Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It only makes you wonder if your bucket list is complete and if you are crossing off the lines one by one. Again, my favorite German phase translated, "Live your dreams; don't dream your life!" comes to mind. I think it is time to make my bucket list and this time actually put it on paper. Nothing is impossible if the desire is great enough.
It seems after that 60th birthday, things get a little more serious. Like, be kinder to those you love, keep contact with old friends, make yourself useful to others, be more generous, etc. But, to have actual things on that list, that seems a little more selfish and egotistical to me. But then, life comes around once and you need to make the most of each day and if it is something you really want to do, do it!
I guess number 1 on my list would be to research my ancestry and get a family tree on paper for my grandchildren and those who follow. I come from a very unusual background, growing up in a German community in the middle of Iowa, having German as my only language as I entered Kindergarten and now being absolutely elated that I am fluent in two languages. That is such a gift that has not been recognized until I started traveling in Europe.
Well, I have one on my list. Probably won't share too many more, but I hope all of you are also making your bucket list before time slips aways from you.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The first time this chateau came into view, our hearts beat faster and our mouths dropped open. This looked like a real castle and we were the little people who were going to be spending a week there.
Chateau de La Vauguyon is a gite we rented for a week in the Loire Valley, near Chinon, France. Actually if you click on the picture and enlarge it, we stayed in the dovecote, the totally renovated circular tower that many years ago housed pigeons. It is on the right of the picture.
It was a delightful stay and our host was very knowledgeable and even took us on a tour of some of his favorite vineyards. His English was perfect; unlike our miserable French.
Just below the property, we could walk to a farmer's field where they were harvesting the delicious white asparagus that are so loved in Europe. Talk about fresh!
Since we were there in 2006, we have had contact with our host, and he has added another gite in the main house.
We have been so fortunate to pick many lovely places to stay in France, all from research on the Internet, but this place has a special spot in my heart.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I was always under the impression that it was Trigger, but now I realize Roy was in the area to buy a new horse and that was the horse making his entrance in the kitchen.
He was one of my childhood heroes. www.royrogers.com/museum.html
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I've gotten myself into some predicaments while traveling in Europe. Problem spots are figuring out parking meters and parking garage protocols, washing machines and toilets. Today I will speak about the toilets.
I would venture to say, most American toilets operate the same. In Italy or France, you could be faced with a real problem. Finding the flusher is the challenge. I have been known to spend a lot of time in public restrooms, simply trying to figure out how to flush. Sometimes there is a foot pedal on the floor, a tiny, almost hidden button on the wall, a cord pulled from near the ceiling, and my favorite, the double flusher where you choose a regular or eco-friendly flush.
The most disturbing toilet or W.C. as it is known in most of Europe (meaning water closet) is what is called a Turkish toilet. It is simply a hole in the floor with a grooved ceramic foot plate on either side. It is slanted with the higher edge against the wall.
The first time I saw this, I decided I could wait until later. I told my husband I had no clue how to straddle something like that and would have to read up on it first. In all honesty, I still avoid that type of apparatus even though I have found out that you back up on the foot plates. Have you ever!
I truly believe these challenging situations are what draws me back to the old country every time. To get out of down-filled beds with square pillows and emerge into the daily life of a European, make my French press coffee or Italian espresso and eat breakfast as the Europeans do. To walk the old cobblestone streets in awe of the magnificant architecture and the "oldness" of everything. That makes me wonder if I was born on the right side of the ocean because this is what I truly love and miss when I am back home.
I'll tell you about my experiences with the washing machine later....
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Trout and I decided to go to the local museum and view a collection of Frederic Remington's work, including 4 reproduced sculptures in 1000 ounces of silver each. So beautiful. I guess there is a little American cowboy in a lot of us.
Also included in the museum were interesting photos from a book "Material World: A Global Family Portrait" by Peter Menzel. Very thought provoking photos of families around the world with all their possessions outside, in front of their homes. Everyone should see this.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Living in Florida, we have finally come to the conclusion it is very important to always have a spare tank on hand. You never know when a hurricane or lightening strike will hit and your life will depend on the gas grill for food.
Getting back to dinner...it only needed a 1 minute zap in the Amana radarange. How's that for getting a plug in for my hometown?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I do not usually frequent antique shops, but I would love to own one of these beautiful antiques someday. Perhaps, not to put on my front door, but to put in a shadowbox frame to admire in my home. Someday, I want one of these beautiful knockers for myself.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Dale caught 921 trout in the pristine streams and lakes of Montana and released them all back to nature to catch another year. Yes, we do have the pics to prove. I am sure someone will suggest later that they be added to this blog.
Our biggest surprise was 4-6 inches of snow on August 31! A little early, but beautiful to see. It just makes the mountains more pronounced and special.
It is always fun to restock the pantry and refrigerator when we get back from our long trips. Like starting over.. The best part is sleeping in my own bed again.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I don't think we have ever lived a typical life. We married 45 years ago and within the first year, the Vietnam war separated us. The Trout was drafted into the Army and after US training, was sent to Heidelberg, Germany. "Is this a dream?" was my only comment. Wonderful memories go back to that year in Germany. After all, it was my first language.
We traveled extensively that year and have almost every year since. I will try to share some of the greater moments we have experienced and hopefully this will become a diary for the children and grandchildren when grandmother no longer knows where she is!!