Sloan’s Lake – Denver – Old Meets New

Finally I slept well. Still getting tired early, not sure if it’s the altitude (Denver is at 5000 feet), or jet lag. I walked Princess Tess by 8:30 this morning.
The first two photos above show the different styles of houses around Sloan’s Lake. Old meets new, but all with heaps of character.
Third photo is my daughter’s new hobby, growing things in this amazing indoor garden. I need to look out for something similar in Italy.
The last three photos are, of course, Sloan’s Lake. The Rocky Mountain backdrop and the clouds reflect perfectly on the glassy surface. The geese rest peacefully on its banks, and the snow capped Rockies rise against the clouds.
Today was warm, I enjoyed a wander around the Cherry Creek shopping district and visited some of my old haunts. I looked at all of the pretty things I used to buy when I was still working, but can’t really afford now. I don’t need them. I have everything I need in Italy.
Finally I visited XOXO Salon and my best friend Rocco. He’s been styling my hair for around 20 years. After my “do”, we went for lunch and chatted about everything, just like we always used to.
Back home to Joanna’s and straight out for margarita’s. It is Cinco di Mayo after all.

I did a lot in just one day, but it was fun.

Don’t waste a minute of your lives, live like there is no tomorrow and always keep a smile.

Colledimezzo – Last Two Years

Today I shopped in Lanciano. It has taken me a couple of years to get used to the town, where to park, where to buy clothes, where to buy groceries…and now I’m moving. That is the story of my life, just when I get everything the way I want it, I move on. If I’m going to settle down, now is a good time I think. Too old to move again!
I walk almost every day, so over the last two years, I’ve probably enjoyed over five hundred afternoon strolls. I’ve crossed paths with sheep, foxes, deer, funny little lizards, the occasional wild boar and even a couple of snakes. Sometimes I’ll be hailed by one of the locals working on their land. They proudly show me around their olive groves and grape vines and and talk about their yearly harvest. Everyone here is so happy and relaxed. In Abruzzo time stands still and life is simple.
I hope it is the same way further north. I know very little about northern Teramo Province, but it will be a wonderful adventure, and hopefully my last one. Speriamo!

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy every day to the full!

Italy – Details and Logistics – Final Move

Things are getting real…as they say.
We’ve been in a holding pattern for months for so many things, pensions and biometric cards being only two of a very long list. Now our cards are ready, our pensions processed and things are moving right along. Our trip back to the US happens this month too. As soon as we return to Italy, we have to pack up our house ready for our move to northern Teramo Province! This poor old gal is working out the logistics of two closings, hotel bookings, furniture storage, etc., etc.,
Although I’ll be sad to leave Colledimezzo and Chieti Province, I’m very excited for a new adventure, and also a garden to potter around in. I’ll miss my friends here, and the lovely old converted Olive Mill, but the memories will be with me forever.
Yesterday I had a gorgeous walk, followed by a couple of glasses of Prosecco in the Piazza. Summer is just around the corner, well almost.
Today’s walk was a little overcast. A few spots of rain fell when I was down by the lake, not enough to soak me, but just enough to make everything smell fresh.
Now I’m home with over 11,000 steps recorded for the day, and listening to the patter of rain on the skylight.
It’s a good day!
Take care everyone and stay safe.

Sleepy Retirement Monday

I took a slow walk today, stopping often to take photos. There wasn’t a soul in sight so I guess everyone else was having a lazy day too. I did walk over lunch time, which is always quiet, lunch is a very important meal here in Abruzzo. At 12:30 everyone disappears to eat. The bar is closed every Monday too, so there were no card games, or afternoon coffee drinkers.

I walked the path I took when I was first exploring the village many moons ago, up and down steps, through alleyways, discovering new doorways and paths. My time in Colledimezzo has passed quickly, but I have lots of memories.

Have a great week everyone and keep a smile.

A walk by Lake Bomba – Abruzzo

Una passeggiata sul Lago di Bomba!
Lovely bright, but chilly day today. I needed to blow the cobwebs away so I walked down to Lake Bomba. So pretty.
We had a lovely, busy weekend. Yesterday our friends joined us for lunch. I love cooking, even made bread. We drank a little more wine than normal (hence the cobwebs), but had a nice afternoon.
Now Monday has come around again, not that Monday is any different to any other day in retirement…but it is the start of another week.
What will this week bring? Will we finally sign the contract on our new house? I hope so! I don’t think I’ll quite feel like its happening until we do. Don’t worry friends, you’ll be the first to know.

Take care, stay safe, and keep a smile.

And for my Next Adventure

The picture is of Civitella del Tronto, a beautiful place with lots of history, it is also close to my next port of call on the house hunting adventure.
What happened to Pianella…we never got there. Someone bought the house before we got chance to look at it! It’s okay, I was unsure of it anyway. It was modern, and pretty, but it didn’t really grab me the way a future home should. On Saturday we are venturing into Teramo province, which is north of where we are now, almost two hours north. It’s a beautiful area, close to the border of Abruzzo and Marche, and a full of olive groves. The house we’re going to visit is beautiful…on photos anyway.
It is a complicated process house hunting in Italy. Many houses have huge “cantinas” on the bottom/basement floor. A cantina is a second, and very large, kitchen. Big Italian families love to cook and use the cantina a lot. I love to cook too, but we’re only a small family…two of us most of the time, so two kitchens is an extravagance I don’t need. I’d rather use that space for something else. Sorting through all of these “features” is a real chore. I’m learning though, and I think getting closer to what we want.
I took a lovely long walk yesterday and today. The snow is melting and people are out again. In Colledimezzo you can’t walk past someone without stopping for a chat…in Italian of course. I manage to understand most of what is being said to me, and answer correctly, but today I made a lady laugh when I told her not to slip on this ice. Apparently I said “Be careful, I want ice”. She understood what I meant and corrected me. Hey, I’m getting there, and making people laugh in the process.
Wish me look in Villa Lempa on Saturday.
Stop by on Sunday when I relay my experience.

Take Care

A Trip to Pianella

Why? To look at another house.
I’m not getting excited, in fact, I’m preparing to be disappointed. We’ve seen so many houses of different shapes and sizes, in different towns and villages, but nothing has felt like home. When a house is right it’s not just visual, you feel it, and I haven’t felt it yet. We’ve visited so many pretty villages, and all for the first time. First was Roccomorice, then Rapino, followed by Fontegrugnale, Poggiofiorito, Carpineta della Nora, Serramonacesa and tomorrow Pianella.
It is almost impossible to be satisfied with another house because we’ve worked so hard on our current home to make it perfect. We have to think ahead and make life easier in our old age.
Our beautiful home will make a fantastic vacation home for someone. They will adore the beautiful kitchen, and bathrooms. They’ll love the view and the village, and laugh with the locals. This is much harder than I expected it to be. It’s a wrench to leave Colledimezzo and difficult to find somewhere to replace it. I just keep telling myself that we’re still in Italy no matter what and Italy has always been in my heart. We’ll get there, it will be our last big adventure…or maybe not (there is always room for another adventure).

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Power to the People

Today I walked in the morning instead of the afternoon, just for a change, and my husband came along too. He gets impatient with walking and feels much happier speeding along the country roads on his bike. I think he enjoyed it though. We walked to Lago di Bomba, which is couple of kilometers down hill. Coming back was quite the climb, and of course when we got to the final ascent which involves a hundred or so steps, I sent him ahead because I was not going to attempt it at his speed. My heart was pounding and I was glowing. I say glowing because I was always told ladies don’t sweat…horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow. The glow was definitely running down the back of my neck by the time I got back in the house. Lago di Bomba is a lovely shade of blue in the winter. We’re lucky the lake is still here because there has been an ongoing battle to extract oil from Abruzzo, which would have impacted Bomba and the surrounding areas. The locals fought long and hard and won their battle against the big oil companies.

The fearless battle of an entire region to protect our land, our beaches, our health, our traditions, our communities, our future. One by one, we have empowered the common man using the irresistible weapons of knowledge. To the oil companies that intend to destroy us, ENI, Petroceltic, MOG, Edison, Shell: let it be crystal clear.

You are not welcome here.

We will fight to the bitter end.

We shall defeat you.


Have a lovely Sunday everyone and stay safe.

A Place in Abruzzo

We’ve seen a lot of Abruzzo in 2022. I’ve been exploring different areas for a project I’m working on…yes I always have a project.
Sunday was a beautiful day and we found ourselves in Fontegrugnale, which isn’t far away from Colledimezzo, less than an hour. Yes, that is my treasured Adriatic in the background of the first photo. I love it when you see the blue line on the horizon. Back in the early seventies, when I first visited Italy, I fell in love with the Adriatic and it’s beckoned me ever since.
We had lunch in a lovely restaurant and of course I ate too much. It was wonderful. I chose a dessert I’d never heard of before and I can’t remember what it was called, but it consisted of two bird shaped cookies, filled with a delicious marmellata, and served with sweet wine. Not what I expected, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

From the mountains to the rolling hills of Abruzzo there is a view and menu for everyone. I’m so lucky to live here.

Happy Monday everyone and stay safe.

Winter in Colledimezzo

After a busy morning in Lanciano it was nice to come home and relax. After lunch, I pottered around outside paying attention to the flowers on our terrace and outside the kitchen door. The winters here may feel cold to the locals, but the flowers and plants barely notice them.
The young lemon tree only produced one fruit this year, but my beautiful rose bushes flowered in abundance. One determined bloom is still reaching towards the sun.
In spring and summer (below) the view from our terrace is a dazzling emerald green, before turning crazy bright shades of red and yellow in the autumn. Even now, with the bare trees, it looks beautiful against the bright blue sky.

Every season is very different in Colledimezzo and I enjoy them all.

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