Daemon Squirrels

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The problem really started about ten years ago. We didn’t really know who the culprit was at first. Holes kept appearing in our lawn. We live out in the boonies so we figured it could be anything from moles to prairie dogs to snakes. Then one day I was sitting on the deck on a newly purchased bamboo wood chair. I sipped chardonnay and waited for the sun to set.
The squirrel sat on the branch of an Aspen tree watching me. Cute little thing! I didn’t move, not wanting to frighten it. I was naive back then. It scampered down onto the railing of the deck and froze. Anyone knows you can’t see a squirrel when it doesn’t move! Then it darted across to one of my new chairs and froze again.
How Cute, I’ve made a friend!
Did I say how naive I was back then? The little $%^& then sunk its teeth into the arm of the chair a bit a chunk out. I screamed and it ran away!

Ten years on, and hundreds of dollars spent, we’re still fighting the squirrels with a vengeance. They like to live under our porch…DEEP UNDER! We’ve tried pest control, they controlled nothing. We’ve used concrete, stones, chicken wire. They just dig deeper and they retaliate. Parcels left on our porch are sometimes shredded. Really! Over the past couple of weeks my husband has replaced the wood on our porch, but before doing so, he removed the stones beneath and concreted the whole area. It’s where the little $%^&* like to burrow. The task is almost finished. He removed the lower part of the porch yesterday, exposing dry earth. I called him in for lunch. He wasn’t inside long, maybe fifteen minutes. When he went back out to carry on with his task I heard him yell and went to see what the issue was. Those little $a@t%r@s had dug a while he was eating lunch. The culprit sat across the driveway in the bushes looking at us. My husband was a man possessed for the rest of the day. A bed of thick concrete is under every part of our porch. Today there will be stones on top of it, and then trex decking. I know they’ll be watching him, then tonight they’ll gather in their war room and plan an attack, but Squirrels I’m warning you, you WILL NOT WIN.

Kind of reminds me of a funny skit from Jasper Carrot. It’s about a mole not a squirrel, but the concept is the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abruzzo and Retirement

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_39b6UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3989Abruzzo! It’s a hidden treasure. We drove through the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park to get to Colledimezzo a couple of weeks ago. The scenery was majestic and beautifully intimidating. Wild horses roamed the roadside. Signs told us to be on the look out for bears. It the scenic route from Rome to Colledimezzo, but one well worth taking. Gorgeous.

If our home purchase works out, we’ll be sandwiched between these beautiful mountains and the Adriatic. My son-in-law had said that his ambition was to buy a beach home and a mountain home. We may have checked both boxes with one purchase.

I daren’t be complacent, we have a few more hoops to jump through before we can call this home, but it certainly something to work for!

Currently we have our Italian tax codes, the Purchase Proposal is signed and the Italian Notary is checking the documents with the land records. Our house is listed as “under offer” and not being shown to anyone else.

Send good thoughts my way, I want to spend my remaining years in Italy!

Eerie Morning

DSC05332Sunrise in Franktown doesn’t normally look like this. It’s 7:15 am and the wildfires in Montana are playing havoc with the atmosphere. Stay safe everyone.

Italian House Purchase

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Our New Front Door

It’s a little over a week since we returned from our house purchase trip. It seems longer somehow, but this whole year has been completely wacky. So much has happened, but that’s another story.

The realtor has our passports now and is applying for our Italian Tax Codes. I think that’s going okay! We’re having a glitch with the seller, nothing serious, but these things are sent to try us. The stairs in the house aren’t yet finished, they’re concrete. The seller said he’d finish them to our taste and include it in the purchase price. The seller is 74 and not in good heath. We didn’t have the agreement for the stairs in writing and he’s decided as we bartered with him on the sale price, and got the house for 10,000 Euro’s less than the asking price, we’ll need to have someone finish the stairs at our expense. It’s not the end of the world. If this is the only thing that goes wrong, I’m okay with it.

My daughter has business in Verona in November, which will coincide with the closing on November 6th. She can get a fast train to Vasto (sounds like a song doesn’t it) and then rent a car and drive to Colledimezzo for the closing. Bumps and glitches happen, but if it’s meant to be, it will be!

 

 

Trabocchi – A worthy place to celebrate!

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This is the happy face of my daughter after our celebratory meal in Abruzzo. We’d just viewed three properties in Colledimezzo. All three were nice, but once just felt like home. It captured our hearts. We had a delicious seafood meal on this Trabocchi restaurant on the Adriatic, only thirty minutes away.

Next steps? The company we’re working with now has a copy of our passports to enable them to get tax codes for us. We can’t do anything without those. This step should take around ten-days. Once it is complete, the purchase can begin. A notary (slightly different to a notary over here), will then scrutinize the documents and check that everything is in order. This takes a little while and costs around one thousand euro. Once this step is complete we put down a 10% deposit. If the seller backs out after this, he has to pay us back 2 x that 10%, so hopefully it won’t happen.

We’re not in a huge rush to purchase because this is a vacation/retirement home. Also I’ve run out of PTO. Back to back trips to Italy will do that. I’m depending heavily on my daughter, who has her own business and able to travel more freely.

Very happy and excited, this home checks every box for me. It’s in Italy. It has a huge kitchen with an open fireplace, big outdoor terraces, beautiful views, exposed stone walls, a small hillside village community, oh and did I mention…ITS IN ITALY!

I feel like a sixty year old kid on Christmas eve. I hope Santa doesn’t disappoint me!

Mission Accomplished

DSC05320Five short days ago I arrived in Rome Airport, met my daughter and headed out to Abruzzo to buy a house. I’d made arrangements with a realtor to view five. The first two were okay, but the third one was outstanding. A quirky old olive mill that has been remodeled into a quirky, but beautiful home. We made an offer which the sellers accepted. Can’t wait to start buying furnitre.

The photo above is Vasto, which is a beautiful seaside town in Abruzzo. I’d forgotten how stunning and soothing the Adriatic is. I’m sure the road to finally exchanging contracts on this home will have its bumps, but it will be worth it. Hang in for the ride.

Colledimezzo – San Buono – Celenza

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Colledimezzo, San Buono and Celenza are names I’d never heard until a couple of weeks ago when I started my property search in Abruzzo.

For the last seven or eight years I’ve told folks , we’re going to retire to Italy, but I’d always wondered if it were just a pipe dream. Now, here I am on Friday August 18th 2018, case packed, property viewings booked, trying to make our pipe dream come true. I’m not looking for a big expensive villa, but a nice home, with a beautiful view, and enough room to have friends and family come and stay.

I’m sixty, if I don’t do it now I never will.

My Bags are Packed AGAIN!

Three weeks ago my bags were packed for my Italian vacation. Now they’re packed for my Italian house hunt. Abruzzo here I come!

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The Last Adventure

“Ahh Thompason”

I love the Italian folk. I’d been trying to reserve a room in the Colledimezzo area so I could meet with my realtor and view some properties. Not many hotels, or B&B’s in rural Abruzzo. I’m sure everyone knows each other in those small towns and villages. Finally, after no luck with bookings, I called a hotel in Atessa.

“I’m looking for two rooms on August…..”

“Ahhh Thompason”

News travels fast. “We ave the rooms, no problem”

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And so I’m all set. Flights booked, hotels booked, property viewings booked. I’m hoping that by the end of August I’ll be well on the way to buying my retirement home in Abruzzo. Our last adventure.

Life Begins at 60 – In ITALY

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Ever since I moved to the USA in 1995, I’ve been labelled the CRAZY BRIT. It’s alright, I’d rather be crazy than boring! Folks thought I was crazy for moving from England to the US. I thought it was quite a pleasant adventure. I enjoyed it. Now my next adventure is about to start.

I’ve been obsessed with Italy for as long as I can remember. I travel there as often as I can. The last trip made me long to live there so much that now, a little over a week after my return, I’m going back again. This time to buy a home in Abruzzo. Wish me luck!

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