Tuesday, November 25, 2008

8 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Well, I’ve been tagged twice for this week’s meme that is making the rounds in Geneablogger land. Since I was tagged by two of my favorite bloggers, Sheri Fenley of The Educated Genealogist and Randy Seavers of Genea-Musings, I feel duty bound to play.

This time I have to give you eight things about myself that you, the reader, might not know. If you have read this blog on any kind of a regular basis, it’s probably obvious that any thought or experience that happens to pop into my brain makes its way onto this blog. Is there anything about me that you don’t already know?

You might not know. . .

1. I drink hot tea instead of coffee. (A latent English gene, perhaps?)

2. I not only passed my college swimming class without finishing the swim portion of the final test, but I received an A, thanks to my sister’s one size too small hot pink bikini and an appreciative student instructor.

3. You can count me as another member of the “I took belly dance lessons” club. Had it not been for an emergency C-section, I probably would have been become “Tara the Dancing Princess.”

4. I believe God created parentheses just for my benefit. (And since I don’t want his creation to go to waste, I make ample use of them in my blogging posts.)

5. I love all things tomato. I love tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, stuffed tomatoes, but I cannot stand the size and texture of cherry tomatoes in my mouth – yuck!

6. I can twist my tongue around so that it looks like I am turning it over. This (along with my Morton’s Toe) is a talent inherited from my dad. It is a useful trick in a room full of rowdy children. They’ll spend a good, QUIET half hour trying to duplicate the feat.

7. I played the violin in school, which is how my pal Karen and I first became friends. (She usually sat first chair and I sat second. Once, when the music instructor was trying to teach her a lesson, he switched our places right before a recital that had a solo for the first violin. I was scared to death. My generous friend talked me through it and it turned out fine – but I was happy to have her resume the duties of first chair.)

8. I believed my mother EVERY time she told me that taking Pepto-Bismol would make my stomach ache feel better. She lied!

Now the actual rules for this meme are:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

Since, I was one of the last to come to this party, I’m guessing that most of the geneablogger crowd that has wanted to play, has played. So, any blogger reading this post, please consider yourself tagged. Ah, that goes for you non-geneablogger types, too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Little Game of Scrabble

Karen, my friend from California, and I were just talking about how we don’t forward those emails that say “send this email to 10 people within three hours and you will have your most fervent wish come true. If you delete this message before forwarding it on, you will have 10 years of bad luck.”

Okay, you may not have gotten one with the same verbiage but you know the kind of email I mean. By my count, I have about 10 LIFETIMES worth of bad luck. (Hey, wonder if I can “serve” my sentences concurrently and speed things up to say 5 LIFETIMES?)

Anyway, the next day I received the following email from one of my geneablogger buddies:

Ok the game is on... Afternoon Scrabble - Keep it going!!!

Change one letter of the bottom word posted and let's see who gets stuck and can't continue!
Rules: You cannot add letters. You cannot use foreign languages. You can only change one letter.

Send it back to the person that sent it to you, plus 10 new people.

Add your entry to the bottom after you hit Forward, or to be neater please Copy and Paste!???

Don't forget: send it back to the person that sent it to you, plus 10 new people.

To make it even more interesting, let's add what city and state we are from & the date to see how far this goes and how long it's been out...

This one I did participate in and pass on. I did it for two reasons.

1. NOBODY was being threatened if they did not pass it on.
2. It was extremely interesting to see the number of places this little chain email had been.

I sent it to people in the geneablogger world (see Karen, I was good to you.), and my apologies to anyone who may have been offended by being included in this little email. My apologies to anyone I didn’t send it to and who, upon reading this, realized that they would have WANTED to be included. You just can’t please everybody.

It started in the UK, but I don’t know which country in the UK because the originating person was not that specific. However, the following countries are represented: England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Barbados, and the United States. Twenty states are represented in the list. I am the second Ohioan on this particular list.

Below is the list. I have deleted names from it, but I thought it was interesting to see the dates, and the places where this game of scrabble has been. The first date is listed as 18/08/08, which is August 18, 2008. This form of date changed to the more common form used in the US in Baltimore, MD.

A special thanks to the fellow geneablogger who included me in this game. I was feeling in a funk, and this perked me up.

If anybody recognizes this list, and would like to drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you. The world has certainly gotten smaller!

Bray -.UK 18/08/08
Tray - Jenny, Essex UK 18/7/08
Tram -, Essex UK 18/07/08
Trap - 18/7/08
Trip -, Essex 19/08/08
Grip - l,Essex , UK 20/08/08
Grid -, Scotland 20/08/08
Grin - , Barbados 21.08.08
Gran - - England 21.08.08
Bran -, Kent, 24.8.08
Rant- England 27.08.08
Pant -, South Australia 27/8/08
Pint - Hervey Bay Queensland Australia
Punt _ Craignish Qld. Australia
Puny - - Pt Elliot South Australia 29/08/08
Punk - - Goolwa Beach South Austraila 01/09/08
Pink - -Canterbury UK
Sink - Herne Bay Kent
Link - Herne Bay Kent . 2 Sept 08
Line - Essex 2nd September 08
Lint - Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex 02/09/08
Tint - - Orpington , Kent 03/09/08
Tent - - Sevenoaks , Kent 3/9/08
Rent - - Fairseat , Kent 3/9/08
Dent - - Bromley Kent 3/9/08
Bent - - West Wickham , Kent 3/9/08
Sent - - Borough Green, Kent 6/9/08
Went - - Southport UK - 06/09/08
Want - -Kay Southport UK - 06/09/08
Wart - -Lee , South Grafton20AU -07/09/08
Fart - South Grafton AU -07/09/2008
Cart- Brisbane Au- 08/09/2008
Tart - Maryborough AU - 08/09/2008
Dart - Brisbane Qld Australia 08/09/08
Dirt - Brisbane Qld Australia 8/09/09
Girt - Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Gift - Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Rift - Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Rife - Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Life - Qld Aust 10/9/08
Wife- WA Aust 11/9/08
Waif - WA Aust 11/09/08
Wait - WA Aust 11/9/08
Bait - WA Aust 11/09/08
Gait - Glasgow , Scotland 15/09/08
Gain -, Coulsdon, Surrey 15/09/08
Pain -, Woodmansterne, Surrey 16/9/08
Rain -, Banstead, Surrey UK 16.09.08
Raid-, Surrrey UK 16.09.08
Paid -, Hants , UK 17.09.2008
Laid - Wales UK 17.9.2008
Lair - South Wales UK19.09.2008
Lain - South Wales UK 22.09.2008
Lean - Birmingham 22.09.08
Loan- -Hampshire-23.09.08
Moan - West Sussex 24.09.08
Moat - Val Wingate West Sussex England 24.9.08
Boat -, West Sussex . England
Beat--, West SussexUK 24/9/08
Neat -, Cambridge England 24/09/08
Peat--, Chicago ,USA
Feat-- Mountain View , CA 26/09/08
Teat - San Carlos CA , USA 26/09/08
Meat - Baltimore , MD 9/27/08
seat- Raleigh NC 27609 9 /28/08
sear- Boca Raton , FL 9/30/08
rear- Pikesville Maryland
bear- Baltimore Maryland 09/30/2008
tear- Baltimore , Maryland 09/30/2008
team- Owings Mills , Maryland 10/1/08
teal- Owings Mills. MD 10/01/08
seal- Phoenix , MD 10/2/08
sell- Framingham, MA 10/2/08
bell- Framingham , MA 10/2/08
lobe- Framingham , MA 10/2/08
bowl - Framiingham , MA 10/5/08
cowl - Framingham , MA 10/5/08
coal - Weston , MA 10/05/08
COAT- Hollywood FL 10/5/08
Goat - Weston , MA
moat Marlboro MA
Boat -- Framingham , MA
Toad-- Framingham , Ma 10/5/08
Told--- Westwood, Ma 10/6/08
bold - Den nis , MA 10/7/08
bald - Arlington , MA 10/8/08
bale - Troy , OH 10/7/08
balk- Pittsfield ,Ma 10/7/08
bank-,lee,ma 10/8/08
tank- Stamford CT 10/9/08
talk- Wood dale IL 10/9/08
walk-, Wood Dale IL 10/9/08
wall - - RLB , IL 10/9/08
wail - - Glenview , IL 10/9/08
pail -, Chicago , IL 10/09/08
sail - - Torrance , CA. 10/9/08
nail - - Torrance , CA 10/9/08
rail - - Santa Clarita, CA 10/10/08
bail - - Burbank Ca 10/13/2008
hail - - Riverside , CA 10/14/08
fail –– Lakewood, Ca 10/19/08
tail –– Huntington Beach , CA 10/19/2008
toil –~ Ceres, CA 10/20/08
boil- ~ Turlock , CA 10/20/08
coil- CA 10/20/09
cowl- Tracy , CA 10/20/09
fowl ~, Tracy, CA 10/21/08
bowl~ Tracy CA10/21/08
bawl- Tracy, CA 10/21/08
ball–Tracy, CA 10/21/2008
mall- Stephanie Waddoups, Tracy, Ca. 10/22/08
call -, Roy, UT 10/22/08
hall - Carrollton, TX 10/23/08
hail - Ponca City, OK 23 Oct 2008
haik – Laguna Niguel, CA23 Oct 2008
hair - Fort Wort , TX 10/23/08
hail - Anchorage , Alaska , 23 Oct 08
Tail - Houston ,Texas , 10/23/08 @ 1:03p.m.
Teal - TX 10/24/08 @ 6:21
Meal- TX 10/24/2008 6:30am
Lame –Houston , TX 10/24/2008
Lime –, Corpus Christi , TX 10-24-2008
Dime –Corpus Christi , TX 10/24/2008
Mime -- CC, Texas 10/24/08
Mine - Covington , LA 10/24/08
Mind- Sonora , CA 10/25/08
Mild –Pt. Reyes CA 10/25/08
Milk - Ford CA 10/26/08
Mile- Beach Ca 10/26/08
Mole -, Petaluma CA 10/26/08
Pole –, San Francisco, CA 10/26/08
Hole –Napa , CA 10/27/08
Home- Portland , OR 10-28-08
Hope –Lake Oswego , OR 10-28-08
Rope –Lake Oswego , OR 10-28-08
Rose-- Lake Oswego, OR 10-31-08
Rise-- Portland, OR 10-31-08
Wise-- Concord, Ma. 11-1-08
Wipe-- Portland, OR 11-2-08
Wimp-- Portland, Or 11/3/08
Limp –Borrego Springs, CA 11/03/08
Pimp - Vista, CA 11/5/08
Pump - NV 11/6/08
Jump- Incline Village, Nv. 11/6/08
Hump -, Aleaxndria, Va 11/7/2008
Lump - Hernando, FL
Lamp - Lecanto, Fl. 11/07/08
Ramp- okeechobee, fl 11/10/08
camp- Taylorsville,NC 11/10/08
damp - Millville, NJ 11/10/08
tamp - Rosenhayn, NJ
Vamp - Millville - NJ
pave- Millville, NJ
pale - Millville, NJ
Bale –Millville, NJ
Bake- Millville, NJ
Rake—Woodstwon, NJ
Make - Mannington, NJ
cake- Clearwater, FL
sake - Naples, FL
Wake- Daw Ca.
Wade- V.H. AZ
Wide - Viejo, CA 11/21/08
Wipe - Ladera Ranch, CA 11/21/08
Wise - CA 11/21/08
Wish - Whidbey Island WA 11/22/08
Fish - Brookdale, CA 11/22/08Fist -- Chula Vista CA 11/22/08
List - Fulton, Mississippi USA 11/22/08
Last – Fremont, Ohio 11/22/08

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November - I Weep

I hate November. I always have. The days are short and overcast. Even the thought of the annual Thanksgiving feast is not enough to cheer me. As a child, I can’t tell you the number of times my family sat feasting on the luscious bird with all of its trimmings, while I lay moaning in my bed, bedroom door closed, completely nauseated by the smells that managed to filter their way into my sickroom. Having the flu seemed, at times, like an annual November ritual. Something you could count on in the same way you could count on my mom grinding up the cranberries the night before the holiday. So you can have your Thanksgiving and the entire month. I still hate November.

It seems only fitting, then, that November would house one of my worst memories, one of those before and after moments that people call “defining.” In the scale of things, it was just a small moment. I’ve come to realize if you scratch below anyone’s surface, you will find similar moments. I’m not special. God did not single me out, but at twenty-four, with a limited worldview, it felt as if he had.

In my mind, I see a little blond girl, smiling and running towards me with arms outstretched. I smile back.  I reach for her, picking her up and kissing her warm forehead. It is a cherished fantasy, decades old. It’s all I have of her, my youngest daughter, Heather, the fantasy.

When Heather was born, she had massive birth defects. That is what I tell people, when I talk about it. It sounds much better than the truth. That as a seven-month preemie, she weighed over ten pounds. That her little body was so bloated with fluid it had crushed her fragile bones, and made it impossible for her to come down the birth canal.

The fact that she managed to survive for twenty minutes after her caesarean birth, might qualify as a small miracle, on a day when miracles were in short supply. I am haunted with the idea that she was waiting for me, and in one final insult, I let her down, not coming out of the anesthetic fog until after she had died.

Funny, when they told me she was a girl, for a brief moment there was pleasure.  I hadn’t known until that instant how much I was hoping for a girl. In that instant, I forgot that a short time earlier I had begged the doctor to give me some small piece of hope as they put me under the anesthesia. His response had been a negating shake of his head.

How much of my grief-inspired insanity do I share? How much can you hear? Do you want to know that because I never held her or kissed her little cheek, or even saw her ravaged body that the ache of it can still make me weak?

Do you want to know that for months afterwards, every time I got into my car it somehow ended up in the hospital parking lot? Even I couldn’t understand the compulsion, until finally, one day, it dawned on me that the hospital was the last place Heather had been alive for me. The baby that had kicked inside me whenever I stopped rocking in my chair had disappeared. My mind and body were still looking for her.

Do you want to know that it would take five years, but eventually the event would highlight the growing cracks in my marriage, making a divorce the final footnote of the tragedy?

I wanted the world to stop. I didn’t care about someone looking for a new house. I didn’t care if they lost their job, or their plumbing stopped working. I wanted to shout, “My daughter has died! Nothing else matters!” But of course, as everyone knows, everything else does matter, and eventually, even I had to pick up the pieces and move on.

I hope that in your gravest moments of crisis you will find the same support and compassion I found in the cadre of women who nurtured and sustained me through mine. My mother, my sisters - Marcia and Lee, and my sister-in-law Nancy had the difficult task of withstanding all the vitriol and angst that I could muster. Over and over again, they let me cry, and rage and once done, let me regurgitate again all the bile that filled my soul. They must have wondered at times if I would ever stop, and eventually I did, when the well of bile finally ran dry. I don’t know how these women weathered my storm, but thank God, they did.

And so there was before, and then there was after. One day I was me, and then I was another me - not necessarily a better me, or even a worse me, just a different me. That is how life is.

Most of the time, it is behind me, though never lurking too far below my surface. With decades of practice, I can talk about it clinically, dispassionately without the slightest wave of disturbance. Except in November, when the sky is overcast and the calendar stares at me in defiance. Then I weep.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

For All My Sandusky County Kin Hunter Friends

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone at the Sandusky County Kin Hunters who let me ramble on today about one of my favorite subjects, my Pomeranian roots. You each made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. A special thanks to Dave Golden for inviting me to speak.

Here are the links that I promised I would post. Enjoy!

A. Eastern Europe
1. http://www.kartenmeister.com/preview/databaseUwe.asp
“Database of locations are EAST of the Oder and Neisse rivers and are based on the borders of the eastern provinces in Spring 1918. Included in this database are the following provinces: Eastprussia, including Memel, Westprussia, Brandenburg.
Posen, Pomerania, and Silesia.”
Gives both German and Polish names of villages and towns.
Website in German, English and Polish

2. http://feefhs.org/
The Federation of East European Family History Societies
Resource for All of Eastern Europe – Maps, Links etc.

B. Pomeranian Links
1. http://pom-wpru.kerntopf.com/index.htm
Useful information about the counties along the border between former Prussian Provinces Pomerania and West Prussia. Counties include
Butow - Pomerania
Lauenburg – Pomerania
Stolp – Pomerania
Karthaus – West Prussia
Neustadt – West Prussia
Putzig – West Prussia
Website in both German and English

2. http://www.ruegenwalde.com/pommern/index.htm
Pommerninfo – Information and links for All Pommern Counties
Website in German with some English Subtitles

3. http://hinterpommern.de/
Pommern – Das Land am Meer
Information and links for Pomerania East of the Oder-Neisse Line
Website in German

4. http://pommerndatenbank.de/
Searchable databases including
1. Contact exchange between Pommern family researchers – Pommernkontakte
2. Search Family Names in various Address books from years 1869 -1938
3. Search Church Books and Civil Records Database for availability of records and their location
Website in German and some English

5. http://www.bogenschneider.org/pomerania.htm
Pomeranian Genealogy Resources - Excellent website for links!
Website in English and German

6. . http://pomeranianews.com/welcome.html
Die Pommerschen Leute
Website for the Quarterly Newsletter devoted to the Duchy of Pomerania
Published by The Immigrant Genealogical Society Pomeranian Special Interest
Maps, Articles, and Links
Website in English

7. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mnprgm/PRG.html
The Pommern Regional Group of Minnesota
Information on Pomeranian Culture and Links
Website in English

8. http://www.pommerschervereinfreistadt.org/Home/tabid/68/Default.aspx
Pommerscher Verein Freistad
Culture and History of Pomerania
Website English and German

C. Pomeranian County Links
1. http://www.hinterpommern-info.de/index.html
Herzlich Willkommen im Landkreis Stolp i. Pommern
Information about specific villages in Stolp Kreis
Links to other information
Website in German

3. http://www.powiatslupsk.info/
Powiat Slupski
Information about towns and villages of Stolp Kreis
Website in German and Polish

4. http://belgard.org/
Information on Pommern - Kreis Belgard – Schivelbein -
Website in German

5. http://www.buetow-pommern.info/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Bütow
Website in German

6. http://www.cammin-pommern.de/
Information on Pommern - Kreis Cammin
Website in German

7. http://www.deutsch-krone.de/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Deutsch Krone
Website in German and some Polish

8. http://www.kolberg-koerlin.de/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Kolberg-Körlin
Website in German

9. http://www.lauenburg-pommern.de/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Lauenburg
Website in German

10. http://www.naugard.de/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Naugard
Website in German

11. http://www.netzekreis.de/
Information on Pommern – Netzekreis
Website in German

12. http://www.rummelsburg.de/
Information on Pommern - Kreis Rummelburg
Website in German and English

13. http://www.schlawe.de/
Information on Pommern – Kreis Schlawe
Website in German

14. http://www.geocities.com/schlochau/index.html
Information on Pommern – Kreis Schlochau
Website in English and German

15. http://list.genealogy.net/mailman/listinfo/stolp-l
Mailing list for Researchers of the Pomeranian County of Stolp
Instructions in German, English, French and Dutch
Website German but some on list read and write English

1. http://www.genealogy.net/genealogy.html
German Genealogy Portal
Website in German and some English

2. http://immigrantgensoc.org/
The Immigrant Genealogical Society
Collection of German and American Genealogy – Research Service from Library
Website in English

3. http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/about.cfm
German History in Documents and Images
Collection of Historical documents, images, maps pertaining to German History
From 1500 -2006 (Note some sections still under construction)
Website in German and English

4 http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Aid=&Gid=&Lid=&Sid=&Did=&Juris1=&Event=&Year=&Gloss=&Sub=&Tab=&Entry=&Guide=Ger_BMD_RefDoc_HandbookGermanResearch.ASP
“A Genealogical Handbook of German Research” by Larry O. Jensen
This can be downloaded as a PDF file from FamilySearch website.
Website in English

5. http://www.volksbund.de/
Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.
Website of the German War Graves Commission with information on German
Soldiers who died in World War I and World War II
Website in German

6. http://mki.wisc.edu/
Max Kade Institute for German American Studies
Documents, Maps, Information, Resources, Links
Website in English (some links in German)

6. http://home.att.net/~wee-monster/germanlinks.html
Links for Geman Genealogy on the Internet
Joe Beine’s very useful German links recently celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary.
Website in English

1. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=d21f3711ca5ca110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d21f3711ca5ca110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD
Information on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Genealogy Program
Procedures and fees for requesting Index Search and Record Copy Request
(Note you can now make these requests online)

2. http://www.ellisisland.org/
Ellis Island
Search Passenger Manifests for Immigrant Ancestors


1. http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en
Google Language Tools
Can translate both text and websites into from approximately 30 different languages into English., including Polish. Muy Bueno!

2. http://babelfish.yahoo.com/
Yahoo Babel Fish
Can translate both text and website from 12 languages into English. Does not include Polish.


1. http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=44.023938~-99.71&style=h&lvl=4&tilt=-89.875918865193&dir=0&alt=7689462.6842358
Microsoft Virtual Earth
Look at Earth in 3D

2. http://www.google.com/intl/en/
Google Earth
3D view of the world and more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sandusky County Kin Hunters Meeting Reminder

This Sunday, November 9, the Sandusky County Kin Hunters will be holding their monthly meeting at 2:00 PM at the Sandusky Township Hall on Rt 19 North. I will be there chatting about the topic “Researching My Pomeranian Roots.”

The meeting is free and open to public with ample parking available. If you have any questions please contact Dave at 419-502-7620.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some Final Thoughts on This Election Day

I just read a piece in the New York Times which said that the election with the largest voter turnout happened 100 years ago, on November 3, 1908 when 66% of the registered voters showed up at the polls and elected Ohioan, William Howard Taft, the Republican candidate, as President.

Of course, women could not vote in that election. Today will be the 23rd time that women of the United States will have voted in a Presidential Election. November 2, 1920 was the first election in which women could exercise their right to vote. This was a mere 72 years after the birth of the women’s suffrage movement took place in Seneca Falls, New York at the first women's rights convention. Most of the women at that convention would not live to see their dreams of women’s suffrage realized.

As much as I am pulling for my candidate to win, I think the most important factor in today's election is the sanctity of the process – that no eligible voter’s vote be denied, nor left uncounted.

There are mountains of lawyers ready to pounce in my home state of Ohio with charges of voter fraud already floating like bits of pollen in the air. I have heard that there are legions of lawyers representing both political parties stationed in other swing states ready to do battle.

Perhaps it is naïve to believe that the integrity of the process matters more than the outcome of the election. But it is this belief that is at the core of what it means to be an American – one person, one vote. Is it too much to hope that those who would lead and their supporters remember this concept as this election season comes to a close?