Eeet’s theh Eeeaster Rrrrrabbit!!!

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…a message from You this morning.

We have paying guests staying in L’Appartamento Azzurro. They’re Irish. They’re perfect too… not minding a bit the shitty, rainy, cold, grey & ugly weather this holiday weekend. And, they arrived well furnished with ample gin & tonic… an Easter fruit-cake to Die & Go To Heaven & Hang-out With All The Irish Saints & Martyrs… and the adorable Irish Easter Tradition of building a nature hut for the Easter Bunny to lay his Easter Eggs in. Am I confused on a Gender Issue there? Whatever. The Easter Bunny gets a dry & cozy place. How thoughtful, no? And, apparently, Mr. Easter Bunny-Rabbit really liked these digs constructed for the occasion here at Il Poggiolo… the garden was rife with colorful eggs in every visible nook & cranny. I came bounding up The Ramp to Wish One & All una Buona Pasqua and nearly squished half his production!!!

And guess what? We have sun!!! An Easter Miracle. Nearly rivals what we are celebrating. Thank You, Mr. Easter Bunny-Rabbit!!! Come again and soon!!! Gads.

Sick…

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For four years now of constant gardening… everyone can see me laboring away in the garden… the Codiponte locals have told me repeatedly to be very, very careful about sweating in the open air. They WARNED that all it would take to lay me low with a severe cold would be a breeze for… un colpo di freddo… or, to take chill. Did I listen & obey? CERTAINLY NOT!!! The sun was shinning AND it was mildly warm outside. I’m from Colorado. Real men from Colorado DO NOT WORRY about a little ol’ wind. So much for My Machismo… or perhaps better said, My Masochism. I am sick. Terrific head & chest cold. I think there is no worse a downer than to cough, sneeze & sniffle while it is cold & rainy outside. On a brighter side, I do have a good book to read. What an Easter! Oh, well… Happy Easter!!! May yours be healthy & sunny. Gads.

What 60 lavender looks like…

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Rain. Rain yesterday. Rain today. Rain tomorrow. Rain day after tomorrow. A day of sun. Then, rain all the way through the Easter Weekend. In any case, about 60 lavender plants are in place to soak up all the water. Better now because there won’t be a later. We got a water bill for nearly $1,500!!! Yes. $1,500!!! Thanks to the Water Company needing funds. Those Fine Folk finally checked Our Consumption and came-up with… Y’ve been drinking too much O2!!! This Grand Conclusion after four years of easy to pay water bills. No more watering!!! And, if last year is any indication of the Global Warming of the last, there won’t be any rain until the Fall. Drink up plants!!! Gads.

 

 

 

 

My lavender strewn Mt.Calvary…

Yesterday, it was like this… Our one sunny day for the three of rain. So, I planted a lavender-bed, or two. Thought I had killed my back & hip.

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Today, it was back to cloudy & cold yet, I planted another lavender-bed until, spying the distant hills, I saw veils of rain. So, before that happened, I got the lawn-mower out and I went & cut the darn grass!!! Cannot tell you how good it made me feel. Therapy for the Simple-headed or Easily Entertained? Yes. The weather can now do what it wants which, the better guess will be more cloudy & cold and rainy weather. Gads.

Please note: I am deeply grateful for the generosity of My Dutch & Italian Friends here in Codiponte, who have graciously donated these innumerable lavender plants to My Cause of Garden Beautiful. Thank you… Thank you… Thank you… Thank you… Thank you.

 

Bound or bushwhacked…

Our Gardening Story for this week… the one in March when Spring is supposed to begin…

On Monday, it rained and the cedar-trees were like this.    Yesterday, the sun shined & 
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Our Little Man, barely five-feet of untold physical strength and hands imbued with A Great Knowledge about Plant Life, came to make a few Garden Repairs at Il Poggiolo… those Tasks I choose to defer to the more Competent. He bound the poor cedar-trees with huge stakes & rubber bindings, so they would grow-up to be tall & straight, as God had intended… and come what may with the Wind, Rain & Snow. Then, he brought out his trusty gas-powered chain-saw and gave a severe style of crew-cut to the two willows down by the Fish Pond and the unruly make-baskets-tree… vimini, in Italian and is considered unruly ONLY to You. As the saw-dust flew below, I continued to plant lavender plants above on the Upper Slope. 60 interred so far and with a monetary saving of almost 500 bucks!!! T’was A Solid Day of Garden Work for all Concerned!!! And today, guess what? It’s raining. Gads.

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Lavender from Heaven…

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A couple of days ago, a Codiponte Friend came & helped me anchor two long bookcases as a railing for the Sleeping Loft up in L’Appartamento Azzurro. Paying guests are due for the long Easter Weekend. I don’t want anyone to fall. Thanks to a cordless drill, the little project t’was done in a juffy. In parting, the Friend mentioned an offer of going & digging-up unwanted lavender plants in a field next to his vegetable garden down by the roaring river. The Friend has Expansion Plans for, I guess, more piante di pomodori…. or, tomato plants. WOW!!! I said. What a God-send. A HUGE savings too. Today, a lavender plant at the local nursery is 8 bucks!!! I spent an unusually sunny day last Friday extracting & replanting about 30 plants. The Math says 30 x 8 = $240!!! Tons of Pennies from Heaven.

Those 30 found splendid new homes at the ends of the long slope above the row of fruit-trees above L’Appartamento Azzurro. When The Entity, whose hands are on the faucet of all this rain, decides to consistently give us a bit of sunshine, I will dig up bunches & bunches more to create Plan A from the post… Garden assaults & plans… of February 19th. The plan is a series of boxy borders of lavender, filling in the quadrants with various plants of rosemary, sage, flowers & other low growing-non-weed-flora.

Other lavender will be used to fill-in gaps where plants have already been planted… proverbial bald spots… mostly above the Fish Pond & below Our Scenic Overlook.

So, bring on the sun!!! Gads.

Una brutta fine…

An ugly ending…

the person the locals told us was probably responsible for i tentavi di furto… or, thefts at Il Poggiolo and at other houses in the village, was found dead in his apartment above the scuzzy bar of Codiponte Saturday morning. It was a suicide. He was found by a sometime employer, when he did not show-up for an appointment… to work and bring in some much needed money.

I am very sorry for this tragedy. I do not wish upon anyone the downward spiral of desperation. The consequences call us to appreciate what we have. Often though, we are the authors of our own troubles. In the case of this unfortunate person, he just bound himself up… confiding in no one… until his only recourse was the length of rope.

I had actually forgotten about Our Pathetic Break & Entering until You & I took a caffe’ at Our Neighbor’s the previous Sunday and heard the local’s founded suspicions. The person was seen in parts of the village where he had no business being. I never imagined such a conclusion. I was selfishly interested in entertaining blog filler. Events took a horrible turn. What’s happened has happened. I am left to convey my hopes for this person’s Peace.

I am now more worried for the sometime employer. He’s una brava persona… or, a good person.  I sent him a text message of solidarity & condolence. He showed up at my door shortly afterwards. I listened to his hurt & anger & sadness. I asked him to head home, hug his son, stay close to his wife, be with his many friends & family. I wished him Peace too. That may require some time.

Gads.

 

Erectile dysfunction?…

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This is about all the sunshine we have had in Codiponte for the past two months, say the Locals. I feel so fortunate to have noticed these thin slices of blue sky yesterday. Despite this wintery aspect for imminent rain & cold predicted this weekend, I did venture out into the garden to tackle Item #2B… assess the state of Our Cedar-trees…

IMG_3356IMG_3354tragically caught in a form of floral erectile dysfunction. Yes, how rude!!! The snows came and were caught by the tight bows of the cedars. Then, came the cold, which turned the snow into a heavy crust, bending them as shown. One was snapped off. A clean cut. IMG_3357

One very dead cedar. NinaDog could’ve cared less. Cats were detected. So, before chucking the long stalk onto the pyre of fire, My Mother called…

This is Your Mother calling… Hi, Mom… I want to know about this new Pope!… Well, yes, new by less than 24 hours, he’s Argentinian but his origins are Piedmontesi, he lived in a one bedroom apartment and rode the subway to work in Buenos Aires and he has actually had physical contact with The Catholic Faithful… Unlike that German!!! We know the guy’s Curriculum, thanks to that Anderson looks-like-a-chicken person on CNN but, what are the real Italians saying about him?… They seem very enthusiastic. What can I say? He’s an Italian… OK, Standard Procedure, I’m sure. So where are you? In that Codi-place? Is is raining? That’s all the Weather Channel says it has done there for the last two weeks. So, what in the heck are you doing?… I’m about ready to immolate a dead cedar… Oh, don’t do that, dear. Cut the bows, string ’em into a wreath, spray paint it gold & silver, put a red bow on it and use it as a door decoration for Christmas!!! I’ve got to go. Bye, dear.

Gads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first plants You & I bought and planted were the four cedars placed on the top most grassy terrace. It is so sad to see this corpse. It had tripled its height since 2009. NinaDog could care less. There were cats about.

Then, during My Sad Garden Labors, My Mother called…

This is your Mother calling… Hello, Mother calling… Where are you, dear? In that Codi-place? And what are you doing? The Weather Channel says all it has done is rain… Yes, lots of water lately… The reason for this call is to find out what does the Italian Populace thinks of the new Pope?… They’re enthusiastic, since he is originally an Italian… Naturally, and?… And, he rides the subway to work… And…?… And, let’s see… A thrilling commentary. So, what are you up to today?… I am about ready to drag to the fire pile a cedar snapped from the snows… Oh, don’t burn it, dear!!! You can take the bows to make a door-wreath, spray it gold or silver and hung it up for Christmas!!!…

Hints of a thaw…

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Punctually, the flowering-quints in Our Garden are the first sign Spring is approaching. How the season will arrive through what seems an impenetrable barrier of RAIN!… COLD!!!… and sometimes even SNOW!!! is…? Well…? Well, is one of those Mysteries of Mother Nature. I bet that gal is still wrapped in a thick woolen muffler.

You & I drove down last Sunday to find Il Poggiolo in its continued wintery state of lethargy. The sun timidly poked through the heavy dark-grey overcast from the sea to demonstrate that My Garden Task List will be lengthy, once the sun is given the chance to stay for a while. You grumbled. I made mental notes. On a closer inspection, the grounds looked unusually ragged from the repeated carnage of the terrific bouts of snows of February & March. The grassy terraces are littered with snapped limbs… and in one instance, an entire cedar-tree broken & felled by the crusty weight of the frozen snow. After a relatively brief Inspection Tour, we repaired to a neighbor’s for Company & Caffe’. The sun retired. The rains returned.

Sunday is the day to go visiting. While warm inside listening to the tin-tin of the water outside, You & I got caught up on the Local Gossip during Our Three Month Hiatus. The six chairs in Our Neighbor’s Kitchen were all taken by the Ladies of Codiponte, there to chat-up…

the elderly gentleman next door passed away at the ripe old age of 87. Another, 78, died in his sleep after a long illness. Ahhh, Our Numbers diminish. One of the Lady-attendees sighed after giving us these sad bits of news to say that Codiponte is lucky to have a 150 year-round residents. What? We were told nearly 400! Yeah, maybe ten years ago. But not any more. With folk dying or the young leaving ’cause there’s no work. We are few. Gosh…

that the owner of a stone building collapsed from the heavy rains of last October made an even bigger mess. Had this predicted event continued with some force, many residences of the village would have been obliterated. The owner is The Most HATED Fellow in Codiponte. Our Lady Neighbor lit into how he had knocked-down a quaint stone archway to the terraces belonging to the former owners of Il Poggiolo above us to gain direct access to cart-off his tumble-downed building. And, in his fury of work, the owner also blew-out a lovely moss-encrusted stone wall to pour part of the debris into a hole around the foundations of yet another one of his tumble-down properties. Our Neighbor Lady had not finished… most of the debris was spread above her home in a terraced garden of fruit-trees belonging to this HATED owner. It is now an eye-sore of some several acres. The other eye-sore is a mud-slide-waiting-to-happen of the originally collapsed stone building. Fine work said Our Neighbor Lady…

and…

several piped-up about who might have been the perpetrator of the two attempts at thievery at Il Poggiolo and around Codiponte proper. The rumors say it was the vile work of a local fellow out-of-work and on hard times. There’s no proof to these accusations. Pure gossip on the sad travails of another. However, I am glad it might have been a local character though sorry for him & his troubles. The idea of a band of thieves running at large in the Lunigiana to rip of copper, iron, etc. did not leave me especially easy.

So now, away, away dreary rains. Out, out, out, please, dear sun. I want to cut the grass!!! Gads.

Il Poggiolo nightmares…

IMG_1673I can be ridiculous… a couple of years ago, during a period of cosmic insecurity and other stuff… a lot of it associated with the tug ‘n pull of bringing Il Poggiolo to a happy FINISH… I paid for a Numerological Analysis of My Future off a website… based in of all places, New Zealand!!! Leaving the other-worldly location aside, this esoteric offer of numerological comfort came highly recommended by a friend as simply EXTRAORDINARY!!! The investment was minor. I signed up. You thought it EXTRAORDINARILY OUTRAGEOUS!!! Par for the course. Last Time I ever confess of such things to You. 24 hours later, an e-mail arrived and I happily printed out & read through 123 pages of what turned out to be mostly computer generated module mumbo-jumbo. Disappointed but not bankrupt, I buried the proceeds in a drawer and went on My Merry & Erratic Way. Rummaging through the drawer last week, hunting for a pen that might work, I happened upon that long forgotten stack of gibberish. Stuck to my hands was a page, a blow-by-blow account of daily ups ‘n downs for March 2013. Glancing at the small print, there was written… Dreams will be intense… Should jot them down… Ought to study them too… They could be IMPORTANT!!! Well, coincidentally, all I do at night is dream about Il Poggiolo. And weird dreams too. The two strangest were…

I had sold a healthy interest in Il Poggiolo to a Swiss fashion company I had once-upon-a-time worked for… many, many Moons ago… so the company could rent out the apartments to a guaranteed & steady stream of renters and giving me a cut of the proceeds, but first, all the interiors were torn-out for new radiators & plumbing to be installed with the premise that Il Poggiolo was NOT UP TO ITS STANDARDS!!!…

and…

was an afternoon party just packed with Our Friends & Family and few floaters when, in the midst of the fracus, a girl-friend arrived & handed me an envelope carrying a letter requesting an immediate payment of 24,000 Euros in back-taxes, as if it were a post-card from Auntie Em in Kansas!!!

and lastly…

Angela Merkel should up at Our Poggiolo Door-step!!!

All forced me to awake in a frightfully COLD sweat!!! And yet, not a night passes that My Sleep is not devoted to some Storm or Stress around Il Poggiolo. What is going on? Is My Marketing Campaign to rent out Il Poggiolo the cause of these nightmares? Gads.