Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Early morning views out my window in northern Italy....

Early morning views from my home in  northern Italy.   To the left of the photo is a vineyard.  It might be visible.   I found the road that goes past the big tree in the middle photo.   It's a beautiful area-- just land and old villas.

I like the fog still on the ground in the last photo.   You can also see the vineyard in the last photo.   They are still using the old tree branches in this vineyard.   Most have been modernized with metal pipes to hold the vines upright. 

Click on the photos for a larger and clearer view.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I had no idea that this was in my tiny little Italian town

Another day of going down a road and discovering something that you didn't know was there.   This time, it was the road in the main part of the little town (and it's more of a village, not a full sized town) but, this time... I just kept going down the road that curves past the hardware store, and one of the two churches.  

After I rounded the curve... on the other side of the curve I found this huge building... totally unexpected.   The building was so huge that I had to take 2 photos.

Not sure, but it looks like some sort of an old monastery??   I could tell that someone was living in at least one of the doorways (flowers were on the windowsill).   I find this intriguing.   I continued past this and I was just in fields and vineyards.

I just love driving down roads to see what you can find.   Of course, sometimes you find a 'dead end'...


Monday, February 15, 2016

Yes, I take photos of my food in restaurants. I admit it...... I know that I'm not the only one... am I?

free hit counter Some friends and I went to this amazing restaurant that I had found by driving around, going down roads to see where they'd lead in my neighboring areas.   So, I wanted to go back and eat a meal there to check it out.   I decided that I wanted to check it out for my birthday meal. 

The first course: Home-made Pasta  (look at the little zucchini flower!)   I know most people always get the second course meal- but, I find that the pasta dish is more than enough to fill me up.

*Click on the photos for a larger view...

Home made bread and crackers!   The homemade crackers don't look very fancy but they were tasty!
My friend got an ice cream dessert.   With a piece of dark chocolate added as a topper.   The dash of dark coco powder adds just the right touch.

For my dessert, I ordered Tiramisu.   I love Tiramisu.   I don't like coffee at all- but, I love Tiramisu 
In every restaurant in Italy, I am usually tempted to order Tiramisu to see how that place makes theirs.   It is very unique- same ingredients but each recipe can taste so differently..   Sometimes, it is too strongly 'coffee flavored' for me.   But, even then, I like it... I just know not to order it again if I go back to that restaurant.
 After my dessert was delivered in a 'cup' ... I had a memory flashback to a few years ago, before when I was still living in Cold, snowy, wintery Germany.  I had gone on a military bus tour trip to northern Italy, in February, for President's Day and to escape the German winter for just a few days.
   We stayed in this same area... drove all over, went to Venice by train (which I had done many times but, from a totally different area.)   We had taken the entire group of maybe 55 Americans on the bus for lunch at a huge restaurant, in the middle of nowhere, and we had the best, best Tiramisu that I had ever eaten.  At this time, I had already lived in 2 different Italian locations and I had always tried each restaurant's Tiramisu.   For days, everyone on the trip was talking about the Tiramisu in that restaurant, about how good it was.  Those that had opted not to order the Tiramisu seemed a bit jealous.
However, when I saw the cup of tiramisu, it brought back memories of that trip and tasting the best Tiramisu.   I knew that it would be very unlikely that this was the same place.   How could it be?  We had driven all over this part of Italy for 3-4 days.  Our hotel was not in this area.   And, here I was a few years later, living/working in the same region, and eating at a restaurant that I found by accident... trying to find a short cut to the physical therapy place in a neighboring town.
However, all it took was ONE BITE and I was in Tiramisu heaven.   It was the same place, it was the same most wonderful Tiramisu!   Now, how was I going to stop myself from wanting to stop by daily?  After all, this restaurant is only 1 1/2 miles from my house.   Down, a rural road that I had never had a reason to travel down.   That road, taken looking for a short cut, ended up leading me, once again, to the 'often talked about' best Tiramisu, that I had ever eaten.... 'Tiramisu.'

So, take that road less traveled, turn down a new street, a new turn-off... who knows what you'll find?

Mama mia... Let the blogging continue!!!

I finally have a new computer!   I finally wrestled my blog from the 'google' change over that happened 'sometime' to BlogSpot.   .   I couldn't get in (with my password) and post for awhile and I finally found someone at google to help me get back in so I could use my blog again!  Yeah!
Some knitting... 
Fingerless mitts, out of sock yarn, for my good fried Lisa as part of her Christmas gift this year.  The yarn is some self striping fingering yarn that I bought at knitpicks.com.  The yarn striping matched until the end on one of the mittens... but, that part will be on the inside of the sleeve anyway.  

Some mittens that I'm knitting in some airport, somewhere... lol  (yes, they do tend to look the same don't they?)  However, I don't even remember these mittens... did I keep them or did I gift them to someone?   I will check- but, I do love the colors so I sure do hope that they are in my gloves, hat, mittens, scarf drawer.  
I do have a new 'knitting plan' because I noticed that almost all of my knitting is for others or for charity.   I have knitted myself ONE sweater in my 30 year knitting career.  I also took stock a few years ago and realized that I had almost NOTHING that I had knitted myself.   I decided that I was going to make a conscious effort to actually 'knit' for myself.  
I'll have to sort out my photos and start posting some of the items that I have managed to knit and more importantly:  keep for myself.   I have knitted myself at least 5-6 pairs of socks from the lovely Regia yarn that I purchased when I lived in Germany.  

And, as a touch of 'soon it will be here' spring... the sandals that I purchased in Germany last April when I visited some friends still living in the area where I used to live/work in Germany before I moved to northern Italy a couple of years ago.   I have the blue pair.   They just looked like something that "That Girl' would have worn to me.  Made out of such a buttery soft nice leather.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I just realized something: If I say that I'll do something... buy something... show up... I do 'everything in my power to do so' otherwise... I let you know if I am delayed, etc.

HOWEVER, apparently... I am not 'of the masses' on this type of thinking.
I recently posted some items for sale.   A friend had told me about a 'face book' page for the local military/Americans wanting to sell things.   So, I actually signed up for facebook and proceeded to do this.   I can't believe how many times... someone 'sees' the item that I am posting for sale and says something like:  "I WANT THAT!"   and then we set up a meeting point... which has usually consisted of me 'meeting them on base' in a parking lot.  So, there I am... WAITING for the agreed upon hour.   NO SHOW from the buyer.   One person (yes, call me a fool if you wish-- but, they had just arrived and I know how busy that time can be) did this to me 2x.   Finally, I said... "OK, you have to come to my house to pick up the items."    Flash backward ... I post a couple of items-- even some things that I'm GIVING AWAY... (I have so much stuff- I have got to get serious about getting rid of it- and I couldn't do it last year w/ the knee injury/surgery.)  Several people said:  "I WANT THAT!"  (name the pretend item of your choice)... I'll be there to pick it up.   Others would come by (for the free stuff) and/or want the item/s that I'm saving for the others that said, "I WANT THAT!"...   THEN, when the people who said, "I WANT THAT!" do show up... (if they do show up) they decide that they don't want the item... that I could have SOLD TO THE OTHER PEOPLE who did want to buy it!   grrr   
  SO NOW I KNOW... the "I WaNT THAT!"  means:  Hold it for me and don't let anyone else buy it-- until I get there 'or' decide to come by to SEE IF I WANT TO BUY THE ITEM!   Got it.  Of, course since my mind doesn't think that way... I didn't realize it.  Instead my mind thinks:  "I WANT THAT!  I'm going to come and buy it/get it/pick it up."  Means... Just that.   Sigh... I just had to vent my frustrations.   Meanwhile, I still have the items that I was trying to sell... and most of the free stuff is gone.

 UPDATE:   One person came by... took the 'free potting soil'... but, also took 6 brand new flower pots w/saucers (with a price tag of only $3.00 on them) and my brand new never used... wet/dry hand vac.. like a dust buster 'but, with more features?'   Sigh... They took them- w/out paying for them.  I'm sure that they didn't realize it?  The 'free' items were apart from the 'for sale' items... free items did not have prices on them-- the 'for sale' things did.  THEY had a bright GOLD price tag taped to them.   A large gold price tag.   I had pointed out the 'free items' and the prices of certain items... (some of which she took)  SIGH... (They were brand new-- people... brand new...)

Right now, I'm trying to regain my trust in human nature.   I'll be OK in a couple of days.   I think so anyway.   But, in the meantime...   = : - ()

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I finally found my way back (was it the fog or was life just getting too busy? or something else? OR many things as the reason for my absence?)

Sorry, for my absence.   For awhile... I couldn't use my computer.   Wacky stuff was going on... beyond my 'computer fixing' skills.   My computer was frozen when I finally got it to working.  It was frustrating.  I just left it turned off.   I was finally able to get some help from my 'wonderful' landlord's son.   Who just happens to work with computers for his job.   Then, the school world got busy... 'report card' time... meetings, life, and getting so tired that you wake up tired... makes one not have time to do a blog.   Lately, I've been waking up at 4:00am- 4:30am... I try for 4:00am- but, I just hit the snooze button too many times at 4:00am.  I am trying to go to work early to do things that need to be done there.   At home, I try to clear out many of my possessions now that my knee is better and I can manage to do so.   I have also had to drive to the nearest other military base (where I used to live 1997-2000) on Saturdays.  I've driven there 2 or 3 times so far.  I have to go back one more time.   It is an hour and half away.   One way.   Why did I have to go back so many times?   I'm going to the wrought iron man who made my table base and 4 wrought iron chairs many years ago when I lived there.   The first time, I had brought some images that I had printed off of the Internet to show him what I wanted (he speaks NO English).   I want something to put my cookbooks on-- and maybe some of the heavy Polish Pottery baking dishes on the bottom shelves?   The first time, we got things taken care of... 'to a degree'... but, I had to go back the following Saturday... to take the final width measurement and one of my tiles with me so that he could make the tile rack in the back to fit 'what I should have in storage' my hand painted tiles of Gaeta, Italy.  That is where I lived when I lived down south at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast.  I had this place paint our little area's coast line view (we looked like a dragon laying down in the water)... I paid for it- but, I didn't discover this little shop until a week before I moved and the guy needed 2 weeks to complete the project.   Someone was supposed to mail it to me-- but, I'm not sure that that 'ever' happened.   Many of my things are still in storage in the states.   BUT, just in case.. I wanted to have the 'tile rack' added to the back of the wrought iron bookcase.   I guess that if I don't have this scenic hand painted scene... that 'oh my' ... I might have to travel to the southern coast of Italy to get another one made?   Here's what my current 'baker's rack' with the hand-painted tiles of:  Positano    looks like on my baker's rack.   I had this baker's rack made for me when I lived in Gaeta.   A guy near Naples made this baker's rack for me.   My new one will be more like a book case (but, I wanted the tile rack added and no marble- it's more expensive and makes it heavier) but 'in' the same style as the baker's rack.  I finally decided on 4 shelves instead of 5.   So, it won't be as tall... but, it will be OK.  I had to be able to haul it home w/ my Jeep.  
Ignore the mess... It was photo time 'no' time to clean things up beforehand.  TO the right are my recycle trash cans- so, be glad that they aren't showing in the photo!   That's Italian green marble for the shelves.  I love the color of it.   I don't mind the marble on shelves-- but, marble stains easily and I wouldn't want it on the counters... Pretending I could afford marble counters, that is.

This was the view from the train station from the top of the hill the first time that I saw this town along the coast.  It was beautiful.   They also are famous for hand-painted ceramics.   Some of the things in the photo are from there... and/or from other regions of Italy.

I loop my aprons along one of the hoops on the side.  It works out perfect.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"HEEEATTTHCLIFFFF".... or when did our school playground turn into the foggy Scottish moors? .... excuse me... "Heathcliff!!!!"....

My driveway right before I pulled out on to the street.  This should have been my first clue.

This is at 10:00am.  You could barely see children that were several feet away.   Nice to see 3 boys using the swings.  Sometimes, at other schools, boys don't usually use the 'swings'... here?  I have to sometimes tell them to count 20 swings back and forth so that other children can have a turn.   We have 2 swing sets; but, lots of children want to use the swings.   I loved swinging when I was a child too.  I would often lean my head back and I would drag my hair on the ground.  

Yes, we have the spongy surfaces here too.  I just don't know how I survived my childhood.  We had pebbles, dirt, and concrete on our playgrounds.

"Heathcliff!"... "Are you out there?"

Even the school (this is the lunchroom area) is difficult to see. 

We couldn't let them play in the grassy area- we couldn't SEE THEM!

Yesterday, it was foggy.   It used to be foggy a lot in Germany too.   However, today... was foggier than I have EVER seen it!  I could not see anything in front of me.  I was the lead car and the white lines on the road hadn't been painted in what looked like YEARS!  I didn't even know most of the time if I was on my side of the road or about to fall off the road into the deep drainage ditches!  I was only driving 10-15 mph.   I finally had a car behind me and for the first time ever... a car didn't pass me.   They must have FINALLY realized that IT WAS NOT SAFE TO PASS THE OTHER CAR even if you didn't think it was going fast enough.  (I get passed often- even though I am going the residential speed limit.)  The strangest fog that I experienced in Germany-- was frozen FOG!  It was so scary!!  I drove home one night after meeting friends at a restaurant.