Austrian Autumn Supper

Autumn just happens to be my favorite season. The crisp air, apple stands, pumpkins for sale everywhere, cornstalks, , hay rides, I love it all.

And the leaf color….Is there anything more beautiful?

Being away 5 days each week doesn’t leave a lot of time to connect with old friends and enjoy the season with an autumn supper.

 It takes determination to make the schedules agree and set a date.

And that’s just what happened on a beautiful autumn October evening.

Mr. Finely Done had the perfect menu in mind. Once I knew the menu, I had the table décor in mind

Our Guinea Pigs, I mean special friends, enjoy a food adventure,  and we were all looking forward to an evening of food, fun and adventure.

Chef Mr. Finely Done,  has the kitchen for the night. He’s the best and we look forward to the creative cuisine he comes up with.

Austrian Food it would be, None of us have ever been and will probably never visit the country of Austria.  An evening in Austria, how lovely.

We began the meal with a toast to the evening with Austrian wine.

.Blauer Zweigelt-Red
Gruner Veltliner-White

The table was set and looked quite autumnish and hopefully Austrian.


Each place setting had the Austrian menu by the plate. No guess work in what we were eating.

Those copper bowls were just perfect for the squash soup, our starter for the evening.




And the rest of the meal……….drum roll please….

The entrée is breaded pork chop. The veggies I think you can figure out.

The dessert was chocolate chip pumpkin cake topped with vanilla ice crème.

It disappeared before I got a picture. Sorry.

One guest commented that this was the best international dinner so far.

I would have to agree that it was a perfect evening.

The ccombination of dear friends who had missed each other, the autumn evening and the good food made it an evening we would remember for a long time.






Fast Foward

You begin the New Year, January 1, 2017,  and think you have 365 brand new days ahead… Lots and lots of time, Right?

And then it’s like someone pushed the fast forward button;   you look up and December is knocking on the door.

I can’t be the only one feeling this.



We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with family and the day after…….Black Friday, nope, no shopping for me…….pumpkins were marching , gourdes was flying and leaves were falling …

Falling and being packed away in plastic tubs.  My day after Thanksgiving tradition is to pack away fall and bring on Christmas.

By the end of the day, my goal is to be 90 % finished. What hasn’t been done on Friday can usually be finished on Saturday.

But, before all of that, Christmas came to the cottage.  

Back at the cottage , not long after Halloween, I was decorating the halls.

Just little touches here and there. It doesn’t take a lot,


I’m saving my energy and most Christmas décor for the main house.













And while all the activity was going on inside,

this little fella was watching through the kitchen window

wondering when his dinner would be served.


Be patient Kitty, this won’t take long. wink wink



Always look for the JOY

Remember August 21, 2017? 

It was just a few weeks ago when  we were excited about the total solar eclipse within a band across the United States.

Remember the joy surrounding this rare event? Not only were scientists overjoyed, but businesses and schools announced closings and provided  special glasses for safe viewing. People gathered in large stadiums for eclipse parties to view this spectacular rare occurrence.  All eyes were on the sky and there was no mistaking, this was a joyous occasion.

Since then, there have been several major disasters and the joy has been obscured. We are in the middle of hurricane season and it has been a very active season. Such destruction like we’ve never seen. Along with hurricanes, have been earthquakes, fires and tornados. All uncontrollable happenings that have us scratching our heads to wonder, what’s next. 


We are just a week away from fall and it already has been a time when looking for the joy has been an almost impossible task. 

Finding joy doesn’t minimize the sadness and the devastation that is left behind after tragic situations.. 

We feel guilty for even thinking of continuing to find enjoyment in our lives when others are suffering.

Tragedy can tear us down or build  us up. We can dwell on it and keep living it day after day. But that activity keeps us from moving forward.

Through and after a tragedy, we can grow, learn, be compassionate, love and be loved. 

The joy is in finding the love and kindness that can always be found during the devastation.

Life’s challenges are not suppose to paralyze us. Joy is a healer and pushes us forward.


There are simple ways to bring back the joy that has seeped out through personal and/or other tragedies.

Enjoy your children or grandchildren. Children have periods of sadness and then just as quickly they can laugh and move on. Adults…..listen up.

It’s hard to be sad around a giggling child. 

A change of scenery is a way of putting the joy back in life. I don’t know about you, but a trip to the mountains does it for me. Just a few hours of breathing the air and gazing on the magnificence  makes me smile.


And always there is joy in helping someone else.  As we’ve heard countless times, its more blessed to give than receive.

Whatever you give, you will receive more in return. May sound like a cliché, but is so true.

Learn and study something new.

A few years ago, after a personal tragedy, I enrolled in a line dance class. Now that’s something  that requires focus  and concentration.

I didn’t want to be the one in the line that stood out because of all the mistakes my feet might be making. Line dancing became one of the ways  to help me find the joy in moving forward. 


I can’t leave this out. I find joy in decorating and redecorating. If you look at how many times I do this, you would think I am the most joyful person on earth. 

Find that activity that allows you to open up and find a renewed passion for life.

 When sadness comes, allow your tears to flow. And then your smile to shine.

When you have a choice…………always choose JOY.