July 31, 2014

the apple room to be

amos has been moving out of his room for the past two days. he is getting a new room and is excited with all the "new" of it. of course the big action for him, is to sort through all the stuff. in particular all the books and magazines. so he did and sorted out most of the picture books. he is keeping a lot though. enzyclopedias are being moved, not just one but a hand full, most of his english books and of course each and every fiction is moving with him.
thea will be moving in this room and is also super excited to help with the cleaning. by this evening we were ready with cleaning and covering up the window, radiator and door frame as well as the floor. the paint bucket has been in the room since yesterday, when we went to the store and had thea help us to pick the paint for her room.
she was very certain of the "apple 10", no back and forth, even when i gave her one more choice of a soft violet, she had her mind set at that "apple"...

there is still a lot of work, painting being the first one of them, and thea really really wants to help with this, so i will wait until tomorrow afternoon. cleaning up, putting the bed back and going to the second hand store for a book shelf. she has her mind set on all the books, amos doesn't want to take along to his new room. and of course the books which are called her own already. there is not much more space in this room and that's alright with her. it is after all the first time in her life, as she will have her own room! and that one will be painted in apple 10!

July 30, 2014

candles in the pool

do you remember the making of the candle rafts...
here is the pic of our fun evening letting them float!

July 29, 2014

the colors around theh ouse

 it is in the middle of summer and it is very bright and colorful, even with all the rain we have there are flowers in bloom and berries ripen. i'm fighting with the slugs, they are so super hungry and have eaten all blooms of the pumpkin plant so far. it is doing it's best and just produces new buds and i'm collecting the slugs each night and each morning, we will see how far it goes later this summer.
the hydrangea is in full bloom, wonderful and it just stays that way. a wonderful pink among the leafy bushes. it's a good memory of a friend, she liked hydrangeas and then my grandmother had two or three bushes behind the house. so bright and still so very lacy with it's tiny pedals.
the third plant in full swing is our blackberry bush. full of fruit and slowly changing it's color. still lots of green berries, though the red and black are getting stronger. it's not as sweet as the blackberries at my parents house, still i like them and they make for wonderful little snacks and there is so much fruit, that i'm certain of a few containers that will get put into the freezer for desserts later in the year. this is summer here around the house. people seem unhappy with the weather, as it is very rainy since the beginning of july, and there is more to come. though i don't mind too much and i'm sure of a sunny august...

July 28, 2014

the mountain and st.gallen

having our dear friends visiting for a week was wonderful! and when ever there are international friends with us, we tend to see sights in the near by country site and cities. that's what we did last week, going to stein to  watch the cheese makers at the "schaukaeserei". and st. gallen with it's two wonderful churches  of "st. laurenzen" and the "stiftskirche" with it's "stiftsbibliothek"

and as the weather got better, we decided to head up to the saentis and go for a little hike to "feel" the swiss mountains! of course breathtaking views are to be enjoyed up there. even as it was a bit cloudy, it's spectacular.

of course there were more adventures, many hours of "tichu" and puzzling. enjoying meals together,singing and make music, moments we treasure and will keep. of course remembering the times when we lived together in boston and shared so many a moment for over 2 years, it's long since but still very close and deep friendships which have been renewed. thank you, dear friends.

July 25, 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.

July 18, 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.

July 11, 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.

July 10, 2014

N's emergency kit

naomi has been invited to a friends birthday party and was pondering what she could bring as a present... first we chose a pretty notebook with a special pencil. a few moments after deciding and more pondering, naomi was very sure that this would not be the right present, as last year she already presented a notebook and pencil. yes i agree even though there are never enough notebooks and pretty pencils in a girls hand! we started to think from scratch. a hand died t-shirt, yarn and needles, a hand painted mug, well nothing which naomi felt like fitting for her friend.
and then almost as lighting would be striking, an emergency kit. and not just any kind, but one which naomi put together and personalized it for her... she loves to roam the woods, wade in creeks and of course beside flint and birch bark, some band aids and a flint there are needles and thread, a razor blade and elastic bands, well i feel like we could send the friend out into the wild with this kit....

and isn't it wonderful to make something for a friend and not just run to the store to buy "something nice". even naomi is super happy and excited with this "make do it yourself".

July 9, 2014

the wooden camera

a couple months ago, i asked my nephew, if he would want to make me a wooden camera. i did see this one and absolutely liked it, this will be the perfect gift for my godchild. she turns two and her daddy likes to pictures, and which child doesn't want to do what her daddy is doing....

my nephew agreed and made me this camera. i absolutely like it, the shutter release is flexible, so one can press the button down and it springs up again. the seeker window is working fine and one is able to turn the "lens" into focus! o well, i'm so very happy with it and adding the camera strap to it was the one part i did myself.
over all the perfect hand made gift for little j.

July 8, 2014

the recycling rafts

lets make things, lets do things together!
we live in community and enjoy having more than one hand full of people living in the same house hold and even more next door. we do enjoy a nice back yard and in the summer months joel and i put up our big pool. of course there is a lot of swimming, jumping, splashing done by our kids but also by other folks who enjoy the water in the heat.
and then there are community evenings, the last time joel organized a little boat building workshop. all recycled stuff, everything was used at least once before it got built into a little raft. most everyone had fun and yes every little swimming raft had a tea light mounted.
because the weather didn't play along, we could not float them after dusk. it was too windy and so instead we all jumped in and had fun.

the floating little tea lights will be tried an other night, and i'm very much looking forward to that night. it will be pretty, for sure.

July 7, 2014

sunday afternoon

the big dance event in our summer schedule is over...
the 10 year anniversary of taz at the opernhaus zurich. a full show, fantastic dance and it is exciting to see what will happen within 8 years of professional dance training. it's fun to see elias in the middle of all those wonderful dancers. there is lot's of more dancing going on in the coming years, for sure.

by joel

July 4, 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.

July 3, 2014

$ 1.50 a day

it took me a bit of time to decide that i want to give this a try. now it's not official a challenge anymore, it ended a week ago. though never the less i decided to eat below the line ($1.50) for a week. i liked this approach, though that would not work for me, as i'm living with a big family and have to provide meals for 12 people a day. so for me it's really to just cut things out and simply not eat.

so far i have been able to balance my days and eating, to not get anyone too much up set about my project around the table. as for the kids, they have noticed, that my plate is filled with rice or potatoes though no sauce or no cheese, no butter on my slice of bread for dinner...
for myself it is a challenge to get over the moment of craving when i'm preparing the meals for the family, there is the awareness of wanting to try the yummy smelling sauce or just pick a bacon bit out of the pot. and in the late afternoons, when the kids are having something to snack as it is still two hours to go until dinner, o that is a hard one.

in those moments i try to imagining the hard lot of servants, preparing food for their customers or employers and not being allowed to eat while doing so. but over all i kind of enjoy the challenge, and my body is taking it well.

today i had a hand full freshly picked raspberries from our garden and a glass of tea for breakfast. a plate of whole rice with a few slices of cucumber for lunch, of course water is a big plenty i'm drinking. the hard part was, when i was cooking cherry jam, to not start liking the spoon!
for dinner there will be oven roasted potatoes and i'm able to have one bite of cheese. and that is it!

July 2, 2014

cherries and pie

the cherry tree is dying, at least that's what it seems to me. o dear old cherry tree. it carries a big harvest and we have already picked a lot. we will not be able to pick all of the cherries, too many and the tree is too high to reach. but we will do our best and enjoy all what we can.

it is a good week for us to harvest the sweet fruit. not too much going on besides the every day routine and i love to cook and bake and get the fruit into the freezer. lot's of red little dots are covering my arms and face when i'm pitting the cherries... and looking at me in those moments with all the "freckles" i remember the happy hours of my childhood. my sister and me spent a happy day in the front yard bare chested with just the cherries and the cherry pitter, working hard and enjoying the red freckles all over our bodies. good memories and i do hope i will look back to this cherry season in couple dozen years, with even more happy memories.

and if you wonder how such a cherry pitter looks like, here it is. you put the cherries in the funnel on the right side and each cherry has to be rolling down on its own, the pit is being pushed out and down, as the cherry is pulled up and released through a special hole on top.

July 1, 2014

blackberry in bloom

i love the black berry brambles, o so wonderful with their rose coloured blossoms and this year they carry a lot of berries. we had a very small harvest last year, as the brambles got cut. and now this year we will have a lot of those wonderful sweet black berries to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, lot's of little snacks. and even more to freeze and cook up into jam and pies...
maybe i'm dreaming a bit big, it's just two plants we have near the chicken coop, though the berries are high enough and as i'm glad this time, the spikes sharp enough to keep the chickens from snacking the berries...

as for today, i was already in the cherry tree and picked 20lbs of wonderful sweet fruit, two pies in the oven and more cherries are being given away to neighbors and friends.