Saturday, September 23, 2006

This might be problematic...

I was at a lesson yesterday and my student asked me if I'd heard?

student: "You have heared?" (we are still working on sentence sturcture for questions, and irregular past tense)

Lynn: "Did I hear what?"

student: "Please repeat, I not have understanded."

Lynn: "Did I hear what?"

student: "What here? Yes, here, qui! a SanRemo!"

Lynn: "No, I said, 'Did I hear what?"

blank stare

Lynn: "What have I heared?"

student: "ohhhh....."

He proceeded to recount the story that is the talk of San Remo...the story of a big, mulitcolored bird saving a baby drowning in the sea by dropping down some kind of long string.

Lynn: ", I not have heared.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sorry for not writing for a while..

I’m really sorry not to have been writing….you see, umm, well you aren’t going to believe this. Can you keep a secret?

You see, just before we got that big rain storm last week, I finished this.

Isn’t it cool. It’s a letterman’s sweater. Yes, that’s a real letter earned by this little knitting gal from Elkhorn Area High School for my stellar contributions to the gymnastics team. Actually I sucked at gymnastics but I got a letter anyway…the E is for “effort” in my case. Anyway, I’d been wanting to make this sweater for a long time now. As I was saying, just before that big storm I finished it.

Then things got a little weird.

Just as I was sewing that amazing purple E to the front (no small task for an inexperienced seamstress with a new sewing machine, let me tell you) all the clouds in the sky started swirling. They were going in every different direction at the same time and there was a tremendous wind. The sky turned a bizarre shade of chartreuse. Then, just as I was making my last little acceleration with the foot pedal on the machine, an enormous lightening bolt struck immediately outside my studio window.

I’m not too clear what happened after that. I remember trying the sweater on and having a look in the mirror. This is what I saw (sorry about that drawing, I didn’t have the presence of mind to make a photo). David says he saw me grab a ball of merino sport weight and my number 4, extra long needles and then, apparently I took off running down the road shouting. All he understood at the end of a string of euphoric hollaring were the words “Wonder Woolman!” as I disappeared down the hill. A moment later he saw, what he swears was a very large bird in striped tights flying above the house and over the mountain top behind. It was several days later that David found me sleeping in our bed, just as normal as always. I thought I was just waking from a nap but David assured me that I’d been missing about 5 days.

So, that’s why I haven’t been writing, it seems that I have become the first Italian-American Knitting Superhero, Wonder Woolman.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Two by two

So, it started raining a couple nights ago. Usually it’s my tendency to exaggerate. That it “was raining” however, is an understatement. An understatement along the lines of Noah and the arc and all the animals and all that.

Any of you who have been somewhat regular readers of Oliveknitting know that we’ve had a rather dry spell here in Maberga. That would be another understatement. We haven’t had much rain for the past couple of years. Perhaps the rain Gods got sick of hearing the Mabergini (those of us from Maberga) incessantly talking about the lack of water, they got fed up with our lamenting the great vegetables we could have if only there was water, they couldn’t stand any more of our whining. Or maybe it’s just a scientific fact that precipitation has a relatively constant average…sometimes, however, you have to figure that average over a really really long time. I think the later theory might be more accurate since the precipitation of the past 30 hours just made up for the past lack there of of the past 2 years (slight exaggeration).

The rain came down in sheets, sideways. There was lighting and thunder and a lot more lighting. Thank god that one of the lucky-strike-extras that Agusto did to our house this summer was “ground” us. I’m sure many of you reading (family members in particular) have been waiting for David and I to get “grounded” for a long time. I’m sorry to disappoint, I mean it here in the quite literal sense – the electrical sense. I felt much better as the thunder and lighting was crashing and exploding all around us that if we got hit, which I was sure was just a matter of time, our whole sophisticated electrical system wouldn’t fry. I’m getting kind of used to walking into a room, hitting a switch, and getting light.

One of the lucky-strike-extras we did NOT get from the Anti-Agustos who did the work on the backroom of the house (my studio) was anything at all that resembles a rainproof room. Rain came flooding in under the door, around the windows. Water was running down the inside wall of the room like blood in that Amatyville house. There was a water fall in the doorway to the bedroom. Judging by the amounts of water coming into that room the other night, I now have my doubts as to whether it is even attached to the house.

As troubling as this was, it was not what was preoccupying us. It was, instead, this window.

Isn’t it lovely? Not when it is open and it’s raining antelope and moose, sideways, in the middle of the night and the nearest ladder is a 20’ metal extension ladder leaning next to the shed outside in the middle of a lightening storm. Under these circumstances, it’s not lovely at all.

I won’t go into the whole process we went through (nor the dialogue, since I am trying to keep this a somewhat family friendly blog) that resulted in that chair landing on top of that wardrobe with that shutter balancing on it which is holding the windows closed. Let’s just say it was an amazing feat of wet circus-style gymnastics with a rated-X-for-language voice-over.

After this we went two by two to a somewhat damp bed – two soaking people and two frightened animals.

I’m happy to say that we did NOT get a direct hit on the house by a lighting bolt. All the water, though, has made traveling by car a little difficult.

(Imagine here a photo of our little road covered by mud and rocks and really big rocks - we had several landslides on the road and I am having technical difficulties invloving photos. What's new?)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Reality TV

Whoa, what a night we had here in Maberga a few days ago. We were grilling dinner out on the front patio when neighbor Gianni came running up to us looking rather distraught.

“Do you know the number to the Forestale?”

The Forestale is the Forest Patrol. The Forestale is responsible for busting you if you try to build something on your land in the country that you don’t have government approval for. There is a phone tree that is activated any time a neighbor spots a Forestale Jeep coming up the road. “Cover up your piles of sand, put away the cement mixer!” Ok, I’m exaggerating a little but not much.

The Forestale is also who you call when there is a fire in the mountains.

“What’s the number?!” Gianni shouted. “There is a fire on the next ridge and no one is attending to it!”

“We don’t know the number, but try 118 and tell them about the fire.” 118 is the Italian equivalent of the American 911.

So Gianni calls 118 and ASKS FOR THE NUMBER OF THE FORESTALE! Which he calls and gets no answer. “Shit!” He says.

David says, “Do you think you could tell the 118 guys about the fire?”

“Yeah, ok.” Gianni calls 118 again. “There is a fire. … Yes, I called the Forrestale but they didn’t answer. Thank you.”

Five minutes later we had two of these over head.

They dropped water on the fire and the area around to contain it.

Those folks just pulled off the road to watch.

After the helicopters left, the firemen took over …just to be sure it was out.

Phewww…that was a close one. There’s nothing quite like the helpless feeling of watching a forest fire burning out of control coming straight at your house. Maybe there’s one feeling worse…poor Mario down the road who has the house made of wood. Someone should write a story about that, oh, wait…

After we were sure the fire was being looked after we enjoyed a nice dinner on the patio and watched the moonrise.

Reality tv. I love it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

culture clash

So, today is day 6 of David being gone, on his little sailboat trip to Corsica. Uncharacteristically, I’ve been bored. This means, given I don’t have real conversation I’ve been relying heavily on virtual ones. I’ve gone to my favorite blogs several times every day only to find that the authors have been lazy. I frequent about 5 different blogs regularly and it seems in the past week no one is writing. Of the 5 blogs there’s been about two new posts in the past week. This morning I found myself cursing them all and their laziness.

Then it occurred to me that I too have a blog that I haven’t posted to for several days. So, here I am. I have nothing really to say, otherwise I would have been posting. But since I can’t point out the splinter in one’s eye without noticing the freakin’ tree in my own, here I am.

Because, I don’t have anything really to say, I will do the Italian thing and talk about food and digestion.

tonight I am having trouble with both.

With David gone, the great carnivore he is, I have been eating a ton of vegetable predominant dishes. Tonight I made a stir fry with carrots, zucchini and fennel. I thought, coming off the success of fried mushrooms, that I would not add onions, as I normally would to the stir fry but rather, I would DEEP FRY the onions and add them on top like some kind of crunchy onion crouton.

Can you see the trouble I'm headed for?

I used the same recipe for the mushrooms but also added flour. I dipped the sliced onion into egg and then into a mixture of flour, breadcrumbs and salt….then I deep fried them. So far so good. I took the batches of golden brown slivers out of the oil, placed them on paper towel and dowsed them with salt. They just looked so damn good that I started nibbling on them.

Before I knew, I had totally given up the idea that these stringy salty delights would be an accessory to the stir fry, I was just eating them. You know, like you do when you go to Chili’s and order a loaf.

While I was making a feeble attempt at eating the stir fry, David called. “What cha doing?”

“I’m eating onion rings…and a little stir fry.”

“Wow, that sounds awesome.”

“I think I’m already regretting it.”

My stomach, at this point, was already turning somersaults that would have Nadia shaking in her leo.

Then Italian pal Mercedes called. Same question, “What cha doing?

“Oh, I’m eating. I made this huge mistake of thinking onion rings would be tasty and now I’m paying.”

She didn’t understand so I explained how one makes onion rings. And she promptly responded, “Jesus, you just ate a brick.”

Yes, I ate a brick that had dynamite in it that is ready to explode at any minute. She told me that I need to take something to help me digest that brick. “Or a bicarbonate with water or a tepid ‘limonata’ .”

I just find this all so funny, you know, in the ironic way…my husband, the American, having heard the recipe, was like “yeah!!! Bring it on! I can’t wait for you to make these for me when I get home.” The Italian, having heard the same, was like, “no shit you feel terrible. Look what you just ate. That’s disgusting” And then offered up warm lemonade as the solution.

Culture clash.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Handfulls of nothing

Friend Mercedes called today to check on me. She always does when David is out of town.

“Did you knit today?” (this is quite thoughtful of her to ask since she doesn’t give a shit about knitting. She must give a shit about me in order to ask about knitting.)

“Yeah, I tried but I was really distracted. I couldn’t concentrate for more than 5 minutes on any one thing. Remember when I came back from the US last spring and all I could do was knit those little squares? Well, I felt like that today.”

“So, what did you make?”

“Well, I made these, um…(I wanted to say “wrist warmers” but knew neither of those words in Italian. So I said…) um, some mittens without fingers and no thumbs either.”

Mercedes aptly responded, “What’s left? Nothing! You going to sell those pairs of nothing you made today?”

“Yeah, for 10 euro.”

I’d really like to give you a photo of my pairs of nothing but I can’t seem to photograph my own hand with the other one. Think Cyndi Lauper and you’ll have some idea….or was that Madonna? Sometimes the 80’s are such a blur.