Donnerstag, Mai 29, 2008

Seeking Anne

Last week my friend Helen emailed me with a problem. She has been trying to track down her third great-grandmother, Anne Reilly, and needed to look at a census record that wasn't available at her local library in Burton-on-Trent, England.

I live just a 20-minute drive from the end-all and be-all of family history centers


so I promised to see what I could find out. Never mind that I have never set foot in the place, how hard can it be?

Luckiliy, Paul recently signed us up for the Family History class at church because the Bible class was too crowded. We had learned that the library catalog is available online, so I did Step 1 from home.

A keyword search on Dublin Census 1901 gave too many choices, but adding "Dun Laoghaire" tightened it down to one.

Outlander fans will be interested to know that Laoghaire is not pronounced "Leg Hair" but is actually "Leary."

With the right film number in hand, I headed downtown to look for Helen's Gran.

I found parking around the corner at the Meganacle Conference Center.

Conference Center
That's my little blue car across the street there

The Family History Library is across the street from Temple Square. From there you can see the back door of the Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Mormon Tabernacle back door

and the Assembly Hall, where I take organ lessons.

Assembly Hall
That picture took some photoshopping
to get a crane out of it; downtown Salt Lake
is getting a major overhaul

It's next door to the Pioneer Museum, where they seem to have added costumed guides since I was there last. Time to take the grandkids on a tour?

Pioneer Museum
This has nothing to do with today's topic,
but in St. George, Utah you can stay in actual
pioneer era houses that have been collected
in a bed and breakfast setting, the Green Gate Village Inn,
which is just around the corner from
a great yarn shop,Heindselman's Too.

It took a minute to get oriented once I got inside the library. There is an information desk

Inside the Family History Library

but the elevator had a label for British Isles research, so I just went straight down there. A librarian showed me where the microfilm cabinets are

Microfilm Cabinets

and showed me how to load the film.

It took a while to find the right record, because the address Helen had given me listed both Crofton Road and Albert Terrace. Crofton Road was populated mostly with sailors and their support industries--the victualer, the harbourmaster, and so forth. I had a sinking feeling when I found three pages of women of all ages whose occupation was listed as laundress. At the top of the list were two Sisters of Mercy. According to a Sundance movie that came out a couple of years ago, the Sisters of Mercy laundries were like prisons for women with out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Their families wanted to hide them away to protect the family reputation, and the women were never released.

After not finding Anne Reilly in Crofton Road, I went back to the beginning of the film. There she was on Albert Terrace, with her daughter Emily.

Dublin census

Helen had wanted to know where Anne was born, and we were able to narrow it down to County Dublin. The Dun Laoghaire Heritage Society has birth records available online for all the parishes in that part of Dublin, so Helen should be able to track down more information there.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Briar Rose2
Eidos sock yarn from Sanguine Gryphon

Dienstag, Mai 27, 2008

Embroidery is not knitting

I finished the embroidery on my Firebird socks yesterday.

This photo shows the color accurately (also shows where Paul didn't finish polishing the floor on Saturday):


These photos show the finished embroidery:



Their feet started getting bigger and bigger as I went on.

This is the first time I have been faced with embroidery on a knitting project. I have mixed feelings about it.

The knitting itself was fun. The Tsarina's designs tend towards the pictorial. The birds were clearly worked on each sock, with a lace pattern for the tail feathers, long stitches outlining the birds, and basket-weave on the bird bodies themselves.

The shaping was interesting, too. Lisa took into account that the basket-weave stitch was not very stretchy, but there is less of it towards the top of the sock so the fit on mine is perfect.

The only problem is that I am not very fond of embroidery. Why it seems more tedious than knitting I can't figure. Both have to be worked stitch by stitch. Embroidery actually provides more instant gratification than knitting does. Yet I have no clue how long the knitting took, because I was completely engrossed in it. The embroidery took 16 hours, ten of them spent yesterday in a do-or-die rush to the finish line.

So guess what came in the mail on Saturday.

Fairy Tale Sock Club by Sanguine Gryphon, unfortunately now closed

Photos courtesy of Lindsey-Brooke Hessa--I don't have roses in bloom yet

Yep. More embroidery.

Montag, Mai 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We settled on the house we live in after much searching, partly because we heard a piper playing in the cemetery across the street. Now houses have grown up between us and the resting place of many dead, but pipers still play there in their memory. Our daughter is among them.

Some of the pipers are great-great-grandchildren of Robert Barclay, who had been the Queen's Piper, then came to America and founded the Utah Pipe Band.

Our own Scottish heritage has been difficult trace; we have only the name of a Scottish ancestress who raised Paul's grandfather: Hannah Grahame. Laurel simplified things by marrying into a family of Utah Scots, the Leishmans of Cache Valley.

We know three of the dead who are our near neighbors across the street. One the grandfather of our son-in-law; the other the little child of a friend, his oldest son, little Kyle. The third is Dave Barclay, who taught Laurel and half the pipers in Utah.

P.S. In case you are reading off bloglines, there is a short video of the bagpipers in the actual blog.

Donnerstag, Mai 15, 2008

Getting to know you . . . er me . . . er meme

The Sanguine Gryphon tagged me with this meme (incidentally, be sure to check out her shop website, The Sanguine Gryphon Fiber Arts):

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago I was sandbagging my yard. It's not supposed to rain in Utah in the summer. We live in a desert, right? Only 1998 was the year we decided to landscape our backyard and hauled in seven truckloads of topsoil. And it rained all summer. The yard washed away three times. The neighbors blamed me, thereby elevating me to the status of a minor deity, since flooding is generally considered an Act of God.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  • stay on my food plan

  • play with OE

  • clean my kitchen

  • finish my Leafling Socks

  • read Step 3 in my Overeaters Anonymous book

  • 3) Snacks I enjoy:

    Should we just discuss the healthy snacks? An apple with a piece of cheese. A yogurt. A bowl of fresh cucumbers with vinegar, salt and pepper on them. A tomato.

    Or should we go over the binge foods? Sweetened condensed milk, straight up. Cream and sugar on pretty much any cereal or fruit product. Cherry chocolates. Chocolate-covered almonds. Cookie dough. Cake batter . . .

    4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

    If I were a billionaire--you didn't say just one billion, did you?--I would buy Burma and put the current government on an island where the people of the world could vote them off one by one (Onto another island? Into a shark?), and some nice group of people could rule Burma instead. Maybe some nice Burmese mothers' group who just want to see everyone fed, clothed, and tucked safely into bed at night.

    5) Places I have lived:

    Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Louisiana, Virginia (some of them twice at different times)

    6) Peeps I want to know more about:

    Claudia aka die Wollmeise
    Ute of Socks Street

    Mittwoch, Mai 14, 2008

    It's all relative

    Progress? Hard to tell.

    I managed to finish the embroidery on one Firebird sock.


    It's tempting to leave the other one plain.


    Can you see the bird in the plain one? See, it's that basketweave area outlined in slip stitches? OK, maybe not. But that one sock represents two days of embroidery, with not much time off for good behavior.

    I thought about embellishing with additional beads, but I bet I will not have the patience.

    Don't tell anyone on Ravelry. Paul thought they looked like sea monsters.

    I have been to two Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I got some books from and have read and accepted steps one and two. I have met some nice people; and I have met some strange ones. It appears that people can become addicted to 12-Step programs.

    Now I am trying to tell myself I can do it by myself and don't need the program.

    Uh hunh. Right.

    Sonntag, Mai 04, 2008

    We go to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

    yarn harlot 2008 Salt Lake

    From Left: Stephanie; me; Laurel; Joanne; a person we don't know; in the center, Princess P.

    We had a lot of fun going to the Salt Lake City library to hear Stephanie speak. Joanne stayed to get her book signed, but P had about had it. Stephanie had invited people whose kid was not going to make it through the long line to step up right away, and kind people in the line let us, even taking a picture for us.

    We met up with Carrie from the Utah Knitters Ravelry group. I had planned on helping her with her knitting, but she didn't need much help. However, she got awesome seats for us.

    We were this close:


    The P knitted away assiduously on ribbon yarn we bought last summer at Unravelled Sheep. Or not; correct me, Laurel.


    Laurel took a few crowd shots for me while Carrie and I knitted.


    click for big

    I was having a bad hair day; it was one of those "shower at 4:00 a.m. for headache control" days, and I didn't have time to start over with it later. I'm also disappointed at being the fattest person in every picture; but I'm doing something new about that: I'm starting Overeaters Anonymous tomorrow.

    Having my mom here for a weekend at the end of April and managing her pain pills in the face of her long-term addiction was a real eye-opener for me. The children of addicts learn to behave like addicts, and that's certainly how I treat food. I have been doing my own "addict diet" for about a week*, with only one day of ODing on carbs. I went to the hairdresser and jokingly mentioned this, only to have someone else who was in the salon tell me that OA really exists and that we have it in the Salt Lake area.

    I'm excited. I'm having that same rush of hope and good feelings that you get when you start a new anti-depressant. Maybe the next time Stephanie comes to town, I'll be one of the thin people in the picture.

    The script for the addict diet comes directly from my weekend with mom. Just substitute "Mom" for "Tan" and "Lortab" for food.

    "No, Tan, it isn't time for a snack until 10:30."
    "No, Tan, you just had a meal. You need to wait half an hour for it to take effect before deciding you need another one."
    "No, Tan, you cannot have two snacks."
    No tickers