November 29, 2017

stricktrick and fun with it

it has been a while, since this lamp was put up in our bedroom. it was a lot of fun to do the "stricktrick" cable and decorate the plain electricity cable für my bed side lamp. it has been a craft kit by supercraft and i liked it from the day of arrival, it was really just the planning on my side, to gather a good junk of minutes, and i was all into the wonderful baby alpaca wool.
but now i noticed how much i love it, as it has been in use mor frequently, as the days have grown shorter and colder. cozzying up under a nice warm blanket, with a woolen shoulder wrap is probably the best what can happen to me lately. especially as the days have been full of activity and i need to quiet down in the evenings. i have been bringing a cup of hearbal tea alongside and that just does it. this way i even love winter nights...

November 28, 2017

the christmas cookie making

photos by joel
the whole house was involved with the christmas cookie production yesterday night. it has worked out one more year. i prepared 8 different kinds of cookie dough and we managed to work on seven kinds and finished six of them. as for later tonight, i will be baking the "chräbeli" a kind of anis cookie and tomorrow naomi and thea will help with the "spitzbuben". that one i have not attempted in many years as the dough is very crumbly and the assembling is with jam and at the end a coating of powdered sugar, as you can imagine, a lot of work. but it was on the wishlist and naomi was willing to put in the work, so here we go my friends, please enjoy them!
so far the list includes:
sandele, brunsli, orange/chocolat crowns, walnut rounds, peanut "heaps", spitzbuben, orangenschnittli, gingerspice cookies.

and there will be a few more, on the additions i will let you know in time...

November 21, 2017


last night i was at a kombucha workshop. it's all about fermentation and i love that subject, love the food and drink and all there is to know about it. of course we have "sauerkraut" and that in different variations. there are so many slightly different recipies out there for sauerkraut as there are for kimchi. and now i'm up to something new and exciting...
of course i have heard of kombucha and have tasted it, not recently but i remeber that i liked it. it was perfect timing, the "bare ware" store in the city has set up a kombucha workshop and i decided to attend it.
the lady preseting the workshop was very experienced, she learned how to make kombuche from the chinese community in los angeles. an other fun aspect to the workshop, as i lived in the us (though north east). but even there, one of my korean house mates was regularely eating kimchi and i liked the  not supe spicy variety very much. and about the kombucha that too, but now, i decided it's time to start growing my own culture.
now after two hours of instruction and enjoying some umame and cornchips with kombucha in different stages of fermentation, i feel ready.

thank you "bare ware" team, i will stop by to buy some umame from miriam...

November 20, 2017

trimming the geranium

before it gets really cold and especially before the deep frost hits and the snow covers everething, i wanted to cut the geranium. in past years i didn't keep them over the winter, but this time, i decided to cut them and put the boxes in the garage.
the geraniums where very nice and kept long into the fall. there was a bit of a down time in august, when it was just too long too dry. after a bit of tender love and care, all the plants recovered.

and now it's time to wait. it will be a long time of just sitting and resting for those plants. my job is to water once every couple weeks, add a bit of natural fertilizer like this one. my parents once handed me a bucket of "fiwo pellets", it's a neat idea, to use what ever possible from the sheeps cut wool. and the production center is a socially contious company, employing people which have not found work for a long time. so when is see my flowers bloom, this makes me smile even more. knowing that there are people being employed and payed a fair salary for doing good work.

but back to the geraniums,
of course i had to keep the last few blossoms, together with the daysies and the last few yellow cherrie tomatoes. i'm not a very succsesfull gardener, but i love it...

November 17, 2017

the week :: through the lens

it has been on the back burner, i have not been taking a lot of photos for a while now, and that should change. so i put the "hand made" lens back on the camera body and got started this week. it touched me in a special way, as i wander and have the camera ready be it in the kitchen, or living room table... this enables me to see with new eyes and i like it. we will see if it sticks, it is a start to a new friday review of what caught my eye. there is to be said, that i was inspired by erin boyle and her blog "reading my tea leaves". she does a wonderful job and it is so inspirational to have a look at her photos...

:: 1. apples all over, i love them baked or cooked or just like that.

:: 2. november afternoon, the light is faint.

:: 3. it's pumpkin time in our veggie box.

:: 4. to ease tention and keep calm in the storm.

:: 5. what a wonderful pile of linnen, a friend has been thinking of me and i look forward to new projects in the coming weeks of long evenings.

November 15, 2017


it's november and the cold has hit home. fine with me, as the sun is still warming the air in the afternoons and that let's me go out and run.
as i was visiting my parents yesterday, thea and i left our house when it was still all grey and very fogy. though not for long, the train took us eastwards and out of the fog. it was wonderful to observe and enjoy the change of scenery. of course there is something special about the november fog, but really i do enjoy the afternoon sunshine more. i do really make an effort to go out and work in the garden or as i sad, go and run...
there are lots of potatoes and all kinds of cabbage and kale on the table, cooked, baked, sauteed...
it's the last from out there, and i enjoy the dark greens the most, the so called "dinosaur-kale"

November 14, 2017

lots of crêpe

it was a windy and rainy afternoon, for everyone a day to stay put and enjoy the warm living room. lots of yummy food, in our case it was an afternoon of eating crêpe. there were topings, from sauce bolognese to pesto, and cooked pears, nutella or caramel sauce, coconut flakes and mapel syrup. what ever one can dream of...

we spent the hours with friends and loved it. joel got the fire going and at some point there was life music too... of course if we have the two musicians over...
thank you friends for coming and being with us.

November 13, 2017

she turned 9

o dear THEA Clare, we sang a loud and joyful happy birthday! for you, as you turned nine yesterday. it was a fun sunday morning with you and the o so longed for sneakers...
such an adventure with you dear thea, lots of laughter, lots of drama be it happy or troublesome, sad or o-so-joyful, we enjoy having you in our family.

starting to celebrate already on saturday, the super cozy dress was a must to wear for the birthday day. and the smarties have been eaten even before breakfast started... it's our thea, she is in with every bit of herself and takes us along on her journey.
all the energy, the exhuberant emotion makes every day so special and an adventure.

thank you Thea for celebrating with us and finding a wonderful end of the celebration too...

November 9, 2017

mini apple pies

after a somewhat busy morning, i felt like taking the time to bake has come this afternoon. and the season of apple pie is upon us. it was wonderful to make a crust. every time the kitchen machine is crumbling up the butter and mixing it with the flour and salt, while adding some ice water, it is fun to watch how it all comes together so smoothly marbled.
cutting apples and adding the spices never goes by without me tasting not just a few apple cubes but there has to be a lot "left over" as i absolutely delight that taste of spiced apples. usually i use cinnamon, vanilla sugar, allspice and ground clove. and as it turnes out, i sipped on my black tea while finishing up the "left over" apples, the kids where not home yet some classical music was playing in the back ground and sitting on the counter, with the mini pies all in the oven, i savoured the moment.
yup those moments stay with me, not just tonight but i hang on to them. especially while the speed of november is picking up around me and i want to stay calm, be still at moments when it all threatens to tumble over and around me.

November 8, 2017

the fall up date

the year in it's last third, the past three months have just been rushing by. lot's has happened and i enjoy my teaching job, is exciting and i love the kids as well as the subject. it does take a lot of my time, to get the lessons ready as i have to "präp" from scratch...
the running is still a wonderful time on most days. it does take me a little kick in the butt to get out of the door, but as soon as i'm out, i love it and it gives me the needed energy for the day. often it's a good time to reflect on harder issues and keeps me actively thinking and not seldom i find new and creative ways of looking at a subjects or relationships. it is a good tool to keep focused on the to me important issues. running has definitely become a means to know how i'm doing all over. and so is cooking too. if i'm up to cooking and baking i'm doing well, i not just feel inspired but i also am able to take the time to act on it. those two things have been cut short the past 6 months, and i'm just now getting back into a rhythm which suits me well.

and here is the list for now::

1. finish A's quilt as well as the other one, both are sandwiched, it should be a matter of a few weeks...
- A's target quilt is all done and in use every night since early july

2. hand in the papers a couple weeks after finishing the course.
- so far so good, both papers due so far have been handed in early and the one for early july is at a friends for proof reading was handed in on time. the grades the earlier ones are back and i'm happy about the results so far.

3. practice the ukulele twice a week
nowhere there, but playing a bit more regular as i do acompany the singing in my religion class on wednesday afternoons

4. sewing the linen pants i have in mind

5. buy a beeswax-wrap and figure out how to do it my self...
- it just so happened, that a friend of mine was in munich and was able to stop by this store, he got me a set of wraps and i use them and am very happy. and even better, you can get them now in switzerland at change maker, as well as bare ware, for a reasonable prize!

6. visit the gewerbemuseum in the city, to see this and the münzkabinett for this
i have been at the "bike-city-design" exhibit with an old friend of mine, he was in town for a few days. we had a wonderful time and it was inspiring.

7. go on a two day get away with naomi

8. knit, crochet or sew at least one project a month
- the hat for myself
- thea's dress
- naomi's skirt
- finished up an old project, the potholde
- finished the target quilt
- knitt two fairy dust cardigans

9. stop by this store in zurich

10. rent a snow board for a few days in february, when we are in adelboden
- i did rent a snow board for 5 days and i was super happy and everything hurt, but i learned a new skill and i will improve on it next year.

11. say not quickly no to the kids, but pause and then respond
this one is a real challenge, but just yesterday i was really doing well, not letting my own ego and my short tempered nature get it's way. it takes me a deep breath and an second deep breath, maybe even a third one. but i'm practicing and see it as a little success, if i'm able to not say no, right away.

12. read good books
- die Attentäterin, Yasmina Khadra
- the Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, Timothy Keller
- hör nicht auf zu singen, Rebecca Giselbrecht, Sabine Scheuter
- Lilac Girls, by Marhta Hall Kelly
- the last Song, by Nicholas Sparks
- zwei bemerkenswerte Frauen, by Tracy Chevalier
- the Chameleon's Shadow, by Milette Walters
- Verspottet, geachtet, geliebt - die Frauen der Reformatoren, by Ursula Koch
- Ulrich Zwingli: Prophet, Ketzer, Pionier des Protestantismus, by Peter Opitz
- Zankapfel Bibel, by Ulrich Lutz
- A good American, by Alex George
- "Solange wir leben, müssen wir uns entscheiden", Jehuda Bacon/Manfred Lütz
- The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama
- Kochen im Hause Luther, Thomas Correll
- Gestillt Nachtgespräche mit David, Daniel Zindel
- Simple Matters, Erine Boyle

13. have dinner out, with friends or just joel, for a change....
- at the beginning of july, we went with our friends to rhodos, a wonderful greek place in the city

14. don't buy any plastic bottles (water, tea, etc.)
- so far so good, though i caught myself already a handful of times wanting to get a drink and then realizing, that i don't have my travel mug along. so i abstained.... maybe some good thing too
- ups, we had to buy water up at the SAC hut, as there is no potable water available... seems hard to believe but that's what it is

15. carry the bamboo mug i own in my hand bag, to use at any given time for take away beverages
- yes i do well with this one

16. organize a little house concert for our friends and neighbors

17. go on a two or three day hike with joel, a week in the dolomites is in the planning for july
- we didn't make it out of country.... but chose to go on a four day hike, staying in three different sac huts, it was fantastic, look here

18. run 25-30km a week and participate in a race
- i ran the 10k at the winterthur marathon event... and it looks bright with the 25km a week, though not much more, and definitely not 30km. i had to start with hip strengthening exercises as i noticed that the hip is my week point as soon as i run 25km plus, a week. so there we go, getting to know my own body a bit better once more.

19. be especially patient and supportive with Thea practicing the cello
- this is coming along and now knowing that she does need a special portion of patience. it helps in taking that extra effort. she is doing well and it really is her instrument. i do better with the patience and have come up with creative ideas and ways to practice music.

20. watch a good movie in the theater, with a friend

21. write snail mail birthday cards, no emails, no sms, no what's up, neither count blog comments...
- this is coming along well, though i'm skipping some not very close friends, but decided that this is fine with me, just sending out a letter with a little present and i do smile while putting this in the mail. uups, there were a few friends getting their well wishes via email.... sorry, but live has been a bit hectic lately...

22. enjoy the garden with our chickens and try getting some veggies of the ground
- the chickens are fun and laid a lot this spring and with the veggies, i got three little wooden crates going with a pumpkin plant and cucumbers and some butterfly plants (fenchelkraut)
i do enjoy the garden, harvested two cucumbers, no pumpkin and istead of the fennel greens, there are stinging nettle.... which, i have to say, the little flowering parts are very rich in iron and i eat them directly from the plant, thank you mother nature.

23. try new recipes, chines noodles and things, more fermented vegetables and carrots and lebanese spices. maybe borek and other kinds of food from the balkans.
- a yummy noodle salad with cashews and tofu has become the girls favorit this summer
- just today a marbled banana-chocolate cake has been made. i know this is in now way fermented or filled with vegetables, though still new and special to me.
- today i made tahini/carrot muffins with coconut oil and they tasted yummy a good and healthy breakfast type of food (not dessert, as it is not rich or sweet :)

24. finish the quilt granny squar quilt from four summers ago....

25. participate with a decorated window on the 8th of december for the neighborhood advents-calendar.

26. be still and pray when every thing is getting stressed out and hectic around me

27. buy a small boom box to carry along to class
- did it, elias helped me to figure out which one i should choose. and i'm happy with the ue roll-2 it will be put to good use tomorrow for some harp music, as we get to know david the boy sheppherd and king. I learned to pair my fairphone to the ue roll-2 and feel like it's easy to do.... :)

November 7, 2017

darkness brings magic

what is this?

nothing really, it just is what you see. lines of light, easy to come up with in a dark night. though not just the darkness needs to be here, also some random sources of light. take the camera out and take some photos with long exposure times, move the camera body around and start playing.
it's lots of fun and it looks different every time i take a picture. trying to the twice the same playful lines is kind a hard, but try and you will see.

i like those lines and as we just switched back from daylight savings, the evenings are early the nights seem long. it definitely is the time of year, when darkness could take over. though it is just the beginning of the dark and long nights, it is november and i'm getting used to bundle up and stay warm. knitting and wearing knitts is helping, drinking lots of tea and then there is the light, warm shining light of a candle. sitting in the living room everyone working on this or that, practicing music or finishing up some home work. we are being drawn inward, closer to each other and that, i like.

November 6, 2017

pumpkin soup :: pofta buna

pumpkin season is upon us. all over the kitchen is this wonderfully orange color to be seen, cut and shredded, baked and cooked into deliciouse foods.
this time i made soup, a new kind of soup for me. it was a recipe which called for orange juice and not quiet as much creme as i was using in the past. on top of it all, it was an easy one to memorize, as i asked the chef at the restaurant what the ingredients were. of course he didn't give away the recipe, but he was kind enough to tell me the list of ingredients.
pumpkin, i chose two of my red kuris, their meat is flavorfull and so pretty orange. lots of onions and some minced garlic sauteed in a flavorfull olive oil (maybe the next time i use coconut butter, just for a change). add the pumpkin cubes and keep sauteeing, add curry powder to it, use the kind you like and i added a bit more kurkuma powder. then as much liquid as needed, using for halfe of it vegetable broth and the other half orange juice. after adding the broth, purree the cubes until it's all smooth and then add the orange juice. taste the soupe and add what ever spices, like some salt and nutmeg as well as sea salt until it's a nice strong tasting soup, don't forget at the end a dolup of heavy creame rounds it all up to a nice pumpkin taste with that orange taste you don't usually find in the every day pumpkin-creme-soup...
:: Poftă bună!

November 3, 2017

the week :: through the lens

it has been on the back burner, i have not been taking a lot of photos for a while now, and that should change. so i put the "hand made" lens back on the camera body and got started this week. it touched me in a special way, as i wander and have the camera ready be it in the kitchen, or living room table... this enables me to see with new eyes and i like it. we will see if it sticks, it is a start to a new friday review of what caught my eye. there is to be said, that i was inspired by erin boyle and her blog "reading my tea leaves". she does a wonderful job and it is so inspirational to have a look at her photos...

:: 1. my new pair of shoes, campers to be exact and i got them for less then half price. yupi

:: 2. the humus making in process, o we all loved the result.

:: 3. relax and be, even better with a slice of cake

:: 4. moss is soft and comforting

November 1, 2017

time for bulbs

this wonderful autumn day had to be lived out of doors....
and so it was perfect for some yard work to get done. raking leafs and piling them all up in one corner shold help the hedge hog to find a home again. i say again, as the gardeners cleaning up around the house, didn't listen to my instructions to leave the big pile of branches and leafs just as it was. they ment well but from my perspective, they took the hedge hogs home away! that can't be, and that's why we are "building a new home" for those animal friends of mine.
the second joyful task was, to put lots of bulbs into the ground. i love doing this, as spring will bring lots of color and joy to me. and putting the bulbs into the soil, is lots of fun too. similar as in past years, thea is quick to help me with the work. the two of us, of course, are debating how we should arrange the colors and what kinds of bulbs we should put in where, these is some fun discussion and finding out of thea's opinion is an easy and exciting task aniway...