Friday, November 5, 2010


I am writing this post as I sit in the rooftop solarium. Today is a beautiful, Mediterranean day with a cloudless, blue sky, a temperature warm enough for a T-shirt, but not stifling hot, a gentle breeze blows through the walls of open windows, the island of Ischia is rising out of a haze in the distance, and the sea is calm and filled with fishermen and ferries traveling about. Before your irritation starts at this seeming lap of luxury, this moment is earned after seven straight days of 13+ hours of unpacking, organizing, sorting, cabinet stocking, trash hauling, and so on. Most days, lunch was a sandwich at the kitchen counter while planning my afternoon assault on the house. I’ve come up to the solarium exactly twice – once to figure out which keys worked for the lock and the second to bring a load of stuff that goes up here.

We still have pictures to hang on the walls and kitchen cupboards to line with non-skid, but those are the last projects for the inside of the house. The solarium is another story. We’ve searched a few stores here for some decent outdoor furniture, but we haven’t found what we want. Since we intend for this to be an everyday, living space, we’re looking for comfortable furniture that can handle the sun and the greenhouse effect. And Nathan wants some Meyer lemon trees.

Speaking of which, I’ve just found what I think is a lemon tree in our yard. Scully has this favorite area in the yard which is a small, grassy ledge that overlooks the back patio. He loves hanging about in the grass up there watching over his domain. I noticed some sort of stone structure up there and went to investigate, finding a citrus tree in the process. We also have an out of control eucalyptus tree which grabs at our legs when walking up to the side yard (aka, Scully’s bathroom). Conveniently, Scully has selected the area right beside our outdoor kitchen as his toilet. He is continuing to enjoy his yard, and is living up to his Crazy Dog moniker. This morning, he was watching me sweep the patio when all of a sudden, he galloped off in some sort of odd fit, raced around and around, the whole time growling at himself. I think he’s been getting into some sort of yard berries I don’t know about.

Our first couple of days here were a challenge with a few unhappy surprises, but as the week has continued and we’ve become more settled, we’re both growing to love the house. Here are the things I love so far:  we have a street sweeper who cleans our street once per week (there is a trash crisis going on right now, so I’m thankful to live on a street where there is not trash piled outside the doors), we have dumpsters and recycling bins just half a block away (no curbside service here, so it’s great to have something in walking distance!), the garden is so beautiful with plants, statuary, and planters everywhere, our bathroom (it’s small, but has great storage and water pressure), metal shutters that close up the house (I never knew how much ambient light affected my sleep in the U.S.), large doors and windows that open up for indoor/outdoor living, a garage so I don’t stay awake at night and wonder if our cars that don’t have theft insurance coverage are being stolen, that from a certain spot on the roof terrace, we can see the ruins of a medieval castle jutting out on a cliff, and our 6-burner, gas stove the Navy loans us.

Well I’m off now to grab the camera and take some pics. I’ll try to upload them soon…on my way downstairs to post this, I found a big, basil plant! I can’t wait to really explore the yard and planters to see what we have!


  1. What exactly is a "trash crisis?"

  2. You write so beautifully, Stephanie! I can just picture myself lounging in your house. Enjoy!