Archive for February, 2017

I almost posted something on Valentine’s Day. But it was only an almost…….

Andy had a chance to get free roses from his work and brought a dozen red roses to me,  another to Alice, and also to Emily. Very nice!


Just now, I am home alone. Actually, Andy is only at work, so I cannot claim that he “has fled”. But Emily and her family are at Chautauqua so they can ski over President’s Day weekend, and Alice and her family are away on a two day holiday at Castaway Bay, the water park in western Ohio owned by Cedar Point. I was there a bit over a year ago and posted about it here:   https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/busy-busy-busy/

But just now I am having a quiet weekend at home, reading, watching my new favorite Acorn TV series Lord and Master, an amusing Dutch mystery series with English subtitles, and “putzing” about. I think I will make some more soup.

Emily posted some photos of Sofia and Clara at Holiday Valley.



Emily and the girls drove up yesterday so they could begin skiing today but Ingmar couldn’t go until after the Farmer’s Market this morning when he sells his famous pretzels and other treats. However, he is safely there now. Our neighbor Meredith posted a photo of Ingmar and their dog Jack on our porch.


It looks as though I’ll be going on a week vacation in Florida at the end of March. We won’t be staying in Venice this time, but on Siesta Key at the south end of Sarasota. That’s closer to some of the things we enjoy doing like visiting the Mote Aquarium, the wonderful Marie Shelby Botanical Garden and the fun Sarasota Jungle Gardens. And one day I will certainly drive down to Venice to visit my friend Nancy. We met in 1980 when our children were in pre-school together. Really? Can it be 37 years already?  We were also  Girl Scout leaders together. Nancy was just telling me about the really bad red tide in Venice just now. She said if you go outside it affects your breathing and makes you feel unwell. Still, she attends morning yoga on the beach, but says everyone is coughing all the time.

Meanwhile, in other news, my daughter Alice won second place in the Boy Scout chili cook-off competition at the meeting where Nathan became a tenderfoot.

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Puzzles and Surprises

These days are quiet but rather busy. I’m going to three exercise events each week, and the Artist’s Way class on Thursday evenings. This class is very rewarding, but it does require activities every day plus an “Artist’s Date” once a week. And on Tuesdays I seem to need to do a little babysitting. It’s not very much and I love to spend time with grandchildren. But the days are busy. I fit doctor’s appointments and car recall appointments in between.

Every evening Andy and I play our double solitaire, the one I learned from my mother in law who learned it from her grandmother. It’s very like the game Russian Bank in Hoyle’s book of card games. We keep a running score. Andy is ahead at the moment, but I keep hoping.

He just finished a large and challenging jigsaw puzzle, a Wentworth one called High Jinks. I bought it for myself and thought perhaps we could work on it together, but this one, being tall and narrow,  doesn’t lend itself to that.


I first learned of these puzzles from some of my D.E. Stevenson friends who live in the U.K. Anne Stoye and I worked on one while I was her house guest in 2010. And now, my friend Geraldine from Luton has been posting about several wentworths she has been putting together. This one is fairly challenging. The books are all girls books from the past but there are repeats on those shelves which makes it tough to figure out. But Andy did it, in two nights, I think.

These puzzles are expensive, but I paid less than a third of the amazon price by going directly to the company in the UK.

I asked him if he would go with me to the Bath Church Epiphany Art Festival and this afternoon we drove over. It’s a very satisfying show with work from local artists. Some of them are very, very talented.



They have two rooms filled with art as well as art in the sanctuary. I was very surprised in the room with smaller works such as jewelry and pottery and leather work to see some small origami books with DVDs which were labelled as the creations of Mary Lou Jubin. She is the aunt of my nephew’s wife and I have known her for more than 20 years! But I never knew about her achievements in art and music.  So, another satisfying small world event. And when I talked with some of the ladies at the reception desk it turned out that not only had they taught with her before she retired, but she is a skilled performer on the hammered dulcimer and played for three hours on the opening night. Mary Lou also gives programs at a local branch library and I think I must look into finding out when one of these is about to happen and attending it.This was my “Artist Date” for the week. It is something that is supposed to inspire one and put more joy into our lives. This certainly did all that.

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Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.


Mary Oliver


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