"Week Forty-Three: The New Year" Posted at AnceStories2

This morning I posted “Week Forty-Three: The New Year” over at my journaling prompts blog, AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. How did you celebrate the New Year growing up? How do you celebrate now?

Do you wish your ancestors had left some sort of written record of the events in their lives for you? The next best thing is for you to record your memories for future generations!

My Favorite Season

I’m finally getting around to answer my own journal prompts from my AnceStories2 blog.

*How do you feel about fall? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?

Fall is my favorite season of year…I love the variety of colors and temperatures and weather. One of the things I look forward to every year is seeing the trees in all their glory against a clear blue sky. I call this shade of blue “October blue”. Here in Spokane in the early mornings, the fog settles like a blanket not only on the river, but on the land for miles around; in fact, Spokane International Airport (five miles southwest, up on the West Plains) is one of the most fogged-in airports in the world.

*What are your favorite fall activities (indoor or out)?

I am one of those people that enjoys raking leaves.

*What are your favorite fall sports (to watch or play)?

I’m not a sports fan; however, the occasional high school football game is always fun.

*Do you have a favorite fall outfit to wear? Corduroy slacks and plaid flannel shirt, a cozy sweater, etc.?

Pretty cardigans are a favorite, along with leather clogs.

*Do you have any particular household or garden chores that you regularly do just in autumn?

I usually don’t have yard chores; my husband does most of that. I always enjoy the “getting ready for winter” feeling I have when he drains the hoses and puts them away, covers the air conditioner and mows the lawn one last time to get up all the cones and leaves. I tend to stock up on canned and dry goods and put some extra meat in the freezer, knowing when snowy weather or freezing temps come, getting to the grocery store may not be a viable option.

*Have you ever gone leaf peeping?

Not really; although a few years ago, we took a drive into Montana over Labor Day weekend and already the leaves were turning. It was beautiful. I so enjoy seeing the colors of the trees change around here, since I grew up in Southeast Alaska–full of evergreen forests–with only an occasional deciduous tree in sight.

*What observances of nature do you regularly watch (birds flying south, squirrels preparing for winter, etc.)?

Geese flying south has long been something I watch for, from the time I was a girl in Alaska, to a teen in Northeast Washington, and even now, in the city, I’ll see them head for the nearby lakes.

*What flowers that bloom during this season do you especially like?

Mums and sunflowers are my favorite fall blooms.

*Do you visit any orchards, pumpkin patches, or corn mazes?

When I worked at the elementary school level, we take a field trip every fall to Green Bluff, an orchard and farm area northeast of town where all the locals go. Nearly every farm has some sort of fun doing in addition to having their orchards and fields open for pick-it-yourself harvesting.

*What about the local fair?

The fair here is technically in late summer, about a week after Labor Day weekend, but it does get one into the fall/harvest mood. I go every year with my special needs students on a field trip.

*Do you do any kind of harvesting or food preparation (canning, drying, smoking)?

When there was a cherry tree on our property line and the lot next door was abandoned, I’d make cherry jam. It was a sour cherry, so I had to use lots of sugar. That was cut down in order to make room for the duplex (ick) that was erected a year ago. We have a rhubarb plant and pepppermint. I’ve used the rhubarb for pies and dried the mint leaves for homemade tea. Growing up, my folks did a lot of canning and drying, and in Alaska, the smokehouses would be going all during the fishing season. Smoked salmon is still one of my favorite treats.

*What about hunting?

I’ve never gone hunting; never had the desire to do so. My nephew calls it “hiking with guns”, since it seems whenever the men go out, all they do is hike down one ravine and up another, for miles and miles and miles…

There would usually be a deer or two hanging from someone’s front porch in Alaska and I remember my mom making the best dinners with the venison that my dad must have shot.

*Do you do any kind of fall traveling, other than holiday travels?

Not normally. We usually visit my in-laws in the summer or, lately, during the holidays. In October 2000, the four of us took Amtrak back to Western Michigan to visit my grandparents and other family members. I combined a little genealogical research and visited ancestral graves for the first time. I had always visited Michigan in summer or winter, so going in the fall seemed very different. It was much more humid than it is in Eastern Washington; rather than dry, crisp leaves, there were soggy, decaying ones everywhere. I didn’t really care for it.

*Which is your favorite fall holiday, and why (Hallowe’en, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, or others)?

My daughter was born on Veterans Day, so naturally it’s a favorite. However, I have not been to one Veterans Day service since she was born, since we are always so busy with birthday preparations. Hallowe’en is fun now that we’re getting more children coming to our door to trick-or-treat. Thanksgiving is always a good family time. I give up; I just can’t choose!

*What are your favorite fresh foods that are in season at this time? Favorite fall recipes or beverages?

Mmm…I love acorn squash with maple syrup and a slice of ham; I also love apple cider, cold or hot.

*Share favorite memories of fall from your childhood.

Since we lived with evergreens around us in Alaska, it’s hard to think of a memory that I know occured in fall. Across the bay was an island that had some abandoned homes on it with a few deciduous trees. I always loved to look over there and see the trees turning and wish I could take a boat over and explore the houses. They seemed like treasures, just out of reach.

*What do you least like about this season?

The idea that winter is coming.

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the fall? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer?

We have many, many fall birthdays from September through November in both my husband’s and my families. My family always has a mini-reunion at a buffet house, usually on the last Sunday in October. It’s a combination reunion, birthday celebration (we bring gifts), and early Thanksgiving, since Thanksgiving is usually the “off” holiday where family members would spend time with their in-laws and then come together again for Christmas.

*Do you have any hobbies that you take up during the fall months?

Not especially. I do like crocheting, and it’s nice to be working on an afghan when it gets chilly. I’ll sit with it on my lap and work on it while watching a movie or TV show on DVD with the family on a weekend night.

New Journal Prompts Posted at AnceStories2

Please don’t fall over in a dead faint. It’s been a good three months since I’ve posted journal prompts at my other blog, AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d better get “Week Forty-One: Fall” posted.

There are so many excellent carnivals being posted every month, I haven’t felt the need for journal prompts lately–plus, life just gets busy.

Fall is my favorite season, and if I have time this week, I’ll post my responses to my own prompts.

Celebrate Summer!

Featured in the July 26th Edition of Terry Thornton’s “Harvest from the Blog Garden” at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi.

Photobucket It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my journaling prompts over at my other blog, AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. I’ve been posting prompts fairly regularly this summer, but have not been writing my responses. Last week’s topic was “Summer,” and this is something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time.

*How do you feel about summer? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?
Summer is my second-favorite season, following fall.

*What are your favorite summer activities? Do you enjoy being outside, or would you rather curl up with your air conditioner? I am not a fan of the heat…remember, I grew up in Alaska! So I tend to stay indoors a lot, or go out in the evening (the morning tends to aggravate my seasonal allergies). I do enjoy going out to the lakes round about here (Spokane: Near Nature, Near Perfect) because you get the glorious sunshine with a nice breeze and can jump in the water to cool off when you get too hot. When I was younger and worked at a summer camp, I loved to water ski. The last summer I skiied (22 years ago…yikes!) I learned to slalom, which was absolutely awesome!

*Do you have a favorite summertime sport to participate in or watch? Occasionally, we will go to an Indians game. Our family is really not into sports. I do like watching all aspects of the Summer Olympics, and was disappointed that CJ Nuess did not make the Olympic swim team (his mother, a 1968 Olympian, is my supervisor).

*What is your typical summer outfit? I tend to wear sleeveless tops (dressy or casual, dpending on the setting) and capris or longer shorts. I love going barefoot and wear flip-flops if I have to wear shoes.

*Do you take a summer vacation? Where do you normally go, and what kinds of activities do you do there? We have two or three places we usually visit during the summer. The first is Deer Lake just west of here in Lincoln County, Washington, in the scabland country. It’s desolate, semi-arid, and very beautiful in its unique way (here’s an example). We tent camp with my husband’s family, usually for the weekend, although they tend to stay longer. It generally gets to 100*+ during the day and down into the 40s at night! There are rattlesnakes, cattle, and coyotes. It’s like living in the Wild West! We have to tote in water and the only facilities are an outhouse. But it’s a Midkiff tradition going back to when my father-in-law was a boy. I missed it this last weekend, because of genealogy computer classes and some commitments on my side of the family.

The second place we go to is a resort at one of the Little Pend Oreille (pond duh RAY) Lakes up north in Stevens County. We rent a cabin and stay for about a week, usually in mid to late summer. Often my husband’s brother’s family also vacations with us. We have lots of good times and memories of practical jokes, water fights, and late night games of Balderdash! See pix here.

My husband and I haven’t gone for a while, but usually our kids go to Silverwood for the day with their youth group. We’ve gone as chaperones for school events and a couple of times my husband’s employeer had company picnics there. Since they’ve added the waterpark, it’s a lot more fun than just the great rides!

*What is your favorite summer holiday, and why? I love the Fourth because we get to spend time with my parents at their beautiful log cabin up north. They always have a barbeque and extended family, plus half their church (it seems!) are invited. Then we come back to Spokane and watch the city fireworks show from the campus of Gonzaga University.

*What kinds of summer foods or drinks do you enjoy? I love fresh berries and peaches, potato and green salads, and cold soft drinks. I also enjoy the occasional beer on a hot weekend evening on the front porch visiting with my husband and sometimes the neighbors.

*Share some favorite memories of summer vacation from when you were a child. We didn’t go anywhere on a summer vacation because we lived in Alaska far from family. We practically lived in one of the nation’s largest national forest, so there wasn’t much of a point in going camping, with wildlife literally all around us! The closest thing to a summer vacation we had was the trip we took after my parents sold their house in Alaska. They put everything in storage, kenneled our farm animals, and bought a camper and truck. We took a ferry from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska to Prince Rupert, British Columbia and drove down the coast of BC, Washington and Oregon, then came up the east side of Oregon and Washington. All the while we camped at campgrounds and looked for real estate. After finding their present home near Colville, Washington, we drove back to Michigan to visit family while the former homeowners moved out. On the way back to Washington, we stopped at DeSmet, South Dakota, the setting of many of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. That was a memorable and fun summer!

*What is your least favorite thing about summer? Heat.

*Do you enjoy summer storms? I love them! When we were first married, we lived out on the West Plains and used to go out on our deck and watch the lightning shows. I’ve never been afraid of them.

*What is the hottest summer temperature you remember experiencing? 116* in the shade at Deer Lake, 2005, I think. Ugh!

*Do you have a memory of a cool or cold summer? Has it snowed on the Fourth of July in your area? It was awfully cool this year for a while. We had snow the morning of June 9th (yes, I realize it wasn’t officially summer yet). It made up for it by having 100* temps two weeks later, very unusual for June. It usually rains here from just after Memorial Day to right around the Fourth, then gradually heats up to a sizzling hot August.

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the summer? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer? Between us, my husband and I have nine family birthdays, an anniversary (not our own), Father’s Day, and graduations occuring in June. We’re about to force all the young married couples in the families to sign contracts agreeing that they will not give birth to any more children in June! We’re always broke then, and it’s a good thing it comes halfway between Christmases!

*What summertime hobbies do you pursue? If you are a genealogist, do you travel to ancestral locations during this season? I have more time to devote to blogging, research, and lookups during the summer. If I get a chance to travel and I come anywhere within 100 miles of my husband’s ancestors’ cemeteries, I try to get him to swing by. Generally, he indulges me. All of my ancestral locations are back east (except for one cemetery in the Willamette Valley).

*Do you have any summertime photos of your ancestors? Check out the 49th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy (“Swimsuit Edition”) for great stories and photos of genealogy bloggers’ ancestors in swimsuits and summertime wear. I participated in that carnival and my entry is here.

Celebrate Summer!

Featured in the July 26th Edition of Terry Thornton’s “Harvest from the Blog Garden” at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi.

Photobucket It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my journaling prompts over at my other blog, AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. I’ve been posting prompts fairly regularly this summer, but have not been writing my responses. Last week’s topic was “Summer,” and this is something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time.

*How do you feel about summer? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?
Summer is my second-favorite season, following fall.

*What are your favorite summer activities? Do you enjoy being outside, or would you rather curl up with your air conditioner? I am not a fan of the heat…remember, I grew up in Alaska! So I tend to stay indoors a lot, or go out in the evening (the morning tends to aggravate my seasonal allergies). I do enjoy going out to the lakes round about here (Spokane: Near Nature, Near Perfect) because you get the glorious sunshine with a nice breeze and can jump in the water to cool off when you get too hot. When I was younger and worked at a summer camp, I loved to water ski. The last summer I skiied (22 years ago…yikes!) I learned to slalom, which was absolutely awesome!

*Do you have a favorite summertime sport to participate in or watch? Occasionally, we will go to an Indians game. Our family is really not into sports. I do like watching all aspects of the Summer Olympics, and was disappointed that CJ Nuess did not make the Olympic swim team (his mother, a 1968 Olympian, is my supervisor).

*What is your typical summer outfit? I tend to wear sleeveless tops (dressy or casual, dpending on the setting) and capris or longer shorts. I love going barefoot and wear flip-flops if I have to wear shoes.

*Do you take a summer vacation? Where do you normally go, and what kinds of activities do you do there? We have two or three places we usually visit during the summer. The first is Deer Lake just west of here in Lincoln County, Washington, in the scabland country. It’s desolate, semi-arid, and very beautiful in its unique way (here’s an example). We tent camp with my husband’s family, usually for the weekend, although they tend to stay longer. It generally gets to 100*+ during the day and down into the 40s at night! There are rattlesnakes, cattle, and coyotes. It’s like living in the Wild West! We have to tote in water and the only facilities are an outhouse. But it’s a Midkiff tradition going back to when my father-in-law was a boy. I missed it this last weekend, because of genealogy computer classes and some commitments on my side of the family.

The second place we go to is a resort at one of the Little Pend Oreille (pond duh RAY) Lakes up north in Stevens County. We rent a cabin and stay for about a week, usually in mid to late summer. Often my husband’s brother’s family also vacations with us. We have lots of good times and memories of practical jokes, water fights, and late night games of Balderdash! See pix here.

My husband and I haven’t gone for a while, but usually our kids go to Silverwood for the day with their youth group. We’ve gone as chaperones for school events and a couple of times my husband’s employeer had company picnics there. Since they’ve added the waterpark, it’s a lot more fun than just the great rides!

*What is your favorite summer holiday, and why? I love the Fourth because we get to spend time with my parents at their beautiful log cabin up north. They always have a barbeque and extended family, plus half their church (it seems!) are invited. Then we come back to Spokane and watch the city fireworks show from the campus of Gonzaga University.

*What kinds of summer foods or drinks do you enjoy? I love fresh berries and peaches, potato and green salads, and cold soft drinks. I also enjoy the occasional beer on a hot weekend evening on the front porch visiting with my husband and sometimes the neighbors.

*Share some favorite memories of summer vacation from when you were a child. We didn’t go anywhere on a summer vacation because we lived in Alaska far from family. We practically lived in one of the nation’s largest national forest, so there wasn’t much of a point in going camping, with wildlife literally all around us! The closest thing to a summer vacation we had was the trip we took after my parents sold their house in Alaska. They put everything in storage, kenneled our farm animals, and bought a camper and truck. We took a ferry from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska to Prince Rupert, British Columbia and drove down the coast of BC, Washington and Oregon, then came up the east side of Oregon and Washington. All the while we camped at campgrounds and looked for real estate. After finding their present home near Colville, Washington, we drove back to Michigan to visit family while the former homeowners moved out. On the way back to Washington, we stopped at DeSmet, South Dakota, the setting of many of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. That was a memorable and fun summer!

*What is your least favorite thing about summer? Heat.

*Do you enjoy summer storms? I love them! When we were first married, we lived out on the West Plains and used to go out on our deck and watch the lightning shows. I’ve never been afraid of them.

*What is the hottest summer temperature you remember experiencing? 116* in the shade at Deer Lake, 2005, I think. Ugh!

*Do you have a memory of a cool or cold summer? Has it snowed on the Fourth of July in your area? It was awfully cool this year for a while. We had snow the morning of June 9th (yes, I realize it wasn’t officially summer yet). It made up for it by having 100* temps two weeks later, very unusual for June. It usually rains here from just after Memorial Day to right around the Fourth, then gradually heats up to a sizzling hot August.

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the summer? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer? Between us, my husband and I have nine family birthdays, an anniversary (not our own), Father’s Day, and graduations occuring in June. We’re about to force all the young married couples in the families to sign contracts agreeing that they will not give birth to any more children in June! We’re always broke then, and it’s a good thing it comes halfway between Christmases!

*What summertime hobbies do you pursue? If you are a genealogist, do you travel to ancestral locations during this season? I have more time to devote to blogging, research, and lookups during the summer. If I get a chance to travel and I come anywhere within 100 miles of my husband’s ancestors’ cemeteries, I try to get him to swing by. Generally, he indulges me. All of my ancestral locations are back east (except for one cemetery in the Willamette Valley).

*Do you have any summertime photos of your ancestors? Check out the 49th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy (“Swimsuit Edition”) for great stories and photos of genealogy bloggers’ ancestors in swimsuits and summertime wear. I participated in that carnival and my entry is here.

New Prompt (Week Thirty-Six) Posted at AnceStories2

“My Computer” is the topic of 12 prompts I’ve posted over at my journaling prompts blog, AnceStories2: Stories of My for My Descendants. I had hoped to write more about my own computer experiences in this post, but my laptop is being a brat and only allowing me to be online for a few minutes at a time. Thus the image to the left 😉

If I get an opportunity later this week, I hope to post in detail about my memories of my first personal computer, Internet and e-mail experiences, and my loves and dislikes of the technology age.

What memories of your first computer and technology experiences will you leave for you descendants?

New Prompt (Week Thirty-Six) Posted at AnceStories2

“My Computer” is the topic of 12 prompts I’ve posted over at my journaling prompts blog, AnceStories2: Stories of My for My Descendants. I had hoped to write more about my own computer experiences in this post, but my laptop is being a brat and only allowing me to be online for a few minutes at a time. Thus the image to the left 😉

If I get an opportunity later this week, I hope to post in detail about my memories of my first personal computer, Internet and e-mail experiences, and my loves and dislikes of the technology age.

What memories of your first computer and technology experiences will you leave for you descendants?