Buttercup & Gidget

Gidget waiting for her coffee

Gidget waiting for her coffee

Buttercup waiting for her walk

Buttercup waiting for her walk

G doesn’t like me taking pictures of her, so the dogs get their portraits done today.  Why is everyone so serious?

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Friends of a Friend

Sometimes your friends’ friends make you scratch your head and ask, “How could *they* be a friend of [ insert good friend’s name here].  But other times the head scratching is about why you’ve never met the friend of your friend before.

We had THE BEST time with Natalie and Bernie, who until the moment they arrived were only friends of a friend.  After a quick 24 hour stay with us, however, we’re now like family.  We had a great time – seafood for lunch down at the sea, then dinner back at Tutto Doppio, with lots of talking and shared chores in between – that came to an end all too quickly.

In fact, we were having so much fun that we forgot to get a picture of Bernie.  Either that, or he’s in the Federal Witness Protection Program.  I am sure not going to be the one to say.

We miss you guys!

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Fresh Anchovies on a Wood-Fired Grill

Our new favorite — fresh anchovies, cleaned and lightly breaded, and then grilled over wood coals on the piastra. Delicious and affordable; this is about $3 worth from one of our favorite fish markets: Il Timone in Grottammare. Yum. 

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Lunch Out: Senduicceri 44 Via Balilla

Out running errands (telling the post office where we live, recharging our phones) and decided to try fancy panini at a lovely shop in San Benedetto del Tronto. Totally cute, and a nice way to practice some practical Italian!

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Lunch? Piadineria Magritte!

After three trips to IKEA in about as many days, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch. The beautiful town of Loreto is on the way back to Tutto Doppio, and G had the presence of mind to suggest that we stop there for piadine. 

Piadine are the Italian version of quesadillas. And Magritte – just off the main piazza – is one of the best. If you’re ever in the area, check it out. They have a great selection of beer, too!

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Sunrise Theater

San Pietro invited me to a sunrise performance led by his friend Giorgio.  Giorgo is an accomplished Italian actor, but this morning served admirably as director of a really amazing performance.  The cast sang, spoke, and even danced a bit in the sea, leading us down the beach from scene to scene.  I can’t say that I fully understood the storyline… but I have that problem even when the lines are all in English.

It was a spectacular morning, and even more so for theater.  Bravi!

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Vineyard Gets a Cleaning

One of the most beautiful things to behold is a vineyard with nothing but rich soil between the rows. Unless you’re an agronomist, in which case you probably like the biodiversity that a cover crop offers. Thanks to St. Pietro, our vineyard falls in the latter camp. 

Still, it’s awfully nice when Umberto comes and gives everything a solid cleaning. And that he did, including both the vineyard and the orchard. It won’t last forever, but it sure is pretty!

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Sfortuna, Fortuna – The Sky’s on Fire

We arrived at Tutto Doppio four weeks ago to the day.  Although we know how lucky and blessed we are, and although we take time every day to look at our world as though it’s the first time we’ve seen it, I’d be lying to you if I claimed everything has been smooth as silk.  Our challenges haven’t been anything earth shattering; just the stuff that comes along with starting life in a new place.  Admittedly, each of these “chores” (e.g., getting a new cell phone plan, getting an internet connection) is a bit more complicated given our rudimentary Italian.  (We’ve had a LOT of help from Pietro… thanks, P!)

And we’ve had it easy compared to the folks who depend on grapes for their livelihood. The summer has been just awful.  Far too much rain, and not nearly enough heat.  We are hoping – along with them – that the weather snaps to ASAP.

Today looked good when we woke up, and was nice and warm through the early afternoon. But as the day came to a close, another storm rolled through… washing away any of the treatments farmers here must use to do battle with mildew, fungus and the like.  Bummer.

But with every bad turn of events comes something good, something beautiful.  I know that this “silver lining” way of thinking sounds trite, pollyannish.  But the older I get, the more I believe that it’s true.  The more experience I have under my belt, the more I come to trust that no matter how awful and disappointing the news, there is something of beauty to discover.  Maybe it’s just the way humans are wired.  Maybe it’s the way the universe is wired.  Maybe it’s God.  Maybe not.  But I do believe it’s true.

With today’s awful weather and storms came the most amazing sunset.  We are genuinely sorry for our neighbor farmers who are counting – dearly – on better weather.  And we hope right along with them that better weather comes soon.  But that hoping hasn’t stopped us from stopping and being still and watching the sun set in a spectacular way.  Giusto?

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