Featured Image -- 480

Greatⁿ-Grandma Katalin, Hajdú Warrior


I have been working on writing stories about my family in context. Finding the right historical sources is challenging. The next step is sifting through the information to figure out my people’s part in history. I really enjoyed the discovery that my way-back Grandmother came from a family of renegade outlaw soldier types and then became a noble.

Originally posted on Édes-Orbán Family:

kato egri copyKerekes Katalin is hands down my favorite ancestor. Our lineage gets a little fuzzy in the 17th century so I’m not sure how many ‘greats’ apply. In the early 1600s Katalin was fighting by the side of her warrior husband, Édes Gergely, and his brothers. She received nobility in her own name because of her valor. This was no small accomplishment at a time when women were considered less than human. She was “a big strong armed woman who fought like an animal’ according to the patent of nobility. Her husband’s family was from Székelyföld. No word about her dad, but Katalin’s mother was a hajdú.

The hajdúk (plural for hajdú) had been peasant cattle drovers on the puszta, the eastern plains of Hungary. Driving herds of the big grey long-horned ‘Magyar szürkemarha to market, they had to become fierce fighters to defend themselves on the…

View original 580 more words

the place where Hungary meets Slovakia


We will be driving when we go this summer, but if traffic allows I will stop in the middle. Thanks for this delightful post!

Originally posted on my world of melancholly:

One of the places where you can “officially” leave Hungary, is the Erzsébet-bridge between Komárom in Hungary and Komárno in Slovakia. It was built in 1892 an is named after Romy Schneider Empress Elisabeth of Austria, because we Hungarians have always loved our Sisi, even during her lifetime, which is a rare phenomenon and is not very characteristic for the Hungarian collective spirit. Usually we first appreciate people after their death (if at all, haha). While it’ s definitely not the most charming spot on Earth or even in Hungary, it’s still a border, and I love borders. So here is a guide on how to cross them.

1. Walk up to the bridge.

Komárno Erzsébet-híd 1

2. Keep walking.

Komárno Erzsébet-híd 4

3. Look back at Hungary (yes, I did shop at that Tesco. I was that hungry).

Komárom Tesco

4. Admire the Danube (not a particularly breathtaking sight for somebody who is such a mountain person like…

View original 39 more words

Coyote in the early darkness . . .

coyote wikimedia 5Coyote in the early darkness loping around in the shadows. Perhaps he got lost on our winding neighborhood streets and couldn’t find his way back to the golf course. Stops and turns as if to say, “Hey, you looking at me?”

Dogs in their fenced yards barking like crazy. “You get out of here coyote, or me and my buddies are going to whip your butt!”. Or maybe “Mom, let me in for cripesake! There’s a freaking coyote out here!!”

The Passionate Quest


Serendipity – I first heard of artist Amrita Sher-Gill this week in a reference in Tarquin Halls’s Vish Puri mystery, The Case of the Missing Servant. I was intrigued to learn about another accomplished Hungarian woman artist. Okay, half-Hungarian. What a fascinating cultural blend in her family!
Check out this great post including some lovely examples of Sher-Gill’s works.

Originally posted on Potpourri:

I have always been in awe of Amrita Sher-Gill ever since I happened to see some of her paintings in a leading Indian glossy. Those were the pre-Internet days when we had to rely on the library, books and media to update our knowledge. Apart from some tidbits I couldn’t get to know much about her.

One of the artist’s self-portraits.
My sincere apologies for the bad quality of the photograph and also of the ones that follow.

Ever since it started in 2009, the National Gallery of Modern Art has been a boon for art-enthusiasts in Bangalore. There have been cultural events galore in its green campus as well as exhibitions of the works of big names in the contemporary Indian art scene. In mid-2012, the gallery held a mammoth exhibition of the paintings and installations of Ram Kinkar Baij and in mid-2013 the paintings of Rabindranath Tagore were…

View original 693 more words

Rome Was Not Built in a Day


The retirement lifestyle has different time constraints.

Originally posted on The Reluctant Retiree:

Belly Dancer hard at work
Belly Dancer hard at work (not me!)

Many retirees will have heard the joke . . .

“What are you doing?”


“But you did that yesterday.”

“I know, but I didn’t finish.”

I’ve been a bit like that the last fortnight.  The problem with time in retirement is that it is often elastic.  What doesn’t get done today, can be finished any other time, whereas I really need the stress of a deadline to accomplish things.  For the last couple of weeks, I have let external prompts set my priorities, but along the way, I have severed my ties with the last of my pre-retirement life, and tidied a few loose ends as well.

The best prompt was when hubbie said “That’s opened up the room.”  He is referring to the way we re-arranged the lounge room furniture last Christmas, when we needed to make room for ten…

View original 763 more words

The truth about Medieval Warrior Women….


Women have always been warriors, whether on the battlefield or protecting the home when the guys were away. Here is a sensible take on the reality of Medieval women warriors.

Originally posted on Notes from the Scriptorium:

Probably most of us (especially the medieval history buffs) have seen it on television at some point or another. Indeed, it seems to be virtually compulsory in our age of gender equality and ‘girl power’ for girls to be depicted fighting with weapons in historical movies or dramas. After all, we have to show that women as just as good as men, and by proxy that means they have to be just as good as fighting too apparently. So from the flame headed Merida of Brave tomarian 1 the Cate Blanchett donning armour, from Maid Marion displaying her amazing propensity for martial arts as the Night-watchman in the BBC’s Robin Hood, to a digitally enhanced Keira Knightley running around as a leather bikini clad, paint daubed Guinivere we have a vast array of feisty female warriors in dramatic depictions of the Medieval era from Arthurian Britannia to Robin Hood’s Merrie England.

View original 1,034 more words

Featured Image -- 439

The university of the public library


Rural public libraries need public support to serve as a resource for education as a path out of poverty.

Originally posted on N.V. Binder:

I am a librarian at a small public library in rural Florida. While there is a lot to love about my community, many of my patrons face the ills of rural poverty: outdated infrastructure, inadequate schools, a lack of access to computers and high-speed Internet, and insufficient transportation. Under these circumstances, the public library isn’t just a “nice thing to have”–it’s a lifeline to community and social services, as well as the many benefits of access to technology.

While the library’s core mission is still to provide access to books and a place for free expression, providing access to high-speed Internet has become increasingly important. Far from reducing the need for libraries, the Internet has made libraries more valuable in communities like mine. People now use public computers and Internet to access job training, social services, and even healthcare, often with the assistance of library staff.

The library building…

View original 1,777 more words

nicholas up  a tree 1018x438

in which my cat tries to teach me patience

My cat tries to teach me patience. When I was a kid my mother tried. “Patience is a virtue” was one of her favorite directives to me. I was Catholic at the time and believed that virtue was something to be striven for though rarely attained. I grew out of that.

nicholas up  a tree 300x280

My cat wants to go outside. It is of course against the HOA rules to let a pet roam off leash. Other people let their animals out but I have lost a few beloved pets to cars over the years, and I have seen the foxes and coyotes that visit the neighborhood looking for tasty furry morsels.

So we compromise and one of us cat servants will escort him. Usually he follows our prescribed route, around the far tennis court through the rain culvert and back by the clubhouse.

But these days since it has gotten cooler we don’t go out often. Perhaps that’s why he has decided to branch out on his own. I read that cats and dogs have the mental development of small children. My own observations support that theory. Pets can be as stubborn as two-year olds. Continue reading