August 31, 2018

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. brussle sprouts, they are not realy nice and full looking, but never the less, i love how the little
       "balls" are forming at each leaf.

:: 2. the rooster is getting more glamorous each day.

:: 3. not just roosters are pretty...

:: 4. it was windy already, the storm was close. it got me on the ride home.

:: 5. front and back pannel are done, next step - next week

August 30, 2018

the joys of today

very pretty nasturtiums, and having them on my kitchen table starts my day with the "sunny side up"!

some days are full of planned activities and appointments, cooking and to do's. not this day. today was a wide open gap in the calendar, 5 items on my to do list, which didn't seem unmanagable, but rather simple to get done.
starting out with breakfast and sending everyone off, except joel decided to work from home. the first very pleasant change of plans. not that this really changes my to do list or appointment/meetings (which i had non today), but rather it is a pleasure to have him around for coffee brake or a quick chat about the news of the hour, or just to have him around. i love it.
an unplanned phone call, which ended up to take a whole hour. i love catching up with a friend and hear about her family, as well as sharing some of my joys and struggles. a late morning run, still in pleasant temperaturs, as the thermometor is not anymore climbing that high, since summer has ended yesterday (with a high in the 80is).
some unplanned tasks could quickly be checked off, like a new pillow case for amos, a bread bag for picking up bread at the "Äss Bar" (bread from yesterday for a fraction of it's prize), in order not having to use a new bag or wrapping paper, every time...
and o goodness, i absolutely forgot, that i ordered vegetable spring rolls for dinner... what a pleasant surprise, when my neighbor showed up with a big load of her home made spring rolls. yummy! and that's how i end an early evening, with jumping high for joy.

not to mention, that i finished up the back panel for the single girl quilt!

August 29, 2018

the puddle duck

this was my vacation knitting...

i know it's not a lot and it looks like a rather warm wool project in the heat of summer. BUT yes i can say that, there are reasons for that. first of all i had two weeks of RV vacation allotted to this cardigan and it was even a few days less. but ended up to be just the right timing anyway.
second i remembered, before we left the house, that we will vacation in scotland. and even though it is in europe and europe had a super hot summer, scotland was, for me at least, rather cold. the first two weeks of august were mostly in the sixties and low seventies... so the super soft merino wool was perfect. i loved to have the knitting on my knees, while sitting at the shore and feel the breeze. i'm not a big fan of swimming, and i was not tempted this summer, not at all as the water was soooo cold off the coast of eastern scotland as well as in the west, just south of st. andrews.

i love the puddle duck pattern and it will make a nice autumn present to my little neighbor, a girl which turned one a week ago and will be stomping in puddles by october, i'm sure.

August 28, 2018

storing the bounty

i got lot's of mangold this past week, one bag from the regular veggie share, one more from the exchange basket and then, today i discovered, that one basket wasn't picked up. yup i had three big bags of mangold to take care of.
it looks like so much and it really felt like it was a big heap, still big after i sorted it (the bad leafs went to the chickens...).
the water was boiling quickly, a bit of salt and then i just got the big load done with a quick rolling boil. at the end, just a few minutes later, i had three bags ready for the freezer. o the green bounty will be handy when it's not green anymore out of doors.

we like peppers, especially the "in the soil" grown ones. and all those peppers, be it bell peppers or or hot once, even the pepperoncini, from our veggie share, they are all grown in a tunnel in real soil. no pesticides or fungizides, but pest control is done by other little bugs...
the harvest looks great and i loved to quickly put them in the hot oven, peal and store them in a sealed jar. it will not tacke long, until the two jars will be empty again.
the skins are now devoured by my back yard chickens...

August 27, 2018

mid year list

it is mid year and as i usually do, i look back onto the list i was writing in january...
it has been a bountyful few months so far. sometimes very dense and with more flavor then i would have wanted. though over all it is good to look back and savor for a moment, in all what i loved and enjoyed and was given. i feel very rich and blessed by people who love me, by gained abilities and skills i was able to add to my personal toolbox. a new school year, new classes to test my learned teaching skills. then there is new wool and new fabric to be enjoyed too. looking back is good, looking ahead is exciting!

:: applaude my children when they accomplish what they have set out to do. and also when they
              bring home good grades. i have been very hesitant to take notice of their grades, as i don't
              think that they are very important. but the kids kind of think so...
-- there have been so many reasons to applaude, passing the exam to enter the gymnasium. for a good
    and happy breakfast with thea, as she frequently is not in an especially exciting mood when having
    start the day... amos brought home an excellent grade card and i was trying to genuinly show my 
    appreciation and excitement about him doing so well.

:: balance the tasks and things i want to do, so it doesn't push me to hard and i feel rather constrained
              and pushed in the corner by the things i commited and must do's.
-- as summer has come and the school year has ended by the beginning of july, i feel so much more
    relaxed and able to do what i want to do. and i'm watching out for the things i'm asked to do, to not
    over commit. so far so good.

:: choose to buy second hand clothes and if not possible fair trade, even for hard to find items.
-- this one is cool, as we were vacationing in schotland, we noticed how many second hand shops
    they have, and yes we got a few pieces for me, for joel as well as for naomi, perth was a great place
    to do some "thrifting" for clothes, which became our keepsakes...

:: devote an hour a week to taking better photos, reading the book "sehen lernen" by banek banek
:: eat out with friends. maybe just with joel, i think i would very much enjoy that.
:: fermenting has become a bit of a magic process for me. in this respect i want to keep the
               kombucha going and in general try some more recipes on fermenting and conserving food
               like eggs in vinegar or belle peppers and making herbed vinegar myself.
:: go on an adventure with naomi
-- we went shopping once for pants for her, in march, it was fun.

:: hand-stitch some kind of project, a new tiny series would be a wonderful challenge
   hiking with friends.
-- we did so and it was absolutely the best day since a while.

:: insist and be consequent on the issues of an earth friendly life stile, like buying bulk and bring my
              own mug to the coffee shop.
-- there are lot's of mason jars and reusable fabric bags to go to bare ware and buy bulk. vegetables
    are in general from the share and not wrapped at all, which i think is great. i made bees wraps and
   the teenagers even like to use the reusable wraps and fabric bags to take their sandwiches along.

:: jogg maybe i could say run 4 times a week, this would be perfect 3 short runs and a long one
-- kind of on track, i enjoyed some freedome of not running while on vacation, but other than that, i'm
    running just around 25k and as planned 4times a week.

:: knit one item a month, be it mittens, a shawl or a hat, maybe the linnen tunica liesl which i got
               started on and stopped and unraveled again...
-- january, my mohair shawl in green.
    february, the longish shawl.
    may, the green baby cardy.
    august, a puddle duck cardy, supposedly for thea, it turned out to be much smaller than expected...
:: look at natures beauty once more. take the moment to observe the bird playing with the wind.
-- looking at the salmon jump was super exciting!

:: maybe just be brave to not set every thing and every plan in stone, but be flexible and bendable
               with scheduling and enjoy the freedome in that
:: nurture my spiritual life with still and times of prayer on a regular basis
-- i thend to lean into my prayers and take many moments of halting the every day routine. just a
    moment of still, of quiet and listening. listening to myself to God speaking and leading me. this
    feels helpfull in many tense moments. taking a moment of prayer and contemplation each night,
    before reclingn and falling asleep.

:: organize a little house concert
               this was on my list for the past couple years, and i'm so excited about the event in planning,
               i will keep you posted
-- and here we go, on st. patricks day at our house with special guests! let's do it again.

:: protect the space and needs of our children in our community household. this is sometimes a bit of
               a challenge, as we live in community and share our kitchen table and living room space with
               8 more people in our household. it is important to me and i need to remind myself to very
               sensitive of this issue.
-- i'm glad we are doing fine with this challenge. the teenagers are able to chose with what they want
    to participate and when they rather not want to. we also live with very understanding people and
    the two young ladies living in the community love children, which is such an asset.

:: quilt the granny square quilt
              i want to keep this on my list and check off until the summer
-- not checked off the list yet...
   but i got myself a new quilt project; "single girl" it's moving along as the summer does

:: reading for enjoyment, pleasur as well as education
                The Children Act by Ian McEwan
                A Spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler (a bit boring)
                Daring to drive by Manal Al-Sharif
                Wie Adam, Eva und die Evolution zusammenpassen by Timothy Keller
                Schottland: Whisky, Seetang und karierte Röcke by Rolf Sotcheck
                Gardening with Chickens by Steele
                Heinrich Bullinger, Reformer, Church politician, Historian by Patrick Müller
                Ulrich Zwingli Prophet, Ketzer, Pionier des Protestantismus by Peter Opitz
                The last painting of Sara DeVos by Dominic Smith
                Simple Matters by Erin Boyle
                Gebrauchsanweisung für London by Ronald Reng

:: sew a few baby kimonos
-- i made 4 of them, very cute and three of them have already found their calling.

:: teach with lots of enthusiasm and joy, my religion classes at church. i want to put my
               knowledge and passion into this new calling.
:: utilize my energy and the space i live in, to hoste gatherings and have people come and visit
:: visit friends abroad, the plan is for summer: go to london and visit the b's and travel to schottland
               too, this is in planning and so super exciting
-- lot's of good days with friends and family in London and Scotland this summer, right here start
    the postcards.

:: watch a good movie in the theather with a friend
              this didn't happen last year, but maybe after ski vacation there will be an evening...
-- we went and saw the "phantom thread", i really liked it. a good night out with my friend.
    and that was not enough, we invited friends and watched "three billboards outside ebbing"
    which was very good too.

:: relax a bit more, not everything needs to be handled and talked through with the urgency and high
              flying emotion it is being brought to my attention.
-- just this week, i decided to walk off and go for a run. it was a good alternative as the person
    i was trying to explain something to, decidedly didn't want to understand. i wasi was relaxed after
    the running and let go of it.
    a good one to remember...

:: yearn for the peace that God puts in my heart and the every day rythm of things
:: zeroing in on the important stuff and let go of everything else

August 24, 2018

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. a batch home made m&m's cookies, baked to perfection by naomi

:: 2. a quick stool pillow, as the metal felt very cold to sit on, even though it still is kind of warm and a cool down is usually welcomed.

:: 3. community dinner, home made foccacia and every thing yummy to stuff them with

:: 4. the 16 circles are all done and ironed

:: 5. a late evening competition of puzzle cubes...

August 23, 2018

the neigbhorhood's plum jam

i have been eying that plum tree for a while, but just never went over with a bucket until today. i have brought home a hand or two of the sweet little fruit in the past weeks. but this time, i collected a whole bucket full of ripe fallen plums.
one neighbor stopped by and congratulated me on "harvesting" those wonderful little plums. and mentioned, that he himself was also getting a bucket full last week, though he picked the plums from his ladder...
well, in my case, it really doesn't matter, as i was planning on cooking jam all along. and so i ended up boiling and straining and the fruit. mesuring, adding some ground cinnamon and lemon juice, as well as sugar, 1/2 the weight of the cooked fruit's weight, as i like it not super sweet.
boiling this all and filling 20 jars (different sizes) of the delicious very nice and deep red looking jam.
for the cleaning up of the kitchen, wow some unexpected help was jumping to the sink and washed all the pots and ladels.
i just had to write a the labels and will be able to put it all in the pantry downstairs by tomorrow morning...

August 22, 2018

bees wax wrap

i have been using bees wax wraps for more then a year and i love them. by now i find it in different stores and also different brands, which is fun and a sign, that it works. it's not just for me it really should be in every house hold, replacing the celophane wrap.
at more than one time, i have been contemplating about making those wraps myself...

yesterday it happened, i had time in the afternoon and some leftover beeswax from the past year of collecting candle stumps. i also had a book at hand about how to do all kinds of houshold and hygene thing without plastic.
for a few pieces of cotton i didn't have to digg long and the wax was chopped quickly. a brush was at hand (and is now dedicated for bees wrap making). a sheet of baking paper to protect the cookie sheet and preheating the oven to 80C. it really is enough as the wax should not be burnt. the piece of fabric is layed flat on the cookie sheet (on top of the baking paper) and sprinkled with the wax. just take the amount you think is needed (if it's to much, use it for the next fabric to soak it. if it is too little, add some more). as soon as the wax is melted use the brush to even it out.
and done!

August 21, 2018

o so blue

we had a lot of green for the two weeks, we spent in schotland. so much and so wondrfully dep and lush. especially considering the dry and hot weather europe experienced starting in july and lasting until a week ago. it just rained this past friday and the fire ban is lifted again.

so there it is, all that blue, in one bucket and waiting to be used up on white fabric and garments and houshold laundry. and so we worked it.
amos got us started with the lot of blue dye, a t-shirt for himself, a t-shirt for me and one for naomi, all different techniques. some napkins, some kitchen towles (the stained once...)
and it was a fun saturday project. the last day of summer brake, the moment to get ready and excited about letting all that leisure time slip away. we decided to take a bit of it along into this new school year. a reminder of how wonderful summers and the "do what you want" moments have been this season.

August 20, 2018

single girl week III

i have been sewing a bit last week, mostly really on friday and saturday...
sunday night was the time to iron. so much fun and i love sit down now to piece the rings together. i'm pleased with the colors and am really looking forward to have the 16 rings put together to join them to one piece. as i have been gone from home for 3 weeks, there was a bit of a gap and i had a moment to slip back into this quilt top. but i emprace it and still love the work a lot. by the end of this week it should be pieced together and sandwiched and ready to quilt.

there was some more making going on on saturday, the teenagers all of a sudden came up with ideas of doing their own things. naomi went to the thrift store and got herself a dozen or so picture frames. then she sanded and spray painted the frames and was happy with the result. this lead to some more sanding, now it was the night stand and more spraying... i love when she gets enthusiastic and busy with work. it is wonderful to see the girl immersed in her own ideas. 

August 17, 2018

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. back from london and scotland, the memories are "bottled up" to last...

:: 2. stargazing, enjoying lots of shooting stars (though not able to catch one) photo by joel  
:: 3: a wonderful smoothy for a midafternoon snack, thank you naomi

 :: 4. and it rained, after an other hot week this is a blessing

:: 5. working on that single girl quilt, cutting in the shade

August 9, 2018

postcards from schotland #8

those first two pictures were taken at the caves near hopemen. a wonderful place where we spent some time yesterday afternoon. just discovering and having a picnic lunch. as it was high tide, we had to jump at some places, to not get our feet/shoes wet...

and this one was today, after having visited the highland games in ballater, we trekked on through the cairngorm national park, up and down the rolling hills. very bare and raw and lots of sheep to dot the landscape.
a mere two days left, until we return the RV and then take the train from edinburgh to london, to fly home to switzerland from there.

the first photo is by joel

August 7, 2018

postcards from scotland #7

we made our way to applecross, a little town on the western shore of the highlands. a little jewel with it's mystic woodlands, all covered with moss and lichen of many different kinds (over 20 species). i'm not a scientist, but i can see and appreciate the beauty of this landscape and plant diversity. wild deer were spotted on our walk as well as birds.

the walled garden was our "eating out" destination. of course, we planned the walk, and were aware, that it will take us a while discovering all the above. upon arriving at the walled garden, and looking at the beauty of this really neat place, we enjoyed a wonderful early dinner at the potting shed cafe&restaurant. a perfect, place to reward all of us with a yummy meal and great atmosphere.