Sunday, October 28, 2018

60 minutes of bliss…

Or the return to “normal” time.

Ah the preciousness of those 60 minutes once a year: I awoke promptly at 8:00 this morning then recalled – hey it’s only 7:00 actually!

An hour later I finally put my book down, snoozed a bit more then started my finally-a-calm-Sunday routine, ie. A bread pretzel (Bretzel to those in the know), peanut butter and orange marmalade (that is often a berry jelly) and pressed coffee (and no that doesn’t mean that I pressed coffee beans then poured water over them – a “French Press”).

After which if I looked at one clock it was almost 10, but if I chose to look at another only 9.
I love living like a schizophrenic for one day. As in order to get the full benefit of that extra hour I resist changes the few clocks that aren’t radio controlled until just before going to bed on Sunday night. A free hour on Monday is always worth more than on Sunday!

Jon Tyson on Unsplash

And due to recent discussions in Brussels I live in the hope that come Spring I will no longer have to “spring forward”. I’ll keep my hour thank you.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I want to pick and choose.

I love the fall, but when I awoke at my usual time to dark random thoughts flowed through my head.

Fall is my favorite season: the cooler temperatures, the colors, the clear sunny days (mostly that is and of course today isn’t one of them), the possibility of fires in the fireplace, the chestnuts: in short most everything. I even love the return to “normal” time.
So I’ll pick the fall as my favorite season, but choose longer days.

And even dead, beautiful leaves

I enjoy fruitcakes: I’ll pick the treat and keep nuts and raisins, but choose one without candied fruits.

Food is still a favorite item: I’ll pick the cheese cake, the lemon meringue pie, the champagne, but I’ll choose for them to be healthy and calorie free.

I enjoy having a pet and would love a dog, however my life as it is doesn’t allow for the necessary consistency: I’ll pick the animals, but choose cats.

Babette and Clea - sisters!
 Weather: I returned to Europe as I disliked seeing the sun every day – that still holds true, I love the seasons so I’ll pick them but choose to have my rain overnight, my fog briefly and my sun (in the summer) not to hot.

And a heart in every pool of water

I know that the world contains both good, bad and indifferent: I’ll pick to be here, but choose to only have the good (o.k. a spot of indifferent is acceptable).

Disease, illness, pain, and sorrow – they all hit us at some point in our lives: I’ll pick to be here, but choose for none of these to affect any of my family and friends.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

It’s a New Day

The old adage “everything will seem better in the morning” is always true, unless one doesn’t sleep that night.

“A new day, a new dawn” from the Bible, and there are thousands of similar quotes from various well-known or little known or anonymous writers all on the same theme. In fact in trying to track down the original author of the first phrase the closest I came was C.S.Lewis.

Some authors say that it’s the greatest lie ever told, but for me it always works. A good sleep and even if all problems are not resolved they are either mitigated or easier to bear.

The last few weeks have been rather stressful but yesterday saw a young friend getting a diagnosis of Keratocystic Odontogenic Tumor – not cancer! It also saw my younger son off on another adventure, one that will hopefully suit him much better than his hometown.

I have managed to clear up a few tasks – always rewarding and reconnect with friends left to the side as I dealt with more urgent events.

Today is truly a new day as will be tomorrow, the next and the next. Grateful for the blessing of sleep and a cat on my typing arm!

And yes they are blurred pictures: I defy anyone to take a clear picture with a lousy cell phone one-handed...

Monday, October 8, 2018

7 or…

Numbers and me.

I have already written a blog – probably several even – about how I find coincidences in numbers, such as seeing the digital clock quite often when there is a double number, ie. 17:17, 21:21 and of course the best 22:22.

And if 3 is my personal favorite 7s have figured over abundantly in my life these past few weeks, months and days.

As this is also my 700th blog it is only fitting that there have been so many sevens recently!

What fun to look at the car odometer and see the following just recently and, of course, to top it off – it isn’t so long ago that I celebrated that lovely 70th birthday.

we won't mention the 666.6

Yikes, maybe I should pick another favorite number.

But then it’s fun collecting 7’s!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


But not forgotten.

Pat at 6 - the number of years since she died

 I have written other blogs on the theme, but every year on several dates those that I have “loved and lost” come to mind. Some years are harder than others and no matter how often I repeat “they are not entirely gone as long as someone remembers that they once lived and were loved” there are moments when that remains simply what it is: a trite phrase.

Today is one such and if I still feel that I was honored and privileged to be there when my little sister took her last breath, I still wish that she were here.

It was a different day, neither totally sad, nor totally normal.
I wandered around doing errands – and found myself eating (of all things) a burrito in her honor and remembering how good the ones were locally in her old town.

Pat – you are no longer physically here – yet you are always present in our hearts. RIP

Monday, September 3, 2018

Thirty years…

several countries and more stores than I can count.

I have finally found replacements for my favorite pans for raclette: that
Swiss cheese specialty that was a standard all one summer in our German/American

In the beginning we did it the classical route: individual pans fitting a square of cheese,
Potatoes, pickles and onions. Then I had to turn it into an international version, ie potatoes still, cheese as well, but accompanied with raw onions (grilled under cheese – a wonderful feast), hot dogs as well as pickles, onions and ketchup.

The summer that we hosted all of my husband’s nephews together with my brother and his six lots of travellers we got to producing it on an almost industrial scale as this is a meal that can be prepared before and enjoyed whenever the guests show up!

Over the years I discovered that – most of our guests were young males – the little pans just didn’t cut it when it came to quantities and when the now defunct Uniprix turned up with round, flat Teflon-coated small frying pans we dumped the small square ones.

I always had two and just before Uniprix shut I was able to buy one last one. This is some 30 plus years ago and of the two one is almost unusable as the coating is scratched and things stick again.  First a neighbor gave me their surplus of little pans, but I hated to have to go back to that method so imagine my delight when a trip up to a larger French grocery store turned up similar round pans.  OK they are meant for individual eggs – sunny side up – but who cares after 30 years I finally have my raclette pans again.

Almost the season again - although our family has also eaten it out of season.

Finally new pans

Monday, August 27, 2018


People tend to love or hate advertising.
When my husband and I travelled in the USA we would turn on the TV and watch only the advertising – as stupid, fun and rich as it was, it was always entertaining. But then his field was advertising and marketing.
When we watch American series here in Europe we often have two episodes in one as our television companies are not (yet) allowed to have too much advertising. Of course the advent of Netflix and other channel stations means that even the « public » ones are having to re-think advertising. I personally tape programs then zap through the advertising ; others get up and do chores or go to the kitchen during the advertising and sometimes we even watch the clever ones. One of  our two super markets had a wonderful series using a chicken to vaunt the benefits of eggs produced by happy chickens and the straight from the farmer to the market route. We (Switzerland) also have the Happy Cow. Google any animal advertising on YouTube and you will probably come across them.

But I am getting off track as this blog had its’ inception in two recent events : the hotel that I stay at for the Menuhin concerts in Saanen has what I deem to be the wonderful policy of handing out water as one checks out of the hotel. I have never come across this before and if it is accompanied with the labelling of said water bottles with their sticker, so much the cleverer. They also, as they have a wellness program, give every client a plastic sack with a bathrobe (bathrobe for use whilst in the hotel, but the sack can easily become one’s own swimming gear sack).

Water, still or sprakling, is always offered to every departing client

Great advertising

A lovely pastic sack celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Golfhotel in Saanenmöser

The other, although not properly speaking « advertising » had my laughing : one of my sons gifted me with a box of my favorite chocolates. And do note that I had been eating Auer chocolates well before John Kerry discovered them ! Anyway thanks to modern labelling requirements they too now come with a « to be consumed by » date.  Now what are the chances that I will still even have one left by then ?

I received it the 25th - it will be long empty well before the 13th of September!