Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions?

Christmas is over. Families have gone home. The house is quiet and bare.

What a wonderful week we had! Spending time with family is very special. The last few Christmas's have really opened me up to realizing just how important it is to my family. With comments like, "I will never miss another Christmas at home," "mom always gets great gifts," "you are going to set up all of your decorations this year, aren't you?" and "the tree is beautiful," how can I NOT give it my all during this time of year? I never realized the traditions that my immediate family has started, until this year. I believe blogging pointed this out to me.

Because of this, my site has been quiet, but oh what fun I have had! My grandson, who just turned two was an exceptional part of Christmas. Such a joy, and oh what patience he had in opening his gifts. Tear a tiny piece of paper and hand it to the closest person, tear a tiny piece more and hand it to the closest person and so on. Way to methodical and neat! I wonder how long this will last?

Many are talking about New Year's Resolution's and I have decided I won't have ANY! Can you believe that? Not one? Am I that perfect? Oh I think not! I have decided that I make these resolutions every year and here I am another new year almost upon us, and the resolutions I typically make are the same ones I have made before, year after year. Why set myself up for failure again? So, no resolutions!

There are things I would like to accomplish, but they are not things that will be started on January 1, 2009. I am starting today, December 30, 2008. The most important thing I would like to accomplish is to take better care of myself. And, in order to do this, it has to be a lifelong commitment, right? Not just for a year. If something needs to be done, why not start now? Who says there has to be a date to it? (Do I sound like I am trying to convince myself? Well, maybe I am!)

Besides taking better care of myself, I plan to have fun, appreciate life and do the things I love doing, genealogy, Harley rides, golf, fishing, crafts, reading, blogging and spending time with my family, especially my grandson. I want to be around as long as possible to watch and enjoy my grandson and granddaughter to be, she is due to enter this world in April. Now if I could just figure out how to stop working....... ;-)

And now, my wish for you in 2009 ~ (slightly adapted from an e-mail I received)

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of money. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires, may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had, forget your home address and that brick wall come tumbling down! In simple words ...

May 2009 be the best year of your life!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri






Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Proximidade Award



Kathryn at Looking for Ancestors @ http://looking4ancestors.blogspot.com/ nominated Heritage Happens for the Proximidade Award! How kind of you Kathryn, I thank you very much!

"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time, and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming! These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends! They are not interested in prizes or self -aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

The eight bloggers I have chosen for this award are:
1. Steve's Genealogy@ http://stephendanko.com/blog/


3. The Family Curator @ http://familycurator.blogspot.com/



6. Amy's Genealogy, etc. Blog @ http://familytrees.wordpress.com/

7. I Dream of Genealogy @ http://dream-of-genea.blogspot.com/

8. Jessica's Genejournal @ http://jessicagenejournal.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
Msteri

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

The countdown is here! I have a few moments and I have to say, as busy as I have been, I have really missed blogging!

Family has started arriving from out of state. Plans for the week are quite busy. I can actually say that as of tonight I am as ready as I will ever be and look forward to enjoying the rest of the season! The best part of Christmas is spending time with family and friends. I am really looking foward to spending time with family, making memories, and taking pictures of those memories!

Enjoy your family and friends and don't forget the photos!

Have a very, very MERRY CHRISTMAS! May Santa grant all of your dreams and wishes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri





Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That time of year!

Some people have been wondering where I have been! I can't seem to answer all my emails, let alone post to my blog right now.

I hope you are all following the carnivals! I wanted to participate in the Christmas ones, but time just wouldn't allow for me to do that. I haven't even been able to read any of the carnivals myself. :-( I look forward to catching up on these and all the blog posts I have been missing just as soon as possible!

I have attended several Christmas parties and or dinners lately, been trying to get my shopping accomplished along with all of the other activities that go on this time of year.

My daughter and I did make cookies together, the first time ever, on Sunday. We spent a good 8 hours doing this, I have no idea how many dozens of cookies we made! Every night this week I have had something going on, but it is all fun and I love it!

I hope I can post some pictures before Christmas comes. I still have shopping to do, and three quarters of my tree has burned out.....the outside lights we lost part of also, but they have since been fixed. The tree is my nightmare to figure out!

My dog has been sick, but my daughter has been a great vet to him and he is on the mend! I am on more meds for my medical issues and found that I damaged a vein in my foot, so now meds for that also. Ho Hum.

The really sad news though is that we found out a friend of ours committed suicide. So very sad, so very sad.....if only we could have helped.......time is healing our wounds although our hearts go out to our friend's children in particular, during this Holiday Season.

But on to better and brighter things! I am looking forward to taking our grandson to our Harley Chapter's Children's Christmas party on Thursday evening. Santa will be there, with candy canes and gifts also for the children. Picture time!

I am hosting Christmas Eve for my husbands side of the family and will be having Christmas for my immediate family. On Sat after Christmas we will have another "Christmas" at my sisters for my side of the family. All shall be fun!

Please bear with me as I enjoy this Holiday Season with family and friends, I still have so much to do to get ready!

I will post as I can, it seems so unfair that I can't do everything! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Thursday, December 11, 2008

A New Hohimer Cousin!

Exciting news to share! A cousin has found me through my blog! What a wonderful surprise when I found his email in my inbox! We have sent a few emails back and forth and he has been so very kind to share some of the most wonderful and new information with me!

One of the most exciting things is, he shared with me a copy of a patent our mutual ancestor had! It is the first and only patent I have and I never even knew the relative had a patent! This cousin also shared a handwritten genealogy from our relative and other information.

We are getting caught up on how we are related, it is so exciting! I sent him one picture so far of our relative, and if I remember correctly, I don't believe he had any pictures of him, so he was happy to have the picture. I need to take some time and go through other pictures and see if I have more to send to him. I have the pictures (I hope) and he has the documents, this is so much fun! A couple of the documents I have read over a few times, it will be a while for it all to sink in.

I was sent a couple other documents I haven't been able to read through as of yet, but am looking forward to reading! I was also given a personal story that is not on the Internet, a special story for sure! A poem written by another ancestor, some personal information and a personal picture, are among other things I have received.

I feel so very honored that all of this has been shared with me. I wanted to call my father immediately and share everything with him, but I am holding back. I decided I will wait until we get together at Christmas and I will give him copies of everything. I can see his face now.....I can't wait! Merry Christmas to me and my father!

J.H., if you are reading this, I promise to send more pictures just as soon as I am able, I am hoping I have several. You have made my holiday season the best! Thank you! I know the feeling of being able to share information with someone, and I just hope your holidays turn out as great as mine are already!

Thank you for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

40 Things About Me Meme

Apple over at Apple's Tree tagged me and when she did I originally thought it was for the same one I just completed a couple days ago. I found out it wasn't, so here is my participation!

(The problem I have is that I can't use my copy and past functions for some reason on this laptop so have to retype each one!)

1. Do you like blue cheese?

It is ok.

2. Have you ever done something you regretted?

More than once!

3. Do you own a gun ?

No

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite?

Cherry

5. Do you get nervous before Dr. appointments?

Generally no, however lately more so.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?

My favorite is Casper's with a"C", otherwise they are no big deal.

7. Favorite Christmas movie?

There are many, as stated before I have enjoyed new ones on the Hallmark Channel.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

9. Can you do push ups?

No way!

10. Favorite hobby?

To many.....crocheting, genealogy, reading, scrapbooking, crafts in general, riding the Harley, fishing, etc, etc. etc.....

11. Do you have A.D.D.?

No

12. What's one trait you hate about yourself?

Only one????? Humm.....lack of will power.

13. Middle name?

Ann

14. Name three thoughts at this exact moment.

I have so much to do.
How grateful I am for everything and everyone I have.
Wish I knew what else to buy to get my Christmas shopping finished..

15. Name three drinks you regularly have.

Coffee, diet coke, water.

16. Current hate right now?

This is such a strong word....I try not to hate, but I hate the fact that there are child abusers and molesters.

17. Favorite place to be?

On vacation, anywhere.

18. How did you bring in the New Year?

Went out to dinner with some friends.

19. A place where you would like to go?

Sweden

20. Name three people who will complete this?

I have no idea, I don't know how long it has been out and where it has been!

21. Do you have slippers?

You bet!

22. What shirt are you wearing?

A grey Harley thermal

23. Do you like sleeping on satin?

It is not a big deal to me.

24. Can you whistle?

Barely

25. Would you be a pirate?

Maybe for Halloween

26. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing in the shower.

27. Favorite girls name?

It has changed so many times, I don't have one right now.

28. What's in your pocket right now?

No pockets

29. Last thing that made you laugh?

Stupidity at work.

30. Favorite bed sheets as a child?

I am with Apple, weren't they all white back then?

31. Worst injury ever?

A sprained ankle or broken toe?

32. Do you like where you live?

Sunny Ca? You bet!

33. How many TV's do you have in your house?

Four and one in the garage, all working.

34. Who is your loudest friend?

This is tough, I really can't think of anyone right now, I am sure I could find someone in my Harley chapter if I thought about it long enough.

35. How many dogs do you have?

One

36. Does someone have a crush on you?

I hope so! ;-)

37. What is your favorite book?

Elaine, a cousin wrote it.

38. What is your favorite candy?

Rocky Road

39. Favorite sports team?

Oakland A's

40. What song do you want played at your funeral?

Not something I can ever consider at this point and time during the holiday season!

Wow, looks like you are getting to know a lot about me lately! If you haven't participated in this meme, please feel free to go for it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Meme

Lori Thorton at Smokey Mountain Family History, http://familyhistorian.blogspot.com, posted a meme involving Christmas and I thought I would go ahead a play along!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Always wrapping paper, half of the fun is ripping the paper open!

2. Real Tree or Artificial? Artificial, I can decorate the tree better and not worry about it drying out, watering it or catching fire. There are many ways to add "smell" to the house.

3. When do you put up the tree? For many years it had been the day after Thanksgiving, but the older I get I seem to have more activities, so if it gets up the weekend after Thanksgiving I am happy.

4. When do you take the tree down? Used to take it down right after New Years, but again these days are so active, I prefer to have it down before New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes I do, especially with "spirits" added to it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Would have to be the real puppy I received one year.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My daughter C.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My grandson

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have a very small one.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail! I love getting the cards in the mail! I have spent so much on cards, my family thinks I should own Hallmark!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I am sure there must have been one, but I have chosen not to remember it!

12. Favorite Christmas movie? There are several newer ones on the Hallmark channel in the last few years I enjoy.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Used to be August when I would make many of my gifts, but time just doesn't allow for that anymore, so now it is November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I honestly don't remember, but if I say no, what if I am wrong? Maybe years ago?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Oh heck, I am not picky! I love it all!

16. Lights on the tree? Oh yes, hundreds of them, multi colored.

17. Favorite Christmas song? White Christmas

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, Christmas is at my house.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? On a good day when the memory isn't spacing out.

20. Angel on the treetop or a star? Angel. Used to be a star, but most definitely and angel now.

21. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Rude people.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My favorite ornaments are my Christopher Radko Harley Ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Smoked Ham

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Anything genealogy related, books, portable hard drive, subscriptions....the list goes on and on and on and on, longer than the Everyready battery!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Organizing And Subscribing To Blogs

I have been asked a few times about RSS Feeds and how to organize the blogs you may subscribe to. As you probably know there are well over a couple hundred genealogy related blogs out there that you may want to subscribe to. I know many people, especially newbies, get overwhelmed with so many blogs and trying to keep up.

When people first subscribe to blogs they tend to have the blog updates sent to their personal email. At least I know that is how I started and have spoken with several others who started the same way.

Then RSS Feeds came about and it tends to intimidate some people. RSS means "Really Simple Syndication". And believe me, it is really simple!

First you need to download a RSS Reader. The reader will check all of your favorite blogs and let you know when any of them are updated. The program I personally downloaded is at this link~

http://www.rssreader.com/.


Here are the basic directions of how to get and install this particular reader.

You must have Windows 2003, or Windows XP for this to work. If you are not currently running one of these Windows programs you can download the free Microsoft.net framework through this site.

Once you are sure you have the correct Windows program or framework you download and install the RSS Reader. That is it! The instructions are spelled out for you in the link I provided under downloads, but what I have explained here is all there is to it. And, did I tell you it is all free?

After you have the reader set up, you look for "subscribe" in the blog you are interested in. You can set up your subscription through this, looking for either "XML" or the "RSS" link. Or, if either of these links are available to you can right click, copy and paste into the "ADD" on your Reader, in other words you are adding a new blog to your feed.

There are several Readers available for different set ups and preferences, for example, if you have a Mac you may need to download a reader that works with the Mac system. Keep in mind you can google to research different reader programs if need be.

Now I know not all bloggers and sites are set up to run through a feed reader. So there are those you may need to sign up to have sent to your personal email. As a blogger I also have a feed through my blog that will update me on new blog posts. There are many ways you can have blog updates sent to you, and you need to find what works best. As a none blogger I found that subscribing through the RSS feeder was the way to go for me. The "non-feeder" blogs went to my email. I actually set up a e-mail account just for genealogical related items to keep them separate from my regular e-mail.

Organizing and deciding how many blogs you wish to follow is really up to you. Start out with a manageable amount of subscriptions. Once you follow a few for awhile and feel comfortable with how everything works, decide if you would like to add more, and how many. After a period of time you will find it gets easier to follow more and more blogs easily.

Believe me when I say I do not subscribe to every genealogy blog that there is. I subscribe to my favorites and add a few once in a while. As much as I wish I could leave comments on every single blog post I read, it is just impossible for me to do. However, I do leave comments as often as I can, bloggers LOVE comments! Bloggers want to know there are readers out there who appreciate there postings, give feedback, maybe additional information, encouragement or even just a quick Hi!

Most of all, if you are a newbie to blog subscriptions and/or RSS feeds, don't let them intimate you! Think about starting small and adding new blog subscriptions as you are comfortable and time allows. Of course every blogger would love to tell you to subscribe to "their blog," but in general most genea-bloggers are there to support you and I believe would give similar advice.

How about it genea-bloggers? Any other advice for these newbies we don't want to see intimated or overwhelmed with blog posts? Please leave your ideas and thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success with all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Friday, December 5, 2008

Isn't The Internet Wonderful?

Early on in my genealogy research I came across a web site which turned out to be a distant cousins genealogy website. My was that a find! We made contact and I was blessed to be given information on that side of the family. I was unable to be of much help to her though, as it was so early on in my research. She sent pictures to see if I could identify anyone in them, but unfortunately I wasn't able to help. I was able to give her a few added names and dates she didn't have, but not very many. This all came about because I put a surname in the google search engine! Ok, I thought all of my research was going to be this easy! I was on cloud nine!

As you can well imagine, not much has come that easy to me since. I made a connection with another cousin who verified information on another family line and gave me an excellent resource for that information. This was really important information as it has to do with one of my toughest, if not the toughest lines. I am trying to remember how we connected....I believe it was through a message board, but I could be wrong.

Today when I opened my email I found I had an email from another cousin on still a different family line. What a wonderful surprise! He shared some special information with me and I responded this evening and sent him a picture. (I hope it is one he doesn't have) I wondered if and when I might make a contact through this blog, and it took about three and a half months. Not to shabby for not having posted all of the surnames I am researching, or spending every post only on family members. (I am doing the happy dance again, can you tell?)

Also this week I was sent a wonderful email from a fellow genealogist. She enjoys my blog and made some very nice remarks, plus we seem to have a lot in common. She is fairly new to some aspects of this genealogy world and had some questions. I responded and tried to give her some sound advice to help her along. What a great feeling when you get your turns to help someone else!

Whether a website, message board, blog, or e-mail, we certainly live in a time were communication via the internet beats pony express any day. I look forward to new and ongoing communication via the internet with family and friends, and I am sure you do too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Midwestern Genealogy Center

This information was sent by a member from my local genealogy society. It was forwarded to her from a friend, and now I am forwarding this information to you! Now that is how information gets around! ;-)

You may have heard about this before but for those who haven't, and I was one of them, the Midwestern Genealogy Center is fairly new and has a great website to check out. I enjoyed taking the tour. There are several databases apparently that can be accessed online.

The $8 million Midwestern Genealogy Center is located in Independence, Mo. Their holdings include passenger lists, plantation records, American Indian records, black family history records and Civil War histories. I believe they are offering classes now and have foreign language experts. Also, there is some sort of small food service available and even lockers!

Here is the website, enjoy! Check out the floor plans! It would be wonderful to live close to this, but keep in mind if you are planning any traveling in the area, this would be a great place to add to your travels.

http://www.midwestgenealogycenter.org/

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success with all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Cahuita. Date April 24 2008. Place Costa Rica Central America. Digital Image by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008





Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday ~ James P Watson

James P. Watson Headstone. Date October 27, 2007. Location Rowlands, Pennsylvania. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008.

My grand uncle in law, married to Linda Harding. They had seven children, all girls! This headstone was an added pleasant surprise on the trip to the cemetery in Rowlands. Until this point and time I didn't know he had service in the Navy either.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri






Monday, December 1, 2008

Antique Airplane Restaurant ~ Dutch Colony Inn

I thought I would give a link so you could read about the business my first cousin once removed and his wife used to own. His name is Breity Breithaupt. The article gives the date range and history of the restaurant and Inn and shows the plane hung in the restaurant. In 1997 the property was sold to a daugther and son in law.

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=65788

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who's number 1000?

Well Randy Seaver came up with this little tidbit for us to play. We are to go into our family tree and look up who is the 1000th person that was entered. I figured I wanted to play!

So off I went earlier this evening, thinking this would be fun and easy information to find out, and half an hour later I gave up. I waste so much time on things I can't figure out! I have Family Tree Maker 2009. I went to Edit, Find Individual, entered Reference ID in the first box and 1000 and clicked on find. Guess what I got, nothing! Ok, so then I went and tried it for 100 and guess what I got? Nothing. Same thnig when I tried ten.

So then I went to help and tried to figure out why they weren't coming up. It shows in my index how many people I have in my tree, so why doesn't it come up when I search this way for them? Ok, I poked around and around and finally said oh well. Seems I come across so many things that should be so simple to do or figure out and it never works out that way for me. I felt like picking a person from my tree to say was my 1000th person, after all who would know?

I would!

Looks like I will have to look more into this on a rainy day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Traditions or Not?


CHRISTMAS THEN~


As a child I believe my family made it's own traditions. I really don't know of any that were truly passed down.


Christmas Eve was always spent at my maternal grandfather's house. They had an artificial flocked tree that they never took down! Each season when Christmas was over they moved the tree into a spare bedroom and threw a sheet over it. Then the following Christmas out it came and the sheet disappeared. My grandmother did most of the shopping and my grandfather wrapped all of the presents. I actually have a package of bows that my grandfather wrote on that has never been opened. He passed away in 1979.


Usually there would be my family, my aunt and her family and my grandparents for Christmas Eve. Maybe between eight to thirteen of us. I always was very excited about going there, they got us the best presents! Grandpa played Santa and enjoyed handing out the presents.

After gifts were opened we normally had a ham dinner. Grandma cooked so much food and we were always stuffed after we ate. My sisters and I helped clear the table and do dishes afterwards. Christmas Eve in itself could have been Christmas for us, it was a full evening, we ate well and we were always spoiled.


By the time we got home us kids were either asleep in the car or immediately passed out after hitting our beds. We were never awake enough to hear or try to see Santa, we were always sawing logs! And I can never remember leaving out cookies and milk either......


Christmas morning my mother spent preparing food for dinner. We never opened our gifts until afternoon. One o'clock was the time my maternal grandmother and grandfather came over. This was tradition as every year us kids had to be patient and wait all morning long before we ever got close to those gifts!


After gifts, we went off to play with our new things, and a couple hours later we would have dinner, which was always turkey and the fixings.


CHRISTMAS NOW~


(I have two daughters - one is J and the other is C )


As an adult I have started my own traditions. I have been a Christmas fanatic. I decorate like crazy, which no one in my family has ever done. I started having Christmas Stockings after J was born, we never had stockings when I was growing up. I made J's first and only stocking. To this day almost 30 years later, she doesn't want a new one, and I keep thinking she really needs one.


Christmas Eve is left to each of us to do as we choose, visit relatives, friends go to church, whatever everyone wishes. Christmas Day starts at our house about eight am. We put on Christmas music, have coffee or hot chocolate and attack the stockings. After this we usually need refills, bathroom breaks and stretches and then we start on gifts. C usually plays Santa. The gifts all get passed out and then they are opened one at a time. This process can take anywhere from a couple to three hours.


Breakfast is on the agenda next. We clean, cook and eat. Then J and her family leaves to visit some friends. During this time I start preparing food for dinner.


Mid afternoon J and her family comes back, other family members and friends come by and we exchange gifts. At this point most are here for dinner. After dinner everyone is ready to crash.


J asked me yesterday if I was going to put out all my decorations this year. (The last couple years I have been a bit laid back and pretty much only had the tree.) This was the hint that she missed the crowded house where everywhere you looked there was Christmas. I told her I would do better this year. So, I have already started decorating in the house!


Something new J. and I are going to do this year is spend a day making cookies. I generally don't bake much, as I will eat whatever is baked, but this year we decided to get together and bake for some gifts. Who knows maybe another new tradition? If C didn't live so far away she would be baking with us too!


This was written for the 61st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.


Thanks for stopping by!


Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Msteri

Friday, November 28, 2008

Show and Surprise!

As promised I wanted to show off my new paint job on my baby, the Harley. I received the bike back with the new paint, seat, motor and diamond cuts about two weeks ago. Spent a good five hours the following day spit shining. I enjoy cleaning the bike, I tend to be meticulous and love seeing the shine when I am finished. I waited for a day when the sun was out a bit to take a few pictures, however the pictures do not do justice to the bike. Without the sun actually beating on the paint and getting a close up shot, it is difficult to really see what it does. Anyway, here is an all around shot.




The paint looks so subtle, but you can see the chrome fairly well. The new seat is slicker and flows with the bike. My rims I bought a few years ago, and after the spit shining, they were shining nicely.

Here is a close up where you can see the color a bit and the style of the paint. The basic colors are purple and green, however the colored paint is cameleon paint, which changes colors in the sun. When the light shines on it, you will see blue, copper, purple, green, and variations of each.

Rather difficult maybe to see in the picture also is the fact that I had my heads what they call "Diamond Cut". This is something I have admired for five or six years and always admired.
When the heads were shipped back my mechanic told me, "Wait until you see these! You won't want them on the bike, you will want to wear them on your arms!" Bling! Bling! They sparkle!
The heads were sent to southern California to "Diamond Heads" to be given the "Show Cut." The tank and fenders were sent to Arizona to Mike Love's "Custom Paint" to be painted and pin stripped. Both did a fantastic job!





Here is a closer shot of the paint job, and actually my custom rims too! Today, kinda last minute, we decided to take my bike to Faultline Harley Davidson in Fremont to a ride in bike show. What the heck, put it in the bike show just for fun. They had three groups that the bikes were classified in. There was the Touring, Softail, and Unlimited groups. My bike is a Fat Boy Softail (2003 anniversary model) so that was the group it was entered into. The customers and people who came to the show were the ones who voted on the bikes.
A few hours later the owner of the Faultline Harley came out into the middle of the parking lot to announce the winners. Low and behold, I won first place in the Softail Division! I was stunned and thrilled at the same time. I won a $150.00 gift certificate from the dealership. For a last minute decision and a bit of a brisky ride over there, I was sure happy I entered the bike! What a great day and great ride!
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
Msteri

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Julie Cahill Tarr at Gen Blog, http://genblogjulie.blogspot.com/, started a meme naming two things you are thankful for. I am late in getting this done for her time table, for this I apologise! However, I still would like to participate. It is the season to be grateful, and I think Julie had a wonderful idea! Because I am late in my posting, (by one day I believe) I won't be tagging another, but feel free if you haven't already done so, to post your own thanks!

First, I want to say I am very grateful for "all" of my family. The family I have spent my life with and all the "new" family members I have met or been re-acquainted with. The last couple of years my family has really grown! The support, love and affection I receive from each and every one of them makes my life complete!

Second, I would like to thank all of my friends, online friends and geneabloggers who have supported me in all aspects of my life. Again, the support is unbelievable!

What would we do without family and friends? Thank you, thank you, thank you all for being there through the good times, and the bad, and all of my challenges.

I wish each and every one of you reading this blog a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Please make it safe and healthy one!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri





Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday~Paul and Dagny Harding

Paul and Dagny Harding Tombstone. Date October 27, 2007. Location Rowlands, Pennsylvania. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008


My trip to Pennsylvania last year was primarily to see the house and area where my ancestors settled in this country. Paul and Dagny were both born in Norway. They came to this country at different times in their lives, met here, married and had 8 children.

Paul's birth name was Paul Hardin Gustavsen. When he came to this country he dropped the Gustavsen and went by Paul Harding. I have heard that he wasn't happy in his homeland as there was a blended marriage and lots of children in a small house.

Dagny Dulin on the other hand supposedly came from a family of wealth and therefore makes it more intriguing to me to find out why she left her home in Norway.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri








Monday, November 24, 2008

Tagged Again!

Looks as if a new game of tag has been going around and I have been tagged, twice. Once from Sheri at Family Twigs and again by Linda from Lancaster at From Axer to Ziegler. So here we go!

Rules~

*Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
*Write a blog post about these eight things and post these rules.
*At the end of the blog post, list eight people to get tagged.
*Leave a comment on their blogs telling them they have been tagged.

Eight things about me~

1. I do not like to shop. Never have, never will. The only shopping I enjoy is Christmas shopping/and or buying for other people. My husband loves that I hate to shop, saves money that way!

2. I do not watch TV. I do not find there is much that interests me on TV. If there is something on rare occasion I do want to watch, I am usually doing something else as I am watching/listening.

3. I enjoy working Soduko puzzles. They are relaxing to me.

4. I use to do scrap booking and would love to start doing it online.

5. I have a list a mile long of things I want/need to learn.

6. I still want to retire! Never enough time.

7. I enjoy going to a good movie in the winter.

8. I have a great "househusband," since he has retired I have trained him well, he cooks and cleans and shops etc.

Eight people I am tagging~all have blog listings on the right side of my blog.

1. Steve at Steve's Genealogy
2. Jessica at Jessica's Genejournal
3. Professor Dru at Find your Folks
4. The Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
5. Elizabeth at Little Bytes of Life
6. Sheri at The Educated Genealogist
7. Bill at West in New England
8. The Practical Archivist

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Numerous Names, States, and Dates

Brick Walls. Seems I have been hearing a lot about them this week. Many have been fortunate and been able to break through those brick walls recently. I congratulate you if you are one of those who are so fortunate!

I can't say I have a brick wall at this point. I have a relative who is making me work hard, but not a brick wall, at least not yet. I haven't been able to find a birth certificate for this relative. Where she was born and when, happened to be around the time it wasn't mandatory to keep birth records. It is possible there is a delayed birth certificate, which I haven't tried for as of yet.

Of course, this being a female only makes researching slightly more difficult. The real confusion is that she has been married at least four times and possibly five. I have found and know of four of these marriages. I do not have the actual marriage or divorce dates. I know there are two children, their names and their fathers names. I know she lived in at least 5 states, possibly 6 or 7. Her maiden name is an extremely common name.

I thought I knew both of her parents names. After some trouble trying to find this family in the censuses, I started researching her siblings, there were two, and hit pay dirt. From the censuses I found that both of her parents went by names that were not their given names. To make matters more difficult, she went by a name herself that was not her given name! And a couple of these names weren't even derivatives of their given names.

Many nick names, many states, many married names. I have a good flavor of her family and her life, however I am not satisfied, I am looking for more. I want the dates, the states and all the names. I want the history and the best proof possible for all of my facts. Isn't that what is is all about, we want the whole enchilada!

The real challenge will be when I research her father...........John Miner.




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ I don't think it's a Relative


White Faced Monkey. Date April 2008. Location Jungle in Costa Rica. Digital Image by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008



Sunday, November 16, 2008

What A Wild Week!

I have been a little side tracked this past week. Some new adventures and some old. The old is an ongoing illness I have had for quite some time that I can't seem to shake (it has been a couple years) but I am working hard as possible to clear this up.

One of the new adventures, I attended was an event by Sylvia Browne. I was invited by a friend. Fifteen of us went in three cars. We had a great amount of fun! The speaker before Sylvia Browne was Colette Baron-Reid, with whom I had connections! As far as psychics go, I had never had any personal affiliation with one, but I know they have been helpful on cold cases and such.

I also went to my first ever meditation class. I didn't get to the point of total relaxation as I know you should, but I enjoyed the meditation time non the less. My daughter asked me to join her as she has been taking yoga and meditation for awhile now and believes it would all be good for me too. My hesitation is the monthly fee.

My husband and I did a PGR (Patriot Guard Ride) on Friday evening. The Patriot Guard motorcycle group meets and greets our military at the airport when they come home from duty and escorts them to their homes where there is generally a big celebration. We have been involved in this just this year, and have really enjoyed the happiness we have brought to our service men and women. This last ride was more personal however as this was a woman who had gone through school and sports with our daughters. She was wounded in Iraq, unconscious for 9 months, been in 4 hospitals, and lots of rehab. It was her 29th birthday, she was leaving the hospitals to finally go home and she never had "The Official PGR" escort. With more than 50 motorcycles, we surprised her as she was out with her family for dinner, and escorted her home. Others were at the house waiting to surprise her. There were many presentations and pictures taken. She was very gracious and thrilled by it all. She is still in a wheelchair and has short term memory loss, so we hope the photos will help her to remember. As usual, it was a great turnout.

I also received my Harley back with it's new custom paint job. I spent most of the afternoon detailing the bike, but it was to late to put it in the sun to get a good picture afterwards. It turned out beautiful and I am very pleased.

My husband celebrated a birthday this week, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my hubby! All of this and some Christmas shopping, work, my grandson and dinner with friends made it a tough week for me to blog.

In a future post I hope to tell you more about the Sylvia Browne show, share pictures of my Harley, and one day discuss my illness. It has been a very busy week, whew!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ Mono Lake



Mono Lake. Date 2006. Location California. Digital Image by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008



Tombstone Tuesday ~ George Harding

George Milton Harding. Date June 2006. Location Oakmont Memorial Park, Lafayette, California. Digital Image by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008


My last post was of my grandfather as an infant. Here is his final resting place. B.1912 D.1979.

Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
Msteri

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh, Baby!

George Clarence Milton Harding. Date 1913. Location Rowland, Pike, Pennsylvania. Scanned copy. Original privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008

This is my maternal grandfather I believe a little over a year of age. He was the seventh born of eight children, and was the second of two sons. I found this photo in my mother's photo album. The lower right corner apparently had been ripped, you can see the tape if you look closely.

The first born child was a son and then there were five daughters, my grandfather and then another daughter. I am very happy to have this photo in my collection and just love the outfit!

Submitted for the 7th edition of "Smile for the Camera" carnival.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri





Thursday, November 6, 2008

Final Class in this Series

This final class was on Immigration and Naturalization records. It covered how to do your homework to help find immigration records and the types of records that may give you clues. There was a bit of history given on Naturalization Records. Naturalization Records are divided into two categories because of the Steerage Act of 1819. The Steerage Act stated that all passenger lists of all arriving vessels to the United States were required to be given to the local Collector of Customs. The categories are divided as prior 1820 and after 1820. Each category was discussed regarding searching for these records, what you can expect, and what information you will find. Points of interest include~

Passage of the first Naturalization Law was in 1790.

The Naturalization Service was created in 1906.

Ideas of places to search~

Filby's index
Visa Files
Passports
Alien Registration Records
Certificates of Registry

As a bonus we received information on "Genealogy in the 21st Century" which covered~

Internet and Online records
Continuing Education
Evaluating an Ideal Genealogy Program
Books to learn from and improve genealogy
Books every genealogist should read
Adhering to Genealogical Proof Standards
Back Ups

We were instructed not to be "people collectors." In other words, verify and follow up on the information you receive on people, don't just collect names and dates.

It was sad knowing this was the last class, and yet exciting also. Extremely informative classes, great instructor, lots of hype and excitement, all of which I will miss. Exciting however in that I am looking forward to progressing with what I have learned. With classes over, maybe I can find a couple hours a week of free time to do this!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Laura Fleming (nee Hohimer) ~ Wordless Wednesday

Laura Fleming (nee Hohimer). Date Unknown. Location Oklahoma. Digital Copy. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008




Sunday, November 2, 2008

Special People, Special Jobs

Today we attended the funeral of my friend's father. It was a nice service, as nice as a service can be. It was interesting for me though as the service was held at a mortuary I had never attended before. It just so happened to be the mortuary my ex-husband worked at maybe 40 years ago. He was actually married to one of owners daughters when he worked there.

I can remember him talking about it, but darn if I remember much. I remember him saying it was an emotionally tough job and he wasn't cut out for it. He did the embalming. I never could picture him doing this job. Being at this mortuary though made my mind jump back to the past to try to imagine what my ex must have gone through with a job such as this. He had told me when we were first married that he still had "the kit" and I told him I never wanted to see it. The stories he has, I wish I could remember, but maybe that was my way of not dealing with what his job in the past had been. He didn't work at this job for long, but how long I don't know. Maybe 6 months, a year, two? How long is not to long? My guess is six months to a year and a half as I don't believe he was married very long to the daughter, and I know he didn't like the job.

This is a unique job and I believe it takes a certain type of person to handle it. Everyone has a job to do, and so many things we just take for granted. Funeral homes for instance do their jobs, we see the end results. How often do we think of what their jobs entail?

I would love to hear of other "different" jobs that you or your family have been involved with. What other jobs do we not think much about? What jobs are unique, or take a special personality to handle?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Saturday, November 1, 2008

Update CD's and DVD backups!

Backing up your genealogy as we all know is extremely important. The first of the month has been what seems to be the reminder to make sure you are on top of this! It is the beginning of a new month, so as others say, time to back up!

I wanted to suggest another thought to this. I have been working on organizing photos on my laptop and need to make backups of these also, along with my other work. Upon doing this, I pulled out my DVD case and noticed that several of my copies are hitting or have hit the five year mark of having been made.

Now is the time also to think about updating any of those CD's or DVD's that may have been made several years ago. The information, documents and pictures I have backed up on these I would sure hate to loose due to a CD or DVD having gone bad. I have heard that after 5 years the quality starts to deteriorate. I am not sure if this is still holds true, but I think I will be safe and make sure mine are updated!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Thursday, October 30, 2008

Organizing, Again

Seems to me I spend to much time organizing. Every time I think I am done and ready to move on I find something else that needs organizing. The toughest thing for me to keep up with is photographs. I seem to always be taking photos. I download them, and sometimes when I download them I get lazy and you never know where you will find the latest download.

Having my paperwork all filed and organized is great, the scanning I have done this year is all in the folders they belong in. My digital pictures for the last three years have only been downloaded, never labeled or organized. I have organized the two oldest years and they make sense now, one more year to go. (This does include personal pictures, along with my genealogical shots) I have improved my download process to help simplify my organizing process. But really, who has time to label every picture you take?

I have been working for a long time on getting everything in order, and have accomplished so much. I am happy about that. But when is it time to actually research? I say very soon! I need to collect more paper and pictures and such so I can worry about the next organizing session I will need!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ Happy Halloween

Grandson's first pumpkin. Date October 26, 2008. Location Livermore, California. Digital Image. Photo by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008



Monday, October 27, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Dolores Howard

This is the sign outside of the Downieville Cemetery. Downieville is a very small town in the mountains on the way to Sierra City in Califonia. My husbands family lived there when he was a child. His parents owned the motel, his uncle owned the gas station, still the only one in town.

Every year we make an official Harley run to Downieville. My husband leads the run and we have several bike take the ride with us. We have been doing this for about eight years, if I remember correctly. We have the "old faithfuls" who make the trip each year. Some of riders from the chapter don't make any other chapter runs during the year, but they won't miss this one!

Originally this run was a one night, overnighter. People loved Downieville so much, it has now become a two night trip, which I believe we having been doing for about six years. We average approximately 25 to 30 bikes each year, with a total of 40-50 people attending. We take over the whole town!

My husband has family buried in Downieville, is paternal side. A tradition we have every year is our annual walk to the cemetery to clean the grave. What has been most interesting though, is the fact that several of the people who make this Harley ride with us have come to making this walk a tradition of theirs also. Some make the trip us, and others make the walk on there own. I can't think of anything more special for my husband than friends who care to take the time to do this with us.



Headstone of Delores Howard. Date June 2007. Location Downieville, Sierra County, California. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008

I have chosen on this Tombstone Tuesday to share the image of my husband's aunt's headstone. I never had the pleasure of meeting Delores, however I know her and care for her by visiting and cleaning the grave every year.

This cemetery is the first cemetery I got "addicted" to. Every year I go through most all of the headstones, and look forward to doing it! This trip to the cemetery is a big part of going to Downieville, it is one of the things I look forward to most. Next year when we go, I plan to make a special note to take other pictures of the cemetery to post here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri







Sunday, October 26, 2008

Graveyard Rabbit

If you haven't heard yet, there is a new association that has developed called the "Graveyard Rabbits". Terry Thorton is the founder. Many Genea-bloggers have chosen to be charter members by starting a Graveyard Rabbit blog of their own!

These members each represent an area and will be blogging on the cemeteries of that area. The blogs are for this purpose only, to cover any and every bit of information they choose regarding cemeteries! From what I can see so far it looks like there are at least 29 Rabbits!

Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia - http://graveyardrabbitbc.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County-http://graveyardrabbitofsouthalamedaco.blogspot.com/

San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit -http://ssdcgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit - http://cflagraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek - http://moultriecreek.us/rabbit/

Untangled Family Roots - http://untangledfamilyroots.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of the Quad Cities -http://qcgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Chicagoland Graveyard Rabbit - http://clgrabbit.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Bloomington-Normal Illinois - http://bn-gr.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Christian County - http://thegraveyardrabbitofchristianco.blogspot.com/

International:Jewish Graveyard Rabbit - http://jewishgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Granite in my Blood - http://granite-in-my-blood.blogspot.com/

Rural Michigan Cemeteries Graveyard Rabbit - http://ruralmichcemeteriesgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Arnevet Beth Olam-St.Louis - http://arnevetbetholam-stl.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County - http://www.graveyardrabbitofattalacounty.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Hill Country - http://graveyardrabbithillcountry.blogspot.com/

Netherlands:Graveyard Rabbit of Utrecht and Het Gooi -http://graveyardrabbithillcountry.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of New York Rural Cemeteries -http://nyruralcemetery.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Central Ohio -http://graveyardrabbitofcentralohio.wordpress.com/

Essex County Graveyard Rabbit -http://essexcountygraveyard.blogspot.com/

Lancaster Pennsylvania's Graveyard Rabbit -http://lancastergraveyardrabbit.wordpress.com/

Philadelphia Graveyard Rabbit - http://phillygraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Eastern Tennessee - http://elysesgyrb.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Cowtown - http://thegraveyardrabbitofcowtown.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County - http://graveyardrabbitsdc.wordpress.com/

Southern Graves - http://southerngraves.blogspot.com/

The Educated Graveyard Rabbit - http://sherifenleyrabbit.blogspot.com/

Graveyard Rabbit of Snohomish County - http://susaned2.wordpress.com/

Western Washington Graveyard Rabbit - http://westernwashington-graveyardrabbit.blogspot.com/

There should be some very interesting articles from these Graveyard Rabbits covering headstones, history, pictures and more! Be sure to check them out, I have and really look forward to hearing more from them! Notice too that there are a few from out of the country!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Another Class ~ Land Records

I have to admit, I wasn't to enthused about this class, probably because I haven't gotten to the point of delving into land records. At one point I thought I would have to miss this class.

We had so many plans for the day, between my husband and I. Originally we were supposed to have house guests for the weekend and with everything else we had going on, it was almost a blessing they cancelled.

My morning was busy as I had so much to get together for the day, phone calls to make prior to leaving for my class, and making sure my grandson was taken care of, as I usually babysit him on Saturdays. My husband agreed to watch him so I could take these classes, but on this day he also had a major commitment. My daughter got it worked out which was good as I was feeling guilty.

I am generally early to everything, and hate being late. I gathered everything I could remember that I needed for the day and jammed out the door, running late. First obstacle, the garage door wouldn't close! Played with the remote, checked the button in the garage and nothing worked. Pulled a chair over, reached over the car and manually undid the latch. Ok, on my way. Almost got hit on the freeway. Get to the college, and the parking pass machines didn't work. I drove to several and tried them and they just didn't want my money. Finally, pulled over a security guard, he gave me a pass, and didn't charge me. Needless to say, I was a few minutes late to class, and was embarrassed sneaking in, but I made it!

I was able to finally unwind after a few minutes and really get involved in the subject at hand. Missing the class would have been a mistake. At one point, when I knew I had so much going on, I had told myself, "It is only land records" trying to convince myself I didn't need to go. That is when I need to go!

Another amazing class! Land records are your bread and butter! I had no idea how much land records can tell you about your family. Now, I can't wait to delve into them! The most important thing I learned is:

"The descent of land is the purest form of lineage!"

Land records are easily available, and help prove many things. Migration, chains of title, divisions of estates, marriage, relationships, place names, and life style are prime examples. We were instructed on county land records, and federal land records and how to locate these records.

I learned how important it is to follow siblings and neighbors in these records. I learned about deeds, platting land, the difference between a grantor and a grantee, metes and bounds, and how some surveys are read from right to left! Another important factor, make to follow the trail from the time land was acquired until it left the family, it is crucial.

Deed books are full of information. The documents you may find in them are~

Deed
QCD-Quick Claim Deed
Release
Trust deed
Land Bond
Personal bond
Agreement
Real or Chanttel Mortgage
Mortgage Release
Apprenticeship
Contract (business, prenuptial, etc)
Patent Rights
Power of Attorney

Before I knew it class was over and I was on my way to meet with family to discuss what we were going to do with a house that I just became part owner of. I had many mementos in my possession of this family that I didn't want the responsibity of any longer, I needed to get this important stuff to the rightful owners. Wedding rings and things of value made me nervous worrying if something happened to them. And a house setting empty for 6 months needed to be attended to. So off to the next part of my hectic day....

To sum up this class though, again there was so much covered I can't begin to tell you everything. Unfortunately, next week is my last class.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Family Photographs

I finally made my purchase of Maureen Taylor's "Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs." I have been wanting to get this book for some time. After doing the post regarding our top ten books in our genealogy library, I was even more adamant to make this purchase.

I have read almost half of the book and am finding it extremely interesting. I wish I had some of the old daguerreotypes and tin types of my family members, however at this point all I can do is keep wishing one may fall in my lap unexpectedly.

Learning to date and place family photos is a science. What type of paper was used for the photo, how it may be encased, clothing, hairstyles, and possible photographers imprints are all clues to help you uncover the information you are looking for. There are many clues in this book to assist you with your photograph.

The history of photography is related in this book, including when color photography came into play. The photos alone in the book are amazing.

I was fortunate enough to hear Maureen Taylor speak last year. She drew me into photography like never before. I have always enjoyed taking photos. I have never taken real photography classes, so I am just the average joe, who snaps a shot here and there. I LOVE looking at photos and always have. My interest has been majorly amplified however in "reading" old photos.

My photo collection doesn't included many extremely old photos. As I go through my scanning process of these photos, I notice I take longer with the process as I find myself analyzing every photo. I feel like running down to an antique store or flea market or somewhere, just to buy some old photos! Buy them to share, find rightful homes for, and analyze.

I highly recommend this book and if the opportunity arises for you, attend a Maureen Taylor presentation. Trust me, you will not regret it. I was most impressed with her gloves, presentation, and knowledge of photographs!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogy treasure hunts!

Msteri

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Genealogical Cause

Here is a link to a web site that is promoting more and better access to death certificates in Pennsylvania. Online indexes currently aren't available. This site gives all the information how you can help promote updated information on the web and where write to in order to help all genealogy researchers involved with the state of Pennsylvania, I happen to be one of them. Death certificates are tough to get in this state.

Please if you haven't done so already, check out his site and write in, support this cause for all genealogists! Thanks you.

http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htm

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Hauntings ~ Was my Story Fact or Fiction?

Time to unveil whether the post I did for the COG's 58th edition was Fact or Fiction!

In case you missed this post, you can read it here:

http://heritagehappens.blogspot.com/2008/10/halloween-hauntings-fact-or-fiction.html

Almost all of you who left comments were exactly correct in guessing the post was fact. I needed to stop the story when I did or I would have given to much away! Besides I decided leaving a "cliff hanger" gave something more to ponder.

These two women lived together in their younger years as well as in the later years of their lives. They were mother and daughter! The daughter took care of her mother during her final years of life.

The mother developed Alzheimers Disease and was a tough patient for her daughter. The daughter spent many sleepless nights as she was always on the watch to make sure her mother was ok. Her mother would try to leave the house in the middle of the night and do many other off the wall things. This mother was the victim of a terrible, sad disease.

On this particular night that I wrote about, the daughter was so exhausted she fell asleep, only to wake with a fright as to what she saw before her. She was able to take care of the matter at hand, and spent many more sleepless nights before her mother's passing.

I was told of this event, and many more shortly after they happened, via letters the daughter and I exchanged. I do not have any of those letters, I sure wish I did. The women lived in a different state and I always wished I lived closer so I could help them. This was over 20 years ago. These women are from my family and I have chosen to keep their identity's private to protect living family members. So, the story is sad, but true!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Wordless Wednesday ~ Cake

Baby Shower and New Home Cake. Date October 2006. Location Alameda County, California. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Heredia, Costa Rica

Heredia Cemetery. Date April 30, 2008. Location Heredia, Costa Rica, Central America. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008



This is a view of the only cemetery located in Heredia, Costa Rica. I was amazed to see all of the burial sites elevated on top of the ground. I am used to seeing headstones and the burials under ground, although I remember when we were back in Pennsylvania we saw graves elevated same as these. This Californian had her eyes opened in the last year with cemeteries.

The graves are all nicely finished, some in cement and many with tile. Some are plain and some are rather elaborate. Many have several family members in one plot. My family spent a bit of time there, but this genealogist would have loved to spend more time there than we actually did. I was fortunate to even get to the cemetery as my family just doesn't see the "vacation" in doing this. Some of the family didn't even come along.

The entrance to this cemetery does not have a name attached to it, although I know it is the only cemetery located here. There is not an office located on the site either.

All over the country I remember seeing cemeteries such as this one. Six months prior when we were in Pennsylvania, I was so amazed at seeing plots elevated above ground, that I actually had a tour bus stop for me so I could take a picture. Then in Costa Rica, they were all this way.

My spouse has family buried in this cemetery, look for future posts elaborating on them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri






Monday, October 20, 2008

Seventeen Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today I had my family over to celebrate my mother's birthday. It was a great day with my family, and we were enjoying each others company. Mother had opened her gifts and we were getting ready to have a nice meal.

The television was on and for some reason we all caught wind of the flash alert across the screen. It seems there was a hugh fire going on in the Oakland Hills. The newscasters were talking about mandatory evacuations, and all of a sudden my family's hearts sunk. It was like the world came to a sudden stop. We listened eagerly, trying to hear exactly where the evacuations were.

You see, my grandparents lived up in the Oakland Hills and we were all very concerned about them. Suddenly my phone was a hot line. Calls were going out and coming out. My husband, even though it was out of his district, immediately was called to go to work, and he left to head for the hills! My father was trying to find my grandfather. We were all in shock..........and I can't even remember what happened with my dinner......It was a very strange turn of events for my mother's birthday celebration.

As it turned out, my grandparents were fine, my house didn't catch fire (from not caring about dinner), and my husband was gone for a week working, but came home safe and sound. He worked for the power company and what a mess there was! Being there with the fire still roaring and watching more devastation take place was tough. The clean up and rebuilding afterwards was unbelievable.

My husband took me up there a few weeks after the storm. He had told me how it looked like a bomb had hit and it felt and looked like the middle of a war zone. I feel fortunate to have been able to see this devastation as the news just didn't do it justice. Charred ground everywhere. Houses gone, trees gone, a community gone, lives to rebuild. It was a nightmare. If you have heard of seeing a Weber barbecue being the only thing recognizable, this is true. I saw one and the remains of a brick fireplace, beyond that soot and blackness.

Well, it has been seventeen years ago today that this famous Oakland Hills fire raged and tore peoples lives away. My grandparents were fortunate, but many others weren't. Some people rebuilt there lives in the same location, others left for good. Either way, I still can't imagine how drastically it would have changed their lives.

It seems like yesterday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Getting Serious Class-Probate Records

Pop Question - Can you explain what the term "orphan" referred to?

My class yesterday was another real eye opener! Any of our ancestors affiliations with the government would have taken place at the county courthouse. So, the coverage of the class involved county courthouse records, primarily probate records.

Our fabulous instructor covered the who, why, and wherefore's of probate. The purposes of probate, the probate process and the many records that could be available for us to research. Again, I was impressed and amazed at the records involved.

Here are some records possibly available when a probate is involved:

Petition to Administer the Estate
Hearing on the Petition
Bonds posted by the Executor
Letters Testamentary
Letters of Administration
Inventory of property
Creditor's claims
Interim accounts
Sales of property
Determination of widows rights
Guardians for minors
Bond changes
Resignations
Revocations
Final settlement

What a lot of information there is to be found in probate records! Most information will be found in courthouses, but you may find notices printed in newspapers also. Information on siblings, the living spouse (if there is one) , along with possible occupation and social status are just a tidbit of info you may find. Locating and viewing the inventory of property can really give you a sense of the social status of the deceased.

Key points from the class~

1. If you know your ancestor owned property, but can't locate a probate file, check the land records. A large amount of land was transferred to heirs prior to death, therefore bypassing probate.

2. Probate didn't always take place immediately after death. You may have to check a large range of years.

3. Knowledge of inheritance laws of the area and time period is necessary for a complete understanding of probate records.

The list of actual records to search total over 50, I never would have realized the abundance of records probate could entail.

I have not had the opportunity as of yet to research probate files, but I have the information now to know what to search for, where to search and what I may find.

Answer to pop question - "Orphan" usually referred to a minor whose father was deceased. The mother may still be living!

Thanks for stopping by!

May you have success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feelings on Friday

Having not felt well this week, I took a couple days off from work sick, a difficult thing for me to do, but probably this best thing I did. I haven't had much ambition to "think" very hard about anything. So at this point I can offer to share some feelings I have had the last few days, they tend to come easy when I am ill.

With just under a couple months from starting this blog, I feel I have been blessed. I have been able to participate in a meme, a few carnivals and a couple of challenges. They have been so much fun!

These events put you in a position to focus on whatever the subject is. I'd find myself wondering, before I was blogger, if I would have ever written stories on my own. Probably not. In fact, 100% probably not. Many articles I used to read said to me, "you can write about that" and I would add it to my list of things to write about. Did I do it? No. Writing for these events has given me written information I would never have written on my own.

I am grateful to everyone who pulls together these events and thinks of the subject line. They make me spend time writing, thinking and enjoying in another way, the genealogy field. If you have followed the Genea-Bloggers at all and have had even an iota of thought to starting a blog, I suggest you go for it. It has been extremely rewarding for me already! The best part, if you can top that, is the socialization with the genealogy community. They are the most supportive, helpful and fun group to be involved with! I thank you!

The only thing I regret is not having the time to enter and do everything! I have learned I need to pick and choose. I have also found there may be subjects I don't feel ready to write about, and that it is ok. Not everything is for everyone. In time my confidence and experience will change that, I am sure.

In the last couple of months I have accomplished more with my genealogy than I had in a long time. Not so much with "Happy Dances" from researching or adding that date I didn't have. Instead I have been learning about blogging and genealogy from the classes I am taking. I haven't actually done much research in a very long time, but I have been able to organize what I do have in an even better way than before. Believe it or not, I do not have piles of paper on my desk waiting to be scanned or filed or reviewed. I have maybe one pile an inch thick of notes I want to redo, neatly. Other than some photos, everything else I have accumulated is filed properly.

With that said however, I have a lot of work ahead of me still. I struggle with sourcing and need to really strive to learn to do it properly. I have known I should do Family Group Sheets and Research Logs, but it has never been a priority. Before I continue researching I want to make sure I am doing everything properly, so later on I am not in a bigger mess! In the past year, I have worked to organize, clean, scan, file and learn. And what I have learned is that I need to learn more!

I want to thank all the Genea-Bloggers for being so delightful, amazing, helpful and encouraging. You are all great teachers and I learn from you. To all the readers, the Genea-Bloggers thank you. Leaving comments regarding our posts reminds us we are not just blogging to ourselves, it gives us encouragement and excitement to continue!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pier 39 ~ Wordless Wednesday

The picture I posted yesterday is one of my favorites taken a couple weeks ago when our daughter was here for a visit from Tennessee. She brought a little girl with her who is six. This little girl has been a BIG part of our daughter's life since this child was born. She had never been to California, so it was our duty to entertain her as much as possible for the short time they were here.

We chose to take the family to "The City" the day after their arrival. Once in San Francisco, we took a cable car to get down to the wharf. I found out later that this was the first time my daughters had ever been on a cable car! Oh, did we parents get blamed for that one!

One of the highlights for this little girl was to see the bay, and another was most definitely the sea lions! She loved hem, especially when they were "barking" away. This picture happens to show where we were and in the background you can see bits of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also in the background you can see a ship, the Jeremiah Johnson. One day I will post more about the significance to me of this ship.

For lunch we went to Bubba Gumps. A spectacular view from our table was most entertaining. Watching the fishing boats, speed boats, cruise boats and sail boats across the bay made for great conversation during lunch. Beyond that we had the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the beautiful clear day!

After much sight seeing, shopping and eating, we wore ourselves out. This photo will always remind me of the trip the six year old was able to make to see California for the first time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri




Would You Care To Comment?

I accepted the challenge from Kathryn at Looking4Ancestors! Her blog is @ http://looking4ancestors.blogspot.com/ She has challenged us to leave at least 10 comments on the blogs we read. Such a great idea! I am guilty in that there are many blogs I read and most of the time I have not left comments like I should have. This has changed me forever though! I love getting comments and I know other bloggers do also. This challenge will help the genealogy blogging community get better acquainted and we can show support to our fellow bloggers.

I believe I have left many more than 10 comments this week so far, but here 10 I have chosen to share with you!

1. Looking4ancestors, "Would you Care to comment?" @ http://looking4ancestors.blogspot.com/2008/10/fun-friday-would-you-care-to-comment.html

2. Creative Gene, "Who's Dog's Rule? These do!" @
http://creativegene.blogspot.com/2008/10/whos-dogs-rule-these-do.html

3. Janet the Researcher, "Thanksgiving Canadian Style" & "Almost Wordless Wednesday-Beautiful Colour" @http://researchergal.blogspot.com/2008/10/thanksgiving-canadian-style-2008.html and http://researchergal.blogspot.com/2008/10/almost-wordless-wednesday-beautiful.html respectively. I suppose I could count these as two......but I won't. The is a fairly new to me blog!

4. Kinexxions, "Peruse our Virtual Album and Tickle your funny Bone!" @
http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2008/10/peruse-our-virtual-album-and-tickle.html

5. All My Branches, "I've Been Tagged for a Mime" @ http://allmybranches.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/ive-been-tagged-for-a-meme/#comment-350 This is a new to me blog.

6. Spence-Lowry Family History, "I'm Still Here" @ http://spence-lowry.blogspot.com/2008/10/im-still-here.html

7. Taylor-Stales Genealogy, "Wordless Wednesday....ummmmm" @ http://taylorstales-genealogy.blogspot.com/2008/10/wordless-wednesdayummmmm.html A new to me blog.

8. Before My Time, "Tickle" @ http://krentz.blogspot.com/2008/10/tickle.html A new to me blog.

9. I dream of Genea(logy), "Smile For the Camera" http://dream-of-genea.blogspot.com/2008/10/smile-for-camera.html Another fairly new to me blog.

10. Shades of the Departed, "Aug. 29 - Friday from the Collectors" @ http://www.shadesofthedeparted.com/2008/08/august-29-friday-from-collectors.html


So there you have it~Have you posted comments lately? They were fun to do and we all love them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Footnote Maven Tagged Me for a Meme!

I have not been tagged for a meme before, so this is new! I happened to be reading Footnote Maven's blog and was enjoying this post http://www.footnotemaven.com/2008/10/meme-like-corners-of-my-mind.html when all of a sudden the end of the Meme I found she had tagged me! Surprised, yes I was! Very surprised! Yes, thank you, I will play along!

10 years ago I~

--was a Cosmetologist
--was getting involved with Harley Davidson Motorcycles
--played golf
--hadn't even thought of genealogy

7 Things On Today's To Do List~

--read all the new genealogy info
--homework for the genealogy class
--set up new files and relocate
--order a couple genealogy books I have been wanting
--watch my almost 2 year old grandson for about 4 hours
--attend a Harley meeting
--work on Family Group sheets

5 Snacks I Enjoy~

--ice cream
--popcorn
--granola cereal
--apples and peanut butter
--anything chocolate

5 Places I Have Lived ~

--San Ramon, Ca.
--Hayward, Ca.
--San Leandro, Ca.
--Oakland, Ca.
--San Lorenzo, Ca.

5 Jobs I Have Had ~

--Events Coordinator
--Cosmetologist
--Accounting
--Human Resources
--Harley Davidson Motor clothes sales

Now I am suppose to pass this on to five other "Newbie" Genea-Bloggers, although I am not sure what is considered a newbie, but here I go!

I will tag......

--Find Your Folks @ http://findyourfolks.blogspot.com/
--Spence-Lowry Family History @ http://spence-lowry.blogspot.com/
--Taylorstales Genealogy @ http://taylorstales-genealogy.blogspot.com/
--Grace and Glory @http://beckysgraceandglory.blogspot.com/
--Life's Journey @ http://travelstwo.blogspot.com/

Now it is your turn to tag!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

Halloween Hauntings - Fact or Fiction?


There were two women who lived together for many years. These were the later years of their lives. They did just about everything together, shopping, meals, day trips to the market and such. They were great companions for each other. Conversation, communication and companionship made the arrangement wonderful for both of these women.

Eventually though, the conversation became less, communication varied. One night the younger of the two women was totally exhausted, went to bed, called it a night. She was in peaceful calm sleep, dreaming away. All of a sudden her eyes opened, she instinctively knew something wasn't quite right. What she saw frightened her terribly!

There, along side of her bed was the other woman, standing in the pitch dark of night. But that wasn't the worst of it! This other woman was bent over the bed with a pair of scissors in her hand aiming them at the younger woman's chest...............READY TO STAB HER!!!

The younger woman couldn't imagine if this was a dream or reality! What happened next???

Find out in a later edition!

This is posted for the 58th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy "Halloween Hauntings - Fact or Fiction?" After all entries for this carnival have been posted, the time will eventually come to find out if the entries are really fact or fiction. Come back to find out the truth!

So what do you think? Is this story fact or fiction? Please leave comments and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri