Thursday, February 16, 2017

Christmas in February or…

We have perfected the art of partying all the time using most anything for an excuse.
Of course I could also say that we have perfecting being late, but there were totally valid reasons.

And we are talking about two lots of “Christmas” – the one with my neighbors, both on my side and the upper ones as well as the one with my former housemate and her husband.

Thus it was that in this one week in February, I celebrated “catch-up” Christmas two nights in a row.

Not much of an excuse for being so late with the direct neighbors other than trying to find one night where five adults are all free at the same time isn’t easy what with the grandkids, the selling of a house, the correcting of thesis, life in general.

Then for my former house-mate and her husband it is the fact that they aren’t always in Switzerland; there was my bout of flu, followed by a bad cold; when they did return we couldn’t find an evening where we all three were free (good thing that we weren’t trying to incorporate even more persons, like my two sons) and so it was that both landed in the same week!

And, interestingly enough, both were well enjoyed, lively with discussions and good humor abounding. Not having to compete with all the usual parties led to much more relaxed events and in the case of last night where one of my presents was spring flowers more color.

Long live not doing the usual at the “right” time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My work impediments

We all know procrastinators; we ourselves all have a tendency to put things off when the weather outside is bad (the urge to simply sit and read, watch the fire or catch up on a movie or TV series takes precedence over say – paying bills, putting together documents for the taxes, filing, etc.); when we have too many interruptions; when we just don’t seem to get the push or our minds are contemplating the upcoming weekend.

I however often have an even better excuse: lack of mobility at the keyboard.

Think she's hidden something interesting under here?

Sleep on her hand and keep a paw there as well just to make sure!

I'm so cute and cuddly that she won't move me, I know.

Sometimes we are amenable to leaving her get something done.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Then there is the cold wind…

Various lengths of icicles

Same with added spray

Think that there was some wind?

Guess which side faces the lake?

Which we don’t love quite so much, but which provides us with gorgeous photo opportunities.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One of the reasons…

I love where I live: the seasons.
Spring is a great new beginning, summer is wonderful as long as one can get either
to the mountains or the beach for coolness. Fall is my favorite, but winter needs to also
be winter. 

This past weekend we finally got snow.

Corsier - looking towards the lake Friday night

Details of the above

Sunset in the alps Saturday

Early morning sun on the alps

The cows with extra thick pelts

Peek-a-boo with the alps

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

“No man is an island”

Is one of my favorite songs, then the  « A THOUGHT FOR TODAY » was the following.
Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves ... But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom. -William James, psychologist and philosopher (11 Jan 1842-1910)

How beautiful.
This so succinctly explains the connections that we have among human beings as well, some links not being immediately seen, others more evident, but all just as valuable.

The ability to reach out and touch someone by word, look or gesture ; from the often seemingly trite and unimportant communications to the recognizably profound, we are linked.

Perhaps this is the greatest strength of social media – it allows us to re-connect with persons from our past – it re-inforces those ties with people living far away – it allows us to « meet » new people, « hear » new ideas and in general be « connected ».

Now this doesn’t mean that I intend to spend hours, or even minutes per day on my computer checking FaceBook and others (in fact some I have chosen to not pursue at all – one also needs to reserve most of one’s time for those who are physically present in our lives), however knowing that I can look and see what a high school friend is up to, to realize that on a next trip I might well plan on dropping in on another long-lost friend allows me
to know that I am not alone ; to also know that I can be of use to someone else in my life.

We are not islands – we are linked – a very comforting thought in the world’s business and seeming anonymity.

The "lone" cyprus
Redwoods 2011

Redwoods 2011

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Blessed week or…

An experiment in unplanned living.

It all started when I finally decided not to go to my sister’s for Christmas: stopped from traveling by a broken arm early in 2016 and home alone for the first time in my life I grew accustomed to the pleasure of being home and doing less. My major trip for the year was Alaska, first for a few days, then a cruise down to Vancouver, Canada then across to Banff and Jasper and all the wonders of fairly untouched nature – all this with the oh-so-pleasant company of my brother and sister-in-law.

When I moved down from my mountain rental for the last time (another story) and started “planning” Christmas I realized that the thing that I wanted most was simply to stay put and enjoy my life here in Geneva.

I took that a step further when I realized that – perhaps also for the first time in as long as I can remember – I had NO appointments whatsoever on the calendar from the 24th – 31st of December. Ah the possibilities!

First decision: not to make any plans more than 24 hours in advance – one that I have managed to stick to for 5 days now and one that has brought normal daily activities, but also the extraordinary.

As a family we held Christmas Friday night the 23rd – my older son having rented a place in the mountains from the 24th – 31st. I also loaned him the car thus putting myself truly into slow mode – walk or take the bus.  Saturday the 24th I decided that it was my day for attending all the possible Christmas programs that I could manage.  This involved soup in the village (the city councilor’s provided soup, dried meat, cheese, bread and a lovely Christmas cake – I actually knew half the people who attended) at noon; a trip into town to have coffee with a friend made back in 2002 and who providentially was visiting from Budapest (had I made plans I wouldn’t have been able to meet up with her so although I won’t actually count my blessings, this was one); attended the Anglican churches service in St.Peter’s cathedral – a half-hour organ concert, a professional choir and a beautiful ceremony; returned home for a couple of hours and a snack then as a fitting end to the day walked up to my village and attended midnight mass there. Christmas Day began on a very high note, if little sleep.

Christmas Day I enjoyed lunch with my upper neighbors then the next three days managed to stick to my “unplanned” until the night of the 28th when life decided that if I wasn’t planning anything, it would sneak in something unwanted and totally unplanned: the flu!

So here we are well into the New Year and no more plans were made even an hour or two in advance as I went about the business of being sick – somehow this was NOT the type of unplanned that I appreciate!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My kind of tree

Tuesday I took my neighbors down to their “barn” near Belley, France. We stopped in the town to go to the bank then as we came out went across the street to see if we could get a table in that restaurant.

Unfortunately not, but just next door was the tree that I want (and perhaps will make!) next year.
This is by far the best idea that I have seen yet and may be just the excuse I need to take all my books off their shelves – then I can sort and put them back in alphabetical order in the New Year. If only wishes were that easy to realize.

A book store in Belley, France