Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Arrives

Yes, spring finally arrived. The fruit trees are blooming, the snails are out and the weeds continue to grow.
I bought quite a few tomato plants, but have only planted the Cherry Tomato so far; not counting the four Early Girl I stuck in a large pot. That was a temporary measure until I could get the ground ready. With my bum knee, I haven't been able to do that yet. There are 6 more to plant besides. Why so many tomato plants? I came home from the grocery store and after seeing the prices on them and knowing they are never as good as home grown, I just went overboard. Didn't buy them all at once, but they kind of added up.
Raspberry Rita is the first to bloom in the weed covered Iris Garden. Many others have buds on them. Something is eating the 3 Iris plants that have been blooming for weeks now. Some of the leaves are brown. These are planted in another area. Also my Fantasia Nectarine tree has Curly Leaf. DARN!!! I thought I was getting by without spraying the fruit trees. So far the two peach trees are o.k.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mennonite History and Genealogy

Yesterday, Kevin from the Hiebert Library at the Fresno Pacific Bible College was the guest speaker at the Merced County Genealogical Society meeting. His informative program was very interesting. He told us about the different groups of Mennonites who left Europe and settled in the U.S. and Canada. The first ones to settle in the U.S. were from Switzerland, they settled in Pennsylvania in the 1600s. They became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, which was a misnomer.
The groups from Holland and Germany left their homelands for Poland and later Russia before migrating to the U.S. and Canada in the 1870s. About 2/3 of them stayed in Russia, but by 1920 decided to leave, but by then the U.S. and Canada had quotas for immigrants and so some went to South America. I wish I could remember more details of Kevin's talk. I was really impressed with his vast knowledge. There were questions from the audience and he had an answer for each one.
Then he told us about the "Grandma" file and everyone laughed when he said he was related to himself 6 different ways. So, when I came home, I decided to see how many times I am related to myself. Only five ways, so he has me beat.
I'm my own 4th cousin, once removed; 8th cousin 3 times removed; 9th cousin once removed and also 9th cousin twice removed. I'm sure this is all on the Dirks / Unruh lines.
For more information on the "Grandma" file see
To see which books are available at the Hiebert Library go to: