Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Greetings

In this new year
I extend to you all good wishes for
joy and health,
wealth (if that's your desire),
and happiness.

I wish you all success
in seeking and finding
the ancestors who have been
just beyond your reach.

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Search for Both (or All) of Her Surnames - Tuesday's Tip

Gravestone of Tressa Rose Froman Doyle
If your female ancestor married she will have had two surnames:  her maiden name and her married name.  If she became a widow and remarried, she will have another surname.

Perhaps I'm the only one who does this:  when I learn a female ancestor's maiden name I'm sometimes so focused on that surname -- perhaps because I'm hoping to get a glimpse of her parents' names -- that I forgot to search for both (or all) of her surnames. 

When searching online it's fairly easy to remember because there's an option to include her spouse's name.  But when I search a book such as a cemetery index, the name on my mind is my ancestor's first and maiden names, not her married name. 

It's been my experience that grave markers usually list only the family surname of the husband.  When a cemetery is indexed it lists the names on the markers, which means I need to search on my female ancestors' married surnames.  There are probably other indexes that do not list maiden names but cemetery indexes are the ones that come to mind just now.

Don't miss finding your female ancestor because you didn't look for her under both (or all) of her maiden and married names.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Buckeyes - Family Recipe Friday

If you move to Central Ohio, also known as Buckeye Country, sooner or later you will be introduced to buckeyes.  For me that happened several dozen years ago when we were new to the area.  A friend asked if I wanted to make buckeyes with her.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  Obviously it wasn't the kind of buckeyes that grow on trees nor the people who walk around the Ohio State University campus and play sports:  you can't make either of those.  She told me they were a kind of candy and suggested we make a batch together.  She asked if I had a big bowl -- a really big bowl.  I did.  We agreed who would buy which ingredients, met, and I learned to make buckeyes.  Oh, yum!

If you love peanut butter and chocolate together and are trying to lose weight or not gain weight, I suggest you stop reading now, move on to the next blog, and forget about this recipe (especially if you don't have a lot of self-discipline when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter).  On the other hand, if you have plenty of self control and/or a large family and/or a lot of friends who also love peanut butter and chocolate, this is the perfect recipe.  It makes dozens and dozens and dozens.


In a very large bowl mix:
   1 pound (lb.) butter, softened to room temperature
   2 lb. peanut butter

Add and mix in:
   about 3 lb. xxxx sugar (confectioner's sugar)

Roll into 1" balls.  Refrigerate till firm.

In a double boiler melt:
   18-24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (1½ - 2 large packages)
   1/2 bar paraffin

Poke a toothpick into a peanut butter ball and dip it partway into the chocolate:  just enough so it looks like a real buckeye.  Allow the excess chocolate to drip off the side then place onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Be sure the buckeyes don't touch.  Repeat until the cookie sheet is full then chill in refrigerator until the chocolate cools and hardens.  At that point you can store the buckeyes in a covered tin or plastic container.  It's best to keep them refrigerated until you're ready to eat them.  Unless you have many cookie sheets you'll probably have to repeat this process several times.

  • Some people prefer specific kinds of peanut butter.  Choose whatever kind you enjoy eating.
  • You may need more or less confectioner's sugar.  When you roll the peanut butter mixture into a ball and it holds its shape you probably have enough.
  • Some people use milk chocolate (as in the photo above).  Either works.  It's just a matter of preference which you use.
  • Some people don't like to use paraffin and substitute cooking oil instead.  I can't tell you how much because I've never used it.  The paraffin works as a smoothing agent.  I add a little at a time until the chocolate is smooth and a dipped peanut butter ball holds the chocolate.

If you make these, I hope you enjoy them.

(Posting this recipe should in no way be considered a sign of allegiance to the OSU Buckeyes.  I'm not a football fan.)


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Merry Christmas Wish

I wish you, my dear readers, and your families a very Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

"What Shall We Give?" -- Caroling with footnoteMaven

I've been listening to Christmas music for two months (and I'm still not ready for Christmas!) but I am ready to Blog Carol.  I was beginning to wonder if footnoteMaven was going to lead the chorus this year or not.  I'm happy that she's invited the choir to gather again this year.  Thank you, fM.

Early in November "What Shall We Give?" became my favorite carol.  When I discovered this thoughtful video yesterday it made the carol more poignant and tender.  "What shall we give?" became (again) a sincere question awaiting a response.  What will I give my Savior for Christmas this year?  My favorite gifts to Him are gifts to an individual that I repeat during the year such as a weekly meal to an elderly neighbor or a weekly letter to a distant relative.  Those repeated, purposeful acts, given with the Savior in mind draw me closer to Him throughout the year.  Do you celebrate Christmas?  Will you give the Savior a gift this year?

I hope you'll enjoy the video and join in the singing.  The lyrics are below the video. 

What shall we give to the Babe in the manger?
What shall we offer the Child in the stall?
Incense and spices and gold we've a-plenty.
Are these the gifts for the King of us all?

What shall we give to the Boy in the temple?
What shall we offer the Man by the sea?
Palms at His feet and hosannas uprising;
Are these for Him who will carry the tree?

What shall we give to the Lamb who was offered,
Rising the third day and shedding His love?
Tears for His mercy we'll weep at the manger,
Bathing the Infant come down from above.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Ancestors,

I'm truly not neglecting you -- you are often on my mind as I go through these December days -- but other activities have taken me away from research about you and your lives.  I will redouble my efforts in 2014.  I will not forget you!

I suppose you know that Christmas is nearly upon us.  We probably celebrate it differently now than some of you did in decades and centuries past.  It is the most festive holiday of the year and one that seems to extend through all of December.  We decorate our homes, send Christmas cards, bake, shop, and give gifts we have made and/or bought.  If your celebrations were simpler you may not understand the time it takes to prepare for Christmas in 2013.  (And about this thing called time:  it seems to be going faster as I grow older.  I don't understand how that happens but I know it must be true because it takes me longer to do nearly everything and I get less and less done with each passing day.)

Most of my time this month has been devoted to working at a candy store to help a friend during her busiest time to the year.  I enjoy it but feel very tired at the end of the day.  Tired or not, the day's not over after work because I'm still trying to finish making a few Christmas gifts for some of your descendants.  (I can't tell you what they are or it might spoil the surprise.  We always try to keep gifts a secret until the recipients open them.)  I think they will be finished in another few evenings -- just in time for Christmas. 

I've also been working on a quilt for your newest-descendant-to-be (a girl!) who will arrive any time between now and the first week of January.  My younger daughter watched as I hand quilted then asked if I expected to have the quilt finished by the time the baby arrives.  I told her I didn't think so but it's large enough that it will keep our baby girl warm for a few years.

It's time for bed and I need my rest to be fresh for work tomorrow morning.  I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and hoping you're having a happy time in these weeks before Christmas.

Take good care of yourselves and each other.


P.S.  I'd mail the postcard but I don't believe it would reach you.  I hope you can see it wherever you are.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Her Wish

I wish I could dig up some of our ancestors and insult them for leaving
us . . . their . . . conscientiousness.
Those are the words of outspoken Lucy Aldrich after admonishing her sister, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, to take better care of herself.  Lucy's perception was that Abby was run down from doing too much and from being too conscientious and attentive to the needs of others.

Have you ever thought of digging up your ancestors?  Or insulting them for a trait you inherited or one that was taught from generation to generation?  Not me!  I need all the help I can get with my family history and I don't want to alienate one single ancestor.

Quote is from Bernice Kert's book, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller:  The Woman in the Family.

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