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Surname Saturday

Michelle, author of the Gulf Coast Lagniappe blog, posted such a fun, creative idea today (!) that I had to try it out. See her post with the all the instructions to create one of your own by clicking on the name of her blog above.

Surname Subway Art Poster:

Surname Collage


















Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

I still lived in Maui, Hawaii and was not in the habit of watching t.v. or staying “plugged in” in any way. My life was about to completely change in that regard. I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen after my children’s breakfast on that beautifully sunny morning. My father phoned me from the mainland and asked me if I was watching the news. I simply answered, “No, why?” He proceeded to tell me that we were “under attack” and I remember thinking “Dad, you can be so dramatic at times…,” but while he was talking, I humored him by walking into the living room, opening the wood and bamboo cabinet my husband had made to house the old “boob-tube,” and there it was- in all it’s surreal, incomprehensible horrific-ness. Of course by then (Maui-time is 6 hours earlier than the East coast) most everything had already happened, and survivors and news anchors were just struggling to make sense of what seemed impossibly nonsensical. They were airing re-runs of the events earlier in the day- and I kept wanting to know where the President was. I remember just wanting to hear any encouraging words from him- just wanting to know that he, at least, was still alive. Much to my relief, we did, of course, eventually hear from him.

Then all the air traffic was halted for a few days. This was remarkably eerie from our perspective on a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. From our home, up on the slopes of Haleakala, we had an expansive view over the entire valley, and hence looked down on all the air traffic routinely flying in and out from our little island. It was just one of those little things you get used to, and when it stops the absence of it is glaringly obvious. Some of our friends moved to the mainland within that first year. We, too, eventually took the plunge and sold our business and home to move to the Continental U.S. It’s nice to know that we can just drive everywhere we will ever need to go; something we obviously never had the luxury of taking for granted in the islands.

I was so glad that we had moved to the mainland several years later when my mother was ill and preparing to breathe her last, that we could all simply pile into the van and go see her. I’ve learned so much more about our American heritage, world history and my own family’s history since then, and have taken much more of an interest in the events of the world. As a result, my home-schooled children have learned a whole lot more than I had by their ages about all of these topics. In that sense, and others to be sure, September 11th, 2001 changed my life forever, and the lives of my children as well. We will never see the world the same as we did before that day- and in a sense it is also true that the world will never BE the same as it was before that day.DSC_0158_2


Friday Funny: Harry Truman Humor

I came across this in one of the boxes of old papers and photos from my mother’s side of the family. I don’t know who typed it up, but it sure is hilarious!



Thrifty Thursday: Affordable Photo Organization

Here is the problem: boxes of ancestral family photos and piles of papers hither, thither and yon…

I’ve decided that, ultimately, I want to organize my photos into large, cloth-covered notebooks- but for now I just need a way to get them out of boxes and into hanging files, divided by family lines. Since this will be a temporary filing system, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on it, but at the same time, I want my photos in an acid-free environment while I’m sorting them all.

A couple of days ago I stopped into a nearby OfficeMax. For barely over $6.00 I picked up a package of six little filing boxes. To this I simply added a box of hanging file folders (store brand) and a box of 200 acid-free sheet protectors (also store brand). By just using a couple of pieces of rolled up scotch tape (you could use 2-sided tape if you have it), I positioned one sheet protector on the (interior) backside of the hanging folder- with the white-bar side of the sheet protector at the top so I can easily write on it with a sharpie whose photos are in that file. Then of the other (interior) side of the hanging folder I positioned and taped another sheet protector with the clear edge at the top. Now I can safely rest my photos in these temporary acid-free files while I sort and get them ready to go into their own surname notebooks.


Beannacht / Blessing

“On the day when

the weight deadens

on your shoulders

and you stumble,

may the clay dance

to balance you.

And when your eyes

freeze behind

the grey window

and the ghost of loss

gets in to you,

may a flock of colours,

indigo, red, green,

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

in the currach of thought

and a stain of ocean

blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters

a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,

may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow

wind work these words

of love around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.”


from: Echoes of Memory by John O’Donohue, a poet from Ireland.

*note: a “currach” is a small Irish/Scottish boat made of wood and wrapped in canvas. To watch a

purely beautiful film of one being made see: