What’s Been Done Lately…

Here is the latest photo documentation of the Upstairs Apartment… prior to the Builder’s Big Blow-out back on the 23rd of September…
the kitchen counter…

The Dog posing amongst the clutter & wondering why there isn’t a massively long sofa for him to climb aboard for his Rest & Relaxation…

and, the Bedroom where the Master & Lord of the Manor can seek refuge from the travails of Phase III. Gads.

Construction Update…

I went to Genoa to deal with a little matter of business. Once settled, I hung-out for an extra day to enjoy our apartment’s air-conditioning. Yep. It’s still HOT & MUGGY here. Finally, I grabbed The Dog and drove back to Codiponte, mainly to feed the darn fish. The two photo’s below describe what I found, finished & knocked off Our Builder’s To-do List upon My Arrival…
1. The sink for the Cortile. The faucet is yet to be installed…
and…
2. the terra-cotta tiles laid in the Laundry Room. More progress!!! Gads.

An Italian Toilette…

Looks like a kind of toilette we Americans are used to though, perhaps, it doesn’t have the dumpy lines of our Ideal Standard. Here in Italy, what is shown in the photo below is a highly unusual type of toilette. The Italians were sold the idea of hiding the water tank in the wall behind, leaving only a plastic plaque to punch for the water to wash away any trace. This is probably because the Italian Populace were Sick & Tired of having an unsightly water tank hover over their head so gravity could do its Newtonian work. Then, some ingenious fellow developed a pump small enough to cause water to WHOOOSH without resorting to Newton’s invention made on high.
The wall behind our toilette… and it cost a fortune!!!… could not be made deep enough to house a hidden water tank. I too did not want to bump my head on an over-head water tank. Those things are so truck stop ugly anyway. I think this toilette is quite nice looking and I look forward to using it very soon. Gads.

Phase III Update…

A Photographic Update of the Current Projects of Our Phase III…
…another grate to catch water before it slides down the sottopassaggio… or, the covered passageway. The neighbors were complaining about i laghi… or, the lakes… in front of the entrance to La Casetta on the way to their cortile…
…the new location in a corner of the Cortile of an old stone basin pulled from a niche in the Upstairs Apartment…
…the Laundry Room prep-ed for the terra-cotta tile flooring…
…view of the ceiling of the Portico before it is stuccoed and the beams are hoisted up…
…the sink seems perfect in its niche…
…water from the Main House’s roof will now rush down this gutter pipe, HOWEVER, it will not solve the bully neighbor’s problem of water infiltration in her basement. When it rains, water comes from everywhere and not just from my roof!!! The neighbor ought to go bully the Comune... or, City Hall… to get them to repair the sewer which passes right by her basement…
…and the Cortile is a bigger mess. I guess I ought to be glad. It means Progress!!! Gads.

Laundry Room Update…

Mr. You is just going to flip!!! The Laundry Room is all white. It is the ONLY paint for such a room. Clean, orderly, precise, anonymous. My Maternal Grandmother… an individual with an overwhelmingly dominant personality. Very un-grandmotherly… had a laundry room painted with black mammies doing the laundry chores…. scrubbing, wringing, pining, folding, etc. Naturally, no self-respecting person would stand for that, on a wall or, anywhere else. And, in fact, My Grandmother had chronic problems in keeping Domestic Help. None of that for Mr. You & me.
Here is a little photographic journey into the inner-sanctum of the soon-to-be-totally-finished-and-appliance-decked-out Laundry Room… once the tini… or, wine-making vats… have been shoved over to the right…
amazing paraphernalia, no?
Hark!!! Is that white I espy?
OK… from left to right.. some of the items you are going to have to imagine being in their Assigned Places, so, don’t despair… niche, toilette, shower, niche and the Appliance Platform. Now, doesn’t that sound ridiculous? It’s where the 2 washers & dryer & sink will go. I am more than ready to do a load of laundry.
Meanwhile, take a gander at how My Cortile has been dealt with!!! More paraphernalia. Gads.

Liberation…

The rains have come and they have gone away. I do not have to water for the next week. What a Blessing, no?

In the meantime, the light spots in this photo are millions of twirling, swirling, elevating spirals of tiny moths liberated, I suppose, from the prison of dry Mother Earth after the rains of yesterday, Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of these twisters erupted from the fields in the valley of Codiponte, shot like gold from the setting sun as they climb to I-have-no-idea-where. Perhaps, it was a dance of plain joy. T’was quite a show, in any case. More so than what this photo might describe. Gads.

Sagra dei Pomi 2011…

On Saturday…
…the first day of the Sagra dei Pomi, we had practically NO SUNSHINE yet, it was HOT & HUMID!!! Three costume changes from Noon to Midnight, when, at that late hour for me, I called it quits watching Mr. You twirl Our Niece on the Piazza Civico. She was dragged there against her will but, it did her good. How can you be a Couch Potato in a white plastic chair on a piazza in a cute village on a Saturday night surrounded by accordian music in Italia… hmmm? I tried because, I can’t dance. Bad hip, Thank God!!!
…we managed to eat the Argentinean barbecue, Asado, in a noisy tent with 100+ Codipontesi chowing & slugging down. Last year, the osteria… or, tavern… ran out of the barbecue!!! A Culinary Offense.
…I ate a ga-zillion-trillion apple fritters… THEY WERE MELT IN YOUR MOUTH WONDERFUL!!!… and washed them down with a delightful & sparkling local white wine. I was nearly in Heaven. I can groove to the beat better when fueled with such Food & Drink.
Sunday, was another deal entirely… 
…just as the suited RAI-Uno weather-man had predicted, torrential rains came with brief periods of calm… very brief periods of calm. After sundown, the volume of water increased ten-fold and, naturally, those breaks between onslaughts vanished. N’er a soul was to be found wandering the village after 6PM.
…crammed within the intermittent pauses from the Thai-like downpours, Mr. You, along with five other especially selected persons, judged the Pie/Cake/whatever Contest, the Float Contest AND the Kids Dance Contest. This last item on the Activity List perfectly demonstrated that to have True Savoir-faire YOU NEED A GAY MAN!!! Occasionally, I’d give a glance over to the stage to see how Mr. You was fairing. He’d give me these desperate looks of… I’d eat a worm to get out from doing this!!! Well, I thought, wait till after the rains abate and you will have a buffet, Caro!!! 
…the pie that won went to a non-present baker, one who DOES NOT EVEN LIVE IN CODIPONTE!!! How was that possible… hmmm?
…the Float Contest was won by a group of four Codiponte teenagers, who had corralled THE CUTEST BOY IN THESE PARTS!!!… from La Spezia… another glitch, I suppose to maintain a pure Codipontese aspect to the Sagra… to pitch-hit as Frank Sinatra singing… a crummy choice… New York, New York. They were great.
…and the Kid’s Thing went to every single child who had participated. Very satisfactory decision, I think.  However, I would have shot the person, who had invented the dread-locks made from strands of colored straw. Imitating a refuse dump ain’t cool, not even for a sagra. Gads.

More Apple Corrections…

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to come across the Capo Supremo… or, the Big Boss… of the apple tort-making Group of 7 while she & her son unloaded a van stuffed to the roof with apple pies, cakes, strudels, fritters & croissants. I asked her how many sweets they had made and she replied… 250, caro!!! So, I said… You must be relieved to be done with Kitchen Duty and she screamed out... Oh, no!!! We’ve got to make another 400 just to make what we sold last year. I wasn’t so far off from the 800 I had heard around the village. Gads.

Apple Correction…

I must admit to an error in a previous post regarding the number of apple pies, cakes, fritters, strudel & croissants the Local Ladies of Codiponte cook for the Sagra dei Pomi. I ran into my friend, Carla, this morning, one of the Group of 7 holed-up in a kitchen happily indentured to make all the apple sweets. She was out on furlough. I asked her how they could make 800 of anything and she exclaimed… Per l’amore del Dio!!! Facciamo se siamo fortunate, 200 e non di piu’!!! But still, 200 is a lot. Just thing what it must be like to peel enough Rondelle/Rondei for 200 pies, cakes… croissants. Makes my fingers hurt. Gads. 

Flowers Of Glass…

These dainty flowers were a gift from a next-door neighbor. She lives in the most atrociously electric house in Codiponte. Well, there IS that Commie construction on the opposite hill. Hers is on the bump next to mine, just on the other-side of the sentiero… or, stone pathway… leading-up to the borgo del castello… or, the village around the defunct & falling-down castle. HER HOUSE IS BRILLIANT YELLOW!!! It glows 24/7. I mustn’t complain. I receive lots of gifts from her. Plants that I try not to K-I-L-L. So far, I have been unable to exterminate these. So, they are now in new terra-cotta pots. I suppose, in honor of the sagra, which starts on Saturday afternoon. She also lets me water with her private well-water. That is very, very nice of her. Water is nearly as important as God, in these parts!!! 
Boy… do these flowering-things ever need water!!! If not, in the space of… say… 8 hours of unrequited thirst, they droop something terrible. Yet, all it takes is a brief & reinvigorating spray of O2 and… ecco!!!… they perk-up immediately. 
For some unexplained reason, these flowers are called fiori di vetro… or, flowers of glass. Might it be they are named so, because their stalks are translucent? Or is it that when you snap them in two, they make a breaking noise like glass. Chissa? Gads.