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There is not much! News, that is….Endless cold days, but the good part of those days is that we seem to be having an unusual amount of sunshine which is able to make up for so much. And, the daylight is increasing which sometimes makes me late for doing things because I can’t believe it is as late as it is!

Tonight there is going to be a cub scout banquet. Next year I will be invited to it because Nathan will be moving up from Webelos to “real” Boy Scouts. That seems almost too much of a landmark! Tonight for the banquet Alice made an amazing cake! Yesterday when I was visiting she showed me a picture of it which she has seem somewhere.
I am so impressed by her work! I don’t think I could have gotten the sugar work done properly.

Alice feb 2015 cake bs banqt

Emily was here for dinner on Wednesday and I was able to give her clothes for the Lammily dolls I gave Clara and Sofia for Christmas. I was a backer on the Kickstarter for this project of manufacturing dolls that have proportions more like real human women than the Barbie dolls…So I was sent two dolls when the were out just before Christmas. But extra outfits were not available then but now we have some very nice ones. Sofia doesn’t play that much with dolls but Clara loves to.

Clara feb 2015 clothes for Lammily dolls</a

Long time readers of my blog will remember that Clara's dream of a future was to be a princess. But now that she is in Kindergarten she has changed her mind and wants to be a "mome" (Mommy) when this happens….
I'm not worried about her academic future with three generations of PhDs behind her, but I think it is not a bad thing that she has other ideas, too…..

Clara feb 2015 goals in life

stephen feb 2015 mayville winter

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger. This is one of my favorite photos of Steveo.

Alice, Mike, Nathan and Stephen went to a cold Chautauqua cottage this weekend with friends Beth and Tim and their children Maggie and Gus. And they had lots of fun skiing at Holiday Valley on Saturday and this morning visiting the Ice Castle in Mayville which is built for the winter festival from blocks of ice cut from the lake. In the “olden days” before modern refrigeration there was a flourishing ice industry at Lake Chautauqua. It’s easy to see why it was so successful……….

Stephen feb 2015 snow castle race

stephen feb 2015 mayville snow castle

Tim went to college in Colorado and skied there for all those winters in the mountains, but apparently hasn’t hit the slopes for the last twenty years since returning to Ohio. He was very excited to realize how much fun it still was. Even Stephen skied for about an hour but then was worn out and spent the rest of the time in the daycare……..Nathan skied as long as his parents did and loved it. In the evening they played games. A real cottage weekend.

Stephen feb 2015 mayville Nathan at the snow castle and chaut belle behind

The Ice Castle is next to the beach at Mayville Park and you can see the Chautauqua Belle, our paddle wheel steamer, in the background. It’s a reminder that yes, warmer days lie ahead. Spring will come and then summer. But for now, we will enjoy what we have!

Life and Sadness

flowers nasturtium

Today would be my mother’s 100th birthday. It’s been 16 years since she left us and I have many good memories of my life when she was a living part of it…….Everyone’s life comes to an end sometime. This is a fact that becomes clearer as one becomes older, I think.

Yesterday morning I was awakened by a phone call from the daughter of a very good friend, one I’d just had lunch with a few weeks ago. Peggy was so full of life and plans for the future. But her daughter was calling to tell me that her parents had been in a terrible seven vehicle accident on the Ohio turnpike. Her Dad was in critical condition in a hospital in Toledo, but my dear friend had not made it. She was 14 years younger than I am and one of the most generous, humorous, and kind people I know. We made plans for things to do together in the coming months…I’m still really in shock, I think. It doesn’t quite seem possible.

As terrible as it was to see Paul die over several years of change and tragic illness, I believe it is easier than this sudden shock which Vidya and her sister must have experienced, and surely still are in the midst of and don’t know what will happen with their Dad either. My father who died when I was in Kindergarten died in a half hour of a heart attack and I never realized for years and years what a horrible shock that must have been for my mother. We can only pray and do what we can to help those who survive. It does not seem like enough.

Flowers forgetmenots from little red hen may '10

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you who read this! I was considering going to visit some of my dear children and grandchildren today, but we are having a terribly intense snow storm, and I will stay home safe and sound. It has not stopped snowing all morning but sometimes I have been unable to see the trees at the end of my yard (perhaps 150 feet away) because of the whiteout.

I’m sending out some Valentines that remind me of the ones I got in grade school in the early 1950s. I loved Valentine’s Day, and adored making the decorated box where friends could put Valentines cards for me and making ones or buying special ones for my friends.

art valentine elephant

art valentines 4

art valentine bird

art valentine spin

art valentine waiting

art valentine egg

art valentine plane

It is bright today, though there is no sun shining in the sky………And the sky is white rather than blue, alas.
But there is a brightness all around from reflections of light off of the snow which is pretty much everywhere.
We had some thaw and all the icicles from the house have disappeared. A good thing, I believe. But now the melt on driveways has refrozen and that is not especially a good thing. It is definitely still winter, but I can feel spring rising in my heart. That “thing with feathers” that little bird that Emily Dickinson called “Hope”, is clearing her throat and getting ready to sing.

I am busy with my Artist’s Way writing and exercises. That helps a lot to beat this time of winter doldrums.
And I enjoy watching my grandchildren! I share a photo of Nathan and Stephen in the little snow fort they built with my nephew “Bobster” when he was here from Alaska, and then a picture of Alice and Nathan at Nighttown, a Jazz dinner club in Cleveland Heights. It’s a favorite spot with Alice and Mike and Nathan had said he wanted to see what it was. So finally, a really good five o’clock show came on and they bought tickets and took him out to dinner with them. I was a bit surprised that he enjoyed it so much, but he really did!

Nathan Feb 2015 bob bellaghs visit with snow fort

Nathan feb 2015 at night town with Alice and Mike part of a bday present

We’ll make it through this long winter! The next landmark coming up is my niece Casey’s wedding in Atlanta on March 14th!

Reunion on Sleds

I might have posted something last week because Nathan was really on a roll and not only won the pinewood derby but also was one of a small group of scouts from his pack who carried the flag out for the exciting CAV’s game he got to watch last Wednesday. However, my Artist’s Way class was having a media deprivation week to see what we might discover about ourselves. I did learn something during this difficult and not perfect week of no reading, no computer and no TV. And I began to remember my dreams again. Unfortunately, the dreams I remember were horrifying nightmares from which I awoke in a state of terror and grief, but otherwise it was good in many ways……..And I certainly discovered a lot of time I hadn’t realized I had. And organized my CDs and books more, but these tasks are going to take a long time.

Here is Nathan at the basketball game:

Nathan jan 2-15 he is saluting at the Cavs game

There were no good photos of him during this game as they were all taken from the right and his arm was in front of his face…It was a very exciting game with the CAV’s winning at the last moment. It might even have been overtime! I live very close to LeBron James and we are all happy that he has returned to this area.

Then yesterday there was a huge family sledding event at wonderful Kendall Hills. My nephew Laci was here with his family from Michigan. The actually came for the funeral of a good friend’s father, but since his cousin Bob, one of my nephews from Alaska, in fact the one whose wedding I blogged about in May, was here for a visit, everyone decided to hit the slopes in the sunny morning with various sleds and toboggans. The toboggan Paul bought for our kids when they were little, and the sled he bought in Austria and brought back were enjoyed, and also various Flexible Flyers like the ones of my childhood and plastic sleds of various shapes.

sledding jan 2015 31st 3rd

Sledding jan 2015 31st 1

sledding jan 2015 31st 10th

sledding jan 2015 31st 11th

sledding jan 2015 31st 12th

nathan jan 2015 pinewood derby the whole group

Tonight the local cub scouts Pinewood Derby competition took place at our local Bath Church. Akron, Ohio is the home to the Soapbox Derby which is much better known, uses kid made, full sized, manned gravity powered racing cars. It began in the early 1930s, but twenty or so years later the Pinewood Derby was begun for the cub scouts who make small wooden racing cars and compete on an indoor track against one another

You can read something about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinewood_derby

Nathan jan 2015 pinewood derby trophy

It was especially exciting for our family because my talented grandson Nathan won his WEBELOS ( if you want to know more about what WEBELOS are see here: http://www.scoutinsignia.com/webelos.htm) division with a car he made entirely himself. He got a great trophy, too! I think he did not at all expect to win, but tried to do his best and was overjoyed with the result.

Nathan jan 2015 Stephen watching pinewood derby

Andy was there with Nathan and his family. He remembered a similar race that he took part in when he was an Indian Guide long, long ago. Actually, later he found the chassis of his Indian Guide car in the basement and brought it up. I would show you his photo of it and other pictures of Nathan, but WordPress is not letting me use most of them, though they are jpeg files. I wonder if they are compressed or something to make them rejected.

Finally, I was able to post a few other pictures snagged from Facebook, though the very same ones in an email from Alice could not be uploaded. I like the photo of Stephen in the middle of three of the younger brothers watching the race.

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