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Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Fork in the Road

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

"The Road Less Traveled" by Robert  Frost

Bob and I have prided ourselves on not always taking the expected route in our lives. When we were newly married, living in New York where we were born and met, with a 3 year old son, we packed up all of our belongings in a U-Haul truck and headed west to Arizona. For over 30 years we lived in the desert, added a daughter, went to college while raising our kids and tried to expose them to art, culture, sports, travel, music and everything we could think of to help them grow into interesting, caring people, following their own dreams and valuing experiences and people over material things and big bank accounts.

When both were launched into adult lives we started to travel and searched for ways to go "off the beaten path." Doing this together we could explore with confidence - we were not alone in our journeys. After several 2, 3 and 4 week vacations we went to live in Italy for 2 years, a dream we had to experience life in another culture and live among the locals, learning Italian and making friends. We sold, gave away, and threw away lots of "stuff", putting in storage just the things we truly loved and wanted to have upon our return.

Our last adventure was relocating in Milford, Delaware. We found that we really missed the East Coast, the beaches, the cities, our families and Delaware fit the bill on many levels. Here we found a wonderful small town atmosphere, friendly people, arts oriented place and have enjoyed our time here very much. People are always puzzled at us - typically folks retire TO Arizona, not from it!

Now we have hit another fork in the road. Bob went for a routine colonoscopy recently and they found a growth that turned out to be cancerous. Two lymph nodes in the area were also affected so surgery was done to remove the offending pieces and parts and now he has begun chemotherapy in case it has secretly spread somewhere else in the lymphatic system. 

So our latest "adventure" is getting Bob healthy again. Every two weeks for the next six months he'll go for Chemotherapy and then they will watch him closely and test him more often than the 3 years recommended and hope it goes away completely and doesn't come back again. My part is to support him - to feed him good healthy food, full of wholesome, nutritious ingredients he will enjoy that will keep him strong and able to fight off the chemo drug effects.

Bob's first chemotheraphy session getting started. 
We're trying to take it one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other as we have done throughout out lives and seeing where it takes us. We believe we have good medical care here, close to home and will take advantage of the Cancer Support network available to us in southern Delaware. 

I've shared so many things in our lives and wanted to share this as well. Any advice, recipes, comments, or just supportive words are always appreciated.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Cooking Class with Anne Robichaud

Ocean View, Delaware was one of the stops on Anne Robichaud's cooking tour, bringing Umbrian cuisine to several cities in the U.S. I was delighted to be able to participate and get to meet her face to face for the first time. She and I had communicated while Bob and I were living in Italy but never had the chance to meet. We are both contributors to italiannotebook.com and I have long admired her knowledge of Italy, Umbria in particular, and her generous spirit! 

I had so much fun, met so many delightful women and felt like I was back in Italy! 

Anne Robichaud of Anne's Italy and me at the end of the evening

Anne making a point about cooking!
Anne chopping leeks and sharing cooking tips

Chopping Parsley for Bruschetta (pronounced Bruce-KETT-a)

Chopping Tomatoes for the Bruschetta

Cutting up the Zucca for Pasta alla Zucca (with sage)
Cooking the Peppers 

Bruschetta: Crostini di Rucola e Pomodoro

Cutting up Peppers
Finishing touches on the Tiramisu
Cooking Funghi Trifolati for Bruschetta

Many hands make light work
Bud (Susan's husband) Tossing Rigatoni with Zucca and Sage
Preparing the Tiramisu
Throwing everything in the pot for Umbrian Chicken Cacciatore 
Rubbing the toasted bread with garlic

Sicilian Peperonata
Cooking the Peppers

Susan stirring the Chicken Cacciatore

Our Tiramisu Team