Another Desultory Post

The days are very beautiful, with lots of dappled sunlight all around and moderate temperatures.

Yesterday morning I looked up from my breakfast to see a huge Red Shoulder Hawk perched on a tall green garden stake. He remained for quite a while and when he finally left, he called out many times in a surprisingly high pitched and thin voice.

Such hawks are sometimes said to be a symbol of clear sightedness or deep insight.

One lives in hope.

This Sunday will be the eleventh anniversary of the death of my best friend and husband, Paul. I imagine it does not affect me as much as it once did, but I’ve been having terrible insomnia, several days of not getting to sleep until around 5am. Still, last night I had a very good night’s sleep.

And September 30th would have been our 46th wedding anniversary. Lots of wonderful memories there. Hiking in beautiful Allegheny State Park, New York and never seeing anyone else after we left the cabin. Glorious fall days. My favorite days were hiking the ridges through the park.

birds red shoulder hawk

This is not my photograph, but my hawk seemed even larger.

This Sunday will be the roller skating party for Sofia.  Next Thursday will be Silver Linings Day at Hillcrest School. Steven’s second grade classes will be showing their classrooms and giving a program of singing….

Andy went to a class last night for volunteering on the Steam Train when it comes to our Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He will be a brakeman.

Then October 6th will be a party for Stephen’s EIGHTH birthday.

And Maria has said she will come to Ohio for Thanksgiving, and two of Alice and Barney’s children, Poppy and Bob, will be here also.

Lots to look forward to this fall.

Steam in the valley

The locomotive comes from Fort Wayne, Indiana for this event. There are always warnings to people to keep at least 20 feet away from the tracks. It has been known that some less than brilliant photographers have set their tripods up ON THE TRACKS…Some such shenanigans can cost $5,000 in fines!


I’m hoping that yesterday with its 92 degree heat (33.33 Celsius) was the last such day of the year 2018 in northeast Ohio! Today was much cooler and Sunday is supposed to only reach a high of 67 though it will be back in the low 80s by ten days from now….But I am hoping the really hot weather is finally over.

No idea what the winter will be like, but somehow I can deal with cold better than heat.

Tomorrow is Friday and my younger daughter and her two daughters will be here for dinner. Sofia maus is eleven years old on Saturday! And a very smart, loving and artistic young girl she is. But I remember the day she arrived when Alice and I drove to Pennsylvania to see hours old Sofia for the very first time! Long ago and far away.




Sofia will have a party in a week or two and it is probably going to be a roller skating party because with her parents engaged in their enormous renovation (even walls have been torn down) they don’t think they can really host anything in their own home. So I’m planning to give her her present tomorrow – Lego Elves Noctura’s Tower and the Earth Fox Rescue  – and we’ll have strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Lego Elves

Oh, and she’ll have a Barnes and Noble gift card from me as all my grandchildren do for birthdays whatever else they are getting… Luckily they all love reading

Shumard oak acorns, Quercus shumardii

How do I know this? My computer is an upstairs room with a skylight for a window and just now the ping of falling acorns is catching my attention. Some years there are more than other years, but I think this year will be heavy….

And goldenrod is budding. And there are lots of butterflies in my yard, though mostly the white cabbage ones. But I see Monarchs (not as many as I would like, but more than one) and both Swallowtails and Tiger Swallowtails.

And it’s all making me smile inside.

September was when my generation began school, sometime after Labor Day. Usually the Tuesday after Labor Day. But those days are long past. Last Tuesday was the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year for my grandchildren and yesterday three of them with DD Em came for dinner and were quite enthusiastic about their new teachers.

Stephen was with them because Alice and Mike and again won a lottery for two $10.00 tickets for Hamilton. Alice and Nathan went to one performance earlier and full price was paid for their somewhat distant seats. Yes, $100.00 each for the very top of the balcony…But they loved it all, every minute of it. And actually since then, with Mike and Alice each entering the lottery every day, they have won three times. However, and sad to say, Mike did not notice his win until the day after. But Alice’s first win were box seats and her second win gave them first row seats where they also had a good view of the orchestra. These tickets cannot be given to anyone else because of the danger that someone would sell them for a high price. Otherwise, Alice might have given them to her sister. But they are very grateful and happy for the times they have been able to see this  phenomenal theatrical event.

Well, that was a digression, wasn’t it. Sorry!

To end the summer on a high note, Alice, Emily and their four children, along with many cousins and their children (eight cousins including my daughters and fifteen “kids” though one is twenty now) drove to Algonquin Provincial Park and camped on an island on Lake Opeongo, a traditional place for our family and thousands of others, I’m sure. They kayaked and canoed a lot and fished and ate fish every day! Cousin Frank asked Alice if he had her permission to teach Stephen how to use an ax and he and Marton, a first cousin once removed, spent a few hours giving a lesson with lots of safety rules for using an ax.. In the end, Stephen was able to chop trees down safely. All these older cousins and most young ones are in Hungarian Scouting. Stephen got a  real ax of his own for a souvenir and when home again talked his mom into letting him chop down a medium sized tree way in the back of their yard.


Alice aug 2018 alg 2

alice aug 2018 alg 7

The photo above is at Stephen’s home, out beside their little barn.

Alice aug 2018 alg 3

alice aug 2018 alg 5

alice aug 2018 alg 6

No wonder our family loves this place so much!








A Whirlwind Trip

Chautauqua cottage may 2018


Last Friday at six o’clock in the evening, Emily and I left for the cottage in upstate New York.  And by four o’clock the next afternoon we were back home in Ohio. It was a crazily short journey! We went for the annual meeting of the Point Chautauqua Historical Preservation Society. We are supposed to sponsor an educational event every year and it takes place at this annual meeting. Twan Leenders, the director of the Roger Tory Peterson Natural History Institute in Jamestown, NY, was the speaker and the program was quite enlightening.

You can read some of his articles here:  https://rtpi.org/author/admin/.

He spoke about “What’s in Your Backyard”.  More than I was aware of, to be sure, even though I’ve always been interested in nature. I grew up in an era when our teachers often took us on nature walks. My grade school was on several acres and there were many things to see. But Jamestown is an IBA, or Important Bird Area, which I had not known. A number of birds breed in this area, species which are on the decline such as Chimney Swifts.

Roger Tory Peterson was the man who initiated the idea of field guides, beginning with the one for birds which came out in the depths of the depression, in 1934, and has never been out of print since. You can read about him here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Tory_Peterson

The Institute in Jamestown (his birthplace) is well worth visiting. It has been many years since we were there and I think it’s about time for another visit.

Emily and I both enjoyed the talk but she had to return to Ohio because she was leaving for New Orleans on Sunday for the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting.

ESA 2018 new orleans

And today I’m getting ready to have my two granddaughters for dinner. Life is good.




Quite a lot has been happening in our family, but I have been slow to blog about it. I’m not sure why. The weather has improved a lot, so that’s certainly no excuse…But it’s nearly two weeks since Clara’s birthday was celebrated with Olympic games and flags of all nations and gold, silver and bronze metals. Later it was celebrated with many cakes from her very talented baker father and more swimming. And still later, there was a supper of pulled pork and several salads, German potato salad, Quinoa salad, pasta salad, and one more which I cannot recall at this moment.

They had an archery competition, relays, swimming and a race around the pond. There were a lot of kids with enormous energy! They were divided into teams so that each team had a variety of age groups and no one had an unfair advantage.  It was glorious fun.

Here are a few photos from the happy day.

Alice july 2017 bday 1

alice july 2018 bday 7

Alice july 2018 bday replacement.JPG



I wasn’t at Point Chautauqua for the 4th of July…The timing just didn’t work out that well, and I wasn’t feeling that well. But I did keep up a bit on what my offspring and their families were doing, to some extent. I hope next year will be better. And I hope it will be cooler!

Alice 4july 2018 stephen and clara and pepper go fishing

Soon after arrival, Stephen, Clara and Pepper headed down to the docks for a bit of fishing.

And the morning of the 4th, most who were there drove over to Mayville for the parade.

Alice sent me a few photos:

alice 4july 2018 parade 2

Blue and this day glo green seem to be Stevie’s favorite colors these days…

alice 4july 2018 parade 4

alice 4july 2018 parade 1

I’ve never seen a helicopter in the parade before!

And in her spare time, Alice reupholstered the glider on the porch with some very inexpensive but sun-proof tableclothes she found at Marc’s, an Ohio discount store. The fabric we bought and used last year really didn’t hold up and we hope for better with this.

Alice 4th july glider upholstery

I’m always amazed at how much Alice accomplishes when she is there. No one has stayed all summer at Chautauqua since 2005 and it is difficult to keep it all up and make so many improvements. If you look at the “porchsitting” post you can see what the glider looked like only a few weeks ago.