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Early spring in Italy: this year our friend Stefano, an expert in the world of plants and trees, taught me the time-honored art of pruning olive trees. What’s the big deal?, you might ask. Well, actually, we’re talking about the heART of the Tuscan culture, and not just a simple snip, snip, snip, and you’re […]

Everything is about relationships. Some are given to us without our asking, like siblings, genetics and place of birth, while many are freely chosen. However, no matter what the relationships are, whether given or chosen, we can always change them—strengthen, weaken, destroy or ignore—the options are endless. Our lives are full to overflowing with decisions […]

There’s a place in Italy called Pretena. We’ve been fortunate to have lived there for more than a decade now. We were drawn to the spiritual quality of that spot overlooking the Italian countryside and valley below, dotted with ancient castles, villas, farmhouses, vineyards and countless olive groves. Mostly, we enjoy the rolling meadows surrounding […]

Do you remember the first time you met the person you would commit yourself to unconditionally? Of course you do. Those are among the unforgettable moments of a lifetime that can change us forever. We remember everything about it—the place, time of day, season, conversation, but most importantly, the feelings. They are unmistakably special, powerful […]

Our daughter and her husband were expecting a baby—our first grandchild. We were full of wonder and awe as the process unfolded. Even though we had experienced the process of birth twice in our own lives, we found ourselves seeing everything from a much different perspective this time around. We were struck by the complexity, […]

The ancient proverb “Seeing is believing” has been around since 1639, and means that only tangible evidence is truly convincing. However, living in Italy has shown us that just the opposite can also be true—”believing is seeing.” Thus begins a short tale about a window. We live in an old Italian farmhouse in the hills […]

One might call an abandoned house a haunted ruins, but we like to think of it as a container, filled with stories just waiting to be told and retold—built and rebuilt—lived and relived. While walking the woods and back-roads of Tuscany, it is inevitabile that you’ll come across at least one unexpected hidden gem. The […]

We love hiking the Tuscan “anelli” (rings). We typically drive to a trail head, hike the route and return to our starting point. Each anello is unique. The one to Nipozzano Castle was exceptional! If you like castles, wine, beautiful Tuscan scenery, we suggest you visit the site called Sentieri di Toscana (Tuscan Trails). The […]

We set out on a Friday morning in search of some simple, older halogen light fixtures. The task seemed straightforward enough. But we soon discovered that our little errand morphed into a scavenger hunt. One store led to another and then another and so on. The fixtures we needed weren’t readily available anymore. From big […]

It all started with a cup of coffee. During casual conversation, a trusted friend mentioned a great place at Liberty Station in San Diego called “Moniker General.” They said that it’s the best coffee in the city! In addition, they also sell surfboards, and stuff like that—which explains the “general,” as in general store? As […]