Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

May the New Year be good to you!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Favorite School Subject

Favorite School Subject: What was your favorite subject in school and why? Was it also your best subject?
I did not find my favorite subject until I was a sophomore in high school, and that subject was biology. I loved learning about the structure, function, and growth of living things.  It was the first subject I ever “aced” in school. I felt smart for the first time in my school career.  I also enjoyed Anatomy and Physiology when I made it to college.  I guess it is a good thing I liked these subject since I wanted to be a nurse.  I was not disturbed by the dissenting like some of the girls in my class.  I don’t remember being a whiz at it; I think did better at the drawings of a dissection and labeling the parts in a frog.  I think the real thing just looked too much like mush.  I will admit my memory is a little fuzzy on that. 
Picture from
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History                                  Hosted by Geneabloggers: by Amy Coffin

Friday, December 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Worst School Subject

Worst School Subject: What was your worst or least favorite subject in school and why?
My worst subject was spelling and it still is.  I thank Heaven everyday for spell check.  I am not a good speller, I have to stop and think many times how a word is spelled.  I use my dictionary a lot because I can make up such wonderful spelling of words than spell check can’t even figure out how it should be spelled.  I would write with a higher vocabulary if I could remember how the words are spelled.  It really is annoying some times. 

To make matters worse I have been scarred for life by a couple of my teachers.  The first one was in second grade.  I did the unthinkable, well I guess it isn’t unthinkable as I did it so I must have thought it.  I cheated on a spelling test, first and last time.  I didn’t cheat off of someone else I just had the spelling words under my paper.  Like that is any less wrong.  I mixed up the words horse and house, so my teacher drags me from the back of the room to the front by my ear and made an example of me.  She guessed I cheated because no one who could really know how to spell those words would mix up horse and house.  Of course as soon as I was asked, “Did you cheat?” I confessed. 

The second incident was in 8th grade.   Another spelling test this time I did spell every word correctly but I received a zero for the grade, because, are you ready for this??  Because I made my i’s incorrectly, yes each word started with the letter i.  I made the small letter i without the initial curve into the letter, so each word was marked wrong.  It still upsets me to this day; I mean what difference does it make in the world or to life if I have the initial curve or not in a letter.  Absolutely none!!  But according that that teacher it was improper penmanship. Granted I did leave 11 years of Catholic school with good penmanship but wasn’t the importance lesson there to know if I could spell those words or not. I can still see those red circles on each word in my mind.
Improper penmanship

I am still a bit of a rebel with my penmanship and make many letters different than the Palmer method I learned.  
My Dad also was very upset with me one day for making the ends of my y’s on Mary different, I wasn’t making the full loop, I was doing a half curl like end.  He equated that with being allowed to eat only whip cream, that is how wrong it was to not make a full loop on your y.  Seriously, that is wrong.
No silly "y" allowed
So now you won't be surprised if you see some creative spelling.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History First Job

Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today?

My first job was as a "soda jerk" on a food counter in a Rexall Drug Store. I worked after school and I closed.  The evening wasn't as busy as lunch time but I had my regular customers.  A lot of the dinner customers where ambulance drivers since the store was real close to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 
Picture from
I made hamburgers, French fries, milkshakes, and of course the ice cream soda.  This was in the age of the real vanilla, cherry and chocolate coke, plus those milkshakes were made from milk, ice cream and favoring, no pre made stuff. I also had to balance my cash register every night, so I do know how to count out change.  The other nightly chore was to clean the grill, what a nasty job that is.  Duties also include washing, drying or the dishes used during my shift, stocking and cleaning up.  I wore a white uniform and a black apron.

My hourly wage was 0.27¢ and tips.  I took home about $2 a night in tips.  I saved my tips and used my earnings as spending money. I was saving my money so I would have spending money when I went to nursing school. 

I started the job in December of 1964 when I was a senior in high school.  I wanted a job because it was too hard to go home and be with my Mom who was failing.  She died in early February.  The job did provide me with skills that helped me during my nursing career.  I learned to how to talk with people and to be comfortable with people from all walks of life. 
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Hosted by Geneabloggers:
Created by Amy Coffin

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Grandma's House

I have three sets of grandparents but only one set was still alive when I was born. These were my Mom's (my Second Mom) parents, Alfred & Mildred Corkish.  They lived on Nantucket Island.  We went there about 3 or 4 times until we moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I really only remember the trip I made when I was 10.  I have pictures from earlier trips but no memories.What do remember from when I was 10.  
There was a piano in the front pallor but I was the only child that could play on the piano because I didn't pound on it like my brothers did I played softly.  I didn't know how to play I just liked to pretend I could play.

On top of the piano was a ship in a bottle, that I really admired and wanted.  Not that I was ever going to get it but a kid can dream. I don't remember the story about the ship in a bottle, if Grandpa built it himself or one of his sons. 
My grandma still had an ice box in the kitchen and the ice man came twice a week with a big block of ice.  Here is a picture of an old ice box I don't know how old Grandma's was but it looked a lot like this one.
Picture from

There was only one bathroom on the first floor and after we had gone to bed we were not allowed back down stairs. So we used a chamber pot upstairs.  Here is a picture of a chamber pot. 

Picture from

There was a short dirt road to the house.  It was close to the beach about 2 blocks or so I think.  It was a wood frame house and the wood was that grey weather beaten look that is typical of New England. 

It was originally a two family house with one family downstairs and one family upstairs.  When my Mom was a kid they lived upstairs and later the purchased the whole house.  I remember it seemed long and narrow. 

Grandparents Corkish & my family 1958
I enjoyed my time I spent there and would love to go back and see the house. 

Here is an earlier post with a picture of me and Grandma, I was about 6.
Here is an earlier post about Grandma's house.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Songs

Since I have a little extra time I want to catch up on some of the Personal History posts.  They are fun topics.
Today's topic is Songs. What was the #1 song during the week of your birth? Enter your birth date at This Day in Music ( and find out. If you were born before 1946, you can enter the year of your marriage, the birth dates of your children or some other significant event.

When I read the title of the song I thought I don't know that song, and I really expect to but when I went to You Tube I found the song and I do remember it. 

So here it is for your listening pleasure.  The title is Ballerina.  Just for a little more personal info I did take some dance lessons in elementary school, we mostly did tap but we did learn the basic moves of ballet.  In junior college I took modern dance as on of my PE classes.  My instructor told me I had really improved since the beginning of class and I would have been a good dancer.  I think she was dreaming and I wasn't interested. 

You may have to go to You Tube to watch.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.  May your day be fulled with love, family and friends.  Be safe and take a moment to remember the precious gift we were given on this day.

Thank you for being faithful followers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Something Fun, Just for Giggles

This morning I was looking at My Heritage just to see what was there.  Of course the first thing I see is something that is fun.  So since I am on vacation I decided to do the fun thing first.  So I try the look alike meter.  When I was growing up my Mother who died when I was age 1, so all I ever heard was you look like your Dad.  Which is fine.  When I hit 40 and I was given a large photo of my Mother on her wedding day I thought I look more like her, I have her eyes.

So here is my first meter with my baby photo. 

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

 And here is my second with a photo of me taken about three years ago.  Needless to say I am way older than my parents at the time of the photos.  Yup I am a good blend of both parents.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Roots - Old photographs

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blog Caroling

Do you hear what I hear? Yes, it is that time of year again – time for Footnote Maven’s Blog Caroling extravaganza. 
This is my second year to join in the fun.

This year I have chosen another carol from the Forgotten Carols.  What can I say the words to the songs in that play are just so meaningful.  I highlighted the words that mean the most to me. 

I wish you a Merry & Blessed Christmas

Let Him In

I am the man who got you,
No one recalls my name,
Thousands of years will fade too,
Fully erase my shame,

But I turned a profit nicely that day,
But I turned a couple away,
I turned them away,
I didn't sleep that evening,

Though I'd sold out my place,
Somehow I've felt uneasy,
Something about her face,
Why did I wish that I'd let them stay,

I don't think they could have paid,
Or could they have paid,
Restless I left my bedroom,
I walked the streets all night,

Lost in the world I lived in,
Bound by a Heavenly Light,
Sparing of one's rights,
Are in the sky,

I heard a baby cry,
And I knew where that cry had come from,
Cause I told them where they could go,
But I didn't think I could face them,

So I walked slowly home,
Missing my chance to share in their joy,
I never saw the boy,
He never would condemn me,

I did that all on my own,
He offered His forgiveness,
And ever since then I've known,
He let's us choose each hour of each day,

If we'll let Him in to stay,
Let Him in, Let Him in,
Let the joy and the hope begin,
Let Him in, Let Him in,

Let the peace on earth begin,
And whether be in your world today,
Or a crowded Bethlehem Inn,
Find a way, make Him room,

Let Him in, Let Him in,
Let the peace on earth begin,
Let Him in, Let Him in,
Let the joy and hope begin,

Let Him in, Let Him in,
Let Him in, Let Him in.

Friday, November 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Peraonal Genealogy & History My Career

While writing a Series of Grateful post on Facebook I had one day were I was grateful for my career in nursing.  I realized this one was one worth of a post on my blog.  I am placing it in Personal Genealogy and History. 

I am grateful for my career choice and the path that I travel to get where I am today.  Nursing has been good to me.  The doors in my life opened just right for me to be a nurse with a degree.  It was a long road but well worth it. 

I have always wanted to be a nurse.  Of course I played nurse when I was a young girl.  After I watched the movie, The Nun Story I wanted to be a Nun Nurse in Africa.  My mother didn’t want me to be a nurse.  She would tell me it is hard work that I would not like it and not to do it.  I even thought of enlisting to be an Army Nurse, my Mom really didn’t like that idea at all.  She was an Army Nurse during WWII.  I did listen to her on that but I followed my heart and became a nurse.  She never saw me graduate because she died before I graduated from high school.  She was right it is hard work but it is honest and satisfying. 

My high school principle told me I was and I quote, “too stupid to be a nurse, compassionate enough but too stupid.”   Well I guess you can’t say that to me. 

After high school I went to a vocational school and received my LPN.  I went there because two different, three year hospital schools of nursing turned me down because my high school grades weren’t high enough.  It looks like a closed door doesn’t it, but waits and watch it was just a detour to a better path.  I graduated top of my class and as the Student of the Year for my class.  I even went to the national nursing convention as the Student of the Year.  Not stupid just a late bloomer.
Mary 1966 As LPN Student of the Year
I worked for a couple years as a LPN. I was able to get an apartment with a friend and live my own life.  I worked hard and even had an RN say to me once when are you going to become a Real Nurse.  So I decided to attend the Community College to earn my ASN (Associated Degree in Nursing).  During my interview with the Dean of Nursing when I applied to the School of Nursing, she was very dismissive.  She didn’t think I had the high school grades to enter the program.  I mentioned that I had done well in LPN school and her reply was, “That doesn’t count, vocational schools are only equivalent to a 11 grade education you have to give us a semester of college level work with a grade average of C.” Back in the days of A, B, C, D & F grades not grade point average.  I guess she shouldn’t have said that to me either.
So I started with my pre-requisite classes and handed her straight A’s.  Now here is the door marked entered.  The year I went back they changed the sciences for nurses and respiratory therapist to Integrated Sciences.  The same sciences classes but at a more practical level and user friendly level.  Just perfect for me, I like science but those higher levels would have been very hard for me to complete.  These more practical levels of classes allowed me to graduate with all A’s.  So two and a half years after entering Broward Community College I passed my Florida State Board of Nursing Exam and became an RN.  I had accomplished this while working as an LPN to support myself.  Mostly I worked part time but I also worked as a private duty nurse taking care of one patient for eight hours and finishing my homework.

Mary Feb 1971 RN Student

After working as an RN for a while several of my co-workers decided to go on and get their BSNs (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) I started with them but I was the only one who finished.  A new University had just opened and they were accepting all Community College credits across the board.  The other university I thought of attending wanted me to retake all the nursing 101 courses over again.  That was not a hard decision to make on which university I was going to go to.  Two and a half years later I graduated with my BSN, and I had worked 24 to 32 hours a week during those years.

1979 Nursing Instructor
Many a day I felt like I was eating, drinking, sleeping and working nursing 24 hours a day.  Between work, schoolwork and homework there was little time for anything else.  But it was worth it. 
Chemo Nurse
September of this year I celebrated my 45 anniversary as a nurse.  That is a lot of years of nursing.  I won’t say I loved every day of being a nurse, I didn’t.  There were many hard days of feeling there wasn’t enough time to do all that needed to be done for patients.  But on a whole I loved my life as a nurse.  He best part is nursing is versatile enough I did a lot of different things. 
Chemo Nurse
·        Med/Surg nurse that means I worked on Medical or Surgical patient floors for both adults and children
·        NICU
·        PICU = Pediatrics Intensive Care
·        Clinical Instructor at a Community College for an LPN transitional program to RN (part time because I didn’t have a Master’s Degree)
·        Home Health Care Nurse or Visiting Nurse, I went from home to home to visit patients after they are discharged from the hospital (this was a real fun job, I was the only American who spoke Spanish and I saw many Spanish speaking patients.)
·        Oncology floor nurse
·        Home Health IV team, I started and maintained IV’s at home to give antibiotics and chemotherapy
·        Outpatient Chemotherapy nurse at private office groups, giving chemotherapy, supporting, educating and symptom management of chemo patients, I did this the longest, over twenty years
·        Case Manager helped instruct patients over the phone on how to manage their chronic disease such as diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure for an insurance company
·        Clinical Informatics train and support physicians and nurses on the Electronic Medical Record, my current job

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving & Memories of Thanksgiving Past

This morning while I was making my stuffing I remembered how my Dad would buy day old bread, cut it into cubes and lay it out on the kitchen table for it to dry out even more.  I don't remember him placing it on cookie sheets to dry it in the oven but he might have dried the bread that way.  He would add his own spices to it and of course saute the onions and celery to add to the stuffing.  I have never made mine from scratch. I think he started using the bag stuffing after we moved to Florida, it was probably too humid there to dry out the bread. 

Wishing all of you and yours a wonderful safe day.  This little video really says all I think of during this special season of Thanksgiving.  May we have an attitude of gratitude all year long.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

1940 Census

Family Search Indexing of the 1940 Federal Census, here is where you can volunteer to index the census.
I volunteered to do New York, my home state.

132 million people were living in the 48 Continental United States in 1940.

Picture from

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Arizona Family History Expo

The 4th annual Family History Expo is coming and will be here in 76 days.  And I just did my Early Bird registration!
I am so looking forward to the expo and all I will learn.  I'll be able to see new and old friends.  The best part is getting excited about learning new tricks and going home and trying them out to break down some brick walls.  I am excited!

I know two animated countdown clocks might push the look of m blog over the top, but ask me if I care.  I at least separated them so you don't go dizzy.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Census Idea

I was thinking the other day about what year I would find myself on the census and what year it would be released. And it gave me an idea if any of my future generations wanted to find me on census would they know where to look? I am a transplant to two different areas of the country from my home state where I was born. So I thought I would make a list of census years and where I lived so I could at least get them pointed in the right direction. I was a little surprised when I started working on this that I will be on only one census in my home state of New York. Then I realized that I missed one whole census because I was out of the country severing a church mission. So instead of leaving everyone wondering I thought I would leave a record of this with my genealogy. I will probably place more detail on that record then the list I have year.

Mary’s Census Years:

1950: New York, with parents

1960: Florida, with parents & 3 siblings

1970: Florida, single

1980: In Bolivia on Mission

1990: Arizona, single

2000: Arizona with spouse & children

2010: Arizona with spouse children & daughter in law

I have to admit I don't remember doing the census in 1970 & 1990.

Some interesting links: 1940 Census & Here


Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Three Family Trees

My Scrapbook Family Tree pages. 

My Three Trees
You might be wondering when you look at my page in my scrapbook why I have three trees to represent my Family Tree. Well the answer is easy for me, I had three parents and so I think the three trees are very appropriate.

One tree represents the Hartmann’s, my Dad’s family, good peasant stock from Germany and Bohemia. The left hand side.  The second tree is for the Chaplin tree or my Mother’s family, also good stock from England and Germany. The right hand side. The third tree is for the Mom who raised me. Some more fine people from England and New England. The Corkish’s where the only Grandparents I knew. They are the ones who created memories for me.

These three sets of ancestors contributed to the person I am today. I am grateful for all of them.

The story and my Mom's line
One small step for me and my ancestors.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Hobbies

Week 38: Hobbies. Did you have any hobbies as a child? Which ones?

When I first went read this week's topic about childhood hobbies, I thought I didn't have any hobbies as the kid; all I like to do was read. Matter of fact my mother thought I read too much and she would yell at me to," go outside and dust the off cobwebs".

My Stamp Album
 A little later I remember I did have a hobby, I had a stamp collection. I believe I started collecting stamps after we moved to Florida when I was 11. If I remember correctly the stamp album was a Christmas gift. I had an interest in stamp collecting well until my late 20s.

The scary thing was this morning when I remembered about my stamp collection I knew exactly where to look for my stamp album as well as my shoebox full of stamps.

My Collection Today
In reality I still have an interest in stamps as I still tear off every new or interesting stamp that comes to my house in the mail. Once I tear them off of the envelopes they go into my desk drawer. I have envelopes full of stamps that need to be soaked off of the paper and sorted.

Index Dividers
 I must have been pretty organized at one time because I have stamps that are in little envelopes by country and they are in alphabetical order and divided by dividers in my stamp collection shoebox. You will notice in the picture that Poland has jumped the fence.I must have shared this interest with other people as I have the envelope with a note on it; to Ms. Hartmann 30 stamps no duplicates. Then each country and the numbers stamps for that country are listed on the front of the envelope.
It is sad to realize how much I have forgotten about my own life.  And shows me how import it is to journal to remember these things.

Refill pages $1.25
  Check out the cost of those refill pages only a dollar 25. In the second picture you will notice that the mounting sleeves were only $.49 per package.

Here is a picture of one of my USA stamp pages.

Thanks to Amy for these weekly prompts they have really helped me to write the stories of my life.

Hosted by Geneabloggers:
Created by Amy Coffin

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Grandma & Grandpa Hartmann

Last week when I found those pictures my brother's mother in law returned to me. This was one of the pictures. These are my paternal grandparents. When I look at this photo of my Grandpa, I thought, "Boy my Dad looks like Grandpa". I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. 
I did not know these Grandparents,  they were gone before I was born.  I would have like to have known them.  I hear Grandma Mary was very jovial.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Grandma Corkish and me

I was about to get ready for bed when I had to do one more thing.  I found this old letter from my brother's mother in law.  She had borrowed a couple of pictures from my Dad and had sent them back to me.  This is one of those pictures.  I am thinking I am about 6 in this picture, so that would be about 1956.  The stance is just cracking me up.  I still like to stand with my hands in my pockets.

I can't do math at 11:30 at night this would have been 1954.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Life Story Pages

School Picture 1924

Some of my work friends get together once a month to scrapbook at a friend's house.   So I did some more work on my parent's life stories.  Mostly my Dad's at this time.   This one is a school picture.  I do not know which boy he is.

First Holy Communion 1925
 This is his First Holy Communion in 1925.  In this picture he looks so much like my brother, or my brother looks so much like him.  You think you where looking at the same person.  The apple didn't fall far from the tree.   I really like this package of blue and brown paper I found for his pictures.  I thought my Dad looks a little old for First Holy Communion, I thought I made mine at age 8.  I wonder why the delay, or was this really confirmation?  I made mine at 11.  But in his own handwriting on the picture he wrote Holy Communion.  I guess maybe things change between 1925 and 1959. 

Graduation 1926

Dad's graduation from St. Fidelis Catholic elementary school.  My dad told the story that he was the last graduating class from St. Fidelis. So all these years I thought the school was closed. I was surprised after a Google search to find that it is still open. When I study the class picture of 1924 I noticed that it is a wood frame building now the school is a brick building I am guessing he was the last graduating class from the wood building that was replaced with the brick building. That is  my dad for you his stories have an interesting twist to them.

Christmas at the Hartmann's 1940
This picture I am going to place in the place in the album I am making for the Grandparents.  What I know about these pictures was that everyone liked to go to the Hartmann's.  My aunt Em told me that there was good food and good company and happy times for holiday dinners. This is the house my grandfather and Dad built and the same house I lived in until I was 11. My dad took over the tradition of having holiday dinners at our home. My memory is more of chaos too many people, too much cooking, too much cleaning up. Also as a kid I had to sit at the kids table and since I was the oldest cousin, I didn't think this was very much fun. The kids sat in the kitchen. 
My Maternal Grandmother
On this page I have a picture of my maternal grandmother this is Minnie Elizabeth Spahn in 1905 in her graduation from nursing school picture. Isn't she beautiful.

The start of my life story

Earlier this week I was still very excited about the Here's What Happened pages that I just had to use the page for 1948 the year I was born. Though this is the first page of my life story that I've started. I'm not planning to do a lot on this right now but I couldn't resist doing this one-page.
This has been a lot of fun working on these pages I'm getting kind of excited about sharing these with my brothers when they're finished hopefully they will enjoy them.