Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oh the ancestors!

I started scanning some old documents that my father gave me, copies of ones his father gave him in l950.

There are some missing pages.  But fortunately there are many other copies.  These were the first attempt that my grandfather started in listing our genealogy from the Rogers Family Bible.  Since it was held by another branch of the family, the Gibbs shared it with him.  Another person had recently (in 1950) applied to be in the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and published a lot of other information on our family.

I have since chased some of those family links and think they aren't indeed true.  It is interesting however.

Now I'm sucked in again to Ancestry.com to see what's been added to my family tree since the last time I paid for membership.  It's been a couple of years, and there are some great photos of true artifacts, like many grave markers and cemetery plot information, like the census reports of many places these people lived.  So I'm updating my records.

I am also wanting to use this blog as an ancestors resource, for me or for anyone interested in these people who gave me the DNA which flows in each of my hairs as I scratch my head over some of the program commands of Ancestry.com.  It is surely as convoluted as ever.

I just need to pull away and pay attention to my life still.  On Saturday I'll join with friends in starting our season of selling pots at a Tailgate Market here in Black Mountain.  So there's that to get ready for this week.

I'm still working on getting a garden established.  Takes a while with my physical limitations, but I'm determined.  That should be on my tombstone...determination, and perseverance, but not very patient!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Changes and simple living

"You should know what I'm thinking..."


"I can pretend to be asleep with my eyes cracked open, but I know everything that's happening in the room, you bet cha!"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get sick, still do a lot

From activist movie last night which hadn't been scheduled, to catching a dratted cold and barely sleeping last night...and to a dental appointment squeezed into today's already over-scheduled events...here I yam.

The movie was at Warren Wilson college, and my friend Sarah asked me to go with her.  Partly because she has lost the sight in one eye and can't drive at night.  Partly because she's an activist and Eco-Chaplin, and I support her efforts. 
The movie was Bidder 70 (http://www.bidder70film.com/) - a movie about Peaceful Uprising and Tim DeCristopher and his successful direct action which saved thousands of acres of public BLM land from oil and gas drilling by bidding at a public auction in 2008. (http://www.peacefuluprising.org/) Tim was just released after spending two years in federal prison.  Then when I got home I watched Tim give a live streaming meeting with those who had questions for him.  The movie was very well done, including interview with Robert Redford.  I hope to have my Unitarian Universalist friends see it who are interested in social action.  There were lots of UU's in Salt Lake City who were featured in the movie, as well as the minister talking about Thoreau going to jail.
Rose that I planted has buds
My visit to the dentist was a last minute appointment to try to get a filling that fell out taken care of.  When I realized I couldn't breathe through my nose, I tired cancelling it.  There's nothing more fun that whoofing through your mouth while the dentist probes, I think.  But they talked me into keeping the appointment when I called to try to postpone it.  It's just a short appointment apparently, so the filling will probably not be fixed today.

I've a meeting with the MudBuddies at noon at a local restaurant.  That should be fun...then dash to dentist.  I may have a few hours/minutes before I meet Teresa for a fun date...for coffee at the Dripolater.  She works all the time, raises a family as well as has a great hubby, but sometimes likes to get away from it all...and I get to be part of that "play date."

At least the evening is free, so I can put my feet up, and tend my sore nose.  I'm waiting to get the movie "Lincoln" from Netflix, which will probably be tomorrow.  I'll probably share it with some friends.

So I'm breathing through my mouth today.  I still have lots of plants that ask for transplanting...soon, grasshopper, soon.  (Yes I've heard that phrase on another blog...and like it)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy San Jacinto Day

I doubt that you've ever heard of it...but this is the day that commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto 187 years ago, which meant that Texas was free of Mexican rule.

San Jacinto Monument, with bridge in background between La Port and Baytown, TX

The Battle of San Jacinto, TX followed the Alamo battle (loss of Americans to Mexicans) and the Goliad massacre (again, loss of 350 American prisoners being murdered by the Mexican army.)  Actually a few prisoners escaped and ran to Sam Houston to tell him what had happened, and this led to rescuing many families in the path of the Mexican army, on it's way to fight Sam Houston and his forces who continued to retreat.

A mention must be made of how the independent-minded and hard-working settler Texans had difficulty with many issues, whether to sue for peace, to fight on one front, or where, who to follow, and how. Americans were originally invited by Mexicans to settle the territory. Mexicans had a political mish-mash of many different Presidents, with as many ideas about how to treat Texans. Thus early Texas leadership was difficult at best, and the decisions were often made by the individual Texas men, (not a political leader or a military leader) as to who they would follow into battle.

Sam Houston was not very popular with many of the people who were trying to form an independent Texas, until he finally led his 900 men into this 18 minute battle which turned the tide.  He became a hero, though he had suffered an injury to his ankle, and lost 2 of the horses he was riding in the battle.

At San Jacinto, Mexican President and General, Santa Anna led a force of 1400 men. When Santa Anna was captured at San Jacinto, he was wearing a beggars clothes rather than his highly decorative uniform.  But one of the surviving Mexicans gave Santa Anna away, and he did surrender.  There were many Texans who had spent the hour after the battle was won, chasing the wounded Mexicans and making sure they had the same fate as the Mexicans had recently given to so many of their Texans' neighbors.

By the end of 1836, Texas was an independent republic, not yet a state belonging to the US.
On May 14, 1836, Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco, in which he agreed to withdraw his troops from Texan soil and, in exchange for safe conduct back to Mexico, lobby there for recognition of the new republic. There were two treaties, a private treaty and a public treaty. In the private treaty, Santa Anna pledged to try to persuade Mexico to acknowledge Texas' independence, in return for an escort back to Mexico. However, the safe passage never materialized; Santa Anna was held for six months as a prisoner of war (during which time his government disowned him and any agreement he might enter into—which he knew full well would happen) and finally taken to Washington, DC. There he met with President Andrew Jackson, before finally returning in disgrace to Mexico in early 1837. The independent Republic of Texas received diplomatic recognition from the United States, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Yucatán. Even after the Republic had joined the United States in 1845, Mexico still maintained claims on Texas until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War in 1848.
But I digress (or rather Wikipedia did).

As a young Texan, (age 4-7) I would go with my family from Houston to the Inn at San Jacinto for a Sunday dinner, about an hour's ride away.  The food was excellent, and it was in a huge dining room with wood floors, and we could all sit around a long dinner table (my grandparents, uncles, and cousins.)  I had no clue what the monument was about.  And I left Texas before learning state history.

I have read a lot, watched the movies, and just this week decided to review my Texas heritage.  Last night (April 20) I read about this battle, which has its anniversary today.  I thought that was enough of a push for me to share it with someone. (Incidentally, my family always said the hard "J" sound of an English speaking person, when saying San Jacinto, rather than the soft "H" sound of the Spanish "J")

On my last visit to the San Jacinto Inn and Restaurant,  my family was waiting to go upstairs for a lunch.  This visit was in the summer of 1978.

The terrain is still flood prone, with the bayous and the Houston shipping canal nearby.  (See the bridge behind the monument above)  And as you notice, the battle took place in the springtime flooding season.  This was an advantage to the Texans.

I seldom like to think of war and battles.  But as I've been looking at my genealogy, I see how many men were pulled in as volunteer soldiers, and many lost their lives fighting for what they believed in.  So today I celebrate the anniversary of this battle which led to the freedom of Texas.  That was a good thing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Reflections of spring

Watercolor pallet of reflections of spring in Lake Tomahawk
I'll share this with Weekend Reflections...where lots of beautiful pictures might be found.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

an Odd Photo

Sepia Saturday this week asks us to find an odd photo to share.  They certainly have an odd one...a boy with a couple of birds having already been plucked. (come over to see other's odd photos, at Sepia Saturday)


While looking through my library, I can't find anything that odd.

But here I have a couple, do they qualify as odd?  Look closely.

Why do you think these bees are interested in this rock, and only this place on the rock?

My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that people walk their dogs right past this rock all day.  But ducks and geese also frequent the area.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Voles vs. rose

This is a hole belonging to a vole.  They are rampant and my lawn is full of burrows.

I went ahead and planted my rose nearby.  I hope there isn't anything about a rose bush in which voles are interested.

Before...(not only grass to be dug out, but mint that loves this site)

...and after

Those are the vegetable seedlings in the tray on the porch above.  The streaked paint is a result of having a new surface put on the porch, so it will drain away from the house now.  A good trade-off for paint drizzled with concrete.

I cut all the buds, and this one is continuing to open.  I figured that adjusting to transplanting, the bush would be happier not trying to bloom at the same time.  I also am glad that my roses have a one year guarantee (as long as I keep track of the receipt).

For my own adjustment, my back thinks I should not be digging holes anyway, nor getting the mint out to give away.

I'm sharing this post with Macro Mondays HERE.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On my 69th

I had completely forgotten about how Washington DC was first hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake which occurred in Virginia on August 23rd, 2011.  Other family members in CT felt the earthquake, but I didn't myself while I was visiting in CT.

That was my birthday, when I turned 69, and right after that, Hurricane Irene hit the northeast. The news and weather were there, but lots of other things were happening that took precedence, like children, dinner, celebrations.

The earthquake did have an influence on me.  I've mentioned before that I had originally planned to see the museums in DC on my way meandering home.

When I found the exits with no gas, no facilities, and sometimes closed due to flooding under the interstates in NJ and PA, I decided to not compete with those who really needed the motel rooms around DC.  They were also probably there because of the earthquake.

My fellow blogger (Here) mentioned how the Washington Monument is currently sheathed in scaffolding to repair damage from the earthquake.

I still think about some of the events which happened in the year I before turning 70.  My friends out in Washington state are still having difficulties with the people they work for.  It has become so extreme I'm encouraging them to start to pack up and plan to get out of that toxic environment.  I find it hard that they have stayed this long, but sometimes a free apartment in exchange for work that seems easy to do can be enticing.

But like I've found many times, when the pain gets so intense that it intrudes on everything in your life, you take whatever steps are possible to relieve it.  I also tend to endure a lot before I notice how all my friends and family are wondering why.  I think inertia is the most probable reason.

I have broken some of my inertia today.  How about you?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Garden changes

Last week a machine (shown above) took down the remaining portion of a wall next to the site for the "town center".  At this time the center is a field of grass.  If someone gets the money together, Black Mountain will have a nice town center.  In the meantime, what used to be a parking lot, has grass over it.  That just means our tourists have to walk further from where they can park now.

I've been outside most of today, not taking any pictures, but working in dirt and with plants.  More to do tomorrow as well.  I'll be going to Painter's Nursery in Old Fort tomorrow and getting some herb plants...and probably some other vegetable plants as well.

I dug a place for the herbs today...but the bed isn't ready yet.  Sod needs to be turned, and grass and roots raked out.  Then some mulch applied, and a border of this raised area created by potted plants.  That will be the kitchen garden on the shadier side of the house.  I transplanted some hardy creepers to hopefully fall across the concrete block which is trying (successfully) to keep a cherry tree and some raspberry canes from coming through the chain link fence from my neighbor's yard.  I also brought some peppermint shoots to this area.  The transplanted day lillies are also planted snug up against the fence, since they may spread well if they live.

I have plans for a very small vegetable and flower garden on the sunnier side of the house.  Need a friend to do more of the digging, and I've borrowed a pick-ax in case we need it.

I brought half the potted plants outside to enjoy the sunshine, but tonight it's due to be in the 30's again.  At least no frost is forecast...and if I'm lucky I won't have to bring them all back inside again.

I was really surprised at myself working so much in the noonday sun today.  I was able to do a lot more than I expected.  So I also think I'll sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April ancestor's birthdays

Happy birthday to whoever was born in April.  I have several relatives that aren't ancestors yet with April birthdays, so a big Happy Birthday to those wonderful girls (I don't know of any boys in the family born in April).

I must comment that while researching various birthdays in my ancestors, I found a lovely site which gives at least 2 birthday dates wrong.  I was excited to find the site until I noticed my date of birth was given as Aug 21 rather than the 23.    If you publish information, please double check your dates!

Now let's see who has gone before...

Elmore Gibbs Rogers b. 4.2.1906
Alice Luella Rogers Ross b.4.18.1853, (or maybe 4.28.53, perhaps, based on just one source out of many)


Alice Luella Rogers Ross was born on 4.18.1853 in Mt. Lebanon, Bienville Parish, LA and she and her husband became guardians of my grandfather George Elmore Rogers at 2, and his sister Annie Lou Gibbs Rogers Wilson (age 2 months), when their father died in 1879. (see HERE for some of Annie Lou's story)

Alice Luella was my grandfather's aunt, sister of William Sandford "W. Sam" Rogers.  Their mother was Lucinda Benson Gibbs Rogers b.3.28.1818, who I talked about HERE

Alice Luella Rogers Ross married 1.18.1876 in Huntsville, TX to John Elmore Ross  (b.2.22.1850, d.1.14.1918.) and he was born in either Cotton Gin, Freestone County, TX, or Alabama according to another source (which is doubtful).

So let's see what we know about this woman.

She was 22 when she married.  Within 3 years her brother, "W. Sam" Rogers, died on 5.29.79. (I don't know when his wife, Bette Bass Rogers, died exactly.) They lived in Huntsville, Texas.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Alice Luella's first child was born 09 NOV 1876, and her second on 19 SEP 1878.  By 09 DEC 1880 she had her third son.

Where did she live her life?  Born in Mt. Lebanon, LA, she was married in Huntsville, TX.  The Rogers were involved with managing the Texas State Penitentiary in some capacity, (which hasn't been bragged about around the family circle very much.)  There was a Rogers connection with Gibbsland, LA and Mt. Lebanon in my great-grandfather's aunts and uncles in the Gibbs family.

But after Alice married, the Ross family moved, as well as her sister, Laura Terissa Rogers, (b. 2.28.1852, Mt. Lebanon, LA,) to Mexia, Texas.  You may have no idea where these places are. I'll try to have map connections below.

The Ross family lived in Mexia, TX because all her seven children were born there.Also living with them was a maiden sister, Laura Terissa Rogers as well.  Several of these were lifelong friends of my grandfather.

Alice Luella Rogers Ross did live a pretty long life, dying on 15 JUN 1925, age 72, in Harrisburg, Texas, now part of Houston.

Mt. Lebanon, LA is just south of Gibbsland (which I mentioned before HERE talking about Lucinda Benson Gibbs Rogers' brother.)  Highway I-20 goes west toward Shreveport, LA (then on to Dallas which is about 30 miles north of Mexia, TX.)  (Please forgive me, every time I try to put a link to a map, it goes somewhere else instead.)

I'll try again, if you get to it... the following map has Houston at the very bottom, and Huntsville is about 40 miles north on present day I-45, which then continues about 60 miles north to an exit to Mexia, TX, where the little pin is (as just mentioned above, about 30 miles south of Dallas)  http://mapq.st/ZQVRhd   My mileage guesses are just eyeballing along the map, not whatever Mapquest says.

Alice Luella Rogers Ross seems to have had a very fulfilling life.  My grandfather named his first born after a Ross family idol...Elmore.  (More on the origin of that name later)
Elmore Gibbs Rogers b. 4.2.1906, d. 23 OCT 1916 (one source says he drowned), Galveston, TX.  He would have been my father's older brother for about a year, since my father was born 11.9.1915.

Here is a portrait of my grandparents holding Elmore, their first son in 1906.  I hesitated to include him in this birthday wish, then realized how many members of our ancestors' families didn't make it to adulthood.  The other interesting thing is again that name, Elmore. (When another of the Elmore's birthdays comes I'll go back into the history of who everyone was probably named after.)

Both John Elmore Ross and my grandfather had the same middle name, and remember John Ross was guardian of my grandfather.  And then my father had the name as well, being George Elmore Rogers, Jr.  Since my father was born before young Elmore died at age 10, it seems strange that he carried that middle name, but perhaps being called "Junie," by the family forever, it didn't really matter.

I celebrate all my ancestors born in the month of April!

An addendum to my post on Lucinda Benson Gibbs Rogers (this source has lots of us Rogers' listed, (but with at least 2 incorrect birthdays as mentioned above.)  Lucinda Benson Gibbs)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ahhhh, a long day

REI's April Fools pic.  I'm assuming lots of PhotoShop.
The animal rights activists would definitely come after REI for this cutie.  I do like the way they make her look so pathetic.  Know any hikers who have this look?  Oh oh.

Me back to real yoga today.
Well, I'm so glad I've been doing the 15 min. of Senior-Cise each morning for the last couple of weeks.  Nothing like yoga however.  I am now vividly aware that having not done it for the last year, my joints and muscles have forgotten how to go in some of those places that they used to go.  Groan.

The Shahara Peace Choir sang for a rather small audience, but did give a good performance at Ten Thousand Villages.  In the past we've had people standing in the back.  I didn't see that today.  But we sounded great!

My feet got really sore by the third hour of standing on them, though there had been a break after the rehearsal.

I came home and got totally horizontal.  Then the cramps started in my muscles of my feet.  I've been having that a lot in my hands when throwing pottery or trimming...just holding tools and doing carving.  It's not in the joints, but when the muscles across the tops of my hands make a finger or thumb (both hands) go sideways in a very painful cramp.  Same thing happened across my foot.  My feet respond well to having a heating pad available for a half hour afterwards.

I'm trying to do some strengthening exercises for my fingers.  My doctor said to make sure my calcium and potassium is up, and the last blood work showed plenty of calcium in my blood.  I eat bananas all the time too.  Any suggestions welcome.

I also just finished watching an old Brit TV series Pillars of the Earth, from Netflix.  I was intrigued by the special effects.  I was glad to fast-forward through some of the battles.  And I did delight in the cathedral being built.  But from my limited experience around architecture, I remember medieval cathedrals were centuries in the building, and often didn't have stone floors for a long time.  So this one which was built with a stone floor right away, not to mention being completed so fast, seemed to belong to the fantasies of the novel and movies.  That was until I looked up Salisbury Cathedral in England, which was completed in 38 years.  I couldn't find anything about the floor however.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Going from former factories (my last post) to present day landscaping...
Patterns of parallel lines

Being submitted as Friday Fences HERE.

The terracing of a steep hill in the mountains

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Factory gone now

Swannanoa, NC has a spread-out feeling to it.  This is the  town center.  US 70 runs east to west at the next intersection of this street (looking north). Go further east to Black Mountain, west to Asheville.  The Swannanoa Valley was formed by the river of the same name, and like most mountain valleys, is long and narrow.  It's actually pretty wide right at the town center.

My friends Jerry Pope and Rebecca Williams are making a film about the Beacon Blanket factory in Swannanoa, and the lives of the people who worked there.
See more information HERE.  

This is the factory as seen in the 30's.

Across the field (below) you can see small houses in the distance like those around factories in many NC towns.  Why houses around a field?  The Beacon Blanket Factory used to be here (one million square feet on four stories).  It was shut down in 2002 and burned down in 2003.  The property has been cleared of most of the debris and is for sale.

I hope you are as interested in history as I am. 

I will be sending this post as a link for Sepia Saturday, which shows people's pictures from their archives.  This week's topic is monuments and old structures, and I'm pretty sure the Beacon Factory would qualify.

Former site of the Beacon Blanket factory.

And from Jerry and Rebecca's site I saw a fireman's video of the fire, which shows the extent of it's impact upon this community. 

There are those blue ridge mountains in the distance looking past the Beacon property.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On a more personal note

My sister and I have resumed our relationship.
We cautiously send each other emails.
We speak about our cats, our children a bit, and plants.

We have such a poor history together.  Yes, I am partly to blame.  The main thing that pulled us apart is blame however.  So I am avoiding all judgements.

I hope we can slowly mend the fence that had been turned into a concrete wall...about 10 stories high.

It is easiest for me to just walk to the end of the wall, peak around to see what is there, but hold onto the edge of that wall just in case I need it.  There is the fear still from the old wounds.  I do hope that whatever we can build together now won't mean we have to address those wounds for a while.

Our relationship existed in health for a while, about until 1974 or somewhere back then. Then everything in our lives just pushed and pulled too much, and we've not been close much since then. Rather there has been a lot of pain off and on, given to each other.  It's as if we have the same weaknesses that itch and then the other scratches that exact place, but with claws rather than soothing touch.

I give this information to you, my blog, because it's an important event in my life.  Just like a rebirth, which is what spring is all about.