Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Wood?

.When I moved here in mid-November I asked the prior owners how much wood to order but by January it was apparent I needed more. My second wood delivery arrived Friday, a father and son business. Because it's late in the season, it was mostly new wood so the father said he'd bring by a bag of kindling for me the next day with this wife to help fire up the fresh stuff. I asked how much and he said nothing, maybe a coffee or a glass of wine. The next day he arrived with his wife and THREE large bags of kindling! I had made lemon poppy seed bread to serve with wine or coffee but they couldn't stay. They were meeting their daughter and didn't want to be late, or maybe were just too shy to come inside. I raced upstairs and brought them down a hunk of the bread I made wrapped in paper napkins, I wish I could have offered more. As they were leaving I thanked and kissed them both (as is customary here, the double cheek thing) and told the wife she smelled nice (she actually did). She laughed and told me she'd been working with the sheep all day and that's what I was smelling. I'm so touched and grateful that I have experiences like that in my life -- and that people like that exist.

Monday, January 19, 2009

That's Cold!

.This is how cold it is at my house. I don't want to say they're mortal enemies, but Zoey kitty has blindsided Sydney Claire enough times that she's not usually allowed at this close proximity. It should be noted that it's not too difficult to blindside Sydney since she doesn't see well anymore.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Double Take

.There is a weekday game show here in Italy called "Uomini e Donne", "Men and Women" and it's sort of like The Dating Game but with yelling, a popular form of Italian communication. I only watch as a means of improving my language skills, of course. Ahem, well anyway I first saw Serena a few months ago on the show and she hooked up with an ex-boyfriend hottie soccer player after a long, bad break-up. They were madly in love again. I was quite surprised to see her on the show again last week and they kept referring to her as Elga. I thought to myself, who are they kidding? Did she break up again with the hottie soccer player and needs anonymity now? It turns out Elga is Serena's identical twin. As if one of these gorgeous women on the planet isn't enough? God is a man, I'm sure of it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gentle Giant

.This is Leo, he lives next door. He is a Maremmano, a breed of sheepdog that originates here in Italy. This breed is said to be a fierce wolf slayer. He's also a big baby and hates to be left alone. When my neighbors leave he sneaks inside my house and waits in the hallway at the top of the stairs all the while watching the door and listening for their return. This time he brought a snack with him. A small chunk of bread that he had tucked inside his cheek and set gently down at his feet to begin his watch. How cute is that?

Monday, January 05, 2009

No Complaints

.Random beauty a few minutes from my house towards Passignano.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Outrageous Prices

.Almost 7 euro for a box of cookie mix!??! Who pays that much?? I don't even want to think what that box would cost in U.S. dollars with the current exchange rate. This is why I keep an ongoing 'wish list' of food items and household products that I would like from the states either because they're too expensive to buy here or they're simply not available and when friends and family comes to visit me I ask them to transport goods. Actually, I don't have to ask. They are usually kind enough to ask me what they can bring. Someone like myself, who always travels with my bags packed to the maximum weight, can really appreciate what it's like to lug around two full suitcases. A big "Thank You!!!" to all those folks who love me enough to carry those extra few pounds -- or 50.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Buon Anno!

.Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year filled with Joy and Love,
from my hearth to yours!