This picture was taken in a little town in Italy in which my parents lived.
About 50 feet away was a church.

While there are still families living in this town, it is slowly becoming deserted.  Generations have grown and moved on - leaving their elderly behind, sometimes with a now grown-up child hanging back to care for them.

There are parts of this town I remember well
~a cousin's house with living quarters in the back (or were they upstairs?) and a "convenience store-like" market in front.  I don't remember much of what she sold - but I do remember chewing gum, cigarettes and notepaper.

~a Y in the road where a fountain (well?) stood.  If you head straight ahead you reach the square with the Church...bear right and you would reach the homes of my cousins and other relations.

~and of course the homes of my parents.  They were neighbors when their romance began so many years ago.

I've been to this town quite a few times
 as a young girl,
 a young lady,
a young woman... and again just last year.

We always made a trip to this center of town to attend Church.  We would meet so many of my parent's friends in that square after Mass.  My parent's would introduce to everyone again,
and point out the house that also served as the bar.
They never mentioned anything about the Cafe Lunin.  I don't remember if I even asked about it.
But I found myself fascinated by it this time around.

What does the name mean? Lunin could be a derivative of Moon. Is it Cafe Moon?
It was once a bus stop - at least I assume by the sign and bench
Was it owned by the family that lived next door?
Was it a popular, lively place? To invest in a lit sign...one would think so.

Across the building was a fountain (or perhaps a Religious font) in front of a wall on which flyers were hung - few newer ones...many old and worn ones.

Its an interesting place this square.

I joked that if I ever moved to that town that is where I'd live
and the first thing I'd do is renovate that Cafe Lunin.

Even if not many people lived there
or if not many people came to sit...

I don't think I'd mind much.  I'd probably just sit on that green bench
with a cafe in hand
and be content.


Strawberry picking

It's been a couple of years since I've been able to make time to go strawberry picking.
  This past Monday I made the time.

I drove to the organic farm located around the corner from my house at about a little after 9am.  I felt nervous and out of place - as if I really had no business being there.  I was afraid it would be obvious to the cashier that I hadn't picked strawberries in years.  She looked the part - with her long hair and no make-up, wearing her dirty farm clothes and relaxed smile.  Would she be able to see through me? Would she size me up and know I was a fraud? Would she think I'd be better off buying a pre-picked quart of strawberries...the much quicker and less dirty option?

I felt ambitious as I pre-paid for a flat of strawberries - determined that if I was going to pick strawberries - I was going to get my money's worth. 

As I carried the empty flat out the door and along the path to the fields, I was starting to relax - but still had a way to go before I could completely immerse myself in the moment.  It was quite silly actually - how nervous I felt as I headed out to the field.   I tried to act as casual as possible - silently praying that I wouldn't trip or get tangled in the lines that I had to duck under to get to the back field. 
Picking a row, I placed the box on the ground and got to work.  There was a slight moment of panic as I searched the first few plants and found only one strawberry worthy of picking.

As I tossed the strawberry into the empty quart box I glanced at the other 7 containers and wondered whether I had made a mistake in being so ambitious.  Here I was already feeling the ache in my calves as I bent over each plant to search through the leaves.  Squatting hurt my knees. I was trying to get my picking rhythm - something I thought I remembered from seasons past.

There was an older gentleman a few rows over.  He knew what he was doing - at least he looked like he did.  I kept waiting for him to look over at me, eager to share a cute little comment I had just thought of...
"there should be a free 10 minute post-picking massage included in the price"
 ...a comment that I hoped would provide an adequate enough explanation for the stiffness in my 46 year old body.  But he never looked over.

Eventually, I sunk into the moment.  It was a gloriously beautiful morning - humid enough to make the not-so-hard work of picking berries just hard enough to make you sweat - but with a strong enough cooling breeze to keep you comfortable. 

I did find plenty of berries - enough to overfill my 8 quart containers.  I didn't exactly find the berry picking rhythm I was hoping for but I did loosen my obviously not-used-very-much muscles enough to finish.  I walked away from the field relaxed and rejuvenated...and very sunburned.

 I placed the flat of strawberries into the trunk of my car and walked back into the market.  My morning had done just what I had hoped it would.  It reminded me of the time of my life when I made time to pick strawberries...when I wasn't the fraud at the farm.

I eagerly handed over my credit card as I chose my CSA pick-up date.

You have to make time.  I'm glad I made the time.  Next time I won't wait so long.


Trying to blog from my phone isn't very easy. 
It somehow gave me a choice of pictures to use.
I chose this one even though I think I've used it before. 

I came outside bc right now it feels like a spring morning
And later it will feel like summer afternoon
Yet the leaves are falling all around me

All the local townships are having their fall fests today. 
Will they be as fun in tank top and shorts?




Someone posted this on facebook  
 The Day Wonderland Stood Still by Bruce Wayne Photography
If you have a chance check it out. 
Leaves are changing. 
The other day I saw one tree that had changed red right in the middle of others
 that had not even started to change.
I thought of that tree after watching the above video.



I love figs!
They are round and plump
and full of goodness inside...
sorta like me :)



I recently bought myself a French press.
I simply got tired of making too much mediocre tasting coffee
I also bought a frother with visions of making super cool latte art
It appears that art will have to wait
In the meantime I am enjoying the milky foam


back home

(one of my wishes would be to have a huge sculpture like this in my yard) 
I returned home from a (first ever!) girls' weekend
to find a plant, huge chocolate bar and welcome home sign
waiting for me
my husband said when he comes home from traveling
he doesn't get that type of reception
so what can I tell ya