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Cat-ching up

Hello Friends! It's almost Summer here in the Western Hemisphere. While I'm not a big fan of the heat and humidity, I will gladly trade it for cold and rainy any day.

I'm sorry I've been out of touch the last couple of months. In April, I had the pleasure of participating in a poetry reading at the Apollo Memorial Library. In addition to a few poems from my book, Written in the Stars: Poems and Pictures, I wrote a poem especially for that event and you can read it below.

Poetry is Possibility


In May, my husband and I traveled to Italy, one of my favorite places on Earth. This trip introduced us to 3 regions we had never visited before...Le Marche, Umbria and southern Tuscany. I did take plenty of pictures, but most of them consist of food, wine and cats. (See the cutie pictured above.) Here are a few others from our trip.

This is a view from atop the property at our hotel, Officina del Sole. That translates to "workshop of the sun."

After going on a truffle hunt in Umbria, we were treated to a luncheon featuring truffles incorporated into each dish.

Lobster and pasta for lunch in Perugia.

This is the famous Vin Santo wine. Sublime.

What a treat to dip our toes in the lovely Adriatic Sea.

Grechetto is my new favorite white wine. Crisp and refreshing.

One of our guides snapped this pic of Bob and I walking to dinner in the rain.

In the Tuscan village of Sovana, kitties greeted us at every turn; however, this one had a better idea.


When we returned from Italy, we were home for a few days before venturing with family to the Emerald Coast of Florida. This was our first time on the panhandle between Destin and Panama City Beach. Rosemary Beach and Seaside were my favorite places to visit. Just look at this water! My photo doesn't do it justice.

In Italy, we learned about drinking Amaro after dinner as a digestivo. We enjoyed the above Amaros at a rooftop bar at Rosemary Beach.


Over the last several years, I've gotten obsessed with my ancestry and genealogy. I have a family tree online and do research on it almost everyday. I love seeing my DNA matches and have met cousins I never knew I had. Perhaps some of this curiosity comes from being an only child...I'm not sure. But now that both of my parents are gone, I'm even more interested to find out more about my family's origins.

This past weekend, my cousins hosted a mini-reunion of our Beitko family line. My great-grandfather, Joseph Beitko died in a coal mining accident, I believe, even before my mother was born. I'm waiting for more reunion photos from my cousins, but here is one of me (on the right in white pants) pictured with some of my first cousins and second cousins, two of whom traveled from Texas and I enjoyed meeting them for the first time.

If you stayed with me through this quite lengthy blog post, I thank you kindly. I need to get back to some creative work which I hope to share with you next time.

Meanwhile, enjoy your summer!



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1 Comment

Amy Kelley
Amy Kelley
Jun 13, 2022

I love your blog, Diane. It's great to revisit Italy with you and I love learning about your other adventures and interests!

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