LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NAS)

Today is a very sad day. I received word this morning that a dear writing friend passed away on Wednesday. I’ve know her for close to ten years as she was in my writer’s group of The Christian Writers Group of Greater San Antonio. She’d written a series of children’s books and looked forward to getting them published. Her first one, The Many Tales of Mitzie The Mouse just hit the streets about three weeks ago. Her face lit up when she opened her first box of books.

Irma showing off her first book MitzieFranklin Scribes Publishers were excited to publish her book. A company founded by another wonder man, John Mills, who belonged to our  group and preceded Irma two years ago. Upon his passing my friend, Judy, and I took over the ministry of publishing books for struggling authors. I can almost see it now Irma talking to John and telling him all about her book.

Irma Crutchfield was not only a writer but with her husband, Monty, foster parents. They not only had children of their own but opened their hearts and home to others less fortunate. Each one of us in the group prayed with Irma over her foster girls and her children. A beautiful Christian lady with a heart as big as her personality. She is going to be truly missed by each one of us.

RIP Irma Crutchfield. You are going to be missed.

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

I do apologize for not updating my blog last week. I really don’t know how the week got away from me and here it is again–time to do my blog again. The weeks must be getting shorter!

Ancestry Ashkenazi Jewish DNAI could tell you I’ve been researching again or I’ve been deep into revisions my book. I do want to get it out. I am finished but then that little voice in my head nudges me saying, “Hey why don’t you add this or that. It would make it a wee bit more interesting to the reader.”

So I do it, and it takes me another week because I need to have it critiqued before I go any further.

The big thing right now is the book cover. I’ve given my specifics to the formatter and I’m waiting to see what it looks like before I go to the next step. Be patient. Oh wait, that’s what I keep telling myself. Anything good takes patience.

On a serious note here, I have been doing more research. It’s amazing what is out there if you only look. I traced my Carr/Kerr lineage back to 1800 where they said they were from Canada. Well, they are not.

Back in the early 1700’s most of New England was considered Massachusetts. Borders kept getting rearranged. My Carr line came from Scotland to the New World and settled in Vermont and Maine. Some moved to Canada and stayed and some came back to Vermont. It gets tricky when you are trying to locate where they ended up.

I was able to find a full lineage on my ancestors on Google Books. Oh my, the information I found was great so I hit the link that took me to Amazon and ordered the book. I wanted this book for my library. After all, this was my ancestor. When I received the book I couldn’t find his name anywhere. So I went back to the Google Book on line and noticed it was Vol. II. I needed Vol I, I thought. So I went back to Amazon and ordered Vol 1. A couple more weeks pass before I received the book. I flipped pages looking for my ancestor. His name wasn’t in the book. By now, I was getting a little bit un-nerved.

So, I went back to Google Books and reallllllyyyyy looked over the web site. There were five volumes—and my ancestor was in Vol IV. I was not going to order another book. I tried and tried to copy what I needed. It wouldn’t let me. Okay, I sat and wrote everything out then put the source at the bottom of the page. Now I had it. Some day I’m going to get better at the computer. There is probably a way to copy just what I need and not have to write it all out.

To make a long story short I have quite a line up of ancestors. Not bad for a person who didn’t even know who her biological father was until a year ago.

There were times when I felt like the young lady in the movie Mama Mia when she said she had three fathers. I could relate…my biological father, the man listed on my birth certificate, and my step-father. My family has grown immensely. I am blessed beyond words.

Must go and finish writing.

Until then my friend……..

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Looks like we are getting ready for the big storm. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this close to a hurricane or tornado. The wind is a kickin’ and I’ve put everything up that might want to fly around outside.

I’ve settled down at the computer to do some work. By work, I mean genealogy. My mind is a jumble so I thought I’d do research. I love research. Besides I’m trying to put hubby’s French Canadian side of the family down on paper. Or rather in my handy dandy little book I have for each side of the family. genealogy booksAnd I also have pedigree pages for each family member.genealogy pagesI bought these books about fifteen years ago and I keep adding to them. When I travel to do research I carry them with me and add all the new information right then and there. Very convenient and you can buy them from the Genealogy Shop in Seminole, Oklahoma.

I’ve noticed there are a lot of women on his French Canadian side with the name of Marie Marguerite. With so many women with that name how did they tell them apart when they referred to them? Did they have to add their last name too to distinguish them?

When we were in Canada a few weeks ago I made sure we bought maps so I could figure out where each family lived before migrating to America. That has been a challenge also. But, I did it.

Now I need to figure out where the town was one of my ancestors was born in before he moved to Vermont then on to Iowa. I love this detective work!

So my friends, until then…………………………..Keep posted……………………

 

 

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

It’s Friday already. Another week down. Where is the time going? Well I did have a pretty good week if I say so myself. Got my devotional written, worked on my DNA book, and found a good amount of information on Cibolo. Well maybe not Cibolo, but about the stagecoach lines in Texas. Thank you Jean Heide for your knowledge on stagecoach lines and hard work collecting information.Cibolo History StagecoachAnd of course one bit of information leads to another.

I had to deliver a picture frame yesterday and ran into a person who offered still another small tidbit of info on Cibolo. I just have to keep asking, someone knows something. Of course, there were two other people standing next to me that chimed in saying they have that book too…somewhere. All three promised to look for the book. Actually it is an old cookbook from Cibolo, 1979 they thought, and it contained a little bit of information about old Cibolo.

Sometimes I think I’m on information overload and I wonder where I’m going to insert it in the pages that keep growing. But, I’ll find a way.

On my few free minutes of the day I go to Ancestry and look for more of my ancestors. I found a goldmine on my Carr family. In the census they say they came from Canada and since I just visited Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto, I figured I’d delve into their beginnings. They came from Scotland (that was a surprise), and not sure of what port they landed in. They went to Massachusetts, then on to northern Vermont and southern Canada. Since the time frame was early 1700’s the borders were changing. Some stayed in Vermont but my up line crossed the border to Quebec. Interesting because then my third great grandfather went west to Black Hawk County, Iowa where he farmed and stayed passing away.

So that is where I’m at on my side of the family. Now to get caught up on hubby’s side. I’m still trying to figure out where his great grandfather died. There are still loose ends on his side of relatives that need to be taken care of. Oh, did I tell you hubby and I are related now through the Bradstreet line and also our Richardson line. What a hoot. Of course, it is way back there in the late 1700’s but who would have thought!

I need to sign off so I can get more work done on both books. So until then my friends………………..

 

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

DSC00135I want to talk about cemeteries today. Hubby says I’m a bit off because I can spot a cemetery a mile away even if it is behind trees and shrubs and down an old dirt road. Each cemetery is unique in its self. It has stories to tell.

Cemeteries are interesting. People are residing there that also lived, loved, had families, and probably toiled the ground. Or they at least punched a time card. Each grave is usually marked with a simple flat slab with a name, date of birth and date of death. Some have ornate markers. Period. End of live. They lived–they died.

I’ve walked among the stones at old cemeteries. Some may have a short saying about the person like “here lies John Brown a good and honorable man”. Some may have only a name. I’ve came across this poem at the cemetery my grandfather and aunt are buried in located in Austin, Minnesota.Ancestry tombstone poemIt touched me as the words are so true.

Their DNA cells have passed on down to their children and grandchildren. Their life goes on through them. Maybe one of them have their eyes, nose, or the crocked way they smile.

I go through each day and am blessed to see my children and grandchildren but when I stop my busy life and really look at them I am in wonder. I can see where one has the same shape eyes as their sister or their eyes have that mischievous glint to them that their grandfather’s had.

I may look in the mirror each morning and see my mother’s face but when I look at one of my girls I also see my mother. But I can look at her in another light and see her aunt. Life is mystifying. Or to put it into another content, our God is great. His work is all so grand and lives on and on.

So to sum it all up, yes, I will continue to go to cemeteries and look at the head stones and wonder. What did his person look like, what did they do to earn a living, and did they like to sing or dance? That is when I have to go back to my genealogy and track down a person. The cycle never ends. I will keep trucking on.

So until then my friend…………….

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

DSC00141One of the many older houses located in Cibolo, Texas. Not sure of the date on this one but working on it. I’m working on a lot of things to get this book finished.

I think I mentioned before the book my co-author and I wrote, History of Cibolo, had been finished a few years ago but we’ve gotten together and decided to add to it and have it published by a reputable publisher this time. In the past we put it together ran the copies ourselves, put the cover on it, and that was that. But it has come to our attention that the way Cibolo has grown and some of the older establishments are getting facelifts, we’d like to preserve what we can for everyone to see where and how Cibolo started.

DSC00147 Buildings like this one sitting across from the railroad tracks near Main. (Schlather’s Feed) There’s a lot more to Cibolo besides being a bedroom community sitting next to Schertz and just down the road from San Antonio.

DSC00151Take a look at this old home now overgrown with weeds, vines, and trees. At one time it must have stood stately with it’s brick exterior and windows shining each night with the glow of lights flickering.

So, I’m working like crazy putting all the information into one big book (hopefully a big book), gathering older pictures from a friend willing to help, and still researching some things. My partner is up to her ears in more researching also. If you have any information or pictures you’d like to share you can message me through my blog.

So I must get back to work. Until then my friend……………………..

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

I missed another Thursday but here I am on Friday. With the trip behind me I’m trying to play catch up yet again. It seems like I’m always playing catch up. I kind of let play get in my way, you know, like trips out of town.

My book about DNA is finished but I’m still working on the revisions. I really need to get with it and get it finished, period. The other big project I’m working on is the history of Cibolo. About three years ago I stepped out of the picture on the book but just recently it was placed back in my lap. So after much soul searching and praying I guess I’m supposed to get it published. My friend, who worked very hard at researching a lot of the articles, and I are working together again to it’s end product.

books and penThere is nothing like the feel and smell of a book. A real live book you can hold in your hands and run your fingers down the smooth paper as you get ready to turn the page. A place to put the beautiful bookmark your friend gave you.

I have a Kindle and I’m glad I can keep adding books to it and not have to keep the physical book on my shelves but still, there is nothing like a physical book to look at.

So next week I’m off to still another library to search for more answers to my questions to add to the history. Growing up I don’t remember asking my mother questions like “why” like my children did. But, now that I’m older, wiser, I keep asking that little question “why”.

Today it’s work on my DNA book. So my friends, until then………………….

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

Here it is–no blog last week. I do have an excuse, well sort of. I was on a wonderful tour with the hubby. So I thought I’d share my experience with you. Well…my experience of eating across Canada because I feel although I was looking at all the beautiful country I was also eating every four hours. I should have gained twenty pounds with all the rich foods but only gained two. Guess that was from walking it all off after each meal!

DSC00202This is called poutin. French fries with brown gravy and white cheese curds. It was almost like eating chili fries, but not as spicy. Chili fries, my grandson’s favorite. This restaurant was called 3 Brasserie in Quebec City. Our second day of tour.

Day One; We flew into Montreal a very long day. Up early the next morning and headed out to tour the streets of Montreal stopping for lunch at a restaurant I forgot to jot down. I had gazpacho and salmon. Dessert was sugar pie. I’ve never eaten sugar pie before but it was a lot like chess pie, but much sweeter. That was lunch. After lunch we headed to St. Paul Street with all the quaint shops…..no time for shopping. Our guide had us keep up the pace. We had a schedule to keep. Bus to pick us up at three o’clock sharp. For the life of me even though I wrote in my journal I didn’t write down the names of all the restaurants. What a bummer! Dinner was a diet coke, Caesar salad, baked potato, steak and chocolate cake for dessert.

Everyone was up early and after a breakfast spread of scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, maple beans, lox and bagels, sweet rolls, fresh fruit, and I could go on and on and still miss something that was on the tables. No, I didn’t eat all that. Only toast, eggs, and bacon. Each morning this kind of a spread was set out for us.

On with the tour…we headed for Quebec City today. We drove for about two hours and then the bus pulled over for a potty stop and coffee break. I had to try the Tim Horton’s lattes and their Timbites. Their rendition of our donut holes. Latte was super and the donut holes we just as good, maybe even better. Okay, close match.

DSC00238The St. Lawrence Seaway from our hotel room in Quebec. I was surprised at how wide the seaway was. We toured the old part of the city. The narrow, cobbled stone streets and quaint shops. That afternoon of course I had poutin, and we were on our own for our dinner. We decided to stay in after the long walk we took that day so we split a hamburger in the hotel dinning room. Believe me it wasn’t a small hamburger either.

I may run out of space here. Up early and on the bus. We were going to the sugar shack for breakfast today. It was at a farm where they made maple syrup. Breakfast was served boarding house style, bowls full of potatoes, eggs, maple flavored beans, and bacon. Take as much as you want or as little. Oh yes, make sure you put maple syrup in your coffee. On your eggs, it goes well on everything. I am not a bean eater but I had to try a spoonful of the beans, just to say I tried everything. I was quite surprised, they were pretty good. I’ll have to find the recipe and try this. The owners had a wonderful gift shop so you know what we did for another hour before we were pushed onto the bus.

From there we headed to Montmorancy Falls. both standing over the falls at montmorsency 2017We were told these falls were higher than Niagara Falls only not as wide. We were standing right over the falls. Lunch from here was in old town Quebec. I had duck with carrot salad which was wonderful. Dessert was chocolate cake. Our afternoon was at Giles Copper Museum and more shopping. Then on to St. Anne deBeauprie Bascialla.  On to Ottowa tomorrow.

Again up early and heading to Ottowa. Potty stop again at Tim Horton’s.  I was surprised at all the vineyards we passed along the way. They looked so lush and green. So manicured. Our guide talked about how they made the ice wine. Will have to check into that later. When we arrived we had time to shop a bit at the outside market and then we headed to the Fresh Fish Market for dinner. Most of us had the fish and chips with cheese cake for dessert. Hubby had the apple cobbler. It was all good.

Next morning we headed to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Along the way we took a short boat ride out among some of the islands in the seaway. Some of the houses we built almost on big rocks called an island. Amazing.DSC00258

Now on to Niagara On The Lake and their cute shops and the Shaw Festival. This is where they hold plays by Bernard Shaw all the time. Streets were lined with flowers upon flowers.DSC00280When we reached Niagara Falls we took the harbor tour showing the Toronto skyline. Very stunning with so many high rise apartments. I don’t think I could live in any of those apartments…so tall! We ate at the Secret Garden where I had a salad that three people could have eaten. I got up to go to the restroom and look what I saw just as soon as I opened the door.

DSC00287

That night, our last night, we had dinner at The Badali, an Italian restaurant, where I had penne pasta with chicken and tiramisu for dessert. Wonderful trip and I’d go again. Our guide and driver were phenomenal.  Collette Tours you did it again.

Until then my friends….

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Well another busy week is coming to an end. I’d like to say I’ve gotten quite a bit of things done but alas, not everything I wanted to accomplish. Maybe my goals are set too high. I keep telling myself I’m getting old and I’m slowing down, a lot! But aren’t we all.

Besides putting mulch down on everything in our back yard, power washing the patio and the deck, hubby and I put together new shelving in the garage….whew! And all done in a week.

And I wonder why I don’t get my writing under control. Well here I sit in my favorite coffee haus drinking my latte and trying to get the blog out (which should have been out yesterday). But, well, a day late again.

I’m working again on genealogy, mine plus the history of Cibolo. The book was finished several years ago but it has been brought to the forefront once again. So, my friend (co-author) and I are working diligently to enhance the book and get it published shortly in a new format, new cover, and new information added.

Ancestry tombstone poem We were out taking pictures of old cemeteries and old houses the other day to add to the book. If anyone knows someone that has some old pictures of Cibolo or information you think the public would like to read about,  please e-mail me and let me know.  I’m putting a time line to the city and it’s surroundings. I love time lines. I’ve done them on my parents and it’s helped me a lot piecing together where they were at certain times. I highly recommend this for anyone trying to figure out where their ancestors lived and moved to. It gives you a much better picture of their lives.

So I guess I should get the show on the road and get to writing. Until then my friend………….

 

 

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LIVING WITH SANDIE LEE

I love looking out my back door at the yard. The neatly trimmed grass, the flowering trees and bushes, and the little hummingbird that has staked out his personal domain in one of my trees.red hibiscis treeHe flutters from one hibiscus to another.

red hibiscis       salmon hibiscis On to the scull cap and Esperanza bush. scull cap and esparansa When he’s ready to fly off he stops by the crepe myrtles. lilac crepe myrtle  red crepe myrtle Then the next day he’s back again. You’d think all the flowers would be drained dry, but thanks to our wonderful creator there is more than enough to supply the little creature the next day.

I used to hang cute little feeders on the tree branches so they’d fill up, but a few years ago I noticed I didn’t need them. The flowers were a welcomed filling station and all I have to do is keep everything watered. I think I can do that. And sit on the patio to watch the show.

Since visiting with my brother, the master gardener, I decided to start my own compost pile. I’ll have to keep you posted on that.

So my friends, until then………………….

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