Monday, December 31, 2012

Slow learner

It took Indy nearly four years to figure out that heat comes out of this "box"
... so laying in front of it is a good thing!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rough day

Indy had a rough day ~a bit stinky and dirty, she had to suffer the indignity of a bath.
She will howl and let everyone know how imposed upon she feels... but she no longer fights the bath (she used to .. but not now ... just be sure the door is shut all the way).  Once she is rinsed off and dried a bit with a towel, I let  her loose in the living room where the heater is so she can finish getting dried and putting her fur in order.

Monterosso Almo

On the 26th, DH and I visited Monterosso Almo (in Ragusa province) to see its Living Navtivity.
Most of the town gets involved, you follow a route that leads you through the lower section of the town, past scenes of life as it was in the 1600-1800's (or so)... cobblers, laundresses, bakers, cantinas, rope-makers and a lot more... it's fun to see and experience. 
Our group was one of the first allowed through .... so we had time after completing the route.  DH and I explored a bit and climbed to the upper church where we were able to look over the Nativity areas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fond memory ....

While attending a volunteer holiday celebration the other evening ... I overheard two volunteers discussing their children and the difficulty both had getting their children to fall asleep.

I was very fortunate in that regard.

During my first tour in the military, I was stationed here in Sicily at the base my husband works at currently (this is where we met, and we both had very positive memories of the country and the people.. so it was an easy decision to come back here when he found out about the job he now has) ... but I digress ...

my son, Chris, was 8 years old when he got here and he was nearly 12 years old when we left.  Sometime during the second year we were here, my boyfriend (now my husband) and I joined an Friday evening bowling league on-base.  We would pick Chris up from the after school program he attended, have dinner (usually on-base at the bowling alley or the galley... Chris considered either a treat) and then bowl.  Chris would read, listen to the TV in the bowling alley, do homework or other stuff (we kept things in the car that were only brought out while at the bowling league) at the little tables there in the bowling alley. 

If we had the early session on Friday, we could be done and get home before Chris' bedtime at 9:00pm.

However, if we had the later session ... it was a bit different.  Things to keep in mind: this happened nearly twenty-five years  ago - we are in a full bowling alley with all the racket of balls being thrown, pins being knocked down, food orders being called by the fry-cook at the grill in the bowling alley ... it's a Friday night and many of the people are relaxing with "adult beverages" and there are lots of loud cheers or moans from the various teams bowling.  Looking back seems like there were about fifteen lanes .... so there were quite a few people in the room and the bowling alley had those hard plastic chairs set in half-circles for the players on each lane. 

By 9:10pm, Don and I could be assured, that almost without exception, Chris would be stretched out on those hard plastic chairs, with all the noise and commotion going on, and be sound asleep.   His body knew it was bedtime and out he would go. 

Whenever we got done on the nights with the later sessions, Don would pick Chris up off those hard chairs and carry him to the car and then up the stairs to my apt. once we got home.  Sometimes we could get Chris awake enough to walk up the stairs ... but he never really woke up all the way.... it was more a form of sleep-walking.

DH and I still think back on that and smile .... fond memories....

Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey

Silly ... but I think it's cute as well.
Brucoli is a small village south of us in the hills on the other side of the Catania plain.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I made for dinner the other night

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
serves 6, prep 10 minutes, cook 40 minutes adapted from Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups cooked chicken meat (usually leftover rotassire chicken I put in the freezer)
  • 1/2 cup frozen crinkle cut carrots (I just sliced up a few carrots)
  • 1/4 cup frozen green beans
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels (tossed in a whole can that was on the shelf)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.  Add mushrooms a handful at a time, lightly browning each batch then pushing them to the sides and adding the next handful to the center.
  2. With the last batch of mushrooms, add onion and garlic.
  3. Saute mixture until onion and garlic are soft. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture.  Stir and cook several minutes until flour is golden.
  4. Add chicken stock and milk and heat to a boil.
  5. Simmer soup, stirring frequently until thickened.
  6. Add chicken and frozen vegetables, heat soup until hot, stirring occasionally.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, serve over a scoop of mashed potatoes.
Serve with biscuits, pie crust, puff pastry, a bread bowl or over baked potatoes instead of mashed.  If you store or freeze the soup, store separately from the mashed potatoes.  Otherwise, when the soup is reheated,  the potatoes will melt and adversely affect the texture.
I generally have to add extra stock and milk ...otherwise it comes out more like a potpie filling for me.
Not a clue where I got this from ... have had it forever.

What a way to wake up...

I woke up this morning to DH calling me to check out the balcony... it was snowing!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

thinking outside the box

Someone had a good idea to paint a normally bland and boring TV antenna and give it some character.  I would have missed this entirely if I had not climbed a staircase to check out a shop window in Taormina.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Farewell Fall!

It's the beginning of December and time to put away my autumn table linens. 
Now that school is over for this term ... time to catch up on other things ... been way too long.

Close up of the embroidery of the coverpiece ... I found this one at a wonderful little shop in Bertchesgaden, Germany ten or fifteen years ago while on holiday.