At long last –thank you for your patience – here it is: a photo tour of “our” house for this year. Apple House is what Athena and I decided to call it long ago, but we keep forgetting and just call it Pommesrats. Pum-RAH. Anyway, here it is ~ notice our car with Swiss plates. It’s nice to have them, but I almost miss the quizzical looks we got while driving around with our Washington ones. To the right of the house (from the street) are the steps leading to the front door. Bella is demonstrating how they work. On the porch (I’ve always wanted a porch!) at the top of the stairs hangs a greeting: Welcome. This is the front door handle – isn’t it cool? Here is my family showing what you will see when you go through the front door. I made them do this. Zeus and Hermes are standing by the door to the kitchen. Athena is sticking out of the dining room. Straight ahead is the bathroom. Artemis is in front of the door to the living room and Apollo, barely constraining his enthusiasm, is by the door to our bedroom and to the stairs to downstairs. Here is the kitchen. No, Wait!…Hey guys, c’mon! We’re doing a tour here! Ah yes, that’s better. If you go through the French doors onto the balcony there are some herb pots that my father-in-law sweetly planted for us. We’ve been enjoying the fresh basil in everything. The herb pots are guarded by a Watch Fox who is missing a front paw. I found him and his brother lying in the tall grasses by the side of the house. I like them very much. Back inside, into the Dining Room. Here is the buffet of Great Aunt Lina. She passed away in the 1970s, and Oh my, there’s quite a family story there, but I will save it for now and just tell you that I am very grateful to Tante Lina because we are also using some of her plates, dishes and an armoire. I just love this buffet, but strangely, most of the Swiss people my age don’t. They are so tired of all the history and old antiques that are all around them that they want everything new and modern, and they think pieces like this are old and ugly. I like some modern furniture, but I find that so much of it lacks soul. This buffet sat in two pieces down in the basement of Zeus’ parents’ house for 30 years. In all the time I’ve know him, I’d never seen it put together. Now it has found a home again for a bit, and it’s perfect to put our minimal table linens and craft supplies in. But I digress… Here is the other side of the Dining Room. The bookshelf in the corner was left by previous renters and the table and chairs were Zeus’ parents that they kept in the attic when the got new ones. I have to admit I like it less than Tante Lina’s buffet, but it’s fine. The table has Very Sturdy Legs! I have an urge to recover the chairs with some funky print – and Tata said I could – so maybe someday when there’s nothing to do…HA! Hey! Who left their computer on the table??! Continuing clockwise around the main floor, we reach the single solitary bathroom. It is teaching us a great deal about Sharing and Turn Taking and what constitutes a Real Emergency. I did not choose the shower curtain. This is the living room, or salon, if you want to be speak French. The furniture is almost all loaned from either the parents or their friends. The kids are playing chess as the table has a beautiful inlaid wood chessboard. Here’s another corner, which is where I am sitting right now, with my computer on the little table. Here is the one piece of furniture not on loan; I made it! I believe I have mentioned all the spare wood stashed in the attics and sheds and cellars of this house. One day I was wishing for a coffee table and hunted about amidst the wood. I found this wooden top already put together in the cellar and then realized that the day before I had seen something like short table legs in the attic! Zeusy had just bought a power drill at Ikea, et voila! It will not win any design awards, but it does the job – holds the coffee and the lego projects – and it didn’t cost a cent. And here is my Sweet Sparrow come all the way from America with me to keep me company. She’s on the table looking at me right now. A little corner of felted happiness. I found this fabric at Ikea; it’s sort of a modern take on traditional Switzerland, and I couldn’t resist. I am going to make a wall hanging. And the last room downstairs: the master bedroom. Someone had better iron those sheets! Oops, though – won’t be me! The stairwell. This is actually looking down from the landing at the top, which I’m sure you figured out all on your own. The front door is to the right just at the bottom of the stairs. I am sensing this would be a great place for a large interesting piece of homemade art. To the right at the top of the stairs – the Boys’ Room. And the Girls’ Room across the way. They will probably be mad at me for posting this with their beds unmade. Hey, it’s just reality, folks. That pretty much wraps up our tour. I will save the laundry room for another time and to see the attics (one has become the Electric Train Room!) you will have to come to visit us in person. Before you go, pause to enjoy the bouquet of wildflowers by the front door. And pass under the watchful eyes of another Watch Fox. We are so grateful for this home for this year – it suits us and we suit it, I think. When we took possession, our landlady said she was happy that there would be life in the house once again. Ah yes! I thought, We’ve got plenty of that! We pray for God’s blessing on these four walls and on those who live here and for all who will come visit. Merci d’etes venus et a bientot! Thank you for coming and see you soon!