trying to find out where the noise was coming from.  No luck.  I went back to my breakfast and then heard the noise again.  This time, I was able to discern a bit better the direction it was coming from. I was really hoping we didn't have some sort of large rodent in our walls.

As I walked down the hall I heard a commotion in the coat closet.  I opened up the closet and a huge orange furball came flying out of the closet.  He spent the next 10 minutes or so yelling at me (yes, my cat is very vocal).  I called my husband at work to see why on earth Pumpkin was in the hall closet.  Turns out that Les had opened the closet to deposit a box for recycling and left the door open for a bit (a few seconds? a minute? who knows...), long enough for Pumpkin to discover the boxes (he loves cardboard) an make himself at home.  At some point Les noticed the open door and closed it, not thinking to check if there was a cat inside.  Oops.

The rest of the day has been pretty laid back.  Pumpkin spent most of his time upstairs because my friend came over to craft and brought her (adorable) 7 month old daughter.  Pumpkin isn't a fan of the babies.  He's slowly coming around since so many of our friends have kids, but he is very wary of people, especially those closer to his size. If you want to check out the projects I was working on today check out my other blog.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've gone and done it again...

Yep, I started yet another blog!  This one is to keep track of the cards (and other paper crafts) I design and to share them with my crafty, stampin' friends.  Check it out and let me know what you think!
 One of these days I'll probably get around to starting a food blog too, but I think that may have to wait until I finish my MBA.  Then I will have plenty of time on my hands to keep up with all of my blogs.

So, this blog, California to Sicily, will continue to be about life in general and my travels around Sicily and the world! (yep, big dreams).  Keep visiting for more on life as I know it.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Stampin' Addiction

At the advice of a friend I have started a new blog to keep track of my growing stamp collection.  Her main reason for suggesting this was to keep me from duplicating my stamp sets.  I can't imagine doing this just yet. (I don't have that much!!!) but this is an expensive hobby and i don't want to chance spending more than I have to. :)  A good secondary reason is to keep an inventory in case stuff turns up missing when we move (an unfortunate but typical aspect of military life).  If you want to check it out go to:

I'm also thinking about starting another blog to post my card creations.  What do you think?  I can't do it today...I should be working on a paper and I've put it off long enough for today, but if you think I should (or shouldn't) post a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Zucchero and Siracusa

Compared to my normal days at home studying and doing housework the last two days have been a whirlwind.  Yesterday afternoon we headed toward Siracusa with some friends.  As we were speeding down the road at around 50 mph we noticed something ahead in the road.

He was HUGE! He wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, and he was the only cow as far as the eye could see.

We arrived in Siracusa and checked into our hotel, the Hotel Centrale.  I highly recommend it! It was a diamond in the rough.  The surrounding neighborhood wasn't the nicest, but it is hard to tell ghetto from just run down in Sicily.  Our room had a fantastic ocean view.  I shot a panoramic of it this morning but unfortunately the file is too big to load (blogger doesn't like files made up of 13 merged raw images...even after I "saved for web" in Photoshop) After a brief rest we set out for Fontane Bianche and the Zucchero concert!

After a quick meal at a local pizzeria we made our way to the venue.  It was a massive setup in the middle of a field. There were literally thousands of people there.  Italians LOVE Zucchero. Usually I take in the old and ancient facets of Italy.  I love the history, the architecture, even the lifestyle which seems old and slow paced compared to America, but last night I saw Italy in a whole new light - a very modern light.  Not the modern that we think of when we see European furniture, but as a people (young and old) embracing one of their most famous performers and having a GREAT time!

The performance was great! I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the music even though I didn't know many of his songs. His band was full of amazing artists and they were a thrill to watch and listen to.  Here are a few pictures from the evening.  Most of them are grainy.  I was using our little point and shoot camera and had it on vibration reduction mode which cranks up the ISO (hence the graininess).

We drug ourselves back to our hotel room at around 1AM and slept like babies until 9ish. We left the hotel around 11:30am and headed to Ortygia, my favorite area in Siracusa.  We didn't stay too long.  It was stinkin' hot and one of our friends wasn't doing well in the heat.  We had a late lunch and, after cooling down with several bottles of water, decided to head home.  In the little bit of time we had in Ortygia I did (of course) have my camera with me.  Here are the highlights:

 The two above are of a temporary structure made out of plastic.  I thought it was very cool! 
Not exactly the sign you expect for a movie theater, but it has a lot of character.
As always, I wish we could have stayed longer, but I don't know how long I would have lasted in that heat. Overall it was a spectacular couple of days (I keep wanting to type weekend, but Monday and Tuesday don't really qualify).
I think the rest of the week will be spent catching up on school work that I've neglected the past couple of days.  Here's to hoping we get out and do something fun this weekend...maybe the beach!?!  Who knows  :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

How can it be August 4 already?

I can't believe we are already into August.  I've been busy so I guess the saying "time flies when you are having fun" applies.  If you are wondering what has been keeping me busy I'd have to say:

  1. School - Today is the last day of week two (out of six) of my Enterprise Risk class. So far it isn't terribly hard so I've actually had time to get out and have a bit of fun!
  2. Shopping - Last week I spent the day in Catania with a friend.  We went to Auchan (where I found Creme d'Cassis!!!) and then to a nursery where I picked up a few more plants for my backyard.
  3. Gardening - Over the past several months I've discovered that I really like gardening!  My garden is mostly herbs, but my two most recent additions were Citronella plants to keep the mosquitoes away.
  4. Drinking coffee with friends - Sunday morning I had all of my best girlfriends in the area over for coffee and a light brunch. It was so nice just to relax, chat about life, catch up,  munch on tasty food, and sip coffee.
  5. Crafting - Last night my friend Sheena came over and we worked on stamping projects and making cards.  We had a really great time, talked a lot, and made some really cute stuff. She didn't leave until after 11pm.
  6. Travel - Tonight we area headed out of town for a concert.  We'll be staying the night and then doing a bit of exploring and sightseeing tomorrow.  I'm really looking forward to another mini-vacation.
And speaking of getting away tonight I better go pack a bag and finish my schoolwork for the day.  Hopefully later this week I'll have some fun pictures to post.  Until then, Ciao!