Don’t Stop Believing

Friends, this small town girl sure felt like she was in a lonely world today.  But I never gave up hope.  I just held onto the lyrics of my song and believed the stains would come out.

ImageWe have to switch Airbnbs this weekend, so I wanted to get ahead of the laundry.  I was feeling good–proactive and on top of this mobile life we have right now.

I navigated down the narrow stairwell and out three security doors without dropping the laundry basket full of dirty clothes.  I landed a pole position spot at the laundromat.  I even remembered to get the detergent out without having to go back to the van to get it.

I was zoned in, folks!  Boss time.

Sorted those clothes out, had all my quarters in piles and started three loads.  I had enough for lights, darks and towels.

This is when disaster struck.

IMG_3332I was so focused on not touching his nasty, sweaty balled up PT clothes that I totally missed that my new pink Journey shirt was in the basket.  (My fellow Army wives give me a shout out because you know how smelly those clothes after they ferment for a day or two. ) The stink was strong and in a moment of weakness, I let that untested shirt go in the light load.

OK, machines are going and I’m off to walk to the PX food court to get some lunch and to cash a check at the cashier’s cage.  Why cash a check? Because my ATM card was already hacked and the replacement hasn’t arrived and I need money to buy Bocelli tickets for the concert in Verona.  That’s a whole other blog.  Wait for it.

Cash in hand. I’m feeling great about going with a new friend to buy the tickets.  I’m hardly aware as I open the lid to the machine with the light load.


IMG_3320My white pants were pink.  His favorite shirt had splotchy pink stains on it.  Our underwear was closer to red.

Now keep in mind,  I’ve maybe let this happen twice in 25 years of marriage.  But not long before we left Maryland Jerry ruined a new shirt of mine.  In hindsight, after today’s disaster, I realize I may have been harsh with him.  I pretty much lost it.  It was expensive and I loved it and he ruined it.  So, I immediately realize I’ve showed him my underbelly and I’m defenseless.  He’ll be able to hold this over my head for the next 25 years. Le sigh.

I quickly text my friend that I have to stay and try to get this out.  I run to the PX and buy all the Oxi-clean, Clorox and Shout they have on the shelf.  Whew, man, that was expensive.

IMG_3319With a prayer and another stack of quarters, I start the wash load on cold. I cross my fingers.  I say a prayer.  I start negotiating with God.  I promise to never get mad at Jerry again over the laundry.   Never, ever.  Basic stuff from my Laundry Negotiations 101 HomeEc class.

I won’t make you journey with me from load one to load two and finally to load three.  But I never gave up.  I believed I would leave that laundromat with white pants and I did!

Small town girls still know how to get out of a jam.





Living a Buzzed Life

Not that kind of buzzed!  The kind that starts with an annoying “bzzzz” near your ear.  You swat it away and there is silence for a few seconds, maybe a whole minute goes by and you think you’ve dodged a bullet. Then you hear it again, but by the other ear, or overhead or from areas near your exposed ankles. Swat!

This cycle has viciously played out many times since I arrived in Italy. I’ve used more DEET than in my whole life combined and they won’t leave me alone. The bites make a vicious welt, too. I seem to attract them more than Jerry does. Naturale!  I’m just sweeter than he is.

But all this begs the question, how in the world do Italians live here without window screens? They must have an anti-mosquito gene that makes their blood taste bad.  Plus, I would never be able to sleep with the mosquitoes bzzzzzing around like vampires.  Having window screens is a number one requirement for our house and access to lots of citronella.

It’s true that I stole the photo from another friend, but it is also truly indicative of the size of the mosquitoes here in Italy. I didn’t think you wanted to see smushed mosquito pics. But I think their size must make them slower than the domestic mosquitoes in the US. Here I routinely catch them in my hand and kill them. Dead mosquitoes are good mosquitoes is my motto. Perhaps their size does slow them down. Either way, it is only #day12 and I am already over them.

The Wheels on the Bus

The BLUF lesson from today’s blog is be careful what you tell the GPS lady when you’re driving in Europe. We asked for the “shortest route” and she took us down the narrowest country road I’ve ever seen.

This picture was in the widest part of the whole 5 miles…right at the end and it does no justice to how narrow parts of the road were. Barely wide enough for our van! During the harrowing curves and steep grades I was holding on to the “oh poop” handle so hard I couldn’t take a picture.


Another narrow Italian road on which we had to travel.  We faced down the big yellow bus on a road about this wide.  No wonder we lost.  I don’t even know how he managed to not scrape the side of the rock.

At one point, Jerry asked me what we would do if we met an oncoming vehicle. I basically said, “Duh, the smaller vehicle would have to back up.” My train of thought was that pretty much in Italy our van is the biggest vehicle I expected to see out on that obviously often untraveled road.

Joke was on me.

Not even half a mile later a big, yellow school bus rounded the bend in front of us and just sat there in the road looking at us as if to say, “What now, bi&C%S?” Yep, Jerry had to back up until we got to a driveway and the bus could pass us. Luckily, he backed up the van like a boss so it turned out OK. We only passed one other vehicle and we learned a great lesson. Take the long way down the mountain if it means better roads and no road sharing with school buses.

(I wish I had a picture of that bus driver staring us down.  When school is back in session, maybe I’ll drive up and take my chances. Who wants to tag along for the ride?)