February 28, 2014

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 27, 2014

two kinds of projects

... are going on today.
o those girls have lots of energy, right after breakfast the idea of making a birthday crown for tomorrow was the first thing which they needed paper and markers, scissors, washi tape and a bit of help. of course thea as well as her dear cousin wanted also a crown for themselfs, not just for the birthday person of tomorrow! how great is that, to start the day with crafting as soon as the sun is rising and the little tummies are filled...

and then yesterday i cast on for the annabel cardigan. it's kind of a trial, as i use a finer yarn, lark instead of the suggested osprey. i  hope for a size small to fit naomi and so i cast on a few more stitches as the small suggest in osprey...
we will see how everything will turn out. so far so good. i have 5 skeins of the colour bark if it doesn't last, i will add a stripe of something else. for sure an adventure, but easy and fast knitting all in garter stitch. and yup i started the book and laughed a lot and read aloud and amos laughed, so much fun to read a book out loud and understand what the writer is saying and do this with my 12 year old boy!!

February 26, 2014

our bike mechanic

we are usually not that early with all the bike fixing and getting things in order on our wheely end. though the fact that naomi's bike got vandalized at school and she was using her scooter to go to school this morning. and what happened, her front wheel fell off! what a good "coincidence" that our neighbors boy met her and lent her his scooter for the day! thank's to the kind boy she was in school on time.
as joel is already at it, he also mounted the "new" led back light on naomi's bike (he took it from a ruined bike a decade ago)... i'm so glad we have such a gifted bike mechanic in our house! and i'm proud to call him my husband. he still is proud, and he is right being so, of his bike fixing tool box, which he put together a bit short of a year ago.

February 25, 2014

a jumper for spring

i have made skirts from portabellopixie's grace pattern, in the past and loved them. naomi has requested the tired skirt a few times and i had fun sewing it. this time i decided it must be something different. grabbed some fabric and the round neck jumper pattern. i loved putting it together, though the instructions are not super clear about how to attach the round neck. i tried to think and use my logic and after a few trials with just pins, it came together fine.

the finished jumper is on my living room table, button holes all done, even the six buttons are sewn onto the garment though i have no girl to put it on...
thea is at kindergarten, we will see tonight!

February 24, 2014

a spring walk

what a wonderful sunday, as sunny and warm as today's monday. of course we had to go for a longish walk. at the in laws "back yard", along the toess, a river behind their house. a wonderful area to enjoy the afternoon sun, especially as we have been looking forward to spend the afternoon with them and out of doors.

it looks like, as we would be in a sunny streak this week. a good spring run was on my list for this morning, and i loved it, enjoyed every moment. these run's do me good, my thoughts wander and circle and doing so surrounded by woodlands and fresh warm sunbeams, there is the presence of God touchable. Halleluja is being one way of expressing my joy!
                                                 all photos by joel

February 21, 2014

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 20, 2014

the blooming willows

we are still in the midst of winter....
no doesn't seem so. the weather is extremely warm and sunny, all the early greenery is awakened already, be it the willow or the hazel. all is out, and so the snow drops and primula. it definitely doesn't feel like winter anymore at all.
never mind we take it from mother nature as she presents herself and enjoy the sunshine. each and every beam gets soaked up and i love it and would not want it in any different way.

there is though the thought in the back of my mind, that there will be many bulbs not springing this spring. i experienced this one time a few years back, as the cockchafer grubs have feasted on the bulbs and perennial shrubs roots....
we will see in a few weeks, i will let you know!
in that regard, i do envy all the bostonians/new englanders which are still experiencing a deep winters sleep.

February 19, 2014

on the needles during the vacation

i needed to bring along an easy knitting project. a quick and no brains not too much wool bringing along project. this worked out perfect, bella's mittens seemed like fun. it was fun and i like the long sleeves on those bulky mittens. they were a quick knit and i was wearing them by the end of the week. wonderful wool and as i do not wear blue frequently, a nice little change in my attire.

not only i was involved with the needles, naomi has finished her scarf. the same wool as she crochet her hat. happily wearing the warmth of the wool around her neck. she made such wonderful progress and has become really fluent.

February 18, 2014

the late list for 2014

it's the middle of february, and the week in the snow was great. i don't really mind that i'm late with my list for 2014. it's my list and i loved thinking and writing it up, enjoy reading it and get inspired yourself! just ponder what you want to do, be brave, not just realistic. i did put a few things on my list, which i already now is a bit of a challenge and others maybe just golden wishes, but why not!
this list keeping has been a good thing for me and very encouraging to plan and do what i almost had forgotten was on my mind.
and with this started year, i already  have been so blessed by the bible verse of the year, "Gott nahe zu sein ist mein Glück"  Psalm 73:28, as i intentionally seek to be close to God and take time to be still, which has become more and more part of every day life, God also meets me at unexpected moments and that turns into a sort of "happiness of grace"

this is the list for 2014 (it will be expanded at a mid year day)

1. keep giving thanks every day for what i receive and enjoy
2. make scrap fabric hearts for valentines
3. finish the started bed quilt for my friend
4. finish the golden shawl
5. renovate the kitchen, a new floor, renovating the table and corner bench, replace the stove
6. read a book a month
7. go for a 2 day hike in the mountains with joel this summer
8. knit one item a month
9. get the "lust auf kunst pass" for winterthur
10. run three times a week (5k in the morning)
11. write the birthday letters via snail mail and be creative doing so
12. do a little bit of free modern quilting with lots of white spaces
13. go to the concert by WOTE in april in zurich
14. being calm and loving in conversations with our kids
15. keep on praying regularly in the evenings
16.  the wardrobe architect idea
17. look trough my closet of cloths and bring everything i have not been wearing to the second hand shop
18. teach thea how to ski and have the big three kids boarding and skiing
19. visit the paul klee center in bern
20. help amos transition into a new school in august
21. enjoy a long weekend or short vacation with our friends
22. planting flowers on the balcony and around the house
23. say yes to the kids more often
24. try out some linoleum cutting and printing

February 17, 2014

a week in the swiss mountains

a week of skiing in the swiss mountains. of course not just skiing, but also boarding, enjoying the sunshine and snow regardless, as we haven't had any snow this year, in the lower lands of switzerland...
it was wonderful, the kids all loved it and so did joel and i. we have not done this kind of vacation in the past, but decided last spring to give it a try. lots of preparations and packing, sending the equipment ahead, in order to travel light on the train. it all worked out, wonderful ski school teachers, excited kids what more would we have wanted. family time,  no tv, many games of tichu, origami balls, knitting and writing, reading and playing games. preparing yummy meals and enjoying them in the warmth of our mountain cottage. a good time to relax and be still, yes even that was happening!

February 7, 2014

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 6, 2014

last years list

finally i'm coming to a quick halt and take the time to write down my list of things i want to do in the time to come. i have done that in the past and loved listing my ideas and then keep an eye on it to see what's coming along as well as going through the list mid year to see what i neglected.

so first a quick look at last years list:

1. keep thea's joy on learning to play the violin alive and foster it (official lessons start in february)
- lessons started and yes she is the one calling for practice time at home, we just finished the first year and she loves it

2. sew a couple more jersey skirts and some other sewing projects or knitting i guess would count too, one project a month....
- no jersey skirts, but one for me and another one for naomi and a dress for little 

3. get a good pair of house shoes for myself (any suggestions?)
- i got a pair of mary janes' in cotton candy

4. learn more about gregorian chanting here
- together with my mother i attended a one day course, wonderful and very interesting. i'm certain i will find my way to a day of gregorian chanting once more

5. keep regular evening prayers
- work in progress, i got into the habit of praying the complien most nights

6. practice to not mother our oldest son too much
- awareness and trying hard

7. finish the started bed quilt for my friend
- i'm working on it, the top is cut and half way sewn together, the fabric for the back picked but no idea of how to do it

8. grow a straw bale garden
- didn't work out, really. for the moment there are leeks planted as a winter's crop

9. plant more berry bushes around the house
- i planted a few more raspberrie plants, i got them from my brother in law and they seem to do well

10. finish the golden shawl
- didn't touch it

11. try out how to make a pavlova dessert
- didn't even look up the recipe one more time

12. read through the psalter's again and again
- didn't do it

13. work with the different lenses on my rlx
- mostly using the 1.2-16, which joel put together for me
- i don't like the tele, so i leave that one to joel
- i got a new lens and love it

14. take some vacation time in the mountains with friends, to hike and enjoy
- we were in grindelwald in a "maiensaess" in august with my parents, wonderful
- and with our friends we spent one week in viareggio at the mediterranean sea

15. clean all the windows of the house (inside and out)
- i cleaned all the living room windows, naomi cleaned the windows of her room, one of my house mates cleaned all the kitchen windows, together with amos we did all the bedroom windows, succeeded by end of october

16. paint the living room and put a new floor down
- all done and we even got a new piano!

17. read half a dozen books
- dietrich bonhoeffer, pastor, martyr, prophet, spy
- von der dunkelheit zum licht
- one thousand gifts
- gott im leben entdecken, working on it

18. do an other summer project like the granny square sampler one
- i have not found any yet, anyone have a hint
- there was not a nice big project, i worked on a granny square quilt, though have just finished to top

19. work on some paper collages and mixed media
- some feeble attempts

20. go out for a nice dinner, only with joel
- it was not just dinner, but a week in irland in july

21. go and see the special exhibit on giacometti at the kunsthaus zurich
- missed this one

22. try one dozen new dinner recipes (more with less $)
- frittata with potatoes, leeks and eggs
- tried all kinds of dishes, mostly casseroles, which i loved

23. being intentional about "being thankful" in my day to day routine as well as the extraordinaire moment
- that's a good one to take into thought every day

24. knitting a "spitzen hemdchen"
- nope not done, still dreaming
25. do something against human trafficking, what ever it might be
- i did help with the stop armut konferenz in october
- and organized an event with irene hirzel as speaker in winterthur, just last week

26. get thea started with her english language curriculum
- she loves "explore the code"

27. invest some money in micro loans, as i'm so wealthy and privileged to live in a first world country
- not done until now

28. not missing the remaining voting days, june 9th, then there is an other one in august and november...
- didn't miss any and already put the ballet in the mail for the february 9th

29. at any time there should be flowers on the kitchen table
- i do manage most times, some times we enjoy a wooden or rocky display

February 5, 2014

the dinosaur in the borscht

we call it dinosaur kale... so of course we had dinosaur for dinner!
a recipe from that very cool cook book i can't get enough off...
in the book, it's not the dinosaur kale they use, but savoy cabbage. there was non of that in my fridge, so i used substituted it with the dark green leafs i had. it turned out wonderful. the beets are often not a favorite with the kids, though cooked into borscht they like it too. instead of duck i used a simple chicken, some good herbs as well as onion and garlic did the trick. topping it with sour creme, that was a must for our youngest. if there is sauce or creme on her plate, she will be eating each and every bite of it!

and what lovely colour combination, just a joy, not only to eat, but to look at too!

February 4, 2014

coffee and still

it has become a very nice habit of mine, to sit down for a cup of espresso or some kind of cappuccino or black coffee lately. and of course mostly there is bite of dark chocolate or other sweet dessert, who can without when it's within reach!
i like those moments of quiet, mostly, not this week as the kids are home for winter brake. reading the newspaper or any other interesting magazine, sometime i find myself leaving through a poetry book like this or this. i really love the quiet and still and moments of just being.

and then there is that nag of starting out a new knitting project, i did start a sort of scarf, though ended up undoing the work after 4 hours, as it just didn't look right... it's ok with me.
there is a bit of tension, as we head up into the mountains for a week of skiing and knitting and playing games and being, so i really should get an easy and delightful project started...

with this said, i will just start casting on for mittens, brown worsted weight with a braid pattern, more i'm sure will follow.

February 3, 2014

"kraut & rueben"

the last delivery of the veggie basket has been arriving last week. roots and shoots with cabbage and carrots. what to do and have for dinner... a couple weeks ago i stumbled across this cook book and took it home, as there seemed to be a hand full of nice winter recipes in it. i have been making a cabbage creme soup with dried tomatoes and parmesan which everyone loved and i will definitely make it again. a wonderful way to use up the stockpile of cabbage in our garden shed.
so here i am with the inspiration of a "krautstrudel mit hackfleisch" a simple strudel dough is quickly made, the tricky part with that dough is, that it has to be rolled and pulled very thinly. i had to give it a second try, as i used not enough flour the first round of rolling it out paper thin. brushing it with a coat of butter was fun and thea loved to help with that chore.
while i was working to roll out the dough, the veggies and ground beef was lightly cooking and was just perfect to put on and roll it all up to be put into the oven. a few coats of butter while it was baking made the outer most layer.

served with a bit of sour creme and the wonderful dark greens, sprouts, cress and some cutting greens a real "weedy salad" as the boys called it. a wonderful meal and i will do it again.