Chocolates and Valentines


For a fun history of how chocolate became a Valentine’s treat, see this article: 

And for a terrific history of the paper Valentines, see the New York Times:



100 years ago today

…my mother was born.  I can hardly believe that fact and, when I think about how the world changed over the course of Linda Elizabeth Busey’s lifetime, I have trouble imagining it all.  Today is also Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  I hope my mom and Abe are able to have some interesting conversation way up there in heaven.   That is the way I picture paradise.  Happy birthday, mom and Abe!  I hope you and all the others born on 12 February are able to share a great big birthday cake of spun sugar, or its heavenly equivalent.  Auguri!


Artichoke season!

And I am learning how to prepare them!  For years I have steamed them and eaten them with tons of melted butter.  The butter seems to outweigh the benefit of consuming the veg.

But a friend showed me how to roast them and you can see my first attempt below.  The cooked chokes don’t look like much, but the taste is divine, with fresh olive oil and no butter!




My walk home

Starting at my 2nd favorite place in Florence, my yoga class #2




The sights on my walk home:



A favorite design by Clet below:



A favorite florist below:




And, look what was waiting for me when I got home!  A box I shipped to myself in Florence from myself in the USA!  Wooop wooop!  Funny though, I shipped it on November 18 and received it today, January 25.  At least it arrived!


Things you wouldn’t automatically think of…

…when moving to Italy.

For example: Internet infrastructure is a big issue in Tuscany, specially Florence. The city regulations and archeological sites make it very hard to dig and build, and the narrow architecture messes with wireless signals.

Generally speaking, I can’t complain about my internet or phone connections in my apartment, but then I live on the top floor of my palazzo (large building), where there isn’t, I would assume, as much interference.  But the second I step outside, all bets are off.

Still, it’s a lot better than it was even a few years ago.  A small price to pay to live in such an incredible place.

Women’s March, Florence

Small but strong.  The Women’s March took place all over the world this weekend.  We had a small but vocal cohort in Florence and I felt proud to be a part of it.



We met in the Piazza in front of San Lorenzo.  I thought about this important church and its history within the story of Florence, and felt honored to be there and to be living now, and to be a part of this beautiful city’s fabric.



My new friend, Jen, kindly knitted me a pink hat for the occasion!



Please, let there only be one Trump term.