At the suggestion of the Author’s Guild, I have updated my memoir of Florence and re-titled the book:
Susan Kelley writes a hilarious memoir of one couple’s sixteen-year romp living, working, and playing in Florence, the artistic treasure house of the Western world. In delightful and always-surprising chapters, she relates the compelling adventures of a writer and artist finding their true path in life while encountering a cast of unforgettable characters, ranging from the endearing residents of Florence to a consecrated nun, Italian royalty, and a legendary rock star. She and her husband have lived what many people would consider a dream. What differentiates this from other books is they embarked on this magnificent journey as a couple.
“Ciao Pussy!” at the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence–built in 1345. It was the only bridge in Florence to escape being blown up in World War II. Cover art work by William Kelley.
In 2015, when Condé Nast Traveler announced the winners of its 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards of Best Cities in the World, Florence was ranked # 1. Ciao Pussy! is for anyone who enjoys the humor of baffled foreigners adapting to a new culture, and for everyone who has traveled to Florence or Italy—or who dreams of doing so.
We’re all trying to be healthy and extend our lives, which might be the reason why I ended up at the vitamin store. But actually, it was more because I have a friend, Joe, who is 85 years old but looks 60, jogs 9 miles a day and is in incredible shape—and also because my birthday is looming and I panic every time August rolls around.
One day, I asked, “Joe, what vitamins do you take?” The guy is a ball of energy, married to a much younger woman and just generally happy and healthy. So the other day, Joe sent me his list of nutrition advice and daily vitamins and supplements, which begins with a handful of toasted nuts (8-10) and a bite of Baker’s unsweetened 100 percent chocolate (1/4 square) first thing in the morning. So, armed with his list, I finally made it to the vitamin store in the hopes of extending my life and enhancing its quality beyond my impending birthday.
Joe told me that I could easily administer the nutrients on his list with my protein drink in the morning, like he does on arising. So after perusing the shelves and talking to the saleswoman in the store, I ended up spending $187 dollars in Spiru-Tein powder, optimized carnitine and Life Extension’s cruciferous veggie extract, along with the calcium and magnesium that also was recommended by Dr. Oz as an absolute must. When I got home, I had three jars of vitamins and had no idea what they were for—the most expensive being $31.59.
Ironically, my mother is 94 years old and all she takes is one multivitamin a day and the occasional aspirin. This new regimen is much more foreboding, it seems. But there’s no way I’m going to eat broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower all the time, so for now I’ll stick with the cruciferous veggie extract and the daily juices. Wish me luck.