Friday, September 30, 2011

I took a morning hike through the hollow with a friend who knows every nook and cranny of this countryside. She is the Ferrari of hiking, notching top speeds as I huff and puff behind her, trying to keep up. It is always invigorating.

But what I love most about this friend is her utter disregard for things temporal: she loves you just the way you are, and despite what mess you get yourself into or how much complaining you do, despite the way you walk or don't walk, she carries on at your side.

If you step in a cow pie with this friend, you don't even stop and say anything. She doesn't notice - so you just trek on. It sprays up your calf and runs down your leg that is bleeding from tramping through a thorny forest, and you just travel on. When you get home you expect there to be cowpats all over your body, but though you wash your shoes in the garden hose and take a shower, you are always surprised to see that most of it fell away while you were hiking ... at her side.

Real friendship will do that; friendship makes the dung just melt away.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New fingerless mitts for little darling, completed just last night. Why is it these are so therapeutic to make?

I had left them by her place at the breakfast table to find before school, and was brushing my teeth in the bathroom this morning when she came beaming in to show me.

That smile makes me want to knit her a thousand more.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some call it dreaming, others contemplation. But sometimes inwardness is the only road to sanity.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When the Swiss complete a multimillion franc tunnel, they celebrate in style.

And before anyone drives their cars down the freshly paved road, people come from all over to bike, scoot, walk, skate or just eat a sausage on the new road.

You meet friends about halfway through and stop to talk in the freezing dampness.

And a free ride in a rolling car effectively scares you about what would happen if you were to violate any traffic rules.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Sunday walk over the knoll means a long hike upward...

unique flora... (which the Russian claims you can eat)


and a little outdoor knitting for the soul.

It is good to be out where the mind is free.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's be honest: the other day I was feeling blue. And it wasn't a cozy country blue, or an inspiring sky blue, it wasn't even a cool denim blue. It was a flat royal blue - the color that makes you walk out of a department store when you see their fall collection.

That was me: a low-grade fall collection royal blue.

It was time to spice things up a bit, and what better in the fall than Whoopie Pies to inject a bit of ebullience into your flat-blue blood. They were as delicious as they look - moist and spicy and sweet, the frosting fatty enough to make you moan aloud as you eat.

I have come to call this Whoopie Therapy.

It is a sure-fire remedy, too. You can either pay your shrink a hundred bucks an hour to accompany you through your struggles, or you can invest in Whoopie Therapy, which costs about five dollars a session and applies to everyone in your household. :)

I'm up to making another batch this week, so if any of you are free please join me!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When translated literally, the German word for glove is "hand shoe". Yes, you heard right - a shoe for the hand.

And in case you don't buy it, they literally hang - a - hand from the post to squelch your incredulity. You do see the linguistic rebellion beginning to surface, don't you? :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sometimes people are not who they seem; it is so easy to be deceived. But hide and seek has long been humanity's game of choice.

What would your life become if you were to be who you really are?

What if you were to let the layers be peeled away?

Some "friends" would leave you, undoubtedly. People might misunderstand. But when you stand in front of a mirror at the end of a long day - when you look around at who is left at your side - you might be surprised to find you are happier being the real person inside you... and those worth having will have stayed.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leaf Obsession

I knitted and then ripped out fingerless mitts for the Russian - twice! - because they keep coming out too big. That's what you get when you try to cable for a man.

So in my distress, I picked up a little pattern for leaves by Cocoknits ( and knocked myself out. It's easy, takes about ten minutes to make one, and leaves you feeling successful and skilled in no time at all. (Never underestimate the power of illusion!).

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 19, 2011

This morning was drippy cold and damp, raining hard on and off as I boarded the train to Bern. I was glad I had worn my warmer coat, and wished for my boots. Fall seems to be coming on fast, barreling toward us like so many Swiss trains.

Wind tunneled through the ancient streets as businesspeople bustled to and fro; I waited, standing, in the rain for the tram to pass - to risk my life jay-walking, as everyone else does, over the rails.

It felt like home. Suddenly, without expecting it, I found it even smelled like home. That made me relax a bit, though I didn't let my mind analyze why - the fact that I was feeling it was enough on this day. Off to the left, Starbucks rose high in its regal building and I decided to miss my train and go inside, entering through a worn, Neoclassic door with a lovely brass handle. Everyone else was as wet as I was from the pouring rain, and I sat by a floor to ceiling window with my almond latte and looked out on falling leaves against the austere city walls. It felt like home.

And again - it smelled like home.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bit of tender sweetness welcoming every time I come home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Have you ever caught the moon?

And ate it like a peach...

Or held it, soft as a baby kitten?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Switzerland is neutral!

Whoever said that has never lived here in the summertime when the Swiss pull out pocket knives and begin to peel back the casing on their favorite wurst ... Cervelas!

There was an uproar some years back when due to a mad cow ban on casings, the Cervelas had become an endangered species. Word had it they were going to oust the original and substitute a synthetic wrap.

The idea did not go over well with the natives, to say the least.

Petitions were signed, it got ugly. People demonstrated in favor of zebu intestine. They took sides, and nobody said the word neutral anymore around town.

Now, with peace restored among the villagers, we can buy as many cervelas as we want... all year round. We chop them up and make cold "salad", we pan fry them, roast them, eat 'em raw with the tip of our knives. And the Swisser sits back round his campfire on the mountain of his choice, pops open his faithful Victorinox, shears the skin off unceremoniously, skewers it on a whittled branch, holds it over the flame and sighs a little sigh.

We won that war!

(dedicated to the Russian xo)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The fields looked vast and green. Flat and boring, really. Certainly not home.

But as I looked closer, when I finally let my eyes see past their prejudice, this is what I saw...

death pregnant with hope...

spot of happiness...

spray of tears...

intimate tenderness...

ripe burst of passion.

Thank you for kissing me, mountain dear.

Monday, September 12, 2011

As this darkness falls after the throbbing beauty of sky paints line and color in violent stripes -

promise you will not go.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor

Saturday, September 10, 2011

glimpse of France, of weathered wood; the story of what once was

Friday, September 9, 2011

Garden cherry tomatoes

With a family of six, laundry is just never done. I walk down two flights of stairs, pop in the clothes and if there is a minute or two to spare, wander through the garden/jungle to see what there is to see.

Sometimes there is a blueberry to suck on, or a blackberry to pluck from its thorny vine. But the past week has afforded bright red tomatoes, which technically I'm supposed to share with the kids.

But not this week.

I've been shamelessly popping them in my mouth the minute I find them... one - two -three - pop - pop - pop.

And that was the fate of these three lovely specimens.

The end.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some things just turn out to be a no-go. But when every way you turn you see the yellow diamond, remember there is still one way out ...

...and that is up! Time to fly!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Strong men skilled in dealing with life protect with instinctive ease the beauty that is theirs. And behind them me - following for a few stolen moments, watching.

It is the dance of fatherhood. The innocence of youth. The hand that always knows just exactly where you are...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Those who don't feel this love pulling them like a river.
Those who don't drink dawn like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don't want to change, let them sleep.

This love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind
that way, sleep on.

I've given up on my brain,
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away. If you're not
completely naked, wrap
your beautiful robe of words
around you,
and sleep.

(Jelaluddin Rumi)