Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sitting in a Bar

I am sitting in a bar at 11:00 p.m. with a weird keyboard trying to update this blog. The iPad is too frustrating unless I use the keyboard, which I do not feel like carrying in my backpack with the iPad, knitting, and art supplies. I had to ask the young boys to show me the ampersand because I could not find it. Yes, Italians use the same alphabet, but they design their keyboards differently. And they probably think it is better.

I took a sleeping pill and got to stretch out across 3 seats and slept for almost the whole flight. Thank you, John for the suggestion. I was also very lucky to have the 2 seats next to us empty. Boy, what a difference, even TOMA noticed my mood was much improved.

Anyway, we had a nice time in Rome walking around the area where the Spanish steps are. I had a great pizza and TOMA had a pasta dish. The gelato was disappointing. The last time in Rome we had it in this great place, but I could not find it. Poggi 1825 is a suitable art supply store. Not Blick, but something I could manage with when we retire--if they are still around. (Actually, if we are both still around.) Everything is so expensive and when you add an additional 20% it is crazy.

The bus ride to Attessa was very long this year, probably because it is the first time I was awake for most of it. The assistant bus driver actually makes individual cups of espresso gratis for each passenger. This is something that always amazes me and I love! Then they pass out mints. The Italians do somethings just right!

Here we are in Roccascalegna.  Today was wasted because we received a call in the middle of the night that woke us from a former neighbor in Philly not realizing we are in Italy and we could not get back to sleep until after 4:00 a.m. so I slept until 11:30 a.m. But I am unpacked and maybe back on schedule.

I am almost done the first sock that I brought with me.

OH! I almost forgot the very best news. Orsetto, the cat from last year is alive and well. TOMA has already cooked for him and fed him multiple times today, even in the house. No carpets, so I am not too worried about the fleas. He sits on my lap and is so affectionate. We were both thrilled to see him. I will post photos from home. I just do not know how to do it from here.

Anyway, buona note.

Baci e abbracci

Friday, August 10, 2012

testing, testing

I am on a bus with wifi and thought I would see if I can post. Had a fun day in Rome yesterday and a yummy pizza for dinner. The gelato was dissappointing as it was supposed to be the best in the area. I wanted to find the place we visited three years ago, but could not.

We went to Poggi 1825 art supply and I purchased a couple of things. Everything is expensive, especially when you factor in an additional 20% for the exchange rate.

We are about to enter Pescara for a stop.

Baci e abbracci

Monday, August 6, 2012

I did a little sewing this weekend. I finished a KittenHead that I  had cut out and started and finished one from scratch. I also did the hardest of the pre-trip work: cleaning the kitchen, the bedroom, the bulk of the laundry, food shopping, etc. I am almost packed, but need to take a few things out to leave at home. Preparing for a trip like this can be a little overwhelming for me because someone else will be living in my house and taking care of the cats in our absence.

I finally decided on my art supplies, but may have to leave the two books I would like to take at home depending on the final weight of the luggage. I chose to take Keys to Drawing, and Color Mixing Bible. These are two books that I have had for a while but have not yet explored and I thought now would be a good time to do the exercises. I am especially interested in the colored pencil section of the color mixing book. I am taking about 24 Faber-Castell colored pencils and would love to become comfortable mixing them.

I am taking two knitting projects and have made some headway on the first sock. The scarf has been started and is ready to go. I have crochet hooks, crochet cotton and embroidery floss to play around with, my normal watercolors, pens, ink, pencils (a full set for the Keys to Drawing exercises), glue stick, scissors, etc ready to go. Why some much stuff??!!! Because it is vacation! Not the kind of vacation where you are running around sight-seeing but the kind where you hang around in the house or the bar (cafe) not speaking the language and needing to keep your hands and mind busy.

Anyway, back to KittenHead. The very last KittenHead I made was for someone specific and was the final of the pattern changes. I really do love him and became a little attached. All of the KittenHead faces look most like my little baby-man Blue--around the eyes. Since that was the color scheme my friend ordered, and it was made for him to begin with, I must send him away. I know he will get a good home, he is a gift for a friend of the friend, a cat lover with her own little orange man. It is just like when I was a kid and gave my stuffed animals feelings. So what does a girl do when her little KittenHead is about to leave her? She makes one of her very own! This little one will be traveling with me to test how they hold up. No, I will not be dragging her around like a child would (because I don't want her to get dirty and disgusting--remember I do have OCD), but she will not live her life protected by plastic like the one leaving me. Maybe it is like taking a little of my sewing with me and a bit of home (besides the photos of the real KittenHeads: Freesia, Black and Blue).

Note to self: First sewing project when I get home: Black KittenHead.

Lastly, if you looked out of the window and saw this what would you think? Oh my! A dead squirrel on the lawn. I watched for movement and thought I saw something, so I grabbed the camera after I realized he/she was sleeping! Right there out in the open. The poor thing let the heat get the best of him/her. Also, he/she was not so bright since we do have hawks hunting in the area! Luckily, this little one woke up, bathed in the same spot and went on about his/her business. It was a great moment in my day!

 Baci e abbracci and do enjoy the rest of your summer. The best season of the year is right around the corner. Autumn! Wool sweaters, quilts, beautiful leaves falling off the trees and a crisp, coolness in the air.