Monday, December 31, 2012

Tika's Ready for 2013

Just like she's pulling and eagerly forging ahead on our snowy walks (and we have 8" of the white stuff), Tika is a great example to me of what I should do in 2013. First, make a clear and reasonable New Year's Resolution...... and I have:  I will throw something away every day. This might be cleaning a drawer or closet but it might also mean cleaning off my desk or cleaning out a file. Be inspired by Tika's example: eagerly forge on ahead and just DO IT.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tika Likes Christmas Grandmas & Family History

Tika did not enjoy the 80-mile ride on Christmas to be with family. Notice the WHITE road, WHITE hills, WHITE sky and WHITE snow blowing sideways??  But once there, she was quite excited to see us two grandmas sharing family history stuff............
What a grand day for talking about, for asking about and for sharing family history! Rosemary and I share kids (her son married my daughter and we now share four grand-boys and two new grand-ds-in-law.) Rosemary had brought a nice stuffed box of genealogy papers and here she is asking me if I think the young woman in the one photo is the same as the older woman in another. (I did.) What a fun day we had with genealogy-yakking, good food, great company, present opening and Christmas cookie painting!   Tika happily and contentedly slept all the way home.

Maybe you might should arrange a similar rendezvous for New Year's Day upcoming???? Tika says "YES!"

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tika & Wind In The Pines & MyHeritage

These are Ponderosa Pines and they can grow 50-feet tall. On a clear, sunny blue day the pines in our yard are wonderful, majestic and beautiful. BUT today, in a howling wind, these enormous-gigantic trees are twirling, dancing and swaying in the wind...... in a cold, snow-driven wind. It's not a nice day. Tika says "I'm staying put!"

But, I said to her, "You cannot just sleep all day." And she said, "Let's explore MyHeritage and Mocavo today!"   Such a smart little dogger. And so we will!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tika & The Map

Tika often wonders why I collect old license plates. I try to explain to her that Handy Man makes roofs for birdhouses from these old metal plates. I've collected many from states where I've visited and from where my ancestors lived and the license-plate-roofed birdhouses line my fence.

In a gift catalog I spied this wonderful map made from license plates from all 50 states! It only cost over $1000 dollars so Tika will not be getting this for me for Christmas but it surely is neat-neat-neat. Have you ever seen anything like this? For real? 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Tika & the "Elephants"

This is how Tika keeps watch for elephants who dare to enter our yard.... and she'll loudly bark when she even thinks she sees one.......... quite a dog, eh? 

I wish she would bark like that when an "elephant" of a mistake appears in my family history researching. Or at least would she alert me when an "elephant" of an erroneous online posting appears. Case in point:  Handy Man has a Smith line which I thought went back into Viriginia. Doing a search in the Family Trees at, I found his line traced clear back to John Smith who married Pocahontas. Wow. But............

Good grief. Every student of U.S. history should know that John Rolfe married Pocahontas, NOT NOT NOT John Smith. Yet, there it is bold as sunshine, posted on for all to find.

Does that discredit Ancestry? Not at all. Does it cast shadows on the person posting that mistaken lineage correction? Greatly so! And how will it affect you, the researcher? You can accept what you find or reject what you find........... or better yet, do your own research to confirm or reject what you find, even on   

Or teach your dogger to bark and alert you to the presence of elephants in your family tree. Good luck! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tika & Thanksgiving

For Tika, Thanksgiving is not a joyful time. She'll get hauled 80 miles and then have to interact and be forced to be nice to her cousin dogs........ Dolly, Cody, Bently, and OneSpot. And now Dozer!

 And this was taken last July! Dozer (short for Bulldozer) is close to 100 pounds by now. 

Tika better remember her small size and keep her distance but you know doxies. She keeps telling me "WHY???" And "you better make it worth my while!"  Doxies!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tika & The Doctor

We have had snow! Some four inches in the last 24 hours! Tika loves it..... but does not want to stay outside in it for very long. Good thing for I need her help to finish up a project. For EWGS ( I'm finishing up my project to learn what I could about Dr. John George Gundlach, a Union Navy Civil War veteran buried in Spokane's Greenwood Cemetery. 

John Gundlach was born in 1849 and grew up around Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. He was not able to join up (due to his age) until 1864 when, finally, his mother signed for him. He served from 1864 to 1869 and was 19 when he was discharged from the Union Navy. I'm guessing he observed medics or corpsmen or doctors (whatever they were called then) on board his several ships and determined that medicine and helping others was what he wanted to do with his life. 

In 1883, he became a licensed Allopathic Doctor from the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri at St.Louis. By this time he was married to Sophia and had Alpha, Helen and Georgiana. Thanks to Google Images for a picture of this college. 

Alpha was his uncle's name and Uncle Alpha Gundlach was a dentist in Spokane. Soon John and Sophia moved their family to Spokane was he is listed in the City Directories as a doctor and on the census as a physician.  Dr. John Gundlach died here in Spokane in 1910.

The real point of this story, Tika wanted me to stress, is that I knew very little about John George Gundlach except some of the high points of his life. I wanted to know what his young life as a sailor might have been so I Googled "Civil War Union Navy" and found several pages of helpful background material. I had not a clue as to what homeopathic medicine was or an Allopathic Doctor. Again thanks to Google, I learned that Allopathic medicine was practiced by homeopathic doctors employing natural herbs and simple home remedies to effect cures. 

Tika reminds us all that there is so much background material that we can find on the Internet about our ancestors........ you just have to come in out of the snow and go Googling. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tika's Adventure

Tika, Handy Man and I went on a mini adventure over the weekend..... we went to a cemetery!  I had heard that our local Greenwood Cemetery is the site of recurring and nationally-known paranormal activity........... these marks on the sandstone of the old Elks mausoleum are thought to be scratched by ghosts........... what do you think?

I don't know much about ghosts but I do know that I regard cemeteries as interesting places to visit, to walk about in and to learn about. Our Greenwood Cemetery welcomed its first burial in about 1890 so by "eastern standards" it is quite young. Nonetheless, to me it is full of stories just waiting to be explored. 

Tika thinks so too. She strained at her leash, bounding from one spot, one tombstone to another (she is a girl dog and does not piddle on them) telling me "This one! No, this one!! Tell the story of this one!!" 

We will, Tika, I promise.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tika & The Avocado

Tika and I have a friend living in Miami who often sends us a box of HUGE avocados from the tree in her back yard. I'm sure these #3 monsters have a specific name but when I asked Tika, she said she had not a clue. After we enjoyed the last one, we decided to see if we could sprout one.......... you see how big it is by how it fills up a normal drinking glass. Think here in Spokane (Zone 5, -20 degrees) that we will ever see it grow to produce fruit?

This wonderful avocado got me to thinking........... first I was thinking about hubby's ancestors who lived in Georgia and other points south. Did they enjoy these huge avocados? Or is this a modern hybrid? Which caused me to wonder further....... how many "regional" foods do we know of that were NOT available to our ancestors? 

For instance, peanuts are synonymous with The South but did our pre-Civil War ancestors grow peanuts? What about peaches? Pears? Onions? We know they did not eat tomatoes, believing them to be poisonous.  Did they regularly eat meat from animals that we would avoid today? Like opossum? Squirrel? Anybody have any ideas about this??

(And no wonder English is so difficult to learn!  The plural of avocado is avocados,  no "e."  The plural of tomato is tomatoes, with the "e."  Go figure. Tika just says try barking and woofing all you want to say!) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tika and Fall Days

This is how Tika, and her big sister Dolly, prefer to spend their fall days...... snoozing in the sun through the windows........ with even their bone ignored..... doing not much of anything. 

While that's okay, it's not very productive and I choose not to follow Tika's example! I'm happy for these inevitable fall days with "outside" no longer calling to me, to work on my several genealogy projects. Mostly I need to begin my cleaning off my desk...... there are piles everywhere and piles on top of piles. Would be fun for you and me to compare lists: who has the most unfinished projects? Maybe we should trade projects :-) 

I have gathered into a box the story of my Dad's Air Force career and this waits to be scanned in for sharing. I want to write our obituaries and ideas reside in a folder. I want to take all my genealogy T-shirts and cut off the logo and create a sort of vest or jacket to wear to conferences; that's in a pile on the floor (complete with pattern). I want to write up some stories for our local society publication, our Digital Digest  (  ).

Anybody wanna trade projects??? And Tika is no help at all, snoozing in the sun.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tika & Mountains

Tika knows that Mt. Spokane dominates the skyline northeast of the city of Spokane; in fact she's been in car rides up there to take fall walks. She does not realize (nor care) that Mt. Spokane has an elevation of 5880 feet .  Thinking of mountains, I was reading to her the other day about Mt. Everest..... in 1856 the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the height of Everest at 29,002 feet. The name came in 1865, given in honor of Sir George Everest, the first surveyor general of India. Remember those trivia facts for Thanksgiving dinner!

And what does this have to do with genealogy, my Tika is asking? Maps and mountains are important to your family history. Picture or plot your family on a topographical map..... where was the nearest church of their denomination? where was the nearest county courthouse?  and did they live near a large stream or a river...and how did they get across? how many miles did they have to go in their horse and buggy or on foot?

Point is, our ancestors may have lived in Jefferson County but may have attended church or tended to their official business in Madison county because it was easier to get to. Such imaginary lines as county lines meant little to them. Ditto for newspaper coverage. It was the custom of oldtime newspapers to fill their pages with local gossip (national or world news was hard to come by). The local newspaper might have been the Madison County Journal but would have included the doings of Jefferson County's residents because Jefferson County was in their readership area.

Tika says, "well, alrighty. Can we go for a walk now?"  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tika & Treats

Even a sunny sleeping dog will wake up for a homemade peanut butter doggie treat made by Maureen!  She again says Woof-Woof-Thank You!!

And today's genealogy message? Wanna know how to "awaken" your family to all the family history you've found..... especially your children and grandchildren? Find and offer them a "treat"....... an ancestor story that really will pop their eyes open. And (sad to say) if you look, really look, you will find such a story.

Quote:  "Ever found an ancestor hanging on the family tree?"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tika & A Good Friend

Maureen is one of Tika's best supporters and friends. She lives in Chelan, Washington, and I was just to that beautiful area and great little genealogy society last Saturday. Maureen makes special little Peanut Butter Doggie Treats and sells them at the local farmers' market. They're put into these  white bags which her 99-year-old mother stamps with doggie designs. Of course I had to post a photo of one of Tika's best friends........... and Tika says "the treats are yummy and thank you very, very much." 

And the genealogy connection here? Maureen is either the 3rd or 4th generation in her family to live in this area; her pioneering family is written up in all the local history books. And two weeks ago when I was in Kelowna, BC, I chatted with a new friend that was 14th generation Canadian she proudly told me. And I guess my happy point here is this: in probably any local area there are folks who know the local and family history there because their family lived it! So it's vitally important that if you need local help, contact the societies in that area and ask for their help. They are the ones who know. 

Needing help in the Chelan or Douglas counties are of central Washington? Contact the Chelan Valley Genealogical Society!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Tika & Civil War Ancestors

Tika quite enjoys sitting on my lap and listening to stories. And lately, I've been full of Civil War stories. Our local genealogical society  ( ) has been awash with Civil War stuff. We just had our third annual Walking with Ancestors in a local cemetery.... we chose one where many Civil War veterans rest.... and it was a resounding success. I portrayed the great-great niece of Dr. John Gundlach, who died in 1905 here in Spokane and who served as a teenager in the Union Navy during the Civil War.

Our Society is also wrapping up a year-long writing contest for members, "My Civil War Ancestor." We've had a goodly number of submissions and it will be a judged contest with a years' subscription to as the prize. Those stories will eventually be published in our Society's Digital Digest (on our website but under Members Only).

And there have been Civil War related stories in our local paper, The Spokesman Review. .

John Caskey gave a very informative presentation to the members of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society a few months ago wherein he detailed all the varied and various reasons why Civil War vets came west and so many of them ended up in Washington state. A primary reason was land.

"Not my ancestors!" sniffed Tika. "I come from Idaho, remember..... and maybe far-back from Germany." Ah, Little Tika........

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tika & Bigfoot & KDGS

When I told her about it, Tika was very glad she did not go with me to Canada this past weekend..... for I saw Bigfoot!!!

Going west from Spokane and turning northwest to follow the Okanogan Valley into Canada, Hwy 157 takes you over Disautel Pass and on the summit there he was!!! To be fair, it was a huge metal sculpture but it was way cool. "No matter that he wasn't real," chirped Tika, "he'd eat me." Well..............

The reason for my going was that I'd been invited to be a speaker (a minor speaker) at the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society, headquartered in Kelowna. It was a beautiful place, right on fantastic Okanagan Lake....... I think I could live there (if I could get Tika past Bigfoot). I enjoyed chatting with folks who are 14th generation Canadaian; genealogy so very different from my own. If any of you have research needs in this area, do contact for they are a busy, happy, knowledgeable group and I know they'd furnish excellent help to you.

(You noticed? It's OKANOGAN in Washington and OKANAGAN in Canada........ and we're talking about the same valley.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tika Congrats Us

Tika was right there barking her congratulations to me when Handy Man gave me my 51st Anniversary present....... a brand new shovel! And it was what I needed and what I wanted and what I requested. Tika barked, "well done!"  over and over. And then we went out for an anniversary dinner........... and brought home Prime Rib scraps to our Tika.

There was another Momentous Occasion this last week........... Tika had her 4th birthday and it went pretty much unheralded. We got her a brand new collar, does that count?

With fall knocking on the door, Tika is hearing the owls hoo-hooing in the pre-dawn darkness and never fails to bark at them. We both wonder why they are hoo-hooing at this time of year? Also we had a deer jump over our fence and knock loose the top rail and it happened when Tika was outside and did she ever bark then! I think both Tika and I are ready for fall and working on indoor projects. I have a huge dishtub of genealogy notes and it's my goal to get those notes into the family files where they belong. Tika is a big help; she snoozes right near my feet and we both listen to public radio as I work. So fall? Bring it on!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tika & The Wolf

I've read that even the tiniest dog is a wolf at heart and I do believe it.

Humm, do you see any resemblance?  But Tika surely acts the part! Let her catch a whiff of an elephant, a garden snake or some coyote poop and she's instantly on Guard Dog mode, barking enough to scare the critter into the next county.  And if larger-sister-dog Dolly attempts to reach for a treat before Tika is handed hers, Tika will growl her into backing off right smartly.  

The "genealogy point" here is that even you and I, "little genealogy people," can have great knowledge and great insight and solve tough genealogy problems just like the "big genealogy people."  What's the difference between us?  We certainly can do what they do with enough time and effort and knowledge (and money). Except easily read Norwegian or Chinese! 

By the by, Tika has her fourth birthday next Tuesday;  Happy Birthday little Tika. I've saved a special treat for you for that day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tika & Twilight & Forks

Tika did not accompany me to Port Angeles last weekend where I attended the annual conference of the Washington State Genealogical Society. It was a double-whammy visit for me as my son and family live there. After the conference we drove out to Forks, Washington........... ring a bell? That's where the Twilight stories are based, although there is little actually in the town that really appeared in the movies. But knowing vampires and wolves could be abounding, I left Tika safely home!  We went through the Quileute Reservation to get to the beaches (our destination) and I took these photos to show Tika why she was left safely at home..... doesn't this just look like vampire and/or wolf territory???

The beaches.... Rialto, First, Second and Third Beach....... are all fantastic even on a typical drizzly, wet, cold, rainy Forks day.  (You know the story; that's why the Cullens settled in Forks....vampires do not like the sun.) Yes, Tika would have loved to run on this beach but the misty dark woods were just too close.

One last note, if you were to Google vampire genealogy you would be amazed, astonished and flabbergasted at the vampire family trees posted online.............. "a list of 2615 known vampires." Scary.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tika & Morning Moon

Tika is always eager to get up and get out and get going first thing in the morning....... in fact I've told lots of friends that get a dog if you need to be motivated to take a morning walk........... as we walk out to fetch the morning paper, we talk about what needs doing that day. Tika is a great sounding board and she listens intently....... when she's not sniffing something.

When I walk in the early, beautiful, mornings, I do not need earbuds and a gizmo and the news from public radio or even music.  I like that quiet time to talk to Tika, talk  to God, and ponder my genealogical problems as well as to plan my day. Tika nods in agreement to that sentiment.

My photo this morning is titled, Dahlia Moon Setting To The West. Does it make you smile?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tika & Stuff That Sticks

Again, a boating-water day but this time Big Trouble. Walking Tika along the beach, she tangled with the most horrible, most sticky, most nasty weed that just snagged into her fine fur and stuck all over. Despite the pretty yellow flowers, it was an awful mess and we could not fully clean her up until we got home to her comb and the nasty stuff had dried. (The driftwood pieces are "project treasures.")

So what does Tika's sorry plight have to do today with genealogy? How often do the wrong or incorrect ancestors get snagged into our genealogy? We might try our best to pluck them out but there they stick. Simple solution: do not add them into your family history in the first place. (Had I been aware of that nasty bush I would never have let Tika near it.) And "that's hard to do" you say? Well, yes, but if you do good research and verify everything, every link, every ancestor as a "for sure" ancestor, that won't happen. Too many of us wander through online family trees and allow "bad" ancestors to stick to our tree. No good. (I'll be watchful for that plant now and never let her near it.) Let's all just do good genealogy and find "good" ancestors to stick to our tree.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tika & Hot Days

August 17th, and Spokane has been having temps in the high 90s for several weeks. At first it was good, after a totally rainy May and June, BUT enough already. Even Tika was looking at the deck thermometer and sighing. And this after I emptied the warmed-by-the-sun dog water pan over her to cool her off.

Tika recommends, and I must agree, the thing to do on such a very hot day is to give great thanks if you have air conditioning and then stay indoors and read a good book! Or do FamilySearch Indexing..... which Tika supports in theory but does not do.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tika & Me & My Cousin & Family Names

June and Ruth Gurney were sisters born in 1919 and 1921. Ruth married first and named her first daughter June Ellen. June named her first daughter Donna Ruth. And so two cousins were "born."

Junie lives in Georgia and we don't manage to rendezvous too often.......... "life has a way of getting in the way of things and stuff we like to do"........ but she was here last week and we went boating out on Long Lake (really the Spokane River). Handy Man was our boat driver!

We got to thinking and talking about family names. My mom is June Magdalen after her (and Ruth's) grandmother who came from Germany. June Ellen married Bill and their only son was Bill and his son is Bill/William.  I married a John and our first son was John Benjamin and second son was Timothy Francis (after his grandfather). Timothy's son is John Grady (after both grandfathers). 

We do like to use family names repeatedly, don't we??

Tika remembers she has at least one sister...... there were two puppies in the pet shop. Alas, no first cousins in Tika's side. And she, being a dog, really does not care. People care about those things.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tika & Family, Unhappily

This is Tika asking me, "How come HE is in my house? And how come you are paying attention to HIM?"

"He" was a Cream Golden Retriever named Dozer (short for Bulldozer no doubt) that belongs to our grandson, JT and new wife, G. We got to keep Dozer for the week they were off on their honeymoon. At just over two months, Dozer was already twice Tika's size but no matter, she really put him in his place.... she'd bare her teeth and growl as he was tumbling her over.

My answer to her was this: "Tika, sometimes you just have to put on your big girl collar and buck up and do what needs to be done, especially where family is concerned. It's only for ten days for goodness sake!" 

Isn't that good advice for life? Where family is concerned, we must try our hardest to accomodate. Sometimes we cannot but we should always "put on our big girl collar" and try. Best advice ever. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tika & General Sherman ???

Guess it was this picture of my son and grandson standing beside the giant sequoia General Sherman that got me to thinking……….. how many "Shermans" could I quickly imagine? 

We think of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) as a Civil War Union general and he was. But he was also an American businessman, educator and author….. and traveler. I won't go into his Civil War career here (you all know that)  but did you know that after the war he became the General of the Army (created by Congress on 25 Jul 1866) and one of his post-war significant contributions was the establishment of the Command School (now the Command and General Staff College) at Fort Leavenworth and that in 1875 he published his memoirs in two volumes.  And bet you really did not know that in about 1876-1878 he made a tour of the west because one of his main concerns in postwar commands was to protect the construction and operation of the railroads from attack by hostile Indians. 

Which brings me to the second "Sherman,"  Fort Sherman in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, just 30 miles from me.  Wikipedia explains:  "While on an inspection tour in 1877, General William Tecumseh Sherman camped by Coeur d'Alene Lake at the mouth of the Spokane River and was so impressed by the scenery of the area that he recommended it as a site for a fort. And Camp Coeur d'Alene was founded in 1878. Camp Coeur d'Alene had three reasons for its existence:  (1) keeping the peace in northern Idaho; (2) protecting railroad and telegraph crews; and (3) guarding the border with Canada.  The camp or fort existed as such until 1905 when the reservation was sold at auction. Today North Idaho College occupies much of the land and it is still a majestic spot on the northern shore of the lake where the Spokane River emerges to run its 100 miles to the Columbia River.

And my boys in California seeing the giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park in Tulare County. Again according to Wikipedia:   By volume, this tree is the largest known living single-stem tree on Earth. It is some 275 feet high and 25 feet around (35 at the base) and is estimated to be 2300-2700 years old. It was named after the American Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman, in 1879 by naturalist James Wolverton who had served under Sherman in the war.

If you are interested, William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West, by Robert G. Athearn, published in 1995, ISBN 0-8-61-2769-4, would be a great read. 

Some interesting summer trivia for you today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tika & Peapods

Dipped into peanut butter, Tika thinks Sugar Snap peapods are good eating and we agree with her.

According to, "Peas were one of the earliest food crops. Cultivation brought stability to once-nomadic tribes, and made it possible for peas to be brought by travelers and explorers into the countries of the Mediterranean as well as to the Far East." This site gives a timeline for peas and states that "an archaeological dig at Jarmo in northwestern Iraq uncovered peas that were dated between 7000 and 6000 BC." And this last: "Today more than a thousand varieties of peas are in existence, both green and yellow. Canada, the U.S., Europe, China, India, Russia and Australia lead the world in the production of peas." 

You might want to take a looksee at this website for it does look like our ancestors surely did eat peas. With or without peanut butter. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tika Meets A Friend

Tika got to finally meet one of her fan-friends today! Debbie G., who lives in Idaho, was in town and we lunched together....... and Tika lavished doggie-kisses upon her.

Genealogy friends are great. You can talk with them about things and stuff that bore your non-genealogy spouse to sleep. We talked at length about what to do with all the genealogy stuff we've collected. And we talked about future research wants and needs. Debbie wants to go to Ireland (as soon as she's retired) for she has strong Irish lines. She knows to research here but just wants to go there to see the country. We talked about EWGS (our local genealogical society.... and went down to one of our local cemeteries for an EWGS meeting for our September Walking with Ancestors day.

All in all, it was a fun Friend Day for both Tika and for me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tika & The Dog Days of Summer

This is how Tika is spending the hot 90o+ Spokane days of summer.......... belly up in my chair (on a heating pad left over from just barely two weeks the weather changes). In Spokane we're indoors during the HOT days, doing projects, and indoors during COLD days, doing projects. "Whatever, "says Tika, "works for me!"

I have made productive use of these hot days. I visited my 90 year old mother and chatted with her as I sat on her living room floor paging through some 30 photo albums. These albums are destined for the trash. No way around that fact. And by inferrence, all my photo albums are eventually slated for the same fate.

So I went through them and pulled out dozens for re-use. I took some of extended family to use on birthday cards to them....... surprise! I took ones of my Dad in the early days of his Air Force career..... to complete a scrapbook that I'm giving to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Ohio. I took funny ones to share with family "just cuz."   You know how over the years we give our parents copies of the family photos we take of our children? I pulled out all those extras and put them in an envelope to give to that (now grown) child.

It was a lovely day, sitting in Mom's cool house reminiscing with her and paging through her tangible memories. It's very, very hard to think of trashing these albums but time and fate decree it must be done. Tika and I would both share this advice with you:  If YOU do not do something that's easily shareable with all your old family photos NOW..... RIGHT NOW..... when will you have time? And will you shed tears when you see them all stuffed into black plastic bags and set out on the curb???? 

This just might be a worthwhile project for those Dog Days of Summer. Tika agrees.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tika & "Scatter" Cemeteries

Tika went with Handy Man and me for a visit to the new Veterans' Cemetery in Spokane County, southwest of the city. Besides all the usual things that could be said and explained about this particular cemetery (which already has expansion plans), we spotted something new: a scatter garden. This was a nicely landscaped area off to the side of the cemetery proper where you can scatter the cremains of your loved ones..... and then a small 8x10 plaque will be placed along the walkway as a permanent memorial to the person.

Speaking with Rob Goff of Greenwood-Riverside cemeteries (Spokane) one day, he explained to me that here in the west cremation is more often the choice than it is back east. Our cemeteries here are not so likely to be considered parks-to-visit-or-jog in as are the ones in the East. That explains, too,  why there is not the interest to have cemetery events and tours as do the old, historic, cemeteries of the east..... Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia; Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio;  Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia; Mt.Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts, etc. And think of the visiting throngs to Arlington National Cemetery.

Tika had no opinion one way or another; she thought the area was a lovely place to be and stopped there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tika & "Lost" People

Tika loves to sit in the sunshine on our gravel driveway looking........looking for elephants (her barking has kept them away; we've never spotted one) and folks on bicycles going down the road. She and I have that in common; we're always looking.
Recently in our morning newspaper (The Spokesman-Review) was a bit from Medicine Rocks State Park in Montana and was the sad story of how they've found where a lonesome sheep herder named Herbert Dalton in 1904 carved a likeness of his lost love into a sandstone bluff. He was from Ireland and, according to the article, "she wouldn't come West." The carved portrait shows a profile with a "sweeping turn-of-the-century bun and facing her, a bird in flight offering a delicately drawn flower."  So sad. 
Following Tika's example, I did some looking and did find a Herbert Dalton, age 33, single, born April 1867 in Ireland, immigrated in 1872 and was naturalized,  living as a farm laborer/sheep herder in Flatwillow District, Fergus County, Montana on June 21, 1900 (U.S. 1900 census). I did not find him in the 1910 or 1920 census. Nor could I find him in any online Montana death databases.
Is there a Dalton family somewhere looking for a lost Herbert Dalton?? 
Like Tika, I just like to look and enjoy looking for the rest of the story too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tika & Ancient Dogs


 Tika and I were snuggled in our chair on a rainy day reading the March/April 2012 issue of Archaeology magazine and on page 14 was a bit that I read out loud to her. Living in Washington state,  we're quite aware of our Coastal Native American peoples and their stories. (They inhabited the Pacific Northwest coast and the west coast of Canada for more than 10,000 years.) Their oral history mentions a "Pomeranian-like dog that was bred specifically so its woolly hair could be used in textiles."  Analysis of blanket fragments seems to support the stories....... one sample was collected from a blanket obtained in 1803 by Lewis and Clark. Goat hair was also used but dog hair was more plentiful, explained the article. This picture was included in the article and I snatched it from Google Images. While these are woven textiles are quite beautiful, I think, both Tika and I wondered how scratchy they would be??? "Dog hair is not scratchy!" Tika assured me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tika & FamilySearch---Again?

What makes me happy makes Tika happy........ and I've just learned that FamilySearch is now offering short videos on some aspect of learning how to find your ancestors. I don't think those instructional videos will help Tika (remember: all she knows is that she comes from Idaho) but they will help any of us seeking our ancestors. Here is the link to the first 5-Minute-Genealogy-Lesson:

Here are some dog funnies for you:  "I like driving around with my two dogs, especially on the freeways. I make them wear little hats so I can use the carpool lanes."  (Monica Piper)  "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional lvoe. For me they are the role model for being alive."  (Gilda Radner)

How do you remove those awful nasty ticks from your dog? Have found a couple on Tika in the last week and we just grab them with a deep pinch and pull them off......... one little yelp but they are out. And on her muzzle no less; yuk.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tika & Memorial Day

Tika was not with me when I visited Arlington National Cemetery last month with my son and two grandsons but just as well; dogs are not allowed on the grounds. On this Memorial Day I thought to share this photo with you. The admonition seemed to work; the folks (and the teens!) were mostly quiet and respectful. It is our nation's military shrine after all.

Did you know that Arlington National Cemetery comprises 624 acres right across the Potomac River from downtown Washington DC? And that over 320,000 servicemen and women are sheltered there? Veterans from every war and conflict in our nation's history rest there.

Early burials at Arlington were of necessity. Most of the dead were either unknowns, or loved ones that families simply couldn't afford to send home for interment. Near the Arlington House is the Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns, a mass grave housing the reinterred remains of 2,111 unknown Civil War dead.

The Tomb of the Unknowns (where on TV today I watched President Obama lay a wreath) was established in 1921 when a World War I soldier was laid to rest there. He was joined by comrades from World War II and Korea in 1958.

The gift shop offered over a dozen books on Arlington National Cemetery. I wish I could have hauled home and had time to read every single one. Tika would happily sit beside me in my chair as I read.