Saturday, December 29, 2007


Can you believe that Olive Knitting has been around for 2 years?! Two years and 202 posts. Whoa. The blog-aversary was actually two days ago, but I forgot.

Remember that time when I kind of electrocuted myself on the water heater?

Good times.

Remember that time when our car was on house arrest for a month?

What fun.

How about that time we had no heat or water or neither?

Good times all of them.

Remember when the tube carrying shit out of the house broke and I had to duct tape it and that time that we erected a scaffolding with bedroom furniture at 2am to try to stop the hurricane from blowing in our window?

Hard to have more fun.

So much living in just 2 short years. Two fast years. Kind of makes you wonder what will happen in the next two. I mean, come on…if you had told me two years ago that I wouldn’t have to walk down the street to get from my upstairs to my down stairs I would have said, “GET OUT! NO WAY!” And yet, it’s happened. This alone fills me with complete wonder at the possibilities for the future. Is it possible that in the next two years we will have running water?

Thanks to all of you who show up to read my ramblings, commenters and non-commenters alike. Although I have to admit I like you commenters more.

A very happy New Year to everyone. May it be filled with joy, wonder, happiness...water, heat and yarn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What a Day!

Winter has hit Maberga. I mean really hit. That would be snow on the top of the mountain across the valley. We had snow at number 29 as well, it didn’t stay on the ground but it snowed. That means that it is, quite literally, FREEZING.

I like to be in control of things. I admit it. It’s not my favorite personal trait but it is what it is, I am what I am…a control freak, among other things. Control freaks live in a constant state of trying to make order where none exists. In addition, there is the added stress of needing to accept that there are just some things beyond one’s control.

Take the weather for example. I would like to control the weather but, well, I can’t. I’ve accepted that. I have learned some coping mechanisms to deal with things that are beyond my sphere. The most useful one being to, once identifying the horrible thing out of my control, immediately take control of my response to said uncontrollable. For example with the weather, I simply moved to a place where the weather is more likely to be how I would choose it…if I were in control.

When cold, and I mean bitter, you-don’t-want-any-exposed-flesh-because-it-will-freeze cold does arrive I do what I can to deal with my response.

  1. put on as many woolen goodies as I can find in the house. This isn’t so bad. I like woolen goodies. I don’t often get a chance to wear those wrist warmers I made two years ago. (it is most unfortunate, however, that David shrunk my second pair of alpaca socks…I’m going on day 4 wearing the one pair I have left…I hope it’s a short cold snap)
  2. drink many hot beverages. This isn’t so bad either…I like coffee and tea and hot chocolate and vin brule.
  3. stay no more than 3 feet from the heat source.

Number three assumes, of course that A. you have a heat source and B. you are in control of that heat.

Pellet stove 2, Lynn 1.

Yep. In the middle of the one week of cold that we get every year in Maberga, the stove stopped working.

Ok, this isn't such a big deal. It happens all the time. Every time in a different way. This time, it just went completely off, as if it were unplugged. Between 5am when we got up and 9am when we could go into town to find a technician, it spontaneously went on and off about 4 times. Just by itself...without my help (ie: control).

So, at 9am David and I bundled up to head down the mountain - he would go look for some genius who is lucky enough to have pellet stoves within his sphere of control and he'd drop me at the grocery store (we were out of some coffee and wine).

We hop in the car...can you predict where this is going?

Yep. Turn the key and nothing. Not even a noise. Nothing.

Turn the key again. Still nothing.

I go back in the house, without heat and David calls a pal to drive him to get a new battery. I knit. (maybe it was my state of out of controlledness that caused me to choose to knit thigh high stockings in the only yarn I had enough of in my stash...blaze orange merino).

David comes back with new battery, it doesn't work.

Did I mention that our internet connection had expired at midnight the night before?

So, here we are at 10am with no heat, no car, no internet, no coffee or wine.

Using the only tool available, we get on our phones. David calls our pal again to arrange for a mechanic (aka: a genius who has cars in his sphere of control) to come to check the car - next appointment for house calls, first thing tomorrow morning. I call work to say we won't be making it today and possibly not tomorrow if the mechanic tells us that car death is beyond his control and we have to be car shopping. David calls the stove shop to learn that they have changed their phone number, but don't want to share the new one.

Car needs to wait for mechanic. Stove, internet, and food need to wait for car.

David plugs the stove into a different plug. Nothing. So he settles into the couch with several blankets, his coat, beret, and a book.

What possible control can I take to respond to this level of out-of-controlledness?

Potato prints.

What a great day! I might be cured of the curse of control. Having absolutely NONE was completely liberating.

In case you are worried...

The stove spontaneously came back on and has been working perfectly. A couple very patient and strong neighbors drove by and they, with David pushed the car backwards up the road so he could pop the clutch. By 7pm we had a running car, heat, food and internet...and some nice christmas cards.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Public Consumer Announcement

Hi all, just wanted to let you all know that the maberga designs website is up and running. After what seemed like an endless stream of fits and starts, frustration attacks and a few lively marital discussions, when you type you now see a website.

Unfortunately, the technical difficulties are not completely behind us in that we are having major problems posting photos in the "our jewelry" section. A minor problem, compared to world hunger, say, but given that it is a JEWELRY website, one we are working to rectify.

You can, however, go to the "shop" section and link to the site where we have items for sale. There are just a few now, but check regularly because I'm adding things as fast as a dial-up connection allows.

On another consumer related note...

The truck drivers' strike is hitting Italy pretty hard. There is no gas to be purchased any where. NONE. I could really freak out about this but I've chosen the Cat Stevens route...

If the pumps have no more gas, I won't have to go to class.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Look who's had a birthday...

The Mom!

Yep. This great lady is now 66.

In honor of her birthday I would like to share with you a little about her.

She's a terrific mom, wife, grandmother, sister, aunt, greataunt, daughter in law, sister in law, mother in get the point.
She's also a caring friend, a practicing Christian, a non-practicing republican (I think), an intellect, an avid reader, a profound baker, and an amazing knitter.

She's also a teacher. In my life she's taught me a few things, like to walk and talk, swim and read. She taught me to be kind and work hard and be nice to other people and help out whenever you can. She taught me to balance mathematical and chemical equations (one of which I still can do because it's helpful in knitting). She taught me, if not to BE patient, that there are people in the world who are very very patient.

Above all these little things, she's taught me and many many others...the joy of ice cream.

She's a very good teacher.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Deck the halls with boughs of….


I love Christmas time. Everything about it. People allow themselves to behave just a little bit differently at this time of the year. I love that people take an entire Saturday to buy, make or find three foot wire reindeer, drape them with a million little lights and put them in their front yard next to a plastic santa who glows from the inside. When else but Christmas time do adults spend a couple hours of their precious time spray painting pine cones in gold and sparkles to put on their mantle? I love that people dress their kids up and have photos made that they send all over the world. I really love that some people still write actual letters about their lives that they share with friends and family far and wide some of whom may not even remember them. I love that people find time and money and energy to do things they intend to do all year long but some how don’t manage the effort. Things like making a plate of cookies for the old couple that lives next door. Or maybe dropping an extra coin in cup of someone who needs it.

I love Nat King Cole singing Oh Holy Night.

I love that people bring trees of all sizes and shapes (and materials) into their living rooms. And spend half a day wrestling with strings of lights (that weren’t properly packed the year before) in an effort to untangle them and search for the one bulb that makes the whole string not work. And then spend the rest of the day hanging little wooden, glass, and plastic objects on every single branch.

In Italy you don’t really go down to the supermarket and pick a tree from the parking lot. Nor do you pack the family and go into the mountains to chop your own. I suppose you could but, in this region anyway, it would more likely be an Olive than a fir or a pine. Fake trees are available but I’m more of a natural type of girl, so I opted for a rosemary tree.

You might think that my perspective on Christmas is shrouded by just a bit of nostalgia, that maybe once upon a time it was that way, but now it’s all needless pressure and out of control consumerism. Maybe. But from where I sit, if people can have even a couple days of the year where they allow themselves to do non-sensical, unproductive, over the top acts just to bring some beauty and joy into their lives and those around them, well that’s just awesome. It might even bring us a bit closer to that whole "peace on earth" thing.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Some like it hot...

I do. Which is why I’m thrilled to introduce the newest (and perhaps in these days, my favorite) member of the family.

I don’t want to jinx anything but…she WORKS!!! It’s the most amazing thing - you put a little wood in her, add a lit match and the bedroom warms up. Unbelievable. The room doesn’t even fill up with smoke. Incredible. Many thanks to brother-in-law Kevin whose generosity and muscles helped get it into our house. It’s a Jøtul…which you understand the importance of if you are one of the Danes, or a freezing American couple living in a drafty old Italian country house and finally have a wood stove that cranks out the heat.

These don’t.

Nope - hand-knit, cabled alpaca socks definitely don’t like heat. Not even a little. They aren’t so fond of the spin cycle either. My dear husband might be dead for having ruined a SECOND pair of hand-knit alpaca socks if it weren’t for some of the other little nice things he adds to my life (like the Jøtul, for example). But Pally can think twice if he thinks he’s getting these
that are almost finished and were almost his until the washing machine incident.

Speaking of socks… check this out! The Stitch Style books are out

and LOOK!
My pattern made it on the cover of the sock one! I feel almost like the Yarn Harlot with all that fame I’m experiencing.
One last bit of randomness - If any of you have been terribly worried about us surviving the "biggest strike" of transport in Italy, don't worry. Maberga was relatively unaffected.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy thanksgiving...ruf

Yes, it’s a little late but that’ because I am celebrating the day of giving thanks today. The one other American that I know in the area has invited us all to her (and her Italian husband’s) house for a day of food and …dogs.

David and I will spend the day being grateful with 1 american, 3 italians, a brit and 7 dogs. Of the 7 dogs, 5 are related, including our two. The irony is not lost on me that David and I ate gyros (with fries) during a one hour break from work on thanksgiving day and our dogs get to be with their brothers, sisters, wife, and mom having a feast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining…they were some damn fine gyros.

So now I’ve got an apple pie in the oven. You can’t really find that pumpkin pie filling stuff here – which is fine by me, I hate pumpkin pie. There are also some cranberry muffins cooling on the counter. I probably should have used the dried cherry, blueberry, cranberry mix “made with Wisconsin’s best door county cherries” that we brought back from the States for a sauce, but I hate cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Ps. Does anyone know how to make muffins that aren't so dense that they double as mini door stops?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Homes Sweet Homes

The overall response to the question, “how was your trip home?” is definitely, “I’ve got a GREAT family.”

That about sums up the whole experience. Everyone came from near and far to eat, drink, be merry, be together, be supportive, and to kick my ass in every game imaginable. Thank you, all of you.

A little photo summary…ok, the photos suck. We were too busy having fun to document it.

Winter welcomed us back to this home. The winds coming up the valley from the sea and down the valley from the big mountains have started. I’m sure that it’s a meteorological impossibility that they could both be blowing in opposite directions at the same time but I swear the other night they were and they were converging on number 29…the roof of number 29 to be specific. The temperature seems to have dropped two seasons in the two weeks that we were away, as well. Great combo.

This of course means that the battle of wills has begun. Who will win this year, me or the stove? First scrimmage has left the score even - Lynn: 1, Stove: 1. (the rules to the game are simple…if I am warm I get a point, if any of our heating equipment pisses me off in the process, they get a point).

After a 30 minute battle to get the freakin’ computerized control panel to activate ON, I scored. . Truth be told, I couldn’t get it to work, but David did on the first electronic press of the button. I feel ok counting this as my score – you know, the whole married thing…what’s his is mine. That, and, well, I’m warm! Lynn: 1. Stove got one point for the idiotic remote it has. Yeah, it’s true…we have a house that sometimes doesn’t have heat, hot water or even water at all but our state of the art pellet stove has a remote. I thought I was being really clever in digging the it out of one of our 47 junk drawers when I couldn’t get the freakin’ computerized control panel to work only to discover this.

No ON/OFF switch. Brilliant. Stove: 1.

Perhaps you’re wondering how I’m going to tie this post together…me, too.

I guess the point is that I’m thankful for my two homes. It used to irritate me when people would refer to where my family lives as my “home”. I’d get all snitty at those remarks, replying, “my HOME is where I live.” Yeah, well, we all grow up. I now have two homes…a beautiful, quirky house in Italy where I live a terrific life and a terrific family in the US who fill, support and complete a beautiful and quirky life.

Homes sweet homes.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hello from Wisconsin

10 cool things about visiting mom and far:

1. where but Wisconsin can someone look so stylish at a bbq in November.

2. who else but your mom would let you raid her stash (imagine here some cool looking socks that I've knit since I've arrived but haven't photographed)

3. Go Packers
4. chili Wisconsin style (if you are from here you know what that means) and Spotted Cow

5. Friday fish fry (if you're from here you know what that means)

6-10. Fried food, well, it's not just for 4 days I've eaten fried flautas, fish (2 kinds), dough (known as hush puppies here), potatoes, chichen, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and cheese curds (it's very hard to explain).
more to follow from the dairy state...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bring me back, please. Once was enough.

Whoa. I’m weirding out. I need to touch base here, touch a computer, get comments from people my age (or older), people who never knew me with crooked teeth and without a driver's license.

I just visited the website of the 20 year high school reunion from the people I went to ELEMTARY school with. Whoa. I feel like I’m in a very strange time warp. Just seeing the names of these people has transported me back to Miller Ct and the vacant lot where we used to play softball, to the Denison Gym and slow dances (hoping and hoping that Mike Gough would ask me to dance to Airsupply), to the YMCA for Saturday morning basketball, to 3rd hour math, to the orchestra concerts, and all those birthday sleepovers.

I saw photos of people who were 10 last time I saw them. 10 years old. Now they are all very middle aged and way too many of them are having way too many children.

Whoa, bring me back. It’s not still 1979. The internet has been invented. I live in Italy.

Too bad, Mike, it’s too late now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

pot head

So I’ll fess up, right here to all the Olive Knitting readers…Olive hasn’t been knitting all that much lately. Work, beads, life, summer – they all got in the way of my needles.

As did a lack of inspiration.

And then I stumbled onto these.


I LOVE these hats, I love the pattern, I love knitting them. Everyone I know is going to get one of these hats.

I would like to claim the pattern as my own because it’s brilliant – totally fast to knit (I’m a slow knitter and can complete one whole hat in an afternoon), simple, and with a ton of room for variations. But it’s not mine. I found the pattern on Knitty - Winter 2007 (here). It’s called Flower Power and was created by Ann Squire.


Obviously I didn’t follow Ann’s pattern word for word…I used stash yarn- Rowan 4 ply wool/cotton blend. I had these leftovers in amazing colors from these socks that I designed*.

Remember them? They look strangely like the hats, no? Minus that cool flower, of course. I’m not sure that even I would put a stand up flower on a sock, though - it would be uncomfortable in the shoe.

I also changed the sizes from the original pattern. Ann has only infant/toddle sizes. As if an adult wouldn’t want to sport one of these Daisy-Head-Mazie wonders!

My imagination is now running wild…why stop at flower toppers? How about veggies on top of brightly colored hats? Or randome pig parts? I wonder if I could knit a likeness of that head I found in the pot on my stove. God, the possibilities are endless.

* These socks will be appearing in a book called Stitch Style Socks that will hit the shelves sometime in November or early December. The book is a compilation of, well, SOCKS. I don’t know what the other patterns in the book are like but I promise to give you a little review once I get my complimentary copy. You can preorder it on amazon if your excited for the patterns.

Friday, October 12, 2007

come one, come all!

Friends, you are all invited to a Maberga Designs “meet the artists” evening hosted by Barclay Gallery and Café in Milwaukee on November 7th. David and I are thrilled about this opportunity to show the holiday jewelry I’ve been making with the incredible beads he got from glasswork artisans in Murano (Venice).

I’ve been creating my tail off in preparation. (sorry about that photographer was working his day job. I'll post some better photos of the work in future posts).

There will be plenty of beautiful stuff so come with your holiday gift list!
We will be there from 6pm to 8 chatting with folks and enjoying appetizers and drinks. If you are in the southern Wisconsin area (or if you feeling like visiting the southern Wisconsin area) please stop by and say hi.

Directions to the Barclay can be found on their website (linked above). If you haven’t seen any Maberga Designs jewelry yet, please check out our website *

I made this the other day. Can you tell that I’m excited about my visit to the USofA?

*our website is currently under construction and should be up and running within a couple of weeks

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sixty Seven

Sixty Seven reasons to celebrate a birthday…

S = Still on the ball
I = In good health
X = eXcellent grandkids
T = Top notch daughters
Y = Young at heart (?)

S = Sexy wife
E = Elkhorn
V = Very tolerant son-in-laws
E = European vacations with family
N= Not complete hearing loss, yet.

Happy birthday, Dad.

NOTE: just for the record, the birthday was really yesterday but, well, it took me a long time to come up with this stellar and very touching tribute to my cool dad.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Friends! Here it is - I found a photo of the head that was in the pot on my stove.

It looked exactly like that in my kitchen too…a little less pink, he’d been boiling for a while when I found him. He was still smiling, though.

A few other objects I’d like to point out, just so you don’t miss the depth and breadth of this archival photo.

1. the hook.

2. the Wisconsin t-shirt.

3. umm..well, I guess there isn’t a number 3. If you find other treasures in this photo that I’ve missed, do share them in the comments.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm baaaaccccckkkkk

Oh my gosh. The computer is back in our house, with a spankin' new screen and it's so clean I'm afraid to touch it.

It seems that there was a little dust and dog hair stuck in some important parts inside that cause the screen to melt. could that have happened? Good thing cars aren't as sensitive as computers (or stoves, water heaters, ovens, or fridges).

So I will be right back a-writin' just as soon as I can respond to all the emails I've been missing.

Just a few quick randoms for now...

1. Sorry you all missed the blog that I wrote in my head and have promptly forgotten about the pig head that David prepared for dinner one night last week.

2. Thanks to everyone who has wished the computer well and a speedy recovery. Your get well comments must have worked because we didn't even lose any of our data whih is quite unbelievable since we had to send the thing to ...well, I don't know where. I take back my previous comment about the computer being so sensitive...when the fridge breaks you ALWAYS have to make new ice cubes.

3. I'd like to welcome all the new Olive Knitting readers who are here now because this year is my TWENTY YEAR high school reunion. Through many reconnections and reunion websites, emails and visits, I've been happily contacted by many old pals...I mean pals from a long time ago. Welcome Thundering Herd...and of course our bastard cousins from down the road, the Badgers.

That's all for now. Much more regular posts to be expected.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

melt down...

No, not me. The computer. This is just a quick post, as will all of the future that I will be forced to make from our old computer. Using this computer is a little like watching your fingernails grow.

Many thanks for all the birthday wishes....more to come.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy New Year: Autumn in Maberga

It’s September and I’m ready. Ready for autumn and the New Year. This time of the year has always had way more a new year feel than that thing that happens in January. My birthday falls in this month so it actually is the start of a new year for me (as always, woolen gifts that need assembling are welcome). But besides that, I seem to have that school/education/academic thing in my blood or psyche or where ever these things lie that tell me it’s time to start anew.

It’s the time of the year when I feel the need to organize…organize the house, the files, my closets, my self, my life. Some years I’ve tried to organize David too – but I have to say the sock drawer is a lot more receptive.

Maybe I learned September organizing from mom. All those years of watching her prepare for a new school year. When one knows that from August to September your daily list of responsibilities will grow from (no small job of) two daughters, and one Italian-reared husband * to 8 classes of chemistry, 2 biology classes, 15 remedial math students, the math/science department, the student council, the junior class council, the creation and implementation of school-wide reform program, AND the rearing of 2 daughters, AND that Italian-reared husband, well, you learn to take a little time to organize yourself.
* only non-Italian wives of Italian husbands can appreciate the scope of this

Maybe it’s just a life time of September changes that has ingrained in me a need to be prepared. Every year for the past 17 (yes, that’s every year of my adult life, which now, by the way, out-numbers the years I spent in school, but let’s not digress) life has tossed me some kind of change. Little things like a new home, a marriage, or a new job get lobbed in my direction. Then some more new homes, a few more new jobs, and a new country thrown in every couple of years just for fun. Small things that require preparation – preparation that I feel the need to do in September, after the fun of summer.

This year…no news, no changes. No need to organize, no need to prepare.

All the same, the September New Year inertia is strong so in the past couple of weeks I’ve organized my yarn stash, and even managed to finish a couple projects. I tidied my studio, organized my schedule, our finances, legal documentation, AND the bathroom shelves (don’t laugh, that was a big project).

And these are almost finished and ready for the now very organized sock drawer.

Everything is now prepared for, well, nothing but New Year in Maberga

Friday, August 31, 2007

4 Happies, A Congratulations and A Thank You

Happy Friday.

When one doesn’t blog for a while a few things are missed. This however doesn’t make them any less worthy of mentioning. As Emily Post, and my mother say…it’s never too late to send a thank you note (I am extending this to any type of correspondence that might require a Hallmark purchace). So….

Last week David saw the end of another year or, in more optimistic phraseology, the beginning of a new one. We celebrated in proper Maberga style by eating one of our neighbors. Many thanks to the fine goat who bravely gave his life (I’m grateful to say he didn’t have a name…or at least I never knew it) so David could marinate him, stew him for a week and we could eat him in honor of David’s life. Happy Birthday, David honey

Today, nephew Max is celebrating 17 years on this planet. Max dude, have a fun and safe day. Only one more year until you can … vote and go to war. Enjoy.

Today also marks 40-some years of wedded bliss for mom and dad. Actually I know that it’s 44 years that they’ve been together but I’m guessing not all 44 were actually “wedded bliss” (for example we can subtract right off the top those 4 years Laurie was in high school, I know they were hell for all of us). Hope you have a blissful weekend.

Last week pals Mette and Teddy acquired a new project. Congratulations, Guys! I know you will put your tasteful touch on the place and make it beautiful.

And last but not least…many thanks to Mary and EarleinDenver for these…

Friday, August 17, 2007

Everyone needs these kinds of dinner guests.

Wait…I don’t mean to imply that David and I invited chips and halapenos to dinner. Those treasures were the gifts that were brought to us by new Hungarian/German pals Claus and Andrea. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of them…let’s just say that I wasn’t thinking clearly after seeing their industrial-sized thoughtfulness packaged in crunchy delight. The chips are for me, the peppers are Dave’s. (that little jar of “cheese food product” to go with the chips and halapenos was an after thought – Claus just pulled that out of his glove compartment ….)

Given that we’ve only met these folks on two other occasions, how would it be that they would feel comfortable bringing nachos to their dinner hosts instead of, say, um, I don’t know…a bottle of wine or some flowers?

Flashback to the first dinner we had with these folks….We are sitting on the balcony of another ex-patriot friend, Marina, enjoying a delicious meal, a little wine, and some “getting to know the new people” small talk. Claus and Andrea have just purchased a house in the valley. Marina is kind of a one-gal, unofficial, welcome committee for newbie foreigners. She graciously invites fun and curious mixes of people together so everyone can meet everyone else – at least once.

So anyway, at this dinner we were having the usual new foreigners get to know you conversation…”why did you decide to move to Italy?” “How did you find this valley?” “how did you find your house?” “does it need a lot of work?” “are you here full-time or a vacationer?”

All these questions were going back and forth when Claus said, “so what do you miss most about life in the US?” David said, rather quickly, “Mexican food.”

This got a huge round of laughter from the entire table of Europeans who thought it hysterical that he would miss something that was from ANOTHER country.

I said that I miss snack chips. “I really miss good chips.”

At this point, Claus says, “well, as it happens, I sell nachos to movie theaters!”

There you have it, Mexican Chips. It’s good to know the right people - people who are willing to cart a case of chips and 5.6 kg of movie theater nacho chilies from Hungary to Italy just to make some folks they met twice feel more at “home”.

We just might invite these folks to dinner again when it's time to harvest the garden chilies grown from seeds from Mary and EarleinDenver.

It's a funny world.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Holy Mattress Hole!

Did you ever wonder what was inside your mattress?

Yeah, me neither. Thanks anyway, Q.

Seems that DestructoDog has recovered nicely from her operation.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

So Q had her little operation yesterday. She is now an official member of the “I ain’t never having babies” club. It wasn’t really her choice to join this club, but I think she’ll thank me some day. Well, I don’t care if she thanks me or not…I’m the owner.

When we went to pick her up our sandal-sportin’, Sonny Bono-look alike vet greeted us at the door. He was ready to get rid of Q. She was a great patient, apparently, but was not so fond of being alone on the tiny cage they put her in to convalesce. She cried for 4 hours. It wasn’t that she missed us or needed us or anything like that, when he let her out she gave us a quick nod and then started scoping out the place. She’s no cry baby, I guess she just thought she could wear them down (like she’s able to do to us every night at about 3 when she wants to have a run around the mountain).

Anyway, hippy-vet told us that everything went fine and that she will be good as new immediately.

Lynn: “any restrictions on her movement? She likes to run.”

Vet: “no problem! She can do anything!”

David: “Should we watch her diet?”

Vet: “no, no problem! She can eat whatever she wants. Really, she will be just like normal immediately. Just one thing, she can’t lick the stitches. They will come out.”

We must have looked a little frightened.

Vet: “Don’t worry! There are stitches INside, too. It’s not like her innards will just tumble out on the floor.”

Lynn, “No, it’s just that we have another dog too who is….”

Vet: “no problem! I’m sure he will leave her alone! ”

Yeah right.

On a completely unrelated note...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EM!!!! We all wish you were here to have a celebration dinner - Ruff has even learned the happy birthday dance for you! love ya.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Oh, did I mention that we were in the hospital last Sunday? Hmmm…no, I don’t think I did.

David has a little cold, mostly it’s just a little cough. No, we are not being Italian wusses and running to the emergency room with every sniffle. Apparently Italians do this. It’s not an observation of ours, the doctors told us when David was at the emergency room a couple years ago because his head got in the way of the chainsaw cutting some branches. Did I tell you about the chainsaw meets head encounter? Hmmm…I don’t think I did.

Ok, one emergency at a time.

On Saturday, after two weeks of a cough that, from my point of view directly across from the cougher made me think that perhaps I will be the first woman in history to watch her husband’s head actually explode from natural causes (no gun powder assistance), David passed out from one of his coughing spells. He was having a little lie in when he started coughing. He sat up to ride out the fit when, boom, he just toppled over. Luckily there was a wooden footstool next to the bed to break the fall of his head (sarcasm). He ended up with a nice bruise on the right temple and cheek. Sunday morning…repeat performance. “Now are you ready to go see a doctor.”

Being the thorough group that they are at San Remo General…they kept him 3 hours to monitor him. They weren’t so concerned about his cough = passing out. Apparently that’s normal (whatever. I’ve never known anyone to cough so hard that they pass out). They were, however concerned about his head after the bump he took when passing out on Saturday. Hmmm….perhaps I shouldn’t have let him sleep so peacefully through the night?

So they monitored him by keeping him sitting on a bench outside the emergency room rooms, reading his magazine. They also checked his brain, his heart and some other stuff but mostly they just left him sitting there on the bench. Well, they’re the doctors, they know what their doing. They let him go with a prescription for antibiotics.

Skip ahead a week… David has 1. a horrendous cough, 2. a left eye in which the white has completely turned blood red making him look like something out of a B horror movie 3. two black eyes (we’re not sure how this happened), and 4. a couple antibiotic tablets left.

This is making the chainsaw thing seem rather tame.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It occurred to me this afternoon as I went to the cupboard for some peanuts…how is it that we can put a man on the moon, talk to each other through tiny rectangular objects not plugged into anything and even send each other photos with these little objects (ok, I admit even the plugged in, odd-shaped or wall-mounted versions perplex me), and well, do a whole lot of other amazing things that I don’t even know about because they haven’t made their way to Maberga yet….

…And still we can not produce a chip bag that stays closed just by rolling it. Geez, where are our priorities? I mean, come on, what affects your daily life more – Neil’s giant step for mankind or stale potato chips?

Yep, you guessed it…I’m still having trouble finding interesting topics for my blog posts.

I suppose I could tell you about the full-moon party we had last night. I could tell you about the 8 of us sitting around speaking 3 different languages sometimes in the same sentence, the oooos and ahhhhs when the big and heavy, full yellow ball began inching its way over the mountain. But then I might have to admit that Neil’s small step might have been more significant than, say, the number of clothes pins I have in the snack food cupboard.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I don't really have anything to say but I'm trying to get back into some kind of regular posting routine so here I am. I'll do what people we english speakers do when making small talk and there is nothing to say. The weather.

We need rain here in Maberga. Really badly we need rain. The no rain coupled with the intense heat has really fried things. And put the water level on our vasca in the red alert zone. Ok, there is water, not a lot but there is water. Our neighbor just decided that in the past week his fruit trees needed what water there is... more than David and I need regular washing. We've been doing what we can for our little garden but I'm afraid it hasn't been enough. Check out the tomatoes.

Speaking of tomotoes, does anyone know the english name for this variety of tomatoes? In Italian they are called cuore di bue (I think that's how it's spelled) and they are the best tomatoes that I have ever tasted. The best.

Oh, yeah, this is a knitting blog...let's talk knitting. In an effort to relax my mind and body from the insane schedule I have recently piled on myself, I decided to force myself to find time to knit. I really am a much nicer person when I am knitting regularly. I decided to knit this

It may look like a scarf but it is in fact a sweater. Yes, it is as narrow as it seems in that photo. I know that ribbing shrinks up knitted fabric, but I'm a little concerned at how much this has narrowed.

I even laid on top of it to see how much it's going to have to stretch.