It’s been apparent these past few weeks that Fall is coming, despite the recent heat wave, and it breaks my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall! The colors, the smell, the crispness in the air, apple picking, doughnuts, cider, bonfires. And then there are those beautiful Fall mornings when the light is dappled and has a rich, almost wise, quality to it that it lacks the rest of the year. Fall is pretty amazing. But after Fall comes Winter and I die a little inside. I suppose I could think of some noble reason for this, but really I am just cold and I miss the sun.

I believe that love of the Summer heat is rooted in my Italian heritage; Roman women start wearing their furs in late September when it is still sweltering out. Why? My theory is that September is before October, which is before November, which is before December and it’s cold in Rome in December. They are just preparing for the wet, bone-chilling cold that will come then.

Now as I think about Fall and coming winter, I remember the most contrary thing of all: I love snow. I am going to stop now, I am starting to confuse myself.



You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as often lately. Not to worry, I am still planning to keep up my work here! The reason for my absence is that my life has undergone some crazy changes these past two months. The largest of these being that I quit my job (I wrote about it here in a guest post at LifeintheGap). I am still trying to decide if this was a brave or a crazy move, maybe it was a little of both.  I will say that it is an incredible feeling to pack up your office things into a file box and walk out the door at closing. (In this case my file box turned recycle bin, I covered it with print-outs of books because I hated the huge, ugly, industrial, blue bins they gave us that didn’t fit anywhere. My paper covered file box fit right under my desk.) If you have any ideas for my next adventure feel free to share!

In other news, Sacred Monkeys of the Vatican is only 12 posts away from 500 posts! Thank you dear readers for the all the support and encouragement! 500 here we come!

Check out this awesome song written and sung by the Rubin Sisters!


While reading “French Women Don’t Get Fat” I started thinking of all the amazing things French people eat, and I’ve taken it upon myself to also eat amazing things, I am not sure it’s making me thin, but, frankly, I could care less. This has led to an influx of crepes.  Crepes for breakfast, crepes for lunch, crepes for dinner. I love crepes, they are cheap, easy to make, and they taste phenomenal. I love them best with a butter, a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The one on the plate above was the first one I made in this batch (why is it the first one never turns out?), so it doesn’t look so pretty, but I can assure you it was tasty.

I learned how to make crepes from a French woman named Florence. We were both working at a summer camp in Switzerland. We made them for Bastille day for the campers, served chilled glasses of sparkling apple cider. Every now and then while we were turning crepes Florence would take a sip from her glass and declare how refreshing it was. Every time she took a sip! I loved her enthusiasm!

Her husband was Italian and she spoke fluent Italian, and I attribute my ability to speak Italian largely to Florence. We always spoke in Italian and she got me over the huge hurdle of speaking in another language (by that point I could understand everything that said to me, I just had a hard time having a conversation). She would patiently listen to me stumble through sentence after sentence, and by the end of the summer I could hold a decent conversation!


I purchased this poster of Michelangelo’s Delphic Sibyl while I was living in Rome. I finally had a chance to frame it and hang it up! Such an amazing combination of feminine strength, beauty, and colours!

Some will point out that Michelangelo didn’t use female models, and this isn’t what women look like, and if he discriminated against women by not using them as figure models. For starters, Michelangelo didn’t use women as figure models because it wasn’t the thing to do at the time, no one used female models. True, women don’t look exactly like the Delphic Sibyl, I’ve never seen forearms like that on any woman of my acquaintance. But I have seen women hold their arms they way the Sibyl holds her’s, and I have seen that graceful turn of the neck, and the foot in demi-pointe while seated. Maybe Michelangelo didn’t use female models, but he certainly paid homage to the powerful motion and grace of the female figure. Her body alone, from way up high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, communicates the wisdom, intellegence, and wonder women may exude.

I saw this commerical for the first time a year or two ago at least. Maybe you have already seen it, I just had to share it today, today calls for something colorful and happy.

Here are a few two videos I found interesting. Normally I would post each of these as a separate post, but for some reason WordPress won’t let me embed them and wants to post them as links. Sigh. Anyway, enjoy!

My roommate found this hilarious video making fun of America’s idea of cricket!

These young people play in a recycled orchestra. It makes me ashamed of the dilapidated piano sitting rather forlornly and unplayed in my dinning room because a few of the keys stick, they would love to have something like that.


I’ve read a few books so far this summer. I’ve deviated from my normal diet of English Literature to incorporate some different titles.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire: I am still trying to get the point behind this one. I was very confused about it all. Basically it is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she came to be known as such. I am pretty sure Frank L. Baum would not approve. It took a lot of effort for me to finish it and I don’t recommend the book. However, I have heard that the musical is much better and nothing like the book. (Please don’t give this book to your teenager, it is for mature audiences only.)

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern: I was hoping this would at least be funny and sweet. It wasn’t. It was like eating cardboard. However, it convinced me that I could write chic lit. I am already 2000 words into writing my first badly written novel folks! Just 78,000 more to go!

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano: This was refreshingly well written. Granted it was nothing I haven’t heard before from my own mother, but it was still good to hear. Warning: by the time you are finished you will be convinced that you need to drink a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne every day – in theory not a bad idea, just not feasible for most pocketbooks.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser: Very informative, scary, and inspiring at the same time! How is it inspiring? Did you know that the founders of Carl’s Junior (Hardee’s to all you East Coast folks), McDonald’s, and Disneyland (Walt Disney), all dropped out of high school? Amazing!

Easter Vigil & Other Poems by Karol Wojtyla: A great little book of great poetry by Pope John Paul II!


This is your summer sunscreen reminder, wear it. Wear a hat too. My pasty, white skin has now suffered two minor burns this summer, both on my shoulders where I missed spots with the sunscreen. Each burn had an area of less than a few inches, and I consider this a victory seeing that I burn very, very easily and both times I was in the direct mid-day sun for more than 1/2 hour. (My new favorite sunscreen is Neutrgena’s Liquid Sunblock 70, it layers really well under make-up.)

This is also your summer reminder to start baking cobbler. Trust me, everyone will love you and want to be your best friend for ever and ever. Unless of course you’re their roommate and you forget to make a small cobbler to leave behind when you take the large cobbler away to a family baptism. Oops, sorry roommies. I made this cobbler over the weekend and it was a huge hit! The only change I made was a fruit, I made a peach cobbler and not black berry. I dusted the peaches with cinnamon before I sweetened them to taste. Delectable.

There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.


Follow Me on Pinterest

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Just a Reminder

Remember, all the original content on this blog is copyrighted. Please do not reproduce anything without my consent -- you may link to anything here if you give clear credit, and I'd love to know that you did that.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.