Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Feature

For this Friday's Feature we have a guest. She is an American who has a home here and is here for the summer. Lucky me to have a bonafide American in this town!! So today I shall interview Lucille from New York.
Sharon: Lucille, how are you doing in this heat?
Lucille: I'm doing well...trying to stay cool!
Sharon: Cool or Kool?
Lucille: Cool...I'm already Kool!
Sharon: So, whatsup?
Lucille: I'm dealing with the Italian lingo and trying to stay outta trouble. Don't want to say the wrong word and offend anybody. I've made some friends and our conversations using my skills and sign language.
Sharon:: Do you know the universal language?
Lucille: The language of love?
Sharon: It is 2007 .....all that has changed abit. It is the language of $, £ and €. But love is a good answer.
Sharon: How do you find Oliveri?
Lucille: Nice friends, good food..good company...entertainment in the square...beach within walking a stone throw away and if I can figure out the sizes I may even get dressed (like an Italiana).
Sharon: Any plans while you are here?
Lucille: Relax....brisk on my tan....sight see.
Sharon: That is what we shall be doing on Sunday. Sightseeing in Catania. So come back to see what happened on Lucille and Sharon's BIG Adventure.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


After three days of a record setting heat wave (one local man recorded 47°C), I got to the beach at 9AM this morning. It was refreshing to get into the water, but the waves were a bit too strong to do any swimming. Bobbing...was what I was doing!

I had the water to myself for awhile but the beach quickly started to fill up with families. That is what I like about this spot. It is local. The only tourists you will find here are those visiting their families. Tomorrow I'll get there earlier. It is the best way to start the day. Well, after Starbucks coffee!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Birthday Boy

Absolutely nothing is cuter than a baby. This grandson of mine was cuter than the word ..cute! The photographer entered this photo in a contest. It didn't win but it ended up offering him a contract for print advertisement modeling. He was as soft and cuddly as he looks. He was a good baby. He might not like seeing his baby picture here, cause he turns sixteen this week. All those girlfriends might like this one and if they don't they can take some new ones.

Happy Birthday to Shane. Where did all the cake go????

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Santo Padre Pio

We have a new man in town. He seemed to appear out of no where. He is Santo Padre Pio. He was canonized in 2002. Padre Pio is extremely popular in all of Italy.

He is located at the entrance of the town and I suspect he is a welcome sight to those coming into town.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Feature

The feature this week are two friends..Enza and her son Stefano. They have been friends from the very first weeks we moved here.
First I will start with Enza. I don't really remember how we met. Probably something to do with her store being on the end of our street. She is welcoming, funny and very sincere. She is a willing heart. I suspect she is abit devious but that mixes a good way!
One fall day, a couple gals asked both of us to go on a bike ride with them. I love my bike and this is good exercise. Four of us started out and Enza had some trouble along the way with her bike. She said that she was going to walk her bike to Mario's bike shop to have him take a look at it and meet up with us later. The other two gal's said OK...and me I said as best I'll come with you to the bike shop. Well, Enza never forgot that. She said that it was a pleasant surprise to her. The other two went off and we went and got the bike repaired in a short time. I really feel in the USA this is the way any of us would handle this. Not the case here. So, we have a bond.
Now Stefano is another story. He was the tough kid in the media school. He was chosen to test the new kid from the USA. Our son was getting the welcoming treatment. Antonio had never been in a fight. So here he was up against the strong kid. Stefano worked after school on the family farm. We knew nothing about this until the local priest came to Andy to tell him what had happened. Stefano got his butt kicked. Sorta, but not his butt. Antonio had seen enough of Hulk Hogan and the WWF to grab Stefano by the collar and started banging his head against the wall until the janitor broke it up. Stefano did not return to school for 3 days. I doubt that he was hurt physically but he had an excuse as he wasn't a boy who liked school. The priest said Antonio had done good and the kids wouldn't try that again. Antonio and Stefano became friends. He always asks about Antonio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Spento>adj, extinguished, put out; dead; lifeless.
The word spento is totally the opposite of respiri. But, in a sense it is a part of the life. In the past few months too many persons who meant alot to me have died. It is overwhelming.
Yesterday Uncle G was buried. He had been battling death for a very long time. His final moments before burial were typical of town's respect. So the following is not just his but of many who passed before him here in Oliveri.
The dead are waked in their homes. Burial takes place after 24 hours have passed. Visitors are encouraged to pay final respects and the family sit quietly around the body receiving these visitors. Through out the night someone sits up with the body. It is not left alone until burial. On the day of the burial, the street is filled with mourners waiting for the priest to show up at the home. The body is then placed into the funeral car and the family, followed by those gathered walk behind the hearse to the church. Sometimes a beloved person's coffin is carried the route to the church. Often they will pass this persons place of labor and pay a final salute to that part of his life.
After the church service the body is transported to the cemetery, but stops before reaching the Via National highway. It is now against the law for the grieving to walk along highways. It is a final place to console the immediate family. Those going to the cemetery are taken in cars and others return to their homes.
A friend once told me that death isn't a one day thing. She meant that it will spread into many meanings for people left behind. I did not understand this until I experienced close relatives deaths but it is true. I have much more empathy for those left behind. I am experiencing this in a very personal way.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Feature

Want state of the art in your dentist office? I do. I am a skeerdy kat when it comes to procedures close to my brain. My feature this week is the dentist office. Everything about this office is good. The dentist is professional...and quick! His equipment is current. His office staff is as professional in their job as he is in his. Bright cheery place and ultra clean.

I don't have dental problems but even the cleaning used to have me shaking. All this has turned around and I love my visits to his office.

My cyber friend from Catania, Sicily tells me that she has a dentist that is young, personable and good. So we aren't going to the barber shop to have our teeth pulled like some folks think.

When I asked this dentist if I could take some pictures for my BLOG...he was happy that Sicily would be shown as it is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Now that the Soprano series is over, how about a Tenor? He is available. I love black and white photos...and this guy as well!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

School is Out

This is how life should be. Kids getting together for a game of soccer. When I was a kid in the USA it was baseball. I hope they still do this over there.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday Feature

Often folks will ask me questions about life in Sicily. Many of them think we must live in a third world country. "Do they have bananas"..."how about bathrooms"....will you need to come to the USA if you get ill"..."q-tips"..."coat hangers" and "do they still dress in those clothes like your picture"?????
Sicily has all those things and more. Just like any country it has its modern and its traditional culture.

This week I am featuring a Supermercato that has alot of the up to the minute new and ending with a photo of the old Sicily.

This is the entrance to a large size grocery store. Sorta like Walmart but not a Super Walmart. We do have larger stores than this.

Walmart might have Mcdonald's but this store has an ice cream shop to your right when you enter and on your left as you leave. Why not have gelato before shopping? Again before going home?

Appliances , electronics, clothing, and furniture are all sold here just like Walmart....but does Walmart sell Motorinos???

Well we didn't come to buy furniture, we came for the food. As Andy says you can't put your money in a better place than food! So we move on to the produce section and then to the deli counter. Sicilians are big on their cheeses and cold cuts of meat. This counter goes around two more sides. Lots of choices and all delicious.

You can see the meat counter ..spirits section and the all important coffee aisle and finally the check out.

The finale is the old.... right next to the modern. This is the picture I promised. These creatures are pastured in a small field right next to the parking lot. I think of them as Sicily's Walmart greeters!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Geography Lesson

You all know that this is a map of Italy. At the toe of the boot is the Island of Sicily. It is triangle shaped. If you start from the top right side of this Island and proceed left along the coast until you see a small island off shore, this is the exact position of Oliveri. It is located 45km west of Messina and 150km east of Palermo.
The town sits 2 meters above sea level and has a population of 2099 ( 1015 males and 1084 females). There are 837 families residing here with 2,043 housing units. That spells
T O U R I S T town.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Contest Winner

"CONGRATULATIONS!!! You're one of ten winners in this week's Top Ten Contest on the Late Show website. You've won a Late Show Online T-Shirt."

How did I win this? By entering a Top Ten Contest On Line. Here was my answer to things you did not know about Sanjaya:

Hides meatballs in his hair for late-night snacking//Sharon B, Oliveri, Sicily

The T-shirt arrived in the mail today. Funny thing I don't even know this Sanjaya character.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Just Not Right

It is already June and I have not been into the water yet! Last year I was swimming from May 15th on thru October. Today is a miserable June day. It started out with rain and has been overcast since with clouds threatening more rain.

The beach is almost deserted and there should be kids romping and girls sunning and boys gawking at the girls. Nothing! Here I am wearing a sweatshirt jacket.

Even the town is deserted. On a Sunday this place is normally loaded with tourists and Sicilians from other towns. Come on *SUN* your thing!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Friday Feature

This week's feature is the local CARTOLERIA. This shop sells stationery, books, cards, pens...and pens and more pens.

The store owner is a delicious gal. Truly a delight to come into this shop and do business. She will go to many lengths to search for the item you want. In fact she will find something better than what you had in mind. I know I gush over store owners but I simply do not return to those places that have nasty owners or clerks.

Small toys and school supplies are store features as well as perfumes and men's colognes.

Lottery tickets are on sale as well as bus tickets, phone cards and photocopy or fax service. It might be a little place, but it is packed.