Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 5

If you have been following along with this adventure already, I thank you! If you are new to my blog or aren't up to date with this series of posts, I suggest you go back and read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 before continuing on here with Part 5.

March 5, 2011

I received an email stating:

"Thank you for your audition for The Great Swedish Adventure! Your profile and responses have been submitted to the casting decision-makers working on the project, and they're eager to see your videos. If you're selected for the next round of casting, you'll be contacted directly."

Finally, I had completed the audition! This seemed like a chore to me by the time I finished this step. Originally, I was emailed the audition information on March 1st. As I believe I stated in Part 4, my mind set was that I needed to get a webcam and I wasn't about to spend the money, besides an online audition made me very nervous for some reason. Therefore I lagged completing this task. I sure was correct about being nervous though, because I REALLY botched this part! I NEVER in a million years expected to get this far, and the whole concept was certainly new to me, auditioning for a TV show? Yeah, right. That's not even thinking about the Sweden part.

On March 4, I received an email saying I had not done the audition yet. They apparently had been informed that there was some confusion with how to complete the online audition, so now they were giving more instructions clarifying how to complete this stage. Well, I did have a bit of confusion with the instructions, only  that I thought at first I had to purchase a web cam. Once I remembered I had one in my laptop, the process wasn't at all difficult. I suppose they thought I hadn't done the audition because of the directions. That was fine because I didn't want them to know the difficulty was actually with me! I wasn't excited about doing an online audition, and did it show!

The email also pointed out that they had received a ton of applications from the United States, and they were stunned that so many people showed an interest. Then they said:

"You were chosen because something in your application stood out."

What stood out? That I had Swedish heritage? That I lived in the United States? That I wanted to go to Sweden to meet my relatives? These were all requests the show had for those who applied, so I can't imagine any of that stood out. The only thing I can think of that may have stood out is the "adventurous" section that I felt was the best part of the application. Could that have been it?

The email went on to say that time was ticking and they really wanted me to complete the audition. Ok, I guess I am suppose to do this, I would never forgive myself if I don't give it a go. I did the audition that same morning and sent it in, horrible as it was. It had been fun and I was able to go through quite a bit of this process, so I was very proud of myself for getting as far as I did!

By now, time didn't mean anything to me in regards to the Great Swedish Adventure. It had left my thoughts, I was back in my own little world...until...

I was carrying "the princess" down the stairs one day when my phone started ringing. I ran quick as I could so the call wouldn't get picked up by the answering machine and gasped "hello." Someone said something and I really couldn't hear them. I asked "What did you say? I am sorry I couldn't hear you?"

The lady at the other end told me she was such and such, FROM SWEDEN! Of course I didn't believe her and had to ask if it was for real. She reassured me she was in Sweden and was with the TV production company! My heart started to race a bit faster...

She asked me if I had a bit of time to talk, of course I said yes. I explained I was watching my grandchildren though so if I got interrupted she would understand why. She told me I made it to the next round...I was dumbfounded...speechless, I mean totally beyond words. She was calling to do an oral interview over the phone! Oh geez....was I ready for this?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 4

Ok, so... there are those who think I am trying to torture them or something by not getting to the "meat of this" adventure sooner. I have been thinking about that. I can understand exactly how someone would feel that way! If I were kicking back reading these posts on someone else's blog, I too would want to know the end result ASAP! So, I thought about bringing you to the here and now, the matters at hand for this very day, giving you the whole enchilada! But as quickly as I thought about doing that, I immediately decided, I can't. That would be so unfair. You wouldn't get to go along and experience this journey with me, as I had to do it, which was little bits at a time, and a lot of waiting! So, no dice! The excursion is for you to follow. Now, let's see where did I leave off?

Oh yes! The company sent me an email message informing me I had been chosen for the second round up! What did the second round up entail? Well, I read this one and it made me laugh! They wanted me to do an online audition! I think that caught me a little off guard and made me a bit nervous at first too!

I was instructed to download a program and follow the directions. Download the program, check. Read the directions, well....maybe the beginning....Oh brother! I needed to have a camera? I wasn't going to go to the store and spend money on a camera for my computer! Ok, for a quick second I thought...well maybe I can buy it, do the interview and return it. But as soon as I thought that, I said, NO WAY, I hate being on camera, and on the computer would be worse. Wow, if I am thinking like this I might as well forget the whole thing! If I can't do this, what would I do in front of a TV camera?

So, I read a little more of the instructions and it dawned on me that I have a built in camera on my laptop already! Duh! This had to mean that I was nervous if I had forgotten about the camera on my laptop! I shut down the computer and walked away from it all at that point. Crazy.

A few days later, while the princess was sleeping and I was the only other person at home, I thought I would check out this audition thing again. I read a bit more this time and decided I wanted to see what it was all about anyway. So, just as I was about to get the first question, after I got everything set up, in walks my husband! I told him "NO! You can't be home now!" So much for my quiet, personal time to check out the audition! Then I thought, oh heck with it and told him, "to stay downstairs in case the princess wakes and I will be upstairs for a bit trying to do the online interview." Off  and up the stairs I went!

The instructions said they were going to ask 5 questions. You could re-do any or all of your answers as you wish, but they prefer you to try to keep most of your first responses. You could start and stop the interview, and review. Ok. Let's get this done! The first question was actually three questions. That threw me off for a minute. I think the second question was fairly easy. The third question took some thought and the fourth question I think was the only one I did a re-do on. By the fifth question, I was telling myself to just answer it! Wow... it was done. I went back and watched it all again. I still wasn't happy with the one question and decided to do it again. After that, I STILL didn't like the take, but started laughing, and said, oh what the heck, just send it, it's not like they are going to pick you anyway! So I sent it.

I walked downstairs laughing and told my husband "that was a real joke! I looked horrible, my eyes bugged out, I made funny faces...OH WHAT A JOKE THAT was!" He proceeded to tell me, again, about how hard I am on myself. "Yea, sometimes, ok most of the time, I am pretty hard on myself, but this time I will show you! The audition I did was HORRIBLE, I STUNK and made a mess out of that!"

At least now I can stop wondering and worrying about this TV adventure it is OVER! I do wish to thank all of you who have been rooting me on with this! It was truly great of you to do that! The idea of going to Sweden is so exciting, and a dream of mine, but I am so sorry, I botched it here.

Oh, but wait, there will be a Part 5 to this! Stay Tuned.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 3

In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2 which will help Part 3 make more sense!

February 28, 2011

I received an email from a representative of the TV program. She thanked me for my application and interest in the Great Swedish Adventure. She stated this as being "a new exciting reality television series that will be shot and broadcasted in Sweden." Then she informed me that I had been chosen for the "Second Round Up!" 

Seriously? Wow, this was a real surprise! So now what? Well, she said they want to learn more about me and my "Swedish cultural heritage." Ok. I can understand that, I wonder what I need to do for this, the second round up?

I was given information on the casting process ~

Chosen participants for the Great Swedish adventure will compete in extreme cultural challenges to discover their rich and fascinating roots while trying to win the grand prize; MEETING THEIR SWEDISH RELATIVES!

This is my dream right now, to meet my newfound cousins in Sweden. All of the information and the process almost seems surreal to me. It was difficult for me to comprehend that I was actually aware of this adventure, let alone applying to be a part of it. I am setting my sights very low though because I really don't expect this to materialize into anything for many reasons.

Another point brought to my attention on the casting process ~

"If the producers of the Program select you as one of the applicants to take part in the Finalist interview process, you must be willing to travel to chosen city for that final call back.

The producers and casting team will hook up in 2-4 cities somewhere in the US for the final Round Up. I have no idea where they plan to hold those interviews, I would think it would depend on where the last round up of people live.

In connection with the travel for the finalist interviews, 
"The Company" will 
Provide roundtrip economy air transportation to and from the major airport 

Closest to the finalist’s home if the person lives outside of a 250 mile radius of 
Selected City (but, if the finalist lives within a 250 mile radius of selected City
"The Company" will only
provide ground transportation)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't even have to worry about this! I have never done any acting... let alone been on TV. Not sure this is going to work for me. 

Information for the chosen participants included this ~

"The Company" is paying for travel expenses and boarding during the filming period. If selected as a participant, you must be willing to travel to Sweden and be part of the production lasting anything between 8 to 30 days in or around the period: 23 May-5 July

"The Company" will provide each Participant with a Per Diem of XXX dollars per day upon the arrival and departure in Sweden.

Doesn't this sound awfully exciting though? I have tried picturing myself making it all the way to the Final Round Up, imagining in my mind what everything might be like in the end, being one of the contestants on the program. It would be a dream. An out and out dream.

Oh yes, what was I suppose to do for this round up? Watch for Part 4 to find out!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 2

Hopefully you have read Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 1, as that will bring you up to speed for part 2!

After I sent in the application it was about a week later that I received an email from "The Company". There was a several page information packet they wanted me to fill out.

Was this all for real?

I never felt this was a "hokey" deal (which I very well could have) only because it had been brought to my attention by two very trustworthy individuals, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Yvonne Henriksson. When I first read the advertisement, it was almost unbelievable to me because this was exactly what I was working on at the time, getting to Sweden, somehow.

If you are unaware, I have a distant cousin in Sweden who found my blog last year. We have been in constant contact since that time. I couldn't tell you who was more excited about the connection, him or I. We have shared information, pictures, questions and even brick walls. He wasn't as heavily into family history as I was, but oh, he had done some work at one time. He has so many places to take and show me, and he is an actual "Lundberg," the name I was born with.

Anyway, moving on…Yvonne asked me to keep her updated on the involvement with the TV show. I was surprised, really, that I was asked to fill out all of this new paperwork. I didn't let Yvonne know about it, because I really didn't expect much beyond this point. I was happy to get this far in the process! I thought I would wait to see what happened after I filled out the paperwork and then give her the update, that this was as far as I got. I also chose not to say anything to my cousin in Sweden, there was no sense in any of us getting to excited about this. It was just something I HAD to do, go through the process, or I would NEVER forgive myself for not trying. After all, anyone in the United States that has any Swedish ancestry could apply.

The paperwork (which was actually not paperwork as it was done electronically) was fairly easy to fill out, but it was lengthy. It asked more about me and my life, the basic info and then some action thoughts, like how adventurous was I, etc. This wasn't tough, they wanted adventurous, I could give them adventurous! I wrote that I ride my own Harley Davidson, have been river rafting, para-sailing and done the zip line. Of course, they wanted to know what I liked, or enjoyed doing also. That again was easy, I like genealogy, golfing, fishingcrocheting, knitting, sewing and all sorts of crafts.

They wanted to know if I had ever been to Sweden, and if I remember correctly, did I speak any other languages? Those were definite no's. I believe it also asked if I had done any traveling to any other countries and where I had been. A definite yes here.  I received this about mid February, so I don't remember all of the questions exactly, but I do remember there was more to this paperwork than I was expecting.

I finished filling everything out. I felt the adventurous part of this could be in my favor. There were other areas though (which I choose not to discuss) that I felt would probably hurt my chances with this great opportunity, and there were probably more of those than my one good, adventurous area. I sent the paperwork in not expecting to hear any more from this company.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 1

On February 16, this is what it said:

"Cool opportunity for Americans of Swedish heritage!" 

This was a post on Facebook, which also included a link and more information, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. I remember replying to her post telling her that I have Swedish heritage. She said she wished she did.

On February 20th, I received a message on Facebook from Yvonne Henricksson, who is the blogger at "Swedish Thoughts" and actually lives in Sweden. She was aware that I have Swedish heritage and wanted to inform me of an e-mail she received relating to the same opportunity that Megan had posted. She thought I, or maybe some friends of mine, would be interested in this offer.

The producers of the Swedish version of "American Idol" and "Minute to win it" are coming to America to find people for their new reality show called ~


Do you have Swedish ancestors?
Do you have a dream to see Sweden?
Do you have an urge to find your Swedish roots?

The ad says Meter Television is looking for Americans with Swedish ancestry for a reality TV show to be shot in Sweden. It also stated that there are more than 4.8 million Americans who have Swedish ancestry. Representatives from the television company will be scouring America to find people who are fun, outgoing, adventurous and have Swedish ancestry.

This show is to be filmed in Sweden and contestants will have extreme cultural challenges to face. It is an elimination type of program and bottom line, there is one ultimate winner. The winner will earn the opportunity to meet their Swedish relatives!

Yvonne thought it was something I might be interested in... I responded to her message letting her know I had already filled out the information form and sent it in! When I read about it the first time from Megan's post, I couldn't help but think that the odds were stacked against me, along with other things. But then I told myself, this would be a dream come true! I have felt very strongly that I need to go to Sweden this year. I have no idea why. I do know though that I don't want to ever look back and say "what if," so for kicks and giggles I filled out the application!

Wouldn't you have done the same?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

I have be given the "One Lovely Blog Award," not once, not twice, but three times! I wish to thank Christine-rootsresearcher from So That's Where I Get it From, Margel from 2338 Washington Blvd and Wendy B from Shaking Leaves:My adventures in Genealogy for thinking so kindly of Heritage Happens when giving out this award! I truly feel honored and appreciated, thank you all so much!
This of course comes with rules for accepting the award, they are as follows:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and their blog link. 
2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 Cheryl Palmer

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rich in Genealogy

I have been saying for a couple weeks now that my life could be consumed by webinars! They have been popping up like crazy this month! The webinars have taken a bit of time to sign up for, simply because there are so many. I thought I had signed up for every webinar being offered, but I was disappointed in that I missed a couple that were actually broadcast today. If you haven't hooked yourself up to any of the webinars yet, you need to check out everything that is being offered, they are free! Webinars have been offered from Roots Magic, Legacy, Lisa Alzo, Michael Hait, and DearMYRTLE among others. DearMYRTLE made it easy for us by setting up GeneaWebinars, the one stop shop to see them all! Easy and free, what more could we want? Oh yes, to sign up!

Thomas MacEntee, Mr. GeneaBlogger himself, started GeneaBloggers BlogTalkRadio which airs Friday nights. It starts one hour prior to the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode,7:00pm pacific time. This is a two hour radio show you listen to on your computer. You may call in with questions if you wish, and/or chat on the chat board. There have been six broadcasts as of this writing and Thomas has been adding "guest appearances" lately. The radio program is very informative, educational and fun! As a matter of fact Thomas has been giving away door prizes and I was one of the lucky door prize winners this past Friday night. I won a three month pro-account to Geni.com! Yes! Thank you to Thomas and Geni.com for making this happen. Later in the evening Bill West, blogger of "West in New England" fame, became the big winner, winning a lifetime pro-membership to Geni.com and some other goodies. Congratulations to Bill!

There are a few people hosting genealogy BlogTalkRadio programs now. For instance, I listened to an archive from "Nurturing our Roots" by Antoinette Harrell with her guest Drusilla Pair. Dru blogs at Find Your Folks and we have "known" each other for, I am guessing, six or seven years. We met through online classes we each attended. I really enjoyed listening to Dru and catching up with all she is doing these days, it was a great broadcast and she had so much to share. You can listen to this and others if you sign up at BlogTalkRadio.

Just think, we have so much to keep us involved and interested in genealogy these days, we have ~

     - Blogs
     - Magazines
     - Carnivals
     - Geneabloggers Radio
     - TV (WDYTYA, The Generations Network, etc)
     - Webinars
     - Libraries/Books
     - Conferences
     - Internet sites and programs
     - Classes, online and in class rooms
     - Podcasts
     - Facebook
     - Twitter
     - Skype
     - Genealogy Societies
     - E-mail
     - GeneaPress
     - Wikis

Who could ever get bored? It can almost be overwhelming. Genealogy Blogs alone, how many GeneaBloggers are there now? I believe we are heading towards the 1800 mark. WOW! How does any one person keep up with all of those? What a difference a generation makes. The last generation sure didn't have many of these resources available to them. They mailed letters and patiently waited days for responses. Today we find some things in an instant and try to figure out how we can get more time in our day. 

I just have to say I am very appreciative of all of the genealogical resources and avenues we have. People such as those mentioned above plus many more that have not been mentioned have all made this empowering hobby what it is today. Thank you to each and every one of you! Because of you I get the best of the best! 

Which reminds me, I also want to congratulate Family Tree Magazine's Top Forty GeneaBloggers for this year! Each of these bloggers are most deserving of this honor! Kudos to you all! I personally could imagine the "Top Eighty GeneaBloggers" because I feel there are at least another 40 blogs that could be on top.

On another note, genealogy, or no genealogy ~ We all, I am sure, feel most lucky and blessed after seeing what has happened with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My heart goes out to each and every person that has been affected by this horrible tragedy. I wish I could send out my "poof fairy" and make it all go away...

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 Cheryl Palmer

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Karin Lundberg

Karin Lundberg, unknown infant. Photo emailed to me from Sweden February 10, 2011 by Jan Lundberg.
Karin Lundberg is my great grand aunt in law.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 Cheryl Palmer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ole T. Westby Family ~ Birth Information Not Listed

Recently I have been communicating with a new Westby cousin from Washington state. Today, I was looking at some of the information I already had on some of these relatives. One page, a copy of 12th Federal Census for the Westby's intrigued me. I have had a copy of this for some time now and was aware of some things on this paperwork, but not of others.

I was aware this particular 1900 census page lists three different Westby families. I haven't worked much with the Washington Westby's, so I hadn't really looked closer at this record until now. One of the Westby families listed is Ole T. Westby with his wife and children. Ole T. was my great grand uncle. I am aware there was an Ole T. and an Ole A. Westby which lived on the same road in Washington. Both of their families are listed on this census, along with an Erling Westby.

For now though, I am just looking at the Ole T. Westby family. His wife was Helena. There are seven children, two sons and five daughters, Torval, Olaf, Inger, Hilda, Olga, Eda, and Otina. Ole T., Helena, and Torval were all born in Norway. They immigrated to the United States in 1887. The rest of the children were born in the United States. Olaf was born in Minnesota while the other children were born in Washington, where this family finally settled. Ole T. was a farmer and owned his farm. He, Helena and Torval could read and write in English. Except for Helena, they could also speak English. This brings me to the interesting area of this census record.

Each person in the family has their age listed ~

Ole T. ~ 39
Helena ~ 38
Torval ~ 12
Olaf ~ 11
Inger ~ 9
Hilda ~ 7
Olga ~ 5
Eda ~ 2
Otina ~ I believe is 2 months

The strange part is that the only one listed with their full birth date is Ole T. The whole page has birth dates listed for everyone, except the rest of this family. Of course, I can roughly figure out the year each was born from this, but I find it odd that the months and years weren't listed for anyone else. Many of the others on the page were from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany. All months and dates for them were listed.

Although it is difficult to see here, below Ole T.'s birth information of, Mar 1861, the boxes for every other person has a check mark in it. In tiny writing length wise across the column is a message which reads:

"Could not secure ? ? "  The last word almost looks like "date" without an "e" but the second to last word surely doesn't say birth. I will have to try to look this record up again, maybe in another data base, where it could possibly be read.

I wonder who gave the information to the census taker for Ole T. and his family? It certainly wasn't Helena, as she couldn't speak English. I am thinking she wasn't even home when the census taker came to pay a visit. Otherwise, wouldn't the informant to the census worker ask her the information of birth months and years if they didn't know it?

I don't think Torval was old enough to supply the census information, so it was more than likely Ole T. who was the supplier. Why wouldn't/couldn't Ole T. give the actual dates of birth for these children? Could Torval possibly have been an interpreter for his mother? Maybe he didn't know how to pronounce the months? Could this information have been forgotten? I can't hardly believe this wasn't known. I am starting to grasp at straws here. Do you have any ideas? I would love to hear them if you do!  

Oh and by the way, I am so glad the big black mark at the bottom of the census page wasn't blocking my families information!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 Cheryl Palmer