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 and finally free Family Search and Roots Tech.
Have I got stories to tell you!

Photo by Eilis Garvey on Unsplash


Year’s End©

Year’s End

by arlene s bice

Tis often sad as a time period nears end
for it is over, done unchangeable
the year has been recorded
calendars with dates marked, closed
but it isn’t sad for me this day

in its place, excitement reigns
a year ahead already filled with plans
calendar opened, freshly inked
thrills, challenges emerge
opens new doors of wonder

‘23 is washed clean, a closed space
no longer a place to make a mark
‘24 anticipates the ink, the pen
paper riffles as fresh ideas raise passions
as they blow through the brightened room.


Winding Up Winding Down

Is it a little late in the year to be introducing even more exciting news? But amid the bright gift wrappings, ribbons and jingle bells is another something new! Recently released is Rumors and Other Short Stories and it opens new avenues! My schedule was delayed a bit, but my new baby is onboard! Dipping my toe into the waters of fiction and non-fiction short stories has been an adventure I hope you will enjoy. With too many readers having less time to read long novels, I thought short stories would ring a bell and still satisfy the thirst for a good story.

In wanting my granddaughters to know some of their heritage, my research showed that we have an ancestor that came over on the Mayflower. Twelve year old Samual Fuller. Perfect to keep my youngest granddaughter Rachel interested in reading. At least that was the goal! But there are fictional stories from out-of-the-way events that happen to people in everyday living, too. Some stories to make you think, some to make you smile and some to take you to other places.

The comment about the Mayflower and ancestors? Coming up soon – an anthology about your ancestors and mine. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to write about an ancestor of yours and have it published for all to enjoy. Happy Holiday!


Excitement is in the Air!

This great time of year when the air is crisp, the leaves dressed in brilliant colors, and we’re birthing a new baby! Conversations with My Younger Self. Dee Stribling, Lisa Baron and I have collaborated for the last couple years to publish a book, we all agreed, that we could have used in our younger years. Guidance, advice and stories in essay form.

We each have many more years behind us than in front of us. You know, living to reach a crone’s age is plenty of time to collect unique experiences. After several interviews with women also of a certain age, from varied backgrounds and experiences in life, we wrote our stories that reflected their strong guidance. We extend our hands out to women of all ages and paths to read about our experiences and reflect upon what we share.

A few titles for a taste: Is My Hair a Mess? I Love Going to Work! Put Up or Hush Up! Castle it Up! Simmer and Sizzle Writerly Self Advice from the Kid Walk the Pain Does Worry Help?

Lisa Baron Ph.D, LCSW is an experienced Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist, Writer, and Teacher.
Dee Stribling Ph.D. is a former Poet Laureate of Hillsborough (NC) and a two-time winning Poet of the Sundress Academy for the Arts
Arlene S. Bice is the author of a dozen non-fiction books, recipient of the Second Annual Oakley Hall Literary Award and an award-winning artist.


Bears and Bikes and a Whole Year Passed

Bears and Bikes and a Whole Year Passed

Wow! I’ve missed being in touch with y’all this past year. What a year it has been! I’ve moved, twice and I’ve not had a car for five months of that year. Now I am settled into my senior apartment that I absolutely adore. All the apartments are on ground level with a parking space ten feet away. We’re surrounded by forest, a gorgeous forest of all the autumn colors right now making for wonderful walks. Yet, I’m five minutes from the center of Farmville. My roomy apartment is high on the list of thankful things.

It’s been 44 years since I’ve lived in an apartment. All the weight of owning a house and maintaining it on my own, is gone. Thank goodness. I don’t have to struggle to pay $250 to Bagley Plumbing, South Hill VA for unclogging my kitchen sink (that fee took my breath away) ever again. If I have a problem, I’ll call maintenance. The grass looks beautiful, cut when needed and I didn’t have to push the mower to do it! Such pleasure. I, and my next door neighbors, all had flowers and veggies growing on our porches till summer ended.

I even interacted with the wildlife. A bear and her cub. Well, kinda. It was early spring while I headed out for my walk. Movement over to the right, next to the dumpster, caught my eye. OMG! Ten feet away! I gasped, but I was prepared. I lifted my brand-new whistle and blew! Just as I had been directed to do. A tiny tweet came out. I could barely hear it myself, let alone the bear. Mama bear looked up at me with an expression of “Tweet. That’s it? Tweet?” Then she just moseyed on up the road looking for a better source of food. I returned home postponing my walking hour til later in the day when wildlife is napping.

Enough of that. I’m nearly finished reading Turning Centuries by Ken Youngblood. Great memoir of his touring from the east coast to the west, making side trips along the way. Did I mention this was on a bicycle? Yep. It gave him time to reflect, remember, meet new people and have exciting experiences along the way. The title refers to riding for a hundred miles. I highly recommend it. The reading of it. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll buy a bicycle next.


Ten Things of Thankful 21 oct 2022

  1. Have i mentioned that I am so thankful to have my Soul Tribe in my life. They has been my sage, crone, my go-to persons for answers, reassurance, wisdom, love, guidance, and I could go on.
  2. For my GPS  that easily leads me to wherever, now that I am mastering the way of it.
  3. Tachyon pad that has dissolved me of pain and the arthritis in my right hand and arm, woken up by carrying too many, too heavy bags of books when moving in. It took about 3 weeks of daily attention.
  4. My writing has slipped back into my life and glides along.
  5. Pizza and whoever invented it, altered it, added to it, etc. though on occasion I long for the tomato pie of my youth.
  6. PJs. I’ve never worn PJs, always a nightgown and now I have PJs that are loungewear. Yay!
  7. The humidity of summer is gone….for now.
  8. Love this crisp, chilled weather.
  9. The colorful leaves of autumn that bring beauty to the landscape.

10. The help I received from Family Pharmacy, Farmville that helped me to finally get my heart meds subscription transferred.



APPARITION      Visible form of a ghost.

CHANNELER           Channeling is the process of receiving and relaying information from an                                 outside entity while in an altered state of consciousness. 

CLAIRAUDIENCE      Psychic ability to hear voices and other auditory phenomena.

CLAIRAUDIENT     Also Supranormal, hearing/receiving messages from those  passed over.

CLAIRVOYANCE   Knowledge accessed without the use of physical senses.

COWRIE SHELLS    Porcelain-like sea snail shells considered having mystical powers..

EMF                         Electronic magnetic frequencies that detect disruptions in the area.

ESP                          Extra-sensory perception, beyond physical senses.   

EVP                          Electronic voice phenomena.

GHOST HUNTER     A person investigates ghostly activity usually with electronic equipment.

HOT SPOT                 An area within a haunted place that contains high activity.

K-II                            Reports

EMF                          Measurements in ranges.

MEDIUM                   One who communicates with entities in the spirit world.

ORBS                         Spheres caught by camera that show entities left behind.

PASSED AWAY        Used in place of died because the spirit, or soul, doesn’t die.

PLANCHETTE          A device used to receive messages from a spirit.      

PRECOGNITION      Foresight; intuition.

PHENOMENA          Events that contradict physical laws..

PSYCHOKINESIS    Ability to move an object by thinking about it.

SMUDGING              An age-old tribal tradition used to create cleansing, harmony, and peace                

SYNCHRONICITY  Meaningful, seemingly coincidental events that are life-altering.

TAROT CARDS        Used as playing cards in 1400s Italy; identified as Egyptian “Book of Thoth”

TELEPATHY             Picking up another person’s thoughts.

VEIL                       A layer of skin over the face at birth; indicates psychic perception.  


Living with Ghosts. . . .true stories

Bordentown & Burlington (NJ) Hauntings

Most of my adult life I read books on life after life, life before life, and living with ghostly spirits. They fascinated me, even more so after I began having paranormal moments from time time myself. I never expected to have these experiences. They just happened. I wanted to learn more and to understand what these moments were all about.

            The story in this book of a Bordentown, (NJ) haunting began with Audrey more than 60 years ago. It continued with my, and my mother’s, “moments” and later with Veronica and her children’s experiences. It’s proved to be an interesting lineage.

            I loved that house and living in it from 1972 to 1982. It’s also where I experienced my first peek into the afterlife with the form of a little girl. It was a very sweet, reassuring moment. Here is a small excerpt from Veronica’s teenage daughter Morgan: One morning at 3 a.m., I woke to hear my Ipod blasting! It nearly freaked me out! That has never happened to me before. Someone has to actually press play for it to turn on. It isn’t something that would slip on easily or without actual intent. Another time at 3 a.m.. a man was coughing and making noises like he was right here next to me. I have a cell phone with pictures-mostly black-taken during the night that I didn’t take!


LIVING WITH GHOSTS True Stories of New Jersey

Excerpt from:
Under the Moon Café’
Estela and Santiago were so successful in their separate businesses that a much larger location was needed for each.  They decided to merge their talents into one location. Under the Moon Café was relocated in the much larger space in the former, long-time location of the Miller-Magowan Men’s Clothing Store on Farnsworth Avenue.
Remodeling is often the first thing to do when buying a building to rearrange it to suit your business. It is also the very thing that wakens sleeping spirits and gets them moving around in an old space. That is what happened in the new location for Under the Moon Café.    
     Santiago’s creative juices started flowing with ideas on remodeling to give the building a totally Under the Moon Café look.
Charlie soon made his first appearance to Estela.
 Estela said,  “There is an old man dressed in all black. He wears a tall hat and a long coat.  I call him Charlie. He plays with the coffee machine. Turn it on. Turn it off. Turn it on. Turn it off. At first I didn’t know it was Charlie. I called the company about the machine. ‘It turns on and off by itself,’ I told them.  They came out to check the machine.
     They said the machine works perfectly fine. Then I knew it was Charlie. I said, ‘Charlie, if you want to play, you can play.’ He played with the cups and the Chimichanga glasses. Not like he drops them, he places them gently. I see them fly through the air but not like being thrown; he does it gently.
     Often when Santiago goes into the basement to bring up supplies, somebody will tap him on the shoulder. He will look over his shoulder.  Nobody is there. At times a strong smell, not unpleasant, will permeate the air. Other times, voices are heard. Employees remark that they, too, experience the same things when they go down there!”  Full story in Living with Ghosts at

Wonderful Happening Today

Hero of the Day

As I left to go to the Food Lion at 7 a m I noticed my front tire on the Cooper was a little low. All the tires on the new cars always look low to me. I noted to check it out when I returned. At 7:30 my tire was nearly flat! Yikes! What do I do now? When I moved to rural NC in 2005 I canceled my membership in AAA because if I had a flat, cars would pull over to fix it for me. Really! I never had to ask for help. It just showed up.

This time I was in my Farmville Virginia apartment complex parking lot and most people had not even left for work yet.  I decided to wait until I stopped in the office at 8 am where a Mental Health Awareness event was taking place. I did. I asked about local garages and AAA was suggested as the best idea. It was super to have folks, Poplar Forest staff, that I trust to discuss this with….me, a stranger here. This crew makes me feel like home, a stranger no more.

At home again, I called. I joined. I became happy. To start with, I know these things happen for a reason. I have no idea why. Joe’s Towing came out in a half hour, not only removed my tire-with-a-nail-in-it but repaired it on the spot!!! Wow! He saved me the cost and time of taking it to a tire shop. I stepped into the not-so-new-century and the new way of doing things. I was impressed with Joe, his quick and good work doing it right and his pleasant attitude so early in the day. Hat’s off to the Staff and to JOE my hero of the day!