Monday, December 29, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Mauna Loa Eruption

Oops...I forgot to note the page..darn it!
Unless you've been avoiding the news (it's OK...I do it sometimes too) you've probably heard that the Mauna Loa volcano on the "Big Island" of Hawaii has been active and is slowly showing everyone in its path who wins in a fight of chicken with a lava flow (hint...the volcano wins).

So as I was preparing for my trip home to Wisconsin for the holidays I saw that I had previously printed a newspaper article relating the story of a previous eruption of Mauna Loa. This one was reported in the Fond du Lac Daily Reporter back in 1926. The story was told by a Soldier from Wisconsin that witnessed it.

Corporal Buch is not my ancestor, but I decided to share it on a Travel Tuesday because (heck) he's someone's ancestor and traveling to Hawaii is ├╝ber-cool. Having been stationed in Hawaii for three years, getting married there and having my first child there makes it a place very dear to my heart. I recognized the names of the places CPL Buch mentioned in his letters. I remember the Pali. I remember how breathtaking it all is. I'd love to go back there someday.

Pele is making herself heard again in late 2014/early 2015 so I thought this was appropriate to share. The copy is not the best so there were a few words that were difficult to make out. I put what I believed was correct in parenthesis.

"Eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaiian Volcano, Seen By Fond du Lac Youth

Corporal Paul Buch Describes Lava Flow In Letters to His Parents.

Corporal Paul A. Buch, a member of the coast artillery of the United States army, stationed at Ft. Ruger, Hawaii, in a recent letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Buch, 292 Bannister street, describes the recent eruption of the volcano Mauna Loa at Hilo, an Island of the Hawaiian group.

'The veritable river of fire flowed down the mountain side, covering a huge area and destroying everything in its wake - cane fields, grazing lands, towns, hamlets and all - until the river itself was destroyed when it flowed into the sea and a huge cloud of steam arose as a last reminder of its terrible course,' wrote Corporal Buch.

'Ranches, woods and fruit fields were destroyed and the daily papers are filled with pictures which are very interesting. Sometimes I imagine old Diamond head, across from us, becoming active again, after its thousands of estimated years of inactivity; or old Punch Bowl in the heart of Honolulu erupting again.

'As we all know the Hawaiian Islands are of volcanic origin, and science claims that the very islands were thrown up from the sea bottom by huge craters at the earth's core, and all natural formations over here verify the same. It is rumored that some day the ped(??????) on which the islands are based will shatter and the Hawaiians will sink back into the sea from whence they came.'

Corporal Buch has written many other interesting letters describing the beauties of Oahu. In particular he described the famous Nuuanu Pali, on the island on which he is quartered.

'The Pali is famous on account of its being the narrow pass in the mountains where King Kamehameha, then in his prime, opposed and defeated some other huge army which had come over from some other island to subdue the king and his faithful Hawaiian soldiers,' says Corporal Buch. 'It was at this pass that the king and his handful of soldiers met and defeated the other army by rushing on them from ambush and contriving to force the entire number over the cliff which is 2,000 or 2,(5)00 feet high, thus wiping out the complete army and winning the most complete victory the world has ever known, although we never heard this in school. It's surely taught over here, and that's why there are so many places named Kamehameha over here.

'The days of the great Hawaiian kings have long passed into history but the 15,000 or 20,00 native Hawaiians left in the once independent little country held this famous king's name sacred and there are certain days of the year celebrated as holidays in his honor.

'To get to the 'Pali", we started climbing through some of the most beautiful places one could imagine. In some places, possibly for an eighth of a mile, the very road becomes a tunnel through the foliage and vine-clad verdure of huge (panyon) and palm trees which line this road for miles. After about 20 minutes of this climbing, a great roaring was heard, and we came around a short curve and stopped the car and took off our caps, for we'd reached the 'Pali' and it was surely more wonderful than we had heard. The thrilling part of it was the great wind or young tornado which comes direct from the sea and being bottled up by the two walls never lets up. One has to be very careful or it will blow the top off one's car and one can scarcely walk against it. It is so wonderful it can not justly be described.'

In another letter received by his parents this morning, Corporal Buch declares that the lava is still flowing from the crater of Mauna Loa, and that the stream is (8)00 feet wide and at a depth of 5 to 10 feet. The natives are not afraid, he asserts, but are toasting post cards at the edge of the flow and selling them to tourists as souvenirs.

Corporal Buch enlisted at Fr. Snelling, Minn. June 24, 192(5), and has been stationed at Fr. Ruger, Hawaii, since that time, during which period he has made an exceptional record, rising from a recruit to non-commissioned officer, ranking corporal, in 10 months. He has been a special duty man since last September, known as clerk of the battery. Corporal Buch plans on returning home this summer. He will (sail) Aug. 4 for Honolulu."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Military Monday - Fort Carson GWOT Fallen Soldiers' Memorial, 2005-2006

Fort Carson GWOT Memorial stone, 2005-2006
These photos were taken shortly after Memorial Weekend on Fort Carson. All of the flags, flowers, bottles and various token were left behind by friends and loved ones as a tribute to those they lost. We need to remember ever single one of them!

Roll Call

SPC Christopher L. Hoskins 21 Jun 2005
SPC Nicholas R. Idalski 21 Jun 2005
SPC Brian A. Vaughn 21 Jun 2005
SFC Christopher Wade Phelps 23 Jun 2005
SSG Jeremy Alexander Brown 3 Jul 2005
SSG Scottie Lee Bright 5 Jul 2005
CPL Lyle Jim Cambridge 5 Jul 2005
SPC Hoby Frank Bradfield Jr. 9 Jul 2005
PFC Eric Paul Woods 9 Jul 2005
SGT Timothy James Sutton 11 Jul 2005
SPC Ronnie David Williams 16 Jul 2005
SPC Ernest Wayne Dallas Jr. 24 Jul 2005
SSG Jason Wayne Montefering 24 Jul 2005
SGT Milton Manuel Monzon Jr. 24 Jul 2005
PFC Ramon A. Villatoro Jr. 24 Jul 2005
SPC Robert Adam Swaney 30 Jul 2005
SSG Brian L. Morris 21 Aug 2005
PFC Elden D. Arcand 21 Aug 2005

CPL Joseph Larry Martinez 27 Aug 2005
CW2 Dennis Patrick Hay 29 Aug 2005
2LT Charles Robert Rubado 29 Aug 2005
CPL Jeffrey Allen Williams 5 Sep 2005
SSG Brian Lee Freeman 7 Nov 2005
CPL Robert Christopher Pope II 7 Nov 2005
PFC Mario Alberto Reyes 7 Nov 2005
1LT Justin Shawnsonte Smith 7 Nov 2005
SGT Tyrone Lanard Chisholm 11 Nov 2005
SGT Denis Javier Gallardo 22 Nov 2005
SFC Eric Paul Pearrow 24 Nov 2005
CPL Jared William Kubasak 12 Dec 2005
SGT Timothy Rick Boyce 15 Dec 2005
1LT Joseph David de Moors 7 Jan 2006
MAJ Douglas Amuel La Bouff 7 Jan 2006
MAJ Michael Ray Martinez 7 Jan 2006
CPL Dustin Lee Kendall 15 Jan 2006
CPL Walter B Howard II 2 Feb 2006

SSG Curtis Tyrone Howard II 22 Feb 2006
SGT Gordon Foster Misner II 22 Feb 2006
SPC Thomas Joseph Wilwerth 22 Feb 2006
SGT Dimitri Muscat 24 Feb 2006
SGT Luis Ricardo Reyes 18 Nov 2005
PFC Grant Allen Dampier 15 May 2006
SSG Marion Flint Jr 15 May 2006
CPL Brock Lyle Bucklin 31 May 2006
SFC Daniel B. Crabtree 8 Jun 2006
CPL Luis Daniel Santos 8 Jun 2006
SSG Alberto Virrueta Sanchez 24 Jun 2006
SGT James Patrick Muldoon 29 Jun 2006
PFC Nicholas Alexander Madaras 3 Sep 2006
PFC Nathan Joseph Frigo 17 Oct 2006

May all of our Service Members come home for good soon!

Fort Carson 2003-2004 memorial post
Fort Carson 2004 memorial post
Fort Carson 2004-2005 memorial post

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Laura Cayemberg nee Laurent

Green Bay Press Gazette,
20JAN1997, pg B-5
I shared the story of my husband's paternal grandparents' deaths before. It's touching and heart-breaking at the same time. I never shared their obituaries because I never had them. I got them during my Christmas visit to Wisconsin and decided it was time to share them.

Laura passed first on January 18th. Patrick passed on January 21st. Just long enough to make sure that Laura was taken care of. The story that I shared can be read here. Patrick's obituary will follow Laura's next week.

"Mrs. Patrick (Laura) Cayemberg

Mrs. Patrick (Laura) Cayemberg, 89, formerly of 2023 University Ave., died Saturday evening, Jan. 18, 1997 at a local adult care facility. Born in the Town of Luxembourg, she is the daughter of the late Victor and Mary (Dart) Laurent. She married Patrick H. Cayemberg on Nov. 15, 1928 at St. Martin's Church in Tonet. The couple farmed in Thiry Daems until 1939 when they moved to Green Bay. As a couple they are well remembered for selling pumpkins and Christmas trees for over 30 years from their home on University Avenue (next to the former Mona Lisa Restaurante). Laura was a member of SS. Peter and Paul Parish. She enjoyed chrocheting (sic), knitting, baking chocolate chip cookies for everyone and times spent with her grandchildren.

Green Bay Press Gazette,
20JAN1997, pg B-5
Survived by her husband, Patrick; four sons and spouses, Roland and Shirley Cayemberg, Green Bay; Darold Cayemberg, Vulcan, Mich.; Patrick and Dolores Cayemberg, Green Bay; Glen and Sarah Cayemberg, Union Grove; one daughter-in-law, Marge Konkel, Wind Lake; 25 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; four sisters-in-law, Mae Laurent, Luxembourg; Lucy Anderson, Green Bay; Alice Cayemberg, Howard; Angie Cayemberg, Pulaski; nieces and nephews.

Also preceded in death by one son, Wayne Cayemberg in 1973; one daughter-in-law, Patsy Cayemberg in 1975; two great-grandchildren; one brother, Norman Laurent; one sister, Anna Malcore.

Friends may call at Malcore Funeral Home, University Avenue at Baird Street from 9:30 a.m. Tuesday until the time of the Funeral Mass. Funeral - Tuesday 11 a.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Parish with the Rev. John Vander Horst officiating.

Special thanks to the staff of Country Living Adult Health Care for the wonderful care they provided to our mother."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Family Reunion Friday - Cayemberg Family 1953

I've been having fun with this year's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories and I hope you've enjoyed reading what I've shared as much as I enjoyed sharing it. It's time to get back to another Family Reunion Friday though. Family reunions are so important to genealogists and I don't want to lose focus on that so today I'm transcribing the next clipping for our Cayemberg reunion. It was the 16th and while attendance was down to 83 from the previous year's 131 the Cayembergs continued on.

I love the fact that the clippings not only acknowledged who won prizes, but they also marked the births of the newest members of the family. Do you mention the new births in your reunion articles?  Even if they aren't in newspapers (which they should be in my humble opinion), do you put them in a newsletter so everyone is kept abreast of the latest additions to their family? Do you list who was lost since the last reunion? I'd bet the immediate family of those that lost someone would appreciate the touching tribute.

Ensuring that new family members or new losses are mentioned in writing is important. Just saying something before dinner or before adjourning simply isn't enough. What if someone isn't in the room? What if a family had to leave early or arrived late? What if some people couldn't attend? Publishing it in a newspaper or a newsletter if your paper doesn't include such things lets everyone know about these significant changes. It is a record for the ages. Isn't that one of the reasons we do it?

"Mrs. Eli Cayemberg Is Guest of Honor At Family Reunion

(Handwritten '16th' and '1953')

Special to Press-Gazette

PULASKI, Wis. - Mrs. Eli Cayemberg, 83, of Pulaski, route 2, was guest of honor at the 16th family reunion at Pamperin park Sunday.  A total of 146 persons attended.

Prizes in games were won by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cayemberg, Mrs. Joseph Corrigan, Menasha; Mrs. Harold Christenson, Sturgeon Bay; and Mrs. Lloyd Dravillion (sic), Luxemburg.

Harvey Houreau (sic), Mrs. Cyril Blohowiak and Mrs. Donald Nellis were in charge of the arrangements.

It was noted that five babies were born since the last gathering.  They included Dale, son of the Roland Cayembergs, Green Bay; Linda, daughter of the Lloyd Cravillions, New Franken; Michael, son of the Joseph Lorrigans, Menasha; Sharon, daughter of the Walter Cayembergs, Pulaski, and Roland Edward, son of the Albert Govins (sic), Green Bay.

Mrs. Harvey Moureau was elected treasurer and Pat Cayemberg trustee.  The next reunion will be held June 6, 1954, again at Pamperin park.  Mr. and Mrs. Felix Cayemberg of Ensign, Mich., and Mrs. Moureau will make the arrangements.

Guests came from Sturgeon Bay, Casco, Algoma, Tonet, New Franken, Rio Creek, Luxemburg, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Menasha, Pulaski, Anston, Kunesh, Ensign and Iron River, Mich.; San Francisco, Calif., and Bark River Falls, Mich."

The clipping was taken from a scrapbook handed down to me by my mother in law.  No newspaper name was given, but other reunion articles were from the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Eve

This Christmas Eve I'll be enjoying time with my in-laws. We'll be eating Beef Tenderloin, Burgundy Mushrooms, Green Bean Casserole, Beer Dip with Pretzels, and so much more. We'll be enjoying drinks as well and opening presents. Yes...we open the family presents on Christmas Eve so everyone can be around to watch the little ones' excitement as they open their gifts. My mother-in-law's house will be packed to capacity and the noise, while incredibly loud, will be a joy to experience. All the conversations going on at once.  All the catching up. It's one day that all of us get together. The only thing that could put a damper on attendance is if it snows or gets icy and two of my brothers-in-law will have to man the trucks and take care of the city streets. So we'll cross our fingers that this isn't the case.

As the night passes family will slowly head home to prepare for Christmas morning. The hubby will read Twas the Night Before Christmas to our boys and send them off to bed after cookies and milk are put out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. Once my youngest is asleep, my oldest will sneak out and help me pack the stockings and bring up the presents. This is probably the last year that my youngest will believe in Santa. He's been asking questions. Next year he'll probably be helping with the presents too. It'll be a little sad, but we'll still make it fun.

So if you celebrate the Holiday, I wish you a very merry Christmas. If you don't then I'll simply say "may the best of the closing year be yours!"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Military Monday - Fort Carson GWOT Fallen Soldiers' Memorial, 2004-2005

These photos were taken shortly after Memorial Weekend on Fort Carson. All of the flags, flowers, bottles and various token were left behind by friends and loved ones as a tribute to those they lost. We need to remember ever single one of them!

Roll Call

SSG Arthur C. Williams IV 8 Dec 2004
SPC Robert W. Hoyt 11 Dec 2004
CPL Jimmy D. Buie 4 Jan 2005
SGT Joshua S. Marcum 4 Jan 2005
SGT Bennie J. Washington 4 Jan 2005
SPC Jeremy W. McHalffey 5 Jan 2005
SPC Daniel F. Guastaferro 7 Jan 2005
SPC Michael J. Smith 11 Jan 2005
PFC Jesus Fonseca 17 Jan 2005
SPC George R. Geer 17 Jan 2005
SSG Thomas E. Vitagliano 17 Jan 2005
SPC Lyle Rymer 28 Jan 2005
SPC James H. Miller IV 30 Jan 2005
SPC Michael A. Arciola 15 Feb 2005
SSG Jason R. Hendrix 16 Feb 2005
SSG Alexander B. Crackel 24 Feb 2005
SPC Chassan S. Henry 25 Feb 2005
SGT Julio Enrique Negron 28 Feb 2005

SGT Lizbeth Robles 28 Feb 2005
SFC Donald W. Eacho 4 Mar 2005
CPT Sean P. Grimes 4 Mar 2005
CPL Stephen M. McGowan 4 Mar 2005
SPC Wade M. Twyman 4 Mar 2005
SSG Andrew L. Bossert 7 Mar 2005
SPC Michael W. Franklin 7 Mar 2005
SPC Nicholas E. Wilson 11 Mar 2005
SPC Francisco G. Martinez 20 Mar 2005
SPC Samuel S. Lee 28 Mar 2005
SGT Angelo Luis Lozada Jr 16 Apr 2005
SPC Randy L. Stevens 16 Apr 2005
SGT Tromaine K. Toy Sr. 16 Apr 2005
PFC Joseph Labian Knott 17 Apr 2005
PFC Robert Westley Murray Jr. 28 Apr 2005
SPC Ricky William Rockholt Jr. 28 Apr 2005
SSG Juan D. Garcia Arana 30 Apr 2005
SGT Stephen P. Saxton 3 May 2005
SSG Thor H. Ingraham 8 May 2005

SPC Nicolas E. Messmer 8 May 2005
SGT Jacob Mark Si(m)pson 16 May 2005
SGT Antwan L. Walker 18 May 2005*
SGT Charles T. Wilkerson 22 May 2005
SPC Joshua T. Brazee 23 May 2005
CPL Phillip c. Edmundson 1 Jun 2005
SPC Louis E. Niedermeier 1 Jun 2005
SPC Eric James Poelman 5 Jun 2005
SPC Brian Scott Ulbrich 5 Jun 2005
SSG Justin Lee Vazquez 5 Jun 2005
SFC Neil A. Prince 11 Jun 2005
SPC Anthony D. Kinslow 13 Jun2005
SGT Larry R. Kuhns Jr. 13 Jun2005

May all of our Service Members come home for good soon!

Fort Carson 2003-2004 memorial post
Fort Carson 2004 memorial post

*An unobstructed photo of the memorial stone taken several months after the top-most photo so names could be clearly seen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Baking

Ignore my caved-in pumpkin bread. I'm baking at 7100 feet and have an aversion to adjusting my recipes...

Pumpkin yummy! I used to grab the boxes of pumpkin bread mix in the stores as soon as it started showing up around Thanksgiving. Sadly it would disappear from the shelves shortly after the new year. I decided I would have to find a homemade recipe that was as good or better than the boxed stuff I was buying...and I found one!

Unfortunately, I've been using this recipe for years and copied it down without the source. I found it online and I really wish I could share the source, but I'm certainly still going to share the recipe. There are a few changes that I've made. The spices are "heaping" measurements. I know they weren't in the original. I like my spice! I've also substituted some wheat flour into the recipe. You can go with all white flour if you'd prefer. The recipe makes one loaf, but if you're a fan of pumpkin bread like I am just double it. Use the whole 15 oz can of pumpkin puree. It won't be exactly 2 cups, but it works. Trust me on this one. And by doubling it you won't have leftover pumpkin!

Pumpkin Nut Bread

1/3 c. butter (or margarine), softened
1-1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. water
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 c. flour
2/3 c. wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, heaping
1/4 tsp. cloves, heaping
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, heaping
1/2 c. nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light; set aside.

In another bowl combine the eggs, water and pumpkin; mix well. Add creamed butter mixture; blend thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients together in another bowl and add to creamed mixture 1/3 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in the nuts, if desired.

Pour into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Tree Decorations

Some of the ornaments from when I was little still hang on my tree.

Who didn't have a glass pinecone?
What kind of decorations do you put on your Christmas tree? Is your tree all pretty glass ornaments and ribbon? I can really appreciate the beauty of those trees. I can appreciate it, but it isn't me. I'm not even sure if I'm capable of putting together one of those flawless, beautiful, artistic trees. I think it would turn out more like a Pinterest-fail if I made the attempt. That's alright though because the decorations on my tree express more than beauty. Each one has its own story. Whether it was purchased because it was merely pretty or because it represented an experience or place visited, it says something about who we are as a family.

My tree has pretty much always been like that. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my adopted-nana, Hazel Blum, made some ornaments for my sisters and I. One in particular that I recall was little magazine clippings that were decoupaged on a plastic egg-shaped ornament. She clipped things that reminded her of us. Perhaps a scottie dog for my little sister or a doll for me. It was homemade and it was cherished. Sadly, I don't have these ornaments anymore. Any ornaments that were "mine" are MIA. I asked my father, keeper-of-the-Christmas-stuff, for them years ago and he said that he didn't have them. He said that he had given them to us. I don't know what really happened to them, but I don't have them. I do have a lot of decorations from my childhood, but never these. These most cherished of items.
Not all ornaments are traditional.

Yes there were glass ornaments on my tree growing up. Probably ornaments that are very similar to ones you may have had on your tree. Perhaps you still do. I know my husband's family had similar ornaments as well. They were in vogue at the time. In addition to those ornaments I added some that I painted.

The first Christmas that I was in the Army and didn't go home to be with family I bought my own live tree and needed to decorate it. I didn't have any ornaments so I got some plaster craft ornaments and painted them. I tied ribbon to them and hung them on my tree with white lights and baby's breath to simulate snow. It was beautiful to me and I didn't need much. I still have those ornaments.

As time went on I got other ornaments from friends and family and they've been added to our tree decorating. We even have a glass pickle ornament that we hide on the tree and the child that finds it gets a special present. Each year I get my sons a new ornament and put their initial on it somewhere. This way when they grow up they'll be able to take these ornaments with them to put on their first Christmas tree. It's a tradition I started, but one I hope they will continue with their children.

A poi ornament from our time living in Hawaii
Ornaments aren't something parents should covet so they could remember when their children were at home with them once they've gone off on their own. They are gifts of memories that we give to our children so they can remember the good times at home during the Holidays with family that wasn't perfect, but the loved and cherished them.

Happy Holidays everyone!

A plastercraft ornament for my youngest
A plastercraft ornament I painted for my oldest

Some help us remember places we've been...

...and some show our family fanaticism.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Cookies

I purchased this copy of The New World Encyclopedia
of Cooking
on Ebay for about $20.00. I love everything,
but...the smell (yuck mildew)!
I've blogged Christmas recipes in previous years. My favorite cocoa refrigerator cookies, "Aunt" Hazel's peanut butter fudge, and my mom's, aunt's and uncle's favorite...sand tarts.

This year I'd like to share my mom's sugar cookie recipe. My mom made the BEST sugar cookies. They had orange zest in them and were just so yummy. I haven't made them in quite a few years. Since we started going to Wisconsin for Christmas around 2009 there was no need. You see my sisters and mother-in-law would get pre-cut sugar cookies as a tradition and the aunts would gather around and color some icing purchased from Festival Foods. We'd ice the cookies and pass them to the kids to put sugar crystals and sprinkles on top. The result was a lot of fun for the kids and a little nudge closer to diabetes for the adults. "Sugar rush" is an understatement!

There were usually lots of cookies to take home after the holidays so I stopped making my mom's sugar cookies because of this. Now most of my nephews and nieces are grown up. Fewer and fewer want to decorate cookies. It won't be long before I start making these again to keep sugar cookies around for my kids. Sugar cut-out cookies are just a must for the holidays!

I've had some trouble with this recipe in the past. I won't bend the truth here. My cookies just weren't coming out as yummy as mom's. It bothered me. I'm a pretty good baker. The cookies were tough. I'm not talking tough to make, I mean tough as in how they tasted after I made them. Frankly, they were kicking my butt. I couldn't figure it out. The first couple batches were fine. Then it came to me. I was re-rolling the dough too many times.  Yeah...don't do that. Take the scraps and re-roll once. Try to maximize your cut-outs so you don't have a lot of scraps left. Heck...give the scraps to the kids (or eat them yourself...cookie dough...YUM!). Just don't do more than two rolls from the same dough. No bueno!

Now I must go on to clarify that while I say these are my "mom's" sugar cookies she actually got them from The New World Encyclopedia of Cooking. They're on page 673. There are several variations to this recipe listed below the base sugar cookie recipe and one of them is "Lemon Sugar Cookies." My mom didn't add lemon zest to the batter, she used orange zest.

Growing up I remember putting those candy silver balls, red hots, colored sprinkles an sugar crystals on them. We were never allowed to put too much on and you really wouldn't want to cover up the flavor of these!

My Mom's (ahem...TNWEOC's) Sugar Cookies

2/3 c butter
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 orange, zested

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and orange zest. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture.

Divide dough and place on a sheet of waxed paper. Place another sheet over the dough a press to about 1/2 to 1-inch thickness. Do this with the other half of the dough and refrigerate overnight or until firm.

Break off a piece of the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Make sure to maximize your cutouts to reduce scraps and re-rolling! Bake in a 375 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet until the bottoms are golden.

Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.

Remember that after you break a piece of dough off to roll that you must put the rest of it back in the refrigerator until you're ready to use more dough. You want it to stay cold!

Also if you're decorating without icing and just sprinkles you want to decorate before you bake them.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sympathy Saturday - Hopes Dashed

I've posted several times about my 2nd great aunt, Bessie Dugan. She died shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Elizabeth "Betty," by c-section in 1918. I was obsessed about finding out what happened to her daughter. Why? Bessie's parents, William and Mary Quirk nee Lee, had 9 children...only 2 of them married and had children of their own. My great grandfather, Edward Quirk, was one of them. Bessie Dugan nee Quirk was the other. I was in disbelief that so few had gotten married.

At first I had assumed that Betty had died near the time that Bessie did, but then I found her in a 1920 census with her dad. I won't go into too much detail. I've already done so in other posts which I will link to at the bottom if you'd like to read more. The point is I've been searching (and hoping) not just that I'd figure out what happened to her, but that I'd hear that she lived and that she had children and that there are other branches to my Quirk family to get in touch with.

Hopes dashed.

Pennsylvania Death Certificate - Elizabeth Dugan child of Dennis and Elizabeth nee Quirk

Mystery solved. Betty didn't reach her fourth year of life. She died from diphtheria in 1922. How absolutely heart-broken her father must have been to lose them both. How heart-breaking it was to find that death certificate and have it confirmed that my Quirk line is the only one that lives on.

In her death certificate her place of burial was listed as "Hazleton Catholic Cemetery." Yeah...thanks. No cemetery by that name. Bessie is buried in my family cemetery, St. Gabriel's, in Hazleton. So is Betty. I contact the church (now Holy Annunciation) and they have little Betty in their death register for 1922. Sadly they don't have a plot number for her. Their assumption is the same as mine...that she is buried in the same plot as her mother. I'll be looking for that obituary when I go back to Pennsylvania next summer. Hopefully, it's not on one of the Standard Speaker's many missing rolls of microfilm. If it is I'll have to go and seek out an obituary in Bethlehem.  The bottom line is that I want them remembered though. Always.

Ambiguous cemetery listed for burial
I'm grateful for the advances of modern medicine. Diphtheria isn't a concern anymore. We have a vaccination to protect against it. I'm amazed that Bessie died of c-section complications and not the influenza pandemic that was peaking at the time of little Betty's birth. Perhaps that was a contributing factor, but it's not in her certificate that way. I'm equally amazed that little Betty was able to avoid the flu and then die just before her fourth birthday from diphtheria. Diphtheria was certainly a killer of children, but to live through a terrible pandemic to die a few years later is desperately sad. The odds were not in her favor.

Dugan posts:
Wisdom Wednesday - I Live For These Moments
Amanuensis Monday - Two Steps Forward and One Step Back
Amanuensis Monday - The Long Lost Dennis Dugan
Tombstone Tuesday - Another Brick in the Wall
Amanuensis Monday - Always Searching for Bessie

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ACCM - Christmas at Church

The Shrine at Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, WI decorated
for Christmas
My family is Catholic. Like way back Catholic. My paternal grandparents were Catholic, but switched because of a disagreement over divorce/annulment with the Church and became Methodist (I think), but everyone else...Catholic. My hubby's family is Catholic as well. My mother-in-law is German so there are some Lutherans there, but it was pretty well split between the two faiths.

When I was young we'd go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I'm not sure why my parents would do that to themselves. I say that because they'd come home and send us kids off to bed and then would have to get the presents out and put together any big ones that needed assembly. They must not have gotten much sleep that night. Kids tend to wake up early on Christmas morning! There were a couple times when we'd get up super early and go to their room to see if we could go out to see if Santa had arrived. We'd be told that it was too early and to go back to bed.

As an adult I liked going to Christmas Eve mass as well, but not the midnight service. When my husband and I first got married and had children that's the one we went to. It wasn't necessarily "getting mass out of the way," but it is more convenient than waking kids up in the morning and parading them past presents on their way to church. To me going to mass on Christmas Eve just got me even more in the Christmas spirit. You go to mass and then come home for a nice meal. Enjoy some Christmas Eve television specials with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and then send the kids off to bed and get to bringing out the presents. The next morning was just enjoying the day with family.

After we started spending Christmas in Wisconsin with my in-laws doing Christmas Eve mass wasn't possible. I tried it once, but it threw off the schedule of events. You see my in-laws all gather together on Christmas Eve at my mother-in-law's house. We have beef tenderloin and lots of other tasty treats and gifts are exchanged. There's actually a lot more that goes on, but that's a short, sweet summary of events. The night starts early so heading to church means delaying everyone else's night and that's not right. I like the way they do things...Christmas Eve together and then Christmas day with their in-laws. It works out nicely and the kids and I head out to mass with my mother-in-law Christmas morning. We usually get everyone up early enough so the boys can check out their stockings before heading out. It seems to tide them over until we get back home.

I love seeing how beautifully decorated the Churches are for Advent and Christmas. I really need to get a picture of my husband's church in Green Bay. Saints Peter and Paul's is always stunningly decorated! It really is breath-taking! Seeing all the decorations helps to put me in the holiday spirit. I love the songs during church at Christmas too. They range from "Go Tell it on the Mountain" to "Silent Night." You don't want to hear me sing, but I've got no fear singing these songs!

Another favorite part of church at Christmas is the manger scene. We rarely have attended a production of the Nativity, but we always take the kids to the front of the church to see the manger after mass. Baby Jesus is absent from the manger scene throughout Advent and then is placed in the manger at midnight mass. Perhaps that's why my mom liked going to midnight mass. The absence of Jesus from the manger is something we do at home with our little Nativity. We leave Jesus out and place him in Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. At least when we celebrated Christmas at home. We put out baby Jesus sooner when we go to Wisconsin for the holidays. It wouldn't serve a purpose to put him in there in January and then clean it all up!

Advent and Christmas in the Catholic Church always gives me a feeling that we're ramping up to something big...and we are. It gets you into the spirit. It helps everyone to remember the real reason behind the season!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Traditions

We had a few traditions when I was growing up. We had a pretty barberry candle in a glass container that had a white plastic flower attached to the lid. The smell was divine! Burning a bayberry candle is supposed to bring luck/good fortune. I don't know that it ever did, but the candle only came out at Christmastime. My sisters and I used to take the glass lid off and breathe in the fragrance whenever we got the chance. When we were really little we'd be scolded for doing it too often...afraid that little hands would break the lid. I have bayberry candles in my home, but they are out all year long. There are fewer and fewer large candle producing companies that make bayberry scented candles and even fewer that actually use the bayberry plant when making them. My kids love the fragrance too and hopefully will have bayberry candles in their homes as adults.

We had a ceramic yule log that came out at Christmas as well. It had taper candles in it and was covered in wax drippings from years of use. It would usually be placed on our dining room table with the Christmas cookies in tins. Occasionally it would sit on the mantel above our fake fireplace or the flat-top of the dining room radiator. A few years back I found a replica of this yule log on eBay. It wasn't painted which was fine by me. That meant I got to do the colors I wanted. I ordered one and got to painting. I bring it out each year. I don't think it means much to my children, but every time I see it I smile. Good memories.

Even during the hardest times in my childhood Christmas was a time of happiness. The replica is a little smaller than the original (at least by my reckoning), but it was a piece of my childhood I never expected to be able to share.

One last tradition I'd like to share is one that my husband and I started a year or so after having our first child. After we put our stockings by the fireplace my husband would read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to our boys. They'd sit on his lap (next to him now that they're bigger) and listen to him read it. It was the last thing done before giving kisses and heading off to bed.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Military Monday - Fort Carson GWOT Fallen Soldiers' Memorial, 2004

Fort Carson GWOT Memorial stone 2004
These photos were taken shortly after Memorial Weekend on Fort Carson. All of the flags, flowers, bottles and various token were left behind by friends and loved ones as a tribute to those they lost. We need to remember ever single one of them!

Roll Call

SSG Billy J. Orton 24 Apr 2004
SSG Stacey C. Brandon 24 Apr 2004
SPC Kenneth A. Melton 25 Apr 2004
SSG Hensley Box 6 May 2004
SFC Troy Miranda 20 May 2004
SGT Justin L. Eyerly 4 Jun 2004
SPC Justin W. Linden 4 Jun 2004
1LT Erik S. McCrae 4 Jun 2004
SPC Eric S. McKinley 13 Jun 2004
SPC Ken W. Leisten 28 Jul 2004
SPC Omead H. Razani 27 Aug 2004
SSG Gary A. Vaillant 5 Sep 2004
PFC Jason L. Sparks 8 Sep 2004
SGT Benjamin Warren Isenberg 13 Sep 2004
SSG David Weisenburg 13 Sep 2004
1LT Tyler H. Brown 14 Sep 2004
SGT David W. Johnson 25 Sep 2004

SPC Robert O. Unruh 25 Sep 2004
CPT Eric L. Allton 26 Sep 2004
PFC Joshua K. Titcomb 28 Sep 2004
SGT Russell L. Collier 3 Oct 2004
SSG Christopher Potts 3 Oct 2004
PV2 Jeungjin Kim 6 Oct 2004
SGT Ronald W. Baker 7 Oct 2004
PFC James E. Prevete 10 Oct 2004
PFC Aaron J. Rusin 11 OCT 2004
SPC Christopher A. Merville 12 Oct 2004
PFC Mark A. Barbret 14 Oct 2004
SPC Bradley S. Beard 14 Oct 2004
SSG Omer T. Hawkins II 14 Oct 2004
SPC Stephen P. Downing II 28 Oct 2004
SGT Maurice K. Fortune 29 OCT 2004
SGT John B. Trotter 9 Nov 2004
PFC Dennis J. Miller Jr. 10 Nov 2004
SSG Sean P. Huey 11 Nov 2004
SSG Marshall H. Caddy 16 Nov 2004
CPT Luke C. Wullenwaber 16 Nov 2004

SGT David Roustum 20 Nov 2004
SPC Sergio R. Diaz-Varela 24 Nov 2004
PV2 Brian K. Grant 26 Nov 2004
PFC Harrison J. Meye 26 Nov 2004
SGT Michael Antonio Smith 26 Nov 2004
PFC Stephen C. Benish 28 Nov 2004
SGT Carl W. Lee 28 Nov 2004
SSG Michael B. Shackelford 28 Nov 2004
SSG Kyle A. Eggers 5 Dec 2004
SPC Edwin W. Roodhouse 5 Dec 2004
SSG Marvin L. Trost III 5 Dec 2004
PFC Andrew M. Ward 5 Dec 2004
SFC Todd C. Gibbs 7 Dec 2004

May all of our Service Members come home for good soon!

Fort Carson GWOT 2003-2004 memorial post.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Television and Movies

I grew up loving all the Christmas TV Shows that kids still love watching today! You know...the typical ones: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas (who could ever forget that tree!), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (love his little doggie!), Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town...the ones that almost every kid my age watched and the ones my kids love watching too.

But here's one that I'd bet most of you never watched. It's certainly not one you'll see in the TV listings today. It's Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.

Let me tell you that when I introduced Nestor to my boys there were tears. Serious crying was going on in my house. I'll admit it...I still cry during Nestor. It is sad near the beginning, but a truly beautiful story about a donkey no one wanted who ended up being the most important donkey in the world. Yeah...make-believe, but you can say that about all the others too. This isn't a Christmas Children's Classic you'll see on everyone's list, but if you try one new kiddie-classic...try this one!

Friday, December 5, 2014

ACCM - Santa Claus

My first Christmas (1972)
Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were young or did your parents feel that sharing that legend with you was wrong? I know people that don't want their children to believe in Santa Claus. They feel like they're lying to them. It's certainly a point of view worth considering. I considered it 2 seconds briefly, because the bottom line was that my sisters and I believed in Santa Claus and we all eventually found out the truth and it didn't do any irreparable damage to any of us. So far with one child "in the know" and the other in blissful belief, they haven't been damaged either.

I believed in Santa. We didn't celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas, but my husband's family did. Santa was used as a way to (try) to instill good behavior in my sisters and me as the holidays grew closer and we became more impatient. "Remember that Santa is watching!" was heard on more than one occasion throughout the years. Did it work? You bet it did! There was definitely something magical about coming out on Christmas morning to our individual pile of presents near the Christmas tree. We never heard our parents putting them out or putting them together the night before so it truly was magic to us.

As we got older we usually discovered that Santa wasn't quite what we expected by nosing around the house. Perhaps we were just looking for something and came across a wrapped present. Then the inevitable question popped up, "Well, what is it and how did it get here if Santa hasn't come yet?" We figured it out on our own and for a few years after let our parents believe. Eventually, we each broke the news to them that we knew. I think they were more disappointed than we were!

I'll admit that during those years of discovery we did get quite good at partially unwrapping presents to sneak a peak at what we were getting. Now that's a skill worth having!

When my oldest son asked if there was a Santa Claus, my husband and I were fairly certain that he already knew the answer. He was about 10 years old and instead of lie to him at that point just to get a year or two more of innocence from him, we took him aside and told him the truth. We also told him that Santa was real in spirit. That Saint Nicholas did wonderful acts in the name of Christ and that this was why we brought them the legend of Santa. That the gifts were our way of giving them presents to celebrate the Lord's birth. They were birthday presents.

After my oldest knew the truth he enjoyed helping me each Christmas Eve since then putting out the presents and filling the stockings...after his little brother feel asleep, of course! Now he feels like he's a part of the magic. Do I hope that my boys will pass on the legend of Santa to their children in this way? I do, but it will be their choice. All I know is that the memories and joy my husband and I saw in the faces of our little boys at Christmastime is something we will always treasure!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Recipes

I've posted my father-in-law's Beef Tenderloin recipe. This is traditional (and yummy) for each Christmas Eve. Since dad passed away my brothers-in-law have taken up the task on Christmas Eve and make it for the family.

I've also posted my mother's recipe for Pork Wontons without mentioning that they had become a New Years Eve tradition. I don't think there's any real significant reason that they became a tradition other than we loved them and when getting our New Years Eve on we wanted to have all things yummy available for the celebration.

Those are two recipes that always make me think of the Holidays. This ACCM I wanted to share my father-in-law's recipe for stuffing. My husband has kept this recipe going and is usually in charge of making the stuffing whenever we have it. We call it stuffing, but we don't actually stuff it inside the turkey so perhaps I should call it dressing. My in-laws don't do turkey on Christmas. My family always did, so stuffing/dressing is something I think of as Holiday food.

The recipe is actually taken from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book. We add sausage with sage to it. One year my father-in-law added apples to his stuffing and boy was there an uproar in the Cayemberg house! Fruit was not to be added to the stuffing!!!!! My father-in-law, husband, and I all loved it. The hubby has added it once or twice more since that notorious meal, but more often we leave it out.

Betty Crocker's(-ish) Bread Stuffing*

1 c butter
3/4 c finely minced onion
12 c bread cubes (toasted)
1-1/2 c celery, chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried sage
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 tbsp salt

In a large skillet cook the sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces until browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet and drain in a paper towel-lined bowl. Melt butter in the same skillet. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened and translucent. Add the pepper and sage. Remove from heat.

Tear bread into cubes and place in a large bowl or roasting pan. Pour the onion/celery mixture over the bread and add the sausage. Mix with a spoon or your hands until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (don't worry it's all cooked through so it's safe!).

If the stuffing isn't moist enough add chicken broth and mix until it is as moist as you would like. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake covered until warm through. Remove foil/cover and let bake about 15 to 20 minutes longer to dry out/crisp up the top.

If you're using sausage that already has sage in it, omit the sage and you can, of course, stuff the turkey with the stuffing, but we do it separately.

*The base recipe was taken from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book (copyright 1961). The method and baking directions are different than the recipe in the book. There is no baking temperature for the stuffing. You can bake it at whatever temperature your cooking your turkey and slide it in a bottom rack or on the side. It just needs to be warmed through since all the ingredients are already cooked. You can even make it the day before and reheat it in the microwave.

The recipe with the sausage omitted the 1 tbsp of salt because sausage is usually fairly salty. I adjusted it to be 1/2 tbsp because without salt it just wasn't right. Taste some stuffing before adding any salt to see if you need it. It will depend on how much salt is already in the sausage.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ACCM - Christmas Music

I've posted in previous years about my favorite Christmas songs. This year I thought I'd do something different and share the albums that I grew up with. These were the staples every year in my house (and, yes, it was during actual vinyl album days). When I grew up, joined the Army, moved out, and got married, I went and purchased CDs of each of these albums. It just wasn't Christmas without them.

First there was Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas. My hubby isn't a Christmas Carol person, but even he likes a little Christmas Elvis. If I'm going to play something with him around it's this one.

My favorites from this album are "Winter Wonderland," "On a Snowy Christmas Night," "Silver Bells," and "Blue Christmas." No one does "Blue Christmas" like Elvis!

Another of my childhood Christmas albums was Jingle Bell Rock by Brenda Lee. I don't know what it is about Brenda Lee's Christmas album, but I thoroughly enjoy every song. There isn't a single one that comes on and I forward to the next. I know she's more of a country artist, but that isn't it. There's so much emotion in her songs and they remind me of beautiful Christmas nights. This one gets busted out shortly after Halloween (but I only play it when the hubby and kids are at reason to make them all bah-humbug by playing holiday music too early).

As I mentioned, I love all of these songs. If I had to pick a favorite it would be "The Angel and the Little Blue Bell." This song always makes me cry if I listen too carefully. You can listen to the song here.

What is Christmas without Bing Crosby? He is the king of "White Christmas!" Sure plenty of others sing "White Christmas" and do a pretty good job, but no one beats Bing! White Christmas is one of my all-time favorite movies too. Watching it is a Christmas tradition in my house. I watch it and everyone else leaves the room. I still hold out hopes that one day someone will stick around and watch it with me!

Favorite songs include "White Christmas (of course!)," "Jingle Bells (sung with the Andrew Sisters)," "Christmas in Killarney (that's the Irish in me)," and "Mele Kalikimaka (loved Christmas in Hawaii!)."

Finally, the last of the old albums for my traditional Christmas is We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers. Each "song" is wonderful. Of course most songs are actually medleys. It's really a nice twist on the traditional Christmas tunes.

There aren't many titles on this album. With most songs being medleys they last longer than a regular song, but you can sample this album with the medley "Let it Snow! Let is Snow! Let it Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas" here.

Maybe my husband and kids go running for the hills when I put on my favorite Christmas movies, but I can safely say that I've gotten my children to love the Christmas songs I grew up with. They don't get quite as bah-humbug as the ol' man does. I hope that these albums will bring them the happy feelings and memories that they bring me and I look forward to them playing them for their families someday and continuing the tradition!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

ACCM - The Tree

Me (in my Brownie sweater) and my sisters with our dog, Scottie #2
We had an artificial tree when I was growing up. It sat on a platform my father built. He would put up the platform and then nail train tracks to it. There were little houses, trees, and fake snow in the little village on the platform too. After the platform and train set were up the tree was next.

The tree had individual branches the fit into the "trunk" and it was incredibly painful to put together. It took what seemed like forever to get up. Of course, "forever" was most likely only a few hours, but to a kid it was an eternity!

We put colored lights on the tree as well as garland and "icicles" made of tinsel. Our ornaments were old-fashioned glass balls with bright colors and white glitter. We also had some non-traditional ornaments that were given to us. My "Nana," Hazel Blum had made us each an egg-shaped ornament that she decoupaged little magazine clippings of things that we liked. Various toys, dolls, and Christmas-y items.

When I went to live with my mother she had a real tree. It was a novelty for me. A real live tree in the house! And after years of having fake the only thing I could think was that it didn't look "perfect" like a Christmas tree should! There were holes and gaps in the branches for goodness sake! Oh, but my mom could work wonders with the tree! The ornaments were hung and baby's breath was put on the branches to look like snow. It was gorgeous! The ornaments filled in those gaps and the tree looked perfect...and smelled wonderful! The ornaments were a mixture of balls and shaped items. It was eclectic...just the way I think it should be!

My tree-top angel. Just taken out of
storage for a photo for this post!
I know many people get obsessed about making sure their trees are perfect. They color coordinate the ribbon and the ornaments and everything is put in its proper place. These trees are quite beautiful, but they aren't me. The Christmas tree represents the family and is filled with things the family likes. We've got a great Grinch ornament for my hubby (it made a nice joke-present). We've got ceramic ornaments that I painted when I was first off on my own. We've got Disney ornaments too. Our tree is filled with everything from beautiful ornaments to cute ornaments that represent where we've been or what we like. Each year I buy my boys an ornament. It's become something of a tradition. I mark the ornament in an inconspicuous place with their name or initial. When they grow up and move out, they'll get to keep the ornaments they collected as the grew up.

Our tree is a pre-lit artificial one (the hubby is allergic to real ones), but it's nice to see that the fake trees look more realistic than they did when I was little. It gets put up each year on Thanksgiving weekend. It's the earliest my husband will permit it. I love sitting in one of my living room chairs with the tree lit, the fireplace on, and a cup of hot cocoa in my hand. We top our tree with an angel just like I did when I was younger. My first angel had lights in her hands. My current one has no lights. They're always the first thing to go and I'm tired of replacing my angel if the lights can't be fixed!

What about you? Do you put up a tree? Is it real or artificial? Multi-colored lights or one color? Angel or star?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Black Friday (Cut Out the Humbug!)

(This is a repost. There's lots of grumbling about Black Friday, but people still partake. Just remember what the season is about. Perhaps this post will help!)

Is saying "Happy Black Friday" a contradiction?  I don't think so.  I hear so many people grumpy about Christmas music and items being in stores before Thanksgiving.  I'm an early shopper.  I like to get it all done preferably before Thanksgiving. Once Thanksgiving hits you've got a month to get everything done, and I'd prefer to spend that time decorating the house and baking cookies.  I want my children to have the wonderful holiday experiences that I did when I was younger.  Far too many people rush into the over-crowded stores to do holiday shopping and are in anything but a holiday spirit.  It makes me wonder how it was for my parents.  For their parents...and so on.  I'll have to talk to my mother and mother-in-law about that one.  What was it like?

I like to think of snowy, peaceful streets and shoppers strolling through stores.  Parents baking cookies for excited children.  I do tend to romanticize things though.  I know my mother and her siblings have long commented on how exact "A Christmas Story" was to their reality!

Today, for most people, marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  I know that my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law will most likely be heading out to Bath and Body Works (and various stores throughout the Green Bay area) in search of some great bargains.  I have fond memories of going with them (venturing out on Black Friday was something I never would have considered before becoming a part of the Cayemberg family!).  There are enough grumpy people out there today, but my Green Bay family are simply shining lights on a knock-down, drag-out shopping day.

I clearly recall sharking through the parking lot for a space at the mall and my SIL Lori rolls down the window in the bitter Wisconsin winter.  Hanging half out the passenger window she shouts with an enormous smile and a cheer that I hadn't felt on a Black Friday...ever, "Are you heading back to your car?"  The lady smiles back and points to a spot directly in front of us and near the front doors to the department store.  Who says the Irish are lucky!  Luck of the Belgian/Germans here!  On the way out of the department store, Lori flags down the nearest person and tells them where we're pulling out. My in-laws bring smiles to people's faces wherever they go.

My father-in-law was always up early and would head out at 3:30 or 4:00am on Black Friday over some deal he saw in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day.  He seldom got the item, but he loved the adventure of it.  He had the excitement of the holidays.

Whether deals were found or missed, a nice breakfast was had and stories were told.  Truthfully I've only been in Green Bay a handful of times on Black Friday, but every time I've been there (well, and any time I'm with my in-laws) shopping is involved.  I don't think I've ever caught a truly great deal when I've gone out on Black Friday, but I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit after being out!  Could you imagine if everyone could be so kind and cheerful at the beginning of what's supposed to mark such a season?

For those who think Christmas has become too commercialized.  You need to remember that Christmas and the holidays aren't what retailers make it.  It's what you make it.  And frankly, there is usually something to be purchased because we do something special for the season.  Whether it's extra baked goods, a fresh pine tree or presents.  What you purchase is up to you.  You decide.  Not the retailers.  

This is a very traditional time of year.  Whether you "believe" in Santa visiting all the good boys and girls in a celebration of the birth of Jesus, or whether you prefer to leave Santa out of it.  If you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice or any other winter holiday, it's a time steeped in tradition.  Have you started your own traditions or are you doing something you learned from your parents?  And if you learned it from your parents were they passing it on?  Find out.  Find out before you can no longer ask.

Maybe people need to look at the Holiday merchandise in the stores in October and the seasonal music playing early as a ramp up for their good attitudes?  Get in the Christmas spirit early.  After all shouldn't we keep Christmas throughout the year?...before we are visited by three spirits reminding us to ditch the Humbug!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Military Monday - Fort Carson GWOT Fallen Soldiers' Memorial, 2003-2004

Fort Carson GWOT Memorial stone, 2003-2004

I saw in the newspaper on Memorial weekend that Fort Carson was having a ceremony at their GWOT (Global War on Terrorism) Memorial.  While I wasn't able to attend the ceremony, I did make a point to go down there a few days later to check it out.  It really was a very nice memorial.  A few years ago I had taken photos of and transcribed the memorial at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery and figured that I should do the same here.

My original intention was to get the photos of this memorial up much earlier, but things happen and I was neglecting my blog at the time. Things are busy, but rolling along and it was well past time to get started on remembering these heroes. This memorial stone is for the Soldiers KIA in 2003-2004.

Roll Call

PFC Jesse A. Givens 1 May 2003
CW3 Brian K. Van Dusen 9 May 2003
CW2 Hans N. Gukeisen 9 May 2003
SGT Richard P. Carl 9 May 2003
MAJ Mathew E. Schram 26 May 2003
SGT Keman L. Mitchell 26 May 2003
SSG Michael B. Quinn 27 May 2003
SGT Thomas F. Broomhead 27 May 2003
SSG Michael E. Dooley 8 Jun 2003
SSG Andrew R. Pokorny 13 Jun 2003
SSG William T. Latham 18 Jun 2003
SGT Melissa Valles 9 Jul 2003
SPT Joshua T. Byers 23 Jul 2003
SSG Taft V. Williams 12 Aug 2003
SPC Stephen M. Scott 23 Aug 2003
PFC Vorn J. Mack 23 Aug 2003
SPC Ronald D. Allen 25 Aug 2003
CPT Brian R. Faunce 18 Sep 2003

SSG Frederick L. Miller Jr, 20 Sep 2003
SPC Tamarra  J. Ramos 1 Oct 2003
PV2 Benjamin L. Freeman 13 Oct 2003
SPC Jose L. Mora Jr, 24 Oct 2003
SSG Daniel A Bader 2 Nov 2003
SSG Ernest G. Bucklew 2 Nov 2003
SPC Darius T. Jennings 2 Nov 2003
SPC Brian H. Penisten 2 Nov 2003
SPC James R. Wolf 6 Nov 2003
SSG Dale A. Panchot 17 Nov 2003
CPL Gary B. Coleman 21 Nov 2003
SGT David J. Goldberg 26 Nov 2003
SSG Stephen A. Bertolino Sr, 29 Nov 2003
SPC Rian C. Ferguson 14 Dec 2003
SPC Nathan W. Nakis 16 Dec 2003
SPC Raymond E. Cammel 24 Dec 2003
SPC Justin W. Pollard 30 Dec 2003
CPT Eric T. Paliwoda 2 Jan 2004

CW2 Philip A. Johnson Jr, 8 Jan 2004
CW2 Ian D. Manuel 8 Jan 2004
SGT Christopher A. Golby 8 Jan 2004
SGT Michael A. DiRaimondo 8 Jan 2004
MSG Kelly L. Hornbeck 18 Jan 2004
PFC Armando Soriano 1 Feb 2004
CW2 Matthew C. Laskowski 25 Feb 2004
CW2 Stephen M. Wells 25 Feb 2004
1LT Michael R. Adams 16 Mar 2004
MSG Richard L. Ferguson 30 Mar 2004
SFC William W. Labadie Jr, 7 Apr 2004
SGT Felix M. Delgreco 9 Apr 2004
CPT Arthur L. Felder 24 Apr 2004
CW4 Patrick W. Kordsmeier 24 Apr 2004

May all of our Service Members come home for good soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Lorraine Ryan nee Kuehl

I posted a couple years back when my husband's, Aunt Lorraine was killed in a car accident. A man than never should have been behind the wheel of a car due to previous drunk driving convictions was driving. He wasn't drunk. He was on his phone and crossed the center line. Aunt Lorraine was killed and a sister that was in the passenger seat was seriously injured.

I didn't realize until recently that I had never actually posted her obituary. I want to remember her and I want others to remember her. She was a sweet, sweet woman and is missed by her family.

"Lorraine B. Ryan, 79, of Eden went to her heavenly home on Sat. May 19, 2012 at Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah. She was born November 26, 1932 in Barton, the daughter of the late Romand and Leona Boegel Kuehl. On May 24, 1952, she married Vincent Ryan at St. Kilian Catholic Church, St. Kilian. They farmed together in the town of Eden and she also worked at Mammoth Springs Canning Company in Eden. Lorraine was a member of Shepherd of the Hills Catholic Church and St. Mary's Christian Women. She worked at many of the parish's chicken dinners and enjoyed playing cards with her sisters. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her children and grandchildren. Survivors include her children, Diane (Richard) Blackmore of Eden, Mary (Charles) Kraft of Fond du Lac, Kathy (James) Uelmen of Kewaskum, Michael (Lori) Ryan of Eden, Patty (Mark) Watters of Fond du Lac and Joanne (Jim) Binder of Plymouth, her grandchildren, Ryan and Marissa Blackmore, Joshua, Katie, Kelly and Karissa Uelmen, Jennifer, Michelle, Matthew and Megan Ryan, Jasmine Watters and Julie and Josie Binder, her sister, Alice Wood of Eden, Helen Beisbier of Kewaskum and Dolores Cayemberg of Green Bay, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Vincent on June 13, 2000. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, May 22nd at Shepherd of the Hills Catholic Church W1562 Hwy B Eden. Rev. Joseph Juknialis will officiate and burial will be Wednesday, May 23rd at 10:00 AM at St. Mary's Cemetery, Eden. Visitation will be at the church from 3:00 PM until time of Mass. Twohig Funeral Home, Fond du Lac, is serving the family with online guestbook and condolences at"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family Reunion Friday - Cayemberg Family 1951

Florence Cayemberg nee Villers with her 7 sons and 3 daughters at the
Cayemberg 14th reunion
Do my eyes deceive me? The "missing" reunion clipping. And by "missing" I mean I must have been tired and missed it because it was a post in my queue waiting to be edited.

This was a pretty significant reunion for me to "miss" in my tired-stupor to prep a post. It wasn't the 15th reunion...just the 14th, but what made it special was that all of Florence's seven sons and three daughters were there and they even got a group photo! Doesn't Florence look like one happy mom!?!?

The clipping is short and sweet, but it gives us a copy of the photo and that is incredibly special. It also says when Florence's husband, Eli, passed away. That's information I already had, but someone else might not have. It also helps to illustrate that Eli was only alive for about two of the reunions. It does make me wonder if they perhaps continued to have them to help Florence deal with his passing. They had been together for so long and perhaps the family getting together each year was a source of showing their love and remembering their parents. No doubt they loved the both to have had it continue for over 75 years!

Do you take pictures at your family reunions? Is one person in charge of taking candid shots? Do you schedule a group photo each reunion? Photos are a great way to remember the event and to show others that may have missed the reunion how much fun everyone had. If your attendance is taking a turn for the worse, make sure that you're having fun events and get pictures taken! You can post them on social media or email them out.** If you let those that missed the current year's reunion see all the fun that they missed perhaps they'll make more of an effort to get there the following year.

Taking pictures is also a great way to keep a history of the event. Create a "Family Reunion Scrapbook." It could be filled with only a few pictures each year and then you continue to add to the scrapbook year after year, or you can have a scrapbook for each year complete with a group photo, candid shots, attendance rosters and news clippings to display at future reunions.

And never forget the opportunity to take a group photo! When you send out your invitations to the reunion make sure that you state where and at what time the group photo will be taken. People like to come and go as they please. Stating when the photo will be taken will result in maximum participation. You don't want the time to be a surprise to attendees who might have other engagements earlier or later in the day that they have to be at. Family members missing a group photo because the information wasn't given to them is a sure fire way to stir up some bad feelings!

**When posting photos to social media make sure that you have permission if the site is open to the public. You especially want to avoid sharing photos of children in a public forum. There are plenty of social media sites that can be invitation only so that the general public cannot see the photos. This may seem unnecessary to many, but most parents will get quite upset about a picture of their child being in the public domain without permission. If you wish to give the local newspaper a copy of the group photo, take two. Get a group photo with everyone present and then let them know that you'll be submitting it to the newspaper and if anyone would like to not be in that photo to please step out while the second photo is taken. Easy solution!

Picture caption reads:  "Mrs. Eli Cayemberg, center in the front row, had her seven sons and three daughters with her recently when the family celebrated its 14th annual reunion in Pamperin park.  Other in the front row, from left, are:  Wilfred, Felix, Henry and Walter.  In the back row, same order, are the rest of the children:  Patrick, Mrs. Harvey Moureau, Mrs. Eli Cravillion, Mrs. Russell Anderson, Frank and Joseph."

Main article:

"Cayemberg Family Has 14th Reunion (handwritten 1951)

When the Cayemberg family reunion was held Sunday in Pamperin park, the seven sons and three daughters of Mrs. Eli Cayemberg of Pulaski were all present.  Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other relatives and friends brought the total number of guests at the dinner to 131.

This is the 14th annual reunion of the Cayembergs, who choose several members each year to take charge of the affair.  This year's committee consisted of Wallace Guillette of Tonet, chairman, Mrs. Loyde (sic) Cravillion, Luxemburg, and Mrs. Roland Cayemberg of Green Bay.  The affair is held the first Sunday in June each year.

The seven sons of Mrs Cayemberg are Frank, Joseph and Patrick Cayemberg of Green Bay, Henry and Wilfred, Manitowoc, Felix, Ensign, Mich., and Walter, on the family homestead in Pulaski, where Mrs. Cayemberg, who is 81, makes her home.

The daughters are Mrs. Russell Anderson and Mrs. Harvey Moureau of Green Bay, and Mrs, Eli Cravillion of Tonet.  Mr. Cayemberg died 12 years ago and a daughter, Mrs. Hubert Guillette, 30 years ago.

Eight new grandchildren, all born since the last reunion, were present at the celebration this year.  It is planned to hold it in Pamperin park again next year (sic)."

The clipping was taken from a scrapbook handed down to me by my mother in law.  No newspaper name was given, but other reunion articles were from the Green Bay Press Gazette.