About a year ago, when Prince William married Kate Middleton, I ran across an article that stated that the pair were actually 12th cousins, once removed. I was amused. Wow! Being an avid genealogist I think that these findings are quite remarkable. 12th cousins once removed, means the genealogists that researched their ancestries had to go back roughly 12-13 generations to find the common ancestor. Not a hard find since royal roots are well documented. We always hear of these sort of things, I read in another article that President Obama was 9th cousin with Brad Pitt and Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie were 9th cousin twice removed. What is this ‘removed’ business you may ask? It’s generational. Say your first cousin has a child. You and this child are not 2nd cousins, you are first cousin once removed.  The grandchild of your cousin is still your first cousin, twiceRead More →

“Everywhere around the world, they are coming to America”… that’s the words of a song  by Neil Diamond which always pulled at my heartstrings. America always enticed me, and while I never planned to live here per se, the idea of adventure, success and fun was always synonymous to it. I grew up in Europe, Italy to be exact. I never realized how different growing up there was until I now compare my son’s childhood in the US with my nieces and nephew back in Italy. There is no comparison. Apples and Oranges.  I can’t even say that one is better than the other, it all depends on what is important to you. Having lived in both places, I have an unique prospective, I can actually compare and contrast without being biased. For example… I love the team spirit of American High Schools, the willingness to make school ‘fun’ no matter theRead More →

Ivrea’s carnival is one of the most famous in the world. It’s a very unique tradition with an equally unique history. Since Ivrea is my hometown I have been quite acquainted with the festivities from a young age, and my sister even served as part of the committee at one point. Most of the photographs on this page were taken from either my sister or myself. Enjoy! In 2016 the carnival celebrated its 209th edition, but its main history dates back to the end of the 12th century, in 1194 to be exact. The earliest beginnings of the Carnival are uncertain, but they do start in the 17th and 18th centuries. At the time, each of Ivrea’s five districts celebrated the occasion in their own unique way, but at the beginning of the 19th century, the free spirit to which this season gives great emphasis, eventually became a cause ofRead More →

“Ivrea la bella che le rosse torri specchia sognando a la cerulea Dora nel largo seno, fosca intorno è l’ombra di re Arduino.” I was born in Italy in an old town called Ivrea and my entire family lives there, so speaking of Ivrea is like speaking of my home, my life, my roots. While my dad’s side of the family comes from a village near Vicenza called Lusiana, my mom was born in Ivrea, my grandmother near Ivrea, my great-grandparents in Ivrea as well and so on. My roots are firmly planted here. Several years ago… 15 to be exact, I bought a rather thick book telling the ‘short story’ of Ivrea and I found it quite fascinating. I never realized how much history my little sleepy town had and how important it was at one time and even recently. Here is my article as I posted it onRead More →

I was adding a few things to the book I am currently writing about Nicky’s life, which is nowhere near done and I was stunned when I realized I already wrote almost 200 pages, and I have 10+ more years of stories to go. These are not 200 pages filled with overly descriptive anecdotes either, no mist over the window overlooking a tree with owls that made me realize the secret of life, ha ha, these are 200 pages of hard hitting reality, love without measure and life with EB. I wonder how thick this book going to get as I keep remembering things and add life stories beyond 2002. I love to write, it’s almost  part of me to be able to express myself this way, I truly enjoy it, however at times trying to describe some events and the knee jerking reality smacking you in the face is not exactlyRead More →

If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 5 North from Los Angeles towards San Francisco you surely passed something you could neither miss with your eyes nor your nose. As you approach the town of Coalinga you will be hard pressed to miss the thousands of cattle right off the freeway. Cows and cows, as far as the eye can see. I always thought this sight deserved a photograph (being the avid photographer that I am) and while I’ve stopped on the side of the highway to take photos before, I always meant to that that ‘exit’ to take a closer look but never did. I either missed it, or forgot about it, or didn’t have the camera… This past year I had to take this drive 7 times either taking my son to Stanford or to Camp, and just this past week, on January 19th, as I was driving upRead More →

Once again I am forced to post these pics on my blog instead of, say, Facebook or caringbridge due to Facebook’s constantly deleting my wound pics and caringbridge not really giving me much space or a way to clearly display these. The detailed blog about the cast removal is here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nickyz/journal Below is the hand carefully re-wrapped by the PT ladies after the cast was removed. He has a splint under to keep the wrist straight and the hand open.   Below is the hand unwrapped. The thumb may not look like it’s way out, but it’s quite a bit more out than it was, Nicky is absolutely thrilled. The index finger is not where we were hoping, but it’s better than it was and we’ll do physical therapy to pull it back more while the skin on it is still “soft” from surgery. Will explain more on Caringbridge on what that means…   ThisRead More →

So, silly me… I wanted to have a ton of pre-surgery pics of Nicky’s hand, but I messed up. Nicky wanted his ‘left’ hand done so I took several photos of that hand, but then two weeks ago he changed his mind and decided to do the right one and I never did take good, proper pics of it. The right hand was in slighter worse shape than the left one. While the left hand still has a mostly straight index finger, the right hand did not. Beside that, both hands were in similar shape, as the thumb was webbed toward the palm of the hand and the pinky completely webbed in the hand, so much one could not see it with the naked eye. I wrote a BLOG on Caringbridge http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nickyz/journal about the whys and the hows of the surgery itself with a bit of history. Since I am limitedRead More →

It’s true with anything, anywhere in the world. You give something for free for people in need and some will take absolute and complete advantage of it, making someone else suffer in turn because they are taking something away from those who desperately need it. But what do we do, take this advantage away, make stricter rules or close our eyes? Surely the rotten tomatoes of our world needs to pay consequences, but do they? Never in my experience. I always found it perplexing how something designed to specifically help children like my son, who suffer horribly every day of their lives, all of a sudden becomes ‘not available’. It’s everywhere in sight. From that healthy person taking the last handicapped parking spot I badly need to get my son out of the car, to the lady at the amusement park telling us that my son has to wait inRead More →