The Black Hand in America

Before the mafia, there was the Black Hand, the deadliest secret society you've probably never heard of. Now, before we get started, I do want to clarify something. There are two groups known as "The Black Hand." The first is a proto-mafia group known for extortion, kidnapping, and bombings, particularly in New York, from the… Continue reading The Black Hand in America


Knitter Seeks Burial Stockings

You've probably figured out by now, even if you're new here, that I like history. And textiles. And in particular, textile history. Several years ago, back near the start of this blog, I lived in Italy for a brief period while studying textile conservation. While there, I developed a keen interest in the burial stockings… Continue reading Knitter Seeks Burial Stockings


Cabin Fever

It's that time of year again, when the snow finally starts to melt and we see the sun for the first time in ages. And then the cold comes back and we all want to crawl back in bed and hide again. It's the time of year when running away from home seems like a… Continue reading Cabin Fever

college life

Who am I and what have I done with the old me?

I'm back in Florence. I got here on Sunday afternoon, and started classes on Monday. So far, every day that I've been here I've worked out, cleaned, made my bed...it's kind of scary. Classes are going well, or as well as first-day-of-term classes can go, when it's all review and figuring out what you're going… Continue reading Who am I and what have I done with the old me?



  One thing that completely boggles me about Florence is the number of master painters who lived and worked in this city and yet the lighting is so terrible. Maybe things were different back in the 1500s, when there were fewer buildings, but it's hard to imagine this city as anything other than tightly packed… Continue reading Teaser


Take Off

I forgot to mention the other day that we tried that Chinese place, Peking Restaurant. The day I wrote the entry, they were actually closed. We think they close at 5pm, if not earlier, which is strange. So I walked all the way down to another take away place for some food that was kind… Continue reading Take Off

college life


I was updating my book list, and realized that when I finished Where there's a Witch the other day I hit my 52 book goal. It seems a little like cheating though, since the last book was one that I read earlier in the year, so I'm not going to count is as officially finished… Continue reading Browsing

college life


I'm a baby when I'm sick. I'm an even bigger baby when I'm away from home. Maybe it's because I'm a spoiled only child, but all I want to do is curl up in my own bed (which is a water bed, extra special), under my blankets with my pillow (because no matter how long… Continue reading Solace

college life

Shake, Rattle and Roll (or not)

Ohio gets several tornadoes per year (about 16), and many, many violent thunderstorms. From the time I was little, I usually slept through them. It takes a pretty bad storm to wake me up. I've slept straight through a tornado watch in which my mom was gathering everything to go down to the basement to… Continue reading Shake, Rattle and Roll (or not)

college life

Ciao, Bellas.

I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I just moved to the other side of it. I had to take a few days and acclimated. Between jet lag, insomnia, a cold, and then general whirl wind of figuring what was needed immediately for the apartment, what could wait, what fees still needed paid… Continue reading Ciao, Bellas.