Monday, September 22, 2014

Our World Tuesday

The story behind our trip to Switzerland is beautiful.  Fifty years ago (in 1964) my friend Barbara participated in an Experiment in International Living and was invited to stay in the home of a family in Switzerland for the summer.  She became good friends, as did her whole family, with the wonderful people who had welcomed her into their home and shared their lives with her as if she were one of their own.  She and her family traveled to Switzerland many times, over the years, to visit with this family.  The friendships have endured all of these years and it was her hope to go visit the family to celebrate their 50 years of friendship.  Barb has been my friend for many years as well (not near 50, but many).  We share many interests, not the least of which is working with the Raptors.  She kindly invited me to join her on this trip and I could thank her every day of my life and it wouldn't be enough to show my true appreciation.  So the Adventure began and flew by so fast that I have trouble collecting all of the memories.   I am hoping that my pictures will save them for me and I did keep a journal ... with much difficulty because it was hard to get the right spelling and meaning of words in a language I didn't speak.  But, I am learning ... Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch jetzt.

After a long flight we were met at the airport by her friends and we were off to Wadenswil a suburb of Zurich.  This is a beautiful little village and like all of Switzerland, the streets are very hilly.  I was struck by the fact that there were very few places that were level.  My legs were struck by it as well and quickly understood why the Swiss are so fit and healthy (among many other reasons having to do with lifestyle and a good medical plan ... the nurse in me is showing.).  Once there, we were taken to our apartment which belonged to the youngest brother in the family.  He keeps the apartment to stay in when visiting his sister and her husband.  It was a delight to have such good accommodations.  We walked daily from our apartment to the home of our friends who graciously shared their lives with us for two weeks. 

This is their home.  It was built in the early 19th century by a wealthy land owner.  The style is English as many wealthy English came to Switzerland during that period and built homes and hotels that still stand today.  We ate breakfast and dinner on the terrace when weather permitted.  I can't begin to express how much we enjoyed the time we spent with them.

We especially loved the little garden on the roof ...

The main entrance ...

Inside their home they have restored the original beauty of the ceilings with the help of the Historical Society.

The windows go all the way around from the living room, the dining room, the kitchen into the foyer.

Just a peek at their tasteful, artistically decorated  home ... trying not to intrude on their privacy.

 This is the ceiling in the kitchen ...

Out of the dining room window we are able to see another home.  This one was built by the son of the wealthy land owner.  It has been donated to the Village and is used much like a civic center where classes and activities are held.  It also overlooks the beautiful gardens that I mentioned in my "Good Fences" post.  That is for another day.

Our favorite part of this house is the chimney ...
The architecture in all of Switzerland was so beautiful.  I will be posting many more pictures over time ... this is just the beginning :)  Enjoy your week.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Reflection

This is a reflection of a lamp in the home of our hosts in Switzerland.  They had a beautiful home with a rich history (built in the early 1800's by a wealthy land owner).  The house had been restored and updated as many homes in Switzerland are.  And, their taste was more modern which gave it a beautifully eclectic milieu.  You will see more of this house over time :)

Feline Art Friday

The cats in Switzerland are like the cats in America, except ... they don't speak English :)

This beautiful little Swiss cat lives in a house outside by the front door of the building where her owners live.  They do bring her in at night, but the cats in Switzerland have a nice life ... they don't have traffic issues (at least not in Wadenswil) and there are no preditors to speak of, so they can roam outside safely and do a little hunting themselves.  This little girl is very special.  She is missing one back leg, but seems to fair well in spite of it.  We looked forward to her friendly greeting each morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Fences

This beautiful fence surrounded a wonderful garden that we passed each morning as we walked from our apartment to the home of our friends in Wadenswil, Switzerland.  The first thing I thought of when I saw this fence was "Good Fences" ... see what an effect you have, Theresa:)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Butterfly Light Award

I find it difficult to receive an award ... I just plod along with my blog, doing my thing and hoping that it brings some kind of joy into somebody's life ... I don't think of it as award worthy.  But my friend McGuffy Ann of McGuffy's Reader, feels differently and I am flattered and thrilled that she has given me an award that has special meaning to her.  The Butterfly Light Award honors those who bring light into the lives of others.  I would only hope that I have done that in some way and that I am deserving of this award.  Thank you, McGuffy, for thinking of me and considering my blog as one that "spreads the light" to others.  It is a true compliment and an honor I humbly accept.  You are a dear and forever friend. :)

This award was originated by Belinda of Idiot Writing.  The original recipient, Don Charisma, has asked that we always link back to Belinda for creating such a special award, as we continue to spread the light.

The conditions for accepting the Butterfly Light award are:
1.  Write an acceptance post, making sure you link back to the blogger who awarded you and thank them.  You may not add this award to a post with other awards.

2.Individually name and re-award a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 9,999,999 bloggers.  You must let them know either personally with a comment on their blog or a "pingback".

The following is the list of bloggers I wish to nominate as being deserving of the  Butterfly Light Award.  I realize that many of my blogger friends do not accept awards and I understand perfectly.  But, I feel that I have to be honest in who I would give this award to ... selecting those that have shed light in my life and in many others.  So, if you choose not to accept the award, that is okay ... just know, that you do deserve it either way.

A.  Edna of  Miss Edna's Place ... Edna chit chats every day about her life, her family, her dwarfs (boarders at her house) and especially her little rescued Yorky, Pogo.  She is a delight and has a wonderful sense of humor.  I so enjoy my visit to her place each morning :)

B. Queen Jester (Cheryl) of Life in a Canned Ham.  The Queen lives on the road with her husband and two cats in an RV.  Her blog details their daily trials and tribulations as well as the joyous moments.  Her sense of humor has me rolling with laughter routinely ... and we all know that laughter is therapeutic.  She surely shines light into my life ...

C. Stewart of Paying Ready Attention - Gallery .  Stewart is a family man in Australia.  He is the consummate birder and hosts a bird meme every week.  He is full of interesting information and wonderful pictures of the birds in Australia and wherever he travels.  He is also a writer and a deep thinker.  I have enjoyed his friendly way and his deep thoughts for several years and, though I doubt that he is looking for an award, I think he deserves many. 

D.  Jeanne of  Butterfly Tales:  Metamorphosis from the Cacoon. Jeanne is another deep thinker.  She journals her thoughts daily and adds wonderful photography that seems to exemplify what she is thinking.  Her goals are to grow and bring others with her.  She is loved by her followers including myself and is most deserving of the Butterfly Light Award.

E.  Elephant Child ... This is an Australian women who never ceases to amaze me.  She is brilliant and thoughtful.   She is an avid reader and a talented writer.  What I love most about her is what she writes about ... feelings, emotions, pain, strength ... she mixes it all together in such a way that once you have finished reading her post, you either want to sing or cry ... but I will say that she spreads the light like no one I know.  I have linked you to one of her latest posts about suicide.  Read it and you will know why I have nominated her for this award.

F. Lori of Lorikart ... I must include my artist friend, also from Australia.  Lori has hosted the meme "Mandarin Orange Monday" for over two years.  I started with her from day one and have learned so much from her as an artist and as a person.  She has shined the light in my life and many others over and over.

3.Link back to Belinda at her blog Idiot Writing or her Profile page, for creating this unique and special award (done ... above).

4.  Write a short paragraph that is entitled: "How I'm Spreading Light" or "How I am a Positive Influence".

I don't profess to be spreading light.  I just do what I do and hope that I touch someone with my thoughts and my pictures.  I do take the opportunity to teach about things I know from my nursing experience or years of having children and pets.  I try not to advise people because I know that what is right for me, might not be right for someone else.  When I am commenting on somebody's work, I try to be positive and encouraging.  I think I have a good eye for a gift when someone has one ... often we don't see it in ourselves, so I try to point out what is good in another's work, so they can feel as good about it as I do.  I have met so many wonderful people through this blog ... it has all been worth the effort just to know we are never alone that there is always someone out there who hears you and enjoys what you do or agrees with what you say.  Life is not easy and these moments are special.  Thank you McGuffy Ann for allowing me to pause long enough to appreciate what I have and hopefully what I have to offer others.

Wild Bird Wednesday

For days in Switzerland I was convinced they didn't have any birds, though, to be honest, I could hear birds twittering here and there, they never seemed to appear.  Alas, I did see some black birds and I saw a Raven which we don't have any of in our neighborhood at home, so that was a treat.  But really, black birds?

Finally, the next day while hiking in the mountains, I was able to capture some shots of the Raven.  In Wadenswil(pronounced Vadensvil) where we were staying, the trees are so tall and full that the birds just disappear in them. 

The Ravon is an impressive bird.  What he lacks in beauty he makes up for in intelligence and audacity.  They are among the smartest birds, gaining a reputation for solving complicated problems invented by creative scientists. Though they are not known for being social (as are our crows), this group of five Ravens seemed content, surveying their territory and looking for human handouts together.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NF Inspiring Photography ... Catching The Light

I know Monica is traveling to Australia ( definitely a place on my bucket list), but I have pictures to post so I will try keeping up with her memes, as many of you already have. This picture was taken while sitting in the plane waiting to take off ... our flight was in the evening and the lights in the airport were mesmerizing ... enjoy :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mandarin Orange Monday

Mandarin Orange Monday

 It seems only fitting that I should return to my blog on Mandarin Orange Monday as that is the place where I posted last before departing to Switzerland.  The trip was wonderful, but as always, there is a price to pay when one travels.  The first of these prices is what happens to your body when you traverse more than one time zone.  Oh my ... Then, of course, there is all the catching up on things that need to be done when you get home and finally, in my case, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures to go through, edit, categorize and play with.  So, if I get off to a slow start here, be patient.  I have enough pictures to show and stories to tell to fill a life time.  It is good to be back ...

The late evening sun reflecting off of a mountain side ...

There were a lot of clouds in the mountains when we were there.  Some were misty like this one, some simply hid everything from view.  But all added character to the beautiful scenery.

Happy MOM!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mandarin Orange Monday

Mandarin Orange Monday

I am starting today with a rack of scrapbook papers in the a store that just closed (sad, sad!).  Of course, it has been orangified :)

 From here on, it is just playing ... 

You realize, I could go back up to my first picture and do a completely different set of abstracts ... the opportunities are endless and I love to play.  My friend will comment that I had fun with this ... and she would be right.

And now for a different kind of fun.  For the next two weeks my friend and I will be in Switzerland.  This will be my last post until I return unless I can figure out how to post from my phone in Switzerland.  If you follow me on Facebook I am going to try to post pictures there ... otherwise, I will see you in two weeks with, hopefully, a new batch of pictures to work from.  Stay well  ... and have a wonderful MOM!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Reflection

Chrome is always a good place to look for a reflection ... this time driving down the expressway behind a Jeep ... and yes, it was a beautiful blue sky and white fluffy clouds day :)