Sunday, July 14, 2019


Opened up the house; liberated, fed, watered and cleaned their kitty litter – Babette and Cléa; having cleaned up what I left in the living room last night as well as put away and/or
otherwise taken care of what my son had washed; having washed the counter tops whilst making my breakfast; having had said breakfast, leisurely, looking out on the garden, and having done a Sudoku in my Sunday paper it was finally time!

Time to get dressed.

Oh blessed Sunday morning!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Friendship is….

Many things to many people. I could write entire pages on what friendship is.
However, amongst all those others, one is currently very precious: the empathy and
Greetings I received from a friend across the ocean who read about our terrible heat.

For all of you in similar circumstances:

Just want to send you
some coolness! 🛫your friend in Silicon Valley! ⛄

 miracuously it is cooler today!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One does what one has to do…

 Or ironing on the balcony!

Many of you are unaware of the heat wave scorching Europe right now – or are thinking “thank goodness it’s not me”.
We went from hot to hotter to almost-unbearable, but we survived-to-tell-the-tale.

Today it is finally breezy and one recalls what it was like when life was more bearable.
As it was, the days were spent doing as little as possible, airing in the middle of the night in order to shut up entirely the whole day and still suffocating.

Sleep was rather non-existent unless one had a north-facing bedroom.

I bless the day that I changed the windows for triple glaze and more importantly the old wooden frames for PVC as there are now no longer leaks through the wood! Then I installed a ceiling fan – on two it does permit me to sleep – but of course, I am using electricity.
The last of the three elements that have led to better comfort in my bedroom although it is facing the setting sun and exposed to full sunlight as of about 13:00 are the new awnings. Thanks to a friend I knew that there existed a vertical piece in addition to the traditional slanted normal awning. This effectively seals the balcony from the direct sun – although one can see through it fairly well.

Saving the “mattress in the cellar” for the next heat wave.

All this means that ironing anything in the house is a total no-go; have also forbidden the use of the oven for the duration and actually prefer that people living in the house eat cold or heat in the microwave. I prefer going out, but finding a reasonably cool place to eat is also a challenge given that most of Europe does not yet have air conditioning.

So thanks to the early morning shade on the balcony that is where my ironing board has landed. I can iron a couple of shirts, sometimes even three items, without any of that nasty heat getting into my bedroom. A BIG plus, if odd: I am sure that not many people iron on the balcony.

Never mind the glorious view: greenery, lake and the Jura mountains in the distance!

The cat’s pajamas…

Ah the memories this phrase evokes.

My little sister died of colon cancer in 2012 – is it really so long ago – seems like yesterday.
She was a schoolteacher, never married and never had children – she was the perfect aunt
Though to her six nephews – they still miss her.

What, you might ask, does that have to do with the expression “the cat’s pajamas” – an expression that turned up in my word-a-day yesterday. Reading it today brought a flood of memories of that sister: her bright eyes and curly locks as a child, her strength as well – one didn’t lightly run into my sister as she was a lot solider than they seemingly padding warranted. I was gone for most of her teenager years, but as a young adult, then adult we were close in spite of the physical distance and I visited her in everyone of her houses, even taking my younger son for a four-month stint so that he could improve his English.

She was a woman of phrases, going through them by phases: two remain with me today
“the cat’s pajamas” and “whatever, it’s all beautiful”.

How lovely to be reminded of the blessing of that sister.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

“What a difference a day makes…”

First made popular by Dinah Washington (it won her a Grammy in 1959) then by Aretha Franklin, and many others, the song is of course about romantic love.
I have a new interpretation – and a new love:
My first grandchild was born this week!

“And that difference is you”.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Upside down world

It’s an upside down world when my purchases at the flea market cost less than the pastry that I purchased to go with afternoon coffee!

A big bonus to being here at this time of the year is the yearly flea market that takes over the entire town. I love attending flea markets, weekly, monthly or yearly, but rarely buy anything of consequence – hopes are high that I will find that perfect article, and sometimes I do, but more often than not it’s simply the fun of checking out other people’s junk and trying to convince myself that I don’t need it. I have also learned that I can detect trends – a glut of raclette pans on this one means that one of our favourite meals – cheese raclette – is no longer as popular world-wide as it once was.

I digress. Managed to restrain myself and only bought two items: a gorgeous silk short-sleeved shirt, which I am hoping will fit my younger son, but if not will make a lovely, cool summer nightie and a lemon/orange juicer. The latter was brand new and certainly better looking than the one it will replace at home when I return. Total price 2 euros!

Then I stopped in to one of the numerous local bakery and pastry shops looking for a treat. The “Paris Brest” costs double almost what my flea market purchases did. Ah life, sweet life. Well worth the Euros 3.90!

2 euros

3.90 euros

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Unexpected bliss: it’s raining….

It’s pouring – but the old man isn’t snoring – the ladies are having a day in.

I have always known that weather predictions never work for me. If they say it’s going to rain, I’ll awake to sun and vice versa. This morning is the vice versa. Nothing in any of the weather channels that we consulted yesterday mentioned rain – a bit of cloud cover eventually yes, nothing more. So, of course, we awoke to the wonderful sound of major rain on the roof.

Fortunately we have leftover bread, I have a good book to be read and the rain will eventually stop, life is good in my end of the world.

Did make it down to the beach during a dryer moment - love a gray day!

reflections on the river

gray days don't bother castles on the hill