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Archive for April, 2009

a young man’s fancy may lightly turn to thoughts of love, but an old lady’s ruminations center on her garden, at least mine do.  So many ideas! Always that “triumph of optimism over experience” or even commonsense……..

I am happy to say that the two plum trees that Paul and I planted in the summer of 2007, his last summer, have made it through their second winter and one has a bit of bloom on it which I would photograph if we were not having so much rain this afternoon.

So many things are in bloom or at least bud. The redbud tree which is hidden behind a huge Norway spruce near the deck is now all in beautiful lilac bloom and the lilacs themselves have huge buds. Snowflakes, daffodils, pear and apple blossom, bridalwreath bloom and acres of violets decorate the world, along with much much more. And every day is more blessedly green. This is such a delightful satisfying time of year. The year is on the uphill slope, and I am part of it!

I am in the midst of babysitting for Nathan for two weeks which is fun, though an adjustment in time management, never my strength. Today I only went to pick him up from school when Alice called that she was coming home, probably for the afternoon, because the rain made her work impossible. (She had been planting outside at Crown Point – http://www.crownpt.org – the CSA we both belong to.)

one of the barns at Crown Point Ecology Center
one of the barns at Crown Point Ecology Center

This is a small picture of Alice at work in the greenhouse. I could only get this size because of some technical/mental difficulty!  She has been transplanting thousands of baby plants since last week, but is now outside when it isn’t too wet. This morning she planted artichokes which had been tricked into thinking they had already overwintered outside.

Nathan and I have had a lot of fun. One day we made noodle dogs for lunch, a recipe his Uncle Andy discovered somewhere. One cuts hotdogs up into short pieces and sticks them through and through with uncooked spaghetti and then cooks it all together. He enjoyed it a lot! Oh, the silly things we do……….I enjoy a lot that he is now old enough to count and understand taking turns and we play games together – Candyland and Sorry and Chinese checkers.
Nathan with a noodle dog and a tiger smile!
Nathan with a noodle dog and a tiger smile!

On his arm is the tail end of a henna tatoo of a dragon which his mother’s friend Aniko gave him last time they were visiting Aniko and her sons Elek and Tamas. I am curious about Aniko is doing now with her new venture into chicken raising! I hope I hear soon.

On Sunday afternoon Andy and I went to the Mustard Seed Market  for a  Sunday brunch and were surprised to run into my sister-in-law Alice and her husband Barney who were far from their home for some special shopping. We all ate together and had lots of fun catching up on each others lives.
And the day before that (see how long it has been since I wrote anything for this blog!) I had a rare social event and went out for dinner and to see a play at the Cleveland Playhouse (Heaven is my Destination by Thornton Wilder) with a group of professors and their wives who had been our friends since the very early 80s. Paul really started this theater group. We used to go to Saturday matinees and for dinner afterwards and always thought we would see someone we knew. But we never did. So Paul recruited three other couples to join us and it is still going strong. We are all getting older, and one professor is retired and others are thinking about it. And of course, Paul is not with us. But we are still friends, which makes me very happy. And that’s all the news for now from Thicket House. Maybe soon I will explain the name.
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the new rug

the new rug

I had a post aboutEaster with three pictures and then wordpress put it into the blog so strangely, on the same page as the previous post but to the right of it, in a very uncomfortable way, that I deleted it. I will try again and see if I put the pictures into the center I can avoid having this problem………..

Easter celebrations were a great joy with all our family together. On Satuday morning Alice, Mike, Nathan, Emily, Ingmar, Sofia Maus and I took part in the Easter Egg Hunt at Stan Hywet Hall  http://www.stanhywet.org/. Afterwards there were refreshments in the manor house, a visit with the Easter bunny and a coloring “contest”.  We’ve never done this before but everyone enjoyed it tremendously.

Easter dinner was at my house and we enjoyed baked ham, mashed potatoes courtesy of Andy and Alice with peeling assistance from Ingmar and Emily. We had schnidling sauce (finely chopped easter eggs, finely chopped chives, salt to taste and sour cream thinned with milk) for the ham and potatoes. There were also sweet and sour cabbage, and a Thai -inspired casserole of mixed vegetables. Also artichoke salad and cherry tomatoes. Alice baked a wonderful dessert, a sponge cake jelly roll filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Red wine, beer, coffee, tea……Collapse after this repast which had a walk between the main course and dessert.

Emily, Ingmar and Sofia stayed later and after resting we played the card game we call “oh, H…”  It’s been a family favorite from the early 80s and something we played a lot at Chautauqua. Memories of Pali in all of this. A beautiful day.

img_10491

Nathan at the Easter Egg Huntimg_1054Emily and Sofia at the beginning of the egg hunt – Notice the Easter bonnet for Mausi in Em’s hand!

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Usually this picture would make me think of reading to my children, but today it’s all about mothers and daughters doing things together…..Of course, when they are little reading is a wonderful part of this. And of course, this picture is either late summer or autumn judging by the color of the leaves and the slant of the sun. Maybe I’ll have to look for a picture about springtime and Easter!

My daughters are not little ones any longer. Indeed not. Alice is 34 and Emily will be 32 this year. They are both married and both mothers themselves, but we are still close. I hope not too much, and keep telling them to let me know if this is so. But I think we all enjoy it. Alice lives nearby and comes over on Tuesday mornings to help me with all manner of things with the strength and stamina of being 34. (I hope I get some of this back, but we’ll see.)

Today we are getting ready for Easter. Not only cleaning, but also moving yet more boxes of books into the guest room, and then buying a new rug for the family room. I’ve been thinking of this for a long time. As much as I have a strong emotional attachment to the rug which is there now, because I remember when we bought it in 1979 and were so excited about it, and how my little girls danced about its flower patterned surface and how happy Paul and I were. But nothing stays the same. There are a couple of threadbare spots and the sides have been cut down and rebound twice. It’s time! After all, they told us it would last fifteen years when we bought it (and I thought it would last longer) and it is now thirty years in our family. And I hope to have some sitting cushions or smaller rugs made from part of it. But it is time for a new rug. And exciting to buy one. It’s wool, eight by ten feet, with a lot of the same orangey rust color of the old rug, but also blues in it which I love. If it lasts thirty years, I wonder who will be using it! Well, perhaps it will be me, a 94 year old me! We’ll see. No one knows the answers to these questions.

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img_1042Andy has a new friend, a charcoal-colored, friendly little gerbil named Tesla. We are trying to get Bogancs to accept him as part of the family and not be so curious that he terrifies this little guy with his intrusive attention and frantic barking……

The weekend in Detroit was a joy! How wonderful to have some  one-on-one time with my nephew Laci, his amazing and talented wife, Amy, and their delightful lively children: Alena, Arianna aka Lulu, Luka and little Mia. Such definite and distinct personalities! It’s been too long since I spent time with them.

Amy surpassed my hopes with her plans to rescue Emily’s quilt. I felt I had reached a state where technical difficulties were beyond my ability. I didn’t think the original plan would work anymore. And Amy came to the rescue with calm competence. I am confident that it will all work now.  It will be beautiful. It will be finished! Hallelujah!

At one point in the day, while everyone else had gone out, either to a playground or a walk in the woods, Amy gave me a demonstration of her long arm Gammil quilter, the beloved Betty. Wow! I am so impressed. Amy is a blessing to our family, I think . Earlier, Alice, Amy and I had the fun of going to a Mom-to-Mom sale and then two quilt shops where I let myself get a little carried away, but was lucky enough to find some Marcus Brothers wool felt in somewhat muted colors which will be perfect for the wee felt folk project our Presser Foot Babes group is going to work on when Nancy returns and Siri’s wedding has been celebrated.

Tesla

Tesla

bogancs

bogancs

I have a picture today of my deck a few hours ago. The snow has continued to fall relentlessly and surprisingly for April 7th. It is beautiful, but I hope it will melt away before this coming Saturday when we are all going with my grandchildren Nathan and Sofia to Stan Hywet Hall for an Easter Egg hunt!  But whatever happens, I know we will have fun together. We always do!

A post script – as of later this evening, Tesla has a blonde (also male) friend named Edison to keep him company………………………………….

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quilt-amishneighborhood

So I’m excited about the upcoming two weekends, one (beginning tomorrow) to spend with Alice and her family visiting the Jalicses of Ray Township, Michigan, and getting some quilting advice for Emily’s quilt and seeing the birthday book made Amy made for her husband,my nephew Laci, and  how all their children have been growing – Alena, Arianna called Lulu, Luka and Mia…………..And the next weekend Emily, Ingmar and Sofia will be coming to Ohio to celebrate Easter with us and I’ve already signed us up for the Stan Hywet  members Easter Egg hunt.  But in the meantime, let me engage in today, even as I anticipate the future. It’s an April showers sort of day, but the witch hazel outside this window is glowing gold with its spicy flowers, daffodils are blooming and pussy willows are almost over the top. Luckily I’ve already picked mine for this year. Today I’m heading out to visit Paul’s grave and see how the bulbs we planted last fall are coming along, and then to the library, water exercise and a hair cut, I hope. Then getting everything packed that I can because we are leaving very early tomorrow – five o’clock in the morning!

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