Monday, December 31, 2007

skip to october

Missing summer! All the photos are in my laptop, Dai!@&#. Oh, well. check out the blog from then and you can find my memories. so here are some pix of bacco growing up and a bit of bull to end the year

feb and on

February and march working in tuscany, with time off for good behavior to go to Siena, ( future birthplace of Bacco), Pisa, then a wonderful photo of giorgio with the 10,000 euro winning lotto ticket, me giving my thesis and the 2007 UNISG graduating class. dds

the year in pictures

january party with corrado and me, working in sicily with pix of mt. etna, newly planted rootstock, the ruins at Agrigento and back in colorno for a feb. party. dds

Saturday, December 29, 2007

End of the year musings, Ascoli

Saturday, 29 dic., 2007
Another year has passed, quite pieno (full) for me obviously! I graduated from a master's program in gastronomic science in march and then embarked on the new adventure in the Marche, Italy's beautiful secret. The agriturismo is changing slowly; we now have fancy comforters in each room for our winter visitors and keep promising to start digging the swimming pool out back. We have a bunch of new plants to add a bit of fullness to the garden and with luck and good weather, we will be planting our vineyard next month or in early February.
Bacco, my new dog is growing every day and his little mites have been eradicated, so hopefully his hair will grow back in the next couple of months under his jaw and on his right hind leg. He is really well behaved for a puppy and I try to be his capo branco (pack leader) and train him how to act around other people.
We have temperatures ranging from 1-9 degrees centigrade, which I notice is much warmer than Kansas City right now, but in the valleys and on the coast, it feels a bit cooler because of the humidity.
We have had 3 lady guests from Slow Food headquarters at Bra and they are teaching me new waking hours! I may need a week to recover when they leave tomorrow. I must admit, they did get me out to the disco last night, my 1st time in 7 months here and it was a blast, though I was really fading by 0300.
The pictures are of Ascoli Piceno yesterday and show the Piazza del Popolo with a merry-go-round and then a church in city center which used to have all those square panels filled with mosaics representing scenes from the bible, which unfortunately didn't stand the test of time. The last picture shows our neighborhood sheep which are grazing on a piece of land I would like to have someday. Good to have them fertilizing it now in case that comes true.
Happy New Year to all and go MU~~~

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day

26 Dic.
I will start with a link for you as we have an Australian guest and today is Boxing Day in the old UK commonwealth countries.
Today in Italy, instead it is St. Stefano's Day.
Yesterday was a full day, with church, lunch at Raffaele's family, visits to the parents of Raffa's girlfriend in the mountains, a nap, dinner and then I watched Syriana which seemed altogether too plausible!
Today is again gray and rainy and chilly, but not as cold as Kansas City or Estes Park! We may tour Ascoli a bit and then dinner with friends. I am making Kalamata olive bread and the parmigiano/prosciutto bread.... we have to use up the beast as he is getting old and dry! (You remember the beast!? the 4 y.o. prosciutto)
Bacco is growing like a weed and happy and fairly calm for a puppy or in other world well behaved. Here are some pictures from today and an extra one for fun of little grapes forming in Spring. Just one more month before we plant the vineyard, weather permitting. Right now we will need a bit of dry weather if we are going to get that done.
If anyone has a yearning to visit in the next couple of months, I recommend Carnevale here the last few days of January and 1st few of February, It will be a hoot in Offida where they have the running of the bull (fake bull). Everyone gets hammered and has a good old time and the hospital gets a lot of visits, but not from goring.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/holiday season!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


25 Dicembre 2007
Luke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. ... And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrappped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests"
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another. :Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and raising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

A Christmas wish for all of my friends: from Genova to Venezia, Milan to Agrigento, England, Germany, and Japan, and from California to New York, Denver to KC and to my family in MO. To all our guests at Nascondiglio di Bacco who visited us this year or plan to in the future: May you experience the blessings of Christmas today and may you have Peace, Joy and Love, but most of all Love all through the coming year!
Love from the Marche, Dwight

Monday, December 24, 2007

final set, merry christmas di nuovo and no hotmail

The pictures are of, in no particular order, Colorado, Rome by night, by brother and me, Santa (who I hope is on his way and finished skating in Ascoli) and . For those who have tried to contact me by hotmail; it is not functioning here at Nascondiglio, in the meantime, you can reach me at Santo Natale! dds

pix and more pix

St. Peters, basilica by night, dawn at Nascondiglio, our new bonsai apple tree, thanks Sabrina, and skiing with Larry and Marcia at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Buone Feste, Tanti Auguri, Merry Christmas

24 Dicembre, Vigilia di Natale
Merry Christmas everyone! I have wrapped all of my presents, only 4, and have cleaned the agriturismo, so we are ready for our guests. I cooked 2 pistachio tortes today, one for Raffa's family tomorrow and one for tonight when our friends from the university arrive for a few days. I will cook whole chickens today and some fresh bread and pick out a nice Christmas eve wine.
All the 12 inches of snow which fell before I returned have melted and today it is cool and humid and gray, but i found a nice picture from 2 days ago when i was up at dawn. We have decorations up and a few lights, so it seems Christmasy here. I visited the Christmas market after mass last night in Ascoli and have a few pictures also showing a full Ascoli Piceno with everyone shopping last minute in the streets and Piazzas.
Bacco is doing well and I am treating his little skin problem with the poison recommended by the vet and he will have a checkup in a week to see how we are doing.
I went to Rome this weekend and did a bit of shopping at IKEA and purchased comforters for most of the rooms and they make the rooms seem more cosy.
I will put a few pix above of my trip in america. Enjoy, and have a great holiday!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Apple desktop to the rescue!

22 dicembre,
Buone Feste, everyone! It is saturday at Nascondiglio and I am finally up and running with my desktop computer loaded with its new wifi card. I still have about 200 pictures to go through, but starting today, at least I can insert the Christmas lights from the Country Club Plaza in KC.
Bacco is growing and has developed a couple of minor puppy maladies for which I am inserting unguents in his eye and poisons on his skin. Hopefully, he will grow out of them, but nothing too serious.
Raffaele has kept Nascondiglio in good order and survived a 12" snow storm. All the snow was melted when I arrived, but maybe this winter will be less dry than last.
Planting has been moved up to January, weather permitting, so hopefully all our guests from Carnevale on will get to see a vineyard of 5 hectares (2.7 acres/ha)
We still need to hire an engineer and 2 or 3 other government workers who need employment to survey our land, do soil samples, have a smoke and a few beers and then approve our swimming pool plan. Hopefully construction can begin in Jan or Feb.
I am off today to the IKEA store to find comforters for all the rooms for our guests coming New Year's Eve as we are full and want all of our company to stay warm.
Working with the local authorities, I have found a way to get a Permit of Stay, which will require various contortions, hoop jumping and collection of more British Airways frequent flyer miles. Hopefully by March, I will be legal! Cross your fingers!
I will try to keep working on the blog and the pictures, This computer has an older version of Iphoto which I don't like, so the pix may not yet be up to standard. For those not viewing again before the 25th, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope your stockings are all full of good stuff. Those above are from my brother's house

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


19 dic
Here I am at Nascondiglio.... where is my computer??? Why apple used fedex to deliver it to denver and they never left a notice at the townhome, so after 3 tries, they sent the computer back to apple. La regola di Murphy! Anyway, that is why i am tardy in posting and there are still no photos. I thought i might solve the problem, temporarily by buying a wifi port for my desktop computer at Nascondiglio, but unfortunately, my luggage with the receiver did not arrive in Rome with me. Now i will see if the italian courier can find n. di bacco tomorrow or day after.
Then, if the delivery is successful, I can update my time back home with pictures of Colorado etc.
A quick update on my residency status... the quota for 2007 and yes, i do mean 2007 and yes it is 19 dicembre!, opened today, so now i can try and become legal in Italy which qualifies me for all kinds of bennies, eg. I can pay the govt. a bunch of money and license my car and I can pay driver's school and learn how to drive in Italy (required)(300 dollars min.) and then if I pass the test, i can get a driver's license.
Bacco is bigger, a bit more calm, but with maladies of his eyes and skin for which he is receiving medication. Off to the vets tomorrow. Thanks to Hires Gage in KC for the advice on his italian treatment which seems correct.
We are full for new year's eve, which will be exciting and the vines are ordered and ready for planting next month, also exciting. I promise new pix soon! Thanks to Marcia and Larry for the colorado hospitality! My back is healing after 3 days of skiing!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

DAI!! Apple down! Pix?

5 dic
Ciao a tutti. Yesterday at Latteland on the Country Club Plaza, I was talking with Raffaele about life, the universe and everything on skype and my picture was not showing up from my built in camera. I took the computer to the Apple store around the corner and I have a "hardware problem" which means the computer will be shipped off to someplace and everyone keep their fingers crossed!; it will be mailed back to my condo in Denver. If it doesn't arrive before i leave, i will probably have to pay 1/3 of the value to customs in Italy when Les ships it to me.
I finished more errands yesterday in K.C. and then headed out to Jasper's for dinner and we had 12 people who were in culinary heaven as Jasper pulled out all the stops for us and let us try 50 y.o. balsamic vinegar, fig mostarda, fancy Sicilian sea salts etc. We then were treated to a wonderful bruschetta, fried polenta, a pasta with pork ragu, spinach salad, a wonderful fish called St. Peter's (San Pietro) and a dessert of chocolate tort and a bit of tiramisu. The wines were all wonderful and ranged from Piemonte wines to Sicilian wines.
Thanks Jasper!! and thanks to all my friends for providing the Italian wine tasting. We were able to try Morellone from Ripatransone, so hopefully all will have an idea what Rosso Piceno wines are like now. Adrian, who lives in a good place for esoteric wines will have to give me ideas how to get Marche wines into the midwest.
I am off to St Louis today to see my brother and his family with a stop at a little winery outside Columbia to meet a graduating agronomist from MU.
Thanks to Larry, Kevin and Erika for my 5 star accomadations in KC!
I am not sure when i will be able to post pictures again, but again, fingers crossed; maybe I can use another computer so you can see the famous K.C. plaza Christmas lights.
It was great to see everyone in KC! Come visit me in the Marche.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Monday night dinner pix

My hostess Erika and my host Kevin with Charlie the dog and some scenes from the work on their stove! All wonderful!

Kansas City! i miei amici, una cena buonissimo etc

4 Dic.
I have made it back to my native soil after a fun-filled journey starting Saturday morning in Rome at 0400 when I woke up near Termini station. I hauled my luggage to the bus stop in front of the station to take the no. 40 night bus, full of late night revelers, to another station with trains which start early enough to get to Fiumicino airport at 0540. Then after plane malfunctions, we took off for Paris an hour late (which cut down my layover there by an hour), then on to Houston, and finally Kansas City. I arrived at my friend Larry's house, who taught me to water ski 45 years ago, almost 26 hours after I started.
My 1st bad news was Missouri University lost to Oklahoma in american football so our title hopes were dashed, and the 2nd was JuveCaserta lost by 1 point in basket italiano, but the sun came up the next day anyway, so I finished a buying spree which included blue jeans for Raffaele and Elisa, baking soda and powder, vanilla, cream of tartar and pecans to take back to Nascondiglio. Also, a first aid kit, Capsaicin cream and other assundries for friends and guests with minor injuries, aches and pains.
I then went to my church and as an added bonus, it was communion Sunday and my minister was there and I got to catch up with him. Then, I cooked dinner at Larry's house with pasta I brought from Gragnano and started my prosciutto/parmigiano bread. I then finished the bread at Kevin and Erika's house in preparation for our grand dinner last night at their house for 11 friends. K.R. and Erika, who in their next life should open an eponymous restaurant, treated us to an amazing dinner, with wonderful cheeses, olives, and other appetizers, then my lentil soup, an italian tuna and red onion and rucola salad, pasta bolognesa, a beautiful steak and finally, almond cookies florentina and biscotti for dessert. Wines brought by everyone were wonderful matches with the food and after everyone was quasi lubricated, I forced them to watch the premier of my Offida video starring my little friend from La Gioella, who explained and demonstrated her lacemaking techniques on the Tombolo. The double feature then segued into a tour of Nascondiglio di Bacco with costar Bacco the dog.
I had lunch Monday with my friend Bill at Bella Napoli which gets better every time I try it and also visited my bank where I was overdrawn, my friend Jasper where I will host a bunch of friends tonight, and my office where all my employees from the past miss me terribly, of course! I also got to see my old partner Joe and my friend Russ, who hopefully can join me tonight at Jasper's restaurant.
Lunch today will be with Robert, a former wine distributor and hopefully he can give me some pointers on how to export wines Raffaele and I enjoy and would like to promote from the Marche. Believe me, I visited 4 wine stores yesterday and the only wine from the Marche is the horrible verdicchio in the fish bottle. I can remedy that!
I got my "J" key replaced for free from Apple which gets Bacco out of the doghouse (remember he ate my last one).
The pictures are of my travels from yesterday: me with Jasper (check out his link on my blog), my friend Jenny from my office, pictures inside and out of Bella Napoli and my hotel (Kevin and Erika's house-beautifully remodelled) with my rental Toyota in front. See above for scenes from our wonderful dinner from last night!
Ciao da KC. dds
Oh, I forgot to say, I brought a bottle of Gaia in my luggage which is a wonderful Pecorino white wine from my area and it broke into 5000 pieces in my luggage, so I also started out my stay here disappointed and doing laundry!