Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I've become a spectator lately as I slowly work through the work still remaining on the family tree project. I sit at my desk and as I type or verify or check off the names still remaining to be linked (what a problem it has become!) into the program to add the several thousand people that are somehow connected, I get to see the girls playing or fighting or just hanging out seeing what I'm doing. I took this shot after watching the two of them groom and then bite and fight and wrestle on the top of the dresser in my office.
The tree has become challenging because I'm still missing so many names, I can access them but there are 3 very large families that I haven't been able to get linked up and it's making me nuts looking for the links. I'm comparing the website's index to my own and adding people that are linked in as I can, but these families just don't seem to link in anywhere. They must link or they wouldn't be on the website, so I keep plugging away trying. I'm trying to get this done prior to the kids coming to visit so that it's done and not hanging over my head.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keeping busy

Rosie immediately took to the new quilt, in fact she and Belle sleep on the bed now that it's colder in the house at night. Here's Rose with some of her favorite things, her feather mousie and some extra piping that I had left over from one of my Civil War dresses.

As you can see, there is a parrot in my hair. Jon had just given him a shower and he decided to sit on my shoulder and wipe his wet feathers in my hair. I was trying to work on putting my quilt's the next project to go on the hand quilting frame.

I've been working on this by hand, it's my Baltimore Album quilt that I started about 13 years ago...I'm finally ready to hand quilt it. I love it, it's all hand appliqued and I appreciate it more now that I can no longer see things that small to do that kind of work. I've been keeping busy between the family tree work and projects...trying to keep my mind occupied until the Lightners get here. :)

Something little to make you think

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat = down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. = I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. =
'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq '
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be a couple of hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago '
His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to = where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, = 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'
'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she = asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'
Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a sandwich.
It seemed so little...
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'Up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in This country who no longer understand it.'

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Cats and Women are Similar

Cats vs Women (At least SOME women)

1) Cats do what they want.

2) They rarely listen to you.

3) They're totally unpredictable.

4) They whine when they are not happy.

5) When you want to play, they want to be alone.

6) When you want to be alone, they want to play.

7) They expect you to cater to their every whim.

8) They're moody.

9) They leave hair everywhere.

10) They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

Conclusion: They're tiny little women in cheap fur coats.

Jon's visit

Jon and Michelle are home this week visiting from Greensboro and brought their Bird whose name is Ceasar. Ceasar is a Caique (prounounced Kai-eek) and has quite the personality, he's very friendly and he loves attention from people. Our younger kitten, Rosie, doesn't seem bothered by him, she just sniffs him and doesn't particularly think of him a feathered meal. At least that's what she wants us to believe. I still wouldn't let the cat and the bird be alone together.
Here is Rose looking at Ceasar while he is in his travel carrier on the sofa. Rose spent quite a lot of time patiently looking at him but never did anything agressive. Belle, on the other hand, has been hissing whenever the bird makes his noises and has been hissing at Jon as well. She didn't like Jon during his last visit either. Belle is a "scardy-cat" and has been hiding under the bed rather than coming out like Rose to visit and play, especially when Jon is around, so I've been leaving her in her hiding places so she'll relax. As the days go on, Belle is getting better about coming out a little bit, but she's just not very social to Jonathan at all. I don't think she's ever going to be the social butterfly of the two of them.
When I go out and then come home, the girls sit at the door and look out and wait. If we have the wooden front door closed then they sit on their perches in front of the front window and wait and look for us. If we're gone too long they tend to fall asleep waiting, but the sound of the car pulling in wakes them right up and then they watch as we come up the walk to the house. Then they get "loves" and sometimes even treats.
Of course, their favorite napping spot lately is in front of the window in my office. I love how Rosey is asleep here with her head right on top of Belle. The futon that Jon sleeps on when he's here is in my office so Belle hasn't been coming in for her window seat naps this week, but she has been in to sniff around when Jon's away spending time elsewhere.
Belle has discovered our Aloe Vera plant, and we've had to move it to prevent her from chewing on the ends of the arms of the plants. She knows she isnt' supposed to be on the table, so she has to be pretty stelthy and pretty quick when she decides to try to get the things on the window shelf. Succulents are poison to cats but I can't find Aloe Vera listed seperately. We moved it so that no arms of the plant are accessible just in case. I can't believe how big the kittens have grown and how much trouble they can find to get into!

The new quilt

On Saturday our reenactment unit attended an apple festival in a small town in Pennsylvania in which several of our members live. It was a nice day, a nice living history chance to just dress up and eat the yummy apple things that were available there, and to chat with each other and the spectators. I took my quilt with me which I had pretty much finished by had to apply the binding to by hand and then cut off all the strings on the back.
I managed to get it finished and now it's residing on my bed...the batting is a 100% wool comforter batt and it's really squishy unlike period quilts, but the fabric is all Civil War era reproductions, this is the one that I tried to do dark backgrounds and light sashing which is the opposite of most other quilts I've ever done. I like it and it's very cosy. There is an entire row of blocks on either side that hangs off the bed so you really can't see the whole thing at once...I love the blocks...I'm thinking of making one with different colors in the same block pattern using Civil War era prints but that'll have to wait until I get some spare time, there are other things I'm going to work on first.

Nearly a month to go

Until this little cutie brings his Mommy and Daddy to visit us!
Mark and I and the kittens are counting the days until the Hawaiians come to visit. We miss them so very much!

Monday, October 06, 2008

On Family and Revising History

My big project that has been keeping me from blogging lately is that I've been updating and entering new information that my husband has found on the web into our family tree program. I've done quite a bit of research myself, started this time again by getting information on my son-in-law from his grandparents. This morning I entered the 20,001st name in my program, all linked to another person already in my tree. I periodically upload my tree to the world tree project, ( so in a month or so, it'll be there for anyone that is doing research to use. This brings me to an interesting point. I was looking again for information on my parents' lines. (A little parenthetical information is that I started doing family tree information by interviewing people in the family when I was still in High School. That was in the 70's. I have had my family tree on the computer and available on the web since 1992 and have been adding to it all the time as information becomes available, both from relatives, and other sources. I have been to the Mormon Library in Salt Lake City to do research as well as to their local temple to use their resources, and I have received and compiled boxes of information from various relatives that were not on the web. I pay monthly for the use of web research resources and since my husband is very interested as well, we both do a lot of work toward expanding our entire tree, not just our direct lineage, but anywhere there is a "hole" that can be filled with research.)
So back to my point... I was looking again for information on my parents's lines and found another tree that had copied the information I had for my father all the way through the end, about 7 or 8 generations (and difficult to obtain). Intrigued, I continued to look at this "other" published tree to find that it included my long estranged sister, yet did not include me! Interesting, isn't that? My tree includes her (regardless of our disagreements, we're still related) and I've even begun to add information on her husband and his family. They used all my research yet declined to list the researcher! I found it very distasteful that anyone in ANY family would revise history to not include a family member. Some of the trees that I find have "information withheld" on some of the no longer living members as well...somthing that dead ends the search right there. My personal opinion is that this information should be shared and protected for future generations to learn from, and to remember their roots from, and it should not be subject to pettiness of anyone at any time that wants to ignore or delete a family member for their own reasons.
At this point in history, nobody knows what the technology will be like in the next few generations, but no doubt the trees that are researched and saved will be part of our heritage and included in the shared archives that our grandchildren's children will use for their own search for their ancestors. It's a shame that everyone can't just be honest and open with the work that they have already done. As for me, I'll continue adding and continue sharing my work, maybe we'll find out that we're all only a few layers separated from one another anyway. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Good help is hard to find

Monday was furniture moving day here in the office. Being considerate of the new assistants I hired
I put one of my drawer units under the window and opened the drapes so that the light would come in and make the office a brighter place to get some work done. Before you know it, I looked over there and both the shipping manager and the customer service manager have made themselves comfortable and have fallen asleep! See, that's what you get when you hire family members to work for you! lol

Actually this week, besides having to spend the entire day yesterday going to Chicago for a one hour class, I have lots of paperwork to catch up on, a quilt to finish machine quilting so I can get some other projects off the table, and I'm continuing to work on a very large project of adding all my husband's Canadaian (and French and English) relatives to our Family tree program. The desk is actually partially clear now after working all day, no help to my assistants!

I'll get some pictures of the quilt up shortly. I did get a new camera, it's now all about digging out from under the backlog and getting to take the pictures. :)