Friday, August 31, 2012

Family Recipe Friday - Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

When I was little I vividly remember that may absolute favorite lunch at the cafeteria was mac 'n cheese with little smokies, solely because that meal came with a delicious cinnamon roll. My second favorite meal was whatever came with the chocolate cookie with oats. I had not idea what it was called but it was a sweet cookie made with chocolate, oatmeal and a hint of peanut butter.

I came across this post on Pinterest from the blog One More Moore and instantly recognized the cookie I loved from school. Of course I had to test it.

Naturally, it was delicious and addictive. It's hard for me not to sneak this cookie at all hours of the day. The bonus is that these yummy treats are also no bake. Especially important during Arkansas summers.

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

1/2 C Butter
2 C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
4 T Cocoa
1/2 C Peanut Butter
3 to 3 1/2 C Oats
2 tsp Vanilla

On the stove top bring the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa to a rolling boil. Let boil for one minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and drop on foil or wax paper to cool. I have used both quick cook and regular oats and both seem to work fine.

Enjoy your school memories!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - School Chums

I believe that my great-grandmother, Hazel McGuire, is the first girl on the right. I'm not sure who the other school chums are. I can't quite read the letter sweater...is that a "U" or an "H" or both?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Military Monday - George Callins, Jr.

A photo from my collection of 90th ID Soldiers in WWI. On the back is written: George R. Callins, Jr., Ada, Oklahoma. Any information on this Soldier is welcome!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sorting Saturday - Genealogy goals 2012 update

The year is more than half over so now is a great time to review my genealogy goals for the year and see where I'm at.

Here are the goals:

1. My grandmother's 80th birthday is in July and I would like to create some type of "life to this date" memento for her and her guests.
2. Finally order the two Sicilian films from the LDS that I have very much procrastinated on.
3. Research first hand accounts of migration from Virginia to Kentucky to Missouri. Many of my family lines made this trek, and while I have no way of knowing what precipitated their moves specifically, perhaps I can find some explanations in the accounts of other migrants.
4. Determine the origins of my Tosh, Bodine, Creed and Reece family lines.
5. Begin a study of occupations of my ancestors.
6. Actually write some posts for my Civil War Remembered series (and yes, this may mean "backdating." It's my blog and I can backdate if I want to.)
7. Change my blog layout. I'm bored.
8. Attempt to track down living relatives in order to locate photographs, stories, journals or just to share what I have.
So. My accomplishments toward these goals is not very impressive. While we did celebrate my grandmother's birthday with a big party, I did not create a memento for her. However, I did give away photos of her life to everyone at the party.

I haven't been to an LDS church in well over a year so I have not ordered those films. I'm hoping that FamilySearch will index those particular films soon. ;)

I also have not researched migratory patterns, ancestor occupations or written anymore Civil War posts.

However comma I did change my blog layout. I'm still not happy with it, but it's a change and that meets the wicket. I have made an effort to track down living relatives, but I haven't had much luck. I did reach out to one of my dad's cousins and got some great memories from her and that was well worth it.
Eliza Bodine Cutler and James Cutler
Goal #4 is where I've made the most progress. I have done a lot of research on the Tosh, Bodine, Creed and Reece lines. I can't say that I've totally found their origins, but I have made great strides. And I've found where they are NOT from so that's something.

All in all I'm doing terrible on my goals. Alas, I have four more months to knock some of this out. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow Friday - It started with a kiss

Fold3.com, The Spirit of '45, Ancestry.com and Hewlett Packard have put together this wonderful mosaic featuring WWII era couples in celebration of VJ day.


To read more about the couples visit Fold3.com here or The Spirit of '45 here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Warren and Cathy

On Friday my parents celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary. They were married in Kansas City, Missouri at the home of the parents of my dad's best friend, Joel. It was a small wedding and then they took a trip to Colorado for their honeymoon.






My parents got married during the time when bachelor parties were held the night before the wedding. My father, not one to ever shirk a good party, had a swinging bachelor party. Only problem was that somehow his glasses were broken amid the fun. (It will be long debated how this actually happened.) Luckily, my dad had a friend that wore a similar prescription and he borrowed those glasses for his wedding day. His glasses are crooked in all the wedding photos and I wonder how well he could see. No wonder that he had a headache with the wrong prescription glasses and a few beers too many!

My mother, knowing the bachelor party was the night before, refused to put her wedding dress on until she saw my dad pull up outside!

On a fun note, my husband and I also spent our honeymoon driving up Pike's Peak. Happy anniversary to the best parents ever!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kindergarten, Baby

Yesterday was my oldest boy's first day of Kindergarten. A day, I must admit, I've been dreading for five years. Somehow I have always marked this day in a child's life as the day where baby ends and boy begins.
Big Boy sporting his best Kindergarten pirate.

As a stay-at-home mother I've had the glorious gift of being able to spend every waking moment with my son. Some days that was a little more rough than others, but it is always a joy. I know everything about him; his favorite foods, his favorite transformer, how he plays in the sink when he should be washing his hands. I know all the little things that make him special. It was this knowledge of all the little things that I loved.

I think the thing I most feared would be that I would no longer "know" my son. I am no longer the biggest influence in his life. He now has teachers and friends that he spends the bulk of his day with. I understand that myself and my husband are still his core support team, however that logical talk has yet to reach my heart.
And while I was heartsick and sad in a way I can't seem to articulate very well, I was still able to feel his complete joy at going to school. That is the memory I want to carry with me. August 20, 2012 was the day I had to let him fly and begin to learn to fly without him.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

18th and 19th century Frakturs

A Fraktur is an illustrated family history document made popular by Pennsylvania Germans in the 18th and 19th centuries. The documents are hand drawn and lettered, usually by an artist, and list family information such as marriages and births. The National Archives has posted several of these wonderful documents on their Flickr site.


In the case of the National Archives collection, many of the Frakturs were submitted as official proof of marriage to help widows prove their right to their husband's pension. Sadly, they were never returned to their families.

The National Archives also has this great video about restoring the Frakturs in their collection.



If you have German ancestors that lived in America around the 18th and 19th centuries, it may be worth a Google search of their surname + Fraktur. You never know what may come up!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Smooth blog scrolling fix

Ever since I changed the look of my blog it has been a "slow-scroller." You know what I mean. The type of blog that seems to take forever to load and scrolling is jumpy and annoying. Annoying enough that you just close the page. I hate blogs like that...so inherently I now hate my blog and that just won't do. A quick Google search and here is a fix that seems to work. It appears that it wasn't my blog that sucked, but my browser.

From a browser window open your Tools, Internet Options. Head to the Advanced tab and scroll down to Use Smooth Scrolling, listed under the Browsing options. Uncheck this box and hit OK. This fix makes me not hate my blog. For reference, I use Internet Explorer.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lost and Found

A nice video about the effort to return a family treasure.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow Friday - Historypin

I recently came across another great website to add to my procrastination tool box: Historypin. The site is similar to Pinterest, but for history buffs. You can view or pin historical photos to a location, a great tool for genealogists reaching out to relatives. There is also a feature to take "tours" of historical photos surrounding a theme such as the history of Queen Elizabeth. Here's a short video with the features of the site.


I especially love the feature of comparing a historical place to now. Using street view you can compare then to now, like this photo of Central and West 11th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

This is a great place to upload location photos to share with fellow researchers. Have fun procrastinating...I mean, exploring!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Kittie love

Mary and Brent Happy with a furry friend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Findagrave.com enlightens me yet again

It should be no secret that I am a big fan of Findagrave.com. I've received many a clue from this site, which is especially important when I'm researching families hundreds of miles away. Today I received a gift from Findagrave.com that closed one of my Italian loose ends.

I originally spoke about Concetta (or Coucetta) Pagano here. She was a missing "child" located through my Pagano family research. Originally, I found her no where but on a potential family ship manifest. Later, through Family Search, I was able to locate the Pagano family in the 1905 New York census. Concetta is living with her brother Philip and family and is a chair caner.
But this is the last I can find of Concetta. Via the Italian Genealogical Group website I was able to find marriages for several Concetta Paganos, but I had no idea which one was "my" Concetta. This was not husband's direct line so I moved the research to a back burner.

Now fast forward to a couple of days ago. I made the realization that I did not have a photograph of the headstone of my husband's great-great grandparents, Salvatore and Maria Rosa Pagano. I had sent a request to Calvary Cemetery in New York for more information but the cost of documentation for the Pagano plot was $95. More than I was willing to spend. However, they did send me the plot location. When I first discovered their burial information via their death certificates, I created a memorial for them on FindAGrave, but I never added the additional information I received from the cemetery. A few days ago I added the plot and requested a photo. Within a day I had a photo of their headstone:
Not only does it list birth dates for Salvatore and Maria, it also lists Concetta with her married name: Catalano. Proof that I was not crazy and she did exist. I was then able to find her marriage and death certificate numbers via the Italian Genealogical Group site. She was listed as Mary and Maria, not by Concetta, so it is no wonder that I could find her. Thanks, once again, to FindAGrave, I've been enlightened.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Military Monday - Downed Air Crew in Switzerland

Just the other day I was perusing all of my relatives to ensure I had attached the 1940 census to everyone. I came across a great grand uncle, O. Farris Happy, that did not have much information attached to him. He was of the approximate age to have found in World War II, so I decided to do some digging (it doesn't hurt that his name was so unique as to force me to search for him!).

As I usually do I did a search of all records for O. Farris Happy in Ancestry.com. Unfortunately, it did not turn up much. I then narrowed the search to Military records. Low and behold I found a record for an Oliver F. Happy listed as a prisoner of war during WWII. News to me! I immediately tapped in to Fold3.com to see if I could track down more information.
Through the magic of Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1942-1947, I was able to find a record of Oliver Farris Happy, Radio operator, member of a B-17 crew that was downed in Switzerland. The document also indicates that Oliver and the rest of the crew were listed as interred in Switzerland via a cable to the American Embassy in London.

I had not heard of air crews being interred in Switzerland, a neutral country during the war. A little research brought me to the website for the Swiss Internees Association, a group dedicated to the memory of Army Air Force veterans interred in Switzerland. Their website lists the flight of Oliver Happy:
Now I am fascinated by the experiences of Oliver Happy. I know he made it home from Switzerland as he died in 2000.

Coincidentally, though Oliver Happy was born in Missouri it appears that he died in Montezuma County, Colorado. The very area that my husband's line is from. Odd coincidence, that. My next step is to contact the Swiss Internees Association to see if they have any more information on Oliver or his flight crew.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Clifton White reading

My great-grandfather, Clifton White, reading at his home.