Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011 - Book Reviews

This is what happens when you loaf for a weekend, or when I loaf for a weekend and get my hands on 4 fun interesting books to read.  These are not brain surgery books, they are light, easy to read, bring a smile to my face romance stories.  Now I admit that I read faster than most people I know, so let’s just say that each of these books would take a few days to read for a normal human being who had something to do other than recuperate from a cold. 

 All of the following are published by Bold Strokes Books

  • True Confessions by PJ Trebelhorn
  • Jane Doe by Lisa Girolami
  • Ghosts of Winter by Rebecca S. Buck
  • Come and Get Me by Julie Cannon 

REVIEWS:

3.5 stars out of 5

The following is the description of this book on the Bold Strokes Website: 

 “What would you do if an irresistibly desirable but utterly untouchable woman whispered to you, If you want me, you'll have to come and get me?

That's exactly the situation that Elliott Foster, CEO of Foster MacKenzie, finds herself in when she meets the alluring Lauren Collier, Chief Legal Counsel of a Fortune 500 company. Elliott never has a shortage of attractive women willing to share her bed, and she doesn't care if they are attracted to her or just her money. By her rules, if two women are attracted to each other there's no reason why they shouldn't spend the night together—or in some cases, the afternoon. Lauren, intriguing but decidedly off limits, doesn't fit the mold and Elliot knows she should walk away. Instead she finds herself in the unusual position of pursuing another woman, and even more disconcertingly...on Lauren's terms. Come and Get Me is a passionate, rollercoaster romance that's anything but predictable.”

************

When I read the above synopsis I had the impression that Lauren literally laid down a challenge for Elliot to “Come and Get Me.”  I don’t know what I was thinking and I suspect that is the story were really written that simply I probably would not have enjoyed it as much as I did.  Without spoiling the plot, you have Elliot who has a playgirl persona that she hides some very interesting aspects of her personality.  Then you have Lauren who is a successful lawyer who challenges Elliot and definitely falls outside of Elliot’s normal “fling” material.  Lauren doesn’t respond to Elliot in any of the ways that she is used to, making her fascinating and a little dangerous for Elliot.

I’ve read several of Julie Cannon’s stories.  As a result, I tend to expect a well written story where I feel some sort of connection to the characters.  Once again, I was not disappointed.  This was a fun story with just enough subplot(s) to give the characters some extra depth and the reader another opportunity to understand the personalities involved.


3.5 stars out of 5

I’ve not read anything by Rebecca in the past, and I’ll say upfront that I am not normally drawn to historical stories.  Having said that I don’t know if this actually qualifies as that type of story, but the author managed to mix in a sense of that without making me feel like I was bored.  The occasional side trip to the past was interspersed in a way that gave the reader appropriate context for the current storyline.

Ros has had a tough year, her Mom dies, she gives up her job, and breaks up her long term relationship.  Then Ros inherits Winter Manor, from an old family friend “Aunt Edie”, with the stipulation that she restore it to it’s past glory.  Fortunately for Ros, Aunt Edie left enough money to get the job done, as well as having already started the planning process and engaging an architect: Anna.

Anna is calm, efficient, professional, and all buttoned but Ros sees past that exterior.  From the beginning she gets glimpses of something that draws her to Anna.

The reader gets to watch this relationship unfold and see the mental gyrations that Ros goes through as she tries to get a handle on her own emotions and the turmoil of rediscovering who she is and what she wants from life.  This was a very good book, now I need to find out if Rebecca has any others out there.

*********

The following is the description of this book on the Bold Strokes Website: 

“Can Ros Wynne, who has lost everything she thought defined her, find her true life—and her true love—surrounded by the lingering history of the once-grand Winter Manor?

When Ros unexpectedly inherits Winter Manor on the condition that she oversee the restoration of the remote and dilapidated house, it seems the perfect place for her to retreat from her recently failed relationship, the death of her mother, and the loss of her job. But Winter Manor is not entirely at rest. The echoes of its past reach forward into the present, and Ros’s life is perceptibly shaped by the lives—and loves—of the people who inhabited those rooms and corridors in the centuries before her.

Then Anna arrives. The architect—with her designer clothes, hot car, and air of supreme professionalism—is at first an unwelcome, if necessary, intrusion. But as Ros learns Anna’s truths, she finds solace from her past losses in their developing intimacy. And when their love is threatened, Ros must decide whether her own ghosts will forever define her, or if she can embrace her life for what it is—past, present, and future.”


2.5 stars out of 5

The description from Bold Strokes:
“Sometimes a brief getaway where no one knows your name can change your life.

Emily Carver is an inhibited, small town woman who, against warnings from her family, takes her first trip to Las Vegas. On her first night there, she is mugged and saved from worse trauma by Royal Wooten, an independent, assertive woman, and a virtual opposite of Emily.

With no money or identification and unwilling to go home and face her “I-told-you-so” family, Emily decides to stay in Las Vegas and rebuild her stolen finances. But what she actually rebuilds is her entire life. She even gambles on a chance for true love and discovers that sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to start from scratch.”

**********

This is another author that I have not read before.  This is one of those books that I enjoyed reading but definitely classify as a beach book.   I never really felt a connection to either of the main characters and some of the interactions just seemed implausible.  Now having said that, I’ll also say it did not stop me from reading the book or even enjoying the style with which it was written. 


3 out of 5 stars

The description from Bold Strokes:
"Being in love with your best friend shouldn’t be this difficult.

Lesbian novelist Lynn Patrick returns home to Portland, Oregon, for the holidays and discovers that her lifelong friend, Jessie, has separated from her husband. During a game of True Confessions, Lynn finally sees her chance to admit her feelings for Jessie, but she doesn’t take it. She knows Jessie needs a friend now, and not another complication at this point in her life.

For Jessica Greenfield, nothing has ever been simple. Her father was abusive, and she married a man just like him. Her husband has already put her in the hospital once and has threatened her since they separated. All Jessie cares about is protecting the people she loves, and that includes her six-year-old daughter, Amber.

When Jessie’s husband shows up looking to make good on his threats, Lynn finds herself caught in the middle. Will Lynn and Jessie be able to weather the storm, or will he succeed in keeping them apart forever?"

******

I actually found this story complicated, not in a bad way, there was just a lot going on.  In one or two places I found I had to back track in my reading because I’d lost some of the timeframe or context of the story.  Specifically in the section where Lynne returns home, she was suddenly home and I felt like I missed a piece of information along the way.  It took me a moment but I figured it out.

I liked this book, I liked the story, and I enjoyed the complexity.  Sometimes I get caught up in getting through a story and I miss out on some of the storytelling itself.  This book forced me to slow down and actively pay attention to what I was reading.  I enjoyed the main characters but I also liked the supporting cast.  Funny I’d like to know more about Sarah and Karen.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 – Weekend Update

I know you are dying to know how I spent my weekend.  Well, I’m not sure you will be able to handle all the excitement.  Let’s see the weather was BEAUTIFUL and I slept A LOT.  Yes I am still suffering through this summer cold and pick eye.  So when I wasn’t sleeping I was dropping liquid fire into my eyes.  I think my head cold may be winding down.  I suspect that it’s decided that my inability to breath and the slight possibility I might faint should I take the beastly boy for a walk can’t really compete with me voluntarily making my eyes feel like they are going to burst into flames.  Maybe that’s not the best description. Imagine when you eat ice cream too fast and you get that stabbing pain in your eye a few seconds later. That’s kind of what it feels like without the fun of actually eating ice cream.

I did read three books this weekend… I’ll tell you about them tomorrow.

I have 19 days to get in shape for a 10k on June 19th in Bern.  What?  Unrealistic?  No, I haven’t run in more than a month.  Ok the last day I actually “ran” ran with any sense of being able to run…. April 24th.    I can do it.  Ok so really I just want to be able to run 3 miles without stopping then I figure I can walk/run the rest of the way.  Ok when you stop laughing at the absurdity of that statement considering my recent lack of good health.  I’m going to give it a try…. Starting tomorrow… hopefully.  Really, my head has to clear up some time and what’s the worst that can happen?  I faint.  What the heck, I’m living in a foreign country if I faint I won’t know what anyone is saying as the point and laugh.  Although, maybe I should rethink that, because if they call medical support I won’t know what they are saying either.  Can you imagine?  It would be like being transported into an episode of “The Peanuts” where all you here the adults say is “Waa waaa waaa”

L is off to St. Gallen for a 3 day wrok meeting.  I think that her company is just sending her there so they can eat St. Gallen bread and cheese.  My biggest decision today will be what to have for dinner, maybe I should have bought some ketchup.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011 – Pity Party

Just a quick note and then onto the party… Mom and Dad are in transit back to the US today.  We took the train to the plane, got the settled in the check-in line, said hello to the AA concierge guy (I don’t really know his title, but we see him frequently and because L travels(ed) so much he knows her.  He married his partner a few weeks ago and we got to ask how that went.  He was THRILLED and gave us some of the details.  He was literally beaming.  Anyway, Mom and Dad’s plane has taken off and they should be back in the US later today, fighting NYC Memorial Day Weekend Traffic.

Ok Pity Party time….

I woke up this morning with… conjunctivitis.  OK fine, pink eye.  As if a head cold isn’t enough to keep me busy.  Mom left behind one of her unopened bottles of pink eye fixer upper Rx so at least I was able to put some drops in immediately.  I also stopped at the Apothecary this morning, after googling the German translation for: “do you have anything to treat conjunctivitis?”   The answer:  Why yes, yes we do and we don’t need a Rx in Swizerland for a disinfectant eye wash.  Ok maybe I jumped to the pity part a little early, but we’re getting to it.

I am raising hand washing to OCD levels at this point in time.  I’m also washing our bed sheets in scalding.  Yes that is a temperature setting.  I do not want L getting pink eye.  Oye. 

Oh and since I woke up with the beginnings of it, I know that I don’t want to put my hands anywhere near my face.  Of course that means MY EYES ITCH.  It’s like when they tell you to fast for 24 hours before going to a doctor.  Sure you’re never hungry until they say you can’t eat.   

Now I’m desperately aware of my hands and face and I still have a head cold.  Have you ever tried blowing your nose without getting near your face?  Yeah, exactly, again OCD hand washing occurring here.  I’m also considering purchasing one of those lamp shade collars they put on dogs to stop them from chewing things when they are healing.  The thing stopping me, well there are several:

I don’t think I could see my computer screen if I’m wearing one of those, and I can’t type without looking at the keyboard.

I don’t think that there is any reasonable google translation that would explain why I want to purchase one of those collars for myself.



This ends the pity party…



In the meantime no one is saying I can’t eat so I’m drinking hot chocolate with stale marshmallows mixed in.  Feel free to grab a cup on my behalf.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011 – Insektenspray!!!

I can not do justice to the level of excitement that I hit when I rounded the corner at the local COOP and there on the end of the aisle was an aerosol can of bug spray.  Yes, I realize that it’s odd to be excited about bug spray, but trust me when you have a spider phobia and some of the spiders that they grow here in Switzerland are HUGE a can of bug spray is a godsend.  My preferred method of killing spiders is to get someone else to do it.  I’ve gotten to the point where I can kill the small, pin head sized, ones; if they don’t move too fast, but even then I’m screeching and swearing.  God forbid they should make a leap towards safety.  Then both the dog and I are traumatized.  He really doesn’t enjoy when I channel Tourette’s Syndrome.  Now, at least I have the option of drowning them in poison instead of running downstairs and begging the neighbor to come kill another spider.  Yes, I did that.  No I am not embarrassed.  It was a ninja spider; fast moving, and highly skilled in the art of escape.

So at this very moment there is a can of “Finito Insektenspray” sitting on my desk.  My only dilemma now is wondering if I should have bought the hornet and wasp spray instead.  It shoots further and let’s me keep my distance should a spider go rogue.  In fact, it’s my experience that typically the hornet and wasp spray kills spiders faster than bug spray, but that could be because the spray hits them at a higher velocity and may be like hitting them with a hammer.  Hmmm, maybe I should go back and get a can just in case.  I also wonder, can I get a holster so the can is always within reach?  Maybe a tool belt, although I think it might detract from the whole tool belt coolness factor.




© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011 – Random Thoughts

How is it I can survive the entire winter without getting a cold and now, in the nice weather I think I have a head cold?  It’s just wrong.

Vitamin C and Echinacea would be more fun to ingest as a dessert.

 Donald Trump – I am sooooooo bummed that he’s decided to not run for President of The United States.  I mean who else could possibly be more qualified?  Although Air Force One might have wreaked havoc on his hairdo.

Speaking of Donald, I think I should pitch him a new idea The Apprentice.  He could get all the Presidential Candidates on and call it Political Apprentice, at least then the race might be somewhat amusing and there would be no way for the candidates to hide just how crazy/idiotic they are.

The beastly boy:


Ok I just have a thing for how cute he is when he is asleep.  That and I can’t figure out how he sleeps with his tongue out and eyes partially open.



I think I have given up any hope of running the ½ marathon I signed up for in late June.  My training has been at a complete standstill since I got back.  I tried to run Monday which was quite a treat.  That was said sarcastically, between the heart racing and being winded I am starting from ground zero.  I’m not even shooting for feeling 100% better, how about 90%.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011 – Weekend Round Up – Brugge Belgium

Friday morning we got up, hopped into the car and headed out on our road trip.  8+ hours and 4 countries later; Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium we arrived in Brugge.  It was a long trip but we stopped in Colmar France for a few hours, ate some lunch and then hit the road again.  I did all the driving so when we started passing wind farms I had to count on my Dad to snap some pictures for me.  I assumed that none of my passengers (or the other people on the road) would appreciate me hanging out the car window trying to snap a pic while I was driving.  When Mom & Dad get back from Paris I’ll show those to you.

Brugge itself; we arrived about 8:00 pm and let’s just say that I am grateful that we arrived on Friday evening and not Saturday.  What a mad house of people, bikes and cars on Saturday.  I was terrified maneuvering the cobblestone streets without all the cars and bikes.  We would not have survived on Saturday.

On Saturday we came across Cinerella’s Wedding, or at least some woman’s wedding and her Cinderella Carriage.



I also came across a scary puppet.  Seriously this picture does not do this puppet justice.  It’s face is the thing nightmares are made of… or Stephen King novels.




Were you aware that there is a debate over whose chocolate is better, Belgium vs Switzerland? There is a noticeable difference in texture and flavor but I think I have to make a study of it before I come to any final conclusions.

Just a couple of pictures from the old towne square:



Oh and obviously since I’m back, the Rapture did not happen.  It’s a good thing to, because there are more countries that I want to go see. 

 Happy Monday!






© C.A. Bailey 2010 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011 – The Rapture

Thankfully the internet has informed me that “The Rapture” is going to occur on Saturday May 6th (Happy B-day Mrs. T) at 6pm, but because there are so many time zones and people get confused, that is 6pm in whatever time zone you are in.  So, of course now I have questions:  Does this mean that if I want to avoid “The Rapture” I could for example, Saturday morning, hop on a plane and fly to Australia or Japan, because it’s tomorrow there and I would miss the rapture?  Or could I leave Zurich Saturday morning at 7 am, fly 8 hours, land in NYC at 2pm, and fly to Hawaii and just keep going around the earth that way?  I mean wouldn’t I eventually make it to yesterday?  Although now that I have typed that, it doesn’t seem like the best choice because I’d have to keep heading backwards for the rest of my life and frankly I have no desire to do my teen years again.  Once was definitely enough.  No I think the better option is to just pop on over to a time zone that is already into tomorrow and skip it entirely.
But for arguments sake, let’s just assume that these Rapture Folks aren’t complete nutters (no offense if you are one of them) and they really can predict the end of the world… right down to the minute.  Ok so, in that case I just wanted to say:

Here’s a picture of me, my Mom & Dad enjoying Zurich.  We really are a good looking family.



Oh and if for some reason you don’t hear from me on Sunday/Monday then I was accidently sucked up into heaven with the Rapture people.  Somehow that seems highly unlikely, but hey if “you” get sucked up into the Rapture and I don’t see your happy little ip address on my blog site in the future… I’ll miss you.


Happy Weekend.




© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18, 2011 - New Arrivals

Mom and Dad arrive this morning.  L and I have to hop on a train to the airport in a few minutes to pick them up and escort them to our apartment.  Then L is off to work and I will get them settled and if they are awake enough show them around our little town.  I'm really excited that they are going to be here for a few days and that we're all doing a road trip on Friday to Brugge Brussels.

What about the beastly boy?  Well I told him grandma and grandpa were coming to visist... him... of course.  I'm sure he will be beside himself with the wiggles once he sees them.  It may be over a year since he's seen them last but a dog doesn't forget two of his favorite people.

© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011 – Zermatt Part 2

 Sunday morning we got up to find that the weather had cleared up so we decided to take the cable cars up the Matterhorn.  This actually means that we took 3 different cable car rides to the top.  The 1st gets you to a point where it’s much colder but there still isn’t any snow.  The second gets you to where the skiers and snowboarders take off, and then the final one gets you to the glacier palace.

The views from the cable cars were amazing, and this particular dog seemed to be enjoying the ride/views as well.  I’m pretty sure the bubble over the dogs head would read “come one… let me stick my head out the window…”


The tunnel leading into the glacier "palace"... yes that is ice... and yes it was VERY cold

Ice Crystals hanging from the ceiling

What's This?  A sled ride carved into the wall.  My 1st reaction was ... no freaking way... that's ICE... how do you stop.  Plus there is a sign above the entrance... "in case of emergancy dial..."  Not a good sign.

Then again... no one said I was smart... and now you get to see something other than my feet...
My backside as I skid to a stop off the ice slide... I screamed like a little girl but it was fun.

The Matterhorn

Collapsed snow/avalanche?











© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011 – Weekend Roundup – Zermatt Part 1

This weekend we took a road trip, actually a train trip, to Zermatt Switzerland, to see the Matterhorn.  Now, let me just point out that in my head Zermatt is pronounced Zermont.  I have no idea why and I realize that both the pronunciation and the spelling are incorrect, but I’ve never really been one to ignore the voices in my head.

This is a picture of us on the train.  Starting from the right: my L, me, M, and L


We planned to stay overnight (and we did) in one of the hotels.  Let me set the tone, when we arrived, we called to find out how to get to the hotel and we were told that no one was there but we could drop our bags off a the reception desk.  Um, no one is there, but we can drop our bags off?  This is our first clue that the “hotel” we are staying in qualifies as “camping” in L’s rule book.

This is the reception desk…



And seriously, there was no one there.  We let ourselves in, turned on the lights, and decided to follow the Swiss custom of being trusting and left our bags behind the reception desk.  Well as far behind as they could fit.  Ok we were not THAT trusting, we took anything of value along with us.

First business of order, get something to eat.  So we stopped in at the Brown Cow CafĂ©, has some burgers found out that a large portion of the town was closed for the “holidays.”  Which means something like most of May and part of June, the between seasons.  We really didn’t mind, there were plenty of shops open and it let us see the town without it being overrun with people.  Frankly it reminded us of P-Town in the off season.

We decided to postpone taking the cable car up to the little Matterhorn for Sunday, because they told us it had started to snow heavily and we figured we wouldn’t be able to see a thing.  So instead we wandered around town. 

I should have taken a picture of this, but didn’t; we saw a couple of cemeteries where the headstones were so close together I actually wondered if they buried the people feet first.  Yes, I know, only I would have that thought.  Then we took a closer look at some of the headstones… hello, the headstones are commemorating the people who were killed trying to climb the mountain.  Leading me to believe that there are no bodies, but there are way too many headstones; mountain climbing, so not on my list of things to do.

We also saw a bunch of old building elevated well off the ground and set on these weird round disks.  Could it be a flood zone?



This is a picture of the Matterhorn from the town before the clouds really rolled in:



Oh and apparently this little gnome was very bad and was being punished OR he got caught in one of those rope traps you see in the movies where when you step in the loop, it triggers a branch that tightens the loop and lifts you into the air by your ankle.  Of course the trap was set by Amazon’s.  Although if I think about it… everyone is an Amazon to a gnome.



Part 2, tomorrow...

P.S. The hotel was actually decent, clean sheets, clean bathroom, comfy bed and a guard cat.


© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13, 2011 - Friday the 13th

Not that I consider the date unlucky or anythig, but the people at blogger.com must be wishing it was any other date.  Why?  Well their site has been down for at least 12 hours... hence the late and senseless blog.

Weekend Plans.. we're heading to Zermatt tomorrow with L & M to get a last bit of Swiss exploring in before they head back to the US.  I'm hoping that the weather cooperates and that we actually get to see the Matterhorn... or at least a horn...

Happy Weekend!

© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11, 2011 – Jet Puffed Marshmallows

When L & M arrived here they had carried over some marshmallows.  Sure we can get marshmallows in Switzerland but no matter how much someone might enjoy a toasted marshmallow there is no way they are worth $8 a bag.  Well $8 might be an exaggeration but they are definitely more expensive than the $1.00 you can pay for them at home.

Anyway, the marshmallows they brought are made by Kraft and are called “Jet-Puffed” marshmallows.  Which leads me to ask the following:

How exactly are they “Jet-Puffed”?; what I imagine is some poor dude having to take a wade of marshmallow goo and hold it up to the back of a jet engine.  I don’t think that would actually “puff” them, more like roast them and the guy.

Granted I asked the question, but think of it as being rhetorical because I’m fairly certain that I don’t really want to know the answer and I am positive that it will also entice someone to tell me “how” marshmallows are made and “what” they are made of.  I’d like to continue in my blissful sense of ignorance so I can continue to periodically enjoy a marshmallow toasted over an open stove top.  Speaking of, did you know that even a stale marshmallow after its toasted tastes just as good as a fresh one?  It does, and with that last bit of wisdom, have a lovely day.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011 - Stupid Stupid Angry Birds

As you know our guests L and M are visiting.  Damn that L, she introduced my L to the game "Angry Birds" which means she introduced ME to Angry Birds. 

I thought this would be ok, because they downloaded the game onto my L's iPad.  So I played for a while, ok a long while, but I figured it's on L's iPad, I wont have access to it.  Yea.. not so much. 

Stupid birds, this morning I got to thinking about the damn birds and wondering "will that load to my iPod?"  Why yes, yes it does.  So now I played the free version of Angry Birds until I beat all the levels... yes in one sitting.  So now I have to play a new version, why?  Because I can't stop.  Yes, "other L" I am having bad thoughts about you right now.  Hello... I got addicted to Wii pinball in one sitting it took me 4 days to even stop thinking about it.  Now I wont be able to stop playing this damn game until I beat all its stupid levels. This is exactly why I don't get a wii or xbox or any other gaming doohickey.  I don't get caught up in much but computer games... addicting.  I know I have a problem with these things. Ugh.  Although, if I stay true to form I should finish this version of Angry Birds sometime tomorrow.  Then I am done.  Done, Done.  No more.  Stupid Birds.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011 - Weekend Update

Our Friends M & L arrived on Saturday morning.  After picking them up at the airport we decided to take advantage of the fact that they were still awake so after dropping off luggage and greeting the beastly boy we took them into Zurich to wander around the city a little and grab a bite to eat.  What is the 1st meal they eat in Switzerland… pizza.  I know, but at least it was out doors and served by Swiss Italians.  After lunch jet lag started to rear its ugly head so we took them back to the apartment.

Starting clockwise from the right (my L, me, L, and M).  Aren't L & M a good looking couple?



Saturday evening we had burgers and S’Mores.  The chef did an excellent job if I do say so myself.

Sunday M wanted to see “castles” so we headed out to Bad, we figured was could see a couple of Castles, the casino, and check out the thermal baths we heard about during the winter.

1st up the castle.  Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the name but legend has it that one of the orginal owners of the castle killed a dragon that lived in the area.   Considering part of the castle is from 1100 I don’t think there is anyone around to dispute that claim.

This is the castle:






We also encountered the guardian of the castle:



Don’t let her looks fool you, deep down there is a vicious dog in there…. somewhere.  Possibly in her tail with was a blur of wagging.  Of course it could also be that she’s built as a distraction until something more deadly sneaks up on you while you run this one’s belly.  We obviously were not considered threats since we didn’t encounter any other attack animals/dragons.

We were hard pressed not to take this little girl home with us, but we assumed that sooner or later the owners would claim her again.


Overall we had a great weekend and this morning, my L, M & L hopped on a train to Paris.  My L went for work and the others are off touring.  They’ll be back Thursday night for more adventures.


© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011 - Visitors

Tomorrow our friends L and M or M and L, depending on how you want to think about it, are coming to visit. for the week.  "My" L and I are very excited.  They are going to be here for the weekend then they are off to Paris for a few days and then back here for the following weekend.  Oh and you can bet that there is a road trip planned on that weekend.  This morning, however, was spent with the mundane task of getting the apartment ready from our standpoint.  Patio furniture on the balcony (check).  Food Stocked in the fridge (check).  Oh and yes I do realize that "food" should consist of something more than bread and ketchup.  Shocking but it's been pointed out to me that although "I" have no problem eating a ketchup and bread sandwich and calling that lunch/dinner most adults find that distasteful.  Me, I just view it as efficency at it's finest.  Tomato's and bread... it's healthy... sort of.

Anyway, our friends have nothing to fear I bought real food.  Now to start work so that the weekend can come all that faster.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011 - Betty Crocker

I have no idea what has come over me, I don't like to bake.  It's right up there with one of my least favorite things to do.  Too much prep, flour goes everywhere, all the clean up, and then it just takes so darn long.  This is why I prefer to cook.  I am very happy to cook... anything that takes less than 20 - 30 mins from prep to plate.  That's ideal.  So what's happened?  Suddenly last weekend I was craving banana nut muffins, but I realize that (a) muffins are a pain in the neck to make, you have all those individial circle things in the muffin tin, each one has to be greased (I haven't found cupcake liners yet) (b) well there is no "b" "a" was enough of a deterant.  So I said hey wait a minute Banana Nut BREAD!  There's only one pan.  Muffin idea out the window, bread in.  So last Saturday I went to the store and bought the ingrediants that I needed... banana's... with the intention of making the bread on Sunday.

Well you can guess there was no bread made on Sunday, all I had the energy for was the peep s'more and since I've not been feeling 100% all week, still no bread.  That is until today.  This morning I got up and said "Damn it all, I'm making Banana Nut Bread."  Ok I didn't really say that; it was more along the lines of, "I really should just get off my butt and do this."  So I did.

Right now as I type (but possibly not as you read) there is a loaf of Banana Nut Bread in the oven baking.  It smells good so I am hoping that is a sign that it will taste good too.  I did remember to grease the pan, so I am also hoping that it slides out of said pan without difficulty, but frankly I don't have a problem with eating the bread with a spoon.

I'll report back later with a bread update.

*********** Update **************
I can officially declare my banana nut bread a resounding success.  I even mamaged to get it out of the pan w/o any trouble and it tastes good too.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011 - The Beastly Boy

Just because hes cute



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

May 4, 2011 - Silence

Maybe that's not the best descriptor because it's not really silent here, but I couldn't find a better way to indicate that I am doing my very best to "not speak".  Why, because I am back to square one with my throat.  Having received my honory medical degree from a box of cracker jack I have diagnosed myself with either, allergies that are causing my head to drain into my throat (disgusting I know) therefore irritating the hell out of it or a head cold that is having the same result.  Of course it could just be a "Tumor" said in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.

Now you'd think it would be pretty easy to be quiet all day considering the beastly boy is not the best conversationalist and the fact that I work from home, and generally I can go hours without having to actually speak.  It's a wonder that I can still form coherent words when necessary but it appears that Murphy continues to hound me, because I spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone yesterday... talking to clients and co-workers.  Today's goal... typing no talking.

© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 – Weekend Roundup and A Riddle

I’d like to tell you about all the crazy and exciting things that L and I did this weekend, but since I woke up Friday feeling like I swallowed glass I spent most of the weekend doing my best to avoid an introduction to the Swiss Healthcare system.  I laymen’s terms: I slept a lot and drank extraordinary amounts of liquid.  I can happily report that I am feeling better.  I’m still tired and need more sleep, but the sore throat, throbbing head has migrated to a routine head cold.  I’ll take it.  As for the Swiss Healthcare, yes I know they have a very good system, but we opted to maintain our US health insurance for a variety of reasons but the two most important:

(A) I really don’t want to change GYN’s.  Seriously, I don’t know of any woman who has a good relationship with her GYN that would willingly change to a new one.  It takes and act of God or the death of the doctor.  Besides I already had to find someone to cut my hair over here; that was traumatic enough.

(B)  Hello “night terrors” I dread explaining night terrors to a new doctor in the US.  Heck when I switched who I was going to for general medicine and had to explain my medical history we ran into a slight bump in the road on that topic.  I can get a little ornery when a doctor gives me the impression that I am “stupid” or that they don’t believe me and I really don’t appreciate it when said doctor tries to classify my “sleep disorder” (because that is what it is) with an “anxiety disorder”.  I also don’t appreciate it when someone says “Well how do you know that you have .  My inside voice says “Well hell, I just thought it would be fun to pull some crazy incurable disorder out of ass because it sounds fun.”  My outside voice laced with a heavy dose of sarcasm says “Um, because I was seen by a specialist who after numerous tests DIAGNOSED it.”  Geez I got sidetracked and I even managed to annoy myself just thinking about the conversation.  Can you imagine me trying to explain this in German?  Exactly, so US healthcare and if we have an emergency we see a Swiss Doc, pay the bill and submit a request for reimbursement from our insurance.



Enough of that – in between the sleeping, and napping on Sunday we did have some fun. 

What do you get when you have peeps, thin mint girlscout cookies, and a bar-b-q fork?

PEEP S’MORES

 Step 1: Lay out the supplies


Step 2: Impale the Peeps



Step 3: Toast Peeps over Fire (be sure to rotate for best toasting)



Step 4: Smoosh Peeps in between thin mints


Step 5: Eat

I'm fairly certain that peeps have medicinal properties, although I will say that the "mint" of the thin mint over powers the tast of the peep.  I'm also left to wonedr if "Chopped" would consider using thin mints and peeps in their secret ingrediants and what the 3rd or 4th ingrediant would be.

© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.