The Pomegranate Trick

In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the ‘fruit of the dead’ as it was said to have arisen from the blood of Adonis. … Hades, God of the underworld, used pomegranate seeds to trick Persephone into returning to the underworld for a few months of every year.

Good job no one tricked me because I’d spend the rest of my life in Hades! When I was a child pomegranates were a Christmas treat and I loved them. My mum made me pick each individual seed from the fruit with a pin. It took forever to finish, but I loved it. The pomegranates (melograno) that grow wild here in Abruzzo just fall apart. They are juicy and scrumptious. My good friend Franco gave me four last Sunday and this is the last one. It’s all I’ve eaten so far today because last night we enjoyed the hospitality of Nino and Vittoria. As always their food was delicious. Prosciutto wrapped around a delicious juicy melon for starters, followed by a constant flow of Italian delights, all washed down with excellent local wine. Of course the meal ended with various digestivos. Limoncello, Sambuca and Amaro….to name but a few. Wonderful night. I’ve been trying to pluck up courage to cook for Nino and Vittoria…piano piano as they say in Italy (slowly). They’re a hard act to follow.

Today is a foggy rainy day, but thats OK, it washes the old cobbled alleyways and refreshes the countryside.

I finished my pomegranate while writing this so I hope I don’t get snatched away to Hades!
Have a lovely day everyone.

Dolce Far Niente

Montazzoli

Dolce far niente is a phrase that sticks in my mind. An Italian phrase (introduced to me by a French chap I worked with), and it means sweetness of doing nothing.
When I became stressed over moving my worldly belongings to Italy, selling my house, or finally leaving work, I’d think about that phrase. I’d use it as the carrot dangling ahead of me, keeping me going. I’m here now, and if I choose, can enjoy a little dolce far niente. Still keeping busy though. The first couple of months have been a challenge of finding the best car insurance/home insurance, obtaining Italian Health Insurance and a drivers license.
Things are slowing down a little now. On Saturday I enjoyed a delicious lunch with British and Italian friends. We walked for a while, in the picturesque village of Montazzoli. Beautiful views. Things are falling into place, miss my daughter still of course. I’ll also feel more settled when we have a new US President (fingers crosses), and when we finally get COVID under control. One step at a time.

My Visitor

I always keep a section of my back door open. It is nice to see folks passing by. Yesterday, someone stopped outside, but all I could see was the top of their head. They lingered so I opened the door to find an elderly, very petite lady standing there. She had a lot to say.
I admired the gold locket around her neck and her eyes filled with tears as she told me (in Italian, but I think I understood most of it), that it was given to her by her husband who was no longer alive.
She admired my kitchen, and was fascinated with my large digital photo frame on the wall, which she thought was a television.
I think she invited me to go with her to her home, but wasn’t sure. We talked as best we could for ten minutes or so, and then she continued her journey down the steps. I watched her and wondered how old she was. I think the hills and steps and winding alleyways of Colledimezzo keep folks fit. I hope it works for me too.
Maybe next time she stops by my Italian will be better.
I’m working on it.

Staying Alive – 2020

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It has been a bumpy year! Who’d have thought we’d be fighting a pandemic, along with all of the other trials and tribulations this year has brought. I’m not naming any, because we’re all sick and tired of hearing about them.
Through all of this mess, I’ve sold a house, sent my personal possessions to Italy and sold most of my furniture. Not an easy task, but one that had to be done.
This sixty three year old heart has had palpitations. This sixty three year old brain has been working overtime, and keeping me awake. Sometimes I wondered if I’d make it to Italy.
Now, we’re almost there. I have a “final day” at work on the calendar, flights aren’t booked yet, but will be soon.
I look at the picture of my retirement village and it keeps me alive. Three months from now, I’ll be there….

Staying alive!

Getting Old

 

When you’re young you sometimes ache, but shrug it off,
It’s from running, or dancing or simply having fun!

When you’re old you worry, you stress, you dwell,
On the pain, is it my heart, an aneurysm, will I die?

When you’re young tiredness sets in and you sleep,
Your body repairs itself, your brain renews, reborn each day.

When you’r old, it’s extreme fatigue, your whole body tires,
You lie awake and worry that every breath is your last.

How long does it take to get old?
The blink of an eye, two shakes of a lambs tail!

Enjoy your young days, live life to the full, because,
You’re getting older and soon today will be a beautiful memory!

 

When I could SLEEP!

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When did sleep become such a rare commodity? When I got old I suppose!
I remember the days I could sleep until noon. Saturday nights at a night club, Sunday mornings in bed, woken up by the smell of mum’s Sunday roast cooking in the oven. Those were the days.
Now, if I’m lucky enough to get to sleep within an hour of going to bed. I’m awake at 4:00 AM and gremlins crawl into my brain. They wake up my stress areas and make me think about things I don’t want to.

Life was much better when I could sleep!

Keep Stepping!

Keep on SteppingA couple of years ago my husband gave me his Nike Fuel fit band. I loved it. He’d moved onto something better, but the Fuel was great for me. It was simple, tracked my steps and it was also comfortable and easy to wear….until they stopped making it. I’d become addicted to tracking my steps, which isn’t a bad thing, so purchased a Fitbit. UGH! I tried three different types over the last couple of years and they were nowhere near as good as the fuel. Finally, the last one I owned slipped off my wrist in the supermarket and I didn’t even try to find it! I was over it.

Unfortunately, as sad as it is, I stopped making the extra effort to exercise and walk. Nothing was holding me accountable. Yes, I admit it, I was cheating myself. Yesterday, determined to get back on track, I bought an Apple watch. It seemed the most logical thing to do. I have a Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPad (yes Apple are taking over the world), and they’re so easy to use. So far so good. After one day I’m in competition with myself to get in my daily steps, use my elliptical and generally beat the machine on my wrist!

Never thought I’d need to feel accountable to a computer…..but I am. I’m not ashamed of it either. I’ll use what I can to keep myself fit.

Keep stepping folks!

 

Retirement and the Sleep Factor.

You must all have noticed how great you feel when you wake up after a really good night’s sleep. As slumber drifts from your body and mind, you feel good, ready to handle anything the day throws at you. You’re rested and in control.

So why is sleep so elusive? This past week has been awful! Much too stressful, long hours at work, followed by coming home and worrying if I’d got everything done. Each night after going to bed, I’d remember something important I’d missed. That paid to my sleep.

Last night was the first night in almost a week that I slept long and hard, and woke up feeling refreshed. If only I felt like this every day. I think my massage and reflexology helped, but that’s a luxury I can only occasionally afford. How do I manage to sleep on a regular basis? I sleep well on vacation, because there’s nothing to worry about.

I’m wondering if perhaps its time to retire.

Comments anyone? Advice?sleepless01

Aging – The Dammit Post!

Now don’t get me wrong, we all have to age! I’ve been healthy most of my life, but the last five years has been an issue, and its making me cranky!

Monday morning, rise and shine, Mondays are always tough, but I got to work and everthing was going smoothly.  First three hours were a dream, and then the pain started. An unusual type of pain across my belly, tight, but not cramping. Oh, I’ll work through it. By 2 pm I knew there was no way.

I’m off folks, heading for the Doctor’s office.

Jumped in my car and knew the doctor wasn’t going to do it. Headed to ER instead, they must have been expecting me, there was a parking space right outside.

“Deep breaths, you can do this.”

Walked to the lady behind the desk. “Hi, I think I need help.” (sniffling tears of fear)

“Whats wrong?”

“Belly pain, chest pain, really bad, can’t stand it, was going to the doctors, (more tears), but felt like I needed the ER!

They took my info (and of course Health Insurance) and admitted me. Taken to a freezing room where they started taking my vitals and asking me questions. Then there were CT scans, then I was vomiting, then they gave me a GI (Maalox and Novacain) cocktail and I vomited some more.

“Is your back hurting, you seem like you can’t lie still,” the attending said.

“I can’t sit still because my stomach is a sheet of pain, I can hardly stand it. It’s the reason I’m here.”

“Oh dear! Lets see what we can do.”

I won the golden ticket, a room in the hospital (help), first time in a hospital in 32 years and the last time was to give birth!

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WHAT HAVE I DONE?

Getting Old is NOT for wimps!

growingoldI’m 59 years young, feel pretty healthy, although I do get tired a little easier now. It might help if I slowed down a little. Never!

I remember when I went for a physical and came out wondering why I’d wasted a couple of hours just to be told I was fit and healthy. Wish those days were back. My last annual check up ended in my having to take a stress test. It wasn’t fun, I was hooked up to weird equipment while riding a stationary bike. They monitored my heart on an ultrasound machine. I tearfully remembered the ultrasounds I had when I was pregnant with my daughter. Those days are long gone…I miss them.

Well now on to a cardiologist!

How do I feel about that? DETERMINED! I am determined not to be given a regiment of pills. Instead I’m starting a healthier diet (if I eat much healthier I’ll fade away). Red meat is a treat for a very special occasion now. More veggies (I already eat my weight in them), Elk instead of beef, chicken instead of pork, etc. etc. I’m already gluten intolerant, learned that earlier this year. Poor me! No wait a minute, lucky me, I’m still alive and I’m going to get healthier with each passing day. Yes, growing old isn’t for wimps, but I’m no wimp and age comes to everyone.

 

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