Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Padre Island Sunset

Padre Island National Seashore
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One of the “Family Tree Magazine 40 Best”

This post is coming to you from “the lodge” at Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park, courtesy of their free (Really. Really. Slow.) Wifi. The weather yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. Sunshine and blue skies and the temperature reached a high of 86 degrees, though it didn't feel that hot to me. Probably due to the nice breeze that was blowing all day long. Today, Mother Nature is not quite so kind. It is in the upper 20s and snowing! Fog rolled in during the night and the temperature plummeted. About 10:30 I made my way to the visitors center and joined about 25 other people milling about trying to decide what to do. The weather in the lower elevations isn't much better than it is here in the Chisos Basin.

I came to the lodge for a hot meal and found out that they have Wifi available! So I went back to the van and grabbed the netbook. But the battery is down to 15% with no outlet available so I don't have much time left... Upon checking my email I saw a note from Diane Haddad that mentioned that Family Tree Magazine had announced their selection of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. And Kinexxions made the list!!

It is indeed an honor to be among the other blogs included in the list. Thank you to Family Tree Magazine and especially to everyone who voted for kinexxions. In some respect I feel like an impostor. Blogging and Genealogy in particular, have taken a backseat to travel. Family History posts have recently been few and far between. That doesn't mean there aren't stories to be written or research yet to be done. Far from it. But at this point in time, they aren't a real high priority for me.

I am proud to be a member of the genealogy blogging “geneablogger” community. There are many, many blogs being written by some very creative and talented writers. This community is a group of people who are extremely generous with their research stories, tips, advice, and support for one another. And the community is growing – each new blogger adds something to the whole, making it better than it was before. I look forward to watching it grow.

Thank you and Congratulations to all of the other blogs that made the Family Tree Magazine Fab Forty!

Beachcombing #4

Padre Island National Seashore
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 17, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beachcombing #3

Padre Island National Seashore
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 16th & 17th, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tami...

Happy Birthday! Thank you for everything that you are doing. It is appreciated very much. If it wasn't for you, I very likely wouldn't be on this journey. I love you. Aunt Becky. (Photos were taken in November 1976.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beachcombing #2

Padre Island National Seashore
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 17, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beachcombing #1

Padre Island National Seashore
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 17, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

A "Special" Sunrise!

Why is this sunrise special? 'Tis the anniversary of my birth! The morning of February 17th was a little chilly but it turned out to be a splendid day. A beautiful sunrise. Blue Skies. Sunshine All Day. Temperatures in the upper 60s.

After spending three days in San Antonio with my friend Diana (also a Joslin cousin, 3rd cousin once removed - and thanks Diana for your hospitality!) I checked the weather forecast and saw that Padre Island and Corpus Christi were supposed to have several really nice days, I headed back east. I wasn't disappointed.

I arrived at Padre Island National Seashore at about noon on Tuesday to clear skies and sunshine and left on Thursday morning with gray clouds blanketing the sky and blocking out the sun. But it was still warm! Two days of strolling the beach and soaking up the vitamin D. Quite nice, thank you very much.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Greetings from... Texas!

First, let me say to all of you in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and everywhere else that has been hit by the big storms this past week that you have my sympathy. Mother Nature has really outdone herself this winter! It gets better though, well, maybe worse. I heard on the news this evening that Vancouver is having unseasonably warm weather, and the Olympics are starting tomorrow. Not good timing.

Speaking of good timing, I'm still trying to find warmer weather. There was sleet in southern Louisiana when I left there this morning. It rained all day as I drove west toward Texas. I sure am glad I'm going south instead of north though. The Dallas-Ft. Worth area got about 9 inches of snow today. Northern Louisiana, where I spent two weeks in January trying to get warm, has gotten several inches too. New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola could get an inch or so of the white stuff.

It's just rain where I'm at right now (near Beaumont). But that could turn to an icy mess overnight if temperatures go much lower. The rain and snow are supposed to be out of Texas by morning and sunshine is supposed to return as well as somewhat warmer temperatures. Warmer being in the 50-60 range during the day and 30-40 range at night. I'll settle for that for now ;-)

The “plan” is to go a little further south along the Gulf Coast, then west through San Antonio, then to Big Bend National Park, then north again to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and maybe some points in-between, then... well, there's no “plan” that far ahead. No timetable either, I may be here awhile...

Sunset at Big Lagoon

By the time I returned to the campground Sunday evening, a chill had set in and the wind had picked up. It was downright cold compared to early afternoon. But it was a nearly cloudless sky and there was already an orange hue enveloping the night. You didn't think I'd let it pass without taking a few pictures, did you?

Across the water, signs of “civilization” abound. In fact, condominiums, houses, and businesses are on three sides of the state park, but somehow it stills seems isolated and distant.

Clouds dancing above the observation tower.

Yes, I know, it is similar to the one above, but zoomed in and from a different angle. I like how the colors reflect off the railing and the water. The color changes in the sky during sunset never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gulf Islands National Seashore

My second sojourn in Florida was nearly at it's end. And, finally, about noon on Sunday the gray clouds disappeared and the sun made it's glorious appearance. I drove the few miles to Gulf Islands National Seashore, just across the bridge on Perdido Key.

It was beautiful. I leisurely walked along the shores of Perdido Key for several hours and though I still needed a light jacket, it was warm! The sunshine on my face never felt so good!

White Sand. Blue Sky. Blessed Sunshine!

Lots of little shells.
The “big” one in the center was about three-quarters of an inch across.

Sand monster.

Abstract art. Courtesy of Mother Nature.

White Sand. Blue Sky. Blessed Sunshine!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Big Lagoon State Park

Located 10 miles southwest of Pensacola, Big Lagoon State Park is named for the lagoon bordering a portion of the northern shore of Perdido Key. Compared to some Florida state parks, Big Lagoon is on the small side but it has several nice trails and admittance to it also gives you access to two other state parks in the area. I loved the campground. Most sites were large enough to accommodate a bus-size RV and there was some degree of privacy with shrubs and trees separating most sites.

My first day there (Wednesday, February 3rd) was beautiful, until late afternoon when the clouds rolled in. It rained that night and for most of the next two days. My neighbors lost the rain-fly of their tent one night, blown off by the wind. They and everything in the tent got soaked. They were not happy campers ;-)

The campsite. The Picnic table and fire ring are hidden behind the van.

Taken on the first day at the park.

The lagoon and marsh area. Also taken on the first day.

Towards sunset on Friday the sky started to clear and I was hopeful that there would be some sunshine the next day, but it was not to be. It remained cloudy and overcast for two more days.

It was still rather cloudy at 5 o'clock on Friday.

But by 5:25 most of the clouds had been blown away by the wind.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Closest Thing to a Valentine

In all of the photo albums and family papers of my grandmother's, I haven't come across any valentines or love letters written by or to anyone. None. Zilch. Nada. And I don't have any personal valentines (that I'd care to share). So with my birthday being just 3 days after Valentines Day, I thought these cards might be good substitutes for inclusion in the 20th edition of Smile For The Camera. My niece Carrie made them a “few” years ago (when she was 9 or 10 years old). The images were previously published here on kinexxions in July 2009.

The 2009 iGene Awards for Kinexxions

Created by Jasia, the iGene Awards are a bit unusual as far as awards go. There is no actual competition, no pitting one genea-blogger against another. Rather, the iGene Awards provide an opportunity for us to be able to recognize and honor what we consider to be our best blog posts for the past year, in five categories. Not an easy task to make the selection by any means.

1. Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2009. Tell us which you liked best and why.

I really, really like the Wiseman Siblings and the photo of Aunt Pat and Uncle Bob is one of my all time favorites but I've selected Little Darlings! Who are you? as this years' winner. They are some of my unknowns and they are rather unusual photographs. They aren't ancestors, but they are likely relatives, though I still don't know who they are!

2. Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?

For this category, it would have to be the series of posts written about how my grandmother connected with her 2nd cousin, Irwin Joslin. It likely wouldn't play to a wide audience, but it is sure to have genealogists riveted to their seats. Yeah, right.

Angela Lansbury would be perfect for the role of my grandmother. And how about Sam Elliott to portray Irwin? I just love Sam's voice, among other things. And maybe Megan Smolenyak could take on the role of Mrs. Wessler? If not, perhaps one of the actors from the History Detectives would.
3. Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?

It would be interesting to see how Ken Burns might handle a topic like Warnings Out in New England. The entry for my ancestor, recorded in Jonas Joslin :: Warning Out, 1814 wasn't really very informative, but in reading through some of the other entries in the ledger at the Town Clerk's Office in Charlotte and in the Rollins book, it appears to me that there are some incredible stories therein that could and should be told.

4. Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?

In looking over my posts, I see that I didn't really write any other biographies last year! Books have been written about The Reverend Mr. Stoever, a controversial character for his time. My little piece about John Caspar Stoever and the Hebron Lutheran Church certainly doesn't do him justice.

5. Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2009?

Ah, well. 'Twas just a little prank for April Fool's day, but I can't help dreaming of receiving, The Best Gift - Ever!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Genea-Bloggers Meet in Pensacola!

I've been enjoying my stay here in Pensacola amidst a little sunshine and lots of rain, but at least the temperature has been bearable.

One day as I was perusing the never-ending list of blogs that I subscribe too I remembered that there was someone staying nearby. So I sent off an email and was pleased to learn that Carol of Reflections From the Fence was indeed nearby and willing to meet up for lunch. After a little hitch in the plans (her hubby, aka "Man" was sick and had to pay a visit to a clinic for meds) we met at the Vallarta Restaurant and spent a very pleasant couple of hours visiting and talking about a lot of different things. Good company, good food. Nothing's better than that. Thanks Carol.

Carol wrote about our visit and posted a photo taken by Man while in the restaurant. I had left my camera in the van and when we came outside it was raining, so I didn't get any photos of us.

But I can't have a post about my trip without including a photo ;-) ... these were taken on February 3rd at Big Lagoon State Park, southwest of Pensacola.

At 2:20 p.m. there were blue skies and sunshine.

An hour later the clouds had moved in.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Travelin' thru Tennessee

As I left Indiana on Sunday morning, I wasn't too concerned with what the weather was doing in Kentucky and Tennessee. According to reports, the ice and snow would have finished falling before I got there. And the reports were right, but it sure did leave a "mess" all along the I-40 corridor from Oklahoma to the Carolinas and Virginia. Interstate 65 was clear all the way but through Nashville the exit and entrance ramps were in horrible shape and from what I saw on the news many of the secondary roads were still snow covered and icy this morning.

When I left Nashville yesterday morning, the sun was shining brightly and blue skies abounded. In the aftermath of the winter storm, Mother Nature left behind a wonderland of ice coated trees, grass, and bushes. These photos were taken as I was driving on I-65 between Nashville and Columbia on Monday morning. The bottom photo was taken through the (very dirty, salt coated) driver's side window. Once over the mountains and south of Columbia, there was no ice or snow and the temperature was a balmy 50 degrees. Nice.