The Thanksgiving Police

Mountain Gypsy:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Originally posted on Mountain Gypsy's Blog:

Today we American’s join together to celebrate one of the biggest non religious Holiday’s of the year – Thanksgiving. Filled with tradition, family, friends, food, football and parades. We gather with intentions of sharing all of the good we find in our lives, to give Thanks for our freedom, our bounty of food, those we love and those we have loved and lost. It is centered around the meal and the collection of those people who are important in our lives. Some Thanksgivings are memorable, some are not. Some are filled with laughter and joy, some are just another Thanksgiving. Some you never forget.

There is one Thanksgiving forever etched in my heart. It was about 1967 and I think I was about 11 years old. It was the first Thanksgiving without my dad and our “happy” family. My parents had split that summer, my mom packing all five of…

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I miss you so much

The two-year anniversary of my forced move is not that far away. I had to leave so much on the curb for the trash people. Literally on the curb. Years of building my art studio went into storage, I haven’t seen or touched my paints, inks, papers, ribbons, pencils, glues, cutters, stamps, beads since the day they were packed. My kitchen, books, curtains and assortment of antiques all in storage since move day. The “things” that gave me comfort, caught my eye, made me happy, made me smile all packaged up in cardboard, sitting in a barn, waiting and hoping.

It seems too that along with everything else packed away, so has my ability to write. I guess it was just too much anxiety, fear, sadness and adjustments that shut down my heart and my mind. I have thought of you all so often, stopped in to see the great posts, photos and adventures. But for some reason that I can’t explain, I have been rendered speechless. It makes me sad in the sense that I am no longer a part of your lives because I can’t write. I miss you all so much, truly I do. In some way maybe I just don’t feel equal anymore. My life is not filled with the adventures of Kayaking NYC and abroad. Going to beautiful, exotic places in Europe as a Travel Blogger, sharing magnificent photos from California and around the world, seeing the heart and soul of a painter from Vancouver BC or the most breathtaking Sketches from Australia. I miss you, each and every one of you. My life doesn’t seem worth sharing, at least not right now.

Please, please don’t give up on me.

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A Magnificent Return 

Here I sit nearing the end of my second return to my beloved second home; Melfi, Italy. For some reason I can’t wrap my head around the fact I have been here for almost two weeks again. It just goes so damn fast! 

Today I was taken to Benevento, about one hour away from Melfi towards Napoli. We walked around the city a bit, had a caffe’ and took some photos. I couldn’t help but think how many of the people flocking to Florence, Pisa, Venice or other cities in the north are missing out on the beauty of the southern cities. Quaint, slowly paced, friendly and hiding amazing treasures. If only travelers could see the breathtaking beauty these cities and towns have. 


Castelmezzano is a perfect example of a hidden jewel. Perfect for anyone who enjoys a surprise around every corner while taking a hike to the very top! A photographers dream come true, Castelmezzano would never disappoint. 


For the thrill seekers there are two different Zip Lines as well. One Zip Line is so high and long you will start in Castelmezzano and end in another city!! 

More in another post. For now I want to leave you with this photo above and no I did not attempt that climb! 

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I’ve waited 2 years for this

Soon I will be back in my beloved Italy! Since the day I returned from the last trip I have been planning and dreaming of  this visit. First is was 2 years, then 1 year, then I started counting months. In April I started counting weeks and NOW I am counting the days! 

Containing my excitement for just a little longer has been difficult. Making my mental lists and working my butt off to cover my finances/budget has been the steady focus. As has been my Italian Language classes. I’m in Beginners Level Two and struggling through it, but I keep at it. The way I look at it is that I know a lot more now than I did before and I will learn a lot more while I am there! Once on that plane and headed “home” all of the hard work and struggles will be set aside. There have been four babies and one adopted child added to our family since my last visit and I will get to see most, if not all, of the elders I met the last time. 

Returning to Italy has been more than a dream or a goal, it is a must for my heart and soul. I want to walk the ground, see the sky and breathe the air of my beloved land called Italy. Family is waiting for me and I am so anxious to see them again! 046

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Going Home

Tornando Casa

There are only a few weeks to count down for my return to Italy. It’s getting close now, the time seems to be passing much quicker and the excitement is building. My list is as follows:
Italian Language Classes; Beginners Level 1 taken twice. Beginners Level 2 starts in two weeks. Study, study, study!
Wardrobe; After changes in my medications I have returned to my normal weight (I lost the extra 30 lbs I had gained). So, I decided that I would allow myself to create a wardrobe to take this time. It’s been an amazing feeling to find clothes that FIT and are comfortable, stylish and make me feel terrific. Through discounts, sales and coupons I have really created a nice mix. Though not finished I have a great base. Never in my life have I purchased a “wardrobe”, it’s always been a shirt here, jeans there, etc. This feels awesome!
Money; Of course it always comes down to money. Ugh. With the weather starting to break slowly towards Spring, things are picking up some. I have been working into my schedule every grooming dog I can. I should be fine, with the exception of getting a Hotel room for 2 nights in Rome. I found that if I fly into Rome I can save almost half the airfare and I now have family that lives in Rome, so I will be able to see Rome and have personal tour guides!
Gifts to take; Well, that has been the hardest part. This time I want to bring a little something for everyone. Rochester is known for it’s Lilac’s. We have a Lilac Festival every May and it attracts people from all over. If I can find them reasonably priced I’d like to get little bottles of the Lilac Perfume to take. I also would love to find small “packable” gifts that are made either here in my city or in the US.

My family in Melfi is waiting for me! It has been two years since my epic trip. I have stayed in touch with most of the family. Facebook Helps, as does the cell app “Whatsapp”. Now that I have been working harder at learning the language, I can recognize much more of what’s being said as texts come through. I use the translate program less and now mostly to confirm accuracy. My cousin has been taking English classes and it should be interesting how well we can communicate this time!

The excitement is building!!!

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Stealing my WordPress Password

Some one out there has been trying to steal my account. In the past three months I have received multiple emails informing me of requests/attempts to change my password.

This is MY account and has been since 2008, I will not let it go willingly or otherwise. Mountain Gypsy is my name, you can’t have it. All posts are mine, stories of MY life, MY experiences, MY thoughts and feelings. You can’t have those either.

Mountain Gypsy

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My Absence

My apologies for my long absence. The only excuse I can offer is my lack of inspiration. My life has really not been very interesting lately. Work is work and though I like what  I do, I have been exploring other possible careers with greater opportunities financially. It’s tough when you’re pushing the age of 60.

A very good friend has invited me to continue my horseback riding lessons. It has been a wonderful diversion and a chance to spend more time around horses. There is both a calm and nervous feeling when I’m there. Since I can remember I’ve always loved horses, always wanted to be around them. I love the smell of a horse barn, I love to hear them walk through the barn, I love to listen to them eat and I love to be near their massive size. The nervousness comes from inexperience and lack of knowledge about them.

I am going in to week 5 of beginners Italian language classes this week. It’s starting to sink in and make more sense. The class size is much smaller than my last beginners and the teacher is very good at drilling the basics. All of the students are older women like me. Some struggle as much as I do and the others have the structures of grammar ingrained in their head – unlike me. Thankfully, I recognize more and I am slowly remembering. Lately, I have noticed that I automatically am converting or comparing certain words. All in all I guess it’s going pretty well.

The monthly countdown to my next visit to Italy has begun; almost 7 months now. I busted my butt this summer to make every dime I could and almost have the money for my tickets. I have spoken to the Travel Agent and gotten her advice to purchase them in January. She thinks the prices will have dropped some by then – right now they’re pretty high. I have also been thinking about finding more information about moving to Italy. Still going over the “Pros & Cons” of a permanent move. It’s a huge step for someone like me and the logistics of that kind of move are overwhelming. I have a hard time dealing with the “what ifs”. On the other hand, my Italian family loves me and are all anxiously awaiting my return. We still send messages daily through WhatsAp and that has been very comforting. I am a small part of their everyday lives and I cherish that.

Getting through the next 6 months of winter should be my last hurdle before I leave. Here in Western NY the leaves are still falling and the gloomy days have begun. Last week I packed my flip flops and shorts, tanks and tee’s. I pulled out the tote with my long sleeved shirts, sweaters and beloved fleece. My dresser now filled with the bulk of winter clothes. We pass through another season of change. My hope is that these months will pass effortlessly and that there will be little or no drama added to my life as I wait.

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