Monthly Archives: July 2011

It Wasn’t Called a Bucket List

I remember when I first desired to see all the fascinating places in the world when I was a kid. We heard about them in school, of course, but it was when I discovered one of the rooms in the 4-room school (not including the bathrooms) that had floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books.  The books that took my eye were the National Geographic with it’s golden rim outlining the cover picture. There were full page sized photographs in rich wonderful colors on page after page. Somewhere in time, this magazine has lost some of the richness by adding more text and much smaller photos. The old brick schoolhouse was still being used except only one room was used for five grades.  Each row was a different grade. All of the junior high and high school students were bussed to another town. There was no internet – just encyclopedias and books. 

It was not a bucket list but I had dreams of going to see the Pyramids in Egypt.

Dreams of climbing the tallest mountain in the lush green Andes in South America – perhaps Machu Picchu.

I wanted to go to Siam and see the exquisite graceful dancers with their unique golden costumes. I wanted to watch them dance and even learn how they moved their heads and fingers.

How do they move their hands and fingers – I am sure it takes intense practicing since they were children.

Not that it was last but I wanted to visit Poland because my father’s side of the family was Polish.  It used to get my goat when my father and grandmother spoke Polish so that I couldn’t tell what they were saying.  He knew Polish; I did not!

Czestochowia Dancers

How can I not be fascinated by my own Polish culture?

I want a vest like this one.

The beard is a little funky.

Black Madonna from Czestochowia



Today I ran across a real artist who uses recycled items and makes robots from them.  They are all too too cute. If they were’t so darn expensive, I’d buy one.
Thus, I decided to give tribute to Will. 

In case you are as interested in this artist as I am, I am attaching his web address:

I have a new obsession: owls.  I am determined to make a pair of owl earrings. They need to have jeweled eyes, no plain silver or gold.  I am a bit fussy. I never knew that there were so many different varieties of owls.  I added some to Pinterest and found these wonderful photos:

 I wish that I knew where these birds are but I have a feeling that they are across the ocean somewhere.

Whoever painted this, congrats! 

Krasnybor Church

Sztabin’s Church

At the time that my great grandparents were married, they traveled from Sztabin to the next closest town Krasnybor and were married there.

Krasnybor Church Cemetery Monument

Originally the Zdanowicz family lived in Cisow – a tiny farming village which is north of Sztabin. According to the map the next village to the north is Ewy, then Kamien, then Cisow.   Maciej (Matthew) Zdanowicz was born Kamien. Rozalia Zagorska was born in Janowek. Katarzyna Chilicki was born in Kamien.

Can you see why I want to visit Poland?  I want to see the places where my ancestors lived and perhaps, make contact with cousins who still live there.

Learning a Language

Cottage in Sztabin

For the last year and a half, I have been studying Polish so that when I go on my dream-of-a-life time trip to Poland, I will be able to understand some of the language and even speak a few words. I have completed disk one from Rosetta Stone and I should send for disk two because I still have no confidence about speaking or knowing what someone else says in Polish.  I know lots of words but is it enough?  I have my doubts.

Vigorously searching for my roots, I found the villages where my grandfather and great grandparents lived.  I have even been in touch with cousins from both areas in Poland.  Sztabin is not on the tourist route and is close to Belarus (it was part of Russia not too long ago). The Biebrza River flows through Sztabin and that area is called the lungs of Europe. 

Biebrza River

Discovery on Missouri Trip

On the longest journey ever while returning from Missouri (I can’t even imagine how the pioneers walked it) we discovered a new breakfast item that makes our mouths water just thinking about them. One restaurant had something that looked like a hush puppy but it was really a deep fat fried ball of pancake dough with chocolate chips in the middle.

My all time favorite is blueberry pancakes with luscious fresh blueberries cooked throughout the pancake.  My daughter cooks up an entire batch and then freezes the remaining pancakes so that on mornings when she doesn’t have time to cook, she uses the frozen pancakes.

We’ve made up our own recipe by using a plain frozen pancake and after heating it in the toaster oven, we added chocolate chips with the point downward.  It is almost as good as the blueberry pancake! The toaster oven adds a crunch to the outside of the pancake which is just delightful.

Utah Pioneers

July 24 is Utah’s State holiday.  We celebrate the day that the pioneers came to the valley and Brigham Young their leader and prophet said, “this is the place.”  Thousands of pioneers came across the plains. They came from the East coast of the United States and from Europe.

When I was a kid, I thought that they all road in a wagon but I was wrong, only the driver was on the wagon and the rest walked. I have 17 pioneers who came west which includes husbands, wives and children (they all had different stories).

Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen was born in New Hampshire in 1782. He married Eunice Miner in Vermont; they had 10 children. They migrated to New York State. Andrew and his family joined the Mormons and moved to Ohio. Because Andrew had been in the War of 1812, he was given a land grant where he settled in Iowa.  

He could never make up his mind whether he wanted to go to the Great Salt Lake Valley.  When several of his children came in wagons from Ohio, he refused to go with them and he stayed in Iowa.  He told his wife, “I wish to hell you would just leave and I never want to hear of Utah or the Mormons again.” She packed her clothes, threw them in her son’s wagon and walked to Utah.  

He remarried a much younger woman and had one more child. He died in Iowa and his previous wife died in Utah.

Old West Ghost Town

My daughter is fascinated with the program that two plumbers by day have become Ghost Hunters at night. They use special electronic equipment to pickup noises and special night lighting that makes them look a little on the ghost side themselves.  

They were visiting one of the oldest Ghost Towns in Nevada called “Virginia City” named after a fellow who had killed someone in Virginia and had fled to Nevada.  In 1859 the mother lode was found and it became an instance mining town.  After the gold and silver were removed, it became ghost town #1.

These Ghost Hunters were in the attic of the old Washoe Club.

They found a white pipe with steam or something coming out of the top of it so they both leaned over and took a whiff.  Suddenly, they both pulled back and about gagged – apparently, it was the pipe from the bathroom and they had just whiffed someone doing their business.  The one plumber was spitting and spitting trying to get the taste and smell out of his sinuses.

Well, if you want to see some old ghost town buildings and wander around there, you will have to pay.  It is now a very lucrative business of selling the past. It’s all for the tourists just like Tombstone, Arizona.