Turning this House into our Home – Trasformare questa casa nella nostra casa

On Friday I decided to relax and do nothing…yeah, right!By 8:30 I’d already done laundry and hung it out to dry and practiced Italian for thirty minutes. The weather was a little unpredictable with thunder showers promised, so I enjoyed a morning walk for a change. I’m glad I did because the wind was ferocious in the afternoon, with heavy showers at times.

We first viewed this house a little over a year ago, and today I looked at the original photos we took. The bedrooms were full of furniture, way too much furniture in fact, but the living room was very bare and sad looking. It’s only contents, a very small sofa, a chair, a TV and a couple of cabinets. It wasn’t personalised at all. Granted, it was a vacation home and the previous owners only stayed here for a week during the summer, and then not every year. There were no window dressings anywhere. The views are gorgeous and I didn’t want to hide them, but those views did need to be framed. Cushions, throws, rugs, artwork and personal items (and our own furniture of course) help make this house ours. You can’t transform a house overnight, and we’re still working on it, but it does feel more like home now. Hopefully we have a lot of years ahead of us to finish the job.

I was good to my word today…relaxation all the way. I thought about baking, but it remained just that, a thought. The wind has calmed a little so I may go for another walk…or I may just stay home and enjoy the afternoon.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, and remember to relax!

A Garden for Growing Memories – Un giardino per ricordi in crescita

I almost went for a walk on Thursday afternoon, but never got past the front gate. I’m addicted to gardening, mainly flowers, but I may attempt a few veggies this year. I know its too early to plant, but when I saw some of little green shoots peeping through the soil, I got very excited. They were the bulbs I’d planted in October. I thought they had all been slaughtered by the gas mains excavation. I decided to make their journey to the sun a little easier, so I used my trowel to carefully loosen the soil around them, getting rid of stones. After that I found a sunny spot in the garden for a couple of lavender plants, which were in pots on the porch. I can always cover them if it gets too cold. Before I knew it, a couple of hours had passed. My brain had already created a landscaping plan for the summer and I was raring to go. Life is good in the garden.

When I popped down to the Market in Villa Lempa on Friday morning, I bought a couple more plants, (pinks) which I’ll keep on the porch for now, but I’m itching to put them in the garden. I love making our outside space beautiful.

I started to remember my favourite gardens over the years, not just because of their beauty, but because of their memories.
Hubby and I bought our first home in Chatham, Kent. I loved that garden. My little flower fairy stands waiting for a party!
Second and third photos were taken in my garden in Colorado. The views from the garden at the back of our home were spectacular. I enjoyed that garden in the snow too.
Photo number four is my daughter’s garden at her new house in Denver. Of course this garden is made so much more fun because of Princess Tess happily playing with her ball.
Five is the indoor garden, where my daughter grows herbs to cook with, and also Tessaberries! What are Tessaberries?? Tiny little strawberries that are grown especially for a very spoiled pup.
The final photo is my garden here in Gabbiano. There is a lot to do, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Don’t you love this new take on gardening? I found it on another blog and just had to share it with you.
May your garden always make you smile!

Almost Spring? – Quasi primavera?

Wednesday afternoon could have been the first day of Spring, yes I know, those words will come back to haunt me. My afternoon walk took me through colourful pink blossom, I even snapped a photo of a bee enjoying an afternoon feast.

In Collevirt├╣ I passed a couple of local women sitting in the sun. One of them waved at me and spoke.
“Signora, ricordati di me, abbiamo parlato mentre stendevi il bucato.”
I stopped and looked at the lady who had spoken, and indeed, we’d chatted often through the garden gate as I hung out my washing the previous Summer. I’ve not seen her in a while.
“Buon pomeriggio, mi ricordo di te, come stai”
I stopped and chatted for a few minutes, and then she bid me “Buona passeggiata” and I carried on with my walk.

The gentleman I’d seen foraging for firewood a couple of days earlier was pushing a wheelbarrow along the road. It was full of recently cut logs, and looked very heavy. I was glad to see his labours had paid off. He stopped and proudly showed me what he had. We chatted, or should I say he did, I couldn’t really understand what he said, but I smiled and nodded in the right places, and he seemed happy.

On Wednesday evening, while hubby watched football, I worked on my book, pouring my Italian experiences out of my head and into my laptop. In my book I’ve reached late summer of 2021, so I have a little way to go yet. This is a tough book to write, lots to say, and lots of people to introduce you to. Some of whom have made a great impact on my life in a very positive way. I’m want you to feel the fun, the love, and sometimes the heartache. The journey continues!

The dangling Prosecco – Il Prosecco penzolante

We had another contractor visit Tuesday morning. He was here to talk about the installation of our new gas meter. We’re in the process of switching from PGL (LPG) to natural gas (metano). The seemingly simple switch has been going on for about two months now. Don’t you love the speed of Italy…it will be done in the fullness of time, and we’ve made many friends along the way. Very helpful people, who have guided us through the process.

I busied around the house today, and uncovered a little more grunge from the previous occupants, ugh, just want the place cleansed of them. They built such a beautiful house, which I’m sure they took care of in the early days, but then the novelty wore off, and it was neglected. Not going into details, but we have had our work cut out. This house is beautiful, and the views are amazing, so we’re in the process of restoring it to it’s original beauty, even if it kills us (or makes us broke).

After lunch I decided to see how long it would take me to walk into Villa Lempa, which is about four kilometres. Lovely walk. I waved at the shepherd grazing his sheep. He had a comfortable spot on the hillside, basking in the sun. His dogs surrounded the flock, keeping them safe. They barked loudly as I passed by, ready to protect the flock if I got too close. Charlie, a friendly pup, who lives along the road, kept me company for a while. He likes to walk with me… until a car passes by, and then he chases it, barking ferociously. Why are dogs never neutered here? Charlie’s dangly bits (which you can’t miss) look very cumbersome when he runs after those cars.

My walk to Villa Lempa took forty minutes. I discovered Colledimezzo and the surrounding areas by walking and plan to do the same here in Gabbiano.

For the last half kilometre all I could think of was a cold, crisp glass of Prosecco in McDream Cafe…it was my dangling carrot. I called hubby.
“I’m almost in Villa Lempa.”
“Villa Lempa, three villages down from us.”
“I know where Villa Lempa is,” he said, “but why are you there?”
“I walked. Want to join me in McDream Cafe for a Prosecco?”
I was half way through my Prosecco before he arrived.
Women don’t drink alone in Italy so I attracted a few stares from the local men. They are going to have to get used to me, because if I want to sit on my own and enjoy a glass of Prosecco, I will. Not sure why it took hubby almost as long to drive to Villa Lempa as it took me to walk, but he got there eventually.

Cheers and Happy Wednesday!

Oh those Sunsets


Tidying up my photo collection today, and found some pretty spectacular Colorado sunsets.




Friday Glow


Beautiful way to end the week!

Morning has Broken



Colorado Sunset



Pikes Peak – Dressed for a Wedding


Pikes Peak was showing off this morning when I got up. All dressed up and magnificent.

Sunset to Soothe my Soul



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