Check out the latest on We Are Such Stuff IV

I have posted two more pieces on my new blog, We Are Such Stuff IV!

1942: Dad promoted to midshipman, a continuation of my father’s letters to my mother when he was in New York during naval training;   and

Thomas prepares for the ministry, 1802-1806, which is the second installment of the first chapter of my book on my family ancestry.  In this excerpt, the Rev. Thomas Thomas (my 3-greats grandfather) studies at Hoxton Academy – his first formal education at the age of 26! – where he trains to be a Independent minister.

wwiinavycadetv5hatobv

Thomas Thomas, drawing by his son, Thomas E. Thomas. This is the only known portrait of him.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Early spring

It was only three years ago tomorrow that we had a string of very warm days – on March 21, it reached 80 degrees (F)! I was wearing capris to work all week, and on that day, March 21, I took a walk around the neighborhood of the school I worked at in Elmhurst, a  western suburb of Chicago. The trees were in bloom! ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In a normal year, we would not see the trees in flower until mid April at least, sometimes later. (Last year we had winter weather until mid April!)

As a comparison, I also took pictures (as I do every year) of the first flowers that come up in my garden, snowdrops. This year, the first snowdrops made their appearance early this week, as the snow melted and the days were a bit warmer. Last year, they didn’t come up until the end of March. In 2012, I took these pictures on March 11:

snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012

I am always heartened at the sight of my snowdrops each year – it’s a sign that even if spring isn’t here yet, it soon will be!

I’ll be on spring break this coming week, and plan to spend some time in my garden, raking and cutting the remnants of last year’s plants to make way for this year. I’ve already seen the first green tips of other flowers pushing their way above ground. Daffodils should be be next, followed by tulips.

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Smither Park – Houston, TX. My husband and I visited this park (actually, we found it by chance!) in June of 2013.

This park has a variety of conceptual installations being planned. The Memory Wall  has several sections, with different artists working on each one. (There is a sign up on the back of the sign.) These photos show parts of the wall, including close-ups. Artists use a variety of materials to design their section of the wall.

This sign shows the vision for the entire park  when installations are finished. They apparently got some funding to at least complete the Memory Wall.
This sign shows the vision for the entire park when installations are finished. They apparently got some funding to at least complete the Memory Wall.
Each number represents an area that needs to be worked on. Some of these are already in progress. Various local artists have signed up for different sections.
Each number represents an area that needs to be worked on. Some of these are already in progress. Various local artists have signed up for different sections.

965966967

Legos and dominoes were used in this section!
Legos and dominoes were used in this section!

The wall extends the entire length of the park.

970

Broken glass or ceramic with writing on them were pieced together to create this part.
Broken glass or ceramic with writing on them were pieced together to create this part.
Each artist that works on the wall has his/her own unique ideas of what kind of design & materials to use. Especially fascinating is this octopus with cups for eyes.
Each artist that works on the wall has his/her own unique ideas of what kind of design & materials to use. Especially fascinating is this octopus with cups for eyes.

980982983

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Jordan the Boy Scout

My grandnephew, Jordan Sweet, turned 17 this past Wednesday. We have spent time with his family celebrating his birthday every year for several years now. Unfortunately, other commitments keep us from being able to celebrate with him this weekend.

In recent years, he has combined his invitation for us to celebrate his birthday with his Boy Scout pancake breakfast, which happened to occur on the weekend that he was having a family birthday party! In 2011, I took pictures of the event.

Cook Marcia Sweet welcomes us to her son Jordan's pancake breakfast!
Cook Marcia Sweet welcomes us to her son Jordan’s pancake breakfast!
Jordan in his Boy Scout uniform
Jordan in his Boy Scout uniform
Bagpipe players were the entertainment at the pancake breakfast. (After all, it was the weekend before St. Patrick's Day!)
Bagpipe players were the entertainment at the pancake breakfast. (After all, it was the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day!)
2nd cousins Grace (age 1 1/2) and Jordan (13 on his birthday)
2nd cousins Grace (age 1 1/2) and Jordan (13 on his birthday)

Within a couple of years, Jordan became an Eagle Scout. His project was to create a library at a center for foster children, since he loves to read more than just about anything else. We are so proud of the young man he’s becoming!

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Raindrop

A Word in Your Ear has a weekly photo challenge based on a word selected (at random?) from a dictionary. This week the word was “raindrop.”

OK, I know I’ve posted this photo before, but this challenge allows me to focus on the most fascinating aspect of it, which is all the tiny things that are encased in one raindrop on a leaf.  This picture is one of the best I have ever taken. Focusing on a small thing that most people would miss, especially if they’re riding bikes (I took this on a bike trail), shows attention to detail and appreciation of the simplest things in nature.

126I was amazed at all the tiny pebbles within the single raindrop, as well as other things – I’ve never been able to figure out what the rectangular thing (looks like metal) with a string on it is.

The photo above was taken in northern Wisconsin, near my family’s summer home, during a walk on the Bearskin Trail just after a downpour.

I love thunderstorms on the lake because I can feel surrounded by the storm and experience how glorious it is, all the while keeping dry sitting on the porch! The photo below is a closeup of raindrops on Upper Kaubashine Lake. Small raindrops hit the surface of the lake among circular patterns created by larger raindrops.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Here
is the link to the photo challenge so you can see other interpretations of the raindrop theme!

My New Blog – Come See!!

Today I posted my first post on my new blog: We Are Such Stuff IV! I hope you will follow this link and see how it’s going!

This blog will be an ancestral history of immigration, abolitionism, war, and family ties. It concerns my father’s mother’s ancestors and starts around the year 1800.

The title is a tribute to my mother’s series of three family history self-published books. Mine will be the fourth. My first post is dedicated to my mother, who led me down this path – to write with passion and a love of history.