Archive for December, 2018

Fa la la la la la la la la.

Hail the New Ye Lads and Lasses,

Fa la la la la la la la la………

New Year 2019

A few wonderful things happened in 2018. And one almost devastating personal family tragedy did not quite happen. I will be glad to see 2019 begin. I wish you all happiness and achievement and some gentle adventures and a satisfying 2019. Politically I feel as if many places in the world are in a sort of “Descent into the Maelstrom”, but there is not a great deal I can do to change this. What I can do, I will, but it is little. I prefer to concentrate on the little world around me and the dear family that make it so worthy of love and energy and patience and joy. And now, let me stop before I ramble on too much!

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Hoping for Better Health!

I’m on my third day of a bad cold and laryngitis so the looking back on 2018 and forward to 2019 posts I’d been hoping to do are postponed, for a time or forever.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a happy New Year’s celebration and a very satisfying, healthy and happy 2019!

Alice dec 2018 macaron tea room 1

alice dec 2018 macaron tea room 3

Meanwhile I am anticipating having tea at this new tea room with my dd Alice sometime in the next few weeks when I am better….It is part of her Christmas present to me.

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If I were in England

it would be Boxing Day. But I’m not, and it isn’t. It’s a sort of recovery day from the pleasures of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve Alice and her family came over for our last Advent Singing (in the kitchen), and Andy reading from the gospel of St. Luke. And then the angels rang the bell and we opened the door and rushed into the living room to find the Christmas tree and gifts. Joy all around.

xmas 2018 candles for singing

xmas 2018 singing by candlelight

xmas 2018 andy


(I am not very good with the Ipad camera, especially in low light!)

I so ran out of energy getting things ready for Christmas Eve and Andy helped mightily! After the exchanging of gifts, we had a simple supper – stuffed peppers and salami sandwiches! What a combination. And lots of delicious German cookies from Aldi and Stollen and Beigli and eggnog.


xmas 2018 Hutch with led battery lights

(I’m very happy with some battery operated tiny LED lights I found this year.)

xmas 2018 Nathan and Mike

(Mike was very happy with the copy of Pete Souza’s Shade which I gave him. And Alice liked her copy of Michelle Obama’s Becoming. )

Next day we were at Emily’s home by 1pm for Ingmar’s delectable dinner of roast duck and braised red cabbage and a napkin dumpling (a Semmel dumpling boiled in a huge napkin and served in slices). Emily made creme brulee for dessert.

Of course I forgot my Ipad at home and took no photos at Em’s,

And then we exchanged more gifts. My granddaughter Clara is writing a book for me and I got the first several chapters last night. She also read us poems from a lovely notebook she has with different prompts for poem subjects.  Both of my granddaughters are very creative, and my grandsons are too! I’m a lucky Nana and not biased at all.

Christmas morning I talked to Alice who was a bit exhausted since Stephen woke them up about five times throughout the night wondering if it was time to get up yet.  Finally Alice gave him an alarm clock set for six o’clock and told him he could not get up until it went off! Which it did, probably all too soon! Stephen was VERY excited with his new electric dirt bike.

Today is very low key. Friday I will have all of Emily’s family for dinner and games afterwards.

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A Desultory Christmas Post

Slowly we continue to get ready for Christmas. Our spirits rise. Alice has her tree, but my favorite photo from her is sweet Pepper who claimed the tree skirt for her own new favorite place  from which to view her kingdom.

Alice dec 2018 Pepper on tree skirt

This afternoon we are going to Alice’s for my oldest grandson’s fourteenth birthday and I expect the tree will be taking this, it’s rightful space. But I’m sure Pepper will have found a new favorite spot. Actually, she probably won’t be this restful. Pepper loves a party and is always rushing from person to person, tail wagging wildly. At 5:30 the Hungarian Girl Scouts are coming to sing Christmas carols with us. They go from house to house and we are usually the first because we are farthest from their home base. I’ve blogged about this event before. It’s always a special part of Christmas holidays for us. Sundays we have been having the Advent singing at Emily’s. I think it will not happen this Sunday because Emily is in Budapest visiting her Aunt and Uncle who  are now in the same assisted living home. She’ll be home on Tuesday.

Here is a picture of that Aunt and Uncle, now in their early 90s, from long ago and far away.

Family Feri and Isa when young


Alice dec 2018 advent singing on the 9th at Em's

Another photo from Alice, during our Advent singing. This shows a well-loved Hungarian Christmas carol in the family song book but I have smiled watching the choices include more and more German carols as Emily’s husband is from Munich and he and my granddaughters are very involved with the German School in Olmsted Falls, a nearby town.

Some of the carols are more serious and traditional, but others, often chosen by our younger singers are more lively and use the bells that are handed out to each of us for Jingle Bells or Deck the Halls. A new-to-me German song my granddaughters sing which has become a bit of an earworm for me is In Der Weinachtsbaeckerei (in the Christmas Bakery). You can see several versions on YouTube, like this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFZqDcFU4Ow.

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Last night two of my daughters, three grandchildren, one son in law and I drove to Barberton to see the Magical Theater Company’s production of Prancer.


How much fun that was, except when Clara and then her Mom were crying during an especially sad part of the play. I seem to be going to a lot of theater this fall/early winter. Long may it continue!

You can read more about this super regional theater here: https://www.magicaltheatre.org/mission

Prancer is based on a story of a little girl whose mother has recently died, and whose Dad’s business is doing very badly. The little girl, Jessica, believes she has found one of Santa’s reindeer, Prancer, who is injured and needs to be healed and returned to Santa before Christmas.


The evening began a bit ridiculously because we thought we were late and ended up arriving an hour early! But rather than hanging about the lobby for that time, we went across the street to a nice little coffee shop called “Kave” and had some hot drinks. That walk back and forth was a bit scary because while my shoes were quite skid proof, my cane kept slipping on the sloshy ice! Andy says I can probably get a replacement tip for it. Alice took my arm to kept me upright!

This play (which was a movie in 1989. and may have a sequel called Prancer Returns) used a puppet for Prancer in the Magical Theater production. Ulysses was a puppet in the Flora and Ulysses play we saw earlier this year and last year my daughters and their children saw The BFG where huge puppets were part of the show. The puppeteers are amazingly skillful.

The professional actors connected to this theater are very very good and great with the children when they come on stage after the play and talk with any children who want to come up – and most do! Also,  there are also a lot of children in the cast. The little girl who played Jessica did an excellent job and looked perfect for the role.

The theater is located near the center of Barberton which has lovely Lake Anna in the middle. After the play we drove around Lake Anna, a natural spring fed ten acre lake in the center of town which at this time of year has Christmas light displays all around it. Emily and my granddaughters amused us all by singing the songs suggested to them by particular light displays which were different every few seconds! Jingle bells, followed by We Three Kings, followed by Rubber Ducky, followed by Frosty the Snowman and the The Surrey with the Fringe on Top….No overarching theme to these lights, but they were certainly very festive!

Lake Anna 2018 2

Lake Anna 2018 3

Lake Anna 2018 5

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The Fourth of December

I meant to have a new post up on Sunday, but it did not happen. Everything is still very busy. Last night I had a second overnight sleep titration study. This is not my favorite activity, having more than 20 electrodes attached to me and bundles of wires and then being told to sleep…! Right………..The first study was done incorrectly so we will only be charged with one, but I feel quite groggy today after getting only about a bit more than 2.5 hours of sleep….When that was over, I went downstairs to the labs where my blood work was done for the appointment on Friday.  We, who have good health insurance, do see various doctors far more often than my parent’s generation ever did unless they were having some acute problems. I believe we have better care, but I have mixed feelings about it all. I’m reading (but still at the beginning) a new book by Barbara Ehrenreich of Nickled and Dimed fame. It’s called Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. I think, so far, that she has some valid points but am not sure I agree with the entire idea. Neither am I sure I disagree. And do I know her whole idea?

Books Natural Causes.

When I left the Wellness Center where all my tests had been taking place, and drove home, I realized we had had a bit more winter wonderland overnight! It was fluffier and prettier when I first arrived home, but I didn’t take a photo until I had had a little nap. But here is what I saw then.

winter 2018 2

This was taken through a window and the part of a circle in the upper right is a stained glass piece of art made by my daughter Alice for me a few years ago.

I’m also slowly getting into the Christmas spirit and have my mother’s Christmas plates back on my hutch cupboard. The same ones I thought were lost but were found by Emily. What joy!

These are very like the Spode Christmas plates but earlier and not quite the same. My mother called them her “Plummer” plates.

Christmas plates from 2009

Oops! That photo is from a few years ago. I’ll have to get out my teapot.

Christmas 2018 plates

This year I have the snowman I painted in 1981, I think. And now, I believe it’s time for another nap!


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