Thursday, May 29, 2014

What a great life!

the living room of our Cortona apartment in Tuscany

The outside courtyard of our apartment. There are 15 apartments in this building total. It has a pool too! 

Brian and i leave for Italy in the morning. I have over planned, over organized and have left no stone unturned. What i haven't done, i can proudly say, is overpack. And thanks to my friends on Facebook, pearl, louie, my niece Kylee, Aysin, many WEA friends, my sister in law Debbie, Julie, and so many others.... I so appreciate their comments on my series of Really Dumb Traveling Questions. (I think there were 7 in all.) I am not going to be that traveler that holds up everyone.

I am having the best time of my life...!

  • I retired. (I did go back to work for this month at the headquarters office, but my last day was now i'm totally free!) 
  • I used an ATM machine for the first time. 
  • I am going to Europe for the first time in my life. 
  • And we finally got that Last Will and Testament - picked it up from the lawyer just this morning. 
What's weird about getting that will is how great i felt when Brian and i left the attorney's office this morning. The feeling was similar to when we applied for our marriage license oddly enough. Maybe because marriage and death are a huge part of living. All i know it was a huge weight off of my shoulders. We have talked about it for years and years but never got around to doing it. This Italy trip was the push. If our plane goes down now i will feel a lot better knowing that we got that out of the way. 

Also, I have to take back my feelings of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It's been an incredible resource for a planner like me. How on earth did i ever go anywhere without the Internet and Facebook? 

I will say though that it has been quite the ordeal getting ready for this trip! There are so many things to think about and remember for someone like me who doesn't travel. This is only my fourth trip on a plane since 9-11 We went to Mexico in 2002. Santa Fe i think in 2003 and Sedona in 2012. In comparison my niece Kylee is on trip #14 in just one year!

I always have some anxiety about flying due in part to a few horrible flying experiences in my limited air travel. (a terrible storm on the way to Japan - my first air travel when i was 11 years old and  i threw up the whole trip sitting by myself next to a soldier i didn't know (my mom was with the three kids in front of me) ; lightning outside the plane near the wing on a trip back from Yosemite in the 80's where even the flight attendants were strapped in and looked scared; a big drop in the plane on the way back from Palm Springs in the early 90's when i went on a buddy pass with my flight attendant friend Molly. When that happened Molly said "THAT's not normal." 

But what i will do is remember all of the million of miles that pearl travels without incident. And Kylee. and so many others. And i do know that i am probably less safe every time I go for a run by myself as i have been doing all these years. So that and Xanax (and a bloody mary) will get me through the willies. And truthfully, once we're up and settled in I do look forward to the forced relaxation of just being. 

Ok, nothing too riveting, but i just wanted to change the blog. 

Oh, here's a photo of my luggage, packed and ready to go. (My plan is to wear many of my clothes more than once since we have a washer, so that helped packed less clothes!) 

I think i did pretty good! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso" and other random stuff

Menu of the Day: 
My stack of books in the living room. 

In my glass: French roast coffee

Music: Natalie Merchant Pandora One radio (I purchased the Pandora One upgrade for $4 a month and i highly recommend it! (We have our iMac hooked up to play through our living room sound system. I rarely play cds anymore.)

Songs I've jotted down while listening to Pandora: "Feel Alright" by Steve Earle; "When the Roses Bloom Again" by Jeff Tweedy; "Things We Left Behind" by Paul Thorp.

What's Challenging me this week: I have to learn some Italian. So I'm going to learn two sentences without looking at a book and i'm going to pronounce them perfectly. The first one: "Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso".
The second one: "Vorrei un altro bicchiere di vino."

(I bet y'all don't need to know Italian to know what it means!)

Am I the only one who didn't know what this means? Brian and i were coming back from his conference in Everett last week and it occurred to me that i didn't know what HOV means when referring to the interstate lane. Do y'all know? We racked our brain for about 5 miles until i Googled it on his phone. (I'll add it at the bottom.)

What also occurs to me while on the subject:  Babies should not be allowed to count as a passenger while driving in the HOV lanes. But it is legal! (I know because i Googled it.) Babies don't drive!

Best Book lately: I love this Anna Quindlen book called "Still Life with Bread Crumbs". I kept picking it up and putting it back down in part because the title was dumb i thought. But i just finished it within 24 hours and highly recommend it.
My favorite book this month!

Quotes from "Still life with Bread Crumbs" that i wrote down: (I have a beautiful journal that Sarah/louie gave me in 1996 for my birthday and i use it only to write down passages from books i've read.)  2 quotes from this book in my journal:

"It's a funny thing, hope. It's not like love, or fear, or hate. It's a feeling you don't really know you had until it's gone."
"People froze you in place, Rebecca sometimes thought, trudging through the woods. More important, you froze yourself, often into a person in whom you truly had no  interest."
Really great wine I want to remember: We had this at Anthony's Home Port while celebrating my birthday. It's Thurston Wolffe PGV (pinto grigio viognier).

Product endorsement: This is a Bose bluetooth speaker and it has THE most amazing sound! Brian bought it for me and i can hook it up to my iPad and play Pandora and it sounds as nice as our inside Bose speaker system. It replaces my cute little Jam bluetooth.

Obnoxious bumper sticker this week:  (I think I'm going to start making this a regular feature of the Menu.) I was behind a car the other day and the sticker said "My son wears combat boots, what does YOURs do?" I don't like the tone of that sticker, as if my son (the one i don't have) might be a slacker, a rapist, a drug addict or whatever. (Don't you think that is the intent?) If someone asked me that question in real life i would be inclined to lie: "My son is in Nigeria right now doing what he can to rescue those kidnapped girls."

Someday remind me to tell you  the story when i lied to a snooty pair of doctors at a wedding by telling them i was a roofer. It was great. I hardly ever think quickly on my feet but that day i did. (Fueled by chardonnay, I'm sure.) 

OK, HOV means: 'high occupancy vehicle'. (I bet y'all did know that and i'm just clueless!) 

OK, come add your own obnoxious bumper sticker, book, and product! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Moving furniture....

I don't know about y'all but i love moving furniture around. Which is weird because i am not known for liking change. But when it comes to living areas i am all about mixing it up. And i like to do that with my blog too.

I changed it quite a bit and i'm not sure if it's hard for others to read or not. So if you could let me know that would be great and then I'll adjust.

Some things can't be moved without HTML editing and i did try some of it but i couldn't get it to stick so i gave up and went back to a regular template.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's ironic

That now that I am retired I have gone the longest time without changing my blog. I am working part-time again in headquarters for May so that's part of it. But not really. I also haven't balanced my checkbook either. I am not even reading that much. I downloaded books from the library that I had on hold and won't get through them before they are due.

I think the comments here from those who posted were my muse and now my brain is retired too and ideas that came easily before are not coming easily anymore.

Or maybe I need to drink more wine!