Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New House, Family Memories and Our Home on Pine Street

A New House

This week we have been busy getting Clayton's new house ready. Painting, flooring and setting up a kitchen for someone who at best can make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese have kept me busy.

We tease Clayton that unfortunately takes after his Grandfather Schultz not Pahlke. Growing up he would hear Grandpa Schultz's common phrase "Shirley make me a sandwich". My mother-in-law would make a face, laugh if she saw us watching and ask him what kind of sandwich he wanted. We would tease her and she would assure us that it did not bother her.

My father, on the other hand, was quite the cook. Granted it all took place in his favorite skillet, but he made everything from egg sandwiches to porkchops. The funniest part of all of this is Clayton grew up with his father doing the majority of the cooking. His retort is that he can read so he will be able to cook for himself. This should be interesting.

Our Home on Pine Street

While we were prepping Clayton's house for painting I started remembering all the pictures of my parents moving into the house on Pine Street. Once we lived there a while Dad decided we needed a basement, so one weekend the house was 'raised' and the basement dug and poured. I am sure it was much more complicated than that, but since I was about 5 years old, that is how I remember it.

My sister Mary was born in 1961 and there were more changes to our home. Mom and Dad decided we needed more room and an inside entrance to the basement. The family room and master bedroom were added opening up our small kitchen. Oh and my room was cut in half with the new stairway to the basement. Mmmm maybe that had something to do with my attitude toward my new baby sister? Naw.....

Looking back on the pictures of the house on Pine Street I see how the house grew into a home. When we first moved in my Uncle Larry and various cousins and friends slept on a 'convertable sofa' on the recently screened in 'coal porch'. Years later when Mary was born we added more rooms. When I was married my half bedroom became the dressing room for the expanded bathroom. Mom and Dad were either sure Chuck was the right man for me or wanted me to know I was on my own.

The point is when you are looking back on your family history think about the places you have lived and relate the circumstances that may have influenced when your family moved, enlarged the house or when other family members came to live with you.

I think I may be uncovering more reasons I refer to myself as an only child.

Just joking Mary!

Take Care,

The first picture is me sitting on the side porch around 1954. The second picture is Mary in either 1963 or 1964.

Looking at these pictures I realized that the addition to the house was later than I remembered. If you look to the right of the house in the picture of Mary you can see that Dad built his garage BEFORE Mom got her new master bedroom.

I think it is time to make a timeline for the various phases of the family home.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Barrington, Beacon Hill and Family Stories

I grew up listening to family stories. I remember sitting around our kitchen table listening to my mother,her sisters and brothers talking about 'up home'. 'Up home' referred to Beacon Hill in Upper Michigan. Many of my mom's brother and sisters lived in or around Fox River Grove Illinois while I was growing up. There were always lots of laughter and stories.

My grandfather William Pahlke was retired and lived in Barrington just a couple of miles away. He would come to visit my mother during the week and tell her stories about family and friends. The one phrase I remember him using a lot was 'the big one', his reference to World War I.

Before I was born Grandpa Pahlke took mom on a tour of Barrington, his home town, and pointed out not only the houses various family members had lived in, but even their tombstones! What I would not give for a video of that day.

It is so important to record these family stories. They not only tell the history of our family but also of the communities that they settled in. The Barrington Area Library
has started an initiative to record the stories of the people of Barrington. The stories can be written or recorded, but the main thing is to collect them. I have listened to a few and I am so sorry I never recorded the breakfasts I would have with my Dad and Uncle Newt. I have written down the stories, but recordings would be so cool.

Last night I told mom she needed to take a break from writing about her childhood growing up on Lake Superior. I asked her to focus her writing about moving to Barrington and the various jobs and people she encountered.

I know we all think our parents have a special story, but hers is quite unique. In the late 1940's businesses in Barrington were advertising in Upper Michigan for "Clean, Hardworking Finnish Girls". Mom's sister Bunnie had answered one of these ads and found employment in Barrington. Soon after mom followed her lead and moved to Barrington. She also met dad...

This year make a point of starting to record your family stories. It may be a story that you have heard 100 times, but have your written it down? These family stories are more precious than any birth certificate or immigration record you will find.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar - Clearance Sale - $5.99

Friday, February 11, 2011

My eReader, a New House and Everyday Genealogy

We are back from Las Vegas where we had a great time celebrating Chuck's 60th birthday. Chuck's brother Bill hosted an extraordinary birthday dinner on Friday evening. The entrees ranged from prime rib to lobster and the wine was flowing.

I had most mornings to myself since I am neither a gambler nor a night owl. I enjoyed eating a leisurely breakfast with my paperback and then splitting my online activities between my laptop and eReader. My eReader was up to the task and in retrospect I probably could have left my laptop at home. I discovered that I could listen to the Genealogy Guys podcasts directly off the website on my eReader. So, as long as there is Internet access I will not have to download them in advance.

Now that we are back home it is time to help Clayton get moved into his new house. Tori has picked out the colors for the interior and tomorrow we will be looking at everything from carpeting to shower rods!

Oh and Chuck informed me that I had to have a Clearance Sale on the remaining "Everyday Genealogy 2011 Desk Calendars". We have reduced the price to $5.99 including standard shipping - A bargain for 365 tips on you genealogy research. Visit http://www.everydaygenealogy.com to order yours!

Take Care,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Las Vegas, Birthdays and My eReader

Las Vegas & Chuck's Birthday

I'm writing this from a coffee shop in Las Vegas. I've been coming to Las Vegas regularly since I married Chuck in 1971. Our honeymoon was of a bowling touranment in Los Angeles, Disneyland and then my first visit to Las Vegas. During our trip in 1972 I saw Jack Benny perform at the Sahara. On our trip in 2009 I saw the Cirque presentation of The Beatles 'LOVE'. I miss the Las Vegas of 1974 - slots were slots not video games. And personally I am not convinced that bigger is better when it comes to casinos.

The reason I am in Las Vegas is to celebrate Chuck's 60th birthay. We had a fabulous dinner last night hosted by his brother Bill attended by Timona, Bill's wife, and his daughters Stacy and Brenda with their respective spouses. Everyone had a great time trying different wines, appetizers and then trying to eat their entrees! Just a word to the wise, if restaurant says that their side dishes are large enough to be shared, believe them!


Preparing for the trip I charged my 'almost' best friend, my eReader. I have bought and started reading two eBooks on it, but keep forgetting to finish them. There is something that still pulls me to my paper and hard copy books and the eReader sits forgotten.

I had read online that the eReader was great for watching movies. I decided to ask my son to load a couple on the SD card. As before, the first and second attempt to load a MPEG4 failed. The instruction manual did not have any information on trouble shooting so I will have to deal with this at a later time.

I also practiced two features I had never tried: Notes and Highlighting. I have recently downloaded more FREE books on Google Books so I wanted to make sure I knew HOW to highlight and make Notes before I started reading.

My next task was making sure I had my 'Favorites' updated and setting up my email accounts. I was quite excited because it appeared I would not have to bring my laptop on the trip - WRONG.

Since the eReader does not have 'Word' or 'Text' capabilities I thought I could get around it my using Google Documents. I was disappointed that the version of the browsr on the eReader did not support creating a Google Doc. I will write the vendor to see if this going to added in a firmware update.

I did load the eReader with three January podcasts by Drew Smith and George G. Morgan (The Genealogy Guys) to listen to on the plane. Marathon listening of George and Drew can be addicting.

My eReader and I still have a few more rounds to go, but it is getting easier to use. The downside is that if a new firmware version is available to allow me to use Google Doc I will have to set everything up again. Firmware updates take the eReader back to 'factory settings' and to date I have not seen a way round this. Mmmm I wonder if Carbonite would work on my eReader. More Research!

Take Care,

P.S. The picture is from Chuck's first birthday.

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar