trois jour weekend

as commercial as these belgians claim our american halloween to be, you can't refute that, i will be thinking halloween thoughts this weekend, and i'm wearing halloween socks from thriller four years ago to prove loyalty.

i will miss seeing the color orange everywhere. i will miss eating reeces ghosts, goblins, ghouls or whatever shape they are selling this year. i will miss seeing my nieces and nephews clad in wigs, make-up, and plastic in the hopes for a day becoming their ultimate idol: ariel or dinos. i will miss seeing my parents pizazz come out as they don a cleverly planned costume so opposite of their true nature: a pirate judge or the wicked witch. i will miss decorating pumpkin sugar cookies with my beloved family. no costumes needed, no screams, or scares. just love. such a simple tradition we've had for---to say it this way: i think the pumpkin cookie cutter that has made thousands of waistline spreading goodies is older than i am---that is how long we've been making pumpkin sugar cookies. i love family.

we're off for a three day weekend. not because of halloween, but all saints day. 
we took our first night snapshots and the candlelit streets were as spooky as it got here...


take home chronicles: impressionism, spirals, and stuffing

i spy something with my little eye something that is colorful all over...

an artist at work. wow.

in our wildest dreams our house has a spiral staircase.

and an overly tufted sofa.

i really like europe, almost everything about it. but our wildest dreams do not include taxidermy. sorry every other store here who has dead stuffed somethings hanging on walls.
but i have a hankering for plastered or papered taxidermy and even have considered making a taxidermy giraffe of sorts.


1/2 point five 50%

i'm half way to a birthday as of this week. normally my half birthday in october passes without my recognition, but i realized a few weeks ago that it was coming up and got all excited. we made belgium chocolate cake to celebrate. i scouts-honor-promised devin could eat the whole rest of the cake, after my yummy piece was gone. we were both happy campers.
 we played the very merry unbirthday song, and then devin demonstrated "the carlton", from fresh prince-dunno how i missed out on such a dance move like that until now. it all was worthy of a half birthday

pics from rainy brussels saturday

i exaggerated yesterday, maybe there is fall here in belgium. but this is one of the few trees i've seen that changed color.

i selfishly started what i hope to keep as a half birthday tradition for our family. it was a friendly reevaluation checkpoint, a half way mark, and who doesn't love a reason for some extra cake?


the flea market that happens daily: RAIN or shine.

there is frost on the grass this morning. it is below freezing here. no fall here in belgium. just jump into winter. over the weekend it was rainy Rainy RAINY.

i'm learning i'm a flea market follower-where they are, we follow. 
it's a given then, that i've been itching to visit the well known belgian flea market in the place du jeu de balle. it earns it's fame for going on day in and day out. 365. amazing.
 some of this stuff is hard for me to believe anyone would want: mannequins, rain soaked teddy bears, piles of old hardware... but one man's junk is another man's treasure.

after all the hunting through junk, we did find a stellar hat vendor. the photo below is proof of purchase. our first improvement to the gear that'll help us better brave the bitter winter.



enter friterie that i wistfully drool at every time we go grocery shopping.

exit with many pounds of blissful fries all wrapped in a lovely bouquet.

belgian frites, thick and caloric, lived up to their expectation.
bon travail belgique. j t'aime.
i really honestly love belgium...it's taken some time, but it's spot in my heart is growing.