Friday, December 30, 2011

Following Friday Who to Explore Next?

Following Friday   Who to Explore Next?

Who to explore next on Following Friday?  Remembering that Thomas M brought up this topic briefly,
 I am curious if everyone is getting the same data and trying to determine what we should keep up with and
 what we should set aside for later.

 It seems that suddenly there are many new places offering us sources and suggestions and willing to help.
Not to mention the new blogs I found this week.

 O I am not complaining, I just do not know which one to work with for a while.

  Who Were They?

Family History Show | Family History Interviews | Genealogy Interviews Genealogy, Family Tree, Ancestry and Family History Search

Now here is one we can really use.

Lutheran Genealogy -- Libraries and Archives

Got Genealogy? - HOME

Genealogy InTime Magazine

I have many more but just thought I would share these in case you have not seen them.

Happy New Year to you All.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - My thoughts- Surname Search

Wisdom Wednesday   - My thoughts - Surname Search

 Sometimes my thoughts ramble and roam and are not sure where there is a home.

 I just completed an interesting read on a message board. Having used message boards since the beginning of them I had almost forgotten how much information you can garner from gazing through the messages on surnames that may belong to you.

 It is one thing to do a search for a specific name and it is another to set back and read the many comments made regarding a specific family or group of peoples.  It reminded me of my love to read Will Books.

 Long ago having learned that there is a full family history contained in Will Books if the family has stayed in one location any length of time.  It takes longer to garner the history if they move about and you have to track down the Wills, Probates & Deeds.

I was looking for information on my husbands lineage. ended up reading about five generations of one of the lines just  from the posts made by people responding.

Now that was not as I know yet his direct line but some of the names mentioned here in were mentioned in his line.  So sent off queries to the people involved and hope to get a reply.

So do a search for a specific name but take the time to read the posts especially if within a region your kin may have been or tramped across moving.  You may find Great Aunt Harriet and Dear Great Uncle Bob is mentioned in their posts and found entire new line of information.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Thinking Back

Tombstone Tuesday  Thinking Back

 Yes it's Tombstone story day.  Having been in a few states across the country, I have found that
tombstones vary greatly from area to area.

 Of course we know that wealth or lack of made a difference for many stones, but have you looked
 at the making of the stones, shapes, ideas presented etc.  Having read that  religion and cause of death
 can make the  difference in stones I have also observed that they are differently done by areas.

 Having traveled to South West Pennsylvania,  Western Ohio, Southern Michigan, Upper and Lower Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico. Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska,
Oregon, Washington, British Colombia, Baja Mexico and California from top to bottom, I have taken pictures in many of these states and tromped down a creek line in RickReal, Oregon when I was only 16.
The cemetery has slide down into the creek area on one side.

In Afton, Wyoming the small cemetery runs up the side of the mountain on the north side of town.
It has many interestingly  unique stones and wooden crosses in a few spots. Of course this was some 12
 years ago.

When you are out researching cemeteries, have you noticed how the area seems to have similar stone designs within each region?  Of course, they maybe have a quarry around that has a specific type stone,
 but that is not what I am talking about.

 Hope to get some replies to this.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day is Past- the Holiday Not Yet

Christmas Day is Past- the Holiday Not Yet

The day of Christmas is past but the holiday is not yet over.  Most Christians celebrate until 6 January.

Somehow all having to do with birth not when celebrated and pagan holidays intermixed.

This Christmas has been a hard one for me to wrap my mind around since it is now a year since I saw my mother alive last, at least I think that is why.

 I  always look forward to the joyous music and the attitude of most of the world.

 It always seemed people were more careful with their words at this time of the year.

 It is a  beautiful season for the world to rejoice in.

 The winter is beginning and so is the life for our souls. There are many parallels in the one and the other.

 Looking out side we had a, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", night.

 Being graced with a book about Christmas Cards a few days ago I thought I would share
 this little historical tidbit with you all.

 Having wondered when cards first appeared to mark the celebrating of Christmas.

 Someone found it on Google books and it is a free ebook.
 Christmas cards & their chief desingers by Gleeson White

Christmas cards & their chief designers - Gleeson White - Google Books

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas is Here- 2011

Christmas is Here - 2011

Christmas Eve brought us great joy with the sharing of a Great Grandchild and family.
Yes, family from all sides came to see the little boy. It was a day of great joy.

 Late at night a grandson arrived at home. I then went to bed feeling they were all safe and off the road.

 This morning we had breakfast for the family whom lives near. Everyone called and most all came by through out the day.

 We served fresh fruit, ham, bacon, eggs, bagels with assorted cream cheese spreads. Lots of  juices and cocoa and coffee or tea were available also to imbibe.

 We missed our family in Michigan, whom we knew was missing us. They called us almost like on cue.

 We shared about the beautiful gifts that Sara had given us for Christmas {knitted} and we then shared our crochet projects with the family also.

 The temperature was in the low 70's and the sun shone all day long.

  Grandpa B B Que'd for  late afternoon and we shared a pleasant time with our grandsons that are from out of the area.

 Keeping the tradition that started when they were younger the group of them all went out to the movies.

 Missed being at the rest of families dinner.  We only see these boys about ever 3 to 5 months any more.  I am sure we missed an awesome plate and  more great company.

 Dan made it in from his Mom's in Escondido and Andrew called us, he spent day at his Mom's.

Hope that everyone, everywhere had a great day to remember.  I even talked to my Great Aunt in Greybull, Wyoming. We spoke to Don and family also mid morning.  Mary called last evening, as did Shirley the day before. Fred's siblings.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Avent Calendar for 2011 -- Christmas Eve Events

Christmas Eve Events at the Jones House later at the Pentico's.

As a child we spent the time at my Uncle and Aunt's house with the toy train that was given to the boys the year before1944 and each year they got more engines and cars.  I last saw this train running around the toy work room built for the boys when they were much older and working on the dairy. It ran around the side walls of the room. Probably 15 x 15 x 15 x15.  It was more than one train before it left the house domain.

 I remember the year Bob got a engine that spit fire and smoke and had light on the front. Don got a Caboose that lit up and flag man waved a lantern.  It was an event looked forward to for many years as a young person.  It was a winter event for being out of the rain and cold. Northern California and we did some times get snow on the ground and lots of ice.  We if lucky, even got to run it if wet, nasty EASTER.

Later years we as a young family(Pentico) made popcorn and we all strung it for the tree. First it was just Dad and Mom and I. Then siblings and family did it for many years. At the Pentico house it was the biggest ornaments on the tree the first few years.  Popcorn on the tree stopped some time in Lemoore Naval Station after the ants attacked the Pentico tree. 1963/4.

When we moved to San Diego we did popcorn again and only left it up a couple of days so it was always strung on last.

At the time, 1950's Mom had been given some neat lights by her Mom and she strung lights. Does anyone remember the Bubble Lights? Mom and I both loved the affects of the bubble lights. Maybe I will find and
string some on my tree next year.

Mom had also gotten some flower lights shared by her mother that were cut glass and individual petal wired. I think we had 8 on a strand to start with. I remember them being purple, last to die, red, yellow, and pink and the other colors I am not remembering.

When the children (Pentico) were small we went to Mass in the mornings and then when older we went to Midnight Mass and then came home and they could open one gift.

Mom and Dad and family went to morning Mass with Uncle Comillo and Aunt Etta & boys generally.
Even when we moved across town we met at St. Vincent's and went to Mass.

Somewhere along the line it changed but it was done for many years. Then we did Christmas Mass at Tomales, CA. instead of Petaluma, Ca.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Advent Calendar for 2011    Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Christmas Sweetheart memories is a bit amuck in my background. I am instead going to tell about a Sweetheart story that never got to finish.

 Laton E Huffman ie Hoffman was born 20 November 1840. He lived in the country on a hillside that looked across a small valley and the area is gorgeous to look at in the fall. He and many of his siblings went off to War for the Union and they all made it home.

Afterwards he traveled about looking for a place to settle and he helped build the first hotel in a town in Kansas.  I have in the his letter home to family this information. He enjoyed Christmas with his parents and a brother and some sisters that still lived at home on 25 Dec 1971.  The father writes in a letter to his brother the rest of the tale.  They partook of  breakfast the next morning and he  told them he was off to ask his intended if she was ready to marry him. His Dad obviously walked with him to the barn to saddle his horse and go to his intendeds house.  As he was saddling the horse he had a heart attack and died.
I think  I know  whom the intended was but  have no further information on her. 

26 Dec 1871 was his death Aleppo Greene Co. PA

25 Dec   No.
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Huffman, Laton E.
6th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry

His brother my Great Great Grandfather Sanford Hoffman was living in Iowa at this time and his father wrote to tell him of his loss. They served in the same war unit during the war and were close.  He was only 31 years of age.  

Sanford was his closest in age brother a few years old being born 1834. He had sisters on both sides of him and the baby boys never made it past probably 5 years of age. I can find very little on them.  Burial was Aleppo Cemetery, up on a beautiful hill that you can look south and see West Virginia and west and see Ohio and the rest of the terrain there is Pennsylvania country.
 Served in CW under WVa with brother Laton E Huffman
Soldier Name
Regiment Name
Huffman, Sanford
6th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry

This story broke my heart when I learned of the story behind it. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent Calendar of 2012. Honoring the Dead

Advent Calendar of 2012.  Honoring the Dead

Well, I had to think on this one.  We seem to bury a lot of family and friends this time of year.
We will be doing the same again this year. We just lost a friend and I just lost a cousin this week.

 We lost our dear friends at this time several years back and I lost Mom this last January.

 I just keep going to the phone and saying, "MOM, I am thinking of you". No sense picking it up or placing a call.

 I am not sure we honor them more now than normal but they are thought of and talked of and their ideas and wishes and dreams are passed on to the  living family members.

 Generally, someone will say," Grandpa used to love to tease us about our chores being done and coal in our stockings."  Or "Grandma made the best brownies you have ever eaten, to bad you did not get to try them," to the younger ones who do not remember that much about some of the elders.

 Our family was lucky because the grandparents lived well up in the years giving the great grandchildren a good chance to get to know them a bit, especially the Grandmothers.

 I am blessed with a Great Aunt still alive and 2 Aunts on my Dad's side and  1 Uncle on my Mom's.

Fred's older generations are gone, and many of his cousins and class mates are gone too. We both have all our siblings yet.

 So basically chatting about the past and what the deceased likes and dislikes were is the biggest thing, since the deaths are rather recent yet it is easily brought up.  Ten years from now will someone do that, I can not say.  They may have to be talking about us then.

Advent Calendar for 2011 Christmas Music

Advent Calendar for 2011    Christmas Music

Christmas Music is a fun topic since the family has always been somewhat musical.
Guitar players, harmonica's, accordion, squeeze box, piano, trumpet, drums and a few
family bands in the back ground.

My Dad and Aunt could sing duo for many songs. My Uncle shared and so we had great singing feasts.

Christmas meant Bing Crosby and old Church Hymn's from the various church backgrounds of the family.
Dominately, Baptist and Catholic and others mixed in.

As children we were always singing in the chorale at school,  having done solo's back then.

I remember when Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer song came out, seems it was near end or end of the war.  Other songs " I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus",  Grandma got run over by a Raindeer,  twisted but cute.

Favorite songs: Silent Night, White Christmas, O Come all ye Faithful, It came upon a Midnight Clear,
Away in the Manger, and the list goes on. I think we should listen to more Christmas music sooner in the fall. It changes peoples moods.

Our children used to gather with the neighbor's and carol on our block. We parents of course went with them. I do not think but maybe a couple of the Grandchildren have done that. But they have all sang in chorus's before. Some have been in plays and sang and they all have a decent voice to excellent voice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011-- Religious Services

Advent Calendar for  2011-- Religious Services

Christmas with out religious services, now that is a thought to ponder.

I was raised Catholic, when small we went to morning Mass with other class mates, smaller I went with parents, Aunt and Uncle and their family.

We went to Mass when older either the evening before or Midnight.

 We would come home and have hot cocoa, and cookies or a tamale and the children were allowed to open
 one gift.

 I prefer Midnight Mass. It ushers in the birth of Christ and the start of our true salvation.

 There is something about the night time sky and air and people's attitudes at night, that makes it feel so

  Midnight Mass is still preferred by this house but  our families are on their own and do their own time and

Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011-- Christmas Shopping

Advent Calendar for  2011-- Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping was an adventure of it's own. Dad always waited until Christmas Eve to go to town and get what the bargains may be.  We never spent much for Christmas but we shared friendship with our family near and far.
 Mom made some gifts and we gave canned fruit  or pies for gifts.

As stated in the previous chats, we shared with family and friends we did a lot of baking and cooking and

 I am sure if there was a special item gotten it was done ahead of time. I know in our  home as a married
 family we seldom did large items at Christmas there were gotten on Birthdays. That are spread out during
 the year so funds were more available.

  Surely the family remembers the year Dad was overseas and the older boys were in Jr. High and needed
 not just shoes for school but Gym shoes. It was an ironic situation because I ended up buying 7 pairs of
 shoes and the store sold me bedroom slippers at a massive discount. So that Christmas was shoes and slippers. We had dry feet and warm feet at night.  Being teenagers their feet seemed to grow over night
 some times.

 It is hoped that the gifts gotten were enjoyed and appreciated and used for a long period of time. One year
 Santa brought us a 19" black and white tv. The old one had died.

 Suspecting children of today have no idea what a Christmas with out ten toys under the tree was like or meant. Surely our children learned the real meaning of Christmas with the giving and sharing and attending Church.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011-- Holiday Stockings

Advent Calendar for 2011-- Holiday Stockings

 Holiday Stockings I do recall, there was one for me and Sis and Mom and Dad.  Inside was a orange, 3 walnuts, my plastic trycycle.  Sis and Mom and Dad all had the same only sis got a comb and brush set for little people. I am not sure what Mom and Dad had in theirs but it was probably a hair comb and  barrette.

I must have been six years old or five. My mind said the war was still on so maybe 5, or just ended.

We were living at the Morretti Ranch, Dad milked cows for them. The stockings were our own. Not something from the store.  Later years I remember we took craft paper at school cut out a stocking and strung ribbon through the holes to make a stocking to take home for Xmas.  Often a toothbrush was the item in the stocking with fruit and nuts.

When many years past and we were older I recall we had stockings, I believe my Aunt Etta made them.
 I was a teen by now. I wonder where they went because we never touched any of Mom's Christmas decorations when home but the very old tree I sent her almost 20 years ago.  No idea where the ornaments went that we made or the articles that Dad and Mom had made. Mom was very artsy Crafty. She taught 4-H sewing and could design a dress from seeing it in a store window. She also did beautiful flower drawings from scratch some of the prettiest was Pansy's.

Our family{Pentico's} had a stocking for Ed and later we added for Don. When older we  had a  stocking for each family member. Mom, Dad, Ed, Don, Candy, Bj, and Al.   Whom ever was visiting was honored with a stocking.  Generally always a toothbrush, hair comb or brush, orange, nuts, peppermint stick and a toy of some type maybe a ball pen or pencil and eraser.

Christmas was to help fill in the blanks from school so we asked Santa for things we knew the children would need at school.

 When they did the Christmas list it also was a need list first and 2 items of want only. Santa attempted to get one of each and sometimes both of need and the want if the year had been good.

 If we went to Mom's we took the stockings with us.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Holiday Travel for the Pentico's

Advent Calendar for 2011-  Holiday Travel for the Pentico's

On Dec 13, I wrote about my family and Holiday Travels.  That family being the JONES Family.
Dad was a Jones, Mom was a HOFFMAN. Her Grandmother was a DUVALL and her mom was a SCOTT.  Into the mix comes the PENTICO name. We married in 1959, in Sunnyvale, California.

 Our first Christmas was apart. He flying in parts unknown and I in Sonoma Co. Calif. with my parents and family. Our 2nd Christmas he was home just before Christmas because first born was gravely ill.  I was still at my parents since I had moved back home.  I spent the day with the baby, mostly. He was winging his way back to Guam to come home for next tour of duty.

 We then spent our first family Christmas together in Lemoore Naval Air Station, CA. The entire family chipped in for us to have a Christmas. Items from Aunts, Uncles, cousins, friends  and  our parents made the event happen.

 I used the roasting pan Wednesday morning to cook the Society's turkey in.  It is a baked enamel pan and has given us much use.

 As time marched on we would go to Mom and Dad's up the road since his family was in Iowa much to far to travel in a few days and cold would be upon Iowa.  We seldom missed a year at the folks sharing with all the other relatives mentioned above, We added a couple of neighbors that had become like family to the group and it was really jolly fun time but lots of cooking and cleaning.  But lots of good conversations and games, the younger ones could play with their cousins. Eddie, Don, Wayne, Billy, Little Ray, Richard, Becky, Candy, Bj,  Alan and other younger ones when a family was around.

One year the folks came to our home in Lemoore, with my sister still in high school and my brothers.
My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Fred would come bringing: Jerry, Linda and Ken.  One year we all congregated at Aunt Ruth's in Sunnyvale area. Sometimes at Mom's we had double cousin Ken Foulk and his children at Valley Ford or Aunt Ruth's in the city.

The Foulk is Grandma Ida's maiden name before she married Grandad Jones. They had 2 boys and 1 girl. She was the first baby Fred ever held.

After our  tour to Hawaii we settled in San Diego, CA and then family came to see us or we went to see them and we added my Uncle Gerald and Aunt Jennie and their children Lew and Jim.

 For many years we shared Christmas Eve with close friends and then shared New Years Eve with them also. They have been gone many years. Diabetes is a bad disease. We lost her sister 2 days ago.

 We share cookies and treats with our community and I always give to Boy's Town for Dad was most impressed with the work they did for youngsters, when he was young.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Christmas at School

Advent Calendar for 2011-  Christmas at School

 Christmas at school was a really big thing when I was young and when my children went to school also.
 I was amazed when thinking about the past school pageants and songfests, we had such a joyful time and
 our teachers always made sure everyone had a part and were involved.

 Some how we have lost so much more than just the not mentioning of God at school but it has affected our entire attitude in life for many.

 Having forgotten that at one time I was a solo for the evening. There were three of us picked to sing and the rest had chorale. They did more songs than we.  We had cocoa and cookies afterwards with all the families and students of the school.  Father Kielly was there and said we did a marvelous presentation.
I was an 9th grader then. I later moved on to band and played in many parades and school events.

 My siblings were in Christmas plays also. Later our children were in plays, pageants and or did
singing.  We were blessed we have grand children with voices and acting ability. One is even a Thespian.

Our 4-H group gathered canned goods to take to the Salvation Army via the 4-H office for the less fortunate.  We even did cake sales and cookie sales to make funds for the school events to share.

It saddens my heart to know that schools are not allowed to do this any more. We gave our soul away somehow.

A grandson related to me very recently how he feels about religion and it was a very profound and interesting reveal of his thoughts.  I think he has his head on very straight and if he can at least keep the thoughts he has now it should help to guide him in his future life.

Christmas is the Celebration of Christ being born and to say less is sad.
Yes there are other connotations added to it but it is the reason for the season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Holiday Happenings

Advent Calendar for 2011-  Holiday Happenings

 Holiday Happenings, yes we have some of those.  Jesus Murillo was given a birthday party for his birthday along with celebrating Christmas. We had birthday cake so long long ago.

 Brother has birthday in December he just passed the celebrating date. Brother was not left out for birthday but interesting enough within the family some were very overlooked when family was younger. Never understood how family could celebrate ones birthday and not the other the next day. Was not our choice so we stayed away during the time of the ignored birthday.

 Cousin's birthday is Jan 1.  Now when he turned an adult he really had fun. An avid book reader and baseball lover both to play and enjoy.

 When I was younger Everett Zimmerman's birthday fell 28 December and we always had fun celebrating with this family. Some times the adults pushed it over to New Years Eve so only on trip across town.
We lived about 35 miles apart. Everett was my Dad's dear friend as  his wife was Mom's. They were killed in August of 1966 if I can remember right.  Sad sad day.  She was my other mother for many years.
We met before my family moved to California so she was, Aunt, friend and second Mom.  I knew them for about 24 + years.  They had a major influence over my life and my siblings.  When younger brother went to work he milked cows for them, was in their employee when the died. We shared them in our family events as they did us in theirs. I met so many later to learn distant kin. They lived near my Aunt Etta and Uncle Comillo and those families seem to all intermingle over time. Even in the grave yard the names are interspersed.

 Grandson's birthday is in January and after his birth we always left tree up until his birthday past. He loved the lights and balls. I do  not think he decorated tree this year. Think he was at the other house.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Fruit Cake

Advent Calendar for 2011-  Fruit Cake

 A favorite topic of mine at this time of year. Cooking and baking and making surprises is a real treat.

 Fruit cake, my Aunt used to make the most awesome fruit cake I have ever eaten. No, it did not taste like  this stuff in the store today.  It was true fruit cake.

 Today's fruitcakes have so much citron in them that they are bitter and unpleasant to eat.
 I think the only peel she used in hers was orange zest and not very much.  Remembering walnuts, pecans, candied cherries, candied pineapple, dates, the white raisin's and never got the recipe from her.

She generally made them in September near Labor Day weekend and she changed the cloth over them weekly that had been saturated with some type of wine, bourbon, brandy or rum.  A dark red wine was very tasty with one that was light in fruits and heavier on cake.  So the wine was soaked into the cake base.

I recall at least two types each Christmas.  O yes she used figs in hers sometimes, recall it was really her own recipe.

 If you read old cook books and I mean old you will learn that marketers today give you lots of citron and very little candied fruit so the fruit cake tastes like orange and lemon peels.

 I like a good fruit cake and I found that some southern regions have some that are very near to the flavor of her Fruit Cakes.  

 I much prefer now days to make drop cookies and add a small amount of candied fruits w citron to the
 cookies.  I do not use but maybe 3 pieces of citron  per cookie and it does not overwhelm the flavor of the cookie, also soak the mix in bourbon or rum prior to using them generally.

Advent Calendar for 2011- Holiday Travel

Advent Calendar for 2011- Holiday Travel

 Holiday Travel was always in the cards as a youngster.  I was born in Greybull, Wyo and grandparents were in Wheatland, Wyo. .    I was told my parents went to my Grandparents' in Wheatland. It was a two fold purpose because I was to be taken to Denver's Children Hospital, where later I had surgery.  I so wanted those papers from Mom's. Did not happen.

Later we moved to Sonoma County, California and Dad worked on his brother in law's dairy. Those early Christmases I remember very well. The food, the family, the trains that ran on the tracks and hot cocoa and cookie at the end of the night.

Moving down the road to Moretti's we then went back to Aunt's and they came to our's. We shared Christmas with family and friends. Family was my Aunt Etta and her husband and boys. Everyone else was in Wyoming, Colorado and Iowa.

We then moved to a small town on the north west side of the county. A few years later, my Mom's cousin moved to Palo Alto and we expanded our Holiday events.  They loved to come to the ranch away from the city. A few years later Mom's little sister moved in next door to us. Our gatherings were getting larger.
It was nothing to have 35 people over night and to feed for a couple of days.

Slowly other family members moved near enough to visit. Dad's brother got stationed in San Diego and they would come up ever so many Christmases.

 We had a good time at Christmas but a lot of  cooking and work to do also. Ranch work does not end when company comes in.  Hurray most of the cousins loved to help. They could legally go muck around in the mud, if it rained and one year it even snowed.

Saving Fred and my family memories for another post.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 Charity or Volunteerism

Advent Calendar for 2011    Charity or Volunteerism

Christmas has been taught in my home as a child as a time for sharing.  It is for thinking about others and doing something special for  others.

First we were to remember it was the birth of the Christ Child and we attended MASS. We went to morning Mass or Midnight Mass depending on many things in my parents busy life.  If we were going to Aunt's for Christmas we generally went on  way to  their house. If we had company coming many times we did Midnight Mass so we were free for when relatives and friends arrived.

We volunteered at the school for setting up and taking down for the plays and potlucks.

As a young family my husband and I always gave to Navy Relief to help those less fortunate.
We seldom did Christmas as a big event..  Thanksgiving was our time for that.

 I worked as an Omsbudsman for the Navy when my husband was away.  That was volunteering
 to care for other members of the Squadron.  We helped to get trees and gifts for those who needed more than two hands to handle the holiday.   We actually were the receiver as a family, by co workers the winter, our youngest went to the hospital for the major part of December.

Our children sang in the chorus and did Church work to show thanks for the Baby Jesus coming.

 Our  older boys were raised as Boy Scouts and did much volunteerism during the holidays for years.

 Our girls sang in the choir and helped neighbors in need. Whether it was  walk the dog. Set and spend time with someone home from the hospital or playing a game of cards so adult not all alone every day.

Our children adopted the older neighbors as Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles because we were so far from family except my Uncle in Lemon Grove.  One daughter baked cookies for the neighbors from the time she was like 9 years old, Albert passed this year so no more cookies.  But we have a new neighbor that we share with now.

 Cookies are swapped and food sometimes too.  If you truly want to receive one should give.
  God keeps reminding us of that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Other Traditions

Advent Calendar for 2011- Other Traditions
  Other traditions were being involved in the schools play and sharing of food for the community.

  A tradition we did at home for years was to string popcorn to put on the tree. It seems once the young ones were almost adults there was no longer an  interest in doing this. But we bake and share with neighbors and friends.

  We send Christmas cards and letters to preserve some family history.  It was a smart person whom started those Christmas letters that replace the diaries family used to keep with family events of the year. No it is not as good as the old ledger but it is better than no information at all.

 We also always shared our children's pictures with family and close friends.  Do you know we learned some of our close friends were close relatives?

Advent Calendar for 2011- Christmas Gifts

Advent Calendar for 2011-  Christmas Gifts

My early Christmas memories were filled with sharing with my Aunt Etta and Uncle Comillo and their boys.
The first big gift I remember was Dad made me a table from orange crates.  It was during the War.
That table was on the porch in the fall of last year but no where to be found in January.  It was always painted blue and yellow it seems.

 A couple years later when Sis was small we got the folding chairs to go with it and we were living at Moretti's. My chair my grand niece is using. Sis has hers.  Jesse that chair has to be nigh on  to 66 years old.

 The other memorial gifts were: the year we moved to Moretti's from Morelli's and Santa got myself and my sister a doll each. My relatives made clothes to fit them and we loved those dolls. I still have mine.
I think my Uncle made the small wardrobe that the clothes were in and Aunts and friends made the rest.
We had crocheted sweater for our dolls with bonnet. We had I believe 5 ensembles a piece.

 The next one to remember was the year I got a bicycle so I could ride to my friends. Dad had sold my horse and I was not a happy camper. We were now living in Valley Ford.  The horse came as a birthday gift at Moretti's. She was beautiful and she was  named Old Crow. I was a teen now. Our area was rural and homes were several miles apart out side the main  part of town. Dairy ranches and some sheep ranches in this community.

Other Christmas's came and went but I remember the year Mom said laughing she always wanted some Mink since her sister in law had all those lovely fur coats and jackets and stoles.  Mom had home made coats she did herself and a raincoat Dad got her at one time. I was married at this point and in the Exchange they had a Mink Mouse and Mink Hat and Mink Muffs for sale.  My husbands funds were not great so I bought my Mom the Mink Mouse pin, so she could have something Mink in her  wardrobe.

It was a fun thing between us.  She never  wanted for very much but  to live where she did and hope her family stayed close and in touch with out major arguments.  Her Mink pin was in her drawer last December and we talked about it and I have it now. She said it could have been something beside a mouse but she wore it ever so often I noticed when I would go home.  I raised mice when younger at my Aunt's and then later at the ranch of ours. Then I migrated to rabbits whom are awesome to be around and care for.  But I also loved my pigs.  They are a story book of their own.

We had great gifts through the years. Our first married Xmas together, all the family supplied all the Xmas and we got Eddie a chair.

One Christmas my husband bought me a beautiful pearl and ruby ring that matched events in our lives.
Many times we traveled to either his or my parents to share Xmas. Valley Ford or Riverside, Ca after his folks moved to California from Woodward, IA.

Last year was my Mom's last Christmas and I got her new gowns which she wore until her passing in January.

One year we got our son a car.  I will share that in another post it was probably one of the most remembered family Christmas here in this house, for my husband and myself.

Husband spent many, many Christmas's away in service.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Unusual Surprises

Advent Calendar for 2011  Unusual Surprises

As we know this is the time of year that many things happen. Some fun some stressful, some joyful and jolly events we experience especially this time of year.

 A distant family member may  pop in and surprise you.  I neighbor may bring over a treat to share with the family you were not expecting.

 You then may decide to surprise someone else and go knock on their door and say Greetings.

 It is only the 9th and already we have had two visitors not expected. Whooopeee. I love visitors and so does my husband.  Neither stayed long but to see their face and chat awhile is a  good thing.

 Invited brother to Christmas yesterday and he said not to be surprised if I open door and he standing there. Isn't that a fun thought to think about.  I do not expect him since he may be having surgery again soon but it is the thought that counts.

Of course he would bring his lovely wife along.

 A gift we received already was my nephew came home from overseas in one piece after working his third tour.  My sister's grandson came home also for a Thanksgiving visit to their family from over there also.

 Unusual surprises can come in many ways.  I special compliment by someone regarding how your are doing a project.

 We grew up with some relatives, Uncles on each side of family that loved to just put family in the car and show up on our door for various holidays. They are both gone but we loved it and funny thing was MOM almost always could tell when her Sister was headed our way.  Drove Uncle nuts that it was never a total surprise but once.  Dad's brother would come from the other direction and some times we had them all together at the same time.  They all went to school together when they were very young.  So our family was one very large family.

How I miss that family connection.

Follow Friday--- Scot Research

For all those doing research for Scotland here is a site I like to follow.
It reminds me of others that post information. Keeps it simple and yet very informative, for being able
to learn more without over load.

 I really love to follow this blog.

Thanks Christine.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies  2011 Advent Calendar

 O yes, we are assured that there will be cookies somewhere in the realm of the holiday season.
 I used to make cookies and let the children cut them out and decorate after they are baked.
 It was fun and a mess but we shared the time and it was thought it was good family time.

 We did sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies,  blonde brownies and chocolate brownies, multi colored sugar cookies. Perfernuesse, drop cookies with M & M inserted. chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies.
 Into the mix we would add various colors of flavors: Oatmeal cookie with raisins and cocoanut flakes,
Oatmeal cookies with nuts, Oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips. Thumb prints with various jellies were one of the children's favorites to make. Wonder if they still eat them. Not to forget the Rice Krispie treats colored and flavored to match the color.  Grandsons have learned how to make them.

 The sugar cookies we added color and flavor to the batches to mix up the taste.

 I can say this came down the family because I understand my Mother's family made cookies and shared with the neighbors when funds were well enough. My siblings and I did this when we grew up and Mom even taught 4-H cooking.

 So when our children were old enough to stir the flour and egg and make cut outs they made cookies.
 Over the years they learned different cookies and shared their ideas with their siblings.  One does not like coconut but their Dad does. Some love butterscotch and carmel, more than chocolate.  For a period of time we could not have chocolate in the house so we used carob.  Just not the same but served it's purpose.
 One refuses to eat a cookie that may have nuts in it,  does not like the crunch or crunchy peanut butter.

 Over the years as they become adults we find that the siblings swap cookies at Christmas time.  So we added a larger selection to the mix.

Advent Calendar for 2011- Holiday Parties

Advent Calendar for 2011 - Holiday Parties

 Holiday gatherings were done yearly, not really sure I would call them parties.  During the war
 we met at my Aunt's house and after Christmas, Uncle Comillo would have set the train set up and we would go down to his house, and watch the trains move throughout the house and blow smoke, whistle and chug along the tracks.

 This home was large and had a hall that had to be 40 feet long, if not longer.  The track wound around the
 kitchen and dining room through the setting room into the formal living room, then down the hall past all
 the bedrooms and baths and office turning around in one of the end rooms and coming back up to complete the trip in the large open kitchen.

I recall that we did not have track that went so far the first few years. I think it just went around kitchen, dining and living rooms.

 Each year the boys received more track and train cars and requested pieces. I know it was a time we really looked forward to. Generally the track was up for about a week. Part of it was disassembled during the day and the boys and I had to carefully put it together to see the trains run.

 I recall the one year Don got his special caboose and Bob got another transformer and a cross tracking splice. So the trains went faster and they actually then climbed up mini hills and came down etc.
 Don's Caboose had a light feature in it and it would come on when we were ending or starting a run, much like what a conductor did in real life.

 Many years later my Uncle built a Train House room for the  boys as a work shop and the trains run around the walls of the shop and could still be enjoyed.

 We always seemed to have Hot chocolate and marshmellow's and a sugar cookie at the end of the night.
  Of course our parents would enjoy this along with the children.

  As an adult with children we used to share Christmas Eve either at my parents or with my Uncle Gerald's family.  We would gather the children, gifts and food and drive 12 hours to Mom and Dad's for a few days. I did this even when husband was overseas.

 Once stationed in San Diego we always shared holiday time with Dad's brother and his family and friends.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011- Santa Claus

  Advent Calendar for 2011  Santa Claus

  I recently re read an interesting story that someone did many years ago to explain the existence of
  Santa Claus to a growing child.

  It is still one of the best articles to explain to a growing child the warmth and depth of Santa Claus and
  how he spreads the joy that the Christ Child came to bring.

  I have to say, I think we see way to many of these jolly fellows around and about.  We used to get to  see him on two Saturdays before Christmas and he was not on every street corner and he was not
  promoting the things many do today. Alas.

  If it was harder to get to see him and he was more secluded maybe more of the true meaning of Christmas would still exist.

  The story that  explains his usefulness was basically this.  Does Santa still exist? Yes, in each and everyone of us that carries on his tradition of caring about someone else and doing for others as we so wish to have done to us.

   Grandma took the young man to the store and gave him money and said," now buy a gift for someone that you know". The young man thought, thought and thought, as he processed his family and friends he suddenly remembered the picked on boy with out a coat in school.  He picked out a coat and went to the clerk.  Handed her $10 and said it was for a boy who had no coat in school. She rang the sale up and they left the store.

  Grandma took  him to the boy's home with the coat wrapped and he sneaked up to porch and put it on the doorstep and rang the bell. Quickly scurried out of sight and watched the results.

  Some one answered the door.  The little boy got a Coat.  Grandma then turned to the little boy and said you are forever now Santa's helper.

  Also in the end, years later he learns going through Grandma's receipts that the clerk covered the rest of the  cost of the coat for it was more than $10.

 This is the reason for the Season. God gave His only Son. We are to emulate his actions by giving and doing for others, all the days of our lives not just Christmas.  So yes, somehow God let Santa become a
part of spreading the news of Jesus birth and His giving of Himself for us all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 Out door Ornaments

Out Door Ornaments

 We lived in the country a bit away from the road.  I can only recall Mom and Dad hanging lights around the entry way to the house door and along the porch some years if not to windy in Valley Ford.

We almost always had a wreath or bough of greens on the door. We decorated the tree to be seen from the window on the road, if the fog not to thick.

Mom and Dad strung lights along the porch by the door and some times around it varying each year a bit.

We being military were in many places for Christmas.

At Lemoore NAS, we decorated the tree in the living room to be seen between patio fence on the outside some times. I always hung lights around the dining room window where others passing by could see them.

A couple of times we had a bough on the door.

In Coronado I hung lights in the dining room windows and the living room windows. We decorated the tree so it could be seen sometimes by the neighbors. We even had mini tree on the enclosed patio for fun. The boys were very young then.  They had plastic ornaments and items made at school to use.

In Hawaii, we celebrated it very different Tree in window for lights to be seen outside. Lights all around the Lanai for the neighbors to see, share and enjoy.  We spent much time on the Lanai.

Back to California and San Diego , lights were hung around the  garage door and the front window and front door. We had a large snow man that we blew and lit up at the front door. We still have him.

Since  1970 we have hung different kinds of lights, some blinked, played music and some were straight line and one out all out.  I like how he strung the lights in a different pattern this year around the garage area.

Seriously thinking of dragging out the snow man to see if he still works.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 by Susi Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards used to be just that.  A homemade or store bought card sent to family that was not near.
we have inherited a couple of early cards that  Mom was given in her early years.

I love to see how they have changed. Even when Santa Claus was not the main character of Christmas he was on early cards. Each Country has a different theme picked for their cards. Kris Kringle, St. Lucia, and the list goes on. It is a celebration from 6 December until 6 January depending on country.

The writing of the cards generally falls to me.  We send cards and do up a Christmas letter capturing the essence of the year.  That is my big event for today besides finishing make the dog bed covers.

I fear that the writing of family memories and sharing with family is going to go away because many rely on the computer to send a note and save a stamp.  This is another form of family memories for future families to learn how we lived today.  It is as near to a journal as many ever write anymore.

It amazes me how the children will take cards sent from Aunt's, Uncle's, Grandparents and toss them away.
That is a signature of some one now gone. It is the essence of the person of the past.

As we learned by a handwriting analyst that, that name can tell you something about the person who is no longer  here to share the information.

Hoping people take heed and do not stop this very special way of keeping in touch with the people of the past in the future of tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 by Susi Ornaments

Holiday Ornaments

I remember my first home made ornament was stringing popcorn with my parents to hang on the tree.
We did this for several years even after we had lights on the tree.

Mom had some beautiful electric lights when they finally could afford them and they were like flowers with individual petals that lit up. I have one but it no longer works. Did not work when Mom gave to me.

As a youth we made ornaments in school to take home and hang on the tree.  We did paper cut outs of stars.  We made a plaster paris hand print as a gift to put on tree also.

Our children made paper cut outs and then lightbulbs decorated that no longer worked. I actually still have one or two of those.

As a married couple, my family supplied the ingredients for our first Xmas on our own. My Aunt Ruth supplied a colored wheel light and a aluminium tree. The wheel was colored blue and the ornaments that went with it where a  pretty bluish turquoise.  My parents supplied more ornaments. My  Aunt Etta supplied garland and a candy dish.

Of course there was her great Divinity in the dish.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 by Susi #2 Holiday Foods

Holiday Foods

There was always twice a year events that  I loved the holiday foods. Christmas was one.
Of course much of what we had at Thanksgiving was repeated at Christmas except, yes there is that
word, desserts.

My Aunt Etta would make Divinity and put nuts or dried fruit or cherries in the different batches.
Mom made fudge, good creamy yummy flavored fudge. Margaret Zimmerman would make mincemeat pies, (the real kind not those of today), Aunt Ruth would do pumpkin pies, other relatives and friends that gathered also brought their specialties.  I miss the relative on Uncle Comillo's side that made the Fruit Cake.
I think it was Bob's Aunt. Again a real fruit cake not this today stuff, unless you order from the south or northeastern part of USA.

We seldom varied from the turkey but there was times we would have goose and we did duck a couple of times. Goose for cooking is a difficult bird not to get it so greasy that one can stand eating it.
I helped Mom one year about 1956 to do a goose. My Great Uncle living with us wanted goose.
We pulled grease off like I could not believe.  We seasoned the goose, put herbs on the inside and rubbed the outside with more dry rub.  The flavor was good on the upper part of the bird but we could not keep the grease off the bottom half of bird.  I almost think a pan needs created to let the grease & broth drip off as it cooks so it does not stand in it. Yes we had it on a stand in the pan.  I also wonder if it was because it was store bought not home raised that it could have been more lean. They like you to pay for the extra pounds of fat that you must toss away.  I have never attempted goose again.

Turkey is the course today with a ham along side due to family allergies.  We have done standing rib roasts when Dad raised the meat but it was a very special occasion to have that.

A normal Christmas fair is: Ham, turkey, dressing, fresh cranberry relish made by Nate, yams or  sweet potatoes with marshmellows. fresh green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy,  dinner rolls and pumpkin and pecan pie.  We serve olives variety of, celery sticks, carrot sticks for munching before meals.  As a youth we varied the stuffing and some times would have three  types on the table. We were also feeding 30 plus people.

My other favorite meal was 4th of July.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar for 2011 by Susi

 Advent Calendar for 2011

  This year is a new year for our family for celebrating Christmas.  As parents of five children, we
   are now the  oldest of the clan.  We no longer have an elder member to look up to or look out for.
   Yes, I am blessed with an Uncle and Great Aunt yet in Wyoming but husband has no one in the
   earlier generation still with him.

   I spent last Christmas holiday with my Mom.  She passed 10 Jan of this year.

   Everything I start to do, brings back sharp memories of the traditions she attempted to pass on to
   her children.
   Mom was lucid until the end.  Even if some did not think she was.  She just had to think a few minutes to
   get her thoughts in order to respond to questions. If one did not have patience with waiting for a
   reply some would make up an answer instead of wait. I am grateful I waited for her response.

   Many years past, I saw my Grandmother in much the same situation, but I  patiently waited until she 
   could finish her comments to me.  My Elder had walked away and did not get to hear what she said.

   Those words were never spoken again so have patience. Mom attempted to teach us all
   patience with each other and ourselves.  Patience was something she thought was very important this
   time of year and always.

   We as children got to put the tree up the day before Christmas and we did not take it down until
    early January.

   I have broken from that theme and went up mid December and down on first weekend of January.
   I have  further changed to up the day after Thanksgiving and down again around 6 January.
   Earlier years we left it up for grandson's birthday and then it came down.
   Needless to say we are now into artificial trees. For us it was a good thing due to allergies, but I miss
   the smell of an evergreen tree.

   It is a beautiful season and I think it should be truly recognized as such. It is a season of spreading
   good cheer and caring through out the world.  We can truly use more of that.