Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Once Was The Great Pumpkin

It was a dark and snow stormy night. The witching hour had finally come to pass. I gazed at myself in the mirror - the "Great Pumpkin" look was me all over.

The trip in this blizzard would be a long one and I had to arrive at my destination in time for Halloween. As we drove, I hung my head out the passenger door window to help the driver follow the lines painted on the road. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I was developing freezer burn, but that was the least of my worries. I kept yelling "hurry" but thanks to the weather there was no hurry this Halloween.

At last, the lights of my destination appeared. I was met at the door by a woman wearing a nurse's uniform. "Great costume," I remarked. She was not amused.

"How far along is your pumpkin?" she asked. "Nine months, six days," I answered. "Is it your first pumpkin?" First and most likely last I thought. "Yes," I answered. She informed me I had probably made a mistake in calculating my pumpkin growth chart, as my pumpkin wasn't large enough to be delivered for this Halloween celebration.

"Go for a walk," she suggested. "Your pumpkin will be late for the celebration. No Halloween winner for you this year."

Walk? She wanted someone dressed as the "Great Pumpkin" to walk. How long, how far? O.k., this pumpkin was getting really heavy and it was evident I would soon be viewing it from a spot on the corridor floor.

Where did that woman dressed as a nurse go? All the doors down the corridor were closed. I started opening them, one by one, looking for the pumpkin patch.

Aha! A man dressed as a doctor was placing a recently arrived pumpkin in the patch. "I've got another one for you," I called to him. The woman in the nurse's uniform shook her head and whispered to the doctor. "Check her anyway," he ordered.

The disbelieving woman in the nurse's uniform reluctantly checked and found to her surprise that my pumpkin was well on its way. Minutes later I participated in the Halloween celebration. A new pumpkin for the patch.

"A witch or a warlock?" I asked the doctor. "A princess," he replied.


My little princess was six years old before she realized that people did not come to our door on the 31st of October asking for candy because it was her birthday, but rather because it was Halloween.

It is her favorite holiday and she firmly believes that everyone should celebrate because it is her birthday after all.

This was originally published for the 34th Carnival of Genealogy, October 2007. It's one of my favorites. A footnoteMaven Halloween Classic. Happy Birthday Tracy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The COG Cometh, Are You Ready?

99th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

Religious Rites!

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Baptisms/Christenings, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, church weddings, anointings, ordinations, etc. Has your family participated in any of these rites?

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Organized religion played a large part in many of our family histories.

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Virtually all religions have their rites/ceremonies.

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Has your family participated in any of these rites?

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Tell it to the COG!

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The Deadline For Submissions Is
November 1st
30 submissions accepted

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Attention All COG Participants

Read Also The Changes To The COG In 2010

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 99th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Emptying The Bucket


The bucket, the bucket, the bucket for me!
There's health in the bucket, there's wealth in the bucket,

There's mair i' the bucket than money can see ;
An' aye when I leuk in't I find there's a beuk in't
That teaches the essence o' wisdom to me.

I have a bucket list. A bucket list for my online digital life.

Something that's been on that list for over a year is creating digital movies. This past summer at the Southern California Jamboree I took a video overview course with Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, that was taught by Elyse Doerflinger, Elyse's Genealogy Blog.

Let me just say that creating a video is more frustrating than I expected. Sure you can bang out a video, but doing one proud will take a lot of practice.

Matching music, video, titles, tempo, rhythm have given me a new found respect for the work of my Grandfather Jesse Greene, the film editor.

Thank you Elyse for the information, hints, tips, and resources. And here is the movie I promised. Be kind, I'm just learning. And yes, it's a promotional video. Probably the result of spending too much time watching Mad Men.

Where's the fire? At Shades Of The Departed!

This video can be found on Shades TV, and on the Shades Channel on Vimeo.

More bucket list coming soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

How I keep Track of My Genealogical Research - A Work In Progress

Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, asked, "How Do We Keep Track of Our Research Progress."

I use this form and DropBox. A bit of a dinosaur with technology tendencies. It can be customized for the person and there is also a History of Place for all the places lived.

The button on the far right side of the blue bar changes the view to full screen.

Y = Yes, I have this information with a link or note in Source.
R = Research needs to be done with a link or note on where I'm headed in the Source.

A Cautionary Tale

My sister is living history.
My sister is living history.

It was the summer between my sister Biblio's junior and senior years in high school. Our local communities were facing dwindling numbers in enrollment in the schools. There were official discussions into incorporating the two high schools into one central high school.

Mother gave Biblio the bad news. The local high schools were going to merge for her senior year. That high school, that high school that had been a major rival in volleyball and basketball, would now become her high school. Those players she had battled and vanquished on the volleyball court would now be her classmates. She dropped to the floor and sobbed.

You spend so much of your high school years finding your level, your celebrity so to speak. Biblio had been a cheerleader and the highest scoring volleyball player in our high school's history. She had found her place. Now, all that was about to change. Would she measure up among her rivals?

It is hard for me to believe that the beautiful accomplished Biblio, whom I have envied all my life, was ever insecure. But high school pressures all of us, even Biblio. Now she would have to begin again. Find a new level.

She has resented this forced occupation her entire life. She wanted to graduate from the school she had attended since childhood. It was not to be.

Biblio dated well and that combined with her beauty and southern charm would be the reason this tale turned out well for her. She dated the best looking and most popular boy in the county. They were the golden couple. She won a place on the volley ball team, became a cheerleader, and was crowned Homecoming Queen.

What about the cautionary tale you ask?

Well, Biblio was invited home to celebrate that high school's homecoming. Her graduating class was the first in the history of that school and those classmates were designated the Grand Marshall's of the Homecoming Parade. All of them. A reunion of sorts.

A flatbed truck filled with those classmates made its way up and down the parade route. They waved to the crowds who whispered to each other, "Who are they?"

"Why is Biblio sitting up high behind the cab?" it was asked by those classmates. Was it her status in high school being revisited? No! As her best friend noted, she was the only old fart that could climb that high without injuring herself.

Those classmates were also invited to the celebratory Friday night volleyball game. And in case you haven't divined this nugget yet, volleyball is big in my part of the country.

Behind the ticket window was a young woman. A high school student hopefully experiencing some of the same things Biblio had in her quest for recognition. A kindred spirit? Little did this young woman know how much recognition she would garner from this one chance meeting. Why look, she's a central figure in this blog post.

"I don't think we should have to pay," Biblio told the young ticket taker. "We are members of the first volleyball team in this school." There was nodding approval from Biblio's friends.

Nothing in the young woman's face revealed her position on Biblio's celebrity. She merely sighed.

There was no response. After a few moments of silence, Biblio finally asked, "How much?"

"Nothing," replied the young woman.

"See," Biblio turned to her friends. "It's always good to ask."

"No," was the emotionless reply from the young woman. "All senior citizens get in free."

Caution! All chapters of our lives have their own leveling moments.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shades Magazine & Columnists In Genealogy Gems Live

Family History Expo Pleasanton, CA - October 8, 2010