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Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Good Life..

I started to write a whole lot of blah blah, but decided instead to post a picture of the beautiful leaf lined street I was running down today, another of the sunset from the evening before and the song that I find myself singing tonight.

Life is good.

This evening I find myself in the mood for a little Santana...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Playlist for a Grey Day

Sometimes a song is more than a song.  As I made my way through the day, I let myself slip into a mood that was as grey and bleary as the sky overhead.  I put in my headphones and listened to a favourite playlist from years gone by when a certain song came on.

This particular song helped me through the loss of someone important to me.  When he left this world for another I found myself struggling with coping.   During the day I was busy running my business, being a mom, friend, daughter - basically trying to show everyone I was okay.  At night when I was alone, the curtain dropped.  Somehow I found my comfort in the garage of my home, sitting in my convertible with the top down and this song blasting.  I would sing along with such vigour, I am sure my neighbours were also sleepless these long nights.  But in that particular moment in time that particular song helped.

Then there was the decision of whether or not to move to Europe.  Indecisive I spent a great deal of time making excuses and flying back and forth.  In many ways I think I was waiting for a sign.  Or someone to tell me not to do something.  Sadly, I have to admit, it is sometimes a bit tough being the single, independent female.  I really did not want to make that decision all by myself.  

So as I wrestled with the decision and continued with the transatlantic lifestyle, I found myself many a time on a plane.  As the jets roared to prepare for takeoff this song would pop in my mind.   I was halfway to gone to a new life and I was feeling so not ready...

I also listened once again to a song a good friend sent me recently.   In the end I did not solve the problem that was on my mind today, but an old playlist reminded me that sometimes things simply are the way they are.  Sometimes you just have to breathe - one deep breath after another.  And that change happens whether you are ready or not.  And the song from my friend reminded me that no matter what I am never alone - if I don't wish to be.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Fork in the Road


Life has remained fast and furious. But I have realized lately that in the rush of it all that I may have neglected to fully appreciate some of the people that make my life move from good to truly great.  I've been so busy loving (and often, simply surviving) the moments that I may have inadvertently let down a few people that make them so special (as well as survivable).

Tonight as I flip through a few  old messages from those that matter most I realize that there were times when some were reaching out.  Too busy, too distracted - I missed the signs.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I loved last night.  My friends all around, the conversation and the laughter.  Collectively eating too much.  The banter, the appreciation of the food, effort and simply being together.  It was a first Thanksgiving for pretty much everyone, and the spirit of it was embraced to the fullest.

I cannot help but feel immense gratitude to the people who make up my family away from home - they made certain that I enjoyed a holiday that I missing so...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chaos Countdown

11:15 - I found cranberries!  Whoohoo!  Nice fresh ones.  Thank you Globus!

12:10 - the owner of my favourite boutique is googling turkey roasting instructions while I try on clothes.  Perhaps an unnecessary event to do today - but alas I am a stressed woman and I do not need to make sense.

13:00 - two new rsvp's for dinner.  Kein problem, I have 7 kilos of turkey.

13:15 - full on anxiety attack.  I have not enough plates.

13:17 - I don't have enough chair either.

13:19 - texted for back up support.  (Although I believe the offer to assist was more gratuitous than anything...)

13:45 - pumpkin pie is in - now time to tackle the turkey.  Feeling immense gratitude for the rooster timer I was given last night.

13:58 - watching Gordon Ramsey YouTube video on how to cook a turkey.

13:59 - received whatsup up message from a friend - they decided to bring a nuessli-rucola salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and mozzarella pearls.  Yum.  I am off the hook for making a salad.

14:00 - rooster timer just crowed and scared the bloody hell out of me.  May need a prosecco to help calm me down.

15:15 - pumpkin pie is finished and turkey is in!

15:51 - maybe it is time to go buy groceries.

Thanksgiving Dinner Chaos

This dinner has taken on a life of its own.  The guys in the office have been willingly enduring my lunchtime turkey saga updates and offering second hand roasting tips.  My friend, the turkey procurement facilitator is experiencing similar support at her workplace.

We even named the darn turkey.  His name is Henry, Henry the VIII.  Sure go ahead and challenge me on the name selection, but remember when you are doing so that we are arguing over the namesake of a 7 kilo bird that is going into my 9 kilo capacity oven.  

But last night is when things became really interesting.  My friends proudly escorted the now infamous Henry VIII to my flat at 19:00.  But they also had all my favourite treats, prosecco and even a couple of gifts.

You see, I had mentioned that I was going to brine the turkey last night.  My friends however are so excited about this turkey that they became concerned - and this of course was further fuelled by their uncertainty over my culinary abilities.  So, they posed an intervention.  Distracting me from my intended task.  Of course I only realized this as they left at 1am and one said with a laugh "yeah, too bad you get to do that brine thing..."

And now I have to run - I just did a quick head count followed by a quick plate count - there seems to be a considerable discrepancy... 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thanksgiving Countdown

It is just few sleeps away from Thanksgiving dinner.  However, instead of going through all the Thanksgiving explanations I invited my friends to a 'Fall Feast'.  It seems to be requiring a team effort this dinner of mine.  One friend helped procure the necessary pumpkin, however I remained a bit bamboozled on where to get the turkey and was in fact a few steps away from substituting chicken when my best gal pal decided to get involved.  

Let me first explain, getting a turkey is not an easy feat over here.  There are normally a few available for American thanksgiving, however for the Canadian one, you have to find a butcher who will bring you in a specially ordered turkey.  Since my cooking is pretty much limited to yogurt and salad, I have no 'relationship' with a butcher from whom I could make this request.

So last night my gal pal offered to take charge of turkey procurement.  At lunch I received I text.  "I have the turkey.  It is a Swiss one from the farm of .... , and it will be slaughtered on Thursday.  I pick it up on Saturday.  It will cost 120 SF."  

I had to release an awkward laugh.  For the first time in my life I am directly responsible for turkey being slaughtered.  And I will no longer listen to my Canadian friends complain about spending $30 on a turkey.

But the best part of the text was yet to come.  The turkey is 7-8 kilos, and the kind butcher even offered to loan some dishes to roast it in as well. As I glance down and take in the size of my cute oven I am uttering a silent prayer that it will even fit.  If it does, certainly nothing else will.

I had planned to supplement the turkey dinner with honey roasted glazed vegetables and other comfort foods.  Oh well - who needs veggies when you have protein?

In the end I have to smile at how things are unfolding.  My friend a few doors away has also offered me his oven so that I can cook some things there too.  Funny.  And my gal pal will be finishing her work day on Saturday only to stop at the butcher and carry home on the train one massive, freshly slaughtered turkey.  Too funny.

I just hope I will have enough time to cook the darn thing!  Perhaps we will do a reverse dinner - start with pumpkin pie and finish with turkey for desert.

I have to admit I am utterly warmed by the effort my friends have all made to make my Thanksgiving a success.  I feel immense gratitude for their friendship.  Even though I am missing my homeland this fall, it seems I do not have to be back in Canada to experience the spirit of Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And it is ON!

Oh yeah.  I have a pumpkin and I know what to do with it.

Thanksgiving is on!  Woot!

I have been babbling about hosting a Thanksgiving party for ages now.  After four years of missing it - I am keen on not letting this one slip me by. My close friends are a perfect mix of German, Swiss, French and Italian folk who have no idea what it all means.  The day after I after I proudly procured a pumpkin (and I will have you know, this is not such an easy feat when you live in downtown Zurich) I texted my pals - "the Harvest Feast is on! We will even have pumpkin pie," I shared excitedly, for everyone knows that it is not thanksgiving if there is not pumpkin pie.

"Uhm, you make pie out of pumpkins?" said one friend rather sceptically.  "You sure you don't mean soup?"  

Funny how you assume some things. Such as everyone must  know that pumpkin pie is a must-do fall sort of thing.  But they do not.  

But the real cool thing is that they do not have turkey much over here either.  In fact, I have yet to find a place where I can preorder it just for this dinner, but I will.  However, that means my friends have no idea what a 'turkey coma' is either.  I cannot help but giggle a little at that thought alone...