Friday, June 19, 2009

For Mom: The Headstone of your Great Grandmother

Catheryne Faulkner Mill, whose first name I have always thought was spelled with a "K", came over to Salt Lake City in approximately 1879, as a widow with her two youngest daughters, leaving her newly married oldest daughter behind in Germany.
Later she sent for her young son, who was brought to Salt Lake by one of her brothers.

(The small square in the fore ground is Catheryne's grave)
About ten years later the oldest married daughter Elizabeth came to Salt Lake City with her husband and first three daughters.

A few years later my grandfather was born, my mom's dad.

My grandfather and his mom and dad and brothers and sisters traveled back to Germany a few times...some of the children were born American, others were born German.

The Salt Lake City Cemetery is about a mile from where I work. I was able to look up death and burial records on a Utah government website, and discovered Catheryne was buried in the old city cemetery. By taking a long break at work and and asking a few questions of the knowledgeable cemetery staff, I was soon looking in the right area of the grounds, expecting to see the older style upright headstone.

At first I was disappointed because I didn't see her name. Then I went up another row and saw a marker half buried in the lawn. An indentation in the lawn caught my eye; I swiped at it and there was the name I was looking for.

I wonder when her marker had been crafted, and by what family member. It is clearly a newer marker, as the letters are clearly cut.

Next time you visit Mom, we'll go by and maybe your cousin who lives here will come too. Perhaps she will have some answers for us about that.
And perhaps one of you might remember a story or two that you might have heard about the Great Grandmother from Germany that you never had a chance to meet, as she had been gone eleven years or so by the time you were born.

Maybe we can even do some research and find someone who is a great grandchild of hers by her youngest daughter...and maybe she or he will have a photograph of her to add to our family pictures. Seems likely, doesn't it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Jeff's Garden

Oh was I ever jealous to learn that a California quail had nested in Jeff's flower bed while he was on his honeymoon! I saw pictures he took of the little mama on her nest...and was eagerly awaiting the news of fluffy little baby quail exploring amongst the flowers.

The big day came...Jeff watched the babies hatch, got some pictures...and then as he put it "Rachel scared them away."

She adamantly denies this...but as soon as the chicks hatched (I believe there were sixteen eggs, and a few didn't hatch and a few chicks didn't survive) Mama bird moved her little family somewhere else.

Somewhere without a big old Iraq gray cat...and people going in and out all the time. I'm sure Mama Quail was pretty dismayed to learn that the quiet garden had only been a temporary state of affairs.

There have been lots of Mr. & Mrs. Quail couples around our neighborhood this spring, and I am hoping that a least of few of them will eventually take their families for a stroll through our garden, just to modestly show off their adorable offspring.

(Jeff has a history with rescuing baby quail, you can read about it here. Recently he rescued baby ducks that had washed into a storm drain too. Yes, he is a legend in the avian world...)

In other garden views: the pods left behind from the blue Lily of Nile bloom. Nice structure!

A blue iris, with spent blooms also adding their beauty to the view.

Yellow snapdragons sorely needing childish fingers to help them bite.

White, pink and red strawberries demonstrating riping progression.
Jeff brought a large ziplock bag full of his strawberries to us the other day. They are a small variety, with abundant fruit; his two plants are providing more than enough berries for them, and are sweeter than any of the large berries being offered in the stores.
Ummm...berry season!
Last night I went to bed right after work, around 6, and slept until six this morning. Maybe I will finally stop being exhausted from all the preparation work I put into the party.
Maybe this weekend I will finally just be able to relax and enjoy being home. (Especially if it will quit raining...this has been an amazingly rainy June according to all reports. I am hoping for an equally amazing wildflower season because of it.)
One thing I really do need to do around here is read all my new appliance manuals. Especially my microwave oven, that has more options that I can understand and works as both microwave and regular oven. Frozen pasta meals remain brick hard, while frozen chicken comes out wonderfully moist and tender. Clearly I am missing some technical detail!
I am also missing a new rug. The fabulous orange rug was to arrive in 7-10 days. Yesterday I called the company we ordered from, and quizzed the person on the line.
When we ordered, we had explained that we had already spoken to the company who is the vendor for that rug and that they were TOTALLY out of the rug...and that we were interested in ordering the rug from the company in Oregon ONLY IF they actually had the rug in their OWN warehouse.
We were assured that yes indeed they did own that rug, and that it was in their own warehouse, and it would be shipped immediately.
Yesterday's conversation revealed that actually they don't have their own warehouse, that instead they order from the rug vendor (the folks who we know are totally out of the rug...forever....) and that they were sorry for the mis-information and would refund our money.
What is wrong with people these days???
So we are back at square one on the rug hunt.
Except I just don't feel much like hunting right now.
In other news: Our contractor has now removed all his tools from our garage....a clear sign that at last all work is DONE!
Well, almost done. The heated tile system isn't working...he'll still have to trouble shoot that before getting paid.
Every room still has one or two little details that we personally will need to address.
Maybe someday I will have the energy to actually want to do something about those little details.
But for now...I happy with things just as they are.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The SLC wedding reception

The garden was beautiful. The deck was neatly arranged for guests to enjoy. Downstairs there were new colorful pillows on the couch.
The guests arrived...and the rain arrived...and everyone crowded into the living room and dining room instead..

More people were in the kitchen....

I guess I'm losing my blogger touch...these are the only pictures I took that came out half way good.
Pity I didn't get a picture of the Hawaiian pulled pork, Macadamian chocolate cake, fruit kabobs, Maui Onion Potato Chips, Asian Chicken, Asian salad, Brown Rice....
Or of some of the guests down in my hat room discovering what wearing a great hat is like.

When the rain stopped we got another family picture on the deck...this time the engaged couple have become a married fact the party was held on the one year anniversary of their first date.

A good time was had by all!

And boy am I glad that the "getting the house ready" is now FINISHED!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Devil is in the Details...

It was years ago that I first heard the expression: "The Devil is in the details."

At the time it meant that small details can de-rail the truth, and de-rail good plans.

I appreciated reading commentary that points out details that reveal important truths lurking beneath the surface of a global address by Mr. Obama.

For instance: I appreciate the commentor noting that true Christians never speak of Jesus as being currently dead.
The fact that He arose from the dead is what Christianity is all about!

Also that Christians speak of only the Bible as "Holy."

All political and academic institutions refer to the Holy Bible as simply "The Bible." Students are taught to do the same in our public schools.
They supposedly are also taught to refer to all religious writings sans the term "Holy"-and that to apply the word "Holy" indicated that the writings are sacred and true to the individual speaking.

Yes... once again I had missed a few details that definitely had the devil in them....
In case you had missed is the article for your benefit:

America's first Muslim president?
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

During his White House years, William Jefferson Clinton — someone Judge Sonia Sotomayor might call a "white male" — was dubbed "America's first black president" by a black admirer.

Applying the standard of identity politics and pandering to a special interest that earned Mr. Clinton that distinction, Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.

This is not to say, necessarily, that Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim any more than Mr. Clinton actually is black. After his five months in office, and most especially after his just-concluded visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however, a stunning conclusion seems increasingly plausible: The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich.

What little we know about Mr. Obama's youth certainly suggests that he not only had a Kenyan father who was Muslim, but spent his early, formative years as one in Indonesia. As the president likes to say, "much has been made" — in this case by him and his campaign handlers — of the fact that he became a Christian as an adult in Chicago, under the now-notorious Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright.

With Mr. Obama's unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls "the Muslim world" (hereafter known as "the Speech"), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself. Consider the following indicators:

Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." Non-Muslims — even pandering ones — generally don't use that Islamic formulation.

Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed."

Again, "revealed" is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of G-d, as dictated to Muhammad.

Then the president made a statement no believing Christian — certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam — would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day "…when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."

Now, the term "peace be upon them" is invoked by Muslims as a way of blessing deceased holy men. According to Islam, that is what all three were — dead prophets. Of course, for Christians, Jesus is the living and immortal Son of G0d.

In the final analysis, it may be beside the point whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim. In the Speech and elsewhere, he has aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah — notably, the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood — to a degree that makes Mr. Clinton's fabled affinity for blacks pale by comparison.

For example, Mr. Obama has — from literally his inaugural address onward — inflated the numbers and, in that way and others, exaggerated the contemporary and historical importance of Muslim-Americans in the United States. In the Speech, he used the Brotherhood's estimates of "nearly 7 million Muslims" in this country, at least twice the estimates from other, more reputable sources. (Who knows? By the time Mr. Obama's friends in the radical Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) perpetrate their trademark books-cooking as deputy 2010 census takers, the official count may well claim considerably more than 7 million Muslims are living here.)

Even more troubling were the commitments the president made in Cairo to promote Islam in America. For instance, he declared: "I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

(Note from Jill: Where was that found in his oath of office???? And how about negative sterotyping of conservative Christians and Jews? When is he going to take on that?)

He vowed to ensure that women can cover their heads, including, presumably, when having their photographs taken for passports, driver's licenses or other identification purposes. He also pledged to enable Muslims to engage in zakat, their faith's requirement for tithing, even though four of the eight types of charity called for by Shariah can be associated with terrorism. Not surprisingly, a number of Islamic "charities" in this country have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.

Particularly worrying is the realignment Mr. Obama has announced in U.S. policy toward Israel. While he pays lip service to the "unbreakable" bond between America and the Jewish state, the president has unmistakably signaled that he intends to compel the Israelis to make territorial and other strategic concessions to Palestinians to achieve the hallowed two-state solution. In doing so, he ignores the inconvenient fact that both the Brotherhood's Hamas and Abu Mazen's Fatah remain determined to achieve a one-state solution, whereby the Jews will be driven "into the sea."

Whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim or simply plays one in the presidency may, in the end, be irrelevant. What is alarming is that in aligning himself and his policies with those of Shariah-adherents such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the president will greatly intensify the already enormous pressure on peaceful, tolerant American Muslims to submit to such forces — and heighten expectations, here and abroad, that the rest of us will do so as well.