Tuesday, September 7, 2021

One of the best…

 Birthdays yet


Thanks to all of my delightful and thoughtful family and friends.


This year I had decided to go back to a favorite hotel with a long-time friend.

On the day itself, first message from my older son, then a continual flow of WhatsApp, sms, email and I am sure physical cards although I wasn’t home to receive them.

I was on a high even before attending the concert that we had chosen: Andras Schiff

Who played a Bach, then a Hayden, following by Mozart and Schubert. After that we were sure that he couldn’t do anything else, but the Brahms encore was perfect.


Back to the hotel where we were going to have our dessert: what a surprise, they presented me with a birthday cake! I had wondered when I got an email during the afternoon offering my a percentage on my next trip if they realized that I was actually in the hotel, yes – not only the computer program, but the people who run the hotel.


I went to bed on a cloud.

The only negative of the whole day was the rain, but that did NOT spoil my parade this year.



Credit goes to the chef of the Golfhotel in Saanenmöser, Switzerland. It was every bit as good as it looks!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

And one thing led to another…

I am joining my family for a few days in the mountains soon and needed to pack my suitcase. Said suitcase lives on a luggage rack in my bedroom and as I to and fro, sometimes only needing a night’s affairs, sometimes 2 and very seldom more, things end up in it instead of getting put away. The suitcase is never empty and of course each trip being slightly different, there can be many mundane items, none of which are needed for the upcoming trip.  Such was the case this time, I will not have the occasion to need my swimsuit or bonnet so took them downstairs to rejoin the “swim sack” in the front closet.


Talk about opening up a can of worms: that led to emptying out the closet as the swim sack was in the far corner, which in turn led to the discovery of a sack full of stuff for the car, along with many other collected sacks, both paper and plastic. That meant sorting those, half to join the plastic bags in the cellar, half to be given to the local mini grocer who can use them for customers.


The later thus needed to go in the car…

Open trunk, see mess, decided that it too needs sorting, well that led to not only sorting, but having to vacuum, which in turn meant that the windows were too dirty. You get the picture.


Fortunately at about that point, with the suitcase emptied and ready to re-pack, with the hall cupboard clean, the car as well, my younger son needed a lift to the bus stop (I had proposed it in the interests of his not having to take two hours to get to his point of departure) and I was able to stop. Such a productive morning happens rarely, but then such is life that one thing leads to another and if one is lucky many more. Making progress.


I wish that this last were true!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

I can’t believe I actually did it, or

 A clean desktop.


I finally had a bit of time to myself and with bills paid, letters and e-mails to various friends that I had neglected were first on the agenda.


Those done, my thoughts, and finally energy, turned to cleaning off my desktop.


There are many theories as to the validity of a clean desktop, most written by those who chose to see a cluttered desktop as a sign of creativity including Einstein’s


“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign of?”

(sorry can’t resist: apparently even Einstein used dangling participles!)


"Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether. A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." ~ Mark Twain


"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?" ~ Laurence J. Peter, paraphrase of Einstein


"It's pointless to have a nice clean desk, because it means you're not doing anything." ~ Michio Kaku


"Clutter in its highest and most organized form is called collecting." ~ Ada Louise Huxtable


That being said every couple of years I make the effort: in between I simply sort important and less-so-important-but-need-to-keep-for-reference and offload the later onto another surface. I could probably solve every problem ever thought of, never mind give you details on minute projects, recipes, statistics or whatever. Sometimes I actually do find something worthwhile having saved, so it doesn’t encourage me to let go.


I finally tackled the desktop and am ashamed to report that amongst the “urgent-leave-it-on-the-desk” was an unopened birthday card from last year as well as a Christmas greetings from 2020! Help.


But in one afternoon I waded through the lot and to my credit only put one small pile of books on another flat surface. Most of the rest was filed or tossed.


I promptly told both my sister and sister-in-law, I mean what’s the point of doing it if no one knows? That is the problem in the first place as my office is downstairs and I am the only one ever using it.

Feels good, may actually do it more often, but don’t hold your breath. Here for prosperity is the proof.



Saturday, July 24, 2021


How often throughout our lifetimes did first our parents, then various friends and family member, tell us that if a tree could start amongst the rocks, or a weed grow in seemingly no earth, or flowers bloom where it wouldn’t seem possible, that we too could survive even if the “ground” we were planted in seemed without nourishment.

This was brought home to me by the flower below: coming out from a crack in between a stone wall and a tar side-walk, this is the third lot of blooms this year!

Moral of the story: what everyone says is true – you can thrive even when there is seemingly little to thrive upon.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The myth, or letting go...

Of clothes, of possessions.

We have had a spate of rainy, cold weather and I have been trying to gear up to take advantage of it, other than simply checking emails, reading magazines, talking to friends, eating out and the like.

I have meant to do a serious sort, clean, toss and then something, or more likely someone, interferes.

With my blessings as it is so much more fun to go out with friends or drink coffee than it is to sort and toss, especially when there is no one to pat my on my back for what little I might accomplish.

Today, however, I opened the cupboard doors and said to myself: it is time.

Time to try on those trousers that I never wear, but shove to the back of the cupboard; time to try on those blouses that stay on the hangers day in and day out, time to take a look at the shelves and perhaps finally divest myself of the multiple single socks.

One always thinks that one will a) loose weight, b) find that missing sock or 3) get the top that perfectly matches the skirt one hasn't had on in years. All MYTHS!

And with age I have finally realized that if I don't wear it today, I am not likely to wear it 10 years from now when maybe I will have lost the weight, but also it will be out of date or moth-ridden. That being said, it takes a certain amount of energy to let go of anything and I am no better than the average person when it comes to doing so!

I DID let go of 17 items today - that just finishes off one of the spring months - remember my goal to dispose of one item a day for every day of the year? Far behind this year, but a few more rainy days and I might have a chance, that is if I don't get side-tracked sorting photos, writing letters or by better weather. Still what was done today, is done and I will celebrate a small step in the right direction.

From Megapixel.com


Friday, June 11, 2021

Meat or meatless?

 For two of my very best friends: he is an avid meat eater, she a more-to-the-vegan, but at least vegetarian.

Now I was raised a vegetarian and as my mother said years later: who knew that all that cheese that we used for protein wasn't good for our arteries. Fashion - and fads - come and go, the most sensible route is nothing in extremes, everything in moderation.

That being said I do like a good steak, preferably with the French green pepper sauce! But I have had my share of vegetarian burgers as well. In fact back in the day they were made by hand (my mother) and my kids swear that at least in two areas I never measured up: my mother's veggie burgers, nor her potato salad. It could have been worse.

I quite often eat meatless, and tend to eat more fish and chicken even when I do.

Now, no one needs to choose as what was the latest ad I saw?

Local grocery store, Migros, not to mention names, has huge ads in the papers: we now have "mix". So we can feel virtuous for eating less red meat, but still perhaps have some of the taste? I think that I will encourage R to try this, but hey, if he still prefers the "real thing", I can live with it. He is otherwise a very good citizen and quite conscious of saving the planet by other means.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

48 rolls of toilet paper…. For 0.90 centimes


Life is sometimes rather entertaining.


Whilst I was with my family over Easter weekend we went and got groceries for the 3

Nights with my older son. As I was paying – and proud of having finally gotten it right

Without the interference of an employee (yes, even in Switzerland most stores have

clients now working for them, ie self check-outs) – a young employee rushed up and said, wait, wait. I thought, hmmm and here I was sure that I had done it all right.


He hit a couple of buttons, used his store tags, and presented me with a gift card for CHF 20.00! Wow.  He did mention that it was only valid for a month, detail, which I promptly forgot until two weeks had passed. Then I actually added “use xxxx card” to my shopping list.


After lunch today I felt the need to get a little something for snack time and remembered that I had this card so thought, ok I’ll go get something a little special maybe.


As I entered the store there were stacks of toilet paper on sale. Now I am currently not in any danger of running out having probably some 30 on stock, but never pass up a bargain on toilet paper, so I threw one in my cart. Wandered a bit, got something for snack time, checked on various other items on my eventually-need-to-find list and was almost ready to check out when a store employee saw me. She said, wait, you only have one package and it’s a 2 for 1 deal today and off she rushed to get me another.


I used the coupon for CHF 20.00, the two large packages were CHF 20.90 so here we are 48 rolls of 4-ply toilet paper for 0.90 centimes (roughly 90 USA cents). Not complaining, still laughing.