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My neighbor that runs the restaurant next to us is in bed with pneumonia. The tv commercials are full of sprays and syrups and rubs and teas for colds and the flu. This is the time of year that I am oh-so-thankful I have less contact with three-year-olds even though I miss my time with Giulio terribly. We take our vitamins and hide away in our apartment so recently, we’ve been doing pretty well in this house, but the wave of winter illnesses will wash over Florence as soon as the weather drops down to when we really need to bring out the big coats. So far we haven’t felt anything close to freezing, though with all the rain (and it’s coming back again tonight) the bone-chilling humidity (currently at 93%) is terrible and makes Luna only want to go out with a jacket which is ridiculous but I put one on her because I am that dog-mom now.

My mother-in-law was complaining about recent customers in her hotel that wanted to turn the air conditioner on in November. Let me remind you that most Italians believe the AC is to only be used in dire situations when the air outside feels like you’re breathing in fire and you can fry eggs on the balcony. Using it when it’s puffy-jacket season is laughable. “Open the window!” she suggested, flabbergasted at the situation. Meanwhile, she was attempting to shut of the heater that sits in the reception area. Rami’s family can’t handle dry heat. If Rami and I are somewhere with a fireplace, there will be a point in the evening when the windows and/or doors have to be opened because it’s too dry. I grew up in a townhouse with air vents that blasted alive when the frost hit and the metal grates were a favorite place for cold feet and my pet cats. I love woodstoves. I thrive in houses with a warm breeze blasting.

The rest of my family here feels like they’re suffocating. Meanwhile, with the radiators pumping away here in stone houses, the humidity wins, and even when it’s “warm” inside, I still feel like I’m wearing clothes that weren’t in the dryer long enough. (Oh how I miss dryers) That’s when fashion fabrics come into play – if you want to stay warm, wool, leather, down, cashmere. They honestly work so much better than anything that I used to wear at home for the New England winters. I’ve gotten more used to the change of heat over the years, and this year I’ve finally given in to wearing two pairs of socks in the house because it does help. But at the same time, I’m sitting in bed writing this with wet hair and that, as many know by now, is an absolute don’t – almost as bad as the AC in November, so I still break the Italian health rules sometimes. I just pray to God I’m not jinxing myself right now.

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