Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home and back again

I'm actually not sure what "home" I am referring to in this title - either Zurich or the US would be appropriate, I suppose, and honestly, I'm not sure I feel 100% home in either place at this moment. But let's not get deep. B and I just returned from a wonderful 12 day visit to the US that included seeing many of his family and mine. We spent 3 days over Mother's day weekend in near Fort Lauderdale, FL visiting with B's aunts, grandmother, and multitude of cousins. It wasn't as hot as I feared, although it was humid (ick). Regardless of the weather, we had a great time. I'd only met his family at our wedding previously, but they were all welcoming and much fun.

Dania Beach in FL. Gorgeous. I missed getting any pictures of the enormous shark yard-long tarpon that was near shore when we first got there (I had wikipedia tarpon - some random man on the beach claimed that's what it was, so I actually have no idea. But isn't a shark a better story? You could see the dorsal fin above the water, that's how it goes in the movies!)
We spent a week in near Chapel Hill, NC, visiting with my sisters, parents, and friends, including one who flew down from Boston to hang out - and I'm proud to report that I finished her supposed-to-be bridal shower gift and finally handed it over (as perspective, she celebrated her 1 year anniversary last October, so...yeah). We also managed to fit in an evening in with one of B's aunts from the other side of his family, who lives in Charlotte and was generous enough to drive 2.5 hours each way just to have dinner with us. Much chatting, hanging out, game-playing (of the card/board variety) general merriment, and puzzle-solving was done - both of the crossword and jigsaw type.

Embroidered apron gift, ~1.5 years late, but finally completed! Thanks for being patient, J :)

One of the three 1000 piece puzzles that B, myself, my mother, and friend completed over the course of a week. Totally not addicting.
I was eager to get back to Zurich to my garden and see how it survived my 12 day absence, since I hadn't actually finished setting it up before I left (I actually had 3 separate dreams about this in the US - my brain just searches for things to stress about, apparently. My favorite was a dream that involved B's grandmother requesting that I describe the garden to her in Spanish; not only did I not know the plants' names, but also each time I reached for one, I realized it was dead or moldy).

The garden answer is mixed. I couldn't believe how some of the 'inherited' plants exploded in a good way (the now-confirmed-as-peonies-due-to-the-inevitable-ant-presence bush is about 3 times as tall and full as it was before we left, to the detriment of some other plants I put in), as did a few of my potted ones, but my cilantro is yellowing and going to seed, while someone seems to have snuck over and chewed up, then bleached, my basil plants.

Out-of-control cilantro on the left, basil in the center/foreground. Seriously, what happened?

Success stories! From left: sweet pepper plant, tomato plant, pea seedlings (yes, I will need to thin that - I had no idea it would be so spectacularly successful).

Peony bush - it predates my efforts with the garden - although note the weeded ground surrounding it. In the foreground, if you look carefully, you can see a small brown twig on the left that is supposed to be my blackberry plant and a rather sad looking iris plant to the right. 
Anyway - I have much to blog about, including many pictures from my US trip, my exploding yarn stash (I have issues controlling myself, especially when STUFF IS SO CHEAP IN THE US - and yarn makes an awesome lightweight packing material), my lack of hitting my Camp Nanowrimo goal last month (boo), my part-time job that thinks 3 assignments a week actually means 3 in one day (ahh!), and how today is the first day of the rest of my life (no schedule, no job, no German class), it's almost 4 pm, and I've done one thing on my list so far - this blog post counts as the second. Carpe-ing the diem is definitely something I am working on.

PS - did I miss the Swiss spring/summer while we were gone? The predicted low for Friday and Saturday is 1 degree Celsius.

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