Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ankle Biter

     May 30, 2012 This morning Zia Pupa, mom, and I went down to the mercatino that is outside of Zia Pupa's house. My mom needed to look for a specific gift for my dad that she has been having trouble finding since she decided that is actually what she wanted to get. I also finally found a couple little things I was looking forto make some gifts for a couple of friends. My cousin Franco had called while we were at the mercatino, and asked if we wanted to go to his house Saturday for dinner. After my mom and I talking we asked if we could do it tonight or sometime during the week because we only have a couple of weekends left and we are trying to plan some out of town trips. It ended up working out that we were able to go to his house for dinner tonight, and I was excited because all five kids were going to be there. My two cousins and then my three step cousins. I keep waiting for one of them to come visit me, so we will see which one of them will be on their way first.
     There was another guy there eating dinner with us which was the kids cousin. Right before we were about to eat his phone rang and his older brother was calling him. All of my cousins told me to answer the phone and speak in English to play a jokeon this guy because they always screw around with him when he calls. I started talking to him in English and then a little in Italian. When I didn't know what to say my cousins would tell me what to tell him in Italian. When he was talking he spoke so fast I could not understand what he was saying and I would tell him I don't understand his language.  Well him knowing that we were playing around with him responded back with a dirty remark that I understood. I couldn't understand anything else he said except for that sexual inuendo, so I put the phone down and I was laughing so hard I started crying. He totally caught me off guard and I did not know how to respond. Then they handed the phone to my mom to talk to him. She said she couldn't understand him either, but she knew he was talking dirty. My cousins kept asking me what he said, but I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. It was definitely a fun night, and tonight made me realize that I actually understand a little more Italian than I thought.
     I made a little new friend while I was at their house tonight. This little minature pincher is named Lilly. She eventually quit barking and let me hold her, then she also started playing with me. When I went to get off the couch to get my camera from my mom the dog jumped off my lap, and then she ran by my ankle and bit me. What the heck?!? It didn't hurt or leave a mark, but geez I thought we were friends haha I guess I need  to watch out for this ankle biter a little more. I would have brought her home with me if I could, but we know there was no way I would get her past my mom.

Italian Meat Market

     May 29, 2012 This morning after we were all ready Zio Leopoldo drove me, mom, and Zia Pupa to the hospital. My aunt had an appointment with the hematology doctor to see if he would order some tests, because she has been having some pain in her arms, and she is worried that her cancer is back and may have spread. This hospital that we went to  does not have an Emergency Room, and it was a lot nicer and cleaner. There were a bunch of medical offices and I had asked my mom why they call it a hospital if it is just for appointments, but I guess they admit patients to this hospital as well. The doctor ordered some tests for her to have done in June since she already had some tests done when she was in the emergency room. After we were done at the hospital I went home with Zia Pupa and Zio Leopoldo, so that Veruska could come pick me up and take me to her house. Mom walked home with Zia Giovanna, and Zio Gaetanno because she wanted to go visit a friend that lived by  their house. Zio Gaetano wanted me to take a picture of  the "old ladies" because with their ages combined they are "antique" 200 years. The bottom picture is a view from outside the hospital...absolutely gorgeous.

     Veruska ended up having to work, but at least I was able to catch up on my journaling and updating my pictures on Facebook. Mom, Zia Giovanna, and Zio Gaetano showed up at Veruska's unexpectedly because they changed their minds on what they were going to do. Instead of going to the supermarket they decided to go to Catanzaro Lido to get gelatto. Of course I jumped at that because any time someone is going near the beach I am going  with them.  I wanted to get a panini for dinner again. This is the second time I have tried going to get a panini at Alexander's and the pub has been closed. I really do not understand how people make a living here when their stores are closed all of the time, so who knows when I will get my panini I have been wanting since  this resteraunt is always closed. I know there are other places I can get one, but this place is really good.
     Another reason they wanted to go to Catanzaro Lido was because Zia Pupa wanted to get some meat from a meat market here that is really good. This is definitely different than our meat departments at home. Here they have meat and sausages hanging from the ceiling, complete chickens (with feet) and rabbits (with full body including eyes and head) that look lilke they have just been skinned out back. GROSS!!
     It's really hard being a far away from family and friends when there are big events going on back at home whether it be a birthday, a wedding, or even the loss of a family or friend. Today I found out that my friend Aimee her granny passed away. I am very close to her family and consider them all a part of my family. I have been a part of their family for over 10 years, and it is very hard now knowing that I cannot be there now for my friends during the loss of their Mother/Granny. We have been in Italy for so long I feel like I live here now rather than being on vacation because a lot has gone on here and back at home.

Zia Giovanna's Birthday

     May 28, 2012 Today mom and I didn't go anywhere. We had planned to stay home and start organizing some luggages and getting some things out of the way and packed since we only have a couple weeks left. We got one luggaged packed with the clothes and things we don't need anymore and are not using since the weather has slightly changed. I thought it was going to be overweight, but after we weighed it we still have probably have a couple more pounds that we can only if we can find the room to get it packed.
     While we were finishing up Claudia called to see if we wanted to go have lunch at her house. It was my Zia Giovanna's  birthday and we didn't even know. We agreed to go, so Zio Gaetno and Zia Giovanna came to pick mom and I up to take us to Claudia's house for lunch. We only got to visit for a little after we ate because  here everyone likes to take naps after they eat, and my Zio Gaetano never misses his nap. He was ready to go home, so we had to leave after we were done eating desert.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Francesco's 1st Communion

     May 27, 2012 Today was Francesco's 1st Communion. I was going to go watch my cousin Antonio play football, and then join them for a party for my cousin Gaetanno, but instead I decided to go to the first communion. I have not seen these cousins since I have been here and felt that I should go. I am happy that I went becaue I was able to see my cousins I have not seen yet since we have been here plus I got to meet some other step cousins of mine. They were actually all a lot of fun. They were practicing their English and then having me practice my Italian. When we were done eating lunch one of Francesco's uncles heard that I was from America, and moved closer to where me and the kids were sitting, so that he could hear us talking and teaching each other phrases. Mario asked if we had any American money with us because he has never seen American money before. I think my mom is going to give them a little surprise the next time we see them before we leave! Shhh!

     The first communion's here are definitely a lot different and bigger than those I have been to at home. When I was younger I got to pick a pretty white dress, and here all of the kids where the same type of gown. The kids also carry gifts to the front of the alter. Some items included were bread, fruits, and vegetables. Here it is also an all day event. Most of the time is because of the food. There were so many servings of food, that I didn't think the food would ever stop coming. By the end of the day when the party was over, we were all exhausted and just went home to lay down and relax. When we got home for some reason mom wasn't feeling good and had to lay down for a little while. I had finally found a movie on tv and was excited because I found a movie for the first time that I was actually able to understand.

L' Hosteria

     May 26, 2012 Last night I stayed the night at Claudia's, so when I woke up this morning we got ready and went out to look for a tool that my mom and I wanted to get for our nails. It wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but we will see if it works. By the time we got the stores and found what we were looking for it was time for lunch, so we went to go eat at Massi's. When we got there they had a party of 16 people, and there was only one person in the kitchen and one waiter. Massi was not working today, so Claudia had to get dressed to help in the kitchen since they were extremely busy.
     Some family that we have not seen had planned to come see us today, so after lunch Vincenzo took me back home since Claudia had to work. My cousin Antonio and his family finally came by after they were done running errands. It was nice to see them finally since we only got to see Arianna for a few minutes when we landed at the airport, and then Antonio we saw  for a quick "hi" and "bye" when he came to pick up my cousin Roberta because her car was not working and was not safe to drive home. Hopefully Arianna will be coming to visit us next year. After everyone left I just stayed home and watched tv because I was exhausted.

Another Day of Horsin' Around

     May 25, 2012 This morning Claudia picked my mom and I up to take us to the mall in La Mezia which is about twenty minutes away, so that we could continue to look for a gift for my cousin Francesco. We walked around the entire mall, and all three of us shopped and bought something for ourselves before we even found a gift for my cousin. Finally on the way out we found a bracelet that we all agreed on, and ended up buying it. After shopping instead of heading back home to Zia Pupa's we went to Zia Giovanna's for lunch. After we ate Claudia called Angelo; the kid she flagged down in the middle of the road a couple days ago with the horse. When she called him she told him who she was and said "My American cousin" he immediately knew who was calling. She asked how much it would cost for us to go horseback riding, but he said that he would let me go for a ride. I told Claudia I am going to start using this "American girl" thing to my advantage and she started laughing.

                                                    When we got there we met him at a resteraunt that he works at, and I am pretty sure his family owns. His house was next to the resteraunt, and the stalls were down the hill. One of the horses just had a baby 3 days prior and I was able to go into the stall and take a picture with the little baby. He let me ride one of the horses for about thirty minutes to an hour and took me out on the country roads. It was so much fun and a completely different experience. The saddles that they have here are different than the ones we have in the states. I found out that the saddles we have are found in the West, and something they do not have here. The entire reason this topic was brought up was because I was explaining that our saddles have (I don't know what it is called) a knot near the horses neck that I usually use to help myself up, and these ones do not have anything like that. It was definitely a lot of fun, and I am very grateful that he let us ride for free. Hopefully before we leave we will get to go watch him jump the horses.
     After our adventure I had to go home and change, so that we could go have dinner at Massi's resteraunt. We have been trying to go on a Friday night since we got here because people start dancing after they eat, but of course the Friday we finally get to go no one showed up. After dinner I got some things together and went to stay the night at Claudia's house. Silvia and I were minding our own business talking when Alfredo walked in and smaked me upside the head with a pillow. That began the pillow fight and tickle war that he lost becaues of course Silvia is going to take my side everytime. When Claudia see's Alfredo loosing she will jump in and help him attack me. It was a fun day/night, but unfortunately for them the kids had to get up early to go to school, but I got to sleep in. I am really not going to like my alarm waking me up when I get back home and have to start working again.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My New Cousin Sara

     May 24, 2012 This morning we had to get up early to take my aunt back to the hospital since she didn't want to stay overnight. They had to re-check her blood work and see if her cardiac enzymes were still elevated. If they were normal they were going to let her return home, but if they were elevated they were going to have to admit her. The first blood test they took this morning came back again with an elevated troponin level. Roberto talked to the doctor and they decided to re-check her levels again in 4 hours. During this time they allowed my aunt to come sit out in the waiting room with us since we aren't allowed to go into the back.
     Roberto again was going back and forth between his wife and mom today. He asked me if I wanted to go upstairs to see the baby, and of course I wasn't going to say no. I got to meet my new cousin Sara and hold her for the first time(today was actually the first time I got to meet his wife too). She was so precious. Roberto took pictures for me, and when I got back to my mom I was bragging that I got to hold her first. They should be coming home today, and since they live close to my aunt hopefully I will get to see her a little more before we leave.
    We then took my aunt's EKG and blood work results upstairs while we were waiting for the final results of the last blood test. My cousin had a cardiologist look at the EKG and ask his advice. My aunt keeps telling everyone she thinks it is her pacemaker that is causing her pain since it is hurting in her arm and chest, but it hurts a lot when she touches it. We thought it had to do with a possible MI which some of it could have been, but I saw how she grimaces when the doctor touched her chest and I think she is partly right as well. When they replace her pacemaker because the first one was old they placed the new one in a different spot from where the first one had been. The cardiologist ordered an echo to check the position of the pacemaker, but did not see anything abnormal. They ended up discharging my aunt from the hospital because the last set of blood work came back normal. When we got home my aunt found her x-ray films that show the pacemaker and its wires, so that she can take them with her to her next dr. appointment. Luckily everything today turned out to be ok, and she was able to return home.
     I have to say with all that I have seen in the hospital and ER, I never expected to see something that could possibly be a useful tool in our ER waiting room. In their waiting room they have a flat screen tv with patient information. When a patient checks in, they are assigned a number and given a triage tag stating their acuity. This monitor switches back and forth between two different screens. The first screen shows the patients who are currently waiting listed by their number (instead of name) that they were assigned, the time they checked in, and the color of their acuity. The next screen shows the different colors of acuity and explains what each color means(this is also explained on the triage tag given to them). I thought this was actually a good way of educating and informing patients plus they know how many more patients are "sicker" than they are. I know it's probably a long shot, but heck it might even eliminate our patients constantly asking, "how many more people are in front of me?" and "how much longer do I have to wait?"

     Later this eveneing Veruska and I went to pick up my mom, so that we could go look for a gift for Francesco's 1st communion. Veruska took us to a jewelry store, and I already didn't like it when I walked in because there wasn't anything to look at, and I like to browse and see what they have. Instead the owner pulls out some wraps from the safe with jewelry in it to show us. They know we were American's because my cousins are friends with them plus they made a comment that they remembered us when we walked in. Why do all the other countries think that American's have money? I'm just curious because I wish I was as rich as they think I am. The man pulled out one wrap with chains only. I told my mom that I want to see the entire necklace together as one or start with a charm and then choose the chain. Well he kept showing us the chains, and even with the discount we were going to get on chain (without the charm) was going to cost us 600-800 Euros. That is probably $1,000.00 What the heck?!? One gold chain??? You've got to be kidding me. I know I am American, but do they think I have a money tree in my backyard. LOL I wish that were the case. We obviously didn't purchase anything from that store, but I do have to say they were very nice and helpful which I haven't seen very much since we have been here.