Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dreams of Bella Tuscany

Aahhh.... Dreams of Bella Tuscany~
I am currently reading Francis Mayes, Bella Tuscany.
I stumbled upon this author while in Italy in March,2003.

With the trusted Rick Steve's travel guide in hand, we mapped out a little scenic drive through the Tuscan hill towns in central Italy along the less traveled road ,sometimes loosing our bearings and ending up in someone's yard picnicking and sharing cheese and bread with the owner of the Villa's dog near Pienza. He'll never tell he entertained foreigners on the front lawn~

There were places that took our breath away as we approached the steep slopes leading up to the top of the hill and to the gate of the town ,welcoming us in to their medieval cobblestone streets. The towns had names that were a challenge to pronounce and we most likely mispronounced them. Some faint remembrances of these gems,recalling the wind that whipped through the vacant streets at siesta in Montalcino, the tall towers that have stood so stately over hundreds of years, Steve disappearing in one town only to reappear with the discovery of a most beautiful mosaic in a most unusual place.
This drive took us on to Cortona~
Oh yes ,the book Under The Tuscan Sun was written and in print, but I had no idea that I would be so enchanted by Ms. Mayes romantic descripions of the countryside called Tuscany. I feel as if I am in the back seat of her car riding along in the adventure as it unfolds, page by page, chapter by chapter. It makes me want to buy an abandoned property and refurbish and make it my home too~

This Fall I read Bringing Tuscany Home,and found it as charming.With pictures it increased my desire to return and walk the dusty lanes and view the horizon form a distant hilltop, my imagination stirred . I remembered driving just a "little further " up the road that wound past the town and into the upper hills, possibly just up the way was Bramasole~

We sat in town and had a gelato at the exact same place that Dianne Ladd wrote the colorful postcard for a traveling friend about this beautiful spot, not knowing that a movie about Cortona would be filmed there. We wandered the streets and peeked in shops and sat in a little cafe bar for a cappuccino and took in the view and ambiance of the Piazza della Repubblica, sans the fountain.
We were invited to attend an art exhibit of an English woman next door to the cafe bar,which we attended and then went to the American art student's exhibit in one of the many vastly large buildings close by. Was this English artist a friend of Ms, Mayes? Perhaps she attended this event without us ever realising we were in the same room~ Again we saw the artist and friend as I looked out the train window upon arrival to one of our other destinations, perhaps Rome.
Strange that our paths crossed at another time and place.
I am ready for another adventure into yet another book and have several waiting to be traveled soon~
I know that this next holiday will be seen through more than just my eyes.
Perhaps my wish to see and walk the gardens of Bramisole will come true~

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I am drawn to the patio with the gentle breeze caressing my arms and face.
I look out over the little English Garden we have created with delight as the flowers are in Spring bloom.
The grass is neatly trimmed from the previous week's Easter gathering . The roses on the arbor are gently sprinkling their petals across the walk and inviting one to tread upon them to release their fragrance one last time. The view is most pleasing to me.
New baby birds chime in unison as their parents light next to the nest that is nestled in the corner of the peragolia on the deck,waiting to be fed.
This morning I opened the deck doors to listen to the melody of one of the many birds that visit our side yard that Steve has named the"Secret Garden".
Blue Birds are nesting in the box at the far end of the yard in the Eucalyptus tree. They have chosen to stay. We first spotted them the summer of 2000, and now we spot them occasionally at the birdbath taking a drink or splashing having a bath.
Today I am most excited as we have spotted the presence of Grossbeak, a comical ,colorful bird of orange, black and white with an unusual triangular shaped beak.
Stay for a while and tell your friends to come and rear their families here. I am delighted to see newcomers in the garden, I long for them to call this home too.
I spotted the Hummingbird at the new feeder location . We enjoy their darting about and the chatter they make and watching them challenge each other to protect their territory . They don't seem to mind our presence amongst them , and I love to see their ruby red throats against their irradisent green bodies highlighted by the sun hitting them just right . I planted a new bush that attracts the hummingbird to the garden.
The Mocking bird perches aloft the rose arbor pausing briefly before disappearing into her thorny nest to check on her young ones.
The garden is alive!
I know that when the song of birds fill the garden I am in a most happy place !

Monday, April 16, 2007


I am drawn to the patio with the gentle cool breeze caressing my arms and face,I look out over the little area we have created,our garden.

The grass is neatly mowed from the previous week's Easter gathering. The roses are in glorious bloom on the arbor,they scatter their fragrant petals waiting for someone to tread upon them and enjoy their delightful scent.

The view is most pleasing!

The baby birds chime in unison as their parents perch next to their temporary home nestled in the corner of the pergola on the deck.

This morning I intentionally opened the deck door to hear the song of one of the many birds perched in the tree in the side yard,Steve has named the Secret garden~

Blue Birds are nesting in the nest box on the old Eucaliptus tree at the far end of the yard. They have come to stay, as we first spotted them in the summer of 2000. Now we delight in watching them sit on the fence and venture to the bird bath for a drink or to bathe.

Today we are blessed by the presence of Grossbeak, a most colorful and comical bird, orange and black , with an unusual triangle shaped beak.
Come and stay and make our garden your home! I am delighted to spot new birds in the garden and long for them to want to return. Tell your friends to come and rear their families here also!

The Hummingbird has not yet spied the new location of their feeder, but soon enough they will darting back and forth to drink their sweet nectar. I have receintly planted a bush to attract them and provide natural nourishment. They don't seem to mind our company on the patio, and we love to watch them guard their territory.

The Mocking Bird perches aloft the rose arbor before entering her thorny nest that guards her babes.

The garden is alive!

I know that when I hear the song of the birds that this is a happy place to be!

Friday, April 13, 2007

There's a new PRINCESS in the castle

March 9 we were graced by the entrance of a precious little girl.
She made her entrance at home and not as planned!
The Paramedics had to be called and they delivered her much to everyone's surprise, even the Paramedics! They were ready to transport mommie to the hospital, but she was ready to push!!!
6pounds 9 ounces and a precious little lump of sugar!
Her name is Tegan McKenna