Thursday, June 24, 2010

una vera contadina

So I bought a hoe.

Augusto: "Lina, devi avere una zappa. Devi." ("Lynn, you need to have a hoe. You must.")

After weeks of working with Augusto on my orto, and hearing that about 1 million times, I broke down. I bought a hoe. At dinner the other night with Augusto and the other Lina (Augusto's wife is called Lina, too), I said, feeling very proud of myself "I bought a hoe!"

Augusto: "Ahhh...adesso sei una vera contadina." ("Now, you're a real farmer girl.")

Hmm...Is that a good thing? Do I want to be a real farmer girl? Don't get me wrong, I like my hoe but didn't my ancestors leave their own country so they could get away from the sweat and tears of working the land? Didn't my grandparents work really hard so their children and their children's children could do other things? Do I want to have hands that are disproportionately strong, callused, and have permanent mud caked under the nails? Do I want to toil in the scorching sun building a fence to keep wild animals away from my food?

One day recently David called. He asked what I was doing. "Oh, I'm just between jobs. I'm sewing some purses, then I've got to go weed the orto, then I've got to do some translation work on the website"

David: "You're such a post-modern woman."

That sounds a little better -- a post-modern woman with a hoe.

Thank you to all of you who have sent condolences and words of encouragement about the cinghiale incident. The f$^&*rs just took a couple eggplants, ate the tops off a bunch of the lettuce and dug up most of the chard (a real pisser since I had just learned what it was and how to prepare it). I'm happy to report that the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beans and onions are still standing.

House/knitting projects resume next week, I hope.

Before anyone asks (Mary and Earle in Denver), I don't work in my orto with a hoe barefoot. I have some ugly, post-modern shoes for that. The photo is just me resting my contadina ass after a morning of post-modern toiling.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Friends, I'm gutted, sad, pissed off, upset, defeated.

The cinghiale got to my orto...oh wait...the wild boars dug up my vegetable garden.

It's not totally destroyed but I'm destroyed enough that I can't get myself to photograph it right now.

Ya know, I've been toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian but at this moment all I want is a HUGE slab of grilled pork.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not to sound boastful or anything but I know how to make stuff, a lot of stuff. Like this for example.

I made that. I took some yarn, and some needles, and I made a sweater.

And this,

I took some green beads and some silver and I made a Maberga Designs Summer Collection.

I also just took the two words "summer" and "collection" and made them into an important sounding name for some jewelry.

Yep. I've made a lot of stuff in my life. Like, I've made:

--a hat with a flower on top
--a few quiches
--a promise or two
--a duvet cover
--a life in italy
--a potato printed skirt
--some time
--some egg studded jello
--more than a few mistakes
--a mess and some cookies
--a few friends
--a fort
--a covered wagon (no link, I was in the 1st grade)
--some love
--some song lyrics
--a few puzzles
--a grill

yeah yeah, ok... So you get the point here that I'm trying to make..I make things (some times making a point is difficult, but let's not get confused here). Yeah, I make things, all sorts of things.

(by the way, I didn't say I was GOOD at making all those things on the list, they are just things I HAVE made in my life)

(by the other way, the english teacher in my head just told me "puzzle" doesn't belong on that list because you do a puzzle, you don't make it).

So then we come to yesterday. Yesterday I made something that makes all the other stuff I've made in my life look like child's play (well, maybe not the making love, but let's not get confused here, you know what I mean). Are you ready?

I made FOOD.

Check that out. That would be one sweatshirt-full of chard and lettuce. Straight from the garden.

Yeah, ok, technically I didn't make that food, but, well, kind of I did, didn't I?

I certainly made a salad and some garlicky-bacony-chardy goodness...

Is anyone wondering what kind of house project commitment I've made for this week? Anyone besides me, that is?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Time passes

Guess what happened today in Maberga...

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Some of you readers are new here and don't know of this famous Maberga annual event.

Today is the Festa of San Antonio.

San Antonio is the patron saint of Maberga. Every town in Italy has their own. He is ours.

I know this because Donatino told me so...and it says so here as Donato was reading to me in Latin (which was easier for me to understand than the dialect he usually speaks to me in)...

Once a year all the real Mabergini gather to celebrate...

Everyone pitches in a hand...

We have a mass...

And then we eat and drink together.

Old friends meet again...

I learned today that those two Mabergine gals were inseparable from birth until they were 20. Two beautiful women catching up and sharing new Maberga memories.

And some new friends pass time together...

And some of you veteran OliveKnitting readers will remember her...

Time passes. Another year in Maberga. As so many people asked me today. It's now going on 7 years "since the Americans" came.

Each year I learn new things for example....

who knew that La Carla is the niece of the priest

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random Twinkie Cakes

Some random tidbits because I can't seem to organize my brain...

1. The shed is done.

I can now walk into it. Heck, there's so much space now I can even do a little dance in there. Which I did do after throwing all this crap away...

Just one question: why did we take the time and energy to put things all the way out in the shed that are quite obviously trash? Why?

2. Bags. Bags. Bags. I love them.

The Autumn Collection.

And the Hee Haw Collection (sometimes a girl abroad just needs to broadcast that she's American).

and the others...

Ok, I can be honest with you guys. Here was my first attempt.

YIPES! Darn near quit the whole idea after I saw how that one turned out. The right handles are key, wouldn't you say?

3. One of my favorite Net places to waste time is here. Today they had this. As a Twinkie aficionado, I find that just wrong. The Craftzine bloggers did redeem themselves, however by posting this.

4. Many thanks for all the suggestions for ground cover and general gardening tips. Keep them coming...I really have no idea what I'm doing. Part of this is my complete lack of gardening knowledge. The other part is my, as I'm learning about myself, complete lack of vegetable knowledge. The other day Augusto gave me some stuff to plant in the orto, told me what it was (in Italian) ... I had to run inside to to look it up what I had just planted because the plant was so totally foreign to me. I didn't even know which bit of it I was supposed to eat. Chard. It's chard. I have Chard. You eat the leaves.

5. The past 24 hours have been a little windy. Yeah, ok A LOT windy. Really really really windy. I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach that I had lost my tomatoes (and the beautiful trellis) before I even got to eat a tomato. Happy to say that my fretting was for nought. Trellis still standing, tomatoes still growing. However...

I lost my lovely little grape trellis. I'll have to rethink that design.


6. Last but not least I'd like to say thanks to Lois for nominating me for this

As part of my nomination I have to tell you all 10 things about myself that you readers might not know...given the nature of my blog, I don't think there ARE 10 things you guys don't know about me. I might sprinkle these 10 things out through the next few posts. Let's start here: 1. I think that a Twinkie with a candle in it makes a perfectly acceptable birthday cake.

I'm also supposed to share 10 other blogs that I'd like to nominate for this award. Here they are: Cultivating Magic, One Pearl Button, Crafty Doula, Homegrown Happy, All Mirth and No Matter, the Humanicana, Lost City Knits, By Elizabeth Cat, Art by HLM, and last but not least, this one.

Ok, that last little bit of nominating really wiped me out. Time for a glass of wine or maybe a twinkie.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

something beautiful and a little drudgery

Since I've moved to Italy, there's been something I've wanted. It seems that I see this thing every time I turn around and each one is more beautiful than the last. Now, I'm not usually the envious type, but with this one thing, well... they really make me green.

What is this thing that I that has left me longing for so many years?

A seaside villa?


A Ferrari?

Get real. No.

Perhaps some fancy Italian shoes?

Maybe a whole leg of prosciutto?

Well, I do admire these often when I see them, but no, I've never felt the need to have one for myself.

So what is it?

A tomato trellis. Yep. Now I too got me a tomato trellis.

Isn't it beautiful?

Sometimes when you finally get the item of your heart's desire it's a bit anti-climactic. Not this time. I love it. It's just what I've always imagined.

Week 8 of Project 20/20...

This week's project is not romantic. Nothing like a tomato trellis or anything like that. Nope. It's just one of the horrid house projects that needs to get done.

The shed. I've got to clean out the shed. I can't even open the door any more because of all the crap that has been pushed in there. The other day I saw a black cat come scampering out of there. Great. She probably left a litter.

This weeks' knitting project is a sewing project. I want to make some of these

which can be found here.