Turtle Time in Calabria

Hi. Here I am at the internet café again. No internet at home. Again. But we did have three whole days of nearly uninterrupted service. Woo. Hoo.

I think this calls for a turtle:

yellow-bellied slider turtle

Meet Terra (means Earth in Italian), who has been with us since my birthday; she was a gift from P. Yes, that’s a shrimp in her hand/mouth. Obviously she’s looking for the cocktail sauce, but unfortunately we don’t have horseradish here.

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

Living creatures, big and small. I’m usually drawn to furry ones, but this little turtle has really done a job on me. She’s still pretty skittish, but now she’ll let me watch her as she suns and often even leaves her head above water instead of ducking under when I peek in. We’re making progress.

Tell me about some of the living creatures in your life.

22 Beans of Wisdom to “Turtle Time in Calabria”
  1. Sara
    11.17.2007

    I think you need more pets. 😉

    I recently completed a stint pet-sitting for a neighbor. She has an affectionate stripey cat, a crippled albino rat, a lively guinea pig who can really put away the lettuce and hay, a betta fish who doesn’t do much besides hang out under his ceramic bridge, and five hamsters, including three we think are gay because they are all male yet don’t try to kill each other and share the same cage quite happily, one amputee who was hibernating the whole time but has crawled all over me quite adorably in the past, and one suspected diabetic who needed to have the corn picked out of his food (too sugary) and drank a lot of water.

    Whenever I fed the suspected-of-being-gay hamsters, I would sing, “It’s raining food! Hallelujah!” They did not dance, though one really liked to run on the wheel while I sang.

    Okay, he might have been trying to run away.

  2. My Melange
    11.17.2007

    My goodness, those pets of yours are somehting else. I must admit, I am an *animal* lover…but the whole amphibian, snake, reptile, turtle thing…well yuck! I sure wouldn’t wish any harm to them…but they are not my fav’s. Chris LOVES them all! But to having any…I say… nay nay!! He also had a pet rat as a kid. Gus-Gus. I Big NO NO to that too! I’m traditional…..dogs, cats, hamsters are fine. Fish too. Horses, goats, even a bird, parakeet and the like. But I don’t do slimy..or things with long tails!

    Your turtle is cute though. Did I miss what his name is?????

  3. My Melange
    11.17.2007

    Uh…Duh…apparently I have either not had my morning coffee yet..or I can’t read. His name is Terra! Also a cute name 😉

    ]Sorry for the brain lapse!!!

  4. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen
    11.17.2007

    I am very thankful for my furry kitty – well she is a cat now, but I always feel like she is my baby. She has been there with me through it all – she knows all of my secrets, failings, happiness and joy. I don’t know where I would be without the love of my little girl.

    That is a very cute turtle! Happy belated birthday!

  5. Taffiny
    11.17.2007

    I caught a cute little painted turtle once (in a lake) I was all excited to set up home for him, but my home happened to also be that of my Nana and Pop, who clearly did not want said turtle (name- Smallee Parker)in theirs, but instead of saying no, worked on me day and night, saying “he misses his home. What about his mom and dad? Dont you think he has brothers and sisters? How could you take him away from his family?”. Over and over they went, on and on till I let him go.
    I still think about him, some 14 years later, and wonder how his life went on.

    I am glad your turtle has found a good home and family with you.

    Sebastian lives with us now. Nicknames: Sebi-katt, sebi-tuna, tuna, and well um “shut-up Kitty” not quite as cute as Hello Kitty, but believe me, he has earned the title. He is siamese and very vocally opinionated.
    Ugh, he is considering chewing on my laptap wire as I type this…he did, okay moved the wire. He chewed on my ipod headphones several times this week. He feels it is his sole right to sit to the left of me, and anything that might be in his way, he lies on, and periodically chews. He has been good company though through this NaNoWriMo process.

    Of everyone in the house, I think he gets the most interaction. He doesn’t let a day go by without spending time with each of us. And we each interact wih him in different ways.

  6. Anali
    11.17.2007

    She’s so cute! I have no pets though.

  7. Geggie
    11.17.2007

    I’m a cat person myself. I like dogs, but no yard and I travel too much. Cats are just right. We have two cuddley baby girl cats, Princess Buttercup and Wesley.

    Here’s a pic of Wesley.

  8. Cravin' Veggies
    11.17.2007

    We have a few turtles as well (sliders, painted, and box). Terra is soooo cute! Wait until you see how quick (and big) she grows!!

    We also have cats, birds, a rabbit, and a goldfish.

    Sing it with me… “Old McDonald had a …”

  9. Ninotchka
    11.17.2007

    She is adorable! You really are an animal-lover, aren’t you?

  10. flutter
    11.17.2007

    I love turtles!

  11. Jeni
    11.18.2007

    Two cats here – Gracie who is the dowager queen – age 16. Has developed some bad habits of late or else she is senile but she can’t seem to remember where the litter box is or what it is to be used for either! Then there is Nina who is about 8 months old and loves to torment Gracie the old cat! Gracie’s is a black furry calico; Nina is an orange short hair.

  12. Lilymane
    11.18.2007

    What a darling turtle! I used not to understand how anyone could really love a pet that had no fur and couldn’t be cuddled. Then we had a saltwater tank with the world’s most awesome clam and a crazy fish who left kissy marks all over the sides of the glass. I fell in love with! Who knew that could happen? Now I have a fluffy dog that thinks he’s a cat, looks like sheep, eats acorns like a squirrel and lies like a bear who’s been made into a rug. I guess I only really like weird pets!
    Peace.

  13. Anthony and Lisa
    11.18.2007

    Well, our 2nd hamster in 4 years just passed away. Lame pet, some might say, but ours were really like cats or dogs in the sense that they responded to their names, fetched their food and ran around the house (ok, they were in their plastic little balls, but they did go around the house in them). They would sometimes just sit there and let us pet them too.
    Weird, I know, but those were our pets and we most likely won’t get anymore for a bit. Our 8 month old, Sofia, keeps us as busy as we can be right now.
    Side note – I had a pet turtle when living in Italy named Pino.
    Lisa

  14. Miss Eliza
    11.18.2007

    Oh, I had two turtles like this when I was younger – I love these little guys!

    Lucky duck, you!

  15. Judith in Umbria
    11.18.2007

    Cute. Probably would prefer a worm or a grub unless it is a sea turtle, but cute nonetheless.

    As to horseradish, we have it in our Coop, so maybe an annual trip to a bigger town with bigger supermarkets and more expats is in order?

  16. Karina
    11.19.2007

    Cute turtle! Like Lilymane, I never used to understand how a pet you couldn’t cuddle with could be a “good” pet, but now I have Blueberry 2.0, my Beta fish, and I love the little guy. He sits in a bowl on my desk at work, and as soon as I sit at my desk in the mornings, he swims to the front of the bowl facing me, and sits there until I pay him attention…too cute!

  17. sognatrice
    11.20.2007

    *Sara, that is beyond pet-sitting! And beyond hilarious. Why wasn’t this a post? Did I miss it?

    *Robin, P’s the same as Chris–love all the reptilian/amphibian things whereas I love fur. The turtle is too cute though, so I’ll make an exception for her. No snakes though. Not gonna happen.

    *Jenn, thanks for the birthday wishes, and congratulations on having such a lovely kitty 🙂

    *Taffiny, very tricky of your family to play the turtle family card. I like that 😉

    Also, I see you’re a nicknamer like I am. I like that too 😉

    I love my time with the dogs, and I love watching them have their time with P. Such special relationships with these critters.

    *Anali, perhaps you could start with a fish?

    *Geggie, Princess Buttercup and Wesley are such cute names! That link to the post didn’t work (seems the only difference between it and the one that works is the “www” which really shouldn’t make a difference, but OK); I did find it though: Flying Wesley

    What a cutie!

    *Cravin’, Terra has already grown in the month we’ve had her–I’m wondering how big she’ll get!

    *Nino, I do love me some animules, yes 😉

    *Flutter, and I’m sure turtles love you 🙂

    *Jeni, ooh one kitty and one mature cat–the fun they must have together 😉

    *Lilymane, thanks so much for sharing your animal tales; your dog sounds so adorable!

    *A & L, so sorry to hear of your hamsters. No matter the living creature, I get attached, so I understand. And yes I imagine Sofia is keeping you plenty busy 🙂

    Ah and Pino! How cute!

    *Miss Eliza, I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying her 🙂

    *Judith, the pet store people told us dried gamberetti, so that’s what we’re doing. Also some lettuce every now and again, but she didn’t seem to care for it.

    You have all the good stuff up there….

    *Karina, any photos?!

  18. Melanie
    11.20.2007

    hard to tell…is Terra a red-eared slider? They do prefer redworms or earthworms (cut up big ones when the turtle’s small) or crickets and small guppies (live food in other words). Usually as juveniles they are more carnivorous (amazingly so) and then turn more to plant material as they get older (dandelion greens are another good choice). My daughter’s classroom got one of these as a pet, so I read up on them 🙂

  19. Wanderlust Scarlett
    11.20.2007

    She’s lovely!
    What a wonderful gift.

    You named her so well… just like all the other babies you have!

    Scarlett & V.

  20. sognatrice
    11.21.2007

    *Melanie, she’s a yellow-bellied slider; closely related to her red-eared cousins 😉 Thanks for the info!

    *Scarlett, well this is the first time I named a baby–the other two are P’s doing. Glad you like her and the thought behind the gift 😉

  21. Laume
    12.08.2007

    What a great name for your turtle!

    I don’t have a turtle although they’re one of my favorite creatures. But I’m far from petless. At the moment we have two dogs and twelve (yes, twelve!) cats.

  22. sognatrice
    12.09.2007

    *Laume, oh my goodness that’s a lot of kitties!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
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Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
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