Archive for May, 2016

Today was the last day of school for the 2015-2016 school year here in our Revere district. Since they have reorganized again, middle school begins in sixth grade and Nathan is leaving Bath School. It was a bittersweet moment for Alice! She posted this photo of his first day of elementary school and his last.

Nathan may 2016 last day of elem school

But meanwhile some summer fun begins…He is having lots of fun playing baseball, though his Mom wonders what geniuses thought of white uniforms for boys. Nathan is the one with the dirtiest uniform. And the boy on the left is the same good friend who stood next to Nathan at his pre-school graduation six years ago.

Nathan May 2016 alice wonders why white is ever an option for basebal unis

The yellow rose of Texas is blooming and I seem to be praying for a surprising number of friends who are either very ill themselves or have husbands who are in crisis. I suppose it may go with being in my seventies.  I hope they will all be well!

Tomorrow I am going to Chautauqua with all my offspring except Andy who has to work this weekend. I am happy to be going back to the lake for a few days. Alice has been painting up a storm, and even repairing some of the porch floor and she bought seven beautiful hanging ferns to hang there.I wonder how we will take care of them in the winter. They seem too much of an investment to abandon. Well, between the three households, I think we can manage!

I hope we have some rain here while I am gone. We’re almost entering a drought at the moment! Flowers from the snowball bush are traditional for Memorial Day, but a few years ago an insect infestation destroyed most of them around here. I am happy to see a few bushes are coming back. The photo of them is not from my garden and nothing looks this good yet,  but one lives in hope.

Flowers Snowball bush or Guelder rose


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Flowers Jack in the pulpit

Usually May is my favorite month. And it may well be this year, too, though we’ve had more than a normal number of cold days. The sun is shining today and flowers are blooming. Flame azaleas and sweet woodruff are looking lovely together. The purplish wild phlox does not blend in so well with orange, but ok. I will rejoice in what is. Somehow, it is difficult to believe summer is as close as it is, even though the peonies are full of the most promising buds!

Tomorrow, Alice, Andy and I will go to Chautauqua for three days and then Friday, most of us will go back for the Memorial Day weekend. I have the first Point Chautauqua Historical Preservation Society Meeting that Saturday. And on the 7th my dear friend Susan from Toronto is coming to visit for a few days. And I still have not planted my deck. I think I will wait until a week from tomorrow when I am back for a few days to take care of things! We had a few hard freezing days when people who trusted the traditional May 8th safe-to-plant by date lost plants they could not cover well enough.

Stephen may 2016 graduation from preschool

No one got a good photo of Stephen in his cap and gown, but he has graduated from pre-school with great pride, and will be going to kindergarten in September. He wore the same outfit that his older brother did only a few years ago. A blue gown and a soft blue cap somewhat similar to a mortar board, with a gold tassel. I know I have a photo of this somewhere, but sadly, cannot find it. Maybe it is in a blog post from May 2010?

Right! There you go: https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/graduation-time-and-spring-into-summer/

This weekend which was quite cold yesterday, Nathan and his Boy Scout Troop camped on Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie. I’m waiting to hear all about it! And today, Alice and Mike are celebrating their seventeenth wedding anniversary. All my thoughts about this are cliches! It doesn’t seem possible, but when I reflect on all that has happened in those years, it seems all too real.

Nathan May 2016 off to camp

And Alice and Mike, in the interests of collecting experiences rather than things, gave one another a cooking class together at the Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson. They learned about grilling fish and seafood. Alice loves to grill meals in the summer. They made and feasted on Asian spiced grilled shrimp, Cedar planked salmon, and mussels in white wine…Yummmm!

Alice may 2016 western reserve cooking school in Hudson







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Remembering Rosalie

Art four seasons wood cut


In a comment on my last post, Kay, the Georgia Girl with an English Heart, whose blog is always full of new ideas and information, mentioned that I had identified a plant she had but could not identify, Neomarica, the Apostle Plant.

I only knew it because my dear friend, Rosalie Steiner, had given me a start from her plant, many years ago. And this started me remembering Rosalie who died in 2013 at the age of 92. She was a truly extraordinary woman.

At first I was only going to give the link to her obituary, but who knows how long that will remain online…..So here is it:

“STEINER ROSALIE CHARKOFF STEINER, age 92, passed away June 11, 2013, peacefully in her sleep in Franklin, Tennessee. Born February 16, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, she lived most of her life in Bath Township. Where she raised one daughter and two sons, Maxine Steiner Lane, Karl Steiner and Homer J. Steiner III with her husband of 62 years Homer J. Steiner Jr. Who in turn blessed them with eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In 2012 she moved to Franklin, Tennessee to be with her youngest son and his wife. Mrs. Steiner was well known for her involvement with water conservation, nature preservation and land management. She was recognized with several, local, state and national awards for her efforts. She worked to develop the Bath Nature Preserve, 400 acres of woods and fields. She and her husband donated their home and 23 acres of land to the University of Akron for their use in housing visiting professors and teaching students about water pollution, Biology and related fields. Another project she led was the development of a Nature Land Lab at Bath Elementary School to teach the students about conservation, land and water use. The Lab is still being used to this day and teaches many different grades throughout the year. Mrs. Steiner is still remembered for her out spoken views on the subject of land management and water conservation not only locally but nationally. Her strong opinions on these and other matters often caused conflict but she forged ahead relentlessly. She died still hoping that Bath Township would adopt better plans for water conservation and sewer controls plus a senior center for all older citizens of Bath Township. There will be a celebration of her life’s service held at the old Steiner property on Saturday, June 29th at 1 PM. Parking will be at the Bath Elementary School and shuttles will be provided to the property.

Published in The Plain Dealer on June 14, 2013

I feel now that I am in my early ’70s, that I have lost too many friends and relatives already, in this world. I met Rosalie in 1983, the year I began being a garden writer for The Bath Country Journal and The Richfield Times, and my wonderful Bath Country Journal editor, Susie Wyatt, now also gone from this earth, introduced me to Rosalie.  She was the most passionate person I have ever known about protecting the environment and nothing was too much trouble for her to do in this cause. About the time I met her she had recently been named Summit county conservation citizen of the year.

Rosalie had grown up on a farm in Ashtabula county in the 1920s and her brother still owned this wonderful land near the Grand River. She took me on many expeditions to her old home and let me dig up wild flowers and bring them to my home where quite a few are still doing very well. There is a Turk’s Head Lily which especially delights me every summer. Those were wonderful years and wonderful memories of a very kindred spirit.  And in the thirty years I knew her, through many personal vicissitudes, her energy rarely diminished;  she always had projects in mind and work in progress.

No one who ever knew her could forget her intelligence and care for the earth and also for people. Rosalie was a wise and deeply generous soul.  I felt I needed to write something about her now that Kay’s mystery plant brought her so vividly back to my mind.

Flowers forgetmenots from little red hen may '10


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My recent post about whether I should not stop because there is so little response had a number of responses, but the last one gave me pause. It was from someone named Shell from whom I had never had a comment as far as I know. Shell said, “Why do you even have to have a response. Isn’t this kind of like your diary?”

It is not my diary, not my journal.  That is somewhere else. But it is a sort of record of my family, at least of the things I want to record. So why do I need a response?  There are a lot of people who respond who feel like friends.It feels like a sort of conversation and connection. Some I know in real life. One I’ve know probably more than sixty years.If there is no response it can be quite disheartening. The response is a comfort I would be sad to miss. Often the responses lead my thoughts in other directions.  It all adds something to life. And I try to respond to other bloggers. Not all, and not all the time, but sometimes. I hope the blogging world will not disappear. It has a serious value and allows kindred spirits to connect and lets us see the lives of people we would probably not meet in real life. And the responses are part of this.

Last weekend was Mother’s Day…And both of my daughters and grandchildren were varying degrees of ill, though I did go to Emily and Ingmar’s for Kaffee und Kuchen in the afternoon. Ingmar baked a delicious poppy seed cake, quite unlike the American version. He grinds the poppy seeds with a special German grinder to make them very fine. All that is in this cake are eggs, poppy seeds and sugar. But Clara was fairly under the weather and even Sofia not too well. I received handmade cards from the girls and a book about “Palace Pets” from Fia. And Emily, Ingmar and I played “Oh, Hell” which they let me win….And I went home with a gorgeous red dahlia in a large pot.

At Alice’s house Nathan was more violently ill with a fever and other symptoms best left undescribed….Stephen was not ill until he was getting into his pajamas later that night. That left him well enough to experience a personal triumph. He learned to ride his two wheeler without training wheels!


Stephen may 2016 learns to ride a bike on mothers day

Everyone is better now, and tonight I will be having a Mother’s Day dinner at Alice and Mike’s house.

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Today is an exciting day. We have year round Farmer’s Markets here in my neck of the woods, but in the winter the main one only meets twice a month inside, at Old Trail School in the National Park. But today was the first market in Howe Meadow and it will be held weekly for the rest of the summer.


Emily opened the market with the first baking and was sold out by 10:00am and Ingmar brought the second and was sold out by 10:45 though the market lasts until noon.

Regular readers know my son in law Ingmar, born and raised in Bavaria, sells his homemade pretzels, “kaiser” rolls (Semmel oder Brötchen)  and nut rolls at this market every Saturday morning.

The first customers today were my wonderful sister and brother in law, Alice and Barney. (You may remember Alice as the talented Origami crafter.)

Alice and Barney may 7 2016 first howe mdw market


alice and barney may 2016 pretzels at the first market

And here is a wonderful photo of the Bavarian Baker and his happy wife:


Emily and Ingmar at the first market 2016 e sold out by 10 and the second batch sold out by 1045

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