Monday, August 27, 2012


          Things had always been complicated for them.  Their love was a constant battle, but she'd always convinced herself they were good together.  He'd always convinced her that he would always be there for her no matter what.  No matter how many times she'd harass him or he'd brush her off, they always seemed to just accept things the way they were.  Every now and then, things would escalate and end in him slamming the door behind him, leaving her alone for hours, and returning with a timid apology between the two and murmured "I love you's" as they embraced and forgave one another.
          She'd always been strong-willed and he'd always been tight-lipped.  Six years of up and down had become their norm and threats of leaving and breaking up were things that occurred more often than they should've.  She thought that today had started off as just another one of those moments.
          She watched as he walked away slowly.  She could tell he didn't really want to go; he was leaving for her benefit.  Of course she didn't want him to leave, he had told her over and over that it had to be this way.  The tears streaming down her face unnoticed splashed lightly against her collarbone and it quickly brought her reeling back to her present feelings of abandon, helplessness, panic - things she'd felt before, but things that still shook her nonetheless.
          "W-wait!" she yelled.
          He stopped but didn't turn around.  She saw his fists clench, his arms rigid by his sides as if willing himself to keep his back to her.
          "Please," she begged, almost a whisper.
          He flinched slightly; if she hadn't been staring him down she would've missed it, but still, he remained facing away from her.
          "Please don't go," she whispered, she pleaded with even more conviction than before.  "I need you.  I - I don't know how to do this alone.  I don't know what... I just," she ran her hands over her puffy eyes and down her moist cheeks before finally breathing out, "please..."
          His body slumped ever so slightly, as if he were going to give in.  As if he would turn around, come running back to her and do any and everything she wanted and needed of him.  After a few seconds, an air of triumph began to surround her, a feeling of accomplishment swelling inside her, and as if in the blink of an eye, suddenly she had strength that only moments before had been nonexistent.  Her tears stopped spilling, her hands stopped trembling, her breaths came stronger and more evenly.
          He's going to give in, she thought to herself.  He's going to turn around and all this will have been a horrible nightmare, not real at all.  He'll come back just like every time before.
          "Don't go, we can figure this out.  Things don't have to be this way.  We can work on things, I can change, you can change" she said confidently, no hint of the former whiny, dependent, clingy girl from moments ago in her tone whatsoever.  Words that she'd uttered too many times before becoming her mantra to convince him that her way was the right way.
          He visibly pondered her proposition.  His right foot turned a few degrees as if he was going to turn around.  His right shoulder dropped and his head tilted ever so slightly to peek a glance back in her direction.  She took hold of the moment, decided to continue her bargain and went on.
          "I know I've made mistakes, we both have, but don't just give up.  We owe it to ourselves to fix things - this is worth it.  I know I could never find another person who can love me like you do."
          As soon as the words were spoken, she saw his resolve harden in front of her as quickly as a bolt of lightning.  Suddenly, her hopes of him turning around were granted.  A smile began to creep over her lips, an elation filling her with a sense of pride that she'd won - she'd gotten her way; yet again she'd convinced him not to leave her.  But seeing him come at her with his cold expression, eyes blazing with anger, her smile faltered and she found herself taking small steps backward, away from his approaching figure.
          As soon as he was inches from her he spat his words in her face, "Not once did you say you wanted me to stay because you love me.  Not once did you say that you wanted me to stay because you want me.  You only want me to stay because you're afraid that no one else will be able to put up with all of your bullshit.  You need" he mocked in her tone that she used earlier, "me to stay because you think you can continue to control me and I'll just sit back like I have for the past six years and let you.  This," he motioned back and forth between them, "is over!  Really and truly over - this is not just a threat this time.  I can't do this anymore.  I can't let you manipulate me anymore.  I am leaving and nothing you can say or do is going to stop me."
          With that, he turned and began pounding his heels into the hardwood, a hard, thick thwack following each step.  She watched him, mouth hanging agape, fear rising inside her like a tidal wave, and for the first time ever, she felt as if she was truly never going to see him again.
          This can't be happening, she thought.  I've done everything wrong.  I just don't know how to be what he needs.  I'm so scared.
          Her eyes widened as she searched within for her voice, for her resolve, for her strength.
          "I-I'm pregnant!" she finally screamed at him as he was stepping through the door to leave.
          Suddenly, the entire world grew very still.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Venturing Out

So, those of you who've been reading regularly know that I've been cooped up in my little town in my little house without having really done anything FUN!  I made plans for last weekend that fell through and I pretty much told the hubs that we HAD to go out this weekend or I was going to go crazy.  So... I made plans for the two of us and our married couple friends to make a little trip to Cison, Italy and visit Castelbrando:

Picture Taken From Website
Picture Taken From Website
Picture Taken From Website

We called and got information about self-guided and paid guided tours and going through the many museums they have: CastelBrando Weapons, Power and Justice, The Costumes of Power, The Discovery of Lost Sounds, The Roman Street Claudia Augusta, and Historical Coaches.  We would get to tour the grounds and see the history and the spectacular views; we were all pumped to go and explore this beautiful place an hour away for the whole of Saturday, ending in dinner at one of the two restaurants on location.  That's not exactly how things went down.

We got there about 1pm on Saturday afternoon (little bit of a learning curve on how to get to a new place we'd never been to before!) and once we found parking, figured out the cable car to get up to the castle, and deciphered the signs all written in Italian to get to the front desk, we were quickly told that there were no tours on Saturday and that only 2 of the "museums" were open for business, the weapons and the coaches.  We could walk around the grounds where they hadn't closed it off (as the castle also doubled as a hotel and they still wanted guests to see some parts of the castle when not taking tours) and we could eat lunch in the pizzeria until they closed at 230 (where they would prep for dinner to reopen at 7 - don't even get me started on these Italians and their hours of operations!)  So we paid 3 euro each to do the tour of the weapons museum, which turned out to be three rooms with some suits of armor and random weapons, walked around exploring the grounds for about an hour, and had a quiet lunch with a waitress who didn't speak any English.

If everything had been open (like we'd been led to believe when we called the day before) the trip would've been a few hours longer and way more interesting, but we made the most of what we were able to do and enjoyed a fun afternoon with some friends who we hope to grow closer with over our four years here :D  It's definitely something we'll always remember (our first castle adventure together!!) and maybe one day we'll go back and pay the 400 euro per night price for a suite and get the full, grand tour (okay, maybe not, but a girl can dream, right?!).  I had fun - I mean seriously I was thrilled to get out and about - and the views of the countryside on the ride was an adventure enough for me.  The husband did have a funny reaction to something he ate/drank and for about half an hour had this hideously scary rash all over his body, which made the trip even more memorable!

Later that night I was lucky enough to finally meet some of my love's coworkers at a little Tex-Mex dinner party.  We ate some yummy, spicy food, got to know one another a bit, and the two of us were taught how to play spades.  It turned out to be a pretty solid day and I don't even harbor any ill feelings toward the uninformed CastelBrando employee whom we spoke with when planning our big day :)  I'm thinking that I'll like it here (even if I did have a little breakdown today when our cell phone quit working after we just paid for a 30-month plan), but it may take some time to adjust to the major changes in everyday life.  I'm learning how to deal and making some friends that I hope will make it just a little bit easier to be so far from home.  Until next time...

Can  you see his crazy rash here??  It was scary!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The best laid plans...

Well today has been a bit of a, shall we say, disappointment.  I foolishly made plans for my husband's day off, we were gonna go here:

A FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL with some pretty art mixed in too...
(Check out this LINK it tells it way better than I do!)

ANYWHO... we were all geared up to set off to La Sagra del Frico in Carpacco (Udine), about a 45 minute drive from Budoia when the love of my life got a 10am call from his supervisor telling him he was expected to come into work at 2am - they mistakenly left him off the schedule for Sunday night. So not only did our day get canceled (boo), but now he has to work six straight days (double boo).  Eh... such is the way of a military life, right?  At least they didn't ask him to come in for his full 12 hour shift though.  I was grateful for that.

So... we made the best of it.  We did four loads of laundry on base, because we've yet to receive our promised appliances (washer, dryer, fridge, etc.).  Then we had lunch and did some light grocery shopping before hopping over to rent me season one of Scandal (I'm serisouly running out of things to do while he's at work and we've yet to receive our homegoods - not til September!!!!).  When we got home, we decided to do some yard work and lemme tell ya, mosquitoes are ca-ra-zy here!!!! But, we got the yard looking spiffy and the stairwell/back patio cleared of bugs and dead leaves from its un-use where the previous tennant moved out months before we moved in. Then I made the hubs dinner (fresh green beans, baked potato, steak, mushrooms and onions - YUM) and he got some rest before heading off to work!
Our "work-in-progress" yard!! :)  We have apple and plum trees in the back!!
I'm bummed that we haven't really done anything FUN!  I mean, we went to Pordenone last Saturday but I want to do something touristy!  I want to get that out of my system.  I want to see Venice up close and personal and experience ROME's history, and hit up fashion week in Milan, and do a little wine tasting in Florence, and go to Verona and SEE Romeo and Juliet's setting, and taste the AHmazing pizza that Naples is known for.  And when I've visited every Italian landmark, I want to explore France and Great Britain, Germany and Ireland, and beyond.  I know that we'll have plenty of time to do all this, but having been here for almost two weeks and having done almost nothing, I feel as if I could still just be back at home in my old room watching TV and cruising pinterest and facebook.

BUT I'm not.  I am here, with my wonderful, albeit overworked :] husband and for that I am more thankful than I could ever express.  So I can suck it up for now while he gets completely settled into his position, and I will make the most of it and be patient.  So I'm trying and I'm sure we'll get into a groove, and then we'll get to experience everything this fabulously beautiful country has to offer :)


Okay - I smashed it and left it for the hubs to pick up when he comes home from work :)  Moving on...

So since last post we've had some different types of pizza, though honestly I've yet to find a combination that I have absolutely fallen in love with.  So obviously, I just need to keep trying every pizza offered here :D  

prosciutto, carciofi, e funghi
We've also had lasagna, penne something or other, sushi, more gelato, some rustic chicken dish, and then some random fast food on base.  Overall I'm still waiting for Italy's food to knock my socks off.  I dunno if I've been spoiled by getting authentic home-cooked Italian recipes passed down from my grandmother or what, but so far, nobody can hold a candle to my mom's food.  Guess me and the husband need to hit up some more places (of course that'll have to wait until this 6-day work week is over with!)

lasagna from Western House
Kaiten Sushi

I'm hoping that he's not too exhausted after this week to do something fun this coming weekend.  There's this local project thing called "Strada dei castelli e dei sapori" which literally translates to "Road of castles and flavors."  Basically every weekend from May to October, the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (where we reside, where most of our friends/coworkers live, where the base falls in, etc.) is doing a psuedo-community awareness project where they're encouraging locals to open their eyes to the beauty that they drive or walk past everyday.  So for 6 euro per person, you get a tour guide and your pick of a castle in the region.  This weekend their doing a tour of Castello di Villalta in Fagagna (Udine) about 45 minutes from where we live.  It looks AHmazing on the site (click the link - go check it out!), and I bet it's absolutely breathtaking in person!!  I REALLY hope he's up for it and that we get to go!!  Hopefully our friends will join in the adventure with us too!

I'm definitely still adjusting to the way things work here.  I'm still scared shitless of the drivers (my husband included these days!) and extremely intimated to drive at all.  I should be getting my AFI driver's license this Tuesday if all goes according to plan (which I'm learning quickly not to anticipate all going the way I want it to :D) but I honestly don't know how long it'll be until I feel comfortable driving at all, let alone by myself.  All in due time, I'm sure.  On a positive note, I haven't blown the breaker in a few days!!  I think I understand the system and realize how not to overload it.  I am worried that once our stuff gets here we'll have to manage what things operate at what time though; we can't play the xbox in the living room and watch TV in the bedroom at the same time!?!  We'll figure it all out eventually - trial and error, right?

Anywho... It's late (well early, really) and I'm sleepy so... until next time lovely readers :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adjusting to European Life...

Well, let me preface this little sharing session by saying I'm honored to have gotten the chance to move to Italy and experience all that life has to offer in Europe.  I know it will be adventurous and fun and of course, I'm with my husband and wouldn't have it any other way.  I realize I'm getting the chance to do something I would've never done if it weren't for the fact that my husband is in the Air Force.  That being said... so far, the experience has been a bit more annoying and frustrating that I would've hoped.

1.  It's like 1000 degrees here!!  C'mon!  We're at the foothills of the Alps and we're farther away from the equator than where I previously resided - shouldn't it be cooler here than back home?  We have one air conditioning unit in our whole house (so unless I want to sit on the tiled floor of our dining room, I'm sweating out of my clothes) and the vehicle we're currently using while we wait for our POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) has no air in it.  Needless to say, the heavy-set, some may prefer "thick," woman that I am is not up for being the touristy-get-to-know-the-neighborhood type until the weather becomes true fall or winter outside.  So of course, my expectations of the type of temperatures I'd be encountering were shattered the second I stepped off the plane, and I haven't really been able to shake the dis-satisfactory funk I've fallen into, hence the foul tone for the remainder of this blog.

2.  Speaking of plane - the 12-hour excursion across the Atlantic was quite possibly the worst experience of my life.  I had a night-flight so I had every hope of sleeping the 8 hours from ATL to Amsterdam and then reading or writing during the two hour layover and then listening to music or something for the two hour flight from Amsterdam to Venice - um no.  Let's just make a super long and complainy story short by saying I'll never fly an international flight again unless I am in a window seat and far, far away from the bathroom.  Moving on...

3.  The first night I was in my lovely little Italian home, some sort of spider or mosquito literally went to chow-town on my feet.  On my right foot alone I have 10 individual bite marks and on my left foot I have like 4 or 5.  They itch so badly I've considered using the dull kitchen knife my husband bought to chop my feet off at the ankle, or less severe but just as ridiculous, using my razor to either lance each individual bite or shave the top layer of skin off my feet.  I am not joking - all of these have seriously been considered.  In reality, I filled up the bidet with the hottest water this house can produce (which is honestly scalding!) and poured an entire bottle of alcohol into it and soaked my feet until they were literally numb (since, let's get real, I will not be using the bidet for it's intended purpose.. sorry but I'm perfectly capable of cleaning my butt-hole in the shower like a normal person!).  I doused each bite in globs of calamine lotion and covered them with thick ass socks and have been repeating this process everyday.  It's day 6 and just now the itchiness has subsided to the point where I don't feel like my skin is crawling with thousands of microscopic bugs urging me to scratch the ever-loving hell out of them.

My first purchase at the BX on base!
          3a.  Speaking of feet - every surface is hardwood or tile.  It's really pretty and goes well with decor, but when it comes to comfort, not even my dog likes to be on the surfaces (our couch is white and I refuse to let her chill on it with us!)  My ankles and calves are swollen and I've taken on a hopefully temporary case of RLS at night when I'm trying to fall asleep.  We've already invested in a beautiful mattress which will get delivered this week, but I'm thinking another trip to the BX to buy the puffiest slippers ever is in order.

4.  The roads and the drivers here scare the crap out of me.  I don't understand the system with which they've constructed their highways, signs, and back-roads.  Maybe because I can't drive yet (since I don't have my AFI driver's license) and haven't been forced to understand it all, that could explain my issues with grasping why everything must be so damn confusing, I dunno.  But tell people that they can pretty much go whatever speed they want with caution and holy hell I'm glad for regulated speed in the states!  Sure there are occasional speed limit signs posted but for the most part, you can pass whenever you want at whatever speed you want.  And there are cyclists EVERYWHERE.  It's like the Tour de France 24/7.

5.  And why exactly was I brought up in the only country on earth that doesn't use the metric /Celsius system?  I think I should petition the U.S. to change over or make it a requirement that all schools teach both!  Lazy, complicated Americans, ppsshhhh.  And trying to switch over to saying "euros" instead of "dollars" is going to be the hardest thing ever for me.  I'm sure I'll get it all eventually, but I have a BA in English for a reason, okay?  Math and I aren't good friends.  When they used to say in elementary school, "Math is important - you use it in every situation in everyday life," I used to laugh and say, when will I ever need to do constant "mathing?"  Well played teacher, well played.  Trying to cook a meal here is like a mathematical decathlon - the oven is in Celsius so I have to convert all Fahrenheit degrees over (little trick the hubs taught me is to double it and add 30 and that'll get you close), water in a recipe is measured in mL (apparently 600 mL is 2 1/2 cups or something like that?), and fitting four pots on one tiny ass stove takes serious skills (lots of balancing).  Gas is sold in liters, not gallons, and speed limits are posted in kmph, which isn't so bad when you're driving a rental European car, but when we get our Mitsubishi, I have a feeling I'm going to just want to hole myself up in the house or make my husband chauffeur me around everywhere to prevent myself from accumulating tickets in those rare areas where speed limits are enforced!

6.  ELECTRICITY and GAS!!  I've never been more appreciative of simply plugging something in or turning on a switch and things being powered without any hitches.  And previously complaining about the cost of it -BWAHAHAHA - I'll never do that again!  Trying to get things to work here takes patience and a lot of crossing your fingers.  I've kicked off the entire house's power/breaker four times in the 6 days I've been here and even literally blown up a power strip while it was still in my hands (a loud pop followed by a fizzy, smoky explosion, ending with a foul smell for hours in the bedroom).  We've spent probably $100 US dollars on adapters and converters and plugs and extension cords.  We've yet to find a power strip that will work on this system (the one I blew was 330v so I'm assuming one with less voltage may work, but this trial and error discovery will get more expensive)!  We have one frigging power outlet per room and even then, some have two-hole plug-ins, some have three small-hole plug-ins, and some have these weird two/three-hole hybrid plug-ins.  

It's soooo damn confusing that I'm tempted to buy a generator for each room or something just to make sure that everything will get powered.  And gas - we woke up at 2am drenched in sweat to find that all the radiators in the house had magically turned themselves on.  What the... it was definitely an experience.

(But look at these friggin awesome lamps that we got - Euro plugs btw - at this place called Ovvios!!)

7.  Everything is tiny.  Rooms, appliances, cars... the list goes on.  They certainly make the most of every inch of space available, but there isn't a whole helluva lot of space to begin with.  They don't have closets, but they do have these floor to ceiling armoires which take up a huge portion of the already small room.  Inside these "closets," I can't even reach the top rod to hang clothes on (ask my hubby, I literally have to jump to place a hanger on the rod).  Same goes in the kitchen with our cupboards.  They use all available space but it's not efficient - unless I have go-go-gadget arms or a five-foot high step stool (which I hardly have anything because our belongings won't be shipped in until mid-September!) I won't even be able to utilize all the cabinet space on a daily basis.  Our fridge is like a flashback to a college dorm-room (I can't go to the store every friggin day - who has that sort of time?) and the oven is a joke.  There's no way I'll be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for fellow Airman and their families with the minute amount of space I have!

8.  They have the weirdest and most arduous trash system ever!  Well, it should really be called a recycling system because it's mandatory to recycle here.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the planet but this... it's ridiculous.  Here we go:  There are four trash bins, yellow, brown, dark green, and light green.  Each color is for a different type of trash.  Every Monday is secco and umido.  Secco is sort of like compromised recyclables like used pads, pizza boxes with cheese stuck to the top, paper towels used to mop up spilled milk - things that can be recycled but that have waste attached.  Umido is food waste, the food you scrape off your plate before washing it, the peel to your banana, etc.  Now, secco must be placed in a see-through plastic bag and then put in the light green trash bin. Umido must be placed in a biodegradable bag and then put in the brown bin.  Every other Wednesday is carta e cartone which is basically paper and cardboard and it must go in the yellow bin without a bag.  On the other Wednesdays, it's plastica e lattine which is plastic and cans/metal which must be placed in a blue see-through plastic bag, no bin.  And then every Thursday is secco again (same "rules" as listed above) and vetro, which is glass.  The glass goes in the dark green bin without a bag.  Now whenever you have "yard waste" which would be weeds, dead bushes, raked leaves, things of that nature, you'd put it in the light green bin with the secco.  They literally send out a calendar for each city for the entire year to tell you which days they do which types of collecting... like I said, weird and arduous.  To make it a bit easier on us, we got these nifty trash containers (at Ovvios too) and a tiny trashcan for the kitchen for the food waste.  Since we won't have a lot of glass, that one is our secco container.  All of the outside bins that go to the street we keep in our garage... the hubs pretty much takes down a bag a day to the bins and lets it collect there instead of inside the house.

So, tons of complaining has occurred here today, BUT OF COURSE as Tim Gunn would say - MAKE IT WORK, which I will.  I'm allowing myself a little bit of a pity party because I miss my family, my town, my space, an easy way of life.  Things are changing and it'll take some adjustment.  But millions of people survive this way of life every single day and so will I.  And honestly, the fact that I'm once again reunited with my husband makes all that other stuff completely irrelevant.  Hopefully from here on out I'll have much more positive things to say and I'm sure that exploration of this beautiful country will take place as soon as we get fully settled in and I'm completely over this jet-lag.

Until then...  here's a little slice of my everyday view