Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So, I know most of you are doing the whole Thanksgiving tomorrow and this weekend, and I’m not and that’s lame.  What’s even lamER is that we WERE going to do Thanksgiving with some friends from Indiana but it ended up they couldn’t come.  Dang permit shenanigans.  (But we’ll see you sometime, Carlos and Alyse!) 

It is suddenly very cold.  Big sigh.  I do not like it Sam I am. 

In other news, on Monday we went into Bern for the Zibelemärit aka Onion Market.  It’s a festival for uhh, selling onions and garlic.  I don’t know why.  Here are the pictures

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Weird little onion people.


Onion rabbits.


My favorite—onions in traditional Swiss costume.


Some kids.

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Grandma onions knitting.



Vendors and stalls and things.


Some kids.



More onions.




Brett really considered getting one of these belt buckles- the one with the plain bear.  But didn’t.


I liked these little tree creatures.



There was tons of confetti being thrown.  It was all over the streets and everywhere, but people actually throw it AT you.  Little kids will have their bags, and when other kids walk by they chuck a handful of it at them.  There were also plastic mallet things being sold, and sometimes people would whack you as you walked by.  Strange, isn’t it?


You can see some confetti on Hazel’s hat.  Also, someone made the fountain all bubbly.








Jethro trying to decide which knife he likes the best.


Department store Christmas displays are very perty.


The end.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When the cat's away…

Brett left today for Germany for a conference.  He’ll be gone until late Friday night, so obviously


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Did you ever read Spoon River Anthology in school?  In tenth grade or so I think I read some of the poems.  Not the whole thing.  But I was already familiar with Spoon River because my sister had read it some time earlier, and as was our habit with each other since we don’t often have similar tastes in books (thus we didn’t fear ruining the story for the other), told me in detail about the whole thing.  It is a collection of poems in which people tell about their lives after they’ve passed on from them.  Some of them interweave, as the decisions of some affect others and so on.  I think those were the ones that Kami found the most interesting.  But my favorite of the ones I read was Lucinda Matlock.  I love the feel she has about her life—a sense of serenity and definitely fulfillment, even though she’d experienced hardship and had to work very hard.  What do you think, do you like it too?


Lucinda Matlock

Edgar Lee Masters 

        I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
        And played snap-out at Winchester.
        One time we changed partners,
        Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
5      And then I found Davis.
        We were married and lived together for seventy years,
        Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
        Eight of whom we lost
        Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
10    I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
        I made the garden, and for holiday
        Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
        And by Spoon River gathering many a shell
        And many a flower and medicinal weed—
15    Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
        At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
        And passed to a sweet repose.
        What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
        Anger, discontent, and drooping hopes?
20    Degenerate sons and daughters,
        Life is too strong for you—
        It takes life to love Life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not much.

So not too much is going on.  Yesterday we went to Ikea and, as we always do at Ikea, ended up getting stuff we didn’t intend to.  Good thing we don’t go there very often.  Then we drove home and were hoping to find a grocery store that was still open so we could buy some bread.  No such luck.  I’m still not used to all grocery stores and department stores and everything closing at 5:00.  Where is my 24-hour Wal-Mart?  Not here, my friends.  Oh well.  We survived without bread for one day.  Also, I had wanted to take Brett to this second-hand kids store earlier in the day to pick out snow boots and shoes for some of the kids who need them, and after the kids came home from swimming lessons and Brett came home from mountain biking, it was about noon, which was when the store closes on Saturdays.  Ruff.  How do they make any sales?  It’s maddening.

This is a game of Sequence on a Sunday night.  I like how hard Ethne is concentrating.




These are my kiddies.  Cute, aren’t they?Nov 10

The end.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Hazel and Jethro informed me that tomorrow they don't have school. There were no notes brought home about it, but Hazel told me a few days ago that there was no school on Thursday, and today she told me again that there would be no school, not in the morning or even in the afternoon. When I asked her why, she said she didn't understand because it's hard to understand German. When I asked Jethro why he said he didn't know.

Brett said maybe they're just in cahoots with each other and wanted to get out of school for the day.

I say if they're clever enough be in cahoots with such a great plan, then they deserve a day off of school.

p.s. Here is the recipe for gingersnaps that I used. They're delicious. And all gone already. Mainly due to my scarfing them like there's no tomorrow.

p.s.s. Some of you expressed curiosity as to what was in the smoothie pictured a few posts back. To my recollection (and as far as I can identify from the picture) there was a half a bag of frozen mixed berries (including some kind of berry that I can't identify, as it's not usually in the mix of mixed berries in the States), ice, spinach, yogurt, banana, and probably some juice, a little sugar, and milk. YUM.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

10 for Tuesday.

1.  Maybe this is not new to everyone else, but a while ago my sister told me that her kids really like a show called ‘Charlie and Lola’ and she recommended it for my kids.  It’s fabulous!  We were immediate converts to it.  You see, it has a lot of great qualities.  First and best of all, Charlie and Lola who are (older) brother and (younger) sister, are ALWAYS so nice to each other.  There is no snarkiness, no rudeness, no fights.  On the contrary, they often are trying to help each other.  Secondly, it’s REALLY funny.  Quite often hilarious.  Even for grown-ups.  Thirdly, they speak with English accents—gotta love that.  Ethne talks like Lola a lot now.  Fourthly, {one of} the actors who voices Charlie is named Jethro.  Okay, that may not be a really big point for everyone, but it was cool for us when we noticed it.  Oh, and another good thing, the segments are only about 10 minutes long, so you can let your kids have a show, but they’re not glued to the t.v./computer for a long time. And there are a ton of episodes on youtube.   Go check it out.   image

2.  Brett told me that one morning when he woke up (early) and came into the front room, Talmage was sitting on the couch looking at a book, and he looked up at Brett and said, “Loo.”  I LOVE that kid!  I love it when he greets people with a “loo.”  Cutest thing ever.

3.  One day Ethne was playing with a pad of paper and a pen.  For some reason she was standing near the door of the bedroom when Jethro came out.  She continued busily scribbling on her notebook, and without looking up said in a business-like tone, “Jethro, you’re fired.”  It was sooo funny.  Jethro and I laughed and laughed.

4.  It’s annoying when there is no food in the fridge because you haven’t gone to the grocery store in a long time.  Today I had the kids eat leftover oatmeal from breakfast for lunch so that we could save the bread for dinner for beans on bread.  Tomorrow I really need to go to the store.

5.  The other night Brett said that he was going to go back to school and become a doctor.  A medical doctor this time.  I said, “Okay, let’s go to a school somewhere in the Caribbean.”  Only later did I think to ask him why he said that, and he told me because a doctor can live anywhere.  They need doctors in small towns and big cities, so you can basically pick where to go.

6.  One time I was cooking some bacon or ham and Hazel said, “I like ham.  It’s even better than turkey.”  So I told her about our good friends who just moved to Abu Dhabi where it’s nigh unto impossible to get any kind of pork, and she said, “I’m glad I don’t live there.”  Amen.

7.  If I ever had a pet in the house (which is extremely unlikely), I would get a hedgehog.  I think they’re so cute!  In German they’re called igels (pronounced ‘eagle’).

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8.  My buddy Blake, Brett’s younger brother, is getting married on the 27th of this month!  I’m SOOO super excited for him, but sad for me not getting to be there.  Another wedding missed.  Sniff sniff.  And I haven’t even met Julia!  (Though I’ve certainly heard a lot about her.)  :)image

But they look perfect for each other, wouldn’t you agree?  Here’s another one, not so… orange.


9.  In German, the word ‘brett’ means ‘board.’  As in plank, or cutting board.  Often when Brett introduces himself people think his name is Brad.  In fact, our good friend thought that for some few…many months.  :)

10.  I made gingersnaps today.  Gingersnaps aren’t usually my favorite, but man they perfectly hit the spot today!  I made a little glaze for the top, and I can’t stop eating them.  They make your house smell nice and cozy too.  (These are not my cookies, but pretty much what mine looked like, except mine had a thinner glaze.)image

The end.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Obligatory Autumn Post


"Come, little leaves,"
Said the wind one day,
"Come over the meadows
With me, and play;
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold;
For summer is gone,
And the days grow cold."

Soon as the leaves
Heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering,
One and all;
Over the meadows
They danced and flew,
Singing the soft
Little songs they knew.

It’s almost a requirement to have an Ode to Autumn post, isn’t it?  I mean, autumn is beautiful with the colors and golden sunlight, but the main thing is (at least to me) is that you know it’s only going to last such a SHORT time before it’s ugly, miserable, freezing, wet, winter—so you feel you must capture, capture, capture while it lasts . So.  Here are my Ode to Autumn pictures (okay, and a few of my children are in the mix too).  And by the way, this post is too long, but I’m incapable of shortening it.

Oct 10

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