Sunday, August 30, 2009

More nicknames in the Wait family tree

Ancestry.com just sent me an email about a possible match to my great grandfather, Frederick Hiram Wait!  It was the 1910 Census, which I've been searching on/off for since I started on him a few months ago.  I thought I'd just let it sit for a while and come back to it when I was ready.  Well, they must have decided I was ready today, because they found him!




























NameAge
Frederich H Waits (s/b Frederick H)33
Nella H Waits (s/b Uella)25
John W R Waits (nickname Ray)9
Frederick L Waits (nickname Roy)7
Verne L Waits (nickname Vernie)
2

 

No wonder I couldn't find him!  Every single name on the list was different than what I was searching for.  You'd think I would have gone in and checked again for this census after finding Elvie listed as "Anetta E" and Harriet listed as "Loretta S" on the 1920, but I didn't.  Oh well, this saved me some time reading through all of the census forms.  ;-)

I've been hitting dead ends looking for Ray and Roy, so maybe this will steer me in the right direction!  Although it's a little disconcerting... my Dad was named after his dad Roy Frederick... now his name wasn't Roy at all?  Then how is my Dad a Jr?  Oh dear...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ancestors that I've actually met

Fellow Geneablogger, Randy Seaver, posted an interesting challenge tonight.
Here is your challenge for tonight (or whenever you read this):

1) Write down which of your ancestors that you have met in person (yes, even if you were too young to remember them).

2) Tell us their names, where they lived, and their relationship to you in a blog post, or in comments to this post, or in comments on Facebook.

Shirley Ann Kunz Wait (still with me!), my Mom!  I'll keep the details to myself since she'd probably kill me if I shared anything.

Roy Frederick Wait, Jr (1931-2004), my dearly departed Dad.  Lived in Seward, Nebraska.  Then in San Jose, California.  Then in Lincoln, Nebraska. Then out to Walhalla, South Carolina for a few years.  Then moved back to Lincoln until he died from Lymphoma and chemo.

Earl Daniel Kunz (1901-1971).  My maternal Gramps.  As far as I know, he was born and raised in Elmwood, Nebraska.  He's buried in the cemetery there.  I met him once when I was about a year old and have a photo of me sitting on his lap.  I don't remember him at all... and I actually thought he died before I was born until I started working on my family tree and then found the picture.  He died when I was three and we lived out of state, so I think I met him just that once.

Della Nevada Hartsock Kunz (1909-1974), my maternal Gramma.  She was born in Keya Paha, Nebraska and moved to Elmwood, Nebraska when she was young.  She lived there most of her life, except for a few years that she lived in a house just up the street from where I live now.  I remember visiting her when I was just old enough to hop up on the counter and perch there.  I was pretty good at it until then, and slipped off and ended up sitting in the dishwater.  Mom has never let me forget that!

Freda Delores Fleming Wait (1906-1993), my paternal Grandmother.  She was born in Weld County, Colorado.  She ended up living in Lancaster, California.  I'm not sure where she was in the meantime.  We didn't see her often (again, different states), but I do remember when she came to visit us when I was in high school in the early 80s.  She tried to use our fancy new microwave to heat her cinnamon roll one morning and accidentally put it in for 10 minutes instead of 10 seconds.  I woke up to a house full of smoke and the smoke detector blaring!  That was fun.  =)

That's it for me!  I've only met FIVE of my ancestors.  My paternal Grandfather, Roy Frederick Wait, Sr (1902-1967), passed away the year before I was born.  My paternal great Grandmother passed away the same year.  All of the rest of my ancestors died before 1956.  That might explain my fascination with learning more about them and what their lives were like.

Thanks for the challenge, Randy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

FLEMING - Find A Grave success!

Ask and you shall receive!  Right?  This is alive and well at www.findagrave.com!

Earlier this week, I fulfilled my first photo requests!  There were five open at Wyuka Cemetery, so I printed out the info, searched their website for burial locations, and off I went!  The folks at the cemetery office were very helpful, not only printing maps for me and highlighting where the stones should be, but also finding a spelling error in one of the names and explaining that one grave may not have a headstone due to the conditions in 1919.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to get in a bit of exercise and walk to each gravesite instead of drive.  Great workout, and very spiritual experience!   It got up to over 90 degrees that day, so I was a little flushed and tired by the time I left there.  Remind me to take a bottle of water next time!  Three hours later, I was on my way home with 35 photos!  Not only did I find 4 out of 5 of my original group, but I found a few of their relations as well.  There are also some really interesting headstones there, so I snapped photos of them too!  As they predicted, the 1919 stone was nowhere to be found... it was just a grassy spot... so I took a photo of the grass anyway to share with the requester.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the a/c here at home loading pictures and sending messages that the requests had been completed.  What a great feeling to be able to help a complete stranger out!

Later on this week, I discovered that the photo requests that I had posted for great grandpa Fred Fleming and his family was claimed and completed!  The volunteer even took pics of a couple of other Flemings in the area that turned out to be Fred's brother and one of Fred's sons.  It's reassuring for me to see their graves, even though they're just photos.  From a genealogical perspective, I was able to add new information to their ancestry.com profiles based on the information on the stones.  From a personal perspective, seeing the actual physical proof that they lived makes me feel a little closer to them.

New headstones (Frank & James E to be added soon):

Fleming, Claire Wilford
b. Feb. 21, 1905 d. Oct. 23, 1970
Belmont Memorial Park
Fresno
Fresno County
California, USA
Fleming, Frank
b. 1866 d. 1953
Belmont Memorial Park
Fresno
Fresno County
California, USA
Fleming, Fred
b. Jul. 3, 1873 d. Jun. 15, 1944
Belmont Memorial Park
Fresno
Fresno County
California, USA
Fleming, James E
b. Nov. 15, 1916 d. Feb. 18, 2003
Belmont Memorial Park
Fresno
Fresno County
California, USA

Lovestrand, Marjorie May Fleming
b. Aug. 19, 1913 d. Sep. 22, 1971
Belmont Memorial Park
Fresno
Fresno County
California, USA

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Historical Markers at Markeroni.com

Nebraska Statehood Memorial - 1627 "H" Street, Lincoln NE 68508

Scott's parents are on their way here as I type this, so I really shouldn't be typing this!  They left Detroit yesterday, stayed in Chicago overnight, and are now coming to see us for the weekend.  Of course, we decided to start a bunch of projects this week to spruce up the house for their visit and are still in the midst of them!  I should be putting a 2nd coat of paint in the bathroom right now!  (it's hard to motivate when the paint doesn't look at all like what you thought it would, so you'll be repainting again very soon)

In the meantime, I've been digging around in Twitter, Facebook, and the web looking for something new to pique my curiosity when a tweet from @mdiane_rogers popped up.

#FollowFriday @markeroni She has a great group going - photographing/noting historical markers & sites. #photography #history #genealogy

Markeroni?  What in the world is that?  I like Historical Markers!  So I popped onto their website and got sucked right in.  Really, it's a place where you share photos and information about Historical Markers that you visit.  Since Scott and I just went to the Nebraska State Capitol, walked by the Governor's Mansion, and popped over to the Nebraska Statehood Memorial at the Thomas P Kennard House, it was the perfect opportunity for me to phost my photos with people would would appreciate them.

It took me a bit to figure out how to get around on the site, but after a while I was able to load my first two markers!  I even took a stab at Cataloging the Nebraska Statehood Memorial!  I also see that they're missing photos from Hawaii, so I'll have to dig through my Hawaii photos and scan one from my visit to the USS Arizona Memorial.  I can't remember if I snapped a picture of the plaque, but it's worth a look!

If you're looking for a place to share photos from your visits to historical monuments and the like, check out Markeroni!  Apparently, there are even penguins involved!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My first findagrave.com experience

I finally feel like I've accomplished something!  At least something that I can share with the world...

I spent this afternoon posting burial information on Find A Grave!  Find A Grave is a site where you can add and request photos of the headstones of your ancestors.  This comes in really helpful for genealogy research not only for the names, dates, etc... but because it's actual physical proof that this person existed.  You can also gather clues by looking at who is buried around them and whether the headstones or last names match.

  • Submitted 16 Memorials, mostly for Fleming and Wait family

  • Added 18 photos, including 2 of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ruby, NE

  • Added 3 photo requests for Grandma Wait's family

  • Left virtual flowers on the online memorials, neat if you can't visit the grave personally.

  • Added 4 Virtual Cemeteries that are organized for my Wait, Fleming, Kunz, and Hartsock lines so it's somewhat organized!

  • Finished adding all of the photos that I took at Mount Pleasant Cemetery so far.

  • Added myself as a photo volunteer in my area!

My experience with the site so far has been awesome!  It's pretty intuitive.  I especially love the Quick Add feature that lets you add multiple people to the same cemetery.  I do wish there was a way to add husband/wife to the same photo instead of loading it twice.  Might save them some bandwidth and storage space.

I still have a bunch of photos from the Seward Cemetery in Seward NE and the Elmwood Cemetery in Elmwood NE.  I figure I'll just go through them methodically and get them entered one at a time.  I hope you'll check the site out and let me know what you think about it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Twig Theory

I tried something new today with my family tree and the photos that I took at the Seward Cemetery in Seward, Nebraska this Spring.  I started with a seemingly unrelated twig and worked my way back to an ancestor that I recognized from my main family tree!  It's easier to find out who someone's parents are than it is to find out who someone's kids were.

It was my first trip to this cemetery, so I took pictures of everyone I could find with the last name of WAIT.  All in all, I walked away with 15 headstones.  I only recognized a couple of names, so I filed the other 13 away hoping that as I filled in the information about the people I did know, I would also figure out who they are!  Well, it's been a couple of months and I haven't bumped into them.

This morning, I got an idea... how about if I build a separate tree on Ancestry.com starting with James B & Bena Gruber Wait.  I figured with a name like Bena, it would separate her from the pack and she would be easier to find.  At some point in time, a lot of the headstones in that part of the cemetery must have been redone because they all have the same shape and design on them.  James & Bena's headstone looked older and was red instead of gray like the rest.  So they seemed like a good place to start!  It worked!

Within 20 minutes, I had linked 3 other headstones to that one and it turns out that James B's father is Moses Woodruff Wait's son!  Moses W Wait was my great great grandfather William Henry's younger brother, their Dad was James G Waits from Ohio and he was already nestled into my tree.  I already had MW in my tree, but just hadn't been able to find him in any Census after 1860 yet!

I also found an obituary for Bena's sister, Pauline Gruber Sears, that listed her siblings and uncovered her maiden name, so I added all of the info from that obit into Bena's profile to link her to the rest of her family.  That's a little gem I can flesh out later if/when I come back to that part of the tree!

Now I'm just poking around in there trying to attach my new little twig into the rest of my tree.  Anyone got some wood glue?  Lol!  Actually, the new Member Connect function is making it really easy.  I just connected to my other tree and am now going down the line and adding the missing information!

You know... piecing together your family tree is like putting a big puzzle together.  You may be over here on the left side piecing together what looks like a boat, but then you have all of these other pieces that you're looking at, too.  Pretty soon, they start to take shape and you find that it's actually a picture of a swan from the far right side of the puzzle.  Sooner or later, as you work your way out, you're bound to find the pieces that connect them together so your picture is complete!  Of course, there are also times when you find that that swan actually belongs in completely different picture altogether, but at least you've put some pieces together for the owner of that puzzle.  It's all give and take.  =)

Wordless Wednesday - Pony Pictures

Grandma Uella in the early 1900s



I wish the quality of this picture were better so I could see who is in the seat.  Ray and Roy and maybe a little girl between them?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Mystery broken stone

Headstone?  Some other kind of marker?

This stone is placed between a Mother and Father WAIT in the Seward Cemetery, NE.  I took a picture of it, but don't even know if it's a tombstone.  It would be helpful if it wasn't broken and I could read the full text.

What do you think it is?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Madness Monday - Orphaned Photos

Today is Madness Monday!!  Want to know what's driving me mad today?  ORPHANED PHOTOS.  Simply put, old original photos of weddings and kids and families that don't have a home with their real families and are up for auction on ebay.  I mean, I'm glad that they're not in the trash and that there is a possibility that they could be reunited with their families, but wow.  I just spent about an hour looking through pages and pages of them.  It brings tears to my eyes!  Some of them are even identified!

So if you're interested in finding photos of your ancestors, I suggest searching ebay.  I didn't find any of mine  yet, but I'll keep looking!

Search "Antique Photographs" under the Collectibles category.  I used the left margin to narrow it down to "photographic images", then "original print".  Or you can search for your state, but that will only work if it's labeled.  Good Luck!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Who's Your (Grand)Daddy?

Boy!  I thought I had it easy when I started my little genealogy project!  I had an old suitcase full of photos and 14 pages of family group sheets going back to 1610 on my Dad's Wait side of the family.  Seemed like an excellent place to start!  So I signed up for Ancestry.com and within the first few days, I hit my first brick wall thanks to my newly found cousin Christa.

The first 100 years and four generations of family tree information I had was wrong.  BAM!

Apparently, the early tree was based on a book called The Colonial Genealogist by Rev Emmett Moore Waits written in 1970.  He wrote a whole report on the Waits Family of Virginia that traced our roots back to Brinkworth England.  Unfortunately, there were two John Waits from the same area in Virginia.  I guess it's always been fishy and the dates and ages of those involved haven't matched up, but there wasn't any proof of the contrary until now.

Enter, DNA Testing!

Christa pointed me towards a Waite family website  run by Sue Waite-Langley.  She, along with Amanda Dickens and Ginger Jamison, have done extensive research on the Waite family and have known for about ten years that our tree is wrong.  And as hard as they've tried to get the information out there, the bad information just keeps getting passed along from family to family.  Now that genealogical DNA testing is available, they have organized a DNA Study  in order to sort out the twisted roots of the Wait(e)(s) family trees.

Here are their findings the first time around.  About 60 people have been tested and they have already separated out SEVEN different lines.  According to Amanda, our line fits in with what they call The Southern Line (which I never would have guessed!).  If you look at the chart, you'll see that within that line, there are already 3 different sub-groups within that Line!  What a mess!

They're asking for men in our family to participate in the study so we can help get everything sorted out.  It costs under $200, which is cheap when you stop to think that it costs about $1 to make one photocopy at the Historical Society.  Then there's the gas or airfare to get additional records.  I pay $20 a month for Ancestry.com alone, so that runs well over $200/year.  And what if you're on the wrong track altogether?  Then you have to start all over again.  DNA testing is like taking the bypass.  It's PROOF.

I'm not working right now, so I have the time, energy, brains, intuition, and most importantly the PASSION to organize all of this.  The thing I don't have is the money.  Truthfully, even the Ancestry.com membership really cuts into our living expenses.  But maybe if we all chipped in, we would be able to sponsor a family member or two?  Thoughts?

Why does it matter?  My personal feelings are that our ancestors matter.  They were flesh and blood people like us who worked hard to raise their families.  They endured hardships and migrated across the ocean to give their children better lives.  And to think that all of these years, the "credit" has been given to a random stranger.  I believe that they should be honored for their love and sacrifice.  They should not be forgotten.  Not only that, but think how cool it would be to link up with long lost relatives!  Who knows if they have photos, letters, or family bibles that were passed down through their families!  Where in England is our family from, anyway?!

So, Why now?  The thing about genealogical DNA testing is that it runs through the male genes.  Father to son, father to son, etc.  Once a line has daughtered out, that's it!  The trail is cold.  Let me give you a few examples in our immediate family.

Grandpa Fred & Ray & (no kids)

Grandpa Fred & Roy Sr & Roy Jr & Brian & his son Ian

Grandpa Fred & Roy Sr & Bill

Grandpa Fred & Vernie & Vern

Grandpa Fred & Gladys (daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Mose & Ronnie (who has a daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Freddie & (no kids)

Grandpa Fred & Viola (daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Harriet (daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Elvie (daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Edith (daughter)

Grandpa Fred & Donald & Don & Steve (who both have daughters)

Does that paint a picture?  So Grandpa Fred's daughters and their kids are already out.  My sister and her kids are out.  Anyone who descends from a female Wait is out!  There may be more in our line, but these are the examples that I came up with right off the top of my head.  It sure feels like our options are quickly becoming limited... sorry guys... ;-)

The DNA testing itself is EASY.  They just send you a kit with a cheek swab. You stick it in your mouth, put it in a bag, and ship it back.  No blood involved.  It's also not used for medical testing or anything like that.  Strictly genealogical.  Then we just forward the results to Sue Waite-Langley and she adds it to her database!

Please let me know if there is anyone qualified who would like to participate in the study and how they fit into the family.  I'll organize the fund drive for testing, so if you want to contribute to this let me know.  My hope is that we get at least one family member into the study so we can share the information with our family and future generations.  This sure will add a twist to the reunion next year!

Here are a few links that summarize my long long email.  =)  Thanks for hanging in there (if you are, still in fact, still here).  lol!  I hope to hear from you soon!

List of existing Waite family lines, click "John Waite & Anne Deloss" under the Southern Line header for ours: http://www.waitegenealogy.org/fgs.htm

Website explaining how the DNA study works: http://www.waitegenealogy.org/dna.htm

Results of DNA study so far: http://www.waitegenealogy.org/results.htm

Link to study on Familytree.com explaining fees and tests: http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Waite/Wait

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Fishing

"Glenn Marion Prather, his dad John Glenn Prather, Glenn's daughter Marlene, and my g-grandpa Frederick Hiram Wait (Glenn's father-in-law) - Dog Lake, White Pass, Washington State - ca 1948"
Glenn, Mr Prather, Marlene, and my g-grandpa Fred - Oregon? Washington State? - 1940s?[/caption]

outdoorswednesdaywordlesswednesday2WateryWed2c

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - misprints

My great grandmother Uella's name was completely wrong on her headstone.  It seems like everyone in that generation had several names that they went by, but don't you think they would make a point of getting it right the first time on a headstone?  Apparently, she was still alive then!  First, she loses her husband... and now this.  What an insult.

This was a lesson to me to always get a "second opinion" before assuming that a person's tombstone has the final word on their name.  Luckily, it's come very early on in my career!  You can still see the corrected name on the stone and everything.  I wonder how long it took them to fix it since the photo is in color.  She passed away in 1967, so I wonder if they waited until then...

Seward Cemetery, Seward, Seward County, Nebraska, USA

"WELLA H" taken between 1955 & 1967 "UELLA J" taken 23 May 2009

"WELLA H" taken between 1955 & 1967



UELLA J"UELLA J" taken 23 May 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Madness Monday - Dressy unknown family group photo

unknown family - early 1900s?

unknown family - early 1900s?

Here's my entry for Madness Monday!  Mystery photos drive me nuts!  This is just one in my collection.  The man standing 2nd to the right kind of looks like my Grandpa Fred... slender build, slender face, big mustache.  =)  But no one else even remotely resembles anyone in any of the photos that I have!  Maybe it's a family by marriage?

I don't have a clue why they gals in the front row are all wearing matching outfits, yet the women in the back row aren't.  Why is everyone wearing a hat?  Were they going to church?  They seem to be really dressed up.

The terrain is very flat.  There is a lot of dirt and a chicken in the background, so it's very possible that it's in Nebraska since most of the other photos seem to be from when they lived in Seward.

My initial reaction to this photo is that they're not from around here.  It's extended family visiting from out East stopping by on their way West.  I don't get the feeling that they stayed long.

Does anyone else have any insights?  Can you help me date this photo?  Do you know who is in this photo?

Well, hello twins!

"1920 US Census - District 383, Dallas, Polk County, Oregon, USA"1920 US Census - District 383, Dallas, Polk County, Oregon, USA

I found the twins in the 1920 Census.  =)  I'm still on the trail of Aunt Harriet's twin, Elvie, so I can possibly get a photo of her grave.  I've searched and searched on Ancestry.com and surely should have found this by now!  It turns out that you can view an entire county's census records without finding them in a search.  I didn't know that and just stumbled on it the other day.  So I took some time out to look through the records of the towns that were noted in the family tree.

Looking at the information on the census form, it's no wonder I couldn't find them!  Harriet is listed by one of her middle names, Loretta.  Elvie is listed as... Anetta?  (can't read the cursive writing very well).  Their dad Frederick is listed as Fred, Uella is listed as Ella, and I think they got Ray and Roy mixed up or something and crossed out and rewrote it so you can't tell which one it is.  Heck, maybe they were both there and the census lady got confused.  It's hard to tell.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - abt 1915 in Oregon?

FRONT

FRONT

BACK - Sim and Annie are Simeon A Waits (1881-1941) and Anna Sophia Wilhemine Dargeloh (1889-1983)"

BACK

New ties to Coos Bay, Oregon

"Uella with Freddie, Willard, Gladys, and Vernie (4 smallest kids) - Coos Bay Oregon? - 1915?"Uella with kids - Coos Bay area? - Oregon

Whoa.  Okay.  So I've been taking a little time off of researching my roots so that I can study up on how to organize my paper files.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to go out and find evidence when it'll just end up in a pile in my office, right?  Paper and I don't really get along, so if I don't have a definite system then it'll just end up being one big mess in no time flat.  I finally found a winner in the Family Roots Organizer system, so today I've been diligently following the steps to get my system in place.  I'm color coding hanging files, printing off 5-Generation Pedigree Charts, highlighting surnames, and filing them.

 I just finished up with the 5-degree charts and names and decided that I may as well fill it in with all of the surnames I have!  So I'm going down my list... Wait... Baker... Long... Haskins.  As I went to pick up the Haskins chart, my heart stopped.  Coos, Coos County, Oregon, USA.  The printable version of the tree that I've been studying actually has places on it and not just dates?  Who is this??  Abigail Sutton and Benoni Haskins??  How do they fit into the tree??  Ok!  They're Uella's grandparents?  Wait!  Does that even make sense?  They died in 1884 and 1895, respectfully, a good 20 years before Fred & Uella made the big trek out to Oregon!

Ever since I found pictures of Fred & Uella (farmers from Nebraska) on a beach of all things, I've been curious about where they were and why they were there.  By putting birth records together with pictures of the Oregon coast, I was able to deduce that the photos were most likely taken around Coos County, Oregon sometime between 1913 and 1917.  That's where Alice Viola was born in 1917 and also where the twins Harriet & Elvie were born in 1919 and where Elvie died 18 months later.  Finding Elvie's grave and retracing Fred & Uella's footsteps are probably the main reasons that we're having the Wait Reunion in the Coos Bay area next summer!

One of the big questions in my mind has been "Why Coos Bay?"  Why would Fred and Uella pick up and go to Oregon with 4 kids?  Freddie was the youngest who made the trek and in this photo couldn't have been more than two years old.  That would make Willard 3, Gladys 5, and Vernie 8.  I'm not sure if Roy (13) and Ray (15) were there or not since they're not in the photo.  That's a whole lot of kids to drag across country, though.  Especially in those times!  Not to mention that today it would take 28 hours to drive it.  Back then, they probably took the Lincoln Highway most of the way, which pretty much followed I-80.  I have no idea how long it would take to get there, but my guess is that it probably took two weeks.

I checked the information that I have on Uella's parents, thinking that maybe they were in the area at the time, but they fell off my radar starting in 1900 when they were still in Iowa. I haven't done too much digging on them so far, though.  Uella's mom Hattie's brother Benoni Horace Haskins died in Coos Bay in 1918, and her sister Lydia J Haskins died there in 1919.  Maybe Hattie was there as well?  Maybe Uella went to see her Aunt and Uncle?  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'm making excellent progress in my filing duties!  Now that I'm over my initial Coos Bay shocker, I can finish up my extended generational files.  Can't wait to fill up my new filing box with some more goodies!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saying goodbye to an old friend

Vegas is in heaven.

We had to put her down on Friday.  Vegas was my Dad's dog.  He got her from cousin Ronnie in Oklahoma I don't know how many years ago.  12? 15?  He trained her as a hunting dog and sent her home with Dad during one of his visits down there.  When Dad passed away five years ago, my brother Tony and his family took her in and gave her a loving, active home.  She quickly became Tony's sidekick and they went on walks everyday.  It was a great way for him to de-stress after working all day, and good exercise for the both of them.

She was such a good dog!  She always came when you called her, immediately followed commands, and was so patient with the kids and even with my hyper dog Max most of the time (but she could sure put him in his place!).  Vegas just loved attention and was the most loving dog I know.

She's been having a tough time over the past year and has been having difficulty breathing, she couldn't stay cooled down, and her arthritis has slowed her down to a crawl.  It's been so hard for us to see her go through this and we all really struggled with the decision.  It's really what was best for her and now she can keep Dad company in heaven.

"Vegas in April 2004"

Vegas in April 2004

Out with the old...

I haven't been doing much research during the past few days.  Instead, I've been clearing the decks in my home office!  I'm  to the point with my genealogy findings where I feel like I'm ready to start trekking out to look for "real" paper documents and newspaper clippings.  It's a whole other story when I looked around at the systems I have in place for storing those things, or rather... my lack of a system.

So I pulled out all of the boxes and books and papers and files that were stacked up in this big closet/bookshelf in here and have been systematically going through it ala Peter Walsh.  I haven't touched this stuff since I moved back home to Nebraska last summer.  Paper, paper, and more paper.  Yikes!!  So it's taking a while to sort through everything so I have room to grow into my new genealogy hobby/obsession.  I really want to start out on the right foot and keep everything organized, safe, and visually appealing.  Nothing drains me more than clutter!