La dolce vita here is just what the doctor ordered. Our big news is that after an Italian-style long wait and many false promises, our pizza oven arrived. If it had come at any other time, the company that restored our house would have put it together and built the surrounding structure, but now we are bumping up against a holiday, when no self-respecting worker will do anything. Ditto for every saint's birthday, and believe me, there are plenty of them. So all fantasies of baking delicious stuff will remain unrealized for a while. Apparently once the thing is revved up, it takes about 2 minutes to cook a rustic pizza. The recent delivery plan was quintessentially Italian: first, we were told it would be all set up when we got here. (not so much!) Next, we get a message the day we arrive, saying, "it's coming this afternoon at 4. Please be home." (ha!) Then they called to say that they were on their way, but once they saw how bad the road was, they turned around and decided to return the next day with a smaller truck. When they didn't show up on Friday, we figured it was all over, but they said they would come on Saturday at noon, so we rushed back, just in case. I had to laugh when I saw the name of the company on the truck that finally rolled in at 4PM: SUPER SPEEDY! Well, it's not everyone who can say that their driveway is decorated for the holiday with a 2-ton pizza oven. Oven or not, the house is still wonderful. When I'm packing up to get on a 9-hour flight with 2+hours of transit to and from the airports, organizing pet sitters and obsessing about everything, I think we were nuts to do this project. But once here, those feelings dissipate way faster than a delivery from Signore Super Speedy. The quality of light is different here, with extra clarity in the crisper winter air. And speaking of nuts, we have plenty of them. I made batches of our chestnuts several ways, and J made a delicious ribbolita Tuscan soup--labor-intensive projects that feel just right for the home of "slow cooking." I hear that you have a big storm that will slow everything down to the pace of life here. Sounds like a good day to settle back and relax with a nice cup of tea.