"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Friday, February 28, 2014

sneak peak of Suisse

I'm back, but still organizing my pics n thoughts (n farm)!

Here's a sneak peak of our trip ~ 

I'd hoped to get shots of swiss farms but these were the only cows I saw!

There were electric fences n water tubs everywhere outside the cities though.
A friend said that much like Heidi, the animals are moved or kept inside in anticipation of the winter snows. I did see large clear bags of sheeps wool outside some barns.
And livestock n horse trailers parked along tiny roadsides.
Along the train route I saw one chicken in a cute coop, and two children riding a big shaggy horse, and lots n lots of small garden plots squeezed in everywhere.

I was really struck by a few things, like how much better the quality of their foods are, and the land use / planning to keep large tracts of green space and small farms in close proximity to condensed (but charming) housing. I must also admit how much I dislike so much of the new "modern" houses in Switzerland. They seemed like something I'd imagine in Stalinist Russia!?

But mostly we moved too fast for me to take "snapshots" with my cumbersome dslr.

I did a bit better with still shots, like these cow n goat bells decorating our chalet!

 I stopped n snapped this wee shack beside the mountain road as I drove to the ski area.

This is the telecabin that brought us to the top of the ski area.

I saw this on my FB feed and couldn't agree more

It was an eye opening trip with folks from all around the world.

I especially loved the cute toddlers skiing and how dogs are welcomed everywhere, including public transport and restaurants!

Here's an idea of what I saw as we left Geneva...
(not my own pics tho!)

Le Jet d'eau

From the train - terraced vineyards n orchards are seen all around the lake... 

with Alps on the opposite shore


Similar ski viliage

Our view as we flew into GORGEOUS Vienna at dusk (we rode that ferris wheel)!

And all along the way new friendships flourished!

I'll be posting more detailed family activities very soon.
It's much colder back here in Maryland than it was in Europe so, between extra chores, I'm hunkering down (just short of hibernating with added jetlag)!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Switz or bust!

buy Katie Daisy's awesome art here

Tomorrow I'll leave for Switzerland with my mom and kids.
Due to 22"+ expected total snow, who knows if we'll make it out.
Although I hear that, much like Sochi,
it's warmer there with less snow!

I was born in Geneva, Switzerland.
My parents were there pursuing degrees, and working.
We moved to the States soon, but travelled frequently.
My Father was British so I spent considerable time in England as well.
He worked for World Health Organization and we visited many wonderful countries.

 "The World is a Book and those who do not travel read only one page".
~ St. Augustine

When I was a kid I did NOT appreciate it.
I wanted to be home for the holidays and build friendships.
We moved back to Switzerland when I was in 6th grade.
That's where I really became a rider as my folks allowed me free range 
riding a friends ponies through the Swiss countryside, bareback.
Then we moved back to a new part of Maryland .
I was bribed to agree with promises of my first horse...
That I had to work and save to buy and care for myself.
(but that's another story)

I think that it's because of so much travelling at a young age, that I've become a real homebody.
My kids, they just love the farm.

Just over a year ago the kids drew our farmhouse with crooked chimney while travelling with Gramma JoJo in Williamsburg. I LOVE these pics!

I've been back to Europe since to visit old friends, but it's been too long.
And my generous mother felt it important that my kids see where I came from
(and have fun skiing real mountains AND MEET THEIR BABY COUSIN in Austria)

It's very hard to leave my farm.
Emotionally and practically.
The Farmer is staying behind to ease the latter.
but that just makes the former worse...

Please say a prayer for every.body~ staying n going!
(I'm quite worried about the 21bodies staying n coping with snowmageddon)

Monday, February 10, 2014

SICK of it

This is getting really, really old.
Please excuse me as I've gone snow crazy...

We got 2" snow yesterday and school was late again today.
Last week between snow and wicked ICE STORM, they hardly went at all.
In between we're all fighting cold n sinus issues.
Farm chores have been exhausting.
I'm thinking I should switch to breeding Icelandic ponies!

NOW a "nor'easter"?!?!

We're supposed to fly out Thurs for some snow "play!"
Hope you are faring better friends!!!