Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Lakes Rally, Day 2, Spent Somewhere in Time

The Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island, Michigan

Flowers at the Grand

Inside the Grand

Outside, one of the columns:

Longest porch in the world, 660 feet:

Our second day at the Rally was spent on Mackinaw Island, we had PERFECT weather. Man and I chose to spend a great deal of the day walking and not shopping, and at the Grand Hotel. We have been to the Island several times, did the Fort (Fab!), did the shops (tourist traps, but fun), did the Fudge (have to do the fudge every trip), and so, this trip, something different.

We had lunch at the Grand Hotel, buffet, food was outta this world and it was worth every penny (ok, all $40.00 per person, GULP).

So, we walked around the Hotel, had that out of this world lunch buffet, and sat on the porch at the Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island.

We spent our day, "Somewhere in Time". It was Grand!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great Lakes Rally, Day 1

Meet & Greet

Couple of interesting hats turned up at the Meet & Greet

Rain, no problem, the campfire WILL be enjoyed.

Great Lakes Montana Rally, we arrived

Montana's everywhere:

We have arrived! 16 rigs arrived by late Wednesday, 6 more to go. One seriously broken down, but, safe and sound in Houghton, we send them our best wishes for a speedy and cheap fix.

Tis great meeting up with our RVing friends. What a great gang!

The Big Mac at dusk.

Trivia tidbit, the Big Mac is really named the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, our apologies, but, who knew?? Here is a great page on the bridge and the area.

Air card having a bit of difficulty here, which we expected. Man put out the external antenna he purchased a couple of years ago, never used, time was right, and yes, it helps!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sounds of Music, by Tana and Big Butt

If you could hear them, sounds that become dear to those of us who love Rving, music to our ears.

The sounds of trains nearby. Unless they are 25 feet from your back window, I have become fond of the sounds of trains running nearby. Why? Cause it means I am on the road again.

Laughter round the campfire, we are on the road again.

Sounds of awnings rolling up and down, we are on the road again.

The sounds of the holding tanks being dumped, yep, breaking camp, on the road again.

Yorkies yippin, yes, they know ALL the sounds of breaking camp, on the road soon. They just love to go, and as soon as we have pulled 200 feet they are quiet, that is a nice sound too! Of course, they also yip when we slow down and pull into a stop, they want to let us know that they are fully aware we have arrived some place new and they want to investigate it -okkk, mark it as their own. (It’s a dog thing!)

The clanking of the 5th wheel hitch and pin connecting, on the road again.

Sound of Big Butt climbing hills, coasting along, running down the road.

We are on the road again, we hear the sounds of Tana and Big Butt. Music to our ears.

More on saving the Library of Michigan

From Tom Koselka, Corresponding Secretary of the Michigan Genealogical Council. This is part of a long email forwarded to Moi and many others around the state, please read it carefully, please do what you can.

"We need to contact each and every legislator in the State Capitol. Several State Senators and Representatives have commented they were not aware the Library was in danger of being dismantled. Also, please copy the Governor on your correspondence.

There is a map showing parking lots and structures along with our walking route from the Capitol to the Library of Michigan on our website. A direct link to the map is:

If you have not seen it already, the July 19 Lansing State Journal featured a front-page article detailing the plans for the Michigan Historical Center building in which the Library now lives. There is a link on our website, or you may access it directly:

The following is our press release:

Our website is updated often, so check there for the latest updates

Michigan genealogist, speaker, and Library of Michigan advocate Shirley Gage Hodges wrote a compelling article for the Global Gazette, it may be found at

If we are going to save this priceless collection, we need to let our legislators know NOW! So please schedule an appointment, go to their local open house or office hour, make a phone call, write a letter, but make sure your voice is counted. Silence = Agreement."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rally Bound

Our time here in Mid-Michigan is coming to a close. We have had a very nice time, visiting friends. (We are beginning to think of this time in Tana as a Family & Friends Tour.) Had several yummy meals in new and exciting eateries. Man and I want to thank all our friends that made us feel so welcome and shared some time with us.

Today we spent ramping up for the run to Mackinaw and the Great Lakes Rally (MOC, Montana Owners Club). There are about 22 units signed up, and Man and I have had the pleasure of meeting over half of the couples. There will be warm reunions and great fireside stories to share. Of course, there will be fabulous food, have you ever been to a get together of RV/camping families with crummy food?? Nope, me either.

There will be a trip to Mackinaw Island, where no motorized vehicles are allowed. You walk, bike or ride horses. I have not seen this, but, was informed by friends that the UPS deliveries are done by horse drawn trucks as well. I hope to see that and get a photo! Mackinaw Island is known for many things, only one of which is the Fudge. Oh, dear, YUM YUM. It is also known for the Grand Hotel where Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour filmed the movie "Somewhere in Time" in 1980. We hear there is a fabulous lunch buffet there now, and knowing how Man loves buffet meals, I am looking forward to the experience!

Man and I have visited the town of Mackinaw, Fort Michilmackinaw and Mackinaw Island a number of times and have enjoyed every trip. One of the last times we went as a core family we got this fun photo of the son’s. Son # 2 is standing against the fence, Son # 3 is sitting midway on the cannon, Son # 1 is sitting up front on the cannon.

We are looking forward to the Rally, renewing friendships, making new friends, and revisiting the historically rich and fun Mackinaw area.

*Links provided are just a beginning, a google search on any of these historically rich areas of Michigan will provide many hits and lots of educational and interesting reading.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ida's Snuff Can, mmmmm, maybe not

This is what I was told is Ida's snuff can.

Ida was my great grandmother, Ida Matilda Whitmer Halterman, born December 9, 1874 near Upper Cove, Hardy County, West Virginia. She died November 28, 1963 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She is buried in the family cemetery on the family farm near Bergton, Virginia. She had lived on this family farm for most of her life. She was visiting her daughter, Sarah in Cleveland when she died.

During my many visits to the Shenandoah Valley I collected some family heirlooms, some old and well used, others, not so.

I know it does not look like much and I have no idea why I really wanted it. But, I did and my grandmother, Minnie, Ida's daughter gave it to me.

A few years ago I decided to photo my family treasures, including the photos in my family history data base. I have linked to the person who owned them, and have a special fact linked to Moi in which I show all the photos, sorta an inventory of heirlooms.

When I got to the snuff can, I took a lot of photos, it is small, I am not so good with macro photography, it took a lot of photos to get a few good ones. I wanted the top, the back, the front. When I got to the back, really looking at the snuff can in close detail I discovered, BAR CODES!!

Bar codes, say what?? Off to the internet I run, google Bar Codes, and in minutes I am discovering that they did not appear on products sold till around the first of the 1970's. Interesting reading on the history, try Wikipedia.

At this point, I seriously doubt this was Ida's snuff can, don't you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tana delights - - Visiting and great eats

Spent the last couple of days doing that laundry and errands, but also found 2 great eateries and visited with some dear dear friends.

Eatery 1: Shirlene's Cuisine, Midland. Home cooking, renoun for their salad bar, buffet meals and cheesecake. Salad bar was fab. MMMMM, good. Everything made fresh in the restaurant. Cheesecake was pretty good, had that layer of sour cream on top that I favor. Coffee was strong, not watery. Enjoyed it.

Eatery 2: Qdoba Mexican Grill. Kinda just happened on this. Now, I find there are a lot of these around, about 36 alone in Michigan. Who knew?? You get to choose ingredients. So, you want a Burrito, OKKKK, they build as you watch and choose, just like you do at Subway. Burrito was HUGE, and soooo good. Qdoba Mexican Grill, a very good thing.

However, the most enjoyable two hours were spent visiting with dear dear friends, Jim & Mari. Special people who hold special places in our hearts.

Tana delights, good food, visiting with special friends, lazying away the days, gosh durn it, Moi does not think it can get much better than this!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Three headaches

OKKK, I try to make my blogs light and hopefully sometimes a bit humorous, so, I am gonna get this out of the way.


Part of yesterday’s story that I neglected to write about was the noggin hittin that went on. Both Man and I banged our heads yesterday on Tana. Moi, only once, no blood, just a sore spot and headache (headache number 1)

Man, sadly hit his at least twice, he does have raw spots, and a headache (headache number 2). He was lucky, no hospital, no stitches, but, sore.

Headache number 3 is Tana’s washer/dryer. It is now DOA. Did one load of laundry last night, and, now, it is a headache. SIGH.

The disappointment is that we have only had the w/d for 3 months, but have only done about 8 - 10 loads of laundry in it, cause, those of you that remember know that Man had to have melanoma surgery and that grounded us for 2 of those 3 months. I really was looking forward to doing the laundry here in Tana in the evenings while I surf and burn up 5 Gigs a month on the air card.

OK, moaning session done.

Positive is that there is NO laundry stuck in the w/d and we have enough clothes clean that I don’t have to go looking for a stinkin laundrymat this very moment. Positive really is that Man has clean melanoma reports, we are out and about and as my sig line on the MOC (Montana Owners Club) says, “Every day spent on earth is a blessing, every day spent in our Montana is a day blessed twice.”

The three headaches will go away. Yes, indeedy, they will.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not all pull through sites are created equal

Today was one of those days in the life of Rvers that makes you wonder if you are the actors in the movie RV. Ya, even that scene with the dump, ewwwwwwwwwww.

Situations: Brand new washer/dryer was found to be “clicking” but doing nothing more. Could not open door, could not turn on, could not turn off, just sitting there clicking. Man turned power off and then back on, something reset, and it started back up. This was on dry cycle. Tonight I am doing a full load of laundry, we shall see.

Awning did not retract well. Up, down, up, down, adjust this and that, still did not retract right, we did manage to get it rolled up sufficiently to travel, but something is outta wack.

Visit to the dump, like I said, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Dumping is not the most fun part of Rving, eh?? Gotta do it. Not quite as bad as the movie, but as close as we care to experience.

Got to our new campground and we have 50 Amps, full service, water, sewer, even cable telie and - - - - - a pull through site. YA, RIGHT. NOT!!! NOT NOT NOT!!

Man started to pull in, did not like approach, asked me to get out and watch the back of Tana while he backed up. Next he started to pull into the site again. He was tight on the front, but mucho closer on the back. OKKK, the top back left was IN a tree and that tree was also just about to punch a hole through the side window over the table. Thankfully he stopped to come back and take a lookie see. He had me pull Tana forward while he held back the tree branches. I accomplished that maneuver and now we had a tree crunching the other side of Tana. So, Man held that tree back while I finished pulling Tana on to the site.

Next situation, a difficult time leveling. Got past that, and realized we had not checked for viable electric. A DUHHHHHH moment. Man got out his tester and I start hearing groans. Short of long situation, his tester was acting flakey. Our power is fine.

Photo courtesy of GoogleMaps. Blue "X" marks show the route into our campsite, starting at top, when you get to the blue "X" at bottom, turn left, proceed to top red "X" and now make very hard turn to the right. Lower red "X" is where you are pointing Big Butt's nose. Note the trees on both sides of entrance to camp site. First red "X" also marks the tree that almost went through the window.

Nope, not all pull throughs are created equal. And, this one should not be considered a pull through for Big Butt and Tana, a running 53 foot of Rving equipment. There simply is not enough room to make the turns.

Post scripts:

*So far the washer dryer is working fine, knock on wood.

**For those that might ask, does a day like today discourage you? Not a chance!

RV Having Fun Yet?? You bet, even when all pull through camp sites are not created equal.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A photo brick wall, Clifford-Webster style

This photo came to me via some Lashbrook relatives. It was suggested that the young lady in the back is Letta Amelia Clifford, future bride of Wallace Henry Lashbrook. The young man to her left is unknown. The couple in the front might be John Wesley Webster and his wife, Lorinda H. Bemis.

Family tradition is that Letta was “adopted” by John and Lorinda. Letta (or Lettie) was living with the Websters by 1870 in Floyd Township, Floyd County, Iowa. Also living in the house hold was "Georguit" age 7 (who could be the young man in the photo).

Lettie's maiden name is given as Webster on the death certificate of her daughter, Elizabeth Mae Stringer. On the death certificate of her daughter Etta A. Jensen, Lettie's name is given as Lettie Clifford. Lettie's name is given as Lettie A. Webster on the birth certificate of her daughter, Linnie Ruth, and as Lettie Clifford Webster on the death certificate of her daughter, Linnie Ruth.
These references to the name Webster surely seem to support the family tradition.

The photo is one of several I have in my collection that I have not been able to verify the names of the parties. I have only one other photo of Letta, when she is much older. I have compared the photos of course, and feel it is the same woman, noting, I am no expert in such comparisons.

A photo brick wall of sorts. Don’t you love a good mystery?? Needless to say, if you can help, please write!

*Photo courtesy of Ruth Stringer Beck, deceased.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good place for info on Library of Michigan survival fight

This is the Michigan Genealogical Council web site, there is up to date information on the threat to our Library. Addresses of representatives and lots more.

Check here frequently. In my opinion, it is your best source for how to help and how to fight.

Thanks for reading and thanks for any help in the attempt to save our Library.

Library of Michigan, last chance to have your say?

Well, here is your chance to visually have your say. This post brought to you by the Michigan Genealogical Council. It is summer, it is summer vacation time, but, if you are able, this is the time to stand up (literally) for your Library. Following is a full copy and paste of the message.

"Fellow Michigan genealogists and library supporters -

Now is the time for Michiganians to come to the aid of our state's history and learning.

Your Michigan Genealogical Council is planning a public assembly in Lansing to show our legislators and fellow citizens that we care about our state's past.

On Wednesday the 5th of August, let's assemble at the State Capitol, on the lawn. We have reserved the North and South lawns, and the steps. Time, 9:45 a.m. The State Senate goes into session at 10 a.m., the only time in the next few weeks we can be certain our legislators will be assembled at Lansing.

At 10:30 a.m., we will process/march over to the Michigan Historical Center and form our Hands Around the Library -- in hopes of good media coverage! Since the perimeter of the building is around 1800 feet, it is obvious we can use as many genealogists or friends of libraries/history of all types as possible. Please definitely let your local Society know you are coming for sure, since you can see that we need coverage - flags and ribbons can be held between people as well as hands and arms.

We'll stay around the building probably 20 minutes starting at 11:00 a.m. -- then off to lunch, research, or museum viewing!

Thanks for your support of Michigan's past … and our future. Please let us know how many from your Society will be able to participate -- and questions to Sue Irvine

Your Michigan Genealogical Council"

If you cannot attend, write your representatives, if you have written, consider writing again.

As they say, trite as it may sound, NOW IS THE TIME!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Travel surprises - - Alex's

A special delight of RVing and traveling are the little surprises we happen across. Did that today.

Today was a quick run to the grocery to refurbish the frig and pantry after the weekend family campout. Man decided to put some gas in Big Butt, the truck that can pass anything on the road, EXCEPT a gas station. SIGHHHH

Man did not like the price in town, as both the stations did the one price for cash, another price, which was higher of course, for credit. If at all possible, he refuses to give stations like that his business. It is a matter of principle for him, even if he pays 1 cent more, he just hates that business practice.

So, we went back towards the campground and we found a Mobile station, price credit or cash was 1 cent more than the credit price in town. He filled Big Butt's tummy.

Then he decided we needed to look at the store, as it appeared to be rather interesting. In we tromped. OHHHHH MYYYYY!!! Prices, high. Inventory, very eclectic to say the least. They had more brands of beer than I have ever seen, 6 packs at $12.00 each. WOW. Same for wine and hard liquor, stuff I have never seen, pricy, anyone for a bottle of Chili wine??

Then there was the food. Salads, sandwiches, tabouli (2 varieties!), wraps, more salads, dips, more sandwiches, pizza, pizza rolls, on and on and on. All fresh, and great looking. You could get a pre-packaged salad, one was chicken caesar. Another pre-packaged delight was grapes, cheese, salami sticks and something else, very pricy, looked wonderful.

We spent a delightful 15 minutes or so oogling the offerings. Resisted all but a pizza bread stick. MMMMMMMM

Alex's Market & Grill, corner of I-75 and Grange Hall Road. A travel surprise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When Neil was leaping, where were you?

It is all over the news today, it was 40 years ago today that Neil Armstrong spoke the words that will be forever remembered: “That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind".

So, do you know where you were, what you were doing, when he took that giant leap??

A few months ago the WO’s got chatting about recording feelings and where we were during the monumental happenings of our lifetime. Not necessarily marriages or births of our children, but of events in our lifetimes like Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon. We all agreed that to find such memories of our ancestors is a great genealogical find. As researchers we tend to get excited over letters and old diaries. Therefore, wouldn’t it be a good thing to leave these memories for our descendants to read? Record them in your database?

On July 20, 1969 Man was stationed in Washington DC at the Language Institute. Our first born was just 6 weeks old, in a few days I would celebrate my 21st birthday. Man’s parents had just driven me and infant Son #1 from Allen Park to Maryland to our apartment. It was hotter than hades, the apartment had no air conditioning, Man’s parents went out and bought us a huge floor fan. We sat in their hotel room, which WAS air conditioned and watched the landing, on a black and white television.

Simple memories, but like others I have chatted about here on the blog, clear, crystal clear memories, I can see us sitting in that hotel room, the hush, how we all held our breath in suspense, the awe.

So, where were you on July 20, 1969?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Games We Played

Saturday was GAME DAY! at the family campout. After a huge breakfast, it was time for disc golf.

The players, from left: Wife of Son #1, Son #2, L, Son #1, M, Son #3, fiancee of Son #3:

Some time was spent finding lost discs, so far, no reports of poison ivy, which is quite surprising.

After only 9 holes, but several hours, was time for lunch. Son #1 had smoked some brisket and pork shoulder, oh, ya, we were eating like kings and queens. Thank you Son # 1!! Course, then a few of us had to take naps. We refuse to name the guilty!

They played corn ball and ladder ball.

We dodged a few raindrops, a LOT of skeeters, and ended a full and tiring day around the campfire.

What a nice weekend, full of bocci ball, corn ball, ladder ball, disc golf, family, camping, lots of good eats, ending with hobo pies round the campfire. Ya, nice stuff.

*Two of the guilty nappers:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bocci, or is that Bocce Ball, Our Way

Last post you will note I mentioned that the twins, Man and Moi played a little Bocci ball our way, Man won.

Our way, means, NOT the official rules, our rules, our way.

So, as so often happens, I do a blog, then I get doing more research. So, lets start with a Google search for Bocci game rules. First I discover others use spelling of Bocce. (Spelling Don't Count! not in research, and as far as I am concerned, not in Bocci/Bocce either!)

I clicked on the first hit, got one set of rules, clicked on the next hit, got another set of rules. Second set quite detailed. OKKK, we fess up, we are not exactly purists when it comes to our rules.

Ours are pretty simple I think:

  • Pick your color of bocci ball, red, blue, yellow, green.

  • Someone tosses what we call the "pea" ball, which in our case is a yellow golf ball, cause we found the yellow is easier to see in short, or tall grass, than a white golf ball.

  • Whomever tosses the pea, gets to toss their bocci ball first, everyone tosses one, then everyone tosses their second bocci ball, original tosser goes first again, then the rest of us follow suit. Very orderly here.

  • Tossing will be done from same place as the lead tosser tosses. Got that?? You can move sideways for better tossing, but one must not go closer to the pea ball than the original tosser stood when he/she tosses.

  • When all tossing is completed, go see who got closer. Closest one gets a point, if you so happen to get both of your tosses closest, you get to claim 2 points. Closest will be determined by Man's measuring if necessary, Man has ruler in bag with Bocci balls, so he always has that measuring stick available.

  • If you win a point you get to toss the pea, you get to toss it in any direction your little heart desires. This results in long strolls following the pea ball around the yard or campgrounds. Nope, we do not have a fancy dancy court, strolling is part of the fun for us.

  • First to 21 wins.

*Twins and Man, tossing the Bocci balls, okkkk, fessing up, Moi staged the photo!

Friday, July 17, 2009

This 'n That, Tana useage

Back in May, I talked about techy camping, mentioning that I knew exactly what campsite I would be on later in the summer. Well, it is later in the summer, and here we are:

Took us days to organize, pack, and get the stick built ready to abandon for a few weeks. Cleaned out and turned off frig, stuffed it full of crumbled newspapers so it will be fresh and ready to turn back on when we return. Stopped the mail, cancelled the garbage pickups, reduced insurance on other vehicles so as to save a few $$.

We are on the road for a bit, not sure how long, so stay tuned.

Tana has a new washer/dryer, and a new table (seen in this photo), we have the electronics, the violets, the dogs, some of my research files and we are good to go. This first weekend will be spent with the entire family. We already have had a bit of excitement, coons got into Son # 1's food tent last night, I did not see it, but, it sounded nasty. Changes in food storage have been made. Twins have taken us for a nice walk and challenged us to a game of Boci Ball our way. Man won! As you can see, Man now is napping, twins are reading, and Captain Hook is just taking it all in.

Now, I wonder if I can get a few minutes of zzz time, hmmmm, the bed is free - - -

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Library of Michigan, this is just too sad

For the last 24 to 36 hours the news of what may happen to the Library of Michigan keeps trickling in. I am going to include a LOT of links here, and thanks to those who have pointed me to more and more links. You read for yourself, make your own decision.

First from Facebook group, Michigan Genealogy, Matt Adair of Flint, Michigan posted these links:

Granholm Announces Conceptual Plan for Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention

and: a link to the Executive Order No 2009-36, a large PDF file.

Matt also posted a really nice summary, please forgive me Matt for a total copy and paste here, I never could summarize it this well:

"More details concerning the library:

Superintendent shall implement cost-saving measures designed to reduce expenditures while protecting the core mission of the library. Unless the Superintendent determines it to be impracticable, these measures shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

a. Eliminating circulation of specific collections (including, but not limited to, the Main, Dewey, and General Reference collections, the Michigan collection, the Michigan Documents collection, and the Rare Book collection) or, alternatively, transferring such collections to other suitable institutions.

b. Eliminating circulation and document delivery for the law collection.

c. Suspending or eliminating participation as a participating lending library in MeLCat.

d. Eliminating or transferring to other suitable institutions the Federal Documents Depository and the non-Michigan Genealogy collection."

Thank you Matt!!!!

Leland & Patty Meitzler, of the Blog, GenealogyBlog, have an article here, with at least one of these links, and more.

I have received a number of emails that originated from some of the Genealogy Royality here in Michigan. None of it reads good.

Here is a link to an article by the Detroit News, I have no idea how long that link will be good, so read it now!

What a sad day for family researchers in Michigan and beyond.

Is your library next????

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wedding in the Woods

Some of you may remember the blog about Summer Surprises. The other afternoon, I started noticing that the Queen's Anne Lace was blooming. I have been a fast fan of QAL since I was, well, younger. OKKKK, much younger, since before I was even a pre-teen.

These days when I see QAL, I remember the Wedding in the Woods. Place: Rockingham County Virginia. Time: Spring or early summer. Event: Celebration of marriage of cousins (this gang does not need much of an excuse to have a good ole southern cookout in the woods and this was a very good excuse).

So, the preparations begin, food, check; drinks, check; cake, check; table settings including wild flower arrangements, check; flowers for the bride to carry, yep, an arrangement Moi made for her, deep red roses and QAL; someone to read the vows in the "marriage ceremony", check, Moi.

Ya know you only go round once. If you know me, well, you know, I am not terribly shy. Getting up in front of a crowd done without many second thoughts.

Photo of Moi "marrying" the happy couple in their Wedding in the Woods.

* You may ask, "Why can't you see the QAL in the bride's flowers"? Answer: because to keep the roses from wilting we put the whole thing in the frig for a few hours before the ceremony/party. The QAL WILTED!!

** Probably the first and last time I shall "marry" anyone, cause this one did not last. Ya, they divorced! The QAL wilted and so did the marriage!