Thursday, March 31, 2011

And, where are you from?

So, I have some friends who have a business in the area renting and selling houses. When they are on holiday I help them out. Today I took a client around to see some houses that she might want to buy. The introduction went like this...

I'm sitting in a little bar in Badalucco (pop. 1200) and she walks in. I can tell from her shoes that she's not Italian. We look at each other and both timidly say "Hi?" in English. Introduction made.

She orders a coffee and sits down by me. I say, "hello, welcome. I'm Lynn."

"Hello. I'm Tanya. So you are American. Where are you from in the States."

Damn if my lovely accent doesn't give me away every time!

Pause in the story here for a moment...

This question of "where are you from in the States?" comes up time and time again. Through the years I've had different answers. Where am I from is a darn good question. I feel that I'm from Wisconsin even though I haven't lived there for over 20 years. Actually, more specifically, I'm from a small town in Wisconsin called Elkhorn (pop. 6000). I used to say all of that, which would inevitably induce a blank stare from the questioner, so I would then launch into the explanation of Elkhorn's location in relation to Chicago...and then, depending on who I'm speaking with, the relation of Chicago to the coasts. I quickly found that this was too much information and that people didn't really care about this because they really wanted to hear "California" or "New York" or maybe "Miami" -- something they could recognize...some place where they have a cousin living. Having learned this, I began ditching the preamble about my hometown and went straight for "I'm from Chicago." But then, well, this is actually a lie. Apart from a 3 month period when I was 20, I've never actually lived in Chicago and I'm certainly not FROM Chicago (as anyone would know immediately if they've ever met me AND a real Chicagoan). So then I decided to change my answer to "Denver". If I'm talking to a skier or anyone who has a tv (thank you "Dynasty"), they are satisfied at the recognition and I'm not exactly lying since I lived there for 12 years. Back to the story...

So, Tanya says, "where in the States are you from?"

"Denver. Denver, Colorado."

Blank stare. Then her response....

"Oh. I lived in Wisconsin for a while. Kenosha, Wisconsin."

So it goes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

seasonal equations

spring = sun

sun = reclining in the sun

reclining in the sun = patio lounger

patio lounger =








painful memories of asking jeeves for help in fixing my water heater switch

Oh wait, I digress...



no insturctions for what to do with this

creative thinking = put it here




Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring bling

I needed some color. Doesn't everyone after the gray months of winter? Here in Liguria we don't really have gray winters since the sky is usually still blue and the mountains stay green...but blue and green still make for a limited palette.

So yesterday the garden got its first shot of color for the season ....

and today, I started this which I found here

It's a great pattern - I started this morning and am almost done already (not that speed equates to great, but, well, for me it usually does). I'm sorry to misrepresent the simple beauty of this cape/poncho by my use of variegated rainbow colored acrylic yarn ala the 1970s. It was a moment of weakness in JoAnn's when I was in the States. I was feeling ironic. This poncho is the 3rd thing I've tried to knit with this mega rainbow ball (did I mention that it's like 1000g in one skein?). I ripped out the first two because they were horrid. Funny, isn't an ironic, yet colorful kind of way?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the news from Lake Maberga...

"Please come in, Signor Cornwell. The dentist will see you now."

David relaxes in the dentist's chair, as one can only do in the chair of a dentist, while the assistant shouts out to the doctor what needs to be done "cavity in 14, 23, 27" (or whatever the numbers are for identifying teeth). After 45 minutes of drilling and topping off cavities David goes to the secretary to settle the bill. He notices that the file sitting on the counter, the file the office had been working from, is mine.

"Ummm, just for the record, that file is my wife's. I'm DAVID Cornwell, not Lynn."

Small, nervous laughter, "good thing you and your wife have cavities in the same teeth."

So it goes.

And just for our record here, the dentist was french, not italian.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

let the training begin....

Last night we were invited to a dinner for "festa della donna" (women's day) at Carmello and Anna's house. Carmello is a funeral director. Anna's recently had surgery on both her feet...and was STILL an excellent hostess. Carmello's son-in-law is a guard at the local prison. His name is Ciccio (which means "chubby one" and is pronounced "chicho") and he did all the cooking.

There were about 12 of us there. It was a lovely evening.

Ciccio is Calabrese and really wants to take David and me down to Calabria next time he goes - to show us the real Italy. He described a typical day there like this:

8.30am - primo colazione (first breakfast) with fresh goat cheese and bread...and wine.

10am - colazione (second breakfast) in the town square with pork sandwiches...and wine (no glasses, everyone just brings their own bottle).

1.30pm - apperativo with salami, bread ...and wine.

At 2pm lunch starts and goes until about 7pm.

Dinner starts at 10pm and usually lasts until 2am.

I'd like to interject here, for those readers who are not hip to the nuances of the regions and politics of Italy. Southern Italians are known for being lazy and a drain on the state. Well, excuse me but it's no wonder those paesano's down south don't work -- there's no TIME.

David and I figure that if we go on this holiday we'd have to do it as a relay team - he could take the first half of he day, we'd pass the baton over lunch and then I'd finish the day.

Ciccio thinks we should rent a 9 person van and get a group to go. Friends, I have to tell you now that I'm on board that caravan! Of course, I'd need to start now with some training...I'll start having wine at breakfast (twice), lunch and dinner, in addition to those extra meals I'll have to add to my normal eating routine.

It's basically the Italian Ironman and I'm ready to take the challenge.

Monday, March 07, 2011

little beaded flowers, again

So, I get these emails from my friend Martha everyday with little helpful household hints, recipes, decorating ideas, and craft projects. Today she send this one.

Makes me think that she must have asked Jeeves for some help with a little electrical problem she was having like this.

Martha, call an electrician.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


It's finished!

I'm so very pleased. Looking at it just makes me want to take a long hot bubble bath so I can put my clean naked feet on this rug.

David says it makes him want to play darts.