Saturday, April 29, 2006

Look what we got!

About a month ago, I was reading this post over at What's a boy to do (a.k.a. Michael) where he mentioned what I thought was a really cool gadget: A retractable lighter holder that you can clip to your belt, jeans pocket, etc. I keep loosing my lighters (as I do umbrellas and single gloves!) so I thought it was also quite practical. Before you ask, yes we smoke.

I was in Basel early this morning to have my hair cut and run a few errands. When I got home shortly after noon, OrangeX was already halfway done with the "swiffering" of the floors. We decided however to postpone any further cleaning activities until we had done the groceries and gotten rid of the mountains of packaging material that was still filling our basement. By the time we got back home, it was about 3:30 pm and I noticed that I still hadn't taken in the mail. So I grabbed my key to the mailbox and what do I find?! A yellow padded envelope from our blogger friend Michael in US! All of a sudden, I remembered this other post he wrote just this week.

And look at what was inside:

Not one, but two retractable lighter holders (one's for OrangeX), a lovely sealed little envelope with card inside and a page from a small calendar with a quote from C.S. Lewis saying: "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like arts... it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival."

Isn't that sweet?!? Anyway, Michael: Thank you, and the boys, and of course Flo for the lovely gifts. I assure you that I am now literally "hooked" to it (or, it to me??)

We're off for some dinner at an Australian restaurant nearby with OrangeX and my 16 year old godson!

More to follow soon.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

BBQ time and other bits and pieces

We've been busy little bees lately! In a nutshell, here's what we had on last week's program:

  • I'm preparing for a photo shooting this coming week. Don't worry, I'm not the star, but a 6 year old girl is. She'll be playing a major role in our sales literature! Photographer: check. Locations: check. Props: check. Model: Check. Styling: check. Weather?? Pray for good weather on Wednesday friends, we're doing outdoor shots! I'm always on needles when I have to do "live shots". Any idea why??
  • I've been bombed with articles to read through for our website, had endless meetings (seems to be anyway).
  • Orange had a very rough (business) day last Thursday: Can't blog about it yet, but don't worry, we still have a job.
  • Because of this "rough day", we had to cancel our trip to Canada this summer. So we have to postpone until Decembr, or so.
  • On Friday evening, we had a bowling evening with a couple of work colleagues. Will post about this later this week (if I have the energy).
  • We bought lots of flowers and plants on Saturday and barbecued.
  • Today, we have been cleaning up the garden, moving plants around, mowed the lawn (all 12 square meters of it. HA!).
  • Got my first sunburn today (gardening). Just a slight one, don't worry. I have American Indian and Gypsie blood in me :-)
  • Will barbecue again this evening.
  • Orange's hayfever has been acting up like mad the past 2 days. Hmm. Too much gardening maybe??
  • I have been filling out forms about the last 22 years of my life. Why??
Here's the news! Very few of you know already, but we plan to move ("back" for me) to Canada! Yup. Earliest by the end of 2007. I didn't want to post anything until we were ready. We've informed our superiors a while ago, but it all seemed far away (it still does). I'm sure Expattraveler can comment on the necessary paperwork needed (Don't use up all the space, okay ET?). OrangeX has a binder full already. You won't believe what they want to know!

Anyway, we'll keep you updated on all of the upcoming (and past) events, but enough for now. We're hungry and it's BBQ time!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter with Paolo and Markus

Fast forward to the Saturday evening. We left our house around 5pm for a 10 minute drive to Paolo’s and Markus’. We had already agreed to stay overnight; better safe than sorry, eh? They moved into their new house high up on a hill last summer which overlooks their small village.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the boys and Tina, their sweet Jack Russell, and were taken to our room. It was filled with small details everywhere that just make you feel cozy: chocolates on the pillows, flowers, bathrobes, a bottle of San Pelligrino water and an Easter basket filled with goodies on the commode. What a welcome! We soon changed into our jogging pants and joined our hosts downstairs for a few glasses of Prossecco, chips and a delicious guacamole. Tina however, preferred her snacks (given to her here by OrangeX).

After a bit of chatting and fun, we were told that they had heated up the sauna for us. We slipped into the bathrobes and were escorted by Markus to the sauna for a first round. While we were enjoying the heat, the boys were preparing the next steps. After 20 minutes, we came out in our bathrobes and were taken to the balcony. A refreshing glass of orange juice, prossecco and a few warm snacks were served.

The evening was fresh, but not cold and we took in the pure air and enjoyed the beautiful view on th ruin of a neighbouring village. Unfortunaely, it was pretty foggy up there, but I think you still get a good idea.

We decided to go for a second round of sweating while the boys were fixing the second course. There’s nothing like cooling off in the shower after a sauna. After about 20 minutes on the balcony, we were wrapped in blankets. Mine sort of reminded of mink, so to top it off, I was even given a crown, too.
By then, we felt revitalized and were prepared for the yummy rutabaga carpaccio that Paolo had prepared with a bit of white balsmic vinegar, pepper and fresh parmesan.

Of course, Tina made sure she was getting enough attention.

The table was already set. I loved their idea of using hay as place mats. Luckily, none of us are allergic.

Next on the menu was a satay fondue served with jasmine rice. That’s right, satay. It’s similar to a fondue chinoise, but instead of using only broth to cook your meat and veggies, you add satay sauce (a spicy peanut sauce) to the broth. We had a choice of shrimps, chicken, pork and beef, and a diversity of fresh vegetables. It was by far the best fondue I ever had and can only recommend it (if you like it spicy oriental food!).

After all that food, it was time for a break. We chatted and laughed some more while clearing the table and finishing the wine. One of their cats, Tiggi, joined in to rest in front of the fireplace.

The desert consisted of fresh pinapple, quickly heated in a skillet with butter, some kind of schnapps and spiced with (I think it was) garam masala and served with vanilla ice cream. It was heaven!

We went to bed around 4 am and the church bells (and then Tina) woke us up again at 10am. To our surprise, the weather was beautiful and quite warm, so we decided to have breakfast on the terrasse. We soaked up the sun for another hour or so, before it started covering up again. Here are a few more picts. Markus, Paolo and Tina.

The time spent with Paolo and Markus was just absolutely fabulous. We simply adore them!

We said our goodbyes and left for home shortly before noon where we were greeted by a very annoyed black cat meowing something like: “Where have you been all night??” and “Where’s my food?”.

We gave Dale his late breakfast, let him out for a short run and then he cuddled up to us, purring like if there was no tomorrow. Ahhh. It’s also good to be back home.

Good Friday DIY

Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays in many European countries and we really enjoyed (and needed) the four days off. The weather was a mix of sunny and cloudy periods, followed by showers, so very typical for April here, and that, every day. Perfect to do things you never get the time to do anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Interio, a furniture and household decoration store and bought an extension for OrangeX’s wall closet. Note: Built-in closets are almost non existant in Europe, except maybe for smaller broom closets. Since he partially works from home and his office is also his dressing room, we were running out of space for binders and stuff. Our three closets are modular systems so that you can extend them when needed. Anyway, the extra units were delivered on Thursday morning. Orange is just like a kid at Christmas then, so late that afternoon, he started to clear out his wall closet and filing cabinets and began mounting the extensions. What a mess! There were clothes, binders and books all over the place!

At 8 pm, I voted to continue the next day. We did and the whole project was completed by Friday afternoon. YAY for the DIY’ers! I didn’t have the time to take a picture of it before, because OrangeX had already taken a lot apart by the time I got home from work, but it now looks like this:

Our plans for next weekend? We’ll be driving by the local dump to get rid of the old cupboards and all the packaging that came with the new stuff that is now piled up in our basement.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!!!

And one for laughs.... (I just couldn't resist!)

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Well be back after these short messages

Just taking a little break here. We'll be back soon.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Another Sunday Quiz

"Borrowed" this one from Xmichra ... Let's just say: "We exchanged" ;-)

I found it quite interesting and I would have never thought this of myself. But hey why not? I'm willing to learn.

You scored as Theater. You should be a Theater major! Like a bohemian actress, you are seasoned and confident and not afraid to express yourself!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with

I'm not so sure of the income of a bohemian actress, thought. It may not cover my liking for design stuff ($$$$)

Anything else you could have majored in, other than what you do today?

Lazy Sunday

Yup. It's raining, so isn't that a perfect excuse to

1) take a hot bath
2) Lie under the solar lamp
3) cuddle up on the sofa and watch a few movies.

Here are Dale's plans:

C'est tout! Have a great relaxing Sunday!

Another Quizzie

I saw this at Expat Traveler and thought I'd try it out.

You Belong in Milan

Stylish and sophisticated, you want to enjoy a truly European life - away from tourists!

Milan fits you perfectly. Great shopping, high quality food, lots of culture... with very little hype.
  • Shopping - check.
  • High quality food - check
  • Lots of culture -check

Yup, I'd love it there too. I'll have to brush up on my Italian though.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What do we do?

In the comments to my previous post, Ginnie asked us a few question about what we both did in life. I guess some of you have been asking youselves that question too, expecially after my last post. I generally don't want to take business into my blog, but maybe I can give you an idea of what we both do professionnaly without giving too much detailed information.

Both OrangeX and I are in the rehab business and have been directly and/or indirectly for the past 16 resp. 8 years. Orange graduated from one of the best physiotherapy schools in Holland (with hohors, I must add) in 1989, but worked as a PT only for a year or so. As for me, I studied telecommunication in Switzerland. That's +/- 20 years ago! As I don't want to bore you with all the details, I'll just "fast forward" to today.

This is going to be interesting to explain. Ahem. Ok. We've both been with "the goup" for the past 10 (O-X) resp. 8 (me, a.k.a. CS) years. He is responsible for the Sales and Marketing in Switzerland of all rehab products manufactured by the "group" (a huge range that includes our little range of "my" products). I am responsible for European Marketing Services for "my products" (super hot & high end!).

So you got it, now. We work for the same mother company/group, OrangeX sells and markets all products (including my high-end stuff) in Switzerland and I give him - and our other sales units throughout Europe - the necessary material to work with and support them with tools to promote "my" products" (and sell it, of course).

So there you go. That is us. Hope I wasn't too confusing.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

One day Exhibition

Well folks, this week was pretty busy. While OrangeX spent 3 days in Germany in meetings, I had, among other projects, my share of preparations to do for an 1 day exhibition on Saturday.

What I find most strenuous about this particular one day exhibition is the fact that the schedule is very tight. Drive the truck up on Friday afternoon, unload the products and set up the booth, go for a usually late dinner and finally go to bed. The day of the fair, your swamped with visitors until 5:30 - 6 pm and then you have about an hour to take down the booth, pack your stuff in to the truck again and join the rest of the exhibitors for dinner at 7pm. By that time, you’re nackered, your feet and back hurt from standing all day and your throat is sore because it’s so darn dry in there and you’ve been talking all day. Unless you were lucky enough to take the time to grab a sandwich in between, you’re also starving.

Now comes the fun part: The organizers set up this terrific cold Italian buffet and usually a choice of 2 warm meals for the exhibitors. But before anyone can go for the food, we all (im)patiently wait for the organizer to finish his welcome-thank-you-for-being-here-successful-exhibition-the-buffet-is now-officially-open speech. Those are the magic words and then ... absolute silence. BUT – give it 2 ½ seconds - as soon as the first screeching sound of a chair is heard, all run to line up and attack the buffet. I must admit that at the buffet, itself, it’s quite civilized, but the line up is pretty chaotic. Once the main hunger is satisfied, things start to calm down and that’s where one notices how tired everybody is. The loud commenting of the day’s experiences and joking around dissolves into an mere chitchat and rattling of silverware and glasses.

OrangeX and I left around 9pm and drove the truck back to the office where it will be unloaded on Monday. By the time we got home, it was 10.30pm and we were exhausted. First thing we did was change into out jogging pants and most importantly, take off our shoes!

It was a very successful day for us, but I tell you one thing: Except for this blog, we won’t be doing much today.