Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Relics

Jason appropriately labeled these items as "relics" on his facebook page. These are the items that were in the box that my cousin Anna-Laura showed me. The note enclosed listed only a christening cap belonging to "Grandfather Eikerenkoetter" (John Christian Frederick Eikerenkoetter born 23 May 1800 in Warburg, Prussia) and a slipper that belonged to his mother (Anna Maria Sophia Antonetta Verson). There appear to be two caps, I'm not sure which is the christening cap. Also not sure if the bit of lace is part of the slipper. The suspenders, however, clearly have the owner's name written on the buckle.




I have got to get to Okatie!

Monday, June 28, 2010

All Kitten Monday!

Enough politics and history!

Random Kitten Kraziness:
video

video

video

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Practice Grandbaby

This is Abbigail Rose. I have known her mother since she was a young nursing student who came to work with us as an extern. We cheered and coached her through school, we quizzed her for her state board exams, we celebrated when she passed, we welcomed her to the night shift. She is an awesome person (so much so that before she got married, I was pitching my son to her).

Congratulations Michelle and Allen and welcome to the world little Abbi Rose!


Because I am a practice granny, I got to be so impractical and buy the tutu and hat for her and because I have connections to an awesome photographer, I got to get portraits made.
Photos by JAZ

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Open Letter to Nikki Haley and Vincent Sheheen

Dear Mrs Haley and Mr. Sheheen:

Congratulations on winning your respective elections.

I am a moderate/independent voter in South Carolina. I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal. There are more like me than either party would like to admit as we are not a "base" to play to with well used slogans designed to elicit an emotional reaction rather than to illuminate solutions.

If there is one thing that I hear over and over from voters of every age, of every party: we are SICK of the negative mudslinging.

Here is how I look at it. You are applying to ME for a JOB. You would like the job of governor of South Carolina. Your campaign, your speeches, your advertisements (even those put together by committees outside your immediate campaign), everything is your job interview.

I would never hire a person who would disparage another applicant with innuendo, distortion of facts or outright malice. Nor would I hire a person who could not tell me specifically how he/she is the best candidate and what their ideas for the job entailed.

You have both run positive campaigns in the primaries. Mrs. Haley, I was extremely impressed with the grace you showed when members of your own party turned against you and smeared you.

I was extremely put-off when a SC GOP official gave a speech after the run-offs in which she immediately begin to sling negative, hateful, immature and non-productive slurs against Mr. Sheheen and other Democratic candidates.

I know that the conservative Republicans in this state are very vocal, but I do not believe that they are the only voice in this state. I know many people who voted for Mrs. Haley because of the mudslinging done against her and how she handled it. Moderates and independents.

So please, Mr. Sheheen, Mrs. Haley, keep it positive, keep it focused on the issues. South Carolina is in serious trouble. Our jobless rate, our poor educational results, our poverty rates are the top three most important issues facing the state. We need jobs, we need educated workers to lure high paying jobs to raise people out of poverty.

If we have education, we have jobs, if we have jobs, we have a tax base that can support the services our state needs.

We have, to borrow a phrase, long wasted our ounce of prevention, it is time for the pound of cure.

Thank you,

Janet L. Nye
A SC voter.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Well, I had some really funny video of the boyz and their new toy. (It's a d-o-g toy, shhh.) But the computer for whatever reason isn't following the usual sequence of events for downloading and since I am virtually computer illiterate, I can't make it do what it is supposed to do. (Watch, Jason will get home and either it will work correctly or require one mouse click to fix).

I am so glad that the primary runoffs are today because let me tell you, I am sick, sick sick to death of the poisonous shots of venom I am subjected to while trying to watch Jeopardy every night.

Today is my mother's 75th birthday! Happy birthday to one of the greatest women I know! And of course, being the slackety-slacker that I am, her present isn't here yet. Sigh. Cute: her across the parking lot neighbors sent their two Springer Spaniels to scratch on mom's door this morning (they do this frequently to get a treat from her). When mom opened the door, one of the dogs was carrying her birthday card in its mouth.

I'm in phase two of my genealogy project, collecting photographs. Doing some of phase three - collecting stories - along with it. Will have to start some serious interviewing soon. Have at least two more trips to make.

The boyz say: Can we be in the genealogy book?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beyond All Expectations

We had a wonderful visit with my second cousin, Anna Laura and her daughter Anne over the weekend. Anna Laura is going to be 90 years old this year and she is just a wonderful person. (Once when Jason was taking pictures, he was looking away and she put her thumbs in the ears and stuck out her tongue.) Also got a bit of that serendipitous information that I love: Anna Laura, the first grandchild of Anna Jane and Adolphus Nimitz and dear Auntie D, the last grandchild, share the same birthday. How cool is that?

We had a great talk and I got to look at a ton of old pictures. I was so happy when the first thing I saw when we walked in the house was the Nimitz christening gown framed and hanging over the fireplace. Absolutely gorgeous. I think one of Anne's daughters was the last to use it, then they made the decision to retire it as it was getting very frail. Five generations were christened in the gown.

Anna Laura had two photographs that sent me over the moon with joy. One isn't really a photo, but rather a painting on wood (I had Jason take a photograph of it) of my great-grandmother Anna Jane Sanders Nimitz as a young girl. She was born in 1865 and looks to be about 15 or 20 in the painting, so it was done in 1880 or 1885.

Anna Laura told me a story that when her mother found the painting, it was filthy. She took it to a professional restorer who took one look at it and said he wouldn't touch it because it was so old and painted on wood. So Anna (Anna Laura's mother and yes, all the Annas confuse everyone) just brought it home and took a brush to it. Luckily, it was fine.
Another great find was this photograph (again, this is a photograph of the photograph by Jason) of Anna Jane Sanders Nimitz and Adolphus Boethius Nimitz, my great-grandparents. I had never seen a photograph of my great-grandfather. He died, young, when my grandfather was about six years old, and was a second cousin to Admiral Chester Nimitz (the fact of which makes my Navy man-child happy).

Then just as we were preparing to leave, Anna Laura says, "I think there are more pictures in this drawer." She sat down and began handing things to me. One of which was this picture of my Great-Aunt Idella, who I never even knew about until I started this second round of genealogy research.

Idella seems to have been a type one diabetic and since they had no real treatment for it back then, died relatively young at 27 years old. (But the nurse in me says that's a pretty long life span for a type one diabetic without the benefit of insulin and the knowledge that we have now.)

The best is yet to come, as Jason has not processed the photographs yet. While digging through the above mentioned drawer, Anna Laura handed me a tiny snippet of paper and said, "This is Grandmother Nimitz's handwriting." While I was reading the note, my heart about stopped at what it was describing, then looked down into the box that Anna Laura was pulling tissue paper away from to reveal the christening cap that Anna Jane's grand-father John Christian Frederick Eikerenkoetter (born 1800) wore when he was christened. And a bit of lace that was part of a stocking that belonged to his mother, Anna Maria Sophia Verson Eikerenkoetter.

Pictures as soon as available.

No vacation kitty, but there was a vacation puppy, Ginger:

Not being familiar with dogs (like them, just never had one), I didn't quite realize that grabbing the head of an 80 pound boxer and saying "who's the puppy, are you the puppy" would cause this overgrown lap down to go bonkers with joy. I have a couple of very lovely puppy claw scratches on my arm as a parting gift.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bittersweet

My mother gave me a stack of old family letters to go through. Most are the usual keeping in touch type letters but the thrill of seeing the handwriting and holding the words of my great-great grandmother or great-great grandfather negates whatever mundane details they are writing about.

One letter, however, stands out.

It is addressed to my parents at an APO address. Those in the military will know this is an overseas mailing address.

On the back of the envelope, in my mother's handwriting are the words: "Last letter from Mother Godfrey before her death".

It reads:

Mon, A.M. Feb. 1st.

Dear Janet: (My mother)

Oh! How proud I was to learn there was to be another baby. (Me!) Yes, I hope and pray it will be a little girl. (I was!) Jean's was a girl, they were disappointed but such can't be helped.

I have not seen any of them in three or four weeks. Addie has bought a two bedroom house all on first floor. She says she likes it much better than the old one. I'm afraid that the Bird House (she kept birds in a large shed in her back yard and was known as The Bird Lady of Holly Hill) will be too small for your family. Ha! Ha! But the upstairs is still here so come on and bring little sister.

We have had rain, rain, and more rain. It does not do my trouble any good. Lost a filling in one tooth this past week so will go tomorrow to Dr. Breeland, I dread to even think about it.

Eunice has had another heart attack and stayed under oxygen tent about six days. She is now at home and talk to me as usual.

My violets are real pretty, have fifteen. I'm still looking for my picture. Wish that the one I have was just turned around.

Love,
Mother "Got"

She died six days later.

Virginia Pearl Stamper Godfrey

These Boots Were Made for Walking

Truthfully, it's these walking shoes were made for walking, but that lacks any sparkle.

I have, over the past month, attempted to recommit myself to some sort of exercise program. Since my knees pretty much suck at doing anything, walking is about my only option. (Yes, I know swimming is good, but I, a) don't have access to a free swimming pool, b) would have to drive to a pool where I would have to pay to swim, and c)ever share a pool in the summer?)

I've been making very good progress, up to a two mile loop around the 'hood and about to kick it up a notch.

Until a day like today comes along. I have to work tonight, so I slept late. And I'm up now, but the heat index is 104. And I'm just not feeling it. So I shall get on my knee friendly Gazelle and do my time there.

I'm good at exercising if I keep doing it, problem comes when I start skipping and the routine falls apart. And my routine falls apart a lot. I work 12 hour night shifts in which I am on my feet and walking just about the entire night. I once wore a pedometer to work and took it off after one hour when it said I'd already walked a mile and I thought it was defective. When I get home in the morning, my feet hurt and my knees are generally swollen up to the size of grapefruits. When I wake up, I have to get ready to go back and the swelling in my knees isn't fully resolved so I don't want to go for a long walk and then go in to do another 12 hours.

This wouldn't be so much of a problem if I worked the same nights and just knew I'd not be exercising those days, but my schedule skips around a lot.

So I do very well for a while, then I don't, then I do better. I guess I just need to understand that is how my working out will be.

In related news, my knee doc is sending me for an MRI of my left knee because it has a new weird pain. Maybe a small meniscus tear. If so, fixing it won't cure the problem because the main problem is all the arthritis in my knees (More than someone 20 years older, says Knee Doc. Thanks, I say.). But if it will make the knee a little more stable so I can do stuff like, uh, walk up steps or stand up or hike the Italian Amalfi coast, we may have to go for it.

Loki sez: Nose-touch promise we'll take care of you if you have an operation!

Friday, June 11, 2010

History

Planning a quick trip to Wilmington, NC with my mom to see my Aunt Anna-Laura, who is really my mother's cousin or something like that.

I've been reworking a genealogy that I started about 10 years ago and getting much more information now.

Anna-Laura is going to be 90 this year and is the best link that I have to the Nimitz clan. Going to collect stories and hopefully some old photographs.

Later this year, hoping to get to Lady's Island to the Sanders clan and find the old family cemetery.

Thor sez: What does this picture have to do with family history?
I sez: Nothing, I just like it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beating My Head Against a Wall, For Nothing

I am used to being an invisible minority. I'm used to listening to people disparage my beliefs and my mental status and my patriotism without the slightest hesitation because they assume because of where I live and the color of my skin that I am in agreement with them.

I believe passionately in voting. I think it is one of the single most important freedoms and the most pressing duty of every American citizen eligible to do so.

I spend a lot of time talking to young adults who don't take the time to vote or educate themselves about why/how they should vote.

I get almost exclusively three excuses:

1. They never do what they say they will do. (Answer: that is because they know you didn't vote them in and you won't vote them out and until your age block starts voting in mass and regularly, they will ignore you without consequence)

2. It's too confusing. (You know the life story of every contestant on American Idol for the past 10 years and spend hours upon hours watching the show, but you can't get a list of candidates from the state election commission and read a few websites?)

3. I don't want to have to pick a party to register. (It is amazing how many people think that they HAVE to register as R or D. And that they have no clue about how primaries work.)

So, leading up to this primary, I have been in high pep rally talk, encouraging and teaching everyone who will listen to me (even knowing that statistically, if I get them started voting, they will be voting opposite my beliefs, but voting is what is important, here, not "my" side winning).

And in the past few days, the aftermath and allegations has even gotten me sick of the whole mess. People I've talked to are asking me how in the hell I can continue to cheerlead for this abysmal mess.

I know these things happen, because people have admitted it to me. I have had debates regarding the ethics of this with several people. I think your vote should be for who you think best represents your beliefs, period. But I have seen people use their primary vote as a political maneuver. I know about six staunch Republicans who told me that during the 2008 presidential primaries, they voted for Obama in the Democratic primary because they wanted him to win the nomination because they believed that a black man couldn't win in the South and it would help their party. Not their candidate, but their party, regardless of who it was.

I don't know. And it just makes me sick to know that it doesn't matter to anyone who matters. They got theirs and know the voters will just tear each other apart about it and the political system will roll on, continuing to do nothing but entrench power for itself.

The boyz say: Mommy, what does move to another state mean?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Loki Sunday

A guest appearance this Sunday:

I glanced out the window (this was yesterday afternoon) and said, "Oh hi, Momma Deer." Then I noticed the wee little antlers. I'm not sure who this fella is, could be one of Momma Deer's babies from last year (they both had little antler nubs the last time I saw them). I'm going to need a wildlife refuge permit soon.

Loki's new thing is to lay on the desk whenever someone is at the computer. Well, he lays on the desk for his daddy. He likes to sit up for me so I have to try to look over him and around him. Right now he is there, rolled over so his belly is up and purring as loud as he can, hoping for belly rubs.


Loki toes! I'm obsessed with Loki toes!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Smoked!

So, I left the house this morning for my neighborhood two mile walk. The heat index was close to 95 degrees or something and my left knee was feeling a little wobbly, so I was perhaps more accurately ambling up the street.

On the the back end of Church Creek, I hear someone coming up behind me, coming up sort of fast. I glanced back, expecting one of those joggers, you know the ones, the flat footed slapping down hard looking like dropping dead might be a little more fun than finishing their jog.

It was a little old lady, late 60's early 70's. Man, she passed me like I was standing still.

Hmmph, I thought, we'll see about that. I'll kick it up a notch when I hit Glendale. So, I kicked it up. She was about two blocks ahead of me by then.

Oh, just you wait, Granny, wait til I get to Pinehurst, then I'm going pour it on and pass your butt.

And I couldn't catch her! Never got within a block of her. Sly old fox.

But, she did bail on on Mona, which runs down the center of the neighborhood and I continued on and did the complete outer perimeter walk.

So there. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Loki sez: Wait. You were walking? On purpose? Was there a treat at the end?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Beauty is Skin Deep, But Ugly Goes Through to the Bone

That's what my momma used to tell me. And there is so much ugly going on in South Carolina, that I feel like I need a bath just typing the word.

SC politics has always been the ugliest I've ever seen (Phone calls asking if the voter knew that John McCain had "an illegitimate black daughter" and "how do you feel about that?" were talking about his adopted daughter.)

But this latest go round is getting insanely stupid. Guys are swarming out of the gutter to claim sexual relations with the female candidate. Another calling her (and the President) "ragheads".

If all those "secret" closet doors start getting dragged open, I'm gonna start popping pop corn and watch the SC Republican Party destroy any chance of our state ever succeeding in accomplishing anything but making Mississippi feel good about itself.

And the saddest of all are the comments I've read saying that Jake Knotts (the ever so intelligent and family values and Christian man he probably claims to be) calling people "raghead" is just wonderful and calling on a Knotts/Wilson (You lie!) presidential run in 2012.

Please, can Charleston secede from the state? Pretty please with sugar on top? I'll pay more taxes and everything!

Thor sez: Are you humans incapable of being what you say you are?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thor's Day!

Random Thor


I will try to return to my regular blogging soon. My routine has been completely out of whack since before we left and just now getting back into something resembling normalcy.