Sunday, November 30, 2008

A FUN Thanksgiving with the family

We had a lovely Thanksgiving at the Murphys, with excellent food and company. We took a walk down to the lake after dinner, and then had pumpkin pie and creme brule--YES! A blow torch works GREAT!

Later, Josh and family showed up, and eventually, I tried getting a picture of all three grandkids. Since none of them is a "sit-still-and-smile" kinda kid, I use the "click-many-times-and-hope-for-ONE-good-one" method. (Actually, Mace seems willing to sit and smile, but it's more his amazement at how fast the other two move, I think).

We thought corralling em on Scotts lap might work....

Ok, maybe. They're all in one spot, anyway.

Kendall thought Josie might need a toy to help her to sit still.... can see how well my "method" is working, right?

But, see? I DID get a nice picture of Scott!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to fun stuff!

Last week, Larry found a Suetterlin font online, and of course, we both have it on our computers now :^) One thing it's good for is helping to figure out the original handwriting in those church record books. I found that if I type what I think I see, and it's the same, then I've sorta double-checked myself, ya know?

You'll recall (no doubt!) that the first HESCH we found in the books was a Johann Hesch who married Agnes Blaschko in Cimer (Schamers) in 1839, right? Well, I didn't totally translate the record till this morning...I had the first parts pretty "right", but the witnesses had scrawled their signatures, so I just stopped there.

Turns out, there were 5-6 people in town who witnessed most of the marriages--the local storekeeper was one--evidently, because they were citizens who were in town during the day, they were called on to be witnesses. Why does this matter? Cuz I was able to compare and cross-check their repeated signatures. Some were a LOT clearer than others written by the same person.
If you click on the picture, here, it should biggify. The original records were written across 2 ledgerbook pages, so it's below in three parts.

Grooms' info:


Brides' info:


Witnesses and priest:

Pretty COOL, huh?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recession.....or Correction?

I was driving through town to see a client last week, thinking about the economy. I started paying attention to the amazing redundancy of businesses along the street...hmm. Nail salon, restaurant, tires, auto parts, restaurant, convenience store, coffee shop, smoke shop, restaurant, craft shop, drug store, batteries, electronics, hair salon, interiors, furniture, movies.....

This is a town of 60,000 in central Minnesota. According to google, there are 217 restaurants here, 95 nail salons, 51 convenience stores, 63 that sell furniture, 31 that sell pet products, 19 office supply stores, 16 electronics stores, 16 sporting goods stores, more than 50 banks, and 82 hair salons. I couldn't tell how many gas stations there are, and I found about 11 car dealers that were actually IN St Cloud.
The list goes on of course. Many of these businesses will fold, or "downsize" in the next months. If we can set aside the devastation of hundreds of lost jobs, perhaps there is a small silver lining to this economic cloud.

America in general has been living large for too long, I think. We feel guilty when we realize that we use so much of the worlds' fuel supply, but there's no way to change that on a personal level. We expect a huge variety of cheap food and products from all over the world. Yes, that shirt was made in Bangladesh, probably by a barely surviving sweatshop worker, but how can you pass up buying it for $4.99? It's cute! Every aisle in the grocery store makes me blush at our excesses, too. How many kinds of cereal do we NEED?

Yeah, I'm blowing off steam, but I do think this recession is an opportunity for us to become more responsible world citizens. I hope it's enough, ya know?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Two things, ok?

Here are two things I'd like you to consider, tho I know I'm speaking to the
This is from my favorite (only) radio station, NPR and Minnesota Public Radio. It's from Saturday, 8 November 2008, by Scott Simon. I suggest you LISTEN while you read it.

The second is a news story that seems to me indicative of our new president. It's from a newspaper in the Phillipines.

Over and out.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I'm amazed and humbled and puzzled this morning.

We actually elected Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. I have not felt this much hope since JFK was president, when I was 10 years old. This country did the right thing for a change.

My amazement isn't that a black man was elected--he was/is CLEARLY the better of two candidates, with an honest vision for the country and a clear, brilliant mind to back it up--my amazement is at the subtle pervasive racism of every news report: "The first black man elected President", "This proves that anyone can grow up to be president", "6 of 10 white women voted for him..." A woman was interviewed on NPR last night--she declared that SHE wasn't prejudiced, but that she didn't think America was ready for a black president.

ARGH! Regardless of his skin color, this man is exactly who we need at this point in history. He so beautifully explained his hope and vision for the country while not rising to McCains baiting and catch-phrasing.
As one of my oldest clients said yesterday, "McCain is the past, Obama is the future."

YAY for us, America! It wasn't just our election--the world saw this as an indication of our willingness to worry about more than our own precious hides for a change.
Thank Gawd a man like Obama was willing to run, and to take on the task ahead.
Thank Gawd for the savvy of the campaign, the momentum that built, the cool heads that prevailed when darts were thrown.
Thank Gawd that so many people VOTED--we honestly turned the tide of history yesterday, NOT because he's black, but because of what might have happened if we didn't.