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Archive for January, 2010

a lucky week, actually

Selbu mittens from Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland, Trondheim, Norway

First, I should say I am not sick anymore, after a week of having a cold, and that feels just wonderful. Secondly, my friend Nancy Terjesen won the quilt block contest being held by Crown Point Ecology Center. Our barn is 100 years old this year and one way we are celebrating is by becoming the first barn in Summit County to be part of the Ohio quilt barn trail. You can read more about this here: http://rcquilttrail.tripod.com/links.htm.

Nancy submitted a design which is a variation of Dove in the Window, and it will be painted on a piece of wood, eight feet by eight feet and attached to the side of the barn which faces the road. I will certainly post a photo of this when it happens!

And third, I entered a contest for a blog giveaway from Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland who lives in Trondheim, Norway and writes  several wonderful blogs.  The main one is called http://brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com.   She had knit two pair of miniature Selbu mittens in a pattern I think is called “Selbu Rose” and a cap and I won one pair of the mittens in this real Norwegian pattern. I’m so thrilled. I think they will be on my Christmas tree where everyone can enjoy them!  They are very beautiful and detailed with a different pattern on the front and back. They were in my mailbox today, and I was  delighted to find them! Aren’t they beautiful!

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one of the books I'm Reading this week

This will be a short post. I’m still sick. I knew I was sick Monday, but it’s Friday today and I think the unusual exhaustion I felt last weekend was the beginning of it…..I had many things planned for the week, most of them fun, but everything has had to be canceled and rescheduled as much as possible.

Yesterday, my throat was very sore and I gave in and called the doctor, so I am now on antibiotics. But though my throat is not as sore, I am still really tired and coughing and yukky….So, in cases like this, one can only make the best of things. My week has consisted mostly of reading and rereading books I really like, doing little bits of work in 15 minute stretches because I’m exhausted after that, and napping and watching pretty mindless tv in the evening. Oh, and a lot of time online.

I was really happy this morning to have a phone call from my sister-in-law Aniko who is halfway through reading Miss Buncle’s Book, and loves it. The book I have pictured above is a volume which has both Miss Buncle’s Book and Miss Buncle Married under the one title. They are written by D.E. Stevenson, my favorite writer since 1967. She has often been underappreciated, but I think that may be changing somewhat. Her books are so expertly written that one is usually unaware of the skill that goes into them. And they create a world that is a nice place to spend time in, especially during any sort of difficulty! For 12 years I’ve been part of a discussion list that talks about her books, and every time I reread one, I seem to find more to interest me. This summer we are having our second “DES GATHERING”. The first was in Boston, Mass., and this will be in Edinburgh where she was born and raised. We’ll also spend time in Moffat, where she and her husband lived from 1943 on. In 1998, Paul, Andy and I spent a month in the UK and visited these places, too. Wonderful memories.

And it is so nice when you recommend a well-loved book to a friend and they like it too…And so sad when they don’t or you introduce two good friends to one another and it is clear that they don’t “click”.  Aniko’s call made me very happy! Today has been wonderfully sunny, all day, but I never got outside, and I don’t think I will anytime soon. But I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy myself quietly here, and get over my cold.

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Milestones

Child Reading by Ella Wilcox

I am in a quiet mood this morning. It’s my 65th birthday. There is so much to remember and so much for which to be grateful. And there is the wonder of this snowy moment and the buds on the witch hazel tree outside my window.

Two sisters-in-law were going to take me out to lunch for my birthday, but I have a cold which is worse than yesterday, and will be spending the day quietly at home with little dog Bo and a good book. Not a bad thing, not bad at all…………

We just finished a wonderful weekend with all my children and grandchildren together. Emily, Ingmar, Sofia and Clara came from Pennsylvania for our belated Christmas gift exchange. We had a lovely dinner together Saturday and on Sunday we met at the Nat for playing in the water with the little kids, and a buffet at an Indian restaurant in the Valley afterwards. But I was tired most of the time and I think it was the cold coming on, not such a bad one that I am really sick, but enough to want to stay quietly at home….I think I need Paul to bring my sense of humor back to life! He was so good at that.

For too long after Christmas we had a clobbering sort of winter with snow every day and such cold temperatures that it was never able to melt. Dark days, and damp ones. But then we had a break and there was a lot of melting. The astonishing icicles on the front and back of my house slowly vanished. Now it is cold again, but not as dark as before.

What we are all thinking of is the two weeks in Florida in the middle of March. For one week, my daughters and grandchildren will be there too, having fun on the beach and in Venice and Sarasota. Nice memories of the past, pleasant hopes for the future, and a quiet cozy present moment – life is good. And I’ve now had 65 years of it. Wonderful family and friends, and many adventures……..Blessed, indeed.

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All of these pictures were given captions, but not all seem to have appeared with them…..Sofia ‘s picture of drawing said “Sofia Maus ~ Artist at Work. And Nathan’s said “Nathan at Nana’s absorbed in TV….Just wanted to post a few more pictures of my wonderful grandchildren!

Clara Maus in the fall of '09

Sofia Maus  ~  An artist at work

Nathan at Nana's ~ absorbed in TV

Em reads to Sofia Thanksgiving 09

Sofia and Her Papa watch a video

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Friendship

Paul, my best friend, on the right, in Utah

On Friendship

By Kahlil Gibran  ~  from the book The Prophet

And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

summer birthday party some of the larger family

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

****************************************************************************

Paul is on the right hand side of this picture, my best friend for thirty-five years on earth and never replaced. Alice and Mike are also in the picture above, two best friends to each other and friends to many others. Someone was blogging today about how she noticed in the interviews of people from Haiti who had been rescued from the earthquake’s awful effects, that what they said they thought about while waiting to be rescued were the people who were important in their lives, and wished they had had more time with them.

The people who are family, who are  friends, are the important part of our lives. Count your blessings when you have them near you. People are always more important than things.

Paul and I on his retirement from Cleveland State University

Emily and Ingmar just married May 2003

Fall Hike 2006

I end with some more pictures of people who are in my family friends category. Well, I tried. The last picture I put into the post ended up as the second there……I may post some more friend and family pictures in another blogpost.

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Quiet Days in January

Wise Words

They say, “as the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen”. It’s true.

We are stuck in a long period of cold and snow. It’s quite beautiful if you don’t want to go anywhere. And to be truthful, the roads are not that bad. But it is cold and very snowy. A winter wonderland.

A good time to catch up on organizing things at home and reading and looking at blogs. And contemplating the snow.

Emily, Ingmar, Sofia Maus and Clara Maus are back home in the middle of Pennsylvania after a long time in Germany celebrating Christmas with Ingmar’s family. They had a happy time there, but Emily told me that if Clara had not been such a light sleeper, a tragedy might have occurred. The girls had been put to bed, but Emily heard Clara crying and went upstairs. When she opened the door she saw the upstairs was full of smoke. They brought the girls down and called the fire department. I always think European houses are not in such danger of fire because so much of their building material is stone or concrete. But it is not always so, and the fire marshal told Emily that in ten minutes the ceiling would have collapsed on the girls. Thank heaven for the blessing of  Clara’s light sleeping.

the porch without much snow

the porch/deck today January 8, 2010

We are in the middle of a fairly long lasting time of snow and cold. The snow on the deck actually looked more dramatic the day before yesterday than it does today. But it is supposed to last another 3 or 4 days with more snow every day. It is a winter wonderland, but I am becoming less enchanted with it. But I know I should be happy we have power and heat and food and good books to read! I’ve been reading _Mary Shafer, American Quilter_ by Gwen Marston and find it fascinating. Mary Shafer, who was actually born in Hungary before WWI, was one of the quilters who were involved in the current quilt revival early on, and corresponded with many of the women who are also well-known names in the beginning of the quilt history research. Her quilts are the vintage sort that I fell in love with when I was a Girl Scout leader in ’76 and we celebrated the bicentennial with a huge focus on colonial crafts. Actually my mother made a number of quilts in the 60s, but was not interested in the historical aspect of quilts. But Alice, Emily and I all have quilts she made which we treasure.

Otherwise I am amusing myself reading the Donna Andrews cozy mysteries with titles like Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins………One day at a time! A book arrived in the mail, an English mystery written in 1937, and published in England in 1944. It is called Who Killed the Curate? and looks amusing. We’ll see.

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Barn at Crown Point, Bath, Ohio

Earth stood  hard as Iron

Water like a stone………….

Snow had fallen, snow on snow

Snow on snow………”

This is from a Christmas carol, written by Christina Rossetti,  but it certainly describes northeast Ohio in these early days of 2010. Andy very kindly spent a lot of his last day of vacation driving me around to several far-distant quilt shops so that I could leave  flyers for the Crown Point Quilt Competition. Our barn at Crown Point is one hundred years old now and one of the things we are doing to celebrate this is to join the Ohio Barn Quilt Trail and have an eight foot by eight foot  square painted and attached to  the side of the barn. There is a competition for the block to be painted. The Bath Country Journal is going to make this  the cover story for their February issue and the winner will be chosen between January 20th and the 25th.

Ohio Quilt Barn in Tippecanoe, Ohio

I’m planning to enter and I have two ideas, and possibly three if I decide to do one of them in more than one color. Looking at colorful quilts and quilt blocks is a good thing to do in these darker days of WINTER. The snow keeps falling and falling. Driving is not too wonderful.  Still it’s a nice feeling  being in a warm and cozy house when it is so blustery outside.

Ohio Quilt Barn in Uhrichsville

Barn with Make a Difference Square in Cadiz, Ohio

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