Monday, June 30, 2008


It's Canada Day tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Canada is celebrating 141 years.
June 20 1868 - 2008!
We have so much to be thankful for.

We may not always have the patriotic spirit
like our neighbors next door,
Rah! Rah! Rah!
We will be thinking of you as you celebrate
July 4th , Independence Day.

But us Canadians definitely feel it in our hearts!

O Canada!

(Click to listen to anthem)

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grab Your Swimsuits

Good Morning Everyone,
This morning I am delighted to invite you to take a tour with me
to the most scenic lake in Austria, Hallstadt

Imagine strolling down a very narrow street
with many shops on both sides.
You all want to stop every where.

Take a look at where we're going.
Hallstatt is packed into narrow confines between
Lake Hallstatt and the Dachstein Massif.
That setting is what makes it so unique and beautiful.

We take a little stroll up the mountain to find
a magnificent view of more lush pastures and verdant hills.

As we walk along the lakeside street
we see many shops and cafe's
It doesn't take long and I here some say,
"Let's check this out."

WOW! There's reason to check out this quaint shop.
First of all it has a tree growing through the shop
and what's hanging from it's windows/branches ?
Designer made dresses from the folks in this town.
Now come along, don't get hung up here...
Just around the corner, I here some holler,

Jewelry in Germany/Austria is always called Schmuck.
Oh, my wallet just can't stay in my pocket any longer.
And it doesn't take long and all of us have
bought a custom designed piece of jewelry.

Now, comes the surprise.
The owner of this little store has invited us for a
short cruise on the lake to thank us for our purchases.

We are now introduced to 8 year old Uli.

Here he is and some of you are looking at me very hesitantly.
"Life Jackets and everyone on board, I holler."
Uli turns to me and whispers, "We don't use life jackets."
I said, "Just throw them in the boat."
Some of you turn your backs and decide to go shopping.

Some of us continue on the tour with Uli.
Before you know it he takes us to an area that says,
"Privatbesitz, Betreten Verboten"
(Private Property)

Here Uli shows us his home
and the little shop where they make all the Jewelry.
Just before we are to arrive back to our destination
Uli invites us to his backyard patio for ice-cafes'

Now you know why I asked you to bring your bathing suits.

Do you the have travel bug?

Quaint little homes.

Far in the distance we see the "Church of the Assumption"
Some of you may be wondering what that means.

He then escorts us back to safety.
Notice he jumps on the hood of the boat and steers backwards.

I don't blame some of you for not coming along,
but those of you who can afford the adventure would say,

"Another Day in Austria!"

Thanks for joining the tour and you better
plan on taking your swim suits and hitting the lakes today.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Kitchen Window

This morning we woke up to fresh smells of the country.
There's nothing better than freshly cut hay.
The windows are opened and the breezes blow through.
It's another favorite time of my year.

Again all the bales are ready to be picked up.
Did you notice those dark clouds on the previous pictures?
That makes a farmer edgy and no coffee breaks till the work is done.

And he's still working away.
The rays of the sun are settling in,
But this lucky farmer got his hay in nice and dry.
That's what we call Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile I was able to pick up my berries,
(Safeway has a great deal this week)
Are they local? No, not this year,
because of our cool weather they will be difficult to find.
Oh, I need to mention that I was sitting on a stool slightly turned,
not to miss one minute of the Germany vs Turkey Game.
Hey Germany, Yea Team!
So I was able to wash them, stem them,
cut them up and put them into the freezer.
They will be yummy in the winter time.

Oh by the way, I left just enough to make
Hurry Scurry Cake for Sunday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Day In Vienna

The City Center of Vienna is Steeped in History.

We finally decided to take a tour on carriage driven by horses.
This was such an ideal way and everyone enjoyed it.
The rider was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor.
He took us on a tour called the "Ringstrasse" which is the prominent tour of the
Viennese architecture and culture.

That's our little Deniz and he loved to sit right up front
and was fascinated by the horses.

This was our proud tour guide and those other special people in our family.
(the shortest man)

This is the city of course where we had hoped to go to the Opera House, but sometimes life's unexpected twists, like technical difficulties prevented us from attending the Opera.

But never the less, just to be in the busy city night life of Vienna and feel the hustle and bustle of culture was already enough for us. As we walked through one huge stone opening here was a university student playing "The Magic of Electric Violin." It's a collection of old love songs mixed with classics. And the sounds that echoed from this tiny walkway were amazing.

At the end of this street is the baroque church of St. Peter.
That's my husband,John and his sister, Anke

The 137 m South tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral soars above the city rooftops.

It's an amazing piece of Gothic architect.

A banner across the entrance said,
Jesus Christ Today, Yesterday, Tomorrow.

Here are the Vienna Museums.

The houses are all built one against the other,
generally about 15-20 feet wide and with perhaps 4-5 apartment levels.
But this picture here indicates the smallest apartment in Vienna.
It was about 30" wide.
If you look carefully, you can see the wall inserts.

Yes, we did sneak into the the world renown hotel, "Sacher" which was
only to be visited by Dukes and Divas and celebrities.
Yes, we pretended to be high class and no questions were asked,
till later when they found out who we really were,
we were escorted out quite quickly.

This is where some of the famous European Torte were originated.
This is the Esterhazy Torte.

This is where the Sacher Torte originated.
(We didn't even get to taste a piece in this grand hotel)

We were able to stand in the entrance of the Vienna Opera House.

It too is an amazing piece of artwork and is spread over many city blocks.
All over Vienna through the "Ringstrasse" they have located
statues of the famous musicians, Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, Mozart etc.

These are the Austrian Parliament Buildings originally erected by
Emperor Franz Joseph.

These building and museums contain the art and history of Vienna.

The Parliament Building of Vienna

You are now entering into the court of theSchonbrunn Palace.
It expands over acres and acres.
Why this is of high importance to me, was that last year
I was watching a PBS Show of Andre Rieu,
who is an extra ordinary musician and conductor.
He was born in the Netherlands in 1949.
He later created the Johann Strauss Orchestra
and has been travelling worldwide over the past 20 years.
He was in Vancouver the last two years and if you like
Johann Strauss Music, then it's a must.

Anyways whats so important about this?
It just felt so nostalgic to walk on these grounds where
Europe's finest musicians have performed world wide.

These are the massive gardens built in the
back of the palace for Queen Sissi who was very hard to please.

It's right here by these steps, that he had his stage and orchestra set up.
On TV, the participants were all
wearing evening gowns and waltzing up and down the aisles.

It did not have quite the same effect at GM Place (hockey arena)
But wow, I couldn't imagine a better place than to hear the classics.

There's so much more, but one day is not enough.
One day is only a teaser.
This is a place that will draw me back again and again.

We've Finally Met

The day started off with a Bang.
The lawns needed cutting and the house needed cleaning.
It won't take long now and a special guest will be arriving.
A guest that I had never met.
And there she is "My dear friend Lovella, who has been an
to me through her blogging world.

But here sits the Queen of Blog land in her skirt on the ground trying to take photo's.

She realized she forgot her battery!!!

So be it!
It wasn't difficult to find others to help take pictures.

It was exactly a year ago when someone encouraged me to look
at Lovella's blog and I loved it from the beginning.

After playing Peak a Boo in each other's homes,
we drove up to Judy's house, where she showed us her lovely new home.

Our intentions were to enjoy a walk,
but quite quickly we realized we had too much to catch up.

We drove up to the Wildcat Grill, only to sit down and visit.
We talked about everything under the sun.
Sometimes as you can see, the mood was quite serious.
Take note, we only drank water & coffee,
but why is Judy lifting a fork into her mouth?

Judy and I have known each other through high school,
but only reconnected a year ago through blogland,
and now we love to walk and sip on Starbucks.

On our little tour, we found a farmer standing out in his field,
so we asked him to take a few pictures.
He was more than willing.
We wanted to give you a sense of country.
So we crept carefully into the high grasses,

A snake slithered away from us, just long enough to take some shots.


Screams could be heard all over the neighborhood.

And as we calmed down,
we realized that we not only made new friendships,
but we also made some worthwhile memories.

Back to Judy's Front Porch where we ended our day on her new swings.
Always look for the moments and make the best of them.

Seeing we have a Mennonite Cookbook on the way,
We thought that maybe we should start a Travel Blog.
Anyone out there wanting to organize a travel tour?