Monday, August 31, 2009

bAck tO sChoOL!

Do you remember what it was like to go back to school after summer vacation? I do. I remember laying out my clothes for the first day the night before, and having butterflies in my stomach thinking about seeing boy I liked so much again. I wanted to look extra pretty, and hoped my new binder would be as cool as the ones the other kids would show up with. I remember having trouble falling asleep, wondering what this grade would be like, if it would be hard, if the teacher would be friendly. So many things to be nervous about! 
We didn't have much money when I was growing up, and most of my belongings were used or hand-me-downs. But for the new school year I had brand new paper and pencils, and sometimes a new folder or binder. It sounds like something so simple, but it was very special to me. It was a wonderful feeling, brushing the palm of my hand over that fresh stack of paper, and I loved sharpening those pencils to a perfect point, smelling the wood shavings and graphite. The school provided new books filled with math problems and vocabulary; I remember one in particular that had tropcial fish on the cover, and I thought it was so pretty!
I was also provided snack and lunch ticket booklets from the government since my family was on welfare; the pink ones were for snack, and the purple ones were for lunch. We were supposed to write our names on the backs of them, and put one in a little basket at the beginning of the serving line. My favorite snack was the toasted english muffin with peanut butter and jelly, and my favorite lunch was hot dog day. 
I remember how much I enjoyed having an organized day again. At my grade school, there was a big bell in the tower of the white wooden library, and when the school day began or lunch break was over it would ring, sounding out through the valley and beckoning us to the shady, cool rooms which smelled of chalk and books. 
There were things I loved about school, and things I disliked about it; but one thing is certain, I have many, many memories of it, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to learn. This is not a given everywhere in the world, and knowledge is something so valuable. I am so glad I can read and write, skills which open so many doors, and which make it possible for me to share with you, and for you to share with me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

dream home nr 8

What a beautiful, sunny home, with it's white framed windows, simple fence, and towering trees surrounding it. I also love the piece which is built on...is it a studio? A guest room? A summer kitchen? A washroom? I have always loved the idea of having a washroom where you do laundry, store detergent, iron and fold; a room that is full of the fragrance of ironing water and fresh laundry.
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend; it's a crisp but sunny day here, and you can really feel the approach of autumn in the air. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

squirrels everywhere!

On my morning walk with Kiki I spotted five squirrels! Almost all of them had something in their mouths, mostly hazelnuts still in their green velvety husks from what I could tell. I saw the first one right when I stepped out of the door and had to hold back laughter: it was climbing the outside wall of the neighbouring building and then froze, like a ninja on very secretive business, until we had passed. 
It's a cool, overcast day, and everything is wet from the night rain. It was glorious to wake up to the sound of it on the window in the pitch black, and snuggle under the blankets which we have been sleeping on top of because of the recent heat. This rain and cool weather is such a relief for me, and I loved zipping up my raincoat and grabbing an umbrella before setting out. 
Hubby had to go to the office for an hour, and on his way home he's picking up some movies to watch cuddled up on the couch. I'll be baking corbread and bubbling up homemade applesauce. It's just one of those days that calls for being cozy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

kiki's tiny swimming hole

it appears this little swimming hole was made just for kiki!



mountain climb 1

this is starting out well, no problem

oooh, good thing i'm not afraid of heights!

thank goodness, a little lake along the way!

aaaah yes, cooling off is good for the morale...there's still quite a ways to go


mountain climb 2

up, up, up...the mist is curling, the air is getting thin...

will we make it to the top?

the final stretch...our goal is in sight...

we made it!







Thursday, August 27, 2009

enjoy the beautiful view




::the bird's eye view of this beautiful place::

sweetest little mountain home!




did you ever see such a thing? i could hardly believe my eyes when i saw this little cottage overlooking the lake and the mountains; it looked like it could be a hobbit home! what a dream come true

beautiful houses

it's funny how different these two houses are, and how i love them both. the first is a tiny mountain farmhouse piled high with firewood for the coming winter, and the second is a big mansion on the lake

nature's beauty

i love that tiny strip of path going over the edge of the hill

this part of the forest belongs in a book of fairy tales

juicy ripe plumbs hanging heavy from the boughs beside the pathway

kids having summer fun

::look out, mr. swan!::




beautiful boats and kiki goes sailing



evening view from hotel room




this is the view which spread before our hotel room balcony

hotel weisses rössel




this is where we stayed, in a room with a view of lake and mountains

sweet shop




no words needed, right? though you should know, this shop even SMELLED delicious.

salt shop





A shop dedicated to products made with native salt from the area 'Salzkammergut.' Aren't they pretty? Outside there was this wagon full of huge salt rocks.

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