Random Shots


All this produce from right down the road for lee than $5.


Leo and Lorenzo’s turtles came for a visit.  Wonder who the turtles will stay with next year?



on top of the main church in Monte San Savino



A quick shot, taken on a rainy, cloudy day in Florence



And a freaky moon shot.


The small village that we are part of Montagnano has a duck sagra every year.  It is very popular, gets crowded and in the past has not been well organized.  One year after attending and being less than happy with the experience I realized that I could just go buy the duck, invite folks over and we could sit and enjoy it comfortably.  So, Sunday, September 18 our house became ‘party central’.


Ida had a lunch for 10 while I was busy setting up for a dinner for 10.  Here she is, one of the many trips up and down the stairs she had to make.


There must be a table cloth in here somewhere that I like????



Rain showers and cooler temps forced us to be inside.  Fortunately, Richard came over to help me move furniture out of our main room and we were able to bring in another table and have enough room for 11 people without being too crowded.



On Saturday night I went up to the sagra and bought 4 whole roasted ducks.  One I picked the meat off the bones, twon of them were cut up in to pieces and this was the “Beauty Queen”.   She got a platter all to herself.

The roasted duck lends itself well to being paired with Asian dishes.  I made a Thai yellow curry vegetable dish, Grace brought her outstanding chicken coconut milk soup, George and Jules brought an Indian potato and lentil dish, Richard made his Indian tomato curry.  We started with nutty snacks from Dinah and finished with  Italian Cream Cake.

It was such a fun event that I forgot to take any pictures.









Sagra and Festa Posters

The season is winding down.  Here are a few posters from events happening in southern Tuscany.














Porcini Time

In mid August, we were in Cortona for the porcini sagra.


It is held along the Roman road which is park most of the time.  For this event (and the steak sagra, held the week before) the road up to the park is opened and with Ben’s handicapped sticker we are able to drive right up.  From there it is a wonderfully flat surface so it is easy to get to this one.  We joined Grace, Gian Carlo, Tania, Keith and his relatives for dinner.


porcini soup, which has a lot of croutons in it.  It is pretty tasty, but very hardy fare for a hot August night.


Fried porcini.  There was also “country style steak”  with a rich porcini gravy.  A very tasty meal and a fun night.




Random Shots

A few garden shots






Coleus and hosta are doing well.  Impatients are too, until the chickens drop by for a snack



It is fig and blackberry time.



Chicken dinner: fresh mozzarella and arugula on a bed of rice and cracked grain.  Why does this sound like a salad from a snooty restaurant in America that I won’t be able to afford to buy when we live there?


Olives are growing.  But might be infected with the awful fly.  Maybe not much of a harvest.   We’ll see.



Getting Ready (or How much do I love the Queen Mary 2)

Taking advantage of the hot sunny weather, I drug out some of the suitcases and bags that we used to move over with


I was pleased that only one bag was totally worthless and needed to be discarded.

Now they are all aired out and clean.  Stacked better so that when we start talking with our friend Enzo about the drive to Southampton he will be able to see how much luggage we have.

When we moved over, I got the feeling that no matter how many times I said “We are moving.  We have a lot of luggage.”  No one really believed me.  And after seeing all of these out, I decided that maybe I should chat with the Queen Mary 2 folks again.

The moving gods must be smiling on us.  For a mere $100 more we now have 2 cabins on the Queen Mary 2.  Our orginial one and another one a few doors away where all the luggage can quietly sail the high seas to America.  I think there was a sale on.

Yes, I know we could have all of this shipped.  But, in all the years I have been here we have never really managed to get a package delivered to us.  So why should I trust those same delivery folks to pick up things and get them to me in America.  The things we are taking back are very personal, pictures, one of a kind things, while not that expensive are irrepalceable to me.  So what if they will have their own cabin on the Queen Mary?  These are important items to me.

So time marches on.  September, October, November and a few days in December left…


Happy Birthday Josie

The last Sunday in August, we were at Grace’s house to celebrate her Momma’s birthday, 101!!!!!!

We enjoyed a wonderful meal, including Grace’s great home made pasta.




The birthday girl seemed a little skeptical of the wine.


She decided to give it a try




Ohhh, it’s fizzy


Maybe some more….


With Grace


And many more



A Flurry of Posts


No, it is not a new weather condition.  I fear that the laptop that I write these posts on might be nearing its end.  So I wanted to get this back log  published so I would not lose them.  Anyway, I have used up about two weeks worth of posts.  Don’t be disturbed if it is well in to September before you hear from me again. 

And many thanks to those who were worried about us.  We are about a two hour drive from the area that was hit by earth quakes.  Oddly, (not really) I was awake at that time.  Maybe something woke me up, but 3:30 AM is my new time to be wide awake.  I did not feel anything and I don’t think anyone around us did either.  Across the valley in Cortona, they felt it.  And the bit about Montepulciano being leveled.  Well that is total CRAP!  The expat community is appalled that CNN aired that story. 

We are all thinking about the events of these past few weeks both here in Italy and in Louisiana.  It is scary how so quickly you can lose everything.

Keep safe, enjoy the last of these lazy, hazy crazy days of summer.

Random Shots


A month or so ago, I picked this big vase out of the trash pile.  It had been broken but I covered the broken edge with duct tape and used it as my outdoor vase.

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Richard cut these and brought them to me.  He was calling them cardoons.  Anyway, each stem was heavy.  I thought about that when I put them in the vase.  But the vase is pretty heavy too.  I should have listened to the little warning in my head.  A week or so later, the wind caught them (or maybe an evil cat) anyway, tipped the vase and broke it to many, many pieces.


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So now I have only this smaller green vase.  Too bad, I was kind of enjoying making larger arrangements. 


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Even in the heat and with no water the cardoons still look pretty good.  

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Another week, another arrangement.  Flowers from the hostas.

Another one that we will miss


Pizza in Marciano. 

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We were there with Marciano residents, Grace and Gian Carlo, Grace’s daughter Elena and her son Luca.   Look at that finger pointing.  He’s telling his grandmother ‘what’s what’  You know…


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We always see a great sunset at this one. 


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And truly, the BEST pizza.  I think it is something in the cheese blend that sets it apart from others.  This is our first visit.  Hopefully there will be other visits.