Friday, July 25, 2008

Day One in the US


German Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (pronounced "ma WA key, wis CAAAN sin") for polka dancing, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and beer.

Friday Fish Fry for, well, fried fish and beer.

It sounds like a good plan now. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 23...a big day.

Wanna know why?

Well, I'm not going to tell you because yesterday I got into a long discussion with a guy who was astounded by how totally personal I get in this blog. He was shocked by the fact that I write so much about my life and then put it out there into cyberspace for everyone to read.

"Where's your sense of privacy? What about personal boundaries?"

Hmmm? Good questions.

Screw it.

July 23 is a big day because.....those of you in the know, know already anyway....

it's the day before July 24 when my flight leaves from Nice and lands in Chicago.

Tomorrow I'll be on the homeland.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sorry I haven't written for a few days. David is home and we've been working the land.

Don't be ridiculous, that's not us. Our land is terraced.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Whenever people find out that David is traveling for work, I always -- always-- get the same question...

"Hai paura?" ask the Italians.

"Hast du angst? ask the Germans.

"Are you afraid?" ask the English...and the Danes...and the Dutch...and the Hungarian.

My answer is always,

"Di che cosa? Uomini o bestie?"

unless I answer,

"of what? men or animals?"

Then I proceed to say that, no I'm not afraid. The wild boar tend to stay outside and, well, if someone wants to come "get me" here, well, they will - no need to live in fear of this. And besides, this is much less likely here than a lot of other places. Plus, I've got these "lively" dogs.

After last night I might need to amend my response.

So, it's 11.30pm. I'm sitting on the toilet having my last-before-bed pee. And the power goes out.
Yep, I'm sitting there with my pants down, in the dark - figuratively AND quite literally.

My mind starts racing...

Why did the power go out?! We aren't having a storm.! There's no big wind. ! I'm not doing laundry, vacuuming, heating the bathroom and making toast. !!

Did someone cut the power?! Not possible.! The dogs would have said something about that. ! Wouldn't they?!

Where's the nearest candle?! Cool! There are two within arm's reach! Where's the nearest fire source?! Shit.! I have no idea.!

So I just sat there for a little while. Listening. I'm not exactly sure for WHAT but I sat listening all the same. No dogs barking, no cars, no footsteps, no breathing...except mine, of course.

Then the lights came on. Just like that. I finished my business, pulled up my pants, had a laugh at myself (or in relief) and tried calling David.

"Your credit has expired," says the perky digital babe on my phone, "please recharge your credit within 24 hours and receive bonus credits from your TIM provider!"

New response to the question....

"Are you afraid?"

"Well, only if the power goes out, I'm on the toilet, it's almost midnight, I don't know where my lighter is, and my phone has run out of money."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's happened here?

All I wanted was a rag rug.

How did I end up with all of this?

In an effort to comprehend this, I've retraced my steps in using a flow chart.
Forget it.

The bottom line...I now have a very large painted sheet with a children's book written on it (with which I don't know what to do), a 1/4 illustrated children's book, the back and a sleeve of a very cute sweater, three rather wonky crocheted bowls, a 1/2 colored bed sheet's worth of yarn drying on my bathroom sink, new kitchen sink curtains, a mountain of laundry, not one clean dish in the house, AND NO FREAKIN' RAG RUG.

PS. Please don't anyone tell me to go out and BUY a rug. That's totally not the point...besides, can you imagine what I'd come home with?

Friday, July 11, 2008

blog posting insomnia

I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post.

Nope. Nothing.

I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post. I want to write a post.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Can you keep a secret?

Here it is...

I'm a switch-hitter. I go both ways. Say it how you want, I'm bi-stitchual.

I like knitting AND crocheting.

There! I've said it. It's a weight off. I feel freer now that it's out in the open.

Some of you who know me pretty well could probably have seen this coming. You could probably see right through all those nasty comments I used to make about crocheting and crocheters.

"ONE stick?! It's not natural. Two hands, two sticks!"

"What's up with the hook? Wimps."

"The bible explicitly says...."

Blah blah blah, you get the drift of my former mentality.

You, who know me, could probably tell that I was just masking my true inner tendencies - to walk both sides of the fence. Now I can see the error in my ways, how truly closed minded I was being. If I love the process, the materials, the yarn passing through my hands, the ability to produce fabric from string...what difference does it make if I use one needle or two? What's so wrong with a hook? The bible shouldn't be read so literally.

Truth be told this desire to dabble in the other stitch has been boiling in me for some time now. I'd asked my friend and mentor Mette several times to teach me the way of the hook, since I know she has great experience in these things. But when it just didn't feel right I wrote off all her wisdom and kindly direction as, "well, of course she's into crocheting...she from that generation of 'fiber liberation' and 'free-crafting' and all that. Not for me!" I'd tell myself as I ran from the hook and back to my TWO, STRAIGHT needles.

So, last week, in a fit of pure stitchual frustration (the rag rug) I picked up the crochet needle. I ripped out the shredded sheet from all those unsatisfying knitted stitches and I chained. As I began to relax a little with myself and the hook, I startled trebling - half trebles, whole trebles. I was doing it all! And why not?! It felt good.

I know what you're thinking...I've just been alone too much on the side of the mountain. It was just an isolated incident, acted out of pure desperation. Or maybe I was drunk. Wrong. I like it! I finished a crocheted bowl this morning. I've been experimenting with all the yarns in my stash. I've been playing with all the needles I've had hidden away, too embarrassed to display them like my beautifully paired knitting needles. I've been trying out different sizes - does it really matter when crocheting? Yes it does, I've discovered.

And the rug...friends, I've almost gone all the way with this one. And let me tell'll hear me when I'm done.

Don't get me wrong...I still love knitting, I love my smooth straight double needles. In fact I'm working on a pair of lovely socks as I type. As a dear friend of mine once said, "just because steak is my favorite food, that doesn't mean I don't want to eat a pizza every once and a while."

So, if you'll excuse me now, I've got a date with the hook, the rug hook - the big one.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sometimes when I sit down to write a post to my blog it just flows out. Sometimes it’s more difficult to find the flow. Sometimes nothing comes. I think I’ve written before about why I write this blog. I enjoy it. I like sharing my thoughts. I like keeping friends, those I know and those who read this that I don’t know, involved in life – life the way I’m choosing to live it.

Today, I as I sit here at the computer I am with a huge sadness. I don’t know if sharing troubles halves them, I hope it doesn’t double them – it’s not my intension that you feel sadness too. Today I’m writing because I feel I have to. It wouldn’t feel right to move forward in this record of my life without writing about the reality of my life as it is at this time.

This past week myself, David, and a very large group of friends and family here in Italy lost a great and tender person. Our friend, wife, daughter, sister, colleague, Mercedes Olivo lost a long and painful battle with depression.

I’m sad and angry and confused, and very sad.