I mentioned in the last post that I would be getting rid of my other web sites. My on;y problem with that is that I think there is some good stuff on those sites and I hate to just let it go away.
As a solution, I am going to import my blog posts from the Great Genealogy Blog into this one. The genealogy site will be deleted to avoid duplicate content. Then I will review each of them and keep the ones I like the best. You will be able to see them by sorting for the category Genealogy.
I will also go through my 3D printing blog and possibly add some posts from there.
Before I retired, I thought retirement would mean I had more time to pursue my own projects. In some ways that is true. I can now spend my time doing what I want to not what a "boss" tells me to. Still, I never have enough time to do everything I want to do.
This blog is a good example. I have had the best intentions about keeping it up and making regular entries. Obviously, that hasn't worked out for me. A big part of the reason is that I have five web sites to maintain. What that means for me is that none of them get the attention they deserve.
Because I think Winging It is the most important of my web sites, I am going to concentrate on this one and eliminate the rest of them.
As the other sites expire, I will not be renewing the domain registration on them. For my genealogy and 3d printing sites, I will post my activities in those hobbies on this blog. I will also keep my Facebook pages devoted to those hobbies.
My marketing web sites will just go away. I am retired after all and I don't choose to keep promoting those sites.
So, here is a brief report on what I have been up to lately. Sort of a "how I spent my summer" report.
Our Grandson Max still stays with us two days a week and we love having him visit. We had several outings to carnivals and events with him this summer. He is four years old now and really keeps us going when he is here!
In late June and early July, we took a road trip to Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. We were celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary with this get-away.
From Door County, we drove to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to catch the SS Badger car ferry across Lake Michigan. In the more than twenty five years we have been going to Michigan, we had never gone by ferry so we wanted this experience. It is a four hour trip but a relaxing way to travel. We arrived in Ludington, Michigan in the evening and spent one night there.
The next morning we drove north to Arcadia and checked into the Pleasant Valley Resort Motel. This place is a family tradition. Georgia stayed there several times as a child and her and I stay there every time we go to the area. It was our base for the next few days.
From Arcadia, we made day trips to Glen Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Maple City (where Georgia's family is from), and generally exploring the area. On one rainy day we even visited a casino.
The next day we went to the flea market for a day of shopping and lunch. That night we had dinner at the Blue Gate Restaurant.
The next day was spent shopping in downtown Shipshewana and visiting some of the countryside. We had dinner at a local spot a friend recommended.
That night, we both got ill with what we assumed was food poisoning. In the morning, Georgia was feeling better but I was still pretty sick. We just stayed in the hotel all day while Georgia did some laundry from the trip. That night, Georgia was feeling sick again too.
Out last destination of the trip was going to be Fort Wayne to do some genealogy research at the Allen County Library. Since we were both still sick, we debated about going there or going back home. In the end, we decided to go to Fort Wayne since it was a short drive. If we felt better we would go on with the research. If we didn't feel good, we could rest in the hotel. We were both sure we would be better soon.
We made a stop at the library but Georgia was getting pretty sick again and I was still feeling bad myself. We called the hotel and asked if we could check in early. They said it was OK so we did that.
The next morning, I was still feeling a little bad but I was OK to drive home. Georgia was still pretty sick. That drive back to Wauconda seemed like it would never end!
The day after we returned, I was doing a lot better but Georgia wasn't. Her doctor told her she should go to the emergency room so we went. She ended up being admitted to the hospital and was there for almost two weeks.
To top it all off, we learned that our credit card number had been stolen and several thousand dollars charged to it. MasterCard caught the fraud and, in the end, we didn't have to pay any of the charges. Still, it took almost two months to the investigation completed and a new card issued.
So, what started out as a great trip ended up a with a horrible last couple of days.
My Grandmother's maiden name was Dearhamer and this summer, the Dearhamer family held a reunion in Bruce, Wisconsin. Georgia and I just had to go up there for it.
The reunion was held at Trails End Youth Camp in Bruce and was very well attended. It was great to see so many aunts, uncles and cousins gathered together.
We were only able to stay in Bruce for a couple days but it was a very nice visit.
Besides these special events, we have made a couple short trips to Wisconsin Dells over the summer and one other trip to Michigan.
Georgia is on a planning committee for her 50th high school reunion which is coming up next year. We made the trip to Michigan so she could attend a committee meeting in person. For most of them, she is on a net meeting.
We took a couple extra days while we were there so we could visit family and friends in the area.
Now that summer is over, we are starting to make our fall and winter plans. I am going to try to stay up to date with this blog. Eliminating my other sites will be a big help I am sure.
Our Arizona vacation is done and we will be back home on New Years day. I hope you all had a great holiday season!
Welcome to 2017. I hope it is the best year ever!
I know it has been a long time since I posted here. We have been busy enjoying my retirement and time just gets away from me.
Still, I didn’t want to let Christmas go by without a new post.
Georgia and I will be in Arizona for Christmas this year so, I am sharing two videos this time.
First, as I have done every year, is a version of Silent Night. This time I am going back to a Gaelic version by Enja since I haven’t used that for a few years.
The second video is to commemorate our holiday trip to the southwest. It is called Arizona Christmas by Dave Vitagliano. I hope you enjoy this one too.
A very Merry Christmas to all our friends and family,
Tom and Georgia
I know, I have been lax about posting for a while – again. We haven’t been doing any traveling for a while now.
In my last post I said that Georgia was scheduled to have hip replacement surgery in May. That surgery went well and she is now in the rehab stage of recovery. She has been getting physical therapy at home three days a week. Next week she will start going to a local facility for out-patient therapy for another four to six weeks. After that, we wont have to stay so close to home.
We have been talking about getting a 3D printer for a while now but just hadn’t gotten around to it. So, while we have been home more, I started looking into them.
There are a lot of commercial 3D printers available now but I couldn’t find one that has all the feature I want. I plan on getting into 3D printing as a hobby so I want a printer that I can modify and expand as I learn more. To get what I want, I decided I would build my own from a kit.
I have ordered the kit I chose and it should be delivered soon. I will post occasional updates here but, I have also started a new website just about 3D printing for hobbyists. If this is a subject you are interested it, you can see the new site at 3DHobbyist.com. I hope you will enjoy it.
Well, our Kodiak travel trailer just left our driveway for the last time.
It has new owners now and it is off on other adventures without us.
Because of health issues we have noy used the trailer since August of last year. Now, Georgia is having hip replacement surgery next month so most of this summer she will be doing rehab. We decided it was better to sell the Kodiak to people who can get good use out of it than to let it set motionless.
Maybe some day will have another RV. The Kodiak was our fifth so it certainly is possible there will be more. For now though, the parking space next to the garage is empty.
Do I hear a fishing boat calling my name?
On Wednesday of last week, Georgia and I took a “cabin fever” break by making a short two night trip to Wisconsin Dells.
We stayed at our favorite hotel in Baraboo and spent much of our time at Ho-Chunk casino. They had a promotion going on that awarded rewards play for certain tasks. 10 points for dining at one of the casino venues, 10 for signing up for the newsletter and others. We each ended up with $50 dollars of free slot play.
It was nice to get away during the winter and we ended up doing just a little better than break even so we were happy.
When we got up Friday morning, Georgia had a message on her phone telling her that Virgina,her mother-in-law from her first marriage, had died during the night. It wasn’t totally unexpected since she was 90 years old and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years. This was Angeli’s grandmother and Max’s great grandmother. So, we started planning a trip to Michigan for the funeral.
We got home Friday night with the intention of staying there a couple nights then leaving for Grand Rapids. Saturday we learned that the viewing and funeral would both be held on Wednesday so we decided to wait until Tuesday to go.
We went through our usual routine with Max staying at our house Sunday afternoon to Tuesday. He didn’t really understand what going on a trip was all about, since this was going to be his first, but he was excited that something was going on. He must have heard someone talk about a family trip because when we talked to him about it he would always say; “A trip with my family.”
Tuesday we loaded the car and got going about noon. The forecast was for show showers in Grand Rapids but nothing serious. That would turn out to be wrong!
We dropped Max off earlier than usual because he would be going with his parents. From their home in Chicago we continued our trip east. The roads we good for the first part of the drive.
We had decided to stay inland away from Lake Michigan to try and avoid lake effect snow but still, when we were still about 100 miles from Grand Rapids, we hit the first light snow. It was melting on contact so it was just making the road wet.
The closer we got, the harder it was snowing. As the sun went down, the wet road turned to slush and then to snow covered ice. Our last 30 miles we were only going 30 to 40 miles an hour and the last 10 was more like 25 MPH.
We were relieved when we got to the hotel but we knew that Angeli, Edwin and Max were still behind us since they left later than we did. We could only hope the plows and salt trucks were out doing their job.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They had even worse conditions than we did and for a longer distance. What should have been a 3 hour trip ended up taking them 4 1/2 hours and was white knuckles for the last 1/3 of the way. Everyone of us was very glad when the arrived about 11:30 PM.
Wednesday the weather was clear and the main roads were good. Georgia and I got to the funeral home about 10 AM for gathering of Virgina’s immediate family. Then at 11 the visitation for the public began. Angeli and Edwin slept in a little after their harrowing drive of the night before but they got there with Max before the funeral at 1 PM.
Max was a big hit with all the relatives he hadn’t met before. There is nothing shy about him. He was happy to talk to everybody. The only problem was that he couldn’t stop talking when the service was about to start so Edwin took him to a room reserved just for such occasions. Speakers on the wall let them hear what was going on so they weren’t completely left out.
After the funeral service, we went to the church for a late lunch. Max got to run around and burn off some energy there at least.
That night we met up with friends for dinner before turning in to rest up before the drive home.
When we got up Thursday morning it was snowing again. Luckily though the roads were just wet so we went ahead and made the drive back home. The last 2/3 of the trip was on dry roads.
Any time we have to travel in the winter around the Great Lakes it can be a challenge. Lake effect snow can pop up on one or the other side of Lake Michigan anytime the wind blows. Sometimes though, we just have to go anyway.
I hope you all have a wonderful 2016.
A couple years ago I told the story of a priest named Joseph Mohr of St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria and how he and Franz Gruber came to write the carol Silent Night. They sang it, accompanied by guitar, on Christmas Eve 1818.
But, what happened after that night when the two preformed the carol for the first time? Here, with the most reliable information I could find, is the rest of the story of how Silent Night became one of the most beloved Christmas songs all over the world.
A master organ builder named Karl Mauracher, traveled to Oberndorf several times to work on the church organ. On one of those visits, he got copy of the composition and took it home with him. The simple carol began it’s journey around the world.
Two families of folk singers incorporated the song into their repertoire. According to the Leipziger Tageblatt, the Strasser family sang the song at a concert in Leipzig in 1832. The Rainer Family sang the Christmas carol in front of Emperor Franz I and Tsar Alexander I. Then, in 1839, the Rainers performed “Stille Nacht” at the Alexander Hamilton Monument near Trinity Church in New York City.
In the 1840s, Joseph Bletzacher, opera singer from Hannover, stated that the carol was already popular in Lower Saxony. Supposedly it became the favorite Christmas carol of King Frederick William IV of Prussia.
By this time, Joseph Mohr had died and name of the composer had been forgotten. Although Franz Gruber had written the music the German authorities now attributed the lyrics to him and the melody was assumed to have been written by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven – depending on who was reporting the history. The controversy was resolved when a long-lost copy of “Stille Nacht” Joseph Mohr own had was authenticated. In the upper right hand corner, Mohr wrote, “Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber.”
Franz Gruber composed several orchestral arrangements of Stille Nacht during his lifetime. But, the original guitar arrangement is the one closest to how Father Mohr originally envisioned the song.
Despite attempts to attribute the work to famous composers, real story of Silent Night and it’s world wide impact is much more wonderful. The inspiring lyrics came from the heart of a simple parish priest. The melody was composed by a local musician who none outside of his village had heard of. No celebrity or state orchestra preformed it at its premiere. Yet its powerful message of heavenly peace played on a single guitar and sung on Christmas Eve in a village church has crossed all borders and torn down all language barriers, touching the hearts of people everywhere.
So, image yourself in St Nicholas church on Christmas Eve, 1818 as you listen to the carol in the video below.
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