Thursday, May 21, 2009

18,909 days on earth, Jazz at Nascondiglio and San Benedetto (the Yellowjackets), the slow poisoning of Bacco and tearing off vine branches

21 Maggio
Ciao a Tutti! The days are flying here as I am working 8-9 hours outside everyday and then trying to keep Nascondiglio presentable as well. The outdoor work has consisted of tearing off all the branches but 2 on every plant which number somewhere in the vicinity of 30000. We have finished 110 of 160 rows with 14 to finish today and then a day or two of waiting for the montepulciano vines to grow a bit as they are the tardiest variety. Then, I am trying to keep our 2.6 acre yard pretty and just finished that job yesterday before our dutch guests arrived.
The season for tourists is starting and we will be full for the festa weekend of May 31 when we are having a jazz combo play on the front patio, hopefully for 30-40 people. I met the piano player during my saga at the license bureau. I escaped last week for a couple of music nights, one at "open museum" night at Offida, where they booked our combo and then I paid to see the fusion jazz group, the Yellowjackets from the US, who just about sold out the theater at San Benedetto. It was fun to get away from here for a change and people watch and hear some funky music.
Bacco, being his normal garrulous self, has decided to bring home new friends every day in the 2 forms of ticks they have here. They unfortunately have all mutated and become resistant to frontline, hartz, tick collars and shampoos, although with the latter 2 recently applied, the numbers are decreasing. I don't like chemicals and go out of my way to buy dog food without preservatives or OGM, but we have a crisis here! The wet winter and spring obviously have provided ideal climes for these vectors. Hopefully, the mosquitoes won't be as numerous.
I am looking forward to a great summer with lots of friends and KC folks coming to visit! It will be great to see you guys.
The weather here is absoulutely perfect for me, which means too hot for the italians, but 86 degrees, uncloudy skies and 50% humididty is hard to beat. I am wearing my Laurence of Arabia hat to fend off the carcinogenic solar rays, carry 2 liters of water with me and then venture out to our palestra (gym) and strengthening by back with this present work.
For those who haven't been able to sleep thinking about my poor roses getting eaten by the beatles, I removed the last of theirr food supply yesterday, so they will have to search elsewhere for a meal. Hopefully, when the next batch of blooms comes along, these gypsies will have moved on.
The artichokes are finishing up their flowering, thank goodness as I have run out of new ways to cook them and though I love them dearly, every year we have a bit too much of this good thing.
Check out the new "google competitor" I found out this is my 18,909th day here on planet earth. It is for those topics where google just doesn't seem to help.
The pictures show 2 of our montepulciano vines which we started plucking today with before and after photos. These are the easiest we have had so far as the branches are more sparse and not as numerous as e.g. the merlot.

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