Monday, December 27, 2010

So, here I sit, back in my home after a month away. Back at my computer in my studio which is the upper floor of my old italian stone house. I'm facing the 10' turkish rug hanging on the wall that David bought in Istanbul 11 years ago when we started this journey. I'm warmed by the wood fire, the sounds of my dogs barking out side in the garden, and the smell of chicken alla cacciatore coming from the kitchen. I can't help but think of Kevin Costner.

If you build it they will come.

Prior to coming up to start this post, I opened a bottle of prosecco, the wine of celebrations in my mind. "Guess what today is," I said to David. "Dude, I've been writing my blog for 5 years! Yeah, ok, like not really in the last month, but I mean, like I STARTED 5 years ago. Whoa."

Then we played that game that we like to play..."where WERE we 5 years ago?!" (note: I highly recommend this game. It's fun to reminisce as a couple, to view the passage of time and how it's manifested in your lives together, and, if your partner happens to be a lot older than you, it's a good way to check for dementia).

We were here, of course, 5 years ago. In this little stone house, trying to kick start a life "off the grid", or "in the margins", or if you prefer, without a tv. Five years ago there were no stairs connecting the first and second floors. No ceilings or insulation. No room in the house that was protected from the weather. No city water. Sometimes no water at all and, sometimes no heat at all - and sometimes both (or neither, as it were) at the same time. No jewelry business, no tour guiding, sometimes, no work at all. No high speed internet, no skype, no home phone. No dogs. Few friends, except the ones that were far away. A lot of knitting.

Hmm. That all sounds rather pathetic - except the knitting part, of course.

If you build it they will come.

I'm not really sure exactly what I think I've built here. Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'm referring to my blog, my house, or my life. They do all seem to be woven together. Or maybe a better textile metaphor would be that they are all three one big tangled ball of knotted yarn that I'm too impatient to unscramble but I've started knitting a sweater with it anyway. (only the knitters our there will understand that, sorry. I don't mean to speak in a secret code in front of the rest of you but, well, that's the way it is. Learn to knit if you want to understand - start with a wad of yarn the cat's been playing with...then you'll get it).

So anyway, thanks for coming - all of you who've come to visit, virtually and actually. And to the people who have helped landscape my garden and taught me how to prepare cozze. And those who have contributed time, money, moral support, a stove, and annual car posters. To a community of knitters that I'd only dreamed of having and who are real people and real mentors. And thanks to the gardeners who have taught me about compost and how to tend to veggies and what to do with them when I have them (you guys -- your job's not really done here yet). And those who have taught me the power of the internet with its vast community and infinite free patterns to share.

And I'd like to thank my host, Blogspot, without all the hard work you guys do I wouldn't have....

Oh, sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Anyway, thanks for coming...and here's to another 5.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hello from Wisconsin Part II

Italy meets Wisconsin, again...

I'm supposed to fly out tomorrow...feel free to speak with the saint of your choice on my behalf.

Now, I've got to go. It's Sunday and everyone knows what that means. Yep. Go Pack. (and I don't mean my luggage)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hello from Wisconsin - Part 1

Italy meets Wisconsin....

at Christmas time...

PS. If you don't recognize the men in these photos a)you should be embarrassed, b) you can go here and here.