Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

This is a list of the top ten post for 2011 (I hope they are correct, I had a little problem with analytics this year).

1. Seattle Worlds Fair Day 2 April 55 page views
2. Seattle Worlds Fair Day 7 April 43 page views
3. Seattle Worlds Fair Day 4 April 40 page views
4. Carnival of Genealogy 2011 Swimsuit Issue May 38 page views
5. Old Fashioned Thanksgiving for COG November 37 page views
6. My Mayflower Lines November 24 page views
7. 2011 Advent Calendar Holiday Parties December 18 page views
8. Saturday Night Fun Historical Maps November 16 page views
9. 2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Tree December 16 page views
10. 2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Cookies December 11 page views

The top post was from 2010 a tribute to King Forrest Cole the founder of EXPO 74 in Spokane on his death December 2010

Friday, December 30, 2011

Funeral Card Friday Clarence R, Ruud

Clarence R. Ruud was our neighbor from as early as I remember until about 1960 when he had a heart attack and retired from his head custodian job at Rogers High School. Soon after that he moved to the coast to be close to his son Lane. Clarence helped my dad get a job as a custodian with the school district, so pop ended up with a pension when he retired. If you check the dates it looks like Clarence was 60 years old when he died but he died before his birthday. Why was this important? At that time if the husband died before he was 60 years old his wife could not collect Social Security on his account, even if she had never worked. His wife Minnie Ruud had worked some, so she got a minimal amount of Social Security, but no where near the amount that should have been available from Clarence's account.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Eve

How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

My moms family always opened their presents on Christmas Eve, so since we lived close we went there to open the presents we received and gave to our grandmother and grandfather Kelly. Later on we were also able to bring one present from home also. Pops family always opened presents on Christmas morning, and since we did not live close to pops family we usually exchanged gifts early in December and then on Christmas morning we opened all the rest of the presents.

Copied from the 2009 Advent calendar

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is another of my dad's postcards, this one is undated, but on the back it says: Claude Hansen from grandma (Eliza Minerva (Hellenbolt) Dillingham)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas & Deceased Relatives

Copied from the 2010 Advent Calendar:

Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?

My mom Margaret Hansen died rather suddenly November 30, 1994. Her diabetes had started to take is toll, and they were talking about amputating her feet because of poor circulation due to the diabetes. She was in the hospital and heading for an X-Ray when she died. That Christmas was a fog for me, and since then weather permitting we usually visit her grave between Thanksgiving and Christmas to put flowers in the little vase on the front of their niche.

December 10, 2007 my uncle Leigh died at age 94, while he had not been in very good shape for a while his death was kind of quick. He was buried next to his wife in the cemetery at Priest River, Idaho. We have went to his grave several times an put flowers and flags on his grave.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Music

This is partly from the 2010 and 2009 Advent Calendars

What songs did your family listen to during Christmas?
Well I like most all the Christmas songs, we have albums ranging from Alvin and The Chipmunks Christmas Songs, to Perry Como Christmas, Andy Williams, Mitch Miller, Lawrence Welk, Spike Jones and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Did you ever go caroling?

No, never, tooo cold around here at Christmas time, we did sing carols at church and at school, and I even got to lead the band in high school on the last day before Christmas vacation in a Christmas carol.

Did you have a favorite song?
No, like most all the Christmas songs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Religious Services

From the 2009 Advent Calendar:

Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season?

While my grandmother Kelly was alive we went to Sunday School at the Hillyard Christian Church on Queen and Altamont. I remember being in a few of the Christmas pageants, and the minister or his son would dress up as Santa and pass out candy and cookies to all the children that the church ladies had made. If my sister or I was in the pageant my parents would come, but otherwise my parents seldom went to church. I learned after the Hillyard Christian Church closed that my grandfather Kelly had been one of the founders of that church. I was real young when he died so I don't ever remember grandpa Kelly going to church.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Shopping

This is mostly from the 2009 Advent Calendar:

How did your family handle Christmas shopping? Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve?

My mom started in February for the next Christmas, and was usually done before Thanksgiving. She hid presents all over the house and even forgot some she had bought. My dad started in November and was usually done a couple of days before Christmas. I usually shopped like my dad, but as I get older I am switching more to be like mom and starting early.
Mom always shopped the after Christmas sales for wrapping paper, bows, name tags, etc., but I have a bunch of paper, bows, and tags.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Stockings

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it?

We did put up stockings a few times when I was young, but most years not. We did not have a fireplace so no mantle to hang the stockings from. When I was pretty young mom bought a cardboard fireplace, and when unfolded it was supposed to look like a fireplace. It had a light inside with a little fan above the light. When the light was on the heat from the light made the fan turn so it was suppose to be like a flickering fire. Since there was no chimney connected I asked how could Santa get in? And would the light burn him? I think we got some nuts and cookies in the stockings.
Do you have any Christmas stocking used by your ancestors? No, but I have a few mom got for our dogs.

This was from the 2009 Advent Calendar

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Memories

This is from the 2009 Advent Calendar:
Last night on TV I got to see White Christmas with Bing Crosby and co stars Fred Astaire and Danny Kaye. I have always loved Bing Crosby and his singing of White Christmas.
Bing grew up here in Spokane and went to Gonzaga High School and started studying law at Gonzaga University, but dropped out to go to Hollywood and the rest of that is history.
Legend has it that the nickname Bing came from reading the Bingville Bugle an extra section to our Spokesman Review newspaper.
Spokane usually has a white Christmas, and as a boy we got to sled down the hill at the end of our block. If we took a good run we could go a block and a half before stopping. Back then that street was not paved and had very little traffic, today it is paved and even though a residential street the cars fly down that hill today.

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas at School

This is copied from the 2010 Advent Calendar

What did your ancestors do to celebrate Christmas at school? Well my mom was in the school orchestra so I assume they had a Christmas concert. I was in the band in Junior High and High School and we had a Christmas concert each year.
Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant? About fourth or fifth grade I was in the Christmas Pageant at school. I was in a group of 5 boys and we sang a couple of Christmas songs. I had a good soprano voice till my voice changed and we sang kind of like the Vienna Boys Choir. After my voice changed I was glad I was in the band as I did not sing very good anymore.
The last band class before Christmas break we played Christmas songs, but the band director did not direct. Each Senior band member got to pick the song and then direct the band as it played. I was not a real good clarinet player, and I found out I was even a worse band director.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Holiday Happenings

This is a copy of the Advent Calendar post from 2009

Well all my close relatives were born well away from Christmas, the closest being my sister, and she was born March 31, so a long way from the Christmas holidays.

This is a picture of my parents wedding in my grandmothers house January 14, 1942. My dad Claude Hansen was 35 then and obviously single, but since it was so soon after Pearl Harbor was bombed they were drafting single men to age 36. Pop had been to a CMTC (Civilian Military Training Camp)camp in the 1920s, and he said about all they did was march, and he had bad feet and did not fit well in the Army issued boots, so he went out to Geiger Air Force Base and enlisted hoping that in the Army Air Corps they might fly somewhere instead of marching everywhere. He received his orders to report to Geiger and wanted to get married before he shipped off to war. My mom Margaret Kelly and pop went down to the auditors office to get a license, and they waved the three day waiting period so they could get married before he left. They got married and after the marriage they had the marriage certificate recorded at the auditors office because that was the law. Pop went off to serve in the 354th Service Squadron, first to Ephrata, Washington, then England, Africa and eventually Italy. Because he was older than most of the men in the service by then he got rotated home, so he was at Ft. Dix, on VE day and back here in Spokane by VJ day. Most of the members of our local genealogical society (EWGS) know I do research for others that send queries to EWGS for local look ups. A few years ago I was in the courthouse looking up a marriage for a query and the index listed two marriage certificate numbers. I had done a lot of marriage certificate look ups by then so I was really surprised by two numbers. A little note here, the auditors office files all the marriage certificates by number, so did they get married twice? When I got to the actual record I found out the problem. Each file during this time had two documents, one was the application they filled out when they applied for the license and the second document was the marriage certificate signed by the bride, groom, witnesses and the minister and was recorded after the marriage and both usually had the same recording number. Well for the couple I was looking for they had a different number on the application and the certificate because another couple also had different numbers on their certificate and application. Both had just switched recording numbers. Turns out the second couple that had their numbers mixed up was my parents. I did not check the index for them to see if they were listed with two certificate numbers but I bet the index also shows two numbers for my parents also. Today all the certificates are online for Spokane county, but none of the applications have made it online yet.
Since their anniversary was after Christmas we always had a nice celebration for them and never mixed in with Christmas or Christmas gifts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Fruit Cakes

Copied from the 2010 Advent Calendar

Did you like fruitcake?? Sure
Did your family receive fruitcakes? Seldom. We did receive one once where all the fruit had been soaked in brandy. Did not like that one burned all the way down. They also sent chocolate cherries where the cherries had been soaked in brandy. One of our standard gifts has been a box of chocolate cherries, but never cherries soaked in brandy.
Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Never lasted that long around here.
Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake? No.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Holiday Travel

This is copied from the 2010 Advent Calendar with a little editing.

Did you or your ancestors travel anywhere for Christmas? How did you travel? I did not travel far as both of my grandparents lived close to home. My moms parents five blocks away and pops parents about 35 miles away. Mom's dad worked for the Great Northern and every year he got a free pass to travel on the passenger railroad. Grandma would go almost every other year to Denver to visit her sister, but she was usually back before Christmas.

I received this picture in 2010 from a cousin in Minnesota, it is my grandfather sweeping off his boots. I had a lot of problems identifying where this picture was taken and I kept thinking about it and finally went to my photo editing program Irfanview and turned the picture around.

This is the result, and this looks like the farmhouse near Blanchard Idaho about 35 miles from us in Spokane. The other thing that seem odd is how small all the trees were when this picture was taken, I remember them being a lot bigger when I was at the farm. We normally went there to deliver presents and visit a week or two before Christmas. Part of the way was a dirt road and plowing was rather slow so we picked a clear weekend to go there.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Volunteer Work

This is copied from the 2010 Advent Calendar

Was your family involved with church groups that assisted others during the holidays??

My grandma was the person that did most for others near Christmas. She was part of the church quilting circle they called it. My grandfather had made a quilt frame that they set on 4 chair backs and the ladies would hand stitch the squares together, put on a back and usually a wool blanket in the middle and then tie the two sides together with yarn about every foot. When done they donated the quilts to the church to sell to support the church. She actually bought several of the quilts back, so I have a whole chest of quilts she made.
Grandma was also part of the "Sunshine Circle" at the church. The minister would gather up a group of ladies from the "Sunshine Circle", and they visited the church members that for what ever reason could not get out, maybe in the hospital, a nursing home or just sick at home. They would take flowers and cards and just sit an visit.
I have been a volunteer at the library since 1993, and in 2009 year I became a member of the CAC for STA, but none of these volunteer jobs are near the holidays, but year around.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Other Traditions

This is copied from my 2009 Advent Calendar:

Did your family or friends celebrate other traditions during the holidays like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?
No. The neighborhood I grew up in here in Spokane was predominately white, and about 50% Catholic and 50% other like Baptist or Christian, or Congregational, or Lutheran or Mormon. Don't remember any Jewish kids in the neighborhood. I had never heard of Kwanzaa until a couple of years ago, so I know we never celebrated it.

Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions from their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?
Most of my ancestors came very early to this country so long ago adopted American traditions. Only my grandfather Anton Hansen who came in 1887 was a fairly recent immigrant, and when he got here he did not want to speak Danish nor remember any Danish customs, he was an American now and wanted to celebrate like an American.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Gifts

This is copied from the 2009 Advent Calendar:

This is a real hard one for me, I don't think I have given any memorable gifts over the years and I don't remember receiving any memorable gifts. My mom was always in to crafts, so we have quilts with pictures we did with tri chem pens, macrame plant holders some made with yarn and some with beads, ceramics of all types to dust, and my moms collection of Jim Beam bottles. I remember making pin cushions out of pine cones, small amounts of cotton and a little squares of cloth. Got poked a lot by the pine cones as we stuffed cotton covered with cloth between the pine cone limbs.

I don't remember how old I was when I got a Lionel train, it was an old one when I got it but it worked well, and each year after that I got more cars, or track or engines or scenery. At one time I had two 4x8 sheets of plywood covered with track and trains. I learned later that pop had worked on weekends on a car for someone and he got the train in trade for his work. He was a mechanic then.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Grab Bag

This is copied from the 2009 Advent Calendar

When I was young before Christmas we used to like to go window shopping. Many of the downtown stores like the Crescent, The Bon, Pennys, Newberries, Grants, Pay Less, Sears and Wards had big Christmas displays in their windows and it was fun to just go and look at what they had displayed.
The Crescent closed years ago, The Bon was bought out by Macys, Pennys moved to Northtown Mall and their building is now part businesses and part downtown apartments. Newberries and Grants have both closed. Pay Less is now Rite Aid. Wards closed and the City of Spokane bought the building for the City Hall. Sears moved out of downtown to Northtown Mall, and gave the city the old building which became the Spokane Public Library. After a few years the city tore down the old Sears building and built the present library building.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Cookies

This is copied from the 2010 Advent calendar:

Did your ancestors make Christmas cookies?? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?
My maternal grandmother baked a lot of cookies starting in November and going through the new year. I liked the date roll up cookies she made and the raisin cookies were great also. She made sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies (I never liked those), chocolate chip cookies, raisin cookies, date roll ups, and thumbprint cookies with jelly in the middle. I helped by licking the bowl and sampling the cookies to make sure they were good enough to give away.

After she died and I inherited her house I learned why she started baking in November, that kitchen was cold most of the winter, so the oven baking cookies kept the kitchen nice and warm.

Today my sister starts baking mid November and bakes for about a month so she has a lot of cookies for gifts. I like to make fudge, and have tried several kinds, looking for a different kind of fudge almost every year. This year I made Lemon Fudge, mmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Holiday Parties

This is edited from the 2009 Advent Calendar:
We never had a party at home, but each year in grade school we had a party, the PTA would provide cupcakes and punch and we nearly always had a tree with ornaments made of paper by the students. Since my mom was the PTA treasurer, she made a lot of cupcakes.
At home each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would make "Tom and Jerrys" they were actually home made eggnog and sherry, and it always amazed me as soon as mom made the eggnog neighbors and friends showed up to have a "Tom and Jerry". While I was too young for the sherry, she always let my sister and I have some eggnog with a little cinnamon on top. After she died I bought a quart of eggnog at the store and was soo disappointed in the taste. Mom used a lot of real eggs in her eggnog, it was so thick it barely poured and I don't think the store eggnog had any eggs in it and it was so thin and runny.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Santa Claus

Did you ever send a letter to Santa?
I don't ever remember sending a letter to Santa Claus, by the time I could write I had figured out Santa Claus was my parents.

Did you ever visit Santa and "make a list"?
I do remember going to the Crescent Department Store and sitting on Santa's lap to tell him what I wanted for Christmas. We got the Sears, Wards and Pennys catalogs and I would circle the toys I wanted, and got a few of them also. :)

Do you still believe in Santa?
Of course. The fire department had an old truck they decorated and put a sled, reindeer and Santa on the back and went up and down each street in the city throwing candy at the kids. They still do that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Outdoor Decorations

This is what I wrote last year for the advent calendar: My mom said my grandfather used to string blue lights along the front of his house for Christmas. I never found the cords and sockets, but my grandmother had a box of 25 watt blue lights.
We strung lights across the front of our house and around the front porch. I made a star out of laths and strung lights on it and hung it in the peak of the house. We liked blinking lights so I put as many blinking lights as I could find and so the whole front of the house blinked. The neighbors across the street strung lights around their big picture window and along the peak of their house also. Very few other neighbors did much decorating, most just put their tree in a front window and left the curtains open. We used to have a lot of vandals that tore up the displays, stole the bulbs, so a lot of neighbors did not want to keep ahead of the vandals. This year a couple of houses down the block are decorated and even in their front yards.

This year I am seeing more of the blow up decorations, Santa, Snowman, reindeer, etc. Some are even moving. One is a merry go round with three characters going around and around.
These two pictures are of my neighbors displays, the one with the white wall is still being added to, so a work in progress.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Cards

As long as I can remember we always sent Christmas cards and received a bunch of them. Mom usually wrote a letter telling what happened to the family for the year and then we made copies and stuffed the letter in with the cards. When moms diabetes started to take away her eyesight I took over doing the newsletter and was able to add pictures I had scanned. Mom would tape the cards we received to the door frames of the doors in the front room until after New Years Day. We usually saved the cards we received for a year so I don't have any from our ancestors. I am working on this years newsletter so I can make copies and get them all in the mail next week. My dad did save some post cards he got, and this is one of them.

Not sure who Aunt Allie is, closest I could come up with is Alice Hansen, wife of Pops uncle Peter Hansen.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Black Jersey Cow

I guess this picture was taken in the 1940s, my uncle Ralph and his $100 black jersey cow.

2011 Advent Calendar Christmas Tree Ornaments

Did your family have any heirloom ornaments? We had a lot of old ornaments that we cherished. Probably the most interesting are those made from Mount St. Helens ash. We got about a half an inch of ash here in Spokane. I still have some ash in a bucket in the basement.
Did you ever string popcorn or cranberries? No I don't remember stringing any popcorn or cranberries. We did make paper strings of colored paper and glued rings together like a chain.
Did your family make any Christmas ornaments? Mom made a lot when she was doing ceramics, see the pictures here from my 2009 Advent Calendar.
Mom also made some glass ornaments. She bought the clear glass ornaments placed decals on the outside, poured some paint inside and then fired them in the kiln to set the decals and cure the paint.

Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar Holiday Foods

Don't think I can add much to last years post, just miss the large family gatherings for the holidays, so here is a copy of last years post.

When I was young we always went to my maternal grandmothers for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Both were always turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable of some kind, rolls fruit salad and cranberry sauce. For desert usually pumpkin pie, but I did not like pumpkin pie so my grandmother would ask me what kind of pie I wanted. Most times I said apple, but sometimes mince meat pie. Grandma made mince meat pie with ground deer meat as one ingredient, but one year she was in a hurry and did not get the deer meat ground so she cooked it a little and forked it up, but it was still long and stringy and very hard to cut and chew, so for years after that we always asked if she used forked up deer meat in the mince meat pies. I am not real sure when we started making TV dinners from the left overs, but we continue that to today. They are soo good a few months later when you are in a hurry. Just pop in the oven and heat one or more up for a quick meal.
After I started genealogy I found out the traditional Christmas dinner for Danish people was a goose, so I asked my mom why no goose, and she said she tried a goose one year and it was a disaster, horribly greasy and not good taste, so we never had goose again.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 Advent Calender The Christmas Tree

In 2009 and 2010 I wrote about the trees we had and also those my grandparents had, so this tree is one I won at the raffle at our Eastern Washington Genealogical Society a few years ago. It is about 2 foot high and has a Santa hat on top.

If you look close you can see an eye staring at you, but the real surprise is when someone walks close to the tree it springs to life and and sings Jingle Bell Rock or Up on a Housetop, and then four sayings like Happy New Year


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