Friday, April 20, 2018

Quick Trip To Venice

  We have been so fortunate to have visited Venice so many times over the years. It has always been for the Biennale, a huge contemporary art exhibition. We love these trips every two years, and spend about two weeks each time.

  This year, we decided last minute to take the train up from Umbria and just spend one night. The weather was looking good, and there were two exhibitions that Johnny wanted to see.'s Venice, man!
  We hopped an early fast train, and were there by 10:30 am. Sweet!
  We spent hours walking, eating, seeing art and soaking in the very warm sun. We walked all over at night, staying away from the main tourist areas, which were very crowded.
  Next day, we hopped back on the train and were home just after dark.

  These are just some photos I thought to share.

  Lovely buildings around the area we stayed...

  Splender on the Grand Canal...

  Walking around...

  Detail from the building above...

  Details from around town...

  How a nursery is done in Venice...

  Happy to see the amazing installation, 'Support', was still around....

  And, boy, oh boy, spring was in the air!

  Relaxing between bouts of walking is always a pleasure, especially in a small 'Campo' in Venice.

  It was short and sweet. We promised ourselves that we would try to pop up every year, weather permitting. 
  Big lesson learned...One night is not enough! No matter how many times we've been there!
  Grazie, Venezia... A Presto!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ladies Of The Fields April, 2018

  My last post here consisted of two short videos, in which I am doing one of my favorite things....sneaking around an old ruin in the fields.
  They are all over the place in our area of Umbria, as well as all over Italy, I assume. I've written about them before, including this post from 2016, and my favorite and first post about ruins, here.
  I refer to these decaying beauties as 'Ladies Of The Fields'. I am enchanted by them.

  Since people seemed to enjoy that last post, I thought I'd go ahead and  write this one, which I'd planned to do after we returned to the states.

  About two weeks ago, on a nice sunny day, we drove way over there, so Johnny could do some painting.  I always have my camera and my Kindle. On this day, it was way too pretty out to sit in the car and read, so I wanted to go explore a large ruin down the road. The wet and muddy road...

Isn't she wonderful?

  Johnny joined me at first, just to make sure it wasn't haunted by vampires, or badgers.

Hmmmm. Looks safe enough...

Anybody home in there?

  Right off the bat I noticed shrubs and vines growing in, out, and all about this place. I was especially  excited about a huge wisteria growing all through the windows, doors and through the now missing roof.

I just hope we can cruise back there before we leave to see
this wisteria in bloom...please! She's all budded up now.

Wisteria inside a room of this old gal.

  One thing I love about these Ladies, is they no longer have full roofs, so light pours into the various rooms and spaces that once were inhabited.

A wonderful staircase, now covered in vines.

  I know I should just stay away, but I can't help myself. This one was just begging me to come on in, baby.
  If there were any 'private property' or 'no trespassing' signs, I would never venture inside.

I mean, come on, how could I resist?
Isn't this amazing?

Check out that ceiling.

  This is a really large building, with another smaller building attached. I went around the whole property, peeking in here and there, and going inside when I felt it was safe...which, by the way, it never is.
  One of these days I'll get stung by bees, or bitten by some critter, or just chased off by the owner. Until then, I'm still going to explore as many as I can.

I love imagining what these rooms must have been like.

I like seeing remnants of the old wall paint.

A branch from a large fig tree growing inside the building.
I guess the fig wants out.

  The big surprise with this Lady, was the side building. 
  Evidently, it was an old tobacco drying barn, which are all over in this area. The drying racks, or beams, were still pretty much intact. So cool to see, and the light couldn't have been more perfect.

Old branches, strung together to form drying apparatus.
Gorgeousness, to me, anyway.

This may be my favorite ruin yet. 

One last shot of this Lady.
I like the blue sky with the brick colors.

  I walked back down the way to where Johnny was set up painting, and noticed another Lady Of The Field down a side road nearby.

While Johnny does his thing, I do mine.

  He was going to be working there for some time, so I took off to check her out.

A much smaller ruin, but with the pine tree and all, I needed to get up close.

  That pine tree was all over this dear old gal. Wow.

I'd move out, too...!

  I saw some color up in the top room, which was really pretty. I especially loved seeing all the pine branches just everywhere here.

Not sure if that was a roof beam, a pine branch, or part of the wall structure.
I just thought it looked beautiful.

  There was no way to get inside this one, but I was able to get lots of interesting photos from outside.

  It was a good afternoon of adventure for me. 
  I don't ask for much...

Me and my Ladies. I'm happy.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

When Johnny Is Working....

  A week or so ago, on one of the few sunny days we've had here this year, Johnny and I loaded up the car to head out for a painting day.
  He paints, I take walks and have my own small but mighty adventures...

  Here you go-

  What I do while Mr. J is working.
  I'll miss this...sigh.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Rainy Day? Make Pasta!

  I'm always threatening to make pasta from scratch. Every time we're here, pretty much.

  Poor Johnny. He waits and waits, and then it's time to leave. I have all the stuff to do it- the big wooden board, the really long rolling pin, the pots and pans.

  Well, Dear Readers, today was the day.
  We woke up to rain, and it has been raining steadily all day. Now it's about 5:30 on Monday evening, and still it's coming down.
  How to deal with another rainy day? Make your husband's dream come true!

  So, here you have it.
  Homemade cavatelli. In pictures, that is....

300 grams '00' flour

Three eggs.

Mix it around without making too big a mess...

Then start in with the mixing by hand...

It gets icky, but keep going.
Clean all the sticky stuff off your hands often.

The dough will come together, eventually.

Knead it like you mean it.
I think it was about fifteen minutes

It turns into a silky smooth ball of love.
Plastic wrap it up and let it rest at least an hour.

Use your wooden cavatelli maker...I found mine at a local thrift store.
Sort of roll the bits of pasta down and off the thingy.

You end up with these kind of creepy wormy looking shapes.
Cute! Lots of nooks & crannies to hold the sauce.


  I'm going back and forth on what I'll sauce these with later. Either I'll go the easy route and just do a store bought pesto, or I'll make a creamy leek sauce, which is what I originally thought to do earlier this morning.
  Hmmm...what will it be?
  We'll all find out later.