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.