in spite of stay home & stay safe

I still managed to be productive! Slashing through my accounting duties and lowering the pile of paperwork. But accounting is not enough to sustain, so, periodically, I sneak away from my desk and actually do other things!

Like build a long planter and plant a tombstone rose (Home Depot delivers supplies and I bought the rose plant on Etsy!). And build a corner planter in the backyard and plant another Tombstone Rose. Still have to fill it in and paint it. Thanks, Etsy!!

Talk a walk and trim up the hubby’s memorial tree.

Always a good feeling when your clothes closet is in good order. A bit of re-arranging and a floor rack on rollers from Amazon to hold 19 pairs of sandals and shoes does the trick. Yep – all of my blouses on the top rack are in order of color – light to dark

Gave out the “not this year” Easter party eggs originally for the egg hunt, to 6 different families to share or hunt or just open! And then I got a surprise gift! Thank you LeAna! If I ever get to go anywhere again, I have the perfect outfit to wear it with. Love it, but more importantly, the sentiment and thoughtfulness.

Tried on my new mask custom made by sister, Robyn. Attempted a bacon wrapped meatloaf (it will be better the next time – I think I have perfected it now!). Changed my blog design and still have some work to do on that! And scored big time with the world’s skinniest laundry hamper at just over 7 inches for the tiny laundry room in the tiny home. Easter decorations went back into storage bins. Reluctantly.

Participated in the Family Zoom meeting that Jeffry set up as a regular weekly event!

Almost finished a custom ordered lamp shade for lady’s black and white butterfly themed office/craft room.

And to top it all off, a surprise package from Isabel, Alexander & Victoria filled with Russell Stover DARK chocolate eggs and three hand-crafted cards. Pure Heaven!

Not a bad couple of weeks. Not bad at all.

Day 4 – “Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”

Someone once wrote;

Sometimes, you just can’t find the right words to describe Rome.

The beauty of the Eternal City, the chaos, the mismatch of elegance and decay that is around every corner.

So very true.  Even the decaying buildings are magnificent in their own right.  The juxtaposition of the graffiti against the stunning gardens.  Tiny ristorantes tucked into corners of the city across the crowded road from five star eateries.  And so it goes.

Before our day really begins, we engage in a bit of goofiness – I show off a Christmas present blouse from Isabel & Ricky, while Robyn models her teeny tiny coffee pot, in the Price is Right style.  (Note the adorable orange refrigerator door!)

 

This was truly a blissfully exhausting day of sightseeing.  Again – Juxtaposition.

First stop was finding tickets to the hop-on hop-off bus tour.  We walk and walk and walk some more, until we locate the ticket vendors and find the bus stop! Image result for HOP ON HOP OFF BUS Rome

We began the tour with the amazing coliseum.  The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum.

And now we continue our tour on to Vatican City.  We keep seeing these initials on landmarks and light posts, and so we just had to research …  2019 04 17 D        SPQR (Latin: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, “The Roman Senate and People”, or more freely as “The Senate and People of Rome”; Classical Latin: [sɛˈnaː.tʊs pɔpʊˈlʊs.kᶣɛ roːˈmaː.nʊs]) refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic.    2019 04 17 E

2019 04 17 F

2019 04 17 H2019-04-17-k.jpg

2019 04 17 L

2019 04 17 J

A little surprised to see all of the vendors pedaling their wares all along the walk inside the Vatican City.   I would have understood more if there had been rosaries, crosses and things like that.  Instead there were little cars that transformed into other things, stuffed animals, little race car toys and many other unrelated items.  I just felt there should have been a little more respect for the area.  And, did I mention the 1€ to use the toilette?  All over Italy you pay to potty.  The things we take for granted in the USA.

Vatican City, in full State of the Vatican City, Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano, ecclesiastical state, seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and an enclave in Rome, situated on the west bank of the Tiber River. Vatican City is the world’s smallest fully independent nation-state.

2019 04 17 VSuch a beautiful day In Roma.  The sights and sounds are almost too much for the mind to absorb.  But in the end, that is exactly what we did – we absorbed!

2019 04 17 X

a smorgasbord of an evening …

tfr

Ricky & Isabel each prepared a dinner casserole featuring pasta and I did absolutely nothing except enjoy the food and company.

Victoria was suddenly overcome with shyness at the “kid’s table”.

We take some time out to remember this evening in pictures.

Alexander decides the perfect way to end the evening would be to form a pyramid of kids… what could possibly go wrong with four kids in a stack on a hard tile floor?

 

Virginia – Day 12

Waking up in Northern Virginia to five and one half inches of snow on the ground.  Brrrr.  Back in Arizona, this is our Springtime!  I had forgotten how the northeast cold can sting.  I heard the grandkids getting ready to play out in the snow.  Mateo and his Abuela, Gloria, made a snowman in the backyard and then safely transported it on a sled all the while gingerly maneuvering the gentle “hill”.  Once safely in place at the front of the house, the sled was removed and the little guy stood to greet all who passed by.

Since this was the beginning of Spring break, I was hoping to spend the day packing and playing with the grandkids.  Before I could engage them, they were packed up in the truck and whisked off to places unknown – probably to enjoy the day sledding or making snowballs.  I guess this would be the time to mention that not all was quiet on the Virginia front.  Ricky and Katia are in the beginnings of divorce proceedings.  My stay was not always welcome by my daughter in law.  There were biting comments and hurt feelings.  There had been several times over the past 14 years when a darker side had spewed ugly and mean words my way, but this was different.  This time there was a sort of finality.  I have never been  accustomed to a child screaming at a parent – no matter the age.  Being chastised and degraded by a child whom you have loved is not an easy thing to face.  And, frankly, it was never attempted in my childhood – let alone tolerated!  But, there it was.  And the sting of the words burned in a way that the icy weather never could.

I spent my last day working on some accounting issues and folding and picking up.  The curtains were open and the bright snow under the sun spilled a soul cleansing brightness over the room.

Rick picked me up after work and we headed to a home cooked meal graciously offered by Isabel and a welcome reprieve from the tension.  The children were entertaining, and after watching half of their beloved “the Voice”, they performed a dance routine for the grown-ups.

1 2 3

Ricky and I returned to his house where he succumbed to sleep.  I had chosen to stay awake and work on my accounting.  We were leaving the house at 3 a.m. and I could sleep on the plane.  But not before venturing upstairs to kiss my grandkids goodnight and good-bye “until next time”.  Mateo is a philosophical child when it comes to good-byes and a tender one at heart.  Both of our eyes filled as we said our farewells and hugged and kissed and vowed that it would not be long before we spent time together again.  Marluce is my tough “I am a wanna be tomboy who loves to dress like a princess” mini-me (although I never wanted to be a tomboy!).  But her good-bye hugs are heartwarming and her words of wishing I did not have to leave her, are heartfelt.  Again with the tears and hugs and kisses and I had to tear myself away from her before I could not.

Virginia – Day 10 Dinner!

After several hours filled with kids, Ricky and my new friend, Isabel, joined me for dinner at a swanky Mexican bar and grille. Yummy froo froo drink and a chimi and I was back in the real world. Sopapillas with chocolate sauce and whipped cream? Hmmmm. Still wondering about that choice!  Always fun to visit new restaurants and check out the food and decor!1