Anywho... let's stop the rambling and get to the good sheit. First off... in the past ummm... 31 + 22 = 53 days I've spent a lot of time catching up on my TV shows from the states that they don't broadcast on AFN here and then also added a few other shows (AKA Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, etc) that are either off the air altogether or have so many freaking seasons I'll be well into summer before I'll need to search for new stuff to fill the void. I saw my Patriots lose their chance at another Super Bowl appearance, made too much food for a Super Bowl party in which a win for neither team would've impacted my life in any real way, and I TURNED 25 BABY! My husband is a gem, just in case you didn't catch that in other hundred or so posts I've made. He not only organized and pulled off a very sweet and fun surprise party including my nearest and dearest here in Italia, but he orchestrated the donations of funds from family and friends and purchased me a BRAND NEW DSLR CAMERA (Nikon D3100). I am totally in love with it. I spent a solid four hours reading the manual, googling, messing with settings, shooting, adjusting, cussing at the complexity of the contraption, smiling with joy when babe figured out the problem and calmly showed me how to maneuver... yeah it was quite the learning experience. And don't get me wrong, four hours of practice does not a pro make... however, I now understand the basics of adjusting aperture, exposure, shutter speed, manual vs. auto and can genuinely say the rest is all about getting in there and taking pictures and continuing to learn. I just gotta get out of these p.j.s and into the outside world! :D
In the past 53 days we've also been blessed with the outstanding performance of the base on the most recent "inspection" (which was a HUGE one) which means that there will be no hold on taking leave, babe got switched to 8 hour days instead of the usual 12's, and plans that we have set in motion for a few months from now are a total go and I'm so stoked. I can't say what yet but keep reading, hold your horses, and sit back and watch awesomeness ensue! Another notable occurrence was the awful discovery of mold overtaking our home. Yes these old Italian homes are cement quarters of death in case you were thinking about owning one. The humidity is INCREDIBLE and mold can form anywhere there is condensation that goes unaddressed. I just happened upon a lovely and scarily large patch of it directly behind my dog's kennel! I was and still remain extremely paranoid that we're all going to die in our sleep. I've bleached the ever loving crap out of most walls in our home and continue to spray (almost daily) those spots where I've seen mold with Lysol to keep it at bay. I mean, what the hell else can I do???? Even in the dead of winter, and it being -10 outside (okay not really but c'mon it's effin' cold!) I air out the house for at least a few hours each day, and yet here we are - infected. I've told the landlord and her only suggestion was to clean it with bleach as to where I'm more inclined to KILL IT WITH FIRE, but I do rather enjoy my belongings and don't want to have to file a claim with our renter's insurance. So we'll just make due until either one of two things happens, we move out in three years' time and check this off the list of things that we've unfortunately had to undergo in our lives, or we discover black puss-oozing sores have overtaken our body and our lungs are filled with poisonous, toxic mold that has developed into cancer and we die. Moving on...
of course Valentine's Day happened. It was fantabulous! I got an amazingly cute idea from pinterest called "The Game of Love" - go google it and maybe you and your loved one can incorporate it into your next valentine's day or birthday or whatever. It was totally fun and kept us from spending a bunch of money out at a restaurant (and the opportunity to be comfy in our home). The hubs was quite pleased - truly enjoyed the game and the time spent with one another. He got me very cute daisies and a rolling pin which I have been DYING for since we moved to this little place, and I got him new comfy isotoner slippers and a few other little surprises (not really gonna go into detail here people! Use your imagination).
All-in-all this time we've spent apart from one another has been mostly uneventful, but not unenjoyable. I've spent some time with friends, had people to the house for dinner, cut down on the usage of electricity after getting a $1000 bill for 2 1/2 months usage (YIKES!), spent lots of time with my hubby, and continued to discover many more things to add to my list of why I miss 'Merica!!
We have some inexpensive yet fun things planned in the upcoming weeks. Tomorrow we're going on a little castle trip with some friends where I can't wait to put my camera to good use. Then next week I'm thinking about hitting up the zoo in Verona with a few more friends, though the hubs has to work so he'll have to live it vicariously through my awesome photographs. Then if the hubs has off mid-month (and his tourist passport has arrived by then - it's in the works finally YAY) we may take a trip to Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich Germany. It sounds uber depressing, which I'm sure it will be, but very historical and informative. I think it's always important to know the history of our world and to gain a deeper appreciation for the lives we now are blessed and lucky to have. Okay, mini-rant over... but seriously, I'm looking forward to doing some fun and inexpensive things... cause ya know I mentioned earlier about a secret happenings in the works, well let's just say we're saving up for that!!!!
Okay, well enjoy these photos I took with my camera my first day with it. I know I went a little Lucy pooch crazy, and I know I have a lot to learn (not that I"m trying to be Professional Polly Photographer or anything), but they turned out pretty darn good I think!
Until next time...