A Few Things You May Not Know About Me

posted in: Family | 8
As we begin the New Year with intention and purpose, I would like to share a few things about myself!!!

I do not live in a disposable World.  I keep my family and friends close to me.  I am not comfortable throwing relationships away and I do believe in the Power that LOVE Conquers All.  While I realize that people come and go, I also know the Path of Life likes to bring things full Circle.  I maintain that my door is Always open, and with patience and lots of Love, we all find our way back to each other.


I learned to recognize the intelligence and compassion of Animals at a very early age.  I grew up with a German Shepherd, named Pandora.  She was very large and would  let me ride her like a pony to school.  She sat underneath the window at my Kindergarten classroom. Every time my teacher would yell or reprimand a student, she would stand up on the window sill and bark at the teacher.  It was amazing to see how that teacher mellowed her approach to handling kids!


 I’ve always been a huge fan of large dogs.  When I moved to California from Upstate New York in 1988, it was the first time in my life that I was Dogless.  My neighbor at the time and subsequently, one of my very Best Friends in San Diego was/is a Veterinarian at an Urgent Care Hospital for Animals.  All of my dogs in California have come through her.  Karen is most definitely a Fairy Godmother to all my Dogs!
 At this time in my life, I have two Amazing dogs.  Lola is a rescue German Shepherd.  Leo is a full bred Australian Shepherd.  I will do a post on them in the near future.  For now, suffice it to say, they are both amazing and so intuitive.


I am a self taught Chef.  While I come from a long line of Amazing Home Cooks, out of necessity, I needed to learn to cook.  I was here in California and my Mom was still in New York.  I was only 22 years old.   I took it upon myself to really learn the mechanics and chemistry of preparing and cooking food.   I have a collection of Cookbooks that I don’t have room for, so I rotate the books on the shelves regularly.  There was a period of time when all of my cookbooks were in storage.  It actually squashed my creativity in the kitchen!  My son is the one who went out shopping with me and insisted on two bookshelves, not one, to house part of my collection.
 My mom pays me the Biggest Compliment when she tells people that I took “ this whole cooking thing to another level”!   Aren’t Moms the BEST?  My all time favorite cookbook without taking a second glance at my shelves is:

Marcella Hazan’s

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking



When I think of the things that I’ve done that have been a little courageous or on the edge, I’m always reminded of a few years ago when I decided to take a cross country road trip with my son, who was 11 at the time.  We started in Upstate New York at my Mom’s house.  We travelled to the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, and down to Chicago.


We were so lucky to be able to see Steven Tyler live at the Chicago Theatre.  My son wormed his way to the front of the crowd and took some Amazing photos of Steven looking him right in the eye and giving him the Peace sign.


From there we drove through the Black Hills of South Dakota and caught the tail end of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  We sat at biker bars eating burgers and fries and meeting people from all over the country.  We thought it was so COOL to see all these people and their bikes!  They thought it was cool that a mom and her kid were traveling cross country and having lunch at a Biker Bar!  We journeyed farther West to Lake Tahoe where we decided to stay for a few days.  The first night we were there, Steely Dan was live outside our hotel balcony.  Who knew we were going to have such great seats at an outdoor concert?  It was a trip for the memory books, Definitely!



It wasn’t until we arrived home safely, in So Cal, that I realized just how isolated and reliant on each other we were.
 Hmm.  Guess it’s a good thing that thought didn’t come to me somewhere in Montana!!!


I met my husband when I was 21 years old.  We married a couple of days after my 27th Birthday.  On our 11th Wedding  Anniversary our son was born.  16 years into our relationship our son was born.
Yes.  A miracle.
I have been married for 25 years and with my husband for a total of 30 years. Wow!  That’s over half my life.  I will say that a relationship like this one is a constant work in progress.  We work through the highs and the lows TOGETHER.


Ralph and Diana
Rome 2013
As a final thought, I want to share what is probably the simplest Yet most profound thing that changed the way I see LIFE with me in it.
 Many years ago, I had a young Chinese friend who was very wise beyond his (23) years.  We walked the streets of San Francisco together, all the while he would be introducing me to all sorts of people and places in Chinatown.  It was on one such walk that he astounded me with the opportunity to watch potters at work.  He explained that there was such perfection in these artisan’s work that the artists would intentionally put a flaw upon the clay being molded.  I thought at the time, how ODD!


Chinatown, San Francisco
 He went on to tell me it was because we all must learn to live with the flaws in our journeys and not spend so much time anticipating the final, “Perfect” product.  This changed me profoundly at the time.
I began to learn to slow my mind down and really start looking at the present moment for what it had to offer, rather than the preconceived perception of what I thought I wanted out of it.



It marked THE moment in my life where I really began to ‘see’ with my SOUL.



La Zingara is an Italian Gypsy Woman, one whose Spirit yearns for a Connectedness to the World around Her!  That’s Me!!!

8 Responses

  1. Marcia Smith

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing your life journey with us. Your words always leave me feeling positive about life. It personally brings my heart great happiness each time I read your words. You embrace not only those you are able to tangibly touch, but all the hearts you touch with your writing and photos.


    • 93zingara

      Oh Marcia, your kindness and loving support mean the WORLD TO ME! This is kind of crazy for me. By nature I am shy and very private. Each time I share a little more of myself, I gain confidence and a bit of clarity. Thanks for spending your time with me and for sharing this!

    • 93zingara

      Pandora was an Amazing caretaker. She was unusually large because her parents were from a line of Shepherds bred in Germany. She was a true Champion of children wherever she went! Thanks for Getting to Know Me!!


    I remember when you drove CROSS COUNTRY……was that the same trip?YOU were CAMPING in MONTANA I THINK??
    Nice to get to know you!
    I made your quiche the other day and we finished it off LAST NIGHT for dinner with SOUP but NOT YOURS……….I intend to make your soup soon!YOUR MOTHER is right you took cooking to a HIGHER LEVEL………I love the idea of ROTATING the cookbooks!
    AS YOU WELL KNOW I AM AN ANIMAL LOVER TOO……….would have a BARN FULL OF ANIMALS in MY BED if that were possible!

    • 93zingara

      We did go “GLAMPING” in Montana on the Same Trip! I’ll never forget that there was a Wildfire going on there at the time and the Bears were coming down from the Mountain!!! Like I said, I am happy that I wasn’t thinking about all the “What Ifs”!
      Pandora was given her name by my Father, who always told the story that she would come home with found treasures from the local Farm Fields. I won’t give you the details of what those treasures were, but they were Most Interesting!!! Hence, Pandora’s Box!! That Dog just couldn’t resist!
      I’m so happy that you tried the Quiche! I’ve got an appointment with a WP website developer to help me get those recipes printer friendly. Thank you always for your input! It always helps.
      I still think a Girls’ Weekend in Palm Springs would be a good idea!
      Baci Contessa! XX 😘

    • 93zingara

      Thank you, Sandra!!! Every time I post something, I get more and more comfortable opening UP!! Thank you for sharing your time with me!
      Please Get Well Soon! Sending Big Hugs!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.