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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 22, 2009

And, Ain't It Good to be Back Home Again...

I guess all that beautiful West Virginia talk in my last post put me in a John Denver frame of mind, cause in addition to "Almost Heaven, West Virginia" playing through my mind every time I take the turnpike through the mountains,  "Ain't It Good to be Back Home Again" is a fairly accurate description of how I've been feeling since I've been home!

I've pretty much finished all the "getting home" things - everything's unpacked and put away and souvenirs have been distributed.  I still have all the prints I bought laying out to sometime get framed (wonder why I bought so many!?), laundry is done, did a big grocery shopping, called my friends to let them know I was back only to find out that one was going out of town, one had gone home sick from work, and one was pretty insanely busy.  So, it was a quiet weekend, but nice.  I bought a chuck roast and Saturday afternoon made my first pot roast of the season which I always really look forward to (yes, I lead a quiet life).  It was a really good one too which is always nice - every now and then, even though I fix it the same way every time, the meat stays tougher and dryer than I like, but this one was succulent.  Then, Sunday morning I went to Starbucks for my nice, lazy tea and crossword puzzle session.  Sunday afternoon I used some of the left over pot roast to make the season's first batch of chili which is one reason I look forward to the first pot roast so much.  Ate more of that than I probably should have, but...

Monday, I called the woman I work with at the library and she and I had lunch at Hillbilly Hotdogs (woo-hoo!)  A hot dog with sauce and slaw and an order of extra crispy fries - now that's eating!  Monday night there was a reception at a new art gallery here in downtown Huntington so I went to that and was delighted to see such a large turn-out for it.  Some really nice pieces of work, also.  One of the artists exhibiting her work lives in my building and she was there with her sister who is visiting from Michigan.  They invited me up to her condo afterwards to see how she's fixed it up and she's done some real neat things with her unit - built ins, a bathroom that I'm jealous of, and an electric fireplace!  So that was a nice visit - a little glass of wine and a lot of chat.

In between all those things, I've been working and working on my pictures - deciding which ones to edit and keep, which ones to print, etc.  I'm looking for a "best price" option for printing the ones I want cause I think I will want quite a few.  Don't even know why, really - cause I can look at them all on the computer any time I want to.  But somehow, looking at an actual photograph is nicer, I think.  I guess it's the same as what I think about audio books.  I've never even tried one (who knows I might love them!) cause I can't imagine not holding the book in my hands, looking back over what I've read when I can't remember something pertinent, and just losing myself in it.  I feel that if I was listening to a book, I'd lose track - something would catch my attention, or something in the story itself would set me off thinking about something else...Anyway, I'm going to want a lot of photos, I think.  And my friend, Jamie, gave me a really nice photo album so I will have the perfect place to keep them.

Hmmm, I just discovered when I went to take this picture that the album holds 32 pictures so I may have to rethink this.  I'm thinking maybe I should select an extra-special portion of the trip and put those in this album.  Like maybe some from Montefioralle or views from the top of the cupola of the Duomo...then have a separate album for all the rest.  Montefioralle might be real nice in this album...

Anyway, that's what I've been up to.  Oh, and I almost forgot the most exciting thing - I went to ebay, found myself a nice, reasonably priced, hand-cranked pasta machine and bought it!  Can't wait for it to arrive and try some "at home" pasta making.  Once I get that down pat and try a few of those Cook's magazine recipes, it will be party time!

And just a little update on Thursday - my pasta maker got here yesterday and I was extremely disappointed to find that it didn't work!  But I've sent it back (it was used) and was so inspired by even a non-working one that tonight I've ordered a brand new one.  So, there will be fresh pasta in my kitchen before very long!


January said...

Go Mama, go! You pasta-crankin' maniac :)
Does your place still smell like pot roast?
Love you!

Christopher said...

I love that feeling of being finally "caught up" on the work it takes to finally settle back home after a long trip. And glad to hear you're putting your Italian classwork to work... You made pasta waaaay back in the day, right? You'll have to provide some more details on the neighbor's bathroom, and what was jealousy-inducing... I'm always looking for ideas for the day I redo mine...

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