Who was it that decided that the pasta was ANGRY…?

Posted on February 15, 2011

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Dear Surprise Valentine,

I did not know that I was receiving gifts this year for the 14th of February. I usually don’t care for this holiday, relationship or not, but this time I was actually surprised! He came to see me late last night to bring me some fancy chocolates with hazelnuts (ummm delightful and sinful sweetness) and a stuffed little Valentine  puppy. I really am this “alternative” version of myself because I found this all charming and sweet! Usually, I would laugh at something like this and throw the stuffed animal in my closet and probably stop speaking to whomever gave it to me but writing in this very moment the little pup that I even named, Baci (means kisses), is under my arm cuddling me. I feel that I must hide it from the boys just in case they decide that they want to fight over it. Or in this case, since they are sick, cough, sneeze and snot all over my lovely gift is a big no-no! The little chocolate hearts are like the Italian version of a Hershey’s Kiss. They are called Baci (kisses duh) and inside each one is like a tiny “fortune or quote.” It was late last night so I didn’t feel like chocolate (1 am) but he made me open one to read the saying, “He who gives immediately gives twice.” Not too sure the meaning but two is better than one. And twice as nice sounds good. It is a proverb so there are many meanings right?. Today after I slowly ate the chocolate and hazelnut treat from yesterday I opened another that read,” To get the full value of Joy you must have someone to share it with”- M. Twain. This I get.

The boys stayed home sick again today. Poor little guys. I was not joking about the sneezing, snotting, coughing and sickness. I took extra vitamins and herbs today to ward off any snot bugs. I don’t have time to be sick, I got sick already once and that is all I can take. Typically, I do  not get sick often and I think that I have built up my immune system since I started living here with this new family. If only I could build up a little more tolerance and patience I would not need Rescue Remedy pretty much everyday. A drop away keeps the insanity at bay. I am not used to such a routine and the same things everyday. Same toys, games, words, food, movies, TV shows, messes, blow your nose, wash your hands, where are your pants type of repetition each day?? Luckily, today after lunch I got to get away for a short visit to the park. We had some cork-screw pasta with fresh ricotta and olive oil. I have had something like this at home but here the olive oil is not only amazing since it is hand delivered but the ricotta was most likely made by the loving hands of some old woman! You truly can make food “with love”. You can probably also make food without love, hence, the “angry” pasta is born. Arrabiata means angry if anyone doesn’t know this. Or forgot. Mi piace Arrabiata pasta. Who decided that spicy meant angry anyhow?

My escape to the park was peaceful yet a little cooler out than I anticipated. I brought along my new purple nail polish to paint my toes and fingers but since the temperature was low it was not the best idea to paint in the wind and cold. We already put the nail polish remover back under the bed (in my hiding place when said Visa expires) so I didn’t want to bother. On the bright side my toes look pretty good but they are usually hidden in my socks and shoes. The real reason that I painted my toes was that I was asked to go to some hot springs (Terme) nearby and the idea of getting into smelly, hot dirty water with unpainted toes in worse than knowing the fact that I am getting into smelly, hot dirty water! The intention is for a “spa” effect and supposedly this naturally occurring springs are good for the body. Umm but they are like a million years old. Bernini himself probably soaked up in the spring many, many decades ago! When I say that something is OLD here I mean ANCIENT. No go on the springs tonight. Another time soon I hope.

In the park I did a hard workout while jammin’ to some tunes and this little dog came running up to me and jumped up on the log with me! Scared the SHHHH… out of me but luckily she was really cute and let me pet her. She came back for some more love ten minutes later too. I brought along a pencil (without an eraser. on purpose) and some white paper to do some drawings today. I tried to draw slowly and concentrate but I am just not that kind of artist. I drew this out in less than five minutes then got bored. What can I say? I draw fast, I talk fast, I like fast but that is just me.

Then on the way home I saw this and was inspired again!

There is jsut as beautiful art on the streets as there are in all the museums and churches this I promise. The artists on the streets and vendors twisting metal? I am just as impressed by them as I am the fountains at Piazza Navona.

Soon as I returned from the park I felt very cold and my body was sore. I changed and went to rest on my bed with my fuzzy blanket and my new little friend Baci. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew it was an hour later and T was calling me from the kitchen. She wanted me to draw the planets for the boys on a huge white paper, help them color and write each planet in English. Then Tommaso would write them in Italian for me. I was still in a sleepy-dazed state when I began to draw each planet and print each name. I was copying from a book but this book was in Italian. When I came to the largest planet, Giove, I paused and could not remember the English name for this planet! How embarrassing!!! I truly forgot and T had to look it up for me since she did not know either! Wow, I still make myself laugh daily. The fact that I could not remember JUPITER is something I will never forget. Jupiter…Real mature Lex. Tommaso was breathing all his sickness into my neck while I drew and wrote while he tried to color each planet before Matteo had a chance. Tommaso insisted that we color all of them with only the markers. I used some colored pencils and he got very angry (pasta angry at me!!). I didn’t know that was his request! He speaks to fast sometimes plus in between his cough, language barrier and loud voice I was unsure. I was still lost in my own mind for forgetting the name of Jupiter! He went to ask his mother how to tell me to use only the markers so he could relay it to me. Capito. I understand now. I think that Tommaso has three volumes. Loud, louder and loudest. For how small this kid is he can really make some noise! I think that my favorite characteristic about this one is that he has a really mature sense of humor for a 6-year-old. He finds humor in all things and likes to joke around. He is super creative and quick with the wit and remarks. The other night he knew that Matteo was about to get “yelled” at for something so he jokingly tore up his napkin and shoved little balls of napkin in his ears to “avoid” hearing the reprimanding of Matteo! He was trying to be funny and we all laughed of course, we had to! That IS funny stuff. This kid…

Sometimes I wish that I really did have some ear plugs. Not joking at all.

Love,

Nancie

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Posted in: When in Rome