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...