Category Archives: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy

Favorite Photo/ 52 Ancestors

Family Photo about 1850

This is one of my favorite photos, the picture tells me much, I just wish it told me who they are!

I believe the photo to have been taken in Scotland about 1850 dating the clothes and hair styles and the photographers information on the folder.

The photo reminds me of Sunday morning when trying to get little people ready for church. The little ones are dressed and looking cute as buttons. Whereas Dad is looking a bit ascue! Tie is not quite right and his collar is not right, can’t tell for sure if it should be up or down ! I can see two little ones scampering all over his lap before they were made to sit still for the photo, which in this time period is a bit of sitting still.

The on last question I have, is where is Mom? I am not sure if this is a common setting for a photo or not for that time period. As genealogy goes always questions!

Happy Hunting


52 weeks of Personal Genealogy/ Week 19 Childhood bedroom.. (really?)

“I am too young to work so hard!” said when told to clean my room when I was about four years old!  Having said that I think I will discuss window treatments, size of the rooms etc and not the condition in which I kept them most of the time~it’s a sad, sad thing!

The first bedroom I recall was in the apartment in Scottsdale AZ. Yes that would be the one I complained about working so hard at cleaning up. In my mind’s eye  I don’t see much of a mess, just me complaining and feeling put upon that I should clean my mess, what a concept! I shared this room with my little sister, 4 yrs my jr so at that point it was all my mess and none of hers. We would share a few more rooms before the “duration” was over.  A few not so fun things happened in that room, most of them surrounding my sister.  She liked to sleep on the floor and she slept on the bottom bunk, so it was nothing for her to climb down on to the floor and curl up and go to sleep, well one night I proceeded to fall out of the top bunk and the poor thing got smushed. Other then getting woken up abruptly I don’t believe  there were any injuries. I don’t recall to much of the incident, I must have slept through it ! The second thing was she figured out that Santa didn’t decorate the Christmas tree while she was sleeping. For further explanations visit Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

We moved to Michigan when I was eight years old and in the new house I had a room all to myself. I really liked that, even thought it wasn’t in my room I had my very own closet, I felt so grown up! I would like to report that I kept it spotless but I didn’t.  It was a long narrow room the smallest of two rooms upstairs. I have for some reason, just realized Trish had the bigger of the two rooms, which must have been fine with me.  I must admit I was not a nice sister, Trish would have a bad dream and come and ask to sleep with me and she was relegated to the foot of the bed. It’s a wonder I am willing to share a bed with my spouse! I am not sure how many years I had that room, at least a couple when Dad decided to make their bedroom downstairs an office thus I joined my sister in the bigger room.  The house was a bungalow which had a dormer on the back, so one side of the room had a low slanting ceiling and the side was high and flat. Sometimes we had our beds as bunk beds build under the higher roof and sometimes we had our beds separated and the room kinda split in half.  We had a cat that would come and go out our back window, shhhhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell Dad! She would climb the tree next door jump on the roof and ask to come in and we would let her out the same way.  We had several litters, a few that didn’t make it. It is always fun to wake to a wee kitten batting at your eyes.

We painted that room a nice lavender and put up what were probably kitchen curtains, but they were airy and flower. Those curtains fit the bill whether they were kitchen curtains!  I recall in I took home design in 8th grade and had to do a floor plan and decorating plan for my bedroom, I was upset that I only got a C, wonder if she knew I just put down how we had our room. I have since viewed  many plans for dormer rooms and what I could have done with that room would have been fun! I would have probably gotten an A if I had even tried. So that is how it goes with grades.

That room had beautiful hardwood floors, I think, or was it a carpet of clothes? I guess those clothes kept the floors nice and pretty! There was always a fuss about whose mess it was, indeed it was “ours” but neither one of us wanted to admit that we had contributed in any way. Have some very fond memories of sharing that room with my sister and some not so good, but I would rather ponder on the fond memories.  How many kids do you know that get called down stairs to get a spanking and then proceed to go upstairs and argue about who Dad spanked harder. Such was life in our little room.

The next room was one that I shared with my new husband it was in a rental, we were there only a year or so.

There have been three bedrooms since then one in a mobile home, which we finally grew out of. 6 people in a 14 x 74 mobile home can you say sardine? There were three bedrooms, but they were not very big.  There are lots of memories of that bedroom, 4 babies brought home to spend a few months with us in that room before being put in their own rooms. Lil ones playing on the bed with Daddy. Visits in the wee hours of the night because they had a bad dream. I was much nicer to them then my sister. I did let them sleep on a pillow between Daddy and I, no foot of the bed for them. Although still liking my sleep very much, they were quietly taken back to their beds when they were asleep, they didn’t very often  spend the night with us.

We moved to a new house when the last two were still pretty young 5 and 3 if I recall right. We took the smallest room for two reasons, with four kids they needed the two bigger rooms and the smallest room had once been an office and had a door to the outside world in it. I wasn’t willing to put teenagers or wee little people in that room so it became ours for a good many years. With most of the kids gone we now have the master bedroom. Don’t tell any one, but it’s not clean either.  It’s not like the days of childhood, but you will find the bed not made (why bother it will just get unmade at night ) and the dresser full of stuff and maybe a few clothes on the floor. Pssst but it’s not my mess it’s hubbies!

Happy Hunting!



52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy Week 18 Notable weather and my reactions!

Well now this is an interesting subject, seeing that at one time I thought about being a meteorologist. Move over Mike Bettes! OH wait, maybe that wouldn’t work out so very well. I have this over powering fear of tornadoes and at one time thunderstorms. Where this fear comes from I truly can’t say, it seems that it has always been with me. My Mom thinks that it might be because of a very strong storm in Az that we weathered  that put down 4 or 5 bolts of lighting into the alley out side of the bedroom that her and I were in. It might be, but I don’t really recall, and that could be an sign that she is correct.

Even with this fear I find myself stuck to the tv when bad weather is impending, unless it is here and you’ll find I am the first one to the basement, hall, bedroom, bathroom, where ever the safe place is in the house that I am in at that moment, the storms draw me!  Why, I have no clue unless it is my way of trying to reconcile myself to them and to fear them less. Maybe it is me trying to overcome being so terrified by understanding more about them.

I know 20 years ago I would be a basket case even at the mention of Tornado watch, even if the sun was shinning, I knew there was a tornado out there somewhere with my name on it! Oh, wait did I mention 20 years ago I lived in a mobile home! We’ve all seen what a tornado or even just high winds can do to a mobile home, it isn’t pretty. While we were living in the mobile home we had a safe place to go, it was the Jr. High school which was south and west of us and I always thought well isn’t that nice driving right into the storm. For most of the storms here come from the west! Verying from to SW to NW. One time we went there and the door was locked and we all stood outside, wasn’t that safe! From then on we went to Jim’s Mom’s house which was at least due east and we would be either driving with or out of the storm. That all stopped the day we were driving to her house and saw a funnel cloud not more then a mile to the north of us.  I know that they tell you to leave your mobile and home and I in my heart of hearts know you should and I would not encourage anyone to stay if they have shelter, but at that point we just stayed home prayed and we were always spared the brunt of the storms. That is not to say a few good winds didn’t take out a few screen doors or some siding.

When it was storming at night I was always the first one up and the last one to go back to bed, mind you it was just the kids and I.   Jim could sleep though WWIII ! He unlike me, is the fellow who runs outside to see if he can see the tornado! Thank you I will stay in my nice warm, maybe safe home.

I now live in a nice big brick ranch and I can actually sleep through thunderstorms. Surprisingly even after lightning hit the tree outside my bedroom window a few years back (about 30 ft from the window) talk about going from snoring and standing in one move! I was able to lay back down with little trouble getting back to sleep. Okay, yeah I had to wait for my heart to settle, but that was more from sheer alarm. Thunder at 60 feet is loud to say the least and to be in a deep sleep to boot ya my heart was racing!

Maybe understanding things, takes some of the fear away! I think in my case it has…although when clouds start spinning, I go running still! But there is a lot less panic and more resolve.

What is your storm story? Does your family have storm stories to share!

Happy Hunting!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy #17 DID we have pets!?

Through the years many animals have graced my life and allowed me  to be friend them.

My very first best friend was a border collie named Tippy.  I don’t really recall him other than pictures that family members have.  He was my grandparents dog (family dog).  Mom told me that anytime we would leave the house or come visit. Tippy had to come over and wash my face, smell me and make sure I was okay and all in one piece.  I am not sure how he handled me walking, probably as graciously as he handled not being the center of attention anymore. Babies do that to dogs, the poor things!

The first animal that I recall was a black and white dog, that was a stray. I don’t recall if I gave it a name but he/she was a friendly dog ( of course Mom warned me not to bother strays)  we made a place for the dog to sleep in the garage. I can’t recall what happened to it. I am not sure if we took it to the pound or if it just stopped coming around.

Along about 1972 Mom brought home a lil black momma cat. We named her Geraldine, I dare  you to figure out how she got her name..”the devil made us do it!” She was a sweet heart of a cat. We would share ice cream cones and such. Yeah I know some of you are thinking yuk! Yah know when you’re a kid you don’t much think about the fact that she cleans herself with that tongue. Next came her kittens and her grandkittens, Boogles and Ned. Oh did I mention they were all of them black cats. They crossed our paths often and I would say nothing bad, other than those things that natural happen in life, happened to us while we were in their company. They both were great cats with amazing personalities. Ned I think was the one with the most quirks of the bunch. He was totally my sisters cat,well okay she was his human,  by that time I had  married and  living in my home.

By this time I had gained a dog in lawher name was Princess and she was my husbands dog. She was a wonderful little cocker/collie mix. The vet told the family that she would never have pups. Heck what do doctors and vets know anyway! Not much for when she was seven years old a she became a Mommy for the first time. Three pretty little pups, I am not sure where they all went, but I do recall one pretty little brown/black/white young lady that we had for awhile and her name was Mandy. Mandy taught her Mom how to get out under the fence (such a bright child!) and we would find them sitting on our front porch when we got home from work….well she then again met up with a male friend and was with pup again. We then decided that she needed to be fixed. So much for the advice of the vet!  She lived to be 18 yrs old, and was a wonderful member of our family for many years.

Wow this list is getting big and I am not even near done! When Princess was about 17 or so, hubbie thought that the kids needed a dog of their own to take care of and I am sure he knew Princess would not be around much longer. So the “Easter Bunny” adopted a six month old pure bread Basset Hound that the kids and mom names Buster Brown The Ugly Hound and that is the way it was put on his official papers! Buster or Buzz for short were his nicknames. He was a great dog, loved the kids and was protective of anything that entered his yard. The neighbor kids would come over and play in the back yard and he would let anyone in, but if you were not to leave with his little friends! If you were a stranger you were allowed into the yard and not out. You were now his!
He was with us for about 10 years and we lost him to what I think might have been cancer. That was about 1998.

Oh wait I forgot two guinea pigs!  Their names were Goofy and Chocolate and belonged to my oldest daughter along with a bunny named Ihop.

The next critter to adopt us was a wee little yellow kitten.  On a cold fall evening we heard a pitiful sound in the front yard, thinking it was some-kind of injured bird or wild animal. It certainly didn’t sound like a kitten, but there she was and when I opened the front door she made herself at home and has been here ever since. Her name Shadow and her names comes from the fact, she loved to chase shadows as a kitten. Shadow has been with us for about 8 years now and attached herself to our youngest daughter. Now that she is away at school, Shadow, who we almost lost because she grieved herself sick when her girl left, has become my best buddy.

Shadow has this thing for socks or any loose cloth on the floor, she gathers them up in piles maybe I should have named her socks 😀



We’ve had a few scorpions and few fish tanks full of fish. Our son at the moment has a  bearded lizard named Lizzy and the last addition to our home is a

dog. His name is Tanner. He is Daddy dog and the biggest baby and heart breaker that has ever been in this home. Tanner is now a 3-year-old Pug, Beagle mix and  called Puggles. He is smart little fellow.

Animals can be a great addition to any family.  Our pets have  been wee little blessings and wonderful little friends.

I can’t say if there will be any more little friends, but I am guessing with out track record there will many more little critter roaming our hall ways.



52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy #16 /My Favorite Restaurant

Most of you know that I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas and in doing so I have downloading some great books. I came across this little gem of a book called “The Big Genealogy Blog Book” by Amy Coffin. One of her suggestions for blogging genealogy is 52  weeks of personal genealogy. Amy gives 52 prompts to get you writing your own genealogy.  There other great prompts in this book as well. If you find your blog is becoming a chore, check out this book it just might put some life and enjoyment back into your writing!

I am starting on week 16 because that would put me around the end of April. So here is my first offering of my personal genealogy.

So where and what was my favorite restaurant?

I think the restaurant that probably has been in my life the most besides Cracker Barrel, where I work, would be a small Mom and Pop dinner called Leighright’s. It was a true diner. It had booths and a counter with a jukebox console in each booth.

Leright’s was  between our house in Westland and our place of worship in Wayne Mi.
Every now and again Dad would stop at Leright’s. after Sunday services and we would have our Sunday afternoon meal there. I believe that is where I learned about the wonders of a Reuben sandwich, still my all time favorite! If I recall correctly my sister, Trish, always ordered the Slim Jim of course both of these came with a great heaping pile of french fries. Mind you these fries weren’t the itty bitty skinny MacDonald’s fries, but home-made fresh from the potato fries! It was some wonderful eating.

There are a few memories that I have of Leright’s but I think the funnest one and probably the one I tell the most happened around Christmastime in 1972.
We bugged Dad for a quarter to play the jukebox, finally after much pestering he said fine, here is a quarter, you may play the jukebox if you can find a Christmas song. Giggles of joy escaped from two young girls and the pages started to fly! Hey Dad here is “Joy To The World” it’s a Christmas song (okay so it wasn’t, but we figured Dad had no clue) he said sure so we popped our quarter into the jukebox, with snickers and side glances. We all know what came from those speakers (giggle), Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine. Dad look surprised and Mom well, I think she knew all along what was going on, she had a small smile on her face.

About ten years after this incident, my mother in law became a prep cook at Leright’s and very often she would bring home left over chicken or the most awesome stuffed mushrooms and on occasions she would bring home the chipped beef to share with the rest of the family.
I took care of a little girl who just thought Julie’s chicken was just the bomb, much to her mothers disappointment, because Judy knew full well that the chicken was not Julie’s but Leright’s. I never told!

There was even a sighting of the famous there. Steve Guttenberg  visit to the Diner sometime around the release of “There Men and a Baby” , if my memory serves me right. Jim’s Mom wasn’t sure who he was so we bought her a copy of “There Men and a Baby” and it became one of her favorite movies.

Leright’s was a land mark in Westland for many, many years. There have been several restaurants that have occupied that space since then and they have never done as well as Leright’s did. I am guessing it is because of the personal touch from Mom and Pop Lehright.

Happy Hunting!