Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Advent....

I got involved with politics during my teenage years, as one can read it in my Family web site. The Hungarian Revolution in 1956 was a turning point in my life for escaping with my young husband to start our new life and to raise our future children in a free country.

When I am reflecting on those long and struggling years I am not surprised to find that there was no room for politics in my life. But I was praying for the ending of the Korean and Vietnamese wars, and was overjoyed when in Europe the Iron Curtain fell with the Berlin walls.

In the past decade I am getting more and more disturbed by the political maneuverings, the actions of the groups of terrorists, and with the wars and blood sheds. During the time of Advent I am praying again very hard for the honesty and wisdom of the leaders that they will promote World's peace and our future with their decisions.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Approaching Christmas season

A suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom

While getting into the the warm and loving holiday spirit, one can not overlook the brewing dangers of the World.

World powers united in condemnation of Iran's nuclear activities yesterday in a rare show of international consensus on the threat posed by Tehran's continued nuclear defiance. China and Russia joined the United States, Britain, France and Germany in backing an International Atomic Energy Agency resolution censuring Iran and ordering it to halt construction of a secret uranium enrichment plant.

The resolution, the first since February 2006, passed with 25 votes and six abstentions. Only Malaysia, Venezuela and Cuba supported Iran. (picture and quotation from the Times)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tristan and Isolde

"Tristan and Isolde is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based on the romance by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1856 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bulow conducting."

"Wagner composition of Tristan and Isolde was inspired by his affair with Mathilda Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertory. Tristan was notable for Wagner's advanced use of chromaticism, tonality, orchestral color and harmonic suspension." (from Wikipedia)

I had had the good fortune in November of 1955 to attend to the opera of Tristan and Isolde at the Hungarian Opera House in Budapest. It was an unforgettable evening for me.

Unfortunately I do not have chances like that anymore, and that is why I was so thrilled few days ago when listening to BBC Radio 3's live production from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. (Antonio Pappano conductor, tenor Ben Heppner and soprano Nina Stemme as the tragic lovers.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Summer and Fall.



Just about a month ago my daughter came to visit me for few days. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather and drove out to the countryside to enjoy the last days of the Summer. She took a picture of me sitting on a boulder by the Santiam River.

But the Fall came fast and uninvited; I took the second picture of my old dogwood tree few days ago. And I'm glad I did, because the rainstorm of last night left my tree completely barren of the leaves.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jack and Jill

I have a pair of squirrel in my backyard, and I have named them Jack and Jill. I have no idea of their genders, and was assuming that they are a happy playful couple jumping from trees to trees, just like a pair of acrobats. My neighbor has a huge filbert tree by our redwood fence, and the little animals spending quite a time collecting and hiding the nuts.

I was desperately trying to take some pictures of the squirrels, but had not much luck, so I am using the above picture from Wikipedia.

Occasionally I also have a raccoon, who comes to drink from the wide bowl of water I had put out for him for his nightly visits, and he leaves his autograph faithfully in the grass.

Two summers ago I had seen quite a few little brown rabbits too, and even a deer came once to visit my yard. But sorry to say that lately my wildlife got curtailed by the neighboring developers, who is taking bigger and bigger chunks out of the surrounding land. Thank goodness for the flocks of birds that are still around.

And because Halloween is just right around the corner, I have to mention that sometimes a cute little brown bat is hiding in one of my awnings during day times.

I wonder if we are looking forward to a harsh winter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What about older people?




The good news is that according to the Newsletter of Mayo Clinic, the swine flu vaccine targets the H1N1 virus that made its first reported appearance in the United States and Mexico in spring 2009.
This vaccine will be available for the public before the predicted major outbreak in this winter.
But would it be enough for all of us?
"The risk of swine flu infection is lower for people age 65 or older than for younger people. As vaccine supply and demand among younger age groups is being met, the swine flu vaccine will be offered to people over the age of 65."
This is something new for me, quite opposite what was in practice in the past.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Growing up in Klotildliget, Hungary

Klotildliget, the small village where I was growing up, was subdivided from the properties of Habsburg-Lotaring Prince Joseph Karl in the late 1880's (as the more than 100 years old map illustratating above) at the area of the forested Pilis mountains, and was named after his wife, Klotild.

It was an ideal place for game hunting which activity was continued by his son, Prince Joseph Agost in the first half of the 20th century.

The beasts must had been abundant those days, because my mother was able to buy some venison and wild boar meat at the local butcher's shop during the hunting seasons.

One has to remember that this was the time before the communist took over Hungary at the end of WWII. By the end of 1945 everything was owned by the Communist government, and wild meats was not available anymore for the households. However, because the Hungarians do not give up easily, they have substituted it with the marinated beef.

(I'm not responsible for the incorrect spelling of "Bore" on the video.)

Charging Wild Bore

This shocking short video had inspired me to post a new recipe to my Hungarian Cooking site: Vadas Hus (Hunter-style Pot Roast).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Health Savings Accounts

The recent Newsletter of the Mayo Clinic deals with the possibility of opening a health savings account (HSA).


Basically it is an account into which you can deposit tax-free money to be used for future medical expenses.


Health savings accounts were established in 2003 and are becoming more common. The goal of an HSA is to reduce the money spent on health care by placing more of the responsibility on you to shop for it. (This part is a bit fuzzy to me.)


The choice of whether to start an HSA is not an easy one, and supporters and critics have different opinions on the pros and cons, as one can read it in the Newsletter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthdays

I received this beautiful symbolic picture from my Son for my 75th birthday, and I would like to share it with you...

I know that time has a way of moving quickly, and I wonder where all the years went. I also know that I lived them all, and thinking back sometimes makes me feel very tired and old.
Life goes by quickly, so, do what you can today. Say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past.
Thank you my children.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet

"Oh! What a tangled web we weave
When at first we practice to deceive!"

The famous quotation from Marmion of the historical poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott.

He was born on 15 August 1771 in Edinburgh, and died 21 September 1832, Melrose, Scotland.
Deception is the act of convincing another to believe information that is not true, or not the whole truth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yalta Conference (1945)

What was left off from this short video is the agreement of the three leaders that triggered the atom bombs for Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the Iron Curtain for Europe, and later on the Korean, Vietnamese and the Cold Wars.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cyber Love

My old friend just sent me this cartoon, and she thinks it is very funny. Even so, lots of people are addicted to the Internet dating and using it as an escape from reality; hoping to find a perfect partner.

Only a few have the chance to actually meet in person, and then only the very few lucky ones are able to transfer the virtual sweetheart from their illusion-based fantasy worlds to the reality. However, I know about one very happy couple - a product of cyber love - who are planning to get married this Fall. They are both Senior Citizens, but not "over the hill yet".

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oregon Sky


On the third day of our unusual heatwave I was hopefully looking up to the sky and saw these beautiful cloud formations.

Cirrocumulus belong to the High Cloud group (5000-13000 m). They are small rounded puffs and usually short-lived. Cirrocumulus is made of ice crystals but include liquid water droplets also.

Sometimes they look like the scales on a fish - a "mackerel" sky that may mean a change in the weather is on its way. And sure enough - to my greatest relief - by the evening our temperature has dropped by 20 degrees.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Southfall, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Summer is here before we know it, and with it comes the yard work. In this year our spring was very wet and cold, not much chance or desire to go outside and play in the mud. But now, every afternoon I go out for a few hours to pull the weeds, mow the lawn or trim the bushes. Unfortunately, I do not like to wear gloves and my poor hands suffer. This is one of my excuses for not posting in my blog lately.

The other excuse is a better one. My younger son came up from California to visit me for a few days, and we were on the go constantly. We also took a ride up to the mountains and visited one of my favored place, the Silver Falls State Park, only 25 miles from my home. The weather was warm and the sun was shining through the ancient forests, and a beautiful peace was all around us.

It is a kind of oasis, rolling hills and lush forests of the eastern Willamette Valley. Silver Falls State Park literally overflows with a variety of splendid waterfalls, trails, fascinating rock formations and greenery. It is the cool, green, rain-forest-like atmosphere that hits you as you approach this 8,700-acre state park. The fauna becomes denser and the road twists and turns a little tighter, and it is not long before you are drawn into the more than 21 miles of trails designed for hiking, biking, horse riding and of course, viewing.

Interestingly enough, you would not have thought much about the beauty of this place 16 billion years ago. Then, enormous lava flows from eruptions as far away as Idaho pushed their way into the Salem area, eventually reaching the sea. Yet it is that kind of volcanic destruction that ultimately created the beauty of the park. As each new lava flow cooled, it gave birth to new rock layers called basalt. These basalt formations were eventually cut into their present-day pathways by the various streams in the area, and then into the 11 waterfalls that are contained within Silver Falls State Park.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day, 2009.

A Day of Remembrance for those who have died in our Nation's service.

Friday, May 8, 2009

For the Mothers of the World


When I left Hungary in 1956 I had no idea that I will not see my Mother for 22 years. As a young couple, my husband and I had a very hard time establishing ourselves in our new country. We also became a family when our three children were born who only knew their Grandmother through our correspondence. The years went by fast, and the children left home for jobs and school.


In 1978, for the first time since I had left home, I was becoming very homesick. I knew I could not go home yet, not even for a short visit. During the years I had invited my Mother to come out and see us, and she always declined. She was very fragile and had to use two canes for walking, and, of course her advanced age was a factor. But I think the fact that she never flew in her life also had a big part in her refusal. I wrote to her again explaining my loneliness, and after few more letters had been exchanged, my Mother finally agreed to take the long trip.


I'm still having problems describing my feelings when I first saw her emerging from Customs at the Los Angeles airport. She was sitting in a wheelchair and an attendant was pushing her. Her tired face was sparkling with happiness and tears. The children and I ran to her and held her in our arms; we took her out of the wheelchair and took her home.


She is long gone now, but I always will remember...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu: How serious is the global threat? - MayoClinic.com





I have done some research on the subject, and I think I feel a bit more relaxed. However, I will follow all the precautions the Clinic recommends, and hope for the best.

Monday, April 6, 2009

For Easter....

Adoration of the Holy Trinity - Landauer Altarpiece

Albrecht Durer, 1511.

Vienna, Kunshistorisches Museum

Monday, March 30, 2009

Surprise!


We got a little snow last night, I was sure delighted to see that my daffodils were wearing their snow caps this morning. It was the cutest thing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is here....

The Bald Eagle came down again to visit me. He was sitting on the top of a very old and tall fir tree at the neighbor's yard, and was staring at me. Once in a while, during late winter or early spring he is making his flight from the canyon, about 35 miles from me.


I was trying to take a picture of him, but my little camera doses not have a zoom feature, and my effort was futile to capture him clearly on the top of the tree. So, we were just looking at each other and my spirit was soaring.


After awhile he spread his wings and took off to the East, where he came from. And I sent my prayers with him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hungarian Cooking


In the recent few months I have created a Hungarian cooking site to present some recipes of the dishes I used to cook for my three children throughout their growing-up years.

It is a collection of the simple Hungarian meals I was feeding my children with to accommodate our very modest lifestyle. I'm having great fun doing the site, and hopefully, the younger generation of my family will get some use out of it.

I have added the link to the sidebar, if any of the readers are interested. I'm still working on to add more recipes to the site, looks like it will keep me busy for a while. I'm also taking pictures of the dishes, and showing them with the corresponding recipe.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

WOW! Isn't this something!


One of my friends, who lives in Tacoma, WA, sent me this amazing picture. I have not seen anything like this before and would like to share it with you by quoting the information from her:

"Those are called "lenticular clouds". They are caused when the air-flow is just right; so, when it flows over Mt. Rainier, the air gets pushed upward where it cools and condenses into clouds.

Depending how smooth the flow is, you can get some amazing cloud formations as we have seen so far today."



I am simply fascinated with the ways of Nature.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Awaiting for the Spring


I was kind of restricted lately from typing, due to two small surgeries on my arm. Nevertheless, I have been reading all your postings and was able to add few comments also. I've laughed and cried with you, thank you for sharing.


Hopefully Spring will come early this year and will make everything right for me.