Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apricots blossom in spring sun

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God's presence is not as intriguing as His absence. His voice is not as eloquent as His silence.

-- C.R. Swindoll

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home is where the heart is.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bike ride through the fields of what I hope will one day be our home...

as big kids ride off on their own, a harbinger of what the future holds.

Smaller kids stay close by, still needing me to fix a chain or reset gears; the time has come to cherish every moment.

And this is the blue bicycle given to me by my mountain man of a husband... the reason why I can actually bike uphill! He makes sport of snapping pictures as I try to locate the pedals -

"Gee, darling, you're a pro!"


Friday, March 25, 2011

The house is frozen like the tiny freezer in my kitchen.

Why, you ask? Ah...that is the question! Someone forgot to order heating oil this year - and we're trying not to speculate as to which one of us that might be. ;)

Though the radiators are maxed out, the floors and walls are icy cold. Showers are an arctic experience, reminiscent of the Polar Bears who swim in Chicago's Lake Michigan each January... it took me one full hour to stop shivering after washing my hair.

It's a good thing the sun is shining; I find it amazing how quickly one becomes aware of the commodities only God can provide!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Tell me something of love -
the power of awakening seed;
And I will tell you of blossom -
ripe with a passion's deed."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the pressing question is ... how to get the seed into the feeder!

First sister comes to show how its done...

Then brother tries to save the day while sister, defeated, checks her ipod...

And finally, little darling joins in to watch, in utmost admiration.

Ah, the things to which I am witness from this tiny kitchen of mine!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes while searching for a sylvain path of life, there are one too many walls blocking the road to the place where grass meets sky.

And sometimes ... I haven't the strength to knock them down.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Driving through the picturesque countryside of the Franches Montagnes toward La Chaux-de-Fonds yesterday, I jumped out of the car whenever my brother-in-law would give in to my pleadings for a photo op.

Fortunately for me, the great Uncle Michel loves this area and was swift to oblige.

Stately but inviting churches pepper the heart of Swiss watchmaking country.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A glimpse of Switzerland in early spring... I hope to see you coming down the road!

Friday, March 18, 2011

There is a time at the end of the day, as I prepare the evening meal or do the dishes in preparation for bed, when a sweet meloncholy overcomes me; a pensiveness that cannot be subdued.

At these times, I pour myself a bit of harvest wine. I kick off my shoes, pull a chair up to the kitchen sink, climb the great mountain of domestic matriarchy and push open the sky light over my humble and intimate kitchen.

My Russian often finds me here, observing the moss growing on my roof, staring out across the valley, sometimes listening to the ringing of bells. He has learned to let me be, but stays nearby, hovering in a protective ease.

I have wondered on occasion if someone else has seen my head poking out of my roof...and what that must look like! So if you ever happen upon my street, and see me there lost in an unexplainable world all my own, do call out my name! I shall pour you a glass of reverie.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have you ever had Vermicelles?

We stopped by a tearoom yesterday, little darling and I, to have pastries in the fashion of great ladies. She picked vermicelli made from chestnut purée. Inside a miniature cookie pie crust are crushed meringues (for which I still need to post the recipe) and whipped vanilla flavored cream, all topped with the chestnut worms (pardon my French). The first time I saw this dessert nearly twenty years ago, I thought I'd be sick.

But it is delicious, and an acquired taste. Eventually... you come to realize that you can't live without it.

Are you listening, Trisha? Write this down! :D

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tulips glow in morning light...

and we are but a shadow of all that is beautiful; the discovery consists in finding what it is we mirror...

Monday, March 14, 2011

How I Go to the Woods
by Mary Oliver

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

I don't really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible, I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One of the advantages to living in a shuttered world is that sometimes people redecorate! Voilà a discarded piece of beauty I discovered driving through town recently.

I stopped the car... looked furtively around... and snatched it up. It's perfectly legal, but some would wonder what I could possibly want with an old run-down shutter, and I did not have my sweeties along to help me drag it into the car. (They're always my moral support for this kind of thing).

This is how I dressed it up at home (to the surprise of hubby, who asked me if I was collecting mismatched shutters for our new house to save money. Such a man thing to say!)

Like it?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trisha at Roundabout has passed this sweet spring green compliment my way, and with it comes the requirement to tell you seven things about myself. I actually don't mind doing this part of the game, so here we go:

I have...

1. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. (that's strawberry girl!)

2. Seen through the glass bottom boat off Catalina Island.

3. Had a near-death experience with a bovine.

4. Ridden horseback on a pristine beach in Mexico.

5. Hunched in a tarp-covered wagon as it poured rain for the duration of a one-week BEACH vacation.

6. Lived in Seville where I...

7. Danced the Sevillana.

This is where I have trouble accepting blogger awards: I'm afraid that I cannot pick between my friends - it stresses me out to the point of nausea. You all touch my heart. :)


Friday, March 11, 2011

Twice a week I drive my son to this spot so he can begin his paper route down the side of the steep valley. (that's him in the purple sweatshirt.)

And these are what I have seen for two weeks now. Snow drops and crocus. Soon there will be daffodils and tulips.

I lay on the cold concrete snapping pictures as my son sauntered off with his little cart; his smile is the promise of Spring.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What was yesterday's tiny house, you ask? The short answer is I have no idea.

What do you think of this one? Might this be a better fit for a family of six? Imagine this is the mother house; same style but ours will be newborn-size. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Enough is as good as a feast.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still.

'Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.'

'No, no, let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky, the little birds fly
And the hills are all covered with sheep.'

'Well, well, go & play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed.'
The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd
And all the hills echoed.

-- William Blake, Nurse's Song

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hopefully... this is where we will wake up in the mornings once our house is built; and as we stood dreaming in the icy late afternoon sun, our future neighbor emerged from his stately mansion to get in on our reverie.

He has geese. And those geese have their own private bathing grounds! The Russian looked at me sideways from where he stood overlooking the rural landscape... "They'll wake you up in the mornings with all their squawking!"

Yes, I say, and they are better than bells...

Before we left, a fresh laid goose egg offered in parting. "Whip him up an omelette, Allison, and add a little cream!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

White roses and tulips cleanse my eyes...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cords of wood lined up along the railroad tracks in tidy Swiss style. Not an inch of space is lost in a country where every centimeter is a coveted commodity!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Strawberry Girl!

And what do you suppose a ten-year old girl wants for her birthday? His name is Buttercup ... the sweetest bunny there ever was. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Patty over at Country Corner is an artist. And yesterday one of her masterpieces landed in my mailbox ... I had won a print of her "Farmer's View" to hang, one day, in my new home (yes, you heard right, Theresa!).

Thank you, Patty. It is just perfect. A promise that one day I will have my own hobbit house. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chim chim-in-ey Chim chim-in-ey Chim chim cher-oo!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Salvaging these from a cabinet someone is throwing out, it occurred to me that it is the same with people: there is always something lovely worth keeping.