Monday, July 20, 2015

through time and space

So I got an email from my Uncle Mike yesterday.  Uncle Mike has shown up here on Oliveknitting before.  You might remember he's the one who has a nose that resembles my dog, Q.  Mike and I don't always see eye to eye on everything (maybe because I compare his facial features to that of my dog?) but that's ok because as of the past few years, we've found our common ground.  Quite literally.  We've bonded over our vegetable gardens.

Uncle Mike is the only one of my grandma's 4 children who seems to have inherited her love of growing food.*  Actually, I don't know if my grandma really loved gardening.  She did it because that's what one does - one has land, one uses it to grow food.  Particularly when one is newly married, in the 1930's and one's husband has been laid off.  It's just what one does.

I have really fond memories of helping grandma pick beans and then sitting on her porch for hours snapping the ends off of them (ok, it probably wasn't hours, but when you're 8 it feels that way).  And I don't know what grandma did to her swiss chard but that shit was GOOD!  It was probably the oregano.  That also came from her garden.  I don't remember the oregano but according to Uncle Mike she had a particular variety (that can't be found any least not by Uncle Mike) that she had planted who-knows-when-ago and that just kept coming back every year.  Mike harvested the seeds for his own garden.  This is his harvest this year drying in his garage.

In his email, Mike asked me if I'd like some of seeds from this oregano next year for my orto.  Are you kidding?!  F*#& YEAH!  Grandma and Grandpa are sadly gone.  The little house they shared for like 80 years has been sold.  But through time and space the oregano lives on.  

I'd like to suggest to all my Serpe relatives that we get some seeds from Mike so we can expand grandma and grandpa's garden to Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, Hampshire, Atlanta, D.C, Seattle, Maberga.  That's a nice thought, no?

*No disrespect to your garden, Dad.  I'm sure both those tomato plants you have are looking beautiful.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Italian Boy Toy

Yeah, ok.  That title is only a teaser.  I just wanted to see if I could increase traffic on the blog.   I suppose I could also do that by writing on the blog more, but I digress.

Getting back to the title of this post... David has purchased a new toy.

Yeah yeah yeah, David, I hear you.  "It's not a toy, it's a tool" like the weed whacker and the chain saw...yes yes yes, I get it.

Maybe guys are different from women.  It's possible.  I just know that when all my girl friends get really excited about something I'm talking about buying, and they then goad me on by saying "you HAVE TO have that!" or "at THAT price it's a steal!", that shit is a toy.  I'm not saying it's not a useful toy, like 20 skeins of pink yarn, for example.  Or a nice pair of stilettos.  It's just probably something you can do without in your life.  Or, it's just for fun, like a toy.

SOoooo, thank you Augusto, Franco and Gino for the goading sage advice.  You guys were definitely right.  We HAD to have this and it was a STEAL.

Excuse me now, I'm going to buy some pink yarn.

PS.  David and all you men reading this, who totally understand why we NEED a roto tiller in our lives when I thought our lives were moving along swimmingly without one can remind me of this blog post next year when I'm bragging about our onion harvest which will be coming from here

right after that land has been tilled.

PSS.  Don't worry Bump and Dong, the Lane/Averkamp olive trees you see there are staying.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

On account of the gout....

So my nephew came to visit and he got the gout.  Let me back up a bit.

This is Max.

This is the gout...

noun;  an acute, recurrent disease characterized by painful inflammation of the joints, chiefly those in the feet and hands, and especially in the great toe, and by an excess of uric acid in the blood.  For centuries, gout has been known as a "rich man's disease" or a disease caused by overindulgence in food and drink. 

Yep, young, Max you have to pay the price for living the good life in Maberga.  

It's true, we did overindulge in food and drink for about 72 hours straight.  After only 30 hours Max developed acute and inexplicable pain in his knees.  Well, he couldn't explain it.  I knew for sure that it was from pedaling his friend Jencie and I along the sea in a bicycle with 4 wheels.  I did have a nice photo of Max and Jencie in the bike by the sea but due to an unfortunate incident involving my computer and some red wine during a time of heavy overindulgence (is that redundant?), I've lost those photos.  But here's a nice photo of the group in a local restaurant overindulging eating.

Anyway,  Dr. David, upon hearing of the ailment named it immediately.  "Boy's got the gout."

So Max took some of the arthritis pills we have for our 10 year old, over-weight dog

And then set out to make a wild boar pizza....for breakfast.

Ok, this is really what Max-making-wild-boar-pizza looked like

He'd become a little wild-boar-pizza-making skittish after the first night when he slipped the just prepared raw pizza right off the peel into the ashes in the oven thus rendering it inedible (or not eatable, as I prefer saying).  So David had to help a bit on the second attempt.  Plus, Max was suffering pretty badly from the gout that last morning.  David, on the other hand seems to be gout immune.

There it is.  The very first ever in the history of pizzas --  Max's Amazing Cinghiale Breakfast Pizza

Thanks for visiting, Max and Jencie.  Please come back again some time soon.

PS.  In case anyone is worried, the gout is gone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

For the 20 years of wedded bliss he's given me, I'd like to thank my dear husband with.....

a few limericks.

There once was a boy called Cornwell
And the girl Lynn thought he was so swell.
  She asked for his hand
  standing there in the sand.
Happy together on a mountain they now dwell.

Under Denver's torrential downpour
surrounded by friends and family gallore
  20 years of bliss
  started with that kiss
If I'd only known then that you snore.

Something old and new, something borrowed and blue
I told him I did, he told me he did, too.
  Now here we sit
  all wrinkly and unfit
20 years have gone by that feel more like fifty-two. and boy, they sure flew!

There once was a boy called David.
He bought a 500 year old house so he could save it.
  now it's quite nice
  except for one or two mice
And that road, god, I wish we could pave it.

We started a new life and a few said we were dumb,
Bumps in the road, well, there have been some.
  a home in Italy we've made,
  the foundation's been laid,
For all the magical times still to come.

 Happy anniversary, Love.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another Sunday in Maberga

In which the sun shone, a cool breeze blew, and some friends showed up with pot of wild boar.

and a sack of potatoes directly from the earth

and a few bottles of wine

David got up early to do his part

He also made his very first ever torta verde that was delicious! sorry no photo of his, but this is what it looks like...

And I made a peach pie, no photo of that looked like they usually do.

After this typical Maberga Sunday lunch a walk to watch the orto grow

and a dip in the Maberga pool

um, maybe not today

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 06, 2015


Sometimes they just come a rollin' in and it isn't even your birthday.  That's nice when that happens.

Q brought me this the other day

Thanks, Q!  That's awesome.

David's brother, Michael sent us a CD of his music.

How thoughtful.  Thanks, Michael!

My friend, Cindy sent me an email this morning with an image and a quote that made her think of me (in a nice way),
which I would copy here if I wasn't so tech challenged.  
Shucks, Cin.  Thanks!

Cousin Bumpy sent us this book she made about Maberga.
It's really beautiful.  Here, look inside

Dang, Bump.  You can get married here anytime.  Thanks!

Then, pal Christine brought me these Peruvian goodies from, well, Peru.

Hand-spun llama wool.  Whoa.  Muchas gracias, Amiga!

And on our morning walk today, some neighbors gave us

Maberga sunflower seeds for our garden and Maberga cherries for our bellies.  Grazie, Alba and Oreste!  That's darn neighborly of you.

Generosity and thoughtfulness are truly gifts.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Finishing Well

We're just back from our trip to the States.  Two weeks of non-stop family, fun, and finishing.  It seems that every where I turned and everyone I talked with, the message was always the same.  Finish it and finish well.

First example and the reason that 5 different families, traveling far and wide, converged on Lake Cayuga in New York, is this gal

Yep, Dr. Emily Cornwell received her doctorate of veterinary medicine, making her DoctorS Emily Cornwell. Wait, that's creepy, makes her sound like she has multiple personalities.  Double Dr. Emily?  No, that sounds like ice cream.  How about Dr. Emily Cornwell Squared.  Naw.  We'll just stick with Dr. Dr.  After roughly 30 years, Emily has finished well her formal education....for now, anyway.

Here are some of the others I observed during this holiday in the "finish it well" catagory....

I want to say a huge thanks to these two people, Rod and


Obviously Janice is the lovely lady BEHIND the uncle shoving chips in his mouth.  Really sorry I didn't catch a better shot of you, Janice.

Thank you, Rod and Janice for finishing Emily's celebration with an amazing party.

And thank you thank you thank you to all the extended families who came to celebrate this huge achievement.  As Emily likes to say, it was awesome.

Back on the mountain, we had to rush to get our orto planted.

yeah, ok.  It doesn't look like much now, but we're hoping it will finish well.