Monday, March 23, 2015

Tika & Taiwan Cemeteries

"Handy Man" and I were lucky enough to be able to spend ten days touring Taiwan in March 2015. We missed our Tika but we had a wonderful learning experience.

In an island country the size of Connecticut with a population matching that of Australia, you'd expect to see many cemeteries and we surely did! Weedy-overgrown ones, tidy-tended ones, hillside ones...coming right down to the highway.... Buddhist ones and a few Christian ones.... and one all by itself in a plowed field.


April 5th is the Chinese New Year and on that date families will come to their ancestral graves to clean them up......... as this man is getting a head start on doing.







Loved ones are buried facing west because, I was told, they are "facing the life to come."

Thought you might enjoy these photos I took since all genealogists are interested in cemeteries.

Tika is not a bit interested in cemeteries unless she can wander around (on leash) in one while I take photos.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tika & Hair Styles

When I travel my attention is always grabbed by the wonderful and different hairstyles that I spot on folks.......... and Tika enjoys my telling her about them all when I return. Here are some recent pix:





Very lovely and pretty fun, eh?  Tika did whisper in my ear that "my hair is prettier than those!" For a dachshund, yes, but for a person??  Silly Tika.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tika & Serendipity Friday Genealogy

Tika quite enjoys it when we snuggle into our blue chair and I read to her. Recently I was reading some of the copies and information that I brought home from RootsTech. She smiled when I read this first bit.......... but I really think she was saying, "So what? Come play with me!"




Here are some odd cause of death notes that I found quoted from the New Athens Journal for 19 July 1940, and found in the St. Clair Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1995. These were "real" quotes from "real" records:

  • "nervousness from gunshot"
  • "auto accident, complicated by hookworm"
  • "fractured skull - contributory was mule"
  • "auto wreck started it; pneumonia ended it"
  • "stab wound of chest inflicted by lady friend"
  • "hit over the head with slop jar"
  • "leakage of head"
  • "frightened to death by deputy sheriff"
  • "rubbed to death by chiropractor"
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Did you know that you can sign up for a free electronic monthly newsletter from the History & Genealogy Department of the St.Louis County Library? Log on to www.slcl.org/pastports  (Note: PASTport not PASSport.) Having news and notes about this great mid-western library would be good if you have ancestor hunting to do in Missouri (or environs) and especially if you plan to attend the NGS conference in St.Charles in May and to do some local research while you're there.  When you click to www.slcl.org/pastports, scroll down to the green box labeled "get library updates to your email." Click the envelope icon and follow the directions. You can access past issues too.


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Not living in Texas, or other Southern states, where fire ants are known and feared, I never thought much about these little pests. And they are little. Even their ant hills look rather innocent. But look closely at my foot after ten days and you can still see the itchy red bumps. They are obviously no joke!  Now I understand why my friends in Florida warned me not to go barefoot!

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Everybody's talking and touting Google as well they should for it's a wonderful tool. And we keep being told that Google is adding new tools all the time. How to stay updated? One way is to click to Wikipedia and type in "list of Google products." Since Google Search is a web search engine it receives over 3 billion search queries per day. We ought to learn how to best do that searching.

A Google tip that I learned at RootsTech:  "Post the physical address of an ancestor's home and when the house goes up for sale, you can take a virtual tour."  What a cool idea. 

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Do you think history matters?  I think so and I'll bet you do too. From the Historical Society of Baltimore County I read a post about this very topic. Posted back in October 2014, Justin Albright traveled around Baltimore County asking locals in the community is they think history matters. The purpose of this exercise was to allow the organization (HSBC) the opportunity to gauge public interest. Not surprising that the great majority of answers was positive; yes, history does matter. What would you have answered if these questions had been put to you:  "Do you think history matters? In your opinion, why does history matter? 

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Jim Andrews lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and recently shared information about his specialty services:  He repairs old Bibles and other precious books from all over the U.S. and Canada. His website shows examples of some of his work. If you're needing this kind of service, click to www.GBBookMan.biz.  Or email a question to bookman.gbwi@gmail.com.  If you do use his service, please give us some feedback. 

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In the Jan-Mar 2015 issue of the NGS Magazine, James Ison, AG, CG,  shared an article on "Using FamilySearch to Solve Genealogical Problems: 15 Tips." You might want to access this publication (which you receive with NGS membership) for yourself but the titles of his tips were: (1) Use Life Event & Relationship Filters;  (2)  Use Residence & Restrict by Records;  (3) Use Wild Cards *;  (4) Use Wild Cards ?;  (5) Search by first name only;  (6) Use parent-only searching;  (7) Finding married names;  (8) Use the source film number;  (9)  Know the online collections that relate specifically to your research;  (10)  Browsing can be a blast; (11) Using partner sites;  (12)  Sign in, no tricks;  (13)  Find, Search, & Source from the Family Tree;  (14)  Give back, be an indexer;  (15)  Give feedback.

FamilySearch has been, is and will continue to be one of the major players in genealogical research. Family Tree, part of FamilySearch, is aiming to connect everybody's family into one big tree. Whether you like that idea or not, the idea of sharing and collaborating will bring answers to our brickwalls. The better we understand FamilySearch the better the results will be for us.

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I'll finish today with something fun to perhaps try for your Easter dinner:  Arroz Con Coco, or Rice with Coconut. You can Google all sorts of recipes but cook white rice in coconut milk, add sugar (brown or white) to taste, raisins optional , and top with toasted coconut. We enjoyed this in Puerto Rico and as it's soooooo easy to make, it's become a favorite.




Monday, March 2, 2015

Tika & Conference Tags & More


I love collecting all the stick-ons to my official name tag at a conference but what to do with those long tags once home? Not to mention my Bloggers' Beads from dearMyrt and Thomas MacEntee. Solution? A nice piece of 1-by-1, with cuphooks screwed into it every 2-3 inches, and then screwed into the wall. Actually, my office wall is an A-frame so the hanging is easier. But there they are and now both Tika and I can see them and remember.


Tika does love to sit on my lap when I'm catching up on my magazine reading. I was teaching her from this issue of Internet Genealogy when she fell asleep, as dogs will. I always read my magazines cover-to-cover; why else pay the subscription price? 

Internet Genealogy, and its companion, Your Genealogy Today (which used to be Family Chronicle) are great magazines containing articles of timely interest, how-to articles and background case-study articles. Good reads all around. Click to www.yourgenealogytoday.com or www.internet-genealogy.com or call toll free 1-8888-326-2476 for subscription information. 

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Tika and I never missed an episode (new, old, rerun, no matter) of Star Trek. We will miss knowing that Leonard Nimoy is no longer walking this earth but is surely out in space somewhere. A favorite quote of Spock's that I jotted down years ago was this:  "The miracle is this...the more we share, the more we have." Rest in peace, Captain Spock. You were a big part of my life. Tika's too.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Tika & RootsTech 2015 (She did not attend.)

Serendipity Friday, February 20, 2015

Sharing some bits and pieces brought home from RootsTech 2015 last week:



Going to be in Indiana this summer?  The Indiana Historical Society is holding their annual Midwestern Roots conference on 1-2 August in Indianapolis. Advance notice:  the dates will be 15-16 July in 2016, also in Indianapolis.  Google it to learn the details.

FamilySearch Apps.... did you realize you can have a whole family of genealogy apps on your phone from FamilySearch? And of course they're free. FamilySearch has partnered with many companies to offer to you their services. Companies like Ancestry,  Billion Graves, FamilyTree DNA,  Find A Grave, Find My Past, Fold 3, Kinpoint, Genealogy Bank, My Heritage, NEHGS, RootsMagic and Legacy and several more. Such a nice deal.  Stay tuned towww.familysearch.org/partneraccess. (If only I had a smart phone..... I'm in the dwindling army of those with dumb phones.)

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has a genealogy program. Who would have thought? If you are seeking records between 1906 and 1951, you might want to click towww.uscis.gov/genealogy. 

The BYU Family History Library (http://sites.lib/byu.edu/familyhistory) offers you direct links to research sources. For instance, under Digital Archives, there are links to all fifty U.S. state archives. Another link is for Libraries & Historical Societies and there is one for Periodicals & Newspapers. How will you know that there is nothing there for you unless you go looking??

Here's a fun one: Text in a Bottle (www.TextinaBottle.com). Set up a free account on this website and you can send very special messages to friends and family. I say "special" for the message pops from a bottle and unrolls for the recipient to read. And you can post-date these messages to come tomorrow, next month or long into the future. Great to go through your birthday calendar and have birthday messages all done and ready to be sent!!

Anybody but me ever do a book using Ancestry's MyCanvas? And remember how bummed we were to hear that Ancestry was discontinuing this service? Well, as you might have guessed would happen did happen. Now it's MyCanvas by Alexander's and is still reachable from a link at Ancestry or directly atwww.mycanvas.com.  Sigh. All is not lost.

Ancestor Cloud (www.ancestorcloud.com) is another new opportunity I learned about at RootsTech 2015. Their blurb reads:  "AncestorCloud is a global marketplace of passionate researchers that work together to solve their research problems. Whether you're stuck and need a records lookup, local photograph, translation, research help, or anything else, AncestorCloud is the online community for you." Here's how it works. Click to the website and create a profile. Then type into the box what you are wanting and how much you're willing to pay for the help. When somebody responds, offering to help you, that amount is deposited in their online-money account built into the website and then they can use it to "buy" help they need. Pretty cool idea, really.


Whenever I'm in Salt Lake City, I try to attend the "Music & The Spoken Word,"  the live half hour broadcast on Temple Square. Before RootsTech, I was lucky! Lloyd D. Newell always gives an inspirational and non-denominational message and this time his message centered around Broadway musical star Idina Menzel. She realized that in her performances on stage that she might not hit every note correctly every single time. But that's life and that's okay. Lloyd Newell ended his remarks that Sunday with this:  "We are all far more than the notes we hit....or fail to hit. Perhaps we should define ourselves not by what we are today but by what we can be, by what we aspire to be. Wherever those aspirations are leading us, let us accept that success can happen over time, little by little. With this perspective, our mistakes and shortcomings can teach us instead of condemn us. In reality, this is what it means to do our best."

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tika On Vacation...........


Tika and I will be on vacation for a couple of months. If you miss the regular postings of  Tika's Teachings, please leave a comment and tell us so.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Tika & The FamilySearch Wiki

Tika says "it's darn cold outside! Even with the coat that she puts on me (which I hate), it's cold outside. I told Mom to do a post today about doing something indoors to keep warm." Good advice, Tika. 

How about take some of your extra or relaxing time over the holidays to do some personal enrichment or learning. How much do you know about the FamilySearch Wiki?

You reach the Wiki by clicking to www.FamilySearch.org. Then look for "Search" on one of the tabs across the top. The drop-down menu under "Search" lists the Wiki at the end of the list. 


The Wiki "is not about finding the names of your ancestors.  It is not, in fact, about finding people at all.  The Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found."     This is a quote from the website,  www.FamilySearch.org. .  The FamilySearch Wiki is a "place-records-tutorial & how-to" place for learning. 

Need to decipher German handwriting? Need to know about cemeteries in Iowa? Need to know about Castle Garden? Need to know about finding records in China? There is a Wiki entry for that!  Go find out for yourself. 

"But," Tika adds, "there is no category for canine research. Bummer."  
You might also like:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tika & Dogger Body Lanugage & History

I was reviewing a new book and Tika, snuggled beside me in our chair, looked up and said, "I could have explained that to you.......... you didn't need a book!"  Nonetheless, I did enjoy Justin Silver's new book The Language of Dogs.


This book explained that "Lips turned up" was the sign of a fearful animal and often mistaken for aggression.  "Raised ears" means your dog is listening, eavesdropping on you.  "Shedding" indicates fear or stress. "Squinting eyes,"  generally means your dog in in pain or not feeling well. "Avoiding eye contact,"  may consider you a threat or lack of confidence. The book explains dozens of other behaviors.

And what does this have to do with genealogy? Our ancestors ate dogs, that's what. Dogs were portable meat-on-the-hoof to many cultures around the world including in the United States. And many cultures today still enjoy eating dog meat.

United States of America

The term "dog" has been used as a synonym for sausage since 1884 and accusations that sausage makers used dog meat date to at least 1845. The belief that sausages contained dog meat was occasionally justified.
In 1846, a group of 87 American pioneers were stranded by snow while traveling in the Sierra Nevada. Some of the starving people from this group, known posthumously as the Donner Party, ate a pet dog for sustenance.
In the late 19th century, a cure for tuberculosis (then colloquially termed "consumption") using an exclusive diet of dog meat was tried. Reports of families eating dog meat out of choice, rather than necessity, were rare and newsworthy. Stories of families in Ohio and Newark, New Jersey who did so made it into editions of The New York Times in 1876 and 1885.
In the early 20th century, dog meat was consumed during times of food shortage.

Native Americans

The traditional culture surrounding the consumption of dog meat varied from tribe to tribe among the original inhabitants of North America, with some tribes relishing it as a delicacy, and others (such as the Comanche) treating it as an abhorrent practice. Native peoples of the Great Plains, such as the Sioux and Cheyenne, consumed it, but there was a concurrent religious taboo against the meat of wild canines.
During their 1803–1806 expedition, Meriwether Lewis and the other members of the Corps of Discovery consumed dog meat, either from their own animals or supplied by Native American tribes, including the Paiutes and Wah-clel-lah Indians, a branch of the Watlatas, the Clatsop, the Teton Sioux (Lakota), theNez Perce Indians, and the Hidatsas. Lewis and the members of the expedition ate dog meat, except William Clark, who reportedly could not bring himself to eat dogs.
The Kickapoo people include puppy meat in many of their traditional festivals. This practice has been well documented in the Works Progress Administration"Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma".
One last thought:  Ever wonder why they are called Hot Dogs????

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tika & "The Yellow Brick Road"

This is quite obviously not a "yellow BRICK road," but it is a "yellow Tamarack needle road." Known as Larch in the Eastern U.S., these trees are known as Tamarack in the west. They are beautiful yellow needles standing tall amid the Ponderosa Pines.

The most unusual thing about these trees is that (quite unlike pines) they drop their needles in the fall. The needles turn from green to yellow and then drop......... and carpet the roads under them in gold. 





So what does this have to do with genealogy you are thinking? Well, don't we all want a "yellow brick road" straight to the answers about our ancestors? Most of us will never be so lucky. James Tanner, in his Genealogy's Star blog back on 1 July 2014, posed some basic rules of genealogy. Following the advice stated in his rules will surely keep us on that "yellow brick road."

Rule One:  When the baby was born, the mother was there. The father does not have to be present when the baby is born.

Rule Two:  Absence of an obituary or death records does not mean that the person is still alive.

Rule Three:  Every person who ever lived has a unique birth order and a unique set of biological parents.

Rule Four:  There are always more records (to search).

Rule Five:  You cannot get blood out of a turnip. With this he means just because you think you are related to royalty and list them on your charts does not  make it so.

Rule Six:  Records move.

If you would enjoy reading James Tanner's full comments on the above Six Rules, click to his blog at http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/  and why not while you're there sign up to receive future blog postings of his?

Tika ignored the beauty of Pend Oreille County, Washington, on our last week's drive. She was much more intrigued with the smells of the stopping places. Dogs!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tika & DNA

When I started trying to explain the relationship of DNA research to genealogy research, Tika was skeptical. "Really?" Was her first reaction. And then, "so what?" "

"What do you expect to learn??" she wanted to know. Good question, Tika.


The subject, the relationship of DNA and genealogy, is a vast and quickly-expanding field of information. I have collected a nice fat folder of articles and information on understanding DNA and its applications and implications to the hobby of genealogy.

Mostly, I wanted just to understand. Tika says, "Good luck with that!" Here are the conclusions I've come to.

I do not have to understand the whole subject. I do not need to, nor want to, know how my car works. I just want it to take me places. Ditto with DNA.

There are more books and articles on this subject than I will ever have time to read and thoroughly digest. I will pick one or two sources and that will give me a basic understanding.

I did the $99 Ancestry test. This test looks for matches between my atDNA and others who have their trees on Ancestry and who have taken the same test. Is this the end-all-tell-all test? Hardly. But it is a start.... or was for me.

Now I can upload my DNA test results to FamilyTree DNA (and right now for free). Should I? Why not? This will expose my DNA to a much wider ocean of possible matches..... possible cousins... possible ancestors. So why not?

Lisa Louise Cooke offers four laminated guides: Getting Started (with DNA), Autosomal DNA,  Y Chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA. I bought and studied all four of these guides and now I feel like I have at least a teaspoon of understanding of the subject. (Click to Genealogy Gems Publications, www.GenealogyGems.com, for ordering information.)


Tika woke up enough to show some interest when I showed her that yes, there are DNA tests for dogs! She really did not care; "I come from Idaho and that's good enough," she sniffed. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tika & Kinpoint.... A New Genealogy Opportunity


Tika was fast asleep and could have cared less when I tried to tell her about a new research opportunity I've discovered. But then she is a dogger..................

Kinpoint is brand new..... or at least it was to me. Kinpoint "makes it easy to learn about your ancestors and do family history using your FamilySearch data."


Clicking to www.kinpoint.com, this is the opening screen. It shows a pedigree circle with "you" at the center and your direct-line ancestors circling out from you. Gray areas show were you need to find these ancestors!

Kinpoint stands ready to help you do just that by using FamilySearch data. Everybody, these days, can have a FamilySearch account. And everybody should upload a GEDCOM of their info to FamilySearch or just enter their tree manually. Kinpoint will look at that data and with a great visual show you where your "holes" are.

Personally, I do not want to rely on any computer program to make connections for me. Suggestions, yes. But added-on-connections, no. Kinpoint will help you see just where you need to do some more work and will not willy-nilly add names.

Best of all, it is FREE. So why not give it a try??

"Free?" Tika sniffed as she woke up. "As in free cookies?"  Silly dogger.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tika & Hiding In Plain Sight


Does my darling Tika look guilty as charged?  Do you see where she's rubbed the black skin off her nose right down to the "real her" where it was bleeding like heck?

We were both gone for the afternoon and I gave her a treat to chew on. When I returned I was greeting by this bloody-nosed dog. As I walked into the house I quickly spotted where she had used her nose and tried to bury her treat in our chairs (both throw covers had bloody smears), on the guest bed (all over one area on the bedspread and all over some papers Handy Man had put there, and then she'd tried to hide her treat in our bed and there were bloody nose smears all over my pillow, both sheets and the blanket! Whew! Took me three loads of laundry to get every thing cleaned up.
She always and finally will enjoy her treat but she just has to try hiding it first. This time she tried to hide it in four different places, the little rascal.

What does this teach us about genealogy? How about: our ancestors are hiding because somebody buried them? Genealogy is work!!!??? All it takes is one spot of "life" getting in our way to waste a perfectly good day of doing genealogy!

Really not much; but this was such a "good" story that I just had to share it!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Tika & Google Books

Leaving Tika in Handy Man's good hands, I joined three like-minded genealogy friends to drive across Washington state to attend a seminar with Lisa Louise Cooke as the principle speaker. And she was most definitely worth the effort!  I was telling Tika all about it when I got home.........

Lisa taught us, too, that YouTube is owned by Google (I did not know that). And there are thousands, if not millions, of genealogy-related videos on YouTube.

Google Books is now an all-purpose online digital book store... you can view for free and you can buy among thousands (bordering now on millions) of online digital books. Lisa said that Google Books is really great for those old county histories which are typically un-indexed but Google Books will word-name-search within the text for you with a couple of clicks. (What a time saver, eh?)


If you cannot quite read the text, the left side says:  Researching a topic? Search the latest index of the world's books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free.

The right side says:  New! Shop for Books on Google Play.  Browse the world's largest eBookstore and start reading today on the web, tablet, phone, or ereader.

Handy Man's line has a very illusive Stout family. Using Google Books, I did a search for "Stout Family History" and got a great listing of potentially likely source books. They were listed in the Library of Congress catalog but just knowing they exist is a big help. (The "bad news" was that I could not figure how to print out those two pages from the LOC catalog.)

Tika and I agree that it is always a good day when we learn something new!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tika & DeceasedOnline.com

When I want to sit in my chair and do some reading, I often must wake up a sleeping Tika and scoot her over to her side of the chair. (And we both enjoy the heating pad, especially as the days and the house get cooler.) 

In my reading, I came across a website that I'd not heard of before:  www.DeceasedOnline.com

While Tika, as usual, was not much interested in learning about this British Isles database, I was. Below is the blurb under the tab "Coverage" on that website. While they might not have much, or everything, if they have what you want, then rejoice!

I did the free search for the surname McConnell. The site came back with 67 hits........... that means 67 mentions of McConnell deaths or burials. 

Now to explain: This database is the British model. They offer a free search but then you must order and pay for any copies you desire. (The American model...... think Ancestry.... charges a fat fee from everybody and then gives everybody everything.)

If any of you seriously use this website, and do some ordering, I would appreciate hearing your story of how it worked for you. My British Isles ancestors mostly came over on the Mayflower.


 





Database Coverage - participating cemeteries and crematoria

Below you will find a list of cemeteries and crematoria whose registers are part of the Deceased Online database. They are listed in the order in which their records have been added to the database, with the most recent first, although this can be changed to alphabetical order.
NEW RECORDS IN THE PIPELINE:
  • Soon to be added to our existing database are 5 million digitised burial and cremation records from UK authorities and The National Archives.
  • A further 4 million records are currently in the process of being digitised from 17 more burial and cremation authorities.
  • And we are in advanced talks with a further 100 authorities about bringing nearly 14 million more records to the website.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tika & Interviewing Relatives


When I went out one day in 2012 to interview my Mom, Tika wanted to come along. And I knew that Mom would enjoy seeing Tika. I also thought that having Tika there might make for a friendlier, more comfortable atmosphere for asking Mom the family history questions I had for her.

In the Tracing Your Ancestors: BEGINNER'S GUIDE, from the publishers of Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and History Magazines,  author Lisa Alzo has penned a great article:  "Five Tips for Interviewing Your Relatives."

Lisa begins her article with this:  "One of the key steps to starting your genealogical research is to 'talk to your relatives.' Sounds simple, right? The fact is, getting a parents, grandparent, aunt or uncle to actually sit down for an interview can often be the hard part. The process takes some thought, quite a bit of preparation, and some basic skills on your part to make sure you get the results you desire."

Then Lisa outlines the five steps.......

  • Be prepared.
  • Ask good questions.
  • Don't play judge or jury.
  • Be respectful.
  • Follow up. 
Tika and I urge you to order your copy of this publication and read Lisa's entire article. There is "good stuff" in there to help you with interviewing your relatives. (Call toll-free 1-888-326-2476 or order online at www.familychronicle.com. Cost of the Guide is $9.95 plus $4.50 p/h.)

Or, borrow Tika to go with you when you set out to do a visit and an interview. She is a grand ice-breaker!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Tika & Family History Webinars

Tika was snuggling with me the other day (we do that often) and I was telling her about the free Legacy Family Tree Webinars. "Do they smell good?" she asked. (Dachshunds have awesome noses!) 



A webinar is an online seminar or class that you watch from your computer. While viewing, you can also type your questions for the presenter to answer during the live presentation. (Or not, if you're watching an archived presentation.) 


There is no charge to register and view the live webinar; they are FREE. But if you cannot make the live event you can purchase a CD of the webinar or purchase a yearly membership that will give you access to everything. 

If you will click to www.FamilyTree Webinars.com , you will see the listing for all the past and upcoming webinars. In October 2014, these folks are the presenters:  Judy G. Russell, Karen Clifford, and Thomas MacEntee, along with three others. These are top-notch, knowledgeable presenters and you will learn the topic from them. 

Tika and I both advise you that these Legacy Family Tree Webinars are a good thing to do and most worthwhile of your time. 

But I will tell you that Tika sleeps at my feet during most of these webinars. Ohwell. 




Monday, September 15, 2014

Tika & Burials In A Tree

When I was telling her that last May when I visited Magnolia Gardens (outside of Charleston, South Carolina), Tika perked up for she loves to go to gardens and green-grass places.  When I told her how I was moved to learn that one of the creators of that marvelous garden had chosen to be buried in a tree in his garden, Tika said, "Really?"




I'm sure that in time, the oak will grow over and completely envelope  John Drayton Hastie's box of ashes. Myself, I think this idea is way cool.

Tika's only comment then was, "Where does the family come to remember or to bring flowers?" "Tika," I told her, "this burial place is in a wonderful garden of flowers!"


Monday, September 8, 2014

Tika & The Dog Days of Summer


Tika has enjoyed our nice hot sunny summer but is the first one to dive indoors when the first wisps of cold air blow across the deck. I was explaining to her about "the dogs days of summer," and she snorted, "What in the world does THAT mean?"

According to Wikipedia:  Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 daysbefore to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.

I guess the term was first uttered way back in ancient Rome. In Latin the expression reads "caniculares dies," or "days of the dogs." The Romans dubbed this the time period that spanned from the first week of July to the second week of August and had to do with their mastery of the night sky and knowledge of the constellations. 

It's a long story and Tika went to sleep before I'd finished telling her...... and you can ask Grandma Google for yourself. 

I always enjoy learning "the rest of the story," whether my Tika does or not!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tika & The Petunia In the Onion Patch

Tika likes the petunias in my garden. Mostly she likes the petunias because she knows that if she sniffs around in them long enough a big bug will most likely jump out and she can nab it.

Does anybody but me remember Arthur Godfrey singing, "I'm A Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch?" Here's the link to a YouTube video of Godfrey singing this song:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7soxUKX5Ls

I'm a lonely little Petunia,
In an Onion patch,
An Onion patch,
An Onion patch,
I'm a lonely little Petunia,
In an Onion patch,
Oh, won't someone come and play with me.

Boo hoo, boo hoo,
The air so strong it takes my breath away.
I'm a lonely little Petunia,
In an Onion patch,
And all I do is cry all day.




Tika and I enjoy walking down to the garden and checking out what's for dinner. When we spotted this "lonely little petunia in the onion patch" that song came flooding back from my memory. And I had to sing it out loud for Tika. 

Don't think she was impressed. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tika & Typewriters & Jail


When I returned from a trip to Port Angeles and Port Townsend, I was showing Tika my pictures and telling her all about the trip and what we did. Her eyes really popped open when she saw this photo....... all she's ever seen is my fingers on the computer keyboard. "Was that thing for real?" she asked.

Grandson and his friend and I were touring the Jefferson County (Washington) Historical Society's Museum. In the basement is the old jail, of course a big hit with the 16 year olds. Leg irons INSIDE the awful jail cells? "No way would I wanna be here!" quipped the Red Shirt one.


And that was the point of taking them. These days, you cannot expect your teens to appreciate history unless you take them to it. Feeling those heavy iron chains, feeling the gloomy cold bare cells, was "living" the history to these two. Now when they hear on the news about prisoners whining about their civil rights, they'll remember the jails where those inside had no rights!

They both enjoyed "plunking" on that ancient Remington; they had never seen one like that. I asked them, "Did you know typewriters were invented in the 1860s and Remington was one of the major brands? And typewriters were mostly displaced by computer keyboards (at least in the western world) by 1990?"

Tika and I love history and I was excited to share some with my grandson and his friend.

"Big deal," sniffed Tika. "I have no thumbs; I cannot type."