Monday, February 28, 2011

Hmmm. The Lion showed up on Feb. 28th. An Ominous Sign?

Cotton Candy Day

 Cedar Boughs

 Baby in snow blanket

 Mollie takes a break

 Birch trees

 The necessary machine to get the driveway plowed.

Thorough planning taking place prior to plowing the driveway.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Today's Weather and Dreams of Spring

This morning I woke up to see giant snowflakes and the temperature has warmed to 18 degrees.  If it keeps snowing like this all day we will get at least a foot of new snow!

My petunias are getting their first true leaves.  I will need to transplant them soon.    I collected the seed three years ago from a hybrid wave petunia, so I never know what I am going to get but I usually get a good mix of colors and it saves $$.

The Red Robin tomatoes are now 15 days old.  They are supposed to have ripe tomatoes in 45 days.  It will take longer than that as the temperature in my basement stays at 60 degrees.  I am sure they would prefer a warmer temp.  I also have three more that sprouted yesterday.  
 Sprouted 2/26

I have been harvesting lettuce since November.  This variety was by far the best!  I just replanted the other varieties but these plants are going strong!  Salad anyone?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What did I say about February? Brrr! Ice Cubes!

We are in a deep freeze.  No sign of spring.  Tomorrow and all next week more snow!  Yikes!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ah, February!

I'm back home and it's sunny and cold here.  Yesterday, I went for a walk over to John and Gail's camper and back.  I love that hike through the woods, across the two bridges and then up high enough to get a view of the lake.  The snow is frozen so I can walk on top of it.  The deer have been scraping away the snow in several spots on the way there.  Lots of deer tracks and some raccoon tracks yesterday.  I looked for deer sheds but no luck so far. 
The weatherman says we are to get another Gulf of Alaska freeze by the end of the week.  Our temps are supposed to go below zero at night.  Bummer!  It's the usual wild swing in temperatures for February.  I am soooo ready for spring! 
My petunia seeds have sprouted and a few of the pansy seeds.  The Red Robin tomatoes were ready to be transplanted.  45 days to a ripe tomato.  We shall see.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh Snow

I'm not going off of this step!

 Ok, I changed my mind.  This could be fun.

Grandma, are you sure we should be doing this?

Sunrise over the Sapphires

Benjamin's Adventures

 Chocolate cookie dough kid!

 Me and my shadow and a puddle equals lots of fun!

It's even snowing in my playhouse!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ben has a Green Thumb? or Only a Gardener Would Wear a Hat That Looks Like That!

What should I do with this branch that fell off the tree?

I have an idea.

I could pretend it is a baton and I am marching in a band....

Aha!  I can replant it in this raised bed!

 Let's see... if I can just get it in the dirt....

Hmmm.  Dirt is pretty interesting stuff.  I wonder if it tastes good?  Nope.
It sticks to my fingers, and feels kind of interesting, but.... 

This is not going to work.  I think it's the wrong place for this branch.

Aha!  This is it!  Right in front of the house in mom's flower bed!
Whew!  Gardening is hard work, but I think I've done it.

Mission Mountains in February

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Fireman's Wedding Tragedy

1929 Gillingham, England
 Great Uncle George Mitchell is dressed as a clown for the Fire Brigade

A very sad piece of our family history.  We had this photo of my mother's Uncle George and knew that he died in a fire that had been accidentally set.  We did not know the rest of the tragic story.  My sister, Mitzi, has been researching our family history on and received the following email yesterday:

I have noticed that you have George Mitchell in your family tree. I am not related to George but am very interested in finding family contacts for him. George's given name was Royal George Mitchell and he was also known as Ronald. George perished in 1929 in the Gillingham Park Fete Tragedy, better known as the "Firemans Wedding" in Gillingham, Kent, England. The full details of this tragedy can be found at:

His personal page is found at:

I have traced him to your family tree through the 1911 Census which lists his name as Royal George - giving the correct names of his siblings and his parents. When I placed that information into Ancestry this morning it connected me with your tree.

It is a urgent matter which I need to find family contacts as there is to be a memorial erected this summer coming in the Gillingham Park where this tragedy happened. It is desirable to have a contact who can approve the spelling of his name and such on this memorial. Council is asking that they hear back from the family members before February 14th. Also there is going to be an unveiling (or grand opening) of this memorial in the park this summer and we would love to have family members on hand to represent the men and children who died that day.
The grand finale of the Gillingham Park Fete was to have been a demonstration of the skill of the local Fire Brigade.  Something went tragically wrong and the structure caught fire trapping nine boys taking part in the demonstration.  The firemen rushed to try to rescue them and all of them died in the fire.  The links above tell the entire story of the tragic event.

Link to the page about the woman who is instrumental in bringing about the memorial this summer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday Girl!

New Years Eve 1998

 Miss Goofy

And pals

The leader of the band!

 New Year's Eve 2008

New Year's Eve 2008

Friday, February 4, 2011

Purple Heart Awarded 1943

As I am going through boxes of old photos I have found some interesting photos and letters from both sides of the family.  This letter awarded Jon's father with a Purple Heart in WWII.  We did not know where his tank was blown up other than it was in Italy.  The letter states it happened near Pietravariano.

Information from Martin Blumeson
U.S. Army in WWII
Salerno to Cassino

The 3rd Division jumped off on 31 October. Attacking northwest from the Roccaromana area immediately west of Dragoni, two regiments moving abreast crossed the small valley carrying the lateral road that connects Raviscanina and Highway 6. Having cut the road, the 15th Infantry and the 30th Infantry took two hill masses dominating the hamlet of Pietravairano.
Because this advance had been relatively easy, General Truscott secured permission to advance on both sides of Highway 6 to the Mignano gap.16 Against a surprising absence of opposition, the 7th Infantry crossed Highway 6 and cut the Roccamonfina-Mignano road. By 3 November the regiment had gained the wooded height of Friello Hill west of Highway 6, where the troops found many mines and booby traps but few Germans. The 15th Infantry, also moving quickly, attacked up Highway 6, sending a battalion to seize the high ground above Presenzano. By 3 November, the 15th Infantry was at the southern edge of Mignano on the east side of Highway 6.

The Germans:  Kesselring had asked Vietinghoff to hold the Allied forces away from the Bernhard Line until 1 November, when the fortifications were expected to be completed, and Vietinghoff had performed this ticklish operation with skill,

In the process his troops had destroyed bridges, culverts, tunnels, railroad tracks, engines, and wagons in the area they had evacuated; they had laid some 45,000 mines forward of the Bernhard Line and an additional 30,000 on its immediate approaches.
This link is a map showing Pietravairano.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mailman Delivers Baby 1957

 This is the note that Mrs. Freeman wrote to my grandfather.  His mail route was to farms and ranches in rural Nebraska.

 "Citation" given to my grandfather.

Newspaper article in the Burwell Tribune.