Our good friend Giacomo Martini just arrived in his three-wheeled truck, the Ape (say ah-pay) which means “bee” in Italian—since that is how it sounds. He has started cutting the scarpate, slopes around the olive trees. Good-bye to the fading yellow wild flowers and poppies. Hello to a well manicured hillside. (more…)

We realize that our approach to writing is unorthodox, but that is exactly what we want. It provides a way for us to literally write as partners on “one story.” We enjoy a “volley” process of writing, whereby we edit each other’s work until there is nothing left to change. Both computers are set up so that each of us has an inspiring place to work. (more…)

Friday morning we tossed the last few items into the car—sweaters, sunglasses, maps and cameras. Three doors closed one after the other and we were off on a road trip to the Tuscan hilltowns of Cortona, Montepulciano and Pienza. Our dear friend Scott’s visit inspired this tour—drawn to the allure of the ancient Tuscan countryside. Rolling down the white road from the house, we began our journey with rocks crunching under the tires. The adventure had begun! (more…)

I awoke this morning to a hauntingly beautiful dawn with yellow and salmon colored clouds hanging like lace over the blue-green ridge line of the mountains—nothing unusual as that is often the case in this valley. But today, there was something else stirring besides the sun. (more…)

Yesterday morning Cheryl received a sketchy  message about a developing family situation. A more detailed email arrived a few hours later, followed by an explicit phone call that afternoon. Today we must go to the airport to explore options and make arrangements—one foot out the door, while the other foot remains grounded in this writing project, resisting as it is slowly dragged along. Previous commitments must wait. The jumble of possibilities are rationalized and thought-through. The initial gut reaction wins out and the decision is made—she must go! (more…)

Em here~

Today, Cheryl restarted her blog after several months of coasting along with a few broken parts. Now it is back up and running and I think we are all in for some interesting conversation. It is especially important for us now that we have started this joint blog related to the writing of our book, and documenting “Italian Moments” along the way. Her individual observations and musings on life will provide us with a counterpoint to all of our more focused work together. (more…)

It was a beautiful spring morning, so we decided to take a walk down the hill to check on the progress of the canale antico, antique channel. They started the work a couple of weeks ago, so the project is far enough along to see how it’s shaping up. The channel will connect to the piccolo lago, small lake (really it’s a pond) to provide for over-flow in case of an emergency. (more…)

Late the other night, we were sitting in the darkened living room talking and looking out at the dim glow of moonlight washing over everything, when suddenly we noticed a strange form standing only a couple of feet away from the door. I slowly got up and walked over for a closer look but was barely able to make out the form. I got the flashlight and we both quietly crept back toward the door. (more…)

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful and sunny so we decided to work in the yard. The stone area around the fire pit was almost totally covered over by grass, so we began the difficult process of prying the overgrown grass up so we could see where the edges of the stone were, and then using pruning clippers to cut it back to the original shape. That sounds easy enough, but it depends on how many stones there are to trim. The answer to that one is: waaay too many. But we stayed with it until late afternoon when we were both sore and exhausted. (more…)