One of the many beautiful stones we didn’t find. Did find five (one each) stones that aren’t worth much but do have some good color in them. Nice to have, to remember our mining days with, anyway. Sunning and swimming on the Gold Coast now and are off to Brisbane soon to earn some money so we can be off again.

Till later, Tom

Top quality black opal from Lightning Ridge – royal blue rather than black with a broad flash of red.



Not quite exact, but appropriate! The Vikings won they first play-of game and this week thanks to Pillsbury who bought out the last tickets we can all watch on TV again. Glad to hear K and bags arrived in Nairobi – hope the safari was great – we are all envious!


Memorial Stadium. At the University of Minnesota where the Gopher football teams renew each year football relations with the best teams of the country. The Golden Gophers square off on this gridiron before capacity groups of 60,000 fans, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Vienna, Austria

March 1994

We have been enjoying Vienna but it is cool and rainy. We went to Schoenbrunn and today we went to the Spanish Riding School. Otherwise just been walking around a lot and taking it easy. Went to a wine cellar last night. Will leave tomorrow for Graz.

Love, Kathy

Schoenbrunn Palace, Equestrian Room with the Marshals Table

Zurich, Switzerland

Freitag Shop, Zurich

Summer 2011

In 2011 I visited my brother who was living just outside Zurich, Switzerland.  One of our activities was to take a trip to the recycling center.  We gathered up all the (cloth) shopping bags we could find and loaded them with the glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum that had been collecting in the kitchen and headed out to the shopping center.  At one end of the parking garage were large bins labeled for all the different types of items.  We managed to get rid of everything although some of the pictures were a little confusing.

According to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs:

The Swiss are champion recyclers. In 2003, 47% of all urban waste was recycled – a new Swiss record. They recycled 70% of paper, 95% of glass, 71% of plastic bottles, 85-90% of aluminum cans and 75% of tin cans. 

So recycling has become a Swiss way of life.

We discovered a company called Freitag that produced purses, messenger bags, tote bags, wallets, backpacks and even iPhone sleeves all made from recycled goods. They use old truck tarpaulins, used bicycle tires, seatbelts. Every bag is hand made. Even their shop is made out of old semi containers.

The bags are a common sight across Switzerland.

Purse and wallet

Messenger bag

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