Monthly Archives: April 2024

Nearly done!

So today we got the countertop. The plumber finished his work. And the electrician sort of finished. He still has several things to finish. He will be the last man standing.

The counter people were extremely proud of their counter with its embedded cooktop. We got a pot of water boiling and discussed the way the controls work. Pictures to come in another post. Here are pictures from today with captions.

Countertop on truck
Elevator thingy
Working the counter and plumbing
Workers are gone. Still electric things to go but mostly done.
Luther called the island Greenland 🙂
Sink
Wine cooler has 2 temperatures, one for white, one for red.

Tonight I cooked dinner up here. But not in the kitchen. I had marinated a flank steak and cooked it on the outside fireplace. But I had to stay nearby to tend the fire to get it hot so I stayed upstairs for the first time. I found it very comfortable. I love the sofa. Here is a view of the kitchen from the sofa. Loving it. Finally a relaxing moment. 🙂

Kitchen, the end game

Monday, bright and early the cabinets arrived. Each painstakingly brought up on foot or in the elevator if it would fit. First here are a couple pictures of the empty space.

I like the color of the wood pieces. And I like my choice of cabinet colors. A very subdued sage leaning almost to beige. I can definitely see the green in them though.

First picture is just after delivery. The others are after they finished for today. The island is not yet positioned where it will be. But you can get the idea. I also found out the counter won’t arrive until Wednesday. The electrician and plumber come tomorrow.

I’ll post more tomorrow! Ciao for now!

Back from Ospidale

This past week we were invited to a birthday party for a young woman turning 18. Her parents threw a big party with a full five course dinner for seventy of her friends. They are our adopted Italian family. Vera and Graziano. I really enjoyed watching the young people. Beautiful in the flush of youth. Wearing all kinds of things… much flesh exposed! The meal was good, a lot of food but fortunately you could turn down a course if you wanted, and I did! Pictures with captions next.

Birthday girl. She has the most amazing red hair. Really sets her apart. She is pretty, AND super smart.
Vera and Graziano, mom and dad.
The adult table
The kids
Kids

~~~~~~~
Then the dread intervento happened on Thursday. I went to the hospital early, around eight. They immediately rushed me in and I changed into the hospital clothes. They covered me with a shiny blanket and I was wheeled to the surgery floor.

I gotta say, all the people (nurses, anesthesiologist, medics) were so nice and friendly. Happy to talk about where I was from, to tell me about their families who lived in the U.S. One, a nurse with raccoon eyes she had on so much makeup, told me, upon learning I was from near Washington DC, that her daughter lived in Walla Walla and did I know it. The explanation that it was Washington State and not DC which were on different coasts was hilarious. So I was well entertained while I waited. I will add, no one spoke any English. The norm for hospitals here.

All went well and when I woke I had a real scare because my throat closed up and I couldn’t breath. Probably because of the removal of the tubes. It subsided with oxygen. Whew. Back in my room I slept. The doctor came later to explain the findings. I had two different infections. One fungal in my cheek area and one bacterial behind my eye. The issue in my lower sinus in the cheek was a “fungal ball”. Like it has colonized and rearranged the furniture in there to make itself at home… but this also enabled a bacterial infection to get in the cavity which is right behind my left eye. He said that was more dangerous because it could have affected my eye or gone into my brain. So I am glad I got it done.

I have some pictures of my room. It was for two but it was all mine. It also had another whole room with a sofa. The nurse who brought me in said it was my “suite”. After procedures which was painless I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything hot. Nor was I allowed a hot shower on my head. So dinner came and it was puréed vegetable soup. They told me I couldn’t eat anything hot but this soup was piping hot. I asked if it was a mistake. No. I just needed to let it get cold. 🙄 OK then. It wasn’t very good cold. But I was famished so I ate it. Next morning breakfast. I had a choice of tea or milk. I decided on tea. But of course it was very hot. Another wait for it to cool. Sigh.

My room
The “suite”
Cold, but meant to be hot, soup. Horrible.

Back home on Friday and return Sunday then again next Thursday to find out the lab results and future treatments if any. Following instructions. Still not eating anything warm. I miss my coffee.
~~~~~~~~
Saturday we went to a celebration of life for a friend here in Umbertide. John Littlewood. An artist and illustrator with a rich and full life. He was British and his wife is American. They started their own businesses and lived all over the world. In the end Umbertide welcomed him. He was an old world gentleman. Friends with all. My memory of him in the piazza always walking to Bar Mary for his caffè will endure. The celebration was in his small gallery in town. It was packed. He was well loved and will be missed. I plan to buy some of his art as I never have and I do like it a lot.

Next big thing is the kitchen comes on Monday and will be installed Monday and Tuesday, All the players will be here, electrician, plumber, carpenters, work crew. It should be finished and usable this week. Exciting.

The weather is summery. Highs about 80. Really nice. There is a street food fest in town on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Looks good. And here is a picture of a park near the Rocca.

Stay tuned for the KITCHEN!!

New kitchen comes next week!

This week, other than getting the pre-op testing for my intervento next Thursday, has been all about the new kitchen. I have visited the falegname (cabinetmaker) twice. First to double check the color they painted the cabinets, and today I viewed my absolutely spettacolo isola (island). The cabinets are painted a very light sage color. The island, the shelves behind the counter and the wine rack will be wood.

The island is enormous. It is not wide because of the room we had, but it is long. It will be a beautiful piece of furniture. Here is a picture of the working side. The side that faces the cabinets on the wall. There are two deep drawers. One has an inside smaller drawer for cutlery and tools. There is a big space for trash cans because we have many due to recycling. And a smaller side cabinet with shelves.

This next one is the front side facing out into the room. It will have shelves for books and things.

This is the interior drawer for cutlery and tools. You pull the big drawer out and the smaller drawer is spring loaded to pop out inside.

Picking the color for the wood was really hard. I liked the lighter color, but thought the darker one was better for the whole kitchen and the room. I hope it looks ok!

Nicoletti is the name of the faligname. They are very busy. Known all over Europe they make cabinets and furniture for people in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK among others. The quality can’t be beat. Every single piece is fully hand made. I was told they cannot fill the positions they have open for craftsmen. They advertise all over Europe. They offer competitive salaries and don’t even require experience. They will train the new people in the trade. Seems, with the high unemployment here this would be a very attractive deal. But they still can’t fill the spots. This is a shot of the big working area. I watched them cutting the wood for the island on Tuesday with that big table saw. Cool.

A la prossima!

Pasquetta – little Easter !

We are home in time for the Easter festivities. We have the misfortune to have a cyclone that is carrying Saharan dust high into the atmosphere and the sky is a murky mess. Cars and surfaces are coated with sand. The weak sun tries but it’s too much for it. This dust is spreading all over Europe even up into Germany.


Today was Pasquetta. It is traditional that the Italians make a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. It was horrible and murky to start with. You couldn’t see any distance really. Then we had a good steady rain all afternoon. It washed all the murk away! We enjoyed a fine lunch at Calagrana with good friends. Four courses plus a cocktail and snack. Many dishes had spring veggies like sweet fresh peas and fava beans. Delicious. This photo is after the storm but it doesn’t do justice to the brilliant red we had.

I went to the Otorino last week (ENT doctor) for a private consult. I have a bad infection, no doubt. He gave me antibiotics and nose spray and scheduled the operation. He is at a private hospital. Private hospitals are required to take some public patients so we checked availability and it would be September (!) before I could go in on the public system. So Luther and I opted to pay for it. TBH it isn’t that expensive. €2,500 all tolled. Includes one overnight and the operation and follow up if needed. I am pretty miserable and would love to feel better after over six months of this. I will report on the experience.

Ciao! 🌸🌸🌸