December, 2007

Gaming Spirit

“Games lubricate the body and the mind.”
       –Benjamin Franklin, American statesman and inventor, 1706 – 1790

I’m looking forward to a good, healthy dose of Scrabble when I go home next week.  I’ve found that many Italians are not big game players.  Luckily I was able to trick Luca into opening his mind to the world of games during our trip to Aosta, where there was no TV.  He’s a big fan of the double deck card game “Scala 47”.  In this game you basically have to get cards that add up to 47 and you win.  Not all that challenging (though for the mathematically disinclined it can occasionally be rather frustrating.  Couldn’t they at least have picked an EVEN number?!)

Anyways, I’m sure you can appreciate the fact that during this TV-less week, even Scala 47 got old pretty quick.  So I made a mancala game out of stapled together plastic cups and random pebbles and bean pods found around the farm.  Mancala: now there’s an exciting game!  We used to make them in Girl Scouts with egg cartons and buttons.  Hotness, folks, hotness.  If you’ve never played, I reccomend you make yourself a mancala game and find a partner lickitysplit.

If you have played mancala, try out one of the alternatives: there are hundreds!

By the end of our trip, Luca was addicted to Mancala, and now it’s he who’s asking me to play.  In the meantime, we’ve aumented our game collection to include UNO (which we two refer to as “colors”), Jenga and one stupid puzzle of a cat trying to eat fish (yet to be completed).

As for my homemade mancala game, I gave it to a group of kids who were staying at the same TV-less B&B with us and were bored out of their minds.  (I even threw in the pebbles I collected and their sophisticated container: a plastic Tums bottle.  They thought it was cool that the rocks smelled fruity.)

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Stocking Stuffers

stocking.jpgMy Mom reminded me today that stocking time is quickly approaching!

*Sidenote: I can’t wait to go home–that’s right folks, from the 19th of December until my birthday (turning the big 27 in 2008), you can find me in LeRoy, NY.*

In past years, we’ve brainstormed together to create a list of season’s best stocking stuffers. And since I’m a firm believer in the beneficiality of holiday rites, I say, “Let’s do it again, by Jove!”

The Ultimate Stocking of 2007

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin (used paperback edition perfectly acceptable) ELVES HAVE ACCOUNTED FOR THIS ITEM!

Dried Cherries & Cranberries

Pentel Metal Tip 0.7mm Ball Black Ink Pens

A Simple Silver Necklace with a very small clasp, so that I can change the charms.

Variety of Exotic Spices

Heavy Duty Potato Masher new.gif

Black Nylon Socks are always a big hit, and a great filler!

Pencils with Erasers

Nutmeg Grater

Tweezers with plastic tips like Mom’s and Phoebe’s new.gif

Magazine Subscription that comes to me in Italy  (preferably Bon Appetit, Gourmet or Food & Wine) new.gif

A Cool Contact Lens Case

My Signature Perfume (I don’t know what that is yet…I love BVLGARI, but that’s my sister’s signature scent, so I can’t use that. I guess what I really need is: A book or guide of some sort on how to pick a perfume that’s right for you.

A Good Recent Family Photo (or perhaps we can arrange to take one…)

A Coupon to Go See or Rent Becoming Jane

An Insulated Lunch Bag

I need some serious fashion help, therefore: a book about dressing with style new.gif

Mouse Pad

One of those plastic clips that keeps your toothpaste near the top of the tube (Uncle Charlie had one on Nantucket)

A Pecan Pie

Dad’s French Toast (After stocking opening)

A Pumpkin Shaped Cookie Cutter

Travel jewelry case

A Turkey Dinner (Thanksgiving style. Okay, okay, obviously this is not going to easily fit into my stocking. Neither is the pecan pie. I’ll settle for eating them together at some time during the Christmas season).

What do YOU want in your stocking?!? Everyone who posts a comment detailing the contents of their Ultimate 2007 Stocking will be entered in a contest to win a Fabulous MoltenChocolate Prize!! Enter now!! The Elves are waiting…