Friday, November 29, 2013

{Giving Thanks}

All seventeen of us around one table this year. Noni's kitchen full of hustle and bustle, fragrant aromas, pattering feet lifted occasionally on tip-toe that eager fingers might swipe a nibble or two.

Miniature things are just too darling.

Games and productions (some planned, some impromptu), laughter, eating and talking, eating and talking . . . eating and talking. I'm convinced it's a taste of heaven.

"I really love that turkey food." ~Kinsley Jane

We sweep from gratitude right on into joy, and the season is undoubtedly merry and bright.

For this and much, much more, I am so very grateful.

Wishing you a weekend full of joy and gratitude, dear friends. May your hearts seek the One who inspires both.


P.S. Dusting off my copy of Little Women this weekend! I know several of you are, too. Anyone else want to join in? It's a pretend December book club! 

Pin It

Sunday, November 24, 2013

{The Trip, Part Three: Salzburg}

My plan was to tackle Salzburg all in one post, but looking through the pictures I'm realizing I really should divide it into two. There's just so much wonderfulness to tell you about. So I'll highlight the city for now and save the Sound of Music sights for next time. (I know -- it's torture to wait!)

After driving from Filzmoos to Salzburg, we began our day in (what became) the usual way: pastries and coffee at a quaint cafe. Some decisions are hard to make.

Sigh. I very quickly fell in love with Salzburg. I had been eager to see it because of my love for The Sound of Music, but I was so taken by its beauty, history and character that I soon adored it for its own sake, too.

"Quick, Brooke! Pretend like I'm taking your picture! That guy is wearing one of those hats!!!!"

After spending the morning in the Mirabell Gardens (more on that later!), we crossed the Salzach River (serenaded by a clarinetist), observed the chain link fence (which was covered with padlocks), and strolled around town for the rest of the afternoon.

My feet were happy to traipse across stone paths while my eyes took in as much as possible. I was especially drawn to the architecture -- the cathedrals towering over the streets, the storefronts and apartments painted in the palest pinks and yellows, greens and blues, the wrought iron balconies overflowing with geraniums, the occasional gentleman dressed in traditional costume.

We used to love our Lanz of Salzburg nightgowns. Fun to see a shop!

I live on the west coast of the United States, and I haven't travelled much. This means that pretty much the oldest buildings I've seen have been from the 1840s. So it was very exciting to tiptoe around a cathedral that had been built in the 1600s. The 1600s! Do you remember the line from An Affair to Remember? "I was looking up!" That's what it was like. Every inch of those cathedrals was just covered in ornate paintings, designs and sculptures. I found myself constantly "looking up," finding endless artwork and Latin inscriptions no matter how far back I craned my neck.

Although the cathedrals were somewhat touristy, there was still a beautiful hushed and worshipful atmosphere. (Disturbed only by the clip-clop of Kinsley's rain boots and an occasional sneeze from Johnny. Boy, those marble structures are echoey.)

It was also thrilling for me to be in Mozart's birth town. (If I could only listen to the works of one composer/musician for the rest of my life, it would be his. If I could only watch one movie, it would be The Sound of Music. Are you beginning to get the picture?) Of course there was a Mozart statue. Well, two. One living, one stone. The living one gave treats to the children who tossed coins into the cup.

I was slightly disappointed that "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" wasn't being played by an orchestra 24/7, so I made up for it by lingering near the statue and humming it. Not quite the same, but I felt happy nonetheless.

The afternoon was getting away from us, but we decided to take a much needed break (Kinsley was such a trooper, walking for hours and hours!) before hitting the last few sights. The Starbucks looked slightly out of place, but it also looked familiar (and like it would have restrooms that we didn't have to pay for). The structure was actually pretty cool and old. We sipped our tea and coffee for a nice long time while watching Kinsley enjoy her "Clementime" orange.

Before we headed out of town, there was one more stop I needed to make. I had really wanted to find a small watercolor painting of Salzburg, and in the nick of time we found Igor and his art stand (near the horse drawn carriages, no less). He was a delightful man, telling Krista and me how "sveet" we were, helping us choose a painting for our "sveet" families back in the United States. We very willingly handed over our euros and wrapped up our time downtown, bidding Salzburg adieu.

* * * * * 

The painting now hangs in my kitchen. I chose this room intentionally, because a dear friend had told me to tuck these days in my pocket -- to remember the extraordinary when I'm surrounded by the ordinary. When the dishes are piled high and the dinner is late and the piano scales would cause Mozart to weep, I look up and remember. I remember that life -- from Salzburg to Vancouver -- is all so very, very sveet.

Pin It

Friday, November 22, 2013

{A Winner and a Pretend Club}

Thank you all for taking part in my giveaway! It was fun, and I really wanted this book to go to ALL of you. Alas, I only have one copy! Little Miss drew a name for me (actually it was a letter) -- I gave each entrant a letter of the alphabet, dumped the corresponding tiles in a tea tin (of course!) and shook that thing like crazy. (Aidan came running in to see what was the matter.) This was as random and impartial as I could think to be. I hope you agree.

But that's enough of an introduction. The winner of Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm is . . . Sara! (I'm pretty sure I know which Sara you are, but just to be sure, could you facebook message or email me your info? Thanks!!! And congratulations!)

Stay tuned for upcoming giveaways. I already have another book or two stashed away!

Speaking of books, I'm really excited for December. There are a number of reasons, but one of them is that I often read Little Women during this comfy cozy time of year. It's just that sort of book. Because we're also so very busy during December, it keeps me occupied into January, too. I've found it to be an inspiring read following the post-holiday excitement. Helps me keep my chin up and all.

That said, I thought it might be fun to have a pretend book club. It's pretend because nothing club-like will actually happen. But if anyone else wants to join in and read Little Women at the same sort-of time-ish, we could just say, "How are you enjoying it?" and "What chapter are you on?" and so on and so forth every once in a while. Let me know if you're on board!

Have a lovely weekend, my dear friends. And stay warm!   
Pin It

Friday, November 15, 2013

{Friday Giveaway!}

My problem is this. (Well, the one I'm addressing right now.) Anyway, my problem is that I often buy books at second hand stores . . . even if I already own them. I'll see a great deal, and I just know how wonderful the book is, and I just cannot let it go. So I buy it.

It has occurred to me that my problem could benefit others. What if I just went ahead and continued to snatch up those books, and what if I was to create an occasional giveaway, right here on my little ol' blog? Isn't that a fun idea? Then I could imagine all those delightful books in their delightful new homes.

So let's begin today! I have no idea how often I'll host a giveaway, and I've never done one before, so I'm totally making this up as I go. As I'm making it up, I've decided that I'll keep the giveaway open for a week. (That might be long? I don't know.) Anyone who would like to enter their name in a drawing to receive this free book can leave a comment below. You may also leave a comment on facebook, under the blog post. (One entry per person.)

Today's book is absolutely charming. It's called Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen. (If you follow the link to Amazon, you can take a peek inside the book.) Well written, humorous, with whimsical illustrations, this is one of our favorites. It's geared toward ages 3 to 8. The copy I'm giving away is hardback, published in 1974 (as far as I can tell), and is in good used condition (no odors, tears, writing).

I'd love for this book to find a place in your home! If you would too, just leave me a comment and, in your comment, tell me who you'd like to read this book with. I especially loved reading this one with my Avery Kate. We had many laughs together!

(One more request: I'm realizing I should limit this giveaway to mailing addresses within the United States. Thank you for understanding!)

I'll leave the giveaway open until next Friday, at which point I'll announce a winner! I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and thanks for joining me!  
Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...