Monday, December 10, 2018


One year ago today, we were at the Perpignan Spa looking for a rescue dog named Mila. We were planning to offer her to our favorite homeless man who had just lost his beloved dog. The dog wasn't there.

"But we have other dogs," the pony-tailed worker said. She went behind the counter and pulled out one wiggly multi-breed three month old puppy and put him in my arms. As the French say, "It was a coup de foudre.

The past year has been full of laughter, loves and licks, snuggles and silliness, sometimes frustration and joy as this bundle of fur was growing.

I didn't mind so much the sox chewed, the shoes found in his horde, Kleenex ripped apart. I did mind when he chewed the quilt my grandmother gave me (photo above).

Like all puppies he took a lot of time and work repeating commands, teaching limits. He's almost there. His heeling is non existent and his down means a look that says, "You don't really mean that, do you?"

Overall it has been a wonderful year. And our homeless man has found a new dog, too.

Happy Anniversary Sherlock. We will treat you to a special meal today!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The perfect pen

I am not a shopper. I don't want more than one of anything with an exception of pens, which I collect, but only when I find an exceptional one. Thus I have a silver pen with a green plume and an all-glass pen. And of course, there is the special fountain pen given to us by the village of Corsier when we married.

I only use fountain pens, all special.

We were at a Christmas Market in Ferney-Voltaire, France just across from Geneva. One of the vendors had hand-made fountain pens. Since I didn't have the money with me, I took the people's card and web information intending to order one as soon as I was home.

Instead, my wonderful husband, decided it would be an early Christmas present. The pen maker added a small piece of the stone from which the pen was made.

It writes beautifully, although I won't use it until after Christmas. And it fits all of my three criteria before I bring anything into my home.

1. It is useful.
2. It is beautiful
3. It has a memory of being with people I love and don't see often enough, a memory of the Christmas market, and another memory of the generosity of the man I adore.

Friday, December 07, 2018


I admit it. I am growing older.

Before I had chemo and had red hair, I was never offered a seat on the bus. My hair grew back white. Almost always some young man stands up and gives me his seat now.

I take it.

There has to be an advantage to age among the disadvantages.

I like to think it is my gray hair. My skin is relatively unwrinkled which may be more do to genetics than age.

There's another sign of aging. Suddenly, I'm surrounded by youngsters.

I met with my dental surgeon today. When he came into the surgery,  I thought he was a kid, a cute, sandy-haired kid.

It didn't help that he brought up the wrong patient X-ray and couldn't understand why I was missing a tooth on the wrong side of my mouth. The explanation was simple. I was early, the patient he thought I was was late rather than he didn't do his kindergarten homework.

From there on he mumbled like an embarrassed teenager what the procedure would be. Since my regular dentist, who looks like he is just out of high school, is fantastic.

However, when I do get my implant, I may bring some toy trucks or Legos for the surgeon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Gender equality

You win some, you lose some.

When I moved to Switzerland in the early 90s, if I had been married I would have had to ask my husband's permission to open a bank account. As much as I love this country, as a card-carrying member of NOW, this did not sit well.

I wasn't married then. I am now.

For almost 20 years I filed my taxes under my number, my name. Being married, we have to file jointly and it is under his name and number, although my contributions count. How to be erased.

There have been other examples. A company didn't give a new department head the office of her predecessor because the powers-that-be felt the men that reported to her would resent her for having more space than they did.

Help wanted ads could still use words describing the looks of a female candidate.

On the positive side, the Swiss parliament just passed 99 to 88 a requirement that businesses with 100+ employees have to regularly examine pay equity between the sexes.

It is still a man's world.