Monday, February 28, 2011

Just the way you are ... whether you look like this...

or like this...

you are beautiful.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A thrift store find!

I must admit, we have the best thrift store I've ever seen. Pewter was popular in this area at one time, and there always seems to be a candle holder or lovely plate to take home. I have had my eye open for a pot just like this one for years... and this week was my week! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Whose could that be?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In the Arc Jurassien, salmon-colored rock is quarried and used to build walls and buildings. We happened upon this quarry yesterday on the drive to Basel... can you see why the prairie is such a welcome change? :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My eldest made homemade meringues yesterday before she left for school, and they baked slowly in the oven all the afternoon long as I labored at the computer, enveloped by their tasty scent emerging from the kitchen... torture, I say!

She had pity on me later on and let me try ... one! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tiny fingers picked a basketful of spring flowers this weekend... I hardly dare to hope that winter is gone for good. Snow has frosted the mountain tops and a thick mist hangs over the valley, over the brown and green fields that wait and hover for God to say that it's time to bloom.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Could this be my Kansas here in the land of Oz?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Woodland elves?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The warm weather lured us from our den...

Into my backpack went the last coveted Jiffy Pop popcorn and my only bag of giant-sized marshmallows from our last trip to Chicago.

The wild things of the forest wanted to run free and sleeveless in the February chill ... and I was forced to use my mom-voice.

"Put - that - sweatshirt - ON!"

Little Swiss children always know how to wield pocket knives. Skiing and knives; a Helvetic rite of passage.

And so their two worlds collide, and blend... army knives to prime the sticks on which to roast american marshmallows. Ah!

And as the sun set, we meandered toward home in comradery ... some on bikes, some on foot, others (like me) bumbling through a freshly fertilized field! Some things never change...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last night my black and denim clad Russian took me to my favorite quirky hideaway where Mozart haunts the premises and candles glow and sparkle through the old coaching inn.

The woodstove burns as you enter, and cats stalk the dining room while the pony-tailed server presents plate after plate of home-grown luxury. Rumor has it the chef cooks up the cat meat and serves it to you as veal cutlets when the kitties get old; a rumor that gives my ex-farmer boy the creeps, but which excites me with the sheer daring of it!

To close the meal, espresso for the drive home. My lover's hulking fingers could barely grasp the tiny gilt cup as he shot a pathetic look my way "This is man abuse!"

Such a sweet and indulgent husband he is, too!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day to everyone who's touched my heart...


Proflowers coupons are always available online.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

You can't smell them, and you can't taste them ... but they're the first strawberries of the season!

And if you dress them up in a chocolate evening gown, their native strawberry flavor is actually detectable...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well, I just found out I've been tagged by my favorite prairie whisperer to name five things I cannot leave home without. I have to admit, I've been watching all you bloggers scramble to answer this very question and have been quite intrigued!

What can't I live without when I leave the house? My sister-in-law would ask rather ... what can she live without? Ok, I hear you!

So while I don't really cozy up to stating the obvious, this is what I feel is a truthful answer.

1. Boots (come on people, you know it's true!)

2. Pants (can you imagine not naming 'em?)

3. Shirt (I'm not like you guys... clothing means more to me than gum!)

4. Burt's Bees (this might actually fall into first place)

5. My purse! (Oh, I'm sorry, does that not count for only one thing?).

Let's see... who can I tag, who can I tag? Ola. Beyond my Kitchen Window. Diary of a Southern Lady. Definately JOE. And Dawn up in the arctic freeze. :)
Whoops... can't forget Randy. What does a man need in his pockets down in the southwest?
My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

-- Seamus Heaney (excerpt from Digging)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Unlike Northern America, we are having unseasonably warm weather: 13° yesterday!

I sent my little darlings outdoors to soak in the sun before the next onslaught of winter fury. Hours later this is what I found - an Indian campfire and tiny hands fashioning homemade "bricks". Naturally, the natives were lathered in nice, gooey, spring mud. Bain obligé!

Vittals for the autochthonic of my own backyard. My heart swells.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It wasn't easy leaving my print in this icy snow. The crust was cold and decided, and I had to wiggle my fingers to melt it some so they could crunch down through the frozen sheet of winter.

It is the same with people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I never saw a moor;
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

-- Emily Dickinson

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A walk with my Russian through the forest and over the hill into the morning sun. I could feel the life of spring soaking into my skin and pulsing through my veins.

A new season is not long in coming. We shall see the earth awaken once again!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wild mistletoe is as cottony fingers soothing from where they hover in the sky...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Apparently there really is sun above all that fog, and yesterday it dared to show itself for at least three full hours! I pulled my rocking chair up to the window and basked in it ... knitting.

I rationalized (as I thought about how many things I could be doing rather than simply sitting in the sun) that I'm still under the weather and that a good dose of vitamin D was just what I needed.

And I know that these mitts are just what my little Strawberry Girl needed. It's her turn to stay home sick today, and as she reclines on the couch with a hint of early morning sunbeam flooding the room, I see her staring at this bit of love made just for her.

She has named them Spring Mitts... for Meagane.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


You should try to hear the name the Holy One has for things.
There is something in the phrase: "The Holy One taught him names."
We name everything according to the number of legs it has;
The Holy One names it according to what is inside.
Moses waved his stick; he thought it was a "rod".
But inside its name was "dragonish snake."
We thought the name of Umar meant: "agitator against priests";
But in eternity his name is "the one who believes."
No one knows our name until our last breath goes out.

Rumi (transl. Robert Bly)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The good life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Goodness ... the world was spinning yesterday! So in between translating, laundry, cooking and taking care of the little hobbits, I took you all up on your kind advice to get some rest!

One forest green mitten is done, and the second will pass the finish line in about half an hour.

Made with elsebeth lavold Silky Wool XL, this yarn is a blend of wool and silk and feels like cotton on the skin. I wore the finished one to drive the kiddies to school (yes... I had mismatched mittens on, but I couldn't resist!) and I could feel a slight breeze whistling through the stitches, unlike malabrigo. Something to consider if you're looking to be toasty warm.

The pattern is Warmest Mittens, free for download at