Sunday, February 21, 2010


Yesterday the Merced County Genealogical Society presented their beginners' class in genealogy. We had a good turn-out, about half of the people were guests. It was interesting, even for the members who don't consider themselves beginners.
Rosalie did a nice job of explaining the basics and made it interesting, interjecting personal experiences.
Next, Ann did her presentation on "Google Your Family Tree." Ann purchased the book by Daniel M. Lynch, and gave us some tips that she learned from it. With a handout and the overhead projection, she shared many useful insights on how to narrow your search when looking for your ancestors.
The book is huge and is available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It's a bit pricey, but I'm sure well worth the money. Ann told us that some group (I think in Fresno)is doing a series of classes, just on this book. If you look it up at Amazon, read what the customers say about it. The information within this book is also helpful for non-genealogical searches.
GENEALOGY ON TV: If you have missed the PBS series of "Faces of America" with Louis Gates, Jr, you can see the missed episodes at
This program is aired on Wednesdays at 8 PM. It started February 10.
ALSO: NBC will air a program titled, "Who Do You Think You Are? on Fridays at 8 PM, starting March 5. For more information see:

MENNONITE GENEALOGY: On Saturday, March 20, the Merced County Genealogical Society will present Kevin Enns-Rempel from the Hiebert Library at the Fresno Pacific Bible College, who will speak on the Mennonite Origins in Europe, the different kinds of Mennonites and he will give us an overview of the genealogical resources at the Center of Mennonite Brethren Studies in Fresno. He will tell us about the "Grandma" (Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) project, which was created by the California Mennonite Historical Society. This database is available on CD for $30.00 and currently has more than one million individuals linked to their families. For more information on this project see
The Merced County Genealogical Society meets in the Merced County Library, 21st & O Street every third Saturday at 1:00 PM downstairs in the Gracey Room. Visitors are always welcome and there is no charge.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Joe is 50

Joe, "the gardener" had his 50th birthday the other day and his wife, mother, aunt, niece and other family members threw a Birthday Bash for him.
My sister and I were invited. It was a fun party with some of the guys playing "beer pong." A live and LOUD band played while we visited. The food was delicious. Joe's wife made Chili Colorado; the sauce was outstanding. I'd love to have the recipe. It would be an excellent addition to the Winton Centennial Cookbook.
Here is another picture of Joe. He's wearing the "50" Birthday Pin with the flashing red light. Made it easy for his wife and mother to keep tabs on him last night. LOL. Joe's wife made the beautiful cake in the first picture.
In the second picture, Joe is opening his cards and gifts.
The party started at 4 o'clock, so we got home a little after 8. It seemed later than that, I guess because it still gets dark early.

Vintage Post Cards

This is one of my vintage postcards of Merced. I uploaded it almost 3 years ago to flickr.
As of today, it's been looked at 1,000 times!! Amazing. People like it because of the F.W. Woolworth store in the picture that used to be on 17th (now Main) Street. I think it was between M and L Streets, but not positive.
The photo with the next highest number of hits, is a picture of my brother, Johnny after his accident. It's been looked at 326 times. On February 1, it was two years since Johnny died from complications of his accident.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beginning Genealogy Class

Next Saturday, February 20, the Merced County Genealogical Society will offer a beginners' class on researching your family tree.
Conducting the class will be Rosalie, who is a co-founder of the society that began in 1983. Rosalie has a lot of experience in researching her family history and has helped others get started on this fun and fascinating hobby.
The beginning class is free and the public is encouraged to attend. The meeting starts at 1:00 in the Gracey Room (downstairs) in the Merced County Library, 21st and O Streets in Merced.
Handouts will be given. Bring a pencil and names and dates of your parents, grandparents, etc., if known. If not, just bring a pencil and get started on your family tree.
See you there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Iris Bloom of the Year

I took this picture of Captain Hook today, it was in full bloom by February 8. Never had any Iris bloom that early before. It has 4 or 5 more buds on it. Bridal Fashion has quite a few buds on it too. It's a pretty white ruffled Iris. I wonder how long they will bloom? Some others will be in bloom in April and May.

Maggie is still loving her cat tree. When I am sitting at the table having a bite to eat, she gets on the top level and stares at me while I'm eating. How do you teach a cat that it's not polite to stare?
I have a cat toy that we have fun playing with. It's a glove with long fingers with a pom-pom at the end of each finger. Maggie can really
get wild when we play with that on the cat tree. She gets so excited and climbs from level to level and finally wears herself out.
Maggie likes to tear paper and cardboard. I was concerned about that, but read on the Internet that some cats like to do that. I thought she was missing something in her diet, but I guess she is just being playful or ornery. She doesn't eat it, just tears it and spits it out.
I still think she would have fun playing with another cat, but I'm not going to try that again. She won't let the "intruder" come near her and she looks at me like she's really mad. You can tell who's the boss around here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Live Health e-mails

A Live Health email was sent to me by mistake. Since it was from a relative, I thought I would go ahead and click accept instead of reject to the request to add her to "my friends network" which I didn't know I had. Well after typing in my name and address and creating a password, I decided to go back and read that last page over again. It wouldn't let me go back, so I closed it. Later I found out it sent emails to everyone in my address book!!! I didn't realize this until I started hearing from people. What a sneaky thing to do. I don't appreciate emails that do that. It feels like a scam or spam at the very least.
I did do a virus scan with my free AVG anti-virus program and it didn't find anything, but I am still mad and embarrassed that this website sends out emails like that. There should be some way to stop them from putting that in their websites.
I hope most people were smarter than me and just deleted it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Where Did the Irises Go?

The weeds have taken over the Iris garden. You'd never know I sprinkled some Preen on it months ago. I don't know what went wrong. It's too wet and muddy to get out there and pull weeds. Half of the top soil comes up with the roots. For that reason, I hope it stops raining soon, at least long enough to dry out a bit. I hear it's supposed to rain all next week though. I'm getting worried about the Iris plants. I do hope they survive. That's a Pomagrante tree on the right.
I have two short rows of Irises in another spot. Here is a picture of "Captain Hook" trying to bloom already. Usually they start blooming the first of April, so not sure what's with this one. Will it bloom this early every year?
I see there is a baby snail trying to eat my plant. I must get out there with the plastic bags the newspaper comes in and pick them off and throw it in the garbage.

I finished typing an index of recipes in a subcategory format. I wanted to group them together within the subcategory but the miscellaneous desserts were impossible to do. Boy, am I ready to be done with that part of the process. Yesterday I got the information typed in online so the committee members can start typing in the recipes. At last count we have 640 recipes, so if you had planned to send one in, but didn't, please do so ASAP. But please don't send me 25, they won't all make it to the centennial cookbook. LOL.