Sunday, April 29, 2007

Etna Fireworks Tonight!

A couple of smallish earthquakes and lots of steam during the past week should have given us warning that this was going to happen. First, Christine and Matt called me, I called Jacque and Rob, Darcy called them, and we all had a pajama/photo party on their patio. Then Pat called me, Matt called Phil, and even all the Italians were out watching it!
Here's the view from Jacque and Rob's patio (my neighbors) tonight of Mt. Etna. I don't have the world's greatest camera, but you can get the idea. We're at 3,000 feet and the peak is about 10,000 feet. You can hear it booming and also smell it--sulphury and smoky.
View two short videos in the news of this eruption from Canada and Australia.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lava Tables in My Future

Yesterday, I went again to look at lava tables with friends. This is now the fourth time I've been to this place and I've yet to buy anything. I'm on the verge, though! We brought a new customer for them, another DoDDS teacher and power shopper. She ordered a table, chairs, and several other items, taking no time at all to make up her mind!

What is a lava table? It's a table, usually with wrought-iron base, made of a slab of quarried lava stone from Etna that is then hand-painted and fired in an oven like ceramics are, making it virtually indestructible. The top is usually about two inches or so thick, making the tables extremely heavy.

A lava table (or two) is something everyone who lives to Sicily wants to have before they leave. And it's not just tables, but they also make complete kitchens (counters and backsplash), tiles, clocks, wall hangings (pictures), bases for BBQ grills to fit in, wine racks, baker's racks, chairs, benches, and more. The artwork on them is typically Sicilian, very much like the ceramics of Caltagirone that we all love.

At the place we go, they will paint anything you want on the tables, so the possibilities are endless. You can also choose to leave the background naturally black/gray or have it painted. Each place employs their own artists, and they will be happy to match your table to dishes (or vice versa), tiles, or ceramics. At Ceramiche Artistiche Allegra Belpasso, between Belpasso and San Pietro, they have beautiful things, an accommodating staff, and the best prices.

Check us out eating on a new lava table purchased by my friend Kendra on her blog HERE.
So, there are lava tables in my future, no doubt! The only questions are what size, how many, and what designs?

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Etna Heating Up?

Monte Etna has been pretty quiet for some time now, unlike the fall and early winter when it was shooting fireworks and flowing lava every day. Today at the cafe, though, the Sunday morning cappucino and granite group noticed it is putting out a lot of steam. It's a gorgeous sunny day here, with the kind of blue sky you only see in Sicily . . . .

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Mellow Yellow Sicilian Spring

Everything is in full bloom in Sicily, and it's YELLOW everywhere you look! In Heidelberg, we used to say we looked at the world through rose-colored glasses because everything was built from the pink rock of the area. Here, we look through lemon-colored glasses . . . .

Me with scary giant fennel plant.

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