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, September 30, 2014

A few small steps

And just cause I like to share, here's the Historic Marker for Laura Terrissa Rogers, a music teacher in Mexia, Texas from 1880-1920.
"Miss Rogers Music Room, Built opposite public school, for Laura T. Rogers, who(1880-1920) taught piano and choral music from 7 am to 7pm 6 days a week, 8 months in year. Had 4 pianos used all day, 8 pupils often played in unison. Auditorium with overflow seating in the yard, staged recitals and dramas. A church organist/choir director 35 years Miss Rogers kindled cultural interests in pupils of two generations. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.

She lived with her sister, Alice Luella Rogers Ross, and remained single all her life. But she was a very active woman...and much admired by her relatives and pupils.

Their brother was my direct ancestor, my father's grandfather, William Sandford Rogers.

Today has been a computer oriented day...because my right shoulder has given up, gives nothing but pain if I lift my arm.  And the first available doctor appointment is next Mon.  So I will try these heat rubs...which smell so much like muscle treatments, phew!...and the various pain relievers.

Sure don't think I can do much besides rest my arms, back etc.  I don't know what the heck I did, but it began a couple of weeks ago, when I'd feel a click in the joint when I lay on that side sleeping. 

I've heard of other people with shoulder pains, and I've never given them quite as much empathy as I do now!  Owwey.

So I can still do things with my fingers, and I've found all these grave marker pictures on Find-A-Grave sites...so I've downloaded them to lots of my ancestors...mainly their sisters and brothers, since my actual ancestors already had their photos, if they were available.

But the good news is finding updated ones which are more legible, so I'm glad I took a peek at them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The water is sacred

We hear so much about pollution of our waters...and little about how all water is naturally sacred.
It comes to us from mother earth, providing for all life.
What's not sacred about that?

So when I heard "Blessings on the River" would be right here in Black Mountain, NC, instead of Asheville, this year, I was just tickled pink.  This is an annual performance, a ritual, a gathering of people who honor goddess energies, and above all, a community of people with open hearts and minds.

Drumming by 15 women of the Wild Bodema Drummers.

Singing by women of the Sahara Peace Choir.

Greetings of a Yoruba priestess of Oshun, goddess of the rivers.

Leadership by a priestess of Inanna and the Mother Grove Temple of the Goddess.

H. Byron Ballard

Blessings similar to baptism with water of a river.

Songs written and led by talented Annelinde Metzner.

Circle dancing for bees and all creatures.

Sufi dancing of honoring the beauty of each of us.

A setting out in nature next to free flowing waters.

An altar to the goddesses of water...

The only wildlife

I went up to Mt. Mitchell the other day...to take a new friend who'd not yet been to the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi (in the US of course) See my other blog HERE.

And all along the Blue Ridge Parkway we saw lots of trees, and people on motorcycles.  Not too much traffic, but about half of it was on 2 wheels.  And maybe 3 or 4 people on bicycles too.

Wildlife was in short supply however!

This is as close as I got.  I don't even remember seeing any birds.

I wouldn't have seen him if he hadn't hopped away as I walked over to the edge of the woods.  I started in a grassy area, and suddenly there was something ahead of me, which then became very still, when I became very still also.  So I took another step.  (at the bottom portion of the picture, where a lot of twigs all intersect, is a tiny frog.)

He won the "I'll stay still till she goes away" contest, and I went home.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Before I was a Motorcycle Mama...

First I was just a date...
on the back of a Triumph motorcycle with my one-day-to-become husband, who is now my ex-husband.

But back in my early twenties, I  was like a lot of women, a bit of a fool for those rumbling machines...and the men who rode them.

Doug rode this bike across country from Hartford, CT to San Diego, CA where he was about to have "Basic Training" for the Coast Guard.

A friend of his lived in the middle of the country near St. Louis, MO, and he stopped to visit Dave. And I happened to be boarding in that house, since it was on a college campus, so I met Doug.  Our entire relationship then moved into the status of writing letters (remember them?)

He sent me this photo, with a lovely innocent inscription on the reverse...and of course I carried it in my wallet.
To Barbara the "Laughing  Girl"
from the dancing prep school hood
with memories of Pepsi on the
cellar stairs.
With love and such,

Yes that was 1961.  The cellar stairs were where we had a lot of our "date" while he may have been working on the Triumph.  I know he did give me a ride at some time.  And either that trip, or the next, he took me out for pizza as well. The motorcycle was no longer part of the equation by the time we seriously got engaged.

But that's another story.  I share this with my Sepia Saturday friends, and hope you'll click HERE and come over to see what they've come up with as well. 

Oh yes,  In about 1971 I was half owner of a Honda motorcycle with my then boyfriend.  We split up and sold the motorcycle.  By then I had my first 2 sons, and decided they needed me alive and healthy and that motorcycles were pretty risky to drive around.

Several years later, Doug, by then my ex hubby, again drove a motorcycle and had a bad accident with broken bones...and I don't think he had any more motorcycles.  My oldest son, however, did own one when he was in the Navy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's not just me...

Thanks Ronni Bennett for bringing this issue to your audience, which is much larger than mine.

Here's her post today about Dental Care for Elders.

So what can we do about this?

Please leave comments if you have suggestions...anything might help me, Ronni, or someone else.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dentist frustrations

Today I go have a tooth pulled.

I've got so much frustration around my dental woes.

It's not just that my teeth have not been cared for.  I care a lot about them...knowing they are what enables me to eat, and maybe even smile at those I love.

But with age, and drugs for other conditions, and perhaps my sweet tooth which I inherited (of course I can blame that on genetics) and oh, genetics which gave me crooked teeth too...anyway, the dentist presented several options which I am considering.

I've received very good treatment for medical conditions since I retired and started having Medicare medical coverage.

There is virtually no dental care for elders.  You can purchase a private plan, which will pay for your cleanings and yearly X-rays...but the cost of most private plans is higher than paying the dentist directly.  At least the ones I've looked at.

So I asked my dentist about that, and she agreed that you have to be a very good shopper to get a dental plan which will help.  She told me all the questions to ask.

But before I even got to talk to a real person, I found I'd be paying for coverage for a year and not get any treatment at all, because of a "waiting period."  Thanks a lot.  Can I just call you my charity of choice?

I'd just as soon be my own charity of choice.

The real hooker is that my depleted savings won't cover all the treatment my dentist wants to do.  She says it needs to be done. 

So I sit in a quandary.  Cried a lot too.  Friends told me good advice for free clinics that treat folks who don't have any savings.  But since I still do have a little tucked away, I'm not eligible for the free clinics.

A catch 22 situation for sure.

I could go to other dentists, as I've already moved from my first to a second one...and paid for an initial visit for both of them...and I would pay for that initial visit at any new dentists as well.  And they all charge basically the same rates, give or take a few dollars.  And they all are pretty nice people.  They make an effort to make folks feel comfortable, cause they know dental care produces anxiety.

So within days of this quandary, I had a filling fall out, while thinking about and not deciding what to do.

I took the little piece of filling in, got some more X-rays to see if the root should have a root canal as one option, and it didn't look good.  So that tooth is to go bye-bye today.  I couldn't decide the other day when the dentist examined me.  I came home and cried again.  I had to pay another dental visit and she had given me some kind of discount.  These visits are a bit less than $100 each.

Do you know how many pots I have to sell to pay each of her visits?  They average around $20 retail.

I decided I needed to get the tooth out as soon as possible.  I may have to cancel the cleaning that I scheduled next month...which would cost around $200 with $12 toothpaste, a floride treatment and I don't know what else that is recommended.

Living on Social Security and savings, and occasional pottery sales, this person's needs have just become incredibly stressful.

Financial acumen has never been my strong point.  But I refuse to wallow in self-pity.  I'm going to just keep on doing what I am good at doing.  And I'll blog about the dentist whenever I feel like it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day trip to Mt. Mitchell

I'm resting after an adventure.

At my age, each adventure has a price, usually to at least take a nap when I return home.  Today I turned the heat on.  Whew, a high today of just 63 degrees...and I'd left the windows open when I took off this morning.

I also had fun spending time with a new friend, Shelly Frome.  He and I had a good time driving up the Blue Ridge Parkway to the State Park where the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi is sheltered.

But it was also sheltered by clouds.

I'll be sharing more of my trip over at "Living in Black Mountain" the blog that has a link over on the right hand column.  In a few days...I'm finishing up the photos from my last day trip.  If nothing else my retirement has allowed me several of these driving trips (in my car or others) to nearby sites. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

As we sit in perfect balance between 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night...
I'm going to take today off from blogging!
Happy Equinox everyone~!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Living under the oak trees

These wonderful trees are in the midst of dropping their bombs right now.
When the acorns hit a garage roof, or the roof of a car, there's a much louder boom than when they hit the cement, which is still louder than when they hit grass and dirt.

Photo by William Snape

So outside my windows there's a constant barrage of artillery landing all over the place.  Noisy bunch of acorns.  Haven't seen the squirrels.  But then I'm looking at the computer, and just hearing the ratta tat tat outside the open windows.

When I'm at the tailgate market in Black Mountain, guess what kind of tree is dropping those huge acorns on our heads!

What trees do you live beneath?

Friday, September 19, 2014


Sons Tai and Russ race each other along beach probably in 1990
From 1971 to 1984 I drove this van, often sleeping in it while traveling over 150 thousand miles.

But after 84, I returned to tent camping with my younger 2 sons for vacation fun.

Sea Oat hold windswept dunes along Cumberland Island
One of my favorite places was Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia.

Of course you have to take a ferry to get to it, since it's an island.  Not many vehicles except those of the Park service and a few people who own homes there.  So there are many miles of tree shaded areas, which is good because the woods are still and very hot in the summer..
Son Tai and myself on the ferry ride.

And a ruin of a Carnegie mansion, destroyed by fire in 1959.

Tai standing in front of Carnegie Mansion ruins, Cumberland Island, GA

I remember that you call on January 1 to make a reservation for the ferry, so that you can get on island and off again.  I once camped on the island in group camping, which is fun, but the last time I went we camped in St. Marys, GA both before and after our day in the sun.  It was still exhausting.

Russ standing with dunes of Cumberland Island

There's the family tent, and that year we tried taking cots rather than just air mattresses.  Not so great.

I'm sharing this post with Sepia Saturday this week...HERE

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Elizabeth Dunster Bowers

Her husband, "Benanuel Bowers was a militant Quaker sympathizer and suffered much for his religion by fine, whip and prison. Some letters and doggerel lines of his are yet preserved in the Middlesex County Court, one addressed to Thomas Danforth the magistrate, date March 3, 1677. (not yet transcribed)

"The following excerpts from "The Letters of Mrs. Robert Clay" are not completely accurate.

"My Grandfather, Benanuel Bowers was born in England of honest Parents, but his father, being a man of stern temper, and a rigid Oliverian, obliged my Grandfather (who out of a pious zeal, turned to the religion of the Quakers) to flee for succour into New England." The Letters of Mrs. Robert Clay.(Ann Curtis Clay Bolton)

"He purchased a farm near Boston and then married. Both were Quakers. The Zealots of the (Presbyterian party) sic. ousted them. They escaped with their lives, though not without whippings, and imprisonments, and the loss of a great part of their worldly substance.

"History of Cambridge, MA 1630-1877, preface, p 37. Baxter, Joseph, H. C. 1693, witness to will of Benanuel Bowers.

The above quote is an attachment to Benanuell Bowers on Ancestry DOT com. I have no way to verify it.  But I know that Cambridge and Harvard in the 1600's were not ruled by Presbyterians, but by Puritans.

Benanuel married Elizabeth Dunster on Dec 9, 1653.

He had been born in  1627 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.  His father George Bowers had been born in 1590 in Manly, Lincolnshire, England.  Ancestry hasn't bothered to check that this place even exists, or ever did.  But some place like Manby, Manley, or some other such spelling must have at one time.

Elizabeth Dunster was born however, on 15 Jul 1632 in Bury, Lancashire, England, which isn't near Lincolnshire.  So it was a good thing that she immigrated to America also.

Elizabeth Dunster had a much older brother, Henry Dunster, born 16 Nov, 1609.  He not only studied at Cambridge, England, but when he immigrated to Charlestown, MA, he became the first President of the newly formed Harvard College.

Dunster, Henry 1609-1659 First Harvard U. Pres.

Dunster House, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 The Harvard Charter which he developed, says:

Transcription of text in document

WHEREAS, through the good hand of God, many well devoted persons have been, and daily are moved, and stirred up, to give and bestow, sundry gifts, legacies, lands, and revenues for the advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences in Harvard College, in Cambridge in the County of Middlesex, and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows, and for all accommodations of buildings, and all other necessary provisions, that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country, in knowledge and godliness: It is therefore ordered, and enacted by this Court, and the authority thereof, that for the furthering of so good a work and for the purposes aforesaid, from henceforth that the said College, in Cambridge in Middlesex, in New England, shall be a Corporation, consisting of seven persons, to wit, a President, five Fellows, and a Treasurer or Bursar: and that Henry Dunster shall be the first President, Samuel Mather, Samuel Danforth, Masters of Arts, Jonathan Mitchell, Comfort Starr, and Samuel Eaton, Bachelors of Arts, shall be the five Fellows, and Thomas Danforth to be present Treasurer, all of them being inhabitants in the Bay, and shall be the first seven persons of which the said Corporation shall consist: and that the said seven persons, or the greater number of them, procuring the presence of the Overseers of the College, and by their counsel and consent, shall have power, and are hereby authorized, at any time or times, to elect a new President, Fellows, or Treasurer, so oft, and from time to time, as any of the said person or persons shall die, or be removed, which said President and Fellows, for the time being, shall for ever hereafter, in name and fact, be one body politic and corporate in law, to all intents and purposes; and shall have perpetual succession; and shall be called by the name of President and Fellows of Harvard College, and shall, from time to time, be eligible as aforesaid. And by that name they, and their successors, shall and may purchase and acquire t...

Henry Dunster, Harvard

The above quote doesn't have a source, but Ancestry does give a photo of this book on Henry Dunster..

Henry Dunster's gravesite
 This is Henry Dunster's gravesite in the Old Burying Yard ("God's Acre") just a stone's throw from Harvard Yard. After his voluntary exile in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, it was Dunster's express wish in his will that he be buried close to the College he loved after his death.

So Harvard changed the original covenant which Henry Dunster began, and he had some difficulties with other members of the administration.

But I am glad great Uncle Henry (time many greats) had a younger sister who is my direct ancestress.
Henry Dunster 1609-1659 marker bench

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bowers further back

Looking into those wonderful female ancestors is often so frustrating.

But today I give you a link that has maybe a bit of weaving that may just unravel the frustration.

The births of the Benanuel Bowers' children of Charlestown, MA were recorded (all eight of them) in detail, by a clerk.  On that page he gives credit that the usual person who kept these records had died.

The clerk who was gracious enough to record these names made one very big mistake.

At least that's the best I can figure out at this time.  I'll gladly write different results if and when I find them.

Benanuell and Marie Bowers are given as the parents.
But Benanuell was married to Elizabeth Dunster.  Records attest to that fact.  They married Dec. 9, 1653. 

So who's this Marie?  I think clerk Edward Burtt made up a name.

From 1653-1673 there are 8 children listed, and at the bottom of the handwritten sheet (all the same handwriting) it says

"Record of all births, deaths, and marriages, that have been in Charlestown since the death of Mr. Thomas Harre (first letter is unclear) who departed this life the twentisixth day of the eighth month, 1658.  Per mee: Edward Burtt, Clerk

So apparently since 1658, good records hadn't been kept...and since the last entry is 1673, it's likely that records were not kept for those 15 years, and were being attempted to be reconstructed.  Remember there are not complete records, but just a few scraps available.

What difference does it make whether Benanuell's wife was named Marie or Elizabeth Dunster?

A big difference to her.  And probably to my descendents.

I'll tell you more about who she was, in relation to a rather important person, tomorrow.  For now I've added a middle name of "Marie" to Elizabeth Dunster Bowers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Neighborhood relations

I'm still interested in my Swasey and Bowers roots.  So 1790 census of Somerset, MA shows the following record...

1151 persons, 141 dwelling houses...as totaled at bottom of sheet.

Starting in left column the interesting households are:
Line number 6: Joseph Swasey, Jr. with 2 males over 16 and 4 females (no age given) He is probably a brother to Jermethuel Bowers Swasey, since the other Joseph Swasey is closer on the list to Jermethuel, (see below). And Junior usually meant the son of a father by the same name.
number 22 is Jermethuel Bowers, 3 males over 16, 4 females. He is uncle to Jermethuel Bowers Swasey, his mother Mary Bowers Swasey's brother.
number 23 is David Bower (or Bowen? or Bowers? I am assuming those that are clear enough to read as Bower would be related to Bowers, and those that are clearly Bowen are not Bower.)  There was a brother of Mary Bowers Swasey named David, who apparently died in 1786, so perhaps the widow was still keeping this household, or it wasn't a Bowers at all.
then 25 is David Bowers Jr.  I don't have any information on children of Uncle David Bowers.

Then more Bowers households follow:
Lloyd Bowen(Bower?) comes along
William Bower
Mary Bower
Bfs  (Benjamin?) Bower
Clark Bowers
Anna Bowers
Only Bfs Bower might be a sibling of Mary Bowers Swasey, according to those listed as of this date at Ancestry.

Going to the right hand column of names on the same sheet for Somerset, MA we find:
Joseph Swasey, one male over 16, one female, and one "free other person"  (This is either father to Jermethuel Bowers Swasey, or a brother, but it's not definite, so see the Joseph Swasey Jr. above)
Then Samuel Swasey, one male over 16, one male under 16, two females. Probably Jerathmel's brother.
Then Jermethuel Swasey, (my ancestor) one male over 16, four males under 16, three females (see below for more on his house)

later down the row, Primus Bower, with 7 "free other persons."
Then York Bower with 6 "free other persons."
I think the 2 last households would have been servants, perhaps free Blacks, since they weren't indicated in any other way.

Who were my definite ancestors in the 1790 census?
Jermethuel Swasey and his wife Sarah Hellon Swasey

 My next generation ancestor is Alexander G. Swasy, who was to have his 7th birthday in 1790.  So he was one of the 4 males under 16.  As of this writing I only have details of one brother and one sister, but apparently there were 4 other siblings.  As the Somerset census continues to have a lot of Bowers, and a few Swaseys, it's not surprising.

By 1800 census the following information is given for Jerathmel Bowers Swasey:
Here's the original:

Jerathmul Bowers Swasey is the last listing, which is interesting considering the name is at the top left hand column.  There are only 10 sheets of this census on microfilm.  Perhaps the addendum noted under his name at top left had something to do with that...but it's besides the point.

Details of Jerathmul Swasey's 1800 household are
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 15: 3
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members:9

How old were Jermethel and his wife Sarah? In 1790 he would have had his 38th birthday, and she her 33rd.  So it would have been a bit of a stretch in 1800 for her to have been considered over 45 (being only 43).

The second census doesn't have any Bowers on the same sheet, so I will just focus upon who in my ancestors would have been living at the Swasey home in 1800.

Alexander G. Swasey would have his 17th birthday that year, but is probably listed as one of the males 10-15.  There are still 4 boys and 3 girls indicated as children, most of which I don't have records for.

Soon, some interesting links to other folks in New England, going back through mothers lines.