Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Made it.

Here's our destination

 Before


After
Truth told, it wasn't nearly as horrible horrific hideous heinous hard as I had built it up to be in my mind.  Ain't that always the case. As far as cycling climbs go, it's the baby hill.  But it's still a hill.

David's clever.  He's been trying to get me to cycle with him for years.  I kind of thought that I had been cycling with him for years but he insisted that riding a 4 wheeled bike on the  path along the sea to the nearest bar for a coffee is not technically cycling.  "you have to start doing some climbs.", he would say.  "yeah, that's just not going to happen."  I'd say.

So he just waited.  And waited.  Then one day we weren't on 4 wheels any more but on two (well, 4 together but 2 each).  And we rode our two-wheeled bikes on the bike path to the nearest coffee.

And he waited.  Then one day I noticed that I wasn't wearing a cute floral print skirt and top anymore on these rides but rather I was donning the uglyass requisite gear....riding on the bike path to the nearest cafe.

So he waited and waited until a couple nights ago when I said, "I think we should ride to Badalucco!"

This "climb" was just challenging enough that it felt like a huge accomplishment and was easy enough that I actually made it.  Now I want to do longer and harder climbs.  That dude is clever....or at least very patient.

In Badalucco we had a welcome party waiting for us (at the nearest bar).  I suspect they are there every morning, not just anticipating our arrival, but it was nice just the same.
And Pino the Barber was just taking a break from making the inhabitants of Badalucco beautiful so he bought us breakfast.

David is still waiting for me to believe him decide that I need those dumbass cycling shoes that clip you to the pedals.  But now that I've got that nice cyclist's tattoo....
I might need those shoes for the next ride to Molini di Triora.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring is for...

...making stuff.
David's been making some bread



I've been making some bowls
and some buttons
and some sweaters to put the buttons on

And the rose bush has been making roses
And the apple tree apples
and whatever this is is making pretty white flowers
And the fig tree is making new leaves that look like butterflies sitting on its branches

Ruff and Q are making swimming
Ingrid
is making pregnant biscuits
Gino is making sardenara
Gianni is making a pizza while his wife is making quality control
Valerio and Jon are making friends
Isolde is making a cigarette
and a most unfortunately photographed but delicious dessert
And, last but certainly not least, today I'm making an attempt at riding my bike up hill.  Don't be silly, I'm not going to try to ride my bike up OUR hill.  David and I are going to ride to the next village up the road. It will be my first time off the very flat bike path that runs along the sea and onto the not so flat road to Badalucco.  If you don't hear about this ride ever again that's because I didn't make it.










Saturday, April 04, 2015

I soooo want to post a real post right now but....come on. Wisconsin is playing in like 4 hours and I need some sleep.    A domani......and .....On Wisconsin

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

And it begins again....

...the application for my Permesso di Soggiorno (permit of stay)

I can't believe that the 5 year one that I got is already expiring.  It sure doesn't seem like it's been 5 years since I got it.  That is, of course, because it hasn't been five years, it's been four.  By the time the application process was finished, one of the five years had already passed. 

So here we go again

I've already been to the office once to inquire what I need to do to renew.  A surprisingly happy and nice policeman (it's a branch of the police that deals with us foreigners) told me that all I have to do is collect the above listed documents, make two copies of them and they'll give me a permesso for LIFE.  I will never have to go through this again.  AND, once I've collected all these documents, I can CALL and make an APPOINTMENT so I don't have to wait half a day in the sea of humanity to get my turn. 

Papers collected, copies made, appointment scheduled.


Actually, I called today and got an appointment TOMORROW. This is weird.  It's all going a little too smoothly.  In fact, I feel like with every word of this post that I type I'm jinxing myself just that much more.

Just to be safe, I'm bringing this

I've seen the video.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

So, I was driving up the road the other day and I saw a couple of people walking.  People don't usually walk up our road, so I took notice.  I noticed that it was the local kabab shop owner.  Yes, in the land of the most amazing food on the planet we have kabab shops. 

L: Ciao!  Che ci fai qui!?!  (Hey, what are you doing here?!)
KSO: we're asparagus hunting, of course.  And you should be too.  You know there are a ton just below your house!

At this point I pause for a second....how the f$%^ does the local kabab shop owner know there are wild asparagus growing below my land?  Ok, whatever.  I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business.  Why wouldn't he know this. Better question...why didn't I know this?

I wish him well and good luck in the hunt and high tail it to my house to get the dogs to go for a "walk".  Yeah, dudes, we are hunting asparagus and we're going to get them before our turkish neighbor does!

Ever wonder why asparagus is so expensive?  Yeah, let me tell you.  Ever tried looking for it in the wild?

Here we go....

first, you find a plant that looks like that one.  And then you look under it.  Which looks something like this



Yeah, that's tough.  Lots of thorns.  Mental note:  next time bring leather gloves.

So we walk on.... oh look, someone has landscaped the road

Lovely little voilets.  that's nice.  Still no asparagus.  Let's keep walking.

Oh!  Another asparagus shrub. Great!  And below....

More undergrowth and thorns!  Awesome. We're doing well.  Still no asparagus.

Keep walking.  Keep looking.  Keep thorning.  Awesome.  Actually, this sucks.

Oh look,

Discarded frames from bee hives.  Fantastic!  No honey for me, but obviously someone has some.  And well done to that person, for just leaving those frames on the side of the road!  I'm sure someone will come by and pick those up.  Someone who ventures up the road to .... say....look for asparagus. 






Monday, March 02, 2015

I love my job....


And the coming of spring.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Commissioni

Errands. 

I love running errands....now.  I used to hate it.  

An errand, by Webster's definition, is " a short trip taken to attend to some business often for another".  An errand, by my definition, is "driving around to odious places, where people work who are completely miserable for the purpose of giving them money for things you need but don't really want".  Yeah, no fun in that.  

So the other day I had to run some errands.  The main one being to pay the car insurance.  Yes, I physically take my body to the insurance office to do this.  And yes, there do exist online insurance companies here in Italy, which are actually cheaper than ours but as I said, I like running errands.  

Pressed and dressed I headed out to San Remo.





Image result for san remo

Nothing odious in that.  I went to see Maria Pia

That is a photo of her off duty at this festa a few years back.  But I can tell you she, her two sons and her husband all have that same smile when I walk into their office. Maybe she's smiling because I remain loyal to their family company when I could get my policy cheaper elsewhere.  I like to think she's just happy to see me.  Either way, that's really not the smile of a miserable person.  

After that errand is run, I took advantage of being in San Remo.




That last photo is just one stall, my favorite, in the big food market.  I like this stall because a)they sell cilantro, and b) the owner always gives me recipes for the veg I buy.  This time he told me how to cook some cima di rapa (aka: calabrian broccoli)

He said that the way he prepares it is so good that  his pregnant daughter ate 3 bowls of it last time he made it.  Hmmm...did the daughter eat so much because it was so good or because pregnant women tend to eat a lot?

Off to the gommista to get some new tires.

"Torno subito"- "be back soon".  That's not a good sign to see when running errands in Italy.  "Soon" is a relative word, it could mean 5 minutes, after lunch, or tomorrow.  Instead of sitting in my car waiting to find out the gommista's definition of soon, I went to the yarn store (duh, what else would one do if they have some time to kill?).

Awesome.  Her sign said "open".....only, she wasn't really.

Back to the gommista, who actually had returned subito for the new tires that make my Fiat 500 drive like it's a Ferrari.  Ok, maybe not a Ferrari, but it does seem that new tires give power steering to a car that didn't previously have it.

Errands done.  Home again.  The cima di rapa was delicious, even if you're not pregnant.