Wow, almost 3 weeks since my last real post. I can't believe it. The time just flies here.
Mike's been away for the last couple of weeks. The first week was spent in the Alps, the second in Houston. Quite the contrast, I am sure. Hot to cold, Swiss to Texan. Nuff said.
It didn't take long for him to become a weary business traveller, though, as he arrived home complaining about old planes with seats that didn't fold down flat for him to sleep. Even though I do understand the need for sleep, seeing how bothered he is by jetlag, I am slightly worried about how he'll survived our next family trip in 'monkey class'.
The boyz and I have held down the fort at home. And when I say "the boyz and I", you will know that I really mean I have held down the fort. Meaning everything from getting grumpy and tired teenage boys up at 6:30 every morning, to wrestling Xbox 360 controllers out of the hands of 10 year old boys who never, ever seem too tired to play, to shopping for groceries at least every other day, because the Swiss do not believe in fridges that can hold more than a maximum of six meals, to washing and cleaning a house which, albeit tiny to look at, contains an incredible number of nooks and crannies for dirt to collect in.
This, of course, is on top of my job, which has been sadly neglected over the past month. I am sure my poor clients are wondering what the heck is going on with Heidi, who always used to beat her deadlines, not just squeeze in at the very last second.
And let's not forget the house that we are building, which requires the ability to drop everything at a moment's notice and take off to a town you have never heard of, have no idea where is, and don't know how to get to, in order to look at either a) interior doors, b) tiles for the terrace, c) blinds for the windows, or d) or any number of other small details which I had never considered before, and never want to consider again.
Or our very welcoming and warm neighbours, who are always inviting me over for apero, meaning no less, and often more, than 3 glasses of wine. I've realized that drinking wine is not for the weak. Particularly at 6:30 am the next day, when the entire process starts over again.
So yeah. It's been a busy few weeks.
Mike is here in Switzerland for two weeks, before he flies back to North America. It is nice to have him back, even though we don't actually see him that much. He's putting in 'face time', peeps, which is a new and unfamiliar concept, both him and to us.
The boys are continuing to do well. The C dude has his little posse, whom he regularly meets up with in town, where they hang out at "Taxi Pizza", the 'in' place among the teens in Vevey. When they are not planning to eat (pizza), they take over the local Starbucks (where a muffin is 4 dollars, which I sadly find reasonable) or McDonald's (where a meal deal is 13 dollars, but, hey, you get a Coca-Cola glass for free!).
The B Meister is also doing well at school, and thinks his teacher is 'the best teacher in the whole world'. It bears saying that he's thought that about every single teacher he's ever had, so we take it with a grain of salt. My own experience is that his teacher seems to be exceptionally sweet and caring, and how could she not - having 16 kids in her class and the best classroom in the entire primary school. One of these days, I'll remember to take a picture of the million dollar view these kids enjoy from the comfort of their desks.
My parents came for a very quick visit while Mike was away. I managed to squeeze everybody into the house, so they didn't have to stay at a hotel. It was tight, and I am in no hurry to do it again. I slept on a mattress in the boys' room (much to their chagrin), and we managed for a couple of days. The weather was absolutely gorgeous while they were here. We took a trip to Gruyeres, a quaint town nestled in the rollling hills just 30 minutes inland from here. Of course, we had to stop by the world famous cheese factory to sample their goods and see how the cheese is made, and we also visited the Castle where the Counts of Gruyeres ruled for centuries. I'd post pictures, if I'd remembered to bring my camera. As it is, you'll have to trust me. It was beautiful.
Next on my list of places to see is Gstaad, a swanky mountain resort some 45 minutes away. The rich and famous go there to be seen during the winter months. Meaning I need to go now, before the snow falls and the prices skyrocket!
Because we all know where my money is going right now. Into the drain that is called "La Maison"...
I went through the new house last week with the electrician, as we had to agree on where to place plugs and outlets in rooms and hallways. Having absolutely no concept of what was required, or, indeed, any opinion of where plugs should be, I occasionally asked him for his opinion when a particular area stumped me. Or rather, I would ask in English, the house architect would translate into French. The electrician would gesture, talk and point, and I would nod. I was feeling quite smug and pleased with myself to cover the entire house in less than 3 hours, when people told me this could take a full day.
I'm not quite as pleased this morning, as I woke up to an emailed offer from the electrician, outlining the CAD 13000 supplemental costs that our house will require for wiring!
*cough* I nearly spit up my drink when I saw it.
I knew my French was bad, but I didn't realize that my Gesturing was, too.
Clearly, we are going to have to revisit the wiring. Damn it. Time really is money.
And with this, I will sign off, as my presence is required at the kitchen company's offices, to discuss the size of fan required, as well as the colour of the cabinets. Party ON....