Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm officially loosing my mind.  I am without internet access at home.  Wednesday afternoon I headed home to do a little bit of reading for work and march into my long holiday weekend.  Well, I couldn't get a connection and restarted the modem a couple of times as I am use to needing to do.  It is 9 years old after all.
I then decided to call Verizon to see if there was a known issue.  They tested my line and told me they believe it was my modem, that they'd order me a new one.  Ok.  Time to receive:  two business days.  But wait, it's Wed before Thanksgiving, so that's Friday... Monday.  GAH!  For your little blast of comedy here, I sat down on the couch in a bit of a huff at one point that evening and riiiiip.  My favorite flannely around the house pink comfy pants split at the ass.  Nice.  Mind you this is pre-Thanksgiving meal.  *shakes head*
But wait, it gets worse.  Early the next morning I thought about it.  After returning from Tgiving dinner I decided to dig out a phone and plug it in.  I still am able to make calls, so I was curious.  No dial tone.  So I called back Thanksgiving evening and they were able to say that they now recognize that there is a voice outage that effects me.  So, wait, you "tested my line" and didn't see that there was a problem w/ the phone on Wed night?  Whatever, I've got a new modem on the way, but the line might come back up sooner, awesome... until they say that it should be resolved by Wednesday December 4.  A WEEK?  The phone line will be down for a week?  How is that slow of repair acceptable in this day and age?  *sigh*  I am definitely in withdrawal already, thus I stopped at work on a day off to read through what I'm missing.
So to end on a positive note.  I just want to say that I am still calling my Thanksgiving blessed.  Not only did the roads stay clear, allowing me to spend another Thanksgiving with my mother, but also I got to see two cousins that I have not seen in a very long time since we spent it at my Aunt A's.  It was also interesting to meet my cousin's significant other, who is an artist.  As we spoke and I asked about his work he showed me some images on his ipad and they instantly looked recognizable to me.  I'm pretty sure this is the stuff they sell at the one local country-type store, which he said was very likely.  I can't wait to pop in there and check out the names at the bottom right.  How neat!
I hope everyone had a good holiday blessed with their families and friends.  I also hope you laughed off a few calories reading this post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

One batch of premixed/frozen puppy treats made (that counts as my first batch of holiday cookies, right?) and 80% of the gifts I already have purchased wrapped.  It was a successful afternoon.  The living room is a mess, but why put it away?  I will have more to wrap very soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I ventured out three times today and each trip was colder than the one before it.  The first to church to cover my time slot commitment in the prayer vigil.  The second to get some groceries, which let me tell you is no easy feat when also in the midst of a fast with my church (I did mine a day behind everyone else, well, because I'm a slacker and had my days all mixed up).  The last was to head to Eburg for the viewing of the old friend from college who passed.

I got part way there and the flakes had begun to fly.  I just knew that wasn't a good thing.  By the time I was at the funeral home it was laying, but I was still hoping it would stay to just eburg.  Oh no.  The trip home was rather unpleasant and was full of my flashers and prayers.  I passed overturned vehicles and saw many other lights flashing on the opposing side of the highway.  I know some folks behind me slowed down significantly after I gave them a bit of a demonstration as to how icy the road was.

I decided to stop and eat once I arrived in Richland as I was shaking a good bit from the cold, but I suspect because I hadn't eaten it was exacerbated.  I had only planned to keep my fast to sundown, so around 8pm is well with me  By the time I left there there were more lights all over the place on the one busy road near my house.  This is a spot that I always worry about because, while it's not steep or sharp curves it is ALWAYS slick if the roads have anything on them.  So, I came in through the bank parking lot to avoid it entirely.  I'm home... and once again pouting that here I am still in Johnstown.  I really and truly hate the weather here, it terrifies me.  It's time to hibernate for a few months.

I pray everyone else got home safely.  While the circumstances were not pleasant it was good to see some old friends.  It's funny how time changes nothing and everything all at the same time.  I would say tonight was a warm up for my upcoming class reunion, but rest assured if there is a chance of crappy weather I'll be taking the monetary loss and staying home.  Right now I might be willing to miss Thanksgiving too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

After some confusion midweek on ancestry records I think I have some accurate stuff now, but there remains some confusion as it looks like my Greatgrandmother had my Grandfather and he was reported to the records by a midwife, but she didn't "claim" him until quite a few years later.  It also shows her father w/ the same last name, so, I assume she was unwed?  Is the last name he was given in the birth record his father's last name?  Very very interesting.
Enough about me and what I've been spending (wasting) too many cycles on lately.
While I've seen/heard of quite a few folks I graduated from high school with passing away, yesterday I was shocked to hear of a friend from college's sudden passing.  Even with other medical issues, this death was truly untimely.  Much love and prayers to his family.
In my other world things went down once again.  It's quite sad that bad things happen to some good people, but it's especially heartbreaking right before the holidays.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Score!  I created an account on an Italian Genealogy site late last evening.  Figuring what the heck I posted some information I know and boom.  This morning I had several replies including ones that showed me the handwritten record of my grandmother's birth in Bonefro and of her parents' marriage... which listed both of their parents names!

I'll tell you this, my family is notorious for passing down names.  Michele had Francesco, who had a Michele, who had a Francesco.  In the same family on the opposite side Maria had a Lucia who had a Maria who had a Lucy... oh, but the one Michele's Frank also had a Lucy.  Then there is dad, Anthony, who is most likely named for his grandmother Antoinette, and his sister had the same middle name.   GGGrandfather Giuseppe?  Uncle Joe.  Grandpa Nicola, my dad's son Nicholas and oh, that one Frank had a Nicholas too.

Either way good stuff, especially since this is the first real progress on my father's side.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm proud of me today.  I managed to sleep in a little, but then forced myself onto the to do list.  So, there is a good deal cleaned up around the house (again I point out that this never ends, so why even do it, but I did).  I also crossed off a few more name on the Christmas shopping list.  I also got through 2 weeks worth of my online java class (I forgot to bring home the computer I'm doing this on last weekend).

I meant to bathe Saf today, and the weather would have been ideal for it too, but I forgot to do so earlier in the day (read:  with enough time for her to dry completely before bed).  Actually, the weather was so nice today I had to pull out a claritin.  Not complaining, just saying.  I guess I shouldn't have skipped out on my allergy shot at the three week mark (this past Wednesday).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's officially winter in Jingletown.  Visiting with mom yesterday my cousin asked mom if she was ready for the snow... and sure enough.  I could tell before I even turned the corner in the kitchen from the bright glow coming in the house.  I have about two inches on the deck.  I know Richland is "special" like that and it is likely to be gone in no time, but I'll start complaining now.  I really dislike needing to clean my vehicle, stepping in the snow, and having some brush off into my clothing.  Nevermind opening the car door and how they're all perfectly designed so a big puff of snow plops squarely on your seat.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

An amazing hit last night expanded one branch in the family tree to a set of GGGGGGGGGGGGGGrandparents.  I feel distrustful of the information somehow, it's just crazy to think about.  We're talking born in the late 1400's!

With this progress the desire to keep digging is amplified.  But I also want to stay active on FindaGrave and I need to get Christmas shopping done.  Feels like there is so much to get done with so few hours in the evenings.  So, as soon as this coffee is in me I'll be getting to something... and the cleaning will wait.  Thank goodness it's a long weekend.

Oh, and my Royal Caribbean account updated already - it's official, I'm diamond plus!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Last night a friend contacted me with information of change.  It's no surprise but I guess the phrase from Type O "the end my friend is not near, the hour, in fact is quite here" applies.  Changes are afoot and they benefit none of us, signalling only the creep towards demise we've all been anticipating.  Should we be use to this by now?  Maybe.  It's interesting how some tidbits this person didn't realize they had aligned w/ other rumors I've heard and other things I've been waiting for (things I'd do if it were my bottom line).

Monday, November 04, 2013

While it did cool down quickly over the weekend it was still sunny and the skies were blue, so I figured I would take advantage.  On Saturday I cleaned up the yard to prepare for winter.  The wildflowers are all out, the gladiolus bulbs are planted, and, most importantly, the evil hedges are trimmed back as to avoid them getting bent over with piles of snow.  My guy mowed too so it really looked polished at the end of the day.

Sunday after all of the church-type activities in the morning I headed to eat since Hoss was doing a fundraiser for a group.  While in line I started talking with a woman and her mother and, stepping out of my comfort zone I accepted an invitation to dine with them.  It was a lovely experience and I'm so pleased to have gotten to sit down and chat with them.  I definitely believe in destiny and I am working on learning to accept invitations and opportunities, so I'm glad I stepped up (for once).  This got me out on the road a little later than I would have otherwise gone, but I still managed to get out to a few cemeteries to hunt for graves of relatives.

First I headed to Carrolltown where I quickly realized there is only about 6 different last names that were prolific in the area and believe me, the Strittmatters were one of them.  I was able to walk straight up to some that I was seeking, which means I now have visited and photographed the graves of my GGGrandparents and GGGGrandparents.  I didn't find the other set of GGGGrandparents located here, but I will, don't worry.

I then headed to Loretto, and while it was starting to get dark quickly I did manage to find my great grandparent's Tomlinson, and a few other Illigs and Strittmatters, but I'm not sure where they tie in if at all at this point.  I also didn't find the GGGrandparents that are located here, yet.  At least now I know where the cemeteries are.

I look forward to the spring so I can take a ton more photos and log them in FindAGrave.  In the mean time I guess I'll have to focus on online hunting, because it's getting way too chilly out there way too fast.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Back on dry land once again... after a week onboard Grandeur of the Seas.  Yes, the very same ship we were on in May, the one that caught fire.  She is beautiful once again and treated us very well, minus a water main break that had us without water in the wee hours on one night (I wouldn't have noticed if they hadn't sent letters to each room about it).  This time we went the inexpensive route and did an interior guarantee, so we ended up down on the second floor, but very near the larger bank of elevators (perfect).  We booked this sailing after learning a couple we were adopted by last fall prompted us to.  Then we started gathering those that would join along and ended up filling a table of 8 total.

It was interesting to see some new things happening like the use of the seapass for all of the C&A coupons, a daily half off happy hour special on drinks, and the automatic charging of gratuities (instead of listening to the schpeal about putting them on your card all week).  We kept busy going to karaoke, trivia, shows, and the Halloween activities!  Yes, they decorated - some - and added a special party with a costume parade and candy and did a group Thriller dance.

We arrived mid-afternoon one day, so we stuck close to the port heading along the South shore to Horseshoe Bay, where we had some fun in the water and walked along the beach a bit.  The full day we headed to St George's via a ferry to Hamilton and a bus up to BAMZ, which was nicer and more enjoyable than I expected, and had a nice lunch at the Tavern by the Sea (which was fantastic) before taking a walk to the Unfinished Church.  For our last partial day we headed to Hamilton for a little bit of shopping.

The weather in Bermuda was incredible.  They were calling for rain all three days we were to be there, but only saw showers on the last partial day.  The first full day and part of the last sea day after departing Bermuda were also unseasonably pleasant.  But the biggest shocker was coming in to a little rain that had passed and a gorgeous sunny ride home, even into PA.