Thursday, February 15, 2018

Yet another killing…

(  I usually avoid "serious" or sensational subjects, but the headline in my local paper
"17 killed in a school schooting" was more than I could ignore.)

For what else are we to label it?
Have there not been enough deaths –
  • In the name of a god, your’s, mine, his, her’s, their’s?
  • As retribution: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?
  • In the name of “my way of life is better than yours – you are in my way, i.e. you have to go?
  • In the name of conquering new lands, be it by importing disease or by actually killing off those already living there – on the coveted land?
  • Due to disease, whether brought on by one’s own habits or lack thereof, or simply by random genetic snafus?
Is it not enough that we will all die someday?

What can we do to prevent such senselessness?

I would suggest:
  • Practice any, or no, religion – they all basically expound peacefulness, gentleness and love
  • To punish the killer with death does not bring back those killed it simply allows society to do the same, ie kill. Follow the commandment “I will not kill”
  • Who determines who’s way of life is good, bad or indifferent and who decides which is the best, the most correct? Thus I will let others determine their own.
  • Why does any society need to kill an existing one? Can we not share?
  • What explanation is there for a baby’s inherited gene combinations that were unknown until that point? Why do some patterns cause chaos, others remain silent? Let’s support the research, the possibility to find new treatments
In short – get along with everyone (I know that asking one to literally love everyone will never happen, but can’t we ignore other’s faults as we expect them to ignore ours!).
Can we not all pledge to try and hold our tongues, try and listen to the other, try and promote justice (not retribution), try to see the other side of the story, try to hear the silent cry of those seeking justification or notoriety simply to prove that they exist?

I don’t know this particular story – having only read the headlines – but where were we when this person was planning, suffering, implementing? This person (I don’t even know if it was one, several, male or female) didn’t live in a vacuum; there were others around him/her/they; there surely were signs.

I totally agree with another blogger
"I won't wait until the bodies are in the ground"!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pretty as a picture or …

My Valentines.

I don’t know what it is, but there are “official” holidays that just leave me cold – that is if they don’t totally turn me off. Mother’s Day is the main one: I am a mother, and love being one, but was never able to convince my husband that one) he could buy the flowers the day before, hide them in a bucket in the cellar and present them through the children on the day or two) that trying to eat out that Sunday was not only double the money, but twice the trouble with restaurants brimming and the waiters and waitresses harried.

Valentine’s Day isn’t quite as bad – I can mostly ignore it.

With two cat’s in the house I have continual enjoyment – and love.
I also know that my kids love me every day of the year and not just on special occasions, but Clea here outdid herself the other day by posing in a frame.
And Babette spends mornings with her head on my hand, cuddled up as I work.

Love is where you find it – love is where you give it and to all of you, my family, my friends I am passing along the wisdom: Love exists all the time, every day, every week, every month, every year – it’s simply a matter of sharing it without needing to make a show. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

When is a good thing too much?

Now that can be interpreted almost any way one wishes.
We can probably never have enough joy, happiness, fulfillment or love, but things?
How much does it take for something that is wanted to become too much?

Some women would argue never when it comes to shoes or purses; some men when
It comes to cars, motorcycles, games one by a favorite team, etc.

Children would find it never too much on candy or chips depending upon their personal
tendency to like sweet or savory.

Teenagers would probably find it never too much to be out of sight of adults and those who are older than I (we never count ourselves do we?) would say that one could never get
too much of youth.

I am sure that any of you can think of another half a dozen things of which one “can never have too much”.

I almost managed.
Now it is a well-known fact that for myself and several other of my friends, who will go nameless in order to protect the innocent (or not so), all women for obvious reasons, can never have enough toilet paper.
So when there was a sale in one of my regular grocery stores a few days ago I grabbed the 24-roll package and headed to the cash register.  There it turned out that the price was 2 for 1 and it is thus that I ended up with 48 rolls of toilet paper.

Not saying that it’s too much, but am rather sure that I won’t have a lack any time in the near future, especially as the guests are gone! 

That is, one lot of guests as this was written back mid-January - now the next lot is here and we are grateful for the surplus! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Letting go…

No, not of the Old Year, nor of loves, friendships or acquaintances, nor even the fact that I didn't blog much in the past few months, but rather of OBJECTS.

Traditionally I have not made any New Year’s resolutions since I was a teenager (ok so once in awhile as an adult I fell back into bad patterns, but never for long and never seriously, nor did I ever follow through!) nor did I this year.

However when a friend asked I did give it some thought, then when a day later I tossed out something that had been laying around for a long time: something that I never used, but that was going to always “come in handy” someday I had a sort of epiphany.

What if I got rid of one item per day – for a whole year!
Imagine 365 THINGS gone, out of the house and my life. Wouldn’t that be glorious.

So I started. Now this doesn’t mean that I can’t throw away more, but at least at the end of 2018 I will be 365 objects lighter!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Work avoidance or

When the pressure isn’t immediate.

I wonder how many hours I have simply frittered away in my life? Well actually I probably don’t really want to know, but when I sit down to the computer fully intending to work on my book keeping, tax prep, catching up on the letter writing, etc. and find myself using the fact that Babette (the cat) is using my left hand as a pillow thus leading me to justifying playing computer games or checking on Facebook – which I haven’t done in ages – one can conclude “work avoidance”.

Then when I start in on the FB quizzes one realizes that it is serious. Time perhaps to go iron those shirts, clean the shower doors, or be otherwise “productive”.

Wish me luck – and take the quiz - I don't wish to be alone in being a wastrel!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

It’s started, or rather I have finally…

The writing of the annual family letter, the reception and sending of Holiday Greetings, Christmas Cards or whatever else anyone may chose to label them!

I missed last year entirely thanks to a bad bout of flu in between Christmas and the New Year that lasted well into 2017 so this year am making a serious attempt – note that word “attempt” to at least send those who have already sent me greetings, mine in return.

It was writing the first three that had me reflecting upon how good my life is, how wide my horizons and the depth of my friendships.

The first one was in French, the second in English, but when I wrote the third in German I had to realize that perhaps this order wasn’t random and that I was blessed. May you all feel the same.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I love the tax office!

Now that isn’t a sentence one hears often and this statement does need some qualification.
I should rather have said I love the Geneva tax office.

I have not needed to go down to the Hôtel des Finances often, but when I have I have
Always come away thinking only the very best of the people who work there, their competencies and the speed with which my problems are solved – and not once has it not been in my favor either!

Why though they call it a “financial hotel” I haven’t had a clue – no one ever stays, nor would one want to as the booths tend to be rather monastic, gray and blue grey, lots of rather styrofoam-looking ceilings and probably linoleum from at least 50 years ago so not make for attractive lodgings.

However, this is more than made up for in the smiles and helpfulness of those found behind the counters.

I needed to sort out my younger son’s 2017 tax declaration as when he officially left Switzerland the department of the population had transmitted that fact to the taxation office and they had sent a formula to be filled in that even I had a question on every other line.

In the end it turns out that one can be officially gone from Switzerland but still liable for taxes until such a point as one has a foreign employer and fixed foreign address (that was one of the problems – no fixed foreign address as he is coach surfing, Airbnb…ing and the like). They “divorced” the information from the population control from their system, took back all the forms and the tax declaration and will send them to him as normal in January.

This was very good news indeed making things much simpler all the way around, so after perhaps all of 15 minutes spent there I walked out with a spring in my step and love in my heart for the Geneva Tax Office.  Too bad that I don’t have the same warm fuzzy feelings for the IRS!

Items taken to the tax office - the envelope was full and returned empty!