Saturday, June 11, 2016

May Vacation

 We usually take a short vacation in May because my son has a few 4 day weekends from school. It is a bit off season, so not so much traffic, not so many people (I hate crowds), and off-season rates. Um, not always the best weather, but my son and I actually don't mind too much and DH is generally happy as long as we are happy.
 This year we went to Croatia. I know that sounds exotic, but if you lived in Massachusetts, that would be similar to going to Rhode Island...less than 5 hours by car...but with border passport checks. We drove through Slovania to get there...as 3 country trip! It was after this trip that I realized my passport has room for only a few more stamps...so I have to take care of that soon. 



Husband just shook his head when my son and I kept screaming for him to stop so we could take photos of the road signs, etc.  But seriously...how do you think you say the name of this town? My son and I were howling with laughter at so many things we saw along the way. We really love a good road trip!  I am getting creative with those photos scrap books you can order and these fun little photos make great fillers.



My son played tennis every day... and I was happy to lounge and watch him have fun! I have been sick, so I especially planned this trip around him playing tennis so he would get lots of exercise and I would get lots of rest. The hotel even had a buffet breakfast and supper plan so I didn't even have to really cook, but we did have a kitchenette for snacks.  It was the perfect family get away.



Friday, April 01, 2016

Spring in Austria

We still have cooler days, but lately it has been in the low-mid 60s. The City of Graz has been busy planting annual flowers and the perinneals are blooming too.
My son loves going for walks with me. I really love that about him. Rain, snow, fog, sun...If I say I want to go for a walk,  he is ready.  We have so many good talks on these walks. I really believe you must listen and converse about the little things, so that when big things come along...you are used to talking with each other. So, we walk...and talk.  Even when I am tired, I try to get a walk into the schedule. The other day we went to the click tower...and usually we go up and down the stairs. But on this particular day, we paid a small fee to take the elevator up and then walked down.
We had fun checking out what flowers were in bloom and watching the salamanders scampering in the sun. I brought a different camera and practiced taking photos on the macro setting. Now I just have to figure out how to put them on my computer. The idea of a Web compatible camera is sounding pretty good to me.
The city looks pretty in Spring!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter at my House

You can buy a lamb cake at the grocery store for about 2€ here in Austria. But then you miss all the fun of licking spatulas and all that other fun stuff.  This recipe is very good...It has 40 grams of cornstarch in it, an ingredient I never see in US cake recipes. I like this cake recipe and it makes the perfect sized cake for our little family of 3...served with strawberries and whipped cream! My husband thinks it is a bit funny that I have a cake pan that I use once a year, but isn't that the fun of holiday traditions?

A funny thing about recipes over here is that the measurements are given in weight. Even butter. So, you really do need a digital kitchen scale to weigh everything out...except the butter weights are on the wrapper, just like they are in the US, but over there I believe 1/4 and 1/2 cup measurements are indicated. Or something like that.

I even made a small batch of colored buttercream frosting and my son got creative and added some decorative touches in addition to the sprinkling of powered sugar.

And yes, it takes a bit of time. And yes, it makes a bit of a mess. But we are doing something fun together and he is very proud that he makes the Easter dessert. We are making family traditions and happy memories.  I have to involve him a little more in cooking because he likes it. I would rather cook together in the kitchen than have him watching endless TV (which he doesn't really do anyway, but you know what I am trying to say). Yesterday he was at a friend's house to play  and he was so sad that all the kid wanted to do was take turns playing video games. For this past vacation week he went to a rock wall climbing class every day for 3 hours. He is happiest doing something!

And I am happy with my lovely bouquet of flowers!  Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you had a nice day!