A Quiet Day

It’s been a very unusual Christmas Day. We are on Plan C, or maybe it’s D; I’ve lost track.

Originally, our plan was for everyone (my parents from Northeast Washington, my brother from Western Washington, and our household) to meet at my sister’s home in neighboring Spokane Valley. Unfortunately, severe winter weather, with 30 of 39 counties receiving record amounts of snow, has once again played havoc with our plans.

Because the City of Spokane Valley decided not to plow past noon yesterday and because my sister has a truck in comparison to my parents’ and our cars (which get around pretty well but still can get high-centered on unplowed roads), we changed to plan B and decided to meet at my house. I live half a block off the main street in town which becomes the highway heading north to the community where my parents live, two hours away. My folks were going to bring the turkey and mashed potatoes, Sis was going to bring stuffing and gravy, and we have green bean casserole, pies and beverages here.

My brother was unable to make it cross-state. Thankfully, he did not venture off Whidbey Island and end up stranded. My parents are snowed in up on the mountain because the county did not plow the road that goes to within a mile of their home. Dad was able to snowblow his driveway, but the private road from the driveway to the county road is unplowed since the neighbor with the truck plow has not headed into town as she had planned. Half of the gifts we ordered for our kids did not arrice. One, for my son has been here in Spokane at the Fed Ex warehouse since Saturday, according to the tracking system I’m using online. UPS delivered the other half (part of a video game) late last night; it’s useless without its counterpart. My daughter asked us to pay some of her bills for Christmas, since she’s currently unemployed. We did so, but ordered a gift for her to open Christmas Day. The best I can figure, it’s sitting in a post office on the west side of the state. Fortunately, my husband and I yesterday picked up a couple of small things for the kids to open today “just in case.” Turns out, we needed them. My husband and I don’t normally exchange gifts on Christmas Day. We enjoy going out together after Christmas and treating each other to the sales and specials. So for the first time in memory, neither he nor I are opening individual gifts on Christmas Day.

Phone calls to my parents-in-law and sister-in-law’s family in Southwest Washington informed us that they have received 14 and 18 inches of snow (and counting!) respectively, and will be quietly celebrating apart instead of together.

We’re hoping to get together with my family sometime this weekend, and also with my brother-in-law’s family here in town (who are celebrating with his parents-in-law today). Tonight, in lieu of a big turkey dinner, we’ll have my husband’s favorite one of meatloaf and some of that pie. UPS also delivered a box of Hickory Farms from my parents-in-law last night, which we’ve been enjoying this afternoon.

It’s quiet, it’s small. But the four of us are warm, safe, together, and have power. Our loved ones are all home and safe (and my three little nephews have plenty of new Christmas toys to keep them entertained, my sister assured me over the phone). I’ve been playing on the computer (digital scrapbooking, searching online databases in hope of a “Christmas find”, and having a private Scanfest). My husband spent several hours shoveling snow (which has become a daily occurence over the last week) and is enjoying a well-deserved nap. My daughter is also enjoying the teenaged luxury of sleeping, while my son tries to bargain me into letting him be on the desktop (our wireless service is crud, and our laptop doesn’t connect well to it–not a chance, Bud!). I’m perfectly content to wait a few days until the family gatherings and gift-opening begin. 🙂


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What’s New in the Genea-Blogger World, and More

Vidar Øverlieis is celebrating his one-year blogiversary over at Vidars Slektsblogg. Vidar is one of the Norwegian Genea-Bloggers who participated in the Genea-Blogger Games last summer. You can click on the “English” link in the right-hand margin of his blog to get a loose English translation of his posts (the ones he wrote last summer for the Games were written in English). Go over and wish him a happy one!

Sheri Fenley published post Number 100 over at The Educated Genealogist this week. I’m honored that she lists me as one of the influences for getting involved in blogging. Sheri, we HAD to have you in the Genea-Blogger world…we needed a female blogger who could rival Thomas’ antics! 😉

Last Wednesday, Julie Cahill Tarr of GenBlog also hit her 100th Post! She’s been a busy lady hosting the Thanksgiving Meme and a Game of Tag (I’ll be late in posting mine, but will add a link to it in her comments).

Give our Genea-Bloggers congratulations on their milestones!

I haven’t seen posts at No Fee Required Genealogy in a year, but last month Linda wrote four more. I hope she keeps up the great linking!

Leland Meitzler’s Genealogy Blog was up for a day or so after being down for quite a while, but it didn’t last long. We miss you, Leland!

Speaking of the missing, we are all more than a little worried about Janice Brown of Cow Hampshire. Her last post (apparently a scheduled and not a “live”one) was on August 25th. We miss you, too, Janice!

Cyndi Howells has added Wikis for Genealogy to her famous List.

Slightly older news: Denise Olsen of Family Matters is now hosting workshops on her blog. And I hope you’re participating in her Christmas Tour of Blogs at Moultrie Creek!

If you got a little lost as to where JL of JLog is now blogging, she explains here.

Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to

From Yahoo! news:

Barack Obama‘s grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86. [My emphases are in bold.]

But [Obama] said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, working the second on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country.

Fact: The United States’ involvement in World War II was during the years 1941 – 1945.

Facts: The United States’ involvement in World War I was during the years 1917 – 1918. The Great War ended November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day).

Fact: 2008 – 86 = 1922.

Madelyn Payne Dunham would have been born in 1922, or 1921 at the earliest, if she had not yet celebrated her birthday this year. World War I was definitely over by that time. Not only could she not have lived through the first world war, she could not have lived at any time during it.

Perhaps the Senator was mistaken in his grief. I send my sincere sympathies to him and his family. I doubt the Associated Press will note this error, nor make as big a deal of it as Vice President Quayle’s alternate spelling of potatoe in 1992.

Update 3 November 2008, 6:16 PM, PST: I find it interesting that the text in the article at Yahoo! news changed since I wrote my post. I copied and pasted the text directly from the website. I probably should have created a screen shot provide evidence that this is how it was originally written.

I did not misread it.

Either Senator Obama made an error, OR Yahoo! news misquoted him. It would be interesting to hear a sound bite to discover if it was he or Yahoo! who was in error.

I am not.

A note to all of us once again that we should never take news reports as the Gospel.

Update #2: 6 November 2008, 6:38 PM, PST. I took the quote from the original Yahoo! text and Googled it (see screen shot below, and click on it to view a larger image). I found 10 results, all identical. Apparently, the original story from the AP did read as I have listed above. What’s in question is whether they quoted the Senator correctly. Only a sound bite can tell.

Bye Bye, Busy October

The last of the little goblins have departed my doorstep, I’ve brought the jack o’ lanterns inside, and bid farewell to Hallowe’en and October. It’s been a very busy month again for me, between family and my work, local Family History Month events, and teaching my latest Online Genealogy class for the Community Colleges of Spokane. Also, I got an opportunity to speak with…oh, wait, that’s a surprise (stay tuned!) . I didn’t get a chance to participate in many of the Genea-Blogger events this month, but did take what opportunities I could to read posts during my breaks at work via Google Reader.

I did, however, update the links whenever I had time on the “October Is…” post. You can go there to view all the carnivals, challenges and other events that took place.

The October 2008 Calendar of Events Has Been Updated

I’ve added the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, which I accidentally omitted (so sorry, Jessica), The Polish History and Culture Challenge, and several more national holidays I discovered.

Check out the October 2008 Calendar of Events here. It’s a busy month! Whew!

AnceStories Makes Alltop’s List of Top Genealogy Blogs

Alltop, all the top stories

I’m honored to be listed among the top genealogy bloggers at Alltop. And I’ll be honest and say I’ve never heard of Alltop before, but then my head is so often into all (and only) things genealogy, that’s not too surprising. The footnoteMaven announced that her blog had been chosen, and in checking out their site, I came across my blog as well.

The fun for me in any kind of list like this is discovering “new” blogs to add to my Google Reader. It’s always interesting to read what other people are doing in their research, what new resources (online and off) they’ve found, and what the latest news is in technology that can be used by family historians. I think that’s what so exciting about belonging to a group like the Genea-Bloggers!

So thank you, folks at Alltops, for listing AnceStories as a top genealogy blog and especially for another chance to find some great new reads!