Tinder for Guinea Pigs

OK, not Tinder, but we did run across the following ad on the Roche internal classified board (click on picture to enlarge):

Translated it basically says: We are looking for an uncastrated male to make offspring with our guinea pig and spend one to two weeks on vacation to make it happen.

Yowza, hubba-hubba, guinea pig love!

Because Switzerland has some of the most stringent animal welfare laws, this ad actually makes sense. You see, Swiss law prohibits owning 'social' pets unless you have two of them, therefore it is illegal to keep just one guinea pig, mouse, ferret, fish, canary, pig or other social creature. Switzerland judges isolation of social animals as abuse. This has created a new area of law: lawyers who defend animals. And it has inspired pet renting services that help owners in case one of a pair dies or they want to avoid a pet-buying cycle, but still stay within the coupling law. Another way to stay within the law is to do what this family is doing, asking to borrow a stud guinea pig to make babies with their little lady so she won't be alone.With those flowers in her hair fur, how can she not get *lucky*.

Here's my version of a Tinder ad for these love birds, er, pigs:
Swiss Sally looking for Hairy Harry
for brief vacation tryst.
No commitment necessary.
Doesn't matter if you like children. 
Big cheeks (on your face) a plus
for seed storage during our dinner dates.

©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Lack of Screening

Not in the security line at the airport, but on Swiss windows!

We've been lucky enough to have wunderschön weather recently - mid to high 70's F for the last week. Tomorrow will be much the same:

And with the warmer weather comes the need for fresh air. We have been opening our windows:
Our windows have a nifty feature that allows them to pop out from the top.

Or open like a door.


It has been so nice we've been opening our sliding glass door to get a nice flow-through of air, too:
Nice breeze billowing our curtain.

Nothing too exciting about any of this except for the fact that there are NO screens. On any window. Anywhere.
Our sliding glass door opens onto our balcony with nothing to stop the dog...or the bugs from coming and going.

Of course, there are blinds on all the windows:

And the bigger windows are equipped with electric blind openers:
Up or down at the touch of a button.

But in the bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen we have hand crank the blinds:
Up or down with the crank of the handle.

But none of them have window screens.

We experienced the lack of window screens when we first arrived and had to stay in a hotel for 2 weeks. We experienced the lack of window screens in our first temporary apartment. Once I realized this was a 'thing' here, I have observed the lack of window screens in the neighborhoods we've been to here in Zug, in Zurich, and other parts of Switzerland.

The biggest downside to the lack of window screens is Switzerland has bugs. We've had our fair share of mosquitoes, flies and bees joining us for a bit before we were able to direct them back to the open window. What comes in can usually be directed to also go back out. (Once the mosquitoes are done feasting on your arm or leg, of course ; )

Other warm weather solutions that are rarely found in Switzerland? Ceiling fans and air conditioners. We couldn't have survived in Tucson without both of these!

Today's poem focuses on the downside of open windows with no screens:
open window
bugs fly in
rest of the day
annoying din
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Blooming Bonanza

Spring has sprung in die Schweiz!

All of the following flower images were taken in the last week on my daily Smidgey walking route:
In a planter next to a public building.
In the center divide of a street.
Spontaneously coming through the lawn next to the street.
In the grass at the running track/field.

Along a little creek path that Smidgey loves.
Around the corner from our apartment.
Under a train bridge.
And Mo's favorite (for reals) the dandelion which are everywhere right now.
Besides all the spontaneous and cultivated outdoor spring flowers in Zug, there is also a never ending supply of indoor flowers for sale year-round.

From the florist shops on nearly every corner:
There are 2 florist shops just in the Zug Bahnhof!

...to the flowers sold in every grocery store:

...the Swiss have plenty of opportunities to buy flowers.

And let me tell you, the Swiss LOVE flowers. Which works out, because I love flowers, too! And my favorite place to get fresh flowers is from the farmer's field - with permission, of course.
A flower field along the bike path.

Many farmers set aside a portion of their fields for a self-serve florist.
Everything is set up for you to help yourself.

And they supply everything you need to take home beautiful flowers for a fraction of the cost of a florist and/or grocery store:
The price list.

A box for the leaf cuttings you don't want.
And of course, a slot for the money.

Here is our bouquet (engineered by Joe to stand up in the vase):

Here is a poem about the swagger with which spring has shown itself here in Zug:
Rooted firmly in April,
spring explodes
with a cacophony of color
the green canvas of nature
with vibrancy and vitality.
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

What's Brown and Sticky?


Now that you've let your mind go to that old riddle*, bring it back to Switzerland.

And Swiss fields.

And Swiss sheds.


THIS is what is brown and sticky in Swiss fields:
A stick stack (or a super huge broom).

Sometimes there are multiple...stick stacks...er, piles?

And in Swiss sheds:

The brooms here are actually made from hand-tied sticks and are used extensively - outside and in.

Some things in Switzerland are just so retro. Like these stick stacks and these brooms.

A close up of the hand-tied sticks:
This one is outside our apartment building to be used by the groundskeepers.

No poem today, just an old riddle that reminds me of Switzerland - both for the smell and the sound of bells (that was told to me a long time ago by one of my former students):

Q: What's brown and sounds like a bell?

A: ¡ƃunp (read upside down)
*For those of you who don't know the answer to the riddle in the title, email me, and I will tell you the answer.

You know what to do...remember Click Through! 

Prickly Problem

...well not a problem so much as a public awareness campaign. All over our neighborhood, and apparently all over Switzerland, there are posters/signs warning motorists not to run over HEDGEHOGS! (Igel in Deutsch)  Squee, they are SO cute.
Translation: Caution Hedgehogs!

Yes, there are THAT many hedgehogs around our neighborhood that they warrant signs every 2km. And apparently spring is a dangerous time when they can get run over - especially the babies. No!

Here are the other two signs that are posted in our immediate neighborhood:
Translation: Watch out for us!

Translation: Hedgehog zone.

On the signs there is an URL for an informational website: Pro-Igel.ch about these prickly fellas. From this site I learned that our neighborhood, which is considered a small-scale grassland with shrubs, hedges, and trees, is actually a hedgehogs habitat, NOT the forest. Who knew?

So far I have not seen a hedgehog alive or as roadkill (thank goodness!) But Smidgey has, and by default Joe, too. During her early morning walk, Smidgey made a mad dash into a hedge and started bark-screaming wildly (like she does). Joe pulled her back and caught a glimpse of a prickly pal staring at Smidgey with a bewildered look on his face. (Not sure how a hedgehog expresses bewilderment, but coming face to face with Smidge would evoke bewilderment from any creature.) After a second or two the little fella scampered away leaving Smidge in a "I almost got it" agitated state and Joe dragging her back home (and to the reality that indeed, no she didn't). Joe has vowed to take his phone with him on these early morning walks in the hopes of getting a picture of a hedgehog. I've been scouring the neighborhood during the day, too. If we get a pic, I'll add it to another post. Fingers crossed.

Now for a prickly poem:
pointy nose
prickled spikes
wee neighbor
Smidgey likes 
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

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50 SHAVES of Gray

...or at least7!

We just got back from a three-state whirlwind trip to the US and Joe was in full vacation mode:
As is evident by his post-vacation scruffy face.

In order to acclimate back into his day-to-day work life, Joe had to shave...and shave and shave.
First he cleaned up around the edges of his 'beard':

To achieve this level of cuteness:

Next he shaved his cheeks to create a wide goatee:

Then a thinner goatee:

Then he had to break out the bigger shaver:

To get his chin whiskers even skinnier:

Until he was at the 'stach and soul patch stage:

Then it was solo soul patch:

Then he shaved off the last of his graying soul, scraping years off his face.
This was our sink in the aftermath:

Then one more shave with yet another razor:

And he ended up looking like this:

Clean shaven and ready for work. (But not in his puppy shirt.)

The scruff took 10+ days to grow, then 7 SHAVES to remove.

Many thanks to my VERY patient husband for allowing me to take his picture over and over again for this post.

Before I get to my 'hairy' poem, I have a request for you dear reader:
***If you receive Wee Words in your inbox, please CLICK THROUGH to my website in the email to read my post. In doing so your readership will be counted in my Google Analytics. You don't have to comment (though I'd love it if you did) and no other evidence of you being there will be noted. If you do this every time it will help me tremendously. Thank you!***

Now on to my poem, a stubbled Cinquain*
embrace Joe's chin.
A gray shadow hints at
the many vacations gone by.
Years shaved. 
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

*A cinquain is a 5-lined nonrhyming poem whereby 
the lines have the following syllable count: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. 
The cinquain poetry form was created by Adelaide Crapsey.