Monday, January 31, 2011

Knitting mittens to pass the time while sick with the flu.

There are disadvantages to being sick, but there are definite upshots to it, too! One of those being lots of time to sit or lie on the couch with an excuse to either do nothing or knit or watch the end of Lord of the Rings (!).

Today, however, is Monday - which means not a minute of respite. The peaceful feel of yarn in my hands while children play Monopoly and the Russian watches the news is a distant memory.

But ah! T'was sweet indeed!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

There is no Pizza Hut here in the land of Oz. But isn't the real thing lovely?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Museum of Art and History built between 1903 and 1910.

Swiss banking at its best.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Geneva's famous Jet d'Eau on Lake Leman; it shoots 459 feet high using 132 gallons of water per second.

Benches and shrubs line the park... perfect for lunch!

Or you can take a small boat across in less than five minutes and get a close-up look at the base of the fountain. This fisherman smiled for the camera! ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The UN's great corridor in the style of the Neoclassic Art Deco mouvement was built in the 1930's.

League of National Security

Bronze doors given by France once opened the way to the Assembly Hall in the original wing; after the building was renovated, the doors were made decorative only.

There are those who lament the fascist style of the United Nations building, suggesting it counters the purpose and philosophy of the organisation itself. A good point, but I must confess the style reminds me of downtown Chicago and I felt quite at home!

Swedish marble and Finnish granite add soft, earthy color to a stately design.

Simply inspiring.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yesterday I had an opportunity to visit United Nations Headquarters in Geneva.

Did you know that not a single country can be excluded from the UN for a lack of financial means?

39 feet high and weighing in at 5 1/2 tons, Broken Chair by Swiss artist Daniel Berset is a reminder of the pursuit of global peace. The memorial decries landmines that have taken and broken the lives and bodies of innocent people worldwide.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sitting at my desk for hours translating, my hands often grow icy cold. So I treated myself to a pair of mitts from Meg's Etsy shop and she had them knit up and in my mailbox in short order! They are lovely... and they fit perfectly!

Yesterday, I translated four texts in one afternoon. And I was wondering... might there be tiny translating fairies hiding in the cable gardens?

You can see her hand-knit zombies, too, over at

Monday, January 24, 2011

The gorges in the wintertime are daunting... but wait until summer and I shall make your heart soar!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Looks good, doesn't it?

I wish I could take the credit for this filet mignon en croûte, but sadly I cannot. The Russian bought it at the market one morning and left it in the freezer for me to pop in the oven on a rainy day.

Unfortunately for him... he was at an all day meeting the day I did the popping. Poor guy.

It gets worse. I let it set for five full minutes before cutting it like the box said, but a gooey white substance was oozing out the sides, and by the time I did get it cut, we were all rather grossed out. Could it be animal fat?

The kids and I scraped it off and ate the meat and pastry unceremoniously.

What? asked my lover. It was filling! Tasty, salty, herb and onion filling! How could you not know that? Did you even taste it to see?

"No," we skulked. "We were too grossed out to taste it."

Methinks that will be the last time we get a yummy frozen surprise from my man-shopper. :) I'm trying to think how to make it up to him. Any suggestions?!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It is snowing outside my window, and the valley has been painted in white. Our terrifyingly steep street is as a powdered-sugar ice rink and as I brave the descent so many times a day to drive children here and there, I am coined by my eldest as "The Only Brave Mom".

Brave, I ask?

Rather an idiot, I'd say.

But every time I slip into the car, pull it out of the tiny drive and look down my bobsled street, perched on the edge like the Grinch on his way to Cindy Lou Hoo's house, I think...

This is a step into the tornado. Yeehaw!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I was walking with a friend when she stopped and picked up a fossil along the way. My darling biker looked at it, longingly. Could those really be shell markings from ancient sea creatures?

Without flinching, she handed her the fossil and launched my daughter on a quest that would fill her pockets five pounds deep!

A small act of kindness that to the heart means oceans of love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I watch as my own hobbits meander toward the sunset.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

As we walk together down the path, I have stopped you to look up... and this is what you see. Fairies have chiseled branches out of a blue sky, and poked a tiny hole for the bright light that is on the other side to shine through.

Sit, my friends, and let out a deep sigh. Your hand feels warm in mine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

There is a path nearby that leads to a fairyland. Come with me...

Friday, January 14, 2011

One of my favorite Swiss treats is Gâteau à la Crème (or Salé à la Crème)... Cream Tarte!

Whenever we are at a fair or happen upon home-made tosche, I buy one! And this time, I won the lottery. This is hands-down the best Gâteau à la Crème I've ever had... and I ate a full quarter of it all by myself (yes, I was a little pig).

It makes a terrific supper with tea and a salad, or a nice 4 o'clock at snack time! Wondering what I could mean by a 4 o'clock? That is what the Swiss call their coffee break long about 4 o'clock of an afternoon. I've grown quite fond of that time of day, I must confess. ;)

So, I poked around at various Swiss blogs until I found one that provides a recipe (in English!) in case you'd like to try it out for yourself. I've never made this recipe, but I plan on doing it!

Bon appétit!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It is no prairie, true enough. But nearly as gentle, wouldn't you say Steve?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Little darling is more courageous than I ...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How, you ask, could I not like the alps? Let me count the ways!

I will give you that they are majestic, and spectacular and a wonder of the world in their own right... but they strangle me. I drive toward them and cower. They rise up grey and cold and pretentious, ready to pounce like a jaguar, to suffocate like a boa, or to crush like the razor-sharp teeth of a great white shark.

I sit back, sigh, and long for a prairie breeze.

(I've waxed melodramatic, haven't I!?) ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Have you ever seen the Swiss alps from the sky? This picture was taken last year, and while I do not like the alps, I have to admit they are majestic.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I approached these beautiful geese at a friend's house but they turned around in one group movement and waddled away from me.

I knelt down. Come back!

But alas, a species protects its own. And the question begs ... is humanity as wise?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This is my son, exhausted from an afternoon in the snow. Look closer and you just might see that it's me!... exhausted from two weeks of school vacation!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Epiphany - or la Fête des Rois !

On the 6th of January in Switzerland, you bake raisin sweet bread made of a dozen or so rolls, top it with almonds or sugar and hide inside one of the rolls a tiny king.

The lucky eater who finds the king (and doesn't break her teeth on it!) gets the crown!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter or spring ... who can tell?

Bovi stop sprouts despite itself! There are no bars that can stop the underlying passion of this creation.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The beauty of hard work.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snow will get into every corner and crevice much like love settles its way into hearts.

And it looks different every time, against every backdrop.

I have felt light shine into nooks of the heart I never thought existed, and I have to wonder ... could there be beauty to this, too?

Fill me, goodness of God...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year from me and my hippy friend! It's already 2011 in Europe... so ya'll are behind the times! We'll wait while you catch up...

Thanks for all the happy greetings - health and happiness to all!