Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Knocked

Tori, me, Christine, Patty and Mary
Well hellooooo. It has been a long time since I last posted and I am sorry. Life was racing past me but now summer is here, school finished this past Friday and I can get a life again. I had a great 4 day (only) visit home for Lauren's wedding in NJ a few weeks ago, attended the wedding of Will and Kate in London, and am taking a week vacation in Switzerland on July 11th. In between, just have been working and gardening and preparing for some visitors in July (Keiko, Pico and Tom).  August is still relatively free so if anyone wants to visit, just hint!Oh, and we celebrated Ray's 6th birthday and my 50th.
(And now I just had to pause to remove a young bird from the chimney flu. I came in the kitchen this past spring to find a full grown owl on the floor. I covered him with a windbreaker and released him outside. It was beautiful to watch his wings unfold as he flew away).
Ray is doing great. He is in camp in Loiano this week and seemed happy enough to be there even if he doesn't know any other kids. I told him to make some friends since these are the local kids and he can invite them over to play. I hope it's fun as tomorrow they spend all day in the pool and Thursday all day with horses. Love the country - camp in Bologna meant all day on the concrete playground.

As a result of the HHI show, we had had some inquiries about buyers for the house. An architect in Canada wants to buy both our and the neighbor's property, but there is no way they would sell. We would consider especially since we decided to keep Ray in school in Bologna (he begins first grade in September) and Andrea's mom is getting more frail and is going through some health problems. We'll see what pans out but of course we are very happy to stay, especially since I want to see all our plantings mature and how does one go back to a city after the serenity here, and we do love our neighbors Rita and Filippo (who hosts an outdoor Sunday lunch every weekend).
Here are some photos - like the new pergola? We really love having a place to eat outside. (I am still being challenged posting photos so bare the "brutto" layout problems I am having.)

Rita and Filippo's Sunday lunch
Together for the first time in 8 years.

First tire swing
Best friend Michael from Michigan
Birthday boy

Friday, April 15, 2011


(NOTE: I wrote this on March 15th but had problems posting. Here it is, albeit a bit late.)
We suffered our last major snowstorm a few weeks ago - we slept in Bologna for a week to avoid having to return and deal with the icy driveway. It was a nice break to stay in the city and not have to commute, and the bonus is that I can't wait to return to the peace and quiet of Castaldo (that is the name of the house if I failed to mention that previously). So now it feels as though spring is finally showing her colors - the air smells fresh and earthy, the deer are calling in the night to breed, and the birds are waking me up at 5.30 every morning. Today is a national holiday, only for this year, the celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Italy's unification. Ray would probably love for me to take him into town to see the miliary celebrations, but I invited a few girlfriends over this afternoon to sip prosecco and make pizza. Sorry Ray! But I will take him this morning to the garden shop to stock up on some lavender plants and he can run around there a  bit. If I can get my act together, we can squeeze in a walk in the woods.
This site offers some new features, so I will post some photos using the labeling of photos. )Forget it, it is a bit of a disaster and the layout stinks!)

Sunday morning, town center, Loiano

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just sayin'...

Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? And Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh!
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
(Rupert Brooke)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

The temps went into the 50s yesterday and today, so it was time for me, Ray and Asia to take a winter walk this morning on an unexplored trail behind our house. It was an old track that had been used back in the farming days, and we followed it only halfway around the back of the mountain where I assume it blends in with another existing road. It was nice to seek some serenity through nature on the anniversary of Daddy's death. Hard to believe that 23 years have since passed (it could still be only yesterday).

When we were buying the house, the previous owners didn't tell us about these trails that run close to the property. Probably because it is used by the public (motorbikes, horses, school outings, etc.) and therefore it exists an element of vulnerability for homeowners seeking some isolation (like yours truly), but I feel having these trails are beneficial in countless ways (and hopefully my thighs will thank them in bikini season).