Monday, February 19, 2024

A New Year - and time to get started writing something new

 I haven't posted anything in a year. That doesn't mean I haven't been writing. Currently, I'm working on a memoir. I've managed a rough draft of my first ten years. Many of my memories are tied to my brothers and sister, and my mom, of course. Sadly, I father wasn't in the picture very much.

In 1946, I traveled across the country by train to start a new life in California. What an adventure, a new town, a new school and new friends.

I'd have to say my teenage years were the most fun. I lived in a time so very much like the movie American Graffiti when I met my future husband, attended school dances and rode around in fast cars.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Gloria's Banana Nut Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar                                                *1/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk

1/2 cup butter                                                  1 tsp. soda

2 eggs                                                              2 cups flour

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2)                    1 tsp. baking powder

½ cup chopped nuts, optional

 Cream butter, sugar & well beaten egg together. Add mashed bananas & sour milk to which soda has been added. Sift together flour & baking powder and add to first mixture. Add walnuts. Fold in beaten eggs. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Insert toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean of batter, it’s done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cool an additional 10 minutes before cutting.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

I have spent many hours searching the many lines of my family tree, and one of the most frustrating is using birth dates to locate marriage dates and figure out the parents of the previous generation. When digging back into the years before my ancestors came to America, dates were really hard to rely on for accuracy. I found that this history was part of my problem. I decided I would....  

Blame it on the Romans

             Most genealogists know that in 1751 our colonial ancestors lost over two months of their calendar year, but I wonder how many are aware of the long, drawn-out process that led to that event.

            You can blame it on the Romans. In 45 B.C. Julius Caesar established a 12 month calendar based on the solar year as determined by the number of days it took the earth to orbit the sun—365.25 days. That quarter day was a bit awkward so scholars of that time recommended that three years out of every four have 365 days and the fourth year have 366 days. That sounds familiar, but wait.

            After centuries, in which many civilizations all over the world followed the Julian calendar, so named for the emperor, new and more accurate measurements of the earth’s orbit lead scholars to figure out that the previous calculations were a bit high. What to do?

            Simple. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII decided it was time to make adjustments. He simply plucked 10 days out of October that year. October 4th was followed by October 15th. That’s not all. He made January 1st the beginning of the year instead of March 25th as it had been previously. And he decreed that the end of each century that was divisible by 400 would be a leap year. However, not everyone liked the new calendar.

The Roman Catholic countries soon adopted the new Gregorian calendar, which naturally was named after the pope, but Protestant England and her colonies, did not. It wasn’t until an Act of the English Parliament in 1751 that Great Britain was ready to make the change. You remember that the Pope cut 10 days out of October.  Because 170 years had passed since that time, the British had accumulated an additional twenty-four hours.

             They solved the problem in 1752 by eliminating 11 days from September. September 2nd was followed by September 14th. Additionally, in order to put the English citizen in sync with the earth’s position, there had to be another change. The year 1751 began under the Julian calendar on March 25th and ended on December 31st so that 1752 could begin on January 1st under the Gregorian calendar like most other countries.

Many Englishmen were furious about the change and there even were a few riots in the American colonies. Here’s the rub. Prior to 1752, under the Julian calendar January, February and March, up until the 24th, were at the end of the year. For example, in the year 1750, March 24th was New Year’s Eve. Suddenly in 1751, December 31st was New Year’s Eve. That made 1751 only 9 months long. January was pushed into the following year -- 1752. Consider this. If an important date, such as a birthday, fell on March 15, 1751 and that date was moved to 1752 … would you wonder how old that made you?

In addition, not all countries got on the bandwagon. For example, Sweden didn’t make the change until 1753. Japan held out until 1872. Greece and Turkey lagged even further behind.

            What does this all mean to the genealogist? If you’ve searched for your colonial ancestor, you are probably familiar with the slash mark (/) used in many birth dates during the early 1700s. You will often find that if your ancestor was born in January or February their birth date was moved 10 days ahead in the Gregorian calendar. But did you know that if a colonist was born between February 29th and September 1, 1752 they moved their birthday ahead 11 days?

Also, think of all those tombstone dates. If you’ve searched for some old tombstones made prior to 1752 to verify a death date, consider that the date may have been under the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian calendar. Confused? If you think you’re confused, think what it must have been like for your ancestors. For us, 255 years later, it’s just an interesting puzzle, but for them it must have caused all kinds of consternation.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Accouncing My New Historical Novel - Della's Destiny

 After three years in the works, my new book is finally finished and will be up on next week. I am thrilled to have it finally finished and I hope everyone who reads it finds an enjoyable story. 

The year is 1904. The setting is Jerome, Arizona Territory. Della McCrea and her parents arrive in Jerome when the mines are producing copper ore worth millions and some of the roughest characters in the west.

Della is in for the ride of her life when she is orphaned. Gambling and prostitution are part of everyday life. Saloons, gambling dens and brothels thrived. Without funds she is going to have to figure out a way to earn enough for a train ticket home to Ohio. Only seventeen years old, her choices are few. 

As her troubles mount, the question becomes, can she escape Jerome without her character being sullied and to what length she will go to achieve that end?



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Life After Covid

 It's been a year since I had Covid and was hospitalized. I had the nasty variety, but with the help of my sons, survived, obviously. Since then I developed a pinched nerve in my back. I did a round of physical therapy which didn't help much. So after many trips to various doctors, I had an implant wired into my spine. That helped, but I still have to take some sort of pain med if I want to sleep at night. But enough of that.

I've just finished writing my 4th book and am in the process of getting it ready for publication. It's not a mystery like my first 3. It's an historical novel titled Della McCrea. The setting is in Jerome, Arizona in 1904-5. Poor Della is orphaned in a rugged mining town and has to fend for herself and earn enough to buy a train ticket back home in Ohio. It was fun making her suffer. Does she succeed? I guess you'd have to read it to find out. 

Have a great week.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Writing in 2022

 Now that the holidays are over, I can get back to being serious about finishing the historical novel I've been working on. There are only a chapter or two and the first draft will be done, then of course, I'll have to do some serious editing. Fortunately, my heroin doesn't age while I'm dragging my feet on the long journey.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

It's been aged since I post anything and now it's November, 2021. The year is nearly gone. I can't say I'm sorry. It's been a rough one for me. Back in May I contracted Covid-19 and ended up in the hospital for a week. The after effects have dragged on and on: muscle weakness, brain fog. My book-in-progress, Della, has languished in the computer. But I am hopeful for the new year, determined to finish it and do the editing. Hope Springs Eternal.