Thursday, December 31, 2009



The Farmers' Almanac lists these Algonquin Indian names for the full moon of each month: January: Wolf Moon February: Snow Moon March: Worm Moon April: Pink Moon May: Flower Moon June: Strawberry Moon July: Buck Moon August: Sturgeon Moon September: Corn Moon October: Harvest Moon November: Beaver Moon December: Cold Moon Source:


Relate: To react in response, especially favorably.

To feel at peace and in harmony with your world!
From Dr. Frank Lipman, and his book, "Spent":

Practice ubuntu.
“Ubuntu” is an African term that means what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family rather than a mass of individuals. When you relate in this way, you feel connected, energized and have a sense of abundance.

Happy New Year. May you find ubuntu easy to practice and may it bring you closer to the earth and all of its inhabitants.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fluffy: Light and airy; soft.

B.I.G. News
It's snowing in Lucca.
It almost never snows and when
it does, it melts really fast.
Big, fluffy, heavy snowflakes.
I caught some on my tongue.
Martin's first snow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Resolution: The act or an instance of resolving; as in Conflict Resolution.

Teaching in the Classical High School again this year.
Decided to have some lessons on Conflict Resolution.
Went to Carter Center online for materials.
Goodwill toward, well, in ALL OF US.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Banquet: An elaborate, sumptuous repast. A ceremonial dinner honouring a particular guest or occasion.

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."

--Auntie Mame

Auntie: A familiar or diminutive word for aunt.

Veronica loaned me the film "Auntie Mame". Delicious.

Then I realised, I AM AUNTIE MAME!

Moon: Reach for the moon; to desire or attempt something unattainable or difficult to obtain

Go for the moon. Why shouldn't you go for the moon? Don't do it. Don't settle for that 40W bulb just becuase it's pretty. You'll be stuck with it long after it has burned out.

Novelist Jane Gardam

Saturday, December 5, 2009

DOG:A domesticated carnivorous mammal (Canis familiaris) related to the foxes and wolves and raised in a wide variety of breeds.

On December 21st, 2006, my friends Sara and Mark drove me about an hour and a half from Lucca to a kennel. That night we came home with Mart.

Name it and claim it # 150: I want a dog.
Name it and claim it # 151: I want a Chihuahua.

Martin was in a cage with his little sister who was half his size, shimmery black and looked like a bat. I held her, trembling, in my hands and put her next to my chest.
I had been told that girls were nice, so I thought, ok, this is the girl...
Mark, meanwhile, was playing with a champagne coloured doe-deer-dog, and leaning over, whispered, "Steph, I don't know why you're playing with that dog. THIS is your dog."
He set the bambi boy down, took the girl out of my arms and pointed, "This is your DOG, Steph. That's him. Screw the girl-thing."
The dog was standing on his back feet, dancing, his huge ears drooped down over his big, olive black eyes. He was smiling.

I paid for him and we left his little, tiny sister in the cage.

Mart came home and Mary welcomed him.
People said she was jealous. But they weren't paying attention. She was fine. He was jealous of her.
At the end of her life, she was playing ball with him, and the day I put her to sleep, he gave her a kiss goodbye.

Martin changed my life. He is smart and funny and handsome and likes to cuddle and travel and walk. He tolerates my working and studying at the desk, sitting on my lap, patiently.
He sleeps under the covers in summer and winter, practically nude, he suffers from cold.
I love him.
i LOVE him.

I live in a country where he can go everywhere: the butcher, Christmas mass, tea in the bar, dinner at the trattoria. He comes to business meetings with me. When he isn't with me, people ask where he is and I usually say, "Home, playing computer games."

The summer we spent in New York, Mary was here in Lucca, sitting on the piano, watching Sara composing songs in her aerie.
Mart and I walked the streets of Manhattan and we were happy.
I snuck him into Dean and Deluca and the Angelica cinema.
The only place he couldn't go with me was the MOMA because they would have discovered him when they put my bag through the metal detector...But Gessica ( or was it Dorene?) , convinced the man at the New York Public Library to let us in and the guard said as long as the dog stayed inside the bag, it would be ok.
All the subway staff let him come on the trains and he rode in a bag on the buses, too.
He was at Takashimaya with me and Tiffany's. He remembered where Lynn and Marty lived and would lead me there most days, preferring Spring Street to Prince.

I want to thank Luana for babysitting Mart when he was a baby when I was still working a lot; all the people who have welcomed us into their homes in the USA; Ella for babysitting; Einat for letting me put her phone number on his tag; Dorene and Gess for being his aunties; Kenzie for having an open mind; Isabella for giving him his name; and finally, Mark and Sara for taking me to pick him up. Mark was right. He is my dog.

Companion: Comrade.

Final: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin fnlis, from fnis, end.

Finished my two final papers. A few comments left online to wrap up my first semester at school.

Parting words: