Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear Cousin Bumpy,

I'm so glad to hear that you and your swell guy, Doug, liked Maberga so much that you are already planning your next visit.

And don't you worry, I'll be sure to get this guy out of the tub well before you get here.

I know how squeamish you are about little bugs. Really, though, look how little he is.

Well, we don't even have to continue this conversation. I just went into the bathroom to help my little friend make his way outside and, darned if he didn't find his own way out. Or, well, he found his way somewhere because he's not in the tub any more. See?! You really don't have to worry, they are small but they are fast --they can get right out of your way without you even knowing it.

Oh, and next time you come, don't bother packing your slippers. I'll get you and Doug each a pair. They'll be waiting for you guys in the bathroom, right next to the tub.

xoxox, your loving cousin,


Monday, September 26, 2011

A Monday morning quiz....

Here are the questions. Good luck.

1. Is this not the coolest looking garden fork ever?

2. Should my house have a hole like this?

3. Can I let the dog sleep in the bed tonight when his feet look like this?

4. Can I please stop knitting with this yarn now?

5. If it's 90 degrees in late September, can I wear white linen if I live in a country that celebrates Labor Day in May?

6. Why does the faucet in my kitchen continue to drip after repeated visits from the plumber?

7. Should Mette give ME this beautiful scarf she made?

8. If I don't have another viola lesson for two weeks, do I have to practice tonight?


1. Oh my God, yes.

2. Ummm, no. Really, no.

3. Absolutely not, but you probably will anyway.

4. Yes. Please.

5. Stupid American etiquette doesn't apply outside of the 50-nifty, go ahead.

6. Who the fuck knows.

7. Oh my God, yes.

8. duh.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breakfast in Maberga

Today I had letame for breakfast. Letame means manure. Yep, I had manure for breakfast today. I'm not complaining.

I was lying in bed, pondering what I was going to do with my morning...make some jewelry? update the website? write a blog? clean out the cupboard where I suspect a mouse has found a home? Then I heard the familiar sound of Augusto's car-truck-thing chugging its way up the mountain. Decided. I'll be working on the land this morning.

I leapt out of bed, got dressed (sort of... my outfit was a lot like my pj's but a bit more covered), made some coffee and got a beer out of the fridge. Up to the terraces I went.

Augusto was already unloading his homegrown letame on my new extended orto.

"First, breakfast" I said, handing Augusto his beer while I sipped my coffee.

Over breakfast we discussed our plans for the land. Yeah, ok. I listened, he talked. Augusto has obviously thought all this through for me. Grazie a Dio.

"I'll put down this manure so when it starts raining all the good stuff will soak into the land. Then I'll rototill again and then we'll plant the fava beans."

It's nice of him to say "we" but we both know the truth about that.

In another couple of weeks I will, again, be in bed and hear the familiar sound of his car-thingy coming. I'll hop out of bed, cover my pj's, grab a cup of coffee and a beer, and go up to the land where I'll "help" him plant my fava beans.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So last Friday I headed to the top of the world, as is my custom on my birthday.

This year, I had some company.

While we were up there on the mountain, my phone rang. It was my friend Isolde calling to wish me happy birthday.

"Where are you now?" Isolde asked me.

I looked around. I had this view...

I had this guy pooring me some prosecco...

And the doggies with me, happy as...

dogs in shit...

A brand new knitting project in my lap...

"Where am I? Well, Isolde, I'm pretty sure that I'm in heaven."

Many many thanks to all of you who send me birthday wishes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

and the celebrations begin...

Yep. Olive from Maberga (umm, yeah, that's me) turns....a year older tomorrow. Unlike my usual totally alone celebrations, this year all my pals are around.

Das Needles met today and, well, darn, if Christine and Mette hadn't planned for a party.

We had horns, balloons, a new friend, old friends (of course, I mean "current" or "existing" friends, I'm not refering to their ages), awesome mushrooms and baked cheese, awesome brownies, and totally awesome presents. (am I over using the word "awesome"?) It's really a shame that one's birthday only happens once a year.

Here's what it looked like...

A really lovely day. Days like this tell me that in these first 42 years, with all the mistakes I've made, I must have done something right.

Hannah, Christine and Mette, I can't say thanks enough.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

are there differences?

Frequently people ask me how living in Europe is different than America.

Let me share a couple videos with you as an illustration...

You may remember this one that I posted a while ago after OliveKnitting reader Mike sent it to me...

And today I found this one...

That about sums up the differences.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So, back in July Lois (from the comments) had a giveaway on her blog. Darn if I didn't WIN!!!!!!

Three weeks and a lot of dollars later (I'm so sorry about that, Lois), my beautiful crocheted bootie arrived.

If you checked out Lois' giveaway (link above) you'll have seen all the goodies, but here's what they look like in Italy.

And just because she's ever so nice, Lois sent me this lovely Lady in Blue.

Isn't that nice. Check out that dress!

You can bet that little princess will be getting some handmade jewelry to match.

If you'd like any of treats like this for yourself, do visit Lois' Etsy shop.

Thank you so much, Lois. What a totally sweet treat ('specially those cupcakes!).

Monday, September 12, 2011

awesome family and friends

Look who came to Maberga!!!!

That's my awesome cousin Beth and her awesome fella Doug.

Don't you guys think they look at home on the balcony of that house in upper Maberga? Yeah, me too. I think they should buy it and become our neighbors.

Awesome friends Augusto and Lina were engaged the whole time that Beth and Doug were here so when we couldn't find a time to have a dinner together they brought us up a gift of goat meat to cook. Good thing Doug knew what to do with it or that beast would be in the freezer.


Thanks, Bup and Doug for the visit. I do hope you come back soon. Just let me know what your offer is on that house up in Maberga and I'll let the owners know. Or if you just need me to reserve the Maberga chapel and our Frate for next June....

Monday, September 05, 2011

spicy oil

At the lunch with pal Lina the other day, when she taught me to can pasta sauce, she also taught me how to make spicy oil.

Here's what you do:

1. pick a bunch of your peperoncini (chili peppers).

2. Let them sit on your counter for a couple days. I don't know why. But really, she told me to do that. It wasn't just me being lazy.

3. Cut them up and put them in a pan with olive oil, 2 sprigs of garlic and some salt.

4. Saute them "until the garlic changes color".

5. Get confused about when the garlic changes color and burn the shit out of the peppers.

6. Put the peppers and oil in the blender and, well, blend.

7. Dump them in the little jar and add a bit more olive oil to fill the jar.

8. Send a text message to Lina to ask if they are ruined by being burnt.

9. Ignore Lina's suggestion to throw the whole jar away.

It's so easy. Just like Lina told me it would be.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A girl's best friend...

Duct Tape

Yep, the poop tube broke again. In three places.

The "poop tube" is, of course the tube that takes water and everything else flushing down the toilet out. It runs down the side of our land (the tube) and goes, well, some where.

And ya want to hear the strangest part of the story? Just under the where the leaks were...a huge tomato plant was growing. A big healthy tomato bush that is way more robust than anything in my orto and was NOT planted there by me.

Come to your own conclusions. I have.

Friday, September 02, 2011

it's never too late for a thank you note

There were a couple of thank yous that I forgot to include in the last post about David's party.

1. This short video was given to us by our friend, whom you don't see in the video because he is, well, behind the camera.

Thanks, Carmello. That 200euro you are charging me for that clip is worth every penny.

2. HUGE thank you to Ambra who...OK OK OK!!! I admit it, she did all the cooking...and the balloons...and the candles. Not to mention she danced a hell of a tarantella, which meant that I didn't have to embarrass myself trying to do it this time. This is Ambra

And here's the tarantella, in case you are not familiar with the dance.

It's harder than it looks, trust me.

3. And finally a big thank you to Camilla

for David's beautiful birthday card and our current fridge art.

I think she captured David and my hair perfectly.