Our son and Chef Jean Robert de Cavel

Our son in 2008 Sous Chef for Jean Robert de Cavel at Jean-Ro’s restaurant

Our son had some training from Jean Robert as he was familiarly known in Cincinnati. We enjoyed more than several fine meals at his places of business. Once we had our friends Dan and Betty Cooksey with us and our son was allowed to create a dinner menu just for us. It was fantastic!

When Jean Robert de Cavel died recently his family invited the people he had trained to attend his memorial service at the Cincinnati cathedral, St. Peter in Chains, located downtown. The prior students were asked to wear their chef jackets and sit in a particular area. After the memorial they had a group photo on the cathedral stairs and they simultaneously said, “Oui, Chef,” as he required them to say in the kitchen.

Prior students in front right rows of cathedral and along side wall

Jeff said it was a bittersweet reunion. There were people he knew and had not been in touch with for some time. He told me it was hard for the students to say “Au revoir,” to their fine instructor. May he rest in peace.

Students on cathedral stairs, our son front row, strap over his chest

What a legacy to train all those folks! Cincinnati was blessed to have him here for so many years.

Columbus Museum Maurice Sendak

Recently Bob saw that the Columbus Museum of Art was having an exhibit of the works of Maurice Sendak. We decided to make a quick adventure to Columbus, Ohio and see the exhibit. I was delighted that it featured “Where the Wild Things Are.” This was a favorite of my son. I did not remember until we arrived that he also illustrated the “Little Bear” series which I used to help my children and grandchildren learn to read. His book “In the Night Kitchen” was a baby shower gift when our daughter was born.

I love that they used the artwork from the book cover as wallpaper for the display!

The trust and love between mother bear and little bear are obvious in the expressions he drew.

One reason I was fascinated with his art in these books, I was working on learning to draw better and his cross-hatching is elaborate. When I read the first part of the placard below it only confirmed my observation!

In 1959, (the museum placard read), Sendak created pictures for the book The Moon Jumpers, written by Janice May Udry, which tells the story of children playing before it is time to go to bed. In this early work, the richly colored full-page scenes of children playing by the moonlight, without words, can be compared to the double page rumpus scenes in Where the Wild Things Are, which he created five years later. This work also shows how Sendak changed the scale of his images to emphasize the narratives, pictures growing larger and larger as the drama of the story intensifies, a method that also appears in Where The Wild Things Are.

sorry for the museum reflections on the glass

In case you ever had a fantasy of being WITH the Wild Things (if not an actual Wild Thing) see this one!

Wonder if this costume for King of the Wild Things would fit my son at his current height! Not likely!

Where the Wild Things Are has been translated into at least 32 languages. Sendak never wanted to write a sequel to this one. He did not want it to be a series.

The exhibit is in Columbus until March 5. If you get a minute, go see it!

photo by r m dutina

Humor and Thanks, God

So here is (not the best photo) of Brody. My daughter’s family adopted this VERY long legged hound. He has enormous eyes and legs that look just too long for his body. He hangs around the kitchen all the time hoping for a morsel to drop his way. He is tall enough to grab things off the counter.

Another Brody snapshot.

During Advent he was hanging around the kitchen while my daughter and Grandaughter began to prepare the family favorite coffee cake for Christmas morning feasting. Someone hit the wrong button an the Kitchenaid mixer. This is Brody, the dark hound dog, after the flour was flying!

Brody, black and brown dog, battered and ready for frying?

Forget footprints in the sand, Sparky (dog #2) above left foot prints in the flour.

Enjoy!!

 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB

Some Photos From Final Days of 2022

This sheep insisted the best hay was in the bottom of the feeder. When she withdrew her head she looked like a lion with a mane of hay! Of course, I could not get a photo of that before she shook it off!
Took Myrtle to see the lights at Coney. At times she laughed out loud. She is famous for her crocheted angels. This was her favorite display.
Snapped this quickly. Finally finished last 3 Swedish embroidery towels. Not laid out very well.
New recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies with and without coconut
Last year Bob got me the large Grogu. Emily wanted me to keep the collection going! The center one is made from beeswax. The one with red ribbon is from when they went to Disney World. It has two voices. The one in the red box is from Hallmark.

Do you know Grogu likes to eat frogs? I think he is holding a frog Christmas cookie!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17 NIV

Ears and Hearts

While traveling in New Mexico we bought a pottery piece at a craft show. It was wrapped in newspaper. When I unwrapped it to show our hosts, the Cookseys, I saw the editorial cartoon by Jeff Koterba. The paper was dated June 7, 2020, The Albuquerque Sunday Journal. I emailed Mr. Koterba asking if I could use his cartoon in this blog. The caption reads, “May we listen with our ears … and our hearts.” The drawing is wonderfully creative!

Jeff Koterba answered me a few days later. I asked if he would send me a copy of the cartoon as mine was all wrinkled from cushioning the pottery. He replied that these are the kinds of stories he loves! He would be glad to share the cartoon. (See above) He is a very talented artist.

I requested his memoir from the Cincinnati Public Library entitled “Inklings.” It was a transparent, at times amusing and sometimes painful read. Jeff grew up in an alcoholic household and he and his father both have Tourette’s syndrome. It took years for Jeff to even realize what the Tourette’s was. His biography reads:

Honored by the National Cartoonists Society, National Headliner Awards, and Great Plains Journalism. Awards, Jeffrey Koterba’s cartoons are syndicated to over 800 newspapers with Cagle Cartoons and have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. He currently draws with support on Patreon. 

His original drawings have flown aboard space shuttle Discovery. Back on earth, his work has been included in multiple exhibits in the U.S. and Europe, including alongside Picasso.

Entertainment Weekly called his memoir, Inklings: “…a powerful and moving portrait of an artist.”

A two-time TEDx speaker, he often gives talks on creativity, Tourette Syndrome, and current affairs.

Here he explains much of what it is like to live with Tourette’s.

This very talented man also writes songs, plays guitar and is lead singer for the band he formed called the Prairie Cats. So much talent! I am always amazed at the accomplishments of those who do not let physical obstacles get in their way.

May I apply my talents to the tasks the Lord gives me in spite of my upbringing in an alcoholic home, chronic pain disorder and the physical challenges that aging provides me with. Jeffrey Koterba is truly an inspiration to me!

Songs I Need to Sing!

At times music just rolls through my spirit and I need to sing it out! Handel’s Messiah is often sung with the Cincinnati Symphony by our May Festival Chorus. I like when parts of it was also used by surprise choruses in the past at shopping malls.

It still gives me chills!!

Now I find myself needing to sing this EVERY Christmastide.

Is there something you must sing to God? Don’t hold back. If you are surrounded by people and do not want their opinion of your singing then go outside and sing. Or sing in the shower! Or sing in the car. The point is to sing to the LORD be it a new song or old. Sing out your love of His majesty. Your adoration of His glory. Your gratitude from His abundant mercies.

Years ago Bob bought me a copy of Streams in the Desert devotional that has blank lines for journaling. Recently I turned o the page for that day. I had written, “Joy to the World at church: “Lizzie cried, “the Lord is come!! That’s Grammy’s song. The Lord is come! They said it in church, Grammy!” My heart melted all over again. My Lizzie is now 21. I sent her the journal entry via texting. I hope she takes my song to heart and embraces Jesus as her Lord and savior. Then it will not just be my song, but hers too!

As a light snow falls here and the Carolina Wren works on the dried mealworm feeder, I pray you will sing out your joy and gratitude that the Lord has come, May earth receive her King, May every heart prepare Him room….”

O sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord; bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
    he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Psalm 96:1-6 NRSV

What a Celebration!

The opening photo is from a Celtic cross in Ireland. Notice how the hand of God is holding up the cross. Nothing is beyond His notice. He loves our families more than we do!

We had our children with their spouses, grandchildren and one boyfriend over to celebrate Christmas. This was held the Sunday before Christmas due to other family conflicts. It was very difficult to not have our oldest Grandgirl here. She is 21 now and had to work. Still trying to get her attention for gifting and celebrating!

Plus macaroni and cheese, fresh salad, guacamole, hummus, Skyline dip, cheese tray, 4 kinds of bread or buns. We should have invited more people to come and not bring food!

As usual there was way too much food! Even with the boyfriend here to help eat! Oh well, he is a wrestler and always watching his weight. But what a delight! He could not do enough afterwards to help us put the house back together.

The gifts were thoughtful and generous. I am praying the Name of Jesus will be remembered by all the family as they absorb their gifts into the homes (or in the case of gift certificates for zip lining, into their future)!

Fleecy soft blanket, sweatshirt, special order ball cap, 2 Lego sets, 2 beeswax candles, Grogu ornament, beer mix, Jungle Jim’s gift card, Starbucks card, Yankee candles, special socks, knife block, Birkenstock’s, wallet, soccer/football team accessories, quarter holder for Aldi’s, handmade soup paddle from New Mexico, lovely porcelain china cookie/dessert tri-level rack, (the one that belonged to my mother broke when we moved and I packed it), Columbia over shirt, cash, Trades of Hope bracelet, LaRosa’s gift card and likely more.

This morning as I write this I am delighted with view out my window. The other day when in the front garden area I shook up the mealworm feeder. The dried worms sometimes get moist and stick together or freeze to the metal feeder. Today at one point I called Bob to see the 8 bluebirds on and around the feeder.

Here is what I captured when I finally got my camera.

Babies steal the show! Art Linkletter Knew!

As we celebrate the birth of Christ I would love for you to listen to this wonderful song by Andrew Peterson!

No one told this Dad to never, ever wake a sleeping baby!

We are about to celebrate a baby coming into the world. He is the Savior of the world. He will come again in glory as our Judge. He was born in a dirty, messy stable to a young girl.

Here is a photo of Emily meeting Jeff for the first time. Wish now it was a video!

She was delighted to have real live baby!

These videos are American births in sterile hospitals. Not at all like His birth. Yet there is something about babies that melt most our hearts. These funny videos of big sisters and big brothers meeting their new babies for the first time. If you need a laugh and a little refreshment this week, these 10 minutes are for you!

Love Peterson’s song “Not a Silent Night.” It was not a lovely place to be born. Saint Francis created the creche scene to teach about the birth of Christ. In what ever way you picture it, may you adore Him and make room in your heart for Him to rule and reign until He returns to take us home!

Home Again

Like that Christmas tree image? By the time you read this we will be home for ten days! And more than likely have hit the ground running!

So where does that idiom come from?

The first is that it comes from troops in combat. They must start running as soon as they get off a plane, train, or other automobile, so that they don’t get shot. It is believed that in World War II, paratroopers were given this command as to what to do when they landed.

The second theory is that it comes from hobos and stowaways on a train. They must begin to run as soon as they jump from the train, so that they don’t get caught.

The third theory is that it comes from the Pony Express. This was an early way to deliver mail by horseback in America. The riders had to be fast so they would ride their horses quickly and “hit the ground running” when changing to a fresh horse in order to avoid delays.

However it started, the expression saw a surge in popularity in the 1970s and has seen widespread use ever since.

https://writingexplained.org/idiom-dictionary/hit-ground-running-mean

What have we been up to? Small group meeting, Church, helping a young bridal attendant to get her dress sewn just the way she wants it (no bra showing), wrapping gifts, get groceries after travel and before family gathering, Bob medical procedure, Bob doctor appointment, Bob second cataract surgery with complication to be addressed by a second surgeon (back to back docs), Bob follow-up with docs after eye surgeries, making those lists and checking them twice, laundry from traveling, wedding, plan that family celebration on December 18th (Oh! that is when this will post).

Whew! Not certain that travel in December is my first choice, but there you have it! We had tickets we had to use before December 31. Maybe next time we will go to New York for New Years and stay in our room instead of clamoring on Times Square!

Running like troops in combat? Well the enemy of our souls would like for no one to know about the birth of the Light of the world born in a manger, yet we declare that very Light is the Light of the world.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 ESV

Hobos and stowaways? Yes, not of the world but in it to give testimony to God.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 15:19 NIV

Hit the ground running like the Pony Express riders? Yes, but not before asking God for direction and guidance.

And then God answered: “Write this.
    Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
    so that it can be read on the run.

This vision-message is a witness
    pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
    And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
    It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 The Message

If you, too, have hit the ground running this season, remember to watch and pray as you go forward. God is always with you to lead, guide, comfort and provide! Obedience to Him is paramount if your efforts are to succeed.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

John 1:4, 9 NIV

Best News in A Long Time!!

Bob was bemoaning another pre-op physical. It will be too many days between his first cataract surgery and his second, more extensive cataract and eye surgery in December. So they require another physical. He went to the doc, got check up with nurse practitioner and blood work. (Will we ever see the actual doctor again?!?)

When the results came in he was thrilled, (me, too!). The kidney values were normal and the best he has ever had since his serious illness in 2018!! His kidneys are completely healed!

If you know someone who has ever experienced kidney failure in the midst of sepsis you realize how important this is. At first in 2018 when they put him on dialysis there was no indication how long he would need the multiple times a week treatment. Perhaps for the remainder of his life? Slowly his kidneys showed signs of beginning to function. Very slowly. Then gradually he was told he no longer needed dialysis. He was cautioned to be very careful with salt intake, certain medications, even over the counter ones, etc.

So he has been very conscientious since then. Now this good news! Best reason I have ever heard for repeated physical check ups!

All glory to “Jehovah Rapha”: the God Who Heals. I do not understand how He heals or why He sometimes chooses not to heal, but each time I see His healing touch I am moved to worship.

Jehovah-Rapha has the power to heal physically (2 Kings 5:10), emotionally (Psalm 34:18), mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalm 103:2–3). Neither impurity of body nor impurity of soul can withstand the purifying, healing power of Jehovah-Rapha.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jehovah-Rapha.html