Friday, January 30, 2009

multiple times a day...third one


You've got to be freaking kidding me.

(imagine here a photo of our coffee canister...EMPTY)

Just for the record. I haven't been awake all night. At about 3.30 my eyes actually crossed. Really, they did - one went in one direction and the other in a different direction with no help from me. I meant to just have a little lie down...not a lie in. Dang! It's 8.30! I gotta go.

More later.

multiple times a day...second one


2.10 am. Multi-tasking right now. Barely. Knitting. Watching a movie. Writing a blog. AND trying to get some photos off the camera onto new computer. No luck. I realize without photo documentation you all might not believe that I'm actually finishing this sweater for David. But the carbo-loading I did for dinner is causing a great crash in my energy at this point so arguing with the new computer about how one SHOULD be able to access photos off the camera is futile.

(imagine here a photo of a great pile of white pasta...a dish known to most of you as mac and cheese. It's not yellow because cheese here is white...all cheese in this country is white. Well, except for blue cheese which is, well blue...but I digress. Also seen in non-seen photo is a glass of wine. Also white. Also a carb that delivers more energy initially but with diminishing returns over time)

(imagine here a photo of the sweater. Front, back, 1 and 1/3 sleeves completed)

I have completed 42 rows of the second sleeve, I according my calculations (which, admittedly could be a bit faulty at this point) I have 48 rows to go before I start the rib cuff. Yes, that's more rows to go than I have done HOWEVER I'm working the sleeve from the top down so those rows are getting shorter. Even so, I am at this point a little worried.

(imagine here a photo of a 1/3rd of a sleeve that is wide enough to fit the ankle of an elephant)

Did I mention that I noticed I hadn't done the collar yet either?

stay tuned.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

multiple times a day...first one

Just to prove to you all that I'm serious about that blogging more wait, I mean more OFTEN. Once a week is regular but not often. I'm trying to be more often. this effort, I'm going to blog multiple times tonight! Yep you read that correctly, I'm up for an all night blog session.

So here's the thing...David is in Venice tonight. He went on a little bead buying trip for me. Can't wait to see the new stuff (if you're interested, check my etsy shop in the next few weeks, there should be new bling). He left this morning at 3.30 so he could be there in time for morning as well as afternoon shopping. Maberga Designs could really only afford one night at a hotel so he made this sacrifice to maximize the shopping/meeting bead artisans time to get me the best stuff he could.

This supposed 6 hour drive, unfortunately took a bit longer than his google map predicted. When he crossed Piedmont the car thermostat registered something in negative numbers. I'm talking here about the ENGINE thermostat...not the one that reads outside the car temps (that's even kind of funny to think about - David's 13 year old Fiat having a weather thermometer...excuse me for a moment while I gather myself from the hysterical laughing fit I'm experiencing......... OK, I'm back). So when he stopped to get some car-please-don't-freeze-and-destroy-my-engine fluid, the gas station attendant informed him that he was missing 3 (of four) tail lights. "you will get a large fine for that if the police stop you." So pallly David had to get some new tail lights and have them put in. Back on the road he noticed that there was no change in the thermostat. Next gas station guy put more fluid in and then told him, when there was still no change in the negative reading that his thermostat was probably broken. "this is not a problem in cold weather but it should be fixed before hot weather." Trooper David, rationalizing that he will be home before hot weather comes decided to go forward and think about the thermometer at some later time is being a-wasted. Surviving all this only to arrive somewhere in the Venice outer-world and get lost in some desolate industrial hell. A desolate industrial hell that we happened to get lost in last time we drove to Venice compounding the frustration by adding "Groundhog Day" effect.

After all this, Champ Dave calls me at 12.30 requesting the address of my favorite bead maker. "Can you tell me the street. I"m sure it was here where I am." Yep, sure enough, it WAS. Dude moved his workshop. A few calls, some asking, a bit of wandering, Dear David found my Alessandro and got me my favorites.

I'm telling you all this because it is the prelude to the all night blog session. Call it foreplay if you want.

In September I cast on a sweater for my husband. I really worked on this thing like mad for, well, like a day. Then I got bored. Then a bunch of christmas knitting came, the Florentino, etc. I lamely knit a row or two while watching a movie but only if David had been asking after his sweater.

David: Do you think it will be done by winter?

Lynn: Not likely.

David: Do you think it will be done Christmas?

Lynn: Are you kidding? Have you seen the Florentino?

David: Do you think it will be done before winter is over?

Lynn: Um... um... jeez...get off my back.

So again I will say this is all preamble for the blog-o-thon. I'm going to finish the Dude's sweater by the time he comes home tomorrow evening with my beads. Pally, Champ, Dear, Dude deserves it.

It's 9 pm right now. I only have one sleeve to go and all the sewing up BUT 1. this wool takes FORever to go any distance. It's not thin. It just doesn't move, I can't explain it. It's part of the reason that the thing hasn't been finished earlier. 2. The last sleeve took me 3 weeks to finish. Yeah, a good deal of that 3 weeks was paper mache, my own pink sweater, my own blue sweater, a new rag rug and a few pair of socks, but still...

I will check in regularly with well as sleep deprived insane ramblings.

If you'll excuse me now I have some knitting to get to...right after I make myself some dinner.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

a drought...

Sorry about the weekly blog routine that we seem to have fallen into. I really have great intensions of being a 4-5 blog sessions a week kind of girl but, well, it seems that lately I've sort of lost my blog-drive.

I know what you, my blogging partners are thinking, "what's happened? In the beginning we blogged every night..sometimes you wanted to blog multiple times a day. You didn't even want to knit because you wanted to blog. There were the photos and all the other fun blog toys. You used to DRAW blog pictures for us when you weren't actually blogging with us because you were so into it! What's happened? Are we destined to be once a week blogging partners for the rest of our lives?"

I know. I know. Isn't it sad? It's not that I don't WANT to have an active blog life, honestly, I DO. I love blogging. It's relaxing and therapeutic and, well, come on - it feels really good! It's a great way to finish a day. I love the whole process, starting with a little glass of wine to set the mood. Then the typing and typing and typing,... sometimes with a photo or two,... more typing and typing and typing until... PUBLISH! Wow. I sleep much more peacefully after a good blog. I wake up with a smile on my face.

So what I'm saying is that I really do enjoy it but it's like this: each night I snuggle right up to the computer for little fun, a little end of the day release. I check my mood - am I feeling serious and introspective, ready to blog deeply, or is it whimsical and playful I feel like? Or maybe just a quickie blog to let you know I'm still here? Then I notice that I just feel, well, like not blogging. Then, I don't know, I get a head ache, or I'm too tired, or it's too cold, or the dogs have to go out or I'm really into this book that I just want to read or ...well, you get the picture.

Yes, I've heard the saying before - use it or lose it. So, dear blog partners, I'm telling you that I'm committed to this blog relationship and will do what it takes to get us past this little drought.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Hey there, I'm back. We've been experiencing some major technical difficulties here in Maberga...something involving a glass of red wine and the keyboard. The thing with a lap top is that the keyboard is right on top of all the important stuff that makes the computer a computer. Luckily, our old PC, the one that we thought was dead 6 months ago, prompting us to buy the mac, wasn't really dead and we therefore had continued using it. Continued until last week, that is, when it met its demise - killed by a glass of Tuscan Reserve. I can think of worse ways to go. Not to worry though, David got the new mac connected to the internet so all is right with the world again.

Any of you guys recently (like in the past 10 years) gone a week without internet? I've realized that I have indeed become addicted to the internet, addicted to all its services, conveniences, tools, entertainment, distractions and the hour sucking vastness of its existence.

Here's how I know...I googled the definition of withdrawal (first indication of IA - Internet Addiction: anyone remember how find answers any more WITHOUT the internet? yeah, me neither.) and found this...

"Definition: A term referring to the feelings of discomfort, distress, and intense craving for a substance that occur when use of the substance is stopped. These physical symptoms occur because the body had become metabolically adapted to the substance. The withdrawal symptoms can range from mild discomfort resembling the flu to severe withdrawal that can actually be life threatening."

The definition went on with this:

"There are five basic stages of withdrawal:
Withdrawal Stage – may be accompanied by fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression."

For me this lasted two days and sounded something like this: oh my god!, my email! my blog! my Etsy shop! everyone else's blog! what if I have to find the definition of something?! Ravelry! yeah, Ok, I guess I'll just work on that sweater for David that I started last Septmeber. Honey, do I feel warm to you?

"Honeymoon Stage – the opposite of withdrawal that is often accompanied by feelings of energy, optimism, and confidence."

This was day three and looked something like this: SWEET!!! I have soooooo much extra time now! This is awesome! Who needs email? If someone wants to tell me something, they can call me! And my blog - well, I have a real excuse for not writing! (no offense to you Olive Knitting readers, it's not that I don't like writing this blog but it does take time from a busy girl's day).

"The Wall Stage – time when most relapses occur due to the reemergence of feelings of anxiety and depression."

Day three and a half - David, can I use your blackberry?

"Adjustment Stage – a period of realization and acceptance that change is a lifelong struggle."

Days 4 through 8 - when, slowly slowly I accepted the fact that we are in Italy where getting basic software that is sold at the 7-11 in the US, is a difficult task and I will remain without the internet for some undetermined time. During which time I think I started muttered something along these lines "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

There is a 5th Stage...
"Resolution Stage – occurs after six months of sobriety or abstinence."

I don't know if I could be that serene.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Just a few reasons that I haven't posted to my blog in a week or so...

1. Mette's back!!! Viva Das Needle Club!

2. Putting wood on the fire in the bedroom. Viva living in the whole house again!

3. Just two words...paper mache. Viva flour, water, and newspaper!

4. The first FO (finished object) of 2009. Viva a warm neck! And Viva free knitting patterns from Ravelry (this one found HERE)

5. Taking sunny walks with two healthy dogs. Viva spring bulbs in January!

6. Handmade earring holders. Viva olive tree prunings and sea-bricks!

7. New earrings to go on new holders. Viva la bling!

8. New necklaces. I repeat...Viva la bling!

9. An almost finished sweater for MYSELF. Viva no more Christmas knitting!

Friday, January 09, 2009

an actual conversation on day 3 of one room living

Lynn: I'm kind of enjoying these days where we are stuck living just in the kitchen. It's fun. Like a pj party in a fort...that's lasting for days.

David: Yeah. It feels less squalid this year than it has in years past.

It's good to know, at this turn of a new year, that we are improving.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

That's funny

I got wonderful email this evening from pal Mike (aka: Mike In Boulder), in which he shared a couple photos he found of Maberga when he GoogleEarthed (can that be a verb?) my little village. It was such a pleasant reminder of why I live here. I really needed the reminder having come home after 10pm up a dark and wet (thank god, not icy) mule trail, um, I mean, road to a house that is currently only partially habitable. The photos were of the old abandon upper village on a beautifully blue-skied (can that be an adjective?) day. Sorry about my un-tech-savvy-ness (can that be a noun?) and not being able to have attached them in some way to this post. Feel free (if you have high-speed internet) to GoogleEarth us and check them out yourself.

In addition to getting to see my surrounds in all their glory, Mike's email gave me a chuckle, as well.

So, I use gmail as my main email address, right? And well, if you use gmail...or, well, the INTERNET, you are familiar with "targeted advertising", right? Does anyone besides me pay attention to these? They are hysterical some times. At one point I was even keeping a collection of some of the really good ones. Then the computer imploded one day I lost them all but anyway...

Yeah, yeah, I should be troubled by the fact that someone or something somewhere is infringing on my privacy by scanning my emails and internet traffic to try to sell me stuff. Not to be paranoid or anything but there are probably a bunch of people or machines somewhere who are scanning my privacy for reasons other than just to sell me stuff too. I try not to worry too much about this. Although, I do feel the need to apologize to whomever or whatever is reading my stuff for all the forwards I get from Uncle Mike's pal Eddie Zarletti.

Anyway, back to the email from Mike...since my un-tech-savvy self can't attach it I will summarize

Hi, Lynn,

I suppose these two scenes are very familiar to you. GoogleEarth found them.


WHOA... I totally just attached the whole email, well, almost - still missing one of the photos. Let me bring my almost-totally-tech-savvy self back to my point here...

So here we have two photos of ruined medieval structures and the text "I suppose these two scenes are very familiar to you. GoogleEarth found them." prompting the privacy invaders to think I would be interested in these "sponsored links".

Ladies Earth Shoes
Cellulite Busting Technology Free UK Returns

Earth City Hotels
Compare all of your favorite hotels in Earth City.

Guadagna con il Forex
Scopri il vero modo per fare soldi con il mercato Forex.

The Geospatial Web
New Book on Integrating Geospatial and Semantic Technologies

Visiting Earth?
Find Deals & Read Hotel Reviews!

Play Scorched Earth
The ultimate artillery duel with over 85 weapons of mass destruction

And last but not at all least, in fact MY FAVORITE!

Wealthy and Retired at 49
In this Business,I Now Make More In a Week Than Most Make In a Month!

There's a pair of handknit socks in it (or maybe a handknit hat since all socks I'm knitting these days are going on my own feet) to the person with the best explanation for what it was about Mike's email that triggered any or all of these ads.

If you'll excuse me now I'm going to go check out some cellulite busting shoes.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Chapter 21

Hey look! I made another fort!

No, no I didn't. Well, not really. I did hang many sheets and blankets but these are inside the house - covering every door, possible. You see, we've come upon that one week of the year (hopefully it will just be one week) when outside 1.the temps drop below zero (Celsius), 2.the winds howl and 3.rain falls in icy sheets. It just so happens to be the same week when inside a. temps drop below zero, b. the winds howl and c. rain falls in icy sheets. It's funny how these situations happen during the same week every year. Weird.

Anyway, like some well written foreshadowing in a John Irving book where you find the absurd situation of the adult woman protagonist spending the first 20 chapters building forts with sheets and blankets for no apparent reason ...only to find in Chapter 21 there is a massive storm and in order to save her family from frost bite and certain death she must employ every sheet/blanket hanging skill she possesses so that everyone lives happily ever after. Today I got to Chapter 21. Good thing I'd been practicing.

PS. Update on that mystery pig-product from the last's lard - extra-chunky lard...if you think of Crisco as the red jar of Jif, this would be the blue jar.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I think it's safe to say that yesterday was the last food fest of the 2008 holiday season. We had an amazing few weeks filled with friends of all flavors, we ate, drank and were merry until it was time to sleep so we could eat, drink and be merry all over again.

As I said, yesterday was the end. And appropriately enough this luncheon extravaganza was here in Maberga. No, not at our house. We were with, Franco and Lisa - of pig slaughter fame, Augusto and Lina -our adopted family, and Mimmo and Rosa. Get this - Rosa's family owned our house 50 years ago so she spent every summer of her youth picking fruit during the days and sleeping on a straw mattress in what is now our bedroom at night. Isn't that weird? I guess it's not THAT weird, Taggia is not such a big place. I suppose it would be much weirder to find out that Mimmo's family had owned the house I grew up it at 201 Pearson Dr in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the US. Now THAT would be weird. And rather unlikely since I'm pretty sure Mimmo has never been out of Italy.

Anyway, back to yesterday's lunch.

So we were with the folks David and I have come to lovingly refer to as "The Calabrese". The Calabrese, or the Calabrians, come from the region in Italy called, well, Calabria. Here's some info if you're not up on all things Italian. Over the past 50 years or so many Calabrians have been moving north to find work and better economic possibilities. When the Calabrese first started coming to towns in the north like Taggia there was terrible discrimination against them. You know that Italian-American stereotype we have of "Tony", the greasy, gold chain wearing, gesticulating, mama loving guy who is really fun to have a coffee with but not on your short list for a job in your company or for house-sitting when you go on vacation? Yeah, well Tony comes from southern Italy, not northern. In fact, Tony's real name is most likely Pasquale and he is Calabrian.

Not so long ago Taggia, like most cities in the north, was segregated. The Calabrese had to live in certain sections of town, not allowed to mingle with the Ligurians. As it happened, these parts of town didn't have running water or electricity.

Today it's not that bad but the echos of discrimination are still very audible. Calabrians do things differently than others. They are a little louder, a bit more showy, well, more exaggerated in most every way. Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are Calabrese! In fact, having a grandfather who came from Calabria gives me the right to call myself Calabrese (apparently it only takes a drop to make your blood Calabrian).

So, we had lunch yesterday - bread and cold cuts, hand rolled pasta in a tomato sauce, meatballs, pork and potatoes, fried meatballs (yes, there were two types of meatballs), peas, carrots and onions, salad, fruit, salami and more bread, and panettone. As we stumbled out the door Lisa handed all her guests "to go" bags. Mimmo and Rosa got lemons for making limoncello. Augusto and Lina got salami. This is what we got

homemade bread (that was the big score!)
home grown chili peppers (one was lost on the way home)
homemade salami
well, I don't know what that other stuff is.

Let's have a closer look, shall we?

I'm quite confident that it is a pig slaughter by-product. Although we weren't told exactly what it was, we were given detailed instructions for its use...heaven forbid any of this delicacy goes to waste.

"put two spoonfuls (of stuff) in a pan, stir in some eggs. DON'T ADD SALT! It's delicious - you'll see"

If you'll excuse me now, it's time for lunch.