Monday, December 11, 2017

Saturday, December 09, 2017

what should a person do...

when she has realized all her dreams?

Take up extreme rag rugging, of course

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017 the magic number

The final frontier of the house, the kitchen.

Oh wait, not the final frontier since this the THIRD attempt to manage the electricity. In case you've forgotten, here's the first attempt....

And the second attempt

 And lucky number 3* ....

which includes 3-way switches, accessible wall plugs, a built in circuit breaker, and EXcludes any and all extension cords.  The kitchen is now also grounded so I can put the kettle on the stove in the morning in my bare feet without getting a shock.  Incredible.

Also the third try at this wall*...

But this is new - first and only attempt at a new kitchen window...



And in the 15th year we said, "let there be light."  And so there was, there is, and there ever shall be.  Amen.


* obviously the walls still need the final coat of the plaster.  stay tuned for these photos to come!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Liberation day 2017

Americans to the rescue again.  No more cannon balls here.

So, it's spring in Maberga which means gardening *

and shit breaking down.  

Whilst it is a drag when things break down, it's nice that it doesn't happen in the cold winter months, particularly when water is involved.  

Anyway, yesterday was Liberation Day.  Given that it coincided with that big crack splitting our water vasca open thus squirting thousands of liters of water all over the Maberga mountainside, no picnics and chocolate in the hills for these Americans.  Although we did get to hike through this

 and this


to get here
Those are the water reserves for the Consorzio del' Acqua di Maberga.  I just made that name up for the group of us who share the ENORMOUS PAIN IN THE ASS the right to this water from the city aqueduct. Some of you long time readers will remember, 8 or so years back, the thrill I experienced when I thought our water troubles were over.  Oh how naive I was.  Who could have predicted that having city water would be MORE trouble than a natural spring that had been supplying water to the residents of Maberga for about a 900 years?**  Not me.  

In the long list of problems that have plagued this system, about a year ago we lost thousands of liters of water because the galleggiante in that vasca broke.  Language acquisition is an interesting thing.  I don't know what a galleggiante is called in english because, while I did have one in every toilet I've ever used, I've never had a conversation about this simple machine and therefore the name never took root in my english lexicon.  This is a galleggiante

Specifically, that is the galleggiante that was floating around in the vasca, NOT connected to the arm which closed that water valve assuring the members of the Consorzio del' Acqua di Maberga that water won't continue to flow in an already full vasca creating pressure that would blow a seam open and spray liters of water all over the Maberga mountainside.  When that broke last year whomever it was who fixed it did so by leaving that big one floating in the tank and replacing it with a much smaller one  which was, as we learned yesterday, of a much poorer quality.  The little guy filled with water....rendering it not much use as a flotation device. Quite a nice cannon ball, however.

So, Americans to the rescue...again....

Happy Liberation Day

*just for the record, that's last year's orto.  it's pissing rain here today and while I do like you readers, not enough to walk up to the orto for a couple photos.
**yes, that was me trying to make maberga great again by selectively remembering the positive points of the spring-run water supply while forgetting the minor inconveniences of that system...namely, that it frequently didn't have water.

Friday, March 31, 2017

One Serious Gift

We have a birthday party to go to tomorrow. The mayor of Montalto is turning 50 something. Yeah, ok, I just added that mayor bit to make David and I sound like we're IN, he's actually our friend Mariano. And he happens to be the mayor of Montalto. And yes, his birthday happens to coincide with april fool's day. That must have been annoying as a child.  Anyway, dude is getting the best most serious, NO joke present ever.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

If the milkman...

Had delivered this, there would probably still be milkmen


Finding a 2 liter bottle of wine on the stoop in the morning gives one the feeling that the day is bound to be a lucky one.  Lucky enough to plant 12 tomato plants approximately two months too early.


Maybe they won't make it but we do have that whole global warming thing going for us. And remember the shit we got from that friend? Happy worms, happy soil.

Happy dogs, too.


Monday, March 13, 2017

To the sea

Just in case you can't find it...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

asparagus hunting

another big day of asparagus foraging..

this never gets old 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Read, Write, Make a Bowl

Dear Elizabeth Gilbert,

Hi.  I'm writing because I've just mutilated your lovely book and it seems like I owe you an explanation.  See...

 Umm, yeah, it was that one

Please don't misunderstand this, Liz...can I call you Liz (given ALL that you shared in that book, I sort of feel like I can).  Anyway, Liz,  I really did enjoy this memoir.  Really.  The movie was a bit of a let down (Julia, if you are reading this, that was NOT your fault.  You did a great job.) but the book was really top-notch. It was all the title promised and more.  In fact I liked it so much that it survived our household purge of paperbacks 4 years ago.

But then one day I went to do my morning journaling.  Yep I journal every morning, 3 pages, like it or not.  Sort of my own version of Eat, Pray, Love except that no one wants to read it and  (because?) it consists mostly of to-do lists and bitching about my husbands lack of tidiness....yeah, ok, so it's nothing like Eat, Pray, Love.  Anyway, I went to do my writing and I found that I had NO journal into which I could journal.  Here's where you come in.  I thought, "how can I do my writing, like Liz, if I don't have a journal?!!!"  Yeah, so, I grabbed your book and a fat Sharpie and just started writing over top of your writing.  Well, then, a few months later there was nothing of yours left to read because every page was covered with "pay water bill, buy dog food, ask David to wash the dishes" in rainbow colors.

Well, then after that was already done I thought, "what the hell, Liz won't mind...." so I ripped the book to pieces


and now I'm making papier mache bowls out of it.

Of all the things you thought would happen to this story when you were writing it, I'm guessing this wasn't one of them....

On the bright side, I won't be lending this book to anyone any more so any of my friends who haven't already read it will have to buy their own copy. 

There it is, my confession to you.  I hope you're not offended.  Obviously, I've gotten a lot out of your book, so thanks for that.

yours in flour, 


Monday, January 16, 2017

When a friend gives you shit

Say thank you.

No, no.  None of our friends gave us shit about David's 1994 Fiat Panda.  No one would do that because a) everyone in Liguria has one, and b) because that car is awesome monumental (David has, correctly, pointed out my overuse of the word awesome). No, no,....look INSIDE the Panda.

Free shit for the garden!  AWESOME!   STUPENDOUS!

Winter gardening here we come.  

Or, well, here we are....

Two bed done, about 10 to go.  Perhaps you're wondering why we aren't rototilling that shit in with our new-to-us rototiller.  That's because our new to us rototiller became a new-to-someone-else rototiller last spring when it was stolen.  Oh well, rototillers come and rototillers go and shit still gets put in the earth. 

Here's some winter gardening already in progress.  David's growing wheat to grind in the mill to make bread to cook in the wood oven.

Sorry, kind of a shitty photo.  I'm still trying to learn to use my new smartphone (yes, I have entered the 21st century at last.  The jury is still out on whether I like having this new technology in my life.  Truth be told, I was sort of enjoying the solitude of my 20th century phone).

Just 'cus some of you's Ernesto


Wednesday, January 04, 2017


Only the 4th day of 2017 and I've already:

--given Q a bath,  
--weeded the herb garden
--did yoga and meditated
--changed the sheets on the bed
--finished two sweaters (started in some other year)

Given that Ernesto (have I mentioned our new dog?) isn't even a year old he doesn't need a bath yet,  it's not a leap year so my car doesn't need to be washed, and I'm currently writing a blog post...I figure I'm about done for 2017. Everything done.  Guess I'll just relax for the remaining 361 days.