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Puppies, Learning Italian, and Not Becoming A Model

I love living on the Darling Downs in Queensland, especially in Spring when it seems that everything is budding, blossoming, and greening.

Today is a good day, not just because it’s gorgeously Spring-ish, but because I’m finally recovering from a four-week illness (HOORAY!!!), a dear friend is coming to visit, and I am finally back to my Italian studies.

A few months ago Rocket Languages offered me a free language course in exchange for an honest review. I was delighted, then promptly got sick, then Bear got sick, then I got sick again. Sigh.:-)Isn’t that how life goes sometimes? But now, at last, I feel so much better, my head is clear, and I can begin to wrap my brain around Italian lessons.

Although I’m only on the first level, I am enjoying it so much. Unlike other courses I’ve tried that simply have you sit and listen to rapid-fire conversations while you furiously try to follow along, Rocket Languages in an interesting combination of visual and audio lessons.

One of my first assignments was to find Italian movies to watch – without English subtitles. It’s a little like sitting in a courtyard in Italy, listening to the babble of voices around you, incomprehensible at first, but soon familiar in lilt and diction. Before too long you’re picking out words you know, discovering words that make sense when heard in context, learning slang terms that regular Italians use rather than the textbook phrases that sound stilted and, well, text-bookish.

I like that I can listen to my lessons online, or download them to my computer to listen offline. I will keep you posted on how things go, but so far, Rocket Languages Italian Course is a pleasure.

And now for my crazy story of the week.:-)

Last Wednesday I was minding my own business, innocently waiting to pick up my books at the library counter when a man with wild white hair and piercing blue eyes approached me. In a soft German accent he asked if he could talk to me about something, hastily assuring me he was not trying to sell anything. Politely I nodded for him to continue.

He informed me that he was the leader of a drawing/art class in town, and wondered if I would consider being a paid model for the class for two hours every weekend.

A NUDE model.

Now darlings, I think I should receive an Academy Award for my performance of “woman of the world who gets asked to be a nude model every day of the week”. I was cool, suave, and behaved admirably, especially considering that my friend Ann was only a few steps away, frozen in the act of looking at a book, doing her best not to howl with laughter as he described the modeling schedule, adding that it wouldn’t be difficult work  because they would give me regular tea breaks.


I thanked him for his offer, said I’d “give it some thought”, and bid him farewell.

After his departure, silence reigned in the entryway as Ann’s face contorted into all manner of amusement. “I’m not saying a word,” quoth she, “not a single word.”

We managed to make it out to the car before bursting into laughter. Ann said, “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I’d never have believed it!”

And lest you think the story is over, it isn’t.

We made our way to our favorite cafe which is run by a fabulous South African artist. We told her about my encounter thinking she would also find it hilarious.


“Oh!” she gushed. “What a wonderful opportunity for you!” She then proceeded to tell me that when the artists completed their nude portraits of me, she would be thrilled to hang them in her cafe…where we eat every single week.

Good. Heavens.

Now I consider myself a fairly brave person. I’m willing to road trip through Albania, travel solo in the boonies of Vanuatu, or strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, but pose nude for a crowd of artists and then have those portraits hung in my favorite cafe? NOSIREEBOB!!!! Alas, the Art and Culinary worlds are going to have to miss out on that particular…um…pleasure.

Life is never dull on the Darling Downs.:-)

Now I will leave you with pictures of our darling new Maremma puppies – Apollo and Solar – who arrived safe and sound last night.:-)

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  • Riccardo

    Double standard. You make Apollo and Solar pose. But you personally refuse? Krista! You must admit: you are having a blast of a life Down Under!

    • Krista

      Guilty as charged, Riccardo! :-) Though if I could wear a fur coat like them, I might be more willing. :-) You are right, my friend, I’m having a GREAT life in Oz. :-)

  • Vaila

    I’m finally going through all the rigmarole of leaving a message here, only to say “I’m speechless!”

    • Krista

      You’re a trooper, Vaila! :-) And trust me, you weren’t the only one. For the longest time all I could do was shake my head and say, “Oh my.” :-)

  • Robin Davis

    hilarious Krista! I love it. enjoying that life is never boring. what a blessing :)

    • Krista

      So glad you love it, @google-9db32c294b0cb30c06c25eefd18dc701:disqus :-) Such a crazy turn of evens and the LAST thing I expected at the library. :-)

  • Andrea and John

    A nice compliment to be sure, but I could never do that either! The puppies are DARLING!!!

    • Krista

      Yep, I took it as a compliment for sure, Andrea. :-) So glad I’m not the only fraidy cat about doing such things. :-)

  • Kelley Perry

    I too am howling. I just read this outloud to Jonathan here!!! Too MUCH!!!!

    • Krista

      I love picturing you two laughing your heads off in the Alps. :-) So glad I could entertain you. :-)

  • Kelley Perry

    What are libraries coming to these days?

    • Krista

      I hear that!! Just when you thought you were safe…:-)

  • LindyLou Mac

    In the library! Hanging in your favourite local cafe! On my goodness Krista, you life is never dull. The puppies are cute, oh and good luck with italian course.

    • Krista

      You aren’t kidding, Linda! :-) So glad you like our pups and thank you VERY much for the good luck wishes. I need every last bit of it. :-)

  • Imen McDonnell

    omg that is hilarious! love it! glad you are feeling better K, and your pups are amazing!! x

    • Krista

      So glad it made you laugh too, Imen. :-) Still shaking my head over that one!! Aren’t the pups gorgeous? I just can’t get enough of them. :-)

  • bellini

    Good to know you are feeling better and that the Spring sunshine is working its magic down under. As for your modelling career it will just have to wait until after the spring activities at your farm in Oz.

    • Krista

      Thank you, Val!!! :-) I think that modeling career will have to wait a whole lot longer than that!! :-)

  • jenny_atasteoftravel

    Love it! Be careful..he might be hanging around the library next time you go back!!! The puppies are so cute!

    • Krista

      You can bet I’ll be peering around corners from now on, @jenny_atasteoftravel:disqus :-) So glad you like our puppies :-)

  • Joanne (Eats well with others)

    The puppies!!!! I’m so in love.

    I had to laugh at the modeling proposition. What a compliment! 😛

    • Krista

      After I got over my shock, I took it as a compliment too, Joanne. :-)

  • Cailins

    Glad to hear you are feeling better! What a hilarious story.

    • Krista

      Thanks, lovely! :-) xo

  • Jamie Schler

    ha ha ha this was such a fun post! I think I would be horrified thinking of having nude paintings of me hanging in the local restaurant! But glad you and Bear are better and I do hope ou’ll learn Italian! It’s a fun language to speak. And we love Italian movies! And the puppies are adorable! Adorable!

    • Krista

      Can you imagine such a thing, Jamie?! :-) I’m so glad you’d be horrified at such a prospect too. :-)

  • Black Fox Homestead

    LOL! That is hilarious!!! I love the puppies. :) Have fun with them. Puppies grow fast.

    • Krista

      Thank you, Jenny :-) I am enjoying them every single day. :-)

  • Bethany Bassett

    Bwahahaha! Not that you wouldn’t make a LOVELY nude model, but the idea of hanging the finished portraits in a local cafe is much close to nightmare than “wonderful opportunity.” And to just be approached at the library like that! I’m definitely cracking up with you.

    • Krista

      I figured he must’ve been looking for Rubenesque models, @BethanyBassett:disqus :-) Nightmare is right!!!

  • Katie@Cozydelicious

    Cutest puppies ever!!! So fluffy! And you crack me up… But I’m impressed that ou managed not to laugh! I would not have been able to respond without nervous giggles, I’m sure.

    • Krista

      It was all I could do not to laugh, Katie. :-) Good heavens. :-)

  • Karista Bennett

    What a wonderful post! I’m laughing so hard my eyes are tearing. :) So glad to have found your delightfully refreshing blog. I am a colleague and friend of Janelle’s over at Talk of Tomatoes (just love her!), and I saw your name, which is close to mine. So glad I clicked on your link. Can’t wait to browse. And the puppies are just precious!

    • Krista

      I am SO glad you clicked through, @twitter-202756131:disqus :-) It’s so great to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you better. :-) So glad my crazy story gave you a good laugh. :-)

  • Kitchen Butterfly

    Oh wow…isnt that amazing, the offer to be a model. And to think the cafe owner would love them… second thoughts :-). I can imagine your shock….but also, that is a wonderful compliment in a not-so-traditional way! My daughter loves the puppies – she says to tell you ‘those are soooo cute’. Lots of love!

    • Krista

      Much love to you too, dear Ozoz!! Please tell your daughter I’m so glad she likes my pups. :-)

  • Ulysses S. Rant

    Hmmm…I’ve heard of this gentleman before. Apparently a big hole was recently found in his gallery wall. Police are looking into it.

    • Krista

      Bahaha!!! Oh, @UlyssesSRant:disqus , you never fail to make me laugh. :-)

      • Guest

        Luv ya, K!

      • Ulysses S. Rant


  • Jeanne @ CookSister!

    Pupppiiiieeeeees!!!!! How adorable are they?! And love the nude modelling story – too funny! Viewing my own naked portrait while I eat is not something I woudl relish (although it might be a good diet aid, putting me off my food LOL!!

  • Ayelet – All Colores

    Well, if you’ll get regular tea breaks then his request is totally appropriate….. not! And the second part of the story was shocking too! He’s lucky he found someone who thought it was funny and not someone who would sue him for sexual harassment…. Just sayin’….. The puppies are cute, though, and learning a new language is fun! So very glad you’re finally feeling better. I know from experience that being sick for a long time isn’t easy. Hope you both continue feeling better!

  • Abigail

    Krista, this made me laugh. Oh my. The second part of the story is even funnier than the first. And I LOVE your puppies! Adorable!