Saturday, June 18, 2005


Ever have one of those nights when your brain just refuses to turn off? Last night was one of those nights for me. I kept thinking about things I needed to do to get ready for Sunday’s lunch. About emails that I needed to send and about questions I wanted to post on the ExPats message board.

At first I thought I should just get up, write some notes to remind myself in the morning, and go back to bed. I fought this idea for a long time, then finally gave in. It didn’t work. I tried to lie as still as I could, hoping that eventually I’d drift off, but my brain just kept spinning. Eventually I got up and read some more of “The Godfather Returns”. I don’t even know what time it was when I went back to bed, and even then it took me a while to drift off. I wonder what it is that triggers nights like that?

Yesterday we passed Rosalba, Adamo’s sister, as we drove down our street. Once again she asked us when we wanted to begin our language lessons. Once again we told her whenever she wanted. This exchange has been going on for over a year, and we never seem to get together. I have a feeling that their English is much better than our Italian, but they seem genuinely interested in practicing with us.

Today as I walked to the garden, I passed Adamo as he walked up the street to talk to Art. He said “You go to the garden?” very slowly and carefully, and I said “Si, Vado al orto”. He and I have been practicing this way with each other for a while, and it’s helpful to both of us.

We’re also listening to (and repeating) the Pimsleur CD’s we got when we were in the states. My son had recommended them to us, and I think he’s right…they really are going to make a difference. Right now I’m repeating lessons five and six of the first level, and there are three levels, each with thirty lessons.

Although I know the answers to the questions and can repeat the phrases, and although it’s just me and Art, I STILL get tongue-tied and nervous, and I STILL have trouble spitting out the complete phrase quickly and effortlessly. For now I think it’s best to keep repeating the lesson until I’m more at ease.

My rose bush isn’t doing so hot. I planted it in February, and expected it to practically explode with new growth once spring arrived. It has grown a little, but it looks like two of the four branches have died. To add insult to injury, yesterday I noticed that there are aphids on the plant. Guess I need to make another trip to the garden center, but what I’m really tempted to do is to buy another rosebush and start over.

We may be sweltering in July and August, but we sure aren’t sweltering in June. Today was another absolutely perfect day….blue sky, fluffy clouds, lots of sun, nice breeze, no humidity. I guess the high was in the LOW eighties. We sat our on the patio for much of the afternoon and after dinner, reading, studying, enjoying the moment.

Not surprisingly, the director from the kitchen place never did show up this week. Art called to talk with him, but of course he wasn’t in. He did leave a message, but it seems doubtful that we’ll ever hear from anyone at that company. All we need is one small part to replace the broken hinge on one side of our oven vent. It doesn’t seem like such a big request, but for whatever reason, we’ve never been able to get anyone to help us. So, for those of you contemplating a kitchen, add SALIMA in Chiusi Scalo to our list of companies we do NOT recommend!


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