Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, Bellingrath Gardens, The Oriental-American Garden

Tucked away in a corner, accessible by a single entrance, is the Oriental-American Garden of Bellingrath. It is a garden filled with reflections and peace.  Since it is also Wordless Wednesday, for the most part, I shall  let the photos speak for themselves, they do so much better than Moi.

Above: Isn't this a great walk, right over/through the pond.
My favorite, below, you can walk over the bridge,
waterfall behind, great stone work.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday, Wallace Cemetery, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Wallace Cemetery, Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Dick Buskens
Jehovahs Witness
Master Boat Builder
Born         Died
12-6-35    8-27-94

No inscription I could see, front or back.

Leaving your descendants a message of happiness.

Sorry, I am not sure who the Angel buried near here is.
God Bless

Wallace Cemetery at Find A Grave.  Note, the map is a bit hard to follow to access the cemetery.  It took several trips back to figure it out, access is gained by using Callaway Road to Old Fort Morgan Trail, once you turn left on to Old Fort Morgan Trail, you will see the gate.  Do not try to access from Emma Lane, it does not really go all the way through to Old Fort Morgan Trail, as it is a private drive.

* Bellingrath Gardens Tour will return soon, I promise, next up, Chinese Gardens.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Relatively Speaking, Cousins That Blog, Annespiration

The Wild Ones have been chatting again, this time it is comparing how we go from a document, say a vital record, like a death certificate, to our data base.  Here is no surprise, some of us do it the same, and then, some of us don't.

The conversation started out something like this,

Karen:  "So tell us what you do when you find them? type in the whole thing? Scan it?  hmmmmmmmm???????? inquiring minds want to know..."

Anne:  "I save them as image files, print them out, pull out the vital info, attach the image to the person’s record and go on to the next one."

Karen:  "COOL. Sounds about like what I have been doing."

Carol:  "So, you must find it easier to work from the printed version?? I rarely print anything any more, cept for census, sometimes."

Anne:  "Yeah, because basically, I miss info if I am writing it from an image."

Carol:  "I just got cheap lately and don't want to use the paper or spend the $$ for the ink. So, I click back and forth between the image and RM. I figure if I have the image linked, I can always revisit if I get that sinking feeling that I missed something!"

Then, we started chatting about what info we may transcribe or grab off a death record,

Carol:  "I do not transcribe EVERYTHING on a doc, are you transcribing like, every line???"

Karen:  "I pick it apart, major stuff, dates, informant, burial location, parents, a bit of everything..."

Anne:  "Nope. Birth date, death date, burial date, cause of death. Locations. Parents. Spouse if available. No, I do not do a line by line."

The conversation morphed over to other things, and so it goes, the Wild Ones, chatting away, comparing, learning from each other, inspiring each other.  Karen has decided this should now be called, Annespiration.  How's that make ya feel Anne, an inspiration to the Wild Ones!  We usually find that after talking about how we do something, we are inspired to work, work, work away!

* Graphic of  Moi, errr, lady at computer, courtesy of

** Image of documents courtesy of

*** RM = RootsMagic, data base I currently use and love.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stay Tuned While We Take a Short Break From Bellingrath

As it is my turn at Relatively Speaking - Cousins That Blog tomorrow AM, I will be taking a bit of a break from our tour of Bellingrath Gardens.  But, the garden tour will return very soon, and lo and behold, I just might have that slide show figured out,

So, as they say - - - Stay tuned, we will be right back.

*Graphic provided by:

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, Bellingrath Gardens, Surprises of the Ecological Walk

The Ecological Walkway, otherwise known as the Bayou Walkway, is 1600 feet of a board walkway built over a bayou.  Honestly, by the time we reached this area, I was, well, - - - tired!  I even suggested/asked John, Donna and Man, "well, do you want to walk this or go back to the formal gardens?"  John said, lets walk, so we did.  Little did I know what surprises were to be found.

Our view on entering the walkway,
pond cypress, and the far end of the walkway.

Cypress knees, have their own unique beauty.

See what I mean about surprises? 
Donna spied this beautiful fungi/mushrooms.
We thought they looked akin to sea shells.

My attraction to fences continues.

Almost at the end of our stroll around the walkway we find
this beautiul titi in full bloom. Donna knew the name, thanks.
She also provides us with this website, all about titi.

You can read more about the Ecological Walk at the Belligrath Gardens website.

So, even though I was not initially interested in walking the 1600 feet of boardwalk, which looked rather boring and gray (after all those flowers), I was so glad I went along with John' suggestion, other wise I would have missed all these wonderful surprises.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, Bellingrath Gardens, Wraught Iron Delights

I love wraught iron and gates.  Both abound in the south, providing a multitude of photo opportunities.  For those that visit Reflections frequently, you already know my inability to walk by a chair, bench or gate without looking twice for a photo op.  At Bellingrath, I took between 30 and 40 photos just of wraught iron and gates.  Ya, I know, too many for you to look at, and too many for me to edit and post.  So, here is a collage of a few of them and a few flowers as well, courtesy of  (Click on the image for a larger representation. Click back button to return here to Reflections.)

One of my favorite pieces and photos of the wraught iron is this beautiful planter filled with Easter Lillies.  I could not convince Man, John and Donna to help me sneak this piece out the gate!  I mean, how much could this thing have weighed???  Guessing, it was about 3 feet long, 8 inches wide and about 12 inches or more tall.  If we had tossed the planting medium and the lillies out, I still think we could have managed.  Well, maybe not!  LOL

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, Bellingrath Gardens, The Buildings

The buildings of Bellingrath are not old, in the scheme of things, built in the 1930's era.  They are quite charming tho, lots of that neat wraught iron, and brick.  Tastefully done.

Above:  This is the courtyard of the main house,
the house is built totally around it.

We did a house tour, very enjoyable, great docent to guide us.  No photos allowed inside.  The collections of silver and table settings were UNREAL!  The kitchen and bathrooms were so interesting, ah, yes, pink and green baths, straight from the World Fair exposition (I believe they said it was the 1933 fair in Chicago).  OK, they were old, but, I liked them, retro. 

Mrs.Bellingrath collected porcelain figurines.  The collection is extensive and amazing.  The pieces were in such great shape, I did not see any chips or bungs.  House was full of interesting artifacts, all the furnishings are ORIGINAL.  Have to say, it is one of the few house tours we have done that had ALL original.  I liked that.

You can learn more about the estate at their web site, including some photos of the interior of the home.

Future posts will highlight the wraught iron, the flowers, the oriental gardens and the 1600 foot long ecological boardwalk.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Bellingrath Gardens and the FERRY RIDE, by Keakyfht

Man and Carol have kinda been ignoring me lately.  I can tell you, they have been a bit busy with family stuff.  Some of the other places they visit (cemeteries for cripes sakes!!), well, lets just say, I am happy to stay in Big Butt and sleep!  Will say, I was a bit disappointed they did not let me go to the Fairhope Art Festival tho.  The weather that day was outstanding, and I had to wait all day long on the dash of Big Butt.

The other day they made a trip to Bellingrath Gardens with John and Donna and ALL THOSE DOGS!!! I did a bit of whining to Carol, and even though she said there was no way she was toting me all through the gardens, she would get a photo of me outside in the parking lot. OK, beggars cannot be choosy, so they say, so, I grumbled a bit more, and agreed. She did surprise me a bit, by getting John, Donna and Man to pose with me! Yaaaa, that was not tooooooo bad, and note that live oak and all that really snifty spanish moss:

So, I took another nap in Big Butt, enjoyed listening to Man and Carol while they had their lunch break, and tended to THOSE DOGS!!  They went back into the Gardens for a few more hours.  Back in the truck after all that garden stuff, I could tell they were tired and hungry and we still had a long ride home.  They did have a surprise in store for me tho, a ride on a FERRY!  My first!  Gotta say, that was pretty neat stuff, and I got the photographic proof!

There I am, resting on the dash of Big Butt, on the ferry, and in the far middle background you can see an oil rig, looks as if it is actually 2 rigs, connected by a walkway??  Is that possible??

I hope it is not quite so long now between my reports on my 2009-2010 tour with Man, Carol and ALL THOSE DOGS!!

*That ferry ride, must have been boring to THE DOGS, they slept the whole time, while I was having the time of my life - - bout time!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, Bellingrath Gardens, A Preview

Camellia flower floating in one of the garden features of the Fountain Plaza.  Apparently fed by a very active artesian spring, this taming of Mother Nature is amazing.

Calling these magnificent water features a garden pond, would be an understatement, to say the least.  There are square configurations, natural ponds, ponds with water falls.  Totally delightful.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

The Fairhope Festival Dog

My previous post asked, can you see the dog?  At least one reader had trouble with that, so, lets see if you can see it now, with a little help from the photo editor.

The dog is in the design of the bench, isn't he handsome?

Man and I had a HUGE day yesterday, we went with friends John and Donna to the Bellingrath Gardens.  We took 2 trucks, and 4 dogs (their border collie, Tea, and our 3 yorks).  We packed lunches (good thing too!) and were out and about for well over 13 hours.  Needless to say, this AM, there are some slow movers around Tana, even the yorks are lazin' a bit! 

I ran two sets of camera batteries down (sadly, one set died almost right off, bummer, thought they were charged better than that!)  And, I had to change memory cards too.  I have no idea how many photos I took, as they are still on the camera.  Donna took a lot too!  We (as, in, Moi) had hoped that the azaelas would be in full bloom, and there were some delightful early ones that were wonderful, but for the most part, we were too early for them.  Probably a good thing, I cannot imagine how long we would have spent taking photos if there had been full blazing azaelas.  As it was, we were in the gardens for SIX wonderful, delightful hours.  As I told cousin Marilyn the other night, we will spend a wonderful day, laughing and shooting WAYYYYY too many photos, and we did.

Stay tuned, for future posts which will highlight our trip to Bellingrath, Keakyfht even got to go on this trip.  Now, to download those photos, but, I may have to take a nap first!

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2009-10 Winter Tana Tour, The Flowers of the Fairhope Art Fair

The flowers and art of the Fairhope Art Fair, Fairhope, Alabama.  (As far as I know, this artwork was not for sale, or I would not have photographed it.)

(Do you see the dog on the bench?)

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

92nd Carnival of Genealogy, Dance, Let's Cut a Rug

The topic for this edition of the COG will be: Dance! Did you take dance lessons as a child? Did your parents go out dancing every Friday at the Elks Hall? Do you enjoy taking in a good ballet at the theater? Care to share a memory from your high school prom? What role does dancing play in your family history? Come on, let's cut a rug!

As I tend to do when I see a challenge, I ran right to my data base and photos.  Who do I have photos of that I can use to demonstrate the story or challange, as in this case, dancin!  I especially like it if these are photos of direct line ancestors or descendants, or, in the rare case, Man and Moi.  I KNEW of one photo that would make this challenge post, my grandmother Florence.  But, first, lets see if I can dig out any stories from the questions presented.

Did you take dance lessons as a child? Sure don't remember dance lessons.  I did take some dance classes in high school and college. I really appreciated modern dance, Martha Graham and her form of the art deeply impressed me, moved my soul. 

Did your parents go out dancing every Friday at the Elks Hall?  Not that I remember.

Do you enjoy taking in a good ballet at the theater?  Well, mmmmm, no.  I don't think performances of Cats or Oklahoma or Phantom of the Opera count here, do they??

Care to share a memory from your high school prom?  My mother made my dress, and I don't seem to have a photo of it scanned, so, I cannot show you. (Note to self, when you get back to the stick built, find that photo.)

What role does dancing play in your family history?  Ready for this??? Man and I went to dances on our first 4 dates.  Seems those 4 dates were all in less than a 2 week time frame. Yep, we loved dancing.

But, I really do prefer telling the stories with photos. My grandmother Florence LOVED to dance. She took ball room dancing lessons at Arthur Miller dance studios.  Her partners were usually younger than she, or that is the way I remember it, I always figured it took a younger man to keep up with her!  She won dance contests. I realized I don't have a photo of her trophies or awards that I have in my possession, another to do item added to my growing list.  But, I do have the photographic proof of her strutting her stuff!

I don't have any photos of my parents dancing, so, that generation has no representation at this time.

That brings our discussion back to Man and Moi.  We took a few dance lessons here and there too.  Anyone remember Disco???

OH, yea.  And, yep, here is the proof!  Excuse me why I go giggle in a corner for a while.  Don't cha just LOVE those clothes, and Man, that beard!  (Not bad for the parents of three sons, the youngest not quite a year old.)

Now, after recovering from our giggle-fest, our last photo is of our eldest son and his beautiful bride at their church wedding reception in Gemany.  Guess what, they took dance lessons too.  Don't they look wonderful??

Footloose indeed, Florence cut a rug, Man and I cut a rug, and Son # 1 and his lovely bride cut a rug.

Thanks to Jasia at Creative Gene for hosting this carnival.  I smiled a lot while preparing my entry.  Thank you for the memories.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Madness Monday, Charles Henry Darden marries Martha ??? When and Where???

I have been chasing Charles Henry Darden for some years.  My lineage from Moi to Charles is as follows:
Charles first married Nancy Seeds in Isle of Wight County Virginia in 1837, documentation for this marriage was found without much difficulty.

However, Nancy died  sometime after 1851, that being the birth year of her last known child, Osceola Darden. (So stated with the acknowledgement, that, NO, we have never found a death record for Nancy.)

By 1857 Charles has married his second wife, Martha Stevenson or Stephenson, as they have their first child, Euphronia Nancy Darden in August of that year.

In my research I even found a Bible record, said Bible belonged to Nancy Catherine Darden Lassiter.  (Nancy was the 5th child born to Charles Henry Darden and Martha.)  The Bible record I have is a typed transcription of the original, I have yet to see the original.  It shows both sets of children, it does not name the mothers, however.

I dug through the Isle of Wight County Virginia vital records time and time again, not once, not twice, not even three times.  Heavens I lost count how many times I looked at that microfilm.  Page by page, line by line, looking for children born to Charles and Nancy, and children born to Charles and Martha.  Deaths, and marriages of those same children were also hunted down and recorded.  The family, both sets of children, filled out with dates and places quite nicely.  Oh, don't get me wrong, there are still holes that I stumble into and that I have not filled in.

But, I NEVER could find any reference to Charles' marriage to Martha.  There was even that question of the spelling.  Course, we all agree, spelling don't count, so, that was really not much of an issue. I would take ANY spelling, just to have SOME reference to a marriage date and place.

I guess you could say, trying to find Charles' marriage to Martha was driving me mad. (Those that know me, hold thy tongues, cause we all know Carol is partially mad anyway, mad about family history!  LOL)

Martha's death notice/obituary was no help.  The only mention of family members was of her son-in-law, Mr. W. E. Lassiter.  Note the initials, not even a full name for the son-in-law.

My faithful readers may remember my post last time it was my turn to write for the Relatively Speaking, Cousins That Blog series, I said thank you to friend Amy several times for her help. If you re-read that post, you might catch down near the end, I mentioned finding a license to marry for Charles H. Darden and Martha A. Stephenson, found at the Brantley Association of America site.

I could have presented the image in that post, but, selfishly, I wanted to enjoy the thrill of the find for a bit longer.  Ok, I fess up, for days I would pull up the image, look at it in disbelief, remind myself to breathe, smile, giggle a bit, and then, a huge sigh of happy relief was heard all around Tana!  Now, a few weeks later, fellow Darden cousin Marilyn and I spent some delightful hours emailing back and forth about the Darden clan.  I shared with her my discovery and promised her a blog post - - - - -

So, after this long tirade of madness and frustration, I now share with you, THE image of THE license that I spent well over 15 years looking for.  Presented as found in Southampton County, Virginia, Marriage Book 1, 1850 -1861.  (Clicking on the image will open it in a larger format, click the back button to return to Reflections From the Fence.) 

Date: 11 Aug 1856.

Now, that I am no longer driven mad by the lack of this marriage information, even though this is just a license, and not a return, I will turn my madness to the lack of a death record for Nancy Seeds Darden. Would love to find a burial record, a headstone, something. And, since I am mad, why not hunt down a image of the Bible record, not just a copy of the typed transciption.

Madness Monday seems to be covering Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday .............

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.