Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's Child - Laura Jayne Burrow

In Loving Memory...


Loving Memory

Of Our

Baby Daughter

Laura Jayne


Aged 5 Months

The headstones of little children really speak to me.  I don't know why, they just do.  This little girl is not a family member.  She is laid to rest in the churchyard of St. John the Evangelist church, in Tipton St. John, England.  We were there for another purpose, and I came across this stone.  This stone was in an area where other stones were about 100 years old, so I assume it is of a similar vintage.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Headmistress Doris Richardson, Tipton St. John, England



M.B.E., B.Sc.

1899 - 2000

Headmistress of


St. John Primary

School 1940 - 1961

Doris Richardson is not a family member.  But I was attracted to her headstone on a walk through the churchyard of St. John the Evangelist, Tipton St. John, England.  She was not only headmistress of the school in this small village, she lived to the great age of 101 or thereabouts! 

Earlier this year, on a road trip throughout Great Britian, we visited this churchyard for a specific purpose.  Hubby's research tells him that his great-grandfather was born in the area and most likely attended this church.  Today, the village has a pub (what village doesn't???) and a primary school, which is associated with the church.  But the Post Office was closed a few years ago, presumable due to lack of use.  There are about 350 residents. 

Hubby didn't want to call in advance and just wanted a look around the churchyard.  But he was so lucky, several parish members were present the afternoon we showed up.  We got some good history on the church and the area.  Although no one knew the family, he made a contact to connect with in the future.  And it's just really nice to stand in the area and know that your ancestors looked at the same view over the valley.

And here's the church and those views:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy, Happy Hee-Haw!

Heather Michelle, my dear niece and goddaughter, turns the Big 4-0 today!  And I am sure, she will do it with the flare and fan-fare that she does everything in life! 

In the Chinese zodiac, Heather was born in the Year of the Mouse.  For Heather, this is somewhat ironic, for she is anything but mousy, in the traditional sense.  Those born in the Year of the Mouse are charismatic, well-organized and practical, with a strong work ethic and great leadership skills. Those born under this sign also have great enthusiasm for life and a strong will. 

All of this is Heather to a "T" - she is a hugely enthusiastic person, always in motion, always having fun, intensely loyal to friends and family, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS doing the right thing, whether it's...

planning her brother's birthday party (which she did last year),
her work as head of the PE/Health department at a local middle school,
spending time with friends and family,
celebrating Christmas, always inth her signature red stocking cap,
organizing family game nights and activities
cutting her hair and shaving her head in a fundraiser for cancer survivors.
This photo is the epitome of the birthday girl:
broad smile,
#1 Cowboys fan,
furry hat!

Heather has two facial expressions:  a broad, beaming smile, and a tense, focused scowl.  She wears the smile 99% of the time.  The scowl appears during sport events!  She loves all sports, and plays many of them herself, even spending a few years on Baltimore's women's football team a few years ago!  But talk to her of football, and it's the Dallas Cowboys ALL THE WAY!!!

That's our Heather, she lives life to the full, enjoying all it has to offer, with no apologies.  To know is to love her!  And love her, indeed I do! 

Happy Birthday, Hee-Haw! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Douglas!

Well, I can hardly believe it!  Today, the first-born of my nephews and nieces turns 41 years!

I'm just so proud of Douglas and all that he has grown to be: a young man of great humor, heart, and integrity, with wonderful acting skills and directing abilities.  The list could go on and on...

Happy Birthday, Doug!

As the King of Siam in
"The King and I"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

(Pre) Tombstone Tuesday - Welsh Tradition

I am just starting to really sort through the almost 900 photos from our trips to Wales, the UK and Ireland in March and earlier this month.  And this does not include the 500 or so generations-old family photos that hubby brought home to scan, which we returned a few weeks ago. 

I have spoken here in the past about hubby's Welsh heritage, and the Welsh tradition of wearing leeks (for the men) and daffodils (for the ladies) on March 1, the feast of Wales' patron saint, St. David's Day.

This tradition continues in many forms throughout life, including the final farewell.  We visited the family plots in Aberduar Chapel burial grounds in the village of Llanybydder, Wales, where my father-in-law lived as a child.  His mother's family is from the area and generations are buried in the chapel's churchyard. 

While walking through the grounds, I came across these relatively fresh graves. For me, this was a different treatment of a fresh grave, something I had not seen previously, and I was touched to see the leek and daffodil taking pride of place on this (I can only presume) native Welsh person's site.

Another fresh grave in the churchyard, more modestly decorated.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Learning the Hard Way or "You Can LOL Now"

We've all heard that old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."  This all started as a "good deed."  My intention was to clean up the on-line accounts that I have to create to do anything on the Internet these days.  If you are groaning at the prospect of it, I was, too.   

I figured I'd start with the blog and more to the point, Picasa, Google's photo-sharing platform.  You can already tell by that language that I don't know much about this tech stuff, but that's what I call it.  I freely (and somewhat proudly, foolishly) admit to being less than savvy when it comes to the technological ways of the world.  I should have left well enough alone.  But I didn't...

As Blogger users know, Picasa is the freeware that uploads images to your Blogger/Blogspot pages.  Picasa also stores your images for you, without you doing a thing, unless you want to label, organize, share or edit them.  I never bothered with it much. 

So, still in my cleaning/organizing frenetic state of mind, one recent morning I began deleting (yes, deleting) Picasa albums of images I either had duplicated elsewhere, or felt I no longer needed.  I can only say:


Also, don't do what I did, which was to overlook the warning pop-up as some  nonsensical bit of fluff that wouldn't be important.

If you are thinking about deleting anything, here's my advice:

1.  Think twice.  Do you really want to delete this?  Do you have it stored elsewhere?  Can you really live without this image if it turns out you don't have another copy somewhere? 

2.  Look for, read and understand any of those warnings that pop up when you are attempting to delete anything.  They are there for a reason!  A GOOD reason!

3.  If you do not understand the warning, DO NOT DELETE until you understand it.

Seems like simple enough advice, and I give it freely here to save you from having a morning like mine.  I spent a few minutes deleting photo albums from Picasa.  Eventually I read the pop-up.  Even then, I thought, "oh, it's in my blog...they wouldn't delete from there as well."  Well, they click and it is gone from every Google product where I may have posted it.  This delightful image replaces it!  It's kind of  like an web version of the forehead tattoo "Dummy."


Followed by at least an hour retrieving and replacing all the image "black holes" that had suddenly appeared on my blog.  The only thing that saved me is that I store all photos on Shutterfly (and other places), so it was one-stop refilling the holes.   

It's all better now, at least it seems to be.  Go ahead, LOL now.  I've recovered.