There’s so much to tell you! We’ve been so occupied with doing life and settling in here that I haven’t had much time to write about it. But these pictures somehow capture the spirit of these days. Here are some end bits of curtain rod that were in our living room, left there by the previous renter, who left in rather a hurry it seems – these are representative of many odds and ends, some useful, others not, left by those renters as well as other quirky things that came with the house. In this case, the curtain rods are too modern for my taste, and I’m not certain we’ll bother with curtains. We have shutters for nighttime – during the day I like to have as much light as possible. And that way the neighbors can better see what we’re up to. So I put the rods up in the attic, and gathered up these bits on the table to dispose of them, when suddenly…! Well…what do they look like to you? You are right! It’s a little mushroom forest just waiting for paint! This also seems representative of where we are at and what we are up to. As we settle into the house and garden, at every turn there seems to be something left from the original owner or previous renters that appears at first as junk or oddments, but looked at sideways seems more like an opportunity: old bales of wire, table legs, a mirror, LOTS of scrap wood. Sometimes, we follow our whimsy and build coffee tables and see mushroom forests, but mostly right now, I am trying to NOT follow all of my creative impulses, at least not all this week, and stay focused on running our household, organizing and reorganizing our belongings, figuring out the appliances, re-learning to cook regular meals in a new kitchen with unfamiliar pots and pans and groceries. Zeus has been focused on essentials of finding health insurance and registering our car here. We still have Washington license plates which is cause for some curious looks where ever we go. He also installed a new screen on my computer last week, so now I am not writing to you from behind a black blob taking up 10% of the screen, praises be. Here he is performing the delicate screen transplant operation. On Monday we did a little shopping for home supplies, and came across this: A musical toilet that plays the Swiss National Anthem when you sit. Wow! The Swiss have their flag on more things than Americans – and that is saying a lot. And to go with your musical toilet, for the World Cup there was toilet paper with encouraging patriotic things printed on it in three languages! My goodness! That shopping day was also the day I got a new rice cooker. I was determined to live the year cooking rice in my plain old pot, just like I used to (before we started eating so much rice.) But Monday I was recovering from a cold, starting to fight off a secondary infection, had a few other things go awry and burnt the rice all over the bottom of the pot. Aaaaahhhh! That was the thing that tipped me over the edge, and I fumed like a fishwife, I’m ashamed to say. Later when we were out, we ended up at a store called Otto’s which is kind of like a Big Lots/Deals Only/Dollar Store. Zeus said, “Hey! They’ve got a rice cooker!” and then after I’d taken a look, said too encouragingly, “yes! I think we should get it!!” I think at that point the 29 francs were well worth it for a happy home and fluffy rice. We got it, it works great and Otto’s is my new favorite store, because I also bought a big bag of Basmati rice for only 9 francs! And lastly, here is one of the most important things we have installed. Two clocks – one on Swiss time, and a grey sky Seattle one for the time there – to help us imagine what our friends and family are up to. So…it’s quarter to 3 in the afternoon here and quarter to 6 at home…is it still too early to call?