Wednesday, November 30, 2011

St. Andrew's Day

Today November 30 was St. Andrew's Day. This celebration for the patron saint of Scotland is like St. Patrick's day is for Ireland. Even though some of my ancestors were Scots, I had never heard of it. However, fellow American Kimo is proud of his Scottish heritage and wore his kilt and all to the English club tonight.

Advent creations

Last Saturday was our advent activity where we made Christmas centerpieces with candles. Here are some sample advent centerpieces that you see for sale on the streets.

We are a more creative bunch than that. The following were produced by our children, youth and adults. Does anyone look like they had fun?

Pie time

Last Monday we celebrated Thanksgiving with all the elders in the West Zone in the Szombathely chapel. These are the apple and pumpkin pies that Mom made to top off the piles of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, beans and delicious rolls.

Do the elders look like they got enough to eat?

Here are the hosts and chief cooks, the Folsters and the Thompsons. The Folsters go home next week. The elders brought veggies, dips and the mashed potatoes.

We have been enjoying the left over rolls, turkey, dressing, corn bake, gravy and pie. We won't be doing any shopping this week.

Living off the land

Hungarians are trying to teach us how to live off the land. Every time we are in the woods with them, they show us some berry, root, bark, or leaf that is "really good" for you. How about these mushrooms?

Here is a collection of nuts I've found.

Mom is picking leaves for delicious "stinging nettle tea."

I'm not sure I'm ready to try any of these.

Mom's new pony

Mom, is this what you meant when you asked me before we got married "Can I have a horse?"

This brings new meaning to "pony car."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Contemplating culture

We took the elders from Sopron and Szombathely to nearby Esterhazy Palace for their P-day cultural treat. Here they are contemplating the experience.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy 90th!

The Relief Society Presidency hosted a birthday luncheon for Gizi néni, our 90 year old member missionary, at our house.

Doesn't the food look great? Gizi doesn't like this second picture--says it makes her look too much like a boy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green thumb mom

From this past year you might remember this poinsettia and this orchid. We've never had luck in keeping such plants alive to bloom again. But take note of Mom's new Hungarian green thumb holding the orchid pot. With the first frosts, the orchid is blooming again and the poinsettia leaves are turning red in time for Christmas.

Don't ask what she did differently in Hungary. It may have been the loving neglect by the window facing our balcony that did the job.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We have a new branch presidency in Sopron. Balázs in the center is the new branch president with Péter and Elder Thompson as first and second counselor.

Here to stay

We've just announced to Sopron that the church is here to stay by installing a stone sign above the door.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Milkmaid Mom

When you buy milk in Hungary, most people grab a box of milk off the shelf. It has been treated so it will last for months without refrigeration.

If you get tired of holding your breath while you drink your milk so you won't have the "canned milk" aftertaste, we've discovered for you the Swiss alternative down the street from our house. You can see that we've just put our money in the machine next to the sidewalk and our own milkmaid is getting a liter and a half of COLD FRESH DELICIOUS milk straight from the cows of nearby Switzerland.

There is always a lineup of milk lovers and our cow can be milked 24 hours a day.

Living dangerously

When I told the church's physical facilities a few months ago that I planned to get a ladder and replace the many burned out lights in the chapel because we couldn't see the speakers or read the music, I was warned, "Members aren't allowed to climb ladders at church." When the people they sent to change the bulbs brought out their ladders, I could understand the warning. The ladders are more like stilts. There is no top and no steps, just bars that you climb and stand on. I'm demonstrating how they stand at the top.

Then instead of climbing down to move the ladder to a new spot, they just tilt it back and forth and walk it to the new location as if on stilts. I didn't try that. It was scary enough just standing on it for this picture.