Sunday, July 26, 2009

There is no place like home

It is very early in the morning. Finley is still asleep and Sadie is helping me write a new blog.
As I look out the window, watching the sun rise and the neighbors cutting grass with old fashioned instruments, I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to come here. I had a dream last night that I was gutting the hotel with Ida...we chucked everything, starting all over again. It felt great, very real.

We have such versatile weather here, which makes it very easy to do things. The really hot days are for going to the lake and the cooler ones for attending all kinds of the circus. Yesterday afternoon we visited our friends at "Handmountain Ranch". They breed Yaks and keep a stable full of horses. A five week old foal and three yak calves kept Finley happy.

We still have two weeks to go and lots of plans for more excitement like the zoo, Hirschalm, Salzkammergut, St. Oswald...!!
Fritz purchased a slack line and will hopefully put it up in the garden today for all of us to practice.
More adventure, bring it on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A snow safari with the big white hunter;-))

With frostbite still on our faces, we look back at a couple of lovely days in the Appalachian
Mountains. Memories of blazing gas fires and scenes from "First Blood"
and "Commando" pop up occasionally and warm my heart as I watch Finley
collect sticks that look like guns in an attempt to shoot us before
doing his signature shoulder roll. Perhaps, I should have put him to
bed before the films started. I may have been mistaken thinking that
Rambo and the likes are educational programs.
However, the damage is
done and the words "shoot you" and "bang" are with us and with his
classmates at school. One mom was a little surprised when she saw
Finley outside school, collecting twigs that looked like guns in anattempt to shoot whoever needed shooting!!
I guess he is just a little more advanced and cares more about survival techniques than Thomas the boring tank engine.
Luckily, he did not only learn to shoot in the Allegheny
Mountains, no, he also had a go at snow boarding and learned that
Starbucks is one of those things in life you cannot live without,
especially when it is -1F outside and the wind is so cold you need a
face mask that makes you look like the guy from "Texas Chainsaw
Here we go, another learning curve for the boy to make his parents proud.
did not ski or board since hauling myself down a mountain side unable
to see my own feet did not appeal to me. Instead, I played mom and
cooked goulash for everyone until they got sick of it, especially on
day three, when they had to have what was left of it for breakfast.
Our dinner conversations where awesome. Phil's brother Craig-the big white hunter-told us anecdotes of his hunting trips in Africa and we all listened, awe inspired, to every story whether it was about massive crocks
eating their own kind or people surviving being trapped underwater by
one of those prehistoric beasts. We all want to go hunting with Craig
in Africa and shoot elephants and other big game, or maybe just sit on
a huge tree and watch him do itinstead.
In the meantime, however,
the only animals in need of terminating are the rats in my garden and
judging by the holes they make in my flower beds they probably are as
big as elephants.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

All you need is some sun;-)))

Granny and Grandpa invited us to come over to their Bahamian pad and stay for a week. Before our departure, which incidentally was the trip from hell, we had a look at Obama's
new crib and managed to pack in some light sightseeing, even though it
was freezing cold in DC. The cold East Coast weather must have traveled
down South all the way to the Bahamas since it was a little chilly
there too although a hell of a lot warmer than icy cold Washington. We
still managed to get a little tan and it was very nice and relaxing.
Kati took about 300 pictures on our strolls through the little ice
cream town. Everything was pink and minty green, just like it should
Daddy managed to surprise us on the weekend with his presence and we traveled back to Richmond on Monday.
We had a day to recover and are off to Snow Shoe Mountains for a bit of snowboarding tomorrow. Apparently they have -30 C...awesome!!!!;-))))))

Friday, January 09, 2009

A great New Year

Despite homesickness and spouts of wanting to hop on the next plane that can take me straight back to Waldhausen,
my 100 acre forest, I have no doubts that this year will be awesome.
Not having read a book or having watched anything lately, other than
Austrian cooking programs, my inspiration for this post stems entirely
from looking at images and remembering Christmas and New Year with
family and friends in Austria.
I am filled with pride, learning that my old hunting grounds, the city of Linz, had been named culture capital
of the year 2009. This alone is reason enough to celebrate, but there
is so much more happening in 2009 and I am ready for some big
Steve wants to build a castle in Austria. He was looking for a name and asked me if "Schloss Handberg" sounded to pretentious...I figured it was a good name! Schloss Handberg
in my 100 acre forest...sounds awesome!!!! Fits right in with the
images we shot from the car window whilst touring the village on our
last day when an ice storm prevented us from visiting the cross for one
last view onto the beautiful surroundings.
Happy New Year to all
friends and family and everybody else out there...for it will be a
great and happy year indeed;-))))))))))))