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Author Archives: Claire Ziamandanis

EARLY MOTHER’S DAY!

tulips

Who wouldn’t love this? Run away to New York City for the day:  early train down, arriving just in time for a boutique Italian wine tasting, followed by the requisite walk through Times Square, a visit to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, and the evening train home. Time as a couple?  Check! Seriously amazing wines?  Check! Top it ... Read More »

GIMBALED FUNICULARS AND BIVALVE PLAYERS

funicular1

Huh? Yes, gimbaled funiculars.  Yes, bivalve players.  A sequential thought process here, maybe a pedantic love of funny sounding words, and of course a reference to Spain, where I will be in 2 ½ weeks. Disclaimer:  my sister in law served a “signature drink” at our recent American Easter/Greek Easter/Passover gathering.  It was perfect for an afternoon sitting outside after ... Read More »

ELITIST OR ENAMORED?

SONY DSC

I am really struggling with this… It just… looks so… BAD! For the third time in three years, I am heading out to Spain at the end of the semester.  And every time I arrive in Madrid, I feel like I have come home. ARGH!  Elitist, arrogant, snobby, Western-European-promoting, blinders-on-to-diversity JERK!  Yes, that is me. This is how it started: ... Read More »

COLLEGE VISITS 102

JWU cafeteria

I survived the college search – as parent – once, and here comes the second round. “I’m wishing I was grown up, but I am really really really scared!”  Or maybe it was … “Let me go!  Let me go!  Let me go!”  Or in this latest round of college visits… “Do I really have to go?  Can I just ... Read More »

BUELLER? BUELLER? BUELLER?

Bueller

Are you present?  Or not? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (click here for the trailer if you have no clue what I am talking about) may well be the classic analogy for modern life. Are you here? Or have you skipped out? I am a perhaps addicted complete fan of modern technology.  I am one of the few parents who knows ... Read More »

DO WE STAY? THAT LONG?

headstones

As time passes and our life circumstances change (read “kids are growing up and will eventually move on”), Stephen and I sometimes now ask the question, “Do we want to stay here?” We live in the Town of New Scotland, in the Voorheesville School District, waaaaay out in the country.  We often talk about the idea of having a condo ... Read More »

EQUALLY DESSERT-CHALLENGED

Bakin and Eggs: bacon chocolate chip cookies

I feel Anna’s pain. Desserts are too demanding!  Don’t sift your flour?  Get ready for heaviness in your concoction.  Don’t have a silicone pad for your baking sheet?  Get ready to soak, scrub, soak, scrub, and probably give up and heave the messy pan. I used to love making desserts as a teenager. It was my “thing”.  It was also ... Read More »

GROW UP! NO, DON’T!

icy

In what my children would probably call a fairly typical, schizophrenic mode for me, I find myself both demanding that the kids “grow up”, while at the same time, resolving this year that I need to be more childlike. Whaaaaat? Today I witnessed a scene that made me stop multitasking between laptop and smartphone, sit back, and enjoy life.  I ... Read More »

2013 – THE YEAR IN REVIEW

change1

2013 – What an interesting year it has been, full of change and transition.  The mantra has often been “with great change comes great opportunity”.  Focus on facing changes with an eye to creative resolutions.  Keep it positive.  Change is good. Our winter months, early on in 2013, were filled with the upcoming transition of sending our oldest child off to ... Read More »

THE 12 WINES OF CHRISTMAS

12 bottles of christmas

As the holiday week nears, we prepare in our home to celebrate Christmas en masse, as only can be accomplished when the Cichello clan gathers.  Seven kids in ten years, all now with life partners, thirteen grandchildren, four dogs, and a bun in the oven.  We are massive numbers, and now that so many of the grandchildren are grown adults, we ... Read More »

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