Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This year is coming to an end and with Christmas approaching I will not post much more in the coming days!
We have so much to be grateful for: A happy family, health, peace and prosperity have been with us this last year! We do not take it for granted!

To all of my lovely blog friends, may you all have a peaceful and relaxing holiday time! May the next year bring you what you need and hope for! May life be good!

Wishing you all the best!
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

* Winter * wonder * land

Places I often visit in my mind, 'my son's city' Berlin and Munich in subzero temperatures and a thick blanket of snow!


Reichstag -The seat of the German Parliament.

A Train near Brocken mountain in eastern Germany.

Typical street scene in Berlin.

Knut, the famous Polar bear from the Berlin Zoo! Happy at last!!!

Snow Walker, Munich, Germany
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Munching Our Way Through München
Munich, where my parents live and my sisters near by!


The Christmas market at the main square in Munich! Foreground the beautiful city hall!

I am thinking of you all, my loves! My boys, parents, siblings, friends...far away in wintery Germany! I miss you all!


Pictures see sources!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I am reading now


Lately, with winter upon us I love to read more and hang out next to the fire place, after all the day's work is done.
I can hear my daughter singing upstairs, my son playing guitar and my husband still working next door on his computer. The dog cozies up next to me, expecting a neck rub and perhaps a treat and then I curl up on the couch and open my book! Heavenly moment! Well, until the familiar Maamaaa! call is heard from upstairs....

Last year I had read Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden and when The Distant Hours came out a couple of month ago I could not wait to find the right moment to begin with it! Kate Morton, a native Australian, lives in Brisbane with her family.
Her first book The House at Riverton is still on my list. I like to tease myself...Another long winter is ahead!


So that's where I am now: An old English castle, family secrets and a young heroine, a wonderful recipe for a tale which has me in it's grip way later then my usual bedtime....
I found Kate Morton's website and check out this fabulous trailer to her new book!

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton from Pan Macmillan on Vimeo.

So if you are in with me for a mystery with all the trimmings, go ahead, find a reading nook, get comfortable and open the first page!


PS: Click on the book titles to go to Amazon to shop!

Pictures as indicated.

Monday, December 13, 2010

After the rain

Our young tree in front of our house glistened and sparkled this morning in the early sunlight after yesterday's rain.
Beauty on an ordinary Monday....
Wishing you a good week!


Picture by V.Zlotkowski

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, outside - inside

Good morning!

Waking up to the hauling of a rainstorm, where our street turns into a river and the trees bend under the gusts of wind, we sit down for a cozy breakfast, with candle light and music...makes us even more appreciative of our nest!

May you stay warm and cozy wherever you are!

Happy Sunday!


All pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A week in December

This week has been everything from exhilarating to down right dull. It began well enough with a wonderful visit to the German School Christmas bazaar!
Gluehwein and cakes, cookies and sausages galore... Find recipe here.

We spent a lovely afternoon, met our German friends and marveled at all the decorations and handmade goodies at the market. I came home with inspirations and a few stocking stuffer.
But also with a sick child and a strange feeling myself...
We both ended up being truly under the weather and with a bronchitis! Now my son and I are taking antibiotics...Yikes!

And this not being enough, the 10 year old dishwasher broke on the same day as the as the 4 month old microwave, my stove gave up after 20 years (!) with two heating plates a day later. Oh, well! Now I have been looking for new appliances, had our brand new microwave oven exchanged (we had bought this one in August '10!!!) Did I tell you I have an older kitchen? It's gonna change now....
The delivery is set for January 2011! Can you believe it takes so long to get a new stove and dishwasher? Go figure.
At least I will really appreciate the arrival of my new appliances!
Here is was I bought!

GE Profile Built-In Tall Tub Dishwasher Energy Star in Stainless Steel

GE Profile
I am particularly excited about the amazing range. A double convection oven, with a ceramic stove top!!!
I can't wait.
All on the mend now....
Oh, what a week it has been!

xx Victoria

Monday, December 6, 2010

The first snow

Since this morning it's coming steady and softly down from the skies...
Perhaps there will be white Christmas after all!

We celebrate St.Nikolaus Day! Santa's helper brings good children candies and bad ones a black stick....
We were all good!

Snowy where you are???

xx Victoria

Picture by V.Zlotkowski

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter garden

The garden in winter is quiet, yet I hear the rustling of a bird, looking for a morsel, or the squirrels, jumping from branch to branch. There is subtle movement under the bare rose bush, a chipmunk runs for cover.The air has the first icy grip and I hear the last leaves falling.

The small bird almost invisible...

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rainy day

Today is a stormy

Stay indoors

Kind of day.
Where sweaters

And hot tea

Should come your way!

Stay dry!

Pictures by V.Zlotkowski and and from here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Adding some green

Yesterday I used the sunny afternoon to visit the nursery around the corner to purchase first greens to decorate the house for the holidays. Just a couple of branches are enough to make it work for me. I do like simple arrangements best. Candles and all my other decorations take care of the rest.

There is a wreath with lights on the front door, greeting us in the dark when we come home. We will add and refresh the greens as the days go by, decorating the Christmas tree in mid December. I use a fresh evergreen garland over the mantel, but I will do it in the next weeks. This way it will still be fragrant by Christmas Day!

Do you use fresh greens?


Pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magic carpet

A few weeks ago I looked through eBay, a hobby of sorts, to find treasures to blog about or to find things I happen to look around for our own needs. One of those needs has been a carpet for our living room. A carpet has not been on our have -to -have -list, for the obvious reasons: Always something else more needed!
But then I hit the jackpot finding a beauty...
The PB navy wool chain link carpet. The price was more then right (A $ 299 bargain), 100 % wool, the colors and pattern absolute perfect and all I needed to do was convincing my better half that now was the right time.
I succeeded!

Click to enlarge the images.

And here comes the magic: Since the carpet arrived, a day before Thanksgiving (A magic in itself, it was not expected until Dec.1) everybody is drawn to it's cheerful pattern, it's warmth and the room now feels completed and chic!

We love this carpet!

xx Victoria

Pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

May this Thanksgiving be filled with the blessings of the harvest season and our hearts grateful for all what we have received!
Wishing you a joyous day with your families and friends!



Picture by V. Zlotkowski

Friday, November 19, 2010

11 pictures

Six more weekends until 2011... The year has flown by, I still remember our beginnings at Vermont.
January came with snow...

February brought an enormous blizzard... with a blackout for many days!

There was the Orchid Show in March.

April had the Easter bunny.

Makeover May.

June and the end of the school year...

July travels to our destinations in Europe - Germany...

August in Italy!

September bringing back our American life...

October filled with joy.

And November with some home work...

It has been a wonder filled year until now, we are so looking forward to Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season! We are grateful!
May you all celebrate your year and all the memories you are keeping close to your hearts!


All pictures by V. Zlotkowski.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekends roll around...

Weekends roll around and it's almost Thanksgiving. I am a little scared as how fast the time passes by, I am still feeling the afterglow of this summer. This makes me sometimes melancholic and as I sit near the fireplace, crackling with a fire to warm the house I reflect on my life. The old feeling of an endless amounts of time ahead of me gives way more often to the awareness of it's passing. My own time span is thankfully unknown to me, but I think about what I have done with my life until now and how often I feel the need to do more. To be more creative, more active, more caring, more loving. Less selfish - more selfish?
There is this voice pushing me onward to new goals, yet they are still hidden. Sitting here I try to listen.
How often do you have the time to concentrate on the inner dialog? There are so many distractions...
The time is always now and I am fully aware of this. To embrace this very moment, to live in the presence, to look at this fire, which will burn down in a while and to enjoy the dancing flames.
To embrace the family, to spend the extra time with parents, who are getting older and with friends. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to reflect upon life, the intensity of every moment and the importance of being together - now!
There are people without contacts, lonely, often quietly so. Neighbors without family, the odd fellow. Perhaps we can embrace them too, pack an extra meal, or a small gift. Time is a wonderful present. Many people are just grateful to talk.

I will keep this in mind as the holiday season rolls around and we get caught up in all the festive preparations...

Wishing you a great week!


Tre pictures my own, hands via goggle image.
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