You've probably heard the saying "where there's smoke, there's fire." Well, in our fireplace here--not so much. We were excited to inaugurate the fireplaces, had the local farmer bring over some nice wood, and were all fired up to do it when we realized we had no matches. I had one pathetic used Hanukah candle that I had brought over for birthdays, but even after many schleps to and from the gas stove with my little candle, praying for a Hanukah miracle, and many years as a girl scout, I see that I have no future as an arsonist. Bummer! We also realized we had no fireplace tools of any kind, either, so we should consider ourselves lucky not to have burned the house down. Maybe we will fare better tomorrow once we start playing with matches. It's true that, as J was happy to remind me, I am way too neurotic for candles, and tend to worry that matches will light themselves, sparking disaster everywhere. A propos of my paranoia, when I asked our architects if it was customary for Italian houses to have a fire extinguisher, they just laughed and said, "but all the houses are made of stone!" Oh well...maybe I should have thrown caution to the winds and tried to rub two sticks together. In any case, I must have been quite a sight with my head stuck over all those logs and kindling, fanning, laughing, and blowing, all to no avail. Now you know what passes for entertainment in the Italian countryside.