There are years that ask questions and years that answer. So says Zora Neale Hurston.

Zora Neale Hurston was a master of artistic invention and reinvention.  I wish I could have met her.


She wrote novels/short stories and even rewrote parts of her own life.

She brandished her pen like a sword, her words bare-knuckled in their honesty. She taught us that life can be bigger than our sorrows.

You are bound to be jostled in the crowded street of life.

Post-election, many of us are conflicted, wrestling with questions, anxious for answers.  Instructive and insightful ones. There’s never been a better time to read/revisit Zora Neale Hurston’s work as we go forward.

I know I cannot straighten out in a few pen-strokes what God and men took centuries to mess up. So I tried to deal with life as we actually live it — not as sociologists imagine it.

A black writer in white America, she’s a fitting guide of who we can be if we dare.

It’s not a perfect time. It’s not an easy time. But it’s a swashbuckling time to be alive. I think Zora (and Liz) would agree.



Toni 11/13/16


The Étoile (the roundabout circling the Arc de Triomphe) is nerves-in-a-blender intense.  It’s a 10-lane roundabout without any lane markers. Cars enter aggressively from the right, mini-catapults accompanied by heart-blanching honking.  It’s mind-frazzling.

Another well-known Paris landmark is the Arc de Triomphe, a moving monument to the many brave women and men who have died trying to visit it. – Dave Barry

Not up to the challenge? There’s a less chaotic way around the Arc de Triomphe. Turn right at the last street just before hitting the main roundabout. These two streets – rue de Presbourg and rue de Tilsitt – form an outer ring around l’Étoile that avoids the busiest roundabout in Paris.

In Paris, unlike the rest of France, cars entering the roundabout have priority over those who are already in it. Who knew?


Toni 11/6/16

The Pastas of Piemonte: Fantastico (fuel) for the rigors of hiking

I am Italian. I eat pasta and drink wine. Allora, I’ll never be a size 0 but it’s a small price to pay for such a joyous life.


There are over 600 artful shapes of pasta. Spaghetti, vermicelli, rotini, fusili, tortellini, linguini, fettuccine, penne, and capellini are common on every American menu and store shelf.



But I’m in Piemonte and in love with the local pasta. In this region, tajarin (tie-yah-REEN) reigns as the most popular pasta ever. It’s a thin, bright-yellow pasta topped with an earthy porcini mushroom sauce.

The allure of this pasta made with forty eggs is undeniable.

And, yes, emotion is unquestionably a part of my enchantment.  As it is with anyone who has a pulse.


World Pasta Day is the brainchild of the World Pasta Congress. Experts from all over the world come together to discuss the glories of the noodle.

I’m celebrating this momentous occasion with a day and night (ok, let’s be honest here, days and nights) of carbohydrate overload.  Should you wonder, naps are mandatory.


There is no doubt that it takes a village to feed me.  These warm and wonderful Italians are supportive folks.


Mi amici, waste no time. Gather the villagers. Make plans.

Tomorrow is World Pasta Day!

How will you celebrate?

Toni 10/24/16