September 30, 2010

itty'smitty::my order arrived

a few days ago i placed an order with megan, it all started with stumbling across her blog "the art of homemaking". i liked her photos and fell in love with the little pouches and note pad's.

a few emails back and forth as she is wanted to know what i liked the items to look. a bright button and leaf prints was my answer, leaving things up to her. i like surprises.

lovely details, i love the button and the way it matches the inside fabric.

there is really nothing to add, i'm sure i will likely order again. not knowing a week ago, i just wanted one of those little coin purses. i already have the perfect person for the little gift.
a 2year old girl, very eager to zip it open and close....

i added a big shiny button to the pull tab of the zipper, this will make it easy for the little hands to grab and pull.

September 29, 2010

the worker::in and around the kitchen

still hanging laundry outside, if we get a good day with a bit wind and some afternoon sun. my little worker is with me at all times and lately wearing an apron to her work.
we are getting used to wearing sweaters and cardigans again, the weather is turning cooler and with it the harvest is at a peak. thea and i are still working on putting apples on the table in all kinds of fashions, yesterday was apple butter cooking on the forefront.
today it's peanut squash for lunch and there is a big zucchini waiting in the fridge to be cooked or baked into something yummy.

September 28, 2010

a boys view::amos got a hold of my camera

a few days ago amos asked me if he could be a photographer for one hour. of course was my answer, as i love to have him initiate creative work. what he really wanted to use was not just the camera but our gorilla!
not long and he was hunting for sights and impossible set ups for the gorilla.... (sorry i guess i should have taken photos of those, but didn't)
so following some shots, no comments, just enjoy and you will be able to come up with your own stories.

September 27, 2010


yup, the sour and wormy apples need to be taken care of. there has been more apple sauce apple pies, covered and uncovered and marmalade with all kinds of twists. apple with lemon peal, apple with italian plums, apple with cinnamon, apple with rum raisins and there will be more more.
yesterday was our community fest, we organized it in a some kind of open haus, with some workshops and stations with information, it was fun, we had just about 50 people come and visit.
and of course it's autumn, there must be spiced apple cider. the swiss folks don't really know of this, so i prepared a big batch and hoped for cool weather. the weather was rather cool, the scent in the house wonderful and people loved the spiced hot cider! yeah, thank you old new england for the wonderful recipe of spiced hot cider. with the cider was also lots of bread and cheese served, some folks were bringing tarts and cakes, so we all really enjoyed the food and company.

here my recipe for spiced hot cider, though it really doesn't matter that much just stick with the main ingredients and try with the rest...


  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar/honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • a few star anise, they look gorgeous and give it a wintry taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg, or a few cut pieces
  • 1 large orange, quartered with peel, this time i didn't use orange (i forgot to buy)
  • 1 gallon apple cider

September 24, 2010

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama

September 23, 2010

out there::enjoying autumn

once more thea and i went to our 5 trees, to collect the fallen apples.
there was not a lot to collect, but we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the autumn morning.

right there next to our trees is this fountain, we love water and thea seems addicted, though it's too cold now to go swimming, still we watched and listened intently for a moment. it soothes and mellows me, letting my thoughts wander...

and just across the street is the vineyard, not much longer and the grapes will be harvested, though they look so pretty right now.

of course we know better, we should not eat from other peoples fruits. though thea just could not resist, i did let her have one grape berry... she loved it. i have no idea how sweet (or maybe sour) it was

September 22, 2010

things are floating::over our house

our neighbor is building an addition to his house....
today is the day we all have been waiting, the wooden elements are being built up on the foundation.

in front of our house is the big crain and all the bits and pieces of wood, which at the end of the day will be "the house"!

every load is very quietly floating over our house and being unloaded behind the chicken coop.

of course the kids got up early. work started at 5:30am, but non of us woke up, it's amazing how 6workers, a huge crane and so much material can be so very quiet. i could not believe it, but those wooden elements are fitting together and no one is shouting it's super smooth.
just amazing to see it happen. this is the company who does it...

September 21, 2010

kids clothes week::the challenge

some how i happen to me yesterday night, that i felt like sewing, but wasn't really on the go yet. getting inspired when i was saying good night to my girl and feeling like she really needed a new pj. it is getting cooler and i remembered the stash of anna maria horner's folksy flannel
the second part came to me a few moments later, standing in front of my little screen, i stumbled upon elsie's blog and could not resist the challenge.
so here we go, the first hour of finding a quick and easy pattern (and yes that's what weekend sewing is all about), and collect the materials to trace the pattern and lay all the things out...
the one hour is almost past, but i decided to the get cutting done today. just to make sure i'm really making the right size, i quickly take a look at one of naomi's comfy lounge pants, which she has kind of outgrown, but can't let go yet.
so, this much for the moment, i will keep going and surely naomi will be showing of her new garment at the end...

September 20, 2010

door deco::carried away

coming home after the weekend away i encountered our front door. anew i fell in love with the play full wax paper "taet tat" ornaments.... (i got them at kaufkaffee)
i got a bit carried away in looking at them, but also feel like that's ok. once in a while it does do well to just enjoy details of "my home"

September 18, 2010

weekending::cow pageant

we spend the weekend in the country, the town i grew up in and the place i have been familiar with. lots changed and much stayed the same. now it's our older boy who get's to show the calf of his cousin's choosing. together they parade the calf in the ring and recite a little poem.
lots of brown cows, lots of edelweis-shirt wearing folks. and of course some very serious farmes showing their best cows!

September 17, 2010

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama

September 16, 2010

once more canning::mushrooms

our grocer had mushrooms on sale.... i know it's kind'a cheap to not having to head out into nature and collect the fruits of a moist late summer!

cleaning and boiling the mushrooms in salt water for a short 8-10 minutes, meanwhile sterilizing the jars.

filling the cooked mushrooms into the jars together with vinegar and joel and some rosemarie, thyme and peppercorns.
i lightly closed the lids and put them back into the water-bath to get them an other 25 minutes of sterilizing. tightening the lid and let them cool.
we will see how long they might be able to sit in the cupboard until i can not resist any longer!
a nice description of how to can here.

September 15, 2010

getting acquanted::with the kunsthaus

i was at the kunsthaus zurich yesterday morning and enjoyed it together with thea.
it was the first time since we moved back to switzerland and the first time too, for just thea and me to enjoy art together without any of the other kids in tow...
we went to see the "riesenkraeuter und monsterbaeume" by w. kolbe. a collection of drawings and prints. as in the past years, my experience with kids at the museum, they do pay attention and like to search for things. this time it was cows, many prints and drawings showed cows and thea liked to point them out. this kept her attention and i was able to enjoy the lines and forms on paper too.

September 14, 2010

keeping in the check::the chicken have "red mite's"

for a while now elias was telling us about the little "bugs" he finds on his body. so we had to start looking and find out where they come from and what they are and do...
it didn't take long for joel to find out about the "dermanyssus gallinae"

some more research showed that this is very common and especially during the summer month normal with chickens. though we wanted to keep these critters in check and that meant cleaning and treating the chicken coop as well as the chickens with kieselguhr, here some more info in german.... and that's were we got it.

joel was able to order a bag of the "dust" with an applicator, the chicken didn't mind at all. they are used to elias picking them up and holding them.

we love our ladies and want' them to be comfortable and healthy. the cooler weather is approaching quickly and with it the mites will disappear, we hope.

September 13, 2010

the rabbits::goodbye

as good by parties usually are, lots of fun but there is that tiny bit of sadness there. just very present. this past week we said goodbye to t the guy who has been in the community the longest and has impressed his character upon our time with him too. so we had to prepare a very special goodbye dinner for him!
joel had the idea of putting a rabbit on the grill, and o yes i liked that one. i have never done this before, but it didn't seem to hard to do.

starting out with an order for two rabbits at the local butcher, which joel picked up on wednesday. i ended up with bigger animals as i expected, but never the less marinating them 24h ahead with lots of olive oil, rosemary, ground black pepper, oregano and then just taking a look into the fridge and finding a rather old jar with cranberry sauce...

of course elias had to help, he loves the adventure of "real grilling and cooking"...
the middle boy was running away with tearing eyes, he could not understand how we can do this to a rabbit. i had to take moment and stay with him, console him and explain it in many details why and how and all the where about. but that's ok, i don't mind, i do understand and respect that he didn't want to see or taste the meat/"dead animal". though i have to say, i feel like it is important to see the animal as a whole, to be connected with the animal you are eating. our society doesn't often get the opportunity to do so and that's why all the meat lovers eat without caring! huge amounts of meats....

as we had the meat over the hot coal, i frequently put some olive oil and once in a while beer over it. the meat stayed very moist, which is a bit of a challenge with rabbit and it took about 50 minutes over the hot coal for the two 5lb rabbits to be done.
it was a good dinner, with whole rice and ratatouille, yummy!