Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Firenze... or Florence, Italy

Just for Little Man

This one is for our Little Man.  He loves Luigi from Cars, the movie,  for those of you who are not 'in' on the current crazes of the youngest generation.  Pop Pop made tons of photos of the tiny cars in Italy, not only for Little Man, but because he was most amused by them himself.  ;)  Some of them made the Smart Car look like a luxury sedan.  They were soooo tiny.  I'm just sayin'.  They and the mopeds moved in swarms, with not so many rules of the road-- at least not that we could discern. 

La Loggia

By the afternoon most of these photos were made, we were saturated with art, museums, crowds and looking up.  Everything was so big! And, so tall!  Our necks were not all that pleased.  We did discuss the merits of having stretchers to push us older-necks around so we could view the ceilings and exspanses without pain.  LOL!  Just a discussion! Even after all that whining, don't miss the Galleria degli Uffizi or the Galleria dell' Accedemia.  I just don't have the words.

Replica of Michelangelo's David (original located in the Galleria dell' Academia, no photos.  A must see.)

As we walked and walked away from town, my better half who is always dismayed with my desire to hike in what seems to him like endless directions asks, "Where are we going?"  This is a common discussion between us on vacations.  I rather emphatically replied, "It doesn't matter!  We are moving away from crowds; it is beautiful; I am happy; aren't you happy?  It doesn't matter!  But, I did see something to do with Michelangelo on the map."  He acquiesces.  We hike on.  More on that later.

Duomo-- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Flore

I am so glad we had had it with the crowds.  This is the view (zoomed!) from Piazzale Michelangiolo (Tuscan spelling of Michelangelo).  Oh, my goodness!  This ended up being one of my favorite things in Fierenze.   The Piazzale with this amazing panoramic view is dedicated to Michelangelo.  La Loggia (photo earlier) was originally planned to be a museum to house all of Michelangelo's great works located in Florence.  That did not happen and now it is a beautiful restaurant where we enjoyed a Bellini, or was it two...  and the view, did I mention it was amazing?.  Ahhhh... perfect recovery for touring overload.

Bridges of Florence

The biggest bridge you can see in this photo is Ponte Vecchio and is the home of some serious upscale shopping (not my thing).  We crossed it on our way to the Piazzale Michelangiolo.  It is the "old bridge."

This view is just to the left of the previous one.  I love these walls and the trees and the beautiful structures on the hillsides.  I'm not sure if they are homes or not, but I imagined them so.

Part of the stairs to Piazzale Michelangiolo
Designed this way to accommodate horses!

It was along about here that my beloved questioned (as in, tried halt our moving further away) me as to where we were going.  This is only a glimpse of the climb.  It was quite a cardio workout!  Evan will admit that he was excited to note, as we came down, that there were much younger people on their way up breathing a bit hard, too.  ;)

One day...

I'll leave you with one more Italian street scene.  I hope, that a few more years down the road, Evan and I will be still be enjoying each other's company and wandering along... in just this way. 

If you go to Florence, do not leave without feasting at Acqua al 2 (Due).  Amazing.  Our daughter had told us their meal there had been their trip favorite a few years ago.  She did not mislead us.  I second that opinion.  I learned that they have one restaurant on each coast here, in San Francisco and D. C..  I do not know if those are as good, but I'm going to give them a try as soon as I have an opportunity. 

Sorry this is so long.  My last purging of memories of Italy!  ;)

Blessings ~ tanna

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweater Vest for Baby Girl and Colors in the Queue

I've been working on a few baby gifts lately.  This one is for the brand new daughter of one of my ex-tenants.  It started out to be a sweater that will be featured on a Knit-A-Long at Rose Path  (Okay, it bears some resemblance to that green one!).

It did morph as I went along.  I told my daughter this morning that my knitting was starting to take after my cooking... the recipe is only a starting place. 

I had fun changing it up to add a touch of lacework and easy to-put-on sleeves (because I have had some experience trying to coerce tiny arms into a long sleeve)!  This way it will fit over a long sleeved t-shirt and will fit easily over a diaper.  Plus, it could grow to a shrug/vest.

The yarn is:  Berroco's Comfort DK sport weight in color 2733.  I have used the Berroco Comfort yarn for Alex's (and my) first baby sweater and a Lacey Tank Dress for his friend, Lila.  It is very soft... and washable.  ;)

 These beauties are waiting in my queue.  One day they will be an entrelac hat

Can you tell I'm really lovin' this color blue?

Our friends, Mike and Patrice gave us this favorite little bird dish.  LOVE it!  Gotta run.  They are due for dinner in about 20 minutes!  Hope everyone is battened down and safe!  Wishing a good weekend to all.

Blessings ~ tanna

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hitting the Spot in the Heat...

We are still scorching in Texas.  Finally got a bit of rain yesterday... a spit, but still more than we have had in a long, long time.  I am grateful for every drop.

Anyway, I made this salad from Mary's One Perfect Bite last night for dinner.  It hit the spot (and worked for low carb).  I wasn't able to find the dill heads that Mary used and substituted regular fresh dill instead.  It was very good! Served it up on a spicy bed of baby arugula. 

I have to confess to adding a drizzling of balsamic vinegar... the Italians have hooked me!  We had it with pizza, on sandwiches, on salads and a balsamic reduction on steak; it was all GOOD.  A little dab of Modena balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of a good extra virgin olive oil... oh, my!!  I may be eating it on dessert next.  ;)  Just sayin'.

Have a wonderful day!  (link on Mary's name goes to her recipe)

Blessings ~ tanna

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I cannot believe a week has slipped by so quickly.  Seems I've been chasing my tail and barely staying ahead over the past week.  I'm in a holding pattern right now, until the rest of the world is doing business this morning... so, I'm squeezing in a blog post.  ;)

I LOVED the Pantheon.  It sings to my math loving soul.  Originally built in 27 B.C., it was rebuilt in A. D. 120.  Are you doing the math here?  This beauty is over 2000 years old.  Perfect math.  The Pantheon dome was the model for so many of the great domes, including Michelangelo's in St. Peter's and our very own in Washington, D. C..

It was originally a pagan temple (the hole in the dome for burning sacrifices) and is now a Catholic church.  It is open to visitors every day with free admission.  What a treasure.

This was in a residential courtyard.  Roma breathes art.

My daughter made sure that I would try to see the Ponte (bridge) Sant'Angelo.  She knows so well my affinity for angels.  It was built by Hadrian (same emperor who oversaw the rebuilding of the Pantheon) with Bernini-designed angels and was the only bridge during the Middle Ages that connected the Vatican with downtown Roma.

Each one is exquisite.

Ancient Rome's artistic, engineering and architectural skills are unmatched. 

This was our home away from home during our visit to Rome, the Westin Excelsior.  We couldn't have asked for a more gracious place to stay.

Had to include a rememberance of a wonderful late lunch at Harry's Bar on Via Veneto.  Mmmm...

And, once again... just the simple street scenes delighted my eye and my spirit. 

Hope your weeks are going smooth and productive!!  Now, back to the grind! 

Wow with Kim:


Hopping with Sandi of the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Blessings ~ tanna

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

From The Little Men

Oh, how I enjoy receiving these e-mails!!  =D

Dear Noni,

Momma had a photoshoot with us boys this weekend. I (Andrew) am just learning how to smile for the camera. But mostly I still give her lots of funny faces. And I (Alex) am just too busy to slow down for the camera, so Momma's gotta keep up with me. We asked her to send you a couple from us. We sure do love you and miss you. Hope you have a great week!

The Little Men

I love getting mail from the Little Men!!  Thank you, Momma (daughter, dearest).  Just made my day!  XOXOXOXO

Hope each of you receive some little bright spot in your day!  blessings  ~ tanna

Sunday, August 14, 2011

So, There Was This Dress...

So, there was this dress... 

Well, let me tell you about this creation first.  The pattern is a Gingko Shoulderette Shawl.  I learned about it at Rose Path after Diane made the smaller version( posted on Shush, I'm Counting here).

You can find the pattern at Fragrant Heart Blog, here.  It is a free download.  Gotta love that!

 I used Noro's Shirakaba in colorway #3.  It is a 42% silk, 40% cotton, and 18% wool blend.  Works up as light as air!  Great drape.

I particularly love the way this yarn and this pattern work up together -- to give a contemporary geometric design along with a touch of traditional in the lacework.

If you are ready to give lace a try, I think this would be a wonderful one to jump in on.  The body is a simple stockinette stitch and then the lace pattern is repeated in small segments; so, it is easy to see if you have made a mistake before you have invested a ton of work and THEN have to backtrack.

Unlike other lacework I have done, there is no break on the purl side.  The pattern continues, still I found it quite manageable.  Back to the story...

So, there was this dress...  All of my friends hovering around the mid-century mark know the one.  Yeah, it is the one that the mind, of the mature woman you have become, reels-in the heart, of the young woman you once were, with the "that is not age appropriate" line. 

This dress has been hanging in my closet for three years.  Yep.  It was on a sale rack.  It was NOT age appropriate.  It was full length... soft billowy gathers of finest, sweet cotton batiste.  Sleeveless.  Not appropriate.  Still my heart so loved the romance... the softness... the colors.  My older self finally gave in to my heart; it was on sale. 

So, then reality set in.  It would have to be hemmed.  I would really need some kind of cover-up.  I attempted my first lace shawl.  Didn't work.  Just didn't look like I wanted... like I dreamed.  The dress hung in the closet some more another year and a half.

Then, there was the Gingko in Noro blue... Perfection!! Ample coverage... and a romantic feel all its own.  And, there was Italy coming up. When would there ever be a more romantic place to enjoy my own romance with this dress? It took me three hours to hem it.  Five and a half days of crazy knitting to finish the shawl...  Worth every minute. 

This isn't a great photo, but it is proof that a matron can cloak her girl's heart and have a most romantic evening with her handsome beloved.  Mission accomplished!  ;)  AND, I am envisioning it with jeans and a tee shirt this fall. 

These are a couple of views we enjoyed walking home from dinner in Florence...

Or Firenze, as they say over there...

Ladies, don't give up on your heartsongs.  Young ladies, enjoy your young arms and all the appropriateness of your age!!  ;)

blessings ~ tanna

Come join us over at Kim's!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Guess...

I've been missing-in-action and I'll bet this photo gives you all the hint you'll need to guess where I've been.  Yes, it is The Coliseum.  In Rome.  In Italy.

Did you know that over 1 MILLION gladiators (prisoners of war who were forced to fight each other for entertainment) died in this enormous stadium?  Not to mention the Christians, the prisoners and the animals that were also slaughtered for the amusement of blood-thirsty crowds.  There was actually an elaborate system to drain the blood from underneath the flooring!  Ingenious actually, but... Yuk! 

Yeah, let's change the subject.

Just outside the Coliseum, you can see this contrastingly peaceful scene.  Rome's beauty is beyond adequate description... at least by my meager skills.  Grace, symmetry, order, and timelessness exist in any direction you gaze.

The level of artistry, skill, craftsmanship, and perfection... all achieved with manual tools, is nothing short of miraculous in my books.

Can you see the rays of sunshine? They mesmerized me as they flowed into the domes of St. Peter's.

Touring the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's was my favorite part of the trip.  I had always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel... and, it did not disappoint.  I was a little sad you were not allowed to take photos, but definitely respectful of their wishes. 

On that subject, I also have to admit that one of the most disdainful, infuriating and embarrassing things of this trip was seeing an American woman taking photos in the Academia Gallery (not allowed) and then hearing her gloat to her friends that that was the third time she had been "caught" by the docents.  I deplore that kind of behavior.  People who think the rules don't apply to them, that some how they are special, I find extremely disrespectful and I have no respect for them.  Pardon my rant, but it still gets my blood boiling to think about that woman.  And, I hate that she is an American.  Hate it!  If I could have disowned her and thrown her out for the rest of us who believe in being respectful of other people and other countries, I would have.  Oh, I would have... still would.

Okay, I'm getting off that subject, too. 

Back to the beauty... Ladies out there who may quilt, let me tell you that the floors to the Sistine Chapel had every beautiful pattern imaginable... hand cut and made of tiny pieces of stone and marble intricately laid!  I could have just studied the floor for hours!  And, Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling and front wall.... oh, my... oh, my.  I suppose it was just as well that I couldn't take photos in there... I can never really capture the full effect.

Well, I have to hit the sack.  It has been a really long day trying to play catch up following a really long day of traveling home.

I look forward to having some time tomorrow to visit.  It was fun to go... but, I do love being back home!

Blessings ~ tanna
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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.