Friday, February 8, 2008

Ski Lessons

Well Giovanni is back at the ski lessons. He's 6 remember. It's dry here, out our window we can see the slope he is skiing on, too far away to see him. We arrive at the parking lot at 1:15, it's warm for here, clear sky. A couple other cars are there with kids waiting for the bus. Ours is all decked out in his very professional looking ski suit, it's mostly bright orange which I thought was a great color for him, very visible kind of like these vests they make you put on if your car breaks down on the road here. When we ski together my greatest fear is that he will get hit by another skier so I think the suit helps.

We wait I'm sitting on the open back of our car, other kids arrvive, some of the girls are in a racing class so they have on these tight racing suits with baggy shorts over them. They are cute and very serious looking. Eventually the bus arrives, Giovanni's friend from school is sick so he gets on the big bus by himself, probably he's the youngest on the bus. We stand back and watch the bus leave, thinking he looks so small on such a big bus. Luisa wonders if he isn't too young to go off like that by himself. But I think back to the day before when I picked him up after the lesson, he was proud of himself for having bought and received the proper change for a small box of candy from a vendor who parks at the ski area selling stuff to all the kids. He seems to return with more confidence in himself than when he left. Says his instructor calls him by his last name Helm, it's cute. I can just hear it, "hey Helm, move your butt, Helm stop going off the edge of the run, hey Helm ---

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Polenta

Here is the way I make it:

Mix at a ratio of 1 cup of polenta (corn meal) to 3 cups of cold water in a pot like you would use to boil pasta. I find mixing in cold water avoids the lumps as most receipes tell you to put the polenta into boiling water. Bring the mix to a boil, then that's right stir for half an hour or so, if you are adept you can do other things along the way. The polenta is done when you have a nice think mixture that pulls away easily from the side of the pot. When almost done ad some butter, salt and some gratted cheese. You can serve as is or top with lots of things, like a nice meat and gravy. Or fry up some sausages with some sauteed onions, pour the polenta onto a big round platter, put the sausage and onions and all the greasy drippings on the middle of the polenta, top with grated cheese, meat eaters love this. Save the left over polenta in a square dish put it in the fridge and it will firm up then you can slice it and grill it.

Here there often these little festivals they call Sagras, they are usually at a church or some other organization. The main thing they do is serve food. Polenta in always on the menu along with grilled pork chops, sausages, and sausage patties and sometimes a type of stu or goolash made with deer meat. And of course beer and wine. They cook the polenta in huge copper pots set on a wood burning device. Somehow it always tastes better that way.

Winter

It's a bright sunny day here, and even though the mountains all around us are full of snow, we don't have any. Maybe it's a false break but it seems like Winter is ending all ready. I'm a little frustrated because we haven't gotten any good use out of our ski passes. First there was no snow, then Christmas and New Years, then various bouts of sicknesses. Now we are almost well, and hoping to get in some Winter activities before it's too late. At least Giovanni is back in his ski class today. He missed last week. Seems he really enjoyed being of school a week even if he had to get the flu to do it. I was a struggle getting him to go yesterday.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Being Sick

Wow, we got zapped, the whole family has been sick for a week now and it seems we have at least a few more days of it. It's never really happened before that we were all down at the same time. Of course Luisa and I have not really been down, with kids to tend and work to do we've been stumbling around trying to keep up. We had a project to finish and one to get started on as the first had been waiting for a while and the later was getting nervous. This thing we have is I think the worse I've had since moving here, that all over achy feeling, fever, runny stuffy nose, sore throat and a dry cough. Only Julia has had the vomiting, that lasted 2 or 3 days, she is now ahead a bit on getting better.

The weather has been bad along with our health this last week, cold rainy, overcast. Misery loves company so I don't mind at least we don't feel the urge to be outside. This is a 4 day weekend and we had made reservations to go skiing part of the time, well obviously that got cancelled.

We are thinking of buying a motorhome/camper. It's been a big debate, the idea is to use it to tour around Europe and Italy and even take some extended time away wherever we can be in contact by the internet and keep up with our work. All we really need is the internet and a computer, so we might be anywere and keep working. Sounds good in theory at least. European motorhomes if you don't know are much more compact than the US variety, though the cost of fuel is still a big issue.

Waiting to see who gets the nods on super Tuesday, seems Obama is picking up a lot of steam and may take it for the Dems. He got my vote. On the Republican side I always thought they were supposed to be conservatives, but I don't see a conservative candidate other than Ron Paul who has a lot of appeal, but no chance. We shall see it's going to be an iteresting year for politics in the US, it can go in a new drection or follow the same path to self destruction that it has been following these last years.