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Thursday, April 30, 2009

This 'n That, from the library

Prayers going out to the employees of Chrysler. Our hearts are heavy.

OKKK, found a couple of hints that may break down a brick wall or two, and one reference to a Sale of possessions in 1865 that kinda adds to the sparse data I have on one Civil War vet I have been researching.

Man is off running errands here in Ft. Wayne, he loves this place, I can only imagine what he will find THIS trip, we tried counting on the way down here, at least 2 computers, printer, and goodness only knows what else. He LOVES Ft. Wayne.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This 'n That, from Tana on the road

After a very long sitting spell, we are on the road again with Tana, Big Butt, the yorks, the violets, electronic toys, Man and me.

We only have a few days, wish it were longer, but, thankful for ANY days.

After sitting a spell we feel a bit rusty, hooking up, mirrors out, tow haul engaged, this first, this next, this last. Go slow, think, review, go slow, think, review. Will feel less rusty in a day or so.

We are not planning anything, but, believe we may be headed to Fort Wayne (Allen County Public Library, genie research center supreme!). I have not prepared anything special for the visit, but, I do have the ongoing to do list from RootsMagic. Whew. Took a look the other evening and I have a number of things to look at, enough for a day or two. Yea!!

Currently sitting in a campground behind a Wal*Mart. Not IN the Wal*Mart, behind. There is a lot of construction and noise going on over there. Considering the current unemployment here in Michigan, the highest in the nation at 12%, I have decided the noise is music, not annoying. There are people WORKING over there! I am happy for them.

We continue to grieve for the job losses in the auto industry, yesterday it was American Axle that bailed on Michigan. Another hunk of jobs lost, I don't think I want to know the trickle down numbers.

But for now, the sun is shining on Tana and her occupants. Time to do the dishes and get this gang a rollin'.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Wii bit of difference

After a long sitting spell (since late October 2008), we are packing Tana with all intentions of a short getaway.

For about a week, I have been cleaning, reorganizing. Loading the freezables. Sorting through boxes of stuff we took out of Tana late last fall. Checking and rechecking, heavy coat, check; sweaters, check; short sleeved shirts, check; spices, check; coffee, check; well, you get the idea.

Late this winter we purchased a Wii for exercise. We really enjoy the bowling (no more smoky bowling alleys). And, we have not laughed this much in a long time.

To us Tana is just a rolling extension of our house, so, we have the same luxuries. Furnace, air conditioner, oven, microwave, we even have a small desk for my computer. Yep, a rolling house, some call these 5ers a wheel estate. We travel with computers, cameras, scanners, printers, houseplants - love those violets - and now Wii. Roughing it smoothly.

Man purchased some extra cords and that little sensor bar thingy for the Wii installation in Tana. The cords and bar can stay in Tana, and we only have to carry the Wii and the games back to the house. This morning Man fished the wires down and around, yea, took a couple of tries, but, Man succeeded.

Next, gotta see how Wii works in Tana. And, we are happy to report, it does.

In one of those OMG giggle moments, we realized how much smaller the telie in Tana really is. We had been using Wii on the large telie in the house. We both got a good snicker out of the bowling pins, so small we almost could not see them.

A Wii bit of difference - - - -

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This 'n That, and a spring delight

Tana looks pretty sweet hooked up to Big Butt (THE truck).

Forsythia look a little better than last week, but still kinda sad. Daffodils are nice tho.

If you post your research (and/or photos) to the web, the chances of some of it being used, lifted, or, as the WO's say, 'clicked and claimed', are very very high. Lets put it this way: it will be borrowed. Don't post if you don't want to find it later on someone elses family tree/web site.

Wii bowling, I won, Man won, I won. I can handle it! LOL

All internet forums are NOT created equal. If they are not well moderated they can get downright snarly. ICK. Grow up people!

Drying your hair outside in the sun and breezes of spring - - a spring delight, that is almost sinful, ohhhh yea!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The American Legion is WHERE?

Man loves fish and seafood. I get a e-zine announcing a walleye dinner in town nearby, American Legion.

Man, after I ask him several times, decides we should indeed go out for dinner.

I say, check the address, write it down. In following discussion, we decide it is the hall on the corner of X and Y roads, we have been there before for fish dinners (a VERY, VERY, long time ago). We did NOT write down the pertinent information, like name and address, after all we knew where we were headed, corner of X and Y roads.

Away we go, nice day for a ride, find hall, park, go in, pay, and then see that they are serving chicken.

Say what??

Much to our surprise, we discover we are at the Eagles, NOT the American Legion. Won't let us buy a beer, cause we are not members, but, the chicken is pretty tasty.

As we are chuckling about our error, and we did a lot of chuckling, cause for whatever reason, this really struck us as funny - - - - probably one of those, ya had to be there kinda things - - - -

I say to Man, "Man, we are gonna go find that American Legion, want another dinner??" He says, "NAHHHHHH."

Yea, right! Since when does Man turn down walleye??

Finish the Eagles great chicken, back in the car, find the American Legion, in we go, and YES, Man did buy another dinner, the walleye one. I passed.

Oh, my, I have NEVER seen a walleye fillet as large as this thing was, they said they were about a pound each. Broasted I believe, had corn meal crust, YUM. I taste tested the Man's, but of course.

And, they let us buy a beer.

Man was overstuffed, and we both were still chuckling all the way home. And, NOW, we know where the American Legion hall is in that town.

Friday, April 24, 2009

This 'n That, and a little research humor

Between cleaning, reorganizing and re-loading Tana (and asking WHY do I have this in the RV??)

And between grooming and bathing yorkies (who look soooooo nice, for about 2 minutes, till they get down and run and mess up my precise and nice neat topknots)

And, after doing just a little housecleaning (cannot kill ALL the dustbunnies at one time, now, can I??)

I found these little tidbits last night while I did a bit more research on that Grindinger clan.

Spelling don't count: Given name found indexed: Anela. Given name I was looking for, Anna, given name ON the handwritten census, Anna.

Spelling don't count: Maiden name, Magerl. Found spelled Magro on a death certificate.

And, this, which sends me into some serious giggles every time I read it:

From the November 6, 1947 issue of the Long Beach Independent, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California:

"Whiskey Bottle Thief
Due for Hangover

The thirsty thief who removed a whiskey bottle from the glove compartment of a car owned by Mrs. L. P. Grindinger, 2077 West 19th street, is slated for an awful hangover if he drinks the contents.

Mrs. Grindinger told police that while the bottle was marked with a whiskey label, it contained fluid for the car's hydraulic brakes."

I had my doubts for a while that this was the wife of Lewis Paul Grindinger, initials can be concerning in family research, and downright confusing. I had even typed in my notes, that caution was urged, just in case it was not the same couple.

Till: I searched the California Voting Registration data base at Ancestry.com, where I found Louis Paul Grindinger, guard & Mrs. Mary K. Grindinger, timekeeper, 2077 W 19th St. in 1944 and 1946.

Wonder if the thief actually drank that hydraulic fluid?? Excuse me while I go giggle!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spelling don't count

Oh, boy, there she goes again!

Those that know me, maybe have attended a class (genealogy) that I have taught, know that one of the first lessons I will teach, and one that I repeat over and over, is that

"Spelling Don't Count"

(And, grammar does not much either!)

In family research we deal with bad spellings and worse indexing every time we snoop around. Yes, everytime.

Had a lady once, Polish descent, came into the LDS library, insisted her maiden name had been spelled only one way, forever. We had to do everything we could to not fall down on the floor rolling in laughter. She was sure, very very sure, 1000% sure. We tried to explain, might not be, maybe someone recording her name could not spell, did not hear the name correctly, could not spell the Polish name. Nope, name has ALWAYS been spelled this way. My advise: drop the research, go home, take up quilting. Think she must have taken that advise, never saw her again in that library.

I was not being mean, really! I was trying to share with her my experience and that of anyone who has done research. To be successful at research, you must have an open and creative mind, especially about spelling.

Think it is just Polish or other Slavic names that are misspelled. Nope. Have a English name, maybe French before that, from English speaking family, have numerous spellings. Some day I will share them with you.

I will probably share others, as they come up in my research, as they stir my soul with either humor or angst. In the meantime, here is last night's find, happens to be German, I think. Still working on that.

Surname searching for: Grindinger

Found on 1910 census, indexed and written as: Grenigan.

Spelling Don't Count!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sadly, into all our lives come times of grief, pain, suffering. Someone we dearly care about is horribly hurt in an accident or seriously ill. No one wants to go there, but, well, it happens.

Many of us have experience or have heard of Hospice and it's wonderful work. No words to describe what a help it has been to so many.

Here is another service, that I have had experience with. A dear cousin, Jan, in early March was involved in a very nasty automobile accident. You know the kind that requires jaws of life to get you out of the car.

Her family is large, loving, large, loving, oohhhh, said that. Well, it is, VERY large and VERY loving! She has 6 children, her second husband has 2, from all accounts, they are a wonderful blended family.

The extended family is large as well. Bobby's mother, for example is one of 13 siblings, 10 of those grew to adulthood and had their own families. If I counted right, Bobby has 38 first cousins!

Let me tell you, when one of this group is in need of prayer, prayer is what they get, they really are quite a family.

So, when Jan was hurt, it did not take long for the emails to fly, phones to ring, concerns and expressions of love, prayer, and offered help.

I have no idea where or how they learned of this FREE service, but, they signed up for a blog of sorts at CaringBridge http://www.caringbridge.org/

I have no idea how you get a page started, if it is only offered in certain hospitals, I have no knowledge of the specific details. I do know that Jan and Bobby have had well over 5000, yes, 5000 hits on Jan's CaringBridge page since her accident. And there are over 460 messages left there for them. Powerful, caring messages full of love, quotes from scripture and prayers. Bobby has read many of the messages to Jan.

I hope you never need the service, but bring it to your attention, and yes, they accept donations.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The ultimate sign that winter is over

Crocus blooming (had them, 6 beauties bloomed, 12 hours later, bunny fodder)

Forsythia blooming (sorta, they are rather pathetic looking here on the homestead this year)

Star magnolias blooming (started early this year, before the pathetic forsythia)

Goslings arrive (any day now)

Pansies (got em, planted, outside)

Kelly green lawns (getting there)

Robins (arrived and attempted for 2 weeks to break into the basement window, what a racket)

Muddy sink holes in the gravel roads (OHHHH yea, there are some doozies out there)

Plenty of others, of course, but around here, they officially pronounce winter as over and gone, when:

The conservative DNR puts all the boat docks in the water at the state parks! Now that is the ultimate sign that winter is over.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

And, her name is Tana

She is a 2004 Montana 5th wheel, model 3295. Here she sits in South Carolina last spring.

For the last several years, cept this last winter, we have traveled in the winter months, escaping horrendous heat bills.

Now, that usually means we winterize Tana about November 1st, cart all her freezables to the garage, and sometime in December, we cart all the freezables back out there and pack her up in the frigid temps. Once we start packing freezables out there in those temps we have to keep her heated, so we do the snow storm shuffle, is it gonna snow, is it not gonna snow, is it gonna snow, and even more important HOW much. Packing and escaping between storms is some kind of juggling skill, well, really luck, we are talking the B of all B's, Mother Nature, eh??

But, I regress, or something like that - - - -

Today, in 75 degree temps, we started preparing Tana for the summer season.

I had forgotten the difference in comfort level of packing, cleaning, reorganizing when it is 75 outside, vs 15. Gotta say, it does not hurt as much.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting started, sometimes the hardest part?

First blog, oh, dear.

OKKK, maybe a quick explanation of the name. Reflections From the Fence.

There are times in my life when I have a hard time making decisions. I tell my friends I am sitting on the fence.

There are times when I can see both sides of an argument and see that both sides have merit. (Now don't tell the Man this, he won't believe it!)

In discussions with the WO's on naming my Blog, well, the fence sitting as part of the name came up, but of course.

So, a few hours later, a visit or two to the thesaurus, and well, here it is:

Reflections From the Fence.

I don't expect to post every day. I do hope to chat about family research, yorkies (yorkshire terriers), travel and my beloved Tana (our Montana 5th Wheel).

And, of course, anything else that crosses the ole gray matter.

Yep, getting started, in this case, was the hardest part.

I hope!