Friday, December 30, 2005

What was I thinking...

Part of this whole cold-snow thing that I have failed to mention thus far is that our water pipes froze…two days ago. Not a big surprise given that they hang from trees coming down the side of the mountain. This isn’t such a big deal, I was prepared for it. (We spent a good part of the summer without running water so I have a little experience…but I’ll save that story for another time). We have about 100 2 liter bottles of water (this is my other stash) on the side of the house, you know, just for a non-rainy, or, as it happens, snowy day. David, being more manly about it, has contributed 4 25 liter jugs to the stash.

So, as I said, I’m pretty good at dealing with the inconvenience of no running water. I have an economical system for doing dishes, flushing the toilet, taking care of personal hygiene and I’ve learned to buy drinking water in massive quantities. It would seem, however, that I was completely out of my mind this morning. What exactly could I have been thinking when I thought doing this:

would be a good idea? BAKING in a waterless house!? And if that wasn’t enough, I added this to the day’s events in Kitchen Cornwell:

(This pot contains very tasty homemade carmel from my great-aunt Lorraine’s recipe…2 pounds of boiling sugar, corn syrup and butter…umm, ok, it’s ugly at this stage but it gets much nicer, really.)

Maybe some of you more accomplished kitchen/cooking/baking people wouldn’t think this was so nuts but, well, I’m relatively new to the kitchen. My baking endeavors are really messy…flour, butter, and sugar bombs, really. I didn’t realize my mistake today until I was well into it already. I heard the ticking. Sure enough, the bomb went off (why is it that no one has come up with a better pie crust rolling surface? One that doesn’t re-roll when you spread it on the table and cover it with flour and dough?). I would love to include a photo of this but my hands were too floury-sticky-yucky to touch the camera and, well, I didn’t have any water thawed (did you catch that little slip in my careful planning? The water jugs were outside where, of course, they froze) so I couldn’t wash my hands.

Seven hours later I have a clean kitchen:

And these:

Christmas treat plates! Ready to take to a post Christmas dinner tonight.

And if the city wouldn’t have run out of street salt for our road, I could have delivered them tonight.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Stranded: Day 2

Stranded: Day 2

Well, all that beautiful snow turned, as it has a tendency to do, to ice. There’s no way I’ll even think about going down that road, so to speak. So today was day two stranded in casa Cornwell.

I don’t really know why I’m being so damn dramatic about it. I could actually get off the hill if I wanted to. David has been into town both days. I could also just walk outside, if I wanted…you know, for a change, maybe a little fresh air but I haven’t done that either. So the real issue here is a lack of will. Let’s not pretend otherwise…the ice has just given me a great excuse to be exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing. I have a selection of started projects (plus a bit of yarn stash as a backup), the heater, all the coffee I can drink (which might have been a bit too much in the past couple of days as you will see in the progress on my “experiment” started yesterday, but I’ll get to that in a minute), enough food to last…well, until David goes down the hill again, and a nice Inspector Morse novel to read. Why would I go out?

Having said all that, I’ll drop that dramatic whining deal and just show you what I’ve been working on:

1. The “experiment”
Looks a little like it’s maker has had a bit too much coffee, don’t you think? Either that or is someone who has way too fond memories of the 70’s.

2. That wad of fabric there is a poncho. You can’t really tell how beautiful it is with it being all bunched up on circular needles that are way to short for is gorgeous wooly girth. You’ll have to trust me. And you may have to trust me for a while because I don’t think I’ll be finishing that poncho until, well, maybe ponchos come back in style the next time. You see, as that gorgeous wooly girth gets girthier, that is with each increase round, I’m finding that it requires more and more strength to knit and keep it on those too short needles. My arms started hurting after just a little knitting on it today. Basically, what I’m saying is that I’m not really strong enough to knit it. So, like any endurance athlete, I will have to go slow and steady, working my way to the finish row, I mean line.

There is another solution, I suppose…I could get myself out of the house and down the hill to buy some longer needles but we’ve been through all that already.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

That's Not Supposed to Happen...

I woke up this morning and saw this:

Maybe this is a normal site for many of you to wake up to but not for us here in Maberga (that’s the name of the little area we live in…don’t bother looking on a map, you won’t find it…population 2 – my husband and me. There are a lot of neighbors with land up here, but “only animals live here”…and Americans, apparently). In fact, last year when it snowed everyone exclaimed great Italian exclamations and said, “it hasn’t snowed up here for 20 years!”. Yes, it did snow last year too, just once but it snowed. The first time in 20 years, so it would seem. I wouldn’t know about that, this is only my second winter here. So far I’m two for two.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “geez, Lynn, relax. It’s just a little snow.” And you would be right to think this, it’s just that it’s not supposed to happen here and well, we aren’t exactly equipped for it. This is what it looks like now:

See those tire tracks? They are on our road which is about 2 inches wider than those tracks and about as steep as, well, can you see off in the distance there? Yeah, it’s a bit like that. We won’t be seeing any salters or sanders up here, no visits from the pick-up-driving-friend-with-the-plow- attachment coming to help.

So, what’s a stranded gal supposed to do when she can’t get off the hill? Exactly what I would have done if I could have gone out…I finished these:

Cute, aren’t they? (yarn? Knit Picks’ Pallett. Pattern? Basic sock)

I then I worked on this…

That’s a bit of an experiment. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I also made some pasta sauce but, frankly, I’m hoping it will taste better than it looks – sorry, no picture.

A couple neighbors just stopped by. They came up to check on the animals…all of us. They said, “and David? Did he go to work? He won’t make it up the hill in that flower truck he drives!” (that wasn’t some kind of Italian dig at the masculinity of my husband’s vehicle. We works at a flower export company and actually drives a flower truck.) Won’t he be happy to have a big pot of appetizing sauce waiting for him after he walks home. The socks are mine.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Olive Knitting

This is the first entry for my blog…Olive Knitting. Do you get the name? I suppose the play on words would be more obvious if I lived in one of the nice southern states in the US where people speak with that lovely southern drawl (or if I was even speaking at all instead of typing) but I don’t and I’m not. My name is Lynn and, by way of Wisconsin and Colorado, I live here.

It’s in the hills just inland from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Italy. I guess those hills are really called the Maritime Alps. The coast is really called the Italian Riviera. Both those names kind of give the wrong impression of where and how I live. If you continue to read my blog you will quickly understand what I mean.

There are a lot of olive trees here. And I knit here. And I really, really like to knit. Now do you understand? …Olive Knitting.