Friday, June 28, 2013

Let's celebrate!

It's summer! 

Despite the fact that I'm currently wearing a sweat shirt and wool socks because it is so wet and cold here, I know it's summer.  Know how I know?  Look
 My tomatoes have a trellis.  Must be summer.

And I've got sweet corn growing
Knee high by the 4th of July...not likely but sweet corn MEANS summer!  Except of course for that shrink-wrapped already cooked crap in the shape and color of corn on the cob that they sell in the Italian grocery store all year round.  That doesn't mean summer.

I also know that it's summer because I danced around a fire on the summer solstice with a shaman and a bunch of other people.

Like this Greek guy who gave praise to the gods by chanting something in Greek...or at least, that's what he told us he was doing
Wait, let me back up a second.  See this beautiful woman?

Christine turned 50 the day before the summer solstice, so we had a little party to celebrate both.  She made herb head wreathes.

And a guy that looked like Gandhi played the drum.

And we ate marshmallows over the fire

Doesn't that look beautiful and romantic?  That's what it looked like to us who were there.  Here's what it really looked like
Note to self: best to keep the flash off when photographing a party in the dark.

We held chickens
And played the flute
And planted a tree

Yep, pretty good time had by all celebrating summer that night.

I also know it's summer because I've done this


And then there were big celebrations because these guys came to visit and nothing broke

You might remember them from older posts like this one.  They are "the fun couple" from the comments.  They are also the people for whom every system in our house completely stops working when they are here. This is the first time they've come in summer, and the first time everything's worked.  Celebrations.

Happy Summer, it's off to a good start for me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I was warned

A couple months back the plumber was here hooking up the big gas tank and installing the new water heater.  It was a nice day so I was outside papier macheing.  The plumber was kind of an old guy, the father of the plumber I actually hired.  He was Ligurian -- Ligurian born, raised, and eventually dead.  Ligurians are very proud of being a frugal group.  All other Italians call them tight, cheap, short-armed.  This old plumber was frugal even with his speech.  He didn't say two words to me all day.  Well, not until I got out the papier mache.

"Is that flour and water glue you're using there?"

My surprise at his knowing what it was must have clouded my thinking a little.  I said, "Yeah!  Do you papier mache?!"

"Um. No.  But when I was a kid we didn't have real glue.  Our moms made us that stuff for sticking things together."

"Really?  How smart of them."

"Be careful.  The mice eat it."

Damn if that old plumber didn't know what he was talking about.

 Yep, that is the base of a sculpture called War and Peace with a big mouse hole in it. 

I found a copy of the epic book and am going to recycle it into an epic sized papier mache sculpture (that's my way of wording it so it sounds like I'm doing something noble when in fact I am ripping apart a great work of literature so I can use the pages for a sculpture).  A while back, when I put on the first layer and it was still wet Ruffino ate a piece out of it (apparently not only mice get the hankerin for a good piece of papier mache).  When I told my friend Christine about that she suggested that I change the name of the sculpture to War and A Piece Missing, which I thought was most clever.  Now, just as the plumber had warned me, I've got War and a Bunch of Pieces Missing.

I really like that I'm able to get helpful tips about my artwork from the plumber.

Going with this papier mache theme...I'd like to introduce Dorthea (aka: Do Si Do Dot)

The other girls and I had a little coming out party for her.

This party was a suggestion by always-thinking cousin, Whitney.  I thought it was such a good idea that as soon as we got done skyping I set it up.  And it was a great idea until I sat down with them and my beer, then it became a creepy idea.  Have you ever sat on your front patio drinking a beer with 4 papier mache girls who have no faces and a papier mache bird/fish?  It's weird, and not all that comfortable.
At the party, before I broke it up because I got weirded out, we gave a good luck toast to Jalieia and Spot who are now on display at a funky little studio/shop/museum place in San Remo where Christine and I have some of our Liguria Dog goods.

They've been sealed with real glue, and shellacked....I think they're safe from any mice.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Maberga wedding 2013 update 1

Peter Piper Planted a Peck of peppers.

Maybe you all remember that when the bride and groom-to-be got engaged peppers played a big part.  So the wedding theme is now "spicy!".  Thus, in preparation I'm growing some spicy love wedding peppers which will be bouquets, decorations, eaten raw, dunked in wine .... who can really say, the possibilities are endless.

Full disclosure, there was also some wine involved in the engagement.  Flower arrangements for the big day will probably involve some grapes as well.

Ummm, yeah, that image above isn't really the peppers I planted today in the orto.  That's my artistic interpretation...aka: a substitute for the real photos that I took that I can't seem to get off my camera.  Hopefully Bump and Doug's photographer won't have the same problem.

Monday, June 03, 2013

it takes a village...

for the Cornwell's to live in Maberga.  Or at least a couple really good neighbors.

Let me back track a bit.

Sunday morning....."Ahhhhhh...last day of nothing-to-do-holiday before obligations begin", I thought as I stayed dreamily in my cozy loft bed at 7.30am.

"BOW BOW BOW BOW WOW WOW BOW", "AHHWOOO AHHHOOOOO WOOOO" howled the dogs in unison letting me know that their holiday was over and they were back on guard.

The men were outside ready to finish the work of taming our land that they had started while we were away.

Franco wielding the weed whacker and Augusto manning the 'clean this shit up, Lynn' fire, they got right on task.

Wait. Not right on task.

First Augsto broke my balls about all the crap that David and I had left lying around on the terraces that made his job that much more difficult.  Sleepily I said, "si si si. Do you want a beer?" which sounded like "thu you wanth a beah?"(but in italian) due to the Mount Etna sized canker sores I have on the tip of my tongue (don't ask.  they come with all my encounters with international travel and family).


"a beeah?"

"oh, a beer. After."

So I went to make some coffee, trying to ignore the burning of plastic pots that had been 'left lying around our land'.  Hmm.  Lesson learned.

Half way through my second cup Augusto came to the patio where I was sitting guiltily like the freakin Queen drinking coffee while they cleaned up our mess aka: our land.

"Here.  Put these in the kitchen, out of the sun.  I'll put them in your orto when we're done weed whacking."  said Augusto.

"Umm.  I can plant those awesome tomato plants that you've just GIVEN me for free.  I mean, just because I can't use a rototiller, which I don't own even if I could use it, and am too wimpy to wield a weed whacker doesn't mean I can't use a hoe. You don't have to do everything for me."

"ummm. ok." said Augusto doubtfully.

On my third cup of coffee Augusto came up to the patio again this time with a tray of pepper, lettuce and cucumber plants and said, "hurry up.  These are already wilting."

Obviously Sunday morning coffee was over, there was shit to be done...I mean, if you want to live here you don't just sit around drinking coffee.  Obviously.

"Now thu you wanth a beah?"


So Augusto went to watch the fire with his beer while Franco continued his fight against mother nature and the clueless Cornwells with the whacker.  I put on my rubber gloves, grabbed up all those little wilting plants and headed to the orto.

By 11.30 Augusto and Franco were long gone and, I hope, working on their own land.  And I had planted all of Franco and Augusto's seedlings as well as some treasured seeds brought back from the States (helllllooooo sweet corn!)

And had a beah.

This morning I woke up with spasms in my back that make the Mount Etna canker sores on my tongue seem like Sunday coffee on the patio.