Weekly Gibberish

The Big News from Sonnystone this week is that Nothing Happened…

As the Polar Vortex bore down on us, we turned on the furnace to amend our fireplaces and stayed quite toasty.  Feeling a cold coming on, i looked around for some medicine, only to find that I was out of my usual Allegra.  There was a bottle of Claritin that had been prescribed a while back and it was only a little past expiration, so I downed one.  Accustomed to my 12-hour Allegra, which only works for 8 hours, I had no qualms taking another Claritin about 10 hours later.  The next 24 hours were spent nearly comatose, waking only to feel nauseous and afraid that I was having some Silent Event that I should worry about at my age and not toss off to od-ing on Claritin…  I got up for a couple of hours and sat in front of the computer, then worried that I might be losing my mind and went back to bed.

When I finally woke up (36 hours after taking the fateful pill), it was like a New Dawn.  I felt so refreshed, no cold symptoms, either.  If you have to give up a few days to sleep, crashing through a Winter Freeze is the time to do it.

It seems to me that January went by quickly, but I might be in the minority there.  February always seems longer than its 28 allotted days.  The taxes are begging to be filed, if I can pull myself away, and it is Birthday Month, so I expect to barely turn around and it will be time to leave for Florida in March.

In the meantime, I’ll be immersed, obsessed with the Ancestry.  I changed the link to All My Ancestors if you’d like to visit.  Between the research and the writing, that’s all I’m up to these days.

I gave up on the Photo Synthesis Picture a day… Engrossed in the ancestors and Stuck inside the house, I quickly tired of taking pictures of my walls.   I may have underestimated the Power of Genealogy Addiction..

Peace

Weekly Update

It’s been a busy week here at the Acres.  Casey has taken on a painting project and I’m tripping over him as I meander through the house.  He’s painting all of the trim, the same color but semi-gloss instead of satin, showcasing the filth just before he covers it.

The Camp Sonnystone Height Chart will Never be covered…

As for me, I’m walking on air, so excited about my new winter projects…

I came this close to buying a new Nikon.  Before I hit the checkout button, I got out my old D60 and made sure that it was still working like crap.  It was, but I felt such a nostalgia for the old girl.  We had so many adventures together, and I have neglected her for years? now.  Feeling guilty, I got out the q-tips and cleaned, pulling out veritable furballs.  I reset it, bought it a new battery and lens covers and it’s working like a charm now, though that didn’t add the pixels that make the phone camera pictures look so lush.  What it’s got going for it is its superiority at long shots, especially birds…

So it was, that I took on a Photo Project:  a picture a day using a list of prompts…  I will use whichever camera works best for the subject, just get back into the picture-taking groove…   You can follow me over at Photo Synthesis — clever, eh? — and I may occasionally publicize that blog, as well.

Right after I cleaned up the camera and started the blog, I Finally bought into Ancestry dot com and damn!  I’m glad I waited until I had Time on my hands, because I am now Obsessed with it!  I am so excited to share what I have learned already, but let’s just say that you should probably be calling me Lady Jo…no curtsying, but all men should bow…oh, wait, that’s the way it’s always been.

That project will be yet Another Blog,  All My Grandparents, and I will keep you informed regarding its launch.  Currently I am organizing the individual trees and double-checking the info.  I got too many branches going at one time and it’s become a little confusing.

I love it, though I’m just sitting here growing my ass in front of this computer screen and I need to get up and Move Around…  I really wish Casey hadn’t bought me that bath scale.  If you put it on a certain spot inside my closet it will shave 10 lbs off the number it shows when it’s sitting on the bathroom floor…  Where would you keep it?  I’m thinking he should just hide it from me…

 

Peace

 

Playing the role of Grandmother…

I don’t know if I should call this the genealogy project anymore.  A better moniker might be Who were my grandmothers? Something new that generally contradicts the stories I’ve been told pops up with each of them.

I started life with 5 grandmothers:  Mom’s grandma, called Little Grandma; Dad’s maternal grandmother, called Gainsey; Dad’s paternal grandmother, Grandmother Mayne; Mom’s mother, Grandma Eaton; and Dad’s mother, who my brother named Plain Grandmother, P.G. for short.

I have focused on Grandmother Mayne because that’s who I’m writing the story about, but I am constantly sidelined by looking at records of the others…

Then there’s the pictures.  I have a plethora of photographs that go back to the civil war and possibly before.  This picture of Grandmother was my first clue that she was not a concert pianist.

A girlfriend whose family had owned a photography shop over in Illinois pointed out to me that this was a “performer pose”.   My great-aunt Bernie provided another clue when she gave me this little flyer.  The year 1900 written on there is my grandmother’s handwriting (I can tell because she wrote me letters).

If you could look closely, you’ll see that this is not a concert pianist performance.  I’m more impressed that she had star billing and ran the show!  She sings, plays mandolin and piano and it’s all “pop” music of the day..!  Probably there was some dancing.   Add that my great-grandmother was born Olive R. Kinkade and “changed” her name to Kathleen, and it doesn’t seem to me that she was a prim, college-educated concert pianist.

So, back to the train.  Ben L., the handsome county clerk, was also a teacher in the Browns School District, living with his mother and sister in Albion.  He took his bride home and that’s where my grandfather was born 9 months later and where my great-aunt Bernie was born 14 months after that.  According to Aunt Bernie, grandmother insisted on “having her own home” when Bernie was 2 or 3.  This picture was taken in front of that house.

 

No doubt Grandmother had to re-invent herself again when she married into the Mayne Family.  They were rather snobbish and would not have approved of her background.  As a result, I rarely heard much about her childhood and only knew for sure that her mother had died when she was 6 months old, she had an older sister named Anna, and that her step-mother had not been kind.  Bernie said that the Kinkades were “poor”.

It is hard to tell what is “poor” and what’s not, but I’ve discovered just who they were, and who my grandmother’s mother’s family (McWilliams) were and that tells a story much different than what I expected.

Having spent the week being JoJo the grandma, it is easy for me to imagine how much my grandmothers enjoyed being around me and my siblings.  Double that to a great-grandmother and it must be twice as joyful, especially if you are able to play with them and teach them.  I learned so much from my great-grandmother Mayne, more than from any other grandmother.  She taught me to love poetry and playing piano, and she had large closets full of books to read.  She tried to teach me to embroider and crochet.  We helped her bake pies, rolling out the dough and slinging around the flour, and she would save a little bit of the piecrust and bake it just for me.  She put butter on her crunchy peanut-butter sandwiches and used Roman Meal bread.  We played Chinese checkers and she didn’t let me win.  She wrote us letters and had Thanksgiving at her house, Christmas at ours. I spent a couple of weeks each summer at her house getting spoiled and doted on.

Grandmother visited us in 1957 when we lived in Gary, Indiana.  She insisted on going up to Lake Michigan, where she took off her shoes and waded in…

That’s me holding Grandmother’s hand, I’m 3, she’s 81…

She has rather haunted me all these years, compelling me to tell her story, and I will.  However, the other grandmothers are clamoring to be heard, too.  As I uncover more secrets, I am mesmerized at how strong my foremothers were.  I hope my grandchildren look back and remember me the same…

Peace

Family Tree Intrigue

Back in 2003 my cousin sent me this clipping from the Grayville newspaper…just above it says

102 years ago today, April 16

It was 1901.  Ben L. Mayne, the handsome county clerk, was my great-grandfather and the pretty Miss Kinkade was my great-grandmother.  I had heard the story that they’d gotten married on a train, and I thought it sounded so romantic, but I thought they were actually traveling somewhere like St. Louis or at least Evansville…  Reading this, it sounds a little rushed, wouldn’t you say?  Odd that a Rev. was along, but they had to have the conductor and the brakeman witness it.   Don’t forget, Grandad was the county clerk, so they didn’t have to wait on a marriage license.  And where did they go?  Did they just get off the train in Grayville and grab another one back?

When I began to sort through old Mayne family archives, I came across a marriage certificate..

This is the official record, note that Grandad is the witness.   attached to it is a document from 1948…

Notice that the witnesses are the same conductor Neiman that the newspaper article mentioned, but instead of brakeman Trott is Mrs G.W Hall.  (This habit of women being Mrs. Husband Name is a pain.)  At first I had no idea who Mrs. G.W. was, but I am pretty sure it was Grandmother’s aunt Isabella.

I wonder why they were getting the marriage certificate certified again in 1948…

Anyway, this whole wedding-on-the-train sounds a bit shady to me.  My great-aunt Bernie once told me that her brother had been born “9 months to the day after Dad and Mother got married”.  Small town folks probably did their math, like me, and noted that the baby actually came a couple of weeks early and I’ll bet she heard about it…

Several years back I started writing a book about Grandmother’s life and the research is more fun than actually writing it.  We were told she was a concert pianist, not true; that her family was poor, not true.  But I’ll save that story for another time…

My daughter-in-law is having surgery tomorrow, so I’m stepping up to help with the kids for the couple of days.  I’ll catch up with you when I can.

Peace

 

Long story short…

Oh, my!  I have been so neglectful of my blogging…wondering again whether to quit or jump back in with renewed vigor, writing daily.  For now, I’ll catch you up on recent activities…

Martha called and said she’d be visiting town, so she and Nancy and I had a fine evening chatting and eating…

 

The Master Gardeners Fall Conference was super this year!  Jack Barnwell, manager of the gardens on Mackinac Island, presented a terrific slideshow that really made me want to visit there.  Chef Nathan Lyon did a cooking demonstration for us that was both informative and hilarious.  The after-lunch speakers were Scott Beuerlein from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Kerri Ann Mendez from Perennially Yours.

I was also delighted that Sharon and  Charles Sorenson were there, peddling her books.  I’ve been stalking her to buy her latest,

and finally I caught up with her.  This book has me so excited about my Bird Garden project for Spring 2019.  Planning next year’s garden is a great way to get through the winter…

The UE production of Spring Awakening was excellent, though I can’t say I actually like the show…such a bummer.  The theatre always has a full roster of wonderful actors and I’m grateful we have the opportunity right here in Eville to witness their talents.

I’ve fallen down the rabbit-hole of genealogy…  I got out everything I’ve already done and put away about 6 years ago and going through that was a trip into the past, darkly.  In addition to my family tree, I had put together some information on the history of my house and I had forgotten some of the facts I had unearthed.  I’ve gotten it organized and I”m ready to dive into it deeply…

Perhaps I could combine the genealogy research with rejuvenated blogging habits… hmm…

The leaves are beginning to color the trees with splashes of orange, yellow, and red…think I”ll go out to the Thoughtful Spot and figure it all out…

Peace