Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Passionate Palate Update

Oh my gosh it's June!

I don't know if I am back to regular blogging or not, but I am making an attempt to get back to some blogging. How's that? I miss the blogging community and all the joy that comes from the blog.

I have had a very full 2009 which accounts for why I haven't updated the blog. We moved in January from Long Beach to the Central Coast of California. This was a dream come true for me. I always wanted to escape the city and live near or in nature again. I spent many years on the Central Coast, mostly in Santa Cruz, but some in Santa Barbara and have always felt so at home here. My husband, Antonio, adapted immediately. Being Italian, as soon as he got his hands in the dirt, there was no turning back! We have a big garden and hope to plant a vineyard here one of these days. I have found so many benefits in being close to nature again, and indeed have begun to wonder how much damage we do to ourselves by living in a congested, dirty, ugly city cut off from nature.

Other updates: We went to Italy in March to be with Antonio's dying father. I got a real lesson in Italian hospitals while hanging out in one for a week. His father lived until a few weeks ago. He was 93 1/2 years old. (Yes, those 1/2 years become more important as we get older!) Shortly after returning we adopted a 5 month old puppy who ended up having distemper and died two weeks later. In May, I helped lead a wine tour in Italy for my wine sales company. We went from Puglia to Piedmont in a week, and of course tasted a lot of wine!

Has anyone ever seen King Frederick's castle in Puglia, outside of Andria? It was one of the cultural highlights of the trip. It is a fascinating, almost modern looking, structure built on ancient mathematical, astronomical and mystical principles.

Photo courtesy of Bridgette Fox

And for a dose of pure happiness , we got another puppy just a week ago. Mingus is 11 weeks old today and going to be a monster. Our 7 1/2 year old Ruby likes her new brother.

Antonio and Mingus

Wine tourism is way down, but we are planning two trips in 2010. By then, I hope our economy will be better and there will be more optimism.

That's the update in a nutshell. More soon, I hope.


erin :: the olive notes said...

ciao jeni! i'm glad to see a post again. so sorry to hear about your father in law, but what a blessing to have been able to go visit him.

too bad we didn't cross paths in italy last month! i love that photo of all the wine glasses. hopefully some day we'll get to share some conversation over some wine again :)

Ilva said...

so nice to se you here again, and I know I am a louse for not answering your email but I have, several times, in my mind! as if that would make any difference to you! Happy to hear that everything is going well! and I hope to be able to see you here in Italy next year! lots of hugs!

katerinafiore said...

Jeni, I have missed you so much! I hope we can meet when you come to Italy in 2010. I am moving to Florence in a couple weeks. :) Glad you are back :)

giamarie said...

Jeni - it was nice to read this update. I love your home as well. It looks so inviting and comfortable.

I am sorry about all the sorrow that befell your lives. However, in true Jeni spirit, you manage to convey much joy and hope for the future.

I love Federick II and can't wait to visit his castle. He was known as Stupor Mundi in his time, "Wonder of the World." He was quite accomplished in the arts and sciences and did construct some amazing buildings while he was Holy Roman Emperor. He was a true iconoclast.

Can't wait to hear about your next adventures in Italia.

african vanielje said...

Bella, where to begin? I love your house and am happy that you are happy there. So sad about your second lost puppy, but so happy about Mingus. Nothing like a baby to remind you that the world turns... My condolences to Antonio for his father,although 93 1/2 seems like a good age. I wish you both joy in your new home with your new canine family. much love Inge

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Great to "see" you, Jeni! So sorry to hear about your FIL and that poor puppy...but what a great two weeks he must've had with you! Your Mingus looks a lot like my Maverick, who I got when I was 15 or so...he has since passed on, but certainly holds a special place in my heart :)


michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Oh, yes, and your house is *adorable*!!!!!

Bella Baita View said...

So happy to see and hear what's going on with you. The house is adorable. Te move sounds wonderful. That area has always appealed to me.

Amber said...

Ciao ciao Jeni! It has been a long time. Congratulations on your new home- may you find much happiness there. Wow, the new puppy is SO cute! He looks like he will keep you very busy! Fun.

Amber (formerly of Quasi Italiana)