August 31, 2015

hiking säntis

it has been a long wished dream, and it was on joel's "bucket list", to hike säntis. there is an easy tour up, via tierwes, though that one is used by most people and on our morning, we already met a group of 15 people going up there. that made our decision a quick one, we switched over to the chammerhalde - gierenspitz route. joel was well prepared and knowing, that it was really not a long hike, just super more of a climb (1200m within 4km), was energizing me. a great morning, warm and at it's best for a late august day. we were glad for the early start, and because of the early morning, we were able to climb up, mostly in the shade, perfect.

 a few challenging parts, though we both liked them and it was fun to be on the mountain. no ropes or any other gear was really needed, but definitely a sure foot and no angst of hight. we loved it and enjoyed each moment.
we wanted to take the older kids along, though they were not up for an early rise. well too bad for them, missing out on this route. maybe we will go again...
a wonderful ibex near by (15 yards) was posing for us, just gorgeous. and then of course the few up there all around, looking and loving it!

August 28, 2015

mornings :: these days

it's a late summers morning sky. i love the moments, when it is still summery warm in the morning and dawn is moving on around 6:30pm. it's our breakfast time, sitting down and sipping on a cup of green tea, watching the sky change. having some early morning conversation, more just little exchanges of what's coming up this day. moving the jam and the butter this way and back to the other way. it's not every day smooth and uplifting our breakfast, but it was today and it was yesterday too.
reading scripture we are on chapter 3 of 1st john, the frequent "my little children" has become a familiar saying. it's good for us and i'm at home on the mornings and love the running after breakfast, when every one else is gone to school and work.

thank God for mornings.

August 26, 2015

lush and red :: late summer

it is that tie of year, and i absolutely love it, when my own tomatoes are ripening and the cucumbers are local, the basil is from my own plants. well the feta is a greek import and so is the olive oil, the vinegar from italy and the salt is from switzerland, i still have a bit of that special salt from bex near lake geneva, which joel and amos brought home last summer.
with the lush late summer colors comes the pot holder, it's not done yet, but the red binding is lovely and it's from my stash. there is not a better color and destashing is a wonderful thing to do. there will be opportunities coming up to hand this wonderful late summer work into a friends hand, or on my own dinner table, who knows!

the 9 square quilt has a back and is sandwiched, i'm in the middle of quilting. it's going to be simple and quick, not fancy at all. maybe if i finally get a big time window, there will be a some detail work added, but it's not a given. as soon as the weather cools down, thea needs her big size 9square, so no dappling around on my part.

August 24, 2015

destashing with puddle duck

 it's a leaser sunday afternoon, the sun is out, but it's not hot anymore. it's just the right time to start knitting autumn tops for thea. this is the puddle duck pattern, i use cotton and #5. as it is growing, i feel like it will fit just nicely, though the arms will have to be longer, as thea dislikes the 2/3 lengths.
it makes me happy to knit with those bold and lush colors, using up stash...
that is, why it's striped, the pattern would call for just one color. and i'm aware that it would look great and that middle stitch would be even nicer when just working in one color. sometimes i have to adjust and give in to "eliminating" instead of accumulating.
the best thing with this pattern, there will be pockets, not just planned but they are already started, and for that i knit in light green down to the bottom. lots of fun, and quick!

our hippi is looking good, isn't she!

August 21, 2015

end of summer :: excitement

summer reading celebration in the city is one more sign, that summer is over. as you can see, it was already cooler. of course last week we still had temperatures in the high eighties and a drop into the sixties is kind of a chock. no wonder we got our fleece jackets and sneakers out.
we enjoyed the summer reading challenge, for 30 days each day 20 minutes of reading. thea was absolutely into it and has gained a lot of confidence in her english reading skill. the big kids read a lot anyway, so for them the challenge was, to bring the form to the library on time by the end of summer...

as the summer was hot and great and we loved it, the past wednesday was wet and cold. good thing it did't rain when we went out to listen to the different bands, picked up the t-shirt and a free drink for all the participants. doing all this with friends was of course fun. thea was so happy to see her friend and the two of them got a really nice spot to see the happenings on stage. i didn't mind, it's so super crowded and not my kind of event, lots of screaming kids, so i was glad the girls liked it and had a blast. yes, that is one part of parenting, which i would not have understood if i weren't one. one starts doing things which are really not at all what one personally likes or enjoys but for and with the kids, it can still be tiny bit of exciting at least the aspect of watching the kids and observing their excitement!

my reward, meeting a few friends (not just the kids friends..), having a personal conversation amidst the crowd of kids, two tired girls falling into bed and asleep right away.
uups and i forgot, of course naomi as well as amos won a book prize (not the main prize, a bike or box of comics....)

on the other hand, while the kids were all reading, of course i picked up a book here and there too. c.s.lewis' the pilgrims regress, sewing modkidstyle by patty young, feeding the whole family by cynthia lair, and some more...

August 20, 2015


our start into the new school year as well as the german conversation group, we had a kick off breakfast together with all the ladies attending the classes. i had to come up with some easy and yummy idea for the buffet. of course, there was artisan bread and scones were a given, as they are super easy to make and liked by most people. and then there was that very tasty looking picture of the cardamom pastry...
i'm still hooked to the summer recipe book and liked the version they explained.

a simple yeast dough with ground cardamom added and the filling has even more cardamom and syrup, i figured the maple syrup would be perfect to use in this pastry. lots of compliments and i do feel like the maple syrup really added that additional flavor, very subtle and a bit ambiguous. the shaping was easy, creative, just knot the double layered though stripes together and put the "creative knot" into a muffin paper for baking. i brushed them with egg and sprinkled some course brown sugar, let them rise for 30 minutes and bake.

ready to serve

August 19, 2015

the first week

our first grader, she started this monday and loves it. of course she could almost not wait anymore for the magic day to come. waking up and getting ready was quick and we enjoyed our breakfast, around the table all of us together at 6:30am...
of course we were all nervous with her, and elias too started at a new school, new friends, new teachers, new everything. it's a week of new moments and we have started well into all the new of this week.

the first home work... it's fun to watch her being all eager to get the work done quickly and exactly, as the teacher said. i love to watch her and as you might see, a very cool was to teach the 1st graders the letters, a super cool method called "kybernetic", which i'm looking forward to see her progress into fluent reading and writing.

and for me, there are many changes to my routine, summer brake is over and the days are all quite structured again. it is alright, though i absolutely liked the summer weeks with a bit more ease to start the days. a very new thing too, elias is home for lunch, he has not been for the past three school years, this is a very different feel, but we enjoy it, and will get used to a bit more teen-talk and teen-emotion around the lunch table. (the past year was just thea, naomi and mee)
one thing we are still in the process of figuring out, naoim is looking into playing soccer...
well that's a summer-vacation afterburner, as she has been at soccer camp for a whole week with her friends, while in boston. we will take it step by step and not hurry into anything.

August 18, 2015

still summer

with the kids back in school and the temperatures slightly dropping into the mid seventies, i don't want to give up on summer yet. so the food on our table has to make it work.

this "salad" definitely does it, we all feel wonderful and there is a hint of vacation still there. water melon, cucumber and feta cubes, toped with lemon zest and cut mint leafs, sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt. its just about all a summer dish needs to be.

i leafed through this book and discovered a few super simple summer dishes, which i will not give up yet, but keep putting them on the table. and the family as well as all the guests around the table love it.

August 17, 2015

glass straws

for quiet a while i have been looking at my glass straws and lids with holes... it has been something i have wished for, for a while, as we all love to drink smoothies and all kinds of other beverages out of mason jars, there is just something unique about it...
this is so wonderful, finally i got it all together, the right size jars and lids, as well as the glas straws!
it was a bit of a puzzle, as i ordered "wide mouth" lids and then found out, that this particular size jars is not available in switzerland....
so this past month my daughter was visiting the US and she was able to bring home two wide mouthed mason jars, thank you A for helping her to get the right jars...

and now as summer is not over yet, we are all in smoothy mode.

i ordered the glass straws and modified lids at man mini's, and yes i do like them, they also have very special straws in the shop and the wide straws are just wonderful for thicker smooties...
the regular ones i love for iced coffee!

August 14, 2015

banded tank top

naomi is back from her extended stay in boston and brought with her a few yards of wonderful fabric. together with a friend, she was at JP knit&stitch with a friend. lovely choice of fabric and quickly we looked through a few pattern books....
and quickly was the decision made, the modkid banded tank top would be the first thing to sew. so we did, a few changes had to be made, as the pattern is written for 5-10 year olds and was definitely to small for naomi, but this was quick. she also wanted a narrower band at the bottom of the top but a longer top. not too sophisticated for us and within two hours the top had to be tried on.
ups, the girl didn't like the straps, they seemed way to long compare to what she felt they had to be. a quick use of the seem ripper, still too long. so we did a modification of the straps, her idea to make a little "ruffle", so we did it and i have to say, it really adds to the top.
lovely i think and she is happy, there is more fabric, maybe a skirt, even a dress would be possible, a hair band a must...

August 13, 2015

the foxtrap

the fox was visiting once more. and got paula...
it is  couple weeks back, and it was not easy on all of us, it was my fault that she is gone. i was not paying attention and left the shutter open to the chicken coop. i didn't even hear it in the middle of the night, though joel did and one of our neighbors even got up and checked the coop, but of course too late!

and in then, the other day some folks took action and built a fox trap. i know by now, that if the fox find a food source, she is doing her rounds regularly. there is not one day of missing to close the shutter at the coop, without being noticed by her. too late for paula (her sisters were taken in may, around noon time of a rainy tuesday).
of course the meet was gone from the trap, the next morning, though no fox in the trap. never mind, seriously, what would i have done if the misses fox would have been sitting in the trap that morning? probably called the ranger...

i just got around to clean the coop this week and i'm calling the chicken breeder, we are missing the birds in our backyard. and i will make sure, the shutter gets locked every night!

August 12, 2015

klaräpfel and more gardening

we got the yearly phone call: "please come and get the apples, the klarapples are ripe", of course we went to pick them. amos was excited and we went together. it was not just picking apples, but we also went to the garden coop, where we get our share each week. the work at the veggie farm was great, lots of pulling weeds. i liked it and it was super rewarding, after three hours all the leeks were feeling free and ready to make an other growth spurt! at least that's how i looked at it. amos was staying with it for 1.5h and then got a new job.
he got to get all the trays ready for transplanting little seedlings. that was definitely the more liked work for him. we love to go and work with the people at the gmüesabo, katharina is such a gifted gardener and the little morning brake with coffee, herb tea, home made bread and butter was exactly what made our day.

by now, the apples are cooked into applesauce and neatly stored in the basement.

August 11, 2015

in the garden

with summer still going strong and hot, the garden is in full swing. not that we have any vegetables, but some berries and some flowers and as you can see some days we all enjoy the work...
there is one particular corner in the garden which has been over grown with very strong weeds, pulling them once earlier in the season, really didn't do anything. and then a friend took the time to really get at the root of those weeds, and a week later, there was all of a sudden, everyone in the garden, pulling and digging, planting and having a blast!
we loved it and enjoyed the company of one another while working and o'boy we really got that corner in good shape. some new rhubarb plants have been put in, the peppermint has been put into a pot into the ground (so it will not overgrow everything).
the vines have been taken care of again and now we look forward to harvest grapes, tomatoes and next spring, for sure there will be rhubarb. meantime mint for tea, the chives got some fresh space and everyone had a good time.

the balck berries are not many persons favorite, good for me, as i do love them. so far i mostly eat them right from the bush after my morning runs, they are delicious. it might be, that walking by after a run, with a dry mouth and thirsty just does the trick, as the berries are not of the super sweet sort.
but to my surprise, this old blackberry bramble is growing each year, unexpectedly large. one more thing i'm thankful for, as there is not a lot of care taking, just harvesting and enjoying.