Friday, January 21, 2011

We've Moved

**********Breaking News****THE BLOGGING DAILY****Breaking News***********

POPLAR BLUFF, MO --- It's official, Heather Scarano's blog, Bella Vita in The Bluff, has permanently changed locations.  Scarano, citing her dislike of Blogger's clunky navigation and tools, as well as hearing about multiple readers' problems leaving comments on her posts, has moved her website to another blog host,

"I received several complaints from readers who were unable to leave comments, and heard from several others who had questions about whether or not they had the right email account to become 'Followers' of the blog," said Scarano in a statement released yesterday.  "So I decided it was time to move my site to" doesn't discriminate between readers' email accounts, said Scarano, and leaving comments is a seamless process.

"When your mom has trouble leaving a comment, and she tells you about it more than once, you know it's time to make a change," Scarano added.

Not only is it easier for her readers to follow her blog and leave comments on, Scarano said she also enjoys the ability, and flexibility, of mobile blogging.

"We don't have the Internet at home. I do pretty much everything from my Blackberry," said Scarano.  "So the Wordpress mobile blogging app was another important reason for making the switch."

Scarano says her blog has moved permanently.  Readers can now access her blog at

So what about the name change?

"Well, I also received some feedback that the name, Bella Vita in The Bluff, was a bit confusing.  I had people referring to it as Bella Vita in The Buff, which was really not accurate."

No Bluffing, she says, also provides her with a bit more anonymity.  Scarano said she wasn't completely comfortable with anyone who came across her blog having an idea of where she lived.  She also thought No Bluffing would be a name she could keep no matter where she lived, since she and her family move often.

Scarano encourages her followers, and "Followers," to check our her new website at, and to sign up for the email subscription, which will notify users every time she composes a new post.

"I am glad I made the switch," Scarano said.  "I hope my readers will be, too."


*The Blogging Daily is a fictional publication.  (So was this news report.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

They Came, They Went, They Are Missed

They left Virginia at 8 a.m. and arrived at our house in Missouri at 10:30 p.m., exactly one week ago today.  Then on Sunday afternoon, they got back into their black Equinox to do it all over again. My parents, brother and their wild cockapoo (no, I'm serious, he's wild -- my sister and I are considering writing a series of books called "Rudy's Adventures") drove 29 hours roundtrip, to see us for just a few days over the holidays.

If that doesn't spell L-O-V-E, I don't know what does.

We didn't do anything special while they were here.  We ate well -- an Italian feast of penne, sausage and meatballs on Thursday night, Chinese food on New Year's Eve and on National College Football Day When Lots of Creepy Business Execs Get Rich off of Public and Private Universities and Their Unsuspecting Fans  New Year's Day, John Madden's beef stew.

We rested.  Played Uno.  Built fires.  Worked on a puzzle.  Laughed a lot.

We stayed up until exactly 12:01 a.m. on New Year's Eve, at which point we realized we had missed watching the ball drop (note to self: in the Midwest the ball drops at 11 p.m.), and so we stumbled to our beds, shut our eyes, and snored our way into 2011.

On New Year's Day my family cheered me on as I competed in my first 5K in almost a year, and my first ever not pushing a stroller.  It was awesome to see Joe and the boys, my parents and brother cheering me on as I crossed the finish line.   Even Brandy Rose was there.  Despite a lack of sleep and MSG-induced dizziness, I recorded my fastest time ever (a 9:56 minute mile), most likely the result of trying to impress my brother. (Or it may have been the blue running tights, not sure.)

We watched a lot of football since, as I previously mentioned, it was National Get Rich Weekend for Tostitos, Capital One, Outback, Hyundai, Auto Zone, Vizio and Many, Many Other Companies  New Year's weekend and there were college bowl games galore on TV.

(Last week I relented and finally called DirecTV in anticipation of the Big Visit.  I couldn't bear the thought of my dad and brother being deprived of football during their stay at my house.)

Of course there are practical reasons, too, why it's nice to have family visit. Mom helped me pick out curtain rods, helped me think about how to arrange furniture, and informed me that I have Oak and Black Walnut trees in my yard, and two very tall Rhododendron bushes (not Magnolia trees as I'd once thought -- oops) in back of our house.   She even bought me the matching bench to our new table that I had been eyeing for the last three months. Thanks Mom!

Dad assembled the new bench, hung the newly-purchased curtain rods, fixed two doors that weren't shutting properly, and gave important boy-scout-esque tips for finding dry kindling when it's wet outside.  (Inspired, I think, by "Grandpa's" work ethic, Joe cleaned the fallen leaves off the back deck and fixed the faucet on our kitchen sink.)

It was especially good to see my brother, Uncle Ben, who played Hotwheels, basketball, football, baseball, and LOTS of video games with Christian. It was encouraging to see that he is doing well, and feeling better.

Well, sort of.

Wait a minute.

Ah.  There we go.  See?  Isn't he handsome?

Best of all though, seeing family provides a sense of connection, belonging and self-worth that nothing else in this earthly journey can.  Being with my parents and brother was an important reminder that even though I'm in this new place, out here in the middle of nowhere, where only a few people know who I am, and even fewer really know what I'm about, that there are people who care, who know and who love me.

I belong to them. They belong to me.

Even if no one else in the world were to care about us, we would still matter to each other.

But now they are gone (*sigh*) and it's back to Facebook, Twitter and this blog, as I attempt to reestablish and recreate the connection that is lost in their absence.  The connection that is deeply desired and yet will never be duplicated by comments, wall posts or @mentions (though these help and are much anticipated).

Virginia visitors -- you are missed.  Your hugs and help, presence and presents were hands-down the highlight of my holiday season.

{What was yours? And yes, I really do appreciate comments.}

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's the Little Things

Last week, while running my usual 2.7 mile route around my neighborhood, I was able to shave one minute and 30 seconds off of my mile time, and about four minutes off of my total time. I was pumped!  (But resisted the urge to tweet my success when I realized that most runners would not be proud of an 11-minute mile). 

Still, whatever the numbers, it was a success for me.  So what made the difference?  For the first time I told myself to run as if I had long legs (which I don't), and to take larger strides.

One of my best friends back in Tennessee recently got into running. She's run in three 5K's this fall and is already faster than me, even though I've been running, off and on, for more than three years now.  She has been very dedicated, yes.  But she also has reeeallly loooong legs -- Heidi Klum-length legs -- and I'm guessing that helps her, too.

So, as an experiment I decided to pretend that I also had model-length legs, force myself to take longer strides, and see if it made any difference.  It did!

I was actually quite surprised that a simple mental trick could improve my speed and time as much as it did.  As I contemplate my goals for this new year, I have to ask myself if small, simple things could also make a difference in other areas of my life.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fun is Just Beginning!

Some of you may have already taken down your Christmas tree.  Maybe you've unplugged your outdoor Christmas lights, too.  The holiday wrapping paper is put away and you're nearly finished with the fattening eggnog in the refrigerator and the cookies in the tins on your kitchen counter.  Christmas is over and you couldn't be more relieved.

I talked with my mother-in-law today and she told me with a good laugh that ten minutes after her final guests departed on Saturday night she was taking down her tree and tossing it off the back deck.  She was tired of the falling needles and mess and couldn't wait to be rid of it. 

I can relate.  Our Christmas tree is getting barer by the moment.  It stopped taking water a few weeks ago and has lost so many needles it's virtually invisible on the bottom half.  The fact that we had to remove all of the candy canes and decorations from this part of the tree, to protect them from our two year-old, only makes the barrenness more glaring. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Signs That You May Be Spending the Holidays in a New Place

1.  Instead of being annoyed when people ask for your address, you get excited because it means you may actually get a few Christmas cards at your new house.

2.  You wrapped most of your gifts using clear packing tape. It was readily available and besides, no one will notice, right?  The regular tape could not be located and you refused to purchase more because you were sure you remembered having several rolls somewhere -- seven months ago when you packed up your old house. 

3.  This holiday season is stressful in different ways. Like not knowing where to buy a box of donuts for your coworkers the last week of work. (Poplar Bluff really needs a Dunkin Donuts.) 

4. You were overjoyed to finally be out of all the boxes.  Until, a few days later, you were wrapping a pile of gifts that needed to be shipped in ... Boxes. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Making the Ugly Beautiful

Today my heart is anxious and concerned. My mind is filled with to-do lists and shopping lists.  I am feeling a multitude of insecurities.  My spirit is restless and unsettled.  I am anything but peaceful. 

And yet God's word reminds me that a quiet spirit is precious, beautiful, and to be desired.

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."
1 Peter 3:3-4 (New Living Translation)

Oh how I long for a quiet spirit!

Lord, please quiet the cacophony of worries, fears and frustrations rising up in me today. I feel inadequate to the challenges.  Forgive me for my negative thoughts.  Help me cultivate the discipline of quietness.  I can't do it by myself. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sad, Confusing Weekend

This weekend started bad and ended worse.  I am pretty sure this has been the most troubling, confusing, hurtful weekend in all my 33 years of life.  I feel more scared and upset than I did when my dad had brain surgery to remove a tumor eight years ago this month.  More sad and fearful than when my water broke eight weeks early when I was pregnant with Henry. 

I truthfully can't remember another time where I have been as upset as I am at this moment.  I wish I could give you details but at this point there aren't many.  More questions than answers. 

I came to work today, although yesterday I was pretty sure I would stay home.  I've been crying all weekend.  My eyes are so pink and puffy it felt like I was trying to draw a straight line on a balloon while I was putting on my eyeliner this morning.