My Rant About No Rain…

I’m going to regret this, but…
I hate uncertainty!!! One day, the Weather-man says, rain for the Saturday before, the Sunday of and the day after Easter. Then, he diverts to rain only for Saturday. Followed by retracting all with NO RAIN at all… for cryin’ out loud!!! 
Who’s hand is on the Weather Power Lever here? Global Warming? God, and his Infinite Environmental Wisdom? Barak Obama? Poor guy, the Republicans are blaming him for the high gas prices in America. Tut-tut. Send those R-jerks over here to Italy to really feel the pain at the gas pump. We pay more than America for 1/3rd of an American gallon too!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if the same Rs don’t blame Our Current President for all else they are unhappy with… drought included. Where? In Arizona? Why is it that the noisiest Republican enclaves are the same ones which have 250% more residents than the land AND available water can handle? Hmmmmm???
Yet, You & I are in Italy and have Mr. Monti, an easy target for what ails us. At least for me. I also HATE do-good-ers. Mr. Monti could care less for the drought, however. He’s way more interested in impoverishing this country by increasing taxes… VAT now will run at 23%!!!!!!!!!!… to pay a debt created by others, only to satisfy the European Community Gods up in Brussels. Go tell the same Rs to chew on our VAT to what in the US of A? 11.5% in Illinois? Gosh. Heavy load there.
But, I digress… a bit too much, I’m afraid…
VAT & all else aside… I want a definitive Five-day Forecast calling for abundant rain. Is that too much to ask??? We can make bombs to obliterate Mankind, subject Chinese Folk to make ga-zillions of iPads… now, I don’t know about Americans but, only about 5% of the Italians really know how to use one though it looks REAL COOL & COMPETENT to have one in hand… aren’t we at the level to manipulate moisture droplets in the atmosphere to make rain… wonderful enriching rain… where, when & how we want it? 
The Summer of 2012, I fear, will be spent holding a garden hose pointed at the 500 plants, bushes & tress we… yes, because, even You got out a shovel to dig holes for plants… have planted… for hours & hours on end, when I would rather be on the Terrace drinking a chilly white wine with You and The Dogs while admiring Our View… of Our Garden del Poggiolo. Gads. 
   

Hopes For Rain…

Rain. My plants need rain. I’d say a good soaking once a week for what remains of our 52 weeks ought do it for them. This wish of mine, however, does not correspond to the Italian climate. Nope. The rains rain in Italy in the Fall & Winter. Then, n’er a drop for the rest of the year. Well, baring some freak 30 minute thunderstorm in August. But then, that’s it!!! This year, no rain, except in localized spots like down in the Big City of Aulla which, tragically, got doused with way more than the local Mother Earth could tolerate. They are still cleaning up the place still to this day!!!
Every day, I consult the local weather report for some hint of imminent cattivo tempo = pioggia = rain. Nothing to report, except Blue Skies & Heat. 
One evening, a couple of weeks ago, stationed at the dining table of My Dear English Friends in Codiponte, a delicious array of foods prepared & spread before me, their nicely chilled home-made white wine glistening in the goblet at My Table Place,  and accompanied by two lively personalities with lovely accents beside me, the conversation swerved to the weather. My part of the confab was to bitch/moan/wail about NO RAIN!!! MY POOR PLANTS!!! AND, THE GRASS!!! etc. They chimed in too.  
Now, since we are rapidly approaching My Favourite Holiday of the Year, Easter, when there is normally a dip in the temperature coupled with a threat of O2, the Cook of the Household mentioned a local Ol’ Wives Tale. Here it is…
if Palm Sunday is lovely, Easter will be miserably wet… I had previously thought just COLD 
and, visa-versa…
if it is stormy on Palm Sunday, it will be glorious on Easter.
I left the dinner soon after the grappa was served to consult the weather oracles on the Internet. On that particular night, the local weather report predicted a dreadfully dull Palm Sunday. Lots of grey clouds and a mild… very mild… threat of water droplets. OK. I won’t quibble when the rains come, I just want enough water for my plants. 
Since that dinner, twice, sometimes thrice a day, I have returned to meteoapuane.it for the latest Bollettino Meteo. The forecast has changed!!! Palm Sunday is destined to be wonderfully Warm & Sunny… temps in the high 70s, not a cloud in sight, nearly Beach Weather, Friends… while Easter is due to have consistently heavy rains AND snow!!!… even at the lower elevations. Now, now, now… let’s not exaggerate with the snow, signori… per favore. Just the rains are fine. A good soaking, Thank you. Gads.  

The Garden Math Says…

I did The Math on The Garden. Math’s not my thing. Numbers are obstinate. They stay as numbers. Not like History. It can often be a maybe/but/perhaps. Anyway…
for the past two weeks… and this explains my absence from this blog… I have planted over 100 plants, shrubs, a few bush-lettes and a tree too… without the darn partridge OR the pear. Here’s A List…
30 box-woods
32 lavander
6 viburnum
2 corbezzolo
1 alloro
1 olio fragrance
1 ligustro
1 nespolo
18… name escaped me
2 lillac
1 hydrangea
1 boule de neige
5 conefirs 
and…
1 cherry tree.
TOTAL = 102
My destroyed hands can show much of this trial. One with Corn-husker’s!!!
I have also yanked, re-planted or, potted over 30 plants. Many COMPLETELY incinerated by the EXTREME COLD of last February. I’ll dispense with The List of the Victims. 
I‘ve a been furiously working to finish this Spring-time Task before Monday of next week when, I will climb a scaffolding to paint Our New Blue… a lovely Han Blue in the Salotto & Sala and a water repellent Cream in the Cucina. I suspect a week and a half will be necessary to do The Job… if I can manage to NOT FALL OFF the ladder. 
Not a day after The Painting Chore has been stricken off My Task List, up will come The Time to Move… furniture from the antiques dealer, even more from our two jammed-packed garages in Genoa and still more from a friend’s house after an estate sale she held.
The rest of the Summer, I intend to read books in My Garden… something I feel I deserve… surrounded by…
A) My Dogs
and…
B) You.
It is this that I bought the darn place!!! Gads.

Another Day of Flooring Emotions…

Tut-tut... another day of laying down the terra-cotta flooring, now in the Salotto. This room is a kind of one-sided trapezoid. Does that make any sense? Anyway, we ran into A Tech-Question… to follow or not to follow the shape of the room for the interior field… or, the carpet? If we did, then both the outside & inside fields would be full of chopped up little pieces of terra-cotta, thanks to the rather rakish angle of a wall. These itzy-bitzy pieces are because the outside field pattern I chose… straight alternating pavers works well AND simply, if the pavers are layed at 90% angles to whatever they butt-up against… wall or border, etc. Creating a square center field solved the outside field issue EXCEPT that…
over in the far right corner in the photo below, there would be a whole lot of outside field. Fine. 

The Work-guys & I did several trial runs and My Vote went for how you see it. A carpet effect which is in the center of the room… ditto for the Sala da Pranza. We have obeyed the Law of Uniformity!!!
But, don’t it all look nice? Gads.

The Beeg Myyysteryy…

There was an old wooden stairs which, once-upon-a-time, connected the Terrace above to the Loggia below. It was a typical model for these Lunigiana parts… 2″ thick planks of fir as struts cut with angled zig-zags to place the steps. It was painted in a local signature Bordeaux, a color long since dried to the end of its Life by Sun & Rain & Wind. I loved it. And, I saw a Future for it too. In the meantime, and without asking, The Work-guys took the better part of the wooden stairs and parked it inside the Esseccatoio to await its Future, when they demolished the old terrace to build a new one. That was very nice of them. Faced with ever escalating costs, with much dear thanks to the Monti Government… an unelected entity, by the way… raising taxes, which, naturally, causes prices to AUTOMATICALLY go up. Is the Monti Government… or, any government… so stupid not to know that raising taxes is INFLATIONARY???… I had decided for adapting the old wooden stairs as a temporary solution to get from the Cucina to the bathroom in the Lavanderia. It would be a four foot jump without a ladder/stair/slide and, sadly, I can no longer take jumps of over six inches. Well, on Friday, when I left for Genoa to check on You and the Tuesday of my return, that Future Use vanished. The stairs are gone!!! Ripped off!!! Stolen!!! Kidnapped, even!!! 
Now, who, much less why, would anyone steel an old wooden stair?   
Whoever the culprit is, and for whatever reason for this crime may be, it had to be…
A)  someone who knew my Comings & Goings…
B)  someone who knew where the keys were kept to the Esseccatoio AND the Back Gate… for a quick and, undoubtedly, unseen get-away…
and…
C)  someone who knew that I was quite attached to the old wooden stairs… dammit it all to Hell!!!… and had envisioned a Fine Future Use for it too.
Smacks of an Inside Job, no???
After Searching & Investigating High & Low…
1)  the Work-guys claimed to be totally in the dark…
2) ditto for the cabinet-maker, present at the time of the stairs’ disappearance, Our Builder, the neighbor’s son-in-law, who likes to hang out at My Building Site since, he has nothing else to do.
So, $1,500 later, I’ll have a new & spiffy wood stairs, as per My Own Personal Design. And, I could care less. I want My Old Wooden Stairs back!!! Gads.

Before & Afters…

Memory Lane versus Today’s Reality…
Sala da Pranzo in 2009…
 
and last week… 
More of the Sala da Pranzo in 2009…
and two weeks ago…
Salotto in 2009… 
and two weeks ago… 
Salotto in 2009… 
and last Monday… 
Very satisfying, no?
Fasten your seat-belts for Our New Blue on all these walls!!! Gads.