Saturday, March 7, 2009

It has been a hectic few weeks with lots of little events that have been keeping me really busy. The International School was closed for "ski week" (the Italians love their winter sports) so I spent a week at home and cutting Ray's school days a little shorter, and also going to tutor Michele a couple of times at his home. On that Friday, Ray and I went to Philippa's house in the Marche for a long weekend. I gave Philippa and her three girls a ride down and James joined us later that evening. Ray had a great time, as usual, with the three sisters. James and Philippa took us to visit an old guy who restores old furniture where the kids made friends with these little ponies. Needless to say, as digging through old furniture is one of my favorite things to do and I haven't been able to do much of it here in Italy, I was so happy to poke around the hundreds of pieces and found so many that I would like in a country house (note the dusty kitty pawprints on the table tops). James and Philippa bought a couple of pieces and she surprised me with a gift of one of those old copper cow bells that make a lovely donging noise. If you ever visit the north of Italy, the Dolomite mountains (or the Italian Alps as they are sometimes called), you can see a herd of white cows grazing and the bells on their necks make a beautiful choral sound, though I wonder if it ever makes them crazy as it can be quite loud.

Carnivale, a big holiday here where one indulges in every aspect before the periods of fasting during Lent, was celebrated and Ray dressed as his current favorite super hero. Entertaining at home was the norm this long winter, and we just held an aperitivo for 20 faculty to mingle with Andrea's boss who was here for a few days for a visit from Indiana University. I invited all my work-mates from school to come over this Friday for a wine-tasting. Very casual, of course, just a rush to see who can taste the most wines. ha.

Andrea is getting ready for his trip to the US in two weeks and we plan to take a road trip to Vienna when he returns as it will be Easter break here. I am now counting down the weeks to my visit to the US - and am making a list of must-buy items. I know that winter hit once again in the northeast US, but here the birds are singing and the buds are bursting. Spring in Italy, anyone?

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