And so far, it isn’t showing my newest post, though they say it is published. If you search for “weddings” it should come up for you. So sorry.

Emily said this was the first year she was able to say goodbye to her girls on the first day of school without crying……

Sofia august 2016 first day of 2nd and third grade

They are beginning second and third grades and both are very happy about the teachers they will have.

Sofia august 2016 with ingmar and clara first day of school 2nd and 3rd grade

Here they are with their Dad at the end of the drive, waiting for the bus.

Meanwhile, Alice and her family have left their all too short visit to Budapest. First they had the fun of a night train to Munich, that’s 424.8 miles.

Alice august 2016 mike and nathan night train to munich pic

alice august 2016 boys night train to munich

alice august 2016 night train nathan can read anywhere

And then they spent some time with cousins Christof and Sabrina and their twins in Heidenheim.

alice august 2016 heidenheim cookout

A cookout!

alice august 2016 heidenheim nathan enjoying christofs grillingalice august 2016 heidenheim stevie has fun

alice august 2016 heidenheim mike and christoph

Sabrina has a good sense of humor, doesn’t she!

And then after the short stay in Heidenheim, on to Ravensburg (actually mostly Hinzestobl, a small settlement above Ravensburg) with Alice’s Aunt Christa and Uncle Joshi. They are wonderful hosts and especially good at playing games with their guests. Ursula and Christian’s wedding will be first at the registry and then at a church in Ravensburg. And then Alice and her family will come home on Saturday. How we have missed them. But how happy we all are that they had this wonderful opportunity to travel and spend special time with family.

alice august 2016 ravensburg sign on joshi's door

alice august 2016 ravensburg board games

alice august 2016 ravensburg legos at joshis

alice august 2016 ravensburg inside the toy museum

Joshi took them to visit the toy factory in Ravensburg. What fun!



Alice and her family are still in Budapest, as well as her cousin Christoph from Heidenheim and his family – his wife Sabrina and their darling two year old twins, Johannes and Francesca. The 90th birthday party for my sister-in-law Isa has taken place and there is a lot of sightseeing going on, and time spent in playgrounds. We are really missing Alice here in Ohio. Sometime soon they will all be going to Germany for her cousin Ursula’s wedding which will have events taking place over a few days and on the 27th Alice and her crew will fly back to the states. I hope the return journey goes smoothly and the 8 hours drive back from New Jersey is not too tiring!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the many I’ve seen of the trip.

alice august 2016 Isa at her birthday party with Al

The photo above is my very favorite. I think it was a very happy party for everyone!

Here is a link to a post from the past which has a photo of Isa in the 1920s with her younger brother:  https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/nostalgia-forgive-the-short-sermon/

alice august 2016 sabrina photo of herself and christoph johannes and franceska

Christoph, Sabrina and family on a hill in Buda.

alice august 2016 gellert inside

One day Alice’s family spent swimming at the famous Hotel Gellert pools.

Alice august 2016 two boys at the gellertalice august 2016 sabrinas photo of halas bastya

A view of the lovely Halaszbastya (forgive my lack of accents) on Castle Hill which you may read more about here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisherman%27s_Bastion

Alice august 2016 stevie standing where the archers stood

Stephen was very excited to be where he believed the archers stood.

alice august 2016 sabrinas photo of christof and kids at the trains

They found a museum of the history of trains in Hungary which the kids especially enjoyed.

Alice august 2016 the cake from Isa's birthday!

Oh, I haven’t shown you Isa’s wonderful birthday cake, have I. Here it is. Too bad I can’t share a piece with you!

alice august 2016 sabrinas photo of the whole group possibly on szent janos hegy or somewhere

Let me end with a picture of the whole crew on a bench near Isa’s apartment….I’m so delighted that they got to have this time together!



Travels in August

I have let posting here go too long, I fear. Too much has happened! But I will try to catch up as well as I can.

Since returning from Chautauqua in early August, I haven’t felt especially well. First, I was recovering from a very bad deep puncture wound on my left foot, bad enough that my friends took me to the ER for a tetanus booster, and the doctor there amused me by gluing the wound with his special fancy super glue applicator. He did say in an emergency one could use regular super glue. And when that was pretty much healed, I did something to my back which seems to be slowly improving too. But I need to be lying down most of the time, ugh!

But let me try to post a little about what has been going on. The first week of August was magic! Five good D.E. Stevenson friends joined me at the cottage at Lake Chautauqua for lovely days of swimming, talking, eating, shopping……Well, just hanging out together. They are the most kindred of spirits, Susan, Karen, Betty, Linda and Perry. Magic!

DES Chautauqua 2016 lindas group photo

Now I am home again and Emily and her family are up at the lake. (After her week at a conference in Miami.) And while I was at the cottage with my friends, Emily and company were having a canoe and camping trip at the Allegheny Resevoir.

Em aug 2016 camping alleghny the tent

Em aug 2016 camping alleghny with the girls and ingmar

The photos above are at the Reservoir.

And now a few photos from the cottage.

em aug 2016 philosophizing on the porch

Em aug 2016 with clara on the beach

Ingmar is working on more railings for the porch, even as I type.

em aug 2016 clara tenniszezik

Sofia and Clara have been taking tennis lessons at home and now they can practice at our Memorial Field at the lake.

But the greatest journey has been the one Alice, Mike, Nathan and Stephen are on: to Budapest for a week to celebrate the 90th Birthday of wonderful Isa, my oldest sister in law and then a week in Germany to attend the wedding of Alice’s cousin Ursula to Christian. This journey got off to a very difficult beginning, especially with two young children in tow. However, Nathan and Stephen were troopers!  To save a great deal of money on the tickets, Alice and Mike drove to New Jersey to her cousin Miki ‘s home and left the car there. They were supposed to leave from Newark the next day, but the flight was delayed and delayed. At first the airline personnel said the delay was because of the weather, which meant they would not have to pay anything for it. Finally, hours and hours and hours later they admitted it was a mechanical failure and offered motel accommodations and meals. Alice and all of them arrived at their lodgings at 3:00am!

But finally they did fly out, next day. Not on British Overseas to London and on to Budapest, but Air Austria to Vienna and on to Ferihegy in ‘Pest. Tired but happy to have arrived. And yesterday they already had a full day of visiting. They found a wonderful apartment by the Danube with a great view and I hope the rest of their journey goes very smoothly!

Alice august 2016 Budapest or Bust

The cooler, btw,  is not on its way to Europe! It’s full of peppers and tomatoes from my sil Aniko’s garden for her son and his family in New Jersey….


Alice August 2016 sad beginning to their trip to Europe

A long wait in Newark……..

Alice august 2016 on a plane 24 hours late

Finally, on a plane!

Alice August 2016 Stephen at Flughafen Wein playground

The airport in Vienna had a great playground for kids!

Alice august 2016 two brothers in budapest

Two happy brothers in Budapest…That’s Castle Hill in the background, across the river, on the right.

Alice August 2016 1st day with Isa

Can you believe the woman above will be 90 years old on the 17th of August?



Alice august 2016 view from window

The view from their window………




Our really HOT SPELL seems over for the time…We’ve set a lot of records, here and all over the country, for number of days with over 90degree temperatures so far this year. I love that it is cooler. I love that I bought one of those free standing air conditioners for the upstairs. I had an old one in my bedroom, but it was not enough BTUs for the area I wanted to cool and didn’t work well. This is wonderful! Andy installed it for me. AC is a real blessing.

Speaking of Andy – he had five days off in a row last week and worked mightily on his pontoon steam launch, the Nyitra, every day, often with friends helping. The boiler is on the boat, but there is lots left to do.

Andy july 2016 moving boiler onto trailer

I was a bit worried about this work with the chain hoist. But all went well.



And speaking of anticipation – Tomorrow I am driving to the cottage  on Lake Chautauqua. We are having a reprise of sorts. In 2014 on the way to our D.E. Stevenson gathering in Toronto, three friends joined me at the cottage and we drove from there up to our wonderful meeting of kindred spirits. Karen, Betty and Linda enjoyed some time at the lake as well as the “symposium” by another lake.

This year, Karen, Betty and Linda as well as my friend Susan who had organized the Toronto event as well as fellow Dessie, Perry from Maine, will be meeting at the cottage again. I admit to a bit of trepidation; that’s just my nature. I’m usually a bit of a worrywort until the moment when we are all together. But Stevenson fans are really kindred spirits and very pleasant guests. Honestly, I cannot wait to gather together. The first arrivals will be together for lunch on Tuesday and the last departures are after lunch on Saturday and may joy reign in between.

Internet access is limited up there so I don’t know what I will be able to share until we are all back.  And I don’t expect to miss it either with such a group of friends gathered all around.


I had published this already when I learned that my great niece Ari and her team just won back to back National Championships for soccer for her age group. In San Antonio. Ari is second from left. They won in 2015, too.

FnF Jalics Ari second from left 2016 champshps San Antonio TX



An Adventure!

Yesterday was the birthday of my sil Mike, Alice’s husband. It is one of those weighty birthdays whose number ends in a zero. There are some parties planned, but on the day itself Mike, Alice and their sons Nathan and Stephen went off on an adventure which they enjoyed very much.

Cleveland, the big city (though in population much smaller than it used to be, alas) north of us, from which we all “sprang” has been changing a lot in recent years and they decided to spend a day being tourists in Cleveland. It was a great success!

Alice july 2016 mikes bday in cle pic 1

They visited the Soldiers and Sailors Monument  where I was sad to learn that the names inscribed within are only the soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. My gggrandfather Ruben Cole and his brother John were in the 15th OVI from Richland County and so, their names were not to be seen. I always thought they would be there.

Alice july 2016 mike bday 4

They got library cards for the wonderful Cleveland  Public Library. (Of course they already had library cards for closer libraries.)

Besides newly redesigned and built Public Square they walked to the nearby Mall.



Alice july 2016 mike bday 5Alice july 2016 mikes bday 2

alice july 2016 mikes bday 3

They had a great lunch in Heinen’s, an upscale grocery store which operates in the beautiful old Cleveland Trust Bank Building and toured the renovated Flats area and came home exhausted but very happy.

I don’t believe they visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nor the Great Lakes Science Center which they visit often anyway.

Alice july 2016 mikes bday 7

Alice july 2016 mikes bday 9

Alice july 2016 mikes bday 10

Is  blue!

Blue flowers and white flowers are my favorites.

I always wanted to grow blue hydrangeas and have tried a number of times. They just didn’t live, alas. I know all about acid and basic soil additions to influence the color, but they just didn’t live for me.

But now, my dear son in law Ingmar has had success at the cottage and this is the third or fourth year of lovely blue hydrangeas! Lots of beautiful blue blooms!

Chautauqua july 2016 flowers


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