Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

There is so much written about the history of Thanksgiving, I thought I would stray away from the usual and put a little twist on the celebration and entertaining, too. Posted on Real-Time News from Alabama, here are some facts, trivia and Thanksgiving Day facts:
Blame Thanksgiving for TV dinner – In 1953, the folks at Swanson purchased too many frozen turkeys ahead of the Thanksgiving celebration. Faced with 26 extra tons of the bird, the company decided to slice it, package with some vegetables and sell it on its own. The first TV dinner was born and American went nuts. 
Green bean history - Other than turkey and dressing, green bean casserole is probably the most iconic Thanksgiving food. The casserole, which usually contains green beans, cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions, milk and soy sauce was invented in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly at the Campbell Soup Company. The original copy of the recipe is now at the Inventors Hall of Fame.
How many Calories? The average person consumed 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, enough to gain about 1.3 pounds. To put that in perspective, a 160-pound person would have to run at a steady pace for six hours, swim for seven-and-a-half hours or walk 45 miles to burn off the Thanksgiving dinner.
Ben Franklin and turkeys – In 1784, Ben Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter suggesting that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the U.S. than the Continental Congress' choice of the bald eagle. He thought turkeys were more respectable and "true original Native of America."
Gobble! Gobble! Baby turkeys are called poults. Only male turkeys gobble, therefore, are called gobblers.
Football and food -The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving day game is a holiday tradition. The Lions played their first Thanksgiving Day football game in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit Stadium. The game was broadcast via NBC Radio, making it the first national football broadcast. It made its television debut in 1956.
Who had the First Thanksgiving? Everyone has been taught that the first Thanksgiving dinner was held in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the Pilgrims hosting the native Wampanoag tribe. HOWEVER, despite the popular conception that New Englanders held that first Thanksgiving in America, it actually was held in 1619 in Virginia, led by Captain John Woodlief of Peterly Manor, Bucks, England - more than a year before the Mayflower set sail for Plymouth.
History records that the first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain Woodlief - a veteran of Jamestown who had survived its “starving time” of 1608 and 1609 - led his crew and passengers from their ship to a grassy slope along the James River for the New World’s first Thanksgiving service on Dec. 4, 1619. There, the English colonists dropped to their knees and prayed as the British company expedition sponsor had instructed.

Thanksgiving at Berkley Plantation. Massachusetts-native President John F. Kennedy acknowledged Virginia’s claim in his official Thanksgiving Day Proclamation for 1963 and 100 years before that, President Abraham Lincoln, who visited Berkeley once, also acknowledged Virginia’s first-Thanksgiving claim. To this day, Virginia continues to commemorate its noteworthy event the first Sunday each November at Berkeley Plantation, the original Thanksgiving site.
And now for another original happening, make this Thanksgiving as well as all the other holiday events attended by family, to begin Your Family Museum. Start gathering up all the stories, pictures and memorabilia to be preserved and displayed. Organize groups within the family to do the collecting, make schedules to meet and assess where everyone is with their mission, for this is a mission every family should partake it, because after all, it is your history.                        Happy Thanksgiving!
How to Create Your Family Museum is now on Facebook. Check it our and feel free to write you comments there. Thank You.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Anniversary Fun . . .

Yesterday was our 46th wedding anniversary. Keith & I and our kids, Tif & Charlie, spent the day together. The kids made breakfast and then we drove down to Virginia Beach’s convention center to see the Coastal Virginia Auto Show. We strolled through the aisles of fabulous vintage cars, took some
pictures and talked with many collectors who truly enjoy preserving automotive history. If we could we would own one of these restored beauties and take it on the road to nowhere in particular, just to enjoy the fine craftsmanship that went into these automobiles. After the show we went out to lunch
at a hotel restaurant that had two football games on big screen TV’s. Keith was delighted as we ate our burgers and watched the games. When we left it was still raining and instead of going back home, we took a detour off the highway and went to explore Fort Eustis,, a retired army base with its civil war fort
now in the process of being restored. Also located on the grounds of Fort Eustis is The U.S.Army Transportation Museum of U.S. Army vehicles and other transportation related equipment and memorabilia. The area still has residents that live in palatial homes built long ago. I believe they do a Christmas House Tour which we will definitely do.  
So now you may ask what does this have to do with a Family Museum. Everything. The auto show with its antique cars is an act of preservation. Touring the Civil War Fort and knowing that it is being saved is an act of preservation. And spending the day together is an act of family preservation, which is extremely important. Though there were no tangible things saved to put into our family museum, we did preserve the moment with pictures and memories.    

At the end of the day as my husband snuggled into bed, he asked himself this question as I was reading a book: “How did we get here, 46 years ago?” I looked at him, smiled and said, “Because we have loved each other for 46 years and look forward to every new day.” He acknowledged happily and before I finished the chapter, he was snoring peacefully. I closed my book, slipped into a nice warm bed, patted him on his shoulder and wished him a good night and told him I loved him. You may ask what kind of love is it that keeps on after all these years. It isn’t really hard to explain. It is a love that needs no measure, needs no questions or has any doubts, because it is what love is all about.
It’s just Love.        
Happy Anniversary to us!

P.S. Perhaps our next set of wheels?
We highly doubt it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Family Tree & DNA

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. This family-gathering event is a great time to begin a family tree, if you don’t already have one or something that resembles one. I am not talking about drawing a picture of a tree with an assortment of branches that are labeled with a name and date of an ancestor. Though, this could be the start of the project and if there isn’t an artist among your family, just go to the internet where you will find a plethora of family tree charts that fit your needs, then print a few out so if mistakes or some confusion on dates, names, places, etc., should arise, you have a fresh tree to start growing your branches on. If a paper version of a family tree is not for you, you can create an online tree with genealogy computer software making it easier to organize, preserve and share your family history. It is also a direct link to missing information about
your roots. This project gets everyone involved and is especially rewarding for the young ones in the family to come to know and hear some stories about their relatives.

And as your family sits around the table enjoying a gastronomic feast, be it yourself or another family member bring up the subject of discovering your family’s DNA. The process of gathering your DNA is simple and extremely rewarding.  Everyone in the family can do it and it is a very satisfying project to embrace. Your DNA are the roots of your family tree. For some great advice and examples on how to do a DNA test, go to
There you will find everything you need.
I had my DNA done using Ancestry. And was I surprised at the results. Throughout my life I heard so many stories about family members, where they came from, where and why they settled in a particular place, and what they did for a living. On my mothers’ side I am Italian. On my fathers’ side I am Lithuanian. I grew up learning more about being an Italian than I did about being Lithuanian, of which to this day, I have little knowledge about that culture. So I embraced my Italian heritage and ignored the other. Then I had my DNA tested, and lo and behold, I am more Lithuanian than I am Italian. I had never been so surprised to find this out, which I am thrilled to have done, but unfortunately, I cannot share this discovery with my parents because they have both passed away. But now our children have mine and their father’s DNA passed onto them, and we are making sure they will know and appreciate their genetic composition.     
There is another ancestry program called Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. By participating you will discover the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed hundreds, even thousands, of years ago, with an unprecedented view of your ancestral journey. My husband participated in this program and was amazed to find the long journeys his maternal family travel. His heritage is half Norwegian, the other half German. Like me, he was brought up more Norwegian than German, but years later, he connected with his German relatives which has extended our family circle.

So when your family comes together, enjoy the bounty of good food and share your legacy. And don’t forget to put the memories of this holiday into your Family Museum. Perhaps the wishbone? Don’t break it this time. Wash and dry it off and keep your wish for a time when you may really need one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembering Our Fallen Veterans

Veterans Day is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. It is observed on the 11th of November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. Before World War II, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day in the United States and, in most Commonwealth Countries, the day is still known as Remembrance Day. On this Veterans Day, remember those who died in service to their country in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

There are three
Veteran's in my family; three deceased and one retired from the Naval Reserves. Their memories are cherished and kept alive in our Family Museum with
keepsakes, uniforms, Certificates and artworks. Please take a moment and read my first post on this subject dated 11/11/2014.
Perhaps it will inspire you to put your family Veteran's things in your Museum.

And please,
do not forget to take time to honor our Veteran's
and purchase a Poppy.

How to Create Your Family Museum is now on Facebook. Check it out and feel free to write your comment there. Thanks.