Tuesday, May 20, 2008


As you can see rainy weather means drying diapers above the stove. (see photo one) However despite an unusually rainy April and May we have more flowers than I saw in Gravagna the last time we were here. It is truly amazing. Here is the feild by the Via Francegina pilgramage trail about a mile walk or so from the house. Angelica and I hiked here today and picked some flowers for our Mary alter.

I have been going down to Pontremoli less this trip as I don't feel up to taking all three kids on my own yet and so Ben graciously watches the two girls for me while I go down with Julia. Teresa has been so wonderful though. I am amazed at the variety of meals I can cook from the botega which is even smaller than the Health food store back in VA. Ben is good to remind me that eighty to ninety percent of the grocery store is junk I never buy anyway. (the whole more vs. better issue once again)

Speaking of which I just love the scale of houses here. Once you get used to the small rooms and little windows they really are so cosy and you really feel like you are in a different place inside rather than out.

Ann and Peter, the English couple, took off today but Ann brought over more baked goods. She has taught culiary classes and has made us the most wonderful magical little tea cakes complete with roses on top. The girls were in awe.

Meanwhile I am trying to walk off the baby fat AND the cupcakes, despite the rain.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

just having fun being back online. . . . .

Wow, it is raining again. We went on a family outing last night and I had my first experience at the tiny little cinema down in Pontremoli. Cinema Manzoni. It is actually an old theatre right next to the old seminary that they have converted. It had a lovely vintange feel. The movie we saw however was even more fantastic. I cannot recommend it highly enough. So magical. So wonderful. It was called "Il Volpe e La Bambina." (The Girl and the Fox) Although we saw it dubbed, it was a french film, it is made by the same guy who made "March of the Penguins." It took my breath away! Its the story of a girl who brefriends a fox who lives deep in the forrest. The girls loved it and Zita especially was enamored.

Oh and I have a wealth of photos so we'll just keep posting away here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Return of the Internet

I'm back!!!! After a long ordeal involving an intricate tradedy of errors and many days of listening to Telecom Itailia's charming elevator music while I "preggiamo di attendere" We are back!!!!!

Well things are great. Not much has changed in Gravagna. They are putting up a roof-cover on the picnic area at the campo. The English folks finished up their house and we have been enjoying the steady stream of visitors. Today the girls made English scones with Ann. Teresa's wonderful botega has been keeping us fed and there is a fish man and a vegetable man who come up once a week too!

Julia sure is getting fat. All the socks I have now leave a red ring around her non-existant ankles. Everyone here tells me that she is growing so well due to my good milk and the moutiain air. Theres something to be said for folk wisdom.

Mostly I have been learning so many good recipes from Teresa and Carla who have been conducting a scuola da cucina for me. I finially learned how to make a decent Ragu too.

Best of all I think I landed myself some of the lamb they raise here in the village. Right now I am still "pregiamo di attendere" on that one. I'm sure Ben's blog is full of news about the most important thing. . . . the wine cellar!

more to come!!!!!!