Skip to content

Archive for

What Will I Miss?

There is so much to love about the Bay Area. The food in the Bay Area is extraordinary. One of my favorite places to go for lunch with friends is Fornaio. This one is in Walnut Creek, California. It is a great shopping alternative to SF, and the bonus of being sunny. IMG_2198

Thermador Professional Oven Range

























































Dog is God Spelled Backwards.

Do you talk to your dog? This is Sheba one of the two Italian Mastiffs we own. They are more like family to us. They would rather be inside with us, than outside in the fresh air. Sheba like to “talk” to me. I ask her a question and she forms her mouth like she is trying to do the very best to talk. She has cherry eyes. We have had 2 surgeries for her eyes. The doctor told us that if tried one last time she would not be able to make tears naturally, and would be prone to eye infections that may cause her to go blind. We love her just that way she is. IMG_2087

Peek at the Kitchen

This may not look like much, but we think it is a big deal. The appliances are going in…IMG951613

Osburn Wilson Gray

Osburn was born December 31st 1833. He lived in a town that was named by his father, Graysville. It is in Floyd County, Virginia. He was from a family that had some money. His family was the first in the area to have a two story brick house. They built a grist mill, made furniture, including coffins for the town, and they had their own Inn.

Since the Inn was by a road they had many visitors that would stay at the Inn. One day while they were going to clean out a room they found a black woman hiding in the Inn. Her name was Mary, and she was a runaway slave. She was pregnant, so they brought her into their home. Mary had her baby, and named the baby Hazel. Although Osburn’s family did not have slaves his Uncle did. His Dad and Uncle would often argue about having slaves, and what was the moral thing to do. His Uncle purchased slaves off the auction block because he thought it would help give them a better opportunity. His Uncle would have the slaves work until they worked off the money he spent for them. He also had a school for the slaves, and his neighbors did not like that his Uncle was teaching the slaves how to read, math, and how to write.

He married Rebecca Otey when he was 21. The two of them are pictured below. He would soon have a baby girl Eliza Jane. In 1861 the Civil War broke out, and it is no surprise that Osburn or any of his family believed in succession. Even though his Uncle purchased slaves his father thought it was best to stay away from the auction block all together. Personally, I would think it would be a conundrum. On one hand you could help give some people a better life by giving them their freedom after they worked off their debt. If you do buy a human being then you are giving into the chain of supply and demand. In 1858 he has another baby girl Lucy, she only lived for 5 months. Rebecca died in the same year in July. In 1860 he remarried, this time to Lucy Ann Pendleton. When the census was taken in 1860 he was either not married yet, or Lucy dies in 1864. Osburn and Lucy have 2 children Mary B. Gray and Joseph (Joe) Gray.GR147

1861 when the order was placed on all men to volunteer the Gray families did not comply with the order. Osburn was captured in 1864, and was “pressed” into service. He then fled to Ohio. He was captured  May 23rd and put into prison in Ohio on Johnson Island.

In 1862 to 1863 he spent time in the Salt Sulfur Springs Hospital. He had a bill of $8.75. He did not pay the bill until Feb. 17 1865.

The was another wife that I just learned of today. Rebecca Strotter, he must not have been married to her for very long. I will have to investigate further to see what happened to this Rebecca.

In May 1871, he sold his interest in his father’s estate, purchased a team of horses and covered wagon, and leaving two of his children, Eliza and Joseph, with his father in Floyd County, set out with the balance of his combined families for the Great Kanawha Valley in West Virginia. Arriving at Gauley Bridge, Fayette County, West Virginia, with his finances at a low ebb. He occupied a tennant house on the farm of a uncle, John Gray, on Cane Branch and took employment as a laborer in one of the construction gangs then building the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in that vicinity.

A year or two later he left the young children Mary, James, John, Dennis, Louisa, and Sallie in the care of his Uncle John and his wife  Eliza Jane and moved to a rented farm near Kesler’s Cross Lanes in Nicholas County, West Virginia. He and Eliza would go on to have 5 more children Martha, William, Asa, Byron, and Augustus. Milton would come in the 1880’2, and the youngest child is Herbert.

Not making much of a  success at farming, in 1884, he moved his family to Coal Valley (now Montgomery), West Virginia and enered the employment of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. In the last years of his life he was employed by Samuel Dixon, a prominent coal operator, as general repairman at his coal mine at Longacre, West Virginia

Eliza dies in 1900 and in one of the sporadic outbreaks of smallpox which was still fairly common in those days, he contracted the disease and died in 1902. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the old grave yard at Smithers, West Virginia.

Anima Issa

When I moved to California I brought only a few things with me. My bike, roller blade, 1 suitcase of clothes, and Anima Issa. My little Maltese was so adorable. I just loved her so much. When she and I lived in Indy, I would often take her with me shopping. When we flew out to California I was allowed to keep her in my lap. Everyday we would go for walks before I went to work we took a walk in Golden Gate Park. In the evening we went for another walk. On the weekend we had more time to spend in the park walking around and skating. I remember one time I had an I. U. sweatshirt and this car full of guys yelled out of their car “You oughta go home little girl, and your little dog too!” I swear it makes me laugh to this day.

One sad time we had in S.F. was when Anima was attacked by a Chow Chow. We were walking out the house, and this huge black Chow Chow came right up to Anima and swung her around in it’s mouth. I kicked the dog for it to let go of Anima. There was blood everywhere. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I yelled for help, and this lady came out of nowhere. She told me to get Anima and jump in her car. I did just that, and we went to the vet by Golden Gate Park. They were not sure she was going to make it. She has a lung punctured and they had to perform surgery. She had a long recovery, but I was allowed to bring her to the museum with me everyday. Logitech Exif JPEG

Once I got married Anima had to get used to having a German Shepard “Emma” as a step sister. The two of them got along, thank goodness. The funniest part of their relationship was when Emma would allow Anima to bark for her. The two of them would bark together by the iron gate, then Anima would run to the front yard. Anima was small enough to fit under the fence, so she would continue the barking up close and personal. Then she would come back and the two of them would sit together.

She was here for both of them kids when they were younger and when we went through the renovation of our home. She got to live a full life. Her name mean “Spirit” in Latin. Issa was the name of Publius’s dog, and his dog was a Maltese. When I read Martial (the Roman poet), and saw the name Issa I knew I had to have a dog with that name. She was a great dog!

Fierce Bathroom

Yep! I can’t wait to take a bath in my six foot tub. IMG_1678

“Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg

I honestly don’t understand when women go on a bashing spree of other women. Recently, I read reports about stereotypes and how people react to said stereotypes. When people believe stereotypes about themselves they do poorly in every facet of their career. Most often it is our own barriers that places limits, or believing in those that love to perpetuate stereotypes. When we people learn we are all human…we are all equal. When we all start acting as though we are equals, we will be closer to achieving equality.

The perpetuators of  stereotypes are the worst offenders in my opinion. There is news in someone being a victim. Not all women are victims, there are many strong women out there. When we help each other as opposed to critiquing each other so harshly, we can all learn. Educating other women, and paying it forward is much better than utilizing bitter words against someone that has a desire to help other women move up the corporate latter.

As much as many think that she is only talking to the very wealthy and affluent, that is just a myopic view. If we use that analogy we as women will just continue to be “stuck”. She is not giving the “secret”, that is within yourself. Each of us has to dig into our core, and allow ourselves to take chances make mistakes. Thomas Edison did not think of his experiments as failures, but as attempts towards success.

Let’s all do each other a favor and lift someone up today! Make a stand for yourself, and believe in yourself! We are strong, and we are capable of living our passion. Each and everyone of us! Best Wishes!!!

Cream of Wheat

When I came across this ad for Cream of Wheat, I instantly knew it was a rare one. This one is from a magazine for the early 1900’s. I believe this one is from 1906. When I was young I really liked the Cream of Wheat man. He looked like someone to trust. I don’t know what it was about him, but the commercials even warmed my soul. He was someone I thought would be great to eat my cereal with in the morning. Imagining that he had much wisdom to dispense. Honestly, he was like a breakfast god to me. Frank L. White was his name. IMG_2091

In this depiction we see Frank at a masquerade party, and the woman in the fore ground is the lady he is singing to, the words to the song he sings are below. The music is even a part of the ad. The name of the song is “Among Life’s Treasures”  “Hello my lady are you my baby? Are you my girl so gay? Take off that mask I pray, and I’ll love you always.

Take a look at the people at the party. Check out the scary dude behind him. He appears to be stalking the girl, and he is the only one not talking to someone besides the two stars. Very strange indeed, but oh, so interesting.

William E. Doyle and Clarissa Pittman

William was born inIndiana in 1856 and Clarissa was born in Ohio in 1858. I believe the census says that Williams father was a farmer. It is a little difficult to read.  The father of Clarissa was Peter, and he was also born in Ohio. He is listed as a farmer in 1860, and the house they owned was worth $50.00. Her mother was Christina, and she was originally from Pennsylvania. By the time Clarissa was 10 she was living in Brown County, Indiana. Interestingly enough, they Pittman family were not recognized as any race in particular while they lived in Ohio, yet in Indiana they are identified as White. Their home value is now 1200.500

The two were married in 1883 in Bartholomew County Indiana. The two of them had 6 children.