2017 A to Z: Letter C… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter C…

I thought I’d change up the ongoing 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories and write  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the April A to Z, but as I might get just a wee bit long-winded, I thought I’d give myself a longer time frame. Hopefully by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!

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C comes to mind…. Camping, Cheerleading, Cats, Cooking, Cookbooks, Computer, Clothes, Church, Comic Books, Cars, Cuban Crisis, Chickens, Crafts… and Cemeteries

Camping: We often went camping on the weekend at Lake Sinclair, meeting up with mama and daddy’s best friends, Willie Mae and Henry Sisson, and their daughters, Karen, Pat and Debbie. Saturday nights were the best, as the camping area had a large overhang with a cement floor for dancing, but the best part was… it had a Jukebox! All the kids gathered there on Saturday night and we kept that jukebox blasting until someone pulled the plug! The one song I remember we played over and over was “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs… I think once everyone had heard it for the upteenth time, well that was when someones dad would pull the plug – they had had enough!

We didn’t camp with a tent, instead mama let the seats down in our station wagon and we both camped out in the back… making a comfy bed of quilts; daddy was content to sleep outside under the stars in a reclining chair. The best part about camping there was waking up to the smell of bacon sizzling in mama’s cast iron pan… daddy was always the cook at the lake. The only down-side was… none of mama’s home made biscuits, but daddy did cook canned biscuits. Those breakfasts were the best eaten outside by the lake, as being outdoors gives you a big appetite; I remember how the food tasted so good and I can almost close my eyes now as I write this and smell that bacon…. I”m hungry now!

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Sunday was usually the day their friends came, bringing the boat for skiing, but the first time I tried, well it didn’t go well. All I remember is, they instructed me to put the rope around my neck while putting on the ski’s… and guess what, I went under. I pretty much gave up on skiing as I couldn’t get my ski’s on, while keeping my head above water at the same time. I’d rather dance to Wooly Bully all night long!

Cheerleading: No I never was a cheerleader, but I did try out in high school. And what changed my mind… how sore I was after practicing for a week. I remember my legs being so sore that I could hardly walk up the front steps to my house. I’m surprised I attempted to even try out, as so many clubs were always certain close-knit girls and hard to get in.

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Rah, Rah, Rah… go Perry Panthers!

 

Cats: While I never had a cat in our house while growing up, there were many cats at granddaddy McKinley’s farm. They weren’t family pets though, more like feral cats. Granddaddy fed them, and I guess in return… they kept the mouse population under control. I was always intrigued and wanted to just hold them, but that wasn’t an easy task to manage. Usually the only ones I could “safely” catch were the kittens, and that would only be for a short time… as soon as my grip loosened just a bit, they were lightning fast in escaping.

Cooking: This was something I never did at home with my mother or grandmothers. I ‘d safely say I pretty much exited the kitchen if mama was cooking… there was no interest to learn. By the time I was old enough to learn, grandmama McKinley wasn’t cooking any longer so I never had the chance to be one of those grandchildren who experienced cooking with their grandmother. The only memory I have of being in the kitchen watching grandmama Bryan was when she made sweet potato cobbler; from that memory helped me to perfect a recipe and story – Heirloom Recipes.

When I married, I really didn’t know how to cook, but with the help of my mother-in-law and calling my mother…. I learned how to make all my husband and my favorite dishes. The hardest thing to learn was how to make Southern biscuits… it took many “watches” to learn that trick!

And since my husband retired, and I work full-time, I taught him how to make all his favorite dishes… and many of mine. Nothing like coming home to a cooked meal!

Cookbooks: I have loved collecting cookbooks and I’d say the first one I ever had was the one daddy sent me… Miss Mildred’s Southern Cooking??? She lived in our town and owned a clothes store; she also wrote a cooking column for the local paper in Perry called the Cook’s Nook. I contributed a few Italian recipes to her after moving away. Through the years I fell in love with cookbooks, although I didn’t use them as much for recipes… but I did enjoy reading them. Many are filled with family stories of how their recipes came to be.

cookbooks I let go off  and the kitchen cabinet of them?

Recently I attempted a little cookbook de-cluttering and let go of a basket full…. but there’s plenty I kept. Maybe another time I will de-clutter again. This was just the shelf in my Hoosier Cabinet, there’s still the kitchen cabinet that I need to go through and I’m sure there are more hiding around in out of the way storage spaces.

Cookbooks I let go….. and I’m sure more will follow!

Several years ago I made two family cookbooks of all the family’s favorite recipes, stories and memories. My first one was mostly of my Southern favorites… it was easy for me as I wrote my memories. I added a few Italian favorites for my children… who thought I’d even attempt a second cookbook, but I did. While my husband’s family loved my cookbook, they quietly asked, “what about our family favorites”… and I began a second cookbook. It was so popular among family and friends of the family that I was constantly printing, reprinting and lugging the pages to the copier to be bound . (I’m planning a blog post in the future on my family cookbooks… stay tuned!)

Computer: I can vividly still remember the very first time I saw a home computer work and stood there trying to wrap my brain around how it connected to all those libraries, chat rooms and much more… giving you information at the click of a mouse! All I visualized was wires going in and out of all those places and me trying to figure it all out in my mind – it was mind boggling!  

It wasn’t long before I went in search of a computer, in the guise of “for my son“, but I knew that I wanted to learn more about this computer thing! I slowly learned how to work the mouse, dial online, and was soon surfing away as I heard “you have mail“. Can you still hear that dialing tone as it logging you on? My first genealogy groups were bulletin boards on Prodigy…. I  spent hours in there while the kids were in school and hubby at work. There was a topic for anything and everything and I made so many genealogy contacts through those boards on my surnames… and there’s still a few I’ve stayed in contact with.

Computers have made such a big change from those huge heavy monitors to the nice flat screens we have today. Such a difference now, from the always-on with “wifi” … no more dialing up and hogging your phone line, and much faster speeds. Computers changed the way genealogists researched and it’s never stopped changing since.

Clothes: When I think of the clothes I had as a child, I remember all the long hours my mother spent at her sewing machine. Until I was about twelve years old, she sewed all my clothes. It wasn’t long after that, when I began begging for store-bought dresses like the other girls wore to school. She told me later how much it hurt her when I asked for store-bought clothes; she felt sad that I didn’t want what she sewed. I guess she really enjoyed sewing them, but I was just being a regular teenage girl who wanted the new styles shown in the store windows.

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Mama’s embroidery on my favorite dress!

 

Besides sewing my dresses, she also embroidered on a few of them – an art she learned by sitting next to her mother and watching. I also learned how to embroidery, but I don’t remember watching anyone.. I’m more self-taught in most of my crafts. The only dress I have a photo of which mama embroidered, I featured in a Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: My Favorite Dress.

 I guess the one thing I’m thankful for is that mama didn’t make my underwear like her mother did for her… made from flour and feed sacks! I hear it was pretty scratchy!

While I’m not a clothes hound now…. I once was!  I remember the shopping trips to downtown Macon and checking out all the new style dresses in the windows. The hemlines became much shorter by the time I went to high school, and some of my dresses were quite short; I’m even surprised that mama let me have them. One of the male teachers in high school carried a ruler and threatened to measure our hemlines, but my mother quickly set him straight…  that if he put one hand on my knee to measure my hemline… well it would be his last. He never came near me, or my hemline!

Yes “Pantsuits” were in style when I was in high school, and so glad they aren’t anymore! The car I left behind in Georgia, my 1967 fastback Mustang!

Finally in high school, they changed the dress code… we could now wear pants – how ancient that sounds! While we weren’t allowed to wear jeans, and I don’t even remember ever wearing them anyway, we could finally wear pants. There was a “but” though… we could only wear pantsuits! I think I had a pantsuit, of every style, in every color that Sears and Roebuck sold; they were my favorite store for “pantsuit” shopping!

Church: When we moved to Perry, my parents were Baptist, but most of my friends were Methodists, so I began going to MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) with them on Sunday evenings. Eventually I asked mama if I could be baptized in the Methodist Church; she moved their letter to the Methodist Church where I was baptized and it then became our family church. While I never was a Sunday church goer, I was involved in the church.

Comic Books: Comic Books always called to me anytime I went to the drug store; maybe it was the artwork covers that called out to me, but I loved looking and reading them. My early favorites were Little Ritchie, Annie, Little Nancy, Casper, Cecil and the Sea Serpent, Little Lulu, and then I graduated to The Archie’s with Veronica, Betty and Jughead; I read them over and over again. If I had some change in my pocket, I was buying a comic book!

Cars: My first car was a 1965 pale yellow Mustang… I had just turned 16! My father had looked for months for the “perfect” car, but seemed more like years to me. He finally cam

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Me with a friend of my parents. (Short dresses were the style)

e home one evening and told me that he had found me a car… and it was sitting outside in the driveway. My feet couldn’t get out there fast enough and I fell in love with it from the first moment! Does anyone ever forget their first car?

It was an automatic with the gears on the floor, making it appear to be a manual shift – I thought that was the coolest! It was my grandfather McKinley who actually bought it for me – a whopping $500 he paid! I wish I could remember more, like how many miles did it have on it, where or who did he buy it from, but all I was thinking about was… just driving it! He let me drive it around the block… and it was tempting to go further, but I didn’t dare!

At that time, girls didn’t even need insurance like today, they just automatically were on their parents policy; boys needed insurance, they were considered a risk. I never even thought anything about the upkeep of my car… when it needed tires, daddy took care of it. How times are changed!

I probably only had my mustang about a year or so, when one day as I rode by Moody Ford on the corner of Commerce and Ball St., a 1967 green Fast Back Mustang sitting in the corner caught my eye. I circled the block and pulled in – I wanted that car! I  traded in my ’65 for a car payment plan! I only wish I’d kept the paperwork on those cars so I could trace their genealogy history… just to see if they have survived the years! When I married and left Georgia, I left my ’67 mustang with daddy and never gave it another thought until much later! Even today my husband says… “what were we thinking!

Cuban Crisis: I never really understood what the Cuban Crisis was when I was young, I just knew that a bomb could land on America and if you didn’t have a bomb shelter… you were going to die. There was one family in our neighborhood who actually built a bomb shelter, but I never saw it. Not sure if I ever even wanted to, but all the kids knew it was in their house… somewhere! I remember feeling scared when I thought about a bomb coming over – but I had no concept at that time of really where it was coming from or where it would land. Mama told me that she once said how she’d like to paint a big bulls-eye on our house, so the bomb could hit us and we’d all go at once. She said I cried when I heard her say that, saying “I don’t want a bomb to hit our house.” She quickly told me that she wasn’t serious…. later saying that she didn’t realize how it would scare me.

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Chickens following me at cousin Katie’s house in Canterbury, CT.

 

Chickens: While we had no chickens at our house in Perry, there were plenty of chickens at granddaddy McKinley’s farm. He had a large chicken coop on the path leading up to the barns where they were kept at nighttime, but during the day he let them roam in the yard. I enjoyed feeding them by throwing feed – they’d swarm around as soon as they knew I had the food pail. What I hated the most was.. stepping in chicken poop! I often went barefoot at the farm, so when you stepped in it… well you knew instantly!

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The Egg Gathering Basket

 

While it was fun to gather the eggs,  I’d sometimes find chickens in their nest, which made me walk carefully… feeling afraid they’d attack. They didn’t like you to disturb them if they were in their nest and I quickly learned I wasn’t that brave! I still have granddaddy’s egg basket featured in an Heirloom post.

Crafts: I don’t think there’s too many crafts out there that I haven’t attempted. My mother crocheted, but I didn’t really learn from her other than just trying a few stitches. My mother-in-law was a big crocheter and knitter and she taught me many of the basic stitches and I took it from there. Many people say that they can’t read directions, but that never seemed to be a problem for me, although my mother says she never could read or follow them; whatever she made, she made up as she went along. She crocheted, just like her mother, creating it out of her head – no directions!

My 2016 knitted Baa-able sheep hats that I went crazy knitting…. and you can read all about them over Here.

Once I began knitting, I found I liked it better than crocheting, but I go through stages when I knit… and I never knit in the summer! During the 80’s I went through a phase of crewel embroidery and along with my mother-in-law and aunt’s, we embroidered several pictures. At every family picnic, everyone brought whatever crafts they were working on at the moment.

When my kids were small I sold felt Christmas ornaments I saw featured in Woman’s World magazine, and I soon was staying up till the wee hours cutting and sewing… they were all hand sewn, no glue! I made so many that I sold at craft shows and family members even took them to their workplace to sell. For all my hard work, I charged a measly $2 an ornament. Today, I wouldn’t make them for less than ten dollars at the least. I’ll leave you with a little tease… there will be another story on my felt ornaments under another “letter.”

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I even had my own business card!

And finally, last but not least, one of my favorite places to ride through on a Sunday afternoon… Cemeteries. When my kids were younger, going to Georgia with me on “vacation”, I often pulled them through cemeteries looking for ancestor graves… just ask them! Today, I enjoy photographing the unusual gravestones, or war memorials standing tall in honor of the men who fought and died in the wars. If you’d like to check out one of my many “honors” from my cemetery rides, click Here for Connecticut, and Here for Georgia. A recent cemetery in New Haven, caught my “genealogy” interest because of what I found on the gravestones… click Cemetery Sunday: St. Bernard’s Cemetery to read what caught my eye! Hint… Read the gravestones there and leave me a message on what piece of genealogy history you found that would make you do the “genealogy dance“!

Stay Tuned….. The D’s will be marching in!

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Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: China Tea Set

Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, they often become items tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and record your memories so the family treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Mama’s China Tea Set

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This china tea set was given to my mother when she was a young girl by her aunt… Aunt Lena McKinley Van Dusen; mama’s favorite aunt!

My mother tells me she wasn’t allowed to play often with it as her mother kept it put away, like she did with many things… which frustrated mama because she just wanted to play with it. Grandmama was trying to keep it from being broken, and she did a good job because I now have it.

The only time my mother was allowed to play with it was the few times she was sick, otherwise it was put away… to save, in Grandmama’s eyes.

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As I looked at the fragile china tea set pieces, I noticed one or two had been gently repaired, and I’m sure it was granddaddy who sat at the kitchen table making those caring repairs… and maybe telling mama, “this is why your mother didn’t want you to play with them.

I couldn’t read the words “Made in Japan” at first, as it seemed to look more like part of the pattern, but the more I looked… it was there! It was shown more prominent on the plate than on the bottom of the teapot; the cups and small saucers had no pattern markings.

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By the marking of “Made of Japan” it helps me to date the tea set. If mama was a young girl when it was given to her, I’m thinking it was bought in the late 1930’s.

The McKinley Tariff Act was passed after 1891 and it was then that most pieces were actually marked with a country’s origin. Japan first used the marking of “Nippon,” which is the Japanese transliteration of the word Japan. It was later in 1921 when the U. S. Customs began to require the country names to be written in English, and it soon read “Made in Japan.” Later the name changed once again between February 1947 – April 1952, and it then read “Made in Occupied Japan“. Later after 1952, it was changed once again, and now just the word “Japan” was used.

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Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to  read more stories…

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at https://everyleafhasastory.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/heirloom-afghan/
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.

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Weekend Weathervanes: It’s a Squirrel in West Haven, CT.

Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes  in New Hampshire.  Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and often you’ll be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!

Weekend Weathervanes: It’s a Squirrel in West Haven, CT.

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It’s a Plane, it’s a ….., No it’s a Squirrel!

I have driven by this, well at least a thousand times, and just recently looked over and did a double take! The next time I stop at one of their summer tag sales I’m going to ask how long its been there, as I can’t believe I missed it before!

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I wonder how many people think it’s a real squirrel up there!

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Want to read more, click…. Weekend Weathervanes:

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Weekend Weathervanes: Elephant Spotted in Milford, CT.

Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes  in New Hampshire.  Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and often you’ll be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!

Weekend Weathervanes: Elephant Spotted in Milford, CT.

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I looked up to see an Elephant!


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There’s an “Elephant” on the roof at Riverview Plaza!

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Want to read more, click…. Weekend Weathervanes:

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

 

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Blog Book: Preview – 2016

Blog Book Preview – 2016

Ground Hog day was good to me this year…. I received a 30 percent coupon for Blog 2 Print, so guess what I did…. and it was just like Gilligan’s Island three hour tour; actually between the two days, I think I took two tours!

After spending a couple of hours last night editing and starting over and over because I was receiving errors in making the book, I finally closed out and emailed the company. I hated to miss out on the coupon offer, but their site just wasn’t working!

I was surprised to hear back so quickly from them this morning and they extended their coupon offer to me… they were having some hiccups last night – probably overload from all us ground hogs who procrastinated at the last minute. Yes I am a “procrastinator!”

A few things I need to pay attention to next year is the total of pages you can have for a hardcover book…. seems my first try at the hardcover was too large, so I had to, once again, start over and make 2 books to cover all of 2016. This year, I think I will just immediately make two books, beginning on July 1st and not wait till years end; you live and learn. I am disappointed in using WordPress, that you still can’t add comments to your posts. I will have to remember that as some of them I would have included… guess I’ll have to edit them in for the future posts, or maybe they will make that fix!

If you haven’t used this site to slurp your blog into a book, go check it out and play around with it… Oh, and don’t procrastinate like me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: Grandmama McKinley’s Vase

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, they often become items tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and record your memories so the family treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories
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Grandmama McKinley’s Vase

I always remember this vase in our home and not until I married did I question it. It’s a clear pressed glass vase, about 14 inches tall with a scalloped lip. There’s no marking on it and when it sits, it’s slightly off center. Mama tells me that her mother always had it and that her she had won it in school, so maybe and award for something, but that we will never know for sure. I also vaguely remember mama telling me that grandmama won it in a spelling bee in school; that could very well be true as she did read and write well.

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Taking a peek into the kitchen, I can see grandmama’s farmhouse sink… the very sink that I made soap puzzles in – just to watch them flow out to the field. (I’ll explain that in another post)

The vase sat in this very corner cabinet in the dining room for many years… grandmama always kept her favorite things put up that she wanted to save. Mama never understood that as a child, as she often took things given to her and put them up also… while mama wanted to play with them; because she kept it in the corner cabinet – is why I have it today. Whenever I look at it, I immediately think of her, and just like grandmama I also keep it in my china cabinet.

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Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to  read more stories…

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at https://everyleafhasastory.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/heirloom-afghan/
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.

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Weekend Weathervanes: The Axe Factory… Collinsville, CT.

Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes  in New Hampshire.  Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and often you’ll be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!

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Weekend Weathervanes: The Axe Factory… Canton,(Collinsville), CT.

We discovered The Axe Factory on a Sunday afternoon of antiquing; it now houses Antiques on the Farmington. I was more in awe of the building than the antiques on this trip, and spent quite a while walking across the bridge to capture pictures of this old factory; Collinsville is a village located in the town of Canton.

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The weathervane says 1890 on the flag – I’m not sure why that date?

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This is the “breathtaking” view that captured my attention!

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Antiques on the Farmington – quite a popular Sunday afternoon place for antiquing… also nearby, just across the parking lot, is the Canton Historical Museum and the town is also within walking distance – with great pizza!

The Axe Factory was founded in 1826 and produced the “first ready to use” axes produced in the United States. It originally was known as The Collins & Company and opened with the purchase of an older gristmill and only a few acres of land situated alongside the Farmington River in Canton. We found all the history on this factory quite interesting and found many of the original axes on display there as well as at the Canton Historical Museum… just next door. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, don’t forget the museum as it is a wealth of interesting items and the top floor is completely filled with trains, trains and more trains!

Before this factory opened, the only axe anyone used only came from their local blacksmith!

They opened the factory with only eight men, with each making only eight axes a day! Like many factories in the North, as they hired more workers the company built housing for them and their families,  and the small factory town soon became known as the village of Collinsville.

In 1966, The Collins Company closed it’s doors after 140 years in business.

 

Want to read more, click…. Weekend Weathervanes:

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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DNA: Like Mother Like Daughter: DNA – COMPARISON

Finally I Received Mama’s DNA Today

January 23, 2017

Now to Compare….

 

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While mama has more European West DNA – 51% to my 48%, my Irish roots are higher than hers at 35% to her 25 %. The one region she has that I don’t… is European Jewish, now where did that come from – or should I say who did that come from?

 

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There are Three Types of DNA Testing

Y-DNA: it tests the male-gender linked Y-Chromosome for information that’s passed in a direct line from father to son to son.

Autosomal DNA: it tests DNA from all the chromosomes except the gender-linked X & Y chromosomes; this test helps to link cousins across the gender lines.

Mitochondrial DNA: it tests for information passed in the direct female line… from mother to her children, but it can only be passed on by a daughter.

14 – DNA CIRCLES FOR MAMA 

34 DNA CIRCLES FOR ME

Mama started with no DNA circles, but on Jan. 29, 2017…. 14 show in comparison to mine. I now have 34 – previously 30. Are my new ones because of mama’s DNA tested? Three new ones for me are the result of her DNA testing, hoping to take her maternal line back further and bring in more circles. Hoping to add Askew and Hillsman lines, but I need more cousins tested… if only I had siblings!

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I share all 4 with Mama

 

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These also are all shared except for Penelope Owsley – she is new to me. Owsley connects through my maternal line on mama’s mother’s Askew line.

Penelope Owsley

BIRTH CIR. – 1763 LOUDOUN CO., VA.

DEATH 4 NOV 1820 GA.

 

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Francis Beaty is new to me – probably because of Mama’s DNA. Beaty connects through my maternal line on mama’s father’s McKinley side.

FRANCIS BEATY

BIRTH 1711 North Carolina, USA (Posb. Down, Ireland)

DEATH 29 JUN 1773 Mecklenburg, North Carolina

 

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Martha Mitchell and Littleton Mapp are also new DNA circles for me. Mapp and Mitchell connects on my maternal line through mama’s mother line of Askew.

LITTLETON MAPP

BIRTH 1737 NORTHAMPTON CO, VA.

DEATH 15 DEC 1804 WHITE PLAINS, HANCOCK CO., GA

 

MARTHA MITCHELL

BIRTH 1711 Donegal, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

DEATH 29 JUN 1773 Augusta, Virginia

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In conclusion, 3 circles may have shown because of mama’s DNA testing!

Want to read more, click…. DNA: My Results are in

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Friday Night Heirlooms: telling their stories…Shawnee Cookie Jar

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, they often become items tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and record your memories so the family treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Friday Night Heirlooms

Shawnee “Little Chef” Cookie Jar

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My Shawnee “Little Chef” Cookie Jar… Marked USA

Although my mother never baked cookies, she always had this cookie jar on the counter in the kitchen. I suppose she kept bought cookies in it… although I really don’t remember. I recently her over the phone as to why or how did she happen to have this cookie jar, but she wasn’t remembering my description of it. I’m sending her a photo to see if that prompts a remembrance. Maybe she kept money in it, as she didn’t bake cookies. I’ll keep you posted!

Shawnee Pottery Company of Zanesville, Ohio, was founded in 1937. Legends say that the Shawnee name and distinctive logo are attributed to an arrowhead found on the grounds of the then unnamed plant. The area is rich with the history of the Shawnee Indians who once lived and produced pottery in the area long before it was settled.

Mama’s Cookie Jar

Shawnee’s first production items were mostly dinnerware and vases, but it was the cookie jars, and the character figurines which most people remember. Many retailers such as Woolworth’s, and Sears were the major distributors of Shawnee production items.

Many Shawnee ceramic pieces have no identifying mark as they mostly only had paper stickers, which haven’t survived. The one mark of just USA, on the bottom of many cookie jars, is how most are identified.

That USA mark is what is on the bottom of mine!

My “Little Chef” nestled amongst cookbooks and knickknacks inside my Hoosier Cabinet!

Thanks for Reading…

Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to  read more stories…

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at https://everyleafhasastory.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/heirloom-afghan/
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.

Posted in Daily Writings and funnies..., Friday Night Family Heirlooms | Tagged , | 1 Comment

2017 A to Z: Letter B… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter B…

I thought I’d change up the ongoing 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories and write  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the April A to Z, but as I might get just a wee bit long-winded, I thought I’d give myself a longer time frame. Hopefully by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!

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B brings to mind…Books, Baby, Brownies, Bikes, Baseball, Basketball, Breakfasts, BBQ & Brunswick Stew, BB Gun, Bubblegum, Bulletin Board, Birthdays, Blog

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Many of my favorite Nancy Drew Books…

Books: I’ve always loved to read as far back as I can remember. – maybe that love came from all The Little Golden Books mama and grandmama McKinley bought and read to me. Mama says that after she’d read them to me a couple of times, I would sit and read them to myself. Could I really read – or did I have a great memory? I’m told I had a large collection of all those books.

As I learned to read, I graduated to the Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew – my alltime favorite! Nancy Drew probably became my favorite when I was about ten, and stayed with me for a long time. There were no tag sales like today to buy books at – they were all bought new. I mostly remember buying them at the new K-Mart in Macon; the first “big box” store at that time besides Sears. Whenever mama went, I quickly volunteered to tag along… making a bee-line to the book area to peruse the new titles of Nancy Drew. It was always such a dilemma in choosing a new book… so many titles to choose from, and only so much money! But I was excited to walk out with a new book in my hands… anxious to begin reading.

The Nancy Drew line of original 56 books began in 1930 under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. As a young girl, I often visioned Carolyn writing these books… it wasn’t until I was an adult did I discover that they were actually written by several people – how disillusioned I felt! In reading more on this book line, I discovered that my all-time favorite book, The Hidden Staircase, was her No. 2 book in the series. After reading it, I know my mind ran to looking for hidden staircases… and I’m sure I secretly checked out a few. When I laid on grandmama’s quilt reading Nancy Drew, I always felt like I was right there with Nancy following along in her sleuthing.

My books were kept neatly lined up in my bookcase; I never liked to loan them out either, but sometimes mama made me. When we visited my cousin in Macon, I often was envious of her collection of Nancy Drew books – she had more than me!

My favorite spot for an afternoon read was outside laying on grandmamma’s quilt; and when I was tired of reading, I had the clouds rolling by to gaze up at.

During the summer, I was an avid reader – and always joined the summer reading club. The library was located in the basement of the courthouse downtown, and I often went to work with mama and spent the morning picking out a week’s read of books. Afterward, I’d leave my books at Clara’s Beauty Shop where mama worked, and spend the rest of the morning checking out comic books and enjoying a coke at the drugstore. Over several summers, I read all the autobiographies of the presidents and inventors.

Mama often drove me home on her lunch… where I was content to read the afternoon away. Besides the enjoyment of reading, I also wanted that “library reading certificate” given out for the summer reading club. Every time you returned a book, you received a gold star… and mine was filled every summer with those gold stars! Mama told me later that she also read all the books I brought home.

I don’t remember what eventually happened to all my books when I stopped reading, but mama told me that she often gave my things away to our maid, Annie, for her children. Annie came a couple days a week to help mama with light housekeeping and laundry as she worked full time. If only I had just kept at least one of my Nancy Drew books! In trying to encourage my daughter to read Nancy Drew I bought several books for her, but she never had an interest in the sleuthing detective; I did keep the books I bought her… so maybe one of my granddaughters will become a Nancy Drew reader.

Baby: I was born at a time when all babies stayed in the nursery – never in the mother’s room… they were only brought to visit. As I wrote in “A” about when I was born, I won’t cover that again here, but I will share some info from my baby book that mama kept and a link to my Baby Book Heirloom post.

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My mother didn’t spend much time with me when I was brought home from the hospital, she was afraid to bond with me because of losing her first child, Monica Yvonne, who died six months after birth from spina-bifida. No matter what the doctors told my mother, she couldn’t bring herself to believe that I was perfectly healthy. My Aunt Chris, who lived next door, took care of me until mama finally accepted that I was really ok.

brownie-dress

Brownies: Yes I was a Brownie, complete with one of those cute brown dresses. Other than that, I remember nothing of what I did. Mama tells me she often helped out in my Troup – helping with craft projects; a perfect choice for her, as she was a very crafty person! Neither one of us can remember the troop leader or troop number. I wish I had more memories of going to Brownie meetings, or at least one photo of me in that cute brown dress. I don’t think I participated for too many years as I never continued on to become a girl scout.

Bikes: One of my first bikes, complete with training wheels, came at Christmas. Bikes were always a popular Christmas present, especially in the South. Southern kids never had a problem on Christmas morning with snow!

When we moved to Perry I still had my training wheels on – I was about 5 1/2. All the other kids on my street already knew how to ride their bikes without training wheels, so I was quite teased; it didn’t take long before those training wheels came off. Of course I suffered a few bumps and bruises along the way… falling off and landing in the bushes gave me much encouragement.My bike was pictured in Letter A story.

Once I learned to ride, I was part of the gang and we rode all day long; those were times when it was safe to be outside without parents nearby. We played cowboys and indians all day – I remember having a rope tied to my handlebars as I pretended to hold the reigns of a horse. We had a nice steep hill at the end of our street, and our horses ran really fast down it. I don’t think Mama ever knew how fast we flew down that hill… it did end on a main highway, but we all managed to survive!

Baseball: I never played this as a child, except in gym class. I’m sure no one wanted me on their team, as I was very good at striking out! And if I didn’t hit an out, it was a foul! No one in my house watched baseball on TV, so I guess no interest ever generated to me. And today, my husband and I watch no baseball either! He played baseball a lot as a kid and watched the New York Yankees in growing up, but when baseball changed to being more commercial, he lost interest.

My father-in-law was a big New York Yankee fan and often stayed up in the wee hours of the morning to finish a game. I tried to become interested, but as my husband didn’t watch, it was no fun watching alone. The one year I watched, was when the Atlanta Braves were in the playoffs with the Yankees…and I only watched so I could talk baseball with my father-in-law – and raz him during the game; I think my team lost!

Basketball: We played a lot of basketball in our neighborhood as the next door neighbor had a hoop in their backyard. While I don’t really remember playing the game so much, I do remember playing a game called “Horse.”

During my high school years, basketball was a big sport and we always had winning teams. Even my parents went to the games and followed them to the state games in Macon. Those basketball games at the high school were so exciting, and as the clock clicked down to the 4th quarter ending, the crowds went wild, especially if we needed the points to win. There was one short guy on the boys team, and when he took the ball, he’d take it down the court so fast that the other team hardly knew what happened… causing the crowd to go crazy cheering him on! Go Perry Panthers!!!

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My Perry Panthers High School Pennant

Breakfast:  When I think of breakfast, I mostly remember our Sunday breakfasts the most, as that was usually the only time we were all together for breakfast. Mama made the biscuits… I don’t think Daddy ever knew how, but he was “king” of the bacon, and either one of them cooked the scrambled eggs. They were always served scrambled and I never ate them any other way until I married. My husband only ate eggs “sunny side up”… and now that’s pretty much the way I eat them. I make scrambled sometimes at home, but I love my eggs sunny side up with home fries when we eat out… and I still love my grits!

I don’t really remember mama making pancakes or waffles and I only vaguely remember eating cereal, which was only Corn Flakes with a spoonful of sugar. When I went to Junior High, I remember mama taking me to the donut shop most mornings… conveniently located at the end of our street. We’d arrive just in time to enjoy fresh cooked donuts, and those glazed warm donuts were soo good! Not a healthy breakfast, but time was limited in the morning, and what kid would object to a donut!

kettle (800x599)Granddaddy McKinley’s cast iron kettle

BBQ and Brunswick Stew: Living in the South, I grew up on BBQ, although it was only my Bryan grandparents who cooked it; Granddaddy Bryan often roasted a whole pig once or twice a year. Cooking it was a man-only thing and being a girl, I wasn’t allowed in the pit/cooking area, but my cousin Robert always was… I was so jealous! Mama Bryan (what I called my grandmamma Bryan) always began the BBQ sauce and the beginning of the Brunswick Stew in the kitchen. Later the stew was transferred out to the cast iron kettle and more ingredients were added.

Brunswick Stew is cooked and eaten all over the Southern states – and there are so many different recipes, varying county to county and state to state! The only ingredients we use are chicken, pork, chicken broth, ground tomatoes, creamed corn, and vinegar, with seasonings of salt and pepper. Anytime I find a recipe, I always stop and look, but haven’t seen one yet I’d try; they often call for other ingredients like beef, lima beans or potatoes… not what I want in my Brunswick Stew!

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Granddaddy Bryan’s paddle

Granddaddy Bryan cooked his stew in a cast iron kettle, just like it’s been done for years; he had a large kettle, but often borrowed the smaller one belonging to my Granddaddy McKinley; I have that small kettle and the wooden paddle that Granddaddy Bryan made to stir; lots of stew DNA on that paddle! Cousin Charles (Bryan) has Granddaddy Bryan’s large kettle, but gave the paddle to my son… but I brought it home and haven’t given it up yet.

The recipe I use for my Brunswick Stew was devised by my mother, although I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years. I devised a couple of BBQ sauces I use when cooking pork to season my chopped BBQ. Whenever I visit mom in Georgia, the first place I head for BBQ and stew is always Holcomb’s in Greensboro… it’s what I remember! I never come home without a couple gallons of stew and a few pounds of meat to last me until my next trip.

If only I could remember eating my grandfather’s BBQ or stew… or better still, have that memory of him stirring the stew with the wooden paddle he made. If I could do a DNA test on that paddle, I’d be able to have the actual ingredients in his stew… wouldn’t that be great! But I can’t… so the next best thing is the memories I do have.

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BB gun similar to mine…

BB Gun: My BB gun was only kept at Granddaddy McKinley’s farm, and shooting it was one of my favorite things to do when there. While I don’t know who bought it for me, I strongly suspect it was granddaddy. I was always allowed to take it outside without any supervision, but often yelled at when granddaddy heard the ping sounds as I shot his farm bell – I kept him on his toes when I was there; I just couldn’t resist myself, as the ping’s let me know I hit my target. I sure wish I had that gun to offer as a family heirloom feature, but mama doesn’t remember what happened to it.

Jeanne in room Hilcrest Avenue

The gum wrapper chain hanging on my bulletin board, that took up the entire wall. I see my favorite Peter Noone in the mirror, and the Perry Theater weekly movie list there along with several of my favorite singers.

Bubblegum: I was always a big gum chewer… from bubblegum to sticks of gum. I’m sure I liked the sticks so I could save the wrappers… making gum wrapper chains were a big thing when I was in school and I think mine was probably way over 7 plus feet. I kept it hanging on the huge bulletin board in my bedroom when we lived at 706 Hillcrest Avenue. Teaberry gum was a big favorite of mine and my girlfriend Janet and I would dance down the sidewalk doing the “Teaberry Shuffle” that was so popular. Mama used to try and dance it, and get so mad when she couldn’t. I can understand that now, she lost her coordination, just like I have now; I’m sure I couldn’t do that dance now either, so definitely will not be trying.

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Wrappers still on the pages of my scrapbooks…

Bulletin Board: I had a bulletin board in my bedroom that was probably 5×6 feet, it took up an entire wall. It was already on the wall when we moved there, and it didn’t take me long to fill it up with all my movie posters, and that’s where my bubble gum wrapper chain was hung. What teenager wouldn’t have loved that on their wall!

Birthdays: Mama tells me she always had birthday parties for me – so why don’t I remember? Even while living in Perry, I have no memory of any birthday parties, or going to birthday parties of friends. I do remember my 16th birthday as my granddaddy McKinley was living with us and bought me roller skates and a case… and I still have them. I spent many hours on those wheels – I lived for roller skating.

I remember daddy always taking me out to eat on my birthday when I was older, it was a special night out… just daddy and daughter. One place in particular comes to mind, a restaurant in Macon called the Saratoga. It was down an alley, and I can still see it in my mind, when you walked in there was a long walkway with high wooden booths, and another room with tables… and I remember a piano player there also. Daddy always ordered me a drink, still the Shirley Temple… not 21 yet. Those were special “dates” with daddy and I’ll never forget them, and so miss them.

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Daddy & Me!

Maybe I was never a fan of birthdays, as I’m still not a fan. Today I just try and ignore them; I like celebrating everybody else’s birthdays, just not my own.

Blog: I guess a blog today is what a diary was when I grew up, except that you wrote only for yourself, while today we write for others, as well as ourselves. I always wanted a blog, but procrastinated in starting… as I had no knowledge in the know-how of beginning one. I’m a big procrastinator when I don’t know how!

My motivation was an email from Ancestry with a challenge from Amy Johnson Crow to write a family story every week in 2014: Her challenge was 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. As I hadn’t seen the challenge until mid-January, I knew if I was going to join I quickly needed to begin writing stories to catch up… while also researching how to set up a blog. I found it quite exciting as I pulled it all together and offered my first weekly story; I caught up quickly and I posted a new ancestor story… on time, every week! I’m happy to say I completed all 52 stories and eventually learned a new word… “slurping” as I slurped my blog over to a printing site and made a book of all my 52 ancestor stories.

From day one, I’ve met many awesome bloggers, joined a few blogging groups on FaceBook and still learning more everyday!

Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

 

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