I’ve recently been in a storm of “life noise,” at top volume, and finally things have settled down for me. Mike was recovering from his two back surgeries for 11 weeks, finally getting a few hours a day at the office (I had to drive him, someone else brought him home when he was worn out), and then getting his driving privileges back. While he was recuperating, we also celebrated Aiden’s first Christmas with our family, hosted daughter Julie and baby Aiden for a few visits, and our son Steve and his Liz, and then everyone returned to their normal lives. I began to work on getting the house and garden back in shape, taking time to be grandson Aiden’s “Nonna.”
We experienced a hard freeze in December (which occurs about every 10 years), so now many of the flowering perennials that I had just planted in the spring seem to be dead—I’ve been cutting them back and praying for miracles, but I don’t have much faith that I’ll see them sprout again as the soil warms up for spring. My huge lemon tree really took a hit, with a vast carpet of dropped freeze-damaged lemons under the tree, and many smaller branches dead or damaged from the week of freezing temperatures that we experienced. I spent about 15 minutes a day fishing lemons out of the pool, where the damaged ones sometimes fell, and the pool sweep was filled with lemon leaves that froze, died and then dropped into the water. That tree, with nasty thorns protecting the branches, needs some major cleaning up and pruning from all of the recent damage, and I’ve been persistently getting in a few hours at a time, filling the green waste cans and gathering grocery sacks of undamaged lemons to distribute to anyone who cannot run fast enough to avoid my “drive-by lemon-ings.”
I spent most of January ill, with the respiratory virus spreading in our area that seemed to attack and quickly go to bronchitis, losing nearly a month for the course of the cough, fever, and sinus problems that came with the virus. The biggest tragedy, for me, was that I could neither smell nor taste for two weeks—losing all motivation to cook and/or eat. Between Mike’s knee (to the ER to have fluid drained from a fall he took in early December) and my coughing and dragging around, we were quite a dynamic pair for a while.
In January my sisters and I started the daunting and emotional task of making a photo inventory of our Mom’s estate, and we worked as many weekends as we could get time together, preparing for the eventual distribution of Mom’s personal effects and the many sentimental things she left behind in her huge house. Just as I began to hit a rhythm, catch up on my own household projects and get the gardens cleaned of dead foliage, sincerely planning on heading back to continue this blog, malware invaded the server where my blog was hosted. My son-in-law, Chris, worked like mad to clean my blog (and others) and migrate it to another server. Since you are reading this, then it has been accomplished—and I can finally begin to post stories and images from my fall 2013 trip to Spello, and my current trip.
Sorry for the delay, and now I’m out of excuses—except this one: the photos for this blog are in my portable hard drive, and I assumed that I’d have no problem accessing them to include here, but they are blocked with a problem that I cannot solve here, therefore no photos. That is a disappointment for me that goes beyond just blogging, when I can see the photos, but not use them or copy them. It’s time to get back to prepping posts and getting them uploaded to the blog. What small audience I once had may have deserted their posts—but I’ll still continue, now that I’ve returned to Spello and can generate new stories. Hope you are still out there, and interested!