As I have written, this blog is also designed to help me remember things from year to year and that is the main reason for this post. This is the first spring that we have lived in this yard so it has been a treat to discover all the plants that pop up. I thought that all the iris were deep blue. I was tickled to find two plants that are red. None of the rest in the back bloomed. I really think that those plants don’t get enough sun and are too crowded.
This mutant was caused by something snacking on the bud. Too high for the chickens so don’t know what it could have been.
Posted in Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, spring | Leave a Comment »
This great space! It is under the large piazza and has been revitalized by our friends, Megan and Sebastian of Del Brenna Jewellery (www.delbrenna.it) The space will house a new showroom and a design studio. And also a space that can be used for wine tastings.
The final product.
Reeds uncovered in the ceilings
The old wine press/grape stomping area.
An old olive press
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar from our friends, Tania and Keith (http://www.lartedellolivo.com/).
Some of the good food that we enjoyed at the reception.
Richard (in purple) chatting with our friend Chuck who helped out as bartender that evening.
The lovely Megan.
So now one more reason to visit Italy and Cortona. Congratulations to Megan and Sebastian on a well thought out, beautiful new use for this space.
Posted in Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, food, Friends | Leave a Comment »
Regular readers of this blog will remember when I have written about our friends, Dinah and Allen and the place that they own in nearby Lucignano. They have been having a lot of work done to the place and the wonderful terrace was turned in to a builders’ store yard. But now the work is finishing; Allen is about to come for a stay; summer is arriving; so Dinah wanted to clean up the terrace add some color and make it an inviting place to sit.
She asked me to go with her to help pick out plants. Ohhhh, yeah, she really had to persuade me. Nothing I like less that looking at and buying plants. HA!
One afternoon, we went out to my favorite nursery and Dinah helped the local economy by buying a nice selection of plants. The next day was cloudy and a good day to get all the plants in the ground.
Here are the results.
Dinah thinks that I was being sooooo helpful. Little does she know, that like many gardeners, I am always looking for more space to plant. I was really just ‘colonizing’ her terrace. Now if I could get her to buy a hot tub….
Posted in Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, Friends, Summer | 2 Comments »
Guest Post: by Nerone, the dog
So here I am, just bein’ the good dog, barking’ at cats, takin’ walks, watchin’ the laundry dry (that’s hard work you know…) And all of a sudden, my friends, the chicks DISAPPEAR! I told that lady who feeds me, She Who Must Be Obeyed, that we needed to get right on that. So She talked to my friend Costantino. I saw him shakin’ his head and all. I’m thinkin’ bad things happened. He’s all the time ridin’ around on that big ole tractor, cuttin’ grass. Maybe he ran over them. But She said no. And She said She didn’t really understand what Costo was tellin’ her. Then the next day She was talkin’ to his wife, Olive Oyl. She told me that Olive Oyl pretty much said the same thing. That ‘the chickens’ year was over’. (What does that mean?) And that the chickens were peckin’ at their eggs. And that was bad. Well! I’m not surprised! The way Olive Oyl and Costo go on about the chickens being fat and all. They were probably hungry! You know Olive Oyl calls me Grossone. Really!
I mean she’s (Olive Oyl) all the time worryin’ about weight. But she’s a strong one. A few weeks ago before the chickens left, I saw ‘em when they was movin’ that mattress. She Who Must Be Obeyed and Costo had gotten it down the steps but then the two of them couldn’t get it any further. So Costo called Olive Oyl to come help. (He calls her by right name. I’m the only one who calls her Olive Oyl. Look what she calls me!) Any way, she come over. Now she’s wayyyy taller than either Costo or SWMBO. So Olive Oyl hefts up the mattress and is in one corner, Costo is in the middle, with most of the weight fallin’ on his head and SWMBO is diagonal from Olive Oyl in the back corner. So they all three set off, heftin’ this mattress like jungle bearers bein’ chased by a tiger. Ceptin’ it was the chickens chasin’ them. Man alive, I just about peed on my tail it was so funny! Those chickens were good for all kinds of fun and now SWMBO seems to think that they are livin’ somewhere else.
But then… I don’t know what SWMBO did, but I thought She was tryin’ to get rid of ME!
Look what She’s feedin’ me! That’s not Italian, that’s Spanish! Well, I have a delicate stomach. I was sicker than a dawg! For days! I don’t know. Maybe it was just dog flu. I’m feelin’ better now but I had to stay in from work, protectin’ and watchin’ for cats for a few days. I was so sick.
And it’s not like I get any privacy. Here I am in my own room, just tryin’ to take a little nap but She just has to take a picture.
Really, life is so hard sometimes… I miss my chicken friends.
Posted in chickens, Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, Neroni | 1 Comment »
One of the purposes of this blog is to provide me with an illustrated diary of events. So that in the future I can look back and see when this happened or (in the case of sagras and festas) recall what was available to eat or how much it cost… Just all sorts of things. Last year I started posting pictures of posters. Whether we went to the event or not. I am doing that again this year.
For a sagra in JUNE! But up this early in a place where many folks were for the kite festa and then the pilot (yes like planes, mostly ultralites) were gathered near the lake.
As you can see there is a lot happening here.
Posted in Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, Sagra, festa posters | Leave a Comment »
Well, after seeing them in France in my inspiration flower bed, I have been totally fixated on Oriental poppies. So what’s the difference?
Color for one thing. These are the wild ones that grow naturally here in Tuscany. Always red.
These are what I called Oriental poppies. And I was so delighted to find them at the Esselunga. I paid a lot for them 3.50 Euros each which is more than I will normally pay for a plant but I am pretty sure that if I mulch them they will be back next year. I guess we’ll see.
Posted in Copyright 2008-2013, Martha Taccarino, Friends and Family in Italy, cost of living, nature, spring | Leave a Comment »