Friday, December 17, 2010


As the snow slowly falls here, I cannot help but think of the happiness my little bambini from scuola are experiencing right now. I bet they are bursting at the seams to get outside and play. It reminds me that I have yet to tell you, I have been teaching at the local elementary school! My friend, Mariangela, kindly asked if I would be available to come to her 4th grade class every so often to talk about English. This got my head spinning, of course, and based on my Chic Girls collection of paintings on canvas, we came up with a program that involves Art, Anatomy, Literature, and English. I now go to the school every two weeks or so to give a little of my time, and hope that the students get a little out of it!

We started out the class with anatomy and parts of the human body in English accompanied with how to draw a face complete with practice drawings of the head, neck, shoulders, and rounding out with the face and hair. The excitement was contagious that first day. The smiles were so big, I wanted to take them all home with me.

The next session happened to fall on Thanksgiving, so I decided, still with anatomy as our theme, that we would use our hands and feet to make turkeys! They were so happy to get a little messy with paint and brushes and learn a bit about an American tradition.

Then we moved onto the big stuff...the main part of our project...the self portrait. We took pictures of each child and challenged them to draw themselves based on the photo. Look at how great they are doing...I am so proud! We will be continuing throughout the school year with painting and storytelling and I cannot wait to see what they will do next! Don't worry, I will be sure to share the finished product with you.

To round out our last class of 2010...we read Twas the Night Before Christmas in English and then sang every verse of Jingle Bells. As the bell rang, 15 little Italians ran out of class chanting "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" really doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We have been celebrating around here. Anyone who knows me knows I am out of my head for birthdays. Well, at least for MY birthday! As far back as I can remember, I have celebrated not only the day, but usually the week, and sometimes even the entire month of December. Yes, I exaggerate and I don't care who knows it!

This past week continued my tradition of exploiting my birthday and now a year passing of our health we celebrated...tanto...troppo! We began the week with a day trip to the province of Asti to attend the Fiera del Bue Grasso...the festival of the fat ox. Seven of us piled in and drove up through the snow to Northern Italy. What a gorgeous trip...we wound through the coast roads of Toscana and Liguria to end up in Piemonte.

Even though the sun hid from us the entire day, the colors of the architecture and landscape contrasted brilliantly against the snow and fog. We ate and drank amongst the locals at the Sagra del Bollito, a feast of strange and wonderful delicacies. Can you imagine, the menu included, among other things, a version of raw tartar of ox (which most ate like a hamburger), crowns and innards of a rooster, and boiled tongue and head of the ox served with salsa verde. I bravely ate everything...cannot say I enjoyed it all, but I sure am proud of myself for being adventurous.

We continued the week taking time for languid walks through the woods and fields with the puppies, attending a gift regalo expo, decorating the live Christmas tree, pizza with friends (because it is not a celebration without pizza!), a delicious Italo-Americano dinner in a beautiful home high on a hill, and the icing on the celebration cake...a surprise birthday dinner party at a Mexican restaurant. Yes people, you can take the girl out of America and drop her in Italy, but please don't mess with her love of Mexican.

Grazie mille to all of my lovely friends here in Italy and from afar that contributed to this year's festeggiamenti. What a week...I so cannot wait until next year...I am already planning. Gosh, I am a lucky lucky girl to have all I do and all of you in my life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Olio Nuovo

For almost an entire month, I have been in an olive oil induced haze...yes, we picked olives this year.
With the help of many friends, I have laid out nets under at least 200 trees, moved ladders to and fro, hand scraped more olives from their branches than I want to count,

emptied crate upon crate of olives into bags,

made exactly 3 trips to the frantoio, olive oil mill, for pressing,

bottled and labeled specialness for friends, and ate a boat load of fire toasted bruschetta with just a hint of garlic, salt, and a drenching of electric green oil.

I have to say, it certainly was not as much as I have done in years past, but it was still a bit of work. However, the reward is incomparable. Tuscan olive oil, yes I am biased, especially when it is freshly picked and pressed has to be the best in the world. It has an almost harsh spiciness in the back of your mouth that makes you eager for more. I drizzle it on salads, soups, veggies, of course bread, anything I can really. In fact, over the past month I cannot tell you how many times I have uttered the words...excuse me while I wipe the olive oil off my chin...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


100, cento, I have posted here 100 times...hard for me to believe I have had that much to say, and that even though I have slowed down, you all are still reading. I appreciate it and thank you so much for the constant support. This past weekend we said ciao to October, I thought I would leave you with the memories of the month. Still one of my absolute favorites I have to say again. If you are thinking of planning a trip to Tuscany...make it in October...just a few reasons why:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you...while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~ John Muir

Monday, October 18, 2010


Something VERY big has been brewing behind the scenes at Laura Fair over the past months. (Sneak peek above...this is a very soft reveal, as I am not even sure if I have the go ahead to do it...but, I am just so elated!) I promise I will reveal much much more to you as soon as I have my hands on some photos and the official word where it will be sold. For my wholesale clients out there and those of you going to the High Point Furniture Market this week...the Laura Fair Teen and Children's Bedding Collection for Girls and Boys is debuting with Rizzy Home! (Yes, as I hinted before, now your children can have sweet dreams with Laura Fair!) The Rizzy Rugs and Home Texco showroom is in High Point at Showplace #3515, so please check it out if you are there and tell them I sent you...and be sure to let me know if any of you happen to catch it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Damask

I happened upon more of the Laura Fair Damask Collection for Golden Rabbit enamelware while perusing the web the other day. Aren't these shots gorgeous?!

If you would like to see more info or to on over to Madison Avenue Gifts.

Monday, October 11, 2010


In the midst of all of the touring we have been doing over the past weeks, we also celebrated a very special day. Above is my Goddaughter, Caroline. She traveled all the way from the United States to be baptized in Italy...and for her grandmothers and grandfather, I offer this personal post. We found the perfect venue, as Caroline's parents are Episcopal, the over 100 year old St. James Church in Florence, and had an intimate private ceremony with Father Mark Dunnam...not only an American priest, but a southern gentleman to boot. How wonderful and something she will no doubt be able to tell her grandchildren.

In 2010 I have become a Godparent my little nephew Alexander, and now Caroline. I pray that I will be able to give them support, love, and be a good example to each of them throughout their lives. More realistically, I will probably be known as their crazy aunt Laura who lives in Italy and lets them eat gelato for dinner...but that is ok, both sentiments sound pretty good to me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Damask

Look what I found!!
The Laura Fair Red Damask Collection for Golden Rabbit is on sale at Neiman Marcus. For an even better, more detailed, and bigger the link. Always exciting when I find my product around in the marketplace!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


My days have been filled with touring over the past weeks. We have had many many friends come to visit this autumn season...the perfect excuse for me to slow down and be a tourist in my own little area. It really is one of the best times to be here in Tuscany. The countryside is alive with the sights and smells of all the fall has to offer. The grapes that have ripened through the summer are ready for harvest, the olive trees are doubled over with bright acid green olives, the fields are coming to life again with touches of baby grass, and the hardwoods have just slightly begun to change their color to a deep gold. Even the fireplace is in full swing...grilling sausages and warming hands.The other day, I returned from one of our outings to find a perfect reminder to the end of summer on the door step. A couple of days later, I found a touch of fall...I love the generosity of our family and neighbors in the country...certainly not something that would happen often to me in the city.
I am sure more discoveries are in store for us over the coming Indian summer days...for now, I cannot wait to get back to being a turista.

Friday, September 17, 2010


When you live in a foreign land, sometimes you forget that life you left behind...the one where you would chat with every passerby without a care. By this I mean that when you have to concentrate on every word that comes out of your mouth, sometimes you find you do not make the effort you should, although I feel this is a wrong way to think. That is why when my lovely friend Suzanne and her adorable husband and even more adorable boys, age 4 and 1, decided to travel the two hours to pay us a visit a couple of weeks ago, I was in heaven. She and her family have been living in Tuscany for 5 years now...both her boys were born here. We carried on and on for hours...of course not only because it was our native language, but because Suzanne is such a like minded person to me. I did not know how much I could miss and appreciate hours of fun about art projects, living in Italy, changes in the US, missing "southern" things (she, too, is originally from cool is that?) We lingered over meals, sipped wine, had a great time dreaming up stories of wild boar, cinghiale, gazing at planets and the moon, and scavenging for found objects to make art when they returned home. I was reminded of this and of little 4 year old Kai this morning on my walk when I found a slice of ceramic lying on the dirt road. My thoughts immediately returned to my amazement of his wonder and imagination...then the most beautiful color orange in a rusted chain caught my eye. I wanted to know, what would he make with these? With my eyes now open and with him in mind, I cannot wait to see what other goodies I might find along my way. Isn't it the smallest things in life that open up the largest things within us?

Please visit Suzanne's little glimpse at her world in Italy at Sperlygirl, you will be happy you did.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I live in paradise. Today is one of those days, I just wanted to pinch myself when I woke up to make sure it was true. The sky is the richest blue I have ever seen...the air is so clear...the temperature is an absolutely perfect 75 degrees with a slight breeze. So, as you can imagine, I happily decided after lunch that I could not stay inside another minute...I needed to be out in the landscape. I rushed down the stairs and out into the yard to plop down in the grass under my favorite fig tree and gaze at the sky. I captured a photo for you. Then something back started to uncontrollably itch. From the middle...the part where you cannot crawled up into my scalp and back down indescribable heat and sting. I ran inside, saw that my back was in hives, and jumped into a cool shower. Hee much for un paradiso...I guess I needed a little reminder to keep the perspective that some things are not always as they seem.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


August, agosto, has been jam-packed I tell you. I have been hiding a bit behind my work this month, but have also found some weekend time to relax and destress. I really need to remember to do that...especially when my computer is sending me signals like scratch disks are full...sorry cannot open that file, etc. Frustrating to say the least, but nothing takes that stressy feeling away better than these little had to know I was going to bring up the puppies at some point.

They are thriving. We have had to say ciao, or better yet arrivederci, to one and this weekend yet another two will depart...a little sad and my heart breaks a bit, but I know they will be treated with the loving care they deserve and I will be able to watch them grow...the beauty of knowing the new families! So, we will be left with our two and one to go, and rest assured I aptly named one Georgia.

Do you remember Ferragosto and our celebration from last year? This year was even better...we had 30 amici over to the house to grill steaks on the outside fire. Everyone brought their own bistecca and contributed to the meal...lovely melanzane alla parmigiana, bruschetta, pear and rosemary torta, pineapple upsidedown cake, torta con pinoli, and of course gelato. We stuffed ourselves and then danced and sang the night away under a sliver of moon. (I, as luck would have it, was stuck inside most of the day and evening trying to make a design deadline so did not get any photos of the beautiful table, but did catch this one of some of the group from the upstairs studio. Have to say, grazie tanto to my friends that did all the set-up work for me.)

Oh, and we made it to the seaside this month for the first time...can you believe it? We are smack in the middle of Italy two hours to the east or two hours to the west you can reach the beach. We chose the Adriatic coast for the most authentic taste of the Italian summer seaside life...and what a life it is...look at all the people.

I love the fact that it doesn't matter how old, young, skinny, wrinkled, etc. you are...on the beach you let it all hang out so to speak (not a tankini in sight) and enjoy yourself. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday...who knows...maybe I'll try the Tyrrhenian coast tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Oh goodness y'all (southern accent took no time to come back), I cannot believe it has been over a month since I last posted! I have been so blessed to be able to have spent some wonderful time in Georgia...not to mention South Carolina and North Carolina, too. I am one lucky girl, I tell you!

My visit to Atlanta and the Gift Show exceeded my expectations. I was able to connect with some old clients, renew relationships with some would be clients, and secure some NEW clients. Oh the stories I would like to tell...soon I will be able to spill the beans, I promise. You are going to be amazed (I sure was) at the new product we will be launching in the coming months. A little hint, you might get to sleep with Laura Fair...hee hee. Lone Elm Studios is selling tons of my little Laura Fair product mix (above)...and I finally was able to put my own hands on the merchandise. If I don't say so myself, it turned out great...I love it...and am really proud of what we have been able to put together. Even bigger news, The Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia will soon be carrying the line...really exciting to have it in my hometown and so honored to be in such a prestigious place. (By the way, if you are interested in grabbing some, let me know and I will point you in the right direction.) Golden Rabbit Enamelware continues to offer all the Laura Fair patterns, Damask, Blue Toile, and Beach is always great to catch up with Peggy and Kathy.

After the show was a whirlwind of family, friends, beach, lake, and even clients. I have to say, I just really did not get enough time with nephew Big Al, he is growing so fast, but I was fortunate to see him get his first cute little boy haircut and take his first of many boat rides on the lake.
The beach was incredible...a whole week at Isle of Palms in Charleston...thank you Meags and the whole Fullerton~Miracle~Oldham clan for an unforgettable yet extremely relaxing have no idea how much it meant to me to be there with you all.
I am now back to the literal drawing board in Tuscany. I have deadlines and deadlines, scadenze...a new word I had to learn last week. It is great to be back...the weather is stunning and a cool 75-80 degrees outside right now...but I cannot pay any attention to that...I gotta work! Hope you all are enjoying these last days of summer, I am sure going to miss it when it is gone.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I cannot believe how fast time is moving...aren't these supposed to be the lazy, hazy days of summer? I am off very soon to the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market once again. Work, work, and more work...but that is not know I will have the chance for play as well! Updates, product news, and Big Al to come soon...

Friday, July 2, 2010


With all of the excitement of the puppies, I forgot to tell you about a very cool thing we did the week after they were born! The Game Fair Italia is held every June outside of the town of Tarquinia in Lazio...right on the sea...and at the last minute, we decided to take a little trip down. I agreed to go to this somewhat heavy on the hunting and fishing exhibition with the promise that there would be know I am a sucker for a good dachshund demonstration. When we arrived, instead of encountering my precious breed, we found falcons, falchi.

Falconeria, the handing of falcons or falconry, is a practice dating back to medieval times and is still very prominent today in Tuscany. This is not my first encounter with falcons. For many years I have attended an annual competition simulating a hunt by using hunting dogs for tracking and falcons as weapons. Through this I have met all sorts of people from all over Italy passionate for these grand birds, in fact we stumbled upon some friends, Falconieri del Re, who were performing a show, spettacolo.

This group truly keeps to the ancient art and long standing traditions, even down to their dress.

What incredibly proud animals...truly amazing. In real life it is quite violent to watch a falcon in action...this day was no exception.

Since returning home, the subject of becoming more involved in the "sport" has been brought up many much so that a friend dropped off a falconeria book in English. Oh per favore, this is the last thing I need right now. A falcon, davvero, really?

Monday, June 28, 2010

28 days

The babies are growing...they were 28 days old yesterday. They change on a minute to minute basis. I cannot believe how much they absorb in such a short time. We had an impromptu photo shoot to celebrate their birthday. Here are some shots...

Don't you just want to eat them up?! Anyone interested in taking one home? I am having a hard time concentrating these to get back to them. Ciao for now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Culturetalk due is the second installment of Culturetalk. I started this over a month ago and I cannot believe it has taken me quite a while to finish. Of course, I do not have to mention that I have been completely and totally enamored with my new little ones...eyes are open, little ears can hear me, legs are trying to walk drunkenly...I am sure I will be bombarding you with new photos very soon.

Back to the task at hand...unofficial rules when it comes to food and dining in Italy. Disclaimer: this is truly my opinion and is based on my personal experiences here in Tuscany, note that I mention the word "unofficial", I do not claim to be an expert. I think the logical thing to do is to start from the beginning of the day and go from there. So without further ado, a day of eating out in Tuscany.

1. La Colazione or Breakfast: Quite different from the American way of thinking...the most important meal of the day, etc., Italians typically start their day with a caffe' and a brioche. The pastry will be croissant-like, but not too sweet and buttery, and the caffe' will most likely be a, small by American standards, cappuccino. It is meant to be quick, give you a burst of energy, fill your stomach a bit, and get you to work.

Many Italians will also have a seconda colazione which can refer to a second breakfast or even early lunch around 10:00 am. This could consist of another cappuccino and brioche or for the more adventurous, a mortadella or prosciutto panino, sandwich, and a glass of red vino. Yes, wine in the morning sometimes.

FYI, although I have seen tourists accommodated, as a general rule un caffe' is to be had within the bar, not 'to go'.

2. Il Pranzo or Lunch: Here in Tuscany, pranzo is at 1:00 pm. Sometimes, a restaurant will seat you before 1:00, but if you watch your watch, your food will probably not arrive before this time. I have found that restaurateurs are not that interested in turning over tables or receiving new business after the normal rush, they would rather get home to their lives and families at a decent hour. Things are changing a bit, but as a rule of thumb, make sure you get in a restaurant between the hours of 1-2:00 pm, after that and you run the risk of not being allowed to eat. Also, never feel obligated to order an antipasto, then a primo, then a secondo, then a dolce...of course unless you would like to...many Italians will, but mostly only for Sunday lunch.

4. L'Aperitivo or pre-dinner cocktail: Join in on this great tradition. Pick a bar in the main piazza, plant yourself at a table, order a Prosecco, and watch the world stroll past. Between 6-8:00 pm is prime time passeggiata, the daily before dinner walk up and down the corso or main street of a Tuscan town. It is the time to see and be seen, enjoy it.

5. La Cena or Dinner: Again, in Tuscany, cena is around 8:00 pm. Most restaurants will have tables available, but in high season summer on a weekend, it might be nice to prenotare or make a reservation. The same rule applies, do not feel obligated to order each course. When you have finished your meal, you must ask for the they will not bring it until you ask for it.

Now I mostly discussed the timing of your meals, but I need to mention some of the food differences you should pay attention to before you go out to eat:

Bread will arrive to your table, do not be tempted to eat it immediately. I know, a little harsh, but believe me, you will not like it. Tuscan bread is meant to be eaten with your meal, therefore, it has no salt added to it. The food here is generally very well seasoned and the bread helps to counteract that, think salame, prosciutto. Also, as with some Italian restaurants in America, here you will never be offered butter or olive oil for dipping. Tuscan olive oil is a precious commodity to be used as part of the meal on toasted bread, bruschetta, or dressing your salad, and occasionally for your steak.

Speaking of salad, you will not be offered a choice of dressings, instead olive oil, vinegar, and salt will arrive to your table for you to dress it yourself.

Now speaking of Tuscan bistecca fiorentina to be one of the choicest meats you will ever eat, but let me warn you, here it is served almost blue. Yes, the slightest bit raw in the middle. I cannot tell you how many discussions I have had about the "doneness" of my steak! I am a meat favorite childhood dinner is my daddy's steak on the grill...and I like my meat rare. But here, that is a whole other story. If you like your meat extra rare, then order "al sangue". If you like your meat rare to medium rare, order "media cottura". If you like your meat medium to well not order really do not want to encounter the looks you will receive, they truly think it is a sin against good food!

I have heard many people comment on this one, but there are certain rules for coffee drinking...a cappuccino is to be had up until lunch. It is generally frowned upon if you order one after a meal. I have noticed that it is not as taboo as before, but you will stick out like a sore thumb so to speak. In the Italian sense, there is a logical explanation for this, the milk will only hinder your digestion process. However, as some of you may know, it is never bad to have a digestivo after your meal...i.e. grappa, limoncello, no idea why these help, but they are good.

I hope I did not drown you in too much information and that you are still with me. I can go on and on and on with the differences. Having said that, I just might...keep and eye out for more tips. And if you have something to add...I would love to hear about your experiences!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


What an amazing experience I had this watch our little English Pointer with her brood. She was so took her hours and hours, but in the end...six perfect puppies, cuccioli, born under the warming Tuscan sun. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have been having a little trouble on the computer front. Looks like I will be up and running again as normal very least I hope and pray! On a good note, you cannot imagine how incredible it is here now...worth the wait I will say. Without the computer there has been plenty of time for play under crystal blue skies...trips to the rejuvenating terme (natural sulfur spa), shopping excursions, a drive through Le Marche, an American feast for just the girls. Makes me wonder...maybe this tribolo is really just a blessing in disguise?!

Friday, May 7, 2010


I have become somewhat of a country girl since living here in rural Tuscany. In my city girl former life, gauging time based on when my favorite tv program might be on, I was unaware of the nature surrounding me. I now base things on the sun, the wind, the birds, the clouds. I know spring is officially here and warmer weather on its way when the little storno returns to her routine. Do you remember when I told you about the starling, storno, that visits our house to nest every year? She is back...this time with friends. Like clockwork, she has returned to her rhythm here making her home in a little hole in the wall. Literally, as I have said before, she painstakingly builds her loving nest with sticks and hay and needles placed between the ancient stones. If it were not for her swooping in and out, we would never know it was there. That is until the tiny chirps can be heard...begging for a treat. I have fallen head first into this little routine...who needs reality tv when you can look out your window and witness life.

"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story."
~ Linda Hogan

Monday, May 3, 2010

Surtex 2010

I really thought I might be able to pull off showing at Surtex in New York this year...I am sure I mentioned it last year, the annual market for art licensing and design. I mulled and mulled, and reluctantly decided it is a no for 2010. There is, of course, that little creative voice in the back of my head that reminds me...May is your most inspirational time of year...and with that reminder, the Italian landscape is calling me...and shortly following, into the studio I will run! After all, I have new work to produce for my July trip to the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings market!

(And I have not forgotten about my next Italian Culturetalk is coming...I had no idea I had so many food rules in my head...please stay tuned!)

Friday, April 30, 2010


I mentioned briefly in my last entry that I recently had lunch with some very special southern girls. They decided to stay within the walls of our little town for a week in April to truly capture and integrate themselves into the life here...and live the life they did. As we sat down to lunch I was asked many questions about the customs and culture of this little place I call home. I have heard many times from stranieri, foreigners (Americans especially) that life here in Italy is different...and almost opposite of what you would expect based on what we are told about Italians from abroad.

The Italians are deeply routed in their traditions and manners, and for lack of a better way of putting it, tend to frown on those who do not know to follow their rules. In talking with my friends, I was reminded of the very things I learned along the way. They were so interested in making sure they did things "the right way" (I truly believe their southern manners were leading them). I was really struck and touched by this, as I have witnessed so many tourists arrogantly stumble around without a thought of custom or culture. In a nutshell...we are all people, but our customs can be very very different. So in tribute to these very conscientious women, I thought to write a series about 'things you need to know before you arrive in Italy', you know the stuff the guide books do not always mention. With the spirit of un buon consiglio in mind, here are just a few:

La bella figura. This is the first thing you need to know about Italians...appearance and manner of carrying oneself is very important. As you spend more time in Italy, you will notice that Italians carry themselves with much pride and are a reserved people when in public. (Of course there are always exceptions to this, say at a soccer match, etc.) First impressions are very important and remain in the brain long after you have left someone. The easiest rule that I follow...when in "town" try to make a bit of an effort with your appearance, the Italians certainly do, and use your "inside" voice.

. I think it is nice to learn a couple of staple greetings before you arrive in Italy. When you enter a shop or restaurant, it is polite to greet the owner with buon giorno, good morning in essence, up until around 4:00 pm and after that buona sera, good evening. I might add, do not say buona notte, good night, until you are actually leaving for the night to go to bed. When you depart always say at least grazie, thank you or arrivederci, goodbye.

Non toccare! Don't touch. This is a big one not touch the merchandise in small matter how much you want to do it! Now when I say that, I mean not only in a clothing or gift store, or even a pharmacy, but with the fruit and vegetable vendors as well. Shopkeepers are very particular about their products and displays, they would like for you to ask them to help you with something instead of getting it yourself...even though we all know we are capable on our own. It is just the custom of "customer service" for them, they are truly there to assist you. So when visiting the local fruit stand, ask the owner to pick out a few apples for you, or when browsing a clothing store, ask the assistant if she has a particular style dress in blue in size x, etc. You will be very happy you did...they might even smile at you. (I might add that pointing can be a bit rude as well, but in this case it is better than touching!)

There are thousands more...I could go on and on and on, but I will save them for other entries. I think my next list must be about differences in food, eating, table manners, etc. Cannot wait to share that with will be a long one. And a quick grazie to those ladies who reminded me that I am not that strange, that most people care as much as I do about "fitting in" with the locals...even if only for a week.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Working away

The lowdown...I have been working away over here...but of course finding time for myself in between. Aprile has been good to me...there have been hikes with our American turned Swiss friends, a visit to my favorite Duomo, lunches with some special southern ladies, drives through the Chianti, cappuccinos in the piazza, lazy walks through the neighborhood, and peaceful fishing trips.

The weather has finally turned warm enough to open the windows and relish the fresh air after our very long winter. (Of course, the one day I really want to do that...they decided to cut the grass in the olive groves surrounding the house with the tractor. No complaints from me though...he mowed my lawn as well!) Most of you have probably been enjoying a beautiful warm spring, but here it is just beginning...and giving me so much joy. You have no idea how nice it is to be able to wear little ballerina flats and not have your toes freeze...but I digress.

I leave you with a beautiful Madonnina...offering un buon consiglio, some good advice. Take from it what you will...isn't that the beauty of it?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My one year anniversario is is hard for me to believe I started writing in this space one year ago in April. Many things have changed, but as I look around many things have stayed the same. Seems only fitting to start anew in primavera, doesn't it? It will be very interesting to see what becomes of this new year...after keeping such a record of the year before, that is. I hope you will continue to follow the seasons with me...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Over the past few days I have walked in two processions, seen many a medieval costume, and gazed at a holy thorn from Jesus's Crown of Thorns. All in a weekend in Italy at Eastertime. Easter, Pasqua, is of course the main component in the Christian calendar, and to the is bigger than Christmas. A time where we reflect on what Christ has done for us, so that we may live better lives through him. A time to contemplate the suffering in the world and forgive sins. A time to gather with family and friends...and that is just what we did. I did not have a chocolate Easter bunny, but I did have a delicious roasted rabbit at our pranzo di Pasqua along with a savory mix of homemade pasta al forno, roast lamb, and rosemary potatoes. I even ate a pigeon, a Colomba, the traditional dessert cake in the shape of a pigeon...complete with limoncello filling I might add. Yesterday, the Monday after Pasqua, was the topper of the weekend, Pasquetta...a wandering drive through the countryside, a gentle stroll through market stands, and a lazy night with a book cozy by the fire. Perfect ending to all the celebration if I don't say so myself.
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