Daily meal preparation improved me

Women are primarily responsible for meal preparation in the Swiss alps, and lunch being the main meal of the day, this means one has to take time each morning to shop, prepare, and cook.

Children usually come home around 12:15 as well as husbands, if they are working nearby. 
At first, I complained at what I believed to be an incredibly sexist and inconvenient tradition. What? There was no school lunch program? 
Eventually, I had no choice but to accept it, and over the years and after trying out new recipes and cooking every single day, my skills improved. 
I arrived in the Swiss Alps a spoiled, academically-minded young mother who knew nothing about cooking (I could barely cook an egg), but I left a resourceful cook and mother who can now prepare healthy meals without too much of a struggle. My experience as a Swiss "Hausfrau" or housewife could have turned out differently. Instead, I could have fed my kids ready-made meals, filled with saturated fat, salt, and chemicals, …

Purchasing power

A few years ago, the Swiss overwhelmingly rejected a minimum wage of SFr 22 per hour, the equivalent of nearly $25. 

To Americans, this dismissal was understandable considering their minimum wage was and still is $7.25, and a proposal to raise it to $10.10 per hour is often debated. Many say a $10.10 minimum wage could push half a million people out of work.

As it turns out, when adjusting for purchasing power parity, that $25 hourly wage translates to $14, according to Bloomberg.

It's still high by American standards, but not unheard-of. As of January 1, 2018,  Seattle adopted a $15.45 per-hour minimum wage.

Voting time again

Now the US congressional elections are over, we can focus on the upcoming Swiss referendum's three questions:

1) Should farmers be encouraged to keep their cows' horns intact?
2) Should social welfare detectives be given increased power in tracking down fraudsters? 3) Should Swiss law have precedence over international law?
I know how I will vote.

1) Cows with horns are prettier, happier, and give better tasting milk.  2) If you have nothing to hide, then this one is clear. 3) Switzerland voted to stay out of the EU.
How would you vote?

Under every roof

One day about 15 years ago, an old lady in my neighborhood told me stories about my great-uncle, who had been a farmer, hunter, heavy drinker, and wife beater.

Then, with a wise look in her eye she said: "Unter jedem Dach wohnt ein Ach." This is not easily translatable, but it means "Under every roof lives a tale of woe."

This phrase has stuck with me ever since.

No household is perfect.

Everyone struggles with something.

The waitress teaches me a lesson

The idea of a higher power or god used to turn me off.

After all, how could I trust something that allowed bad things to happen to children and animals?

Then I tried a 12-step meeting. There, I learned that I could stop wasting my energy trying to fix people. What a relief! Over time, I stopped believing I was the director of the universe and that my compulsion to control people and situations was making me sick.

But I still slip up sometimes, as I did yesterday.

No matter that I knew that Swiss restaurants—especially those catering to tourists on mountain passes—feature horrible customer service; when that waitress spoke disrespectfully and loudly to my daughter and me, I felt shocked, unwanted, and angry. I should have felt some sympathy for the poor woman, who was working on a Sunday and who was juggling complaints from other diners.

My daughter told me to cool it. Instead, I complained to the manager and waited in the car.

In retrospect, I think I was playing director of the unive…

A return to blogging from the Swiss Alps

After a year-long hiatus from this blog due to coaching and writing articles on personal development and leadership, I am back and happy to entertain you again with musings from the Swiss Alps.

As I write you from Gstaad, the leaves have turned yellow and orange and are falling off the branches, and the temperatures hover near freezing. Some apples still hang on their branches, ready for the first freeze. For about two weeks in October, the neighbor’s cows grazed on our land, and last weekend, they moved to a different property offering fresher grass. Pretty soon, the snow will come and they will remain in their barns.

Fritzli, our new mini Schnauzer, is adorable and demanding lots of attention. He’s learning to come, sit and fetch. I am trying to teach him not to jump up on people, but he can’t help it, being so sociable and excited. He also has a disgusting attraction to cow poop. I have to clean off his feet every time he comes in after his ballads in the fields. And of course, h…

New venture

Starting a new venture is never easy, which is why you haven't seen many articles on this blog recently. Since 2016, I have been working on becoming a life coach. The good news is I am now a Core Essentials graduate from CoachU and am pursuing an advanced corporate coaching degree and ICF certification as well as supporting my amazing clients.

So, if you want to follow my writing, go to my new coaching site's articles. I will keep Life in the Swiss Alps up and running as a reference. And... who knows... I may write again for it when time allows.