random details of this past week.

I have been meaning to write. It amazes me how time whizzes by, and it makes me cringe to think of all the details and memories that I fail to capture. Granted, life cannot be one big archive of each puny little event, BUT when you want to remember special walks with your kids or a serendipitously discovered market or romping in the rain... well, it might be nice to reflect on it some day in the future.

For the last week, James has been a bit sick. And even Caleb has had a head cold. Which means James and I didn't go out on our usual morning routine 'walk, chapel & macchiato.' We have been more home bound, which if you like your home really isn't a bad thing.

From our last week, this is what pops into my mind:
  • Buying new drinking glasses for our kitchen (I adore kitchen ceramics and tools and accouterments... so yes this made me happy), from COIN a very nice department store downtown Florence.
  • Many trips to the grocers and euro store (daily trips in fact, since my means of transportation is my feet and my means of carrying is my two arms). We love the Euro store, it is full of all sorts of things that you need to buy anyway: snacks, paper towels, pencils, detergent and clothespins... the other day I bought a wooden rolling pin for a euro!
  • Oh: stopping by the butcher. There is a great butcher one long block from us, and James and I stopped there to buy chicken and veal and a package of amazing looking herbs.
  • An interview. I had an interview with a travel company here (actually 3 in 1), where I would be in charge of a lot of content (online and off). My day today was a rewrite of a brochure, my means to giving a sample of my work. Jury is still out.
  • Making focaccia. I have made focaccia 4 times this week. It is one of my goals to get really good at making focaccia, pasta, pizza dough and polenta (I am already adept at making risotto, otherwise that would be on the list too). All in good time.
  • Cycling in the torrential rain. Oh man: James normally takes on these tasks because he is a lovely man---but he was sick so I took one for the team. On Mondays, the boys have to go from school directly to soccer practice. Since our only mode of transportation is a bike, this particular event is logistic heavy. Monday morning we pack them up with 1. their backpacks for school (super heavy by the way), and 2. their soccer bags (plus all belongings as they shower at the club). One of those bags goes on their back, the other in a pannier. When they leave school at the end of the day, they put on just their soccer backpacks and leave their school bags at school. Then a token parent cycles to school, pops the 2 [backpack filled] panniers on their bike and cycle home. This dispatch in particular was sopping wet... to a degree of hilarity.
  • Laundry: I do it every day, and since it is getting colder my drying options (no dryer, quite typical) have moved from an outside line to all of our indoor radiators. Clothes are stretched over radiators in every room of our home---now a part of our daily landscape.
  • Standing in bureaucratic lines. Yep, still some of that going on. But moving in the right direction!
  • Last Friday was phenomenal: we went with Anthony's class on a field trip to Greve in Chianti where they met the mayor. Then James and I were fortunate to be treated to a tour and lunch at Verrazzano, an incredible winery and vineyard nearby. Easily one of our favorite memories so far; the hospitality was humbling, the boar prosciutto and Vin Santo memorable and the grounds in autumn were downright poetic. (the estate is the original home of Giovanni da Verrazzano, an early explorer of America's east coast, including New York).
  • Saturday market at Santa Croce. A lovely walk with James on Saturday morning. We like to peak into the varying piazzas, to see what markets have appeared. Often we find artisan markets, full of cheese and meat, wines and some art. One time a few weeks back I found an artists market, full of everything from soap to baskets and wine to ceramics, jewelry, wood toys and paintings. I actually bought one print of Pinocchio. This week's market was smallish, but heavenly: just pressed olive oil. We walked around and tried a few, ultimately falling in love with one vendor's 'home brew.' (I went back the next day and bought another large bottle: I may never see them again!?!?). We also bought green olive tapenade, salami, wine and cipollini jam.
  • Sunday walks. On Sunday James was still recovering, so I took a turn going on a walk with each of my sons. Caleb and I walked north of our apartment, exploring artistic shops with modern clocks and gadgets, and peered into windows; we landed at the Euro store (this is the second time Caleb and I emptied our coin container at the house and went to the Euro store... a fun emerging tradition). He bought army men and I bought paper towels and milk.
Anthony and I walked all over the Oltrarno. The south side of the Arno, over the Ponte Vecchio bridge. On the bridge, which is full of gold smiths, we peered into windows and looked at crucifixes, walked almost to the Porto Romano and peered at the outside of Santo Spirito. He enjoyed his Belgian waffle from a street vendor (it had large chunks of sugar inserted in the dough). For us, that particular treat is reminiscent of Maastricht, Holland. Oh, and Anthony and I returned to the outdoor market to buy olive oil, Vin Santo (from Lucca) and saffron honey. It is so fun to sample!
  • Haircuts. Well we are on a budget and I am not too bad with a clippers and scissors... even though it is a bit daring with two junior high boys. They were super patient and gracious.
  • I feel like I am starting to focus on cooking again: a new chicken recipe, my first round of veal with lemon and capers, pasta with boar sauce, chicken cordon bleu and tonight Branzino baked in salt.
  • Paying homage to Talk of Tomatoes (right up there with 'my other car is a Porsche---my other blog is a food blog, and has been around much longer than family frolics); I had warned readers I would only have posts sporadically all summer, due to our cycling trip. I actually kept up pretty well, right up until August. So it was time to give it the attention it was due. I just put up a post on 'my italian kitchen' and one called 'sangria---and the pitchers they live in.' And I have a few more in the oven...
Okay, that covers the quick update of miscellaneous, random events from the past week. But still, enough to jog one's memory years down the line...


  1. This all sounds so amazing. Good luck with the job, fingers crossed!

  2. I am online at Betty's for awhile...low power. Loved your archival collection of future memories. Will re-read it over and over when there's more time...
    LOVE YOU ALL. Let us know about the job...Wow!

  3. Janelle-Loved reading all the tid-bits of info on how you are enjoying every moment. Please let us know about your writing job. You are so good at telling a story I'm sure he will LOVE your work.

  4. BTW, this is Kathleen

  5. Alisa: thanks! I will keep you posted!

    book ogler/mom in disguise: heard your message on skype. Hope you are having a nice week. So glad I wrote this post, there is always so much to capture...

    Eileen/Kathleen in disguise: now that we are spending less time on paperwork, we can spend more time soaking up Tuscany, Umbria, etc.


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