genealogy, general, lost relative, Uncategorized

Searching, searching, searching. . .

Family Search and Roots Tech have been part of my life for many years. They are non-profit organizations that are free for you to use. Really free. Honest. They also help you get started and help you place names on your family tree. They believe that we are one, big family in this world (where have you heard that before? Love it!) and are anxious to help you find your family’s place in it. I’ve even, like so many others, volunteered to decipher the federal census. Why? Because they have been instrumental in helping me find ancestors that were lost to me. Maybe I should tell you about beginning the addictive, crazy search I started 50 years ago.
We were a mixed group in the neighborhood where I grew up outside of Trenton, New Jersey. There were many Italian families, some Scottish, Jewish, Polish, Mexican, German, Irish, a few Black families and even a Southern family. Since we all carried names that reflected our heritage, I wanted to know who I came from and where did they originally come from. Originally meaning the place they left to come to our country. Besides all that, it was a homework assignment from my third grade teacher.
Hmmm. I asked Mom because all the older family generations passed on before I arrived. “I don’t know” Mom replied. “They didn’t talk about those things back then.” Dad was in the hospital but did give me a few clues when I was five, before his illness took over. They came from New Hope in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Dad even took me there. Fifteen miles north of Trenton. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted now. I managed to learn that my grandfather met my grandmother at the roller skating rink in Trenton. She was the daughter of German immigrants and he was an all-American son of a wealthy mother. That was the subject of my first written story.
Add a few school years to my age and girlfriends whose very names announced their ancestry, made me curious. Bice. Had there ever been a Von in front of it? Hmmm. That name told me nothing at all. Add a lot more years when school was in the past and I started digging. Many letters were written and dollar bills enclosed for copies of birth and marriage certificates. Those were pre-computer and internet days. My digging began in libraries. When I traveled, the local telephone books got a thorough thumbing through. Never did I find another Bice.
Computers and the internet grew from babyhood to expensive Ancestry.com and finally free Family Search and Roots Tech.
Have I got stories to tell you!

Photo by Eilis Garvey on Unsplash

general

Finally, I’m Back!


Finally, I’m back! It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to write a blog regularly. Golly, I have missed y’all. The last 18 months has seen me move 3 times! It’s been hectic, first selling my house (Removing the weight of heavy responsibility from my shoulders. Whew.) Next to a temporary apartment while I waited for my senior apartment. Reducing my load of moveable treasures each time. Gone are hundreds of books lining my home office. I’ve parted with many favorites that I thought wouldn’t be missed but are. How does that happen? It’s like needing the very thing I gave away, the very day after I gave it. Murphy’s Law or something like that.

Now that I am truly settled in, I’m missing some of the things I’ve left behind and would have had room for, after all. Oh, well. All the chaos was worth it, as I love where I live, apartment living (very different from home ownership) and even my neighbors. The team that manages the complex is super and there is a lot of good to be said about that. So, I arrive to this last chapter of life, looking forward to more time to do what I want to do, without outside responsibilities. Aging does have its benefits!

My website is also freshened up. Please check it out. Comments are always welcome. Expect to hear from me once a week about books, writing and whatever life pops up in front of me. I’m happy to hear from you.

books, family, genealogy, general, Memoir, New book release, paranormal, psychic phenomena, women, women's stories, writing

PSYCHIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE LINEAGE

violets-3grandma-daniels   The photo shows Grandmother Elizabeth Urbanski Daniels (my mother’s mother) holding me approximately one year before she passed away. No stories have come to me about anyone before her in her birth line being psychically developed. She certainly was. My mother didn’t tell me about this until I was nearly 30 years old. I’d had some out of body experiences of my own, but Mom didn’t know that. She never knew it because I never told her. Mom had a habit of belittling me, so I wasn’t about to confide anything at all to her.

Grandmother Elizabeth (as she was referred to, never Grandma) read tarot cards. She was good at it. My mother was developed as far as my two brothers and I was concerned. She always knew before I did, when I was pregnant. I’m talking about within days. With my brother Bob, it was instant. In her later years, she lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but knew instantly when Bob’s car was in an accident in New Jersey. She called on the phone within minutes after it happened. The car was empty. Bob was in the house with me at the time.

book review, family, fiction, genealogy, general, paranormal

THEM THAT GO by Becky Mushko-book review

dscf4303 Appalachian high school senior Annie Caldwell talks to the animals and they talk back. She’s a quiet girl who keeps to herself until she decides that she wants to be as normal as other kids, the ones that don’t even know about the gift of being able to converse with animals of all sorts. But plans can go array as hers does when a high school cheerleader goes missing.
While she keeps abreast of all the changes going on around her, quilting comes into her life. As her Aint Lulie teaches her, she also learns much about traditions, family genealogy, being psychic, and secrets.
Them That Go is a wonderful story peeking into the mountain way of life of the 1970s. I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Book Fair/Festival, books, booksigning, coffee, espresso, general, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal, Poetry, writing

DANVILLE, VA BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL coming up. . . .

DSCF4224

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Saturday, Sept. 24th!  A BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL at A Brewed Awakening Coffee& Book Shop, 610 Craghead St. Danville, VA.  Please come out and say “hello”. !0 am to 2 pm on the sidewalks. Come hungry for books and for some good foods! The event is hosted by Bonnie & John Hale. They host a BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL twice a year, spring & fall.

I’ll be there with books in hand, enjoying the day, talking about ghosts and whatever subjects come up. COME OUT AND SEE WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!

book review, books, general, Uncategorized, women, women's stories, writing

CONSULTATION WITH CHRIS HEIVLY COMPLIMENTS OF LISA HAGAN BOOKS. . . . GIVEAWAY WIN!

me, chrisDSCF4111   What’s more exciting than winning a 2-hour consultation with Build the Fort author Chris Heivly? Actually having my consultation with him, at his headquarters on W. Main Street in Durham! That’s what.
Always aware of my surroundings, I was especially delighted in the set-up laid out before me. It is like a bee hive with all the different pockets of work spaces filled and everyone in them happily busy at work. This is a cheerful place, full of bright colors that instill confidence at first glance. It’s a place where dreams are confided and fulfilled. I’ve read the book (review posted already) loved it and now I am here to fill in the blank spaces. That’s with Chris’ guidance, of course.
The time has come to branch out, to make a plan to learn what avenues I need to travel in order to offer my talents and services to those who will benefit from them on a business level. I’ve been volunteering for many, many years now and it’s time to spread my wings and fly.
Chris is fabulous! He’s easy to talk to, immediately understands all my inadequate feelings of not knowing, how and where, to proceed next. We talked with comfort like I’d known him since he was born. That is very cool. He was also very helpful in getting me on my feet. I came home with a notebook loaded with ideas and scribbles that will direct me with confidence. I’m ready to set out and set the world aglow!
Thanks to LISA HAGAN BOOKS! For this great opportunity in winning this champion of wins!
A bunch of thanks to Chris Heivly, instructing me on how to Build the Fort! I’m on my way!

art, Christmas season, general, Poetry, Uncategorized

GREETING CARDS SAVED IN POETRY

blog 006.JPG It’s time for greeting cards to be sent out. It matters not which holiday you celebrate; Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Chanukah, Happy New Year, and maybe others that I am unfamiliar. I save most of the cards I receive (all with the hand-painted envelopes) and enjoy them again later. . . maybe even years later. Here is my take on it all.

Greeting cards from long ago
written by a familiar hand
declaring feelings of
someone now gone

Cards with a personal note
wonderful to read years later
encouraging, reassuring
remembering dear friendships

Note cards with thank you
sent for some little thing
or maybe some thing big
a long-forgotten thoughtfulness

Hand-made cards sent
designed with loving care
expressly with me in mind
treasures to keep forever

Cards spark memories
always dear, loving, caring
before good times turn to bad
or in times of sorrow, so sad

I remove cards from the box
sketch the graphics
into my daily journal
re-living a happy moment

And then there is Celeste
who paints the envelope
to match the card inside
giving the carrier some cheer
and me over and over again

It isn’t whether the cards are large
fancy, or expensive
it’s always, it’s the words
written from the heart
communicating sentiment

 

anthology, books, general, writing group poetry

WHERE DO YOUR POEMS HIDE?

DSCF3479While nosing around the ‘net, I find a subject that I can fly from and create a writing prompt for my writing friends. Where do you find your poems? Do you make a list, write from one, leave the others for another day? Can you just go on and on, allowing the list to continue expanding like I do? And isn’t poetry just fascinating now that all those rigid rules have been removed? It is for me, anyway. Please enjoy.

WHERE POEMS HIDE
A brilliantly colored leaf falls from a tree
gently floating down
letting me know, autumn is in slow motion

deer that come out of the forest to forage
as I watch quietly
holding my breath; not to scare them away

words of my father flow through my hand
as they touch paper
words that I never chanced to hear him say

re-reading cards sent to me over the years
softening my heart
touch me again as I picture who sent them

peace of home fills me with warmth
thoughts overflowing
head to heart to hand, filling me with love

a pot of tea complimenting the scent
of freshly baked cookies
filling the kitchen with memories of long ago

the table covered with books of blank pages
lay sprawled out
their voices calling me, waiting to be filled
the fireplace crackling, warming my heart
memories of moments

so precious that I re-live them over again
poems hang in the air waiting to be plucked
brought to life
written down to share with the world © 2014