A Place Called Home

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

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Location: Wetumpka, Alabama, United States

I am a wife of 38years and a mother of six, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to twelve. I just completed my 24th year of homeschooling. I have lived many years of my adult life in Italy and Greece.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Holidays

Last week Terry and I and the boys went into Florence and visited at the IKEA store. We had more fun (meaning I had fun and Terry was patient:).I bought Christmas decorations and ornaments for Brandon and Kristin's first Christmas in Sicily, and some red and white ornaments for our dining room tree (all unbreakables this year in honor of our grandchildren ages almost 1 and 2).I love the simple straw ornaments and the hearts made of red gingham and wool. We also bought two gingerbread house kits to make and some ginger heart cookies to hang on the tree. We , of course, could not leave before eating swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce--a family favorite. Then Saturday we spent the day in downtown Florence, gathering all the last minute things we needed to do an American Thanksgiving here. At Rinascente I found two small wooden and metal ornaments to take home with me...and BEST OF ALL another cookbook by Tessa Kiros! I have her book "Red Apples and Jam" and now "Falling Cloudberries". She lives here in Siena, married to an Italian-mom's finnish, dad's Cypriot, raised in South Africa, cooked in Greece, etc. Our kind of girl!They are great books to read, but better yet, they are full of some of our favorite Greek, Italian, and Scandinavian foods. The first time I opened the book I saw a recipe for meatballs and Lingonberry sauce. I knew I had to buy it (I did recently hear from a friend that theynow sell Lingonberry Sauce at World Market. Thought the price is pretty steep. I'm going to see if they even grow in the States. Anyway, I now have a 10 pound book in my carryon luggage, along with my ceramic lamp I'm carrying on my lap! Happy travels!

Wrapping Things Up

A friend wrote recently asking me why I never wrote on my blog anymore. I assured her I did all the time...and then I went to see the date of my last post. What ever happenned to October??We have been having a wonderful, busy time. To wrap it up in one post we took an overnight ferry to Greece, spent a week in Greece (perfect cool weather, the cruise was relaxing and the waters were calm).We had a wonderful week long visit with Grandpa and Grandma Simpson, taking some day trips to Arezzo, Assisi, and Deruta (to shop for pottery).The day they headed home we left for a few days in Pompeii and Sorrento. We really enjoyed these trips timing because the boys and I have been studying Greek Civilization and then a book on Pompeii. Even the book we had just finished at bedtime "The Cricket in Time Square" fit right in (her husband was from Naples and sang "Return to Sorrento" to her when he proposed, so we listened to that on the music boxes in Sorrento. As we left the hotel the owner presented us with a huge trophy and a bottle of limoncello. The trophy was definitely a first. We must have some really great students! For the 31st we had a Fall Festival party, dressed in costumes, ate chili and carrot cake, drank hot apple cider while carving pumpkins, and had just a wonderful evening. One day recently, while at the grocery, I met an American woman at the meat counter, we exchanged addresses and she invited me over for tea the following week. Kristin joined me for a nice visit at her restored farmhouse-soon-to-be bed and breakfast. They have been here five years. She is a retired designer from California. It turns out she is good friends with a family we came to know two summers ago who were selling Villa Ercolano (our boys had swam with their daughters while we looked at the property). It's such a small world here in the expat community.This week will be busy with Thanksgiving for 50 , followed by our final banquet night on Sunday-followed by final exams. We have shipped our boxes and will be driving to Rome on the 30th and flying home on the 1st. We can't wait to see the girls and their families. And maybe at that point I will update a bit more regularly:)