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.