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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
9:10 pm
Well this is a sad little day. I am sorry to say I have succumbed to the ways of the world and am switching to Blogger. (I'm coming Sarah!!)

So you can join me now at Shortcut To Mushrooms

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Sunday, February 25th, 2007
7:21 pm - John Engaged--Consenus: About time!
Wow sorry it has been so long. At least I have some news. (drumroll please.) My brother is getting married in August to his fabulous girlfriend and the hillarious thing is that it may even be on the day that Ben and I got married. It would be so weird to have the same anniversary as my brother. So this means a big trip out to California in August. So we start saving. . . which means no more buying children's books on Amazon, ANNA!

Ah but the most recent batch has been a big hit. Angelica and I have been reading several chapters in "The Children of Noisy Village" every night. It's by the same author as Pippi Longstocking and is a great chapter book to start Angelica off with.

We woke up to a thickly falling snow this morning and the roads were bad. We were walking to mass and saw this man we assumed was Mr. Feckler get out of his car and start walking because his car was stuck. Well, he walks in front of us for a block or so in the snow and then starts running up the hill and when a car stops and lets him in we realized it was Fr. O' Keilty who has got to be in his eighties. I can't believe how spry he is. The same car pulls around and offers us a ride and it was Fr. Heisler so Ben said he would walk the rest of the way as there wasn't room. But the girls and I got to ride the rest of the way to mass with the two priests so that was fun. There were tons of familes at Christendom today because of all the snow and then there were all these religious there for "Discernment Day"--yeah I know--(in our day it was called "Vocations Day" --I guess they decided that was too discriminitory against the married vocation since nobody ever had a "Holy Matrimony" booth or anything--'bout time!)

Anyway Angelica saw too of the Nashville Dominicans sisters outside the Church and they noticed her staring and said "What's your name?" (I braced myself for Angelica's usual shyness and head hanging) She totally suprised me and shyly smiled and said "Angelica!" I was so proud of her. The nun smiled and said "Oh that's a pretty name, we have a Sister Mary Angelica. " Angelica walked away beaming and told me that she is never shy in church or with nuns. Well she made great steps today.

We played in the snow all afternoon making snow forts and snowmen and then I crashed on the couch and fell asleep after dinner and the girls went to bed at six thirty!!!!! I guess it was all the snow play and walking four miles.

Oh --my first Quail Cove farms order came--in a timley fashion-- on Fat Tuesday. It is so fun to be party of a Co-op and Beth and I drove out to this lady's farm outside of town to pick up our orders. The Amish butter is so yummy and comes in these big round bricks so it looks really old fashioned. I can see why my mother-in-law's antique butter dish is shaped the way it is. If you lop off a chunk of this stuff it would fit perfectly. The raw honey is also amazing and I made some sugar-free fudge with it. I also got ten chickens now happily sitting in my freezer, a bunch of bacon and a huge cheese. I am so exited for next months order. I am definitley getting the butter and cheese again.

I am so glad Lent is here. It always comes just when you need it. Which reminds me I'd better go eat more brownies and roast chicken while it is still Sunday.

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Saturday, February 17th, 2007
7:58 pm - On the mend--
Ugh. I had some nasty sort of throat malady for the past three days and was in a dazed stupor in bed until just this morning. I think this is the first time I have been THAT sick since Zita was a little nursing infant and man does it stink to be sick and have to watch your poor husband work and try and watch two cranky kids and cook too. Ben made meals, read stories, washed dishes, he did it all. He did draw the line however.

At one point I woke up to stagger out to make myself tea and Ben asked me why there was rice all over the floor. Well I had thought it would be this great way to entertain Zita. It worked. She was quiet for a whole hour- almost- but there was rice all over the entire house.

Ben vaccumed up the stuff on the carpet and swept everything else into my breadbowl where Zita had dumped the remains of an abandoned cup of tea which was very sticky with honey. This gooy-sticky honey, tea, and rice concotion of which I am sure Zita was most proud, Ben put up on a high shelf. As a man this was simply too much of a mom job to deal with. Wiping bottoms is one thing. Cleaning up rice and honey and spilled tea. . . . . too many variables.

Today I came out of the haze of the past few days and managed to actually cook breakfast, clean up bedroom, and wash out Zita's culinary creation out of my breadbowl. I went downstairs ready to face two more loads of laundry to find that Beth had done it all for me. What a saint. And she had a sick kid too.

The only good thing about being sick was that I got to read alot and managed to work my way through Miss Read (cosy read- borrowed from my mother-in-law) and The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, (made me really think we need to get a woodstove. ) Also re-read sections of Susie Andres' Homechooling With Gentleness: Catholic's guide to Unschooling" Oh and this dumb parenting book that gave me the rice idea for Zita .

--Looking forward to starting off this week well again. My amish butter comes on thursday at which point there shall be great rejoicing.

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Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
8:57 pm
Ben is on the phone right now with the former sister who is Liz Hibl once again. I guess she came out of the convent and just showed up back in town. Even her parents don't know the story yet. Wowsers. First Colleen O' Donnell, now Liz Hibl.

In other news my front yard is firmly encased in a sheet of ice so firm I no longer make tracks in the snow. What is further the STUPID FRONT ROYAL POST OFFICE has officially moved off of my bad list and on to my bomb list. Apparently they don't deliver the mail when they have to get out of their heated cars and walk half a block to my mailbox. All the roads except ours were plowed. Come on --it would have not taken that much effort. UPS also made us meet them today at shorestop. Rrrr. SO now Angelica's valentines will be later than ever.

However other than that it was a great day. We had these fantastic apple omlettes this morning for breakfast. They are very easy to make.

Just melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan and add one finley chopped apple -cooke five minutes-add a couple tablespoons sugar ( or honey, rapadura, etc) -cook another five minutes. Set aside.

Whisk three eggs with one teaspoon vanilla . Heat an omlette pan very hot and melt a tablesoon butter. Addd eggs and cook like an omlette. . . when nearly firm add apple topping and fold in thirds.

Invert onto a plate and garnish with powedered sugar and apple slices.

The only thing that would have been nice to do would be add a little brandy to the apples while they are cooking-but I didn't have any.
ANyway it made a delicious Valentine's day breakfast especially when paired with cafe-late.

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Saturday, February 10th, 2007
1:47 pm - I love my new faucet.
Wow. I really like my new faucet and hadn't realized how ghetto my old one was until it died.
Angelica and I have been reading nursrey rthymes latley.


I think this is my favorite nursery rthyme.

Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark!
Beggars are comming to town!
Some in rags, and some in bags and some in velvet gowns.


Although here is the close second.

"Ride a fine horse to Banbury cross
to see a fine lady on white horse.
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes.
She shall have music wherever she goes. "


I went down to our basement today because I was sad and missing my books. They are sitting down there on a bunch of two by four shelves because we pitched our bookshelves when we went to Italy because they were sagging and gross. I am glad to be rid of the bookshelves but I do miss having my dear books around me upstairs. . . .Anyway, I grabbed a book on Fr. Vincent McNabb, an English Dominican that we have had for a year or so and I have never picked up. Wow, I just read the introduction and it is fabulous. Isn't it so fun when you find a great book that you have had for so long and just never read.

This is from Ben. He wanted this to be out there in cyberspace. ( wow I just said "cyberspace." . . . takes you back doesn't it? . . . )

A [good man] should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. --Robert Heinlein

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Thursday, February 8th, 2007
8:30 pm - MARRY HER!
I love my brother's girlfriend. Okay don't read that too literally. This isn't THAT kind of journal.

Honestly though she is really great. My brother and his girlfriend flew out on Tuesday and arrived in the morning. We had a beautiful snowfall that began the first night that they were here and Angelica was so thrilled with both the snowfall and the visit from her Uncle John and Miss Allison. They are very cute together and Ali is just wonderful. She washes dishes and knows more about having kids and cooking than any other single (as in not married) person I have ever met. Did I mention she also prays the rosary? So yes, any moment now my brother had better propose or I will never speak to him again.

John made yummy chicken curry the first night he was here and I feel like all we have been doing is eating since. They went into D.C. for the day today and I had a great day sleeping with the girls (we all three had a nap today which hasn't happened in a long time.) I also reorganized my spice cabinet, started sprouting some seeds (for eating sprouts) made a coconut chicken soup, and chocolate covered frozen bananas. I also procrastonated at doing more important things like organizing paperwork so we are ready for doing our taxes . . . . but come on!----chocolate covered frozen bananas!

In fact those little guys are calling my name from the freezer right now!!! Snacktime.

Oh and my kitchen faucet broke today. That was the only lame thing. . . . .

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Friday, February 2nd, 2007
8:53 pm
NPR's "Performance Today" was Hungarian raphsody's live from Lugano Switzerland. How weird. I could just picture all the little Tasis kids sitting in there chairs bored to tears by another great cultural experience. (caritas, Anna, CARITAS!)

. . . . but the Hungarian rasphodies were wonderful.

If your average American asked what kind of car you drove and you said. "Oh, I drive a "Hungarian Rasphsody" they'de probably would be completely taken in.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
9:19 pm
I can't beleive it!!! I just ordered Amish butter online for a dollar a pound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

www.quailcovefarms.com

I love the interent.

I am now doing the cheap butter dance.

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Monday, January 29th, 2007
10:30 pm - pallet man
There is a man who lives down the road from me. He has a long greasy beard, long hair, lives alone and has a vietnam See Beas flag hanging from his nicest oak tree. He has old wood pallets stacked so high that you can't see his papery shack of a house from the road very easily. When I first moved into our house I was slightly resentful of the eyesore. But my heart has softened over the past three years. After all, he has never given us a word of greif after three years of chickens, various and sundry renters occupying our house, the lively bonfires, my panties and the girls diapers aired on the line. Never a word of complaint. Even when my cat hides in his pallets and pees in his leaves.


Today I finally introduced myself to him. Angelica was intrigued by his car motor which was running exposed because he powers his little generator off it. (he has no electricity) Well we stoped to look at it on the way back from our walk and he walked out. Now I am no longer scared to death of him like I once was but still, anyone who plasters huge NO TRESPASSING signs around a suburban wooded lot and has that many pallets in their yard deserves a bit of repesctful distance. Anyway I found out his name is Louis, (how funny) and he told me all about his generator. I apologized for not introducing myself long ago and we chatted a couple minutes about electricity which Angelica is REALLY into right now. (She runs around the house looking at and pointing out all the outlets all day these days. )

So it was a great little homeschooling lesson for Angelica and I now feel like I know all my neighbors.

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Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
9:26 pm - woolies for the babes
Well we got our first snow at last on Sunday and Angelica had so much fun playing in it that she got another cold and we missed our first March for Life in seven years together. On the up side I have to confess I didn't have the energy for it this year.

So for the past couple of years I have been drooling over these uber expensive wool long johns from the company Ruskovilla Oy. (they are Finnish or something) However they are so expensive I have never even ventured to make an order. Anyway, I found a lady online who made her own from old wool sweaters so I thought I would give it a try. I made Zita's yesterday out of an old Land's End wool sweater I never wear and I just found a Gap men's sweater to make some for Angelica today at the thrift store. So in its entirety the wool longies project has cost me three dollars instead of like 100 bucks. And they are so easy to make and so cute too! The best part is now we can turn our heat down even lower at night since the girls will be snug in their woolies. So it saves us money too. And the girls look so cute.

Angelica and I have also been finger-knitting this week which is a fun little project. This lady has the best directions . http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/FEATfingerknitting.html

http://www.woolworks.org/kids.html-- That one is funny because I still cannot REALLY knit but I can finger knit better than the best of the three-year olds so there.

Actually angelica enjoyed watching me do it and I did it for her on her fingers but she is not quite able to master it by herself just yet.

I also bought a lamp at the thrift store today so I am now no longer using the crappy overhead lighting in my dining room. I danced the "no overhead lighting" dance of joy.

Lastly having finished Recbecca I am now reading "The Hand Sculpted House." which is a book on cob building. Wow some of the houses in it were so beautiful it almost made me cry. I had the idea to try and build a cob playhouse for the girls this summer but perhaps that is overly ambitious. I may start with a small garden wall or something.

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Tuesday, January 16th, 2007
10:05 pm - Rasta-liscious
Anyday that you sucsessfully get to go on a date with your husband is officially a good day.

Tonight Ben and I had two nice kid free hours and went out to dinner at the Soul Mountain Restaurant. (soul, baby, soul!) It was really tasty (I had shrimp pasta and Ben had crab cake) and came complete with a rasta chef. Everytime I am around black people I get envious of their cool hair. Tonight I was extra envious of the chef becuase of his great dreds. They were not dreds that were nasty and dirty and gross. They were cool-smooth-chef-dreds.

Today Angelica and I also paid a visit to our next door neighbor who is very elderly and very recently widowed. Angelica drew her a picture and I brought her some cookies and we just had a lovely visit. She really is lonley now and was so happy to see us. I think we will try and go every few days. Angelica loved her bird and fish too. I also had a fascinating discussion with her on some of the history of the Shores. Her nephew even built our house. She told me about all kinds of underground springs on the shores and substantiated the theory I've had for a while that there may be a caverns under here.

Well I'm going to get back to "Rebecca" which I am reading now. It is becoming my new favorite novel. Again, I can't beleive I had waited this long to read it! !

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Monday, January 15th, 2007
10:47 pm - greetings from the Bahamas. . .
Aloha. You would think I must live in some kind of tropical paradise because it is like 64 degrees outside right now in the middle of the night in January. What the heck? ? ? ? ? Come on, Virginia!?

This is truly bizzare. I opened the back door tonight to put a trashbag on the back porch and a swarming fury of gnats flew in the house right at my face. The bugs are even starting to think its summer. NOT that I'm complaing. We are saving money on heating and the girls and I have been having our daily walk very easily. (Today we found a chrystal in the woods but I need oxalic acid to clean it.)

But you have to admit that this is bizzare. My sister flew in from California yesterday and she said it was warmer at the airport here in VA than it was back at home.

Z has this little purple wool dress that she has been insisting on wearing and it cracks me up because Angelica HATED it when she was little with a passion and always refused to wear it.

Tonight Angelica asked me if chickens were "ecturnal" animals.

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Thursday, January 11th, 2007
9:24 pm - Help Ever Hurt Never
That's what it says on my yoghurt container. How odd.

I used to wonder how people could get so into tea. Well now I know. I mean I used to enjoy the occasional cup on a winters evening and I have used it medicinally for a few years now--- but MAN! Latley I have been drinking like six cups a day of various. Its insane. It all started when Ben got me a tea ball for Epiphany and these really great loose teas.

The organic-chai he bought me is so good I will probably never go to a coffee shop for chai ever again. Ever. I can make it better for less at home now. This stuff is fantastic. I now understand why people like Nick get all exited about tea.

I have also found that it makes any chore pleaseant when there is a cup of tea preseant.

Also I found out about car-coops today. Too bad there isn't one on the shores. It would save us so much money not to own a car and just rent one for car trips. (www.carsharing.net-methinks that is right.)

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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007
8:25 pm
Angelica had her first Montessori Atrium today after which she informed me that she had more friends than I do and that she got to put the trash away. (that means she liked it.)

We have put ourselves on a new schedule this week in an attempt to develop a daily routine of sorts.

After two days it seems to be going swimmingly. In the past my schedules always suffered from me overcrowding them with things. Two kids later I have no glamourous expectations of accomplishing long lists of things every day. If the dishes are done and the kids happy its a good day.

I read a collection of essays this week called "Discovering Motherhood" which was really nice by some now defunct organization called "Moms at Home" or some such thing. They were all written in the eighties back when staying at home was considered really REALLy insane. But a great little collection of articles. One book I am going to buy soon too which looks really interesting is a book called "You are your Child's first teacher"

Speaking of staying at home- my next door neighbor now has a job, as does her husband. Her son goes to school and their three year old girl goes somewhere. (I assume day-care) Anyway they are all gone all day long--and we are all home all day long. Crazy. At least I feel like we are getting the most our of our mortgage.

Ooo, also found some fun homesteading blogs but no time to post links now, Beth just got her kids down and we have to split up our bulk flour and oats orders.



Missed gravagna alot tday. Especially in the mornings I seem to.

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Sunday, January 7th, 2007
2:01 pm
Wow its been a long time since I've posted. You can chalk it up to the hoiday craziness mixed in with traveling to Indiana for my sil's wedding and recovering this past week from all the activity. We had a blast over the holidays and the wedding of the year was fantastic. Ben and I both enjoyed the dancing so much to the great bluegrass music that was at the wedding. Christmas was nice and low-key since everyone was pretty tired from the wedding and Angelica was thrilled with the snails that her grandmother got her.

We started off our first week back home with the flu (both girls at once) Z kicked it fairly quickly, (actually really thankful for all the nursing this time) but poor Angelica was out of comission for a few days.

I did manage to declutter more of my downstairs basement room this past week. I was very inspired by this blog and apartment to try and utilize our living space better and get rid of lots of the junk that has been collecting dust in basement for three years. I also went thru all my kid stuff(high school notes, old toys, memorablia, ect. and cut if down from a huge chest, a couple boxes and a small chest, to just one chest.--that felt good. I am pitching my high school and college notes with the possible execption of my golden "O' Herron" notes. OH WOOPS here is the flicker page.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/happyjanssens/sets/72157594309114341

Okay so she only has one kid but I am very inspired to compact a bit and already I have noticed a huge difference. Weeee!

On the down side the water hearter is majorly busted and poor Ben spent all day yesterday tinkering with the darn thing. I am thinking we may need to break down and get a water softener this year since the hard water has really been doing a number on the water heater. So tomorrow we call Mr. Duckworth again.

At least I might get to listen to our crazy redneck plumber say "I'm serious as a heart-attack." again.

Oh and the stupid deer ate almost all of my strawberry plants. Hunting season is offically open on the Hatke lot and come one and come all with your favorite shotgun! Strike three for this past week. Totally fired!

I am exited for the second week of the new year. May it be better than the first.

Oh I almost forgot!!! Ben drove Jen Flippen and her husband to the hospital in the middle of the night last night because she was having her baby and the baby was born mostly in the car (the head was out!) Ben was the hero of the evening and ran lots of red lights. Nadia Rose was born (mostly) in a car and is healthy and fine.

That was the first thing to happen this week (being one in the morning last night) looks like we are off to a good start.

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Friday, December 15th, 2006
2:55 am
My bro called me the other night for a chat which was nice. He and his girlfriend/fiance/chick are comming to visit in February. Yeeee! He hates his job right now and hates commuting and doesn't want to get married in is current job. So I think he may even be quitting his job soon.

He is making only 35,000 dollars a year in Ca, commuting. YIKES! He and his girlfriend/fiance are hesitant to get married on this salary because first of all they never see each other because John lives in his car commuting and I don't think they would even find a dumpster to rent with that kind of salary, with the cost of living in CA being so high.

My poor brother.

In my life, I went out to the Asper farm yesterday and loaded up the Pathfinder with tons of scrapwood for the Hatke chickencoop 2007! Yeah! I also got tons of strawberry plants from Mrs. Asper because she is thinning hers-- so now I have three lovely rows of strawberry plants in my garden. I hope they live. Also she has promised free horse manure for peoples gardens so I am going to go fill up my trashcan with that golden stuff tomorrow.

Today I made two lasagnas and an apple pie and Ben fixed the vaccum so I got to finally clean my filthy carpets which are now happily dust free.

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Monday, December 11th, 2006
3:59 am - I'll bet if I was blonde they'de pass my car for inspection.
Today we drove out and visited Joshua's grave to put flowers on it. This was something I have been wanting to do so badly ever since we got home.

I also went thru my photos tonight and finally put together an album of our Tasis pics. (that was like four years ago) Now if I can scrap together a baby album for Z next week I'll really be on top of it.

Sooooooo our car didn't pass stupid Virgina Inspection because of a rust on the frame. Yes I know my car is not an immaculate suburban dream of a car, but hey, she's a good little machine. I guess the rust can be dangerous if it is extensive so we are taking it in tomorrow to find out what the deal-e-o is . I am hoping things aren't so bad that we will NOT have to buy a new car because I really like our car and not having to shell out several thousand bucks for another one. The positive news is the generous Powells in our basement have offered to do a community car share with their car if we can't afford a new car for a while. That would be kind of fun and defnitley save on resources--though it could get tricky like when we BOTH want to go the same place at the same time. At least I got my sweet license renewed.

I went to the Christendom Christmas formal as Joespha's date since she is now boyfriendless--(THAT's a saga for her to tell) Dr. O gave a great Chestertonian speech but the food was really cheapo compared to when I was going there. I couldn't beleive that they used plastic utensils for the Christmas formal!


Did an 18 hour juice fast that Francois told me about because I felt like I was comming down with the stomach flu and it worked. I didn't get sick and my cold symptoms that I was also having dissapeared. I am going to try it again next time I get sick. Its really creepy but it works.

Yikes. The keyboard just shocked me. I am going to bed.

current mood: indescribable

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Saturday, December 9th, 2006
3:12 pm
I am grieving today for the many things because of this. www.openembrace.com.

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Friday, December 8th, 2006
1:41 pm
There are two dears in Betty's yard right now --ooo wait, now there are three. They are so cute.

I went to the first meeting of the Dr. Weston Price chapter that has started here in FR. last night and it was so great. Maria O. had tons of info on getting eggs, milk, meat locally and I signed up to go in on a seed order. So maybe this year the garden will be even better--now that I've learned gardening tricks from all of the Gravangots. I finally got some good tips on making sourdough from Mary Price and Regina Farinholt since mine has been some of the most horrendous bread ever made. (one loaf the birds wouldn't even eat--the ONLY other food I have seen animals turn up their noses at was Lucky Charms--and my bread. How sad.) The food and the meeting was really fun and I even ran into the Robinsons who have moved out to VA!!!!! I knew them really well out in CA they used to hang out with the Ignatius Press, Trinity, Kolbe crowd. -they cashed in on their house and bought a nice farm. Their daughter when she found out I grew up out in CA-asked me if I knew the Ryans and the Bertolinis. It was so funny to tell her I was a Bertolini before I got married. She was so suprised!

Also met a neat young family from Woodstock who timerframes houses and drank beet kvass. I still take a glass of wine with my dinner but the kvass was actually really good!. I also got some good leads on finding the fresh milk again. (Now that I have these cool milk bottles my MIL send me for my birthday.)

The saddest news is that my pediatrican Dr. Mulligan died. He had bone cancer and was in his eighties. He worked until a few days before he died. Apparently he didn't tell very many people he was sick beccause he wanted to heal as many people as possible before he died. He was sunch an awesome man and I will always remember him giving out free samples too the poor people from the back door of his little office on Main Street in Woodstock. What a great man,

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Sunday, December 3rd, 2006
2:02 pm - Wayfarers All
WOw! Sorry that was just me enjoying high speed internet. Which, yes, means I am back home, no thanks to Virgin Atlantic Airways OR Orbitz who both issued me tickets for non-existant flights. If it weren't for the kind man at the Alitalia office I'd probaby be living in the Malpensa airport and wondering why I ever left the safety of Gravagna. . .

We had a wonderful farewell dinner with my Bertolini cousins at Marietta. Wow, the food was so fabulous it was the crowning glory of the whole trip. We were treated to a list that included, roasted eggplant, marinated vegetables, marinated fish, torta del'erbi, crostata with sausage spread, crostata with mushroom spread, bruchetta, yummy spiral things, bread, ravioli with a meaty ragu, roasted potates, salad, roast lamb, roast pork loin, roast duck, roasted ribs, and cooked cream in a berry sauce for dessert, oh and tirimisu and cofee, not to mention tons of wine and frizzante.

As you can imagine this whole meal took about three delicious hours, I was totally stuffed and decided I could leave Italy with a full belly. (If one would want to leave at all with such meals to be had. )

I won't even referr to the agony of the trip home which was not due to travelling with small children. The girls were absolutley great but I am never buying tickets with Orbitz again. They are joining Sprint, Wal-mart, SSHOA, and folks at the Front Royal post office on the offical "Anna Bad List"
(as yet unbublished!)

But suffice to say after renting a car and driving from Newark NJ to Virginia in the middle of the night, home looked great and the Powells who should be canonized even had our bed made and eggs, milk and bread in the kitchen. The girls who were all off schedule had a ruckus hour of playing with all their old toys in the middle of the night. It was just like Christmas. I have never seen them so exited.

Angelica has already told me that she missed the snails and the bus in Gravagna. I already miss it more than words can say.

But it is good to be in my own bed, in my own house with my own quilt and my own cat snuggled by my shoulder. Vita e Bella!

AND my drying rack made it through the flight in tact! And my dryer is broken. Which is fine because I've been living without one for so long and I had the luck to bring a drying rack with me. So I am probably now the only proud owner of one of the greatest feats of Italian engineering in Warren county. I can already tell my neighbors are so jealous. (evil laugh)

Happy Advent!!

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