Afternoon by the Lake

Spent the afternoon of my day off by the lake nearby. It was incredibly idyllic with only a few other people, ducks with chicklets and the eventual cloud to cool things off (apart from the dip in the lake).

Hope you soon get to spend such a magical couple of hours at your favorite spot!

S@m

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Learnings of the Day

LEHREN DES TAGES

As I always say: Any day I learn something is a good day. And with this view my Tuesday already got off to a great start – early in the morning I re-learned two terms (yes, as a lady who is coming of age… uhm… for the second time… I’m allowed to be happy about re-learning stuff : -)):

Ich sage ja immer, ein Tag an dem ich etwas gelernt habe, ist ein guter Tag. Und mit dieser Sicht ist mein heutiger Dienstag schon super gestartet – gleich frühmorgens habe ich zwei Begriffe wieder-gelernt (ja, als langsam ins Alter kommende Dame darf ich mich auch über wieder-gelerntes freuen :-)).

Initialling: This is an activity I am often confronted with in my job. But the term in German is constantly eluding me. Now it has finally sunk in again – pure bliss!

Paraphieren: Eine Tätigkeit, mit der ich in meinem Job sehr oft konfrontiert bin. Doch ständig entfällt mir der Begriff. Jetzt endlich hat er mich wiedergefunden – Freude herrscht!
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphierung

Gordian knot: All I remembered was that Alexander the Great had something to do with it. But the meaning had slipped my mind, though I was able to put it together again on the basis of the context. A little like the Egg of Columbus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot

Gordischer Knoten: Da wusste ich lediglich noch, dass Alexander der Grosse was damit zu tun hatte. Die Bedeutung aber war mir entfallen, konnte ich mir dann aber anhand des Kontextes wieder zusammenreimen. Ein bisschen wie das Ei des Kolumbus.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordischer_Knoten

gordian-knot-alex
Picture courtesy to Wikimedia Commons

And thus another good day in the bag. That’s how it works.

Und somit ein weiterer guter Tag im Sack. So geht das.

Have you’ll (re-)learned any words lately?

Habt ihr in letzter Zeit Wörter (wieder-)gelernt?

Stay eager to learn and teach, my dear ones!

Bleibt lern- und lehrfreudig, meine Lieben!

S@m

My 2017 in km

Running is my outlet. Whether I need to let some steam off or re-energize myself, going for a run is always very high on my list. I’m by far not a fast runner as I keep struggling with exercise-induIMG_2128ced-asthma and interval training is simply not my favorite. But I get my behind out there on a regular basis, no matter what the weather’s like. I just love to be outside, sucking the fresh air into my lungs, feeling my legs work and my head airing out. The latter is a main motivator for me – whenever I have stuff to process I run it off as I seem to be more honest with myself on my runs and thus find conclusions that are closer to my heart than if I simply sit and ponder. So if you’d ask me if I’m running from something I’d rather say I’m running towards something: A solution. Peace of mind.IMG_2274

Before 2017 whenever I joined a race I was mostly disenchanted – too many people, too nervous before the race, not properly prepared… whatever the reasons, it usually took me quite a while to get back on the track. But returning home from the USA I felt the urge to participate in a race with my running bud and best friend of several years. And as fate had it he asked me right around that time if I would like to join him in a New Year’s race mid-January 2017. And that was the start to a crazy running season for me: I completed over 180km in 15 races! Seriously: Kudos to myself 😉

Run Date Distance km
Dietiker Neujahrslauf 1/14/2017 12.100
Leimentalerlauf 2/18/2017 15.000
Bremgarter Reusslauf 3/4/2017 11.000
GP Dübendorf 4/1/2017 10.000
Rotseelauf 4/8/2017 10.000
Rohrdorfer Frühlingslauf 5/6/2017 8.600
GP Bern 5/13/2017 16.093
Wädilauf 5/21/2017 10.000
Go-In-6-Weeks, Dagmersellen 5/24/2017 10.400
Murtenlauf 9/30/2017 17.170
Bürenlauf 10/14/2017 11.500
Swiss City Halbmarathon 10/29/2017 21.100
Augusta-Raurica-Lauf 11/12/2017 12.000
Allschwiler Klausenlauf 12/3/2017 10.000
TVE-Silvesterlauf 12/30/2017 6.800
15 181.763

Sam-Bürenlauf-2 (1)I’m not intent in surpassing the number of runs of mileage put into runs, not at all. In fact I think I’ll do a little less but you never know… I mean, the first two or three races are already set for 2018, the first two taking place in January… so hopefully off to a great start!IMG_4007

Q: Do you have any sports, reading, vacation, party or otherwise fun goals for 2018?

Whatever you do – take care and stay healthy!

Yours, S@m

Random Events of the Past Week

WILLKÜRLICHE EREIGNISSE DER LETZEN WOCHE

While skimming through my little sketchbook I recalled a couple of last week’s events I wanted to share with y’all. I thought you might enjoy the stories connected to them.
Während ich eben mein kleines Skizzenbuch durchblätterte, erinnerte ich mich an ein paar Ereignisse von letzter Woche, die ich mit euch teilen wollte.Ich dachte, ihr würdet die dazugehörigen Geschichten mögen.

First off, last week I had a new superlative entering my life. The loudest thunderclap I’ve ever heard in my entire life. And believe me, when it comes to thunderstorms I’ve experienced my share in Texas. Man, they have what I call thunderstorms from hell. They come with lightning so bright as to pale any atomic flash (yes, pun intended). And the ruckus – it could wake the dead. Or kill the living. Once during a workday a thunderstorm was passing by overhead and a thunder boomed out with such might that it sent me diving under my desk – right when my boss walked out his office and watched me in bemused wonder. Or at least that’s how I remember it. It has to be mentioned that he is Californian so I imagine nothing less than an earthquake or some such disaster can wreck his nerves.
Zuerst durfte ich letzte Woche eine neue Superlative in meinem Leben erfahren. Es handelt sich um den lautesten Donnerknall, den ich je in meinem Leben gehört habe.Und glaubt mir, bezüglich Gewitter habe ich meinen Teil in Texas erlebt. Mann, die haben vielleicht Gewitter… als kämen sie direkt aus aus der Hölle. Die kommen mit Blitzen so hell, da würde jeder Atomblitz erblassen vor Neid (ja, Wortspiel beabsichtigt).Und der Krach – der könnte Tote wecken.Oder Lebende ins Grab bringen.Einmal während eines Arbeitstages zog ein Gewitter vorbei und es donnerte derart gewaltig, dass mich der Kanonenschlag direkt unter meinen Schreibtisch tauchen liess – genau dann, als mein Chef aus seinem Büro trat und mich in gedankenverlorener Verwunderung beobachtete. Oder zumindest so habe ich es in Erinnerung. An dieser Stelle muss erwähnt werden, dass er Kalifornier ist, entsprechend lässt ihn bestimmt alles, was nicht die Ausmasse eines Erdbebens oder einer ähnlichen Katastrophe annimmt, völlig kalt lässt.

Photo Aug 21, 10 25 37 AM

Anyways, so I was peacefully asleep in my bed when this fateful thunderstorm passed right through my bedroom – or at least that’s what it sounded like. And then this thunderbolt shook my dreamworld and had me leap from under my sheets and right behind the headboard of the bed. Yes sir. And while I was crouching there, waiting for fiend himself to finally come and grab me by the lapel (though obviously I wasn’t wearing anything with a lapel at that moment) I thought of the cats and how the little one got so confused when he heard the fireworks on Swiss National Day. And while I debated to get over myself and crawl out from behind my cover my two brave cats approached me – loudly purring and immediately starting to rub themselves up to me. They knew mommy was in need of some serious Valium substitute. Thank you, brave boys!
Wie auch immer. Ich war also friedlich in meinem Bett am schlafen, als dieses schicksalhafte Gewitter durch mein Schlafzimmer zog – oder zumindest fühlte es sich so an.Ein furchtbarer Donnerschlag riss mich aus meiner Traumwelt und ließ mich unter meiner Decke hervor direkt hinter das Kopfende des Bettes springen. Jawohl. Und während ich dort hockte und darauf wartete, dass mich der Teufel höchstpersönlich am Kragen packen möge (obwohl ich natürlich keinen erwähnenswerten Kragen trug), dachte ich daran, wie mein Katzenbaby sich am Schweizer Nationalfeiertag vor dem Feuerwerk ängstigte. Und während ich noch mit mir selbst darüber debattierte, wie ich mich am besten zusammenreissen und aus meinem Versteck kriechen sollte, näherten sich mir meine beiden tapferen Katzen – laut schnurrend und sich sofort an mich schmiegend. Sie wussten, dass Mama einen ernsthaften Valium-Ersatz nötig hatte. Danke, ihr mutigen Jungs!

Talking about the cats reminds me how I mentioned on Instagram I believe it was how elusive Joker was when it came to photos. I hardly ever get him on camera. Lately I realized that this might not be owing to his elusiveness but rather to his ability to camouflage.
Wo wir gerade von Katzen sprechen: Kürzlich hatte ich auf Instagram, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, wie unglaublich schwer Joker vor die Kamera zu bringen ist.Ich habe noch kaum ein Foto von ihm.Nun ist mir klar geworden, dass das nicht so sehr an seinem ausweichenden Verhalten liegt, sondern vielmehr an seiner Fähigkeit, sich zu tarnen.

Photo Aug 21, 1 44 29 PM
Black on black… classic.

Did you find the cat in that picture? 🙂

Habt ihr die Katze im Bild gefunden? 🙂

I hope y’all have a wonderful week!
Ich hoffe, ihr habt alle eine wundervolle Woche!

S@m

Monday Hike

MONTAGSWANDERUNG

Whenever I got an extra day off – which is basically every week as I’m a part-time worker – and the weather is fine I love to visit the great outdoors and treat myself to a hike. And that’s exactly what I did a week ago.
Wann immer ich einen zusätzlichen Frei-Tag habe – was praktisch jede Woche der Fall ist, weil ich Teilzeit arbeite – und das Wetter gut ist, liebe ich es, in die freie Natur heraus zu stürmen und mich mit einer Wanderung zu verwöhnen. Und genau das habe ich vor einer Woche getan.

I started out at Schönalp-Hüttli which is located a bit above Unterägeri, a town located a 30 min. drive from where I live. My route took me via In den Gräben to Geissfaren and up to Halsegg and then the rest up to Wildspitz.
Gestartet bin ich vom Schönalp-Hüttli, das ein wenig oberhalb von Unterägeri liegt, eine Ortschaft ca. 30 Minuten per Auto von mir zuhause entfernt. Meine Route führte mich via In den Gräben zum Geissfaren und hoch über die Halsegg zum Wildspitz.

Only a few minutes into the hike I started to wonder what all the buzz was about and that’s what presented itself to me:
Nur ein paar Minuten nachdem ich gestartet war, wunderte ich mich über das aufgeregte Gesurre und im nächsten Moment stand ich vor diesen Gebilden:
Monday-Hike_01-Beehives

These little boxes are all beehives! / Bei sämtlichen dieser kleinen Boxen handelt es sich um Bienenstöcke!

Just a little further up I was rewarded with a perfect look over all the greenery:
Nur ein klein wenig weiter den Berg rauf wurde ich mit diesem perfekten Blick über das Grün der Wälder belohnt:
Monday-Hike_02-Greenery

A couple of steps further up I decided to snap a picture which didn’t look like much…
Einige Schritte weiter entschied ich mich, folgendes Foto zu schiessen, das zunächst nicht nach viel aussah…
Monday-Hike_03-Deer1

…but just then I realized that I’d caught a deer in the picture:
…doch bei näherem Hingucken bemerkte ich, dass ich ein Reh mitfotografiert hatte:
Monday-Hike_04-Deer2

Onwards I went under the sceptic yet cheering eyes of my very personal fan crew:
Weiter gings unter den skeptischen, aber anfeuernden Blicken meiner persönlichen Fangemeinde:
Monday-Hike_05-Cows

They’re just too cute!! / Die sind einfach zu süss!!

Shortly after that motivational spur I reached my goal – Wildspitz:
Kurz nach dieser Motivationsspritze erreichte ich mein Ziel – den Wildspitz:
Monday-Hike_06-AlmostThere

Only a few more steps, you can do it! You can do it! / Nur noch ein paar Schritte, du schaffst das! Du schaffst das!

And when I arrived up top I knew why I’d come in the first place – this breathtaking view was my reward:
Und als ich ob auf der Spitze ankam, wusste ich, warum ich eigentlich gekommen war – diese atemberaubende Aussicht war meine Belohnung:
Monday-Hike_07-View

My way back down took me over to the Gnipen which is the spot where in 1806 a massive rockslide broke loose and in its wake devastated four villages and causing a 20m high tsunami in the nearby lake Lauerz. This is the spot where the rock broke:
Mein Weg zurück ins Tal führte mich über den Gnipen, wo 1806 der massive Bergsturz von Goldau losgebrochen war und in dessen Folge vier Dörfer zerstört wurden und der eine 20m hohe Flutwelle im nahegelegenen Lauerzersee auslöste. Dies ist die Abbruchstelle:
Monday-Hike_08-Rockslide

The magnitude of the event boggled my mind and I took a moment to sit down under a giant cross and watch the scenery.
Das Ausmass dieses Ereignisses übersteigt ein ums andere Mal mein Vorstellungsvermögen und so setzte ich mich für einen Moment unter das riesige Kreuz, um die Szenerie aufzunehmen.
Monday-Hike_09-Cross

These are the moments when I’m in awe of nature’s power, when I find back to my core and it’s the reason I go hiking – the sheer might and staggering beauty of nature manage to set me straight again, put a new perspective on my thoughts and feelings and help me see everything clearer. Mother nature is my personal therapist.
Dies sind die Momente, in denen ich sprachlos über die Macht der Natur bin, wo ich zurück zu meinem Innersten finde und das ist der Grund, warum ich überhaupt wandern gehe – die pure Gewalt und atemberaubende Schönheit der Natur bringen es fertig, mir den Kopf wieder zurecht zu rücken, meine Gedanken und Gefühle in Perspektive zu bringen und alles klarer zu sehen. Mutter Natur ist meine persönliche Therapeutin.

From Gnipen I hiked on by Alpli, Urzlen and back towards my starting point. The last treat before I plunged myself back into the valley was this fairy-tale like glimpse:
Vom Gnipen bin ich dann via Alpli und Urzlen zurück zu meinem Ausgangspunkt gewandert. Der letzte Leckerbissen, bevor ich mich zurück ins Tal stürzte, war diese märchenhafte Aussicht:
Monday-Hike_10-Fairytaleview

Resources & Sources
Ressourcen & Quellen

  • All photos by samstarbucks
  • Alle Fotos von samstarbucks

Sunday Bicycle Routine

Sunday-bicycle-ride1_20170611
Capturing panoramic view from Kappel am Albis / Fesselndes Panorama von Kappel am Albis

My mom and aunt established a Sunday morning bicycling routine a long time ago. I have no idea when they started it but I remember that at some point – when I had passed the teenage years and my twenties, the age known for “having to sleep in because I partied too hard on Saturday night” – I was grown up enough to get my chunk out of bed in time to enjoy the early hours of many a peaceful Sunday mornings. And I can tell you: It’s been worth it every single time.

 

Sunday-bicycle-ride2_20170611
A former hometown: Baar and its catholic church / Eine ehemalige Heimat: Baar und seine katholische Kirche

So on today’s Sunday I rose and shone (maybe not so brightly to begin with ;-)) early as we agreed to meet at my – other – aunt’s house to have breakfast. She invited us over and we happily agreed to show up on time at 8:30am. This aunt, Marie, came to visit me in Austin with my mom and her friend in May 2015. Then last year she went through a rough spot and it was our pleasure to accept her invitation, seeing how she was in a much better place by now.

 

Sunday-bicycle-ride3_20170611
Zugertor and renown restaruant “Aklin” / Zugertor und das bekannte Restaurant “Aklin”

I thoroughly enjoyed today’s ride from Hausen am Albis, my place of residence high over the city of Zug down to the lake, along its shore to Arth and finally all the way around the lake and – yes – back up the hill again. At its altitude of 611 meters (2’005 ft) some might consider it a mountain J (in Switzerland a mountain only starts at the elevation of 1’000 meters = 3’281 ft).

 

  • Do you have a year-long routine you don’t quite know/remember how or why it started?

Resources & Sources

  • All photos by samstarbucks
Sunday-bicycle-ride4_20170611
Random boy fishing, totally oblivious to the view / Junge am Fischen, der Aussicht gegenüber ziemlich gleichgültig

SONNTÄGLICHE VELO ROUTINE

Sunday-bicycle-ride5_20170611
Not too shabby, my weekend home, right? / Nicht übel, mein Wochenend-Häuschen, oder?

Meine Ma und Tante haben vor langer Zeit eine Sonntag-morgendliche Fahrrad-Tour-Tradition eingeführt. Ich habe keine Ahnung, wann sie diese starteten, aber ich erinnere mich, dass ich irgendwann – als ich meine Teenager-Jahre und meine Zwanziger, das Alter bekannt dafür „ausschlafen zu müssen, weil ich Samstagnacht zu stark gefeiert hatte“ – erwachsen genug war, um meinen Hintern rechtzeitig aus dem Bett zu hieven und mit ihnen die frühen Morgenstunden so manch eines friedlichen Sonntagmorgens zu geniessen. Und ich kann euch sagen: Es hat sich jedes einzelne Mal gelohnt.

 

Sunday-bicycle-ride6_20170611
One of countless chapels I passed by… it’s Sunday after all / Eine von vielen Kappellen, an denen ich vorbeigefahren bin… ist ja schliesslich Sonntag

So bin ich am heutigen Sonntag schon früh raus aus den Federn, da wir zu meiner – anderen – Tante zeitig zum Frühstück auftauchen sollten. Sie hatte uns eingeladen und wir stimmten gerne zu, pünktlich um 8:30 Uhr bei ihr auf der Matte zu stehen. Diese Tante, Maria, besuchte mich zusammen mit meiner Ma und ihrer Freundin im Mai 2015. Letztes Jahr dann machte sie eine sehr schwierige Zeit durch und so war es uns ein Vergnügen, ihre Einladung anzunehmen und zu sehen, dass es ihr heute schon viel besser geht.

 

Sunday-bicycle-ride7_20170611
View from my aunt’s terrace / Aussicht von der Terrasse meiner Tante

Meine heute Radtour von Hausen am Albis, meinem Wohnort hoch über der Stadt Zug, runter an den See, entlang seines Ufers nach Arth und schliesslich ganz um den See herum und – genau – dann wieder den Hügel rauf. Mit seiner Höhenlage von 611 m.ü.M. würden manche schon sagen, ich lebe auf einem Berg J Die wissen aber wahrscheinlich nicht, dass bei uns in der Schweiz Berge erst ab einer Erhebung von 1‘000 m.ü.M. als solche gelten.

 

  • Hast du eine jahrelange Tradition, von der du nicht mehr genau weisst, wie oder warum sie angefangen hat?

Ressourcen & Quellen

  • Alle Fotos von samstarbucks

Cabin in the Woods

Despite the incessant rain today I went for a brief hike and got to enjoy landscape as green as any Irish cloverleaf. It was amazing.

The many cabins scattered throughout the woods always catch my attention. They remind me of bygone parties, animated talks and the odd spirit too many drunk in the past.

Today I crossed this beauty’s path:

Photo May 01, 4 17 43 PMIt comes without saying that at least a couple of antlers have to adorn a real forest cabin.

Photo May 01, 4 17 15 PMThe water fountain is covered under the awning of the porch while there’s also an “open air” fireplace and sitting area (and yep, that’s a patch of snow there… last Friday I woke up to a solid 20-30cm of heavy snow…).

Photo May 01, 4 16 53 PMThe whole scene seen from the other side.

Photo May 01, 4 17 29 PMWhat especially charmed me was the outhouse right behind a patch of wild garlic 🙂 and next to a neatly stacked pile of fire wood.

Are you up of partying or simply enjoying an evening among friends in such a location? Do you have places like these nearby?

Sources & Resources

  • All photos by evozeta

My Week in Pictures – CW12/2017

Photo Mar 25, 9 20 04 PMSaturday, March 19th, 2017 – Ever since I moved into my apartment there’s been one thing that’s been bothering me: The incredibly low pressure at which the water trickled out the kitchen faucet. So a couple of weekends back I decided to fix it: So I descaled the faucet, took it apart and built it together again the way it was supposed to fit together and – voilà: Ever since it’s been working like a charm. And to this day that makes me very happy. Small pleasures sweeten my life 🙂Photo Mar 25, 9 20 18 PM

 

Sunday, March 20th, 2017 – The week before last I fell sick. I’d caught the crud. My throat felt thick with a cold and over the weekend I got a very sore throat. It later turned into a bad cold with fever, coughing and sneezing galore.
So I put on my beanie and surrounded myself with my favorite stuffed animals… okay, my one favorite stuffed animal: Hedwig, the snow owl.

 

Photo Mar 25, 9 20 25 PM

Monday, March 21st, 2017 – Later in the week I started to feel way worse and when the voice at the end of a 10 min. meditation session I tried to follow asked me how I was feeling now the first answer that shot through my head was “Like someone had stuffed my lungs through a meat grinder!”Photo Mar 25, 9 20 46 PM

 

 

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 – It has become customary for me to celebrate my second Birthday on March 22nd every year. It was that day in 1994 when I was rushed to the hospital with a thunderous headache (seriously, it felt as if that monster from the “Alien” movie tried to escape from my skull instead of my gut :-p) and a boiling fever, a stiff neck and arched spine. Turned out I had a bacterial meningitis and after a spinal punctuation to confirm the bacterial part they flushed me with antibiotics immediately. I was lucky the first antibiotics the pumped into my system worked and thus I am who I am today: A lucky one who has gotten through some rough patches.

 

 

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 – That’s the face you make when your doc tells you that you’re not sufferPhoto Mar 25, 9 20 57 PMing from the flu but “just from a common cold”. The addition that it was a severe cold and undoubtedly serious doesn’t really help to pick up your ego after such a blow.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 24th, 2017 – I dared to go for a walk as the weather forecast promised a lot of sun, thanks to the southern wind coming over the alps and usPhoto Mar 25, 9 21 04 PMually bringing splendid weather with it. Unfortunately, the “Föhn” – or “chinook wind” as it is sometimes called by English speakers – was quite frosty and fierce this time and almost blew my hair off my head… as you notice my beanie’s already gone. Luckily, I took it off myself. And just in time – a ferocious gust of wind managed to blow a fellow walker’s cap off so he had to chase after it – and in my imagination he’s running after it to this very day.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday,Photo Mar 25, 12 54 00 PM March 25th, 2017 – I have to admit: I’ve never been the biggest fan of curtains. Mostly because however thing they are they steal my daylight. So I try to avoid them wherever I can. Since I do have a pair of windows that is facing directly my neighbors windows/balcony door I decided I needed a little privacy, so I designed my own visual cover. I am pretty pleased with the result. And I dare say my neighbor doesn’t have much to complain about either.

What did you do last week? Did you manage to get healthy through this winter?

Sources & Resources

  • All pictures/drawings by evozeta

The Zen-spiration

Saturday I attended a Zentangle© Basics Course in Zurich with the first ever Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) in Switzerland, Hanny Waldburger. Even though I didn’t feel my best I decided to attend. My state was clearly past incubation so I wasn’t in danger of infecting anyone. And I thought a couple of hours of creative time might be the best cure anyways.

It’s not like I didn’t know anything about zentangling, meaning I could have attended the advanced course but I was interested to learn the basics, the phylosophy behind the whole zentangle movement. And it is fascinating, I’m telling you.

My very own first tile

The three hours were well spent, even if it meant that I sounded like a failing steam-engine Sunday morning. That would most certainly have happened anyway. At least now I know that I had three memorable hours with a bunch of creative ladies who to begin with thought they were utterly talentless but as it turned out they were all amazing artists. That’s the beauty of zentangling: It takes out the stress of competing with either your own expecations or others work – each and every piece is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. See for yourselves:

I hope you all had an inspiring weekend with at least one activity that took you to that place of calm contentment that one only finds when being in the here and now, finding the flow.
What’s your go to activity to find that state?

Photo credit: All photo’s by evozeta

Everyday life of a Swiss… no longer in Texas.