Monday, March 12, 2012

Enjoying All Those Old Photos

Lately it seems like my genealogy work has been more along the lines of crafting, rather than straight research. 

I thought I'd share this item I put together a few weeks ago.  My goddaughter and I sat down and crafted this in just a few minutes.  Well, actually, I crafted it, while she sat nearby and played on her DS (some kind of electronic toy, which she loves). 

I received this item as my gift in the office holiday gift game.  I think most folks were relieved they didn't get it, but I immediately fell in love with it.  This kind of thing is right up my alley...easy to do, looks interesting, and surrounds me with faces of my loved ones.  And since I already have a mobile hanging in my dining room (colorful penguins, which hubby gave me long before we married--he really gets me!), it was just a matter of moving some things around.

Instead of taking the totally easy way, and just clipping ten photos to it, first sorted photos according to portrait or landscape orientation.  For the landscape photos, I examined them for how much I could trim off the sides and matched accordingly.  Then I used my crafting tape runner to stick photos back to back, and clipped them up to the mobile.  Having trimmed some of the photos, the mobile moves more freely.  When the heat comes on in that room, it positively spins!  Delightful!  

First, lay out photos to match direction,
and match those that can be trimmed on the sides.

If you are interested in purchasing one, you can get the photo clip mobile at:
Currently $17.95

and also:
This one is only $10. 

I also bought two of them last year, after Christmas, on sale at JC Penney.  They were about $7 each.  I haven't done a thing with them yet, but I will now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

(Somewhat) Wordless Wednesday - Cape Point, South Africa

Cape Point, South Africa

An absolutely beautiful spot outside of Cape Town.  But, wow, does that wind whip around this peninsula.  We were told that it is not far off to the right of this cape, outside the range of this photo, is the point where the Indian and the Atlantic oceans meet.  Yikes!  There is a little furling whitecap that is meant to be right at the spot--beautiful, but oh, so cold and windy!

At the top of this climb, there is a beautiful restaurant called, appropriately enough, Two Oceans Restaurant.  We had a fantastic lunch there, enjoying the delicious food and the stunning views

From our June 2009 trip.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Penblwyd Hapus, Heilig!

Wishing a wonderful birthday to a wonderful man, my father-in-law Heilig.  Today Heilig turns 81. 

Last year the family planned to travel to Egypt to celebrate his milestone birthday.  Instead, "Arab Spring" interrupted our travel plans, and we met in Belgium, where we enjoyed a lovely week together.

Because of the change in travel plans, my sister-in-law was able to bring a fantastic birthday cake for the event.  Don't worry, it was a fruit cake, so it held up well in the travel.  A good fruit cake can even benefit by a few extra days before serving. 

Here are pictures of his 80th birthday very special cake. 

The cake includes a dragon (symbol of Wales),
a swan (for his favorite football team, The Swans),
a radio, maps and books (some of his hobbies),
little dolphins swimming in the bay,
and sheep (after all, this is Wales!).
The cake is lined surrounded by delicate flowers representing
his many years as a professor of horticulture.

The cake also includes a sign pointing to towns that
have significance to periods in his life.

Close-up of dragon, dolphins, books, radio
and swan.

Happy Birthday, Heilig!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy St. David's Day!

Happy St. David's Day!

St. David (Dewi Sant, in the Welsh language)

He lived during the 6th century, and is the Patron Saint of Wales.  Today is his feast day. 

Welsh natives celebrate this day in many ways. 
My favorite is that the women wear daffodils and the men wear leeks on their lapels. 

St. David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
(because the last time I was there was in my pre-digital camera days,
and I have not scanned those photos yet!)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday's Child - Haylee Jane Boniface

"Our Baby"

Haylee Jane Boniface

Daughter of

Paul & Atash

Boniface, Jr.

Dec. 17, 2003

This stone is located in Darlington Cemetery, MD.

Sadly, this small cemetery has more than its fair share

of "Wednesday's Child" headstones.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - "RC" Reeves


Robert Claude
March 21, 1932
Nov. 21, 1987

Jean Marie
March 21, 1938

Sept. 21, 1957

This headstone is located in Darlington Cemetery, MD.  They are not my family members. 

The scene depicted on this headstone leads me to believe that "RC" was a farmer, perhaps even an apple farmer.  The town is well known in the area for its annual event, the Darlington Apple Festival. 

The 21st was a big day for this couple:  RC and his wife Jean Marie shared the same birthday, March 21.  He was six years older than she.  I'm sure having that shared event to celebrate annually was a source of great fun throughout the years.  Their other "21" was their anniversary; they were married on the 21st of September, 1957. 

This headstone is engraved with the maiden name of RC's wife.  My walk through this cemetery revealed quite a few stones that include this information, along with marriage date, which is also here.  That's important information for ancestors, so it's great to see it shared here. 

I have to be sure to include that detail in my wishes.  I guess you can never be too early in planning those details, but you can sometimes be too late.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Abundant Genealogy - Darlington Cemetery

Main Gate at Darlington Cemetery
Harford County, MD

This week's Abundant Genealogy topic is Cemeteries.  Like many family historians, I too, have had emotional experiences in cemetery after cemetery.  Everything from standing in the rain crying, to hugging a kind (and quite surprised) funeral director who guided me during a lull in the day, to wandering and wondering only to leave "empty-handed."  On occasion, seredipity prevails and I immediately find the stone I seek.  Or even better, I find an important connection on a stone I did not seek!

One of my most pleasant, emotional and eye-opening cemetery visits was to little Darlington Cemetery.  Situated on the top of a hill in Harford County, MD, the cemetery was founded and incorporated by the wealthy of the area in 1882. 

The new part of the cemetery is still active today.  I was there back in the fall, on a crisp, sunny day, and there were many visitors.  One dear woman rode through on her scooter, her adult grandson by her side.  They realized I was not a familiar face and spoke to me, and before long, I knew a lot about "the other side" of my Jordan and Jourdan ancestors, who hail from this small farming community.  This blog post explains much more about that day, and why Darlington Cemetery is so dear to my heart.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Gift that Keeps Giving

As I’ve mentioned here many times, genealogy research is a new journey for me, not quite one year.

This time last year when I first signed on the, little dancing leaves were popping up all over the place with details on people previously unknown to me.  While my mom was excited to be filled in on her own great-grandparents and other ancestors, I think she was not so thrilled that I was calling ten times a day to confirm these facts and prompt any memories she may have.

My research did prompt Mom to dig out albums of old photos, which I am in the process of scanning and sharing here and on Facebook. 

But since some family members aren’t on Facebook and don’t follow here, I decided to share the old-fashioned way:  photo albums.  

For Christmas, I bought albums from Michaels, a national chain of craft stores.  They were nothing fancy and not expensive, for my two nieces, two nephews, two sisters and two brothers. 

I'm behind the times in getting an album to my brother in Texas.  Back in October I sent him some photos without thinking to, DUH, put them in an album.  So I picked up one for him, too.  Ed, I am very happy to say I mailed your album earlier today!  Finally!    

I filled the albums with prints of many of these old photos from Mom, captioned with as many names as I knew.  And guess what happened?  They loved it!  Not only that, new conversations have started.  My nephew has loaned me great-Uncle Benny’s Purple Heart and military mementos from other relatives (more about this in a later post).  My sisters are starting to share their old photos. 

Another good thing: there is not so much of that nasty "eyes-glazed-over" look that family genealogists often get. 

One of the best results:  my oldest sister Diane now emails me several times a week with fantastic memories of our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents!  Diane is the oldest child; I am the youngest, with 13 years (and three additional children) between us.  When Diane was growing up, our immediate family, and indeed the entire extended family was much smaller; life was so very different for my sister than for me. 

What I can’t believe is I never thought to talk to her about these things!  So, besides all this wonderful sharing of photos and mementos, I have learned a very valuable lesson:  everyone has a story to tell.  And, oh, what beautiful stories they are!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Mozart Family, Salzburg

Saint Sebastian's Cemetery
Salzburg, Austria

Leopold Mozart

b. 14 Nov. 1719
d. 28 May 1787

Father of Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Composer, Conductor and Musician.

Others buried on the site [L-R]
(as related to Leopold):
Jeannette Berchtold von Sonnenburg (granddaughter)
Genovesa Weber (daughter-in-law's aunt)
Constanze Mozart Nissen (daughter-in-law)
Euphrosina Pertl (mother-in-law).

(My photo, Dec. 28, 2008)