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A heavy, lond and difficult renovation….

At the end of june of last year, my mother-in-law was admitted in a nursing home. It was a painful decision (I promised myself never again – after the difficult experience with my father – ) but it was a necessary one considering what she needed most of all, was a daily medical assistance, not possible at home anymore. We are glad we took that decision, because now, at 88, she’s well taken care of, and her conditions are really good considering her age. She’s a little confused and at an early stage of Alzheimer, but she still knows who we are, and we are grateful for this.

A few weeks after she left home, we started to get rid of her things, now useless. We donated clothes, bed covers, curtains and some other things to charity organisations. Some furnitures, pictures and other stuff were sold. Some things were kept. We knew the house needed heavy cleaning and some fixing, but after it was decided that it would have become our daughter new home, things took a completely different turn. A deeply restoration was in order….

Between sellings, discarding, and giving away, the house looked like this….

Then it was time for deciding what the new house would be like, to chooce the look, the colors, the furnitures…….and it was also the time for the first heartache, thinking about the money this would have costed!!!!

At the end of february this year, the bricklayers, the plumber, the electrician took the matter in their own hands….. there were a wall to knock down and rebuilt, floors to be removed and  replaced, pipes and cables to be fixed, and to manage them all we needed a very brave and able man, a surveyor, who luckily for us matched our expectations!

Finally, at the end of march, the floors were ready to be placed, and also the bathroom and the kitchen tiles were up….

After all that, the painters arrived to fix the walls and the ceilings….

…… not without some problems….

Finally we were ready for the furnitures to be moved in….the first was the kitchen

It needs some details yet to be fixed, but we have already the chandelier ready to be put in place…

It’s been hard to choose what was needed in the bathroom, but now it’s almost finished (less the curtains)…

The bedroom too is almost ready….

The curtains are yet to be fitted to the window but they are alredy here…

Ikea was of great help as you can see….(not its final destination I guess, this would move…)

The second bedroom (and the kitchen table) is still a workshop for the furnitures my daughter wants to fix herself….an old mirror newly painted…

a recycled closet painted in the same color (as many other things…my daughter ‘leitmotiv’ at the moment)

and my mother in law old chest of drawers now matching each other…

This is a little table she made out of pallets…..

The second bedroom will be finished when the rest of the house will be ready for living in it, and it will be a study/office….for now it owns only a lamp…

The living room is lacking curtains and lamps but the furnitures are in place…

The place of honor is taken by my father in law rocker….

A lot has to be done to have it finished completely (curtains, lamps, pictures and photos on the walls, a couple of shelves….) but we’re on the downhill run now…..

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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March – part two

A while ago, I found an old photo of me and one of my aunts, too early taken from us. I shared the photo on the WhatsApp group of the “cousins”, and to some it was new ….thus the idea of getting together one day to share family photos and stories. The occasion presented itself the saturday before Easter, and my cousin S invited us for lunch……Three were missing, one living in the US and two being abroad for a short vacation…We had really a great time, sharing memories….adjusting memories…. sharing a meal and so much love….just us, no children, no partners, just the inner circle of us….

God….I’m blessed!

Easter morning, a walk through the streets of Fontanellato, but the Street Food Festival didn’t met our expectations for a different Easter lunch…..

so instead we called a aunt who previously announced she would have been thrilled if we were going to lunch……..glad we did!

Full, we had to digest all that, so we rejoined daughter and bf, to explore the area around….A nice surprise was the old, deserted Church of San Carlo, dating back from early 1700, but very sadly almost completly ruined…..and in spite of our search, not too much was available to learn more about it….

but all the magic was there………..such a waste!

Then we drove to the near village of Roccabianca. The Rossi Castle was open and for free………

This imposing stronghold was built between 1450 and 1465 by Pier Maria Rossi as a gift for his beloved Bianca Pellegrini. Originally surrounded by a moat, it has a rectangular structure with two bastions and a high central tower and despite the damages of time, it still preserves its forceful appearance. On the ravelin, it displays the coat of arms of the Rangoni and Pallavicino families that took possession of the castle after the collapse of the Rossi family.

 

 

The interiors once boasted a cycle of frescoes depicting the Life of Griselda, inspired by the 100th novella of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Little remains today of it: the walls and vault of the room, together with the Pier Maria Rossi astrological cycle attributed to Nicolò da Varallo and his school have been detached and reassembled in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Thanks to long restoration works due to the last owner, cavalier Mario Scaltriti, the castle has been recently reopened to the public.

Tastings of typical products of the Road of Culatello and free tastings of local homemade liquors are also available by prebooking as well as (for children) the marvellous world of Fairy tales.

Easter Monday, up in the hills, we met with a couple of friends in another little village around a castle, Torrechiara.

It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve been there, the charm is still there…..and I guess it will ever be…

Last time I entered the little church at the foot of the castle, was for our friends’ wedding, 31 years ago….I didn’t remember it at all….

Back to our friends home/farm (he produces and sells olive trees and olive oil along with some fruits plants), just above the castle, where we had dinner together….

So April, bring it on….will you live up to March?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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January…..a good start

First day of the year….we got an invitation for dinner from a couple of friends living in our neighborhood, along with her sister….Nothing fancy, I made some pesto and cheese crostini as appetizers, she made some very good rice with veggies, and the always present tiramisù…a nice night to kick off the new year!

Like every year, january is also the month to celebrate Epiphany on a bike, driving around delivering gifts to children….

After the event, with some friends we had lunch at a very fancy restaurant set in a rural tourism estate….a little bit expensive but worthy every cent…

We have this longtime friend, actually the first friend of my husband I met….February 2015, while at work he had an intracranial hemorrhage, he stayed in coma for a few days, he had ups and downs for a long time, but finally just before Christmas he got home form hospital. So one evening we all got together (finally out of a hospital room) to celebrate….

Too you G…..welcome back!!

A sunny winter sunday afternoon at our friends home in the hills…..finished with a “stay over for dinner” of course…

Towards the end of the month we were out again…..this time to welcome back a friend who stayed abroad four months for work….

Our friend S brought just for him the famous spongata she baked for Christmas and that he missed…..

End of january, time for some charity for our friends’ son mission in Brazil….what’s best than to have a great time doing good?

And now…..looking forwards to february……

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Image

To you all, out there….

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

 

 

“One day there will be no borders, no boundaries, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart.”

(Carlos Santana)

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Another wedding

Last sunday was a perfect october day, warm and sunny….the wedding location as well was so beautiful…

It’s a ‘700 country villa in the southern hills outside town, still owned by the same family, living with the profits of the location renting and vineyard and orchard products….

Hubby-never-wears-a-tie-not-even-if-his-life-is-at-stake……

Mother Nature was so kind to give the perfect gift to the happy couple, because the civil ceremony was set for the afternoon, in the garden, under a centenary tree….

The bride was wearing a sari from Bangladesh (a gift from the groom who works there often)

Among the “guests” their son……….

and their niece, both ring bearers….

After the ceremony and a best wishes toast, the guests were free to wander in the garden, or inside the villa, where several different buffets were set………..

At the sunset, a gazebo was ready for the wedding cake cut….and the bride changed into a cyclamen gown…

The kiss….

while their little man blew on the candles…

The dragées table…

and the “bomboniere” ready to been picked up (a strange kind, in fact jars of tomatoes sauce with a custom made label….)

All was perfect, we all had a great time, and the newlywed are now sailing in the Caribbean sea….

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Scenes from a wedding

Last sunday was a very happy day for my family…..I know that these faces mean nothing to my readers and followers, but they mean the world to me, and using this blog mainly as a life diary, I like to have this kind of memories fixed forever…..

The set was in Genoa and the family member who tied the knot was my cousin Giulia, here arriving at the City Hall, happy, smiling and screaming….not the kind of bride you might be used to, but Giulia being Giulia well…we knew it would have been different, hipster style…

Waiting for her, there were her soon-to-be-husband Matteo and their little man Ernesto, crying and confused by all this noisy crowd and by this mom, who looks so different today….

Different starting from the dress, handmade by a very talented friend of her, with the bustier made from shirt collars and the shrug is a man’s shirt, cut and reversed….

Family and friends waiting for the couple to enter in the ceremony hall….

Finally it was time for them to exchange their vows…….

while little Ernesto couldn’t care less…..it’s just mom and dad dressed strangely and doing a strange thing…

And here they are, Mr and Mrs….

…and there’s a ring proving it, obviously not the classic wedding ring…

Tradition is that the bride must go down the stairs from the left and the groom from the right before rejoin for descending the main staircase, and hubby was there to lend a hand….or an arm in this case. My daughter (on her right) was wiser enough to wear flats….

Striking a pose….

With my mom….

The balloon says “here’s to the bride and groom” and being held by Ernesto it really means it!

After the customary photoshooting, here we are, at the “Porto Antico” (old port) for the buffet lunch at the couple favourite place

The buffet was good, plentiful, exotic, and so appetizing….

After lunch it was time for some drinks (for someone too many…) a little dance, some jokes…

and of course for the traditional tossing of the bouquet, catched by young Sofia (9 years old)…..I guess the others girls were not so happy about this, too much to wait!

Little relax time for the bride….

…or maybe not….

It was really a beautiful day, full of love, laughs, hugs, kisses, celebrating just the joy to be all together….the forecast were bad for the day, windy and cloudy, but instead the sun was shining and hot….. maybe a little intercession from up above. Your mom would have been so proud of you Giulia, and we all love you so much…..

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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