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No photos today, just a short news bulletin…Last Wednesday my ds Andy slipped in the parking lot of our local Wellness Center after a doctor’s visit. Trying to get home was excruciatingly painful and he couldn’t really sit nor stand but he didn’t want to call the EMS people and hoped it would fix itself overnight.

Alas. No, it would not, did not. We called and they took him by ambulance to the ER where after a number of tests they were surprised to realize he had broken a vertebrae, the L2. (The EMS men told me this is almost always a simple muscular thing that will fix itself in 24 or 48 hours.)  He spent a few days in the hospital and just came home, wearing a cyber brace which will help him heal and have less pain. We do love the name of the brace!

He cannot lift things nor twist and will have about two months of physical and occupational therapy. Any good wishes you can send his way will be greatly appreciated!

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I wanted to post this earlier but my smart phone was acting up. I couldn’t send any of my pictures to myself to use in the blog. But yesterday my dd Alice fixed it for me. I am not sure she did anything I had not been doing, but it worked for her…Thank goodness for my children (who are not children any longer!) who can help with all these things.

Last Sunday I celebrated my 75th birthday. It seems surprisingly old, to me. Internally I hear my self asking how this happened. (I feel as if my mind is filled with cliches these days!) But I know I am very blessed and very lucky.

Alice hosted a raclette party and everyone contributed things for it. It was lots of fun and quite delicious. If you search for “raclette” you will find some other posts about raclette parties which my family enjoys.

blog jan 2020 table

Everyone brought things…We had real Raclette cheese and several really good Emmentalers, potatoes, my son in law Ingmar’s home made bread, chicken and shrimp….And more…The cake was amazing, a rather decadent chocolate one.

blog jan 2020 cake

Alice made the wonderful flower arrangement and Emily and her family gave me the lovely mug with our state bird, the Cardinal. My favorite part of this was that inside the mug were stuffed lots of hearts my granddaughters had made with things they like about having me for a grandmother! A Nana.

blog jan 2020 fia and clara and em

And Wednesday, two of my sisters in law took me out to lunch for my birthday. This is a custom we’ve been keeping for years now. We go out to lunch often but on birthdays the two non-birthday “girls” buy lunch for the one celebrating. We always go to the same restaurant and this time we were quite surprised when the waitress not only remembered us but remembered what we order. Pointing to Suzi and me she said, “Beef and Latkes, right?”. And looking at Aniko, she said, “And you’re liver and onions”. So we have fame, of a sort. Two of us are famous for corned beef and potato pancakes and another for liver and onions which they do very well….And then we split two cakes three ways. We had a very delicious intense chocolate one and a key lime cheesecake.

blog jan 2020 aniko and suzi


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Last Tuesday all our Christmas decorations were taken down. It was sad to see them leave. They were up through Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. And then gone. And a new year feels as if it is beginning.

Soon a too large number of doctor’s appointments and tests get underway. Some happen every three or four months and others only every several years. I’m not thrilled with them, but I believe it helps me to be healthier than I would otherwise be.

I’ve often mentioned that every Friday Emily and her daughters come here for dinner. This began because her dh Ingmar had to bake for the market on Saturday mornings. (However, I always wanted my grandchildren to spend time in my home. I was so often in my Nana and Papa’s home. They lived within walking distance.) But now he has so many other baking jobs that he decided to stop being part of the Saturday Market (which meant baking most of Friday) and comes with his family for dinner. That market also kept them from having family weekends at our cottage at Chautauqua and we hope they can be there more this coming year. But I always felt bad that there did not seem to be a good way to have Alice and her family over for dinner and now we seem to have solved the problem.


We’re having once a month Pizza at Nana’s on Friday evenings. We had one this evening and it was greatly enjoyed. Unfortunately, I forgot about taking any photos! The one you see above is just from stock….We did a bit of brainstorming to make it easy as possible. I ordered six (we think four will be enough in the future!) large pizzas and Alice brought two enormous salads. Andy bought ice cream for dessert.  I feel a bit guilty about this, but Alice persuaded me to use paper plates. At the moment we don’t have a dish washer that works well enough and until that is fixed, I think I’ll have to bite the bullet and go with paper. The pizzas ordered were 1. plain cheese (Alice says Stephen likes the idea of pepperoni pizza but then picks it all off), 2. one ham and pineapple (especially for Sofia who loves this) 3. two pepperoni pizzas one of which also had black olives on it 5. one onion and green pepper and 6. one onion and mushroom. We have a vegetarian and others who love vegetarian pizza.  Andy got several types of Klondike bars for dessert. We drank water, unsweetened La Croix carbonated drinks and at least one of us enjoyed Chamomile tea. Alice’s salads were spectacular and varied with feta cheese to sprinkle on top if that was wanted.

About ten minutes before everyone arrived I was surprised by a text from a friend from long ago. Suzanne used to be a pastoral associate at Holy Martyrs, the church we attended. Then she lived in a condo in Venice, Florida where I vacationed in the past. But now she seems to be moving back to the Cleveland area which I think is where most of her children and grandchildren live.

two popes

Suzanne texted me about the movie The Two Popes which I don’t think I have mentioned here. It’s a Netflix movie and all of our family was very interested in it because it is about the present pope, Francis, and his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Some of the Pope Francis story (Bergoglio) is entwined with the life of my brother-in-law Ferencs (of Francis, or Franz) who was in Argentina. We were a little concerned with how it would be told but everyone is satisfied with it, I think. And the actor who portrayed Franz looks nothing like him, which is all to the good, somehow. I recommend it. Anthony Hopkins plays Benedict XVIth.  All the acting is excellent.


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Word for the Year

Some people have been choosing a word for the year rather than particular New Year’s Resolutions.

Mine for 2020 is “Action”!


I need a lot more of it. I have many mobility issues that make me reluctant to do things, that make me ask one of my children (all very grown up) to do things for me. And some of this is necessary, but it has become a bad habit. I may need a hip replacement this year but in the meantime, I need to become more active in “mustering my wits in my own defense”. And not only my wits, but all of myself.

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new year 2019

We will be having a very quiet New Year celebration here since both Andy and I are a bit under the weather, but only a bit! But quiet is good, I think. I’m pondering one of those one word resolutions people seem to be talking about, but have not come to a conclusion yet. I wish all of you a very satisfying 2020.

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A photo of art from my second Christmas…..

art maxfield parrish christmas morning 1946

Christmas 1946 by Maxfield Parrish

And a lovely quote from much earlier!

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol.

We had a fabulous feast at Emily and Ingmar’s this afternoon. My gourmet son in law made crispy duck, a wonderful napkin dumpling (Serviettenklosse) and braised red cabbage.  Emily and Ingmar together made a perfect creme brulee. But I find the last two days left me worn out and I expect to sleep really well this night.

Christmas blessings to all of you, continuing throughout all of 2020!

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Christmas nativity set

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