Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Proper Perspective Heading into the New Year

I recently received my notification from the eye doctor telling me that it's time for my examination.  That's good because I've noticed that I've been experiencing a few difficulties seeing things lately.  It isn't so much that my sight has changed, but there are scratches on my lens that are distorting my vision.  My perspective needs help.

I often need my perspective adjusted.  Many times, the things I'm seeing - or think I'm seeing - are not quite in focus with what really is.  With a few adjustments, things look better.

For instance, have you ever awakened in a bad mood for no apparent reason but when you sit quietly and think about it you realize that you had a bad dream about something totally outside of the basis of reality?  Okay, maybe I'm the only one who has ever had that experience.  Happily for me and those who live with me, once I figured out the cause of my moodiness I was able to put things in the proper perspective and get my day moving in a more positive direction.  This had the effect of making everyone's day a bit brighter.  "When momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy," as the old quip goes.

I've been doing much thinking lately about perspective.  As a consequence, I'll be doing much writing about perspective.  There!  You've been forewarned!

I've reached the time of life where there are decisions to be made due to life's changes and I've got to get out the spiritual and emotional lens cleaners and wipe some of the grime off so that I can see better when handling these changes.  I've also got to ask the Doctor (the Great Physician, in case you needed a clue) to help me remove a few beams so that I use the kind of sight that only faith brings (oh, that kind of perspective) and is necessary for making proper decisions.

So . . . my vocabulary word for 2011 is "perspective."  Stick around.  Maybe something will be said that will help your eyesight, too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do You Speak the Same Language? (Case D)

Do you speak the same language as your ancestors? Before you answer too quickly let me clarify my question. I'm not talking about a foreign language. I'm specifically referring to local dialects. Knowing how your ancestors pronounced certain words, including names, can provide important clues for locating documents.

Those of us who have ancestry that runs through the south, particularly the Appalachian Mountain region, might encounter some difficulties due to spelling. Part of the problem in the early records was illiteracy but spelling errors continued to occur long after literacy was restored to the area.

I could give numerous examples of what I mean by this but I'll use Terrill Thompson to make my point. In Case C I discussed the difficulty in finding a death certificate for Matilda Tewksbury based upon information gleaned from her tombstone. In that case, Matilda had remarried (actually, she had remarried twice) but nothing on her grave indicated her forays into the holy estate of matrimony beyond that of her marriage to Thomas Tewksbury. It took a chance encounter with her name next to her daughter's on a census record to eventually locate her death certificate under a different name than the one found on her grave.

This case is somewhat similar. The spelling of Terrill Thompson's name and the information concerning his death was obtained from his headstone. It was assumed that his death certificate would be easily obtained. That was not to be!

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When the search began, no death certificate could be found in either the indices or in a search of the state archives. After lengthy attempts of spelling phonetically according to local speech patterns, the following document was finally located:

The name rendered "Terrill" on the headstone was given as "Turl" on the death certificate. This is not an isolated incident and colloquial pronunciation should always be considered when documents cannot be found using proper spelling. The letter "r" is particularly a troublesome one in some regional pronunciations. Vowels are also confused or used interchangeably. Alex is pronounced "Elick" and might be spelled that way. Dabney morphs into "Dabner" on his paperwork. Juanita may be spelled "Woneety" or "Neater." Josiah becomes "Sire."

This article is in no way intended to be mocking or insulting. These examples are from my own personal research.

As for Terrill's wife, Mandy? I've yet to locate her death certificate and suspect that an irregular spelling might be the cause. If anyone can offer assistance, I would be grateful.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 52 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for December 27-31, 2010

Monday, December 27th
Job 32, 33
Psalms 141, 142

Tuesday, December 28th
Job 34-36
Psalms 143, 144

Wednesday, December 29th
Job 37, 38
Psalms 145, 146

Thursday, December 30th
Job 39, 40
Psalms 147, 148

Friday, December 31st
Job 41, 42
Psalms 149, 150

Thanks for reading with me this year! I hope you've seen how important it is to read God's Word each day and that you'll continue to do so thoughout the coming year. The new schedule has been posted and begins on Saturday, January 1st. A tri-fold copy will be sent via email as a Word file or as a paper document via snail-mail.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pepper's Opinion of the Season

What is a hyper dog supposed to do when she's not permitted to
  • chew the ornaments?
  • or eat the seasonal goodies?
  • or jump on the UPS delivery guy or the mailman who bring packages to the door?
  • or tear the wrapping off the gifts under the tree (which aren't for her anyway)?

Go pout on the couch and change Noel to just plain ol' . . .

Take Ten in '10, Week 51 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for December 20-26, 2010

Monday, December 20th
Job 18, 19
Psalms 126-128

Tuesday, December 21st
Job 20, 21
Psalms 129-131

Wednesday, December 22nd
Job 22, 23
Psalms 132-134

Thursday, December 23rd
Job 24-26
Psalms 135, 136

Friday, December 24th
Job 27-29
Psalms 137, 138

Saturday, December 25th
Job 30, 31
Psalms 139, 140

Sunday, December 26th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finishing the Tour

I loved visiting Las Vegas.  I even got to drive Dan's Cadillac, but maybe we shouldn't tell him that.  While I was driving it, though, that old mother-in-law joke about the definition of "mixed emotions" came to mind.  I  quickly forgot about it as I followed Lisa to the place where she was dropping off her car to be serviced.

Lisa had celebrated her birthday the week before when Dan's family was in town for Thanksgiving. Still, even though Lisa said we didn't need to do anything because she'd already celebrated, I wanted to help make her birthday memorable if I could. I told her to invite some of her friends for dinner and that I would take us all out to eat. She invited two friends and we went downtown to P.F. Chang's for our meal. The evening was enjoyable, for me anyway, and think Lisa and her friends thought so, too. Here the four of us were, three preachers' kids and one preacher's wife, laughing and giggling over dinner and dessert. We sent all of the leftovers home with one of the girls whose husband was kind enough to provide babysitting for the evening. We wanted to reward him adequately so that he'll allow his wife more evenings out with Lisa while Dan is gone.

After dinner, we wandered down to The Strip (yes, I actually did make it there, as I'm sure the lady seated next to me on the plane would be happy to hear) and we watched the fountains/light show outside the Belagio:

We also went inside to see the elaborate Christmas decoration. I took several pictures but if you've been to the Opryland Hotel or some other well-decorated establishment you've some idea of the grandeur. Lisa's friend took our picture in front of some of the shimmering lights.

Walking back to where the car was parked in a mall lot, we passed a stand that was selling oysters with pearls. Lisa's friend bought one for Lisa in honor of her birthday and we got to watch as she chose and opened it. When opened it revealed a beautiful blue-silver pearl! She plans to have it mounted on a piece of jewelry someday.

A couple of days after Lisa's birthday, it was time for me to head back home to Ohio. I got up early enough to take pictures of the sun rising on a beautiful day in the desert. I got my farewell kisses and hugs from the dogs and prepared for my departure.

Lisa dropped me off at the airport on her lunch hour and I caught my flights home. Going through security, I was randomly picked for further screenings. I wasn't surprised. I'm almost always one of the ones "randomly" picked for further screenings and said as much to the TSA agent as he pulled me out of line. I immediately realized I shouldn't be so quick to unleash my sarcasm on someone who has the power to keep me from flying, but it came out before I had the chance to bite my tongue. I don't think I was screened in such a way as to reveal much about my person, but I had to point out my belongings that had just emerged from the scanning machines so that they could look through my things for dirty little secrets. Well, I did have a few pieces of dirty laundry and my gym shoes were filthy from the desert sand, but otherwise my belongings were relatively humdrum. I was soon released to my plane.

Business or Pleasure?

On the last leg of my trip to Vegas I sat next to a couple who were on a weekend vacation away from their teenaged children that were having their own vacation with grandma. On the way back I sat between 2 men who had attended a convention in town. The discussions initiated by my seatmates were interesting to me, however I fear that my answers to their questions tended to bore them.

The lady on the going-to-Vegas trip was somewhat stunned that I wouldn't be staying on The Strip. No, I would be staying with my daughter. She wondered why I didn't stay on The Strip and go visit my daughter each day. I tried to explain that Lulu's birthday occurred a few days after her husband's scheduled departure for the other side of the world and she didn't want to be alone: I was coming for her. For me, the opportunity of providing my daughter some small pleasure was the business at hand. This was also pleasure for me, but not the kind that the lady understood. How could she? Her kids were still living with her and she was traveling to get away from them. I, on the other hand, was going to see my child who just happened to live in Las Vegas. The sights and sounds of the destination held no particular enchantment while the daughter and son-in-law who live there did. Well, would I at least be taking in some of the shows? I explained that would depend upon what my daughter wanted to do. I was sure we'd have lots of fun, but how do you explain to someone that not all travelers to Vegas are there for the casinos and shows?

On the way home, the man to my left was sorry to leave. He said his company's convention meant business during the day and pleasure all night. I didn't ask him to elaborate because I could tell by his wistful backward glances toward Sodom Vegas that he was not happy to be on the plane home. My other seat companion was retired military and was more sympathetic to my own plight. He was returning to his wife and family after a camping trip.

So what did we do on this trip? We did a bit of sight-seeing:

Lisa ("Lulu") at Hoover Dam

The new bridge in the background that connects Nevada and Arizona, bypassing the road over the dam itself.
And we went hiking at Red Rock Canyon. The calico hills were gorgeous and the temperature was a bit warmer than it was at Hoover Dam which was surprisingly c-o-l-d.

Lisa taking a break in a rock cavern

At one point on the hike I realized that even if I wasn't a casino-goer I was a bit of a gambler as we had descended down rock walls which would then require scaling rocks on the return trip to the surface. Just what did I think I was doing risking my neck like that? After we'd made it back to the trail heading to the car my body decided I needed a quick sit down session. Have you ever surpassed your target heart rate to the point that you're gasping for breath and feel that you're on the verge of either passing out or vomiting? I was there. And neither of those options sounded particularly appealing so I took an emergency breather untiil I could breathe normally again. Lisa kindly mentioned that the elevation is higher than what I'm used to and that the thinner air was making me light-headed. I don't know if that's true or not (I haven't checked the almanac) but it was kind of her to say so. Actually, I think the fact is that I'm 51 years old and have no business acting like I'm the same age as one of my own children! After that day of exertion we both slept late the next morning so I think we got quite the work out.
We drove most of the rest of the 12 mile trail, stopping occasionally to take pictures and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

The beautiful colors of the calico hills

The desert is a beautiful place


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Happens In Vegas . . .

Uh, no. Don't even finish with that awful adage. For me, what happens in Vegas gets blabbed on this blog. I've got nothing to hide, as TSA security was so quick to point out.

I flew to Vegas 2 weeks ago just so my son-in-law would be happy about being sent to Other Places. After all, who wants to be in a house where his mother-in-law is staying for a week?

I'm joking. We don't have that kind of relationship. If I did, I surely wouldn't make light of it.  Besides, he grills excellent steaks and I like to eat excellent grilled steaks so I need to stay in his good graces.

Really, I flew to Vegas to be with Lulu. When we bought my airline ticket we feared that he would already be gone but I'm thankful he was not. Not only did I get to say good-by in person, but I got to hear the most unexpected words out of any son-in-law's mouth when describing his mother-in-law, "You're a genius!!!!" I  can't tell you how long I've waited to hear those words and only wish I'd had a tape recorder with me.  Hopefully, Lulu heard him because I'd hate for it to be my word against his.  The dogs heard him, but they don't talk much.  :)

The day after my arrival, Dan had to catch an early flight so I got up at 5:00 a.m. to take the above picture. I tried to get one without George in it, but he wouldn't cooperate. I think the dog knew Dan was leaving. That, or he really likes having his picture taken.

Don't be too impressed by my early-rising feat. Remember, I had just arrived the day before so my body hadn't adjusted to the time change. My internal clock still said 8:00 a.m.  It got adjusted right about the time that I came back home a week later.

I'll say more about my week in Vegas. For now, I beg your prayers for our warrior in Other Places and for his wife who is keeping the homefires burning in his absence.  May the Lord keep them both safe and close to His heart.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Is For the Birds!

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We have some fine feathered friends living here in our neighborhood. Besides the beautiful wrens and cardinals we have a wide variety of woodpeckers that drop by each day for their meals. They range in size from the little downy woodpeckers to the large northern flickers. We used to have a pileated woodpecker as a regular visitor but we haven't seen him in a couple of years. Having him staring in the kitchen window was enough to give anyone a start!

My woodpecker friends are a lot like toddlers. They are early risers who let you know when they are ready for their breakfast. When we had toddlers in our household they would knock insistently on the bedroom door around daybreak until a sleepy parent got out of bed and fixed the food. Now we have birds knocking on the wood siding right outside our bedroom window about the time that the sun begins peaking over the horizon. Groan!

Consequently, I try to keep suet cakes in stock and to make sure that the window feeder is full before I go to bed at night. With the recent cold-and-snowy weather that we've been experiencing my bird-brained neighbors have been going through the suet cakes at an alarming rate! Thankfully, I've developed a recipe for using some of the odds-and-ends on hand to keep the feeder filled and the early morning window-knocking to a minimum.

Do you compost? I do. It's a good way of returning plant-based materials back to the soil in flower and vegetable gardens. But one of the cooking by-products that shouldn't be composted is animal fats. I recycle those by making my own suet cakes. Here is my recipe:

  • 1 cup fat (bacon grease, lard, beef drippings)
  • 2 1/2 cup of grain (I bake bread so I always have whole grain wheat, winter wheat, rye, or cornmeal on hand)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup bird seed, millet, or sunflower seeds(The stuff that goes in the regular bird feeders)
Melt the fat and peanut butter in a saucepan. Add the grain and cook until bubbly. Remove from heat and add the seeds. If you have a suet basket and have previously bought commercially prepared cakes be sure to save 2 or 3 of the plastic cases to use as molds. Otherwise, cool until the mix is hard enough to handle and roll into balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

If you have leftover pieces of nuts, peanuts, blueberries, raisins, or cherries they can be added at the same time as the seed. I had a piece of left-over blueberry pie that I broke up and added to my last batch. I've had fun watching the birds digging through the fat to reach those pieces of berries.

Just remember to keep that feeder full once you take the birds on to raise. Like toddlers, they don't seem to understand the words, "No! It's too early! Go back to bed!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is This Book Acceptable Proof for a Lineage Society? (Cases E & F)

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do as a Daughters of the American Revolution chapter registrar or lineage research liaison is to tell someone that the biographical information they found in a book is not sufficient proof for membership. How can that be? It says so right here in this publication!

Yes, I know. And this can be frustrating.

It does not matter if the generation in question is a patriot or someone further up the family tree. Just because a book "says so" doesn't prove lineage or service. This troubling scenario can happen to anyone, including me. As stated above, I am already a member of the DAR so I will use a couple of people in my own tree as examples of what does not meet the burden of proof.

The Historic Sites Committee of the Cincinnati Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution has been working for literally years to compile a book about Revolutionary War soldiers who are buried in their county. Their project recently came to fruition and is called, reasonably enough, Revolutionary War Soldiers Buried in Hamilton County, Ohio. Published by Little Miami Publishing of Milford, Ohio and available from either the chapter itself or the publisher, this volume contains 192 pages of biographical material, tombstone photos, and source references. With index, this paperback book is 224 pages in length. It is reasonably priced at $16.95. I recently obtained a copy for my home library.

I was not one of the women who compiled this book but I am acquainted with many who did. And I commend them for a job well done. Other chapters around have compiled similar volumes, too. Often I receive email from hopefuls who have found information concerning one of their ancestors in a similar book. It breaks my heart to break the news to them that even though a DAR chapter compiled the book, inclusion in it is not enough for membership in the society. It just doesn't seem fair somehow. And yet, as someone who has two patriots included in this new Hamilton County book who do not meet the criteria necessary for membership I must state that I understand why the rules are what they are.

One of my ancestors, whom I'll call Case E, has a gravestone stating that he served in the Revolutionary War. Although the stone appears to date back to the time of his death in the early 1800s, it is not enough to prove military service. Such claims must be supported by a muster roll, pension file, or receipt. We have been unable to find anything that backs up the words on this headstone and therefore, I cannot use this man as a patriot ancestor for membership.

Why isn't the claim on an old headstone enough? For one thing, there is no way of knowing for certain exactly when a headstone was erected on a grave. Although this stone appears to be ancient, it might have been erected several years after the man died. And at the time of his death, he was in territory that was geographically far from the area of his nativity. Correspondence with people who knew him in his prior life was probably rare or nonexistent. Moving to the then-frontier often meant taking on new identities at worst or embellishing one's accomplishments (lying) at best. I'm not suggesting that my ancestor did that. I am suggesting that there is no way for us to know for certain without an actual name on a muster roll or similar document.

Gravestones often hold untruths. A few years ago one of our excursions into a family cemetery revealed an ancestor's stone that claimed the man was born in England and even gave a date of migration. The only problem is that with the modern availability of records it is now known that he was born and raised in North Carolina. Either he or his descendants decided to tell tall-tales.

Unsubstantiated claims on tombstones are not the only reason why the information gleaned from books is not enough proof for lineage societies. Another of my ancestors, Case F, is also listed in this book. The biographical sketch itself mentions that his service is merely family tradition. Indeed, our family folklore states that Case F served as a child musician. Again, there is nothing found to support the claim that he served in any capacity although his father is a proven patriot. It would be reasonable to assume that the child's name would be found in the muster roll of his father's regiment or another of the local militia. Given the fact that this man lived to be an advanced age and even served in positions of state and local government in Ohio, it would also seem reasonable that he would be aware of his rights to land and a pension for services rendered. Yet he never filed. Did he serve as a child musician? Perhaps, but family folklore and tradition are never enough to constitute proof of service.

Using the information found in this book and in its listed resources, I attempted to obtain the necessary proofs for my two supposed-patriots. Nothing was found in the National Archives or the archives of their respective birth states to document these claims. Information in their biographies was useful for further documenting their family trees.

In conclusion, books published by lineage societies and their affiliates are wonderful sources of information that provide excellent clues for further research. They are worthy additions to the genealogist's library as long as one is aware of their limitations. They should be used as roadmaps to aid in the discovery of proof but not as proof themselves.

(If you would like to purchase a copy of the book mentioned in this article, please contact me privately at and I will put you in contact with a chapter representative.)

Bible Reading 2011 Update

Not only is the schedule posted on a page here on this blog but it has also been compiled into a Word document that is available upon request.  Please send an email to me at and request a copy of the file.  You must include your email address for proper delivery.

If you wish to have a hard copy mailed to you instead, please include your name and address.  PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THAT INFORMATION HERE IN THE COMMENT SECTION unless you want everyone to know how to contact you.  Any emails received will be kept private and will not be published.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Coming Soon: "Take Ten" Bible Reading Plan 2011

Take Ten in '10 is almost over! It has been a blessed year for me as I've spent time with the Lord in His Word, and knowing that some of you have been reading along with me has encouraged me greatly. I hope that everyone has made plans to read the Bible through again in 2011.

So, what reading schedule will I be following next year? Well, I've been working on that very concept. There are so many good plans out there, but once again, I have developed my own. I've kept some of the features that I like so much:
  • No scheduled Sunday reading so that I can use the day as a "catch up" time if necessary.
  • The New Testament combined with Psalms and Proverbs; ending the year and the busy holiday season in Psalms.
But I've also changed things a bit. Reading the Bible through in a year takes about 10 minutes a day no matter what plan one follows so changing the name to "Take Eleven in '11" isn't helpful. I've decided to mix things up in other reasonable ways:
  • The Old Testament books will be read in a "somewhat" chronological order. This means that Genesis and II Kings will have interruptions in them so that Job and the prophetic books can be inserted. I & II Chronicles will appear in the schedule toward the end of the year as these books were written after the Jews returned from exile.
  • Instead of a separate post each Saturday announcing that week's reading schedule the whole year's schedule will appear at once on a separate page. The tab for this will be at the top of the blog (under the blog name) and remain all year. This will be available soon.
Now is the time to find the Bible reading plan that fits your lifestyle. Feel free to read along with me as we cover the Old Testament chronologically. Whether or not you use my plan, I pray that you'll make the commitment today to "Take Ten" minutes each day to read your Bible through in 2011!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 50 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for December 13-19, 2010

Monday, December 13th
Job 4, 5
Psalm 119:113-128

Tuesday, December 14th
Job 6-8
Psalm 119:129-144

Wednesday, December 15th
Job 9, 10
Psalm 119:145-160

Thursday, December 16th
Job 11-13
Psalm 119:161-176

Friday, December 17th
Job 14, 15
Psalm 120-122

Saturday, December 18th
Job 16, 17
Psalm 123-125

Sunday, December 19th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Things I've Learned from This Year's Travels

It has been a great year of seeing the USA. I don't think I traveled much in 2009 but 2010 was not lacking in suitcase packing! Here are some things I learned from my many travels.
  • Jack Frost also takes his winter vacation in Florida.(Click here for that post.)
  • Someone figured out that there was money to be made at the Texas Book Depository in Dallas. When Pastor Dad and I visited in 1979 a janitor let us inside to see "the window." Thirty-one years later it cost about $13 per person for the same privilege. (Click here for that post.)
  • Elvis is dead. And there really is a Jungle Room. I held out hope that neither was true. (Click here for that post.)
  • The Civil War -er- War of Northern Aggression is not over in some places. (No separate post for this fact. You'll just need to take my word for it.)
  • Apparently every regiment from the state of Ohio that fought at Vickburg raised their own battlefield monument as opposed to erecting one to represent the whole state. (There was a brief post, but no pictures of the many monuments.)
  • When someone in Texas tells you they're packing, they don't mean their suitcase! (I learned this on our second visit of the year to this state.)
  • Evidently elected officials don't constitute the whole of the vermin problem in our nation's Capitol. (Click here for that post.)
  • When Cincinnati Reds fans meet St. Louis Cardinal fans in a water taxi in Baltimore they will talk about how the Orioles are doing but will not discuss the pennant race that their own teams are experiencing if there is a storm perchance the boat capsizes and they need to be friendly enough to pull each other out of the waves. (No pictures or post, but it was scary. And I mean the water taxi in the storm, not the pennant race which we - the Cincinnati Reds and fans - ultimately won.)
  • They don't turn the lights off and roll up the sidewalks at 8 p.m. in all small Kentucky towns, but in some the visitors can be identified as the ones who are still awake after that time. (Much to The Bear's chagrin and boredom.)
  • Well, Pilgrim, this year Indian Summer showed up in Detroit during Thanksgiving week. (When we arrived there on Monday evening of that week the temperatures were well in the 70s. It was a most unseasonably warm day! And much enjoyed, too.)
  • New TSA regulations mean that any passenger's anatomy can be viewed as scantily clad as a Las Vegas showgirl's except the passenger buys the ticket for the show instead of the viewer doing so. Doesn't seem fair somehow. (More on my trip to visit my daughter later. I'm still unpacking. And going to basketball games. And doing laundry. And generally resuming my normal life.)
I suspect my travels for 2010 are done. It has been so much fun to ride planes, trains, and automobiles as I've crisscrossed this wonderful nation of ours from east to west and north to south. I look forward to seeing where the Lord and Pastor Dad take me in 2011,  Hint! Hint!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Love Lulu

Today is our second daughter's birthday and I'm in Vegas this week to keep her company for a few days and to help her adjust to a new temporary way of life. I also got to hug my son-in-law as our beloved military man left to do his job in Other Places.

I know having a forced separation from Dan isn't her idea of a happy birthday, but he surprised her with a little party before he left. So I'm just here as the token smile-maker today.

I'll post pictures and say more when I return to my home in the snowy Midwest later this week. Right now the only Internet access is on my iPod and my typing skills are bad enough on a regular keyboard. Typing like this is even more of an adventure!

Happy birthday, Li'l Lulu! I can't tell you enough that I'm proud of the fine, caring, beautiful woman you've become.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 49 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for December 6-12, 2010

Monday, December 6th
Nehemiah 11-13
Psalm 119:17-32

Tuesday, Decemeber 7th
Esther 1, 2
Psalm 119:33-48

Wednesday, December 8th
Esther 3-5
Psalm 119:49-64

Thursday, December 9th
Esther 6-8
Psalm 119:65-80

Friday, December 10th
Esther 9, 10
Psalm 119:81-96

Saturday, December 11th
Job 1-3
Psalm 119:97-112

Sunday, December 12th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How A Modern Family Communicates

The Bear is well enough now to have moved off the upstairs couch and onto the downstairs recliner where he can watch Netflix or play video games.

Pastor Dad has been up and down, but for the last couple of hours he has been more down than up and is probably in bed for the night. His Blackberry is somewhere nearby because he won't be asleep for quite some time yet.

I am playing researching on the computer far from the germs folks who are resting. Ahem. My Twitter is open and so is my email.

Ding! I received a Twitter message. It also went to email because it was a direct message from Pastor Dad who is - you know - all the way down the hall in our bedroom. The message he sent me was, "Your phone rang" meaning my cell phone, of course.

My phone was hooked up to my charger in the bedroom so I went back there, spoke briefly to Pastor Dad to make sure he's feeling okay (he is), and checked my phone to see who had called me.

Well, no one had called me, but someone had definitely sent me a text message. You guessed it! That would be The Bear: the guy downstairs in the easy chair. He must be feeling better because he was asking specific questions about the kinds of soup we have on hand.

I did what any mother of my generation would do when her child doesn't make the effort to come up and ask personally. I sent him a reply on my cell phone.

I thought this was funny, but I'm guessing the techno geniuses would think it even more so. I bet they're laughing all the way to the bank!

Matilda Tewksbury, Hidden in Plain Sight (Case C)

How well do you know your neighbors? Even if you are fairly well acquainted chances are that you are not related to them. Such was not the case a few generations ago. Except for the occasional lone wanderer, families had a tendency to stick together. This is very helpful when it comes to genealogical research.

However, sometimes a researcher will encounter a family or person that seems to disappear. Such was the case of Matilda Tewksbury. She could be clearly identified through 1880 but then nothing more was known about her until her supposed death in 1912. Where was she in those intervening years?

Locating the missing person's relatives often aids in the discovery of those individuals. This seemed to be the most logical step in finding Matilda. Her last piece of recognizable information was in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census where she was enumerated with her husband, Thomas Tewksbury, and their 7-year-old daughter, Nancy J. Tewksbury. They resided in Scipio Twp., Meigs Co., OH, page 2.

Click image for larger view

Nothing more was known until we discovered the headstone that she shared with her husband, Thomas. It showed that he died in 1893 but that she survived until 1912. The search through the census abstracts for 1900 and 1910 failed to show anyone by her name in either Meigs or the neighboring county of Athens. Since Tewksbury is often either spelled wrong on the abstracts themselves or transcribed incorrectly in indices I unsuccessfully performed a visual search of Athens and Meigs counties in Ohio and a few counties in nearby West Virginia. (Note: the 1890 U.S.Census was almost completely destroyed by fire.)

Since state death records were standardized in Ohio on December 20, 1908 it seemed reasonable that Matilda's death certificate would be on file. One was not found at the Ohio Historical Society Archives Library. At this point I began to wonder if the date was wrong on the grave and that perhaps she had died prior to 1908.

I began to compile a list of her known relatives. Both of her parents were dead by 1880 but several of her sisters were married and living in the Meigs-Athens area. It was not known how many children Matilda had borne since Nancy J. was the only one listed on the 1880 census. There was plenty of time between then and Thomas' death in 1893 to have given birth to more.

This led to the possibility that she was enumerated incorrectly in future census years. Often a widowed mother living in the household of her married daughter was erroneously ascribed the surname of the household and not her own. In other words, if Mother Smith lives with Son-in-law Jones and Daughter Jones she might very well be named Mother Jones in the census. I did another visual search, but this time looking for anyone named Matilda. Again, this was unsuccessful. 

Matilda's living siblings were found in the 1900 census. None had a Matilda in their household or living next door.

Returning to the known daughter, Nancy J. it was discovered that she seemed to have disappear also. Obviously, genealogy is usually worked backward, meaning from child to parents. In this case, it was known that Nancy's middle initial stood for "Josephine" and that she had married by 1900. Thus began a search for her and her husband as well.

Josephine, her husband, and their family were found living north of Athens in Bearfield Township, Perry County, Ohio. When I glanced at the entry of the family living above them my eye was drawn to the name "Matilda."

Click on image for larger view

There were several crucial pieces of information to be gleaned from this abstract. First, Matilda had remarried. Second, she had given birth to only one child. That would be Nancy Josephine. And third, she, her daughter, and her daughter's family had moved from Meigs County sometime after 1893, which was when Thomas' death was recorded there.

I now began a search for a marriage record for Matilda Tewksbury and Charles Stoneburner; I also resumed my search for her death certificate under the name of Matilda Stoneburner. I was partly successful. The marriage search revealed that Mrs. "Tillie" Tewksbury married Charles C. Stoneburner on December 3, 1894 in Meigs County. But the search for her death record was again futile.

Knowing that Matilda had remarried once, I thought that perhaps she had done so again. Perry County records revealed that her second husband, Charles Stoneburner, had died February 28, 1902. I searched the marriage books for Perry, Meigs, and Athens counties and found record of a marriage between Matilda Stoneburner and W. B. Rickey on April 20, 1904 in Athens County. She and W.B. were enumerated there in the 1910 census. Their home was near the cemetery where her first husband, Thomas, was buried. Matilda had returned home.

From that point, it was easy to find that Matilda's death had taken place on April 21, 1912 in Athens County, Ohio and to order her death certificate. Her tombstone showed that she was the wife of Thomas Tewksbury but it omitted information to make it possible to trace her location during the years that she survived him.

The search for Matilda Tewksbury's death certificate illustrates several things:
  • it is important to pinpoint the whereabouts of the individual's family members if possible even if they are not in your direct ancestry line.
  • it is beneficial to begin at the last known location and make your way into the neighboring counties for information. Think of making concentric circles outward.
  • it shows that widows might remarry but still be buried by their first husband. This could cause a surname discrepancy between the headstone and death certificate.

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the Zone

The Bear had a basketball scrimmage tonight at a school quite a distance from our house. We left plenty of time to get there and were the first to arrive.

I settled at the top of the bleachers. I wanted to rest my back against the wall.

I was there by myself for awhile. Parents that I knew chose spots nearer the court. I waved, but I didn't join them.

As the varsity and jv teams alternated halves I watched from my perch. Most of the time our guys were "in the zone."

Suddenly, so was I. Somehow I found myself in the Valley Girl Zone! About 25 teenaged girls rushed to the top of the bleachers and joined me.

So . . . like . . . what's it like in the Valley Girl Zone? Groan! I would gladly have given up the prime real estate if only there had been a way to make an exit. But there wasn't. I was surrounded by a group of girls who like said the weirdest things, and like had the weirdest haircuts, and like really, when is this going to be over?! because they were like so hungry!

Oh, and they smelled like each and every one of them was wearing Bath and Body Works scents. Different scents.

Between the silly girl talk, overpowering aromas, and the rain that began falling outside I developed a sick headache. So even though it was dark and rainy when we left I let the Bear drive part of the way home. I think he felt like he was truly in the zone tonight, too, because he was stunned and thrilled when I handed him the keys. Then I just zoned out for awhile.

You can do likewise now because we obviously made it safely back home to our own comfort zone. And I'm mighty glad that we did. Like fer shur.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 48 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for November 29 - December 5, 2010

Monday, November 29th
Ezra 7, 8
Psalms 110, 111

Tuesday, November 30th
Ezra 9, 10
Psalms 112, 113

Wednesday, December 1st
Nehemiah 1-3
Psalms 114, 115

Thursday, December 2nd
Nehemiah 4-6
Psalms 116, 117

Friday, December 3rd
Nehemiah 7, 8
Psalm 118

Saturday, December 4th
Nehemiah 9, 10
Psalm 119:1-16

Sunday, December 5th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Local Genealogical Researcher Available

I often do genealogy research for others. Until recently, this has been as an unpaid volunteer helping people obtain membership in lineage societies. This experience has been mutually beneficial both to the 50+ individuals whom I have helped and also to me as I have become more familiar with local resources. Now I am available to assist clients with research specific to the Cincinnati/Hamilton County, Ohio area.

Research will be done contractually at an hourly rate. There is a minimum retainer equal to a 2-hour fee. There is no extra charge for copies or the postage to mail them. The minimum deposit must be paid in advance. Additional hours will be billed separately with the client stipulating on the contract the maximum number of hours he is willing to finance.

Research is limited to the following repositories:
  • The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (including newspaper microfilm)
  • University of Cincinnati Blegen Library (which contains the regional archives)
  • Probate Court (marriage records)

Each of the above facilities offers limited services. Some or all charge a nominal fee for copies. You are encouraged to contact them first to see if you can obtain what you require directly. If it is determined that you need additional assistance please contact me at for more details. The email consultation is free, but specific questions pertaining to services offered by the above research facilities will be ignored.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

With An Attitude of Gratitude

Those that gather around this hearth wish all that gather around yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

May the Lord of the Harvest continue to bless us as He did our Pilgrim forebears.

And may we never forget to thank Him, the Author of all blessings!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not One to Kill Time or Waste Money

I received several gift cards for my birthday in October. I saved them until such a time as I could decide how to spend them. I was really careful not to misplace these cards! I wouldn't want to discover them again in a couple of years like that Bob Evans gift card (and which is still going strong, I might add). :)

I waited.

And I watched.

Then I went!

Last night the Bear attended an activity at a friend's church located about an hour away. The activity was from 6-10 p.m. but I wasn't about to drive all the way back home in order to turn around and go pick him up a couple of hours later. I didn't want to just kill time - which is something that seems to pass away too quickly on its own, I fear - so I used it to shop.

I'm glad I did!

Having gift cards during a recession means more bang for the buck. Since the merchants want to entice the shoppers into the store before Black Friday I was able to buy several things.

With my money I was able to buy a brand new coat, a new pair of boots, a new pair of heels to match an outfit that I bought at an outlet store last spring, and some . . . um . . . unmentionables. Well, okay, I'll mention them anyway. They are long johns of the female variety.

I paid $0.00. I like that price. My sales receipt showed that I saved $184.11. Most of that savings was on the coat but a sizeable portion was on the boots also.

I really, really needed these things. My brown suede parka (the one that made me look like Pepper's twin when we were out for walks) had a zipper malfunction that I couldn't repair. This new coat won't be used to tour the neighborhood with Pepper as I'll be wearing the wool coat that I've owned for years. (And have received numerous compliments on even though I paid $5 for it years ago at a thrift store, but which can now transition into the position of dog-walker coat because I'm tired of re-sewing the lining!) The walks are also the reason for the "unmentionables."

Then there are the boots. I've had my old ankle boots since we moved here in 1999! They've served me well, and they will still be used for those times when the snow is only a few inches deep, but in recent winters the snows have almost required hip-waders!

Finally, the taupe shoes are to replace the ones that were old and well-worn. And Pepper-chewed. At least that pair of shoes was already ready for the garbage before she gnawed them. Others that met the same fate retired prematurely.

Perhaps I didn't save the economy since this cash was in the store coffers already, but I feel like I used my own time and money wisely last night.

I shall now have no fear of the snow, for this member of my household, anyway! At least as far as clothing is concerned.

Take Ten in '10, Week 47 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for November 22-28, 2010

Monday, November 22nd
Zechariah 12-14
Psalm 104

Tuesday, November 23rd
Malachi 1, 2
Psalm 105

Wednesday, November 24th
Malachi 3, 4
Psalm 106

Thursday, November 25th
Ezra 1, 2
Psalm 107

Friday, November 26th
Ezra 3, 4
Psalm 108

Saturday, November 27th
Ezra 5, 6
Psalm 109

Sunday, November 28th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Researching Daniel Crossman Brings Cause for Thanksgiving (Case Study B)

In Case Study A I gave an example of how false information can be spread quickly via the Internet. In this one I would like to show an example of how this same medium can be used to make surprising discoveries!

At one time, Daniel Crossman was only a name found in an old genealogy book while researching another family line. He was mentioned incidentally as the father of Freelove, wife of Nathan Slater. (Source: Memorial of John Slafter, by Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, c. 1869, page 90.)

The next piece of information was also found coincidentally while researching Nathan's father, Benjamin Slater. Rev. Slafter's 1869 work noted that Benjamin was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. This led to research in the Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot Index which can now be found online as part of their Genealogical Research System (GRS) found here. Clicking on the icon next to the name of his descendant, Edith Mitcheltree, brought up her ancestry through another one of her patriot ancestors, Daniel Crossman and his wife, Alice Brett! Since the online transcribed application states that there are additional unverified generations that were not transcribed I purchased a copy of Mrs. Mitcheltree's application. (Source: DAR Application of Edith Luse Mitcheltree; Daniel Crossman, patriot ancestor. Notes: 1.This Benjamin Slater is no longer recognized by the DAR as a patriot. 2.Older applications such as this one cannot be purchased online and downloaded as more recent applications can.)

My Slater research now segued into the search for Crossman ancestors. Mrs. Mitcheltree's application contained the names of Daniel's parents, Joseph Crossman and Margaret Turner, which was the additional unverified generation. Having her full application in hand also let me see what proofs she used to document her lineage. These always provide clues for further research. One of the items she mentioned was a family letter which may no longer exist, but if it does, someone may post it on the Internet one day. That happens occasionally.

Armed with names and general dates and places for births and marriages, I performed multiple searches via books and on the Internet. The first find showed that Daniel and Alice married in 1778 as generally stated in Mrs. Mitcheltree's application but now the specific date and location of June 4, 1778 in Easton, Massachusetts were known. (Source: Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Volume 2, page 59. This book can be seen through Google Books here.)

Another reference pertaining to Nathan Slater stated that his wife, Freelove Crossman, was from New York, therefore more proof was necessary to ensure that this was indeed the right family since no one else in the Crossman family had any documentation to place them in New York.(Source: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania, c. 1895, page 811 found here).I consulted the 1850 census. It confirmed that Freelove, the wife of Nathan Slater, was born in Massachusetts. (Source: 1850 US Federal Census, Cranberry Twp., Butler Co., PA; page 138, line 24.)

A search of the birth records of Easton Massachusetts confirmed the names of Daniel's parents to be Joseph Crosman, Junior and Margrat [sic] with a specific birth date for Daniel given as Monday, 2 May 1757. However, no birth record for Freelove was located. (Source: LDS microfilm #1059951 entitled "Easton, Massachusetts, Bristol County, Births, Deaths and Marriages by Families, 1697-1847" transcribed by John A. Maltby, c. 2002, found here. Daniel's birth was originally on page 23.) Joseph Crossman, Jr. married Margaret Turner on February 26, 1756. (Source: Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Volume 2, page 100. This volume can be read on Google Books here.)

But the search that truly surprised me was when I typed "Daniel Crossman" and "Alice Brett" into the Google search engine and found myself directed to the page for The Alden Kindred of America! After all, the surname "Alden" speaks for itself! (Source: website here. Note: When I checked the genealogy page at the Alden Kindred website recently,there was a broken link. An identical search would not generate the same results today.)

After further research in Plymouth Colony and Mayflower records, it was determined that one of Daniel's Crossman ancestors did marry one of the descendants of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. The analysis of this union is now included in the "Mayflower Five Generations Project" and the discussion by Alicia Crane Williams pertaining to the Crossman-Alden link is found here.

This is just one example of how the ever-expanding Internet has changed the face of genealogy for the better. Technology gives genealogists many reasons to be thankful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Understatement

The Bear and I stopped at the grocery store today for a few quick purchases. We separated inside the door and dashed to opposite ends of the building in pursuit of our desires. As we met at the check-out I did a double-take as I saw the items in his hands:
  1. a red bell pepper
  2. a green bell pepper
  3. 2 jars of sliced jalepeno peppers
Noticing my upraised eyebrow and quizzical look he said, "What??? I like peppers!"

That may qualify as the understatement of the month.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Hardest Words to Say

It is hard to say good-bye to a loved one when the next time to meet is unknown. It doesn't matter whether it is seeing the person off at the airport, or walking away from their bedside when they are seriously ill, or paying final respects at their graveside.

I'm looking forward to a time when there will never be a need to tell my loved ones "good-bye" again. For that matter, "See you later!" will also be obsolete.

Praise the Lord that such a day is coming!

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thess 4:13-18 (KJV)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 46 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for November 15-21, 2010

Monday, November 15th
Zephaniah 1-3
Psalm 96

Tuesday, November 16th
Haggai 1, 2
Psalms 97, 98

Wednesday, November 17th
Zechariah 1-3
Psalms 99, 100

Thursday, November 18th
Zechariah 4-6
Psalm 101

Friday, November 19th
Zechariah 7-9
Psalm 102

Saturday, November 20th
Zechariah 10, 11
Psalm 103

Sunday, November 21st
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mind Games

When under stress the brain has the power to conjure up some strange scenarios! We've reached the stage where we can laugh about yesterday afternoon's "alarm." Actually, we'd reached that stage about the time the last slice of pizza disappeared an hour later. Over dinner I asked Pastor Dad and The Bear what went through their minds when they returned home and found me gone. These are their responses.

Theory 1:
That you (that would be me) had taken the dog for a walk, then had fallen and were lying somewhere hurt.

Hole in the theory:
Normally I can't stop while going about my daily chores without that dog bumping into the back of my kneecap, but yes, I can see your point. She's a female dog, but she's no Lassie.

Theory 2:
Your car wasn't here so we figured you'd parked it somewhere in the neighborhood in order to take the dog for a walk, something happened, and the dog made her way home.

Holes in the theory:
Um, our subdivision isn't that large so if I'm going to chauffer the dog around it kind of defeats the whole purpose of "taking the dog for a walk," doesn't it?

Theory 3:
Yes, but it is still possible that Pepper ran off, you were hunting for her, but in the meantime she'd found her way home.

Holes in the theory:
The dog was inside the house and the last time I checked, she didn't have a door key.

We've had a lot of fun talking about the scenes they imagined when they came home and found my purse and its contents nearby the dog who just happened to be catching forty winks across my pillow! But if I ever really do get hurt while walking the dog I'm glad I can count on my guys to come to my rescue since if I learned anything from this escapade (besides to make sure I have my phone with me at all times) it is that none of us has very much faith in the dog.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cause for Alarm

Stressful events have been going on around here lately.

Last night several local fire departments battled an apartment fire a few miles away. And today an ambulance and fire truck zoomed past our house in their apparent need to get somewhere in a hurry. The alarming sirens were everywhere!

You know, just another day in the 'burbs. Not!

And I've been a bit "off kilter" the last few days. I'm blaming my hormones - or the lack thereof - for most of it. Due to my "nerves," as we euphemistically call my agitated state, Pastor Dad gallantly offered to take The Bear to basketball practice. I gave my assent and the motion was passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned.

Soon after they left, I also left. I took Pepper for a walk. I did this for several reasons. First, it gets her some exercise, which was really necessary today because . . . Second, I was going to be leaving for the library and this would require some of Pep's pep to be expended so that I could literally get out the door without her.

And third, I was being nosy. I wanted to see if there was any visible reason why an ambulance and a fire truck came careening past my house today. (There wasn't.)

Taking Pepper for a walk is not easy. And I'm not talking about the actual walk itself. I'm talking about getting her out of the yard. Our perimeter has an invisible fence and there are only two ways to get that dog past it. One is by picking her up bodily and the other is by putting her in the car and driving her. I always choose the latter for obvious reasons. I receive enough battle wounds without actually trying to manhandle a rambunctious canine who doesn't have enough sense to know when you're trying to do her a favor! So the first part of the walk was accomplished via car.

The walk being done, I took the dog back into the house and proceeded to load essentials like driver's license, spare change, and library card into the neck pouch that had just moments ago held things like doggy treats and pooper-scooper bags. The purpose for the library visit was to catch up on some volunteer work that I do for the local genealogy society. I don't like to take my purse with me because it is hard to keep an eye on it while preoccupied between the stacks and copy machine.

The free afternoon seemed the perfect opportunity to get this done. I expected to be home before the guys reappeared.

Things never go quite as planned. There were parts of the assignment that I did not understand so I worked a bit slower than usual. When I left I realized I had stayed longer than I anticipated which meant it was getting dark outside. There would be no dinner waiting for the guys when they got home. I discovered that I didn't have my cell phone to tell them of my delay but I didn't think it important because I still expected to be home before they were.

I was mistaken. And as soon as I pulled into the driveway I knew something was wrong. Pastor Dad's car was gone, both garage doors were up, all of the lights were on, The Bear was darting out the front door as soon as my car came to a halt, and Pepper was running around like a maniac. Okay, that last one is pretty normal, but the rest of the stuff isn't. I inquired as to the nature of the emergency.

It seems that I was the emergency!

When they got home, they found Pepper in the house alone and the contents of my purse tossed about on the bedroom floor. I suspect that Pepper used the discovery of this unexpected bonanza to search for spare mints or change. Whatever. The man, the boy, and the dog all know that I don't usually leave the house without my purse and certainly not without my wallet or phone.

No one remembered that I had stated my intention of going to the library but everyone remembered that I was going to walk the dog. They also knew that the car was involved. I'm not sure exactly why they thought I'd forgotten to actually take the dog with me but they did. Pastor Dad was driving through our neighborhood looking for me.

Thankfully, I arrived just a few moments after they did or more vehicles with sirens might possibly have made their way into the neighborhood today. Pastor Dad pulled into the driveway shortly after The Bear called off the (wo)manhunt.

Once we'd all settled down a bit (and ordered pizza) we discussed the events of the day. Perhaps I'm a bit too quick to blame my stressful feelings on hormones but I think Pastor Dad might just have been a bit too quick to blame my absence for his feeling of panic, too. It seems that he had allowed The Bear to drive to basketball practice today. On the interstate.

You do remember that the boy just got his learner's permit last Friday, right?


Trouble(d) in River City

I've got a list of people I want to nag. But I'm not going to do it because I can hear Jesus saying, "(Insert my name in here), thou art careful [anxious] and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Adapted from Luke 10:41-42

Like Martha, this gal in Cincinnati needs the reminder to set down her anxieties with their accompanying attitudes in order to sit down for awhile at the feet of Jesus and receive an attitude adjustment. Maybe then she'll realize that He doesn't need her help to get everything under control.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 45 Reading Schedule


Bible Reading Schedule for November 8-14, 2010

Monday, November 8th
Jonah 3, 4
Psalms 85, 86

Tuesday, November 9th
Micah 1-3
Psalms 87, 88

Wednesday, November 10th
Micah 4, 5
Psalm 89

Thursday, November 11th
Micah 6, 7
Psalms 90, 91

Friday, November 12th
Nahum 1-3
Psalms 92, 93

Saturday, November 13th
Habakkuk 1-3
Psalms 94, 95

Sunday, November 14th
No reading. Complete any that were missed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

He Already Drives Me Crazy

But now he'll also be driving me anywhere that I allow him to drive the car.

The Bear has achieved that long-awaited milestone (for him, anyway) known as obtaining a driving learner's permit. I'm praying that all the progress made getting my blood pressure numbers back to where they belong will not be all for naught.

Just kidding. (Sort of.)

I Didn't Need A Quiz To Tell Me This

I resisted. Then I caved. I took the quiz. I figured it was safe to come out from hiding now that the elections are over.

I'm a capitalist! My creed is to turn the market loose and let it do its job. Free enterprise, and all that jazz. If you make a product then you have the right to the profit. And I have the right to buy it or not buy it. You also have the right to keep your profit instead of subsidizing others in their unprofitable ventures. And if I do want to buy your product I have the right to wait you out in the hopes of getting it at a bargain price (bonus points if I can use a coupon!).

As for the quiz itself, I did not like that some of the questions were of the "When did you stop beating your wife?" variety. Too many broad assumptions.

I was relieved that I didn't receive the "Republican" tag. The GOP and I started messy divorce proceedings a few years ago when it openly invited strange loves into our tent. The fact that it both called me names and tried to stick me with alimony payments hasn't helped our relationship much either. Right now I'm practicing tough love and hoping it will see the error of its ways. Otherwise, I'll end up being a politically conservative but personally liberal Independent (which means I don't mind generously donating money to help those who are struggling - and I often do - but I prefer to cut out the bossy government middle man who seems to have really sticky fingers).

Anyway, I like the Capitalist designation better. I'm a home economist, not a party gal.

You are a

Social Moderate
(41% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(75% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

(Orange zinnias and decorative grass taken 10/10/2009 at the Cincinnati Zoo)
Posted by Picasa

I love autumn! I also love winter, spring, and summer. I know! I'm so fickle! Or maybe I'm just thankful for each season that God gives as it comes along.

I remember reading or hearing a sermon by a famous preacher (Swindoll, perhaps?) that compared the earthly seasons to our journey of life. I was too young at the time to understand just how true that analogy is but I've lived long enough now to experience it first-hand.

Each season has its own trials and blessings. As a child progressing through the Springtime and as a young woman enjoying the Summer season I could never fully imagine the joys that come with having grown Blessings (that's my children) and my little Grandblessings (their children). If I had failed to grow older I would never have experienced this beautiful Autumn season of life.

As I contemplate my life's Autumn season a few things immediately come to mind for which I am thankful. Here are a few just for starters:
  1. My parents and in-laws are in reasonably good health.
  2. My life's partner has been with me since the early Spring season of our lives and he helps to divide my burdens and multiply my blessings.(Here the word "blessings" does not pertain to my children, although I can see how the multiplying of those blessings could apply here, too.)
  3. My house has not been emptied of the sound of my own Blessings' feet. How nice not to have an empty nest yet!
  4. We have a house on the hill (literally!) that shelters us from the elements.
  5. My body's heater hasn't gone too haywire yet. (Note to you Summer girls: no blankets needed to keep you warm at night.)
And some that pertain to this literal autumn season:
  1. The impatiens that survived the drought of summer (and picking by a certain grandblessing) are still showing off near the sidewalk. :)
  2. The red geraniums are looking especially vibrant against the backdrop of fallen leaves.
  3. The cups of coffee and hot tea are particularly appreciated now.
  4. The beauty of the trees has not been as spectacular this year due to the lack of moisture but some of the maples were as gorgeous amongst their dull-colored neighbors as cardinals are beside winter-plumed birds at my bird feeder.
  5. The summer chores are over and the autumn ones are under way but the shorter days and longer nights help to slow my body's busy pace just a bit. This might be mere perception, but it helps me transition toward sleep instead of thinking I must complete more chores before day's end.
  6. The dark evenings mean more time spent snuggling with a good book instead of working in the yard.
Every season has its beauty and every season has its work. Some seasons require longer days and more stenuous labor to complete the tasks at hand and some allow more time for rest and reflection. I'm positive that the Lord that created us and the seasons designed us to enjoy everything in its time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Characters!

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Our Charming grandblessings (my new designation for the girls and their cousin, Fen) sat patiently through church Sunday evening while their Grandad preached. I'm sure they were only a little bit anxious to get out there and beg for candy. :)

As promised, here are the pictures of them in their costumes. Okay, Fen managed to sneak into a couple of pictures, too. He likes his cousins and I did manage to get one shot of all of our grandblessings that wasn't totally blurry or where some face wasn't totally blocked by a costume. It isn't easy to get a picture of 5 children, two of whom that are under the age of 2, and several of whom that should've been dressed as wiggle worms instead of literary characters.

Literary characters? Of course! What would you expect from our family?

Well, okay, Disney characters would be a good guess, too, but even Disney characters first appeared as characters in great children's literature, you know!

This year Polly was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. She carried a small stuffed dog to represent Toto and was wearing red shoes for her ruby slippers. I suggested that Aunt Princess' little dog, Fergie, would've made an excellent Toto if Polly could only keep her in the basket, but then, isn't that one of the problems that the original Dorothy had, too? The substitution would make the costume so authentic.

Tigger was Cinderella, blue headband and all. I neglected to see if she was wearing glass slippers under her dress, but if anyone could keep such accessories clean, it would be Miss Tigger. She was all smiles Sunday evening which just added to the beauty of her costume.

Sweet Pea was Little Bo Peep again. I noticed that there was no stick in evidence this year. Wise deletion! Miss Sweet Pea seemed to be tired by the time we were taking pictures but she did agree to pose for one solo shot.

Little Lili was dressed as a duck long enough to get a few pictures taken. She wasn't too thrilled with the whole thing, but then, perhaps she's never read the book about Ping. I suspect that by the time she knows the story she'll be old enough to associate the whole "dressing up as a duck thing" with candy instead.

(Note:  I think you can click on the photo collage to enlarge it.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do You Gnome?

Get it? Do you know 'im?

Sometimes I'm so clever that I can hear your groans all the way through the Internet. :)

So . . . Who is this little fellow hard at work mining for candy and toys?

Why, look here! It's Fen! He's so adorable even if it does look like he's never shaved a day in his life. Which he hasn't. Obviously.

I was sorry that my camera was not handy to capture a picture of him in his carseat.  He was wearing his hat (which was standing straight up), sportiing a magical twinkle in his eye and grinning broadly behind his . . . pacifier.  You'll just have to imagine that one.

And here is one of Fen and his parents! The Princess dressed as, well, a princess. Snow White only had two of her dwarves with her last evening.  My, oh my!  The one in purple appears to be a good 12 inches taller than she is!   

Aren't they an enchanted family?  Yes, I really do think they are.  Fairy tales still do come true.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the Charming children in their costumes (unless their mommy beats me to it, which is fine, too).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

That's The Breaks

The Bear visited the orthopedic specialist today who confirmed that he did indeed sustain a hairline fracture to his ankle. But the good news is that he can still play basketball with the aid of a special brace.

Actually, we all left the doctor's office in smiles: The Bear because he realized just how close his basketball season came to ending before it began; we, his parents, because he got the kind of chewing out from the medical staff that every parent gives their child for some sophomoric behavior that has a tendency to aggravate at best and cause possible harm at worst but that the child ignores because he thinks his parents are ______(choose your own adjective - we've all been there).

The Bear isn't the kind of boy that wears his pants so low that the waistband is down around the knees. No, nothing like that. His clothing problem is his choice of footwear. The doctor brought his flip-flop wearing days to an immediate end. It seems that shoes are designed to protect feet. Who knew? Well, we did, but parents don't count so we offer a debt of thanks (and several hundred dollars) to the doctor who spelled it out so clearly.

That's the breaks. Thankfully, the one on the ankle wasn't more severe.