Thursday, March 14, 2019

Blank or….

Wasted time, or...
The day I did nothing.

Ever have one of those days where you have no appointments, nothing urgent needing done, a lovely blank time. These don’t happen often in my life, but thanks to my protestant upbringing and totally ingrained work ethics I never seem to really enjoy them unless it’s
a weekend day.
Today I have managed to fritter away having “accomplished” nothing more than my morning coffee; chatting with a worker as they dismantled and hauled away the 4-5 story cement maker that has been standing across the street for over a year as they built 6 small apartment buildings; my afternoon coffee; a few video games; a meal at home (that’s what probably did it – no plans for lunch – what happened?); and now I prepare to pick up my car, which was in for its yearly service and go to dinner with friends.

OK perhaps I could label it a social day instead of a nothing-accomplished-day!

from "My Creative Shop"

Thursday, February 28, 2019


Several years ago I couldn’t resist and bought a National Geographic page-by-page calendar with sayings and photos: one for each day of the year.

There are many markers in this calendar and I find that from time to time looking up a particular day never grows old. As is usual the calendar is divided into 12 months with each month being dedicated to, for want of a better word, an emotion. The entire calendar was called a year of serenity and February’s theme: Joy

This last day of the month was a citation from Marguerite Yourcenar, a Belgium author, poetess, and translator amongst other talents. Her name, although looking rather Arab is simply a reinvention of her maiden name de Crayencour. “Every innocent joy is a reminder of Eden”.

One such is the fact, that were he still alive, a very good friend would have turned 100 today. My mother would have also reached that milestone this year – as would have many other parents of my current friends. It is a joy to recall the pleasure of friendship, the ties that bind us to family and friends.

May you all experience many joys today – look for them and they will find you.

From the "joy Jar" of the
Orfordville Lutheran Church
 It is fitting that the image I happened across to illustrate "joy" should come from a Lutheran church as one of my favorite bosses was a Lutheran pastor! Yet another of my many "life's little coincidences".

Monday, February 25, 2019

If only these sheets could talk…

I know, the usual expression is “if only these walls could talk” and I certainly never gave much thought to other items, which might be interesting until a couple of days ago.

I went to Martigny in the Valais to attend the yearly antique and flea market on Friday.
I managed to walk away without purchasing anything, until that very last trip around when I “cracked” for several old postcards of a place very dear to me: Les Marécottes. Never mind how much they cost, they will end up in a scrapbook of memories of that particular place – one that I discovered when I was 5 months pregnant with my first child and one to which I returned regularly until I stopped renting there a couple of summers ago. Life changes.

But that isn’t this story, other than to locate where I was this past weekend. Having decided that my own company was to be enjoyed (doesn’t happen often) I did not call any of my local friends, picked a hotel, went up to Sion to check out my favorite sights and stores there then returned to Martigny and the Forum hotel for the night. Had a lovely meal, slept well and was raring to go the next day.

All my haunts: breakfast at the Migros; buying a small Valais bread – so good when fresh; checking the Hiob – another second-hand store; looking for sofas; looking for slippers. All my favorites stores were duly visited. It was mid-morning by then and I wasn’t in the mood for the spa (not tired enough to lay about in warm water and doze in the sun) so simply continued to visit all the other stores that I regularly frequented on my trips to and from the mountains. All without purchasing a thing.

I also went to one of my favorite second-hand shops in Yvorne, but things have been changed around and half the things that interested me before are no longer stocked. Still it was here that I had a very interesting (bordering on weird) experience. Browsing upstairs in the table clothes, linens and the like area my eye was attracted to a comforter cover – red and orange plaid – just like one I had finally given away several years ago! Now that could have been coincidence as it was purchased in Switzerland and the chances that another like it could have also been put in one of the clothing bins or given to the Salvation Army are decently high, however, the one next to it was also an old one of mine – one that I had never seen anywhere else having been purchased in Germany.
If only they could tell me how they got from Geneva and my house to a second-hand store in another state: who used them? How many individuals gave them back? How did they finally come to be here? Oh the stories those two comforter covers could perhaps tell!

From the past

Monday, January 28, 2019

One for me…

And the mouse.
0 for Clea.

I have two cats and somehow with all the company, spoiling from my student and perhaps, yes, even age they seem to have reversed personalities.

If before Babette was intrepid, always wanting out, always bringing back “presents” (I try
and try to see them as that: not working) and in general being lively, she seems to have decided that the best place in the house is cuddled up next to me on the desk (underneath which is a small heater) or simply laying on my typing hand.

Clea, who never wanted to go out – unless one opened the door wide and waited for the whole house to cool down – is now the one to sneak out if the door is open. She is very good a finding “presents” and I should truly know by now that I need to check before I cave and let her in. I didn’t Sunday night. It didn’t dawn on me though that she had brought anything in with her until I heard her dashing around underneath the desk in the living room. Oh no.
Yet another “chase the mouse in hopes of rescuing it” game. And we all know how much I love those!

I ended up moving furniture, frames, footstools and the like. This time fortunately the mouse never got under the sofa (cornered in the wood box it did jump out, almost made it up a stair, did get downstairs in the cellar). I was finally able to catch it in my (long)handled dustpan and keep it there (third try) with the brush of same and got it outside, still alive. Like I said One for me and the mouse – zero for Clea. Won’t happen often if ever again, still I bask in the glow of achievement once in my life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Nursery rhymes

Remember the one:
“Star light,
Star bright,
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish
I wish tonight”

Now that is still a favorite but we need to invent one for the first snow.
The day when gentle flakes do their work of covering up the lack of
leaves in the trees; the dirt and mud on the ground; the absence of
flowers anywhere; fields empty of grains waving in the breeze.

OK since I grew up in Southern California maybe I missed the rhymes
That might have been prevalent in more northern climes – but I did an
Internet search and really didn’t come up with much at all.

Such is life
Time to invent my own.

“The wind grows chill,
The sky turns gray,
Winter is on its way,
Snow falls on the sill.”

Still doesn’t quite take in the beauty of that first snowfall
So I guess I’ll keep trying.

Snow in the neighborhood

street lamp and snowy branches
Leaving up the lights

Monday, January 21, 2019

A few wee years ago…

I gave birth to my first son.

Where have the years flown – I can still remember every detail of that day!

I started having mild pains mid-morning, but by early afternoon with my mother and husband asking every 10 minutes if I didn’t think it was time to go, I went simply to get them off my back. This meant that I had time for all the joys of prep, which I won’t detail here, only to say that the prep was worse than the experience of giving birth.

My husband actually accompanied me into the birthing room (had to look that one up as I knew it as the “salle d’accouchement”) and kept well to my head. He was extremely lucky as the nurse on duty was Austrian so she could explain it all to him in German. She was also very kind as seeing that I was going to deliver soon, she stayed on the extra half-hour after her shift was up and was there when the baby arrived. At one point during the rather short process, I allowed that that was enough, we could stop now and I’d come back and finish the next day. It’s true, the pain (all 10 minutes of it in my case) is soon forgotten, the joy remains a lifetime.

This year the joy is augmented by the fact that this son is, in turn, awaiting his first baby – another boy.
10 days old

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It’s all about me…

After an overly busy December followed by company in between Christmas and New Year’s then the rush, excitement, dread, frantic sorting out and dispersing of various accumulated childhood items saw the departure of my younger son, I am now finally “home alone” and ready to get on with my own life.

For the first time in weeks (maybe not months, although…) I have a day where I have only appointments of my choosing, namely a massage and dinner with a good friend.

I started this before I had made any plans and have now enjoyed a trip to the flea market; lunch in an inexpensive Asian restaurant, good coffee with a friend and am looking forward to the massage and the dinner.

I am sure that if this was a regular occurrence I would find life boring, but for a day or two I am more than happy to make it all about ME!

Way back last summer...