Monday, March 25, 2013

Greetings, All.  I can't believe how long it's been since I last sent you a message.  It's a busy time here, between working on the house, meeting friends and getting ready for both arriving guests and the Montisi Italian Film Festival.  Lots to do!!
I think I've been waiting for Spring to really 'spring.'  Just when we think we are on the verge, it gets cold and blustery again.  Our version of Punxsutawney Phil has lead us astray.  And a friend has sent photos from England of huge drifts closing roads and villages.  So we count ourselves lucky here. 
But there are some promising signs:

 Here, a blend of the wild violets from the hills, some deeply colored, fragrant violets from Mother's garden, hand-carried tulips from friends in Holland and in the upper right corner Santa Barbara belladonna lilies, blended with the original Maddalena garden belladonnas.  Interesting that they are EXACTLY the same!!

And below, hints of what's to come?

If these winds are timed right, we'll have apricots again this year.  But if they are too cold and too dry, and come when the fruit is trying to 'set' we will go without.  Last year the timing must have been exquisite because we had a bumper crop of huge, sweet 'cots - literally carpeting the ground.  We even became tired of them, ultimately.  We'll see, eh?

And for those of you who think life at Villa Maddalena is all relaxation and glamor: 

This is just a part of the week-long cull, laundering, inventory, count and organize festival, here.  Rosanna and I have been through every attic, closet, armadio and trunk (all in Italian - bless her, she's patient).  Comforters galore!!  Friends who are arriving for the Montisi Italian Film Festival are bringing sleeping bag stuff bags for the winter comforters, too!!  Shelves have been added in every 'back of house' area.  You won't recognize the joint!!  Garden storage nook, the water tank area off the laundry room, behind the main caldaia, over the washer.... even a bit of new marble countertop!

The bookcases are all installed in the library.  Author John Lawton helped with the tote and shelf process.  He's house sitting for Robert and Lizzy at The Mill.  You'll find a few of his books around the house now.  A last, long shelf will arrive this week that will go along the back of one of the day- beds, to complete the system.  Finally, eh?  All cookbooks have moved up, too.

The falegname (wood worker, Roberto Perugini, across in Castelmuzio) is arriving today with a large, new shelf to go under the grill and a large 'piano' or floor, to put under the two new large frigs so they can be leveled exactly.  He'll also take away all the mosquito screens for replacement.  We'll also finally have a spot for the huge pasta board and roller!!

I'll have some exciting news and photos later this week about the living room art scene!  Stay tuned!!

This week will see the end of the house-wide sort and cull.  Next week we'll begin the intense clean and by the 5th of April we'll be ready for the film festival, arrival of my best friend from high school Tom Owczarzak, wife Lisa Voelker, daughter Kaska and her husband Damien and baby Levven.  Both Tom and Damien are musicians so we are looking forward to some lovely evenings - a mixture of film and music!!  Tom and Lisa's day jobs are fine art jewelers in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, Jan David Jewellers.  At Salishan.  It will be a warm and fun week together.  Kaska, Damien and Levven are one of Madelyn's two adoptive families in La Jolla, so it's like a reunion of family!

And three final words from you-know-who.....


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