Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall is in the Air

The weather here has been wonderful! On Saturday a storm came through and brought some cooler weather behind it. Yesterday it rained a little bit, but then the sun came out and it was around 70 degrees. I hope this weather sticks around, it sure beats the heat and humidity we've had the last few months.

This past weekend was the weekend we were supposed to go to Zell Am See in Austria, but Dan had to work all weekend. We got the dates changed to Sept 9th-12th, so we will be going in a few weeks. This weekend Dan gets a 3 day weekend as well because of labor day, we are going to hang around here, but need to find something to do for sure. Even on a regular 2 day weekend, it gets very boring sitting around the apartment, so it's always nice to get out and go somewhere new. When Dan got home from work on Sunday around 2, we decided to go to the train station and hop on a train to Venice. It was still pretty crowded there, Dan thought it wouldn't be too bad, but the vacationers are still out there! We walked around and ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant, it was surprisingly good! We didn't stay too long, but we would love to go back and watch the sunset and see Venice at night.

I took Eddie back to the vet yesterday, he didn't turn any pins, but said he thought it was healing nicely. Eddie walks on it very little, he mainly holds it back and hobbles around still. We put him on the floor and let the vet see how he gets around and he would occasionally put a little pressure on that leg, but not much. The vet wants to see us back in 2 weeks, he hopes that Eddie will be using the leg a lot more, as do I.

I have been coming to the library to write blogs and download some shows since I still don't have high speed internet. Not sure what we are going to do on that yet. I just know the minute I chose to go with the one that is available right now, the faster, cheaper high speed that we've been waiting on for months will become available. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Internet...What to do?

When we first moved here we went to the electronic store in town and they told us of ST internet. It costs 280 Euro to install and it will cost 30 euro a month. The speed they offer is 2mb, which you never really get the full amount. They said it would be fast enough for skype and vonage, but I don't know fd I trust that. We were also told of NGI internet, this is the one that is not available to us now, but we were told in 1-2 months it would be. The installation in free and it's 30 euro a month for 6mb of speed. I have no doubt that vonage and skype would work well, that's why we have been waiting for this service. Initially we were told that the tower was already installed, they just have to activate it, which would take 1-2 months. After 1.5 months went by I called Alessio (internet guy) and he said he just had a meeting with the company and it would be the end of June. The end of June came and he said they are not giving him that tower and they wanted signatures of people in our town (at least 30) and they would consider putting a tower up on the electronic store. Alessio came by and got our signature about 1.5 months ago, he also got 54 other signatures. I haven't heard from him, so I called him yesterday and met him at the electronic store. He said he turned in the signatures a month ago and he has still not heard back from them. He said in August a lot of people of on vacation (which is very true, they close shop and leave for a month) and he thinks I should wait until September to see if he has an answer then. He is a very nice guy...but now we have gone 4 months with this internet key and nothing happening. Do I continue to wait? Or do I go with ST and hope that the 2mb of speed will be fast enough for vonage and skype? It's a 2 year contract with ST, if you don't have it for 2 years you pay to get out of the contract, which I don't know how much it would be. The guy who signs people up for ST is out of town, he will be back next week and I don't know how long it would take for them to get to our apartment to install it. If I wait for NGI, say in November they approve the tower, they still have to put the tower up and once the tower is up I would have to wait for them to come out and install everything. In the states, it might not be an issue, but here...something as simple as them coming out to install something could take months. So, I am asking your opinion...what do you think I should do? I told Alessio if I went with ST it would be my luck that he would get a call from NGI that same day approving the tower. I'm stuck like Chuck and have no idea what to do. :/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I took Eddie back to the vet yesterday. I was nervous because the vet said the pins in Eddie's leg would have to be turned every 10 days and that can't be fun. He said it didn't need to be turned, he just checked him out, watched him walk and said it's just a waiting game. He still only walks on that leg occasionally, but hobbles on 3 legs more than he walks on it. Eddie's anal glands are also acting up again. In January of this year he was acting weird and we weren't sure what was wrong with him. We had to take him to the vet and it was an anal gland abscess. It had completely opened up and there was a hole in his behind. They had to clean off the dead skin and the put a tube in from where the anal gland is to where it secretes from...it wasn't pretty. I asked the vet if there was anything we could do to prevent this is the future and they told me no and that it wouldn't happen again. 2 weeks after we got here in Italy, Eddie wasn't acting himself again, so I felt where his anal glands are and there was a huge knot, about the size of a walnut. We took him to an Italian vet because the vet on base doesn't do much besides preventative stuff. The Italian vet opened it up, cleaned it out but didn't place a tube and of course got antibiotics. The vet said if it happened again we could talk about taking the anal glad out because if it keeps recurring it could lead to cancer. So...when I took him to the vet yesterday I had him feel and like I thought, it is getting backed up again. When you touch it, Eddie starts licking the air...which is what he did the last time. He wants to check it again next week, but I wish we could just fix him up! I talked to him about taking out the anal gland and he said he would rather try and have me give him more fiber and have him lose weight before taking it out. Eddie has been on a special cat food since he got blocked a few years ago. He has gained a lot of weight since then. Vets in the states told me I have to be careful when getting him to lose weight because of his size and fatty liver. Vets here said I have nothing to worry about and I should just take away his food and feed him once a day. I do need to pick up the cat food and feed him at certain times, I do think that will help, I just don't want to run into more problems doing so. Poor Eddie, he never catches a break.

Dan and I went to a bird festival in Sacile this weekend. Sacile is about 5 minutes away and it was the 770th annual bird festival! Crazy! It was PACKED! They had thousands of birds there for sale, the prices weren't too bad either. Most birds we have seen before, but there were some there that were just gorgeous and we had no idea what they were. It was sad though because they put a lot of birds in one cage...they barely could move. They also had squirrels and chipmunks for sale in a cage, which I also thought was sad. It's a pretty big festival though, it was interesting.

This weekend is the weekend we were supposed to go to Zell Am See in Austria. Dan now has to work all weekend and I was going to go with a friend since he couldn't cancel. He actually contacted the hotel and they were able to switch the dates for us, so now Dan and I will be going Sept 9th-12th.

I am excited for fall to get here, this past weekend was pretty hot. I cannot wait until the cooler weather arrives and the leaves start changing colors. It's one of my favorite times of the year.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I've been hanging around with Eddie quite a bit lately. After his surgery on Friday I've wanted to keep my eye on him most of the time to make sure he doesn't jump up on something and hurt himself while getting down. The vets here use a lot of sedation. Both time I have had to take Eddie in for something here, when I pick him up, he is totally out of it. The first time we took him in (this was about 2 weeks after we got to Italy) we picked him up and went back to TLF because we weren't in our apartment yet. We took him out of his carrier and he couldn't even walk, that's how sedated he was. I can't believe they sent him home like that. This time it wasn't as bad, when I picked him up he was really out of it, they said they kept him sedated because he wasn't being very nice. Can you blame him? The poor guy has been through too much with vets...he doesn't like them very much...at all, really.

He has been doing well though, getting better every day. He isn't using that leg yet, but he can get around pretty well without it. Post Op day 2 his leg and foot were very swollen, probably twice the size of his other leg/foot, if not more(the nurse in me wants to tell you 3+ pitting edema). The vet gave us some lasix to give him for a few days to help with the swelling, so we have been doing that. Eddie likes to loaf on his side/back with all 4 paws up in the air, so that's been helping a lot too. When he is laying strictly on his side I prob one on Shae's toys under his arm to it elevates his leg and paw. Yesterday it started looking a lot better, so that's good. I have an appt with him on the 23rd, he will get the pins turned that are in his leg. I hope he cooperates.

Dan and I were planning on going to Zell Am See in Austria next weekend, but he called and said he now has to work. The hotel is nonrefundable, so I am going to go with a gal who's husband works in the shop and her son. I think it will be a good time and a great chance to get to know her more.

Not much else has been going on. The weather has been nice, we've been getting thunderstorms in the afternoons, but it keeps it from getting too hot.

I hope all my family and friends around the globe are doing well! I think of you all often. I miss family and friends back home but the Air Force has given me many, many great friends, so I am very thankful for that!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poor Eddie Freddie

Eddie has the worst luck ever. On Sunday he was lying on the floor by the front door when a wooden heater cover fell over and landed on him. He ran away, meowing, hissing and anytime he put weight on his right foot he fell to the ground. When we went over to look at his paw and lifted it up, it just hung there, we knew it was broken. We got 2 nail files and put one on each side of his arm and wrapped it until we could get him to the vet.

We have a list of vet's in the local area that we got from the base vet because they mainly see animals preventative things. We took Eddie to a vet here before and they had an emergency phone number, but it wasn't going through. We called the other numbers listed for other vets, but all the messages were in Italian and we couldn't understand one word of what they were saying. I called a friend, Don, who speaks Italian and she jumped in her car and came over right away. She started calling for us, wrote down an emergency number that one of the Italian messages gave her and called the vet. It was about 20 minutes away, she went with us because the vet didn't speak English. He basically told us the leg was broken and there was nothing he could do about it at that point. He splinted it better than 2 nail files and tape and gave him a shot for pain.

Yesterday morning (Monday) I went to the vet that we had been to before and was there at 845am, they open at 9am. The doors were open, so I went in a spoke with the gal at reception, she told me the vet would be in at 9 and could see us then. Thank Goodness! My main concern was that they weren't going to be able to see us and we would have to keep running around finding a vet who would. They did x-rays and of course it was broken. He broke both bones in his arm, the radius and ulna, thankfully no other fractures. The vet gave him a shot for pain and also an antibiotic. He then told us best treatment for Eddie would be external fixation, which would stay on for around 45 days and we would have to bring him in every 10 days to get the pics turned. He said he will recovery very well, so that made us feel a lot better. The first appoinmtent the vet had available was for Friday, so we will take Eddie in then to get fixed up. It's going to be a long road, but he is doing really well and he is totally worth it! The vet left the splint on him and said he could roam around as he wished, just no stairs or jumping. My friend Monica had an extra baby gate, so I went and got that from her and put it up so Eddie couldn't go upstairs and the downstairs hallway has a door we can close. We made different little beds for him to chose from, he's eating and drinking well and mainly sleeping. He's such a sweet boy. I slept on the couch last night to keep an eye on him if he got stuck or hurt, but he did well. I just can't wait to get this surgery over with and get Eddie well on the road to recovery!

I took this picture of him this morning.

Eddie is a little fatty, once we get him better we need to work on his weight loss. The special food we have him on doesn't really help the matter either. When the previous vet put him on it because crystals in his urine she told us he would gain more weight...boy was she right. He is just the sweetest boy I want him to be a healthy kitty.

I will update you all later this week after his surgery and let you know how he is doing!


On Saturday Dan and I went to a town called Nove, which is known for pottery and ceramics. I went earlier in the week with some friends and wanted to take Dan back to look at a set of serving dishes that I liked. Earlier in the week when I went I got this ceramic basket made by Tiffany and Co. I thought how nice it would be to use that for a fruit basket :) They sell brands like Tiffany and Co, Lenox, etc for a really good deal because they have flaws, mostly very minor. When Dan and I went back on Saturday it was to show him a Ralph Lauren set which included a pitcher, 2 different sized serving bowls, two different sized serving platters and a covered bowl with a ladle for soup. Dan liked it as well so we decided to get it. On the boxes it had the USD price so I added them all up and it was $474USD. We paid 74 Euros, which is under $100. That was for 5 pieces though, they didn't have the large serving platter, I will go back and get that another time. Great deals.

After Nove we decided to go back to Verona. Last time we were there we didn't have a camera because we went to the amusement park nearby that day. It wasn't the best, so we decided to go to Verona and the only pictures I did take were on my phone. We got lots of pictures this time :)

The first thing we did was scope out the arena and buy tickets to go inside. It was originally built in AD 30, but later the outside had to be rebuilt because of an earthquake. They started holding operas there in the 1850's because the acoustics were said to be amazing. They still hold shows and opera's there a few months out of the year, I think it would be wonderful to go to a few. They had stuff set up inside and a lot of stuff outside the arena while we were there. August is one of the months they have the operas, so the arena closes at 5:30pm so they can finish setting up. You will see in the pictures some of the things they had set up.

Here is a picture of the outside of the Arena

Dan inside the Arena

Me inside the Arena

Juliet's Balcony

These are just a few of the pictures we took, I will post the rest on Facebook.