Friday, March 27, 2015

Belated Happy Spring 2015!!!

We're past the first day of Spring and the weather has started getting warmer.  I'm armed and ready for outdoor work with my secret gardening weapon, the dump cart!  We got my little green wagon at our local Brico Center, but I saw they also have them on if anyone is interested.  I highly recommend getting one.  It makes work a little more fun and a lot more easy!

I don't think you can tell from this photo, but these bay trees are over 30 feet tall and there are about 20 of them all together in one group.  Well, actually 17 now.  You can see where a few are missing.

They were too close together and too tall and Amore delighted in having to cut down a few, which will become firewood and also allow for the rest of the group to grow properly.

Amore made the first pass at our new vegetable with the rototiller.  The garden outline looks big in this photo, doesn't it.  Gosh, I hope in reality it's not really that big!

We have two large water tanks for watering the garden that will be filled from a natural spring.

One of the lovely things about moving to a new home is the little discoveries.  You know, things you didn't notice at first but are delighted to discover along the way.  A fine example are these Forget-Me-Nots growing everywhere around the house.  Truly my own little paradise here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crazy for Close-Ups

Now that I've discovered the close-up function on my camera

I am obsessed.

I can't stop wondering what everything looks like close-up.

A tiny world

of immense beauty.
Look out macro, you're next!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Nikon Coolpix L830

This is my first close-up shot taken with my new Nikon Coolpix L830 camera and I'm impressed.  These are almond blossoms from our newly planted almond tree.  Amore's father was over at our house last Sunday helping with Spring pruning and these branches were too lovely not to be enjoyed inside the house.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Lost Paradise Found

This begins the tale of our move from Umbria, just across the border from where we were, to Tuscany where we discovered our Lost Paradise Found.  An old, stone farmhouse that sits in the middle of 11 acres of trees and tranquility.  Pictured above is our driveway with some olive trees and fruit trees in view.

At the top of the driveway is an old ruin that sits in front of the house.  Because the foundation of this structure remains, permits are not required to rebuild on it!

There are lots of olive trees, fruit trees, nut trees and a large variety of flowers including this gorgeous lavender bush.  And there behind, you can see the house!

There is an unfinished apartment on the ground floor with beautiful lead, colored-glass windows on two sides.  Keep in mind, these photos are the "before" shots.  It may take a few months years for the "after" shots to become available.

In addition to the apartment on the ground floor there are also four separate cellars, two of which you can see above slightly hidden behind the pergola or arbor covered with grape vines.  The stairs on the left side of the photo lead up to the porch and the entrance of the house into the kitchen.  There was literally no kitchen when we bought the house, only a tiny stone sink in the corner -- but that's another post entirely. 

There are  cleared fields in the front of the house as well as in the back.  To the left you can see a solar panel which gives us heated water in the warm months of the year.  In the cold months, we have a large, wood-burning stove in one of the cellars which heats our water and also the radiators in the house.

There is a stall on the property which we would like to fix up and welcome a few chickens, or maybe a couple of dwarf goats, or a miniature donkey!

So here's how it went.  We saw a house we liked when my sister and her husband were visiting us in September 2013.  In October we made an offer.  In November we put down a deposit.  In May 2014 we signed papers.  In September 2014 we moved in after putting in a kitchen.  And that, my friends, is how things are done in Italy.  Piano, piano.  Very slowly!