Archive for December, 2012

Oh, NO!!!!!

Sorry Everyone….

After going back and making all those changes, month by month, to my last blog post, WordPress didn’t publish any of them, but the original. And I’m afraid I have run out of steam to try and fix this. But I think it shows pretty much the same thing. A family focused blog.

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A Year in First Lines


The Indextrious Reader has come up with a meme in which one lists the first line of each month’s blog posts for the past year to see what it tells you about the past year. I did this, first incorrectly by listing the first line of the last post for each month, but then corrected this.  It certainly is interesting to remember that a year ago today was my first full day at home after double knee replacement surgery, and in the very beginning of recovery. And I do see  pretty much the same thing whether I am looking at the first posts or the last ones. Lots of my blog is about my family. I hope to branch out more this year. I think it’s time. We’ll see how this plays out in the year ahead.



Everyone has been telling me, over and over and over again, what a wonderful recovery I am having, and I think in many ways it is true.


It does feel like weeks and weeks and weeks since I’ve posted anything here, and that’s because it has been many many weeks.


The snowy winter wonderland picture is what my back yard looks like today, with my snowdrops blooming underneath their white blanket.


I have a few more pictures to share with you which my son in law Ingmar sent me…


I’ve been back since very late on Wednesday and am just now feeling more normal!


I have so many photos from the Ethnographic Museum which I loved.


Not long ago Alice posted this picture of my oldest grandchild, Nathan, with the comment, “Busted”.


Alice and her family and some friends of theirs are out at the cottage this weekend and she sent me some pictures.



I hope I can use this image which I borrowed from a friend’s facebook post.


It’s such a lovely time of year in Ohio that it seems a shame to leave…


My dear grandfather’s birthday was November 11th, 1892, and he was always very proud that WWI, that war to end all wars, ended on his 26th birthday.


Many of the Hungarian customs surrounding Advent and Christmas are a little different from the ones practiced in the North America and I always enjoyed learning about them and doing them, even if some were a bit labor intensive when my three children were growing up.

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Has your true love brought you three French hens yet? No? Well, perhaps these will do.

xmas 2012 three french hens

They are courtesy of Google Images and I couldn’t find where they originally came from, since the images came from another site saying “courtesy of Google Images”.

We don’t entirely follow the traditions we did when my children were growing up. Then our Christmas tree only arrived on Christmas Eve, brought by Baby Jesus, and remained up until Twelfth Night and even the Feast of the Ephiphany, the next day, on January 6th. But we are not terribly far from it and when Alice and her family came over Christmas Eve, we sang by candle light in the kitchen, Andy read the Nativity from Luke, we sang some more and then Baby Jesus rang his mysterious bell which allows us to go into the living room and see the  quite small but very living tree he had brought, and all the presents around it.

I’m always a bit sad to watch the people who have their tree up the day after Thanksgiving, even before Advent has begun, and, thoroughly sick of it by then, throw it out the day after Christmas.

Not my way to celebrate.

We also had an artificial tabletop tree in the family room where we had our Christmas Eve supper together.

And I received some wonderful photos from Ingmar of his family’s Christmas in Maryland, with their Virginia Pine tree (these are not available here)  which is lit by real candles, though only for short supervised periods of time! I don’t do this, but love to see it. My relatives in Germany also have real candles and sparklers hung upside down which are lit one at a time and are magical to watch in a darkened room.

IMG_5793 My very tiny but beautiful tree…..Paul always said there are no ugly brides and no ugly Christmas trees!





IMG_5815My other tree, in the family room, with some of my snowmen underneath.

And I think those are all the pictures I can share today because WordPress keeps not actually making the other ones show up.

I’m still celebrating Christmas!






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Winter Wonderland

We have what my grandson, who can’t quite connect the “s” to it, calls “no”. He and his brother love to play in the “no”. And today we have sunshine, too. I think this will not return until much after Christmas Day, so I am enjoying looking at it today.


And yesterday evening Em sent me some photos from their Christmas in Maryland….

Sofia, entranced by the German pyramid nativity scene. I don’t think she was even aware of her picture being taken which, as Andy points out, often results in the best shots.








Delicious cookies from Germany, sent by Ingmar’s Mom, I think.

imgDez2012111 On the mantle are special Advent calendars which are trains with little doors to open. I think they have chocolate in them. And now I have to rush off and work some more on my Christmas in Ohio!


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Dazzled or Dazed?

I’ve wanted to post for days and days, but in the midst of all the fun of Christmas activities, and the 8th birthday of my oldest grandchild, the tragedy of Newtown broke our hearts and I couldn’t find heart myself to say anything. And I’m still very overwhelmed with this, as I know so many of you are. It keeps coming back to my mind. I’ve been praying so much, as I know you have.

But let me share a few things. The Hungarian Scouts came to Nathan’s party to do their annual Christmas caroling. They are a wonderful group of enthusiastic young women and sing songs in Hungarian, German and English for us, nearly a twenty minute program.


In the meantime, WordPress has switched to a totally different way of posting photos and I’m having my usual difficulties with new technology and cannot see any advantages to this new method.

Here is a picture of Nathan and his cousins around his birthday cake. There were many grownups, but they are not in this photo.


And last, my grandson had to write a very short “essay” about his family’s Christmas traditions. It was only four sentences long, but melted my heart completely!



The line of stars was only put in so that this picture above would appear in the center and in its entirety. Otherwise you had to click on it to read it. I really consider changing to another blog hoster, except other people seem to have difficulties. too.

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It is very busy these days. Besides everyday life, which certainly does keep on with its everydailyness (ah, I’ve made a word I think) we have had visitors from Hungary who arrived from Hong Kong to do family genealogy and see my albums of old family photos, some from the 1800s, and more visitors from Atlanta – my sister in law Ronna who is moving back here within the next year, with my brother, from Atlanta.

But though these events gave us all a lot of happiness, the most joyful feeling came from things connected to Advent and Christmas. My grandsons saw Santa at a lunch at Spice Restaurant, a delicious place owned by friends of my daughter.

Stephen and Nathan with Santa at Spice 2012WordPress has a new quite challenging (for me) method for putting images into the  post and I can’t find a way to put them to one side or the other. I wish they would give us a choice of whether or not to use the new method. I had no problem with the old one…………(Perhaps that is not quite true. I had perhaps fewer problems and more ideas of how to fix them.)

Last Saturday Alice and her family went to Galehouse Farms to cut down their tree which they took home and decorated. Last Sunday we had Advent carol singing at her house – it was going to be at mine, but Andy was getting ready to leave for the Johnson Space Center very early on Monday and thought it would be too much….We had a lovely time at Alice’s…….

Stephen and Nathan at Galehouse 2012Ok! I figured out how to put this image on the left side. Sorry to bore you all with this….I’m such a Luddite wannabe.


This is tree hunting at Galehouse and Alice’s tree up later in the day…IMG_5774

The manger scene was a gift from me their first Christmas in this new house…….They’ve been there for more than ten years now, I think.

IMG_5782Alice always puts up the German Music box which was my mother’s. When she first got it, it wasn’t working, but she’s such a good engineer, very hands on, and fixed it so it plays again. This is an Erzgebirge music box, and Alice found another one at a garage sale for nearly no money. They’re very magic somehow…….Like all of this Christmas season.


Well, I thought I had gotten these pictures to be where I wanted them, which is obviously not the case. And I’ve no idea how to fix it now. My apologies to you all…..

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Mikulás and the Krampusz

Many of the Hungarian customs surrounding Advent and Christmas are a little different from the ones practiced in the North America and I always enjoyed learning about them and doing them, even if some were a bit labor intensive when my three children were growing up. They were also full of wonder and joy!

Santa is Szent Mikulás (Saint Nicholas) and 6 th December is Mikulás Nap (St. Nicholas day).

Stephan mikulas nap postcard 2012

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas (Miklos or Mikulás in Hungarian) and during the night he comes (in legend in a horse drawn carriage) with an angel who gives gifts of fruit and candy to the good little children and the Krampusz (Krumpooss) a dark and ugly goblin who gives coal and switches to the bad ones. Mikulás has a book which tells him who’s been naughty and who nice. In Hungarian scouting there was the traditional Mikulás sitting on his Bishop’s throne, dressed in a mitre and the robes of a bishop holding the book in hand. Beforehand the parents were telephoned to give secret information about what to write in the book. Usually it was along the lines of  (“I hear you have been a very good boy (or girl) and worked hard in school this year and listened to your mother and father well, but I think you need to work more at getting along with your brother (or sister”).

Stephen on Miculas Nap 2012At home the children put their shoes out the night before, as Dutch children do, and children in many other European countries, and find surprises in them the next morning……..Nathan and Stephen found Star Wars Lightsabers filled  with M&Ms and Reeses peanut butter cups. Alice took this picture.  I wish I had been there to hear Nathan explaining what this was to his little brother, who may not have really understood much more than “shoes” and “candy”, but that was enough!

I’m sharing Alice’s photo of Stephen’s delicious discovery.

This Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, they are coming over to my house for singing Advent and Christmas carols and a tea afterward. I’m so looking forward to it, and this will spur me on to finish my Christmas decorating!

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