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Friday, November 15, 2013

November Secret Subject Swap - Prosecco

Welcome to Take Two of November’s Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  
Sit back, grab a cup - or in my case today, a flute - and check them all out:

Careful, though!
Baking In A Tornado 
Confessions Of A Part-Time Working Mom
Rants from my crazy Kitchen                                
                    
                                            

My subject is 

You've just taken a bath in Prosecco - 
what was that all about?  




It was submitted by Baking In A Tornado. Thank you so much, my friend!

So I am going to tell you about the night my husband packed my overnight bag and sent me to a fancy hotel for some blissful alone time. 

It had been a dreadful week where everything went wrong at home and at the office, and I was so grateful to leave it all behind.

When I arrived, I was informed that my bubble bath was just being prepared.


However, as we were having an absolute drought in the area at the time, water had to be preserved. The government had issued orders that said no car wash, lawn watering - or baths for that matter. 

Can't say that I minded that night.



The hotel staff thought of everything to let me unwind from the daily grind. 




It was pure bliss!

But then I woke up from my wonderful dream, took one look at the watch and jumped out of bed and into the shower - yes, regular water - and raced downstairs to prepare for my research meeting to which I had invited a couple of girlfriends. 
When I got my secret subject I knew I had to share it with a bunch of other busy women who might  use a break!
I had done some goggling on professional sparkling wine tastings, written by my Starbucks friend Shannon Jones - yes, she went from coffee beans to grapes, plus she runs a marketing agency and writes children books.

As a former coffee master, it was clear to me that whatever I did, I needed food items that compliment the beverages. Here are some food pairings you don't see every day. There was no time for extensive cooking, though. Instead we had

brie cheese, mushroom and grapes
smoked salmon, mini cheese quiches, apples, kiwi, pecans, pistachio
potato chips and popcorn 
and as a special highlight maple leaf sandwich cookies
Then the ladies arrived, and they all brought a bottle of prosecco. Luckily two of my guests were also brave enough to actually open the bottles - because I am not!

Cheers, mom!
A has no fear!

F, my maid of honor and K, founder and manager of Colin's daycare
Let me tell you right away: we did not discuss acid contents, carbon dioxide levels or riddling

Topics ranged from soccer training to recent Turnip Parade and Halloween activities - as it turned out, older kids wrapped pebbles with candy paper and gave them to young trick or treaters! Boooo :-(
I went to high school with B.
She was the only one who didn't cry at the movies when we watched ET!

We stayed friends all the same.
Never mind corks plopping and women chatting and laughing, 
baby T was sleeping through the whole thing
Our main concern was the way our community is being managed financially. We live in a village with low taxes which of course is great. However we notice that nothing comes from nothing, and they can only maintain that status by not spending money. 


Correction: by not spending money on what they believe are unnecessary things. Like subsidizing a playground or a daycare, replacing old, untight windows at the community center or enlarging the school gym. Instead they built themselves a nice new administrative  building. In the meantime the floor in the community center has damages due to damp, and renovations cost more money than in the first place.

Also the canton (state) we live in announced that they intend to cut funds for language lessons for immigrant kids. How do they think those kids are supposed to go through school and get a job if they can't speak our language? If money isn't invested now, they will end up with welfare, or worse, law enforcement. Now who is gonna pay for this?


In Switzerland we are all part of a democratic system, and in our community we have the possibility to attend bi-yearly events that are called "Gemeindeversammlung". I have never been to one, so I don't know exactly how this is going down. But it seems like every citizen has the possibility to get up and make a statement on a topic on the agenda. Then the others get to vote whether they support or oppose your proposition. 


Engaged families built a playground over 10 years ago because the community didn't think it was within their responsibility to provide children with a place to meet and play. These families maintain this wonderful playground in their spare time. 


A smart and energetic lady - K - took her own money and the risk of opening a private daycare center for kids who are not in school yet, but also for those who come for lunch or after school. Kids and parents love that place!


After tough discussions and voting (63 pro : 59 con) at the Gemeindeversammlung last year, she achieved to receive a one-time payment from the community. 

So this year the budgeted amount was decreased by 40% without telling us. While sipping our sparkling wine, we were discussing how to go about this: 
  • Can't go like a bull at the gate, keep smiling, behave diplomatically
  • Consider that even though the age group of 25-49 year olds outnumber the 50-74 (plus 75-99) year olds, the main audience at those meetings consists in conservative old-established citizens - hell, they don't need a babysitter in order to attend the meeting!
  • Keep in mind that there is no law saying the community must support childcare - in 2009 our people said NO to a harmonization of the school system. One element of this concordat requested a comprehensive day center organization. There you go.
Man, I hate politics, and I hate to depend on the goodwill of grumpy, narrow-minded folks. 


Can't we just do a cookie sale? 


Or better yet, a champagne bar? 


What are your thoughts on this?