Saturday, December 31, 2011

Get your pencils out

A New Year is just about to begin or has just begun. A blank page is available to all of us.
Let's begin to draw in the hope that all our visions wil come through if they are good for us.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Proud of Kat

I'm so proud of my granddaughter. Kat drew Shakira by using lyrics of her songs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Card unlike all others


via Ellena's Cocologie by Ellena on 12/20/11

For Carla but not from Beethoven. 
                                                                              Du, ich zog sie aus dem Umschlag und der Fruehlingsduft der Hoffnung stieg mir in die Nase und hat mir eine Riesenfreude gabracht. I held it, sat still and allowed it to speak to me on levels more than words could express. What a way to make a change by introducing something new for Christmas. Hope, as you say, my dear Carla. I picked a bouquet and am sending it to you. Can you see the sun shining through it? Warmth to you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Angel V

via Ellena's Cocologie by Ellena on 12/19/11

Kalinka, Kalinka, Kalinka my dear,
Your name in the whisper of pines I can hear
Green and shady pine tree
Let me linger there and dream

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Angel IV

via Ellena's Cocologie by Ellena on 12/18/11

   "Offering your ear, your presence, your love, is true generosity compared to arms full of gifts".

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Angel II

" Close your eyes and look within. Dont try to control what you see but love yourself unconditionally. Now you are strong".

Monday, December 5, 2011


Let's see what my angels have to say.

"Allow positive thinking to radiate throughout your day".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Thank you for coming by.

I wish you a Pre-Holiday Season filled with warmth.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's that?

My morning routine is slinging legs out of bed, sliding into slippers, walking 450 steps up and down the hallway of the building.
This is what I met at one end of the hall (in June) - I inside, it outside.
I am so grateful that it waited for me while I rushed into the apartment to get my camera.
Great gift to start the day with.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I have been divorced from my Hungarian husband for over 40 years. I was 19 when I met him and he was 32. It was October 1954 and on December 31st the same year, as the church bells were ringing in the year 1955 he asked me to marry him and come to Canada with him. I am in Canada. It is October, the sky is blue and the maple trees are dressed in yellow, orange, red and green. Why am I listening to Hungarian Tzigane music? The violins are moaning and sobing and so am I. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Just because I have not posted anything lately does not mean that I am not always and too much in the past. It must come with age. Today I shall talk about yesterday.

I was slowly driving along a country road, admiring nature's beauty. The fall colors were breathtaking - maple trees dressed in yellow, green, red and orange. All of a sudden something moved on the right hand side at the front of my car. Fortunately we know to drive slow at this time of the year. As I put the brakes on a deer jumped out from the brush and crossed to the other side of the road. All I could see in front of me was his head and top of his back going by. I was so close that his legs were hidden by the hood of the car. The expected thump of body and car colliding did not happen. Next time I drive on this road I will go slow again.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My memories of most welcome ’fun- rain’ are the ones from the time when we lived in that small village Hallwangen amongst the farmers.

As the cows and oxen pulled their heavy laden carts through the village on the paved main road, they always left these large flat pancake shaped poos  behind. The hot tar  baked it quickly and when a summer shower started dripping cool rain, the sun -baked  pancakes  let some steam into the air. My friend Rosa and I would quickly kick our shoes off, run out to the street and start hopping from one cake into the other.  Squish and squash and laughter and giggles and this velvety soft and warm feeling around our feet. What a gift! Hurray.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Christmas eve was always the most important time of the Christmas season. Gifts.

Mom and grandmother would decorate the tree and my brother and I were only allowed to see it at 6 o’clock on Christmas eve. An enchanting sight when the door opened and we were allowed to walk into the room, to stand in front of the tree who's lit candles twinkled at us as if to say 'say your prayer quickly, sing your song and then you can turn around and begin the long awaited ceremony of lifting the tablecloth'.  For everybody’s gift was laid out on a table and covered with a tablecloth. We were each led to our spot at the table although it was easy to spot which  were boys gifts and which were girls gifts. On the side of our gifts we each also found cardboard Christmas plates filled with Marzipan,candy,fruit and cookies.

The very first Christmas I remember is one in Greece. I must have been 6 because it was a 1st Grade Christmas. All I can remember is that at the end of whatever event in some hall, Santa got up onto the stage and emptied out a huge bag of oranges. They were all rolling around on the stage floor and we children sitting in the audience  were asked to go up and get some. Chairs were flying, kids where running and falling all over each other with loud joyful screams and all wanted to be first up there to get an orange. Already then, I was whomever I still am. I still remember the feeling of shyness and the not wanting to go and fight for something that someone else wanted. I just sat there and watched them grab the oranges. I don’t remember whom I was there with nor anything else that happened.

The next Christmas is the first one in Berlin at grandparent’s house after we came back from Greece when I was seven years old. Again only a fleeting vision of my brother and I being led from one room into another where a beautifully decorated tree was standing with real candles all lit up. We were asked to stand in front of it and say a prayer. No idea what present we got nor anything else but it is a warm memory.

Another Christmas is two or three years later in this little hamlet Hallwangen that we had moved to. Mom and grandma were sewing me a coat. That I knew, but each time I had to try it on I was blindfolded not to see it. Don’t remember the actual Christmas eve day when I got it. It was a very dark blue with an imitation fur collar. I loved it. I wore it the next day and was sent to fetch a can of milk (can with handle and lid ). I was not pleased about that. Had other things I wanted to do such as visiting my friend Rosa. I went to get the milk. As I was coming back with it, I saw grandmother standing at the window. In front of that window was a big pile of logs. Why should I loose time and walk all the way around the house to where the door was? I asked grandmother to open the window and I would climb up the wood and hand her the can of milk. She said I should not because I might slip and fall. No I won’t. Yes I did. The milk gone and the dark blue coat soaked in white. Don’t remember what happened next but could not have been to gentle but also not to harsh otherwise I would remember. Only the chock of the event remains engraved in my memory.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I am 8 or 9 years old. We are living in Germany in a small village of about 300 people. Mainly farmers. Today the class outing is ‘potato beetle picking’. We trott off to a farmer’s potato field. I don’t remember what those bugs look like nor their size but I do remember that they are easy to find sitting on the plants and chewing away at the leaves. The teacher assigned a potato row to each of us. We bend down, move forward, inspect each plant and pick the bugs off and throw them into a bucket that we are carrying. I love doing it. Beats sitting in a hot classroom. This was an early afternoon outing. The sun at its hottest and beating down on us and my most vivid memory of this event is ‘hot and very thirsty’. Oooof, finally the job is done and we find ourselves near the farm house. I don’t remember seeing the farmer but I do remember this bucket of water. We all push and shove around it to get a share of the cooling drink.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


 I don’t remember all that much about the war.

We arrived from Athens in Berlin sometime in June 1942. Just a few weeks before my grandfather, Opa, died.

What a culture shock - hot, sunny and bright in Greece and very dark in Germany. I can still see Tic-Tac Oma and Opa standing on the platform at the train station. Both dressed in black. They scared the schnook out of me.

I remember coming home from school and switching on the light in the stairway to brighten my climb to the third floor where Oma and Opa lived (we lived with them). The light was on a timer and stayed on just long enough for people to make it all the way up to the last floor. I still can feel the fear I had that the light might go off before I’d make it to the top. So, I was always running up and making noise and on the second floor the door would open and this old lady would stare at me without saying a word as I was flying by - I was so afraid of her. And then, we would be fast asleep at night, the sirens would go off and we would have to run down to the basement and huddle on benches that were set up. No smiling faces, only worried grown ups and cranky kids and all hoping that no bomb would fall on our building. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tom Cruise (the actor)

Watched biography of Tom Hanks on TV and remembered the following story of the other ‘Tom-actor’, Tom Cruise.

December 1971, J. and  I and of course baby girl T. where visiting my brother and family in Ottaw. It was Christmas season and brother T. and wife W. had been invited to an afternoon Open House at the home of the friend of my two nieces J. and I. (age 12 & 14 then)  and had been asked to bring us along. I don’t remember much about the event except that the hosts were a charming couple. 

Years later my niece J. told me that this was the house of Tom Cruise’s family - his real name is Tom Maypotter. My niece J. was best friend of Tom’s sister Liana who  would invite my two nieces over to the house. On one such occasion, J. says, the girls perched Tom on the bathroom counter, positioned themselves in front of him and each took  turns teaching him how to kiss (Tom was a bit younger than the girls).  My sister-in-law told me that the Maypotters were American and that they eventually moved back to the States and that when Liane got married she sent J. an invitation to the wedding. J. could not afford to go at that time. Sister-in-law also told me that she watched Tom on an Oprah show and that he told  about the occasions when his sister would invite her girlfriends over to teach him how to kiss. 

PS Almost as exiting as me meeting Anthony Quinn.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I see myself  in this small kitchen of the apartment we were renting from Mrs. Klump (in Germany, towards end of WWII). My grandmother and mother were there and mother had just returned from a shopping trip to one of the larger towns in the region. Of course I was curious to see what she had brought home. I looked through the bag. There was a small package, maybe 200 gr. of cold cuts and then there was another similar package. As I folded the paper open my eyes fell on a flat long worm lying there. Of course I questioned my mother about it and got scolded good for being so curious. She made me feel very guilty for having seen this worm. She never told me how the worm got there but I figured it out by myself. Someone in the family must have had worms (many people did because of the war food) and my mother must have taken it to a doctor in the town where she bought the cold cuts in order to find out what kind it was and what to do about the problem. I know that I had no worms nor did my brother T. Don’t understand why Mutti did not explain to me what it was all about. Sooooooo many subjects were off limits concerning us children. So many things not talked about. Hm.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


My brother reminded me of this famous remedy Mutti  used  for relieving us of a cold with fever. It’s name is  ‘Schweisswickel’ , something like a ‘Sweat bandage’. We had to strip our upper body and then the monster was applied —she wrapped this long  rough piece of terry cloth or an old bed sheet which she had wet with cold water around our body from the armpits to the navel. Here it comes - we hold our breath - oh, so cold and uncomfortable. And then we were put to bed, covered with lots of heavy blankets up to our chin and had to lay there very still and wait for the sweating to begin. Both, brother and I don’t remember how long this ordeal lasted, one hour maybe, but we do remember asking how much longer we had to endure this and never being told less then “another 10 minutes”. To us it seemed like an eternity but it worked. The next day cold and fever were gone.

Grandmother Tic-Tac Oma also had this other mysterious gizmo. Don’t ask what it was. It was housed in a leather case lined with velvet and consisted of a  glass tube about 20 cm long to which she attached a glass bulb at one end, all very thin and fragile,  and a handle at the other end. I don’t remember if it needed electricity or batteries but whatever she did to it produced blue flames shooting up that tube into the bulb. Now the bulb had become a heat emitting tool - a fire spewing dragon - which she gently caressed my back with. The entire apparatus intimidated me but I trusted our wise grandmother and submitted to the cold/fever killing treatment.

Whenever I was sick with a high fever I hallucinated - bad and scary dreams. And each time I opened my eyes I was so relieved to see my grandmother sitting in the room. Our eyes would meet and I fell securely
back to sleep.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


My brother and I are sitting at the dining room table. Grandma is in the house. Brother finishes whatever he is doing and decides to run off as usual to be with his friends. First he runs down the flight of stairs, out the door located in the front of the house, comes around the house, more steps down the hill to the road in the back of the house. Now he is ready to disappear to where ever he intends to go. Grandma opens the window to the street and hollers "T..., come back and push your chair under the table".

Now, if this is not a way to teach children how to live the "proper way", what is.

When I'm finished at the table, I always put my chair back. I wonder why. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wheat fields (1947-1948)

Late in the summer when the wheat was ripe and its stems all dried up, the farmers would go and cut it down, form bundles like a bouquet of flowers, leave them on the ground and then come and pick them all up with their cart pulled by oxen. Actually, the ‘wealthy’ farmers used oxen and the poor farmers had to use their cows. Cows were not supposed to work so hard in order to give lots of milk and be fit to bear the next generation. After the war when bread and many other foods were rationed, people searched for fields where the farmers had finished gathering their wheat. One would go, walk the fields and pick up each wheat head that had fallen off and had been left there. Sometimes someone else had been there and nothing could be found, other times enough was found to take to the flour mill. There it was weighed and the miller would give a bit of flower to take home.

One day my friend Maria heard of a ‘finished’ field and decided to go leftover picking. Of course I wanted to go with her. Bread and flour was still rationed but for whatever reason our family would get bread through some outfit called UNRRA. We always had more bread than anyone else but still could not eat as much of it as we wanted. So, I asked Tic-Tac Oma, my grandmother, to make me a special sandwich because I was going out to pick wheat heads and bring some flour back. She did and Maria and I took off. Well, it was a field that someone else had gotten to already. We stumbled around in high heat, pricked our bare feet on the dried up stumps of the wheat plants and returned empty handed. I felt sooooo guilty for having been given  a special sandwich - for nothing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Way way back then, maybe in 1965, many office buildings had a small snack bar in the basement so that people could get a quick lunch without running out to a restaurant There was one such snack bar next door to where I worked. I liked to go there whenever I did not bring my own lunch in. It was a small hole in the corner of the basement floor. A long counter with stools with this full cheeked, full everything lady behind the counter. We would perch on the stools, ask for our chicken sandwich or grill cheese, make friends with the other people hanging around and watch the snack lady prepare the food.

Sometimes it was a long wait because other people had called an order in and she was preparing that so that she could send her husband off with the delivery to the upper floors in the building. Mrs. Soandso from the Trust Company upstairs was often there. She had very dark straight hair, a pale face and was very skinny - I always thought that she would be a perfect fit as scarecrow in a vegetable patch. Mrs. Soandso would always say to the snack lady “Don’t forget, my toast must be burned for my liver to accept it”.
One day Eileen and  I were sitting at the counter enjoying our sandwiches while watching the snack lady clean the milk bottles. In those days milk containers were glass bottles. And, while swirling the brush around inside the bottle under running water, the snack lady said “milk bottles have to be washed with cold water. If you use hot water the film of milk will curdle and you won’t be able to clean the bottle properly”.

Now, why do we remember small nonsense advise so well? Ever since then, each time I wash a glass or cup or any other container that held milk with ‘cold water’.    

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cheese and Olives

The last time we came back from Greece to live in Germany was in 1942. I was 7 years old. 

When Janos, Patricia and  I arrived in Canada I was 21. What was the thing that exited me most?

St.Lawrence Boulevard, the Main. I was so happy to be able to buy Greek Feta cheese and Greek olives. And Janos, of course, was delighted to find Hungarian food.

No wonder I always say that I’m more Greek than German. After living all these years in Germany I still craved Greek Food from my very young days.