Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - George Cloos

Earlier this week I posted about the genealogy community and how helpful they are. To briefly recap, my sister posted a message to the message boards for Macon County, Illinois, a request for an obituary look-up and a kind researcher offered to go find my great grandfather's obit! This request was to be filled in a few weeks as the researcher had surgery recently and wasn't yet released to roam!

Well, yesterday afternoon, this awesome stranger went to the Decatur Public Library and found George Cloos' 1947 obituary and sent the transcription of it! We were so happy to get it and it not only answered some mysteries, but also added a few more possibly. My great grandfather wasn't apparently as mysterious as we believed and that might very well be that my dad didn't really know much about him. I do know from my grandmother's medical records, that the State Mental System did know of him and how to contact him, therefore, George knew that Lola was in the system.

I knew from my research that George had a sister Kate and that she had several children, including a daughter, Emma Sowers. A few weeks ago, I began to search for Emma as I hadn't found her in 1900, and I found what I thought was her living with a family named Hennings (or Henninager or Henninges - all spellings I have encounter).  Emma was a young girl about 13 years old listed on the 1900 census as the granddaughter of the head of household - Wm. G. Henninager. William's wife was Elizabeth and one of their children was a son named Rolf.  Yes, they were German. I printed that out and wrote notes on it and filed it away. I came across it early yesterday when I was trying to organize stuff.

I also had seen the name "Lena Cloos" pop up in a few newspaper articles on and in a few, both Lena and Emma were mentioned in the same articles. I felt Lena was connected somehow, but just couldn't pinpoint it, that is, until receiving a transcription of George's obituary! Here's the transcription.

George Cloos, Former Foundry Worker Dies

George Cloos, 2312 East Main Street, a resident of Decatur since 1882, died at his home at 10:55 a. m. today after a long illness.

Mr. Cloos was born in Germany Dec. 23, 1872, and came to the United States and Decatur 10 years later. He was an employee of the Union Iron Works for 27 years, retiring in 1941 because of ill health.

He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and the International Association of Machinists, and the German Lutheran church.

Mr. Cloos was married twice, the second time in August, 1925 to Miss Grace M. Abel of Decatur.

He leaves his wife; four children by his first marriage, Mrs. Bessie Trump of Alton, Mrs. Lola Robinson and Wells Cloos of Huntington Park, Calif., and George Cloos of Libertyville.

He also leaves two stepdaughters, Mrs. Mary Beckham of Boody and Mrs. Catherine Kessler of Decatur; two half-brothers, Roy and Ralph Hennings of Bloomington; and two sisters, Mrs. Louise Allen and Mrs. Lena Morgan of California.

The body was taken to the Monson funeral home where services will be held at 3 p. m. Monday. Burial will be in Mt. Gilead cemetery. Friends may call at Monson’s after 3 p. m. tomorrow.

Decatur Daily Herald
June 28, 1947 – Page 8

The obituary answered a few questions I had, and has now given me a few new avenues to research. I knew that my great great grandmother was Elisabeth and Elizabeth Henninager was the grandmother of Emma Sowers in 1900. I knew the mysterious Lena Cloos must somehow be connected and there she was in George's obit as his sister! The obit also mentions another sister I had never heard of or prior to this, Louise. I did find a death record in the California Death Index for Louise Allen. Her father's name was Cloos and she died in San Diego (either the city or the county - I'm not sure yet) in 1955. I shall order Louise's death certificate tomorrow and I hope that it will list a child as the informant! I haven't yet found Lena Cloos Morgan but shall continue to search for her.

The other strong clue I got was the surviving half brother Ralph Hennings. I did find a death record of him. He died four months after George in Illinois and his mother's maiden name was Groshauser. That was also Louise's mother's maiden name. On George's death certificate, it lists his mother as Elisabeth Graushausen. I also found a Roy Hennings on He died in 1956 and is buried in Bloomington, IL. Like a good mystery novel, the plot just thickens when you're researching your family history not really knowing much to begin with! Certainly there will be much more to come on the Cloos family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Call to AAA in One Week, and Some Dish Towel Printing

Today marks the one week and one day anniversary of my mom's new pacemaker.  She is doing quite well and did take all of the prescribed antibiotics. That wasn't always easy as she wanted to stop taking them because they made her nauseous. It was also "fun" because these were to be taken on an empty stomach either one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal twice a day. The morning pill was hard as she had a routine down - get up and have a cup of coffee and then have a bowl of cereal. For the past week, she had to get up and have a cup of coffee with an antibiotic and wait an hour for the cereal.

At night it wasn't as tough because two hours after she took her medication and vitamins (containing zinc, calcium and magnesium), I would wake her up to take the second antibiotic of the day. She told me that she felt the pill was making her have crazy dreams and she was yelling in her sleep the other night and woke herself up. In her dream, she was with some people somewhere and a woman came in with a gun. My mom began to yell at this woman to "get out of here" and other choice words.

Anyway, she is doing quite well and today  we had a follow up appointment with the surgeon. The readings appeared to be good and the scar is healing well. I could tell she was very tired and was looking forward to getting home to have another cup of coffee. As we were on the freeway heading home, chatting away, I suddenly heard a strange noise. I turned the radio down but still heard this noise. I then thought it might be the truck next to me until I felt the car attempt to swerve a bit and I realized it was me and that I had a flat or a blow out. I immediately began to hit the brakes and was able to easily get into the shoulder of the freeway just two off ramps from home.

For the second time this week, I called AAA for a tow truck. I knew I needed to replace the front two tires, but just hadn't done it yet and was sort of pushing my luck. The tow truck arrived in about 20 minutes and took us to a Goodyear Tire Center, and in just under an hour, we were out of there with three brand new (and safe) tires! Got home and my mom's urge for coffee was gone. Instead she wanted to have me read her blood pressure and take her medication that we didn't get around to taking this morning prior to the 9AM appointment. After that she was ready for soup for lunch and then was so tired she took a nap on the couch with my cat Petey curled up next to her.

It has been a tiring week and that might be because I feel like I'm trying to come down with a cold. These past two evenings I have been so cold I put on two sweatshirts and warm socks. Even slept in sweatshirts last night because I was so cold.

I did attempt some creative stuff the other night. I experimented with iron-on transfers of a few of my cat prints on dish towels. The first towel was a HUGE experiment - the first one didn't transfer well at all and I forgot to print in mirror image! Ugh. The next one was a bit better and the third was the charm. These are cold peel transfers so the third charm transfer was a bit too glossy for me and I read that the cooler it is when you peel it off, the glossier. Excuse the bad lighting here that makes the transfer look like it has glitter on it!

I did a second towel and decided to peel it while still warm and much prefer the matte look, yet I think the towel wasn't stretched as good as it could have been so the transfer looks a bit off. Isn't this supposed to be so easy to do?

I also FINALLY printed a stencil I cut about a hundred years ago! I only did one print as it was done on another experimental towel and the space was limited. I liked the way it came out though (and again, bad lighting).

Now to see how the towels actually work and wash up before possibly making new ones to list in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday and the Genealogy Community

I can't say enough good things about the genealogy community! Strangers are so willing to offer help, and I've found I've become that way when I go searching for documents locally. Before I go, I look on message boards in my area to see what requests are out there so that I may be able to help someone in a different state find information they are longing for.

On that thought, my sister posted a request to the Rootsweb/Ancestry message boards requesting an obituary look up for our great grandfather, George Cloos. I have a subscription to, but George died in 1947 and NewspaperArchive doesn't have Decatur papers that "recent". Someone has already volunteered to go to the Decatur Public Library and find it on microfilm!! A total stranger. That is just so cool! He also offered to get George's widow, Grace's obituary as well!

So, while I wait to see grandpa George's obituary, I'll share a picture of his grave marker that can be found on I made a photo request and a wonderful lady was kind enough to get it.

Photo by Carol Perry

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby

My paternal great grandmother, Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby, is rather famous on this blog. She was the daughter of Wells Marcus Beck and Emma Mayben. She was born in Prairie Home, Shelby County, Illinois on 9 Aug 1871 and died in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois on 13 Apr 1931.

Effie was the mother of six children, Zetta Fern Beck Younger (1889-1969) , Bessie G. Cloos Trump (1893-1976), Lola L. Cloos Robinson (1894-1960), Monroe B. Cloos (1895-1912), George W. Cloos (1899-1968) and William Marcus Meents born Wells Cloos (1901-1977). She married my great grandfather, George Cloos in December of 1892.

Effie had a rather hard life and much more research is required to truly pull her story together. Currently, there are so many gaps and missing pieces. I am convinced that Effie's story would make a great book.  Sometime before 1910, she and George split. By the 1920 census she was remarried to Ellsworth Elmer Roby of Decatur. Effie died in their home.  I recently learned that Effie has no grave marker.

I am fascinated by the fact that her son Monroe who preceded her death, was not listed as a child. I am also fascinated by the fact that her son George was not mentioned as a survivor, nor was Bill (rather his wife was listed as a surviving child). The other child not mentioned as a survivor or even a child was her daughter Zetta. The mysterious child to me is Miss Georgia Roby of Chicago. I still need to look into that. I suspect she may have been Ellsworth's daughter. I'm also intrigued by the mention of her sister, Zadie. The obit claims Zadie was from Los Angeles, but I cannot find that to be true. Zadie and her family lived in Colorado for many years and I don't believe she ever lived in Los Angeles.  Zadie's daughter, Mabel Loser Smith did live in Southgate (a suburb of Los Angeles at the time and died there in 1936).

Transcription of Obituary:

Mrs. Effie Roby

Mrs. Effie Furst Roby, wife of Ellsworth E. Roby, died at 7:35 o'clock Monday morning at the family residence, 522 North Witt street. She would have been sixty years old in August. She had been in failing health for the last two years, but her condition did not become critical until five days ago, when pneumonia developed.

Mrs. Roby was born near Prairie Home, in Shelby county, Aug. 9, 1871, and was a daughter of Wells M. and Emma Beck. She is survived by her husband and the following children--Mrs. Ben Trump of Greenville, Mrs. Earl Robinson and Mrs. Wells Cloose of Los Angeles, Cal. and Mrs. Georgia Roby of Chicago. She also leaves a brother, Edgar Beck, Decatur, and the following sisters--Mrs. Zadie Loser, Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Hattie Wempen, Ontario, Cal., Mrs Edna Coffman, Laramie, Wyo. and Mrs. Grace Thompson, Decatur. The body was taken to the Moran & Sons funeral home where friends may call.

The funeral will be held at 3:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at the Moran & Sons chapel. The burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery.

Decatur Daily Review, The (Decatur, IL) 13 Apr 1931

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Car Battery Saturday and a Song of the Week

 My mom has been doing remarkably well since getting her new pacemaker on Wednesday. What a relief. Today, I took her to get her hair done and then ran out to the post office to mail an order I had from my Etsy shop! Yeah, finally! So, I dropped her off and ran to the post office. Ran in and shipped my package. Got back in my car that was parked in the 30 minute parking zone and it wouldn't start. It sounded like the battery! Ugh.

I called AAA and waited for a tow truck. Since I told AAA that it seemed to be the battery, they said they'd probably send a truck that could tow but also had the ability to check the battery on the spot. Murphy's Law was in my space big time, I should add. The plan today was to get my mom's hair done and then go to a birthday party. My dear friend's mom was celebrating her 81st today (oh, I mean, 29th!). It was hot today and there I was in the heat of the day, dead car, needing to pick up mom and go to a birthday party, with my tinted moisturizer melting all over my cell phone. Not pretty.

Anyway, the truck arrived quickly, it was the battery, and he was able to provide me with a new battery on the spot! Yeah. I didn't have to drive somewhere else to get a new one so that was perfect. Picked up my mom, went home to change and off to a fun party we went. Tons of great food and great company and wonderful friends.

After returning home and kicking back for a bit, I decided to run to the store to get quarters so I can do laundry early in the day tomorrow as I forgot to get them when I stopped for a pretty bouquet of flowers before the birthday party. When I got in the car my favorite local radio station was playing album sides and they were in the middle of Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic! The song, Adam's Apple was just starting. I can tell you that I had that album (yes, vinyl) and wore it out. I loved it and every single song on it. I haven't heard Adam's Apple in so LONG that when I parked at the store, I sat in the car to finish hearing the song before going in.

As I sat in the parking lot at the store listening to Adam's Apple (and finding myself flashing back to a different time in my life) a car pulled in to the space in front of me. This car contained about 5 twenty somethings. The driver got out and opened the backdoor to let the backseat passengers out. Well, out came a young lady in probably the shortest and tightest dress I've seen in many years! Good grief. I don't think I mentioned that the neckline was elastic, which made it super easy for her to slide the fabric down and expose her left shoulder before she entered the supermarket in her skimpy little outfit. Man, where the hell is my camera when I need it!!! You know, the song Adam's Apple was really perfect background music.

So, without further ado, I present a new "Song of the Week". Aerosmith (before the rehab years)! Enjoy and if you have any memories of this song, please feel free to share here. You are also free to just comment in general.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Very First Contest!

I am having a contest. Please check out my main characters in my Esty Shop - Guitar Cat, Art Cat, Mid Century Modern Poodle, The Girl Cat (Mid Century Modern Cat and others), Music Lesson poodle, and tell me which character you would like to see in a "scene" of your choice. Now, this is a "family show", so please keep it clean. If I pick your suggestion and make a collage, you will win a FREE print of it! Submissions end at 7PM PDT on Sunday, Oct 23, 2011.

I'll do my best to produce the art in a timely fashion. I look forward to seeing what suggestions people come up with (here's hoping I get some)!

You can add your suggestions/submissions here or over at the FaceBook page!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...and a New Pacemaker

This is a picture of my mom in Toronto, Canada around 1947. Yesterday was very stressful and that kind of caught me off guard. She was scheduled to have her pacemaker changed today and we went through all the pre-op tests just fine. But for some reason, I started to get nervous yesterday about this. Probably because I could tell she was nervous in the morning before I went to work and also because of her age and how frail she seems now.

It was a long day and the doctor and the staff were amazing! The procedure went well and although she has a really scary looking incision, it looks so much BETTER than the last pacemaker. This doctor changed it around and moved the wires so that the wires do not show through her skin and it just doesn't seem so obvious now. I know it will look a thousand times better once the incision heals.

She is home and sleeping but has been in pain which is natural under the circumstances. I did run out to fill her prescription for antibiotics and to pick up some regular strength Tylenol after we got home. The Tylenol was a challenge - three stores were sold out. A manager at the third store mentioned there was some kind of recall and they have not received any since.

Murphy's Law - my cell phone died today (forgot to charge it last night) so I had to come home and call the doctor to see if a generic Tylenol would suffice. I was told yes, and ran out to store number four and was able to get the generic just in time for her to take two more. I look forward to her healing and the pain going away. 

An interesting thing is that this was the very first time I have ever heard a doctor say that you need to take yogurt while taking antibiotics! My sister and I grew up knowing that because of my mom. If we ever were taking antibiotics, she made us have yogurt every day. I've known people on antibiotics that ended up in the ER and when I mentioned yogurt to them, they said they were told that in the ER! I guess our old nickname of Doctor Mom during my teen years had some truth to it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Emma Mayben Beck

Emma Mayben Beck was my great great grandmother. She was born 7 March 1844 in Mifflin County, PA and was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Carson Mayben.

On 12 April 1864, at 20 years old, she married Wells Marcus Beck at Lewistown, PA.

In 1870, at 26 years old,  she lived in Shelby, IL, and was the mother of three young children. She lived in Shelby, IL and raised her family there until sometime before 1910. According to the 1910 US census report, Emma and Wells were living as lodgers in Decatur, IL. By 1920 they were was living in Canon, CO with eldest daughter Zadie. They returned to Decatur around 1921.

Emma and Wells had 10 children (Zadie Mae Beck Loser, John Carson Beck, Robert Clay Beck, Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby, Mary Laura Beck, Edna Vina Beck Coffman, Grace Mabel Beck Thompson, Hattie Bell Beck Wempen, Edgar Bruce Beck, Bessie Cornelia Beck). Emma was preceded in death by her son John Carson Beck (1867-1875), daughter Mary Laura Beck (1873-1878), and daughter Bessie Cornelia Beck (1884-1893).

Emma died 23 January 1922 in Decatur, IL. Her obituary was published on 23 January 1922 in the Decatur Review.

Transcription of obituary:

Mrs. W. M. Beck Dies at Age 78

Was Mother of Eleven Children.

Mrs. Emma Beck, wife of W. M. Beck, died at 8:20 o'clock Monday morning at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Wade Thompson, 235 West Cerro Gordo street. She would have been eighty-eight years old in March. Her death was due to the infirmities of old age.

Mrs. Beck was born March 7, 1844. She and W. M. Beck were married April 12, 1864. For forty-five years they lived on a farm near Prairie Home. For the last twelve years she has made her home with her children and only two weeks ago returned from a visit with a daughter in Monte Vista, Colo.

Mother of Eleven

Mrs. Beck was the mother of eleven children, a son and two daughters preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband and the following children: Mrs. Oliver Loser of Monte Vista, Colo., Mrs. Effie Roby and Mrs. Wade Thompson of Decatur, Mrs. Hattie Wempen of Ontario, Cal., Mrs. Edna Coffman of Laramie, Wyo., Robert Beck of Monte Vista, Colo., and E. B. Beck of Decatur. She also leaves a sister, Mrs. Carrie Stanton of Lake City and a brother, Jake Mayben of Minneapolis, Minn. There are twenty grand-children and twelve great grand-children.

Decatur Review (Decatur, IL) 23 Jan 1922

It is interesting that Emma's obituary refers to her as the mother of eleven. She really was the mother on ten. The eleventh child was actually Zetta Fern Beck, my great grandmother Effie's illegitimate child. Zetta lived with Emma and Wells and was not mentioned in the obituary by name, nor was she mentioned in Wells' obituary or Effie's obituary.



Mrs. Emma Beck.

The funeral of Mrs. Emma Beck was held Thursday afternoon at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Wade Thompson, 235 West Cerro Gordo street. There was a large attendance. The services were conducted by Rev. C. E. Jenney, pastor of the First Presbyterian church.

The music was furnished by Miss Bernice Taylor and Miss Gladys Phillis.

The flowers were in charge of Mrs. C. E. Taylor, Miss Rosetta Thompson, Miss Eva Thompson, Miss Viola Beck, Miss Ethel Hinkle, Miss Jessie Hinkle and Miss Laverne Hinkle.

The pallbearers were Robert Baird, David Coulter, Russell Smith, George Ford, Frank Compton and William Jesse. The interment was in Fairlawn cemetery.

Decatur Review, Decatur, IL; 27 Jan 1922 

Emma and Wells are buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Decatur IL (Macon County).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sympathy Saturday: Monroe B. Cloos

Monroe B. Cloos was the first born son of my paternal great grandparents, George Cloos and Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby. He was born 15 October 1895 in Shelby, Illinois, one year and one day after my grandmother, Lola Cloos, was born (she was born 14 October 1894). I actually just noticed that as I began to write this post! I wonder if his middle initial, B, was for Beck.

I do not yet know much about my grandmother's childhood or her siblings. I know some things such as where they lived in 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 because of the census, spouses they had, when they died, but it does appear that to date, many people still living, know little if anything about these people. From the information I currently have, only two of the five children (one being my grandmother) had children, and of those three children, two are deceased (my dad and his brother) and one is still living, but sadly, has Alzheimer's disease.

Sometime between 1900 and 1910, my great grandparents split up. I can find Effie and all five of the children on the 1910 census, but  I cannot find my great grandfather George. The story my dad told us was that George left the family to return to Germany to fight for the Kaiser, yet, I don't know if I really believe that as I've not found any documents to indicate he left the US. I also think it would be odd as from everything I can find thus far, George was very young when he came to the US from Germany, and I can find proof that he was in Illinois in 1915. But, that doesn't mean he didn't go to Germany. I haven't yet found his immigration records when he came to the US as a boy, but I did find an article about his becoming a naturalized US citizen on August 15, 1898.

So, in 1910, Effie and all of her children were living in the homes of others as either servants, domestics, or working for board. Monroe was living and working in Bremen, Cook County, Illinois, a 14 year old "hired help" on a farm owned by one George Schultz, who was a farmer. George Schultz was also born in Illinois of German parents, and in 1910 was a young farmer of 33, married with three young children.

On May 9, 1912, 16 year old Monroe died in Blue Island, Illinois, from peritonitis. The farmer, George Schultz was the informant on the death certificate. Monroe was stricken 4 days earlier and also had appendicitis. On his death certificate where it asks for father's name and mother's name, and it says "not known", yet his birth date was known, as was the correct spelling of his last name (oftentimes spelled Close). I began my search in 2009, and 97 years after his death was able to name the parents of that young man who died without his birth family. Monroe was buried on May 11, 1912 at Burr Oak Cemetery in Blue Island, Illinois.

The interesting thing about the burial is that Burr Oak Cemetery, from what I can find, is located in Alsip, IL and was founded about 1927. It was founded as an African American cemetery, and clearly founded 15 years after Monroe was buried. When I first discovered his death certificate, I thought this was his burial place, but that was before I realized the approximate date of it's origins.  Now I need to research more to see if there was an earlier Burr Oak Cemetery. The Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip is the resting place of such notables as Emmett Till and Dinah Washington, and was the subject of scandal in 2009.

Turns out there are two Burr Oak Cemeteries in Illinois, one in Alsip, Cook County and one in Leroy Township, Boone County (approximately two hours from Alsip). Now I must really determine which Burr Oak Cemetery Monroe is buried in. Based on the circumstances, I'm quite sure he has no grave marker. I'm also thinking that he might be buried in Boone County based on dates.

I now want to list the names of George Schultz's family in the hopes that maybe a descendant might be doing a google search and find this post. My hope is that in some old family photos or records, there might actually be information and/or a picture of that young man, Monroe Cloos, that worked as a hired hand on the farm in Bremen, Cook County, Illinois, belonging to George Schultz. That young man, Monroe, all these years later, has family actually looking for him.

1910 United States Federal Census

George Schultz

Age in 1910: 33

Estimated Birth Year: 1877

Birthplace: Illinois

Relation to Head of House: Head

Father's Birth Place: Germany

Mother's Birth Place: Germany

Spouse's Name: Ricke Schultz

Home in 1910: Bremen, Cook, Illinois

Marital Status: Married

Race: White

Gender: Male

Household Members: Name Age

George Schultz 33

Ricke Schultz 29

Lillie Schultz 7

Ester Schultz 5

Hilbert Schultz 4

Monroe Close 14

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Non-Traditional Wedding Photo

When I think of all the extravagant weddings of late (especially during such financially challenging times) I can't help but appreciate the weddings of years gone by. A time when stockings were rationed along with food. A time when a world war was in progress, yet the farmer's daughters always looked well dressed and glamorous! A time when average "folk" didn't have video cameras to stupidly film their own "sexcapades" that would land on the world wide web causing them to try to fight that distribution in court and spending all their money (either inherited or riches from their reality television shows). And a time when a bride did not make a huge profit by getting married.

So, I shall step back to a time when people may have not always been so smart, but maybe just not so blatantly stupid. A different time indeed. A time when a girls form of rebellion may have been to marry a man her father did not approve of. Yes, that surely happens now, but probably not as much as stupid videos.

My maternal aunt, Patricia McPhee Dolan married a man named Frank Dolan in Canada in the 1940s. The marriage didn't last and I'm really not sure of all the details but when I was going through an old FANTASTIC photo album that belonged to my late aunt Sadie recently, I came across some wonderful pictures of the ceremony and discovered that my maternal grandfather, Dan McPhee, was not happy about this union (although he was there). I'll post more on that later.

I just love this photo and the dresses my aunts were wearing. If I recall the story correctly, someone made these for Aunt Pat's big day. Nothing fancy or extravagant, but beautiful nonetheless.

L-R Frank's uncle, Frank Dolan, Patricia McPhee Dolan, Sadie McPhee

That Darn Treasury Challenge

Oh man, that darn Etsian Artists Treasury Challenge is back and I have participated again. I do enjoy these challenges because we are given a theme and that is fun. However, I'm not the only participant and every time I submit to a challenge, I face fierce competition. This week, is no exception.

You can check out all the awesome "competition" here. The participants have really stepped up to the plate, and, if I was a lesser person, I probably wouldn't share this here. LOL. I really encourage you to check out all the talent here, both by the contributors and the art they've included. It is really cool and a great way to support artists out there trying to be discovered.

Here's my contribution to the challenge. The theme this week is "harmony".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday and Happy Birthday Dad

For Wordless Wednesday I'm sharing a picture of my dad from July of 1958. Not really sure where this was taken, but it was one year after my parents got married. Maybe an anniversary trip, or maybe the wedding photos weren't developed for a year. My mom doesn't remember where this picture was taken, yet she does think it was taken in a motel room somewhere.

Dad, July of 1958
If my dad was still alive, he would have turned 94 yesterday! I find that so hard to imagine - 94! He was strong and stubborn and set in his ways, and towards the end of his life, he was very frail. I love this picture as he has a smile like I've never seen on his face! And dig those argyle socks. This outfit is much better than his favorite from his later years.

He had these "fake" jeans that were wine colored and he would wear them with a red and white checkered short sleeved shirt! Yikes! We always thought some cheesy guy possessed our dad, as he was a dapper guy in his younger years. When we'd question that outfit, he'd always say it matched - it was red. Ugh. He didn't get that the pants weren't really "red". Sadly (or maybe luckily for you readers), I may never share a picture of that insane outfit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Scary Stories

I just read a fab blog post about spooky stories and was inspired to share my own. Check out Akemanartist's post (via the above link) and I'd like to thank her for her that post as it reminded me of this story that I'd actually forgotten about.

One afternoon, back in my teens, I went straight home from school. I think I must have been grounded, otherwise I would have been hanging out with friends. I got home and began chores, cleaning the kitchen and prepping the dinner (my mom worked out of the home at that time).

The phone rang (land line and not cordless either). It was one of my friends and we started a typically marathon long teenage girl chat. As I chatted on the phone, I saw my younger sister walk in the front door. She said hello and put her school books on the kitchen counter and disappeared from my view. I had hoped she'd pick them up since I had been cleaning, but, I continued to blab, periodically calling out to her to pick up her stuff. When I finally hung up, I was annoyed that the book clutter was still on the counter and began calling out to her and walked through the dining room, kitchen and down the hall looking for her.

She was nowhere to be found and I was certain she was hiding from me. By now I more than annoyed, to be honest. There I was, standing in the hallway, walking in and out of bedrooms, calling my sister, and nothing, until the phone rang. I ran to my parents' room and answered the phone as it was closer than the phone in the dining room. It was my sister! I didn't see my face turn white as a ghost, but I could feel it. I could also feel my heart racing. She called to tell me that she stopped at her friend's house after school and had been trying to call me to let know but the phone busy for a long time. She was clearly upset that she couldn't get through to let me know because she didn't want my dad to get home from work and have me tell him I didn't know where she was.

Upon recovering from my initial shock, I thought this was some kind of joke as I saw her walk in the front door and drop her books on the kitchen counter. I told her to hang on, dropped the phone and I ran out of my parents' room, down the hallway towards the dining room fully expecting to bust her on the phone. There used to be some trick where you could dial some numbers and make your own phone ring and I thought she had done that. Well, she wasn't there and the phone was on the hook. I picked it up and she was still on the line. I then knew she really wasn't in the house as we didn't pass each other running through the house!

I told her what had happened, and as I told her about the books on the counter, I looked at the counter, and nothing was there! I freaked! When we hung up, I called my friend back because I wanted to ask her if I really was calling out to my sister to pick her books up off of the counter. My friend confirmed it and said she heard my sister talking to me when she first came in.

When my mom got home from work, I told her about it. The only conclusion we could come up with was that my sister being upset when she tried to follow the rules and let someone know her whereabouts (but couldn't get through) must have somehow projected herself home to get my attention. Who knows really, but it was rather scary as it was unfolding. As she is still alive, I know it wasn't a "traditional" ghost visit, and to this day, can't think of anything other than our above conclusion.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Have you had similar experiences or any hauntings or scary stories you'd like to share? Please feel free to share your thoughts or stories here.