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Friday, November 3, 2017

News from the Hood - Recap and Onward

I pulled down the storm windows in the house last week (or most of them) and the doors go up next. Those cool-crisp fall days have finally arrived in my part of Michigan, bringing with them a patchwork of sunny days, crunchy leaves, gentle rain, dark clouds that disappear overnight to bring the sun.


My garden warrior, Mark, came the other day to put my gardens to bed. I can't bear to bring in or cut back the potted flowers, plants and herbs in front of the house, but the rest is in jolly good shape and ready to weather the winter. And it looks so tidy -- as though the garden got a long overdue and sorely needed haircut!


The birds have been stuffing themselves at the feeder, much to Lizzie's delight. Although, given that the feeder is just outside the window by her own bowl, I hear repeated bellowing for more food. No, I am not trying to starve my cat but she's not unlike her person with an open bag, box or carton of something deliciously wicked. Like Peppermint Stick ice cream. Oh, if only she had thumbs.


I have spent much of my time this fall writing a book about my family history. That sounds pretentious, doesn't it? I called it a narrative for a long time, but now I think it's passed the word count for narrative, whatever that may be. I have become relatively adept at sorting through city directories, census documents, passenger lists and more. Our university has a genealogy group and once I get back in good working order, I plan to attend and who knows what all I'll discover.


It's been a fascinating journey, to be sure. I have traced my mother's family back to the 1500s in Switzerland and Germany and in the course of that research learned about religious persecution, insanity, candy making and farming in the 1800s and so much more. I also learned that Stephen Colbert is my seventh cousin so now when I watch, I wave at the telly!

Placing a wreath at my great grandmother's grave.

Last week my friend Barb and I went to find the property that was my great grandfather's and where my own grandpa was born. (If that's your cuppa, you can read about it HERE on my other blog, The Leatherman Tree -- which, for the most part, is mostly interesting only to my family!)

At the creek by the property where my grandfather was born.

It was one of those perfect autumn days, warm but not hot, perfect for sitting under a tree at the cemetery and enjoying an apple and a break in our quest and it felt so right to stop at this final resting spot for my great grandmother, her father and possibly others in unmarked graves.


I'm also getting ready for my upcoming sale and if you are in the mid-Michigan area and would like more info, please leave that in a comment. It's Nov. 2-3-4 and we'll have eight artists with a variety of styles of art, from my watercolors, photography and cards to holiday things to jewelry, calendars, soaps, cat toys and pens!  Once that's over, I will be adding things to the Gypsy Caravan if anyone is interested.

                      

We'll have great treats and I made Jann Olson's wonderful frosted ginger cookies to freeze and take with me next week. There is a distinct possibility that I will have to remake these! They're that good!


The light has changed here as I know it has in so many places and I find it dark earlier with each passing day. That's when I settle in with a good book or two. My guiding word of 2017 was hygge (the other was action) and I've been hyggeling a great deal these evenings. Most recently I've enjoyed the beautiful "Broken for You" and "As Always, Julia," a compilation of letters between Julia Child and her friend and pen pal Avis DeVoto, who played a key role in the selling of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" to a publisher. Then it was on to the second in the Imogen Quy mystery series by Jill Paton Walsh (thanks for the recommendation, Mae!) and now I'm very hygge with blogger Becca Rowan's "Life Goes On." Do you know Becca's blog? Gorgeous writing. This book is a little gem.


Thanks for your very kind comments on the radiation in my recent post. I'm basically and return from the "radiation vacation," but there's still more than a bit of a mess on the lip. I sent a selfie to a couple of friends and family and believe me, I won't share it here. But I am so grateful that I'm nearly through and all will be well.


I will be so glad when all of this is over. And by this, I mean the radiation, the biopsy and the art sale. I had lunch with a friend and our conversation centered in part on the high level of stress we are feeling and seeing in our friends, our country, our world. Yes, I think about nuclear annihilation every day and plan to live as well as I can each and every day and hope that one day we'll wake up from a bad dream.


But right now, it's the end of a lovely day. The light is changing and within an hour, the sun will be gone until tomorrow. Life is good. Very good.

53 comments:

Mary Rose's said...

(((((((HUGS)))))))

Connie said...

What an enjoyable post. I certainly had a lovely time seeing your photos and I am intrigued by all your family history research. One of my brothers has been looking into our family history and I love reading and hearing about all his findings. One last thing before I say good-bye . . . loved our photos of Michigan. I was raised in northern Indiana and I miss all that amazing fall color :) Thanks for sharing and have a delightful weekend.
Connie :)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What pretty photos! I feel Fall in the air and see it in the changes in the light. I'm starting to feel better and I'm working on a mind shift and hopefully an energy shift also. Two weeks until our trip to Texas and so much to do. I'm so glad the lip radiation is going well, but I know how glad you will be to put that behind you. My mind is wanting to skip to Christmas much sooner then normal, I think because I'll be gone from home for Thanksgiving this year. I have so much to be grateful for and a week on the beach in Corpus Christi, Texas will be one of them for sure. Babbling so I'll send hugs and move on with my day!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Simply incredible photos of what appears to be a perfect day. Of course, my thoughts are still on you and your radiation treatments.

So glad to read you are working on your family history. It is something that needs to be preserved and I feel it's important. Once something is lost, it is lost. I wouldn't know where to begin chasing my family history, since I haven't had a living relative since I was 19.

I enjoyed the beautiful autumn colors you captured, and I loved the play on light and shadow on the first photo. Truly lovely. BTW, you are really being cruel to Lizzie (GRIN).

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That was such an enjoyable read, Jeanie, it just swam me along; thoughtful; though-provoking. Lovely photos - particularly the ones of you, of course, and your cat. Not that I'm hugely into photos of cats, you understand. So good you've been working on your family history. I have a project along those lines I need to do - just not enough hours in the day. You take care, best regards from across the Pond.

Valerie-Jael said...

Oh dear, you shouldn't have shown me frosted ginger cookies, now I can't think of anything else. Have fun with the genealogy, sounds exciting. Love the photo of your cat! Hugs, Valerie

Mae Travels said...

It's great that you have also become a fan of Imogen Quy! And I wish you luck with all the stress-inducers including the holiday craft sale and the treatment and its success.

Your photo of great-grandmother's grave is very beautiful and thought-provoking. I'm impressed by the effectiveness of your family research project.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Joyful said...

A fabulous fall post Jeanie. I love all your fall scenes. Just beautiful. I love fall all over NA :-) The upcoming art sale sound wonderful. I didn't realize that you sell your works. That's awesome. I'm happy to hear too that you made progress on your family story. That's another awesome achievement. All the best on your upcoming fair.

Joyful said...

By the way, I didn't know your guiding word for 2017 was Hygge. I must have missed that post but interestingly I read a few books on Hygge this year. What a wonderful concept. My guiding word was 'rest'. I didn't quite achieve it the way I was thinking but in other ways some rest was possible. Now I have to think about a new word for 2018. Have a wonderful weekend. xx

Polly said...

Such a lovely gentle post Jeanie, it’s like you had taken us by the hand and guided us round. I really should put my garden to bed, but there are so many other jobs to do I just don’t get round to the garden, must make an effort next week because I’m going to Australia on the 12th to visit my youngest daughter. Try not to think about the nuclear thing, think about hygge and a good book. Wishing you well and have a good weekend x

Red Rose Alley said...

That first picture of Autumn is so pretty, Jeanie. So glad it has arrived around your neck of the woods. That's great that you are finding out about your ancestors and where they came from. The frosted ginger cookies look Yummy. Wish I had one to go with my evening tea. I'm relieved to hear that your almost dome with your treatments. I hope you have a restful weekend, Jeanie.

~Sheri

Lynne said...

A calm came over me as I read you . . .
Quite pogninant to go back, retrace, be there . . .
It is another page of Touch . . .

Frosted Ginger cookies brought sweet mother moments . . .
Ginger cookies one of her favorites . . .

Thinking of day one of art sale already passed . . .
Reminded me of the fullness of your life . . .

Gardens tended, storm windows on . . .
Settling in begins . . .

Commitment to radiation days nearing the “all done.”

Reflecting on our today world with its snipes, divisiveness, untruths . . .
Leaves me less than calm . . .
Yet . . . calm leaps out from inside . . . I know right from wrong.
Thankful for discernment.

Grateful for November days . . . calm is my feast . . .

Alll is Calm
All is Bright
remembering bins of Christmas treasures . . .

Hold Calm

Pom Pom said...

You have a lot going on, all good stuff!
I bet your art sells fast!

shoreacres said...

It's interesting how our life situations shape our interests. I'm interested in my family's history where it touches my own life -- gr-gr-greats in Texas in the Civil War, and so on -- but with no one to pass the information on to (only an aunt (94) and three cousins remain) there seems no point to spending my remaining time living in the past. You have a larger family, and are more interconnected with them -- that makes a huge difference, as does the fact that you can visit cemeteries where some are laid, and so on. I'd have to trek hundreds of miles to do that.

Your autumn photos are wonderful. We're going to be warm for another couple of weeks, it seems. I remember Thanksgivings in the past when we spent the day sailing, in shorts and tee shirts. It seems that we may have a similar holiday this November!

La Table De Nana said...

Fall is so pretty and I don't mind winter and hibernating at all..it's the cold..I bought new thermal undies..I layer it on:)Undies..I mean long 32F leggings and long sleeved 32F undershirt..undies was sounding VS..

I read Broken for you and As always Julia..I loved As always..what a friendship:)Truly enjoying Lisette's List..my friend Nancy the artsist went to see Chagall's expo in Montreal many times..feels such a kinship..I told her she would love this book..I didn't say love though because I didn't want to oversell it so she wouldn't like it.
I can be oversold and love that! Thank you..she also favors Van Gogh..so to me it's a no brainer..she lived in Pais..lived in the South of France and the name André is so very dear to her.

I think it's grand that your genealogy is so interesting to you:) Have a great weekend great success at the craft fair..when I was 28..I paid or my realtor's class by doing a craft sale:)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I hope the art sale is successful this weekend and that you don't wear yourself out too much! It will be so good to have the radiation and biopsy behind you - you've been through a lot this fall. And yes, your prognosis is great, but it's still tough to deal with the treatment - especially when it's painful!

I love that you are writing about your families genealogy. Your family must really appreciate that. I think we are all interested in our roots but most of us don't want to put in the time to research our history. Your family is lucky to have you!!

Pam Jackson said...

Such beautiful colors...I love fall. You look so pretty standing out among the trees. Wow, you have gotten really far with your research. I think mom has her family into the early 1700s. So fun to know that there was enough info documented to allow this generation to research it....amazing I think. Enjoy your fall days...winter is around the corner and I think you guys get a worst winter then we do in TN>

Jenny Woolf said...

This is a lovely post. Your area still looks beautiful and autumnal. I know the feeling of not wanting to bring in the plants. Here, we could in theory leave them out - perhaps - because the weather won't necessarily go below freezing, but really there comes a time when we have to admit winter's here! I bet you will be glad to be through with your radiation and unpleasant treatment. I have been researching my ancestors too, though not as far back as you have. One of the things I keep thinking about as I look at their lives, is how lucky we are to have the medical treatment and comfort of today, rather than having to live then.
Yes, political news is horrible. I tell myself that the world has always been a potentially scary place, except that we somehow feel involved these days with things that really we can do nothing to influence, just the way it has always been.... I do find not reading the news helps.
Your autumn looks set to be fun so look forward to hearing what else you get up to!

My name is Erika. said...

Life is looking good I'd say. The leaves are pretty and it sounds as if you've been keeping busy and having fun. ll the good things and important things in life. The only complication seems to be your lip. but glad to hear you are not letting that stop you in your tracks. Cool idea to write a book about your family history. And your typewriter is just like one my mom had. It brings back memories of me typing on it as a kid. Cookies look yummy~perfect for the season. Hapy weekend. Hugs-Erika

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...


Great post with all the beautiful colors of Fall.

I am into genealogy also and have my German line back to the 1500'a. Very interesting, but once I get started I don't want to quit.

Good luck on your Art Show, hope you sell out all your lovely pictures.

Hugs,
Mary

Rita C. said...

Love how you relish so much good from among the ick, Jeanie. It's always a pleasure to visit here. Your heritage sleuthing is an interesting topic for me, and I cherish all that various family members have gathered (and even published for family) on both my mother's & father's side. On trips in the past few years, I made a point to track down my mother's relatives' gravesites in Rochester, NY and St. Louis, MO. My dad's people hailed from near the Greenbrier during the Revolutionary War, and although it's well documented, I have yet to visit those sites. Isn't that ironic - so close, yet not visited?

My gardens are slowly being put to bed....we still have some time being a little further south than you, but I like it checked off the list!

Sandi said...

Love these photos!

Katie Clooney said...

Wait, Jeanie! Your COUSIN is STEPHEN COLBERT????? Can you please take me as plus one to your family reunion? I am his biggest fan!! I'm with you on the hygge thing. Have a wonderful week, dear Jeanie.

Sandra Cox said...

I think it's wonderful that you are writing your family history. My SIL wrote several books based on family history, both fiction and non. You go!:)
If I lived closer I'd be attending the sale.
I'm sorry you've had to deal with the radiation. Sending positive energy your way. Here's hoping you're quickly through it.

Sandra Cox said...

PS Right there with ya on the nuclear war.

Joanne Huffman said...

Hope your sale went well. Hope the radiation goes quickly and you're comfortable with your lovely smile soon. Have fun with your family history.

Deb said...

I have been lurking in the background and not commenting much, just enjoying your posts quietly. But I wanted to say hi and let you know that I have returned to blogging on the ol' blog and have started a new one. Talk about self punishment.
Link to new site is here https://2manypie.blogspot.com.au/

And old blog is still in the same place :)

BeachGypsy said...

Those cookies look amazing! But my eye was really caught by that lovely old typewriter--we used to have one I'd picked up at a yard sale about 25 years ago for about $3.00--we finally got tired of lugging it around on our various moves and I'm not sure what ever happened to it--they are such fun to see and I learned to type on an old manual in high school--we certainly didn't have the fancy "electric" typewriters until Senior year, ha ha LOL. So we learned the old fashioned hard way to punch those dang keys HARD. lol lol The outdoor pictures of you are JUST LOVELY and you look healthy and happy and just glowing in the pretty autumn scenery! Have been thinking about you and hoping your treatments are progressing well and looks like they are---don't worry...that lip will be healed up in no time! Your great grandma has a lovely lovely lovely grave....that is a beautiful old fashioned stone. I study the old stones, they fascinate me. You should see some of the ancient ones we have here in Charleston. Like you, I'm very into our family's genealogy and of course you know my love of history--I did get my mothers side back to the late 1500s and the 1600s in Germany as well as Ireland. Lost the trail on my mothers paternal branch though, many documents destroyed in church fire and once they are gone, they WERE GONE back in those days. Sad really--almost like some of those people never even existed. That's why I keep researching the history and the family trees....because we must not let those who came before us be forgotten.

handmade by amalia said...

What an interesting post, with cookies, a big of history and great photos. Autumn really is the nicest season.
Amalia
xo

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Jennie, visiting your blog is always such a pleasure. I’m intrigued by your family history research and have visited your other blog a couple of times. I started writing a bit about my family too, but I hit so many brick walls I became discouraged. I plan to start researching again in the spring but for now, I’m happy to settle down with my books and wait for the lighter days to return.
I’m so sorry you are struggling with so many things at the moment and am sending positive vibes and love your way. I hope the sale went well – wish I could have been there.

Decor To Adore said...

Jeanie I just love these gorgeous fall images! You are just too cute!

Maggie said...

So enjoyed catching up with you today, Jeanie, and learning about your book and the research you've been doing, fascinating. The outdoor photographs around your great grandfathers farm are beautiful, how soothing it must have been for you to spend time there with a friend.
Good luck with the upcoming sale, wish I could be there!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, such a lovely and thoughtful post as always! How interesting that you are writing on your family history. You certainly have a gift in writing! I know you will be so glad to get radiation and everything behind you. Wishing you only the best sweet lady!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Jeanie,
Such delicious writing. I feel as though I have walked, thought, traveled and tasted the different aspects of life with you.
So good to hear that life is treating you well and that you are settling in nicely for the Fall and Winter months.
You know you are always in my thoughts,
Jemma

The Artful Diva said...

you're making me miss autumn big time!

bj said...

a few yrs back, I made a trip to East Texas to visit a cousin for a few days....he lives where nearly all of our family once lived. He took me to many grave sites of great great grandparents and etc...it was so much fun

Marilyn Miller said...

So glad your sale is done and radiation is coming soon to an end. Now we must indeed enjoy each day with the craziness around us, I also think of annihilation. Oh that sweet Lizzie. Is that sweet potatoes in her dish? Each time I walk into my kitchen Joey is there thinking he will be fed.How fun to be writing and exploring family history. BTW, that first picture does sing to my heart.

Sandra Cox said...

That is a great pic of you.
Lizzie looks pretty cute too:)

Tracy said...

LOVELY seeing autumn in your neck of the woods, Jeanie... and hearing about your seasonal doings. Sweet Miss Lizzie--you capture her in the best moments--look at the pink tongue! ;) I think it's wonderful you're writing about your family. It helps to sort things our when writing. And by writing, it connects you more to your family tree and all the history. And what a history you have! If Stephen Colbert doesn't know you yet, he should! ;) Lovely to see places where your grands were from... Hope all went very well and very fun with your art sale!! Sooo glad all is going well for you, my friend... It has been a tough year in so many ways... HYGGE is a word we all seems to be embracing in one way or many in this world the seems so broken... Be taking good care, my friend ((HUGS))

Victoria Zigler said...

I hope your art sale went well, and that your radiation treatment goes well now that it's started up again.

Poor Lizzie. I bet she wishes she had thumbs so she didn't have to put up with such torture. It's a good thing for the birds she doesn't though.

I'm glad you're finding some hygge moments amid the stress and chaos, and hope the months to come are full of more hygge moments than stressful ones.

Sandra Cox said...

Love the Hope, Peace and Joy eggs. So perfect.

The Sketchy Reader said...

BTW I would love to get a closer look at your art! :D

And I do love the photo of your kitty and neighborhood. ;P

Sally Wessely said...

How do you keep up? You do so much. I am in awe. I am inspired. I seem to walk in circles and here you are writing books, and doing research, and writing blogs, and reading, and taking beautiful pictures, and all of this is done as you also prepare for an art sale and go through radiation.

You word for 2017 of action has been fulfilled ten fold.

Take care dear one. Sending healing thoughts and much love.

Jann Olson said...

Oh, you're such a cutie! I love seeing your smiling face. I'm sorry about having to have radiation. I missed that post and need to go back and read it. I have a dear friend that has had that done on her lips a few times. Very painful, I'm sure! Hope you heal quickly and it's all over with. Hubby and I filled my she shed with garden furniture on Monday and cleaned up the pumpkin patch. There are still a few things I would have liked to have gotten cut back, but if it doesn't happen I know they will still be there this spring. :)
Oh, and I'm glad you liked the cookies. Thanks for the shout out!!
hugs,
Jann

BeachGypsy said...

Hi there Jeanie!-so glad you liked the post! I just added my own pictures to it is all, it was fun!

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, I'm so sorry to hear you are having to go through radiation. I seemed to have missed that post you spoke about. I do hope everything is going well with you and it's nothing too serious. Take care, my friend!

jenna meon said...

You certainly have been busy Jeanie! Researching and writing your family history must be fascinating, and a true labor of love. I hope your sale went well, and it's nice to hear you are on the mend~ lovely photos!
Jenna

Sandra Cox said...

We went with my SIL to visit a local cemetery a few years ago when she was researching ancestry. I did get a chuckle out of the fact that many of the cemetery's occupants were 'Hamm' and 'Bones'. :)

Sandra Cox said...

PS Hope you're feeling well.

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Jeanie your photographs are a feast for the eyes and it is nice to see you smiling at us. I hope you are well and everything is going your way. I am very impressed that you were able to trace back your genealogy to the 1500's. That is quite an accomplishment, I can barely remember the cousins I have now. Love that picture of the cat!!

Katie Mansfield said...

I love genealogy. My husband's family tree is amazing. Mine Welsh/German has been much harder to uncover. My family is from Wisconsin. That gravestone looks like it could be from the church where a lot of ancestors are buried. Congratulations on the book. It doesn't sound pretentious at all. Saying a prayer for your treatments.
Katie

Annie said...

Loved catching up with you today, Jeannie. Fall is such a wonderful time of the year. The smells, the colors, even the sounds, are so much brighter and dazzling. Even when life is busy throwing us a curve ball, it's also offering us a hand up.

Thrifty Campers said...

I really like the decor filled trunk you displayed. Really creative fun use for them.

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