Friday, October 31, 2008


It isn't even dark yet, and already I've been contacted by a witch! Well, younger daughter who is having an identity crisis this year. Dressing as a witch today and cave woman tomorrow. This should be interesting, and can't wait to see those pics!

While this is our second Halloween down in Tennessee, last year we were the only people living on our street in our rented condo. No one came trick or treating there.

So this year, we are in the new house in the older subdivision and we are prepared, we hope, for all the little ghosts, goblins, witches, devils, Spidermen, princesses, etc that make the rounds on Halloween.

The weather here is what we always dreamed of for Halloween when I was a kid - it is 66 degrees out, which means by 5:30 it will still be in the 50's. The skies are clear for the trickers!

It has become tradition in Tennessee, as it has in other places, for kids to go trick or treating at shopping centers. We don't have a mall like malls in other areas, but we do have strip malls everywhere and I have been assured there will be plenty of kids still making the rounds of the neighborhood. Our street has only 7 houses, there are no sidewalks, so this will be pretty interesting.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photo Finish

As a genealogist, I belong to several mailing lists, one is for Erie County, New York. Lots of good things have come from that list including a link to this blog The Practical Archivist. You know, we all have our guilty photo secrets, like the boxes and boxes of them that we moved down here from Michigan. Last fall, younger daughter went through all of them and selected the ones she wanted to keep, giving me a stack to scan for distribution on CD. Older daughter got 3/4 of the way through and still has a fair amount to search through and then DH and I will sort through them and keep only ones we truly want. The rest, gasp, we are going to get rid of. I have a box of pictures my aunt gave ne, mostly because she didn't know who the people were. I got maybe two dozen photos out of that box of people I could identify - out of at least two hundred photos.

Now, I should mention that my dad was a pack rat. His father was a pack rat. My husband's father is a pack rat. So when it comes to photos, you guessed it, we have all of the ones we have EVER taken. Remember double prints? Good idea if you are going to share them. Mostly we have double pictures of places we don't even remember. Somewhere along the line in the early 1990's I started separating them by year and did a pretty good job of it, but stopped by 1996 when I went back to work. Who had time for that? So now comes the really daunting task of sorting through them one more time.

Oh well, it will give us something to do between now and the 2012 election!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag Time

Middle-Aged Woman over at Unmitigated tagged me for 7 Random things about me. Not sure I can come up with that many, buttttttt:

1. I love the mountains, at least looking at them. You see, I am terrified of heights. Have found that playing with the GPS locater in DH's car seeing how high up we are distracts me a bit.

2. I love flying. My preferred mode of traveling anywhere. You get a view of the landscape that is so gorgeous. My favorite place to fly over is the New York finger lakes area. Spectacular. That height thing? Somehow several miles up and detached doesn't bother me that much.

3. I am absolutely, positively crazy about Harry Potter. Mars, Hershey & Dove should all be booming with the number of dementors DH and I see on a regular basis.

4. I am learning to love to cook. I hadn't cooked much in the last few years prior to my 2006 retirement from the City of Livonia. Since moving to middle Tennessee, and changing from a gas stove (I hated my last two gas stoves) to an electric smooth top stove, I have had lots of fun cooking again. The last smooth top was in our rental and now I have one with a warming burner which is really useful.

5. I miss working on my miniatures. They're still in storage awaiting permanent homes here.

6. I am an avid family researcher. Actually, I guess you could say that I am obsessed with it. Mom's dad always told us his family was French. All I can say is yes, they were born in France, near Strasbourg on the border of Germany. The family spoke German, even after they came to America. How do I know this? The census. One of the censuses gave native language. Mom learned to cook from her aunt Rose, who cooked in the German way. We never tasted this because Dad did not like German cooking.

Dad always told us the Bowmans were Scots too. He didn't know until I did the research that the Bowmans were actually Baumanns and were from Germany. They were instrumental in settling the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with Joist Hite (Heydt) also German and the father-in-law of Hans Georg (George) Bowman/Baumann our immigrant ancestor.

7. I am very proud of my kids. They make me prouder every year. They've both always made their own decisions, some good, some really awful decisions, and have risen above them. Some day I know they will be as happy in relationships as their dad and I are.

I'm going to tag Sara over at Que Sera, Sera. If she can spare the time from her studies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Small Town Charm

Four years ago when we made our first trip to this cozy little town, we were out one night looking for snacks. Now, you can only live on so much vending machine stuff before you start craving some goodies. Namely ice cream, which is hard to keep in a hotel room, even ones with mini-fridges.

So off we went to explore. During the day, we had noticed this big CREAM CITY sign over one of the buildings downtown. Ice cream! Can you imagine our disappointment when we drove up and discovered it hadn't been an ice cream place in many, many years? Not only that, but it was a former ice cream plant not a soda fountain.

I don't know if the Cream City sign was kept as a landmark, or too expensive to tear down, BUT it is always lit at night. Those neon lights would spell out Cream City in a running pattern.

Shortly after we bought our property, someone bought the building, and installed an upscale candy place in it, called Cocoa Ladies. Well, that is sort of defunct. Last I saw they were operating out of the coffee shop next door.

In February, we heard the building had sold again. We waited and we waited for something to open up, keeping our fingers crossed. Since Murphy's law reigns supreme around me, while we were in Michigan for niece's wedding, the Herald-Citizen ran an article on the new "Cream City Cafe and soda fountain."

So it was this afternoon, that we made our way downtown to Cream City and lunched at the cafe, adding a small ice cream sundae to the mix. Yum. DH had a fried pork chop and 3 sides. I had a BLT. They were delicious. It reminded me of the soda fountains that used to be in drug stores. Or of the lunch counter at Woolworths or Kresges. We were served cokes in glass bottles with straws. It was a fun blast from the past.