Saturday, September 25, 2010

Song of the Week 20

Long time since this "feature" made an appearance. I don't know why except that life has the habit of getting in the way of fun things. And, life for me hasn't been so fun lately.

Sometimes I just think I'm too old for change and stress. Knots in my stomach daily do not serve me well, nor do they serve anyone well. I am among the few that do not believe you must experience pain and discomfort in order to "grow". I have a job and I'm thankful for that, but, it is no longer the job I knew and loved. I know this is a development thing for me, but I'm not a young person desiring a huge title. I want to write and be an artist. I wake up in the morning having had dreams about work and things I didn't understand or do right and just hate that. If I died tomorrow, what did I accomplish? I hate to think of that.

So now we have John Lennon. He was murdered at 40 years old. He was 10 years younger than I am now, and contributed so much in his life. Had he lived, he'd be 70 years old in October. Yeah, he was murdered almost 30 years ago. I was a kid that grew up believing in Karma and as I got older "really" understood that. Somehow, though, I don't know that I've lived up to what I was taught. Or have I? I had dreams, yet I was told to be responsible (live differently than my dreams) and be able to put food on the table. Not sure why living your dreams and putting food on the table differ, but, whatever.

I know many people do live their dreams and put food on the table. Somehow, I just haven't achieved that yet. But, I do believe it's possible. The struggle, though, is keeping that dream in sight, while feeling miserable and sick and just out of control. Never an easy task. Daily, I am reminded of the fact that I've become the person I swore I never would be and feel rather disturbed by that. I really need to make some changes, and before it's too late. As the song says, "why in the world are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear".

In honor of John Lennon, Song of the Week, and my dark mood (hoping for a bit of enlightenment), Instant Karma.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sundays Are a Drag, and Other Thoughts

How does it go from Friday night to Sunday night so quickly? Traditionally, I begin to get a real down feeling about 3:30 on Sunday. Why? Because my weekend, my free time, is ending.

While talking with my mom today, she said that Sundays are a drag. I couldn't agree more, except I know our definitions of that differ. For her, Sundays are long and boring with nothing to do and nothing on TV. For me, Sundays are a reminder of my free time slipping out of my hands and that soon, Monday will arrive. The weekend will be over and I'll be back to the grind (as they say).

I don't know why I can't seem to get good pictures during daylight, so when it gets dark, I generally think about taking pictures and then they just look like crap. Here's an example. This is a bad picture of the dishtowel I did using spray paint and the stencils I cut from watercolor paper. I do need to try some more of these to get the look I really want.

What I did here was lay the cats and words stencils on the towel and then spritz with the fabric spray paint. I think I got a little carried away and some paint landed in areas that I wanted to remain white. Oh well, it was the first attempt. I am trying to build my inventory so that I can list items on Etsy. Hell, I actually created an Etsy store a year ago and that is as far as it has gotten - being created. I really need to focus on that and really need to do it soon as that is one of my 2010 goals. Plus, I would so hate to fail at that goal (as I have with too many others in the past).

Well, the story of my great grandmother Effie's sister, Edna, is slowing coming together. I got her obituary in the mail on Friday. She died in Denver in 1948 at 72 years old. She had four children that survived, yet only three survived her. As with many women of her era, she gave birth to children that died young. From what I can tell, Edna and her husband Wes, lost at least one child very young. Her oldest son Everett died in Monterey County, California in 1943. He was 42 years old. He died from rheumatic heart failure. Edna's husband Wes had died in 1933. They lived in Laramie, Wyoming, having moved there in 1910. Wes was an engineer with Union Pacific Railroad. From Edna's obituary I learned that her oldest daughter, Rose, was from Denver, so I imagine Edna moved there with her daughter after Wes died.

Edna's younger son, Elzie, was also living in Denver when he died one year later (1949)at 50 years old. Her daughters, Rose and Hazelle ended up in Southern California (I'm not yet sure when or how) and Rose died here in 1960 and Hazelle in 1987. The sad thing is that I was living in a neighboring community to Hazelle in 1987 and never knew of her, let alone knew her. I did get the name of her son from Edna's obituary and I think I've found him living in Orange County, California. I did mention in my earlier post that I was going to reach out to him, but I haven't done that yet and will do so this week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My very interesting great grandmother, Effie, had many sisters and brothers (more sisters though). Among them was her sister Edna. From all the documents and obituaries I found, Edna and her family lived in Laramie, WY.

Besides finding Edna in obituaries from the 1920s and 1930s, I did find her in some US census reports with her family. I knew her married name and knew the names of her children because of the census reports. I then found what appeared to be one of her sons, Everett, had died in Monterey County, California, in 1943. It took me a little while, but I finally began to look for Edna and her family. When I hit the oh so common brickwall with Lola (which is now pretty constant) I begin looking elsewhere in her family, and it was now time to focus on the elusive Edna.

Edna married Wes in the late 1890s and they had four children (possibly more that may have died young) in Illinois. By 1910, Edna and her family lived in Texas and by 1930 (census) they were in Wyoming. Oddly enough, I cannot find all of them in 1920.

So, I took action. I sent my application and money to Monterey County, California for Everett's death certificate. I also found Everett's grave on I then decided to post to the Wyoming message boards and when I did that I noticed a woman had posted back in February of this year, that she was available to go photograph graves in a particular area (happened to be where Everett was buried). No one had ever replied to her (at least on the boards) so I did! I am so glad I did respond to her! What a gem she turned out to be!

She not only went to the cemetery and took photos, she informed me of Everett's wife that I wasn't yet aware of. I gave her information on the family and she went to the library and genealogical society in her area and found TONS of info on Edna and her family and has shared that with me! She even found Edna's obituary as well Edna's son, Elzie's obituary. These documents are in the mail now and I can't wait to get them! Turns out, Edna's youngest daughter Hazelle died in Southern California in 1987. Another missed opportunity to meet family. I now will look for Hazelle's children and/or grandchildren to reach out to.

I'll be able to share more on them once I get these docs and can do more research. I cannot say it enough - genealogist are the most generous people I've encountered. These are people that are so giving and willing to help a stranger. I am daily amazed by them. If you're at all interested in doing your own research, please do. You will be like me - amazed at the kindness of strangers!

More to come. PS - I did take pictures of the before mentioned stenciled dishtowel, but the picutres came out bad. I'll take better pictures and post later.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day

It was one year ago today, the Labor Day holiday, that my search for Lola began in full force. Prior to that, a friend started my family tree in his account and gave my sister and I "editor" rights. My sister owns the Ancestry account, and I have added many people to the tree and have become rather obsessive with doing research. I have reached out to others when I felt the hints made sense. I have found all kinds of people that we never knew existed. I grew up feeling that my mom had a family (mostly in Canada where she was born) but that my dad had none, except for his sister and her family.

So, since the hard-core search that began one year ago, I have found my grandmother's parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, along with spouses and in-laws and nieces. I've also been really lucky to find living descendants and have reached out to them. I've heard back from some and am hoping for pictures and stories and answers. Surely, my reaching out to these people must be odd. I just keep thinking that I'd be elated if someone reached out to me, but that hasn't yet happened.

I have found the great granddaughter of Lola's sister Bessie's niece, Grace! She has promised to reach out to her aunt who was raised by Grace. This is exciting as I might be able to get info, pictures and stories about Bessie and her family! I'm also trying to reach out to the family of my great grandfather, George's second wife. George married a woman named Grace after he and Effie divorced. Grace had two daughters, Mary and Catherine. Mary had a daughter who is still alive and would have been about 7 years old when George died. I tried reaching out to her via, but haven't heard back. I then tried reaching out to her son, via his ancestry tree, but to no avail. I did find one other option - another son on Facebook. That message is going out tomorrow.

The other thing that will happen tomorrow? I'll post some of my art! I fully planned to do that before now, but I had so much to do (errands, oil change, etc.) and didn't do any of it yesterday because it was so freaking hot. I don't have A/C in the car, so I am very careful these days about my running around. I did the errands today because I fully believed the news reports that it was going to be considerably cooler out. Not true at all. It was hot as hell.