Monday, November 18, 2013

The forgotten Cemetery

When I moved to Ohio over ten years ago, I already new I would be spending some time searching through cemeteries and historical records to research my Father’s family. A family member on my mother’s side had already compiled a large family genealogy of her side. My mother was born in Millis, Massachusetts….and being from New England, the records were bountiful.

My father on the other hand was born in Ohio. We knew one of his Great- grandfathers had immigrated from Germany as a child with his parents. One relative was thought to have moved to Ohio from Missouri. It is rumored this relative was a distant cousin of the famed “Jesse James” and the Dalton Boys. As of this writing, I haven’t found any proof one way or the other with this connection. I have been able to research some of his relatives and found some of them moved to Ohio from the Shenandoah region of Virginia.

My husband’s family is also from Ohio. A family Genealogy of his father’s side exists in a book compiled by Grace H. Croft  entitled “Descendants of Johann Jacob Dispionit”. His mother knew very little of her father’s side. So I began with what we knew and began to research historical records found in libraries, church and court records, cemetery records and census records.

I became friends with a man, who then lived in Florida. He had done a great deal of research on many Ohio families, including some that were also in my husband’s family. He led me to many of the local cemeteries and helped fill in many of the blanks.

This led me to go in search of Turkey Run Cemetery. I was told it was a very remote cemetery in shattered remains. It was marked by a wooden sign at the end of a one lane dirt path partially hidden by a cornfield at the time. I visited there over eight years ago. The first time, I drove right past as the sign could only have been seen from one side.

This year in one of my photography classes for college, we were given the assignment of building a series for our portfolio. I would have preferred to use my vast collection of Football photos, but the instructor wants us to “step out” of our comfort zone….My next choice was Tombstones….Our first assignment was to find a photographer that does something similar to what we have chosen, and to present it to our instructor. I found such a photographer in John Thomas Grant, who coincidently is from Massachusetts, near where my mother spent most of her childhood years.

The next steps were to take a series of photographs (25 or more), convert them to black and white, narrow them down to the 5 or 6 best photographs and be able to present them to the class each week for critique.

My first thought was to go back to some of the 30 or so cemeteries I had visited previously and take photos there. My first cemetery was Elmwood, which I have blogged about previously. I went to 3 cemeteries that day; but when I went in search of Turkey Run Cemetery, I could no longer locate it.

In class I went through websites and copied names and directions to over 30 cemeteries I would like to visit. Turkey Run was among them. It wasn’t until my third trip out to cemeteries that I decided to do what I could to locate it. I looked for the familiar fence lining the farm across the street from the sign and found what I thought was the right fence, but no sign for the cemetery. I drove awhile longer and made a u-turn to head back the direction from whence I came. And out of the corner of my eye, way back off the road, I spot the old rural church that sits beside the cemetery. I slow down searching for the dirt path that leads me back to the remains of what is Turkey Run. The sign no longer exists. If the cornfield had not been plowed and cultivated, I may never have spotted it from the road.

I share these photos with those who may appreciate them….There are 33 photos. Click on the link and hit “View all” to see them

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Long Time gone

Well I know everyone has probably been wondering where I have been.  Some of you who follow me on Facebook know I have been a busy “little beaver”.  Not only have I been working at “Wally World” as a cashier for the past year and a half or so, but Since January, I have been attending college for Photography.  Actually I am going for an Associates degree in Arts and Science/Photography.

It has been a lot of hard work getting back into going to school AND working, but it has been lots of fun and rewarding.  After 2 semesters, I have a 3.789 gpa…..and considering I almost dropped Sociology, that is saying something!  The good news is that Walmart actually is giving me a $2,000 a year scholarship.

This semester, my middle son decided to go back to college with me.  He is going through the same program….As a matter of fact, on Mondays and Wednesdays we are in class all day together!  He’s having just as much fun as I am….well I do have Algebra…and it’s definitely not my strong suit.  This old brain just can’t wrap around all those x-y problems….And why do I need this for photography again???

I have all 4 of the art teachers as I am taking Photoshop, Black and White Photo Studio 1, Ceramic Dinnerware and Glass blowing….Yes I said glass blowing!!  The first 3 I mentioned are the same 3 my son attends with me. 

I think he has this photoshop thing down…JD page 2

We are creating our own dinnerware.  Mine has been truly inspired by my family.

my platemineJD plateJeremiah’s

These were our test plates…..

Glass Blowing is an art…and a skill that means burns and broken glass and some wonky looking first tries…But I love it. At first it was working with solid glass

My Glass works 001paperweightMy Glass works 010flowers

and now we’ve moved on to blown glassMy Glass works 006

There’s so much more news I need to catch up on.  But that will have to wait for another day….Meanwhile, I have homework, and a long day ahead so I’ll have to get to that now…

More Later!

Hugs and Love to all!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

At the end of Summer

Here we are. Midway through August. All over the United States, children are preparing to go back to school. Many schools have already started back while some lucky  children won’t go back until October.

It has been a busy summer for me. I spent the summer bouncing between College and work, while spending my day off with The Lancaster Sabers Semi-pro Football team. Now I’m out of college until September 3rd and the Sabers are in the first round of playoffs.

I have been a little lazy writing here on my blog. I haven’t posted any new photos, or written any witty comments.  My brain is almost fried from all the school work. English, Math and Sociology have been a challenge, but I managed to come out of this semester with 2 A’s and a B ending up with a 3.60 average for the semester and a 3.789 average for Spring and Summer semester combined.

The fall will be fun, but the busiest semester so far.  My son has decided to go back to college with me. Together, we will be in school from 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays. When not in school, I will be working at Walmart….and hopefully I’ll have time on Saturday to take photos at the youth football games.

Just to prove how busy I am and how my brain is being pushed to it’s limits, I have forgotten most of my passwords! now I have to keep them stored on the computer, and hope I haven’t changed them on my iPad!

Things haven’t changed that much for me. My daughter still doesn’t talk to me, I rarely hear from my grandchildren, and when I’m not in school or working I’m on Facebook or sleeping. Since the semester ended for me on August 6th, I have slept more than usual….It prevents me from missing my family and being depressed…I see them in my dreams….I have 2 more weeks to try to survive the depression.

In the fall, my classes will include Pre-Algebra, Photoshop, Photo Studio Black and White, Ceramic Dinnerware and Glass Blowing….plus some class called H.C.Cornerstone…..which is basically a “focus on Success” class….Being on the Dean’s list, I think I have figures out how to succeed…

I do hope to get an invitation to join the Honor Society.   think it would look good on a resume, and I’m working towards that right now.

I have a new car…new to me anyway since my other car decided to die on campus in April 6 days before the end of the semester..and I’m looking to upgrade my camera.  I’ve been shooting approximately 1500 photos every weekend….Maybe one of these days, I’ll be getting paid to do something I love.

I’m working on being a part of an art exhibit in September…more news on that as it gets closer….

Now…..let’s see if this will post…..or will I have to change another password…

Hugs and Love to all!


Monday, May 6, 2013

New Day, New Doctor

I finally made it to my first year working at my new Wal*mart.  Now I can get medical coverage through them so I decided with my age being over the halfway point it might be time to find a new family doctor.  I have medical coverage through the military, but this backwards town has no idea what a military I.D. card is, what it’s good for or how to file claims.  In the past (12 years ago!) I had  a really good doctor…for about 6 months until he quit the practice and moved away.  I talked to some of the people at work and almost everyone had an opinion.  I finally located a doctor that takes both of my medical cards now.  Her name is Elaine Lewis.  So I made an appointment for the time I knew I would be out of college.

Today was my first appointment.  I got there early and filled out the forms.  Within a few minutes I was back having my blood pressure and pulse taken.  I knew the results before I started….I have high blood pressure.  I have been occasionally checking it at work for free, and it runs in my family anyway so it was no surprise to me. From all the reading I’ve done, I knew it was something that needs to be looked after. 

The doctor came in and went over my history.  She had several recommendations.  The first is that I start taking a baby aspirin a day.  The second is that I get a bottle of Glucosamine / Chondroitin and take it as recommended until the bottle was empty.  Then stop taking it to see if I felt any different.  From the internet and through Elaine, I learned this may help my joint pain…. She said it helps some people and some people it So I’ll try this to see what happens.  She also told me I could take 2 Aleve twice a day.

Finally she prescribed a low dose High Blood pressure medication which she wants me to take until my next visit in June.  Before my next visit, I need to fast for 8 hours for blood work, etc.  I guess I’ll also have the yearly things coming up….pap smear and mammogram…Yuck!  I’ve never been one to take a lot of medication…Now I’m up to at least 3 pills a day.

And she told me to stay off roller skates….which leads me to…..

Now for the other recent news:  about 2 weeks ago today when I went to college my 1998 Ford Escort wagon was driving okay all the way there….Between classes, I went out to start it and it made an awful rattling racket and would not stay running.  I locked it up and walked the mile or so to my next class.

After class I called AAA for a wrecker and started walking back to the main campus.  A fellow student picked me up and took me the rest of the way.  When we got there the wrecker was already backing up to my disabled car…..and there was this huge puddle underneath.  The 37 mile tow seamed to take forever but I REALLY am glad I opted for the Gold membership.  The shop I take my car to is about a mile from my house.  They told me it would be the next day before they could even look at it.  Now I was left with a dilemma…how to get to and from school  and work.  I only had 6 days left of school

My sister-in-law stepped up and let me use her SUV the next day as I only had my photography class.  During the class, the shop called and gave me the bad news….my car’s engine was blown.  They would get estimates on the repairs and give me a call later….Bad news….a used engine would run $2000 and a new engine would run $4500!  The mechanic told me if I could afford either, I’d be better off getting a new car…..GREAT!

I talked to my sister-in-law and was able to use her car on 3 other days.  One day she took me to school and a fellow art student let me ride home with him….The jerk that I had given a ride to the entire semester didn’t even volunteer to let me ride with him. 

Getting to work was another problem.  The first night my sister-in-law took me to work.  I walked the 2.5 miles home at 11 p.m..  The next day I went to work I walked to work.  I had the “brilliant” idea of buying roller skates to get home…..Let me make this perfectly clear….God did not put enough padding on my backside……after the 3 time I fell on my butt and braced my fall with my arm, I decided to take the skates off and walk the rest of the way….The next 2 days I rode my bike both ways….even in a light drizzle.

I called my mom and we talked for awhile.  She said she would send me $700.  I was able to come up with an additional $200 to put a down payment on another vehicle. Monday when I came back from school, I used my sister-in-law’s SUV to go car shopping.

Once again, several people had suggestions for me…I listened to my son and went to a “Buy here, Pay Here” company that one of his friends used.  They told me to use their name.  When I got there I found some really nice people.  They had 2 cars they would work with me on.  The first was a Mustang Convertible….nice car, but I know it would get me in trouble and the convertible would require a lot of maintenance in our area….not practical in the winter time either…So I settled for a 2003 Dodge Neon.

art exhibit 2013 033art exhibit 2013 034

It’s not a bad car.  Has a CD player and good radio.  Haven’t figured out how to use the cruise control yet.  no owners manual…but I can buy one and only 1 key….That’s a problem since I have locked my keys in the old car at least 4 times!  A duplicate key cost $70! (I’m told they have a chip in them and cost twice that at the dealer)  But I can have a door key made for about $3….so I’ll get one made. I didn’t have the entire amount for the down payment so the dealer made some adjustments to my payments.  For 10 payments, I have to make an extra $30 on the payment, and when I get my overage check from Summer session in school I pay the rest. 

The good thing is unlike my previous dealership, this one reports to the credit bureau, so as long as I make payments on time, my credit will improve. 

Now whenever Wal*Mart calls me in, I can no longer afford to let it ring.  I have to pick up extra hours whenever I can.  My husband is supposed to get a refund of his 401K he had through the job he got fired from because he didn’t have enough in it to keep it; which I filed for so he wouldn’t be able to hide it from me.  It will be for over $1200 which I’ve already told him I am getting half of since he doesn’t seem interested in looking for a new job.I’ve been struggling to make ends meet as it is.  Now I have a car payment and increased insurance as I have to have full coverage now.  He can give up some of his income to help.

New Car, New Drugs, New Outlook….

I waiting to hear what my final grades were for the semester. I know I have an A in English, and I’m hoping for an A in all the other 3…I’m not sure about Art as I did have to work with an idiot….Who failed to show 4 of the last 5 classes….I repainted almost everything he had done.  In the end, everyone including the teacher agreed it was all my creation.

art exhibit 2013 012

 The best news of all was the idiot failed all of his classes  and I have been told he won’t be returning to college.  At least I have that to look forward to.  Summer semester starts May 20th.  I’ll have 3 classes; Math, English and Sociology. Wish me luck!




Thursday, April 11, 2013


Well my first semester in college is almost over.  I don’t know what I was so worried about.  It must have been thinking about having to do English and Math after so many years…Well, now I know I’ll have 2 English classes, 3 math classes and Sociology along with a course called “The Human Machine”….basically an anatomy class in place of biology or chemistry.

This past semester I took Digital Darkroom, Art Design 1, Art Appreciation and English Composition with reading. My favorite course would be the Digital Darkroom since it deals with editing photos…


still life printsharon print 1psdMount Pleasant CropLooking Back cropped

But another class I have a lot of fun in is Art Design 1.  Basically, it’s an art class; with some drawing and some painting…(Did I mention that I am the oldest person in all my classes, except for my teacher in Art Appreciation who is 2 years older??)  I hit it off with the young crowd when they realized that I listen to the same music most of them do…Having never taken art in my High school days….you know back when there were still dinosaurs….I didn’t know how well I would do…

art design 002powershot 2300 004

Our final grade is dependent on a 2 person painting.  There is one person in my class no one wants to work with because he spends class time playing on the computer or his phone….and gets all of his ideas from the internet.  He’s going to college for “Game Design”….but he can’t draw his own designs???? I would much rather pick someone who at least is serious about school work, but when it came down to being paired up, I was the “lucky” one to get stuck with him….All my other classmates have expressed how sorry they are for me…You see another problem he has is very poor hygiene….i.e. HE STINKS!!

His total contribution so far is he wanted to do something  “Beatles” themed (It’s all he listens to and sings to himself….off key….and he doesn’t know half the words…..)  You know…..”Yellow Submarine”, “Octopus’s Garden”, “I am the Walrus”… I combined them….He was supposed to take the original drawing home and work on it….After 2 days off, this is his drawing:


Thank goodness I also worked on it:IMG_0160

Then we had to put this on a 3’ x3’ board and paint it….After 3 days it looked like this

Art Design 001He painted the Yellow blue and green as we didn’t have to mix those colors…I mixed and painted everything else….

the next time we painted,

Art design April 3 002 He painted the submarine…..Did I mention this class is 2 1/2 hours long?..

I did the shading, the tusks, re-mixed and painted the orange……I think you get the idea who is doing most of the work…..

One day he didn’t come to class…he said it was because he was sick…..Ooops! What happened to the clown car? I mean Submarine?

more on College 015My paint brush got white paint on it!!! Hey, the teacher said we couldn’t waste any paint….and anyway, she suggested I paint over it and start over to make it look more realistic….I forgot to take a picture today when I left the art hall, but I’ll take one Monday before we start painting again…but let’s just say the submarine is still white, but I did the darker shading on most of the colors while he tried to figure out how to draw portholes….

Then I got extra credit in my Art appreciation class where I had a “B” already….

my Art design 007I now have an A (97.23)…

Basically, I have already passed English Composition but I have 1 last composition….Did I mention I hate writing when you are constrained by only using certain topics and forced to follow a set pattern??? (at least 750 words, A Thesis Paragraph, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph)

Spring Semester ends May 1st.  My last day of English will be April 23rd if my composition passes without needing any editing….My finals are due April 30th for Digital Darkroom. I’ve signed up for my summer and Autumn semesters….Summer will be a necessary evil (English Comp 2, basic math Sociology) beginning May 20th.  But Autumn will be a blast! I’ll have Photoshop, Black and White Photography, Glass Blowing, Dinnerware (ceramics) Beginning Algebra and this idiot course called HC Cornerstone. (for new college students…I’ve been told there is no real learning in this class)

So Now I’ve caught you up on school….I’ll blog again soon on more of my projects….

Hugs and Love to All!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Soooooo What’s new with you????

I’m just writing a new blog to let everyone know I haven’t fallen off the Earth…..yet.

As some of you know, I started college on the 7th of January.  I am going for an Associates Degree in Arts/Photography.  At 56 years old, it is proving to be a challenge for me…and I love it!

I applied for student loans and grants before I actually enrolled in college.  I was afraid of not being able to afford to go after I went down and checked out the program. The college is about 35 miles from my home. But there was no reason for me to worry. The loans and grants not only paid for the classes, but the books and the parking pass.  I had enough money on my account that I signed up for a meal plan too.  There is a 2-3 hour break for me between my morning class and my afternoon class; and I didn’t want to drive home in between or worry about saving money to pay for lunches, gas, etc.  I can get lunch or breakfast just using my student ID.

The biggest news is I applied for a scholarship through my job and found out this week that I got it! For a 2 year Associates Degree, the company will give me $2,000 a year….That will really help pay off student loans; and I’ll have the extra money I need to stay in school.

There are some drawbacks. The biggest one is the drive.  No big deal as it’s all interstate until you get to the little town it’s in.  Let’s just say the college makes the town!  I am the oldest person in my classes and that includes most of the “Professors”!  My Art Appreciation teacher may be the only one near my age.  Her class is the one that has the most homework…I can look at art, and tell you if I like it or why I like it….but I can’t interpret what the artist is trying to convey….and I have had a chapter to read each week with a 250 word essay to hand in….that’s probably the hardest for me to do….I still haven’t done this week’s homework yet, but I do have an extra day this week because of a holiday Monday…No school.

The classes I have found to be the most fun art Art Design and Digital Darkroom…no tests!  Just a lot of hands on in class work….and that’s fun.  I’m no artist, but Art design doesn’t require you to be an expert and so far I’m enjoying the experience….Digital Darkroom is actually the second part of Photoshop which I can’t take until the fall.

Then there is English Composition with Reading….Yeah, I can write blogs and I can read so now all I have to do is learn the “proper” way to write!

So I go to college 4 days a week, and work 4-5 days a week….which overlap.  I have no days off unless for some reason (like Monday’s holiday) I have the day off from both! 

I received an overage check this past week and have put most of the money in the bank..I did buy an iPad to use at school.  I can do my homework on it and next year I’ll be able to use it as a tax deduction as a college expense.  Carrying my 17” laptop back and forth to school along with my books was getting Heavy!  Now I’m learning how to use it.  Before long, I’m sure I’ll be an old pro at it.

In the meantime, I have been taking photos of the school being demolished and I’m working on a new blog for it…

So be patient…I’m still around…As my dad would say, “I’m busier than a one armed man in a Paper Hanging contest!”

Hugs and Love to All!