Saturday, October 30, 2010

Load rage

A few months ago, I went down to our laundry room in the basement and was greeted by a huge mess. Clothes were everywhere--on the floor, on the dryer, behind the dryer, in baskets and spilling over hampers.  Some were damp, others dry. Others had been there for ages.

That's it. I've had it! I thought to myself. I gathered dry clothes into baskets, perhaps clean and dirty together. I couldn't tell. I was not in the mood to sniff clothes like I sometimes did and often regretted doing.

After putting away the clothes, I got a thick marker and started writing laundry instructions in BIG, RED CAPITAL letters.  To make sure everyone read them, I scribbled them on both our white washing machine and dryer.

I had a LOAD RAGE!

You can tell I was very upset at the time of writing by my long and ugly strokes.

This is what happened to our dryer after my patience dried out.

The washer was filled with writings too. Not satisfied with writing on our appliances, I got a couple sheets of bond paper, wrote on them, then tacked them on the walls.

I can change the door, too, if I have to.

It's been months since that load rage and our laundry room has definitely improved. I haven't erased the writings though. My boys might still need the reminders and the memory of Mom gone hormonal. They know me. Mom gets crazy sometimes. Blame it on menopause and everything else related to being a woman only I can get away with.

Until the next handwriting, just consider these Mom's load letters.


"Mom, would you have been more girlie if you had daughters instead of sons?" Gino, my eldest, has asked me this twice that I can remember of.

He was probably wondering if I would be more into makeup, fashion, shopping, accessories, crafts... typical "girlie" stuff.

Chores aren't girlie. Not in my house. NEVER. Everyone has to do his own laundry, wash the dishes, clean up his room, etc... because this girl ain't doing them all. And neither should their future wives.

"I don't know. Maybe..." I told Gino in response to his question above. But then I wasn't really into those girlie stuff to begin with. I was more into outdoors, adventure, travel, sports, music, fixing (and breaking) things, roughing it... before Gino came into my life. Having four of them just sort of reinforced that.
I enjoyed girlie things too, but they cost a lot of money, don't you agree? For me, this was a deterrent. Just look at the list above. Back then, I had other priorities and I was always very practical with my hard earned money. Having four kids, again, just sort of reinforced that.

Now that the boys are grown and growing, hopefully I will have more disposable money and time to spend on the girlie. I don't believe this would make me a happier woman because, truth be told, I already am.

But it would be nice to surface some of my yet undiscovered abilities in the girlie category. So I've lined up a list of things I will start to learn or re-learn. This is going to be fun and interesting.

You go girl!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No place like Rome, part 2

(This is final part of this travel series.)

With only two full days in Rome, we decided to follow Rick Steve's suggested 2 - 3 days Rome itinerary to make the most of our stay. We did not strictly adhere to it but we were close.  Here was how our two days went:

Day 1: The Colosseum, The Palatine Hill, The Forum, Capitoline Hill, Trajan's Column, Vittorio Emmanuele Monument, The Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain

Day 2: St Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Piazza Popolo, Spanish Steps

As I was walking through the ruins, especially from the Colosseum to the Forum, I wished I had taken my history subjects more seriously. I would have gained more by paying attention to my history classes than daydreaming about my crushes which are now all history.

Reading a travel guide among the ruins.  

It helped to carry around Rick Steve's book on Italy. I appreciated the ruins better. At the Colosseum, I rented an audio guide but didn't find it very useful because sometimes I got distracted by the sights.

It might be more interesting to have a live tour guide, but I think they charge a lot unless you find a free walking tour like the one Gino and I joined in Florence three years ago. I knew there was one Facebook group offering that at the Colosseum. No, I think it was by donation. We could have joined that if the timing was right.

On our second day, we went early to St. Peter's Square in the Vatican before there was a long lineup of people wanting to enter the Basilica. After passing through security, we went inside this magnificent cathedral that is a famous pilgrimage place for the world's Catholics. It wowed me!!

St. Peter's Square

As we toured the basilica, I went inside a sanctuary where people prayed. No picture taking allowed. People went in to kneel, sit or stand quietly and offered prayers. I prayed to Jesus for the people inside. I sensed they were truly seeking to connect with God. Otherwise, they would be outside taking photographs.

After the basilica, we walked around the block to the Vatican Museums. The queue was very long. We were out on the sidewalk under the sun. Thankfully, we had bottled water and hats. Several people walked up and down offering a tour of the museums and promising to get you in more quickly. Hubby and I preferred to stay in line because we didn't want to pay the hefty price they were charging. Fortunately, it didn't take us too long, just 30 minutes maybe, to get to the entrance and buy our tickets (15 € each).

If the basilica wowed us, the museums WOWED us. Grandiose. Opulent. Immense.  Sobra!! (Over!!) ...

One of the highlights of our self-guided tour of the museums was the Sistine Chapel. No picture-taking or noise allowed. Here, we were constantly looking up to appreciate the art on the ceiling. Michaelangelo's painting of the Creation of Adam was not as big as we thought.

Leaving the museums, we had a feeling of being visually overloaded. It was like eating at a feast where you tried everything in a twenty course meal. I think we had sensory indigestion even before the end of the tour. Bob, who was a Fine Arts major, also felt it. Our capacity for appreciation was not enough to hold what the Vatican Museums offered.

It was late afternoon when we left the Vatican. We took the Metro train back to the other side of the Tiber River where we were staying. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Spanish Steps after a walk through Piazza Popolo. We were too tired to go up the Spanish Steps where many people were sitting and enjoying the sunset and simply stayed at the foot of the steps at the Barcaccia Fountain. Regrets... Oh well, another thing for next time.

Here's a simple slide show of the highlights of our Roman holiday set to the tune of Bach's Cantata #51, "Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen" (performed by Edward Carroll, Lee Soper, Richard Kapp: New York Philharmonia Virtuosi).

I hope you have enjoyed this series or obtained some travel ideas from it. Till the next one!!

Previous, No place like Rome, part 1