Archive for April, 2013

Spring and Pride Returns to Lorain -MAY 18TH


All you need to do is drive past 2nd and Oberlin , or along 1st to Hamilton and you will see the colors of hope and rebirth happening.

The hundreds of bulbs planted last fall are now taking their spring time bow in their new “staging”.
Tiny little Speedwells left over from a garden from long ago, the owner long since gone and forgotten from this world. Even the house in whose garden they were lovingly planted has gone but still their fragile blooms recall a life of another era. They are here, still a reminder of what this place had become until 2007 – THE BEAUTY HIDDEN AMONGST THE TRASH AND WEEDS and now once again another May in another decade they bloom and beckon back the “pride”


IT WAS THE “PRIDE” IN THIS COMMUNITY THAT BROUGHT BACK THE BEAUTY! and allowed the blossoms to thrive once again.

befo eagle


SW before



Today the pride is in place , it is the beginning of rebirth for this old neighborhood

Soon the power lines will also be but a memory ! We have no time to relax May 18th starting at 9:00 we will need to focus on Pride once more . Please join us in keeping our Pride for Settlers” Watch, The Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the Admiral King Tribute Site.

If you can help with mulching and weeding, planting and or donations please contact me , Loraine 440-246-6046

If you would like to “take Pride” in another area of Lorain please do the following – YOU, can put the I in Pride !!!!!
Pride Day

April 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm 2 comments

I’ m CRUSHED- but not around here- Why not???

I wrote a post that has sat in my drafts folder for two years . I was on the look out for “tumbled glass mulch for the Lorain Admiral King Tribute landscaping around the anchor.

anchor blue mulch

As the project for Fleet Admiral King progresses and things such as anchors get added so the site so the site plan changes.
As I looked at the site , knowing what it takes to keep all the plants watered and weeded over at Settlers’ Watch I knew we couldn’t go the same way with the mound that will form the “hook” of the anchor at the Admiral King Tribute site.

Black mulch with maybe an outline of white and silver planting outlining the hook ( drought tolerant plants) would be a possibility.

The anchor from the previous Admiral King High School would be the center piece but how to display it rather than just sticking it on a concrete pad.

As I looked out at the blue lake I thought of blue crushed glass mulch… I know they have it in fact……….

My quest to find it locally has been a trip……. Never heard of it- No nothing like that they don’t make that errrrr excuse me but….

So I checked with Lorain County Solid Waste our recycing over-seerer ;they sent me to Republic who are in the recycling business and a nice chap named Brian told me “never heard of it”

Hey I know I can be cutting edge but this stuff goes for quite a bit of money and obviously the local recyclers don’t watch HGTV because they would know this stuff is used for more than making bottles and it is expensive..
Just look at the things you can do with it

I know What happens to old windshields in New England but what happens in Lorain just used for making more bottles?

Since I will have to “import” recycled glass ( Let me tell you they don’t make this recycling thing easy around here and from having to pay for shipping which is as much as the product I will have to see if I can adapt the design and not use so much shipped in recycled glass with some of our “known marble chips SIGH


Well I had success I found the glass mulch in cobalt blue and had to ship it from New Mexico. Then came the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk project, once again I wanted to use the glass mulch for around the tribute signs. I did have to have some shipped from Pennsylvania this time – again at an expense. $100.00 per 50 lb bag for recycled glass. In Texas you can pop along to the recycling center and fill up a bag of the mixed stuff for free.

I have heard a lot about recycling , I have heard a lot about needed jobs , well just a suggestion how hard can it be to recycle our waste glass tumble it and sell it at the average cost of $100 a 50 lb bag other states and communities are making a great deal of money.

Just check out what Cumberland County is doing

Is there anything high-speed flexible impactors can’t flail into gold? Not bloody likely, given the magic they’re performing with garbage glass in Tennessee.

While you and your friends might sell beer bottles to acquire more beer, or use them to build wicked steampunk goggles, the Cumberland County Recycling Center is grinding them up to make cheap mulch and road salt. Wait: That’s actually possible? Hell yeah, it is, and here’s how it works

In fact in New Zealand they are experimenting with different shades of crushed glass for their reflective properties in helping the “wine” grapes – Ohio wine growers interested??

I think we in Lorain County are missing out on a lucrative opportunity- if we have the “bottle”. (Synonyms bottle [British slang], bravery, courageousness, daring, daringness, dauntlessness, doughtiness, fearlessness, gallantry, greatheartedness, guts,)

April 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

The longing for the magic to come back- one man’s belief another’s terror


William Holmes Sullivan · The Fairy Ring; The Enchanted Piper · 1880 · Oil on board · 9.00 x 12.50 cm · From the Leicester Galleries
It was such a world of wonder and magic when I was a child. There were definitely fairies in the bottom of our garden. On dewy mornings I would carefully search the grass for the silvery fairy rings, where they left their mark having danced in the moonlight.
Photo source

Each May the bluebells would appear and I just knew the fairies, imps , pixies and elves made good use of their tiny bells for hats and drinking cups.

Hedgehogs, which are now popular pets here in Ohio, were used by the fairies to ride through the gardens . A saucer of milk would be left out each evening on the door step so they could slake their thirst.

The rockery at the bottom of the garden housed all sorts of wonders, now I see nothing but hiding places for snakes and mice and creepy crawlies, but then I saw tiny houses for the wee folk.

There was a magic in my youth- being the only girl in a mainly all boy street – I was accepted for the most part as one of the “gang”. I admit they always made me the robber, or the Indian to their cops and cowboys but I was included. How was it my parents and other parents of the street let us roam over to the “gasometer” and the ponds and streams where fishing for “newts” was the adventure of the day? I am struggling to remember what we did with them after an afternoon of catching them .220px-Gasometer_in_East_London

It was such a different time – a time of innocence -even though we played among some of the bombed out buildings of post war London. I don’t remember ( apart from being a girl) references made to our playmates ethnicity or religion , we played and lived in a magical place of childhood innocence .

Of course the magic has been replaced by awareness, even my children in their own neighborhood, as they were growing up, would not have been allowed to wander out of my sight or those of the neighbors. There were no adventures for them with the newts in the gasometer ponds.

No! now the magic is in a kingdom in Florida, California or even Paris. My grandchildren flew away to play in the magic and be sprinkled with a different sort of fairy dust as terror was rearing its dark and ugly head below them at the Boston Marathon .

And whilst they giggled and laughed with pirates and princesses horror once again scarred our world. A horror , whilst new to America and Boston, was so reminiscent of other horrific acts of terror in my own home – London- perpetuated by the IRA.

You can find the shameful very long list of bombings in the UK in the 70’s 80’s 90’s , 2000’s here

You will note that whilst the majority of the dozens and dozens of bombs exploded in the UK were IRA ( Roman Catholic by faith)( although Protestants have also caused terror too )- According to media reports the Catholics and the IRA were helpfully funded by Noraid ( Boston and New York). The latest threat is Islam – a group that Representative Peter King ( a “republican” in more ways than one)

Peter King

Peter Thomas King (born April 5, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 1993. He is a member of the Republican Party and represents the central Long Island district that includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

King formerly served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he drew attention in early 2011 for holding hearings on the extent of radicalization of Muslim Americans. He also sits on the Financial Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He stepped down after his seventh year as Homeland Security Chair because of self-imposed Republican term limits. He remains a member of the committee.

However, ironically this same man, according to the New York Times in 1986, was characterized as an open endorser of the IRA and their cause.

Peter King is (or was – is he toning it down for this, his first statewide race?) the only elected officeholder in this state who is an open endorser of the terrorist Irish Republican Army and supporter of its Noraid fund-raising arm in this country. I am sure Mr. King will welcome the opportunity that the articles didn’t provide, to clarify his relationship, past and present, with the Noraid gun-runners, and to specify whether he continues to support the I.R.A.’s ”armed struggle” against Ulster’s right to political self-determination In Ireland, the civil war among the Catholic nationalists – never mind the struggle for Ulster’s Anschluss, which has significant minority support – ended in the 1920’s. Apparently it lives on in the Irish Catholic chauvinist ghettos of Nassau.

You can read more of Peter King’s walk the walk talk the talk with the terrorist organizations and in bed with the Boston-based NORAID funding group here

“And yet thousands of Americans, including people who live in Boston, gave millions of dollars to NORAID which was used to buy guns and Semtex and support the Provisional IRA terrorist infrastructure.”

Jonathon Ball and Tim Parry victims of the Warrington bombing
Children and innocents maimed and killed then too, mothers losing sons, all for a “cause” an ideology that does not accept another’s beliefs or ways, a dictatorship of beliefs.

And once again on Monday last in Boston – the magic in the world was lost, replaced in the rockery by the snakes and rats and vermin who breed in the dark rankness of the interior .ratholes

The daffodils are blooming , magnolia blossom waving to a blue sky now tainted by man. The grass was wet with dew this morning but I didn’t see any fairy rings just the toadstools( fungus) circling , indicating rottenness beneath the ground – no dancing fairies.

What is left of the magic world of innocence ? Just the pain of those that bully using faith and religious beliefs to cause more suffering. The world needs more magic and less organized religions and their fanatics! Every single person who has ever contributed to the causes of terror as they celebrated their own cause de jour no matter your beliefs is as guilty, in my opinion, of the murder of children, magic and innocence.

Source The Economist The New Wars of Religion
fanatic Illustration by Jon Berkley

April 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm 2 comments

Clotted Cream, The Grey Lady , The Iron Lady, The lost gardens

As most readers are already aware my brain, since the death of my son, has taken various detours from the norm. I seem to be on a memory hyperdrive although most of my recent memories are harder to pull up. It is like I am no longer part of their making- robotic actions and going through the motions seemingly haven’t imprinted on my little grey cells.

devon ceram com[pany Fragmented as I am sights, smells objects can send me on a journey and to places long forgotten; such a journey was “triggered” yesterday by my husband bringing in a jar of Devonshire Clotted Cream from Giant Eagle. He must have been in a particularly loving mood as it cost $9.00 for this 6 oz jar. A rare extravagant for one who preaches to us daily about the cost of bread and milk .

He had remembered a holiday in England where we were driving through country roads from London to Devon. We were off the beaten path thanks to my mother’s remembered direction. The weather was beautiful but the petrol was running low. All the way along mum had wanted to make sure we would stop for a Devonshire Cream Tea but thanks to her directions we knew not where we were.

Finally, a little old-fashioned petrol station came into view with a lovely cottage tea room off to the side . Gratefully we filled the tank and made our way to The Grey Lady Tea Room.

My mother, happy at last, enquired to the lady running the tea room –

Oh I can’t wait for some “real devon” clotted cream

“Madam “

said the lady with a tone that could freeze tea water solid-

” you will not find “Devonshire” Clotted cream HERE- YOU are in CORNWALL!!!

My mother had well and truly put her foot in it as there is quite a rivalry between whose clotted cream is best – that of the county of Devon or that of Cornwall –

To change the subject and to ease ruffled Cornish feathers I asked about the name of the tea room.

original artwork 1859  Daniel Macnee

original artwork 1859 Daniel Macnee

Apparently the “grey lady” referred to was a ghostly inhabitant of the old cottage whose lover was lost ( in the sense of missing on a battlefield) so his fiancée, the lady in question, never went into mourning black until she had received confirmation of his death- but always wore grey. He never returned to her and apparently she still waited patiently by the fireplace for news long, long years after her death.

I tried to find the tea room on the internet this morning but I suppose, like most things, it has long since closed ; not many would find their way off the major highways to support its existence.

However, my mind soon segued from the Grey Lady to The Iron Lady and the news that Maggie Thatcher had died.

Margaret Thatcher in 1982.
Ah! Maggie love her or hate her but you knew she was there

In politics, if you want something said, ask a man; if you want to get something done, ask a woman.”

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.


The lamp sitting on the desk in my living room is a poignant reminder of her policies. It is nothing special to the onlooker just an old-fashioned oil lamp ( except it is not so old) . My father purchased the lamp due to the miners strike, Maggie Thatcher and the trade unions , you never quite knew when the lights would go out in London.

As I looked at the lamp this morning, I thought of Maggie Thatcher, the people who are apparently rejoicing in her death . Maggie’s position on the Falklands War. I was at home that year on another trip I watched the patriotism, the news and the young men going to their death. I was proud of the land of my birth, she gave us that pride.

I know most of us thought the Falklands was some island off the coast of Scotland – the association with the dreaded French – errrrrrrrrK the French ( cringing with disdain) well the thoughts about the French will have to wait for another post.

Maggie, who was “our council person” at one time in Finchley, who dared opine council meetings should be open to the public . Maggie who alway took a long beat/ pause before answering an interview question. No ! you may not have liked her , you may not have agreed with her policies but you knew who she was and for that I admire her.

My internet search for the Grey Lady took me on another journey and another “lost” only this time the grey lady was in a lost garden – The Lost gardens of Heligan
where giants, sleeping ladies and legends can be found in amongst the ancient woodlands in Cornwall. You can even stop for tea but remember don’t ask for Devonshire Clotted Cream 😉
Lost gardens

April 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm 2 comments

Slings and arrows of advers(IT) y Ah ME!!!!City of Lorain


Apologies to William Shakespeare and to Sophocles

Is it nobler to suffer the slings and arrows ?

” . Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them”………

…….The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

“No one loves the messenger who brings bad news”.

And it seems I, the email messenger, am the bearer of bad news- tenacious and annoying as I am – I am apparently getting up the nose of the City of Lorain ( once more) well at least Mr. Mantini’s nose. You see he “seemingly ” just doesn’t know what to do – I don’t add up and that is what he does best – adds up.

Since last year I have pointed out an issue with my emails to the city of Lorain not going through more often than not.
Like a good little consumer I went the route I did as that is what I was supposed to – from changing emails- to changing servers from Yahoo to G mail to Roadunner – and then

“It’s you ” It’s Time Warner, It’s Yahoo, It’s windows, it is your email addy , it is your server , IT IS YOU… but it isn’t US say the city.

I have pointed out my issue for days, weeks and months and of course it is most frustrating to be the complainant for a situation over which you have absolutely no intellectual or physical control. You see I am paying for the expertise on both ends the sending and receiving. I cannot understand how it is I have to be the one to find a solution but

that being said I have worked ( especially after my complaints at the public meeting)
with the technicians from Time Warner I have been on a learning curve of a journey ;)-

Just a note here: CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: the people I have worked with one on one from Time Warner techs have been professional and patient with this troglodyte of technology and the terms. They have done their level best to find my solution to being blocked . As the city says “

“This message was created automatically by the mail system (ecelerity).not authorized, your IP has been found on a block list

Time Warner and I have worked and worked and this week I have had THREE, count them three IP “different IP addresses”, – all of which according to the great and powerful “ecelerity” have been found on a block list.

After the latest round of inconsistenly blocked emails I sent out this email to Time Warner and also to the some of the city folks –

The email:

Ok I have unplugged the router (WIFI) taken it away completely and interestingly I have another IP today by the way the old IP address which “ecelerity” said was on a block list was

71.XX.XXX.XX it was on the PBL list

the next IP address after we changed modems came up as 71.X.>XXX.XX that also came back as a block when the router was off…….. not consistently one out of three

However the router is now totally removed the new IP address of today is
24.93.XXX.XXX also on the PBL list

I am sending this to the city IT and the Chief of Staff…. just to keep them in loop- theirs is the ONLY email server causing this issue for me and that is the City of Lorain …. Derek I am sending this to you private mail as well just to make sure – I will be sending out emails to city dept in the next 24 hours they will say test as obviously yesterday some got through and some didn’t in the same email. eg CaXXXX.


An email from Councilman Given( who was instrumental in holding the public Time Warner meeting) was sent to Mr. Mantini ( you see my email ( above) did NOT make it to the IT dept or anyone else in the city of Lorain that day.
Mr. Given sent his own email to Mr. Mantini

Looks like it’s a CITY problem

And the response from Mr. Mantini – not to me “directly” mind you- you know ME – the one who has been trying diligently to sort out the issue but to Dan Given, whom apparently is my new postmaster and messenger middle man himself………
emphasis mine!!!!

Dan, on average we get 3-4,000 emails daily and we have turned down our security and are only running our spam filter. Tell “her” to send the Time Warner tech. to my office and work with my IT guys.Ron Mantini

My patience is lost and my response to the City of Lorain Auditor ( what is it with auditors anyway- they seem to have a very annoying impact on my blog 🙂



I don’t believe your spam filters are the issue – you have a larger issue –
and IT IS NOT JUST ME having these issues but I am the messenger . However, I and Time Warner are negating everything that could be a problem from my end , since you seem so sure I am doing something to cause the issue – leaving only your end.

Mr. Mantini

Now ,you can ignore the issue, hope I go away ( which is not likely ) , you can pass the blame and the buck, you can admit you haven’t a clue as to why this is happening BUT YOU CANNOT expect me to do the job of an IT person trying to fix the problem or keep acting as a middle man. If it is not my IP or Time Warner then that leaves the city of Lorain mailserver – did you ever discover who ecelerity is???

Questions I would suggest you get answered from your mail servier

1. I now have had three different IP addresses in a week not all can be blocked IP( spam ) list- I believe that is an erroneous message as to a blocked IP list- as none of the three IP’s of this week are on a blocked IP list just the PBL list -if that is the issue then that is the “filter” I would check into from YOUR end…. and why when sending to 8 city of Lorain emails does 7 get through with no problem but one comes back undeliverable. Your server is inconsistent ….

and just because you get 30 thousand a day does not mean you are getting ALL of the emails sent to you.

I have CC this to Mr. Thomas of Time Warner who attended the public meeting – sorry you weren’t there to be introduced.- whom I am sure would be only too pleased to to introduce a Time Warner rep to you . As I said at the meeting- had you been there to hear- it is not up to me but to the parties involved who are receiving my money for a service to sort it – Thank you Loraine Ritchey

I am not, at the time of writing, sure of anything that has happened since- but I do know that City of Lorain IT ISN”T ME!!!!! But what I will say is: the ME who happens to be the MEssenger and the consuMEr has a long MEmory!!!!

squeaky  wheelIT

April 8, 2013 at 11:21 am 5 comments

April 3rd- changes- the empty chairs – Chris Ritchey


Another celebratory weekend- the lead up to the days of trying to focus the mind and body to survive the upcoming days – Gavin’s birthday,
birthday collage

Dinners and egg hunts-


and your dad’s birthday

all coming together in a “confluence of emotions that beat against my being”.

We no longer celebrate anything the way we used to – all the holidays have changed. However, there is no empty chair at the table in the dining room- all the chairs are now empty on those special occasions. If I cook it is to “take a dish”. I could not bear to go though the rituals of celebration looking at the place at the table where you should be.

Artwork Chris Ritchey  Face Book page

Artwork Chris Ritchey Face Book page

Everything has changed- we are all changed- no longer the people we were or will ever be again. You , not being there is not, I hope, too obvious to those who still join us in the celebrations.

Words are inadequate to say how much you are missed and with a longing borne in a silence which shouts its presence in the very depths of my being . Although you aren’t here you, my darling son, have literally become the 500 pound gorilla of grief in the room but we smile, make small talk and pretend all in fine so we can all get through yet another anniversary of days .

The memories of what should have been are as painful as those that were.


and another day and another week passes and yet the future is the past and the present and the missing you encompasses all……..

soften collage

and so it passes until the next time…………..

April 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm 3 comments

Time Warner saga- another custoMEr- Ree’s Blog


That Woman NOTE:Yes my saga is still continuing I have had phone calls, emails galore and changes made and new equipment by the Time Warner techs-


the City of Lorain IT has been
SILENT!!! as to their end of the situation
HMMMMMMMMMM but as of yesterday I still can only send to the city intermittently –

I am a work in progress- AND am I am not alone 🙂

Just a “part” of Ree’s saga- please follow the link for the whole saga………

Time Warner Cable – Too Little, Too Late


Last Monday was the public meeting. Loraine knew I had issues with Time Warner Cable and asked me to come to the meeting to tell my story. I’m all about helping out a fellow blogger! So, Ron and I went. Representing Time Warner Cable was Chris Thomas, the Government Relations Director for Northeast Ohio. Chris sat there and listened to a handful of us speak about our dissatisfaction with Time Warner Cable and what we have done to try to get results on our own. Mr. Thomas gave the corporate lines, promised to look into everything and asked that we write our names, addresses and phone numbers on a sheet of paper so that he could escalate the matters.

Here is the article that was published in the Chronicle
about this public meeting and here is the article that was in the Morning Journal
(NOTE there are 36 comments on the MJ article that should be read)
if you’d like to read about what others had to say.

So, I said my peace and explained my issued and that while I fired Time Warner for their cable services, until I find a better replacement, I am still stuck with their faulty internet service. Mr. Thomas assured me he would get someone one it. I didn’t believe him, but whatever.TWC rep

Lo and behold, I had a couple of phone calls on Thursday from one supervisor wanting to make an appointment to get in and look at our internet problem! That was three days after the public meeting! One point for Mr. Thomas!

The follow through??? and how did it or will it “end????” for Ree

I’ll tell you how that went. Sunday evening I was online playing Pogo and guess what! The internet went down! Wow! Can you imagine? So, another supervisor was scheduled to call Ron today to check up on our progress. Ron let him know that the internet went down last night and Ron was having glitches today. His IP phone was kinda wonky off and on. The internet didn’t go off totally but it was wonky enough to interfere with his IP phone. So, another technician is being sent tomorrow to check up on this.

Again, WHY couldn’t ANY of this be done for the last two years that I’ve been calling on this? Is it fixed yet? No. Do I have any hopes that it will be? To be honest, no.


April 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm 2 comments



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April 2013