Sunday, July 24, 2011

One of the basic ideas have about how to live life is that each year I should do it better than the last. The "it" is just, well, everything. Next year I hope, am working toward, and therefore expect that I will make more beautiful jewelry than I do this year, I will be a kinder and more thoughtful person, my garden more colorful, my orto more fruitful, my house more comfortable, and I will be a better wife, step mom, daughter, sister, in law, friend, teacher, knitter, and viola player (I'm a little dubious about the last one, but I'll save that for another blog).

Along these lines, when winter did its annual job on our kitchen wall, I asked myself "how I can do it better this year?".

Yuck. Let's see if that looks better in sepia...

Yeah, um, no. It doesn't.

Since what I did last year was shit, it really wasn't that hard to improve on. Seems that it takes more than a little paint to keep the humidity out of an underground stone wall. This year's attempt at the kitchen wall included some help and some kind of space-age super anti-humidity plaster.

And some sunflowers.

Ps. Does anyone have cucumber recipes for me. This is one day's harvest

I'm getting anywhere from 3-6 everyday. That's a lot of cucumber salad for a single girl. And I can't give them away because EVERYONE has too many cucumbers. Maybe growing cucs is one thing that I don't need to improve on next year.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Italian Way, most of the time...

So, I've been really trying to take full advantage of the amazing food that this country has to offer. In this effort, I'm trying to buy my meat at the butcher's, my bread from the panetteria, pastries from the pasticciera, and cheese from the calabrian's who come up each week in a little van to sell their goods by the side of the road.

But every now and again I need to visit the discount grocery store for the staples, you know, like milk and rice and, um,

The American Way.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Time for a little catch up to the emails I've got from you guys.

Wayne of TFC comments fame has sent more than one email asking about this summer's house projects. Well, Wayne, they look a lot like last year's projects. What a bummer of a life lesson to learn that a house needs maintenance. All the stuff that I did last year just needs to be done again this year. Big drag. I hate maintenance. Shouldn't you just have to do things once and then they are done? Like, you know, knitting a sweater. You knit it, and it's done. This attitude, of course explains why the floors in my house are always dirty, "shit. didn't I just wash these?!" Same goes for cleaning the toilet, washing clothes, and well, if I'm honest, bathing. No. Apparently not everything in life is like knitting.

So this summer, my kitchen walls will be scraped of mould and repainted. The pantry walls will be ...scraped of mould and repainted. The shed will be cleaned out and reorganized. The studio will be...cleaned out and reorganized. The garden and the orto will be, well, maintained. If anything new comes my way on the house front, you guys will be the first to know about it. But, Wayne, don't get your hopes up. Maintenance is a bitch -- a big, time consuming, bitch.

Mike from Boulder, my Fiat friend, has been asking for photos of the newest member of our family. Yep, we are a proper American couple living in driver and two cars. Welcome to Maberga, my new little Panda.

You should feel at home here as you will see many of your sisters coming and going up and down the mountain every day. Our Panda was built in 1991, that's not so old. I mean, come on, that was the year I graduated from college. That wasn't so long ago, was it? Um, yeah, it was. 20 years ago. She's old enough to have a choke. If anyone has some info to share with me about how a choke works, bring it on because I'm clueless. My poor little Panda bear is shouting at me when I leave that choke open too long, dying on me when I shut it off too soon, and jumps and spurts and squeaks when I go back and forth with the choke knob.

And lastly I'd like to tell you that my Venice beads have arrived(no one has asked about this, but then, well, I'd asked you not to). They are here, and more beautiful than I had imagined when I designed them...for the most part.

Excuse me now, I have to take a bath.

Monday, July 04, 2011

time passes...more

Friends, I have some bad news.

As some of you faithful OliveKnitting readers will note, June has passed without a "Maberga San Antonio Festa" post. I'm sad to say, I think there won't be any more of them.

The Festa revolved around a mass that was conducted at the church of Maberga, for whom San Antonio is the patron saint. The mass has always been conducted by this great frate.

He hasn't been a healthy frate for a while. Each year it was increasingly more difficult to get him up to the church of Maberga. I noticed this, particularly last year, when there were a couple guys behind him pushing him up the steep cobble stoned path to the church whilst a couple other guys grabbed his waist cords and were pulling him. It's been this difficult for our frate to come each year and still he persevered. This year, he just couldn't do it.

As an American, I asked the locals, "there must be another frate in this catholic county?!" Bad question. I was looked at with disdain and a little pity. "No, Lina. He is our frate." Say what you want about Italians, but they are loyal.

Life moves forward, we all get older. Many thanks to the past organizers of this annual festa and, of course, to our frate for his participation. Salute.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Brown Thumb

So, now that I have Augusto taking care of my veggies, I can concentrate on other things. Yesterday I planted a chair in the garden.

My hope is that it will become a big chair tree with Bauhaus chair fruit hanging from it in a year's time. We seriously need patio furniture...really more than we need a zucchini. Yeah, ok, this is not likely given that the chair I planted was just an old hand-me-down chair that had finally surrendered to old age and the elements.

And well, there's also that thing that chairs don't usually seed themselves.

But, well, hope springs eternal in Maberga.