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The Beginnings of Italy Living

Sunday, July 31, 2016
I live in Italy.

Today we did a lot of things and nothing at all. I woke up to the sound of the air conditioner. It was pretty fantastic.

David then came upstairs and told me if I didn't hurry I would miss German pancakes (Andra's Recipe). So I had to put down my book and go downstairs to eat a delicious meal. David said Sadie made the majority of them! I love that she loves to cook!

Sadie decided she wanted her hair cut so we took her in to the PX to the salon for a cut. I forgot that this isn't America and this isn't Super Cuts and Chelsi isn't here. So basically life is bad and we couldn't satiate our desire for instant gratification. We had to make an appointment. We are pretty used to waiting by now. That's one of the things we have gathered rather quickly from the Italian people...they love to take their time.

You know how the movers tell you they'll be there between 8 and 5 p.m. on the day of your move? In Germany they'd show up at 7. In Italy, they got here at around 9ish. And that was just one guy. lol. In the middle of the move they also took a break and went to lunch for an hour or so. I actually really appreciate this!

Italians have proven to be SO much more... talkative? than Germans. I would have said friendly but I don't think Germans are NOT friendly as much as they are keepers-to-themselves? lol. Italians love kids and they love to talk. I remember David came home from the store one day and said he did a double-take a couple of times because he saw people in the store stopped and talking to each other. There's such a sense of community here. I really do love it. Our Italian neighbor from across the street came over to introduce himself last night. How nice right? Then, when we were picking up dinner there was a British man with his Italian wife and their kids. He helped David translate and they ended up exchanging information. David took the kids inside with him to have them meet their kids. I appreciate these experiences very much!

Today we drove a half hour to an Asian wholesale market. I felt very at home there with my husband who was able to talk very clearly to the people we were looking to buy from. I loved the look of surprise on their faces when my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, especially-tan-right-now husband started talking to them in their native tongue. :-) We got lucky with our purchases because we don't have wholesale cards (or whatever they're called) or they liked David...one of the two. lol.

Progress on the house is moving along really nicely! We are almost done with the boxes in the house. Don't talk to me about the garage. lol. We've hung some pictures, and organized the spices. What else does a home need? Okay fine, David organized the spices. It's his thing. And I am not sad. I'll post pictures next time. We are ready for visitors even though we aren't. haha! I mean, there's still a lot to do but we have a bed!

Come visit!



These are pretty much the only pictures I've taken since we moved in. lol. You're welcome.

Sweaty Back Everywhere

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I basically live in Phoenix again. at least that's what it feels like. If you were to put 100 degree weather (okay, more like 90), 50 percent humidity and a heaping spoon of sunshine and no breeze, you'd get me sweating. all day. every day. no joke. and I don't sweat. so. that says something. also, I've decided to forego the capital letters today because the shift button on this computer isn't working super well. So maybe you'll get some capitals and maybe you won't. It'll be a surprise and I'll call myself a hipster (because hipsters don't capitalize).


Here's an update of my life.

I'm pretty much an expert in foreign healthcare as we have previously established. I've already started on my journey to becoming one in Italy. We visited the ER on Monday. It's different here in that there are patient liason's at the hospital full time. One was called, and I was taken care of. I'm not gonna lie, even though the hospital was slightly more dingy than the ones in America, the way things were processed seemed much quicker. There was a lot of waiting but it was waiting with a purpose. I was processed through triage, and then sent to a waiting room to be seen by the ER doc in her office. I was then sent to radiology. Then to urology for an ultrasound and the scheduling of my outpatient procedure to happen tomorrow. We then went back to the ER doc's office for release. What is really cool is I was given a piece of paper with my triage info (name, bp, temp, reason for being there, etc) and it was added upon as I went to each "station". So at radiology a piece of paper was stapled to my other sheet with the results of my x-ray (the stent is still in and the stone is still there. Boo. I also have another stone in my left kidney). Then, when we went to Urology, I got another piece of paper with the ultrasound pictures and notes from the urologist on it. This all came back to me to my ER doc where she reviewed it. Then it got taken away from me for translation and then e-mailed to me later that night. I'm telling you, it was pretty efficient. The hospital got more and more busy as we got there but things seemed to move along. I'm not sure (I would hate to be presumptuous) if we were pushed through quicker because we are American but it sure went smoothly given the amount of things that were done.

I would like to speak on something some people might not appreciate but I don't super care. lol. I shall now speak on urine samples.

In the United States of America (and on post) when you are asked to give a urine sample you are generally directed to a private bathroom where you use the clean catch method of gathering. you are given wipes and directions and verbal instructions sometimes. So there's that.

In Germany, they do it all for you. you'll be talking to the doctor and she'll say "we need some urine" so then you (after many times of this) pull your pants down. On the spot. and they do a catheter. Because it's the most accurate. You never handle your own pee.

In Italy, you are given a plastic drinking cup and directions to a bathroom. Where there were no wipes, no instructions. No lids for the cups. Nothing.  Just a cup and a bathroom.

I just think it's really interesting and an appropriate analogy as to how each country functions.* Germany is efficient. They do it right and they do it well. In Italy, anything goes, and who cares eh? In the US, they're somewhere in the middle. We pretend to do it right even though there may be better ways.

that's all for now. We are enjoying this time in the hotel and the easy access to more freckles the pool. My kids (minus the 4 year old) can swim! Kaydence can too! It's amazing what a week of straight swimming can do for skill level. It's been super fun to watch their progress and I feel a lot more confident in taking them by myself. It also helps that there's a lifeguard on duty as well.

I just wish there was better internet because I haven't been able to catch up on my shows. and i'm very behind. I hope no one spoils anything for me. then i'll be sad and have less friends.

What are you watching/doing this summer?


*Those are just my opinions and in no way represent the actual ways each country do things.


Repeat After Me (Don't Forget This Stuff Lisa!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I wish I could write an entire post with song lyrics. I probably will. But maybe not today.

Today instead, I shall tell about these last few days.

So starting Wednesday my depression was acting up. I was feeling sad and lonely and regrettably angry at my husband for "doing this to me". I wondered why I was here and what I was doing which are all questions I ask myself after every move or big change.

I had also started to question our decision to leave everything behind for our wonderful friends/neighbors to take care of. Previous to coming to Italy the first time (last week), we gave POA to a few friends to sign for our stuff with the movers (and other out-processing tasks). I was especially questioning and feeling guilty because they (the movers) called David that day and said they were coming Thursday and Friday and not just Friday as originally planned.

After David got home, we were chatting about everything and I got a phone call which I let propel me into my unstable emotional state. I lost it. I cried and was angry and we made the rash decision to drive back to Germany at 10 p.m.

That happened.

On the way, as the sun was coming up and we were somewhat close to home, our car broke. I mean, I don't know that that's when it actually broke but I'm pretty sure it was on this trip. The next morning David took it to the best mechanic we've ever had and he told us not to fix it. Lol. He said it would cost 2500 euro and would involve taking out the entire engine, etc. He said they COULD fix it but he didn't recommend it. And he told us not to buy Opel's anymore because it's a common problem. Germany friends, if you need a mechanic, let me know. They are reputable. He always actually shows us what's going on in the car... with our own eyes. He has on several occasions picked us up in his own car and taken us back home when our vehicle needs to stay. Like this day (Thursday). He said they could fix it enough to hopefully get us back to Italy (which it did and since then, has worked pretty well).

So there's blessing in disguise number one. What if the car had broken here in Italy where we know no one and have not yet established working relationships with any car people?

Jackson and I watched big brother episode one while the movers packed up our stuff. I snuggled on the couch and even took a nap in my bed.

Then it was Friday.

Everything happened this day! I messaged my mom that in one day: the movers came, I went to the hospital and we bought a car. All in less than 24 hours!

It all went smoothly. We are now proud owners of a Root Beer Float. That's what our cars name is. It looks like one.

We left the movers alone in our house for hours while we were in the process of getting the car situation figured out. Maybe we had cool movers, maybe we didn't but the people who are spreading false information should probably do some fact-checking.

I have asked several people and no one has had a satisfactory answer as to how they decide what they are and are not going to pack. After directing them to yes, please take David's suits, and yes please take the vacuum and to yes please take our memory foam bed topper…they were off! At 240 p.m.! There were a few things I really appreciated about how they handled the move and a few things I didn't love. I really thought it was great that they saved packing up our bedding and kitchen and bathroom stuff for the second day. We were still comfortable that night because we had all of our stuff. I loved that. What I didn't love (and I'm writing this down so I remember because most of it was the same from our move to Germany)

--The final stuff… always feels crazy rushed. I was rushed with signing the papers. Including the survey stuff which clearly states they are not to be around when it is filled out.

--They left trash! They didn't leave their packing materials but they did leave food trash and stuff in my paper bin. Um, you live in Germany. You know better. They also left a big black bag full of trash in our front driveway

-- And of course the random crap they left behind. I also figured out after they were long gone that they didn't move a single thing from the guest bathroom in the entryway, they didn't take my fake tree that is huge, and then other random things which ended up completely filling the broken car.

So Lisa, when you move next time, don't let them do this stuff! Because most likely you'll be flying to your next duty station and ain't nobody got suitcases for dat.

Anyway, it was pretty smooth sailing after that.

For the last 3 days we were in Germany, we were staying with Ian and Mariah. And this is blessing in disguise number …. Many. If none of this had happened, we wouldn't have had the time to stay with them. I really needed it. I slept SO well on that couch, and my heart and soul are filled to the brim with positive memories. I'm thankful and seriously so blessed (Did you ever read that blog?).

I’ve had this post written for awhile but the internet here at the hotel is not good. At all. It may take 5 hours to post, but I’m gonna try! Will you come visit?