Wish I Was HERE!

Wish I was here!

The beautiful Adriatic, only twenty five minutes away, but it may as well be on another continent. The red zone doesn’t permit me to visit.
I’m stocked up with wine food and even bought some comfortable chairs so we can relax on the patio. We have books. We have a lovely view, what more could we ask for…FREEDOM!
I just wish we could get the stupid virus under control. Seems like we’ve almost cracked it and then…another variant rears its ugly head.
One day we’ll enjoy visitors in our (three hundred year old) new home. One day we’ll drive across the mountains to the Amalfi Coast…one day.
Until then I have my books, comfortable chairs and sunshine.
Stay safe everyone!

Piano piano

There are rumors that the lockdown is going to become stricter in Abruzzo. The infections have risen over the past few days. There aren’t a huge amount of cases, but Abruzzo is very rural, so hospital beds are limited.
With that news, I decided to get out this afternoon and buy one or two things that may not be available to me next week. Wine of course!!! One of my favorite cantina’s “Spinelli” is close by, so I stocked up on Rosso, Pecorino and Rosato.
Next stop was a nursery/flower shop called “One Shop”. I don’t have a garden here by choice. After tending to over three acres in Colorado I decided a patio was all I wanted. It’s a little too early for summer flowers, but I managed to find few flowering shrubs to pretty up the area by my back door. Also herbs for the balcony on the top floor. Nothing better than fresh herbs.
Shopping in small, local, family run shops is a perfect opportunity to practice my Italian vocabulary. Today, for the very first time, I was able to speak more Italian than English. I was thrilled to be understood and happy to translate English words into Italian when requested. The friendly people in this area love to learn English just as much as I enjoy learning Italian.
Piano piano (slowly slowly), I’ll get there in the end.
Colledimezzo is a very small village, with around 550 inhabitants, and currently we have four active COVID cases. All isolated, but it is still a worry. I don’t think they’re seriously ill. Speriamo di no. (We hope not).

Primavera

I enjoy my daily afternoon walks, especially on days like this. The weekend snow has almost disappeared. Trees are blossoming and flowers turning their heads towards the sun. The end of winter is in sight. If only we could wash COVID away with the snow. So tired of it. I heard there were a couple of cases in our village today, I hope they’re not serious. I really want life to be normal again.
Can you remember what a normal life was like?
Stay safe everyone, and let’s look forward to spring.

The Ups and Downs of Life

Beautiful Colledimezzo

COVID is messing with my head and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The English strain of the virus is becoming a problem in Abruzzo, particularly in the province of Chieti, where I live. This means we’re back in the red zone, and I can only leave my village with a self certification form, and a good reason. I understand but wish people would follow the rules and be a little more cautious. We need to beat this virus and get back to a normal way of life.
My surroundings make confinement bearable. I had a beautiful walk today. The view lifted my spirits.
Yesterday my daughter told me she’s booking her flights for the end of the year. Not safe to consider international travel until Christmas at the earliest, but it gives me a whole year to look forward to seeing her.
Who’d have thought we’d still be battling this? I have a bottle of Champagne in the fridge which I’m keeping for the day we’re all free again. I may drink it all to myself.
Stay safe everyone!

Yorkshire Puddings – Perfetto

I love Italian food, especially when its local and authentic, but I also love a good Yorkshire Pudding. I was never successful with Yorkshire Puddings in Colorado because of the altitude. It messes everything up, and they never rose the way they were supposed to. Our home in Franktown was above 6000 feet, and although I adjusted everything for high altitude. I never got the Yorkshire Puddings right…ugh.
Here in Italy my Yorkshire puddings are “perfetto” and every now and again, I have to indulge.
Recipe from Barbara Haley.

Small Change and Sausages

When I first visited Italy I was 16 and accompanied by my mum and my crazy aunt Jennie. I had lots of fun. So much fun that even back then I knew I’d live here one day. The Euro was not the currency during my visit in 1973, it was the Italian Lire. There were around fifteen hundred lire to a British pound, and small change was so small it was barely used. Instead the storekeepers would give you a couple of Italian sweets/candies. It made me laugh, but made my dear old aunt quite crazy.

The Euro is worth a little more than the Lire was, but it seems small change is still quite unpopular here in Italy. Today I shopped in my favorite butcher, lovely man, first class meat. He had no small change and instead gave me sausages (salsicce). I had a big smile on my face when I walked out of his butcher shop (macelleria), and when I got into my car, I laughed out loud. It totally made my day!

Zona Gialla – Yellow Zone

For the last four months (give or take), my life has been controlled by colors. Yellow (gialla), is the color I like to see. Why?
Yellow means I have a little freedom.
Abruzzo danced into the yellow zone today. What a fantastic feeling. It means I can drive to Fossacesia and look at the beautiful Adriatic. Restaurants are open for lunch again (but not dinner). Bars are open until six pm. A 10:00 pm curfew is still in place, but I’m not usually out after 10:00 anyway. A mask is mandatory, and anyone not wearing one will be fined, as they should be, but at last I can travel a little further than the next village.
Tomorrow (without having to complete a self certification form) I’m going to Citta Sant Angelo to do a little shopping. I may find a quiet little restaurant by the Adriatic to stop for lunch. Freedom is something we take for granted, until it’s taken away. Let’s hope everyone is sensible while enjoying this newly granted freedom, if they are, it may be here to stay.
Buonnanotte a tutti!

Sleepy Head – Get out of Bed

Since retiring my body clock wakes me up at 7:30 am. A civilized time, and much better than 5:15, which was my waking time when I worked.
Before I rise, I check my iPhone, mostly to see if there are any messages from my daughter back in the US! I do miss her.
This morning I had three messages, not from my daughter, but from Vincenzo “The Engineer” of Colledimezzo. Work to be done and what time could they start! I messaged back 8:30, so it was a quick scramble to shower and dress before they arrived. I opened the shutters to a winter wonderland. Yes Colledimezzo does get the occasional snowfall, and when it arrives it is beautiful.
It will be a day of staying home because of the workmen. With nothing else to do, I can practice my Italian. Learning a new language at my age is a challenge, but it’s also fun. I grasp the important words easily, but those itsy, bitsy words that join the sentences together are definitely a challenge. I stumble my way through and thankfully the people of Abruzzo are patient.
Every day is an adventure, make the most of it!

Living in Colledimezzo. It’s the little things that make a difference.

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The views are stunning.
For a couple of months I still felt like a fish out of water because I’d lived in Colorado for over 20 years. I knew my home town and surrounding areas very well so shopping, getting my hair done etc., was all a routine. Didn’t take any thinking about.
When I moved to Abruzzo, even though I’d vacationed here for a couple of years, I had to find a new routine. New places to shop, get my hair done. Quite a task. I over thought everything!!!!
It’s nice to go grocery shopping in the nearest town when I need to, but…our village has a small grocery store which stocks everything from fresh fruit and veg to wine! I decided to try the hairstylist in the village. She’s really good, I’ll stick with her. I ran out of eye creme (a girl has to have a good eye creme), so I thought I’ll give the local pharmacy a try…guess what. The nice young man who tested me for COVID when I arrived, and fills my prescriptions, is also comfortable talking about eye contours, and found just what I needed!
Not bad for a village of a little over 500 residents. The simple things make all of the difference.

When I’m 64!

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now….remember the Beatles song?
Yes, so do I, loved it.
Well now I’m living it, I just turner 64!
I’m surprised to have made it this far. The snow and frost on this January morning match the color of my hair.
Heres to the next ten years!!!!

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