Tag Archives: Aeolian Islands

Photo Montage, Sundries

Part III in the five part photo series this week shows an oddball collection of experiences that I will always remember about my first months in Sicily.

The elevators that attach to balconies blew my mind. That is my couch coming up here!

Best egg delight dish ever, with hashbrowns, arugula and bloody mary. Dave’s a wonderful cook and his breakfasts are my favorite way to start any Saturday.

Traversing a short bit of bouldering during the ropes course at Parco Avventura Etna. Dave really caught my fear of falling in my face. I was harnessed in and everything, but my stomach was still churning as I made my moves.

Among my other fears associated with moving to Sicily was the fear that I wouldn’t get a job, or that it would take me two out of our three years here to find a job. My early networking efforts (think mid-April in Seattle) paid off when I landed a spot with contractor Wittenberg Weiner LLC. Code 400 at the NAVSUP FLC Sigonella has THE BEST pot lucks and this was one of the best – to celebrate the winter holidays – solstice, Christmas and the like.

Another moment of absolute natural beauty that has stuck with me was in the Aeolian Islands. Kayaking around Lipari was my particular favorite, but I did not bring my camera on that part of the trip. This photo was taken from the ferry as we island hopped to Lipari. The stillness and serenity of the islands radiate out of this picture every time I look at it.

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“Name it! Claim it! Rejoice in it! Share it!”


  1. Chatted with a friend at the library.
  2. Started a new book, “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obrecht.
  3. Got caught up on my to-do list; updated my to-do list.
  4. Emailed Fiat to ask for the opportunity to promote the newer Cinquecento model on my blog. Wouldn’t it be perfect for me to be driving a Fiat Cinquecento (or this one)? I think so, too.
  5. Ate a yummy stir-fry Dave made: rice with onion, garlic, red pepper, mushroom, radish and a touch of jalapeno, finished with a hoisin sauce we’re trying out. Does anyone know how to make hoisin sauce at home? (searching for a link brought up three different recipes, but I still wanna hear from you!)

“Name it! Claim it! Rejoice in it! Share it!” I can still hear Father Ed screaming his homily in Shell Lake. Perhaps it was because we sat in front, or the spittle he projected, or maybe it was a special Grandma Smith memory. No matter what, this memory pops up whenever I’m developing goals. Identifying a goal is often as difficult as achieving it. Today I named it: a Fiat Cinquecento! Next, I must claim it, hmmm, maybe I could make a “Jill flag,” go to a dealership, and declare the Fiat 500 “discovered?” Hey, it worked for this guy.

*Dear reader, the link function is directly related to the browser I use when I write my blog posts. I apologize for the inconvenience, but from time to time, links will be presented in the old-fashioned manner of all the ps and qs listed right in the text. I hope to have regular access to a modern browser soon.*


Filed under 5-100, cinquecento, Food. Cibo.

Coming home.


  1. Found a great gift for our cat-sitter.
  2. Enjoyed chatting with our group as we whiled away the afternoon waiting for our ferry.
  3. Finished “A House in Sicily” by Daphne Phelps. Great book!
  4. Felt like I was “coming home” as we descended from Taormina down into Catania.
  5. Reunited with Maki and Panther!

The phrase “coming home” sparks feelings of warmth, security and compassion. Last night, these feelings surged as we descended the autostrada into Catania. Fortunately, my home has been a haven, including my childhood home, assorted apartments, and the friends and family at home. Because for many people home is a more complex destination, I often volunteer where I can offer comforts and compassion of “home.” Whether it is teen-crisis counseling, sexual assault survivor support, or a Hands-of-Help meal (love you, Chick!), opportunities to offer compassion and connect with people are bountiful, we need only open our eyes and our hearts.

And now, a few pictures from the ferry, as we left the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie). Vulcano is the island pictured below, it is quite near Lipari.

This is the ferry dock, so you can see a few cars. Vulcano and Lipari have a decent amount of cars on them. The other islands are almost exclusively mopeds and electric golf carts.

And, of course, every island has plenty of boat traffic!


Filed under 5-100, Kitties

Arrivando al mattino


1. Submitted my paperwork for my Permesso di Soggiorni, Sojourner’s Permit.
2. Found out our household goods are still en route, expected to arrive 2 Oct. Hey, knowledge is power, now we can plan.
3. Knocked down all the tasks on my to-do list for the day.
4. Delicious lunch: sautéed onion, garlic, and zucchini, then sautéed my leftover casarecci pasta at the end. I love re-heating pasta this way.
5. Introduced Maki and Panther to our neighbor-friend Monique, who will take care of them while we visit the Isole Aeolia.

dee-di-di-deeeee. Dee-di-di-deeeee! DEE-DI-DI-DEEEEE! The alarm went off too early. My confused brain was still scrambling as my arm instinctively reached for the clock. My arm was confused, too, and I could not connect my hand to the snooze button; my vain attempts reminded me of a child playing whack-a-mole haphazardly. Finally my brain intervened and pushed my hand to the light switch and allowed my eyes to take control of the situation. Yes! Mission accomplished: awake at 4:30am, ready to meet the group for our early morning departure. Bring on the fun! Arrivando al mattino e Lípari, here we come!


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It’s All Relative.


  1. Started the new work-out schedule. Mon-Wed mornings, Thurs off, Fri & Sat mornings, Sun off.
  2. Had a fruitful conversation with Giuseppe while waiting for the bus intoCatania. He is the guy who parks outside of NAS I and sells produce. Yesterday he was selling roasted peanuts (in the shell) and watermelon, I got samples of both and an invite to dine with his family (agriturismo-style, there is a fee). He was the most aggressive salesperson I’ve encountered here and he was overall incredibly pleasant.
  3. Navigated finding a good bookstore, department store and celebrating my respective purchases with an arancino (tomate e melanzane), un espresso e una granita di limone (pictured in following post). Yummy.
  4. Focused on the positive after I missed my bus!
  5. Explored information on the Aeolian Islands(http://www.thinksicily.com/guide-to-sicily/islands-and-archipelagos/the-aeolian-islands.aspx). We have friends vacationing inTuscany, but travel prices are keeping us closer to home, so we’re taking the opportunity to explore these nearby islands which have housed civilizations for 6,000 years.

“It’s ALL relative!”* Who of you groan when I say this? I torture myself with it, too. For instance, yesterday when returning from Catania, I missed my bus. “My bus” runs every four hours, I arrived 30 minutes early, and still missed it! Instead of feeling utterly defeated, I said, “It’s All Relative! Two routes in one day, yippee.” Yes, it meant waiting another hour (hot sun), the return ride was over twice as long (50 minutes), and I paid the bus fare twice (1 Euro). Yet, I had my health, book and iphone, so I was sitting well, relatively.


*For anyone who also thinks of a particular Friends episode featuring a game category “It’s All Relative” – watch episode 412 (dialog here: http://www.cnielts.com/topic/12331.html (don’t worry about the Chinese characters)).

Another note: My hyperlink function is not functioning. I am working with WordPress to figure out the problem and until then ask you to bear with me as I cut and paste the links directly into the text.

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Filed under 5-100, Adjusting, Food. Cibo.