Sunday, August 21, 2011


So, I spend a lot of time thinking about language acquisition. One might say it's a part of my daily life, a big part. Take the other day, for example.

I was giving Ruffino, our 90 lb lamb of a Golden Retriever, a little snack... a nice, juicy piece of meat. We have a little routine for when treats are doled out given that Ruff is a bit of a snatcher. Um, that was really a euphemistic way of saying that feeding Ruff from your hand puts all your fingers at risk, as well as most of your forearm. This is what we do: I say 'sit', Ruff sits. I hold up the tasty treat and say 'gentle, gentle, gentle' and then Ruff "snatches" the morsel of goodness from my hand while a leap backwards, hoping my arm is coming with me.

As we were running through this routine the other day it occurred to me that the only time I say the word "gentle" to Ruffino is just before I give him some cheese, a piece of salami, a bone, something from my plate (I know, I know, bad dog owner). For Ruffino "gentle" doesn't mean "proceed calmly", it means "f%^&ng delicious!".

This kind of makes me wonder how many words and phrases I know in Italian really mean what I think they mean.

On a completely unrelated note, today I harvested a ton of our tomatoes. Augusto's wife, Lina taught me how to can sauce for the winter that doesn't involve large vats of boiling water and all that hassle, so I did.

ok ok. I need to be honest with you...the "ton" of tomatoes I harvested from the orto produced one jar and a half of pasta sauce. Given that the half jar was only, well, half full it didn't seal properly so we'll have to eat that some time in the next couple of days. This, of course leaves us with one jar of sauce for the winter stash. I'm going to save it for a special occation. I'm sure it will be absolutely GENTLE!


  1. :) Love your posts.

    We feed our dogs from our plates, too, but since the new carpet in the dining room arrived, we take the plates to the kitchen for the dogs first. We are well trained. :)

  2. oneofthedanes9:43 AM

    I am still surprised and amazed about your serious gardening. Well done, girl. And go ahead and eat the full jar of pasta sauce whenever you like. In danish you say something like this: "who saves for the night, saves for the cat" . (sounds better in danish because it rimes but hope you get the meaning). And having friends like Lina, I bet you will never have to miss pasta sauce.