Monday, December 28, 2009

Music to My Ears

Okay, my latest music purchases are quite diverse...Country, Hard Rock, Indie Rock, Pop Rock, and Alternative.  Time to become acquainted with it all.  Cool! 
  • Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova
  • Shinedown - If You Only Knew
  • Snow Patrol - Hands Open
  • John Mayer - Who Says
  • Keaton Simons - Grim Reaper
  • John Mayer - Who Says
  • Band of Skulls - Baby Darling Doll Face Honey*
  • Dashboard Confessional - Alter the Ending (Deluxe Edition)* and Dusk and Summer*
*denotes entire album

What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Wish Come True - A Family History Blessing

Many years ago I heard a rumor through the family grapevine.  I was told that my cousin, Vivian, had a photograph of John CARVALHO (her grandfather and my 2nd great-grandfather), and that that photograph was probably the only one of him in existence. I asked for a copy, no, I begged for a copy. More than once. The years passed...

Then yesterday, Christmas Eve, a miracle! A Christmas card from Vivian.  The envelope not sealed! Inside was a lovely greeting and the photograph of John, but it's not only of John. His wife, Maria, is also in the photograph. Hallelujah! I am blessed. I am so thankful to Vivian for sharing this precious memory.  

I give you my 2nd great-grandparents, João Germano CARVALHO and Maria das Mercês de MATTOS at their Kainehe Homestead (near Kukaiau Ranch) on the Island of Hawaii in the late 1920's...

(click to see larger BEFORE image)

(click to see larger AFTER image)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lizzie in the Snow - Round Two (Video)

The second snow storm since adopting Lizzie and she still adores the white stuff. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Recipe: 5 Minute Vegan Chicken, Rice, and Veggie Stir Fry

Hunger and limited ingredients led this mother to invent a quick and easy vegan meal. I love the veggie starter mixes and found that our local supermarket has started carrying it again after they'd discontinued it many months ago. Even after nearly a year in my freezer, the "chickenless" strips were great after defrosting. The ready rice is a tasty blend of brown rice, veggies, and lentils. I found this to be very flavorful, and of course, fast!


Olive Oil Spray
Approx 1/2 cup Frozen Veggie Starter Mix (onion, bell pepper, celery, and parsley)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips
1 pkg. (8.5 oz.) Uncle Ben's Ready Whole Grain Vegetable Harvest Rice


Heat the Ready Rice in the microwave according to package directions. Remove and let stand in the bag.

Preheat a small skillet. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Sauté veggies on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the Chickenless Strips and continue cooking on medium for 3 minutes stirring frequently.

Top the rice with the finished strips and veggies.

Servings:  approximately 2

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review: Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux

Title: Lavender Morning
Series: Edilean #1
Author: Jude Deveraux
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Published: 03/31/2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance


Jocelyn Minton is a woman torn between two worlds. Her mother grew up attending private schools and afternoon teas, but she married the local handyman. After her mother died when Joce was only five years old, her father remarried into his own class, and Joce became an outsider -- until she met Edilean Harcourt. Although she was sixty years Joce's senior, Miss Edi was a kindred soul who understood her like no one else ever had.

When Miss Edi passes away, she leaves Joce all her worldly possessions, including an eighteenth-century house and a letter with clues to a mystery that began in 1941. In the letter, Miss Edi also mentions that she has found the perfect man for Joce -- a handsome young lawyer. Joce is shocked to learn that the mystery, the house, and the future love of her life are all in Edilean, a small town in Virginia that Miss Edi never told her about. Hurt that the woman who meant so much to her kept so many secrets, Jocelyn moves to this tight-knit village in an attempt to understand the legacy that has been left to her. As she begins to dig into Miss Edi's mystery, she soon discovers some shocking surprises about her family's history and her own future -- and she meets a man with his own mysterious past.


I enjoyed a great many books by Jude Deveraux in the '90s, which may have led to my unrealistic expectations for this book based on the synopsis. I felt that the integrity of the characters was greatly implied, but not generally warranted by their words and/or actions. I thought the characters shallow and rather uninteresting. I didn't care for the dialogue for the most part and felt the unraveling of the big mystery to be uninteresting. What a shame!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My New Moon Mania

My wait for New Moon only began last March when I first saw Twilight on DVD in the comfort (and quiet) of my own home. Of course, that set off a case of "Twi-Mania" first shared in My "Twilight" Zone.

I knew I would allow myself a trip to the theater to see the next installment in The Twilight Saga.  As previously mentioned, I really only made a point of seeing the latest Harry Potter movie at the cinema. While in my 20s and 30s I went to the movies frequently. For several years I had a theater in the same shopping center where I worked. That made seeing movies there a no-brainer. I just now chuckled over the fact that it was the "Twilight" showing that I attended most Sundays. It was just $2.95 to see any new release. What a bargain!

I had planned on taking only my daughter (who is wise beyond her years and understands that Bella's devotion to Edward is NOT healthy) with me. You know, a true "girls night," but I asked my husband several days ago.  I don't think any definite commitment was made at the time. He asked me, a couple of times, I think, if I really wanted him to come. I did, I just told him not to tease me about being excited (okay, overly excited). He goes to the theater several times per year with his brother. I had a feeling our neighborhood theater was going to be much busier than he was used to. We picked our daughter up from school and drove straight to the theater. We arrived there 45 minutes before the ticket booth was to open, so we walked down to a restaurant to get a drink and wait for a few minutes. I was 2/3 the way through my lemonade when I decided to look outside for the beginnings of a line at the theater. There was about a half-dozen young girls waiting.(Those "placeholders" eventually added about a dozen of their BFFs to the line.)

While waiting in line, my husband mentioned something about going home and that he could call someone to come pick him up (good, 'cuz I wasn't leaving). Of course, he ended up staying. Although, I feel that he probably does wish he had avoided the entire "ordeal." 

I purchased our matinée tickets and joined my husband in the lobby, where he had gotten a drink and popcorn. With my memento worthy New Moon ticket stub in my hot Twilight Mom hand we entered the small theater screening room. I wanted to sit in the rear, and my thoughtful husband obliged me. We were seated in the first full row in the back left. He then went and got our daughter and me some popcorn. I was NOT hungry. I had a case of Twilight-Excitement that goes beyond a hunger for food. *winks*

This is my take (with much missing due to my poor recall) of the evening...

The theater was really filled. I watched in near terror as women brought wee ones into the theater on their hips. (I remember what it is like not to have someone to watch her child, but I merely stayed home when my daughter was a babe). An occasional male made his appearance amidst the horde of females. Lots of cell phone action going on—I did a couple of Facebook and Twitter updates myself. Hey, we want to share our exhilaration with others!  However, my phone was put on "Silent" and tucked away before the movie started, whereas many others decided to "light up" during the movie. Ack!  Let me just get my crowd gripes out of the way before I describe my thoughts on the movie itself. Lots of door opening and closing. Many times staying open for several long seconds. People entering the movie late.  Lots of talking and teasing and people saying "shut up." Chair bumping and, yes, even babies crying. Several times I squeezed my daughter's knee or patted her leg. I even hugged her a time or two. I was going to enjoy my New Moon experience no matter what!  So, I leaned forward and ...

General impressions with some possible ***spoilers***. 

There were only two previews before the gigantic moon showed on the screen. Then slowly n-o-o-M w-e-N is revealed. Ooooh! None of the usual long and drawn out opening credits.  Let's get straight to the movie, folks.

Yes, it is very different from Twilight, but we all knew it would be. The vampires look different. Their eyes (contacts) were the most visible change. Hair and attire were different. I was fine with those changes. 

Edward. Ah, Edward. I think that he looked more like Rob (doesn't everyone including Rob?) Not so much about the hair in this one. Yay! 

Now, this is a biggy for me. The script was fleshed out more. Not so much of the incoherent teen mumblings. Jessica can actually speak! The other school buds had only seconds of screen time. "Book Bella" is Stephenie Meyer's storytelling. "Movie Bella" does some narration, but her movie dialogue still needs some work. There were some good (and even humorous) lines delivered well. I got the chills when Edward delivered lines from Romeo and Juliet in class. Good job, Rob! 

There are differences between the movie and book, of course. I thought the October to November to December to January passing during Bella's blackest period transitioned well to screen. It's not like we haven't witnessed similar instances of time passing in other movies (Notting Hill comes to mind), but I thought it was effective in showing her despair. Maybe not as much as Stephenie did in the book but still...props to Melissa Rosenberg.

Considering the advancement in CGI technology I expected a little more smoothness and grace in the wolves but still an amazing job. The wolf pack is awesome. The boys "did good."  Jacob is what Bella needed, but he keeps breaking his promise. Poor kid. Taylor Lautner (Jacob) is a scene stealer. Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) is, too. 

The addition of the action scenes with the Volturi were a great visual addition. Well done! I did cringe when Felix slammed Edward to the floor. How dare he! Not MY Edward!  

The Carter Burwell score in Twilight was much more of a presence than the score in New Moon.  For some reason, I felt the New Moon score by Alexandre Desplat played like muzak.  His piece, New Moon (The Meadow), is a particularly lovely piece, though. The soundtrack and score is a really important (and lucrative) part of the Twilight Saga. Stephenie is a genius at selecting music that inspires her stories. I still want the New Moon Score. I can't help it!

I also felt that New Moon seemed somewhat disjointed. Something about the editing that didn't quite hit the spot. The scenes didn't flow seamlessly like they mostly did in Twilight.  Still, the visual aspect of New Moon is stunning! Twi-Hards will love it. Twi-Haters will snub it and worse. The Twi-Indifferents may wait until it's on television and then wonder, "What's the big deal?"

The ending, well, I thought it was abrupt (several excellent quotes gone...pfffft!). However, if Eclipse truly begins where New Moon ended, I may be able to adjust my thinking on that.

I see it for what it is to me—something that I allow myself to be totally immersed in and enjoy.

I hope to see it once more in the theater (UPDATE: I did on 11/29!) Oh, but how I anticipate watching the DVD next March on our huge plasma with surround sound and sub-titles....*chills* Then, for a more personal viewing experience I'll want to watch it on my iPod—over and over and over...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Music to My Ears

Cool!  Five more albums.  Quite varied in sound...different genres.  I'm especially looking forward to "burning up" Waking Up.  I'm quite crazy about OneRepublic's debut album, Dreaming Out Loud!
  • Rob Thomas - Cradlesong 
  • Daughtry - Leave This Town 
  • Norah Jones  - Stay With Me
  • Creed - Full Circle
  • OneRepublic - Waking Up
What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Review: Smash Cut by Sandra Brown

Title: Smash Cut
Series: Standalone
Author: Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 08/11/2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Crime Thriller, Romantic Suspense


From the queen of romantic suspense and bestselling author of Ricochet comes a thriller full of jarring cinematic twists in which a killer reenacts cinema’s goriest murders.

When millionaire Paul Wheeler is murdered, his family retains renowned lawyer Derek Mitchell to defend the victim’s nephew Creighton—although the police have not charged the young man with the crime. Wheeler’s mistress Julie Rutledge, who is also a suspect, believes that Creighton is the killer, despite his rock-solid alibi, and she’ll do almost anything in her quest to prove his guilt—even ruin Derek’s career. But as Derek learns of Creighton’s darker side, especially his bizarre fascination with movie murders, the more he comes to believe Julie is right. The clock ticks down to a shocking ending as Derek and Julie join forces to find the truth. Has Creighton begun re-enacting cinema’s goriest scenes and, if so, who will be his unwilling costars? They won’t know until the final Smash Cut.


I had to read quite a few chapters before I started to warm up to any of the characters in this book. Even then I had many reservations about Julie and Derek. Creighton just "creeped" me out. Period. I had my suspicions about Julie and Paul's relationship, but Sandra Brown timed things perfectly (as usual) with the reveal. I thought the ending could not have been better! As always, I'm looking forward to her next novel!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stop, Drop, and Roll (Video)

There was something very worthy of rolling in on our driveway on this particular day. I have no idea what she found so fascinating, but she returned to it again and again. I was thankful that it didn't stink and didn't stain. Whew!

Video taken with my mobile phone on 10/29/2009.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Music to My Ears

I hit the mother lode of albums plus my choice of songs from my husband's extensive Beatles collection!
  • Civil Twilight - Civil Twilight (debut album, which is AWESOME!)
  • Kings of Leon  - Because of the Times
  • The Killers  - Hot Fuss  (I know it's older, but I like it!)
  • Train - Save Me, San Francisco (Their new album, which sounds really upbeat.)
  • Muse - The Resistance
  • Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
  • Heart - The Essential Heart (This was my husband's idea, which I was ho-hum about until I was reminded how many Heart songs I liked!)
  • The Beatles (My husband gave me his entire Beatles library to sort through.  I'll add my favorite 30 or so to my iTunes Library.)
What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Little Lizzie Update

My sweet Lizzie was experiencing some urinary trouble last week which meant another vet visit on Wednesday. She's so timid when it comes to drinking water, that we just about stop everything we're doing when she's getting a drink as to not distract her. In addition to that, we always tell her she's a good girl while she's drinking. Nevertheless, this is the second urinary tract infection she's had in the last year.

She was prescribed Baytril (antibiotic) and dl-methionine (urinary acidifier) but in the mean time she started scratching. She got a case of the "itchies" last fall, as well. I gave her a bath this morning with a colloidal oatmeal shampoo and hope that alleviates her discomfort.  (Washing the offending pollens off with a hypo-allergenic shampoo usually does the trick.)  It is supposed to reach 70°F today, but our home is too cold for a soggy doggy. Right now she's shivering under a heavy cotton blanket next to me on the sofa. She's so pitiful! 

Overall, she's much less frightened than she used to be. She isn't even scared of the vacuum any more...yay!  She's really turning into a toy hound too. It doesn't take much to get her pouncing, pawing, flipping, and chewing on her toys. 

The vet was able to scrape some tartar build-up from her upper canine teeth with absolutely no trouble. He said the rest of her teeth were perfect (big relief). He also remarked upon her excellent attitude (she loves the attention she receives from the humans) and luxurious coat. 

Now, if I could keep her from gaining so much weight. She eats so little and NEVER gets any people food. She doesn't look much heavier, but she's gained another three pounds. I wish we had a fenced yard for her to play in. I know she would enjoy that even more than her walks, which are a highlight of her day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Music to My Ears

Talk about good vibrations - the latest songs added to my iTunes Library:
  • Amy Winehouse - Rehab
  • Coldplay - The Scientist, Clocks, Lost!, Viva la Vida, Violet Hill, Speed of Sound
  • Daughtry - No Surprise
  • Placebo - Running Up That Hill
  • Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Coke Worth Keeping

Let me tell you about a very special bottle of soda. ...

It all began in early 1950 when my father was transferred to the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, California. He was working a cash register in the commissary store and had a buddy, Chief Stinnett, who worked in the butcher shop (ugh) there.

My dad told me that Stinnett (whose nickname was "Stinky") wasn't one to buy his buddies a drink, so my dad used to tease him relentlessly by asking, "Hey Stinnett, why don't you buy me a drink?"

Well, on March 22, 1950, Stinnett finally bought my dad a drink. Behold, the infamous Coke that Stinnett bought for my dad, Jack T. Hill, for 5 cents.

My dad kept the Coke under his register for over a year, until he was transferred to the USS Bolster on 14 Aug 1951. The Coke went with him, of course.

The next and last time that Dad saw Stinnett was in Japan, where Stinnett was in port on an inter-island cargo ship. Dad was going aboard the Bolster when he saw his old commissary buddy on the neighboring vessel. What memorable thing did my dad say to this old buddy?

He yelled, "Hey, Stinky!"

My sister recently sent this family treasure to me. So, I am not only the family historian. I am now The Keeper of THE Coke—60 years old and still unopened. Oh, the pressure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Music to My Ears

I had a little left from an iTunes Gift Certificate and am enjoying these latest songs:
  • Avril Lavigne - Fall to Pieces
  • Beck - Timebomb (from closing credits on last Sunday's True Blood!)
  • A Fine Frenzy - Blow Away
  • OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles - Come Home (Single)
What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lizzie Hits the Jackpot...Again

After working for an animal supply retailer for fifteen years I confess that my interest in products geared toward animals is likely more extreme than the average consumer. I no longer have to keep up with products, but when it comes to Lizzie I want to be an educated consumer. Her well-being is worthy of a long drive or spending time researching products online.

Since Lizzie is a mere month away from turning six and is still experiencing sporadic "tummy trouble," I chose a dry senior diet versus the lite diet she's been eating for several months.  She's also the first dog of mine who has been fed canned food. I'm still surprised by my decision but feel that she may the first to benefit from the slight variation in her daily diet.  The small amount of canned food mixed in with her dry diet will also assure me that she gets all of her whole food supplement, which is a fine granule that usually ends up at the bottom of a bowl of dry food.

 Three chews on backorder
She is being transitioned slowly to the new dry food. I've started her off with the lamb canned food and will be slowly increasing her supplement until she's getting her two teaspoons per day. 

She's already given a "paws up" to the new rope toy. She and my daughter had a rousing good time playing with that this morning. I haven't seen Lizzie move that fast for a long time.  She was a blur of motion and play growling. 

I sure feel better knowing she has a healthy diet and lots of toys to keep her playful to go along with all the crazy love she gets from us.  She's worth it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Title: Vanish
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #5
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 08/23/2005
Publisher: Random House
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery, Crime Thriller


A blessed event becomes a nightmare for pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli when she finds herself on the wrong side of a hostage crisis in this timely and relentless new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Body Double.

A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.

Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.

Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer’s identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.

Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it–if she survives the night.


I found this book to be the most disturbing of the Rizzoli & Isles series, so far. Excellent but emotionally draining. Human trafficking, a tense hostage situation, and not knowing who could be trusted made for a lot of suspense. If it had ended any differently than it did I may not have continued on with the series. Whew!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Book Review: Black Hills by Nora Roberts

Title: Black Hills
Series: Standalone
Author: Nora Roberts
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published: 07/07/2009
Publisher: Jove
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense


A summer at his grandparents' South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan's idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he's discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn't as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop's annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker's body.

As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her aspiration of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father's demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most.

Coop recently left his fast-paced life as an investigator in New York to take care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something ... or someone ... has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. Now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.


Simply putI LOVED this book! I've read most of Nora's books and Black Hills is one of my absolute favorites of hers. The character interaction and dialogue were top notch, as usual. I was totally enthralled with the story and captivated by the people. Cooper and Lil, their friends, and family are all amazing characters! Chapter 11 had some of the most witty and delightful female banter I've ever read. Lil and Tansy are the truest of friends. Their relationship is to die for. This is one book I will certainly want to re-read!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Hannan Family

William James HANNAN was born 03 Jul 1862 in Chicago, Illinois.  His father, John HANNAN, was born about 1837 in Ireland. His mother, Margaret POWERS, was born in County Wexford, Ireland, also about 1837. He had an older brother, John HANNAN, who was born in May 1860 (according to the 1860 U.S. Census) in St. Louis, Missouri, where their father worked as a limestone cutter until about 1861. There was a sister, Catherine HANNAN, who was born about 1865 in Chicago. The family appeared in the 1870 Census in Chicago (Ward 1) where John Sr. was a Saloon Keeper. He died very young (about 39 years) on 09 Oct 1874. Catherine was just 13 when she died in August 1877. Margaret died 28 Mar 1902, while living at 437 30th Street, and was buried at Calvary Cemetery on Chicago Avenue with her husband and daughter. Her son, John, may have predeceased her as he is not mentioned in her death/funeral notice.

William appears first as a single man in the 1880 Census in Chicago, where he was a servant at the Sherman Hotel. In the 1888 Chicago Voter's Registration he was living at 74 N. Sangamon Street. William married Margaret Beatrice KANE 17 Nov 1892 in Dixon, Lee County, Illinois. He and his family appeared in the 1900 Census living at 278 Bowen Street next door to Margaret's parents, James KANE and Julia McCORMICK.  In January 1905 the family, complete with four daughters; Marion Julia HANNAN (born 12 Mar 1894), Genevieve Mae HANNAN (born 19 Feb 1897), Margaret Beatrice HANNAN (born 03 Jun 1899), and Virginia Agnes HANNAN (born 24 Jan 1905) were living at 4252 St. Lawrence Avenue. They appeared in the 1910 Census at 4124 Vincennes Avenue. In 1917 William, Margaret, Marion, Margaret, and Virginia, moved from Chicago to Denver, Colorado.  (Genevieve remained in Chicago and married Charles David TULLIS.) The family appeared in the 1920 Census residing at 1516 Milwaukee Street, where William was a self-employed real estate salesman. They were living at 5301 E. 12th Street in Denver for the 1930 Census, where he was a collector for a grocery store.  In 1940 William and Margaret moved to Boulder, where their daughter, Margaret, and her family had moved a few years prior. William and Margaret separated shortly thereafter. William went to live with his daughter, Margaret, and his wife, Margaret, stayed in their rented home. Margaret died 02 Aug 1945, after a lengthy illness, and William passed away just 10 days later from the effects of a stroke. They are buried at Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder alongside several family members.

Their daughter Margaret married Ernest Talfred HILL in 1922. In 1928 Virginia married Lewis Lavern GREENO; both families remained in Denver for several years. Marion never married but worked as a dental technician in Denver until her retirement. She was a devout parish member of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for 50 years.

William was described as a slender 5 feet 11 inches with twinkling blue eyes, premature gray hair, and a dapper way of dressing. He was a letter carrier in Chicago for as many as 34 years.  My great grandparents died many years before I was born.  My father, uncle, and a cousin shared some of their memories of William and Margaret with the family. However, no one seems to know what happened to most of their belongings and photographs.

Related Items:
(rev. 05/07/2022)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Naval Career of Jack T. Hill


Service Number: 372 90 61

Social Security Number: 522-30-3175

(Click the first document to view them in a stream {computer} 

or tap on each document to enlarge on mobile devices. )

(rev. 07/31/2021)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lizzie Goes to the Vet...Again

Lizzie seems to have gastroenteritis again. The last time was right after we adopted her in June 2008. This time her symptoms varied somewhat—vomiting mucous (on and off since April), acting distressed more than usual, and soft stools this morning.

She NEVER eats junk food, people food, or anything from the ground. She eats a consistent diet of ultra-premium dry dog food, and when she's acting a little "off" I add some brown rice to her diet. She eats the same organic treats all the time. Her food and treats contain only highly digestible grains—no corn, wheat, or soy. So, in other words I don't (nor does the veterinarian) feel it is diet related. More than likely it is brought on my the fact that she is a major worrier, and I know all about being a major worrier...

So, I took her to the vet this morning and the findings are:  she has a slightly elevated temperature, her fecal was normal (yay!), and the vet didn't mention anything out of the ordinary after palpating Lizzie's abdomen. She was given an antibiotic via an IM injection and we were sent home with metranidazole (generic for Flagyl), which I am to give her twice per day for 5 days.

I fed my other dogs a supplement called Missing Link for years. I refrained from feeding it to Lizzie because the manufacturer of the holistic diet I fed her for awhile recommended against it.  However, I think she would benefit from their Canine Wellness Blend, which contains human grade whole foods, including Lactobacillus Acidophilus.  (Will be ordering that soon, I think.)

Lizzie is the "suffer in silence" type all the way. She wouldn't think of demanding anything.  It's rare that she ever does more than simply wait at the door to go outside. She's generally so quiet that it's often difficult to tell when she's not feeling well.  I just have to be observant and objective.  Yeah, like objectiveness comes easily to a worrying mother.

She's currently sleeping on the carpet surrounded by her toys. She looks okay, right?  Yeah, she'll be perfectly fine in no time. (Thinking positively, while wringing my hands.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Hill Brothers: Vanransaler, William, and Walter

These brothers were my first cousins four times removed. Their father, John R. HILL, was a brother to my 3rd great-grandfather, Richard D. HILL. Both John and Richard were born somewhere in New York State, about 1803 and 1808 respectively. The brothers had 3 other siblings: John P. HILL (born Abt. 1830), Eliza HILL (born Abt. 1833), and Julia HILL (born 31 Aug 1852, died 28 Jul 1930.) John P. was somehow crippled, had no profession, and I last found him on the 1870 Census living with his parents. Eliza was present in the 1840 and 1850 U.S. Census, but I have not found any further documentation for her. Julia married Joseph KEMPEL (children were: Gertrude KEMPEL, Joseph KEMPEL, Henry KEMPEL, & Bertha KEMPEL) and moved to Akron, Ohio. Their father was living in Medina Township with his widowed sister-in-law, Matilda Harriet (KNAPP) HILL, in June 1880. Their mother, Maria FERGUSON, died 16 May 1869 and is buried at Coddingville Jones Cemetery in Granger Twp., Medina County.)

Vanransaler Ferguson HILL

Born 18 Oct 1836 in Harrisville Township, Medina County, Ohio. He lived in Lafayette Township for several years prior to the family moving to Granger Township before 1860. He worked at his father's mill, and as a carpenter before he married Sally A. RUDESILL in Medina on 26 May 1861. He enlisted as a Private 05 Nov 1862 in Cleveland, OH, and then enlisted in Company 5th Independent, Sharpshooters Regiment Ohio on 05 December 1862. His regiment fought in the following battles: Hollowell's Landing, Alabama; on 19 January 1864 at Seymour, IN; on 21 January 1864 at Chattanooga, TN, and at Nashville, TN on 28 October 1864. He mustered out of the Company 5th Independent, Sharpshooters Regiment on 19 July 1865 with Distinguished Service.

1890 Reunion of the Ohio Fifth Independent Sharpshooters
Berea, Ohio
Vanransaler Hill #15

After his discharge, he resided in Granger Twp., Medina County, before moving to Akron. On 05 Aug 1894 he was admitted to the Ohio Soldier and Sailors Home from Akron, and into "H" Cottage. In March of 1899 during an examination at the Soldiers and Sailors Home, his physical description was entered as follows: 5'8", 145 pounds, 62 years of age, with a fair complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. He was discharged per his request on 22 Aug 1912, and then readmitted to the Soldiers and Sailors Home on 25 Apr 1913. He was admitted into the home's hospital 15 Mar 1916 and passed away on 26 Apr 1916 due to cardiac asthenia myocarditis. He is buried in Section I, Row 3, Marker 7.

[Sources: U.S. Census 1840, 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910; Marriage Certificate for Vanransaler Hill and Sally A. Rudesill; Civil War Database at; Ohio Veteran's Home records.]

Regimental History
Ohio Fifth Independent Company Sharpshooters
(Three Years)

Fifth Independent Company Sharpshooters. - Capts., Gershom M. Barber, David W. Botsford; First Lieuts., Jonathan Rickard, Franklin H. Somers, William N. Watson; Second Lieuts., William L. Stearns, William G Lemon. This independent organization was composed of recruits from Cleveland and vicinity, who were enrolled during the months of Oct. and Nov. 1862, and mustered into the U. S. service Dec. 5, at Camp Cleveland. It left Cleveland on March 1, 1863, and proceeded to Murfreesboro, Tenn., via Cincinnati and the OH and Cumberland rivers. Ar-riving at Murfreesboro on March 9, it reported to Maj.Gen. Rosecrans. A battalion was formed of the 5th, 6th, and 7th companies, OH volunteer sharpshooters. The battalion left Murfreesboro on June 24 and marched via Tullahoma to Normandy, where it arrived on July 5guarded a bridge over Duck river, and then proceeded to Chattanooga, arriving there Sept. 10; marched to Crawfish Springs Sept. 15, and was engaged guarding headquarters train and picking up stragglers through the battle of Chickamauga; returned to Chattanooga Sept. 21, established a line of sharpshooters at Little Suck on Oct. 13, and was engaged with a continual line of sharpshooters of the enemy untilNov. 1, driving them from their post; crossed the Tennessee river and scouted Sand mountain, returning to Chattanooga on Nov. 4. From Feb. 1 to 13, 1864, it buried 875 dead on the battlefield of Chickamauga. This company was mustered out on July 19, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. The roll of honor shows that 17 men lost their lives during the period of service of the company, 14 of whom died of disease.

Battles Fought:

Fought at Hollowell's Landing, AL.
Fought on 19 January 1864 at Seymour, IN.
Fought on 21 January 1864 at Chattanooga, TN.
Fought on 28 October 1864 at Nashville, TN.

[Source: The Union Army, vol. 2]

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William Henry HILL

William Henry HILL, who is probably one of the best-known citizens of Howard county, resides in the beautiful city of St. Paul. He is one of the earliest pioneers in that region, and, during his early residence here, followed farming, afterward engaging in the contracting and building business, and was for a number of years connected with the bridge building department of the Union Pacific railroad. He is a man of wide experience and has met with decided success in his different business ventures. Mr. Hill is a native of Medina County, Ohio, and was born July 29, 1840. He is a brother of Walter F. HILL (a sketch of whom appears in this volume on another page) and his childhood was spent in the vicinity of his birthplace, remaining on the home farm until his twenty-second year. In August 1862, he enlisted in the army and went with Company I, 103rd Ohio regiment of infantry, to the struggle serving until the close of the war. He participated in a number of the famous battles of civil war history, chief among them being the siege of Knoxville, Buzzard's Roost, the siege of Atlanta, and was all through that vicinity with his company, including the engagements at Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, besides numerous minor skirmishes. In June of 1865 Mr. Hill received an honorable discharge from the army, and returned to his home, remaining there for about a year and a half, and during that time was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane MERTON of Portage County, Ohio. The young couple settled in Portage County, and followed farming for about three years then moved into Missouri, where they farmed until the spring of 1872 when they came to Howard county, the family consisting at that time of Mr. and Mrs. Hill and little daughter. They located on a homestead in section two, township ten, range fourteen, proved up on the claim, and farmed for about thirteen years, retiring from active farm work in 1885, when they moved to St. Paul, where Mr. Hill bought a comfortable home, which they still occupy. For about ten years after coming to St. Paul, Mr. Hill was engaged in doing bridge work for the Union Pacific railway company, then began at the builders' and contractors' trade, of which he has made a success. During his early residence in Howard County, Mr. Hill was director of school district number fifteen for a number of years and aided in every way possible to develop his locality along educational and commercial lines. He has held different township offices of trust, and, with his good wife, is classed among the prominent early pioneers of the county. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hill, but only three of them are now living, namely: Cora M., wife of Chas. Dunn, they have three children and residing in Howard County; Inez M., wife of L. A. [Lemuel] Parker, parents of two children, and living in Cotesfield; Edna M., wife of Lee DeBord, who have one son, their home being in Brayton, Nebraska. The parents of Mrs. Hill are dead, but she has two sisters living, one of whom resides in St. Paul and the other in Pennsylvania. Mr. Hill's father and mother [John R. Hill and Maria] both died in Ohio. One brother, Vanrensler [Vanransaler], lives in Ohio, Walter F., mentioned above, and one sister, Mrs. Julia Kemple [Kempel], also living in Ohio.

[Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence, and Biography of Nebraska; pages 115 & 116 Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1912]

Mary Jane (MERTON) HILL died 23 Dec 1916 and William 02 Jul 1921. Both are buried at Elmwood Cemetery, St. Paul, Howard County, NE

Regimental History 
Ohio 103rd Regiment 
(Three Years)

Organized at Cleveland, Ohio, August, 1862. Ordered to Kentucky September 3, 1862. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to October, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. Ohio, January 1863. 1st Brigade, District of Central Kentucky, Dept. Ohio, to June 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of Ohio, to August 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of Ohio, to February 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina, to June, 1865. SERVICE--Pursuit of Kirby Smith to Lexington, Ky., September 18-22, 1862. Duty at Snow's Pond until October 6, and at Frankfort until May, 1863. Expedition to Monticello and operations in Southeastern Kentucky April 26-May 12, 1863. Action at Monticello May 1. Duty in Central Kentucky until August. Burnside's Campaign in East Tennessee August 16 - October 17. At Greenville until September 19. Carter's Depot September 20-21. Jonesboro September 21. Knoxville Campaign November 4 - December 23. Siege of Knoxville November 17 - December 5. Operations about Dandridge January 16-17, 1864. Duty at Blain's Cross Roads until April 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton, Ga., May 8-13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Cartersville May 20. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church, and Allatoona Hills May 25 - June 5. Near Marietta June 1-9. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10 - July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Cheyney's Farm June 22. Olley's Farm June 26-27. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Isham's Ford, Chattahoochie River, July 8 (1st Regiment to cross). Decatur July 18-19. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Near Rough and Ready August 31. Battle of Jonesboro August 31 - September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama October. At Decatur until October 20. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., until January 16, 1865. Movement to Washington, D.C., thence to North Carolina January 16 - February 9. Operations against Hoke, near Fort Fisher, N. C., February 11-14. Near Sugar Loaf Battery February 11. Fort Anderson, Cape Fear River, February 18-19. Town Creek February 19-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1 - April 26. Advance on Goldsboro March 6-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Raleigh, N. C., and in the Dept. of North Carolina until June. Mustered out June 12, 1865. Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 137 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 106 Enlisted men by disease. Total 148.

[Source: The Civil War Archive 1998-2002]

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Walter Ferguson HILL

The gentleman above mentioned is one of the popular pioneers of Howard county, bears an excellent reputation as a patriotic citizen and successful business man, and is one of the leaders in local affairs in that city. Although at present retired from active labor, and residing in one of the handsome homes in St. Paul, he was for many years intimately identified with the agricultural interests of the county and has been a potent factor in its development. Walter F. Hill was born in Medina County, Ohio, on January 8, 1843, and at about the age of fourteen, engaged in the saw-mill business with his father [John R. HILL] and two brothers [William Henry HILL and Vanransaler F. HILL], continuing in the work for a number of years. At the beginning of the civil war, he enlisted for six months, but on account of an accident, was unable to serve until 1864, when he entered the army in August, serving in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Regiment of Infantry, and took part in some of the principal engagements toward the close of the war, among them being the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, besides different skirmishes. He received an honorable discharge on May 18, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee, having several months previously received injuries which resulted in his confinement in a hospital for three months. After leaving the army, Mr. Hill returned to his home in Ohio, and worked at railroading for about one year and a half, then began farming, and was successful in the work, continuing at it all the time he remained in Ohio, which was up to 1873. On March 20, 1870, he was married to Weltha A. Boham, a native of Portage County, Ohio, who was a teacher in the public schools in that vicinity for a number of years. They came to Nebraska in the spring of 1873, locating in Howard County, where Mr. Hill homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-two, township fourteen, range ten, and proved up on the land. He later purchased another quarter in the same section and succeeded in developing a fine stock and grain farm. He afterward added to his acreage until he owned in all about four hundred acres, all of which he has now disposed of. A short time ago, Mr. Hill retired from active farming and bought a fine residence in St. Paul, where himself and wife are popular members of their social circle. Mr. Hill was one of the principal organizers of school district number eleven, and for about twenty years served as its director and treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were among the earliest families to settle in this part of Howard County, and have passed through all the various stages of its development, becoming widely known through their aid in furthering in every way possible the best interests of their locality. Mr. Hill has a brother [William Henry Hill] living in St. Paul, also one brother [Vanransaler F. Hill] who lives in Ohio, and Mrs. Hill has a brother living in Kansas, another in Iowa, and a sister, who still makes Ohio her permanent home.
[Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence, and Biography of Nebraska; pages 175 & 176 Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1912]  

Weltha (BOHAM) HILL passed away 14 Mar 1914. Walter died 20 Aug 1916. Both are laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetery, St. Paul, Howard County, NE.

Regimental History 
Ohio One Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Infantry 
(One Year)

One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Infantry. - Col., Joab A. Stafford; Lieut.-Col., Aaron C. Johnson; Maj., John C. Hamilton. This regiment was organized at Camp Chase, Sept. 26, 1864, to serve for one year, and was at once dispatched by rail and river to Nashville, with orders to report to Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas for duty. It remained in Nashville some two weeks, performing guard duty when it was sent to Tullahoma, Tenn., where it composed part of the post command. The post at Tullahoma was evacuated in the winter of 1864 and the regiment was sent to Murfreesboro, where it remained during the siege. After the defeat of Gen. Hood's army at Nashville the regiment was ordered to North Carolina. It landed at Morehead City with the 23d corps and a few days thereafter participated in a skirmish with the enemy at Wise's Forks. After the surrender of Johnston's army, the regiment was ordered to Charlotte, N. C., where it performed garrison duty until mustered out on June 29, 1865, in accordance with orders from the war department.  

Battles Fought:

Fought on 30 November 1864 at Elk River, TN.
Fought on 06 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 07 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 07 December 1864 at Wilkerson's Pike, TN.
Fought on 14 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 14 December 1864 at Wilkinson's Pike, TN.
Fought on 10 March 1865 at NC.
Fought on 08 April 1865 at Wilmington, NC To Goldsboro, NC.
[Source: The Union Army, vol. 2]  

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*Information updated 04/14/2019

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Kane Family Bible

This Bible belonged to my 2nd great-grandparents, James KANE, and Julia Agnes McCORMICK. Their daughter, Margaret Beatrice KANE, probably left it to her daughter, Margaret Beatrice (HANNAN) HILL, whose daughter, Jacqueline, has given it to her daughter, Diana. Diana is my first cousin, and she made it available to be photographed by my husband.

Julia was more than likely the one making the entries, as they seem to stop around the time she died in December of 1916. I have documentation for nearly all the entries, but did have a couple of facts clarified. The entries are difficult to read, but possible if the largest image is viewed. To view the documents for the Kane Family please refer to the James Cornelius KANE Family page, and click on links titled: born, married, died, obituary, etc.

There are many discrepancies between the entries in the Bible, and the documents that I have. I believe that some time may have passed between the occurrences, and the actual entering of the information. That could account for the lack of birth dates on the grandchildren's page, and some differences in dates. The first entry on the "Deaths" page is completely illegible to me.

I hope that someday clearer copies of the pages can be made, but I am very thankful to have these available to keep and to share.

(Click images to see larger versions)



Births - Children

Births - Grandchildren



Recipe: Portuguese Pot Roast


This recipe is closest to the one made by my grandmother, Rose Kennedy, when my sisters and I were children. This version was given to me by my cousin, Dorothy (Martin) Swan in 1979. I haven't had it since I was a teenager, but it was always a favorite of mine. Now, if I can just figure out a vegetarian substitute for the roast I might have it again someday.

It made excellent sandwiches as leftovers.


2 lbs. Chuck Roast
1/2 cup vinegar
2 to 3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
to taste tobasco sauce

several carrots sliced diagonally in 3 inch lengths
3 md. russet potatoes sliced into large chunks
1 lg. onion sliced into large wedges


1. Marinate meat in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, if possible.
2. Cook on low heat on top of stove (covered & turning frequently). Add water, if needed, to keep submersed.
3. Cook with carrots, potatoes, and if desired, onions. Cook until the roast reaches at least 145° (according to the FDA minimal standards and not family recommendations.)
4. To brown, remove most of the liquid, turn up to medium-high until desired color is achieved.

Servings:  6 to 8

Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade


This marinade recipe was my father’s. My sisters and I are vegetarians but it remains one of our favorite aromas, and brings back fond memories. I have used it to marinate vegetables and even meat substitutes.

Even though my dad preferred sirloin strips, he would use white meat chicken strips for his daughters (until we stopped eating that too!)


1 cup soy sauce
1 cup white wine
2 or more garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. powdered ginger
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped


Mix all ingredients together. Marinate meat (in the refrigerator) for several hours prior to barbecuing. Meat substitutes and vegetables need minimal marinating and may be grilled or cooked in a skillet. Keep refrigerated until ready to use and discard leftover marinade.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary Lizzie!

Lizzie and Me - 6/13/2009
(she's chewing on her new Nylabone Dura Chew)

It was one year ago today that we adopted Lizzie.  She's sweetness, politeness, and loveliness defined. She's quiet companionship and unexpected silliness. She's the Corgi of my dreams and I feel so very blessed to have her in my life.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Review: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Title: Grave Sight
Series: Harper Connelly Mystery #1
Author: Charlaine Harris
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 10/04/2005
Publisher: Berkley
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Fantasy, Contemporary Mystery


Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who's passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she's providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living - but she's used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she's become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it's always urgent - even if the dead can wait forever. 


I knew the Harper Connelly series would be different from the Southern Vampire Series going in. I didn't find Grave Sight particularly fast-moving but did find the characters of Harper and Tolliver to be humanly compelling and admired their commitment to each other. They'd been through a lot together and it showed in their actions. The concept of her abilities make the possibilities for a long series likely. I look forward to reading the next three books that are currently available.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Book Review: Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Title: Vision in White
Series: The Bride Quartet #1
Author: Nora Roberts
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 03/12/2009
Publisher: Jove
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance


Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.


What an absolutely wonderful and fun read! Not one ghost or evil presence in the entire book. Well, Mac's mother is pretty awful, but the four lifelong best friends more than make up for Linda's (lack of) character. I found myself laughing out loud several times. I was worried that there would be way too much wedding talk (they are wedding planners after all), but my eyes didn't glaze over even once with all the wedding stuff. Oh, and ahem, Carter Maguire is one adorable guy. Pretty darn close to perfect...REALLY!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah

Title: True Colors
Series: Standalone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published: 04/01/2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Press


True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s most provocative, compelling, and heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the kind of passion that rarely comes along.
The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community. 

Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.
Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town. . . .
In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.

With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption---and ultimately, what it means to be a family.


I've read most of Kristin Hannah's books for a reason. I get thoroughly involved in her stories! I find her characters to be human and the dialogue realistic. I felt connected and involved with the people in True Colors. I cared what happened to them and I cried along with them. I know for a fact that horses can help a person through the darkest of times. The author captured that type of healing bond beautifully. The sisters had their rough spots and true love and devotion was tested, but it all came together so beautifully in the end.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Music to My Ears

I'm quite jazzed about my most recent song purchases.  Not many, but they are all excellent!
  • A Fine Frenzy - You Picked Me
  • Coldplay - Fix You
  • Elvis Costello - Complicated Shadows
  • Thriving Ivory - Flowers for a Ghost, Twilight, Secret Life, Overrated, and Angels on the Moon
  • Jason Mraz - If It Kills Me
What say you?  What are you listening to these days?

Monday, March 30, 2009

My "Twilight" Zone

I wasn't in so much of a bubble that I hadn't heard of the Twilight books or the movie. I rarely go to the theater. When I do it's with my husband and usually to see the latest Harry Potter movie.

Twilight was released to DVD on March 21.  I told my husband that I wanted to see it so he rented it at the local video store for me. On Sunday, my house-all-to-myself day, I watched it for the first time. I think because I had not read the book(s) or any reviews of either the books or movie, I didn't have any true expectations.  For this I am so R-E-L-I-E-V-E-D!

I can't put into words my immediate and overwhelming fixation with the movie (I'll get to the books in a bit); but promptly after watching it I downloaded the Twilight soundtrack from iTunes.  On Monday, my husband bought Twilight on eBook for me. On Wednesday I got the other 3 eBooks.  I've been scouring the Internet for all things (positive) Twilight since.

In one week I've watched the movie 9 times, the special features 3 times, read all four books, and have the soundtrack playing nearly non-stop! I've got the movie, soundtrack, and all 4 books on my iPod so I can escape into my own "Twilight Zone" almost anytime I want.  *sighs*

I didn't think Robert Pattinson was any cuter than the rest of the young cast members in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He was attractive but so young and definitely not SPARKLING!  As Edward Cullen though...oh my! He is quite stare-worthy. At this point in time I have not become overly critical of the movie. There are definitely issues with continuity, script, and bland performances, but I still LOVE IT!

Believe me when I say that something like this has NEVER happened to me before. I talked to my oldest sister on Friday and told her of my Twilight obsession. She said something like, "If it makes you happy, then what's the harm?" and "You've been so serious all your life; you should have fun with this now."  I'm old enough to be Bella's grandmother! What really counts is that I'm not old enough to be Edward's grandmother.  Not technically.  So, I'm going to allow myself to be majorly crushing on that gorgeous, smoldering, sparkling character.  *swoons*

I ordered Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion from Amazon and it is due to be delivered tomorrow! I can hardly wait! This is the first movie I've watched that I feel compelled to purchase merchandise for.

My husband has watched it twice and gave it four stars. So, he likes it, but he likes LOTS of movies. My daughter saw it on Saturday (after my husband and I both issued caution regarding Bella's behavior with Edward).  She LOVES the soundtrack and enjoyed the movie, but she's not obsessed LIKE HER MOTHER IS! It's almost embarrassing. I'm not going to admonish myself for this because I think I do deserve this little bit of Twilight happiness.

There is a quote, that is one of my favorites:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  — Maya Angelou

I've learned that Twilight has made me feel youthful and giddy. That swooning feeling ain't bad either!

Re: the books. Sci-fi/fantasy are definitely not my favorite genres, but I was able to concentrate on the human characteristics rather than the whole vampire thing. Twilight is my favorite by far. I rated the books as follows:

Twilight (5 stars - Loved it!)—Bella and Edward meet. We are along for the amazing ride!
New Moon (4 stars -  Really liked it)—The absence of Edward was deeply felt. :(
Eclipse (4 stars - Really liked it)—Exciting? Yes. Don't understand the whole Jacob detour.
Breaking Dawn (3 stars - Liked it)—I would have appreciated it much more had it continued only from Bella's point of view and featured less detail about Renesmee and the visiting vampires.

Okay, so there it is. My confession. I won't apologize and I only ask that you be kind.  I have a deep seated fear that any negative vibes I get will extinguish MY (Twi) light.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Doggy Keywords

I'm a doggy talker, are you? You know, one of THOSE people who talk to their dogs—a lot! If you do, then your dogs probably have KEYWORDS. Those words, when heard in the midst of lots of other words get their attention.

I've been thinking about Lizzie's keywords a lot these days. The longer you and your dog are together, the more specific words spark their interest.

Of course, changing your tone to a doggy friendly one can assist you in identifying your dogs keywords.

With Lizzie it goes something like this...

"I was thinking about going for a WALK, does Lizzie wanna go for a WALK?" Head tilts, eyes open wide, ears are alert, and then she takes off for the door.

I figure she probably hears, "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah WALK blah Lizzie blah blah blah blah WALK!"

Same goes for RIDE, BISCUIT, GOODY, TREAT, GO and a few others.

I also noticed how well she knows her "new" name. She was Ginny for almost 5 years and has only been Lizzie for 9 months. Talking to dogs has its rewards, especially when they respond to their keywords so adorably.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family Research News for 17 Mar 2009

Latest Discoveries and Acquisitions

  • Death certificate for Dr. Herman Clark KENYON
  • Death certificate for Blanche (GULLIFORD) KENYON
  • WWII Enlistment Data for Richard Harrison WASHBURN
Added the Following Individuals to the Tree:

  • George Edward LITTLE
  • William O. PARMENTER
  • Josiah William PARMENTER

Added Data for the Following Individuals:

  • Herman Clark KENYON
  • William O. PARMENTER
  • Harriet Matilda (HILL) PARMENTER
  • Josiah William PARMENTER

Latest Requests and Queries

  • Received the death certificate for Richard WASHBURN
  • Received gravemarker photographs for Richard WASHBURN
  • Requested a copy of the obituary for Charles HILL from Akron-Summit County Public Library

Latest Contributions

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surname Wordle

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun suggested by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings is to do a surname Wordle. Ooh la la. With my love of PURPLE, how could I resist doing a custom color theme. Thanks Randy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Family Research News for 04 Mar 2009

I received four newspaper items for my great-grandaunt, Hattie (HILL) MUSCH, from the Medina County District Library. She died in 1945, which put her one year beyond Ancestry's Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2002 database. I was unable to locate her death certificate in Family Search Lab's Ohio Deaths 1908 - 1953 database after many attempts and every search criteria I could think of. The Ohio Historical Society recently made it possible to purchase death certificates for the years 1909 - 1912 and from 1945 - 1953 through their online store. Their Ohio Death Certificate Index currently covers the years 1913 - 1944. I ordered the certificate on February 27 and received notice that it was shipped the next day.

Latest Discoveries and Acquisitions

  • WWI Draft Record for Antone Costa Lindo
  • Received several Washburn and Little documents from a cousin in England.
Added the Following Individuals to the Tree:

  • Agnes Anne Lloyd
  • Alfred Sydney Lloyd
  • Ellen Lloyd
  • Marshall Burns Lloyd
  • Margaretta Ephesia Lloyd
  • William Jamieson

(Above information supplied by Marshall Davies Lloyd.)

  • Charlana Washburn
  • Rosanna Washburn
  • Joseph Washburn
  • Harriet Washburn
  • Mary Washburn
  • Judy Washburn
  • Susan Washburn

Added Data for the Following Individuals:

  • Joao Germano Carvalho
  • Maria das Merces de Mattos
  • Maria Augusta Carvalho
  • Manuel Carvalho
  • Joseph Carvalho
  • Carolina Carvalho
  • John Carvalho Jr.
  • Marian Carvalho
  • Antone Carvalho
  • Sarah (Carvalho) Sylvester
  • Antone Costa Lindo
  • Paul Costa Lindo
  • Harold Costa Lindo.

Requests and Queries

  • Ordered a court record for Richard Harrison Washburn from the Colorado State Archives.
  • Ordered a death certificate for Hattie (Hill) Musch from the Ohio Historical Society.

Latest Contributions

Monday, March 2, 2009

Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces

Surnames and Locales:

CHAMPLIN Surname: Rhode Island (Washington County)
HILL Surname: Ohio (Medina & other counties) New York (County unknown)
HANNAN Surname: Illinois (Cook County) Missouri (St. Louis) Ireland (County unknown)
HURD Surname: New York (Dutchess County)
JUCKET/JACKET Surnames: Massachusetts (Bristol County)
KANE/O'KANE Surnames: Illinois (Cook, LaSalle, & Lee Counties) Ireland (County unknown)
KENYON Surname: Ohio (Medina County) New York (Monroe & other counties) Rhode Island (Richmond & Washington Counties)
KNAP/KNAPP Surnames: Massachusetts (Bristol County) New York (County unknown)
McCORMICK Surname: Illinois (DuPage & LaSalle Counties) Canada (Richmond County, Quebec) Ireland (County unknown)
McINTYRE Surname: Ohio (Medina County) New York (County unknown)
DeCOSTA Surname: Portugal (Lisbon Region) Hawaii (Oahu County)
CARVALHO Surname: Azores (Sao Miguel) Hawaii (Hawaii County) California (Santa Clara County)
DeMATTOS/MATTOS Surnames: Azores (Sao Miguel) Hawaii (Hawaii & Oahu Counties)
LAU or CHONG Surname: Hong Kong, Hawaii (Hawaii & Oahu Counties)

My Top Three Wishes:
  • I would love to find what New York county my HILL family left when they moved to Medina, Ohio in the 1830's.
  • I would love to find exactly where all of my Irish ancestors originated.
  • I would love to find the baptism information for my maternal grandfather, Anthony DeCosta (Lisbon, Portugal.)
Most Wanted Ancestor:

My biggest mystery is my maternal great-grandfather. I'm not even sure what his name was as it was recorded differently on every document I have. It may have been LAU CHONG. He WAS born 03 May 1867 in Hong Kong. He WAS naturalized in Honolulu on 08 Aug 1887.  He WAS working as a contractor at Waiakea Sugar Plantation on the Island of Hawaii in 1910. He DID marry Maria Augusta CARVALHO on 09 Dec 1912 in Kaneohe on Hawaii. He DID build their home at 1223 Alani St., in Honolulu. They DID have three children: Rose Lyu, Kui Kyau Lau (known as Hilda) and Alexander CHONG. He DID have a niece, whose married name was Emma (Heu Fook) VICKERY. He passed away from heart disease on 11 Apr 1918 and was buried at Ket On Society Chinese Cemetery in Honolulu. Because of the condition of the cemetery, his grave is likely never to be found.  With all of his name variations and my not being familiar with all of the intricacies of Chinese names and culture, I feel he will always be a mystery.

LAU CHONG c. 1918

1223 Alani Street Honolulu, T.H.

*updated 7/12/2010