Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Parking Meters

.Warning! Do NOT put your credit card into this machine! Here's my tale of woe. I was in a hurry and didn't have enough coins to feed the meter so I ASSUMED the slot in the machine where my credit card fit nicely was indeed intended for a credit card. So I put my card into the slot and nothing, absolutely nothing happened. After pushing every button on the machine several times without effecting any change, I decided to read what was written beneath the "credit card" slot. Apparently, the slot was for a parking card. So why did the machine accept my card then??? Something else to add to my "Only in Italy" file. I had to contact the police to retrieve my card.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Pink Doors

.Random beauty in Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sweet Corn

Corn, glorious corn! Fresh corn on the cob! Beautiful sweet golden kernels! In Italy corn is grown primarily as pig feed. Pig is big here. Prosciutto, pancetta, sausages, and a few parts they use that you probably don't want to know about. It's hard to find fresh corn on the cob like this and when you do, you pay. 1,80 euro for these two! But I was willing to pay their extortionate prices because the cobs I have seen this year looked like they'd been on the shelf too long -- because Italians don't eat corn this way, they eat polenta -- and my craving was worsening. Guess what's for dinner tonight?

Sydney Claire

Yes, my dog has a middle name. I use it when she's been very bad, "Sydney Claire!!!" It's very effective. She has been my best friend and faithful companion for 12 years. My sister jokes it's too bad she can't get frequent flyer miles because she goes back and forth from Italy to California as often as I do. She's a trooper, this one. About four years ago Sydney developed diabetes and has to get insulin shots twice a day for the rest of her life. Yep, my little schmoopy really is a trooper -- and the best darn dog in the whole world!

Friday, August 01, 2008

La Nina

.Nicknamed La Nina, La Pinta, La Santa Maria, she's a whole lot o' cat. I'm not one of those pet owners who insists it's just fur, she's on the chubby side. Beloved dog Sydney and I found Nina in an olive grove in Umbria while taking a walk in May of 2002.  As always happens, she was alone, crying, tiny (she really was tiny then, I swear!) I tried to give her away for an entire month. Unfortunately, giving away a kitten in the Italian countryside is like trying to give snow to Eskimos. When I finally did find someone who wanted to take her, it was too late. I was attached. I hate how that happens when you're not looking.