Archive for May, 2013

It is so beautiful here. There must have been something quite special this year which encouraged all the roses to bloom profusely. My very loved Stanwell Perpetual usually produces four or five blooms in June. This year there is a cascade of fragrant beauty. More blooming roses than I can easily count, so thickly do they flower.

And my camera is broken. I hope I can fix it.(Well, I hope someone can fix it for me!) Alice took some pictures for me, but when she sent them to me they showed up as zip files and WordPress says it cannot show them. I hope to get Andy to unzip them for me. I hope to get the camera repaired. I’m contemplating buying a DSLR camera, something I’ve thought of for a few years now.

And all the peonies are blooming at the same time. It’s a sort of miracle. Usually the day after the peonies bloom a devastating rain storm will dash every petal to the ground. But not now……

Art ME act happy

And how about coincidences?

Remember in my last post I said I didn’t know if I would ever see Csobanc again?

Well, within 24 hours a relative in Budapest emailed many of us to say that he wants to plan a family reunion for the Fricke family – he’s hoping for next summer in Csobanc!

The Fricke family is the one to which my mil was born. During the Napoleonic times they lived in Celle, by Hanover, when that was the possession of the Kings of England. Paul’s grandfather’s grandfather fought at Waterloo as an officer in The King’s German Legion. But when his son was growing up, Hanover became part of Prussia. His parent sent their son Georg to Austria Hungary where in due course (after many years) he became a general in the K&K, the Kaiserlich and Koniglich army.

Szalay Kristof from Kund Terez may 2013 Fricke Georg with wife Aurelia and probably George's adjutant 1880s

Here is a photo of Georg and his wife who was born Aurelia Klucky and probably his adjutant, playing cards, sometime in the 1880s if the person who gave me this is correct. And I think he is……..

I would love to go to Csobánc for a family reuinion if at all possible. And my daughter Alice would like to go too……Even if it would be very many people. Or if it would be only a few. It would be a joy to see this beautiful land again!

Read Full Post »

Beginning Anew

It is so interesting that some experiences so take over ones life for a time that it feels as if it has always been this and it always will be this………

Nonsense, of course. Change is the name of the game of life. But when Paul was ill, it felt as if that was all there was, ever had been, or would be. It was the same when I was in rehab for the double knee surgery and last week when everything was about going to the hospital twice a day for treatments that took an hour and a half to two hours each. I was so tired in between that I could only read a bit and sleep.

Ako  Csobanc 2012 facebook foto

Now the treatments have ended, but apparently I’ll continue to be more tired during the coming week or two. Still, I am realizing that life is returning. Life with memories of the past, plans for the future and enjoyment of the present when spring is rushing into summer in its own slightly disorganized way. Everything is exploding into bloom and bird song is everywhere. My dd Emily is visiting this long weekend. My grandson Nathan is playing baseball today. Tonight we are having a middle eastern dinner together at Alice’s and tomorrow we are invited for a palacsinta brunch at my sister in law Alice’s home……(Palacsinta, pronounced “pala’ chinta is a Hungarian crepe which can have various delicious fillings, both sweet and savory.)

The first photo is Csobanc, the beautiful summer home of a relative. It’s just north of Lake Balaton in Hungary, near Badacsony. Beautiful memories of spending time with Paul’s cousin Terez and her family. Grapes are grown on this hill and wine is made and stored in the wine celler under their home……I hope someday to see this place again, but even if I cannot, I cherish the great memories. Csobanc (Cho’bants) is a volcanic hill with a medieval castle ruin on top. It’s one of several such hills on the north shore of the western end of the beautiful Balaton. I would love to see it again. But I can see it, even now, in my mind’s eye, what Wordsworth called “the inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude”.

Rose stanwell perpetual

Rose mai gold

Here are pictures of two roses which are blooming in my garden right now. These are not from my garden, but from the www. If I am stronger later on I will go out and try to photograph my own…I have more roses in bloom. These two are Stanwell Perpetual, the first old rose which fascinated me in 1974 at Black Creek Pioneer Village north of Toronto. It took a long time to find my own bush. Such things were not easy to find commercially available the the seventies. But what a triumph when I found it. The fragrance is wonderful…Mai Gold is also in bloom, and my alba Jeanne D’Arc and a few others. They are all calling me to come out and see them more closely, but I think I need to take a nap first! But soon, very soon.

I’m sure this is one of my more “desultory” posts. I’ve covered something from the past and something from the present….I hope very soon to buy things for my deck garden. The deck is going to be cleaned and stained soon, as soon as the weather will cooperate, and that will be my near future for the moment.

One day at a time. Meanwhile I am reading random mysteries from the library and some favorite books by D.E. Stevenson, my favorite author. Five Windows is at my side this very minute and I recommend it anyone who would like to spend time with some very satisfactory people (for the most part) and have a few gentle satisfying adventures.

(p.s. There is an article about Csobác here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Csob%C3%A1nc.
I think, because of some peculiar phrasings, that it was translated by a non-English speaker. But I’m mentioning it because I only recently learned, from the blog Georgia Girl with an English Heart, http://georgiagirlwithanenglishheart.blogspot.com/, that hills called “monadnocks” exist. Imagine my surprise this morning to discover that my beloved Csobác is also a monadnock!)

Read Full Post »


Well, I am celebrating that I just finished my 5th radiation treatment and am halfway through this process. But my dear Alice and dear sil Mike are celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary! The flower girl and junior bridesmaid in the pictures are now beginning college and graduated two years ago…….Beautiful memories!

Alice wedding 14 years

Alice wedding fourteen years casey and ilona

Read Full Post »

I’ve often noticed that many mornings I wake up with an idea of what is going to happen that day and then it turns out to be quite different…

Amish Country  may 17 2nd pic

Wednesday I had an appointment with my surgeon at her office. She was supposed to do a procedure relating to the radiation treatments. But she said there was too much fluid and she would prefer to do this in an operating room. At least twice she said something about giving me a little break and doing this next week. She said her nurse would call me sometime when she could schedule the OR, and there would be a new radiation schedule for me.

Amish Country may 17 2013

I was not unhappy about this delay, really, and left her office and drove to Alice’s where we had a cup of tea together and then I left to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I was half way through that, about four in the afternoon, when I had a call from Diana, the nurse from Dr. M’s office saying that she had an OR scheduled and I would need to be at the hospital by 10:15 the next morning for my second surgery.

I was a bit surprised how disconcerted this left me. I’d just adjusted to having a week off. But yesterday, Alice took me in at 10:15. It was a much easier surgery and I only needed sedation and not full general anesthetic. The new version of this is great because one wakes up fairly quickly afterward and I did. I was only in recovery an hour or an hour and a half, perhaps. They got me to the nuclear medicine wing by 2:30, my original time. And they did the planning for the twice a day treatments next week.

It’s going to be a rather strange week, I think. And it was interesting because each time I go in will be like yesterday. The radiology technician will be there, and the radiologist, and a medical physicist, someone I’d never heard of before. I’ll be getting twice a day cat scans, too, to make sure everything is in the right place before the treatment. Glad this will only last one week. And Friday, Emily is flying in from Maryland for the weekend and will take me to the last treatment when they remove all the “stuff” implanted. Didn’t you all want to know all about this? Thank you for listening/reading if you were able. I seem to need to explain it.

Amish country mrs. yoders may 2013

And today Alice took me on a sort of mental health day. We drove down to Amish country with Stephen and enjoyed seeing the mostly plowed fields, the teams of horses plowing with the guidance of little Amish boys and the hope and beauty of spring in such a lovely rural setting.

We toured the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Store and then had lunch at Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen in Mount Hope. I found several books and Alice found two enamelware canisters in the Swedish style my mother had in the 50s and 60s which she bought as a gift for me….. A great day. I was a bit surprised how tired I still am, but perhaps I should not be so….But I was not surprised that I felt very happy.

Amish gift Swedish Bergrren pot

This is not a picture of the containers from Alice, but the style in which they are decorated……….Happy memories from my childhood.

Read Full Post »

Some Good News!

At nearly 9:30 this evening, I had a phone call from my wonderful surgeon – who must have a pretty incredible schedule. Even though I am going to see her tomorrow afternoon, she called to say the pathology report was in and the margins were clear and no cancer cells found in the lymph nodes. Somehow, I had a feeling that the news would not be so great, and am now a bit giddy with feeling reprieved! Life is so wonderful…I have a few more dr. appts. this week, and then twice a day treatment next week, and then I think just follow up….I am still having difficulty feeling certain they did not make a mistake here, but I will continue to work on that!

Life is so wonderful. I thank all of you who sent me messages of encouragement, good wishes, and prayers. May you all be well and surrounded by those who love you. I am just counting my blessings here!

Art for God so loved the world via gatherlove

Read Full Post »

I’ve been pretty good at trying to keep calm. Tomorrow is my surgery and I really appreciate all the kind emails I’ve received. I think it was April 15th when I first posted about this, the day of the Boston Marathon killings and the day of my diagnosis. I am so very lucky to have great support from all my family and friends, but this has been usurping all my attention lately. If all goes well, radiation will be May 20-24th. And then some time for recovery. I probably will take a little break from blogging and commenting until them.

Peace and Well-Being to all of you!

Art books and a bed by claire fletcher

Read Full Post »