Thursday, December 31, 2009

87th Carnival Of Genealogy, New Year's Resolutions

The challenge of this carnival, hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene is:

"This year is almost over and a new decade is knocking on the door. This is the perfect time to make your New Year resolutions, goals, aims, declarations, intentions, aspirations, objectives, plans, targets, schemes, wishes, or whatever you want to call them!  Figure out how you're going to approach your family history research next year, write it up, and share it with us in the COG."

I have written this post several times, starting over each time because I did not like how it was unraveling. (Secret confession, one of the reasons I wanted to participate is cause I just LOVE the great looking poster that footnoteMaven designed, isn’t it great??)

But since I never do resolutions, I was having trouble with this. I changed the focus to Genie-goals and yaaaaa, I can come up with a long long list, such as cleaning email accounts, scanning photos and documents, organizing, finishing projects, and MORE.  Lists that every family historian can relate to.

Course, I realized that I have had this Genie-goal list emblazoned in my memory for several years, it really does not vary. Just that realization could be a bit unnerving. It almost seems that I am not making progress, I still have oodles of email to deal with. I still have a long long list of unfinished genie related projects. Then I realized, it is not the goal, it is the journey. It is the relationships with other researchers, with new found friends and cousins, the research trips, the visits to cemeteries, the discoveries along the way that really matter.

I have managed to get a lot of photos and slides scanned, I have managed to deal with several hundred of the emails in just the last 2 months, I have added people to the data base, made some memorials over at Find A Grave, written a few blog posts, I even managed to finish Man’s Christmas stocking this year. I have also done some traveling in Tana, visiting some interesting places, met a lot of interesting “characters”. Working towards the life-long goals, quite satisfying.

Over the last year or so Man and I have had to fight some health issues, happens when you add a few years on the ole bones. This new journey has had a few bumps in the road, and presented us with opportunities to change the way we deal with life. That is the nice way of saying, we had to learn to deal with issues differently. We now find it difficult to plan more than a day at a time. We find ourselves enjoying the atmosphere, the feeling of a new place, and not knocking ourselves out “doing and seeing” it all. Know what?? It is rather nice way to live. One day, one moment at a time.

I HATE writing specific New Year's Resolutions, the disappointment of them not met is more than I care to deal with. I don’t mind having life long goals, I can use these to guide me, improve my attitudes, and hopefully keep me pointed in the right direction.

So, the life long Genie-goals would be, focusing my energies and time management. Don’t procrastinate, concentrate, input! Get the creative juices flowing. Simplify, organize, unclutter.

Goodness, that seems like a tall order, so, I shall attack them one day at a time and if I fall off the wagon and go on a research tangent, hey, it is the journey that counts!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hair Today, Locks Tomorrow

Today, noon:



The process, today 1:30 P.M.:



The donation, today, 2:00 P.M.:



The beneficiaries, the kids at Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is one of those causes that is dear to my heart.  My donation, because it is of mixed color including gray, will be sold, and the $$ from the sale will be used to pay manufacturing expenses at Locks of Love. 


Monday, December 28, 2009

GedView MIA's and a work around, GoodReader

As I have played more with GedView, I discovered that my to do list did not transfer. I thought it might be more operator error, so, I revisited the situation.

I did another export of the GEDCOM, and I made sure that "to do list" was clicked ON, meaning, please transfer my to do list. I had GedView go get the new GEDCOM, it wrote right over the existing data base, which is just what I wanted it to do, as I had named it the same on purpose.

The to do list is still MIA. I expected the same.  Now, I know for sure I need another trick/fix to tote along my to do list.  I figure what I need is a PDF and text file reader.  I studied the reviews at the iTune Store and chose GoodReader, Version 2.4. Right now it is on sale, so, I only spent 99 cents for the reader.

Here is the plan: In my computer family history data base, create a to do list. Print to a PDF file - - which my data base program does. Now, import that PFD file to the iPod Touch via GoodReader. Use GoodReader to read the to do list. Ta da, Carol is ready for a research trip!

I have only done one transfer to the iPod app GoodReader so far, it was a small PDF file, only 5kb.  It transfered via the laptop to iPod via Wifi so fast I thought, well, here ya go Carol, MORE operator error.  But, NOOOOOO, I did the operation correctly, it was just fast.  I was able to open the file and read it, no problem. 

I am still learning the application tools, and I gotta admit, I barely read the instructions.  To me a good application or computer program is one that is intuitive, meaning, I can get in there and get some results right away, with only a little stumbling around.  I tend to read directions later on to fine tune my understanding of the program, which of course, improves function.

However, that said, I would strongly advise new iPod users to read the directions on file transfer FIRST.  Read them a couple of times.  The file transfer process for both GedView and GoodReader are similar.  David Knight sent those great directions during my learning curve with GedView.  Thanks David!  Again!  I had no trouble tonight repeating the process and using my new found knowledge to get a successful transfer with GoodReader.



* GoodReader graphic courtesy of goodiware.com.  Their web site is here.

** And, the disclaimers:  My first experience with an iPod, I am still learning.  This is not to be considered an extensive review. I am NOT a professional reviewer, just a gal who loves family history and techy toys!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

iPod Touch and GedView

Santa was sweet to me this year, I have been drooling about an iPod since the Fall Montana Rally, when friend Terrie introduced me to Nike - iPod shoe application. Terrie and I both walk, we walk together during the Rally. I loved the techy walking app.

As we walked and chatted, Terrie mentioned all the cool apps you could add to a iPod Touch or Phone. I had always wanted a Palm held device to tote my genie data base around in. And, my photos, and ohhh, some music, appointments, get my email, etc., etc., etc.

I started doing some research about iPod genie apps. A Google search and I had quickly reduced the choices to three, GedView, Shrubs, and FamViewer. I went looking for current independent reviews of each, was a bit surprised that the most recent reviews were done over the summer. I asked at the Genea-Bloggers Group at FaceBook and only received one response, thank you Thomas. Next I started comparing the feedback comments at the iTunes Store and the comments I did find from the independent reviews. Some of the functions that were now available were the things that went lacking in the independent reviewers opinions. Six months is a LONG time, many changes were made to the applications.

You will quickly discover if you search the iTunes Store that the three choices I have listed vary in price, from $3.99 to $14.99. After reviewing the choices, and what I was seeing on the iTunes Store reviews, I went with GedView. And, for $3.99 I am NOT sorry. In fact, I am delighted!

I did have a bit of trouble loading my data on the program, and ALL the trouble was operator error/learning curve. First I had the wrong format for the data transfer. DUHHH Carol! Then I uploaded the GEDCOM to a document storage area online, only to discover that online storage was not compatible with GedView. By now, I was emailing the programmer. I received quick answers (he lives in England, take into consideration time zones!). Answers were concise with GREAT directions! Did not take David Knight long to get this ole gal on the right track. I actually ended up using the iPod to computer functionality (explained SOOOO well by David) to upload my GEDCOM to GedView.

My data base has over 16,000 people. It did not take long to load on to the iPod.

So, what transferred?

1.) Facts did, I have a custom fact titled “Unproven Birth” which transferred beautifully, including sources. My custom facts, such as Heirlooms and Greeting Cards which are mostly linked to photos and images transferred, but, of course, the images did not.

2.) Text notes did, my main text notes transferred, even my really LONG notes.

3.) Sources did!

What did NOT transfer?

1.) The photos did not link, however, I did not expect them to.

Once I got the data base on the iPod, I was clicking away, ooohing and ahhhhing. Yepper, GedView appears to do what I need. It even does stuff I may not use, like a GEDCOM from the iPod back to the computer. I like the color coding for ladies and gents, I like the way you flow from one person to the next, index - yep!! Pedigree chart, descendency chart, family group sheets. WAHOOOO!

Disclaimers: My first experience with an iPod, I am still learning. I did not down load or try the other two apps, they may be what you want. I am still learning what did or did not transfer and how to use the app, this is not to be considered an extensive review. I am NOT a professional reviewer, just a gal who loves family history and techy toys!

The web site for GedView is here: http://www.ritter.demon.co.uk/Projects/gedview.html



* GedView icon courtesy of David Knight.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bless you Skype

Man's mother is home, medical situation under control.  She is with Son # 1's family tonight for the holiday and has been enjoying the holiday festivities, the Christmas Eve church service and children with all the live animals. Back at home, we Skyped.  The girls opened their presents from us, we opened ours from them.  We got to talk to everyone and got to see Man's mother.  Bless you Skype.



Man and I are thankful for the good care his mother received this week.  Man and I just had the best gift possible.

Happy Holidays and good health to all.


Santa can bring Man a surprise, Stocking done

Man's stocking is done, here it is:


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my family, friends, fellow bloggers and followers.




*  The building of the stocking can be found at Advent Calendar, Christmas Stockings.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Anniversary Observances, Bowen and Dews

On December 23, 1923 at South Mlls, Camden County, North Carolina, Hayden Eugene Bowen (1895 - 1966) and Florence Ruth Dews (1904 - 1996)  were married.


Hayden and Florence, photo dated 1918.
Photo I believe was taken on the porch of the
boarding house run by Florence's mother, Lorena.



* Hayden and Florence were my grandparents.

** Photo shows serious water damage, I am happy it survived the hurricanes.

*** I wrote about Hayden here.  His memorial at Find A Grave is here.

**** I have written about Florence several times, including They Worked Hard for the Family, Bowen style and Memory triggers - -snap goes the flea, and on her birthday, here.  Her memorial at Find A Grave is here.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, Confederate Rest Cemetery, Point Clear, Baldwin County, Alabama

Man and I have been investigating the historical homes, sites and cemeteries here in Baldwin County Alabama.  I spied the Confederate Rest Cemetery on one of the maps we have of the area, so after several LONG days of rain the sun came out, and we drove over for a visit.  This is also the site of the Point Clear Cemetery, they share the same area.  To me it appears that the Confederate Cemetery lies within the Point Clear Cemetery, further research would be required to make it totally clear in my mind.

Also known as the Old Confederate Cemetery, you can read some about it here.

Find A Grave has the Confederate Rest Cemetery, listed here.

Here are some photos we took on our visit, they speak for themselves:









Next 3 photos were not in the Confederate burial area.





This next grave was right inside the gate, no markings, I was drawn right to it, and drawn back again on our way out.



Man and I spent an hour or so wandering around the Confederate Rest Cemetery, humbled by the history and beauty.



*Clicking on photos opens them in a larger format, click on your back button to return to Reflections From the Fence.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Spelling Don't Count, WO style

Cousin and fellow WO, Anne, has started her own genie blog, Gene Notes.  Congrats!  Her very first post, is about a subject that the WO's discuss ALL the time, SPELLING!!

Cousin and fellow WO, Karen, who blogs over at Genealogy Frame of Mind, has hit on this spelling theme as well, as she did in her post, Four Things To Remember... , and Spelling Don't Count...

I have mentioned this a few times as well, I checked and I have at least 6 posts in which I have "labeled" spelling, such as Spelling Don't Count, Spelling don't count, indexing either, Spelling don't count, even IF it is in stone, and Spelling Don’t Count, Even in Indexing, Save Me Please!

Yes siree, the WO's have and will continue to discuss spelling issues in family history.  Spelling and indexing, some of our favorite subjects.  Over the years we have composed and sent hundreds of emails on these two subjects alone!

Stay tuned, I am real sure that Anne, Karen and I will bring up this subject again, probably many times! 

Spelling Don't Count!!!!



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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Ladies



You are a little older now, but, just as cute and sweet as you were then!

Love, Gramma and Grampa

Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Calendar, Christmas Stockings

GeneaBloggers has a Advent Calendar event this year, 24 days of family history related subjects to challenge the researcher. The prompt/challenge for December 18th is:

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it? Do you have any Christmas stockings used by your ancestors?

Did I have one?  Yes

Where did you hang it? If there was a fireplace in the home, on the mantle. No fireplace, from half walls, banisters, someplace where Santa could find them easily.

What did you get in it? Small gifts, oranges.

Do you have any Christmas stockings used by your ancestors? Not really. Only have a photo of mine, and sadly, it is poor, but, for what it is worth, there it is on the left.

This stocking started a stitching project for me that has lasted almost 40 years.  This stocking was done by my mother, it is felt and sequins, very similar to the Christmas ornaments I chatted about on December 3rd

When our first 2 sons were very young I decided to stitch them similar stockings.  When son # 3 came along, I did another. 

Then, I stitched more, my nephew got one, his half brother and half sister did as well.  Son  # 1 got married, I stitched his bride one.  I did 3 more the winter of 2005.  Here are two of those three, yes, they were for the twins.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About this time, I decided that Man needed his own stocking, so, I went shopping and started stitching.  Nope, I have not finished it yet (too much RVing, family, family history research and other fun stuff has been shoving this project aside).  So, when I saw this challenge, I took it as a double challenge, a challenge to write about and a challenge to see if I could finish the stocking by today, and so, I started stitching. 
 
Took a few photos along the way, first was November 27th.  Shows the stocking as it was, and supplies.  


December 2nd:


By December 14th, I had made this much progress, each brick had sequins applied and then was appliqued to the base of the stocking, took about 1 day to do each row of bricks:


As of this evening, December 18th, when I stopped stitching because I was tired, hungry and cross eyed, the stocking looked like this:


It will probably take another 8 hours, guestimate, to finish Man's stocking.  This is by far the most complicated project of this type.  Most of the prior stockings took about 80 hours each.  I know this one will take more than that to finish.

And, why would I spend that much time stitching a Christmas stocking?  Because I like the craft, I love the sequins sparkle, I love creating memories.

I'll post the finished project photo, soon I hope!  Only have a few more days before it needs to be finished, and I have to find a special spot in Tana to hang it as well.


* I have been informed by my mother, that my stocking - the black and white photo - was actually velvet and the Santa was done entirely in sequins.

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Prayers for Man's Mother

Man's mother is not doing so well. She is in the hospital.  We are praying for good doctoring and a good response to treatments.



Man and his mother, 1956.



UPDATE:  She has had 4 tests, all have had good results, Son # 3 went to the hospital and spent time with her and shook up a lot of good care for her today.  The underlying medical situation had nothing to do with the emergency today, or so they tell us.  We have suspicions, but, will wait for more doctoring to go on.  In the mean time, the entire family pulled together, has been wonderfully supportive (as we knew they would be, we really do have a great gang!).  We thank you all for your prayers, it means so much to us. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Calendar, Grab Bag, The Switch

GeneaBloggers has a Advent Calendar event this year, 24 days of family history related subjects to challenge the researcher. The prompt/challenge for December 17th is:

Author's choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

Memories flood over me reading this challenge. Being pregnant with Son # 3, wondering if we would have a Christmas baby. The twin granddaughters arriving a month early and just days before Christmas during a horrible snow storm with temps that were brutally cold. Christmas Eve spent with the boys, Man and my father at Midnight church service, the only time I remember seeing my father in a church. So many warm and fuzzy memories.

But, there are those “other” memories. Background - - we are rather a gang of teasers. We also have members of this family who are champion “guessers”. You know the kind - - they can pick up ANY wrapped gift and within minutes, and sometimes seconds, can tell you without fail what is in that package. They relish in the fact that they can “get it”. Of course, these family members are also the “snoopers”, as they are constantly monitoring the presents under the tree and know when each and every one is added to the pile. As soon as the present appears UNDER the tree, they inspect it, shaking and poking, and announcing to all near and far, “I know what it in here, it is XXX”.

Now, I have to say, this can be VERY annoying to the givers of gifts. OK, take it up another notch or two, or three. It really ticks me off. Part of the reason is that I am not a guesser. I want to wait till Christmas day and be pleasantly surprised. Man might tell you, Carol is NO fun! All that poking and shaking is part of the Christmas tradition.

I digress, so, back to ohhhhhh the late 1970s, Man and I were young, had young kids, and had lots of bills so we did the practical Christmas list, if you really wanted, say, ohhhhhh, a bench vise, you might ask for that. And, so, in the late 1970's, that is just what Man asked for and that is just what I bought him. I drug that heavy thing home, fought getting it wrapped by myself, and struggled to get it under the tree. Man came home from work, immediately started snooping and guessing and within 30 seconds, proudly announced, “Yepper, that is my bench vise”. I was so mad I was spitting. In a moment of either madness or brilliance, I haughtily announced, "No way, that is a box of bricks". Well, Man did not believe it, this discussion went back and forth for hours, for days. Bricks, vise, bricks, vise. He just would not believe it was a box of bricks.

SOOOOOOOO, here is what ole Carol did. Went to his parents and found a large building brick that was very close in size and weighed just about what the vise did. I also found a box that was almost identical in size as the one the vise was packaged in. Brick went into the box and I wrapped the brick/box in the same paper as the vise/box. Brick/box went under the tree and the vise/box was hidden away under a table in the basement, behind a LOT of craft projects and material and Carol stuff.
 

 
 
Bricks or bench vise??
 
 
 
Bricks, vise, bricks, vise, the “argument” went on right up to Christmas morning. The kids were there, Man’s parents were there, and it was finally time for Man to open his present. Of course, the kids and Man’s parents were in on my Christmas bench vise/brick switcheroooooooo.

Need I say, he was VERY VERY surprised when after all this, all he got was a box of building brick! TA DA! I wish I had a photo of his face!

Yaaaa, I gave him the bench vise right after this, but I have NEVER let him live it down. (Me bad!)

Bricks, vise, bricks, vise.



*I swear, bench vise pictured is just like the one I purchased for Man way back in the late 1970's! Even the same brand. Thanks to Craftsman Tools and Sears!

**Thanks John C for being a good spell checker!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Department 56 Holiday Style











*Remember that by clicking on the image you can see a larger version, then click your back button to return to Reflections From the Fence.  And, nope, don't tote these around in Tana.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, Cummings



Cummings Family Monument

Woodlawn Cemetery, Stewartville,
High Forest Township, Olmsted County, Minnesota

Buried here are:

Charles Benjamin Cummings 1848 - 1929
Julia Anna Lashbrook McFarland Cummings 1854 -1937
Alma/Elma Cummings 1893 - 1914
Pearl Celestial Cummings Wolff 1884 - 1951
William B. Wolff 1871 - 1964
Ernest Homer McFarland 1878-1949

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Genea-Santa: 86th Carnival of Genealogy

Thanks to Jasia at Creative Gene for hosting this Christmas challenge.  It reads:

We can't go into the Christmas holiday without our genealogy wish lists for Genea-Santa!!! So write up a list of what you'd like Genea-Santa to bring you and share it in the COG :-)

It has been quite a few years since I wrote a letter to Ole Saint Nick.  Too many years to count.  So, without further ado:

Dear Genea-Santa:

I have been a pretty good girl this year.  I have done lookups, and stomped in several cemeteries (in hot weather and cold, covered in bug spray and sun screen) this past year gathering data to share with other researchers. 

My wishes for this year, not in any specific order:

1.)  A family campout like we did last summer, it was great fun and built great family memories.

2.)  Strength, and focus for me, I really need to finish that Lashbrook book project.

3.)  Time, energy and opportunity for genie-volunteers everywhere, they are the back bone of the genie-community.   While I am talking volunteers here, would it be possible to send a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to all genie-volunteers.  We need them to know how much they are appreciated.  Thanks!

4.)  Proof of the marriage of Charles Gratton Trumbo and Anna Susan Holsinger.  This one is gonna be a bit tough as we believe they were married by John F. Driver, of Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia,  a Brethren, and that the marriage was performed in Driver's home.  (Can you hear the loud SIGHSSS??)  Since I am asking about Charles, would it be too much to find SOME document that shows his parents??  Probably, but, can't blame a gal for trying can ya??

Have a great ride on Christmas Eve, 2009, give the reindeer an extra helping of their favorite treat (carrots, right??). Hug Mrs. Claus, she deserves a big hug and thanks for all she does all year round.  Not sure I can manage the cookies under the tree thing this year, Tana's tree is pretty small.  Besides baking cookies in Tana is tedious, and I am getting rather lazy.  Would it be ok to owe ya on that cookie thing??  Lets face it, you probaby won't miss the calories and I won't miss the carbs from all the cookies that I might eat!

Thanks Santa,



*One last wish, whispered ever so quietly, that trip to Salt Lake City, the mecca of genie-libraries.  Man has promised me one, even a full month in Tana there, so I can research till I drop.  Any assistance you could send our way on this one would be great, as we have had trouble pulling this off by ourselves.   If you cannot supply this wish, for it surely is a BIGGIE, I will understand.  Thanks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom



Happy Birthday Mom

(Taken when she was May Queen at Shenandoah
Conservatory of Music in Dayton, Virginia)