Monday, March 02, 2009

Heart shaped weeds, Dow dips below 7000 and Nero Norcia

2 Marzo
I just noted the dow dropped below 7000; obviously the borsa americana is not thrilled with the government's bailout plan thus far. Patience is a virtue, right?
Mizzou got their behinds spanked at allen field house this weekend, so we will have to wait for the rubber game, hopefully in the big 12 tourney. It is nice to see the Hawks and Tigers regain some of their power in 2 major sports. It seems maybe MU has a coach, finally after the playground years of Quinn.
Slumdog millionaire took the gold back to India as I had hoped. What a wonderful film in my opinion. I am trying to decide whether to see The Wrestler here in italian or wait to see it in the states. I will understand it better in english, for sure.
We headed off to a monastery near Acquasanta for Sunday mass and as we were already halfway to Norcia, we continued on after to attend the sagra (festival called Nero or black Norcia) of prized black truffles. They find both prized and banal black truffles in the zone with obvious differences in price and flavor. Norcia is the birthplace of St. Benedict, so I caught him in a wave at the tourists. I met a benedictine friar from Indiana in the giftshop which is much smaller and more discrete compared to all the St. Francis paraphernalia found in Assisi, although you can buy Benedetto's image on just about anything imaginable. We reminisced a bit about the U S of america and hopefully if he can get free from his work and pray obligations, he can come visit us here.
We are weeding the vineyard, which sounds rather quaint and homey until you see the size of some of the monsters we are pulling out from between the vines. Yesterday, I was sure I found the record bietole, (we ate his kids for lunch today), which was nicely heart shaped, although I don't think it would go over well as a valentine gift. However, today, I met his big brother, which while not in heart form, was almost as tall as me!
It rained just enough this morning to make the work a real pain and a muddy mess. I couldn't see my shoes, my hoe and gloves were too slick and after one row, I was content to call it a day and write a bit on the blog.
I really thought I was out of shape as 2 rows are enough to exhaust my strength, while last year I was doing 5 or 6 in a half day. Then as I reminisced about the "good old days", I concluded it is taking the same amount of time this year to clean 2 rows as the greater number last year. This may be the year of the Ox in China, but here in the Marche, it is looking to be the year of the Weed.
In my down time, I am rereading the Silmarillion by Tolkien, which I remember being incredibly complicated in college. Either I am better at using the glossary, my mind is more clear these days, or Chris has edited it to read more smoothly.
I am still working on licensing my car, having spent 3 different days in the license bureau last week. Once again tomorrow, then on to the Minister of Work to see if they like the contract we gave them showing I am employed in a fashion acceptable to the govt. With their signatures, I can take the contract to the immigration bureau and get a "nulla osta" and finally with that I am set to go back to Chicago to change my visa.
Believe me, next time you are in line to get a license plate, driver's license, etc., the USA is Super-Efficient!
This coming weekend is Bed and Breakfast day with a buy one night, get one night free at participating facilities all over Italy if anyone wants to take advantage this year or next.


Richard Badalamente said...

Hi, Dwight;
I read an interesting article on "green manure" and it led me to wondering what you use to fertilize your vineyard. My Nono Vincenzo used to call manure "foot lights," when in polite company and "cow shit" in everyday conversation.

Dwight said...

Our rules are rather strict for use of "biological" fertilizer. We would have to find our "product" from cows raised biologically. Unfortunately, the nearest large bio farm is far away. We buy sacked pellets processed by a large producer and certified bio. It costs a ton of money right now as this bio wave has really caught on of late in Italy, so supply and demand has raised the price. This year we have planted beans in between the rows which will add nitrogen naturally and hopefully choke out the bad weeds.

adrian said...

Yo...I'm on Italian soil as we speak. Making my way to Reggio Calabria. Could have sworn I saw Aki in Firenze but it was someone eerily similar. I'll pass around my new cell # when I get it. Ciao!

Richard Badalamente said...

Ever hear of Azola?