Archive for September, 2013

Just for another post script to yesterday’s moving story, I learned today that there were three moving helpers involved.
The first group never showed up though Emily had talked with them the day before the move to make sure all would go smoothly. But both of us had a very strange impression of their not being very businesslike talking with them. The second group, which the coordinating company hired sent Emily a voice mail that she was too far away and they were not going to take the job. And the third group were very far away but came and helped wonderfully……Of course Em and Ingmar had hired a large truck from 8am on…….Help did arrive about 5pm….

Art Keep Calm and Be kind

And now for new business……..Andy and I had a very nice lunch together at Aladdins, a local middle eastern restaurant which is a bit more Lebanese in it’s menu. We both had the V9 soup (nine vegetables in it). I had feta cheese with mine. Andy did not. Then he had a rolled felafel sandwich and I had a Kibbe appetizer which comes with a cup of yoghurt and some Lebanese salad. Oh, it was delicious and comforting. Much more so than the conversation which was about the possible government shutdown. Because, of course, Andy would be affected by this, and they had already talked about it at work. They are working toward a deadline to get everything ready for a long in the works trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston where another part of their team is working. But if the government is shut down they are not allowed on NASA property. Not at all, and not any facility……..

I know some of my readers are worried about Obamacare. I am not. I think it is possibly the one really good thing Obama has accomplished since taking office, and I’ve heard a lot of downright lies in ads lately. I am not fond of my government at the moment. And if Senator Cruz said the things he has been reported as saying, I don’t know what Bible he has been reading that so missed the entire Christian message………See http://debrasotherthoughts.blogspot.com/ and click on the link in it.

I can only hope that they come to their senses and act like thinking functioning adults in time………(See, I can get carried away too.)

Art Keep Calm and carry on

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After a few months of eagerly anticipating the drive to Maryland to help Emily and Ingmar and their family move to their new home, it never happened. Two days before Stephen came down with a bad case of the croup, with that terrible barking cough. Many things went wrong! The movers I hired to help them, who were supposed to arrive between 8 and 9am, never showed up. The company which coordinates these helpers hired another group who were supposed to arrive between 1 and 2pm and showed up around five. (They came from very far away, one nearly four hours.) I’m very happy that two good friends from Alexandria, Virginia did come to help. But I also know that eventually it will get done and all will be well, God willing. And think of all the stories they will have to tell……..

Em new home from hall

em new home kitchen

Em new home barn

The pictures above are the front hall, kitchen and storage barn outside at Emily’s new home….And we, the Ohio group, are planning to visit later on in October since we couldn’t be there this weekend. But that’s even better because Mike had to be in Europe this week, in Northern Italy and Switzerland and the Isle of Mann, and when we finally do go everyone will be there….

I suppose I am writing this to focus on something other than my nervousness about the entire moving process! I am praying that all goes well! And also that Stephen continues to recover, and now also Nathan and Alice who are also sick with this croup virus.

P.S. Update some hours later…..The second group of family movers did finally arrive, were very nice and very helpful and everything except a few boxes is now in the new home………And now I am off to bed with a copy of Alexander McCall Smith’s lovely small book about the poet Auden, What W.H. Auden Can Do For You…

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The Doorway Into Thanks

Mary Oliver may be my favorite poet, if such a thing can exist……I do have many of her books, including some with prose and poetry together.
This says a lot about how I feel about life, my wild and wonderful life………..


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Mary Oliver

Flowers blue iris

Flowers a few pebbles for the mary oliver poem about blue iris

doorway into gratitude

These are photos I have in “My Pictures” from some time ago, and sadly, I’m not sure what credit to give to them. I hope they are from something like wiki commons! But wait, could one be from one of Meike’s series of photos of gateways?

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A Collage…..

Alice made this and posted it on facebook today, a few pictures of her Dad….We visited the small country cemetery where he is buried together. Stephen was with us. And now it’s tomorrow. (Well, that’s never true, but it’s the 24th of September 2013, seven minutes past midnight.

Paul Alice's collage September 23 2013

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A Sad Time Remembered

This year I thought it was not going to be like the last five years. Six years later…. This anniversary of the day Paul died. And then suddenly it was.

But at least this year I thought of a good thing to do in honor of the loving, funny, wise, strong, wonderful man who was my husband for 35 years.
I remembered the stories he told me about CARE shipments arriving to them in Hungary after WWII. They came from what people called Oo’shaw because that is how the letters USA are pronounced in Hungarian. And his family truly believed that this food saved them from starvation during the dire days and months after the war. We were a really generous people then, yes even with our holy tax dollars. We saved people’s lives. And they didn’t forget, many of them did not. They remembered and they told their children. And their children’s children.

So today I set up a small monthly donation for Care.org. In memory of Paul.

Paul presiding over his Chautauqua table

The photo is Paul at the head of the table at our cottage at Lake Chautauqua. What heart warming beautiful memories I have of the wonderful man who shared my life! And is still, in a different way, part of it forever.

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Life Goes On………

The weather is warm again, though I would like it to be cooler. And it will be. That’s the pleasure of weather. It changes like everything else.
Alice and her family were at Chautauqua with friends last weekend and they had drinks at the local Southern Tier Brewery. Still, this picture surprised me!Nathan at Southern Tier Brewing Co microbrewed root beer.......9 2013

Nathan and Stephen are drinking micro-brewed alcohol-free root beer.

And most of my thoughts are turned to next weekend, the end of September when we drive to Maryland to help Emily and Ingmar move into their new home…..

Emily new home freehold drive lexington park maryland

Moving can be crazy and hard work, but so satisfying when one moves into a house that is finally big enough for a family of four….Really, this one is and I think they will love it there! It’s also about five minutes away from St. Mary’s College where Em teaches, rather than a half an hour. So ten minutes of driving every day instead of an hour is a big improvement. And I like the idea of a road trip! Something to look forward to is a joy!

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Very Desultory Ramblings

We are in our second day of really high heat. Yesterday my grandson Nathan had soccer practice and the heat index was 108degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 42.something Celsius….Of course it was only actually 98, but the index was the higher number and every ten minutes they watered the boys heads. I would have cancelled practice. They’re just third graders!

Friday the high temperature is supposed to be 59F.

I was thinking last week how my generation celebrated our birthdays usually only once, with our families. Sometimes we could have a party for our friends, too. But all my grandchildren seem to celebrate at least three or four times! Well, I won’t begrudge them that, but it does slightly amaze me. Sofia, who just turned six, celebrated the labor day weekend with her family and Alice’s family when they camped at Ohiopyle State park in Pennsylvania. http://www.cometoohiopyle.com/

Then they celebrated last Sunday morning with her family. One of her favorite presents was a radio controlled car which she loved. They went to the parking lot of a nearby elementary school for her to try it out.

Sofia bdy 2013

Later they had a party in the afternoon for her school friends. I’m really sorry not to have been there, but we’ll be driving to Maryland later this month to help them move into their new home. It’s very exciting. The house is much larger and much closer to Emily’s work, though the same distance from the schools.

The school year is well and truly begun and yesterday I babysat for Stephen in the morning so that Alice could volunteer in the library. We played many things together, but spent a surprising amount of time on Santa Claus. I’d begun telling him about the seasons and the holidays and he rushed to his toy box and brought two Santa Claus hats which we each had to wear and pretend to bring one another “kiki” which is his name for “candy”. Stevie has a definite sweet tooth, and candy seems to be all he remembers of Santa Claus. Now I have to backtrack and talk about Halloween and Thanksgiving! It all began with a discussion of the leaves soon to turn color! And that hasn’t really happened yet.

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A Sad Absence

For years and years I’ve let milkweed grow up along the edge of the driveway and in clumps here and there even though it is somewhat invasive and not easy to control. I do it because I know it is a favorite food of the Monarch butterflies, and because I remember gathering it with my grandmother, my Nana, who dried the stalks with the seed pod for fall and winter arrangements. And I’m always repaid with happy memories and the sight of many many Monarch butterflies flitting about my yard……

Flowers milkweed 9 2013

But not this year.

This year, hardly anyone in Ohio has seen these beautiful butterflies……

Butterflies monarch 9 2013

The forests in Mexico where they spend winter are being destroyed by timbering. The weather here has been rather dreadful from a butterfly point of view… Still I’ve seen more Swallowtails than usual this summer. (Or am I just noticing them more?) I’ve seen the yellow ones I call Tiger Swallowtail though that may not be the right name, and the rarer (in northeast Ohio) black one. But I truly hope the Monarchs return…..

Butterflies tiger swallowtail sept 2013

Butterflies swallowtail or eastern tiger swallow tail 9 2013

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Chef Andy

All of my children are interested in cooking and pretty good at it, too. And all are comfortable with a slightly experimental approach to their culinary adventures. I wish I had on my computer a photo of Andy at the age of three when he was recovering from chicken pox. By the time he was quite a bit better, I made him a chef’s hat and captured his image waving a wooden spoon over his kitchen creations.

Lately Andy has been watching Master Chef on you tube in the evenings while working on steam engines and Penberthy water pumps for steam engines. This evening a bit after midnight (so it was not really evening) I was still playing around with the computer when he came upstairs with a huge stainless steel bowl and asked me to test his Hollandaise sauce. I did and it was really excellent though a little thick. So he thinned it with a bit of water and brought it back to be tasted again.

I think I am expected to act like Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot or Joe Bastianich in my tasting, and come up with succinct and expertly expressed evaluations! Guess what. I’m none of these three. But I try to do the best I can. It was quite good Hollandaise. Then he asked me whether I would like him to make me eggs Benedict. I could see clearly that he was interested in making eggs Benedict, so I said that I’d enjoy that.

Andy eggs benedict not his..........sept 1 2013

So it was that I was eating a delicious breakfast a bit early, about 1:00am! We had no English muffins, so he cut rounds from my Jewish rye bread with caraway seeds. He’s vegetarian so only had a non meat slice of Canadian bacon. The poached egg might have been ever so slightly overcooked. The sauce was really excellent. Sometimes it’s fun to do things at strange times. And now that I’ve had such a lovely breakfast, I guess I’ll go take a really long nap!

Oh, by the way, I didn’t photograph the dish Andy made and had to take a picture from wiki commons..

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