October through December, 2013

To read the CURRENT month, go to ITALY JOURNAL

We post to the journal several times a month, so if you'd like to be notified each time we post, send us an email: evanne@lavventuraitalia.com

October 1
Brilliant blue skies greet us, although I am not back to my usual good health. The morning wastes away and Dino leaves to grocery shop and do errands, while I catch up with you and Sofi lies nearby resting on the cool floor tiles.

Earlier, we started to do more laundry, but did not finish. We'll wait until after 5 PM, when energy costs are less. Yes, energy is very expensive here compared to that in the U.S., where we used to live.

I have an appointment later this afternoon with our good Dottore Stefano, to determine what ails me. I don't have a gall bladder, so it must be something else. Let's not worry.

It's Monday, but I'm still recovering from our trip to France, so spend more time in bed than I'd like. I'm pretty much out of it, so we go to our dear dottore late in the day, who gives us two prescriptions for me to take for a week, and another for hospital tests, which we'll do tomorrow.

October 2
I'm feeling a bit better but don't do much today that is productive, other than the medical tests that were done early this morning in Viterbo. Dearest Sofi stays by my side no matter what, although she has to wait in the car while I visit the doctors.

Dino is such a dear. He fixed a special and simple soup for me to eat for pranzo, and it's a chicken broth with tiny pasta; quite delicious with grated cheese and little oval croutons served on top.

I rested for most of the afternoon, and when I awake and dress and go downstairs, I find Dino watching television. I love him dearly and he takes wonderful care of me, giving me special medication to take, which I do. I feel much better.

I sit with Sofi and Dino for a bit; then Sofi and I go to bed. A domani.(Until tomorrow.)

October 3
Today is a sleepy day for me, although weather conditions are still lovely outside. Later in the day I can look out to see some of Hoagy Carmichael's "buttermilk skies", but there aren't that many of those buttermilk looking clouds.

My stomach continues to bother me, and hopefully in a couple of days we'll have the results of yesterday's medical tests. Do I need to have my appendix removed? That's an unimportant organ, I surmise, unless it's angry. Not sure what to say about mine...yet.

The rest of the day is spent peacefully, watching some of our favorite programs on television. Yes, we can watch them in Italy, too! :) This quote from the internet is memorable. What do you think? "Tell her she is beautiful instead of hot; she is a women not a temperature". Ha!

October 4
That buttermilk sky overhead again tells us cooler weather is on its way. No matter.

Dino leaves to do errands and pick up the results of my blood tests. I'm still not feeling back to par, but trying to walk around just the same. Ignoring the pain helps a bit. Sweet Sofi remains ever by my side.

Something surely is wrong with my stomach, and it takes the energy right out of me. I feel like an old woman, even struggling to walk over to the terrace and sit on one of our sturdy wooden benches. Is this what it feels like to grow old?

I surely hope this feeling is temporary. There is a rumbling inside my stomach and I don't want to think about what it means.

Back inside, I return to reading for a bit, at least until Dino returns, while Sofi lies in her polka dot bed, just waiting for me. We move into the bedroom where I l lie down and read, with my shadow right in her little bed on the floor by my side. Oh, how I love her!

Dino returns and we have a quiet evening watching our favorite television programs. My stomach is not great, but not too bad. Let's go to bed and see if a good night's sleep will help. Hope you're all well and happy where you are.

October 5
The skies are full of clouds, some quite dark, when I get up at around 8 AM on this Saturday to take more medicine. My stomach is a bit better. Sofi stays by my side but does go out for a few minutes. Right now she's resting in her polka dot bed, just waiting for me to finish writing and go back to bed.

In the meantime, strong and steady Dino rises and takes a shower; then goes out about a few errands. He won't be long, and when he returns I'll get up and try to stay up for a while.

When he returns, Dino fixes a broth with pastina and toasted cheese bread for our pranzo, which is very tasty. Although I'm a bit better, I still have problems in my stomach and a bit of pain while in the bathroom. Slowly, slowly, all will be better in time, I tell myself.

I check in with you and then go back to bed, to read and to rest. Outside those buttermilk skies continue, for rain is expected here for several more days. With Sofi always by my side I'm surrounded by love, and treasure those two here who love me in return.

Rain continues off and on, mostly off, and I go to bed at 10:30 PM after watching television with dearest Dino and Sofi. I have a problem with swelling in one eye, but have used an eye wash and perhaps all will be well tomorrow. A domani.

October 6
I don't go to church, for I am still not well. The day is spent quietly, with Sofi always by my side.

October 7
I spend this Monday in bed as well, with Dino and Sofia nearby. All I want to do is sleep, and that's just what I do.

October 8
I spend most of today in bed again. Late in the day, Silvano arrives to perform a few electrical projects, including installing the stufa in the fireplace, with Dino ever at his side. We're assured we won't freeze to death this winter, especially if we purchase more pellets for the stufa, which will provide us with plenty of heat.

I have to keep Sofi upstairs in the studio with me with the door closed, for she guards me against any men she distrusts, and Silvano is one of them.

While I keep busy upstairs in the studio, I spot a stinkbug on the screen and open the window to try to get rid of it. It flies out at me and lights on the side of my head but I find it with my hand and fling it out the open window. Ickkk!! (: A bit of its smell remains, hopefully not for long. Sigh!

I wait for Silvano to finish his work to return downstairs and spend an hour or so watching television with Dino and Sofi. I'm looking forward to having a good quality stufa inside the fireplace opening for cold winter nights, and there will be plenty of them.

There's a lot of noise, for Silvano drills into a sidewall of the house to install the pipes for the stufa. The neighbors certainly won't be happy about this, for it's almost 7 PM, and our neighbors go to bed early. Let's hope the noise does not continue for long. After about ten minutes the noise stops, but then it begins again after a few minutes. Let us pray...

Silvano leaves and I'm not sure if he's finished. I'll let you know more tomorrow when it's light outside.

We spend the rest of the evening watching our favorite television programs; then go up to bed at around 10 PM our time. A domani. Sogni d'oro. That means, "Until tomorrow. I wish you golden dreams..."

October 9
It's a mellow day, with not much happening here. And so it goes in tiny Mugnano in Teverina, Lazio, Italy. Hope it's wonderful where you are, too!

October 10
It's a trip to Rome to the dentist for teeth cleaning, which is about an hour each way to his office, but other than a bit of shopping at a nearby shopping center, we're at home in the late afternoon.

October 11
It's a mellow day with nothing much to do, and that's the way we like it!

October 12
This may be a holiday in the United States to honor Christopher Columbus, who founded the new world in 1492, but here in our little village, we also celebrate the day, but nothing on a world scale.

Or do we? I'm sitting here at 9:30 in the morning at the computer, looking out at pouring rain just soaking the leaves of the persimmon tree growing right outside the front facing window. While I'm still sitting here, the rain stops, although the day remains gloomy.

At this very minute, Sofi and I are located inside the studio, with the door to the hallway closed, for Stefano B. comes to install the new pipes for the chimney above the stufa that is located inside the fireplace in the kitchen and Sofi will bark at him when she sees him, for she does not know him.

All is well, as long as I ignore Sofi as well as Dino and the worker downstairs below us. What I'd like to do is lie down on the bed, for I'm tired, but that would just gear Sofi up to bark, so let's wait a bit until the work has finished. It's really noisy. Sigh!

At just after 10 AM, the work has been finished. We remake the sofabed in the salone (living room) with fresh sheets and do a cleanup of the studio, after preparing the salone for Catharine's visit. I use the studio every day, so the studio won't be good for her to stay during her visit.

Since it will be more comfortable for her to have some privacy, we never use the living room, so she'll have plenty of privacy there and we'll fix up the room. What's that about the old term for the room? It does not sound like a room where living takes place to me!:)

Dino does not want me to lie down - he thinks I should stay up for a while, but he's leaving to do some errands, so I'll get everything ready for pranzo and then rest on the couch until he returns. Oh how I look forward to this afternoon's snooze afterward!:)

He's soon back from his errands and we fix and eat pranzo while watching Masterchef Australia programs on television. Then its time for a nap, and I'm oh, so tired. Sofi is already sleeping in her bed near the desk. Might as well not wake her.

Later in the afternoon and evening we watch some of our favorite prerecorded programs on television. Sofi and I come up to bed at around 10 PM and she snoozes next to me while I check in with you and then we go into our bedroom, where she sleeps next to my side of the bed in her little polka dot slumber bed. She's so special to me! Soon Sylvia will come to groom her, and I'm hoping that will be before our friend Catharine comes for a visit. Sofi is looking adorable, but could use a trim.

A domani.

October 13
It's Sunday, and we have not been to church in a while here, for we've been on a driving trip to Southern France. Yes, we attended church when there.

Church is fine. Don Angelo stops at my side to greet me as he walks up the aisle to the altar. He's always so kind to me.

The day wends slowly forward, with a headache looming. We have pranzo with Brian and Antonella at their beautiful flat in Orvieto, and it is a delicious and wonderful time with good friends Candace and Frank also attending, but little Sofi remains at home.

I miss my little shadow, and later we're home and the three of us spend the rest of the day and evening together; resting, watching favorite television programs, and returning to bed.

I've had a headache for most of the afternoon. Did the red wine have something to do with it? I'm not sure, but hope that an ice pack and rest in bed will do the trick. A domani! (Until tomorrow...)

October 14
It's just after noon, and I've been sleeping very late as if I'm in some kind of trance. Outside, the weather is beautiful and mild. Inside, I've just killed a stinkbug on my shirt as if I've said, "Oh, my!"

I do not remember much after returning from yesterday's pranzo. Perhaps I have been in some kind of dream state, possibly because of the red wine I drank. Sofi has been by my side since we returned yesterday afternoon, and seems fine.

Dino calls and he arrives home ten minutes later. Let's see what he remembers...

The rest of the day is mellow. I've received an email from my brother and have answered it. It's so great to hear from him after all this time. He seems happy with his life, although he's not as busy in real estate as he'd like. If you're interested in property in Boston, do contact him. He's really easy to get to know and will do all he can to help you.

October 15
Dino leaves early for an appointment in Rome for his eye, while Sofi and I sleep in. There's nothing we have to do, so we sleep late, then I serve Sofi her pranzo and make a simple omelet for myself. With no word back from Dino, we check in with you and then take an afternoon nap and read a bit. There's nothing much we have to do here.

I did send, or thought I sent, an email card to our pal, Patrick Flaharty, for it is his birthday today. It was an electronic card, so I'm hoping it sent the card I thought we wanted to send. At least we were informed that he picked it up, so at least he knows we're thinking of him. He's quite a guy!

Dino arrives home in the late afternoon; his examination in Rome completed. All seems well.

I have no energy again, so I feed Sofi some cena and catch up with you; then spend the evening with Dino watching our favorite television programs.

Outside the windows all is dark, with plenty of clouds and a bit of a breeze. I'm able to divert two stinkbugs outside the front screen in the studio window; they are such strange creatures and try to find their way inside the screens as weather cools. That means that soon they'll disappear for the winter, and I'm so pleased about that.

October 16
It's Wednesday, not that that means much to us. I do need to go to the doctor to have some tests, but don't know yet when that will be, probably Thursday. Some have suspected appendicitis, but I'm hoping it's nothing.

Instead, I have a pedicure appointment, and that should be less painful. Let's go there, instead!:)

Giusy takes wonderful care of me and I love her dearly. She gives me a marvelous pedicure; then Dino and Sofi pick me up and we return home under blue skies and plenty of clouds, some of them full of the sun's light. I surely love it here!

We do a bit of cleanup in preparation for a houseguest, which is unusual for us to have in this little house, but friend Catharine from our Mill Valley days will be here for a few days and then she goes on to India to the Puskar Camel Fair.

My back is somewhat sore and I'm tired. These autumn days have me looking forward to long afternoon naps. Soon we'll have heat from our new stufa as well, but unfortunately it will not be heated with logs, so we won't have glowing logs burning in our fireplace. The good news is that the little stufa will radiate lots of heat, and that's a very good thing during cold weather.

Pranzo is fine, and we watch a bit of MasterChef on television; then take naps. I'm still really tired and this cool fall weather is perfect for snoozing.

October 17
On this lovely Autumn day, skies overhead our little village are completely clear and in the bluest of blues.

Is it possible? Yes, I've slept continuously since yesterday afternoon. Sorry, dearest Dino. I do feel better...

This just in...

"Mr. Letta, in office since April, has, until now, been constrained by his need to avoid offending former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who controlled enough votes to bring down the government. But after winning a parliamentary showdown with Mr. Berlusconi this month, Mr. Letta is freer to act on needed reforms.

Mr. Berlusconi, a defendant in multiple court cases, pressed to weaken the powers of judges and prosecutors. Those powers need to be strengthened to assure swifter, surer justice. As an autocratic political boss, Mr. Berlusconi resisted democratizing the way candidates are chosen, and changing the way seats are allocated to make parliamentary deadlock less likely. With him out of the picture, it is more likely that center-right politicians will be more willing to negotiate over these issues. "

With Sofi by my side, we move downstairs while we wait for Dino's return. In case it will be a while, I feed Sofi and eat a yoghourt. We watch the latest news on television.

After what has been a very long sleep, I watch television with my dearest pals; then we all leave for Viterbo, where I have an appointment with our good Dottore Bevilacqua.

Well, Dottore Stefano is truly a wonderful man. He tells me that tomorrow is the day of my sonogram and that I will need to drink a litre of water before going in; that means tomorrow morning we'll get up early and I will do the drinking before we leave at around 9:30 for a 10:30 procedure. Surely my stomach will be full of water. Think of a little tugboat in a bathtub full of water...that will be me.

Let's hope for the best. I take two of the pills I am to take twice a day for six days or so, then check in with you. I'll probably not write again until the procedure has finished tomorrow morning and I'm feeling awake. But there is no need to worry. The procedure is more a chance to look inside me and see what is happening with my innards.

I watch a bit of television; then go to bed and read until I'm ready to enter dreamland. With Sofi ever by my side, and Dino's love to guide me, I am not worried, nor should you be. Hugs and buona notte! (Good night!)

October 18
On this lovely clear day, I have the Sonogram of my abdomen, done by a very nice man in Viterbo. It is not too bad, nor does he find anything menacing. I'm good to go for a while yet. Va bene! Dino tells me he thinks something is wrong, but we can't figure out what that might be, if anything. Let's not fret.

Back at home, we have pranzo and a rest, for which I am grateful. I am still quite tired.

Later, I almost forget to take my nighttime medicine prescribed by our dear Dottore Stefano, but remember just as I check in with you tonight, so I take the two pills and all is well. Earlier, Dino left to get a haircut while Sofi and I rested.

After he returns, we spend a quiet evening watching some TV; then Sofi and I turn in a bit after 9 PM while Dino watches a bit more.

October 19
It's difficult to believe that today is Saturday, although the days tumble by without a lot of definition. Weather continues warm and lovely, with a few clouds and plenty of sun. We are so happy to live out our simple lives here, although we dearly miss our beloved family and dear friends back in the United States. Hugs to them all!

We meet up with Judith and Tia in Amelia midmorning, and they both look great. It's fun to catch up with them both, and Sofi is a hit with them, as usual. Judith, ever the humanitarian and animal lover, still keeps a group of white doggies around, and one particular one is the sweetest one I have ever met. That is, with the exception of dearest Sofi. Si certo! (Yes, of course!)

The rest of the day is quite mellow back home in tiny Mugnano in Teverina.

In the late afternoon after we take a nap, I notice the first ripe persimmon on the huge tree on our front terrace from an upstairs window. The fruit is so strange to eat by itself; but in a persimmon pudding, my, oh my! We'll have to wait a few months for that now, won't we!

A few wisps of clouds float in the sky above; otherwise not much is happening here. I have no idea what that means for the winter ahead, weather-wise. In the meantime, dearest little Sofi rests comfortably in her polka dot bed by the side of the desk in the studio, where I write. How comfortable she is!:)

Oh! Those dratted stinkbugs have returned! Yes, they stink. Somehow they seem to find their way inside the screens, so whenever we open the windows, there they are, hanging on unless I pick them off and throw them to the wind or squish them with a Kleenex and put them in a wastebasket. Sigh! P-YOO!

On the site www.allrecipes.com is a recipe for bacon risotto. I don't like the idea of it, although I consider myself to be an excellent risotto chef. Today I fix a mushroom risotto that has turned out quite good for our pranzo .

There's plenty of time to read these days, and we also do projects around the house. I'm not ready to return to the church painting for Don Francis, which needs more work, but will surely do so soon. I'll be so happy to have it finished and delivered down to him in the Molise, South of Lazio!

After a nap, Dino must be feeling industrious, for he spends an hour or so cutting wood in smaller pieces for the pizza oven fires. What a guy!

I check in with you and then Sofi and I venture downstairs to watch television with Dearest Dino as the air turns colder outside. Winter's coming!

It's just before 6:30 PM and the skies are pink as the sun begins to set. Yes, it's a beautiful sight to see.

I'm feeling a bit vulnerable, but think that might have something to do with the weather; it's turning colder. Hope you're enjoying fall, wherever you are. Big hugs.

October 20
It's Sunday, and that means that it's also time to go to our little village church and sing in the choir during mass.Comé no? Why not?

I've finally found a good recipe for persimmons, other than persimmon pudding, which is amazing. This one skewers pieces of persimmons with herbs and rests in the marinade for hours; then it's ready to eat right off the skewer. Let's try it this year!

There's also a recipe for a Persimmon Tart online that looks great, but it won't print. I'll keep looking for it and let you know. If you're in the United States, look it up in the November issue of Sunset Magazine and let me know; even better, do email the recipe to me. Thanks so much.

After a very long nap, I wake to find my dearest pals ready for some television watching. These days, I've enjoyed watching "MasterChef Australia". Yes, I do like to cook, but don't do much of that these days.

We watch two "MasterChef" programs followed by "The Listener"; then I go up to bed after checking in with you. I am less stressed tonight, for some reason. A domani! Dorme bene! ...Until tomorrow! Sleep well!

October 21
Silvia arrives to give dear Sofi her winter cut. That means stripping, for our darling doggie is a mini wirehaired terrier with a beard and this is how that breed is groomed!

I can't bear to watch, nor is it a good idea that she can see me while Sylvia works on her, although it is not painful for her. Yes, Silvia is gentle but thorough, and has several of Sofi's same breed waiting for Sylvia in her car.

I'd love to let the doggies run free in the garden, but it's too much of a distraction for Sofi, so they wait patiently where they are, probably sleeping, which is what they do well.

What's up with us otherwise today? Not much, other than different workers to work on the house and a birthday greeting to send via the internet to Roy's brother, Christopher.

Although Silvia and Sofi are on the terrace, overhead the skies look menacing, with dark clouds and just a bit of sun shining through. Let's hope the rain holds off until later. Speriamo.

Sofi looks great, and seems to have no after-effects from Silvia's work on her coat this morning. Yes, she is my shadow and I love her dearly.

We watch a football game from the US that has been recorded between the Titans and the 49ers, and it is good watching. I hope the team does well for the rest of this season.

I don't remember what we ate for pranzo but Dino remained downstairs to welcome workers who installed the new stufawhile Sofi and I took a nap and I read a bit. The weather is a bit chilly and overcast, but all is well.

I'm so thankful I don't have to worry about Coro practice these days. I don't have to worry about anything, actually. The stufa has been installed in our kitchen fireplace and yes, I can see flames shooting up through its small window in front, although it means that we won't have huge fires in the fireplace this winter. There will, however, be plenty of heat coming out of the vents to keep us warm. Speriamo.

Let's take a nap and read!

It's now a few hours later and yes, the stufa works fine, with blasts of flame and heat coming out of the little window on the front of the stufa. I think we're all set for the winter.

We spend the evening watching television programs and movies, although I turn in early with a sore back. With some of that "blue ice stuff" still here, I put some on my shoulders and back and it seems to make the area cold, so I'm hoping it will dull the pain, which it seems to do.

I check in with you and then Sofi and I go to bed; me to read, while Dino continues to watch movies on television. ...a domani.(Until tomorrow...)

October 22
I print a recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, and you can find it on our site under recipes. Comé no? (Why not?) I'll surely make them when Catharine is here soon. Let's ask Dino to pick up the pumpkin puree when he's in Viterbo this morning!

I'd like to laze around all morning, but it is not to be. There's prep to do before Catharine arrives, to make things comfortable for her when she's here.

With sweet Sofi by my side, I try my best to do some cleaning of the bathroom, although I admit I'm not an expert at it. There are areas too high for me to reach; I'll ask Dino to help me after he returns.

Since our home is quite small, there is always something that needs to be put away, with no place to put it. It's a good thing Catharine is a good friend and will understand! In the meantime, let's see what we can straighten up, even if every little thing is not put away.

Skies are colorless but quite bright, so perhaps soon we'll have plenty of lovely fall blue sky. I am hopeful.

I just read an Op-Ed by Roger Cohen named "The Great Desperation". Dated today, it describes the state of Italy quite well. Read it if you dare...

There is some blue sky an hour later, so I remain hopeful, and will watch some news on television until Dino's return, hopefully with a roast chicken, and I'll prepare rice to serve with it. Yesterday's eggplant will be fine served tomorrow, as it rests somewhat happily in the frigo .

Online there is an Airfryer from Philips, offered either in black or white, for $249.99. It looks spectacular, but the price is so high we can't afford one right now. Perhaps some day the price will come down and there will be competitive pricing and products. Sigh!

On a happier note, skies are turning blue at noon, and we'll enjoy a bit of sun until Dino's return. Comé no?(Why not?)

Moving the mattress for Catharine's visit is not easy, but we manage to move things around and Dino is able to maneuver the top mattress in the guest bedroom downstairs to the living room, where we can turn the room into a place for Catharine to be comfortable during the few days she will spend with us.

October 23
Will we pick up Catharine from Rome today? Si, certo!Colorless skies turn to a pale blue and all is well in tiny Mugnano in Teverina.

Wanting to keep things normal, I continue to work on the website recipes while Dino works outside clearing up the garden leaves. Yes, it is fall and the time when trees drop their leaves.

Across the valley, fog begins to clear and trees are visible again, and quite beautiful. This is a happy place to live, and our neighbors seem to love it, too!

Dino is such a wonderful guy, big and strong. He maneuvers the heavy vacuum cleaner around on the first floor and on the stairs. I just don't have the strength to do it, but am so thankful that he does it without being asked.

Sofi slowly moves around from my side to her little bed in the studio. Yes, she is beginning to show her age. She continues to rest there while Dino and I clean up here and there, getting ready for our houseguest.

Yes, we pick up Catharine this morning, and it is so good to see her.

She fast becomes pals with Sofi, and by the time we are home she already seems acclimated. Since Catharine is a world traveler, it does not take her long to settle in. Hopefully she will enjoy her time with us.

By the time I check in with you and then go to bed, Catharine and Roy and I have all relaxed, we have eaten pizzas from the next town, and we're ready to face a new day tomorrow. I think it will be mellow, but we are not sure. Perhaps we will visit that abandoned cruise ship...and eat pranzo somewhere along the way.

October 24
We let Catharine sleep in a bit, then she and Dino take off for Viterbo to do a few errands. October 25
It's Friday. We spend a marvelous day driving out to Porto Santo Stefano and then get the 11 AM ferry to Isola del Giglio, with Sofi beside us all the way.

Catharine has spent many years working for the various Cruise Ship companies and we thought that she would like to see the wreck of the Costa Concordia which is now sitting on the bottom of the channel just off Isola del Giglio.

Although we have all seen too much TV coverage of this terrible accident, we are amazed of just how CLOSE he was to the Island!!! Here are a few photos:

As you probably are aware, the captian is now on trial in Italy. After seeing the ship, Dino is amazed that he wasn't lynched. "This was no accident, it was stupidity!", remarks usually gentle Dino.

We have a good fish pranzo at at a little place on the Island, walk around a bit and get the 4 PM ferry back to the mainland.

At night we're back home watching the recent remake of The Three Stooges; well, Catharine and Roy watch it while I sit through about a third of it and then Sofi and I go to bed. They laugh all the way through the rest of it. Va bene! ma no grazie.

October 26
It's off to Orvieto for their market day and to introduce Catharine to Orvieto, stopping first at an Autogrill for breakfast. The fun continues nonstop.

Colorless skies tell me it's foggy right now, and probably will also be foggy in Orvieto. Is this a sign that the weather is turning cooler, despite the fog?

Sofi is ready to go, and so are we!:)

The day is fun, with good weather, and we spend the evening at home watching television after I make risotto with part of a pumpkin we purchased earlier. The risotto is a hit! A domani!

October 27
It's Sunday, and our plans are to forego church (sorry, Lord!) and go to a special antique and collectables market with our dear friend, Catharine.

We have a wonderful time at a market in Campagnano di Roma, more than an hour away, and buy nothing other than three small gifts for a secret person I can't mention, or it won't be a secret.

We stop at Trevignano Romano on Lake Bracciano for a simple pizza pranzo, then wind our way up the Cassia through Vetralla and Viterbo and eventually to Mugnano.

Back at home we watch plenty of television, and I come up to check in with you and go to bed early, while Dino and Catharine stay up a bit. I'm really tired.

October 28
We're up at the crack of dawn to take Catharine to Aeroporto di Fiumicino, aka Leonardo DaVinci Airport, returning to go back to bed for a bit. We've had plenty of fun with her here. Comé no?:)

Because I read the International New York Times online, a few hours later I come across a very sad column by Frank Bruni about the state of Italy.

Do look him up online if you are interested to read what he has to say about the state of Italy in this past Sunday's issue. It's called the Sunday Review/The Opinion Pages on October 26 and is worth reading about Italy's sad state of affairs ...

I have a headache, take a few Tachiprina (Italian aspirin) and lie down, hoping it will disappear with my nap. Sigh!

October 29
It's Tuesday in our little village, although all is quiet. I like it that way! :) Dino takes "Pandina" his 1986 Fiat Panda, to Giorgio, the mechanic in Attigliano to see if he will sell it for us. We haven't used it in a long time and it doesn't make sense to keep up the registration, unsurance, etc...

October 30
Dino leaves for Guardea after breakfast while dearest Sofi and I stay at home. I do some meandering around, then when Dino calls to tell me he's coming home for pranzo, I stop writing and figure out what to fix for our meal after releasing two ladybugs from the screen on the front window and letting them fly outside in the balmy air.

We eat together and then take our customary long naps, although Dino wakes earlier than me and drives off to do another errand. I am quite tired, but at least my headache has passed, so Sofi and I get up and I clean up in the kitchen; then we sit in front of the television to watch prerecorded programs.

Tonight we watch the movie, Octopussy, and it is a Roger Moore adaptation of the James Bond character, set in India. Let's just say it's not my favorite. Sean Connery, where are you? Sigh!

I walk upstairs before it is over, check in with you and then go to bed. Tomorrow will be another day...

October 31
So, will we have Trick or Treaters tonight? Si, certo! (Yes, of course!:) We have enough treats to share, and since I suspect there won't be many children coming by, there's nothing much for us to do today.

There are not many children living here in our village; the total population is less than one hundred and many of the older folk are retired. We surely love living here!:)

Sun shines bright in a colorless sky above our little house at 8 AM, so we can tell it will be a lovely day and great weather for "Trick or Treating" later.

Dino gets up and takes a shower; then dresses and leaves for his errands in Viterbo, while Sofi and I laze at home, languishing in our beds. Comé no? Since I don't feel all that well, it's a good morning to stay in bed and read for a while.

The day continues at an uneventful pace. When I sit down to catch up with you it is already dark and after 6 PM, but no children have arrived for tonight's sweet "Trick or Treats". An hour later, there is no change. It appears we won't have any children this year.

When we tuck in to our bed, we're now sure we won't have any friends arriving tonight, so say goodbye to another month in our little village.

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