Random 5 for September 2 – Ancestry research, calm, learning, recipes, summer

Going back down that rabbit hole – With the weather still unsettling (that means humid, rainy and generally yucky) I’ve decided to go back to my ancestry research. I took the summer off, only updating as I came across information. One of my cousins died recently and the obituary listed all his kids. (There were ten.) I had remembered all but one. I just could not remember that name! Now I have it.

Why does a Type A personality do ancestry research? – It’s peaceful. I am the last person anyone would expect to enjoy looking at old microfiche in different languages. The repetitive nature is somehow calming and there is a challenge to it. I’d be hard pressed to admit that it’s more calming than a mocha latte or a margarita but it is calming.

Can I still learn? – Since all of the old country records are in foreign languages (Latin for the Catholic records and German/Hungarian for the civil), I’ve considered learning one. I can decipher Latin. (Yes, those Latin classes all those years ago have finally paid off. Thank you Sister Catalda, you old bat!) I need to learn German or Hungarian. Through an introductory session on Babel I found that I know some German. My parents spoke it so I learned through osmosis! (Much limited though. Mostly revolving around body needs – bathroom, when are we eating, where’s the beer, and of course, who and how are you!) Any suggestions (or encouragement) welcome. Looking on-line I was stunned at how expensive the sessions are (and how bad the reviews are). I prefer that to attending a community college because of the flexibility.

My mother’s homemade strudel recipe.

Along the same lines – I have been collecting old ethnic recipes like the ones my mother used to make. I have some of her basics but there were a few I am missing. Like many great cooks, my mother did not use recipes except for cakes. She just knew. I don’t. I need a recipe. The difficulty is that I only know the phonetic pronunciation of the dish. It’s hard to google something when you don’t know how to spell it.

The last summer holiday – It’s a holiday weekend here. The last one before we move into fall. This summer was marked with really lousy weather and most events were rained out. Older wusses like me don’t like to sit outside in rain or high humidity. What I did was to read a whole lot more than I had in the past. I also did more creative cooking. When one thing doesn’t work out the way you expect (summer weather), you substitute something else equally satisfying (while still whining all the way).

On Friday my blog had its 7th anniversary. Woot, woot! I didn’t think I’d have enough flap-doodle to write about this long!

So how was your week?

 

 

94 thoughts on “Random 5 for September 2 – Ancestry research, calm, learning, recipes, summer

  1. Kate, on the language lessons – you can do it! Either online or an in-person class should work, and you will have fun! On the recipes, I have quite a few German and otherwise central Europe-y recipes from my family. Let me know what you are looking for – I may be able to help out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been looking for something my mother called “oish-stats.” (I made up the spelling.) Closest I found is yorkshire pudding. It’s an eggy batter that is baked and tastes much like yorkshire pudding. I recently found oishmon which is that pan fried version that is similar. My mother made those two on meatless Fridays with a salad. Loved them. I refer to them as scrambled pancakes to non-Austrian folks although it didn’t have any baking soda/powder in it.

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  2. Congrats on your blogiversary – and thanks for all the hilarity you post.
    Geneology is fascinating to me because of all the stories you discover – much better than fiction. And it’s challenging mystery to figure out. – no way boredom can intrude. (wish I’d been allowed to take Latin).
    We had rain all weekend…and 60% of the same for the next 3 days. Artificial turf is beginning to sound preferable to soggy sod…another reason we can’t take in another dog.

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  3. I’ve been going through old photos and family keepsakes and came across some genealogical info I had never added to our “tree” and think that going into the fall I am going to dive back into our ancestry “logging” as well. And I love that you’re adding an increased interest in the family recipes. That’s something I haven’t really done and you have me wondering what I might do that would be ‘assed along to my grandchildren. Keep us posted on your research. I find it interesting!

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  4. Happy blogversary! I agree with you about ancestry research being calming. It really takes you out of the present stresses and it’s not something you can “win or lose” at–and there is no end to it, so you just have to be in the moment with it. I am just floored at you learning hard languages. I could never do that today! YOU GO, GIRL! I am so impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never said I’d be able to speak it. I want to understand words as I’m reading them. I could use a big cheat sheet but getting the flavor is fun. There are some things that floor me. On the baptism registry, there is a column for legitimate or illegitimate. Can’t imagine seeing that now.

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      • LOL! When I was in grad school I had to satisfy two foreign languages. That means you have to score at a certain number in a very elaborate lengthy exam. The first one I took was German. I took it correspondence course. Remember those?! I got an A. I could read and write it like crazy. I never learned to speak it or understand it spoken. And soon I forgot all I HAD learned! Very very short term. What a language loser.
        Yes, there is that on older American records, too.

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  5. Have to say I snorted into my coffee at this comment, “Thank you Sister Catalda, you old bat!” — HA HA didn’t we all have at least one “old bat” teacher? I did. She was old and crunchy and should have retired vs. teaching grade 4. She yelled a lot. This was a fun post!! And good on you for digging into the ancestry records; there’s a lot to be found, I’m sure. I loved that so many comments offered helpful suggestions re apps (I’m an app novice so those responses were a learning experience for me, too!) Happy Labor Day!

    MJ

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    • That nun made me nuts. My grade was her last assignment before retirement (at what seemed like age 90!). I’m not convinced that she hated kids especially the 7th and 8th grade age. She yelled at me once because my pencil was a number 3 instead of a number 2. Seriously?

      Like

  6. Years ago, I worked on my Spanish vocabulary for a while with a thing called freerice. Basically it was a website that gave you the word and you had a multiple choice set of options to translate it. Every time you did a word a grain of rice was donated to famine relief. My goal was to feed one meal per day. It worked until I ran out of new words and knew all the ones in the app.

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  7. There’s a whole community of folks on Twitter that love Duolingo for learning foreign languages. I have no idea how expensive it is, but they enjoy it.

    I’d like to retake Spanish at the local community college myself. I’ve forgotten quite a bit, and it would be useful in Los Angeles, for sure.

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  8. My father was German but my mother wasn’t so it was never spoken in the house and my mother always regretted he never taught me how to speak German. I hear an ad every day on WWJ AM for a radical new language learning app and for the life of me I can’t remember what it is – since I’m not trying to learn a language, it goes in one ear and out the other, but they tout it over Babel. I Googled around to find the name and saw this link and maybe it sheds some light on the subject. Do you have a smartphone? I don’t – just a flip phone and more and more the world is for the smartphone user. Seven years for your blog. Congratulations! I just passed my five-year anniversary in February. I’ll keep my ears open for the name of this language learning app and let you know. Here is the link with pros and cons of some apps: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-21/five-language-learning-apps-tested-and-reviewed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything is getting to be smart phone apps. I have one but use it only for texts and the occasional on the fly look-up. The print is too small to do any significant work on it. Sure wish they had been around when I was young. I spent so much time hanging around the house waiting for a call! 🙂 Even with all the German going on in my family, by the time I came along, it was all English.

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      • When my tiny cellphone I’d had since 2002 had to be upgraded to 3G since AT&T no longer supported 2G cellphones, I got a smartphone. Since I work from home and just really wanted the phone for emergencies I got one around $89.00. I practiced on it, couldn’t really get the swiping down pat, and learned to text on it, but it dropped calls when I made them to ensure I knew how to use it in an emergency. I would not receive or send calls half the time, so I got rid of it and got a cellphone. The AT&T clerk said you have to invest in a more-expensive model and I have OnStar in my car, so didn’t feel I should upgrade that much. As to the language, I had to learn French when I lived in Canada, but we moved to the States when I was 10, so I never studied French again until college. But, even after three years of it, I could not have a conversation in French to save my life. My friend Carol (with the cats) is very interested in genealogy and with her Ancestry software and using the DNA testing kit as well, she has traced both parents back many generations. She has been working on her tree for years. She discovered we were related something like 11 times removed on my maternal grandfather’s side – her relatives also came from Quebec. Carol has a professional genealogist she has used to track down ancestors in Germany and has had success with him. Carol had searched for my father’s whereabouts in the past (he left my mother in 1984 and took all the money in their joint accounts and annuity funds) and fled the country. He left her penniless and she was only 58, too young for Social Security. Luckily the house was paid for. We believed he returned to Germany where he lived until emigrating to Canada around 1950 when they met. Carol did an extensive search, but no luck. I didn’t want to say “hey, how are you doing” – I wanted to know if he dead/alive for my peace of mind. Earlier this year, Carol had this gentleman working on a project for her – he finished up quickly and he asked “anything else?” She asked about my father. He was able to track him down after I supplied proof of my relationship to him (I scanned in my driver’s license and my birth certificate, his birth certificate and my parents’ marriage license which I had in the safety deposit box, and a letter authorizing him to do the search). My father was found in a small town in Germany and there is a monthly newsletter of births/deaths/special events that he discovered. He found he had remarried a woman 15 years his junior. I need to check the newsletter link and see if he is still alive. He is 91 years old now. This genealogist was kind to do this for Carol/me – there was no charge, likely as Carol is such a good customer. If you ever need to find anything over in Germany, here is his contact info:

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the info. Technically, my ancestors are from Austria — the part next to the Hungarian border. With cross migration I’m sure he’s as good at Austrian research as he is at German. If I get stuck, I may pursue that. I have been able to track my direct ancestors back to 1780. That’s about as far as they have records. I’m not sure if I have relatives back there as I haven’t researched all of my grandparents siblings.

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          • I think Austria is close enough as well. I traveled to Austria when I was in Germany and it was beautiful and if I remember correctly the language is similar to German, just a different dialect. We are having another bad storm out there – heard it rumbling for 1/2 an hour – sounds like the end of the world and torrential rain again. If you use Uwe, feel free to mention my name or better yet Carol McCrellias. I sent the personal info to him, but he communicated through Carol and I don’t know if it was because it was a freebie for her or what – but he was nice and professional.

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  9. Wow! Seven years! That’s fantastic.

    I’m glad you found the the tenth kid’s name. I have no tips on learning a new language. I’m just trying to hold onto my English.

    After all my complaining about our smoky weather for a few day, this week our weather has been perfectly lovely. Two of my daughters and family were here from Maryland and eastern WA, so the sunny 70 degree weather was much appreciated and made possible a sailing trip and an afternoon of kayaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I always wondered why our parents and grandparents never really needed recipes. Maybe it’s because there was only a limited number of meals they made and they knew it by heart. After all, there was no cooking channel then…or when we were younger.
    Latin….I don’t know what it is about the language but I always enjoyed those classes in high school. There’s just something about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother had a good collection and rotated but when you make the same 20 or 30 dishes for 20 or 30 years, you get to know them. I always loved languages. Had I grown up in a different age a teacher would have noticed how good I was and encouraged me. Today I’d be retired from an interpreter’s job at the UN. 🙂

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  11. Don’t sell yourself short, you have enough flap-doodle to last at least another 7 years. Happy anniversary! You might want to check out Duolingo. It has a pretty good (free!) app for learning languages. And, if you don’t want to learn but just translate, there are a lot of good apps for that, including ones that will translate printed words (just take a picture of them and the app translates them. Viel gluck!

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  12. Sorry to be so late in popping in, but this JUST showed up on my fb page! I am very interested in the ancestry stuff, but for some reason just have not dug in yet. Did the DNA thing, was contacted by a relative in Australia..but really would like to get more involved. Have loved your blogs ever since the first one. Hope you keep doing it.

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  13. A mocha latte is calming? But it has caffeine in it! Congrats on the blog anniversary– that’s an accomplishment. Whenever we go into used bookstores, my wife head immediately to the cookbooks in the hopes of finding European ones, especially those for baking. She rarely finds any but it’s a huge “woot!” moment when she does. – Marty

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  14. You might find some of the recipes by googling the ingredients with a description of the dish ~ e.g., “recipe for mashed potato with cabbage and onion” ~> Colcannon!

    Congrats on 7 years! And on putting your Latin to use. 😀

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    • At this point I have most of the ones I want. I tried that for something my mother called nut pie but it wasn’t a pie at all. Nada. I did find it in an old church recipe book. You have to keep looking! 🙂 Yes, who ever thought I’d use Latin but I use it more than you would think. Many words have Latin roots.

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  15. Happy Blogaversary. Seven years is a good long time. I was wondering about your ancestry searches. I don’t mind learning new things but I’m not sure a new language would be one of them. Our summer has been cool but we’ve not had rain. We expect to get our heat wave this month and next. Have a great Sunday!

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    • Knowing German would be helpful in reading the old records. I can sort of decipher things (I have a cheat sheet) but understanding it would be better. We are going into another heat wave but hopefully they will soon be over as we move into more fall-like weather.

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  16. Congrats on wanting to stretch and learn another language. As a native born German who’s parents desperately wanted me to become a 100% American, it’s been a disappointment not to have a second language (for the most part) under the belt. It’s constantly impressive when I see Europeans speak multiple languages. May your language skills improve with your ancestry investigation and I hope your Langenscheidt. serves you well.

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  17. I applaud your ancestry research, Kate — and that you find it calming! I had experimented a bit with Ancestry.com while I was still working. I ended up running away screaming (too many shaking green leaves calling to me late at night)! 🙂 I assumed that I would pick it up again once I was retired. So far, nope!

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  18. Happy 7th Anniversary blogging! I love reading here… you make me think, you make me laugh, and on a lot of issues you make me feel like I am not alone in my quirkiness… 🙂 Your Mom’s homemade strudel sounds very good right about now. Your last Random, Last Summer Holiday… love the whole Random, especially the last sentence. Here in Sarasota County, Florida they had their 6th wettest August, lucky us! And we have a tropical wave on its way bringing us a ton more rain. I think our glorified pond is going to turn into a real lake! Glad we are on the second floor! Our week… we found out that CH’s eye is healing very well, the Macular Hole has closed and he has permission to drive. Still no flying. We went to University Town Center which is a very cool mall and we bought some good stuff. I found panels and rods for the Master Bedroom. And we battled tiny red ants that I thought we were going to have to resort to a flame thrower or just burn the place down. They are gone but I don’t trust the little sh$ts so our bug guy is coming Tuesday! A good week all in all. Keep blogging, Kate!

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  19. We went to Prague to help our daughter move to her new job teaching English. She needed a lot of luggage because winters can be cold in central Europe. It is a beautiful city that feels very old fashioned. I can speak some German but can not cope with the central European languages. My daughter has been using duolingo for Czech which is free. I love ancestry research as well.

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  20. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. That’s exciting, how you keep those hits comin.’

    Yes, summer made a brief appearance alright. I can’t quite believe it’s September 2nd. Your pond will be closed soon. I can see frogs packing already while the cats wave good bye from the window. Or is it good riddance?

    Great you read a lot. That’s my philosophy. When all else fails, read.

    Nice list, as always…:)

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  21. Happy Blog birthday Kate. You’re two yeas older than me. We are cooling down over here and the holiday makers are packing up ready for the new school term/year.
    We’ve found a nice little cafe that is dog friendly and does gluten free cakes……. Hubby is working his way through them!

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  22. I can’t recall a summer where the weather has been so unusual. Although every day is hot and extremely humid, we’ve yet to have one big thunderstorm…and practically no rain. Congrats on your anniversary! My 7th is coming up next week, I believe. Enjoy the holiday, Kate!

    Liked by 3 people

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