Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby The Rain Must Fall, and Other Things

Today was the first day of Spring and it rained non-stop. We also had wind like crazy! Not being one to like venturing out in storms, I hung out at home today just waiting for a break in the rain to run out for cat food. It never happened (the break in the rain, that is, but the cats did get food). So, while waiting, I began wondering where else I could look to find anything on Lola. I decided to visit Rootsweb and do a search of the California Death Index. I have not been able to find a death certificate for Lola, nor could I find her in the Social Security Death Index. This may very well have to do with the fact that she could have remarried and died under a different name.

I had an idea to search the California Death Index and this time not provide so much information. This time my search was based only on last name, gender, year of birth and birth state (Robinson, female, 1894, Illinois). The search results came back with nine women. As I looked at the results, one made me gasp! Turns out a Marie Robinson was born in Illinois on October 14, 1894. All records I can find indicate that Lola was born in Illinois in October of 1894. Marie Robinson's mother's maiden name was Beck. Lola's mother was Effie Beck. Marie Robinson died in Placer County California in 1960 (the index does not give a city) and it appears that Marie did not have a social security card.

Now, it may seem like I'm grasping at straws here, and trust me, I've done it before more than once. I have had other things arise that seemed like a possibility and when I got to view the death certificate, it wasn't her, and this may be another one of those cases, but, I just can't let it go. I can't get past the fact that for the first time, I found someone that had the birth month and birth year of Lola, plus a mother named Beck. Not to mention her place (state) of her birth. I have to get the death certificate. I also did a little research on the Rootsweb message boards for Placer County and learned that there was a Sanitarium in the County that at some point housed mental patients. I have filled out the application for death certificate and will put that in the mail tomorrow. My fingers are crossed.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. My younger sister and I went to visit her. Her helper and friend, Galeen, organized a very nice birthday lunch for my mom. She got lots of nice cards and gifts. One of her friends loaned her a wheelchair as she is having trouble getting around since falling last weekend. My mom shared her birthday celebration with another friend of hers, Evy, who actually turned 90 today. It was a very nice day. My mom was so very happy that we were there and my sister and I both had different telling us that she looked so happy (she hasn't looked way for a long time). Need to seriously make steps to move her closer to us.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Interesting Weekend

This past weekend was interesting. I had Friday off and went to check out a place that sells overstock items with my sister and my friend. We wanted to see what they had that we could then try selling on Ebay. The three of us went there each wanting to see cosmetics. Well, there wasn't much. We got a tour and met with an "account manager" who really tried to talk us into selling BIG (by that, I mean, buying thousand dollar plus pallets). We were not ready for that.

Then on Saturday, I went on a fun bus tour of crimes in the East Los Angeles Area. This was the third crime bus tour I had taken and it was so much fun. These tours, offered through Esotouric, are fun and informative. We even went to Evergreen Cemetery and I learned that the old "potter's field" used to be there. I also found out that there is a list of unclaimed people who were buried there and now I need to find out how I can view that list. There's a part of me that thinks Lola may have been buried in such a fashion, but until I can find out if she ever left Norwalk State Hospital, this is pure speculation on my part.

Sunday morning, my mom called. She had fallen the night before and hurt her leg. She spent the night in the ER and was released in the early morning hours once all vitals were checked and her leg and hip checked. She has been struggling with getting around since then as she is using a walker and that is difficult for her. Plus, her leg is hurting and she is just very tired. The doctor told her she needs a good solid few days of rest and she has been heeding that advice.

On the creative side of the weekend, I finally got the perfect template for greeting cards of my prints. They came out really nice, and now I need to get good pictures of them to list. I took tons of pictures Sunday and really didn't like how they came out, so back to the "drawing board". I never thought it would be so difficult to get good pictures of things.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Great Uncle George Cloos

Like my great uncle Bill, I never knew George and only learned of him last year when I began searching for my grandmother, Lola Cloos Robinson. This is a picture of George on his wedding day. He married a young lady named Bessie. The funny thing is that George had a sister named Bessie and his bride, Bessie, had a brother named George!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Go Cat Go

Growing up in the 60s, I was surrounded by great music. My parents listened to Big Band, cocktail music, Sinatra and the like. My older sister listened to all the groovy music of the time. We had a console stereo and we had cats.

My dad was also quite the Louie Prima fan and we did hear Prima often in our house. Louie Prima playing on the console stereo was my inspiration for this mixed media painting:

This happy and cool cat listening to cool tunes on the console stereo is available in my Etsy shop and my ArtFire studio.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Scandal of Zetta, and My Mom

The last few times I spoke with my mom since finding my "proof" of Lola's half sister, Zetta, I chose not to tell her about it as she just didn't seem in the mindset for this long story. Tonight, I told her about it and she was interested and laughing and thoroughly enjoying the story.

When I told her some of the language used in the 1889 newspaper articles, such as "lothario" or "blighting" she said she didn't understand those words and I tried my best to explain them. I guess I did well. It was a great chat. We laughed about how scandalous this was back then, yet today, is really common.

My mom then told me that she remembers a picture of Lola that my dad used to carry in his wallet, but ultimately ended up in the box of pictures that I now have. She described a black and white snapshot of a woman sitting in the grass, wearing a skirt, in front of a home. My mom felt it was Lola's home, but wasn't sure if it was her home in Iowa or her home in California.

Based on the description of the photo, my younger sister nor I could place it. I wonder if my older sister might find that familiar as she does remember our dad having a picture of Lola in his wallet when she was young. However, I do seem to think that the picture my older sister remembers might have been more of a portrait type pic. I do have tons of old pictures and will just need to go through them again. Hopefully, not remembering this particular picture doesn't mean it isn't in there! As I type this, I'm kind of remembering my older sis saying she carried a picture of Lola in her little purse. She was quite young at the time.