Archive for October, 2012

That happened last Friday. Since then it’s been too exciting for parties, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, though the Princess and the Jellyfish had a good time at home where I think they never even lost power, though their dear Papa baked “storm cookies” and later, a “storm cake” and they enjoyed going for water walks. They went to the party at St. Mary’s College on Friday and had been invited to two more parties, but Hurricane Sandy seems to have dampened their spirits!







My dd Em send me some photos from Friday. I was especially interested in the Jellyfish costume which I mostly made with help from Alice who found the umbrella hat and Em who did some work on the head attachment (with duct tape) to make it pain free.

And in an immense tropical storm it’s great to be a jellyfish with an umbrella hat.


Clara was very happy being a princess. For this party she chose the blue Princess costume which she told me was her favorite. She is a very happy little Princes, indeed…

And both girls were accompanied by my very own flower child.

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High Flyers


A few days ago Andy flew down to Coshocton, Ohio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coshocton,_Ohio) with his friend Istvan, in Istvan’s small Cessna 150. Andy attached his GoPro camera to one of the wing struts and was able to get some interesting photos. Others he took with my camera. This is quite a small Cessna, and they were a bit cramped, but nothing too dire. A good time was had by all.

I’m sure if I were their age I would be very tempted by this chance for a bird’s eye view of my world.

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Not necessarily in that order.

For lunch we wanted to buy something from the St. Mary’s area, and so Em and I had delicious Stuffed Ham sandwiches. I am not  positive as to how authentic they were, which is to say, I’m not positive the ham was corned as it is apparently supposed to be, according to some websites I looked up to understand more about this traditional recipe. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/429966/southern-maryland-stuffed-ham.

But whatever ham it was, it certainly was delicious and reminded me of wonderful ham from my childhood. But my stuffed ham sandwich also had kale and onions mixed in with a lovely subtle sauce. I’ll certainly try this sometime! Kale is one of my favorite vegetables.

The music! I sat down for a while to listen to the group which was singing wonderful songs with ecological lyrics. They were nearly my age, but so good! (Hmmmm. Wonder what point I’m trying to make with that last sentence.)

Folk music is one of my favorite styles and these two people were as good as it gets. I thought they were a remarkably excellent local group, but when I was back in Ohio I discovered they are a group called Magpie which began in 1973 in Kent, Ohio, about a half hour from my home, though in 1973 and ’74 Paul and I were living near Stuttgart in what was then West Germany. The two artists who began this group (and who performed at River Fest) are Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino. I know I heard something about them in the last few months and feel a little crazy that I cannot recall what, when, where, with whom! It will probably pop into my mind in a few days, but I can’t wait that long.

I’ve ordered one of their CDs and you can listen to them on youtube or visit their website at

http://www.magpiemusic.com/. They’re really excellent.

Friday update – I now realize that I hear their music often when I listen to folk music on WKSU in Kent on the weekends……….But I never put it together with the name of the band…….I don’t listen to this station as often as I ought to, or pay enough attention when I do….

After listening to them for a time, I wandered over to the renovated Old State House – we were on the grounds of part of St. Mary’s City, an historical site.

And then I was drawn toward “the million dollar view” where I sat down for perhaps 15 minutes and was filled with the beauty of the site, and the peace. There were occasional people wandering by, but not that many. It was much much more beautiful than my pictures can show you, but I’ll offer them anyway.

I wish I could have let you experience the joy of simply sitting there on the grass, watching the little boats sail about. Down below -where I didn’t go but could see through the trees – is a replica of The Dove. one of the two ships from England which landed here in 1634 with settlers for the new colony of Maryland.

And the last thing I want to mention in this post is an encounter with a poet and children’s book author who was one of the few vendors at River Fest.  His name is Mick Blackistone and I bought two books from him, one for Sofia and Clara – The Day They Left the Bay – and one for Em – Just Passing Through – a beautiful book of photographs from the area and poetry for each picture.

His website is http://www.mickblackistone.com/

Parents are often looking for books for children that have an ecological slant, and I can recommend these, even if you don’t live in Maryland.

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The last Saturday I spent in Maryland we decided to visit the RiverFest which had been mentioned by several people at the college. It turned out to be a wonderful choice. It was a delightful but low key affair which was aimed at families with small children, I think.  No fees for admission, nor for any of the activities. The only money you might spend was for lunch or if you  bought a book or painting from one of the few vendors there.

It was put on by the St. Mary’s Watershed Association, a group dedicated to improving the quality of the water in the river and making people more aware of problems and possible solutions to pollution. Their website is here: http://smrwa.org/

Did I mention there were belly dancers? Clara was VERY impressed with their costumes and jewelry, and assumed they were princesses, her dream of a personal future career.









She was also impressed by The Oyster Queen, though confused about the relationship of Queens to Princesses.

But in between these celebrity sightings, the girls enjoyed having their faces painted, having balloon animals made for them, taking part in making giant bubbles, looking at special animals such as the terrapin, sea horses, and a snake which I am not sure they actually saw.








I think I will have to continue this in a second River Fest post because I want to say more about the music, the million dollar view, the poet, and last but not least, the lunch.

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Yesterday, in the early afternoon, I arrived back home after my journey to Tall Timbers, Maryland, to visit two dear little girls and their lovely mother. I was quite tired by the time I turned into my driveway, but so very happy that I had made the trip.

I had a chance to get to know their new world in rural southern Maryland “down by the Bay”. I drove the girls to their pre-school every morning, usually had lunch with my daughter Em in her office at St. Mary’s (Thai take out for the most part), played with them in the evenings and after they were in bed was able to have long conversations with my daughter while we played our favorite “Chicaneuse”, a double solitaire her grandmother learned from her grandmother. We did a little decorating as Em decided where to hang pictures, and place things. We attended a great “River Fest” which will have its own post in a day or so, and went to see Piney Point Lighthouse and the beach there.  I had a much better sense of this part of the world than when I helped them move in July. It’s a friendly and beautiful part of this country, and I’m happy to know it a little better.

The lighthouse and beach at Piney Point, only a few miles from my daughter’s home, were lots of fun, and while I was looking at the sand for shells and finding lots and lots of oyster shells and little else, Sofia was busy building an amazing “bale” of sea turtles. (Apparently bale is the correct term for a large group of turtles.)

Oh, Oh……….Got it wrong again. Alice says, “Although a group of turtles is a bale, a group of baby turtles is a clutch!” These are supposed to be baby turtles heading for the sea.

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Stephen turns two tomorrow and Alice said I could share this wonderful birthday collage photographed and sent to her from our friend Vanda  who took these pictures on her visit here early in September.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

And despite the impression, we haven’t any Irish in our family. At least as far as we know… But I just love this collage.

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It’s such a lovely time of year in Ohio that it seems a shame to leave…….Here is a picture of the Tupelo or Sour Gum tree in my backyard and today my sil Aniko and I drove north along I77 to meet another sil Susie for lunch and we were blown away by the glorious trees. Our stretch of the road had such a great mix of dark evergreens and scarlet gold and bronze leaves on the deciduous trees that it truly took our breath away.

But I’m off for Maryland on Saturday morning and will not be back for more than a week, so it’s a short break for me  in blog land. I hope I see many lovely things and take lots of pictures to share with you all when I return. I plan to drive half way on Saturday or a bit more than half way, and stay overnight somewhere and finish the next day. I’m not much of a long distance driver. I have my friend GPS along and lots of books on tape from the library so I hope the journey won’t be too bad.

I would think of flying even though the airport is two hours from my daughter’s home except for the fact that I’m taking a large rocking horse, a sewing machine, boxes of Christmas decorations, vegetables from her aunt and uncle’s garden and all my stuff, plus materials to make a green jelly fish costume for Sofia. Clara is so much easier. She just wants to be a pink princess. I believe I’ve mentioned before that her parents never wanted to dress their little girls in pink –  so gender biased. And now they have one three year old daughter who calls pink “the pretty color”. Poetic justice? Her older sister would like the world to be green, except for Elmer the rainbow colored elephant.

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