Monthly Archives: March 2009

Baby’s first gift outfit

From my aunt Idehra in Washington state…all the way to Rome!

Onesie and skirt

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A ham with a stand

It’s here. No, not the dog, not my mom…the ham. Paul’s pride and joy now lives in our cucina.

All the delicious details:

  • Type of ham: Pata Negra
  • Purchased in Madrid, Spain
  • This pig’s diet: acorns. According to Ryan’s Spanish friend *Jose, the fat in this ham is actually more like olive oil–unsaturated–than regular grain-fed pigs.
  • Ham stand and knife on loan from Ryan
  • Desired thickness of each slice: “paper thin”
  • Level of difficulty to achieve PT slices: 9 (on a scale of 1-10)
  • Similar to Italian ham, Prosciutto. However, one does not put a protective layer of salt on Pata Negra (*nearly threw us out of the car when he heard the question). Instead a layer of fat is preserved and replaced on top of the ham after every cutting, then a kitchen towel. Fancy.
  • Price: approximately same as Baby’s college tuition (inflation included)


proud paul

at home

This is certainly not the end of it. Look for more updates to come…

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Carter has arrived

Crumpled. That’s the best way to describe how this dog looked when I saw him at the airport. Tired, stiff, dehydrated and worst of all, having no recollection of me! Seven, eight years together ring a bell, no? Hmpf. Instead he preferred my mom, his surrogate of four months. (I told her she would never be left alone with Baby for fear that she’d never recognize me again either!) But it’s been a couple of days, several walks in the park and lots of hugs later and my normal dog is pretty much back. There’s even a smell to prove it. (Bath is coming next–wanted to avoid further tormenting him for the first 72 hours or so.)





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Off for a pre-dog, pre-baby weekend, Paul and I met up with Ryan in Madrid. It’s a favorite city of his and he showed us lovely things. For me there was seafood and museums. For Paul the focus was vermouth and ham. And for Baby, we enjoyed many, many churros with hot chocolate.




And now a photographic recap:

Waiting for the bus tour to start…

waiting for the bus

Enjoying the bus tour…


Sights seen on foot, approximately 10 minutes later, when the bus tour was rejected…







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Curtain call

Our new place has lovely tall, floor-to-ceiling windows, 320 centimeters to be exact (that’s 126 inches.) Problem: they don’t seem to make standard curtains this large. Not in Italy, not even in the US (at least nowhere I could find online). So, armed with my pocket dictionary and a vague idea of some Pottery Barn drapes I saw on the web, I went to a fabric store in Rome this weekend. Hits, misses and two hours later, I left with enough fabric for four panels plus backing. In the hit category: a very nice man helped me, for a long time. He spoke English and was extremely patient with the project. Misses: Thinking I was buying that special material that you iron between layers of fabric instead of sewing, I came home with a pad for ironing synthetic material. Hmpf. Anyway, I put the drapes together and Paul hung them up. The photos really don’t do them justice because I have to say, they look quite nice. The whole place has a softer, more romantic feel. Just wait until baby and Carter arrive…





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Countdown continues

4 days to go, ’til Fluff Ball Central.


Carter and I two relocations ago, outside the house in Tennessee.

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Cooking with gas



Scary, gas-scented cooking experience. BYO matches.



Burners and oven both light automatically. Futuristic!

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