Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Firmly Resolve

Last year I wrote:
My biggest wish this year is certainly a budget breaker but I really think I can pull it off. Plans are already in the works to return to Michigan on my April break to photograph the Civil War letters of my great-grandfather, Ashley Carlisle, and other family papers at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. I don't think the collection there is as large as the one at the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor so I should have time to go back and photograph the diaries of Hannah L. Carlisle.

While 2009 was a very good year for me, I never did get to Michigan. Nor did I make arrangements to have someone else retrieve the treasures that await me there. It certainly would have cost less to hire a student to photograph the diaries and letters for me but I really want to do it myself. I can't explain the connection and thrill I feel when I handle the pages written by my ancestors.

So I firmly resolve that, come hell or high water, I will obtain at least the letters held at Western Michigan University in 2010. I have not decided when I will have my next surgery but it makes the most sense to have it done in the spring which would mean I can't travel in April. I plan to work next summer until the middle of August so if I can not get to Michigan myself by the end of August, I WILL make arrangements for someone else to obtain the letters for me. (I am so tempted to delay my surgery until the fall so I can travel in April!)

As for other goals for 2010 I will continue to work on transcribing the letters I do have. Other than that I plan to just see where the year takes me.

The 87th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: New Years Resolutions! To be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Poster courtesy of Footnote Maven.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Review of 2009

It was a very productive year for me with more than 375 posts. I certainly didn't come close to completing my wish list for the year however.

I started off the year with great energy! There was a letter published everyday and I started reposting family history articles that were written during my first year of blogging at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. I started my series on my Graham line and made some progress there. One of my favorite posts for the year was about Tippecanoe Place, one of the mansions that my great grandfather worked on. I also started doing a Weekly Rewind, a roundup of posts I enjoyed reading during the week.

In February I continued with a letter a day. I had my annual break from the snow and cold with a week spent in Florida and we also celebrated our 25th anniversary. My favorite post for the month was Grandma's Kitchen, written for the Canadian Genealogy Carnival.

By March I had run out of letters that I had transcribed while recovering from surgery so I had to start working again. I did manage to continue posting one a day. For National Medal of Honor Day I wrote about Father Vincent R. Capadanno and Abraham Jay Buckles. I stopped putting together my Weekly Rewind because I was receiving so few comments I felt no one was interested. My favorite post of the month was Princess for a Day.

In April I managed to continue with a letter a day however by the second half of the month that was all I was posting. I did break down one brick wall and that changed the focus of my research for the rest of the year.

Spring fever hit and I spent May and June persuing my other passion, gardening. The letters dried up and there were only fifteen posts over the two months. June was saved when I hosted the 73rd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: The Good Earth.

I got myself back on track in July with a post written about my great-grandfather's annual Birthday-Indepenence Day celebration Beneath the Oaks. Not a great piece and one I really should expand on. I got back to transcribing letters and researched the Buchanan Fire of 1862 for the 77th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

August and September were full of letter and document transcriptions. I did have a bit of fun, shared some laughter and spent a lot of time creating a map. The hightlight of September was having Becky come to visit! Behind the scenes I had a conversation with friends about my dissatisfaction with the twists and turns my blog had taken and wrote What Is and What Could Be for the 81st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. This was one of the hardest COG posts I have ever written and also one of my best.

In October I was in charge of our annual Safety Expo at work which took a lot of my time but I still had a great genealogy month. I did a short series on how breast cancer has affected my family. I started on my blog indexing project. While I didn't get back to daily letters I didn't get quite a few transcribed. There were a few by non family members that I did some research on but still have not been able to reunite them with family members. After talking with a few other bloggers I decided to bring back Weekly Rewind. I started the month by writing about the Apple Butter that my family made and finished the month by making my own.

We had a very mild fall and I spent as much time outside as possible with several walks in local cemeteries. There were a few letters and other documents transcribed but no new discoveries. I ended up with a nasty virus through my own stupidity with no real harm done. I have been much better about backing things up weekly since then! Once again the COG saved the month for me. The Seed from which Apple's Tree Grew was written for the 84th edition and was a fun trip down COG memory lane. For the 85th edition I wrote about my great-grandmother Rose, an orphan with two living parents.

I decided to take December off. No letters were transcribed and I merely dabbled online looking for nothing in particular. Rather than follow the crowd and repost my Advent Calendar series from 2007 I choose instead to rerun my memory countdown series from 2006. With that complete I have now moved everything from The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree that I feel should really be included here.

For me, Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday really ran their course early in the year. Amanuensis Monday really forced me to transcribe something other than letters and there were many weeks that I participated in Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

A brick wall down, roughly 175 letters and many family stories. A good year indeed!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weekly Rewind

Carnivals and Roundups

My feed reader had a glitch last week and I missed the 19th edition of Smile for the Camera at Shades of the Departed. The prompt was Gift and Footnote Maven did a wonderful job presenting the more than 60 submissions.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories finished up at GeneaBloggers.

Be sure to check out John Newmark's Weekly Picks at Transylvanian Dutch and Randy Seaver's Best of the Genea-Blogs at Genea-Musings. There is usually some overlap between our lists but with 800 geneablogs to follow they always find good stuff that I missed!

Weekly Reading

Craig Manson had a very busy week at GeneaBlogie. With Classic Christmas Correspondence: Yes Virginia.. he introduced me to a previously unknown cousin. Are any of you also descended from Roger Conant? He also has started a Discussion about Standards. And finally, Craig was a guest on KQED radio and you can find the podcast here.

Sheri Fenley is still trying to start a new Christmas Tradition at The Educated Genealogist.

Becky Wiseman's of kinexxions is still on the road and was able to meet Denise of Family Matters and Moultrie Creek.

The Great Awakening was the topic at History Is Elementary. Are our schools skippping over an important piece of our history simply because it involved religion?

Lori wrote about The Execution of Peter B. Suman at Genealogy and Me.

T.K. Sand found some great videos from 1938 that she shared at Before My Time. I still haven't really explored all there is at Internet Archive and wouldn't have thought to look for video. Thanks T.K!

Randy Seaver has some great resources listed for Massachusetts Vital Records at Genea-Musings.

If your ancestors lived in New York City check out Schelly Talalay Dardashti's post about WPA Photos at Tracing the Tribe.

Denise shared how create a hard space with your word processing program or on your blog at Family Matters.

The Ancestry Insider shows how your blog may appear to your readers with Above the Fold.

At Virginia Family Tree Genealogy, Kevin Lett wrote about Dropbox.

Cat has discovered some great Belgium and France resources that have allowed her to make great progress on several of her lines at Diggin Up Dirt.

At Relatively Curious About Genealogy you will find Other Collections for Family Stories Online. I will mention that one of the resources listed, Columbia's CLIO, is full of broken links and does not list either of the libraries where I have found family letters. It is a great starting point but be sure to look for libraries anywhere near where your family may have been.

Locally, had a wonderful story about a woman who received a kidney from a cousin she had never met.

My Week

Another week in which I did not much! I'm on vacation until the 4th and I have a couple of projects to work on and it really is time to get back to work on the letters.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Special Stocking, Precious Gift

This was written with difficulty two years ago. I still cry when I read it, both from remembered pain and joy. Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas!

When I was 20 and a day I received the special gift of a baby boy. He arrived three weeks early, weighing only 6 lbs 8 oz. He thrived and grew rapidly and all was right with the world.

I found myself pregnant again, before my body had fully healed. My due date was BJ's birthday, December 17th. It turns out that all was not as right with my world as I had thought; my husband was seeing someone else. I struggled both physically and emotionally for most of this pregnancy. Around November 10th I was taken out of work and told the I'd have my baby "any day now." Things at home continued to be stressful. I was still in a fantasy world that we could work things out. BJ had more than made up for his low birth weight and was in no hurry to walk. Somehow I managed to strain the ligaments to my uterus. My back hurt constantly. I fought just to get through each day.

December 17th came and went. The doctor continued to say any day now. Sonograms were not performed back then but the baby's heart beat was strong. I finally went into labor in the early evening on the 24th. On Christmas day we went to my mother's. His family met us there because we weren't sure when we'd have to head to the hospital. Gifts were exchanged, everyone had a nice dinner (I had weak tea) and my contractions continued. We watched the Bells of St Mary's and my mother got progressively more nervous. Finally about 5:00 we left for the hospital. That Christmas day was the coldest on record; I can still remember the pain of the cold walking from the parking garage.

When we got to the hospital I got the same nurse that I'd had the year before and she was absolutely wonderful. I had a birthing room and my husband promptly fell asleep in the recliner. I told the nurse to leave him. My doctor was not on call on Christmas so I got the other doctor from the office whom I had only met once before. He was nasty to me and worse to the nurses. When the baby was finally ready I was told not to push because the doctor was having cookies and eggnog. I requested the intern but the doctor did arrive in time for the birth (but not in time to perform an episiotomy.) Just after 9:30 I had a perfect but tiny baby girl. Bean weighed only 6 lbs. 1/2 oz.

Phone calls were made. I was moved to my room and my husband went home. Bean was moved to the nursery where the nurses slid her into this stocking. There were only three babies in the nursery and they all looked so cute in these stockings that had been handmade by a hospital volunteer. We stayed in the hospital three wonderful days. I missed BJ but I had been so worn out that it was wonderful to have all of the nurses and other staff dote on us. I had learned the year before that before Christmas the maternity ward is packed so that everyone could be home for Christmas.

The first sign of the trouble that lay ahead came on our third day when it was evident that I would not be able to nurse. For the next six months I wasn't sure that she would survive. She lost weight. She was allergic to the formulas we tried. A soy formula was the best available alternative at the time and she only kept down a small part of each feeding. She slept around the clock and had to be awakened for feedings. I kept her right next to my bed and checked on her several times a night. At her six week checkup she had gained very little, the newborn clothes still too big on her. She was anemic and I had to take her for regular blood work. They'd stick her tiny foot while I held her and cried. When she was four months old my husband finally moved in with his girlfriend. One burden had been removed and things got a bit easier for me. She started to stay awake more and keep a little more down, including the iron supplements. In June she finally turned the corner and started to grow and play and thrive.

She continued to amaze me as she grew into womanhood. She always fought for what she believed in. She never gave up on anything. Today she is married, has her own business and two children of her own.

Someday I may pass this stocking on to her but for now it is mine. It once held the most precious Christmas gift I ever received.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

1 Memory Until Christmas

One of my happiest Christmas memories is of playing "steal bingo" on Christmas Eve. You may have played a similar gift exchange game. We'd each buy or make a gift and they were piled together. We've played with as few as five people and as many as twenty. Numbers are written on a slip of paper and everybody draws a number. Number one selects a gift from the pile and opens it. Number two can then either steal that gift or open a new one. No one may steal a gift back directly from the person that took it from them. Each round ends when a new gift has been opened. The later rounds can take a very long time!

From Ghosts of Christmas Past

There always seem to gifts that everyone wants and of course something that everyone hopes someone else will steal from them. The look on our niece's face when she opened the car emergency kit with a shovel was priceless! She worked several rounds singing the praises of that gift in hopes that someone would take it off her hands. Sometimes a gift will fly around the room for several minutes before a new gift is opened. The first (and only) time John's step-mother played she was quite unhappy that someone stole the gift she had opened. We have been known to cheat to insure that neither my mother nor brother-in-law gets the highest number as they are certain to end the game early. We actually do a lot of cheating when we play. Couples will team up to obtain a certain desirable gift and the adults will always make trades to insure that the kids get something they want ;-) The best part of the game is that it is always full of laughter.

From Ghosts of Christmas Past

We no longer get together with family on Christmas Eve and this year no one wanted to play the game. Perhaps next year we'll be able to bring the game back.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2 Memories Until Christmas

New memories = new ornament. Almost four years ago I started writing under the name Apple. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree is an expression my sister and I use when we kid each other about becoming more and more like our Mom as we age. It seemed appropriate for a genealogy blog, which was my original intent. I planned to jot down some family history in the hopes that one day my kids would show some interest. It became something else. I was able to share ideas and get tips as I struggled to start a garden. I had an outlet for my work related thoughts and frustrations. Genealogy was lost in my day to day ramblings.

So when I discovered the COG, I started Apple's Tree just for genealogy and the dividends have been huge! I've made progress on my family tree but more importantly for me, I've made friends and have gotten to know many know so many of you through your writing.

I've been criticized for using Apple rather than my real name but I think it suits me. For anyone that really feels they need to know my real name, well, I've written enough here that it should be relatively easy for a genealogist to figure out.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

3 Memories Until Christmas

These were made by my kids at the dining room table in the first house that John and I shared. So many memories. Blending two families. Becoming a stay at home mom. Board games played at the table. Disastrous dinners and John teaching me how to cook. Orange shag carpet that he let me replace with white – I don’t know which was worse. lol. Fireworks in the backyard. My most memorable Christmas – the year Santa filled the living room with balloons so it wouldn’t look so empty under the tree.

This year I helped my four oldest grandchildren make these ornaments for their own trees and they were created at the same table their parents used.

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 Memories Until Christmas

Aruba. John and I had booked this trip months in advance. Most marriages run into trouble at some point and just before we were due to go we had some problems to deal with. I really didn’t want to go but in the end I did. Sure, I remember the flooding in Oranjestad and the touristy things we did, but what I remember most is long walks and long talks. I realized then how very much I loved him that I couldn’t picture life without him.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

5 Memories Until Christmas

Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.

It’s a Wonderful Life, my all time favorite Christmas movie. I’ve watched it with family, with friends and by myself. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it. There are several bells on my tree.

After watching the movie have you ever thought about how your life has affected others? I'd like to think that I've had a positive impact on the lives of those I am close to.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekly Rewind

My Week

Another very busy week! We had Mike's concert at school, three birthdays to celebrate, a couple of tough days at work along, with making fudge and baking cookies. We will celebrate Christmas with our kids here tomorrow and of course I'm not nearly ready!

I did find a few minutes to work on my blog index but that was all I accomplished this week.

A Special Wish

Cyndi Howells, who works so hard for us on her Cyndi's List website, would like 2,000 Facebook fans by Christmas. She's well short of this number so let's all get the word out and see if we can't make her wish come true!

Carnivals and Roundups

Jasia has posted the the 86th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy at Creative Gene. This is a two for one edition! The topics were Other Holiday Happenings and my annual favorite, Letters to Santa. The topic for the next edition is New Years Resolutions.

Thomas has completed the Holiday 2009 GeneaBloggers Cookbook. Be sure to pick up your copy at GeneaBloggers.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories continues at GeneaBloggers. There are so many participating and so many interesting stories that you will find lots of great reading!

Randy always has interesting things that I've missed in his weekly Best of the Genea-Bloggers at Genea-Musings and so does John at TransylvanianDutch with his Weekly Genealogy Picks.

We're Blog Caroling with fM again this year at footnote Maven.

Kathryn has posted the 7th edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival, a carousel, at Looking4Acestors. Details about the next edition will be posted after Christmas.

The deadline for the January 2010 edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival is December 25th. The topic is The Final Resting Place.

Weekly Reading

Bill had A Moment of Sanity but is now singing the Geneablogger Blues at West in New England.

Thomas has recorded his own video version of His Favorite Christmas Carol at Destination Austin Family. I'm laughing with you Thomas! He also scored big on ebay and won 1869 Diary of Mary Weber.

Things are Not All Merry and Bright! for fM at footnoteMaven.

Miriam has compiled a list of State Census Records Online at AnceStories.

If you are interested in seeing the White House Decorated for Christmas head on over to American Presidents Blog.

Lynn at The Armchair Genealogist shares a list of What You Can Find in a Cemetery - Besides Dead People.

Mona did a Double Take!! at Itawamba Connections.

I was shocked when I read It's gonna cost, but how much? by Liz at The Ancestral Archaeologist. I've never been charged for a look-up but I would be happy to make a reasonable donation.

I have requested cremation when the time comes so I was intrigued by Life After Life by Denise at The Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek.
is new and Randy has done a great job in reviewing it at Genea-Musings. You can find links to all four parts here. Randy also reviewed, which looks very promising.

At the Photo Detective with Maureen Taylor, Finding the Story, Part 3, moves from clues in a photo to DNA and additional mystery!

For more mystery reading check out Marlys', William Williams and the case of the "possible twin" at Hesch History.

For a little more mystery Jean, at Circlemending, has The Mysterious Deaths of Three Freemans.

The Ancestry Insider shares his thoughts about Awards, Awards, and More Awards. He and I are on the same page with this!

How did your ancestors keep things cool? Saw Dust and Dark Holes at FamHist Blog.

6 Memories Until Christmas

I’ve received many homemade ornaments from students over the years. I remember each child as I hang them on the tree.

So how did I become a school bus driver? I started driving in Akron, NY. My neighbor retired, or at least tried to. She kept getting called to sub, so she asked me to consider replacing her and at the same time a woman in my Home Bureau chapter asked if I would drive. People weren't exactly lining up for a high stress job that paid $10 an hour but only gave you 5 to 15 hours a week. I looked on it as community service back then - my kids were walkers. LOL. I was fairly certain I'd never learn how to handle something that big but I surprised myself. Very shortly after I got my commercial license John was transferred back to Syracuse and my neighbor got called to sub again. After a few years John got transferred back to Buffalo and we moved back to Akron, so all the time they spent training me wasn't totally in vain. Once John retired we once again returned to CNY so we would be back near family but Akron was a wonderful place to live and I still miss all of my friends there.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Friday, December 18, 2009

7 Memories Until Christmas

I have a mixed bag of memories of my Dad. He firmly believed that children should be seen but not heard. So my memory of the train set that he had in the basement is good one. There was no question that it was his train but he’d sometimes let us run it. He had built a very large table with a hole cut out in the center so you had to crawl under to get to the controls. Lots of track and switches and little toy buildings and trees. But most of all his time and attention.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

8 Memories Until Christmas - Happy Birthday B!

B was born just before Christmas and I never did get out and get him a baby's first Christmas ornament. Instead I purchased this one the following year. It's not much to look at, just a simple silk ball covered with a plastic picture. No matter how unattractive, it has had a place on my tree for a good many years now.

Dear B,
Where have the years gone? You were (still are!) the best birthday gift I ever received. Back when you were a teenager I was worried that I'd totally blown it as a parent. Who would have thought that the kid who ran away and didn't want to finish school would turn into the man that you've become? A hard working husband and devoted father. A phenomenal author - the agents that have turned you down will be kicking themselves in a year or two! I'm proud of you!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 Memories Until Christmas

Jamaica. Our first trip to an all inclusive and all the rum I couldn’t handle. The bar with swings instead of stools. The trip where they couldn’t find our reservation. Our first trip to a nude beach. The only trip we’ve taken where I didn’t feel safe leaving the resort. This was also our first trip with our best friends that was just the four of us, no kids, and miraculously, they’re still our best friends. After the trip they gave me a pillow that says "A friend knows all about you and still likes you"!

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Let It Be Christmas Everywhere

I'm blog caroling with Footnote Maven today. Head over to her blog to see who else is caroling!

One of my favorites. Start the music and then scroll down for the lyrics and sing along!

Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the hearts of all people both near and afar
Christmas everywhere
Feel the love of the season wherever you are
On the small country roads lined with green mistletoe
Big city streets where a thousand lights glow

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere

Let it be Christmas everywhere
With the gold and the silver, the green and the red
Christmas everywhere
In the smiles of all children asleep in their beds
In the eyes of young babies their first fallen snow
Elderlys' memories that never grow old

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere

Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the songs that we sing and the gifts that we bring
Christmas everywhere
In what this day means and what we believe
From the sandy white beaches where blue water rolls
Snow covered mountains and valleys below

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere
Christmas everywhere
Christmas everywhere

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Memories Until Christmas

When the kids were young I started down my volunteerism path as a Camp Fire Leader. All the kids in the neighborhood joined and this is one of the ornaments they made one year. I’m just crazy enough that I took 1st and 2nd graders overnight camping at Camp Talooli - twice. Biffies (out-houses), hikes, sing-a-longs, campfires and crafts - Good times!


Vesper Service c 1986

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Monday, December 14, 2009

11 Memories Until Christmas

For the mom who has everything you get an owl. I have a large collection of owls, some given to me as gifts and some purchased on vacations. I no longer add to the collection as I have no more room but they are all special including this one that I received as a gift.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 Memories Until Christmas

What do you give the dad who has everything? Over the years the kids have given John several Shultz and Dooley beer steins. Friends of ours saw this ornament while they were on vacation and bought it for us. It makes me think of them, past gifts given and received and the old Utica Club commercials.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekly Rewind

My Week

I've been busy, busy, busy - just like everyone else. Shopping (mostly from my keyboard), wrapping, crafting with the kids and dealing with our first snow of the season.

I've had limited time to read or write and currently there are 1000+ articles awaiting my attention in my reader. Undoubtedly there are tons of great articles I have not read yet. I expect to be playing catch up well into Christmas vacation.

Weekly Reading

The Holiday edition of Shades of the Departed Magazine is available for your reading enjoyment now. I hope to sit down with my copy later this evening

Tipper shared a wonderful Christmas letter that was found in a cupboard of an old, abandoned house. This would be a wonderful Christmas gift for the family of the author to discover. Tipper and her girls are also making Apple-Cinnamon ornaments at Blind Pig & The Acorn. I nice memory for me, I made dozens of these years ago.

Jasia wrote about her Aunt with Many Names at Creative Gene.

Greta is Searching for Preston Moore (part 2) at Greta's Genealogy Bog. Greta's on a roll this week! While you're there read I Knew It! I Knew Santa was Real!

Debra received A Christmas Present at Work at All My Ancestors.

Donna shared the wonderful Genealogy Photobook she made using Shutterfly at Another Day with Donna.

Journey with Lee from England to Salt Lake City with History of James and Emily Blacknell Hoggard at Lineage Keeper.

My cousin, Tom, contemplates Saving A Life's Work at GenealogyBlog. I'm pretty sure I will never finish my research so his final points are very interesting for me to think about.

Lorine has issued an invitation to join her in Sharing Memories: A Genealogy Journey, at Olive Tree Genealogy. She begins with Winter Activities.

T.K. found treasure - My Auntie's Voice at Before My Time.

Tracy started with seven names written on a piece of paper at The Pieces of My Past.

Lynn shared a great Canadian resource, Local Canadian Histories Digital Library at The Armchair Genealogist.

Dick let us know about the New Digital Books from the Rochester Public Library at Dick's Genealogy & History Corner.

Carnivals and Roundups

Be sure to check out Randy's weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs at Genea-Musings and John's Weekly Picks at TransylvanianDutch.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories continues at GeneaBloggers.


The Blog Carnival submission form is not working. You enter your information, receive a polite thank-you for your submission and your entry disappears out into cyberspace. If you have a submission to any carnival and do not receive an email receipt be sure to send an email with your information to the carnival host. [edited 5:45 pm - I just received my blog carnival receipts going back to Nov. 29! Hopefully they have the problem fixed permanently!]

The deadline for the Smile for the Camera carnival: Gift, was extended until yesterday by Footnote Maven at Shades of the Departed.

The deadline for the Carnival of Genealogy is the 15th with two topics. 1) Other holiday happenings and 2) letters to GeneaSanta to be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

The deadline for the Carnival of Central and Eastern Genealogy: Christmas or Hanukkah Traditions, is the 18th. To be hosted by Jessica at Jessica's Genejournal.

The deadline for a Festival of Postcards: White, is the 20th. To be hosted at A Canadian Family by Evelyn.

Get Well Wishes

Craig of GeneaBlogie had surgery earlier this week and is doing well. I wish him a speedy recovery.

At Cindy's Place, Cindy's father is terminally ill. My thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time.

Lorine of Olive Tree Genealogy continues her recovery and is feeling a bit better.

There has not been an update on how Sheri of TwigTalk is doing but hope she is coming along.

13 Memories Until Christmas

I used to always have a cross stitch project that I was working on. Other than these ornaments the only piece I made for myself was the Irish blessing sampler that hangs by my front door. Most of the items I stitched were Christmas gifts and I think about those other projects as I hang these on my tree.

One of those gifts was made for my father and step-mother many years ago. After he died it was returned to me and even though it was made as a Christmas decoration, it now is displayed year-round in my bookcase.

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Birthday!

My parents were both born in the summer, Dad in mid June and Mom at the end of July. No holidays to compete with, no one else in the family with a birthday close to theirs. Things did not work out nearly so well for us kids! My brother and sister share a birthday in early March but at least there is no holiday to compete with.

I got a double whammy. I was born on the same day as the daughter of my mother's best friend. That I really didn't mind so much, it was kind of cool to share your birthday with a friend. Trouble is, we were both born in mid December.

My parents waited a long time for me to come along and they always tried to make my birthdays special. The Christmas tree was never brought home until after my day, there were always presents and cake; my gifts were always wrapped in birthday paper. I don't really think I missed out on anything as a kid because of the unfortunate timing of my birth.

You'd think that having a December birthday myself that I would have shown some consideration to my kids. B arrived the day after my 20th birthday. Bean was due the following year on his birthday! Right from the very start she let us know she would always do things in her own good time and she waited until Christmas day to arrive.

With a Christmas birthday it was impossible to wait to put up the tree so tradition changed and the tree went up shortly after Thanksgiving. There were a couple of years that I let them have individual birthday parties with their friends but for the most part they got a family party together on the weekend closest to B's birthday. Some years he had to wait a few days, but Bean has always received her birthday gifts early. They received birthday cards but often their gifts were wrapped in Christmas paper.

Having already celebrated Bean's birthday I've blown it once or thrice and wished her Merry Christmas before Happy Birthday on her day. A sure way for a mother to remain in the dog house for a full year!

As if three December birthdays weren't enough, with my marriage to John there were three more holiday birthdays to celebrate. Starting on my birthday and then every seven days thereafter we have his sister Ann's, sister Marie's and then John's in early January. Add Jae, my best friend and her two sons and we celebrate ten birthdays near the holidays!

These days with everyone's work schedules and visits to their in-laws sides of the family to plan around we have one combined get together where we celebrate both birthdays and Christmas.

Merry Birthday! Happy Christmas!

Look for special birthday posts on the 17th and 25th.

This was written for part 1 of the 86th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: The other Holiday Happenings; to be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

Thanks for the poster fM!

14 Memories Until Christmas

Our house was built into the side of a hill and when we were very little we went sledding right in the side yard. After the blizzard of '66 it was a big hill! We'd often sled down Bigsby's Hill in the neighborhood, Westcott reservoir in Geddes or Woodland reservoir near my grandparent's house. We used sleds with metal runners or some of the kids had toboggans. One year I got a plastic flying saucer for Christmas and that became my favorite. My brother would start me spinning just before he shoved me down the hill.

The first time I took my kids to the "res" sledding, Bean wasn't quite ready and I had to take her to my mom's because BJ loved it and PJ couldn't get back to the top fast enough! They have now fenced off the top of both reservoirs off so my grandkids will never know the joy of flying down one of the really big hills.

Side yard Hill c 1967

As children sledding was pure joy!
This picture of a childhood friend is a favorite of mine.

Westcott Reservoir c. 1984

c 1982

This series originally appeared in 2006 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree. Some posts have been updated, others replaced.