Monday, September 29, 2014


Why is David collecting rocks?
I'll give you a clue.....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

So I was at the gas station the other day fillin' 'er up when a guy popped his salt and peppered head into my open window (more salt than pepper).

guy: you wanna buy a house and some land in Maberga?

me (a little dumbfounded): um...what?

guy (in rapid-fire italian, almost without breathing): I have a house and some land in Maberga, a lot of land, and I never use it.  I never go there.  Why should I go there?  Why should I have it.  I haven't been there in years.  I don't remember the last time I was there. I want to sell it.  Well, I have to ask my sister too but she doesn't go there.  Why should she go there?  Why should she have land in Maberga?  I'm sure she'll want to sell too.  Do you want some land and a house in Maberga?

me (a little shocked by the babbling head of what must be an old Mabergino, whom I'd never met): I HAVE a house and land in Maberga.

guy: well if you want another one.  or more land.  I have a lot of land.  or if you know someone who does.  I live right there (pointing to the completely nondescript 1970s apartment complex across from the gas station).  You can just find me there.  It's a lot of land.  And the house, it's near the church.

And then the guy was gone.  I gave a quizzical look at the woman pumping my gas.

gas lady: he must have known you live in Maberga.

Yesterday I went up to Maberga Soprana for a walk with the dogs.  I pondered living up there and was trying to figure out which house belonged to this Mabergino I didn't know.  I do know who owns most of the places up there.  Like this one

and these

The guy saying that "it's near the chruch" doesn't really shorten the list since you can just about touch the church from any window in any house in Maberga.  So, the guy could be trying to sell this one:

 or maybe this one
 or this one
In any case, that guy must be nuts.  Why would he prefer a 1970's apartment in town to any of the above beautiful options?!  People are weird.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Surfing and Turfing at 45

In the couple of weeks whilst I wasn't posting to my blogs, I started a new year on the planet.  What follows is the photo record of my 45th birthday.  The theme was surf and turf.


Breakfast with new socks

a morning walk by the sea

with a coffee and a cute guy

and warm water, unfortunately no suits

Then a hike in the mountains

to just the right spot for a picnic

 with just the right treats
and the ceremonial casting on of the birthday sweater


then back in the car to head home

where we were attacked by dogs that looked like Ruffino

escaping only to stumble on this beautiful mountain church

And finally,  pressed and dressed and ready for some surf and turf with pals

PS.  Thanks, David for catering to all my whims (on that day, and, well,  most other days too). Oh, and also for the awesome magic internet gadget you gave me that is allowing me to post this from my studio.  I promise, you'll never have to listen to another Agatha Christie audio book or any music from the 80s blasting through the house ever again.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

So I got a call yesterday in my capacity as secretary of Maberga.  It was from a neighbor.  Let's call him Paolo.

L: Yes, hello Paolo.
P: LINA! I'm Paolo.
L: Yes, hello Paolo.
P: LINA! the hunters!  the hunters have paid for the road?
L: Yes Paolo, the hunters paid their bit this year.
P: LINA! They don't have the right to pay! 
L: Actually Paolo, they don't have the right to come up our road to hunt but seeing as they do anyway, yes, they have the right to contribute to the road work.
P: LINA! Who gave them a key to the gate?!
L: Well, Paolo, I don't know exactly since I've only been here 10 years and they've been coming for a lot longer than that.
P: LINA! They shouldn't have a key.  And they shouldn't pay.  They shouldn't come up.  If they pay I'm not paying.
L:  Well, Paolo, I don't know what to tell you.  I can't make you pay.
P: LINA!  I'm not paying. The hunters can't pay. I'm not paying. 
L: Ok, Paolo.  Anything else?
P: LINA! buona sera.

We do sort of have a problem with hunting squads coming up here.  It sucks actually.  They come really early in the morning on the two days a week when hunting is allowed (one being Sunday-- yeah, I don't really like sleeping in anyway).  They have big trucks and dogs with bells, and of course those pesky guns.  No one who owns property up here likes having them come up but no one does anything about it.  They come up with such casual sense of belonging and confidence of propriety that someone at sometime must have told them that it's ok.  That, and they all have keys to the, yeah, someone at some time who does have the right, told them it's ok.

Kind of funny that there is another neighbor who hasn't paid his road dues for about 8 years because "the hunters don't pay, why should I?".  Maybe I can get his money now, seeing as how Paolo's not paying.

Being an elected official is pretty much a crappy job. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Toilets, Peppers, and Circus Tents

So, our toilet seat broke, again.  You might remember when my dad and I fixed the toilet seat a few years ago.  I'm sure that's top on everyone's itinerary when coming to Italy - fixing a toilet seat.  Anyway, my dad was a great help.  Truth be told, I didn't even know one could change a toilet seat til my dad suggested it.  I had, of course, seen the aisle of replacement seats in hardware stores my whole life.  I'm not sure what I thought those were for, but it hadn't occurred to me in the first 6 years of living in Maberga with a broken seat that I could purchase one of them and solve my toilet problem.  Not until my dad suggested it. 

Well, turns out that the seat we bought a few years ago did the trick for a while, but then it too started sliding all over the place when you sat on it, just like its predecessor.   Remember that ride at the County Fair, the Tilt-A-Whirl?  Yeah, that was what it was like, a Tilt-A-Whirl built for one.

Whilst it's a bit unnerving to sit-n-slide on one's toilet seat, it's worse to sit and slide into a pinch, which is what you get when the toilet seat has a crack in it.  That's when you know that it's time to change the seat again. 

Nothing makes a girl feel more like a princess than sitting on a seatless toilet in her own home. 

Before any of you ask (dad and Wayne), yes, I did try tightening it.  For the past several months I've been using this tool more than my toothbrush.

That happens to be the super-awesome HANDMADE toilet seat screw tightener that my mechanic made for my dad and me.  It's a long story how it came to be that my car mechanic was making us a toilet seat screw tightener... The Self I went.  You may remember that The Self is "the world of DIY".  It's the Home Depot of Italy. Only it's neither of those things.  It sucks. 

Having done a google search about how to change a toilet seat, I knew what I needed.  You'd be amazed how much info there is about toilet seats!  go ahead, try it yourself -- google "how to change a toilet seat"....amazing, no?  I digress.

It turns out toilet seats come in round and oval (if you have an old toilet, if you have a new-fancy-smancy one it could be square....just like everyone's ass).  Dad and I put a round seat on our oval base.  Whatever!  The seat looked oval. Anyway, thus the tilt-a-whirl effect, the seat was too small.  So when I went to The Self that Sucks, I found a seat on the toilet wall that had all the right measurements, according to the tag that was on the demo (foreshadowing).  So I snatched that puppy up and home I went.  

Yeah yeah yeah, you can predict what happens.  I got home and that seat was another frickin round one....NOT the measurements that were posted on the demo at The Self that Sucks.

Blah blah, shouting at The Self that Sucks employee (who also sucked) blah blah blah, home with new toilet, blah blah blah...

Job well done.

Well, that was an interesting story.  How 'bout an up-date on the 2014 harvest....


 Lina gave us this great big needle for pepper stringing.  I have no idea what we will do with all these pepperonici when they are dried - that's David's problem.  I just like stringing them.

In other needle news...Circus top hats are rolling of the knitting needles.  And I'm selling them faster than I can make them.  Friends, I should have the money for that new house project any day now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ol' 55

David had a birthday.

Lynn: "David, what do you want for your birthday?"

David:  "I want to see Augusto on a bicycle."

Lynn:  "you got it."

Here in photos we have an awesome day spent with some dear friends (one good athlete, one good can guess who is who) helping David be one year older.

 (Yes, that is blood.  No one's quite sure how that happened.  Bloody arm on a bike ride?)

 Well my time went so quickly, I went lickety-splickly out to my old '55
As I drove away slowly, feeling so holy, God knows, I was feeling alive.
Now the sun's coming up, I'm riding with Lady Luck, freeway cars and trucks,
Stars beginning to fade, and I lead the parade

happy birthday, Love.