Archive for July, 2019

My birthday is at the end of January. And my granddaughters, especially Clara who I believe had this idea and made the binder, invited my to choose a dinner which they would cook for me and after, a movie which we would watch together.

Clara made a lovely blue binder explaining this. It had pages of dinners I could choose which they would cook for me and suggestions of movies we might enjoy together. But getting a time when we might actually do this was a bit tricky. It happened yesterday! And I do believe in “better late than never”. The dinner was just sublime! I chose Chicken paprikash, or Paprikas Csirke as it is called in Hungarian. This was the first Hungarian meal I ever learned to make, nearly 50 years ago. It is not too difficult but very delicious. And they made (mostly Emily, I think) homemade nokedli, a lovely small dumpling we sometimes call spaetzle which goes so very well with the paprikas sauce. And there was also delicious old-fashioned cucumber salad with dill and sour cream. And Clara baked chocolate cupcakes for dessert.  We ate outside with a view of their lovely pond.

blog july 28 2019 Clara

blog july 28 2019 dinner outside

blog july 28 2019 Fia Maus

My oldest granddaughter had some (not permanent) blue dye in her hair to match her new tie dyed shirt!

And then we all went downstairs to the basement to watch the funny movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy. This movie was made in 1980 and we all saw it then. And Em and family have seen it once much more recently. There are a lot of reviews which call it racist and colonial. I think it could be called this. But I have a willing suspension of disbelief that lets me enjoy it as a sort of fantasy, not part of the real world. I was surprised, though, to realize that the revolutionaries were meant to represent Che Guevara who spent some time in Angola or the Congo fighting for communism. I never knew that nor had made the connection.

the gods must be crazy

If you have never seen this, you might also enjoy it. Ah, that coke bottle has a lot for which to answer.  It seems it cannot be bought anywhere at the moment, but Emily was able to borrow a copy from the library.


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The weather has cooled off quite a bit and is slowly warming to normal summer temperatures. Meanwhile, we are enjoying having a guest. While my dd Alice and her family are visiting my sil Maria and exploring the California coast their sweet dog Pepper is visiting us. I enjoy having a dog in the house again. Andy is taking complete care of her as far as food, water, and walks are concerned. I just get to pet her and toss things to be retrieved!

Pepper july 2019 third

Do you see that white bone like thing on the carpet near her? One of my nephews from Alaska finds deer antlers in the woods quite often and every once in a while he sends Alice some. They last a long time, much longer than bones from a butcher. And Pepper enjoys chewing on them. She enjoys this almost as much as running off with one of my shoes….

If you would like to see some photos from 2017 when she first came to Alice’s family you may find some here:  https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/welcome-pepper/

Like my little dog Bo, or Bogancs to use his real name, Pepper likes to stand on the couch and observe the animal life in the back yard. There are groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and deer to be seen often. Trying to get a photo of her doing this I discovered I was getting some interesting pictures with her reflection in them.

Pepper july 2019 second

I think we will be having an interesting two weeks with this little lady whom I have such trouble referring to with the feminine pronoun. We’ve only ever had male dogs. But I have Andy to correct me whenever he hears me making this mistake.

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Heat wavejuly 2019

Cooler than yesterday, but still in the mid 90sF. This is the third too hot day when we are warned to stay inside and keep cool. The city of Akron published lists of cooling centers for those who are without air conditioning. I have this upstairs when I am mostly staying  and rereading Aaron Elkins wonderful Gideon Oliver mysteries.

Every so often I walk across to my computer/quilt room and watch a rerun of Bones. I’m up to season 8 of 12. I see an anthropological theme here!

But guess what! Tomorrow is to be a high of 74F!

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Butterflies in July


Butterfly monarch 7 2019 female wiki

(This is a female monarch from the wikipedia article. I was not able to get a good photo from the ones in my yard who were always moving too quickly.)

My milkweed is blooming now in Ohio…And I am seeing butterflies, monarch butterflies! Well, it may only be one butterfly, but I am seeing him frequently. At Chautauqua in late June I saw a Monarch and also often  Tiger Swallowtails.

Any siting of these makes me happy because of late there have been so fewer Monarchs and butterflies generally. Our sadly degrading environment may be to blame.

butterfly monarch 7 2019 male derek ramsay wiki

(Here is another photo from wiki, taken by Derek Ramsay. This is a male Monarch.)

I blogged about this five years ago. https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/a-sad-absence/

Today I talked on the phone with my DES friend Susan in Toronto. She had similar good news, probably even better news. She has seen multiple Monarchs in her front yard over the past few days.

butterfly monarch 7 2019 wiki mex sunflower

A third wiki photo of a Monarch above a Mexican sunflower. I couldn’t see who took this.

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June Memories

Towards the end of June I enjoyed another gathering of my D.E. Stevenson friends – and it was as magic as ever! We did a lot of porchsitting and talking. I really had to laugh that I had feared that we might run out of things to discuss! That doesn’t happen with this group.

Chaut DES june 2019 Dessies together!

From left to right: Susan, Alice, Me, Betty, Linda, Sulie and Perry. Karen is standing behind Sulie who flew all the way from Olympia, Washington to Erie, PA, and then drove a good hour to be with us. Susan drove down from Toronto. Betty drove from eastern Tennessee and picked up Linda in Virginia and on to our beautiful little lake. Recently I heard Chautauqua referred to as “the little Finger Lake that strayed west”. Karen flew from Nashville, TN to Cleveland and drove two hours.

Susan took this photo. She knows how to set her camera and get back into the picture! There was a lot of talk, a lot of prosecco, a lot of cheese, some trips to bookshops and the Cheese Shop (Cadwell’s Cheese) owned by Susan’s cousin Jane. Again, Perry bought lobstah the morning of the first day and drove them all the way from Maine to western New York. She called when she got nearer to the cottage so that we could begin boiling the water. This year we had more crackers and picks. Last year we had one or two sets and passed around a garden clipper!

Chaut DES june 2019 more karen and sulie

We “porchsat” a lot and had great conversations and a lot of laughter! People shared the miniatures they had created. Susan has had another short story published in a Canadian anthology and she had a little launch party for us where this was read. One afternoon Alice took most of the group in the boat for lunch at The Fish in Bemus Point. Sulie had invited everyone for this event….

I began this post about a week ago. Every since returning from Chautauqua it has been very busy! And my mind has been very distracted. Besides the normal discombobulations and perplexities of everyday life there have been some wonderful events.  Emily’s mother in law has been visiting for two weeks from Germany and we’ve had them out for dinner twice, once this evening, her last evening of this year’s visit. Alice and Emily’s family were at Point Chautauqua over the 4th and they picked cherries one of those days. This was always a family tradition when my kids were growing up and I was sad that it seemed to have fallen by the wayside. And therefore I was quite happy that they went cherry picking this year. They picked about twenty pounds in 15 minutes, or so they tell me. I believe them. The price was $1.20 a pound. Paul always said the farmer should also weigh each of us before and after the picking!

I have been tested for hearing aids and last Friday I got them. My hearing was not terrible, but I do think the hearing aids are helping even if I am noticing more background noises than I really wanted to hear! But I’m quite happy about how easily I seem to have gotten used to them. The technology is so very much better than it used to be when I saw my mil struggle.

And my darling granddaughter Clara had her birthday party yesterday! She has entered the double digits. There was a great party with some survival quizzes and lots of swimming in the pond from the younger guests. Also some kayaking. Then too many wonderful cakes from her talented Papa! Black Forest Torte and raspberry cream roll up. Also little waffle cakes. A few hours after all the desserts there was a supper with pulled pork and lots of different salads. Lots of them!

Clara july 2019 bday




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