2014 in review

Below are the 2014 stats for my blog. I want to thank everyone who posted comments or visited. I’m amazed that people from 35 countries around the world viewed my blog. I hope to keep up that pace in 2015 and attract folks from other nations not yet represented. Most of all, I hope I can get more responses from people, particularly those I don’t know.

Thank you, again, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Robert Mulkey


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Get ready, ’cause here I come”–thank you, Rare Earth

Christmas is over and New Year’s is still to come. I went around and took photos of Ascoli Piceno, near the Piazza del Popolo for Christmas. That plaza is my favorite place on earth. It is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy and I understand why. I’ve seen a lot of piazzas but very few are as lovely and represent so many architectural types and so much different history.PIAZZA XMAS 2014

The days following Christmas have found me very down. I couldn’t figure out why. Was it the “after Christmas blues”? Was I feeling lonely? Was I missing my parents? I have to admit that I don’t enjoy the holidays anymore. They’re just not the same without my mom and dad. I’ve heard people say that Christmas is for the kids. Well, as I got older, perhaps it was still for me, but I felt it was more for my mom and dad. I loved doing things for them and buying them their favorite gifts.

I was also getting down on myself. Maybe I hadn’t taken my anti-depressants. I can sink like a rock without those things. And if I haven’t eaten (low blood sugar), then I keep heading downward. I found myself going to places I shouldn’t. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Celebrate me home”–thank you, Kenny Loggins

Finally, I’m home. It was an event. The flight from Berlin to Munich was uneventful. From Munich to Ancona was another story. I don’t know how I missed it, but there was apparently an announcement on the Munich-Ancona flight that Ancona was fogged in and we were circling, waiting for the okay to land. The okay never came and we were re-routed to Bologna. When we got off the plane, I heard a guy from Singapore talking about Bologna and trying to figure out how to get to Ancona. I didn’t understand until he told me what happened. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–Detour, continued. Still in Berlin!

Yesterday was spent in the Berlin flea markets. We only hit two because we spent so much time in just one of them. That particular one was fascinating and went on forever. The first one reminded me more of Portland’s Saturday Market. It had lots of homemade items, lots of funky things that hearken back to a hippie-type era. I was surprised by the plethora of record vendors–Gloria Gaynor, ABBA, Johnny Mathis, Janis Joplin–they had everyone. They weren’t getting too much business, .

Katia and Natasha went off as we searched the vendors in the flea market. Katia remodels high-end apartments in Moscow and is always looking for home hardware–doorknobs, drawer handles, etc. Unique and antique is how she likes’em. I left them behind and went on my own, purchasing another miniature vase and a small cup and saucer. The latter purchased was inadvertent. The cup had a lid on it and when I picked it up for inspection, the lid slid off and shattered. Twenty-five dollars gone in a second. Oh well. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–DETOUR AGAIN! BERLIN!

This is my first posting in several days. Last Tuesday my MacBook Pro went on the fritz and I’ve been without a computer since. I took it in to a repair shop in Alba Adriatica and it was beyond their ability. They suggested I take it to a store in San Benedetto, a much larger city of 60,000. The gentleman there said the problem was internal and outside his ability, also. He told me he would need to send it to ROME. I opted instead to bring it with me to Berlin figuring that surely someone here could help. Well, this evening around six o’clock I have an appointment with the Mac Store. Keeping my fingers crossed.

So I am here in Berlin to to help with some family stuff that I’m not at liberty to discuss. My brother asked me to come up and has paid for my hotel. I am a half block away from my (ex) sister-in-law and my nephew. I have been enjoying everything. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“How long”–thank you, Ace

I decided to re-read posts from the five weeks I spent in Southern California back in May-June. Very interesting.

My trip to Southern California was at the behest of a beautiful friend of mine going through a very difficult time. She insisted I stay with her in El Cajon. During that stay, I was able to visit old friends throughout the Southland—Santa Monica, West Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Orange County. It was great seeing so many people.  Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“It’s good to be back home again”–thank you, John Denver

I wasn’t expecting this. My cousin, Sergio and his wife Erika, arrived today to empty out their apartment. They sold the unit they owned in this building and had to vacate the items that remained. I helped pack boxes and fill their truck. They gave me a bunch of things that I needed for my apartment and that will save me a tidy sum of money.

Sergio remarked that it was strange to have me here in Alba Adriatica as opposed to being six thousand miles away. I considered his comment and realized that, for me, this felt perfectly normal. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Thank you, falletinme be mice elf, agin”–thank you, Sly and the Family Stone

I’ve been monitoring how well the book is doing. It’s remained in the Top 100 on Amazon in Parenting/Relationships/Adoption under “Books” and “Kindle Ebooks”. Today, though, it dropped out of “Books”. I was crestfallen. Truthfully, though, it is to be expected. An unknown such as I was lucky to get the rankings I did for as long as I did. Considering that there’s tens of thousands of books out there in this genre, I really can’t expect much more. I’m still in the Top 100 under Kindle and I’m thankful for that. Of course, I think all it really takes is a couple of sales to bring me back up the rankings. With Christmas coming, perhaps there will be some gift-givers out there. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Start me up”–thank you, Rolling Stones

Finally, it’s started. I had been putting it off because it seemed too daunting. And I wasn’t sure where to start. The first time it fell together but it was still rough. This time I didn’t know what to do. But at least I did it.

I’ve got the first two paragraphs written for my next book! In this book, I will be researching the extended family on my birth mother’s side. My plan is to partner it with Lemonade. I’m thinking of writing it as a story of historical destiny. I don’t have a title yet. Not even a working title. I considered Ukraine/Poland for now. Not very sexy but it serves to identify the project and actually make it real as opposed to a future project. The name sounds like a socio-political diatribe. I’m really not even sure how I’m going to pursue this. At least with Lemonade, I was working with something I knew. Now I’m jumping into the abyss and not knowing what I’m going to find. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Workin’ for the weekend”–thank you, Loverboy

Always seems to be so much to say. Last Friday, I was sitting in my chiropractor’s office waiting for my appointment. I was a little early so I did some writing and working on my promotion and my article for Portrait of an Adoption.

And I came to an ugly realization as I sat there. I’m not adopting the Italian ethic or lifestyle the way I should. Everyone is casually sitting here chatting with each other. I’m working. PUHLEEEZE. Continue reading