Saturday, May 14, 2016

I Guarisce Giardino (the garden heals)...

  It's always tough to leave our beloved Panicale. 
  This year, the toughest. Having had one amazing experience after another, simply connecting to the people...well, it felt like we climbed yet another rung up the ladder of Italian life.
  My language skills have improved, and though I would never say I speak fluently... not even close.. I have gained a new level of confidence. I believe this to be the number one reason we had the best time ever. 
  So, as I say, it was tough to go.

  Then there was the eighteen hours of travel back home. Brutal.
  Thankfully, the garden was patiently waiting for us to return......

Welcome home, weary travelers.

  We had rain this year...more than we've had in a very long time. The garden is bursting at her seams...

Succulents blooming near the front steps.

Little pathway in the front garden.

  A dear pal(you know who you are....) gifted us with a division of his beautiful variegated bamboo. It has struggled some with the drought, but it sure is happy now!
  I was so happy to see it so happy!

More succulents, more happiness.

  I like to have color in the front garden, so the folks walking or driving by get a little show.... 

  I missed most of the big rose show in the back garden, but these on the arbor in front are still shining on. What a nice welcome home-

  It's somewhat of a jungle in back! When we walked out to the back landing, we were shocked at how things had grown!

View from the back door. Not bad.

  The Japanese maples are the best they've been in years!
  I wish I could just water them all as much as they would like, but I can't do it without feeling guilty...we are still in a serious drought situation, so Thanks, Mother Nature! You really showed up to play.


A couple of Japanese maples in front of the
Dining Pavillion/ Foosball Pavillion/ Art Book Library.

Each area is at it's Sunday best.
Again, Thanks, Mother Nature...You done good!

  Looking through these photos, I notice the change that has gone on in my garden over the years.
  I've really moved away from 'color', and gone green. Really green....
  With lots of variegation, of course.

Lots of greens in lots of different textures.
Just the way I like it.

Entry path to the back garden.
The roses are to the right, but just not much bloom.
They are done now.

  I spent several hours already just in the two days we've been home, working and puttering. 
  It's the best way for me to transition back to reality here. The garden has healing powers, and I am happy to be surrounded by the sounds, smells, and feel of this small bit of heaven I've created over the years. 
  That Johnny and I have created, I need to say. All the structures he's built are as important as the plantings...We both have made ourselves a sweet place to chill out. 
  Whether we've just returned from months in Italy, or just come home from work.
  The garden heals all....

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Getting Set To Leave…Again. Sigh.

  Well…we can't stay forever(yet), so here we are with only a day or two left in this place we call our 'home away from home'.
  Problem is, it's getting harder and harder to differentiate. Which is home?

  They say home is where the heart is….

  It sure feels like home when we walk up this street….

  Looks pretty homey to me…..

  It's a gift to have this problem, I know.
  And I never take it for granted. 
  We are so proud of what we've accomplished, and how we have managed to prioritize our lives to make this happen.
  Lucky? I think not. It's hard work and sacrifice. 
  The payoff is sooooo worth it.

  I'll be happy to get back home to California, you bet. I can't wait to see my folks, my garden, and friends.

  But... I'll be leaving a sizable portion of my heart here, in Umbria, to enjoy the landscape…..

  At work, my mind will find itself drifting away to remember places we've visited over the last couple of months….

Trains! Love the trains!

  The community events here are always a treat….

Stabat Mater performed in the gorgeous
Chiesa della Madonna della Sbarra.

  Or on a much lighter note…..

Ruzzolone, the tossing of the cheese.

  We saw some interesting artwork….

  And, as we do every year, we worked hard to lose some pounds before leaving.



  Yes, there were pizza nights….

  Bruschetta at Bar Gallo is never to be missed….

  Wallace would love this.

  Sometimes, a place wouldn't know what to serve us. Vegetarians?
  Hey, we're easy!

This will do.

  And, as always, I enjoyed cooking at home a bunch….

  (All I can say is this…It's a whole lot more fun putting weight on than taking it off.)

  Friends here are so special to us...

  It'll be hard going home, but we know we'll be back asap.
  We're just a couple of knuckleheads having a damn good time.
  Is that so wrong?!?

  Here's to all we love about Umbria…..And to coming back real soon.