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This is an interesting category. I played with all of my friends toys.  I never owned a Barbie doll.  I had a Kate Jackson doll (Charlie’s Angels.) Shelley Kyle had enough Barbies to entertain us both and then some, though. :)   She had a Barbie Dream House and we played there for hours. She, also, had a Mrs. Beasley, like Jody from Family Affair.

I didn’t have a Cabbage Patch Kid. I had a Doll Baby that I had to stuff and sew up myself.

I did have a Rubix Cube and a Simon.  My brother had a wheel-o.  They still make these today.

I was the kid, excited to go to a friends house and play PONG.  My friends hated it, though.

My most favorite toy was my bicycle, with the banana seat.

I could ride wherever I wanted.  I would go to Morley Field and hit a ball against the wall, watch a tennis match in the cement stadium, or cloud watch.  During the summer, the municipal pool was open.  I about killed myself taking the swim test to be able to be in the deep end.

But I did it.

One Christmas, I received a brand new Teddy Bear. I traded, over-night, with my friend, for her stuffed Monkey. We couldn’t have sleepovers, so we let our babies do it.  Something happened in the middle of the night and I moved and I was never able to trade back.  I didn’t miss my teddy bear but to this day, I feel guilty that I never returned that monkey. I still have that monkey. I took it everywhere with me, in case I were to run into his owner, again.  I wonder what her name was today.  I wonder if she remembers mine.

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Bob Bell as Bozo the clown

Image via Wikipedia

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When I was real young, it was Captain Kangaroo, Bozo the Clown, The Mickey mouse Club, and The Brady Bunch.

When I stayed home from school, at Grandma’s, it was I Love Lucy, I Dream of Genie, Match Game, Family Feud, and Young and the Restless.  That was my Grandma’s show.  We also watched Adam 12 and Emergency.  The Twilight Zone scared me silly, too.

At night, I remember Mash and Hogan’s Heroes.  I didn’t like Hogan’s Heroes.  I was too young to understand what they were finding so funny.

Like clockwork, there was Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and every CBS radio station newscast ever to play.

Today, I rarely watch tv.  Do you wonder why? :)

I like series tv on DVD from Netflix.. Dexter, Lost, Will & Grace, Grey’s Anatomy

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My favorite meal that Grandma made was Beanie Weenies.  Seriously.  They were boring.  Pork N Beans, cut up cheap hot dogs, and Government commodity American cheese.  I make them once in a while (as close to it as I can) just to feel close to Grandma again.  No one else will eat it, though.

My favorite meal at my Great Grandma’s house was her salad and peach flavored jello.  She put celery seed in the salad and always sliced the lettuce thin like in shreds.

My favorite foods, today, are related to bread and cheese in every way.  I think a good Calzone and IBC root beer is better than someone bringing home flowers. :)

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I grew up in 1/2 of a little house on the other side of the tracks..  It was former military housing from World War II.  It was a converted two bedroom, one bath duplex with one big open room, in the front, facing West, where the sun went down.  A wall divided one bedroom into two tiny bedrooms.  We made do and did without when we couldn’t.  My grandma was the glue and we all stuck to her. :)

Grandma's house

I added some of the duplex next door so you can see what it looked like when we lived there.  The right side has been updated.  The left side is what was original.  The square windows with the crank style mechanisms.  Our porches were red and grandma repainted them every year.

When we first moved in, that little front patch of grass/weeds between the front and back door was a huge pepper tree.  The roots of that tree cracked all of the sidewalks and made its way into the plumbing, so it had to be removed.  It was one of those grand climber trees that made us all the perfect play spot in the neighborhood.  The tree removal didn’t stop that. We all seemed to congregate outside my grandma’s house for kickball, because we had landmarks that made pretty good markers for bases.  I was the only girl on the block except during school breaks and summer, when Susan Bebb came to play with us, too.

Down the road, at Bobby’s house, we had a “no girls allowed” fort.  I wasn’t considered a girl for many years, I think. (giggle)

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Week Three: Cars you’ve owned or remember

My first car was a real beater.  It was a Glorious 1968 Chevy Nova. Green and Rust colored.   I loved that little car to its death.  It, eventually, was passed to my grandparents and such and is a pile of rusted metal in some salvage yard today.  At one point, while I owned it, the passenger door didn’t work.  Everyone had to get in on the driver’s side.  We didn’t care. It got us from A to B and many of us to school.

I learned how to drive in mom’s Malibu Classic Station Wagon.  The Beast.  When you learn to drive in a beast, you can almost drive anything with an automatic transmission.  My step-father, Dan Summers, taught me how to drive that big boat.  I remember driving through this tight section of concrete pylons, at the stadium and then he said, “now do it in reverse.”  I thought he was crazy.  It was the best lesson I’ve ever had, when it comes to driving.

My first experience with a standard transmission was in my friend Angie’s truck.  One day, she found out that I didn’t know how to do it and she pulled over and made me drive.  I could have killed her that day.  We were near the international airport in San Diego and there are all these steep hills, right there, going where we were going.  I stopped at the top of the hill, second car in line and found it funny that the car behind me stayed at the bottom of the hill.  I, eventually rolled that truck, backwards, all the way to the bottom of the hill.  Smart man that stayed down there.  We played Chinese Fire Drill, and she got the truck up the hill.

I’m a Toy Girl today. I drive a Toyota Sienna and more than LOVE it.

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Week Two: Winter Memories

1. I was born and raised in San Diego, California.

2. I never owned mittens until I was an adult.

3. I’ve never shoveled snow.

4. I’ve never salted a walk.

5. I’ve never dripped my faucets.

6. I’ve never owned a pair of snow boots or a rain coat.

7. I’ve never made a snow angel.

8. I’ve never been on a snow mobile.

9. I have seen it snow.

10. I have scraped a windshield and dealt with frozen window fluid, while traveling.

My winter memories are much different than most because I grew up in the land of milk and honey.  The perfect weather that I didn’t appreciate until well after I had moved away.

Weather patterns, in Southern California are usually wet and dry.

Winter is wet.

The most drastic “wet” that I remember would have been around 1977 or 1978.  It rained so much, the San Diego river swelled up into the shopping centers.  The traffic was readjusted and bus schedules changed because there was only one way over the valley.. interstate 805.

Nothing else much changed, in winter, where I lived.  I didn’t ever use an umbrella or I got more soaked than not using one. We still walked and took the bus wherever we needed to go.  Life didn’t change much.

One time, my cousins Dolly and Ruby were over and my mom allowed us all to go out and walk in the rain.  What a grand day that was.  We were soaked but happy little kids.

We had no snow days where I went to school.

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Amy Coffin, of The We Tree Genealogy blog has presented a 52 week Genealogy challenge and I’m going to play along the best that I can.

Week One: New Year’s Memories

This is an interesting topic because we don’t really have too many memories we are making surrounding New Year’s or New Year’s Eve, in my family, except one my Grandma Willis started a long time ago. (I wish I had asked, back then, where she got it from.. maybe it was a family tradition when she was growing up, too.  I never heard her mother, my great grandma Peterson say it, but I also never spent NYE with her.) At midnight, she would tell us kids, “go open up the back door and let out the old year and then go open the front door and let in the new year.”  This was always a little special because we almost never used the front door unless there was some sort of delivery.

One time, my Aunt Donmara and I walked to a pay phone, down the street, when I was maybe ten years old, at midnight, to sing Auld Lang Syne to my Grandma Willis.  We practiced the lyrics all day long.  I had never heard the song before that day.

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A few weeks ago, I posted a few links to family group sheets and pedigree charts, on the LDS website Family Search.org.

I prefer these forms.  Even if you don’t need to use the LDS portions, they are need and tidy forms for a lot of information to be put on them.

As I prepared my class, that I ended up not being able to attend, I found another source for non LDS form from the Mid-Continent Public Library.

The Midwest Genealogy Center has forms, to print, covering:

  • Individual Worksheet, so you can write down all that you know
  • Research Log, to keep track and reduce duplication in the future, of what you’ve already searched
  • Research Checklist, to help map out research for an individual
  • Blank Census Record Charts

Although I will stay with the standard neat and tidy Family Group Sheets and Pedigree charts, and always use the Personal Ancestral File Free Digital Software, I’m excited to find the above forms and will offer them in future classes that I will be teaching.

Are there any other forms you find useful, to share with us? Please do tell..

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Pedigree Chart : This starts with you and spans out to your parents, their parents and so on, showing five generations.

Family Group Sheet: This is one family unit. It starts with a father and his parents and the mother and her parents and then lists the children.  If you are not LDS or do not wish to add the LDS information, just ignore it. The rest of the form is quite concise, with two pages when there are many children to list.

You will need to use a Research Log. I have not used one, in the last 30 years and I repeat a lot of research because I don’t have it documented.

These are the basic forms that get you started asking other family members questions.

Sometimes people can’t remember dates, but you can ask “well, what grade in school were you in?” and sometimes that helps jog some memories.

I choose to use Family Search.org’s Personal Ancestral File for computer software. It’s free and can be downloaded here.

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Many times, while we are growing up, we hear stories about relatives that did great things or belonged to certain groups.  Many people try to link themselves to those people, when all along, you must start with YOU.

You, your parents and siblings.

By working your way backwards, you learn who you are related to and you learn if those stories were true or just tales.

We still need to hear the stores and tales from those that are of older age.. so we can record what they know. It helps us as we try to connect our own puzzle of family history.

Start with what you really know.  Have proof.  Each generation will unfold as you do this, little by little.

Most of all, have Faith.  You can find answers out there.

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