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Archive for June, 2013

Travels by my Family

I would like to travel somewhere, but I am still tired and still on antibiotics. I thought I was better, but the surgeon says that I still have some of the infection for which I began getting IV antibiotics on June first. I’m upping my intake of fermented foods, more yoghurt, half-sour pickles, kefir, etc. Those are all things I enjoy, anyway. (My friend Ann suggested the pickles and sauerkraut which I hadn’t thought of as foods that might counteract all these antibiotics.)

So I’m not going anywhere, but all my children have been having fun on the road this weekend . Andy and his friend Istvan (Steve) drove to Wauseon, Ohio for the 69th annual reunion of the National Threshers Association, getting their “steam fix” for a while, at least. They both enjoyed it a lot. Most of the machines on display, or actually working, are old steam traction engines which are fascinating to them.

steam andy was there wauseon 2013

steam wauseon ohio threshers event 2013

steam wauseon ohio event june 2013

These photos are from the web and don’t really show the size of the event. Andy said there were tens of thousands of people there. It’s a full blown event for three days, but they offer camping from Monday to Monday for $100.00 and for just the three day weekend for $80.00. Istvan and Andy drove and it took them about two hours, but they thought it was well worth the drive.

Alice, Mike, Nathan and Stephen traveled six hours to join Em and her girls at their friend Diana’s home in Falls Church, Virginia, to attend the Smithsonian Folklore Festival which was featuring Hungary this year. They actually can get on a metro close to Diana’s home and take it to the Mall where the festival is taking place…And they were all very happy they had attended, too, even when they were rained out Friday afternoon. All manner of authentic musicians, singers, dancers, and craftspeople from Hungary were demonstrating and exhibiting their talents and I really wish I could have been there. Still, I’ve been hearing about it and seeing pictures. They also had special crafts for children and Nathan was very busy turning his hand to this. More about that later, I hope. Here are some pictures of the festival.

hun folk festival 2013 kalotaszegiek

Caption for first picture: Weaving from Kalotaszeg

Hun Folk Festival 2013 the map

Caption for Second Picture: A Map of the Hungarian Area

Hun folk festival 2013 horsehair earrings

Caption for third picture: This craft is new to me, but I think authentic…These earrings are made of horsehair. Alice said they were amazing.

Hun folk festival 2013 Suto levente butorfesto

Caption for fourth picture: A furniture painter

I am terribly tempted to include lots more photos, but I think this will have to be enough for now! The world is so full of fascinating things to see, especially on road trips in June!

(Please excuse the fact that wordpress has put all the picture captions and the end of this post in the wrong places and I am unable to fix it.)

Postscript some hours later: Andy found a nice link to a video about the Threshers Reunion. The Tom Diehl mentioned about halfway through is the man Andy calls his “steam mentor”. http://www.13abc.com/story/22717822/antique-tractors-showcased-at-fulton-county-fairgrounds

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art father anthony's garden by kathleen norris

(This painting is in my files under “Father Anthony’s Garden” by Kathleen Norris. But I have no idea what that means…Except this painting suggests humility and devotion to me.)

I was much struck with this thought, or perhaps especially with the last sentence of it, today:

‘There is another choice: To admit that the best of any religious tradition depends on the choices its adherents make on how to live despite what their holy books “say,” not because of them. “But where would that leave me?” my former self would have asked. “I’d be adrift in an ocean of uncertainty.” Yes, and perhaps that’s the only honest place to be. Another name for uncertainty is humility. No one ever blew up a mosque, church, or abortion clinic after yelling, “I could be wrong.”’

– Frank Schaeffer

It’s not especially deep or surprising when you’ve lived almost 70 years on this beautiful planet, but it is one of those things that one needs to remind oneself about over and over again. To not let go of the humility of “I could be wrong”.

One can keep on working toward relieving human suffering with that thought in mind, but it should prevent a lot of the evil we seem to be seeing and hearing about these days.

I admire all the sane and stable people who are not provoked by crazed rhetoric into committing acts of horror. Yet too many seem to be so provoked. Or is it just a consequence of rising populations? Globalization? Well, I’m not really in such a dark place as this all sounds. But I hope more and more people will feel safe enough to reflect on the concept that, “I could be wrong”. Perhaps we would not have such wild polarity, enmity, and arrogance in public life. Perhaps.

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“I am Paddleman!”

Stephen 2013 I am paddleman

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Local News

I wish I knew how to get the little video Alice sent me yesterday into this blog!

Stephen was standing on a large sloping rock near the baseball field where his big brother was playing. He walked down a few steps, threw his hands out, looked up with an impish grin and proclaimed, “I am Superman”. Then he leapt down from the boulder. (But what was funniest was that what he actually said was, “I am SupperMan!”) Alice said he did this over and over!

Stephen April 29 2013 after ER visit falling downstairs and cutting his ear open. 3 stitches

Yes, here’s a picture of “supperman” himself, about a month ago. With his supper.

In more local news the Bath Police Department has reported a black bear about a mile away from our home. They will not harm the bear, but warn residents to watch their pets while he is in the area. It is pretty rare to have one so close to us here in Bath, or near our cottage at Lake Chautauqua, but it is not impossible.

local june 12 2013 black bear in ghent hillls arbor green area

Life is rather quiet here these days, but things are still happening.
Alice drove to the lake with her two boys to open the cottage (get the water running again, put the screens up on the porch, and clean and put on fresh sheets, etc. All went well with the exception of two pipes bursting when she tried to turn on the upstairs water. We’re really lucky to have a great plumber there who was able to come to the rescue. It’s all fixed now. (At least, the plumbing part is!) Also, it was a fairly inexpensive repair and we think we know how to prevent it from happening again………Let it be so!

chautauqua 2013 view from our front yard alice foto june 12

The picture above is from our front yard, but to the left you can see the porch screens are not yet up……And the lake is so beautiful!
Also, you can see why the cottage used to be called “Fern Lodge” a name I am trying to revive.

Sometimes that quiet life is the good one! I see my surgeon tomorrow, and next week I HAVE NO APPOINTMENTS WITH DOCTORS! It seems like a miracle and of course, may yet change. But for now, it seems wildly exciting!

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I am getting better day by day and think my real problem is just my own impatience and unrealistic expectation of bouncing back at Kentucky Derby speed……

But while slowly recovering, I’m enjoying reading both old favorites like the books of D.E. Stevenson and O. Douglas (pen name of Anna Buchan, sister of John of The Thirty Nine Steps and Greenmantle fame to say nothing of being Governor General of Canada.)

DES five windows cover

DES J Erskines secret cover

Several years ago, Stevenson’s youngest son passed on some boxes of his mother’s papers to his niece Penny Kent who discovered when she went through them that there were a few unpublished novels as well as many short pieces written as essays of for short talks. She made an agreement with Greyladies Publishers in Edinburgh to publish them and so far we have had The Fair Miss Fortune, Emily Denistoun, and Portrait of Saskia. This June saw the publication of Jean Erskine’s Secret and should have seen Found in the Attic come out too – a compilation of essays, short pieces, and some family photographs. My copy of Jean Erskine was waiting when I returned from the hospital, but rather maddeningly, the printer went into “administration”(I think this is similar to receivership in the US, at the least) and Found in the Attic had not yet been printed. However it should be coming out very soon. I have that “I can’t wait” feeling and I know I’m not the only one!

I’ve also been reading through some mystery series recommended by a friend in the D.E. Stevenson discussion group – books by Cassandra Chan and a series about a mid-Victorian MP and amateur detective Charles Lennox written by Charles Finch. Both series are good reads, but the Finch books have that extra something, that spark of human sympathy in the main character, not to speak of excellent writing, that make them my favorites. I hope he goes on to write many more!

books a burial at sea cover

Sometimes I have been so tired I could only lay on the bed with my hand on a book and no energy to open my eyes, but for me, books are friends and always help, whatever my contact with them.

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Maddening Word Press

I have a new post, but Word Press will only publish the first paragraph and two pictures.
No matter how often I move it to trash and try to redo it, I have no success. I’ll try this and come back later………May something in between and some time will help. Prayer perhaps?

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Back in the hospital, back in Akron General Medical Center.

akron

All week I’d been feeling less and less well and on Saturday Andy too me to the emergency room where they diagnosed me with an infection from the previous surgery and admitted me so I could have IV antibiotics and they could try to determine which creature was causing the infection….The jury’s still out on that, but I am responding to the treatment and slowly getting better. I hope maybe tomorrow they will let me go home with some more treatments and improvment.

This is a great hospital winning all manner of awards and everyone I’ve met who works here seems wonderful, but I’ll be so happy to leave for home. As long as I’m getting better I’ll be happy to go, that is……….

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