Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Days Without Rain


Stock Photo - Google Images

It has been a very wet spring.  A very, very wet spring.   We have had a lot of rain, a lot of thunderstorms, a couple of tornado warnings (2 spotted, but did not hit) and lots and lots of mud. The farm fields have inches of standing water and we actually pray for wind to help dry them. And if they don't dry soon, they will not get planted. Most will not get their crop in at all. It is supposed to rain 14 of the next 15 days, with 13 of those days at a chance of over 40%. 

With the awful weather for farmers, it seems petty to complain about how much fun it is to be penned indoors with toddlers and small children when it is too wet or muddy to play outside. But it sure has been fun to have two sunny days in a row! 
ANYWAYS - On Tuesday it was sunny! And there were no rain clouds! We only had my three year old granddaughter to babysit so we took her to the park to play on the swings. 
Finally talked her into wearing the bonnet I got her in Amish Country. My kids had little brown summer bodies.  But now we use lots of sunscreen and I try to keep hats on all of them.  Both of my daughters have experienced skin cancers. 
Pretty proud of herself. 

AND today was gorgeous, too! We picked up two of my grandsons after Vacation Bible School and took them on a picnic to another park. 

By pack a picnic, I mean pick up prepackaged snacks at Aldi. Meanwhile, the sun was shining!
This guy was pretty happy on the BIG slide!
It was a gorgeous afternoon

And now it is raining. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Meet Pearlie Mae!

Well, this is the real Pearl May. She is my great aunt born at the turn of the last century. She and my grandfather worked hard to help raise their little sister and take care of their mother. My great grandfather was an unfortunate alcoholic. My grandfather left school in 8th grade to apprentice to a jeweler and Pearl went on to college and became an elementary teacher. After their baby sister graduated high school and my grandfather married and took his mom to live with his family, Pearl May changed her "country" name to Patricia Ann, left with a traveling salesman and moved to Seattle where they married and, I believe, sold real estate and managed an apartment building. 
Pearl may not have been in love with her name, but I sure am!  Our local Herb Farm offered a chance to make this lovely garden lady for Mother's Day and I talked my husband and granddaughter into accompanying me out to the farm this morning. 
My granddaughter spotted the owner's own garden lady on our way in. I would like to call your attention to the winter coat and cap. Yesterday our temperatures were in the 70's. Today - low 40's with a chilly wind. 
I got distracted with her herb display and filled a box with some healthy plants before we began. 
Then we got to play dress up! Look at these gorgeous aprons!
Floral Dresses
Blouses and gloves and necklaces and scarves. 
Hats and flowers and baskets and . . . stuff!
My granddaughter's favorite color is blue, so blues it was!
On our way to the car, we stopped to visit the fish in the pond. She has a lovely yard. 
And here is the lovely Pearlie Mae! I am so in love with her. Once she was "planted" I rearranged with some strategic safety pins and a stapled hat. I think I am going to decorate with patriotic colored annuals this year, so the flower may be replaced with red ones.  The herb shop is only charging $25 for the form and clothing which I thought was a terrific price. I know I could easy spend that much on vintage clothing, even at Goodwill.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Holy Grail

I have been very busy with my genealogy projects. Busy working on family trees, researching records, attending workshops and meetings. Even organized a few field trips.  What I need is some uninterrupted time to spread all my paperwork on a big table, organize it, scan it, and try to make sense of it all. Instead I spent my evenings catching up on blog reading.  I have added several genealogy blogs into my mix. 

Recent postings at "A Family Tapestry" triggered an old memory. The story starts with a foggy memory from when I was maybe 10 or 12. Gramma was cleaning out her attic and putting "junk" out for trash pickup. Mom took me over and we picked up trash bags that missed the first round. Mom told me there was a book self published by twins that served in the civil war that was missing. We did not find the book. When the internet was invented and when I was working somewhere with good internet, I researched on line and found the possible existence of the book. I made notes and lost them over the years. 

Family Tapestry is looking for her own legendary booklet. She inspired me to go on line one night and search for the book. And found it. There is a copy in the "closed stacks" of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland and I have to write a request to see it, leave any belongings in a locker, wear gloves, etc. I was trying to figure out when I could make the trip. Meanwhile I was going to Rutherford B Hayes Presidential library this past weekend and wondered if they might have a copy that I did not find online. The librarian looked and they do not have a copy, however she did find a copy in the Ohio History Center in Columbus and another in a library that will not share their location.
I worked out who published the book. It was written and published by who I believe to be one of my great grandmother's cousins who served in the Civil War with his identical twin brother.
I then wondered if our Genealogy Society might have a copy in their research library that was not listed on the Hayes database. Our meeting was tonight and the program was a tour of the library. The last section we came to was shelves of self published materials. I asked if there was some kind of index and they said "not yet". Then they showed me a section of self published books from the civil war. I knew the book would be small as the description in Cleveland described it as a 30 page booklet.
I was scanning the shelves and spotted this book. I was staring at the shelves and one of the guides said we were allowed to remove books to look at them. I pulled it out from the shelf.
I placed it on the counter and could not believe my eyes. I was afraid to even open the book. This is the exact title, the exact author of the book I was not even sure existed. I was looking in the book and then asked if I would be able to photocopy it. Sure, they said, but the library will not re-open until Spring. I will need to come back in May. Meanwhile, they suggested, why not take some pictures with your phone. I was so stunned that this had not even occurred to me. Plus I was still in shock that I could even touch it. The book had several pictures. These were printed separately and affixed to the pages somehow. I did not want to handle the book too much as it was very fragile. I just am so excited to find this book .I wish I could share this news with my mom!



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Happy New Year

Well, I did it.  I finally did it.  After taking a genealogy class about seven years ago, retaking the genealogy class last year, working with free resources at several local libraries. creating masses of paper, I did it.  I signed up for six months of Ancestry.com.

For any beginners, I actually recommend my method. Our local libraries offer a free library edition of ancestry and I also used the free site, Family Search. Both allowed me to download and make copies of census records, birth, marriage and death records, and even more data. This allowed me to compare information and make sure what I was saving actually applied to my ancestors.  

This is was even more helpful to me since my ancestors like to name people the same names over and over.  Pick a name like John Doe and you might have a grandfather, a father, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle; all in the census. I really needed to establish time lines to make sure the correct John was in my paperwork. 

By the time I subscribed to ancestry and began creating my family tree, I was able to sort through all the "hints" and find which ones absolutely apply to "my" family.  I have found several trees posted with information I know is incorrect. I am hoping to avoid this. 

I have only had the service since January 1 and you can tell how much time I am spending on it by the fact I still have my Christmas tree up! 

I am doing my tree privately for now until I am sure that everything is correct. I also need to merge some people - I saved some with different last names since we seem to be pretty flexible with how we fill out census forms and records. My husband's family actually used completely different last names and both Polish and American versions of their names with various spellings. They can be very challenging.  I believe my great grandmother's family was illiterate and every form I have ever seen has spelling her unique first name differently. 

Eventually I want to pay the help I am getting from other's research by posting photos. I am the family museum for all the old photos on both sides of my family and I know I have photos that no one else has. I have all the poses from a family photo shoot prior to the flu epidemic in 1911 including uncles, grandparents, great grandparents. There were several survivors in the bunch (not my great grandmother or great great grandfather) and I know there are descendants out there that would value these photos as much as I do. 

I also purchased DNA kits for my husband and myself. We have not sent them in yet; I am a little nervous about it. 

Miss Merry