Monday, June 22

homemade rafts, funny costumes, and a big goose

One of my favorite events on the Alto Adige is the anual Palio dell'Oca, depicted in my banner. This year I decided to take a closer look at some of the 60+ squads coming from all over Trentino for a chance to compete.

The teams of 5 come together, donning colors representing their respecive villiages. They have to make their rafts and then race them the following day down the raging Alto Adige river. It's an obstacle course on water in which they have to launch arrows, toss rubber ducks, and get a large ring over the neck of a giant goose.

We sat down near the goose.

You can see the team trying to position them selves so that they can pass the ring over the goose's head as they float by.

Here's a better view of the goose. Much further down river there is a reflective yellow ring suspended over the water through which they have to toss a rubber ducky. The bridge in the distance is the finish line.

This team is positioning themselves for the goose. You can see the ring in the hand of one of the raftsmen (who also has the rubber duck hanging from his neck). It's a major feat for these teams to just remain on the raft throughout the course.

Here's the team featured in my banner as they zip by...

Looks like a lot of fun, huh?

Sunday, June 21


We started the day with makeshift pancakes made with cornmeal added to make up for the missing flour (2:1) which ended up more like corn-crepes wrapped around strawberries... still good (makeshift is my staple culinary creation).

Then a good game of "toss the piggies" and ring around the shower... each having a turn, lots of howling, and papa offering up his face for the punks to have their first go at shaving. Isn't that what father's day is all about? (I was meanwhile in the shower doing my own shaving, thank you very much).

And a stroll... what's a Sunday without a stroll? We love to stroll. And we strolled to papa's favorite place to dine. Mmm ... brie with roasted red pepper jam, melon, some cous cous with tomato pesto, bits of salmon, and Punkette had her potato pure'... now who's the piggy?

And another stroll... what else can you do after such a delicious meal? Through dappled shade and scotching sun. In halter back dresses and BMX bikes. Even papa shows signs of contentment. ;)

Now we dive into the cooler, celar like atmosphere of our thick brick fortress. And I stumble upon a few gems that complement my afternoon retreat:

So Sexy in the Wasteland by Cedar Needle Copper Silk (one of my favorite blogs to drop in on) offers up some good food for thought.

Kavi's In praise of braids makes me smile from my core.

And the photos in a stop on the Silk Road simply SING!

I'll put it to you... have a simple Sunday.

Saturday, June 20

just a little crazy

It makes me crazy
whiny kids
shoe shopping
water retention
grumpy husbands
achy joints and a crooked back

I'm in that pissy time of the month... Yea, you heard me. I'm using that excuse. At least that's what I'm hoping it is. Otherwise I've got whiny kids, I'm fat, and I have a grouch for a husband. Makes PMS seem like a pleasant possibility.

I know, I know... wasn't I the one gushing on about "going with the flow" and celebrating this gift of womanhood? Yes I was. Point taken. Time for me to move inward and find that balance again.


Hanging your head
off the side of the bed,
light fixtures look like spinning tops
The room is clear, free of the clutter
I put down a mat in the slats of light from the street
Blood to the head
I can no longer think
And only just feel the lightness of body
Within 5 breaths
it's crumbled to dust
and I've only that space in the air.

Thursday, June 18

reflecting on pre-school with the nun

I had many reservations about sending Punkette into a classroom run by a nun. Fumed inside as Punkette was told she could not make the girl in the drawing have blue hair. Pinched my lips together in response to raised eyebrows due to Punkettes lack of an undershirt. Feigned excitement when Punkette produced a stick and glitter ornament that she said the teachers made. And generally just kept chugging along, ignoring the nun, and encouraging Punkette's wild creativity nights and weekends.

She's a smart girl, this Punkette. She figured out the dynamics of that classroom and how to have her way with the nun. She learned to always give her a warm "buon giorno Maestra" in the morning and a sweet "ciao Maestra" at the end of the day. And she learned to appreciate her determination, now directed in a "proper" direction. Her focus on the work at hand and attention to details. In the end, my rebel Punk and the nun fit together quite nicely.

And then came the final conference between the American Mom and the Nun. A meeting that had not gone well nearly two years prior. A meeting to discuss the report that they would pass on to her elementary school. As she started to read to me, slowly, warmly and stopping every few sentences to elaborate... I found myself in awe at the accuracy of what this habited woman said to me. These paragraphs got to the essence of who I knew my Punkette to be. How she is reserved at first but then gives her friendship enthusiastically. Her persistence when trying new things. Her eagerness to participate in classroom activities.

There were four Punkettes in that class, and these paragraphs could only be about mine. The nun had nailed her. And I felt deep appreciation for that. That, after all, this woman really was paying attention, loving, and nurturing my Punk.

Wednesday, June 17

shouldering love

These hot summer days
Waking to an overcast sky
And a fresh mountain breeze
The rumble and drill
Is not nearly enough
To disturb the instilling peace
That perfect embrace
And 36 kisses
(Placed on my shoulder
With so much love)
And I smile as you leave
And don't mind at all
When dreams mix with reality.

Tuesday, June 16

random summer thoughts

I am SO glad I quit my job. I don't miss anything about it.

It's so hot that we always cross to walk on the shady side of the street.

The punks are weird. One asks to go to the pool with water slides, but doesn't like water slides. The other asks for those pre-wrapped ice creams but never eats the ice cream.

I bought milk and juice, bread and cookies from the bakery today. I was a euro short but the bakery lady let me owe her one. Wasn't that nice?

I'm going to saute some veggies for dinner. Maybe make some omelets from them. Omelets seem like a nice dinner for a hot summer day (in absence of a grill).

The plums, peaches, cherries, tomatoes, watermelons, and apricots are all so yummy right now!

Ahh, summer, here at last.

Sunday, June 14


As if filing taxes abroad isn't convoluted enough...

Four years ago, when I took a job an hour and a half away from home, I hired a nanny to pick the punks up from daycare and take care of them until I could return (far too late). I did things on the up and up and registered as an Employer. I got myself an Employer Id Number. Woo hoo! That was before I was aware of the maze of forms and agencies that I'd have to keep track of. What a nightmare. What's worse, is that in the end, we only had a nanny for about 6 months, before we decided we needed a different solution to our punk-care needs. So, I never really got the hang of being an employer and never really figured out all the different filing I needed to do. And apparently made a mountain of mistakes that year.

So I end up here, spending my afternoon trying to sort out the mess started way back then. Good golly. I hope I can finally stomp this fire out.

Thursday, June 11

summer huh?

So far this summer (despite my best intentions to scale mountains, strike zen like poses at tranquil mountain lakes and sprout twigs) has consisted of

erecting LEGO houses (will the madness ever end?),

sitting flat-ass-in-chair while I continue to nurse a colicky solar abstract,

and sipping the sweet nectar that is espresso, milk, vanilla sugar, and bailey's.

Then again, it's just been one day.

Wednesday, June 10

summer resolutions...

This summer...

I will rise with the sun:

Tear down walls (well, not this one):

Or scale them:

And stretch out my limbs, reach down into my roots...

And practically speaking, I will stay calm with the punks, feed them well, play them hard, smile, dance, read, sing, swim... you know, lots more of the usual good stuff (less of the bad).

Monday, June 8

circle round that has no end...

I'm thinking about friendship, how it happens, or doesn't, how it lasts or fades. Thinking about how much of a role I play in that, how much it depends on the pair, or society, a shared experience, or unexplained connection.

What powers of the universe bring us together? Or keep us apart?

How is it that I can find other people in this life that I have so much in common with? Even getting to a very deep level of the soul. How is it that, as I dare go further, they don't back slowly away?

Of course that happens too. Maybe it's just trail and error. A game of "Who Wants to be a Millionare?" How many rounds do we go? How much do you risk? When do we decide to stop where we are, keep the winnings and not take the risk to either win big or loose it all?

Friday, June 5

sink in to it


what a sweet song


deep dark undertones

that ripple

and work their way up
that sweet little wiggle
worked it's way up

into my heart
and my hips
and the corner of my lips

a little hint
lets you off the hitch

poem by me... inspired by the film "My Blueberry Nights" and the music of Norah Jones, esp. sinkin soon from "it's not too late"

Monday, June 1

i'm just a kid again, doin what I did again, singin this song...

Hi There Everyone,

I appologize for the lack of posts these past days. I am across the world, closer to many of you than I was before. Further away from others. But the primary difference is that I am working, without family, and I am sick. UGH.

So just taking a break from the proposal writing while my head tries to slowly explode. Really, I can feel the pressure building up behind my face as the hours tick by. Sitting here, amongst piles of tissues, but in a nice warm bed, partly due to the computer on my lap.

Best things so far:
The fantastic welcome back I get from everyone at work.
Meeting friends at a cafe for brunch and literally picking up like two years has not gone by.
The wall of cold remedies at the Drug store... an entire wall!!! I can look, read, and contemplate every possible treatment for what ails me.
Realizing that my love for people so far away hasn't diminished with time or distance.
Book stores.
Mexican tamales with spicy mango salsa.
Hummus with nan.
Finally getting to play Wii Rockstar. It's harder than I thought.

I'll be back more regularly next week ;)