Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Okay, what else?...the entertainment center is supposed to be ready this week…at least Francesco said he would call on Wednesday or Thursday to set up a delivery time. It will be nice to get the books and DVD’s and video tapes put up…right now, everything is sitting in boxes or in piles on the floor. I do have things organized, so as soon as the entertainment center is in place, I can start putting stuff away. Oh, and all the picture albums! I should count them to see how many we have…some trips have not one but TWO albums. I’m a picture geek though, and love to sit down and look through the old albums.

Good news! Art figured out the wiring for the TV/DVD/VCR/Satellite!!! Yeah! Normally this is my department, but for some reason, he was the one to do it this time. We now have SCART cables for the connections, and although I know this makes things simpler, it’s also a little different than what we're used to. We wanted to have all the peripherals in place when the satellite was installed, so that everything could be hooked up correctly. We assumed that the satellite guy would know what to do….apparently not! Art tried to tape something from the satellite, and got nothing. Then we (he) had to try to figure out what cable went where, and I’m sure you know how frustrating THAT can be! After messing with it for several days, he FINALLY got it to work! Then when we went back, it didn’t work again! But, with a little fine tuning, and remembering which input to put which piece on, I think we finally have it right. We have all the manuals in English, except for the VCR. Well, we do have it in English, but it’s on the computer, and I’m waiting for the entertainment center to arrive before I hook up the printer. Trying to read the direction from the computer is not the easiest thing…you can’t flip back and forth between the pages!

Here’s an amazing realization: we’re running out of things to buy! We were going to make a trip to the store, and aside from food, couldn’t think of a thing we really needed! Wow! Yeah, we still need stuff for the garden, but I’m waiting for the guy to call from the garden center to help me plan. And yes, there’s always the odd thing you need/want when you own a house, but for now, the only major things left to do are:

1) Enlarge the shower in the white bathroom
2) Have an armadio built for our bedroom
3) Have the shutters re-varnished
4) Start replacing the windows one by one, starting with our bedroom window
5) Put in a new patio and plantings for the garden
6) Gosh, I can’t think of a number 6! We need to put up a new clothesline,
but that’s simple, so I guess that’s it! Wow!

When we were painting the fencing last weekend, all of a sudden we heard someone ask, in English, “Do you speak English?” We turned to see a car in the street with a girl hanging out the back window. Of course we said “yes” and she said, “I thought so…you didn’t look like you were from around here!” This was Belinda, an Australian girl who’s married to an Italian (Giacomo?). Anyway, they live not far from us, I think in the direction of Marsciano, and said they wanted to invite us over. We gave them our card, so hopefully we can get together with them soon. Who knew there were all these English speaking people in the area? First the British couple in Ospedaletto, then the couple from Finland, now these people!

I need to make a run to Perugina…we’d like to invite Corrina, who runs the museum there, to dinner, and I also NEED some chocolate! I think we’ll try to bring back some of those huge chocolate Easter eggs with a toy inside for Nicholas and our nieces. We’ll be back in the states in about five weeks, and will be taking empty suitcase on the way over, which will be VERY full on the way back! We still have clothes and stuff…I’m not sure what all of it is…just stuff, but anyway, we are hoping to bring the last of it with us in May. If not, well, we’ve live without it this long, so I guess another few months won’t hurt! We won’t return to the states again until December.

This trip to the states will be a little different…Art will be working at the track this time, giving me a lot more time to myself. I plan to shop and visit and lunch and enjoy myself! I’m going to visit my granddaughter in N Carolina too! And best of all, I’m taking my grandson with me! Photo opportunities galore! Right now I have a picture of the two of them as the wallpaper on my computer, but it was taken last May, and is due for an update. I’m hoping that a second visit with Siobhan (after our January visit) will help her to remember me until we visit again next December. And we’ll definitely be visiting in December, because Siobhan will have a little brother or sister by that time! Grandchildren are a BLAST! I thought my kids were great when they were little…so cute, so smart, so talented. Then I had grandkids! They are even CUTER AND SMARTER AND MORE TALENTED!!! Yes, it’s true; I’ve turned into one of those “let me tell you about my grandchildren” people!

We applied for an Italian MasterCard at the PostalBank. This was after we tried to buy the satellite system and were told that it had to be purchased with an Italian credit card…well, maybe not just Italian, but at least EU, and definitely NOT American. We decided it would be good to have an Italian credit card for such times, but we haven’t heard anything yet. Fabio did call from the Post Office to ask for the address to verify Art’s pension, so I’m thinking it might take a while. And speaking of Fabio, Art was able to get our phone card recharged last week! Of course Fabio had to call someone and they had to talk him through the process, but he did it! We’re probably the only ones in town who have ever bought this card, much less tried to recharge it! Maybe things will be easier the next time!