Thursday, September 29, 2011


La Grue is the crane.  It gives its name to the beautiful little village of Gruyere, and the cheese which is made there.

 It's fun to look for the many images of cranes which you can find in Gruyere.  How many do you see?

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Mini-Kiwi

 I had a challenging week, but there were bright spots, and here is one of them...the mini-kiwi!

 I bought them at the Farmer's Market.  The Farmer let me taste one.  I loved it.  When they yield to a gentle squeeze, they are ready.

 You pinch the ends off,

then you pop the whole thing into your mouth.  Do they grow mini-kiwis where you live?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This is the beautiful Lavaux wine region on Lac Leman.  It is a World Heritage site.

This area has been continuously occupied since prehistory.  Romans may have planted the first vines.  Cistercian monks built many of the terraces and stone walls about a thousand years ago.

And this is Riex, a beautiful medieval town in the middle of the Lavaux.

It was a hot day when we visited, and the village was shuttered and very still.

Every where we go in Switzerland, we find cool fountains.  As long as there is no sign saying, "Eau non potable," you can drink from the spout,

or make boats out of flowers.

My boy chased, and caught, a lizard.

My husband and I went to Riex on Friday night, and tasted Riex wines sitting on a little terrace below the ancient clock tower.  Then we strolled to Epesse, and had dinner on a terrace overlooking gardens and vineyards below.  I glowed with happiness.  Hills of ripe grapes, beautiful old buildings, the sun sinking over the lake and mountains, my husband's warm hand in mine, tasting the wine which comes from this very soil.  I want everyone I love to experience this, too.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

L'Armoire Magique

I have read this book many times in English, as a girl, and as a mother, to my children.  Knowing the story well helps me read it in French.  It's by C.S. Lewis.  The illustrations are by Pauline Baynes.

Here is an illustration of the wardrobe which takes Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy to a magic land called Narnia,

and brings them back home again after a wonderful adventure.

Here is my own magic wardrobe.  I bought it for my son because his room doesn't have a closet for his clothes.  It's a junktique.  It's nothing special, at least, not yet.

It has a key.  Turning a key is the way adventures sometimes begin.

After I scrubbed the horrible black attic dust off of it, the wax turned white.  I kind of like the way it looks.

The inside holds three shelves, which I removed for cleaning.

This string was stapled to the inside of the door.  I wonder if someone hung notes or cards inside.  What do those penciled numbers mean?

Did cups hang from the large hooks in the ceiling, or clothes hangers?

I'm going to paint it sky blue and perhaps use this painting I did in acrylic, (copying a fairy tale illustration by Russian illustrator Boris Zvorykin,

and changing the people in it into my husband and daughter.)  For me, this beautiful place is the Valley of Love and Delight, which we sing about in the Quaker hymn, 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple.

It also looks a lot like Switzerland.

Or, perhaps I will paint Robert the Bruce or another wonderful armored hero for my son.  I think he would like that.