"Welcome to the Weekend Chat!" All Members Invited!! December 27th-29th, 2019 [closed]

+14 votes
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CHANGE TO BEST ANSWER PROCESS:  After much discussion we have come to the conclusion that all answers in the Weekend Chat are of equal importance and weight.  So we are going to discontinue the Best Answer portion as it adds points and then takes them away from posters and is causing some hurt feelings.  So in the interest of everyone is equal and valued we will delete any best answers given which will deduct those points because it has been pointed out that to give everyone best answer is also not a viable option. 

Weekend Chat is for everyone. It's a place to catch up on what people are up to and to share what you've been doing.  New members can say hello, introduce themselves, ask questions, and meet each other.  Our seasoned members can share progress or successes from their projects, give tips and advice, or chime in on hot topics.

Post as many answers and comments as you wish. It doesn't hurt anyone to post a lot and enjoy the multitude of topics.

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Enjoy yourselves and spread the love!

WikiTree profile: Pip Sheppard
closed with the note: Weekend Chat closed for December 27th - 29nd, 2019.
in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
closed by David Selman

Welcome to another edition of the Weekend Chat, my fellow WikiChatterers. And greetings from a warm Cathey’s Creek where the temps have reached 65F several days. This gave me to opportunity to move several plants from the back to the front (about five), three grasses and two shrubs.

On the Home Front: For a week and a half it was pure exhaustion. We had so many of our relatives up here, on and off, after Mom died. There is just so much to take care of. Mom left it to me to plan all the services. The burial was last Saturday in Charlotte. Mom was laid to rest between my dad and my first stepdad. I was able to contact the pastor of the Paw Creek Presbyterian Church to officiate at the burial. (Paw Creek is where hundreds of my relatives are buried.) He officiated at the funerals of my Aunt Harriet and Uncle Ralph who died a week apart a year ago. Turns out that the Rev is a third cousin of mine. He’s descended from Amelia Lawing Hipp who was the sister of my great-grandmother, Hettie Lawing Underwood.

The memorial service will he held here in Brevard on what would be my mom’s 93rd birthday, January 4th. I have the eulogy to prepare, requested by my stepdad. I will be reading from a prepared text as I don’t trust my emotions enough to wing it. Many of my cousins and other relatives will attend this service. It seems like this is about the only time we get together, at funerals, though I have been pushing for a reunion for a couple of years now. Mom was the reason we (me and a couple of cousins) wanted to work on this as she was the only connection left to the early history of our family.

To say the least, Christmas was simple and quiet. We had my stepdad over on Christmas Day for a wonderful meal prepared by my wife, and we watched some Christmas comedies on TV.

On the Genealogy Front: Aside from getting back on the Greeters’ schedule, I haven’t done much. I’ve been working on my mom’s profile, though I did get some other profiles sourced for some distant cousins. However, I have a plan!! Starting in January, I’m going to start working on all those biographies of veterans I’ve discovered in the two families I’ve been rushing to complete before the end of the year. The list is now around 35 veterans. After I finish those, I want to start getting more biographies completed for those several g-, gg-, and ggg- aunts and uncles who have been whispering in my ear about how their profiles look so weak. (Yes, the dead speak to me.)

I also started a Rhyne Name Study as I was coming across so many of them who married into my Moore family.

Aaaand…. Since my wife bought me a practice chanter for Christmas, I’ll be working on celebrating my heritage by learning to play the bagpipes!

In closing, I want to thank all of you here and on the Greeters and Leaders Google lists for your condolences upon the death of my mom. A heartfelt thanks goes to those of you who helped cover some of my duties during the recent whirlwind of activity. Your care and concern are a part of what makes this community such a special one in which to be a member. You helped me get through this difficult time, and I will still need some coverage during the weekend of Mom’s memorial service.

I hope the New Year brings you much success in your research, brickwalls and all, but more importantly that you find significant time to hug, call, appreciate those you love all the year long.

Huh. Pip, I never would have taken you for Haley Joe Osmont's character in the Sixth Sense all grown up. What was it like talking to Bruce Willis? Did you tell him that you loved his moving performance in the Christmas classic known as Die Hard?

Condolences once again for your mom. Good luck with the eulogy. If you can't trust your emotions, perhaps a mind meld will suffice. =) Glad you had a great Christmas despite the sadness, my friend. Cheers. Have a great day!

...You're totally going to send me a cd of you playing bagpipes aren't you?
The challenge for me is always to choose what to say and what to leave for another time.  At 93, your mother lived a full life!  Will you try to summarize, or can you choose 2 or 3 illustrative stories?  I'm sure you'll find a balance for the eulogy. You have a wonderful way with words.

All my very best wishes for a rewarding New Year.
Chris, Bruce was the one who helped me learn to tune in. He had a hard time learning the skill.
Thanks, Laurie. I have some of it done and still a week to get it done. I'm trying to finish it up soon as I have this editing OCD.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Pip. Even when we think we're prepared to lose our parents, we never really are. I'm not sure that's even possible. We'll be praying for you and your family.

Regarding the family reunion idea, I've been thinking that my family should have one, too. (Or, more precisely, that my families should have 4, 8, or 16 reunions, depending on how many living cousins I can track down in the various lines.) I was poking around WikiTree one day, and discovered a bunch of resources for family reunions, which I have linked to from a Family Reunions free-space profile.

Once upon a time, all the descendants of my Slade great-grandparents living within reasonable driving distance of Vancouver would gather for a potluck dinner every year on New Year's Day, because nobody plans anything on New Year's Day, since most people are still recovering from New Year's Eve. But, since none of us drank, and none of us cared about football, it worked out perfectly for us.

Since you write so well here, Pip I am sure you will write a beautiful tribute to your mum. Take care of yourself during this trying time.
Thanks for hosting, Pip.  Again, sorry to hear about your Mom. Hope the bagpipes (chanter) start sounding good.

29 Answers

+16 votes

It appears here in Central Pennsylvania, we are going to have some temperatures in the mid to upper 40 degrees F in the coming days. We will take it; it will be a welcome change.

As we close out the year, it is a good time to reflect. Many of us lost close family members, welcomed new members into our families through marriage, and welcomed little bundles of joy into our families through birth. The cycle continues.

Going into the New Year, we will experience the same events. Through it all in our daily lives, and here in our WikiTree community, I hope we can gain an appreciation for folks we meet, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, share each other’s sorrows, and have tolerance and understanding for each other’s real or perceived shortcomings.

I appreciate you all here in our endeavor to learn about and find our ancestors, and hope each and every one of you have a very Happy New Year.

Right now I am working on my WikiTree goals for 2020. If I do not have a pre-planned list of what I want to accomplish, not much will happen.

Have a good weekend, stay healthy, and travel safe.

by Rodney Long G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
Well said, Rodney!

I, too, will not get much done is any systemitized way unless I have a list, a lesson my wife taught me.
Thank you for the timely suggestion!  My to-do list is so long, I'm at risk of becoming the Queen of Unfinished Projects. It does seem a good time to set some priorities.

Have a very Happy New Year, Rodney, all my best to you and yours.
Thanks for the  well wishes Rodney.   Glad you got a brief break from the Pennsylvania weather.    You and Pip certainly encourage me to "have a plan" for my WikiTree goals.
Your wife taught you well my friend. Travel safe
Hi Laurie, hope you day is going well. Yes, I can not seem to function if I do not have a plan. To many distractions in life to get you off track. Have a good weekend.
Hi Peggy, yes with WikiTree, it is so easy when your doing research to find yourself going in different directions. I need a plan for self discipline. Have a good weekend.
Thank you Rodney for your words on tolerance of other people's shortcomings. It is quite irritating to try to talk to family about our ancestors and have their eyes glaze over with lack of interest but I am expected to care about hearing about the latest Star Wars movie. Have a wonderful weekend and even more wonderful New Year.
Good to hear from you C, and hope you all have a great New Year out there. I am not a movie person myself. I would much rather read a book, or do research. Travel safe my friend.
Well put, Rodney!

What????   Too many Peggys!!devil  

Hi Peggy Watkins,   I've never really been acquainted with another Peggy.  But if you're a WikiTreer, you're certainly a sister.

Edit:   My name is Peggy, not a nickname.  My mother was an American Soldier's wife (they were both from Arkansas and recent high school graduates from Arkansas; Dad was stationed in England when I was conceived).... she named me after a British woman she meet there. 

Peg

I'm a "real" Peggy too! My parents named me after a friend and since they knew they'd be calling me Peggy they went ahead and put that on the birth certificate.

How unusual to meet another Peggy.
Thank-you Peggy Watkins, hope you are having a good weekend. Travel safe.
+17 votes

Today is.....

NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY

         

Across the United States, fruitcake lovers young and old, commemorate National Fruitcake Day each year on December 27th.

Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts, and spices and sometimes soaked in spirits, fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years.

Dating back to ancient Rome, one of the earliest known recipes lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages, makers added honey, spices, and preserved fruits. Recipes for fruitcakes vary from country to country, depending on available ingredients and tradition.

In the 16th century, two achievements crystallized to make fruitcakes more affordable and accessible. First, sugar from the American Colonies became abundant. Second, it was discovered that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits. These two actions resulted in excess candied fruit. Consequently, fruitcake making grew.

  • Typically, Americans produce fruitcakes abundant in fruit and nuts
  • In America, mail-order fruitcake began in 1913. 
  • Charities often sell commercial fruitcakes from catalogs as a fundraising event. 
  • In 1935, the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined. The phrase came about as a result of excess nuts some Southern bakeries added to their fruitcakes due to their access to cheap nuts.  
  • Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free.
  • Some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy. Bakers then complete the fruitcake by covering it with powdered sugar.
  • Some fruitcake makers soaked their fruitcakes in brandy-soak linens believing the cakes improve with age. 

HOW TO OBSERVE National Fruitcake Day:

Share a fruitcake story or recipe. Or maybe share both. Invite someone to enjoy some fruitcake with you

by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2m points)

Oooo, I've had enough of fruitcake lately! I might have to pass on this one! cheeky

Thank you, Dorothy, for always posting such interesting "Today Is..." messages!

I look at the pix and I drool. Really, I drool. I am ... hungry, so hungry I could eat the pix. (sound of frustrated child crying)
My favourite fruitcake is a recipe handed down in the family, which uses whiskey rather than rum or brandy. Its also interesting because many of my Baptist ancestors were advocates of temperance, and other ancestors were involved (ahem) in the production and movement of rum and brandy.
I love fruitcake, but have not had any for a long time.
My mom used to make a "variation" of fruit cake,  it was an  Orange Slice Cake  (made with the Orange Slice candies)...... but maybe I should be adventurous and make a "traditional" fruit cake for the relatives that will be spending the weekend?!
Laurie, my Baptist side never added anything. But on the other hand, my Kentucky wife has the bourbon version in her repertoire.
In our family we make a fruit cake cookie. Same basic idea as the cake but easier to make. I love them. When this flu finally runs it's course, we are having a late Christmas sugar fling.
I have one in the fridge that's about 2 years old... wonder if it's still good?

I love fruitcake. One of my brothers, not so much. He would always pick out the candied fruit. So, one year, in desperation, she made him a special fruitcake, using pound cake and gummies instead of the traditional recipe. He picked out the gummies. And then ate them anyway. She gave up trying.

My husband and I enjoy fruitcake and had a couple small ones this year. We got a card from friends that had people throwing fruitcake down a hole in the ice. Not everyone likes fruitcake.
+13 votes

Hails and horns, Wikipeeps!

Today is....

My birthday! =D

Yes. That's right. I turned twenty-nine again. =P Totally not in denial over here. Nope. Nope. And Nope....

On the genealogy front I posted the last of the #52Ancestors and I await Amy's New 52.

https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2019/12/52-ancestors-week-52-you.html

I just hope it's better than DC's New 52 from 2011. That reboot was weird and left a bad taste in everyone's mouths.

We had our annual Christmas eve party and I spent most of the night talking to family. I might be getting some new pics. We shall see. My dad's cousin made some "icicles" like my great-aunt Louise used to make. They are just angel food cake covered in Hershey's dark chocolate and coconut. SO GOOD.

We also had our traditional squid served several different ways.

On Christmas Day, I got a message from my cousins in Italy. They got the card and letter I sent. My cousin's wife translated for the family and read it to them. They enjoyed hearing from a cousin 4,000 miles away and are glad that we're in touch. With the Internet, it's a lot easier to do that, no?

On the non genealogy front, I'm not doing anything today. Nope. We're going out to dinner at Tuscan Kitchen later tonight. For the rest of the day I think I will just veg because I got Disney + to check out. What will I watch first? Mandalorian? X-Men: The Animated Series? Some National Geographic program about frogs? Dunno. Probably Mandalorian. =D

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Onto 2020!

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (285k points)

Thanks, Paul! 

I have Sega Genesis classics on the Switch in case the old console doesn't work. We can TOTALLY play Altered Beast! Remember  "Genesis did what Nindendon't"? Let's refresh the memories of the audience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7nsBoqJ6s8

This was the height of the console wars. Paul and I lived through it. Not so much the case now....Sega has gone third party!

I've been playing the classic Toejam and Earl games. Those games are fun! Sadly due to licensing issues we probably won't see the Marvel games unless they are on an emulator.

Am not surprised about Teddy Ruxpin being awesome with a Slayer cassette. Have Teddy and Grubby have Aerosmith or Guns and Roses cassettes in and you'd really have  a jam!

@ Betty: True. But, we don't care. Also, that movie came out long before Teddy Ruxpin was a thing.

Betty,

By the time I discovered Slayer. My sister's Teddy Ruxpin was probably out of warranty. I would like to take credit for Freddy Krueger. Unfortunately, I was a bit young to have inspired that. Thankfully my sister didn't get nightmares from Teddy singing thrash metal. She laughed, took out my tape and put in Paula Abdul.
Dude, I forgot about Toejam and Earl!
I have the fourth game on the Switch. Pretty cool. Did you have Ecco?

Had that and other games like Phantasy Star 2, X-Men, X-Men 2, Spider-Man, Eternal Champions and a ton of other games. All of the Sonic ones.

Now I have this image of Teddy Ruxpin singing "Straight Up" in my head. LOL.

My first Summer Holiday job from College involved sorting punch cards, very tedious

Way back (in the early 80s)  a corporal who worked with my husband got himself a ZX81. My OH ( a very junior officer at the time)  offered to teach him how to program it if he (OH) could also try to use it for a work related project.He developed a program in machine code  to analyse vibration on Chinook helicopters. He got a prize from the RAF (a silver medal and some money) The money we put towards our first computer, a  ZX Spectrum with all of 48 k. I remember playing Jet Set Willy, Slippery Sid, Manic Miner,Attic Attak and lots of other 'stupid' games. Most of all I remember the whine when you loaded games from the cassette recorder. I even managed to learn some basic.  The  next computers were the various versions of Acorn computers. (most schools used these in the UK and I was a teacher)  I hated it when I had to change to PC, 

This thread is certainly bringing back forgotten memories for many of us.      Wow,  a silver medal is impressive.... but he probably liked the money more.
Plenty of memories for me, too. We still have my old Sega games. I wonder if they will still work after I blow in them.
Bring on the old rituals: Blowing in them ALWAYS makes computer things work, doesn't it? Well at least it did 30 years ago...

@Helen. That brings back memories, and also ages me. My first job, in 1974 was working on a PDP-15 with 48K words of 18 bit memory. The system was built in 1973 and was used in US Dept of Defense mapping production for 10 years to build maps, charts and a digital map database. It was quite a system - the 10 distributed workstations were built on the 16 bit 8K word memory Imlac PDS-1D. The file system and networking were custom built.

Yup. So did whacking things a couple times. It's still amazing. My launch Wii from 2006 was able to read disks until a few months ago. Then it stopped. It'll run everything else.
+14 votes

Welcome from Colorado where the snow moves in again tonight after a warm Christmas. My wife headed off to Pittsburgh for a funeral. Please see https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Lanz-106 for Richard Lanz, a pediatrician in Pittsburgh before he retired. I'm back home with the lingering effects of the stomach flu. I will find some time to continue my cemetery study and connecting the different families that I added. It is a slow process but the list is declining. 

by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
Egad! Stomach flu. I've had it too many times. I feel for you, Gurney!

Hoping for safe travel for your wife. Was Richard a relative or someone she just knew?
Uncle by marriage but emotionally very close
I offer my sincerest condolences. I know the feeling of that kind of loss.
I hope you have a fast recovery.  Stomach flu is not fun!
Ew - Stomach Flu - doesn't get any more fun than that. Hope it um... passes... quickly.
Yuk, stomach flu. Hope that you feel better soon.

Sorry about your uncle.
How bad did you get hit with snow? We only got bit over an inch but then the high winds arrived and made it look much worse.

Hope you are feeling better.
We got several inches being that We are in Douglas County. It was more an issue that plows never came until the night and several cars were stuck on the streets with hills
+11 votes
Well, I gave up on trying for the 1000 contributions for December. I am wondering what I have to do get points in the Scan-a Thon in January. I might be able to get 1000 contributions.

It's been really wet here in Az. in the last part of Dec. Most of the rain has fallen in the early morning hours.

I think I'll see if I can get to 400,000 G-G points before January.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (401k points)

Happy New Year, Dave!

Check this out for the Scan-a-thon: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/948800/have-you-registered-for-our-2020-scan-a-thon-yet

Dave, I had about 1700 contributions this month, and then for about a week and a half almost nothing. Back on it today.

Hope you get those 400,000 G2G points. Always look for your participation.
Hey Dave,  while I've got 1000 pts for December.... I certainly won't get it in January while we're traveling a lot.

Enjoy you New Year!
I am at 1987 contributions for December. I found the trick was to start working on cemetery categories. There are lists of historical cemeteries and all the find a graves. I look at the find a graves and try to find someone on wikitree. If I do, I can put them in the cemetery category (creating the category). (and add FAG if it isn't there).
+15 votes
Hello everyone!!

Had a Record Match with someone in the USA who claimed to be descended from the half sister of my great grandfather - in New Zealand. So I have spent a few hours diving down this rabbit hole to make the connection and add some new profiles. Connection should go through tomorrow.

Also I have to announce my 3rd year anniversary here on wikitree - 3 years ago today i joined Wikitree!!

It has been a blast!!!!

Temps are rising here on the shores of Lake Ontario so hopefully it will be easier to get out and do some much needed shopping.

I hope everyone had a great Xmas and will have a happy New Years!!!  Ours will just be very quiet - as usual.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (702k points)
Happy anniversary Robynne, great to have you on board!
Robynne, has it only been three years?!? You WikiSkills and knowledge make it seem like you've been here much longer.

Our New Years will also be a quiet one. We usually step out on the back deck to listen to the fireworks and occasionally see some if they go high enough.
Happy anniversary Robynne!  Its fun to make intercontinental connections, isn't it?  

Hopefully your warmer weather isn't accompanied by freezing rain.  I'm in Ottawa this holiday, and its icy everywhere.  Shopping will wait til tomorrow.

Have a very happy New Year
Congratulations on your anniversary!!!

And Happy New Year.
Happy anniversary Robynne, I didn't know you are only about 5 months "older" than I am here. :) I see you spammed G2G a lot more than I did :)
It's the lure of getting a "best answer" which is how I got  hooked!!!
Happy anniversary Robynne. It's surprising to learn that you aren't that much older than I am, and Jelena and I are within a couple of months of each other. Maybe we could start using this benchmark for our 'age' rather than being perpetually 29 like Chris.
+14 votes

Happy New Year!  

I'm visiting two adult children in Ottawa, Canada this holiday. I'm enjoying the grand-cat and grand-dogs, and struggling with the freezing rain underfoot. My hiking stick is my best friend, lol. 

Two weeks ago, Kay Sands mentioned the feast of the 7 fishes on the weekend chat. I'm not Italian, but I do love seafood, so I took that as a suggestion, and made an italian fish stew, with 7 types of seafood for Xmas eve. The family has decided to make it a new tradition.

Between travelling and family, I haven't had a whole lot of time for genealogy. I noticed that all the "hide forever" FindAGrave suggestions have returned to haunt me, so I'm working my way through that, and I'm nibbling at the New England Planters in Yarmouth Nova Scotia - my winter project. I've reached the letter P, so still on track to finish this survey before spring. 

Wishing you good health and good luck!

by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Mach 6 (66.5k points)
Italian fish stew sounds like a great new Christmas tradition.  My husband's family also has the tradition of making large pots of soups for the Christmas eve meal.

I certainly can appreciate hiking sticks!   I just recently quit using a cane (double hip replacements),  but I've been using it on steep slippery trails.   It's time for me to improve my image with a hiking stick instead!

A wave of terror washed over me when I read your comment about returning FindAGrave suggestions, but I just checked my suggests  and there are only a few more added.   

Enjoy your travels and grand "kids".
Eeek! I also get those F-A-G hidden forever suggestions, too, Laurie!

I also am seafood lover. Mostly, we go out, but sometimes when we get the urge we fix some at home.

Take care in those icy conditions, Laurie. Happy holidays from (mild) BC! wink

+13 votes

A warm welcome back Pip!!   After the memorial,  I'm sure you'll refocus on genealogy,  but life certainly takes us along unseen paths.  

Weather:   Just sort of incredible here in Catoosa County, Georgia.  (Unless you wanted a White Christmas.)   Have been going on long walks and picnics.

Birds:  Have been feeding the birds;  our old midwestern winter habits that might not be necessary here in Catoosa County.  These birds are very awkward at the feeder.  But they're catching on.   The only feeder we put out is difficult for the large birds to use,  so the jays and mourning doves are slumming it on the ground with the squirrels.    We haven't seen unfamiliar bird species at the feeder yet.   We've seen two types of woodpeckers  (I really enjoy them if they're not pecking on the house)..... a downy and probably the traditional woody the woodpecker.    The mocking birds don't seem to come to the feeder  (we didn't have them at our feeder in the midwest).... or perhaps they migrated, but it seems too mild to migrate.... Will try to take pictures for next week.

Genealogy:   Time to say "enough is enough".   I've been working on my Plunkett brickwall for the third week,  it's certainly built with stout materials.   I've summarized my efforts and will move on.....   My "plan" is implemented by creating profiles for any likely candidate living in North Carolina circa 1805, where my ggg grandfather was born.  I created profiles for the potential parents and then their descendants for at least two more generations....and then made sure the family lines were  "connected" before I stopped.    Hopefully,  one day DNA testing will provide the answer.  (If not,  at least I've contributed to the World Wide Tree.) In 2022,  I'll expand.

Hope everyone finds time to enjoy the Holidays.

by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (173k points)
edited by Peggy McReynolds
Peggy, we love watching our birds. Our feeders also require the jays and doves to battle with squirrels. We have three different woodpeckers, piliated, red-breasted (with no red on their breasts, it's on their heads), and downy woodpeckers. The piliated doesn't show often, but we can sure hear them coming!
My birdfeeders provide unending entertainment - who needs cable?
+14 votes

On this day: 

1919: The Boeing B-1, the first commercial plane flies for the first time in the air mail-service.

1978: King Juan Carlos I. sanctions the democratic Constitution of Spain, ending more than 40 years of Franquismo in the country.

2007: Benazir Bhutto, the first female Pakistani prime minister, is assassinated. 

by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (344k points)
Oh my, Jelena, airmail service began in 1919?  The stagecoaches in Nova Scotia were still operating in 1919 - my family's stagecoach Inn was open until 1923, and my grandmother rode one of the last ones to visit her grandmother that year.
Interesting contrasts. How early there was airmail and how recently women in politics. I remember seeing a TV show about the first air mail flights (probably the Neil Armstrong First Flights on Amazon TV). It interested me because my uncle started flying in 1935 and opened his airport in 1936. I remember my mother telling about how he would land on the "front yard" at the farm when "dating" my aunt, and how very much my grandfather did not like that.

I certainly remember the sad day Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.   

Thanks Jelena.

Kay,

How funny about your Uncle landing in your grandparents  "front yard"....... My father was a helicopter pilot who landed in my maternal grandparents  "front yard" in rural Arkansas.  (My parents were married at the time.)   Can you imagine the trouble he'd be in trying that  today!?
Jelena, I remember well Juan Carlos' ascension to the throne of Spain while I was in high school. This was a big deal in my Spanish class. We were receiving a Spanish language magazine that year, and the news was splashed all across the pages for a couple of months. However, I totally missed the new constitution. My language teachers in college didn't think it was so important to present the culture than to teach the grammar.
+15 votes
Merry Christmas WikiKin!

On the genealogy front - I've done almost nothing. I cleaned up a few errors on the Data Doctors list yesterday - and that's about it. I'm also trying to figure out if I should renew my Ancestry subscription. It renews on 2 Jan.

On the homefront: we began celebrating Christmas, and we're not done yet,

The kids were too sick for us to visit my family last Sunday, as planned, so that has been delayed to this coming Sunday. Thankfully, the kids had perked up by Christmas Eve and we were all able to go to the Children's Mass and come home to get ready for Santa Claus.

Illness and the new baby mean giving up some of the usual trappings of Christmas, I never put up the outdoor decorations and we still haven't mailed our Christmas cards (so long as they go out before the 12th Day of Christmas we're not too late, right?) However, the most important trappings were taken care of, the Christmas Tree, the festive mantle, making sugar cookies, and wrapping presents (wisely purchased mostly before the baby came - my wife is the wise one). Nor were the more important, less tangible things neglected, and we had a wonderful Christmas.

Tonight, we're planning on driving around to look at other people's outdoor Christmas lights before they start taking them down.
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 6 (69.5k points)
Sounds like a perfect Christmas, Thomas!  Enjoy the full 12 days, and have a Happy New Year.

"...before they start taking them down." Hmmm, here the Christmas lights are taken down usually after 6 Jan. And most of the lights were put up on the First Sunday of Advent. So usually the lights are up the whole December, but the Christmas Trees only just around Christmas. Mum and I keep the tree at least til 7 Jan, when it's the Orthodox Christmas.

A large portion of Americans put up outdoor lights over Thanksgiving weekend (late November). Many put up their Christmas tree about the same time, most others in early December.

Most people will take down their outdoor lights shortly after New Year's Day. However, some will start earlier - and this year, it is unseasonably warm here in Michigan, so I think more people than usual might go ahead and take them down over this weekend, taking advantage of the good weather.

My family, when we put up outdoor lights, we put them up pretty early, like most Americans, but I would never take them down until after Epiphany at least (Sunday nearest Jan 6).

The Christmas tree we put up later than most of our compatriots. Typically it goes up on the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday/Rejoicing Sunday (Dec 14 +/- 3 days). We leave the tree up a bit longer than most Americans, again, until after Epiphany, at least, often until the Sunday after that, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord . Many Americans take their tree  down before New Year's and most will by the weekend after.

Thomas, most folks don't know that the Twelve Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and aren't a part of the shopping culture. We didn't put up our outside garlands (no lights) until after the Advent 2. Like, you, they'll stay up until the 6th (or shortly thereafter).

Once, I suggested that our family should exchange gifts on Epiphany (January 6th) instead of Christmas Day, to try to keep the focus on Jesus on Christmas (and, partly, so we could take advantage of the Boxing Day sales and pay less for our gifts wink).

My family wasn't having any of it. No, sir.

+14 votes
Had big plans this week to get off work at 3 on Christmas Eve and driving to see my parents and sister for Christmas and my mom's 75th birthday on the 26th.  Last week, I caught a bad cold and it went into my lungs. On antibiotics and have 'lost' my voice.  I think it was a good idea to pass on the 11 hour drive and seeing older relatives while being sick. Though I do miss out on the conversations I have with them.  Perhaps in February or March I can make the trip.  Time to make another pot of hot tea.
by Michelle Enke G2G6 Pilot (190k points)
lem sip - or honey, lemon juice and hot water!!

Hope you can recover your voice in time to sing "Auld Lang Syne"
Take good care of yourself, Michelle! I think it was a good decision for you, and for your relatives. I hope you recover quickly and have a pleasant journey in February or March.  

I'm making another pot of tea to share with you, virtually.
Jim Beam and honey, my wife's "medicinal" use.
Sorry you got that cold that goes into the lungs. I had it before Thanksgiving at it was no fun.

Hope that you get to visit your relatives in February or March, and that the weather cooperates for the drive.
Good call to stay home.  Your Mom will understand you missing her birthday.
+13 votes
Greetings from Everett, Washington!

I reached 1000 contribution points for December about a week ago, but I've burst past that goal since I just can't stay away from Wikitree.  Yesterday I managed to connect the Brodniak family of Mukilteo to the tree and today I'm starting to connect the Brodniaks and the Rheas.  My goal is to connect as many folks buried in the Mukilteo Pioneer Cemetery as possible.

The big project of the year, still ongoing, has been to get grandma's place in Auburn ready to be an adult care home.  This has meant many delays and discoveries of issues related to drainage, water supply and so forth.  Also legal stuff related to guardianship and power of attorney.  

I continue to be "Mom's taxi" and would rather be here than teaching children to use bicycles or cars and the bus system.  

The weather here has been in the 30s, with partly cloudy skies and occasional rain.  No rumor of snow.

I finished a pastel, mostly pink and white, quilt top about 40" x 40" and then another made of pink and purple 3" squares.  I did some 5" squares with strips in string quilting.  A backing is required for each square to keep the block from stretching.

This is a year when I did not buy a single present for anyone nor did I send a single greeting.  Well, I haven't received any presents either--all are still in the hands of Amazon.  I made dishes for potlucks and I sang carols.  We went to morning Mass on the 25th (midnight Mass is just too hard on us these days, what with work schedules).  My husband was in the ad hoc schola up in the choir loft.

The major present, by the grace of God, was that my son's jury duty yesterday and today was cancelled!

The new year brings a flurry of duties and a return to the business of the historical society, with updating the secretary's minutes binder and finding by year's end all the receipts for all the copying I did.

Have a special toast for New Year's.  I am going to start planning a celebration for our 30th wedding anniversary--which falls on election day 2020.  Rent a room, invite several hundred of our closest friends, and keep the news far away.
by Margaret Summitt G2G6 Mach 7 (77.1k points)
To "keep the News far away" you have to prohibit the use of phones ;)
Update on my Mom's unfinished quilt, Margaret: We thought a good idea was to take all those squares she got done and give them to those nieces and nephews (after the kids and grandkids, 5 of us) as a remembrance of her. Dad thought it was a good idea, but now he's thinking about having the whole quilt finished by a quilting group in town. That would necessitate giving the finished quilt to just one person. When we told him that, he reconsidered.

Our Eve mass was at 5:30 in the evening and it was packed out. Not so the next day for our 12:30 mass!

Our 30th will be in the summer, and I've got to start planning NOW!
That was a good move, Pip, to distribute her UFO (quiltspeak for unfinished object) among her descendants so that they can choose how to use the squares.
+12 votes
Condolences again, Pip, and best of luck with the eulogy. It is sad but true that cousins often meet at these times. A cousin we had not seen in years came to my mother's funeral -- it had been so long that his father didn't recognize him.

We had a noisy Christmas Eve -- can you say 8 year old with all the Spiderman stuff -- followed by a quiet Christmas. I fixed a one rib refuses-to-stand-up roast and am looking forward to the homemade soup from that tomorrow. The stuffed toy for our Golden Retriever seems to be a sloth. We name her toys (the moose is known as Bullwinkle). My husband suggested DMV, based on the Zootopia trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY73vFGhSVk

Genealogy wise I am continuing to work on descendants of a great great uncle. This is great cousin bait, and I've met a distant cousin by marriage.

I never realized that I would start such a controversy. Oh well, can't take it back now.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
by Kay Sands G2G6 Pilot (263k points)
Kay, last year at Uncle Ralph's funeral, I was able to identify cousins I hadn't seen in YEARS by which parent they looked like.

You should have seen the stuff our daughter's dog got for Christmas, more than most kids!
+10 votes

Currently, it's 8˚ C in Fort Erie and cloudy, heading for a predicted low of 0˚ C, and a predicted high tomorrow of 4˚ C. 

I wasn't here for the chat last weekend, because we were down in Pennsylvania celebrating Christmas early with the light of my life and the delight of my eye's children. We took egg nog (which one of her boys actually likes), mincemeat tarts (which none of them would touch), and made burgers for the sake of simplicity. (We picked up a bunch of normal beef patties, and some turkey burgers, which none of them would touch. Personally, I think turkey burgers are a much simpler way to get my turkey fix, but since we regularly call each kid "Turkey Burger" when they do something silly1, they may have considered it too close to cannibalism.)

For ourselves, we planned a quiet Christmas Day and Boxing Day at home, so on the way home, I picked up a turkey ham for Christmas dinner. (We can't find those in Canada.) That way, we could have a Christmas dinner which was sort of turkey and sort of ham, and thus celebrate both traditions.

Because we got home barely in time to return the rental car, we didn't get a chance (actually, we forgot) to pick up a tourtiere for Christmas Eve dinner. My aunt and uncle lived for years in Montreal, and a friend taught my aunt how to make tourtiere, and it became their traditional Christmas Eve dinner. I spent a couple of Christmases with them when I was going to school in Nova Scotia and couldn't make it home for Christmas, and got into tourtiere that way. in my own family, our traditional Christmas Eve dinner was fondue for years after my mom got a fondue set one Christmas. (We have yet to try making fondue, mostly because I never think to look for a fondue set until it's too late.)

  1. Except for her daughter, who, upon being called "Turkey Burger", protested, "Mom! I'm a turkey burgette!" because I had called her that a day or two earlier. Here, I was hoping to pass on words of wisdom, and instead they pick up on my silliness...
by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (303k points)
Greg, turkey burgers are a staple around our house, as is spaghetti with ground turkey, among other things. We did a real turkey for Thanksgiving because we had so many relatives up here. Christmas was a choice of turkey roast or Kentucky ham.

I'm wearing my Slade-designed WikITree tee today in hopes it will spur me on to finish work on this one particular family I've been working on for two months!

Something that I've always wanted to try for Christmas dinner (because of A Christmas Carol, of course) is roast goose.

I must try to think of some sort of Christmas-themed WikiTree shirt to get ready long enough before Christmas that people can actually get them in time.

After the head-chopping-off scene, I've decided that I'll skip the roast goose. (My wife says that goose is very greasy, too.)
Goose is really greasy.

Now if you could find a pheasant....

Good. I'm on a ketogenic diet, so the more fat, the better!

+11 votes
Greetings from Texas where we are having 70F weather and rain is suppose to move in the next couple of days!

Pip, once again, condolences on your Mom's death. I am so glad you are back with us on WikiTree.

Our Christmas Day was lively with ten of us here for the day. Both daughters and husbands and three grandsons, my husband, myself and a friend. It was fun and when they all left, my husband and I collapsed into our chairs for quite a while!!

I was happy to see that this is Fruitcake Day - I love fruitcake but my family does not so I don't buy or make them much anymore. I did, however, make a Date cake this year. It is the only recipe we have that is handwritten by my maternal grandmother. I found the recipe in a letter she wrote to my mother in the 1940's. It is a treasure for me!!

On the genealogy front: during the DNA sales I gifted myself more DNA tests. I upped my husband's and my cousin's to the Y-111; and I purchased two Y-37 kits for two male third cousins who carry my maiden name - Butter (Butters in Scotland and England). One of my projects for the new year is to pursue this line using DNA as well as paper trails.

I have one funny to share. A couple of weeks before Christmas a friend and I went to the Dallas Library for the day. I came across a lady named Pink Person and she married a Pye; so she was Pink Person Pye.  Be careful what you name your children!!

I hope the new year brings peace and joy; and brick walls that magically crumble as you approach!!
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (279k points)
Pink Person Pye, she will certainly confuse everyone she meets.   When I was about 8,  I was introduced to a very cute boy named Brick Wall.   I laughed and said  "you're kidding??".... but since he wasn't,  I learned a great lesson at an early age....there are times to filter the first reaction  (Maybe he got used to it....but probably not at that age.)

The holidays are certainly EXHAUSTING  but great fun.

Relax and enjoy your weekend.
Hi Ginny! I know whereof you speak, being tired after the big get-together. High energy for a while, and then a collapsing into chairs ( a sofa for me!).

Pink Person Pye: Now that has got to be one of the most unique combos I've ever seen!
+10 votes
December 27th was St. John's Day
by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (720k points)
David, I have to choose which events I post in the OTD postings. Because I look on different wikipedia pages (mean in different languages) there are often far more than three events I could choose of. Often I choose a date connected to a notable or a historical event, the latter ones sometimes connected to something that could be also genealogically interesting (like the Edict of Fontainebleau 1685, because from that day on the Huguenotes had to flee France), or sometimes something technologically or scientifically interesting. But I decided not to post more than three events simply to not let it get too long.
David, when I became an Anglican about four years ago, I never knew there were so many feast days, having grown up in rather low church settings. I have to use a calendar to keep up!
+10 votes
Hi, good morning after a night with freezing temperatures,

The weather is actually too warm for this season, now it's starting to be freezing during nights at least for the next few days. I'm actually not unhappy that it is that warm because I hate when I have to go out at snow and ice. Mum won't be happy with the weather as our beloved weather man says it will be freezing on Monday morning when she has to walk to her next physio therapy.

The movement of mum's arm is finally starting to get a bit better. It is still in the centimeter-area, but she can bring the arm a little bit more sidewards and forward. But instead of being happy about it (which I am) she turns it down as "it's just this little". Aaaargh....

On the genealogy front, the Siemens-families still keep me occupied. Since about three weeks ago, I created about 400 profiles that are all in one way or another (mostly starting with the children-in-law of Werner von Siemens) connected to him. Many of them were eligible for the {{Notables Sticker}} and it is certainly interesting to see in which area the folks excelled. There are a ton of paper-makers, there are engineers, there are scientists, physicians (one of them founded the teaching hospital in Tübingen), there are philanthropists etc. etc.

And now I might be finally able to think about ideas I want the Wikitree-team to implement to improve the usability of the website for the users and the tree. Let's see the ideas of others...

I hope all of you have a great 2020. Enjoy the festivities during the week
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (344k points)
Jelena, there were some good ideas in a thread a couple of days ago, ones that looked like they could be implemented without too much fuss. My ideas were printable ancestry and descendant reports. My database does this, but the longer I was on WikiTree, the more hopelessly out of date it became.

Jelena, Glad to hear that your Mum is improving. It has been unseasonably warm here too - on the midAtlantic US coast where the Chesapeake Bay empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Siemens family sounds interesting, and like a lot of work.

I think I'll wait on suggested improvements before I accidentally blunder into a very controversial topic (sorry). I have some ideas on sourcing, but already know anything there needs to be well thought out. I still think that an "UnsourcedAThon", with very precisely defined rules for what qualifies as {{Unsourced}}, would help us identify profiles that need work.

+8 votes
Happy New Year Wiki-Friends/Family...

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks.

I had to see the audiologist on Monday to be tested for types of hearing aids. While I was shocked at how much better I could hear, I practically had a coronary when I heard the type I need is $4000 USD! I'm going to learn sign language. I doubt that my Medicare supplement will supplement this! To add insult to injury, I missed my annual Christmas dinner with friends and colleagues because I have been ill. I spent a dismal couple of days vegging and watching Downton Abbey on pay per view. Several planets in my ass/trological chart are probably squared.

Plus, I have worked for weeks on Henry Baldwin, my PGM ancestor. I spent days writing up a paragraph linking Henry with his brother and sister who emigrated, as well as his uncle and cousins who emigrated to CT. I was checking these profiles and they aren't as good as they could be. Plus, I have combed through resources (excellent ones and OK ones), obtained 17th century documents from parishes, etc. only to find that some PMs have made some changes to some of the CT kin profiles that are incorrect. So much for collaborating, then having someone go back and change such that it is incorrect. I have decided I will do my DNA proof on these CT and MA Baldwins and post the proof on each of the sites so people can see literally how they are related and who their common ancestors are.

I also had to stop and do some work on the Baldwin/Thomas profiles. Sure enough, some of these are wicked wrong and with no sourcing! I was gathering sourcing from NEHGS online and they have incorrect information on my 4xGGM (Dolly Green) that nearly set my teeth on edge. I wrote to the NEHGS about this. The database manager sent a nice email back, and I have more work to do to send him evidence that Dorothy Whittemore copped my 4XGGM's birth year (which would have made her 14 when she married her husband in 1761) and copped Dolly's parents as well! Plus, they have evidence that Dorothy died in 1808. My Dolly died in 1826. Even going back 70 years with certified genealogists, don't they check birth and death years, etc.? At least the database manager is willing to post an errata.

My good news has nothing to do with genealogy. I have a colleague who I mentored through the doctoral program. She is an assistant professor now. I was her mentor on a small grant to assess sleep problems and promote sleep health among Navajo caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. Her outcomes were awesome. She got word this week that the article following revisions has been accepted for publication in Sleep Health! They even requested we allow for eligibility for Continuing Medical Education! They don't pay teachers much, but this success beats coin hands down. Happy New Year to All and to all a good night!
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (161k points)
edited by Carol Baldwin
Carol, I don't know how you find the time! And to be sick on top of it all. You have one super work ethic. I think the way you organize your work sounds a lot like my wife (she who is always interested in your trips to Mexico).

The assistant prof's success is partly yours, too. You should be proud!
Hi Pip! You are a great cheerleader. Actually, I don't know how YOU find the time! Another little piece of good news. I was submitting a Spanish-translated policy paper on Nurse Fatigue, Health and Patient Safety along with an editorial at 2am. It will be published by the Southwest Journal for Pulmonary and Critical Care in the next week. This will be the first-ever Spanish language article for this journal. The paper was written by several nurse sleep researcher colleagues and yours truly. The editor wants to start reaching out to colleagues in the Spanish-speaking Americas! Estoy muy feliz!
+9 votes

On this day:

1065: Westminster Abbey is consecrated

1612: Galileo Galilei discovers the planet Neptune

1959: In the Vinča Nuclear Institute the first nuclear plant in Serbia starts to work.

On a personal note, the husband of my mother's second cousin (the one I got to know only in 2017) had worked in that institute. He didn't start in '59 though.

by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (344k points)
Westminster Abbey, there in 1980, and didn't have near enough time to explore all of wanted to see. The crypt was pretty cool, though.
+10 votes
Greetings from Brightlingsea, Essex, England

A quiet Christmas at home. No turkey this year for Christmas dinner, had a Gammon Joint instead. It made a change and made a great lunch on Wednesday. Did have the Christmas Pudding as well. As you might expect spent a restful afternoon on Christmas day.

Have been trying to keep up with Wikitree, have been going through the "Watchlist" and looking at profiles that have been not been updated for a while and more often than not there is something to be added or another connection made. Maybe something I missed it last time or there is  new information is now online.  

I use our local library to access Ancestry and was there this afternoon. My delving on Ancestry into David Forsyth Longhurst (Longhurst-422) finds his record of military service - from when he joined the London Scottish Regiment in 1914, to his demobilisation in March 1919. That accounted for most of my time in the library.........         

Will be keeping up with my researches in the New Year. Always lots of avenues to explore ....

Happy New Year To Everyone on Wikitree.....
by Chris Burrow G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)
Sounds like you had a good Christmas. I did have to look up a Gammon Joint... Does it have good leftovers for soup with dried peas or beans?
Gammon Joint: I had to look that one up, Chris! Sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Congrats on the find on Ancestry. Those little tidbits can add so much to a profile.

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