Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scout goes to Piccolo Italia, San Diego

Scout and I went to Piccolo Italia (Little Italy) today to pick up a few of my favorite things - pasta e gelato.

It is still very warm here in San Diego, California so our first stop was at Cafe Italia per gelato espresso. Scout waited patiently. If you are wondering whether I looked silly taking pictures of my dog while standing in line here, I did, but really, who cares. The Italians have a saying, "No te preoccupare" (which literally translates to "Don't preoccupy you" or non-literally, "No worries") and is always accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and a tsk sound as though to say, well, "Who cares. Life is short. Enjoy ...".

Next, Assenti's Pasta where I bought fatto a mano (hand-made), gluten-free linguini. This pasta is made from CeCe (chickpeas) which is pronounced che-che in Italian - another fun word to say. Take a look at their website for recipes like portobello ravioli con salsa di noci (mushroom ravioli with walnut sauce). This shop was started by Adriana e Umberto Assenti and is now managed by their handsome sons, Roberto e Luigi. It is always a pleasure to be assisted by a handsome Italian man.

Our last stop was the Chiesa Cattolica. We sat on the shady steps outside Our Lady of the Rosary so we could fully enjoy the last of the gelato which Scout finished up. On the first Sunday of every month at noon the entire mass is delivered in Italian. Even if you don't parla Italiano and you are not Catholic, it's lovely. The church is always full with at least three and sometimes four generations of Italian speaking families.

Ciparliamo presto
(We (informal) will speak to one another soon).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Winner of La Mappa di Italia Pillow -

Nancy Offerman of Live-Laugh-Love (or Vivere-Ridere-Amore) won La Mappa di Italia pillow. Nancy is represented here by her yellow Lab, Logan.

Disclaimer (I swear): The fact Nancy has a yellow Lab or any Lab at all did in no way effect my ability to apply sound judgment regarding the winner. Nancy researched and provided several great map websites and shared Grace. I case you don't believe me, here it is -

My husband's uncle recently lost his wife of 52 years. He stays with us for a couple of days each month when going to visit his children (we do the airport trip) and the visits are great for all of us! This week I made him his favorite dinners, and he came carrying red and white wine! Good food, company, conversation! Grace given, grace received!
Love the pillow with your pup wrapped around it!

Grace given, Gracie received...

Lab Rescue - Introducing Kenyon
I introduced the newest member of Assisi Farms fourteen days ago as "No Name Lab". He came to us on a Friday and by the end of Saturday he did not respond to the name I was told he came with, Kenyon. On Sunday, however, he did. Look at the difference in the photographs from the first few days and this evening. My responsibility is to evaluate him and assist in the regaining of confidence and manners. Tonight was the first time I allowed him off-leash at Coronado's Dog Beach. He has become attached to Scout, my youngest black Lab, but she remains ambivalent about him given her mood which is her way. As I watched them play together on the beach this evening I was overcome with the evidence of Grace Given and Grace Received. Although he remains close to me and looks to see where I am, I saw in him the beauty that defines his soul long before vicious dog attacks and irresponsible previous owners. As he ran into the Pacific Ocean and played with Scout and other dogs with no fear his scars were still physically noticeable but in those moments, only to me. As he played I experienced joy and was moved accordingly. Never forget the healing power of the giving of your time or the kindness of a gesture well timed nor of allowing in the experience of being present in the moment.

Grace given and grace received.
Amen to that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Honoring Settembre 11

Yesterday, September 11, this lad came home with us to learn to be safe again in a world that has been unkind to him. He is five years old and we do not know his name. He was brutally attacked by two other dogs, relinquished (left) at a veterinarian's office, and then rescued by Labradors and Friends. His wounds are extensive as evidenced in the photos below. I will work with him through through this adjustment period in an effort to ready him for the perfect home. Look at that face. Another example of Grace given and received.

Next time you are looking for the perfect gift for that person who has everything, consider a donation in their name to one of the charities listed under Those that "do"... The Humane Society of the United States is the legislative voice for animals. I wish their Chief Executive Officer Wayne Pacelle would just marry me and call it a good day. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the largest true No Kill shelter in the United States and is located in Kanab, Utah. They are also a very strong voice as animal advocates in this country. Between 1950, when they started, until today the euthanasia rate has been reduced from 17 MILLION a year to 5 MILLION a year. The remaining lesson is to please spay and neuter your pets. You can actually schedule a vacation at Best Friends to work with the staff and animals AND you can bring your pets!

We walked our Labbie guest to Starbucks this morning for our usual 5 a.m. cappuccino portare la via (to go or literally to take to the street) and then on to the Pacific Ocean for a stroll through the famous Hotel Del Coronado grounds. He is good on a leash and as well as with other animals and wants to please. He honors Paws by maintaining a respectful distance and is trying to befriend Scout who is convinced that I have made a terrible mistake and surely will come to my senses by the day's end. Like much in life, this too is a lesson in patience.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Give-a-way - Mappe di Italia pillow

I am in search of a non-copyrighted map of Italy and will make this copyrighted map of Italy pillow a gift to you in exchange. This pillow e fatto a mano (is made by my hand) and measures 14 x 12, is down-stuffed and printed on burlap di espresso (darker burlap). Ma aspetta volgio piu (but wait, I want more). Because I adore the phrase, concept, practice of Grace, I want to hear how you offered or were given Grace in your life this week. The pillow is actually yours for the map ma Grazia (but Grace) "will lead you home". You can comment here or send an e-mail through the website if your share is too personal. I will share all the entries in some format next week and announce the winner at that time.

Credits: Photographic Assistant - Scout