Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolates in an Advent Calendar - Start December 1

Do you have an advent calendar?  Did you have one as a child?  The first one I remember had the Christmas story, one part behind each window.

Then, when my children were in high school, the German Club sold German advent calendars.  Behind each window is a small piece of chocolate.  If you haven't seen these, they are an easy way for children to count down the days of December.

Now, I buy 5 of them for my grandchildren, ages 4 to 17.  I can get them at World Market, and I've seen them at a couple of other stores.  But ONLY before December 1.  Because some of my grandchildren are young, and have a little difficulty controlling the impulse to open more than one window a day, they are hung near the ceiling.  (My son and daughter-in-law are both tall.)  The children were so excited when we took the calendars over to them at Thanksgiving.  Then, this year, we bought one for our daughter-in-law also.  Usually our son doesn't care for sweets.  But, next year, I think we're going to have to find 7.  But what a fun way to have a small treat each night, and quietly anticipate December 24.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving & Family

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for decades.  It was always about family and, of course, great food.  The adults didn't seem stressed or as tired as they were in December.  There was a lot of laughter and joking.  Extended family would come by.  Friends would drop by.  It was just fun.

One Thanksgiving, when I was about 10 or 11, I was allowed to help with the dishes after dinner (before dishwashers).  I really felt grown up because I wasn't shooed away like the younger children, and as I had been in the past.   I wanted to help with the kitchen clean up because the ladies always seemed to have so much fun talking and laughing.  And the kitchen was SMALL.  So they were always "running" into each other.  But it didn't matter. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pinal County Genealogy Workshop - Arizona January 2012

The 9th Annual Genealogy Workshop will be held on Saturday, 28 January 2012 in Casa Grande, Arizona.  This event is from 9 to 3:30 and various sessions will be held.  Details on the sessinos and a registration form will be posted soon at

Dr. Thomas Jones - 17-18 Feb 2012, Arizona

I just found out that Dr. Thomas Jones will be speaking at the Green Valley Genealogy Society workshop and seminar on the 17th and 18th of February 2012.  For all of the details, use this link.

On Friday 17 February Dr. Jones will be giving a workshop limited to 30 experienced genealogists.  On Saturday 18 February, Dr. Jones will be presenting four topics at a seminar and this not limited to experienced genealogists.  I'm certain that at lest the Friday workshop is going to be filled quickly, and perhaps the Saturday one also.  So if you are interested in hearing Dr. Jones, register early.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - $2.99 blog book

 Can you believe?  $2.99?  What a Bargain!!  What, you ask?  Well, it's this.  The Big Genealogy Blog Book.  Author:  Amy Coffin ( ).  Book now at

If you are a new blogger or just read blogs, OR if you need some new ideas on what to blog about or how to improve your blog, then this is something you want to look at.  And the price is right!  And it's easy. 

Disclosures:  Do I know Amy?  Yes.  And she's a really great lady.

Does she know I'm writing this?  NO.  She has no idea, at least I haven't told her.

Does she know I "bought" her book?  I don't know.  I downloaded it the first day I heard about it.  And I started reading it immediately.  Unfortunately life interferred before I could finish reading it.

Did I get any discount for this?  No. 

Or any other compensation?  No.  Except for hopefully another smile and another great greeting the next time I meet her at a conference.  And would you believe I didn't even know her until June 2010?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

FHSA - Phoenix Arizona genealogy

I spoke at two FHSA chapter meetings this week.  I enjoyed them and had a great time.  However, I really  enjoyed the other presentations I've heard this week.  And this blog doesn't even talk about the great Saturday with Curt Witcher presenting.  (Another day)

On Monday night Suzanne Brayer talked about the passengers on the Mayflower and their families.  She included personality issues with information gained from first and second hand accounts of the events.  Since I don't think any of my ancestors are Mayflower descendants, I often find the talks on this subject to be just O.K.  Well, Suzanne's was great.  Can you believe that there were two dogs on the ship?  And that of the 17 women on the Mayflower, 13 died before the end of the first year? 

Then Wednesday afternoon I heard Charlie Schultz speak on church and vital records.  He gave us so much information about where to look and what to look for.  And I really appreciated a little bit of the history of the churches in the "New World" although it wasn't what I expected. 

Wednesday night I went to the East Valley Chapter of FHSA, where I spoke also.  But Wayne (I'm sorry I don't know his last name) talked about web browsers and all that goes with searching and using them.  A very interesting quotation he provided was by J.C.R. Lickliter who envisioned something like the internet in 1960.  Can you believe 50+ years ago?

I know how much time I spend preparing presentations and so I know about some of the time these people put into theirs.  I hope that each of you were able to attend or participate in at least one great event this week (or even this month.)  I feel fortunate that I had 3 this week and one last Saturday.  And it's only Wednesday night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day - Please Remember

Thank you to all of the men and women who served, or are now serving, in our military.  Thank you to my ancestors and descendants:  friends, neighbors and relatives.  We Remember!

Some gave all;  all gave some!!

Brian David Blackmore
Combat Medic - HHC, 3rd Battalion/17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)

Arthur Hill Shunk (1913-1990)
He served during World War II and in Korea.  He retired from the California National Guard.  He is buried in Riverside National Cemetery, California.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Has parenting changed? - Parenting Rules to write about

This column was in The Arizona Republic, today, Wednesday, November 2, 2011.   I normally don't read Dear Abby, but I couldn't resist when I looked at the title "Teen's mom sooo strict."  I know lots of parenting practices have changed.  Perhaps we need to include parenting rules when we write about our families.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Message Boards

Let’s get back to reading message boards and queries:  on rootsweb, USGenWeb, and those on our societies'  web pages.   (I am assuming that we are members of more than one society.)  Let's make an effort to answer at least ONE each week, even if it is not directly related to our family and our research.  Obviously the surname will be one of ours; perhaps just not our direct ancestors.

What will happen?  We’d have more activity on what used to be very active sites but are now floundering.  Just not enough postings or responses.   We might find new cousins.  We may have someone answer our queries.  Who knows what will happen?

I know that I could probably spend 30 minutes each week looking something up for someone else.  No, I’m not the expert, but my search techniques may be different than those of the person who posted the query.  So, perhaps I could find an answer that has stumped them.  Or I could make a quick phone call to a repository nearby.  Perhaps I could look through a catalog of a local library. 

So, what’s my tip?  Use those message boards, both by posting queries and answering them.