Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Things

I'm just going to throw out a guess that if someone has not watched Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical phenomenon, The Sound of Music, (which rose Julie Andrews to an even greater Hollywood status) then they have at least heard of it. This week since we started out on Monday featuring children's things I thought I would write about one of my favorite childhood movies, "The Sound of Music." In particular, I'm drawing from one of the film's most memorable songs, "My Favorite Things."

Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria (as in "The Sound of Music")

A brief background of the motion picture includes the story of a young woman named Maria who lives in a convent in Austria and finds she is not suited for the quiet and reserved life of a nun.

Mother Superior, the head of the convent, understands and suggests she become a governess for a wealthy retired naval officer who is widowed with seven children. She does and at first the children play tricks on her as they did to get rid of their other governesses, but Maria is tough and clever.

Through her free spirit and genuine kindness, they eventually adore her as she reawakens music and song in their home. During a thunderstorm, Maria cheers the children up by singing of her favorite things such as raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, snowflakes and apple streudels, to name a few.

Wax figures in a Salzburg souvenir shop
Later on in the storyline, Maria has fallen in love with their father, the Captain, who is pretty handsome, secretly fun-loving and kind under his hard military exterior but yet regrettably engaged.

The Captain realizes that he loves Maria too after she resigns as governess due to confusion over her feelings for him. He pursues her at the convent and they are married, but the happy ending does not arrive because Germany’s Third Reich is now expanding to take over Austria. They demand that the Captain join their military campaign.

He refuses and the family of nine must now flee their beloved country to hide out in Switzerland. On their way out of Salzburg, they are apprehended by Nazi officers, but they undermine them during an impromptu singing competition, are hidden by the nuns at the convent and barely escape to the hills alive with “the sound of music.”

The song, “My Favorite Things,” shows one of many things about life. It is the simple things that can mean the most to you. Optimism is needed in daily life whether it is obtained through spending time with family or friends or doing or thinking of one of your favorite things.

Me on the Mirabell Garden steps that the Von Trapp children hopped down during "Do Re Mi"
My version of my favorite things includes:

Mexican hammocks (I slept in one for a week one time), pens & notebooks (I’m a writer…enough said), my passport (the more stamps, the better), photographs (memories in print), my Bible (because God’s Word gives important instruction for my life), Skittles (the blue or orange packs only) and green Interstate signs (always a reminder of road trips).
I also like bluegrass & folk music (I find it relaxing), my grandmother’s cooking (Chicken & Dumplings, rice and gravy, homemade pecan pie...hungry yet?), riding in a boat or party barge on a lake (I reminds me of my hometown), spending time with family and friends and scarves of all kinds (I have about every color).
More of my favorite things include: hot fruit tea (like raspberry tea from the Jane Austen tea room in Bath, England) as well Middle Eastern sage tea served in little ornate glass cups (drank it all the time in Jordan), maps and globes (If you've visited my office, you know it.), cats (such vibrant personalities), desserts (ice cream, cheesecake and confetti cake.) and movies and music of all kinds (I have eclectic taste).

Having new experiences is another favorite of mine. I also like snapdragons and peach roses, peanut butter on pancakes (and really next time I'm in New Orleans I must try the bacon peanut butter hamburger from Yo-Mama's Bar & Grill), singing in my car, hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows. Reading, writing and traveling are a given.
I know there are still a lot of other things that I like and I am sure, Reader, there are things we have in common and don't. I encourage you to do things you love when you can whether it is eating a scoop of your favorite ice cream, calling your best friend or singing along in your car to a song on the radio.

Just remember when the dog bites (or the bills pile up), when the bee stings (you, spouse or child gets sick) and when you’re feeling sad (from financial or physical stress, etc)…simply remember your favorite things and then you won't feel so bad.

What are some of your favorite things? What do you like to do to destress and remember the simple things of life? I feel as a writer I must take time to just observe life around me. Be observant and you never know what story is bound to pop up.

Here's proof of how cheesy I am. (Ha!) I made this video for my best friend, Sarah. We always sang and danced along with "The Sound of Music" when we were kids. Who am I kidding? We still sing them. :)



  1. Hi Morgan,

    I been to Austria in 1996 but did not make it to Salzburg. Spent most of my time in Vienna. I did want to do Salzburg as a day trip. I would like to do Salzburg as a trip by itself like during the Mozart Festival.

    Some of my favorite things include:

    My almost 13 year old diabetic West Higland Terrier named Blithe (hence the BW (Blithe Westie) you are seeing)

    Chocolate - Need I say anything more

    Tea - I like Numi Teas the best. Prefer black teas for the caffene. Green, red and white teas are good but I will drink that in the afternoon.

    My father's gravy. It was definitely the best. My father died 10 years ago and he did by trial and taste. There was no recipe.

    My father's sauerbraten. The way he cooked this and the gravy he made were out of this world.

    I rode in a blimp in 2006. Amazing.

    Victoria Falls. Again amazing

    I actually love my job as a technical writer. I love writing documentation for NASA projects. Mostly I write for two experimental racks on the ISS. Currently I have been training to command one of the racks from the ground. I had to complete numerous self study classes and classroom training along with passing many test before I could even sit down at a workstation to send commands. Recently I began on-the-job traning where I am sending commands to the rack. The experience is mind blowing. I love watching the experiment taking place.


    1. Hi Lori! Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting! :)

      Wow, you write for NASA. Who all can say that?! :) That's incredible! I can't imagine all the things you've seen and heard.

      I really loved Austria--though I only saw Salzburg. I want to go back for the New Year's Eve Ball in Vienna! Eek! I'd love it!

      Chocolate is definitely a given and I'm sure your terrier is cute. (Sadly, the pic didn't show up here.) I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. I bet his gravy and sauerbraten were out of this world!

      Those Germans and Austrians have some good food! I had Weiner Schnitzel in Salzburg at a cafe where Mozart used to eat! Ah! It was awesome!

      Oooh! Victoria Falls and a blimp ride. Cool! I would so love for you to share a travel post about one of your travels, whether Austria, Victoria Falls or anywhere else. Directions to post are at this link:

      Well have a great day! ttyl


    2. I didn't send a picture. I meant the BW at the top of my blog entry. Sorry for the confusion.

    3. Oh! It's okay. :) Talk to you later!

  2. What a fun post, Morgan! I've loved The Sound of Music since I was little too. Have you ever read The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, written by the real Maria Von Trapp? It's delightful.
    Funny, I was kind of thinking about "favorite things"--or at least things I have to be thankful for--this morning. They included sweet smelling pink roses in my room, my sister, good movies to watch, and God's grace greater than our sin. Many more, of course, but I have to get going, so must stop there for now. :)

    Have a blessed day!

    1. Thanks so much, Kiersti!! :)

      I haven't read Maria's story yet, but I have a copy sitting on my shelf. I better get to it!

      That's cool that you were thinking about your "favorite things" this morning. "God's grace greater than our sin" sums it all up, doesn't it! We would be nothing without Him. Amen.

      Hope you have a great day! P.S. Your "Penner's Spotlight" post about England will be up on Friday!! Yay!! I can't wait. :)

      Thanks so much for submitting. I'll ttyl.


    2. Thanks so much for the opportunity to submit, Morgan! I've really been enjoying your blog and connecting with you. And I forgot just now--until I saw it--that my post would be up this morning, so that was a fun surprise! :)


    3. You're welcome, Kiersti! Thanks so much! I have really enjoyed your comments and your post. I hope you stay in touch. :) Have a nice weekend!


  3. Okay, I'm pretty sure we have to hang out sometime because we have a lot of the same favorite things! In fact, when we get together, let's eat Skittles, Chicken & Dumplings, and confetti cake (my MIL just made me an entire cake for my birthday. An. Entire. Confetti. Cake.). ;)

    1. Hahaha, Lindsay! I love it!

      We should SO get together and eat all of that in the same meal. :) We're adults...candy is now a perfectly acceptable dietary staple, right?! lol

      I have a funfetti cake every year for my birthday! Oh, where do you live? We need a meet & greet & eat. ha.

      Hope you have a great day girl! ttyl


      P.S. I'd love to have you as a guest travel blogger sometime if you're willing. It's not a long post and can be about anywhere you've traveled (in state or out, etc.). You can promote your blog, book, etc. Just let me know. The direction are at the link below:

    2. I'm in Phoenix, AZ. I saw your post about the East Texas conference you attended, which incidentally is about an hour from where I was born (Tyler).

      I'd love to be a guest. I'll have to check out the instructions. Thanks! :)

    3. That'd be great, Lindsay. Just let me know if you need any further info about posting.

      Oh, so you're from Tyler. That's cool! If you can, you should definitely come to the E. TX conference next year. I really enjoy it. If I ever head to AZ, I'll be messaging you so we can go eat our Skittles, confetti cake and chicken and dumplings! lol.

      My aunt just moved to Winslow, AZ and I plan on visiting sometime, perhaps by Amtrak. :) We might can plan a visit. ttyl girl

  4. Attention: I have added a funny video to my post above.

    Please check it out. Let's just say it involves me hopping down the stairs like the Von Trapps. :) I couldn't resist! When in Rome! Err...Salzburg! ha.