Saturday, January 31, 2009


I had a clever idea the day before yesterday. I should write for my home newspaper about my experiences living in Switzerland. Why did I not think of this sooner?! So, I've been hard at work on a little article to send off to them. It's almost done. Hopefully whichever editor sees it will think it's a grand idea.

Speaking of writing, I should be writng my papers for school at the moment, so off I go...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk. with pictures to prove it!

I went skiing (for the very first time) in the Alps this weekend. I have to tell you that before you see pictures of me standing around at the top of the mountain with my skiis off, because if you hear about it from anyone else, they might tell you I spent more time at the top saying, "do I have to go down that?" or scooting down the mountain on my rear grumbling. As I was dreading going down, I remembered trying to creep down a steep hill on a camping trip when I was 4 and being terrified and miserable--and that was just walking on my own two feet! By contrast, if you learn to ski in Switzerland, expect to be shown up by Swiss children who barely come to your knee whizzing by you all day.

But, despite what others might tell you, or what forthcoming pictures may indicate, I did ski a little. Richard's dad was learning too, so Richard spent Saturday teaching us the basics on the bunny hills in Wengen. That wasn't too difficult. Aubrey and Josh were relatively new skiiers too, so they stayed near us most of the day. Sunday morning, we joined Valda, Jen, Dom and Raph on the break-your-neck-and-wish-you'd-mever-laid-eyes-on-a-ski pistes. Richard and Valda and Raph took turns helping me down the hill by holding the two ends of my ski poles while I held on in the middle to stabilize me through the turns. That worked out pretty well. I have my skis for the season and will go again in a couple weeks with the Church, and hopefully at least one more time after that, and maybe by then I won't need so much help. Hopefully I'll get some pictures from this weekend to share with you soon.

The American novelist Shirley Ann Grau theorized that winter is "a kind of evangelist, more subtle than Billy Graham, of course, but of the same stuff." From the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant at 9,748 ft., it seemed likely.

The cones really clear up any doubt about where I am, don't you think?

Here we have Josh, about to demonstrate how to get up after a tumble, which he had already graciously demonstrated.

Standing around at the top of the hill. That's Richard's Dad Malcom on the right, looking very hip. And of course Dom on the left, looking sorta hip.

Lunch! seems like I was once in another restaraunt that revolved, but I can't remember where. It wasn't the space needle; I know that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gorilla--Done, but with a bit of a glare

There's a bit of a glare on this photo, but use your imagination, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how it turned out. I should also say that we lifted the original photo of this gorilla off the thanks to whoever took that great picture.

nothin' to say

Hi! this will be a speedy post, because I have to pick up the little lady from play group soon. I went for a "run" this morning, but I took a new path that wound up through the woods along the ridge of the hill and it quickly was too dangerous to run. So I should say I went bounding over some rocks and trees and almost fell on my heinie a couple times, but had a lovely time tramping through the forest for an hour.

Ok, a quick nanny story for you (and sorry for those I already told about this): Last week on one of my 7.30 work days, I told M2 it was time for breakfast. She said she didn't want to eat, and had, in fact, already eaten "with mommy" before I came inside. It was possible, I thought, but unlikely. I did a quick scan for dishes that looked like a 2 year-old had eaten off them--there is always a plate with butter and jelly and honey smeared all over it if she's had breakfast. No tell-tale plate in sight. "M2," I said, "Is that true? Did you really eat with Mommy?" An affirmative nod. "Are you sure you're not saying that just so you can play with that fancy new noise making keyboard toy more?" "nei."

Great, I thought. I can't force her to eat, but I also don't want her to get away with lying, and I'd kinda prefer she eat and not be grumpy until lunch time. I normally eat before I come in to work, or not at all, but I thought that maybe it was a good day to have a nice, thick piece of bread with jam and really enjoy it--right in front of her, in case it might help her remember that she hadn't eaten yet.

I got some coffee and breakfast and sat down. She kept playing, but after about 25 or 30 minutes she put the keyboard down and crawled up to her seat with a very guilty look. "Oh! are you hungry?" I asked. She nodded without making eye contact, we had a little chat about why it's important to tell the truth, and then we finished our bread and jam.

All in a day's work!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gorilla and landscape

2 little art projects currently in progress:

Both still have some serious issues...even if we leave out the fact that the gorilla only has half a face. But...they're coming. :) And I'm having fun with them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Impressions

There's nothing like company to keep an apartment presentable; I've hardly done anything but cook and clean for a week straight! Anytime I'm having someone over for the fist time, I can hear Grandma saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Valda came over for the first time this week for a run, and I thought that was reason enough to give the palace a top to bottom scrubbing, dust the upper shelves, and basically do everything short of washing the curtains, since it hasn't been so thoroughly cleaned since summer (see what an inspiration you are, Grandma?!). Valda came after work and we ran around town and up past the castle into the woods for about an hour. The woods are spectacular right now, which is the REAL topic of this post. "First Impressions" just was to get you read it.

Heather spent Friday night at my house, and we went out for a walk Saturday morning. Did I mention the trees are looking lovely these days? And so is Ruine Pfeffingen. I know it's very foreign of me to still be taking pictures of the castle in my back yard even after all these months. But I think it's purty, especially with the snow, and just to make you terribly jealous, here's a picture or two.

After church today a few of us went over to Stephen's house for some Ghanaian food and homemade pizza.

Raph and Ben, being pizza-making pros:

Unfortunately, the two other guys came later, so you don't get to see the whole international party. There was a guy from Nigeria and a guy from Cameroon, and Stephen (from Ghana)and the three of them educated Ben (from England) and Raph (swiss, but if you don't know who he is by now, you're not reading carefully), and me on the various possible ways to cook manioc. We also talked a lot about soccer. A LOT about soccer.

'Fraid that's all my interesting news...oh wait! It's not!! I almost forgot to say that I bought some snowboarding britches (on sale, no less) and I have inherited a pair of gloves and a proper jacket, and Valda gave me socks and a scarf thingy this week too. And I already have goggles, I should add. So! Slippery planks strapped to my feet appear imminent.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lines and Dots

Since we're on the topic of twitterpation these days, what with people getting married right and left (and let me take this moment to extend congratulations to the recently married Joseph and Erika Cook, and the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Mike and Anne Popa), I thought I'd share this cute story Laura told me about today. Enjoy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

es guets neus

Happy new year, ya'll. The last few weeks have been VERY busy with the holidays and the wedding. We're pleased to have successfuly married off the twitterpated couple, but it didn't go without a glitch. Even though I was up at 6.50 and at the hairdresser by 8, the hairdresser was running a bit late and Valda and I got back to her house at the time we were supposed to be leaving for the church. They took all the other people in the house to the church without us and sent a car back for us, but by the time we got there, the service had started. Now, I know I tend to run a bit late for a lot of things, a lot of times. But even though the lateness wasn't anything I could help in this instance, I was fairly mortified at having to slip up the side aisle and into my place at the front during the first hymn. What kind of bridesmaid is late to the wedding!! Seriously! I felt about two inches tall walking up there. But not very many people noticed, aparently. On the up side, I had been worried about tripping on my dress and falling during the processional, so I managed to neatly avoided that spectacle.

The reception was here (what's the easiest way to impress American girls? Dinner in a castle). It was a fun party. The dual-language thing went off rather well, I thought, and wasn't too least not for those of us who mostly understand one and not so much the other. I might be able to post some pictures from the wedding later, but I have to ask permission first.

That's all for now. More soon. :)