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Me

Things are starting to come around for me.

I have been on this semi-wild trip called being 40 without a job. It sucked.

Here’s to it being over by the end of next week. Keep all your fingers crossed for me!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!!!

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Today is the last day

…That Vilay will work for his employer.

He will start his new job working for one of the largest luxury watchmakers in the world. We are so excited and happy about this opportunity that he has earned. He has worked hard to get where he is and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Today has been much better for me than yesterday. I drove a friend to a neighboring village for an errand she needed to run. So, I was able to get out of the village for a few hours. There is a big sun shining outside in spite of it being very cold. I refuse to let people get to me like I let some of them do yesterday.

Life is too short for all of that.

I am going to start laughing more. Every day. As much as I can.

Laughter is a great medicine.

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Being happy

My new line of attack is the same one that I used against simple and little mean minds in the States…KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS. Always has worked for me and I am sure it will continue to do so.

Really just amazed at the complete and total rudeness of some people in this village. I would feel sorry for them if they weren’t adults and SHOULD know better by now. I can’t go into the little things I see or hear on a daily basis from the same groups of people but seriously they need to get out of this village more. They are clearly bored out of their minds. Or…Just crazy. Perhaps…inbred. Just kidding!!!! :D

I love living here. BUT. Some people in this village are simply too much for me. If I had a totally anonymous blog (no one would ever know it was me…EVER) I would write some pretty darn entertaining (AND TRUE) stories.  As it is, Vilay gets to hear all my adventures in small village land.

I SO need a job!

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My mind tells me

…to follow my dreams.

My heart says…I told you so!

I want to make my passion become my work. Just as my husband has done with watchmaking.

My passions are photography and society. It is all about capturing those little moments when we are most ourselves. When we are just living our lives without posing or smiling but just BEING.

Vivian Maier’s photography speaks to me like no other photographer’s work has before except Ansel Adams.

A photographer and a storyteller.  Of life.

Photos are straight out of camera.

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Guess where we were yesterday!


Whoever guesses first wins the prize of GUESSING FIRST!

So, we went on a roadtrip. It was nice to get out of the Jura and see more of Switzerland.

Like a lake with sun and people and Italian ice cream and lots of walking and eating sandwiches by the lake with sun and people and knowing I am so going to eat an Italian ice cream.

While I love living in my village, I can’t fight that I am a city girl at heart.
I feel happiest when I am surrounded by the life of a city.

Yesterday, I realized I was most happy in Strasbourg not because it was in France. I love France. Don’t get me wrong.
Yet, I am sure that I was the happiest I have ever been in my life while living in Strasbourg because of the city. I walked all the time. I was thin. I was healthy. I never grew bored with walking in the city. There was always something to see or do. Always.

I felt so ALIVE.

I crave the life of a city.
Being able to walk right out the door and go…

to a café.
window shop.
eat Italian ice cream. :D
go to a park with lots of other mothers there to talk to.
listen to the buzz of the city.
the not knowing what you will hear or see is the best surprise.
to see what is out there to see.

I am happy here in our village.
I am happier here in our village now that we have a car so that we can visit BIG CITIES!

I am happy.
For so many reasons.

Most of all for being honest with myself about what was wrong in my life and where I want my life to go.

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About driving

Yesterday, I drove a friend.
To an appointment in La Chaux-de-fonds.
It is about a half hour drive.
It was rainy.

No big deal.

On the way home.
It was still raining.
Lightly.

It was dark.
Very dark.

Insert a second of cold fear.
Where I felt my heart stop.

After that second passed.
I was OK.
The road unwound before me.

All those years of night driving on Ohio back roads.
In all kinds of weather conditions.
Gave me great driving skills.
That came back to me so naturally
I keep forgetting that I haven’t driven in six years.

It is like I have never stopped driving.

When we made it back to our village.
I was so happy and excited.
That I drove to the city.
Without Vilay even knowing.
Except for the note left on the computer.
That I was going to help a friend.

All by myself.

The topper?
On the way back home.
The kids had fallen asleep in the backseat.

It has always been important for me to be independent. After moving to France with Vilay, I found that I was very dependent on him.
Little by little, I have grown less and less dependent on him to where today I hardly feel dependent on him at all.

I can speak French.
I know as much about Switzerland as he does.
There are so many little things about living in Switzerland that are now just a normal part of my everyday life.
I don’t need Vilay to explain it all to me.
He doesn’t have to translate for me.
Well, rarely. :D

And now!
I can, finally, drive myself.

This year is about me being as independent as I was when I lived in the States.
All that is left for me to have that same level of independence here in Switzerland that I had in America is a job.
I have to work.

Driving myself has awakened my confidence in myself.

I am totally sure I will find a job this year.
I don’t know what that job will be.

What I do know is that I need to work to feel independent.
To grow.
To be happy.

So.
I will do whatever I have to do.
To make that happen.

This year is the year that everything falls back into place.
Where I get to live in Switzerland without feeling like I had to give up my independence as a woman.

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Thun, Switzerland (part 2)

Continuing on with the photo tour of Thun…

All photos are straight out of the camera. No photo editing software was used so some of the photos are kinda off as far as lighting.  I kinda like it like that.

Thun, Switzerland in photos (part 1)

















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Thun, Switzerland in photos (part 1)





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1-11-11

My oldest child’s birthday is November the 11th. This year her birthday will fall on 11-11-11.
Kinda neat, huh?

Will be back later with pictures of a trip to Thun this past weekend. :D
Vilay already made his post about our day trip here.

I am off to finish cleaning my floors.  The easiest way to clean white tile floors is to mop the heck out of them without worrying too much about all the dirt, hair or whatever is small and left behind.

Just clean the floor really well.

After the floors have dried, pull out your sweeper and go to town on all that stuff that is a pain to mop up.  It is so much faster to clean the floor this way and the sweeper is so much better at sucking all that leftover dirt and hair up anyway.

(EDIT:  I forgot all about upright sweepers (vacuums) which may or may not be good for sweeping tile.  Actually…Just use your common sense as to whether or not it is a good idea to vacuum your floors with your vacuum based on whether or not it may cause damage.)

Later alligators!

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Why can’t we walk straight?

Found the video below demonstrating the fact that people can’t walk (drive or swim) in a straight line if they are unable to see. It is interesting.

My eight year old watched it with me. She wants to try out the experiment herself. So, we are going to do that on a not so muddy day in the near future. I’ll take pictures and video to share with you here.

I would love to see this experiment done with a blind person who was not allowed to use a cane.
I am curious to know if they are more sensitive to their environment which may allow them to walk straight ahead or at least more successfully than a sighted person.

Stumbled onto this page explaining to a blind person “What to do when you meet a sighted person”. :D

A Mystery: Why Can’t We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo.

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My young lady

I have talked to my oldest daughter (living in the US) twice…Recently.

I am so happy.

It is usually a pain to try to get a hold of her for reasons that aren’t O.K. to air out here.

We were able to talk on Skype tonight.  SO, I GOT TO SEE HER!

She is so beautiful and so grown up for her age.

I am so proud of her.

I love her and miss her.

Period.

She is so much like me that I can see myself at her age when I look at her.  It isn’t just her looks.  It is how she talks and her personality.  Her beliefs.  Who she is.

There is one thing that will never change.
She will always be my little girl no matter that she is taller than me.

She is my child that I love more than she can ever imagine.

She is and will always be my sweet girl.

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Risks

My cat likes taking risks as to when I will let her sit on the table or shoo her away.

Last night, I caught her in my kitchen sink when I got up to get a drink of water. She jumped down as soon as the light came on. She knew she was busted!

She is the hardest cat to take a photo of. I think it is because she is sensitive and kinda shy. She needs her space and doesn’t like strange objects like a camera pointed at her.

We have a few candy canes left. I plan on playing around with my camera and taking lots and lots of pictures of them. It will be good for me to really learn how to use my camera. For the moment, I can only do a few basic things with it.

It is time that I break out of my comfort zone and push myself.
I am thinking this is going to be my theme for this coming year.

Getting out and taking risks!

I have many ideas of what I can do with my life.
Yet, I continue to stay with what I know.
What is comfortable.
Easy.

This year, is the year.
To change all of that.

Risks aren’t always a bad thing.

Taking a risk can be an opportunity to learn and grow into a better person.

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My Saab 9-3

It is on purpose that I am calling our car MY Saab. Vilay would always tease me in the US because I would refer to the car I had before our marriage as MY car. Of course after our marriage I put the title in both our names. Yet, it was a car that I bought new without ever knowing who my husband would be. I had two of them while driving this car. :D

My last child would have came home from the hospital in that same car (just like his three sisters) if he had been born in the U.S.

I bought my Saturn with a baby in my head. A baby that would ride in the backseat.

I looked for a car that was full of security. As much as I could afford on my salary.

I had that baby in 1995, 2002 and 2003.

I drove that car until we moved to France (almost ten years after I bought it brand new).

My (our) Saab is a car that drives well in snow and is glued to the road (from online reviews). It is everything that I have prayed for since Vilay told me we had to buy a car. I pray that it continues to be. With a three year guarantee (on a 2001 USED car) I feel pretty sure that we are blessed to have found this car.

We found it in Zurich since the car market kinda REALLY sucks in the Jura and the Suisse Romande in general.

We are blessed to have family in France come to help us drive back and forth to buy the car and complete all the paperwork. Three days worth of buying and papering and picking up.

Thank you so much to our French family for ALL YOUR LOVE and HELP. Not only now. But throughout the years.

Vilay wanted me to take pictures of the car but I was in love with the tree above the car. I only wish that I could have captured it just as I saw it through my eyes. It was as if it was decorated just for us.

I drove my car (hehehe) and I was nervous.

Oh my, I was nervous.

If it had been in Ohio that I was driving (after six years of NOT driving) I wouldn’t have felt so nervous.  But here in Switzerland, I don’t know the roads and there ARE NOT curve ahead signs with the suggested speed which makes me just FREAK the HELL out at each and every curve in the road.

THERE ARE LOTS OF FREAKING CURVES!!!

Other than that , I can see myself driving (in a month or so) with my knee while eating a hamburger and sipping a Coke.  Just like I used to do in the good ol’ US of A.

I didn’t really do that.

Well… not at least… NOT ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

It, however, makes for a good story for Europeans that love to hate Americans.  :D

Photos below are of my Saab with the most beautiful tree that my camera really sucked at capturing…  Or, perhaps that was me???

No.  It was the camera.  That is my story and I am sticking to it and MY CAR!!!


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sunlight

I am waiting on Vilay to return with our car. It will be the first time I see it.

I can’t wait to DRIVE my car. :D
It has been over six years since I have got behind the wheel to drive more than a few blocks. I haven’t driven at all in almost four years. Everyone says it is like riding a bike. You never forget. I will let you know if that is true as soon as I return from my first run on the roads. Wish me luck!

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Our living space

…Is finally starting to look like home.

Behind the kids (picture below) is the newest furniture addition to our apartment.

We have spent so many years without having any real furniture that it is kinda weird to see our apartment filling up. We still need some armories but really we are so happy to have what we do have.

We are blessed in our lives.
We don’t take that for granted.

2010 brought so many changes that we needed to make.

2011 is already bringing us a car.  My life is starting to fall together again after so many years of living in limbo.

Our family has a home and security.

We always had love.

I am looking forward to what 2011 has in store for us. My resolution is to live and stop looking. I want to stop and enjoy all that I do have without worrying about all that I don’t have.

It will work out. One way or another.

Happy New Year!
I wish you all much love and happiness.

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