Monday, February 29, 2016

Mondays With Mary - Lions and Lambs and Leap Years

Today is that fun day that only comes around every four years. It is leap year, and today is February 29. I only have four of Mary's calendars with me: 1985, 1990, 1991, 1994. There is no rhyme or reason to having these four with me this winter. They are just the ones I grabbed as I headed out the door in January to get away from the winter of 2016. Not one of these calendars have leap year in them.

What about a comparison of what happened in those four years on March 1, the day which might come in as a lion or a lamb. Do people even talk about such a thing in places where the weather is constantly wonderful.  Growing up we knew that if March came in like a lion, it would go out like a lamb and vice versa.

Friday, March 1, 1985

36 degrees @ 7:15  sun shining
another beautiful day - took SS check
to town - ate lunch in town.  Ardea & I drove over to Carroll in p.m. home about 4 p.m.  Vern filled propane stove tank in a.m.

Sunday, March 31, 1985

( side note) Everything stuck with 2 to 3 inch of snow on it.
30 degrees at 8:30 a.m still snowing, windy, about 10 inches of snow -  drove into Scranton about 4: p.m. snow melting, put snow in back of truck for weight.

Looks like March was in like a lamb and out like a lion in 1985.
Thursday, March 1, 1990

23 degrees @ 6:15  windy all day.
I went to Carroll for groceries & some fabric  -
Duane out in a.m. for machinery trailer
Vern went to town awhile in a.m.  too windy to spit wood in p.m.
read awhile - talked to Micki T on her birthday.

Saturday, March 31, 1990

42 degrees @ 8 a.m. John's bob tailed H had b calf.
Vern & Pat Murphy out listening for turkeys.
I went to Terrills in a.m. for coffee & a book @ library. 
 went for ride in p.m. for cigs & candy
 down around Dunbar to see geese.

Friday, March 1, 1991

raining to-day.  Duane out in a.m. to feed cows & Ina
recaulked bathtub - made chili & potato soup to take to Hilts for Micki's birthday party  - had a good time  lots of fun & surprises 
still raining to-nite

Sunday, March 31, 1991

38 degrees @ 6 a.m.   warmed up to 40ties
cool winds - made carpenter wheel pillow
B24A had calf in a.m.
Went for ride in p.m.  Mickey & Nona called to-day

Tuesday, March 1, 1994

10 degrees @ 5:30 a.m. warmed up  foggy all
morning  Vern went to Bayard for a hair cut.
John Eich killed in fog.  hit a school bus.  Jon B got the last 7 bales from 80.  We went to Carroll in p.m. for Vern's
boots, got him a pr of  pants.  Talked to Margie to-nite.

Thursday, March 31, 1994

30 degrees @ 3:30 a.m.  34 degrees @ 6 a.m.  Vern
plowed in a.m.  Jon put fertilizer on for corn ground.
Granny & Bl 58 both had calves.  Duane out & took silage cutter home.  beautiful day to 60 ties - I went to Sabus
 for FN club in p.m.  washed & ironed 2 quilt backings in a.m.

Once again March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. Of course, far worse than the weather on March 1 was the accident that took John Eich's life.  John was the owner of Arcadia Limestone Company with whom Vern contracted the mining of the gravel pit on the farm.

I also guess that Mary had some trouble sleeping on that last day of March. I am so glad to learn what the temperature was at 3:30 a.m. that day. (Insert sarcastic or smart- aleck font) Of course, maybe that makes up for the lack of a temperature report on March 1, 1991
when all we learned was that it was raining. This is the first time I have come across a missing temperature report. Maybe there are others, but I doubt it. More calendar reading will tell.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday Feb. 24, 2016

That proud young farmer is my dad in 1942. I actually remember that water tank, I always wanted it to be my swimming pool, but my folks refused. I wonder why?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mondays With Mary - baby calves and turkeys

Saturday, April 7, 1990

16 degrees @ 7:30 a.m.  Vern & P. Murphy scouting turkeys  - went to town in a.m. to Terrills for coffee 
burnt garden off.  raked alittle -  back yard-
washed kitchen window - washed curtains-
No. RB 26 had b calf.  drove over to park to-nite.

Certainly, the signs of spring are in the air even if it was only 16 degrees in the a.m. Burning off the garden, washing windows, and welcoming those new baby calves are give aways. The ear tags for new calves still hang in my Dad's old shed. It might be necessary to note that the b stands for bull. Later, there will be some calves
 born with an h designation for heifer (a female calf).

Sunday, April 8, 1990

40 degrees in a.m. Vern - Pat M.
Dave Wolf & D.E. Roberts
scouting turkeys - finished raking garden & cleaning
up mulberry tree.  LM 6 b calf.
I finished the dahlia star quilt  - Vern slept in p.m.

Monday, April 9, 1990

52 degrees @ 7:45 a.m.  high winds - cloudy Vern
hunting turkeys.  no luck - I went to quilt- & tye quilt
for Ardea - RB 21 b calf. 
  RB -2 had b calf - LM 17-
h calf.  mm-2 h calf.   LM3 - h calf

It seems to have been a busy day in the barn, at least the maternity wing.

Tuesday, April 10, 1990

38 degrees & getting colder - Duane out in a.m.
to tag the calfs of m-m-2 - RB-2 & show his new pickup.
I got my hair set in a.m. ate lunch with Nona-
D.E. Roberts got turkey.  I sewed in pm. made charlaine
for Glidden lady.

I rarely have trouble with Mary's writing but I am not sure about the word charlaine. Sounds like some sort of quilt name.

The turkey hunting went on the rest of the week. She reports that everyone got a turkey that season. The calves had to be treated for scours and coccidiosis (a parasitic disease of many animals).  Welcome to life on the farm. Mary continued to work on Ardea's quilt and it appears that Vern took a lot of naps.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Augustus is a surname not yet mentioned much on this blog.  This is my husband's mother's maiden name. My husband grew up close to his Augustus grandparents. They had two children, his mother and her brother. Each of those children had five children. Grandpa Halle and Grandma Ina Augustus were special to their ten grandchildren. My husband and his first cousins enjoyed family times together and when I came into the family, I felt very much a part of the group.

Grandpa Halle is the fellow that made it to 100. His birthday was a grand affair with lots and lots of family and friends in attendance. At the time of the party, he was still living at home alone and taking moderately good care of himself.

Grandpa Halle was one of five children. His parents, Sherman and Lizzie, lived in Scranton where Sherman was mayor at one time. We have a great photo of them in front of their home there. The photo will make its way to this blog but not until a return from my winter haven. I didn't bring any of the Augustus files with me when we came south. I had determined it was a winter for trailing the Wrights. (My father's family)

Now don't I wish I had those files. Here is why.

Four of my husband's first cousins actually live in the area of our winter home.  One is getting interested in the family genealogy and is aware that some of the grandchildren of Grandpa Halle's sister, Wilda Estelle Augustus Smith also live in the area.

Contacts and arrangements have been made and we are off on Sunday to meet some second cousins and second cousins once removed. I do have some photos I hope they can identify. I am also anxious to share genealogical information. The Augustus line might be our closest line to royalty. Hallie Joseph Augustus, his sister Wilda, and their three other siblings are the 4th great grandchildren of John Augustus who was born in Hanover, Germany. It is believed by many descendants that John Augustus (1735-1809) was fathered by KING GEORGE II of the House of Hanover.  Some claim the christening records are locked away in the Tower of London, never to be seen by the public.

I do not intend to follow this mystery/family tale/ lore at the present time. Instead, I am concentrating on the lower branches of this family tree and looking forward to meeting other descendants of John Augustus of Hanover, Germany. I wonder if they have ever heard this story. I will let you know.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Someone Turns Sixty- Feb. 18

Yes, I have a cousin who turns sixty years old today.  She was born just before I turned eleven and that event is one of my happiest childhood memories.

We were in Des Moines visiting my aunt and uncle for the week-end. There were 5 tickets waiting to be used to attend a country-western concert starring Hank Snow and Marvin Rainwater on Sunday. My parents, my aunt and uncle, and I were all looking forward to the big event.  My new baby cousin, however, interrupted the week-end. As a ten and almost eleven year old, I felt so sorry for my aunt who didn't get to attend the concert because she was in the hospital with my new baby cousin, who by the way, was supposed to be born on my birthday three days later.  Of course, we have a great aunt who was thrilled to share her birthday with the new baby. After all, almost eleven years before that Aunt Neva was hoping I would be her birthday buddy.  But, I was born on my uncle's birthday (the new father). February was a big birthday month for our family.  And not to be outdone, my sixty year old baby cousin shares her birthday with her first grandchild.

Back to the story.

I remember my mom and aunt sitting in the dining room talking quietly so I could not hear. Suddenly, it was decided that it was time for the expectant parents to leave for the hospital. Even though it was a fast delivery, it seemed forever for my uncle to return with the news. (Telephones had been invented by then :-) I wonder why he didn't call. This is a thought I have never had before. I think it is just sign of the times in the 50"s. It probably cost money as well).

I heard the car pull into the driveway and rushed to the kitchen entry door. I clearly remember standing by the sink shouting, "What is it? What is it?" He calmly replied that it was an octopus. I was not happy with this joke. The few seconds it took him to be funny were the few seconds I was still untold that I had a baby girl cousin.

The baby girl was named for my mother and her mother. My first name and my baby girl cousin's middle name are the same. I spent my whole life thinking she had been named for both my mom and me. As an adult, I finally accepted that her middle name might have had a connection to her own mother.

Sixty years have gone by. Our grandparents are gone. Our parents are gone. Our grand birthday celebrations have changed but still exist only in different forms. Our memories endure.

Happy Birthday, Mary. I love you, baby cousin.

August 1957

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Genealogy, Genealogy Everywhere

Genealogy is just running out of my ears. Thursday I finished the second series of classes on the genealogical program Legacy. I have taken this class before, but there is so much involved that I come away thinking I am totally new at it. I do, however, highly recommend this program if you are searching for one.

My DNA tests came back. Yeah! If I were snowed in somewhere, I could start to search through my 497 fourth cousins or closer. Then, I could start on my husband's results. He doesn't have as many but they look very promising. Happily I can report that I am not snowed in and the warm weather is pulling me away from all that tedious work. Fourth cousins might have to wait. I also took a generic DNA class and promised a friend I would share my notes over coffee next week.  There goes another morning.

In just a couple of weeks, I will be attending the Genealogical Conference put on by the West Valley Genealogical Society. I recently was mentioned in their advertising because I won the drawing last year for free admission this year. I am almost famous.

Then, we are making some real life connections to some of my husband's second cousins. We will soon get together to share old pictures and ancestrial information. Like I said, genealogy is just running out my ears.

Recently, I have read a few articles and noticed discussions on what might happen to a genealogist's work after he/she passes away. A friend sent me this link which the author asks to be accessed directly with the link below. I hope I can count on my own children to NOT follow this example.

The article is titled  Cleaning Mother's House

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mondays With Mary - February 1990

The temperature up and downs of winter in Iowa are extreme. It might be 65 degrees as it was January 15, 1990 or 14 degrees a few days later as it was January 19, 1990. No wonder people get sick with these typical fluctuations. This can happen all winter long. January 31 the day warmed into the 50's and then February 2, the day started at 15 degrees.

18 February, 1990

24 degrees - S wind most of day
split loader of wood and put up
on porch - went to Scranton
for milk  - G&D Lewis out for coffee
got home Fri nite ( I think refers to G&D)
my throat & cold worse I think

19 February, 1990

14 degrees @ 7:15  warmed up into 40ties
Duane out to feed cows.  I went to quilt today
finished Kate Hennings. & put in Edna Lawerence
 card tricks (card tricks is a quilt pattern)
Vern & Doug S. & Brooke cut some wood
Doug took splitter home

20 February, 1990

6 degrees @ 7:15  Short ( a neighbor) down in a.m.
I went to get my hair set in a.m.
cold still bad.  Vern pulled tree out of pasture in front of house
put brush on N silo pasture  I worked on Joyce's wall hanging
warmed into high 30ties

21 February, 1990

26 degrees @ 6:30 a.m.  Duane out in a.m.
& brought light poles to make a roof on silage pit 
I went to Jeff to doctor for medicine
have the flu.  slept in p.m.  Tried to get Margie - no luck.

She says her cold was some better the next day and she went off to
quilt from 10:30 to 3:00 and then went to Lake City to buy shirts and boots for Vern. That must have been good medicine.

She also reached me by phone the next day. I imagine that I was out celebrating my 45th birthday. Where has the time gone?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mondays With Mary - Friends

One of the enjoyments I get from reading my mom's calendars is the reference to friends. Recently, it occurred to me that a few of those friends that are mentioned might enjoy the discovery of my blog Cousins. It might bring back some memories to those cousins who are cousins by friendship.

March 1, 1990

23 degrees @ 6:15 a.m.  windy all day
I went to Carroll for groceries & some
fabric - Duane in a.m. for machinery trailer
Vern went to town awhile in a.m. - too windy
to split wood in p.m. read awhile - talked to Micki T
on her birthday

March 2, 1990

36 degrees @ 7:30  warmed up to 62 degrees to-day
chilly winds tho.  Vern went to town in a.m.
I cut out blocks for IQG ( Iowa Quilters Guild) wall hanging
took Joyce T's wall hanging to her in p.m. Vern spilt
wood in p.m. Home at 4 p.m. went for walk.

March 3, 1990

16 degrees @ 6:30 a.m. warmed up to 40ties
went to Clara Dillavou birthday coffee
Duane out & fed cows - D Roberts here in a.m.
We went to Mike Sharon's to cut up trees for Doug
worked on IQG  wall hanging

And of course, there are fun entries about family cousins.

Sunday, March 11, 1990

60 degrees @ 7 a.m.   windy & cloudy
Went to Grimes for Kathryn's birthday
party.  Then to John's & cut down a tree for him.
home @ 6:15

Saturday, March 17, 1990

37 @ 6 a.m.  wind blowing.  Duane out in
a.m.   Dean & Kathryn here for lunch
until about 1:30 p.m. I read & quilted in p.m. 
up to 40ties

Friday, February 5, 2016


Each person has four grandparents. I realize I was lucky that I knew all four of my grandparents.  Then, we have eight great-grandparents. I actually knew four of my eight great-grandparents. Again, I feel extremely lucky.

Recently on a long car drive, I wondered if I could name all sixteen of my great-great grandparents. I challenge you to try the exercise.
I used no notes, just my memory. I was pleased that I could do it.

Dad's side

Royal R. Wright
Mary Siglin       parents of Charles Wright/Albert/Vern/Me

Olmsted             parents of Jennie Olmsted Wright/Albert/Vern/Me

Ira Borden
Adeline              parents of William Borden/Nina/Vern/Me

George J DeHart
Sarah Skaggs        parents of Emma Susan/Nina/Vern/Me

Mom's side

John M. Vorhies
Ginevra Withrow Vorhies  parents of Estella/Nina/Mary/Me          

George Smith
Mary Ford            parents of Hiram/Nina/Mary/Me

William Grisso 
Martha                  parents of John Martin/Bert/Mary/Me

Hamilton              parents of Laura/Bert/Mary/Me

This is a great exercise. I have realized that my great-great grandparents Olmsted are relative unknowns. However, I have some resources to search for more on them.

I think I should consider my great-great grandparents Hamilton as a brick wall.  It may be that great-grandma Laura was from an orphanage. 

Did you notice that both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother have the same name...Nina. One is Nina Francis (Frances) and the other is Nina Lorene. My grandfather's names were Bert and Albert, almost the same.

In addition to learning more about Great-Grandma Jennie Wright's parents, I need clarification on their last name. Is it Olmstead or Olmsted?

Great-Grandma Laura Grisso's parentage has the same challenge. Is it Hamilton or Hamelton?

My own grandmother, Nina Francis/Frances Borden Wright's middle name varies from document to document.

So many challenges. So little time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wrights on Wednesday again

Last Wednesday, I discussed a writing done by my grandmother, Nina F. Borden Wright. The following Friday and Monday's posts shared that document.

Last Wednesday, I also spoke of the passing of her seventh child, Harold 'Gene' Wright. Uncle Gene was my dad's youngest brother and a favorite of all the family.  Last week's post can be seen by clicking here.

Uncle Gene's obituary has appeared in the Cody Enterprise, the newspaper of Cody, Wyoming.  I wish to share it here to include as a part of my family history story.

Harold 'Gene' Wright

Harold (Gene) Wright, 76, passed away at his home on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016.
He was born to Albert and Nina Borden-Wright on July 15, 1939, in Callender, Iowa.

Gene is survived by his wife of 54 years Cheryl; his daughter Janie and son-in-law Mike of Casper, son Mitch and daughter-in-law Amy of Casper; son David and daughter-in-law Robin of Boone, Iowa; grandchildren Jaden, Liam and Aaron of Boone, Iowa, Austin and wife Sara of Casper, Ty of Denver, Mike of Cody, Chawney and husband Ron of Bozeman, Amanda of Laramie, Brandie, Shelby and Ceci of Casper, Kristen of California, great-grandsons Tucker and Aden; extended family Sherri and Jake Edgar, and Lisa Muckley of Cody.

Gene joined the Army in 1961, and did his basic training in Fort Carson, Colo.  He was stationed at Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska, and did an 18 month tour in Okinawa and finished his army career at Turner Air Force Base in Albany, Ga.

Upon leaving the military he worked for several years as manager of Scranton Manufacturing in Iowa.  In 1978 he and his family relocated to Cody where he was employed as a security guard at the Buffalo Bill Museum until his retirement in 2001.

Gene was an avid outdoorsman enjoying many hours hunting on the Hoodoo Ranch, Carter Mountain, and Sunlight, usually with his friend Tuff Vore.  Gene also loved fishing the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and would take anyone who wanted to go.  He was a self-taught craftsman and handyman, and would help fix anything for others.  He loved country music and taught himself to play guitar at a young age.  He enjoyed jamming with family at every family gathering.
In 1985 Gene began studying American Kenpo Karate with Michael Belliston, and by 2006 he was awarded the 5th degree black belt by Gary Ronemus.  Eventually he opened his own dojo where he taught American Kenpo Karate.  He continued in this pursuit until his death.

Belliston says, Gene was a true student of Kenpo, where it truly becomes a part of your life and he lived it every day. One of the things about Gene that means so much to me is that he believed in me more than I think I believed in myself, and that is such a monumental thing.  But that was Gene-a student, a friend, and a teacher who always gave more than he received."

Gene loved his family.  His daughter Janie says, "He was the best dad ever, he loved the United States and he loved all of us with everything he had in him."

In lieu of flowers Gene's family asks that donations be made in his name to Wyoming Outdoorsmen, P.O. Box 2562, Cody, WY 82414.

A celebration of Gene's life will be March 12 2-4 p.m. at The Terrace, 525 W. Yellowstone Ave., Cody.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Grandma's Own Words (continued)

If you missed the beginning of this story published on Friday, it can be found by clicking here.

In 1917 my Dad bot a new model T. Was sure proud.  In a short time I was driving.  I went out one day & told mama I was going for a ride & she said (I'll go with you .  If you get killed, we both will)   So we had a nice ride & the next day I took Uncle Sherm & Aunt Alice quite a little ways.  We had lots of good rides after that.  I used to take the car & some woman & Len Tubbs ( a neighbor & we went to Ft. Dodge many times.. Had to put the car in the garage so some one wouldn't take it.

In 1920 I met a fellow thru the Jenks girls.  Letha lived on Grandpa Wright's farm.  So it turned out after a year, I married the guy  (Albert L. Wright)  We were married at Lake City at home.  The Preacher, his wife, Mom & Dad were there. (Year 1921)

We then moved to the farm at Sac City.  Lived there for a year then moved to Lake City where Albert went in the salvage business.  He did very well & later he bot a house on South Woodlawn & had it move on the lot next to the folks.  While we lived there he bot a merry-go-round and ran it for a year.  Set at Spring Lake-Twin Lakes-Gowrie-Scranton & Lake City.

Vern came along in 1922 & Ina in 1924.  I sold tickets & took care of them at some places.

In 1928 we sold the merry-go-round & it went to Eddyville, Iowa.

In 1928 Bonnie came to live with us.  And in 1930, Al arrived. We then lived at Sherwood north of Lake City on 40 acres.  In 1934 Doll came & in 1936 we moved to Luther, Iowa on a farm. The 40 acres by Sherwood was peat ground & Dad couldn't stand the dust on account of his asthma.

In 1936 Lela came while we were living by Luther.  From there we went by Callender, Iowa and bot 80 acres.  It also was part peat ground & the Dr. told Dad to get away from it so we sold it & moved by Scranton.  In 1939 while at Callender Gene came.  We lived at Scranton about 2 years.  In 1941 Evelyn was born.

In 1941 we moved to south of Guthrie Center on a rented place.  In the process from Scranton to Mrs. Winston's place the kids all had the red measles.  What a time. Al got them at school & Doll, Lee & Gene got them first.  Dad took Ina, Bonnie & Al with him so part of them were with me & part with him all with the measles.

From Mrs. Winston's place we moved to Coon Rapids, Iowa on a big farm owned by Mr. Kooney...lived there 6 years.  Had a nice herd of cattle.  Some calves were bot at Carroll for $6 & $7 a head.

When we moved 2 miles south of Guthrie Center, we had 10 milk cows & other cattle.  That was a nice place 240 acres.  It was the first running water we ever had.

In 1950, we sold & traded for the place by the creek at Lake City.  That was a beautiful place -running water-furnace & all.

In 1952 we moved to Menlo on 80 acres...lived there a couple years then came to Boone, Iowa in 1953 & lived here every since.  Dad dealt in second hand furniture & antiques.

Bot the house at 618 W. 2nd
Bot one at      W6th
Bot acreage at south Webster.
Bot 2 trailer houses. One I still have.
Last lived at 115- S -State
I moved the trailer to 522 W 1st ...probably will be the last move.  Lived in Boone 17 years.     

   Wedding photo of my Grandma Nina and Grandpa Albert Wright