June 22, 2017

mid years look at my list

it is not quiet the middle of the year, but time to look back at my list.
i love looking at it and filling in what i have already done and read and enjoyed. it seems a lot to me, though i know, that is highly subjective. it's ok and i love living life with this perspective.
the past few weeks have been very busy, the added appointments with thea had to be squeezed in and soon the girl will be a proud owner of glasses. i have spent many days in school and just looked at the water of the river limmat in zurich, as it has been hot and it was kind of tempting  me to jump into the cool water. no not really, i rather just look at it and it cools and quiets me just fine.
there is to say, summer has started here, unusually warm and overall, i do love love love it!

but now to the list of things i want to get done and enjoy this year:

1. finish A's quilt as well as the other one, both are sandwiched, it should be a matter of a few weeks...
- A's is quilted and the framing is pinned to it.....

2. hand in the papers a couple weeks after finishing the course.
- so far so good, both papers due so far have been handed in early and the one for early july is at a friends for proof reading

3. practice the ukulele twice a week no, nowhere there

4. sewing the linen pants i have in mind

5. buy a beeswax-wrap and figure out how to do it my self...
- it just so happened, that a friend of mine was in munich and was able to stop by this store, he got me a set of wraps and i use them and am very happy. and even better, you can get them now in switzerland at change maker, for a reasonable prize!

6. visit the gewerbemuseum in the city, to see this and the münzkabinett for this

7. go on a two day get away with naomi

8. knit, crochet or sew at least one project a month
- the hat for myself
- thea's dress
- naomi's skirt
- finished up an old project, the potholder

9. stop by this store in zurich

10. rent a snow board for a few days in february, when we are in adelboden
- i did rent a snow board for 5 days and i was super happy and everything hurt, but i learned a new skill and i will improve on it next year.

11. say not quickly no to the kids, but pause and then respond

12. read good books
- the last Song, by Nicholas Sparks
- zwei bemerkenswerte Frauen, by Tracy Chevalier
- the Chameleon's Shadow, by Milette Walters
- Verspottet, geachtet, geliebt - die Frauen der Reformatoren, by Ursula Koch
- Ulrich Zwingli: Prophet, Ketzer, Pionier des Protestantismus, by Peter Opitz
- Zankapfel Bibel, by Ulrich Lutz
- A good American, by Alex George
- "Solange wir leben, müssen wir uns entscheiden", Jehuda Bacon/Manfred Lütz
- The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama
- verspottet-geachtet-geliebt, die Frauen der Reformatoren, Ursula Koch
- Kochen im Hause Luther, Thomas Correll
- Gestillt Nachtgespräche mit David, Daniel Zindel

13. have dinner out, with friends or just joel, for a change....

14. don't buy any plastic bottles (water, tea, etc.)
- so far so good, though i caught myself already a handful of times wanting to get a drink and then realizing, that i don't have my travel mug along. so i abstained.... maybe some good thing too

15. carry the bamboo mug i own in my hand bag, to use at any given time for take away beverages
- yes i do well with this one

16. organize a little house concert for our friends and neighbors

17. go on a two or three day hike with joel, a week in the dolomites is in the planning for july

18. run 25-30km a week and participate in a race
- i ran the 10k at the winterthur marathon event....

19. be especially patient and supportive with Thea practicing the cello
- this is coming along and now knowing that she does need a special portion of patience, helps in making that extra effort. she is doing well and it really is her instrument.

20. watch a good movie in the theater, with a friend

21. write snail mail birthday cards, no emails, no sms, no what's up, neither count blog comments...
- this is coming along well, though i'm skipping some not very close friends, but decided that this is fine with me, just sending out a letter with a little present and i do smile while putting this in the mail.

22. enjoy the garden with our chickens and try getting some veggies of the ground
- the chickens are fun and laid a lot this spring and with the veggies, i got three little wooden crates going with a pumpkin plant and cucumbers and some butterfly plants (fenchelkraut)

23. try new recipes, chines noodles and things, more fermented vegetables and carrots and lebanese spices. maybe borek and other kinds of food from the balkans

June 21, 2017

laundry and strawberries

o the goodness of strawberries, right from the field!
i was out on the field with a friend and picked 14lbs. of course it could easily have been double the lbs, but it started to rain and we ran out of time. my days or so filled up, but i could not say no, when she called on sunday evening, she wanted to take me along on monday morning at 8:15am. of course i can do that, putting one load into the laundry machine at 6:30 before breakfast, hanging up that one and putting the second in at 8 and then the door bell rang for me to jump and go. grabbing a few bowls and buckets a flying skirt and gone for a couple hours...

everyone loved the fresh berries and i managed to put a few containers into the freezer for winter-desserts!

it was a morning well spent and the first load of laundry catching a quick spring rain, maybe just a drizzle, was dry by 4pm. what a happy laundry day, topped off with sweet fruit.

June 20, 2017

elder in full bloom

it's elder season and i love it. the scent when running in the morning is wonderful and as the blooming season is long, almost four weeks or so, i enjoy it for a few weeks already.
thinking this year, i would not have the time to steep some cordial, one morning, i just had to collect while on a regular run at the rise of day.

boiling water, adding sugar lemons and citric acid, and then just add the elder flowers and let it sit for two days. covered with a cheese cloth up on the balcony for good sunshine. stirring twice a day and waiting for the flavor and the sparkling to "enter" the sugary water.
it's was absolutely worth while, we served it on saturday, to our house guests, and they as well as our kids and teens loved it.
there is still one person in the family, who is not convinced of this wonderful drink, and i guess i have to give up on this one. he just doesn't like the taste and smells of elder flowers and there i can't help anymore...

one more note:
i have been absent a bit much the last few weeks. life is super busy and school has picked up. two days in school is just a bit much for me. good thing this is over by friday. now all the different recitals and end of school projects and events are catching hold of us, but it's just three more weeks until summer brake!

June 12, 2017

on the table

a leisurely afternoon in our garden, joel tending a fire for almost all of the afternoon, the kids jumping on our trampoline resting and playing what ever else. reading and just relaxing. it seemed fitting for a hot sunday in june. school is not out yet, the kids are in school until july 14th and then will be a 5 week summer brake. i know it is very different from the us, and around this time of year, i still feel it and want to give my kids the summer brake already.
though it has not been to hard this year, as we just had two short weeks, one at the beginning of may with ascension thursday and bridging friday. the other one a week ago with pentecost, as the kids got monday off. another 4 weeks and we are through. though a few more tests and a few more special days, school outings and themed learning, sports days and forest days, the teacher really try hard to make it as fun and summery light as possible. and i have to say our kids have not been complaining, so far so good...

after a rather early grill dinner, joel, thea and i went to aclassical concert. the swiss piano trio had an open rehearsal at our church. and after bringing thea to bed it felt right to sit down again with a glass of wine, the two of us and after a moment it became a little party with the boys coming home and other house friends joining us. well that's life together at it's best!

June 9, 2017

the week :: through the lens

it has been on the back burner, i have not been taking a lot of photos for a while now, and that should change. so i put the "hand made" lens back on the camera body and got started this week. it touched me in a special way, as i wander and have the camera ready be it in the kitchen, or living room table... this enables me to see with new eyes and i like it. we will see if it sticks, it is a start to a new friday review of what caught my eye. there is to be said, that i was inspired by erin boyle and her blog "reading my tea leaves". she does a wonderful job and it is so inspirational to have a look at her photos...

:: 1. up in the sky, no i don't need to fly

:: 2. dramatic sky scape, the same day a few hours earlier

:: 3. the wonders of those soft flower pet
als and the pollination process

:: 4. focused fun!

:: 5. and finishing off the week with a beautiful mother and chicks (spotted it at a friends house)

June 7, 2017

geo path :: mettlen-toos

on the path of early settlers...
late spring in the woods of my childhood, the geo path near schönholzerswilen is an unexpected path for hidden treasures. it is not super spectacular landscape, but it has it's own vistas and hidden treasures. in the rolling hills of eastern switzerland, there have been people building houses and working the land since the 16/17th century bc. findings of early bronze pieces, charred grains and other kinds of items are telling us stories of old.

along that geo path are those big boards with historic facts and interesting information. when we were hiking it just a few days ago, we discovered those dried up springs on most little pine trees.
this happened at the end of april, the latest cold spill in switzerland. it was a really bad one and set nature back to february. there will be no cherries, apricots or other stone fruit in this country, the apple harvest will be reduced to a minimum and as those dried up pine springs tell us, the trees are coping with it their own way. still and quiet, just little new growth if at all.

and while i write those lines, and looked up some creative organic farmers blog, i really had to chuckle and yes got a good laugh (too bad for the english speakers here...) as i want to share his humor with you. and in case you get a chance to try ueli's wine "mariage" you have to, it's a wonderful one, be it the red or the white.

June 6, 2017


visiting the place i grew up...
it is not the same anymore, but it still is a little oasis of beauty and solace for me. the place my brother lives and loves with his family. the cows right in front of the house are still the ones belonging to the neighbor and my brothers cows ave moved a bit north (100 yards) as my brother has built a big new barn with his other neighbor, also a dairy farmer. together they built a common barn with a milking robot.
we love to visit and every time enjoy the surroundings and quiet of the country side. this time there was one particular perk...
the oldest cousin has bought her first moped, and she has allowed both boys to ride her "töffli", so much fun so exciting and wow "den wind in den haaren!"

and all the little bunnies, so super cute. i absolutely forgot how soft and furry those babies are! of course naomi wanted one right away, not just one two or three...
and playing has been a fun part too, "drecksau" a card game. i did not take part in it, but it seemed fun to play and lots of laughter, easy for beginners and fitting to play on the farm, while the pigs were calling for food in the back ground...

and then, there was not just a wonderfully delicious chocolate-banana cake for afternoon coffee, but comfort food for dinner. in the evening sun, a glass of mariage, a local organic white wine, with home made hearty "gerstensuppe", bread and tart flambée. sitting around such a dinner table with extended family is in this case, really not to beat.
thank you j&d for having us over and sharing a bit of your every day and passion for living a farming-life with us.

June 2, 2017

the week :: through the lens

it has been on the back burner, i have not been taking a lot of photos for a while now, and that should change. so i put the "hand made" lens back on the camera body and got started this week. it touched me in a special way, as i wander and have the camera ready be it in the kitchen, or living room table... this enables me to see with new eyes and i like it. we will see if it sticks, it is a start to a new friday review of what caught my eye. there is to be said, that i was inspired by erin boyle and her blog "reading my tea leaves". she does a wonderful job and it is so inspirational to have a look at her photos...

:: 1. i love asparagus, locally grown and plentiful

:: 2. peonies, wow was the only thing i could mouth, when those peonies arrived at my house

:: 3. and still my neighbors poppies, so delicate

:: 4. an other "project"awaiting us here, though mostly fun yet

:: 5. and a bit of zurich, as i spend one day a week there and love to stroll through the niederdorf while i have some moments between school hours

June 1, 2017


it's hot for late spring, it feels like the middle of summer with temperatures in the high eighties! just the end of may, ups no, the beginning of june!
still it's technically not summer and already so hot. so we are in full swing of eating cold lunches as well as cold supper. lots of green lettuce with fennel, feta and spring onions, radish and those still old but rather sweet carrots. lovely and yummy.
elias started to make his own kind of pasta salads, with sauteed onions and cherry tomatoes (they are grown regional but in green houses....) not that we would need the green house for heat those days....

i love it and dinners are a vegetable event now a days, even though it's just late spring and the harvesting season will be upon us by august... but those spring greens are strong and the kids complain less than other years, i'm thankful and lets hope it stays that way.

May 31, 2017

turning 18

celebrating late at night is probably just what 18 year olds expect of themselfs and who ever is around to celebrate...

our oldest turned 18 yesterday, what a joy what a blessing to have dessert together and sing for the grown boy! he was home late, not intentionally planned this way, but as he is practicing with a band for a concert (a master student, having to do the conducting of a band and choir, for which elias was asked to play the violin), so he really could not chicken out on this practice. we waited until after 10pm and were all very happy as he came home and have ice creme cake together on this so hot early summer evening.
the plan was to sit outside in the garden, but just a few minutes before he came home it started to rain... it really didn't matter, and rain was very much needed (we have a super dry hot week behind us), i didn't mind to sit down in the kitchen.

o big boy, taller as his mama, speaking with a wonderful deep voice now, we love you. it's fun and mostly exciting to be your mama. some times i have to learn to step back and let you go, to enable you to do your things without me watching or even knowing. i trust you, and yes i'll let you go with a happy heart, certain you know where home is. blessings showered upon you, the Lord keep you and watch over you, what ever is awaiting you around the next corner.

May 30, 2017

my crazy hot 10k

yes it has been me, running the 10k at the winterthur marathon event. i know just 10k's in the mid days heat of may the 28th, usually fine and not broiling hot as it was last sunday. the track was for the first half mostly through light forest and then the second 5k's were in the glittering sun (32C). i have not trained in hot weather yet and it totally crushed me. the last 2k's were painful and i helped an other guy to sit down on a bench along the track. but just upon arriving at the finish i collapsed myself.

definitely a new experience.... not one i was looking for or thinking of.
though at least i finished within the possibilities, i guess 51:43. 3rd in my category (overall 19th). though i wanted to beat the 50!

it took me a moment to realize what was going on, a friend of mine was close to the finish and helped me, the first aid helpers were there and i was getting some cool water and isotonic drinks. my friend called joel and then they brought me into a cool resting area. yup, laying on a cot with a drip attached, that was not at all what i expected as a result of the 10k's i ran. though it took me a while, i'm fine again and feel like my own self. and yes will run again and this with lots of joy

May 24, 2017

early summer bloom

my neighbors garden is in full bloom right now. and the best of it is, i see it and enjoy it and love it as the view out of my kitchen window. right above the sink, just lifting my head and looking out into my neighbors garden, it takes me away into a different world. i need it and i love it and thanked my neighbor for having such a great garden. it feels as if it is only there for me. of course my elderly neighbor takes well care and it is absolutely hers and she loves her garden too. but, i love to soak it up and in enjoy each moment of it.

many colors of columbine and the bright margaritas, are wonderful. there is also that poppy "field", bright red, it's popping open more every day. the days have been warm lately and sunny and yes it feels like early summer. the farmers cut the grass to make hay this past few days. after a very rainy and rather cold late april and early may, it is perfect and lovely now. the geranium in my balcony planters are enjoying the temperatures too and i already have to carry water up the stairs every day.
i don't mind though, it's good for my biceps and overall fitness, up the stairs to the second floor balcony with 10l on each side...

May 23, 2017

crafting and enjoying

we are discovering nature and collect little reminders of the wonderful world. the children decorated their egg cartons with decoupage, so much fun for all of us. first mixing the water and starch powder and then adding the colorful paper to the game....
the treasure boxes are beautiful and each child has her own. so far we added an ant (rubber) with a bible verse as well as a sunflower with a verse. there will be more items, like pebbles, seeds, wood pieces, clay, bark and grains....

i love the kids and i love the little project we do in those weeks between easter and summer brake. thank you to s and d, the two ladies working with the kids with me on sunday mornings.

May 17, 2017

poppies popping in my neighbors garden

my neighbor has a patch of poppies, i absolutely love it. it is right in front of my kitchen window. not super close, but it's well in sight. and just those past few days there has been a quick development.
for the past weeks it was really just the green plants springing up and as soon as the sun started to warm the days a bit more, they grew rapidly into almost one yard high stalks and leafs.
a wonderful observation, so spring like, it took my breath away and i had to walk over and take a few pictures...

popping poppies, perfect to look at.
those pictures where all taken in the evening hours, after supper. i will try to remember to take a few photos in the morning or late afternoon, when there is direct sun light. it will be a bit of a tricky, very bright situation, but never the less, i will give it a try and see what happens with it. maybe and that's what i'm hoping for, i get those red pedals in their whole fragility, we will see...