Archive for January, 2015

Victory! Sweet Victory!

nathan jan 2015 pinewood derby the whole group

Tonight the local cub scouts Pinewood Derby competition took place at our local Bath Church. Akron, Ohio is the home to the Soapbox Derby which is much better known, uses kid made, full sized, manned gravity powered racing cars. It began in the early 1930s, but twenty or so years later the Pinewood Derby was begun for the cub scouts who make small wooden racing cars and compete on an indoor track against one another

You can read something about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinewood_derby

Nathan jan 2015 pinewood derby trophy

It was especially exciting for our family because my talented grandson Nathan won his WEBELOS ( if you want to know more about what WEBELOS are see here: http://www.scoutinsignia.com/webelos.htm) division with a car he made entirely himself. He got a great trophy, too! I think he did not at all expect to win, but tried to do his best and was overjoyed with the result.

Nathan jan 2015 Stephen watching pinewood derby

Andy was there with Nathan and his family. He remembered a similar race that he took part in when he was an Indian Guide long, long ago. Actually, later he found the chassis of his Indian Guide car in the basement and brought it up. I would show you his photo of it and other pictures of Nathan, but WordPress is not letting me use most of them, though they are jpeg files. I wonder if they are compressed or something to make them rejected.

Finally, I was able to post a few other pictures snagged from Facebook, though the very same ones in an email from Alice could not be uploaded. I like the photo of Stephen in the middle of three of the younger brothers watching the race.

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Today everyone is back and I’ve been able to hear about this cross country ski trip from both of my daughters and Stephen, too, was he was not getting me to play the video game Batman Lego with him…….And I have some new pictures which I love, from everyone, especially my nephew Laci.

Alice jan 2015 algonquin the whole crew..........

Here’s a picture of the whole crew except for the photographer who was, I think, Laci.

Alice jan 2015 algonquin em and fia skiing

Above is my favorite photo of Emily and Sofia skiing together……..Remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it, and usually you can click on it a second time, too.

Alice jan 2015 Algonquin Lacis pic of kids taking a break at the mad musher

This will give you an idea of the far from luxurious rooms at the Mad Musher in Whitney. Our family rents the entire place for this long weekend which is an American holiday but not a Canadian one……Alice and Emily were very proud of the kids, especially the youngest ones, because there was very little in the way of complaining of quarreling. The days are long and tiring, but they held up well….There was also a rink to ice skate after the skiing. They made shorter loops for the youngest ones to ski, but they still were doing trails of many kilometers on cross country skis.

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This is one of those desultory posts of mostly random events in my life.

The second Artist’s Way class was this afternoon and I am enjoying it so much and liking the people in the class……..I may be slightly allergic to something in the class since I need a glass of water each time as I begin coughing about an hour into it….Terri who sat next to me today experienced something like this too and we speculated on several things that might be causing this, but when I saw a black cat when I went to wash my mug at the end, I was pretty sure I had found the culprit!

I am missing my daughters and grandchildren this week because they are off in Algonquin Provincial Park at the Mad Musher for a long weekend of cross country skiing. There are 14 kids and 7 adults and I think they are having a great time!

Alice jan 2015 Algonquin sunrise

Some of these photos are from Alice……The first is the first sunrise on Saturday morning.
Then there were some more pictures of the group which I will share.

Alice Jan 2015 algonquin with Em

I love pictures of my girls together. And I have many from their early childhood on. What a joy!

Alice jan 2015 algonquin with steve and al skiing

Stephen and his Mom in this one……

Alice jan 2015 algonquin jozsi aniko laci feri

My wonderful sil Aniko with three of her boys.

Alice jan 2015 laci pic of pine tree loop at tea lake

This above is my nephew Laci’s (pronounced “Lutzy”) photo of the Pine Tree Loop at Tea Lake, one of the places they were skiing.

Some synchronicity this week: I just watched the new Masterpiece Mystery series of Granchester (set in the early 50s in England) this evening and the detective mentions that he is in a bad mood because England just lost the world cup to Hungary the night before. This happened in 1953 and I’ve heard many times from Paul’s family and others about how ecstatic Hungary was when this happened. They were starving and in dire straits, the communists had stolen their country, and it seemed nothing good was going on for them, and suddenly and unexpectedly, they won the world cup. The team was called “az arany csapat”, or the golden team. Puskas was the special hero. But just a few days earlier than this Granchester episode I read Orban Viktor’s announcement that the last member of the team had just died. He called him Jeno bacsi. I don’t know his full real name. But it is interesting that twice in a week I was reminded of something that happened more than 60 years ago.

I just checked and it was Buzanszky Jeno who died on January 11th….If you can read Hungarian there is more about him here: http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buz%C3%A1nszky_Jen%C5%91.

Tomorrow my family will be returning to Ohio and I am eager to see them and hear more about their adventures!

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books the artist's way

I’ve been waiting for this class to begin ever since I received the Christmas gift on Christmas Eve….
And yesterday was the first class. A week and a day ago everyone signed up received an email from the teacher Carolyn Rames telling us a bit about the class and giving some practical details. She mentioned that there were 15 people signed up, but yesterday when I arrived there seemed to be more and the email I found this morning said that 27 people had signed up and another two had to be turned away for lack of space. It was a bit “cozy” in the former living room of the old farmhouse which is the headquarters of the Crown Point Ecology Center. We sat in a circle on the floor and on chairs. I ended up on a low cushion on the floor across the room from the instructor and with the fireplace (in which a very good fire was underway) at my back.

Carolyn is someone my daughter Alice knows, but I hadn’t really known her myself, though I have heard her sing with Michael Grady, a local musician. I don’t know that they are still performing together, but I have a few CDs of Michael’s music and found one on youtube for you to listen to……

There are more examples there, but some are not really recorded that well….I like their music when I’ve heard it in person…….

Carolyn has a beautiful smile and is very encouraging as a teacher. We, the class, are 26 women and one man. He seems pretty grounded and I am hoping the statistics will not be a problem for him.

When we went around the circle using a rain stick as a talking stick and giving introductions, I was interested in how many people had done a class in The Artist’s Way before, or even multiple times. More people had done some of it on their own as I did in the early ’90s. So long ago and so much has happened since that it feels like another life!

I wonder how many people who read this blog will have already had some experience with this path to opening or unblocking ones creativity, So, I’ve already begun doing the three “morning pages” this morning. Even before I wrote a word it had already altered my habits because for years now I get up and stagger over to the computer and really wake up reading my email and favorite blogs…..I think just changing that may be worthwhile….

And I will be doing artist’s dates again. I’m looking forward to that. And also, I’m looking forward to getting to know my fellow artists in the group and hearing Carolyn’s gentle voice leading us on the way.

art bhg jan 1927

I’m eager to live these three wintry months as a time of self-nuturing and growth……Who knows where I will be in March…..?

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Calamity Days!

I would have said that our district had a snow day today, though there was little snow, but Alice tells me they call these days when school is closed because of extreme cold “calamity days”. It sounds odd to me! I cannot remember closing for just cold when I was growing up, and not so much during the years my kids were in grade school. But today’s was a blessing.

Alice jan 2015 snow day sledding

In the morning Alice and her boys and Emily (she worked at home) and her family went sledding at Kendall Hills.
It was cold but one warms up pulling the sled uphill, I was assured by Alice. Then they left Stephen with Em and his cousins and Alice and Nathan went to Boston Mills and skied for a few hours. More fun…….My sil Mike’s business does not offer calamity days, alas, so he was hard at work!

Alice jan 2015 snow day skiing with Nathan

I’ve been reading more these really cold days when it is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less! Saturday it will begin to warm up, back to the 30s. I’m looking forward to Sunday when something special will begin. More about that later.

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The next line should be that the fire is so delightful, but I am not making a fire. Though I love central heating and am happy and grateful to have it. Surely our lives are too comfortable.


Tonight will reach down to 1F which is minus 17.2222 Celsius…The old adage that says, “When the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen,” is proving true!

And it is ironic that we have all this snow but had none during the school break for Christmas/Winter holidays.

And my refrigerator needs to be cleaned, and this is a great time to make soup! So be it!

A vegetable soup it will be, perhaps a take off on lecso since I have so many little peppers and canned diced tomatoes are good.

Not such a good time for my Kindle to finally die. It has been needing more and more hard resets and now, alas, in the middle of a medieval mystery, it has died. A replacement is on its way!

So I am rereading a favorite D.E. Stevenson, Amberwell. With good soup, and good company (Emily is coming for dinner tonight) and a good book to read before bed, we’ll be really too comfortable during the storm, which is pretty much over, though the cold is not.

DES amberwell cover

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It’s been such a lovely Christmas holiday, despite the fact that is was not a white one except on the local ski slopes where they were busily making artificial snow, that I am sad to see it rather end. Tomorrow my grandchildren all return to school, even though Epiphany is not until Tuesday.

But while it is still holidays, I want to share some last photos of what we’ve been seeing and doing.

Emily dec 2014 christmas tree best ever

This was Emily and Ingmar’s Christmas tree this year, complete with real light shining in the darkness. Such a lovely symbol. They found a Christmas tree farm nearby where the trees are not pruned so they have that natural layered shape I love from European trees, though this was was larger than any European tree I ever saw.

Emily baked cookies for it, perfection Springerle cookies from the House on the Hill recipe. I gave her my hartshorn to do this and I think she will take over the task.

Emily dec 2014 perfection springerle she baked

Another ornament I enjoyed seeing was the Splendid Fairy Wren bird ornament I bought for Sofia and Clara because it was (probably still is) their favorite bird from our Audubon Bird Bingo game.

Emily dec 2014 Christmas tree blue bird I bought for Sofia Splendid Fairy something bird from bird bingo

This bird will only be seen on Christmas trees here in north east Ohio since its real home is in Australia.

Their tree is also lovely in the daylight.

Emily dec. 2014 christmas tree in daylight

One of Andy’s gifts was a shirt showing his membership in the Steamboat Association of Great Britain with the name of his (yet to be assembled) steam launch Nyitra I. There was a boat that sailed the Rabca near Gyor, Hungary which belonged to our family and carried his great grandfather’s sugar beet crop from Sovenyhaza to Acs. At least we believe it belonged to us! It was commandeered for military service during WWI.

I am trying to get a photo from this, but wordpress doesn’t want to let me do so…..Well. I will finish this and perhaps tomorrow I can try a part two of this post……….

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