Dry Hair....Check ingredients in your Shampoo!

Last year I watched a segment of "the View" on hair problems -- very enlightening. So, thought I'd pass this along. I have started using an all natural shampoo (which I buy at Trader Joe's here in Omaha) and am really pleased with the way my hair looks, shines and feels...no more split ends. My husband noticed that his dry scalp is a thing of the past.

Have you ever read the ingredients on your shampoo bottle? Bet it contains
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate That's a high volume synthetic chemical used in consumer products and regulated as a pesticide. Sodium lauryl sulfate can be drying and harsh for the hair and cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss. Its also in most hand and face soaps and bubble bath, so be careful there also.

These substances provide a FOAMING quality to the product, allowing for better distribution of the product while washing hair or skin and while brushing teeth. When rinsed off, the product will have cleaned the area but will have taken moisture from the top layers of skin.

Soooo, what would you rather have, a head full of foam OR hair and scalp that still has it's natural oils? There's enough chemicals in a shampoo bottle to embalm an elephant! I would find hair bunnies in the shower drain after washing my hair -- and would wonder how many shampoos it would take before I was BALD!

And Ken, in addition to inheriting the classic Thomas A. Edison "balding on top" hairstyle, was shampooing his hair to death! Although he hasn't achieved full head of hair that he had as a teenager, there is a little more there than he had before. Its very fine but it's hair! And slowly but surely getting thicker and stronger.

There are many "natural" shampoos and conditioners on the market.....just be sure to read the ingredients. Sometimes their idea of "natural" is a little vague. Look for
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and if you find it.....look for another product. They are out there!

Choose shampoos that have ingredients that that will enhance your hair color and texture, and that address any special needs you may have. Natural shampoos will contain many of these ingredients.

Dry: Comfrey root, avocado, elder flowers, orange blossoms
Normal: Dandelion, horsetail, clover
Oily: Watercress, strawberry leaf, white willow bark, lemon grass
Ethnic: Comfrey, nettle, cherry bark, olive oil
Shine: Egg, raspberry, nettle, vinegar, quassia
Manageability: Yogurt, cherry bark, beer
Softness: Cherry bark, burdock root, olive oil, marjoram
Dandruff: White willow bark, birch bark, comfrey, nettle, peppermint, vinegar
Growth: St. John's-wort, nettle, sage, basil, rosemary, onion juice

Be sure to have a whiff of the shampoo before buying....rosemary and onion juice may have you smelling like a roast turkey and beer or peppermint may raise a few eyebrows.

Earthworms are not only fish bait!

We spent a few days with my niece in Oregon and became firm believers in the power of earthworms.
She has her own little worm farm in her basement and they take care of most of her organic kitchen waste. She bought a worm factory, a multitiered pagoda-like structure that contains trays for worm raising. And a pound of red wigglers ... they are great little eaters.
Several days a week she visits the factory and brings the kitchen scraps that she has saved. She is a vegetarian, so has little or no meat scraps, but has lots of fruit and vegetable peelings, bread crusts, fruit cores and coffee grounds to feed her little friends. She mixes the scraps into the dirt in the trays and lets the worms do their work. A worm farm consisting of five trays can digest nearly 5 pounds of food per day.
In return, she gets the richest dirt in the city to spread around her yard. The bottom of the factory collects "worm tea" which she waters her indoor plants with....she has best looking flowers and plants in Portland!
You use a system of trays, initially placing the food in the bottom tray, and the tray above it is mostly fiberous material. Then you stop feeding them on the lower tray and then start adding food to the tray up above, and then adding another more fiberous tray. This system eliminates the feeding the worms in one spot and then pulling out the castings, trying to leave all of the worms in there you can. The worms have more mobility in case the feeding area is too small or wet they can move around. Oh yes, they are great little reproducers....she puts the overflow of worms into her yard.
Interested in owning a worm factory? There are several listed in this blog. They will give you full instructions on how to start saving the planet, one step at a time.

Who Wants a Flatter Stomach? Y-O-U ???

Everyone would like a flat stomach with, in the case of guys, a torso with a six pack.  But, a firm abdomen with no belly fat is not just for men…ask any woman from age 20 to 40 and over, they want to look slim,  healthy and let’s face it, sexy.  The gym is full of them, lifting weights, putting miles on the tread mill, sweating it out in Yoga or wind classes.
Unfortunately, these health conscious folks are in the minority….try “people watching” at your local mall….Americans are getting overweight, many to the point of being obese.  Some blame eating fast-food which is full of fats, some blame heredity (their folks were heavy, it’s “in their genes”) and the said fact is, many can’t lose the weight or the belly fat no matter how hard they try.
My son-in-law, age 37, has recently taken up body-building….he isn’t overweight but was getting a “pouch”.  I guess I shouldn’t actually say body-building, he is walking several miles every day, working out with weights and other fitness equipment, is watching carbs and cutting as much fat out of his diet as he can.  One of the pieces of equipment that he purchased is an abs belt which he has incorporated into his fitness routine.  He’s not trying to lose weight and the Ab Belt is not a weight loss device.
What the Ab Belt is…well, it’s designed to stimulate your core muscles …its a battery-operated belt that goes around your waist and sends a mild electrical current throughout your abdominal muscles.  He wears it when he’s mowing the grass or working in the yard….since he is an avid fisherman, he puts the Ab Belt around his waist and goes off for a few hours to his favorite fishing hole.  He’s actually accomplishing two things….relaxing his mind while fishing, and having his core muscles stimulated with the Abs Belt.  I wish I had a "before" and "after" photo of him because he definitely is "lookin' good!"

Lets Talk M-o-n-e-y.....

Do you love to buy items online...are a cyber shopper....look for the items that you can't find in your hometown....and want to get cash back from your purchases?
You can do all of this by joining Big Crumbs.  You pay nothing, will get an account and never be bothered by them FOR ANYTHING.
You'll Get Cash Back On What You Already Buy and Cash Back from Your Referrals 
By using BigCrumbs you will receive cash back at over 2000 top stores. Buy health items from Puritans Pride, pet items from Petco, catalogue goodies from LDS Commodities?   They're all in there. Click on the alphabetical listing of retailers .... with over 2000 online places to shop, (only a few are shown here), you'll find many of your favorites.
 If you already buy online from stores like A Pea in the Pod, Tractor Supply, Buy Costumes, CafePress, Kohls, Holabird Sports, why not get a little money back on your purchases??
Put BigCrumbs on your desktop and start shopping. Click on the alphabetical referral links to visit your favorite stores, then shop as usual. Say your child's soccar/baseball/tennis team wants new matching outfits.  You buy them online at a store listed on Big Crumbs.  The store offers a 10% discount.....guess who gets credited.That's it. Your purchases will credit to your BigCrumbs account at the retailers' listed cash-back rates.  The really great thing about Big Crumbs is that you will get credited for any purchases by friends that you've referred.

Join me as one of my referrals!   http://home.bigcrumbs.com/JeansJeans

Look for the Blue Banner with the orange Sign Up Now

It's FREE and all you do is watch the dollars flow into your Paypal account...(oh yes, you do need to have a Paypal account)

Beautiful Flower and Potted Plant Gifts

Every once in a while, you need to send flowers to a friend who is ill and needs a little cheering up.  A beautiful potted plant or even a bouquet of spring flowers will brighten their day. When I worked in a large office in the city, all eyes turned toward the elevator when a delivery man stepped into the office lobby, his hands full of flowers.  Who was the lucky person and what was the occasion.  Hmmm I don’t remember any of the guys getting flowers, but maybe they did.
One of the most admired bouquets was by serenata flower and was called Fairytale Love…six vibrant red roses with just a touch of white Gypsophilia and a spattering of greens. All wrapped in clear cellophane….a young man was sure to make an impression on his “fairytale” princess.
Potted plants can be eye catchers too.  Especially those like a buxus plant in a topiary cat frame.  The frame is made of strong wire and the buxus plant grows inside of it.  The plant slowly grows to fill the cat frame, and soon you have a decorative piece that is actually a live plant in the shape of a cat. Along with the frame and plant are the instructions on plant care so that your potted plant can live a long and healthy life.

Chocolate chip cookies are the best!

mmmmmmm What could be better than a warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie!  

My friends, Joleen, Marte, Mari and I have cookies whenever we play tennis with our friend Diane.....big, gooey ones full of chocolate chips and nuts. Diane is a WONDERFUL cookie maker and her cookies are to die for! We usually wash them down with a couple of cups of Starbucks....but just about any coffee will do.  

She swears that she uses the Toll House Cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag....but somewhere there is a secret!  We've found that she uses a convection oven (OK, #1 difference) and  she doesn't use Nestle chips...she uses Ghirardelli chocolate chips (difference #2).  Slowly but surely these little secrets are being revealed.  And, because of using a convection oven, she doesn't bake them as long as suggested on the package.
We are warned by friends (who do not have access to these bites of Heaven)  that cookies are not good for us....too high in fat, too full of calories...all those things that people tell you as they scarf down your cookies, cookie after cookie.

I need a French Translator

Did you ever wonder where your ancestors came from? Unless they were American Indians and were native to North America, they immigrated from somewhere else. My side of the family came from Europe, my dad’s family came from Czechoslovakia in 1907 and my mom’s were Danish and German….Denmark and Germany.

My husband’s ancestor, Jean-Marie LaProne deBoicourt sailed from France in 1777, destined for America leaving behind his native land, many friends and relatives, and two brothers who were Catholic priests.  From the birth date of his children, he had been to America in the early 1770s. So this was his 2nd time he had been here.  On this particular voyage, he landed in Georgetown, South Carolina on April 19, 1777 with his countryman, the Marquis deLafayette. His duty was to care for the sick and later the dying among Lafayette's soldiers. 
Since we do not speak French, we are at a loss when it comes to language and finding information in France.  Genealogy is my hobby and one of the goals in my life is to hire a French translation service that will guide us through the ins and outs of church records, ship’s manifests and the history of Lafayette trips to America.  My biggest worry, since as of now, we cannot find any references to Jean-Marie LaProne deBoicourt at all, is that what we have are just family stories, which aren’t always reliable.  Since his first child was born in 1772 and last in 1791 in Virginia, and my husband’s ancestor was his son, Silas, who we do have proof of his life in census records and other legal documents, Jean-Marie must have lived and died here...But WHERE!

Hunting for Jack Rabbits in th 1930's

This photo is from a long time ago, probably in the late 1930s - back when I was a kid and my dad and his buddies were dedicated jackrabbit hunters in rural Nebraska. In the 1930's hunting was a necessity, the depression was over but money was scarce. Rabbits, pheasants and ducks were plentiful and free.

Gas was something like $.25 or less a gallon and our old Model T Ford didn't use very much....great gas mileage. Dad would get his little group together and they'd leave early in the morning for their favorite hunting spot about 10 miles away. They'd hunt for whatever came across their path....and was in season. Dad was a stickler for obeying the law....no pheasants or ducks out of season. However, rabbits were another story....they were fair game all the time.

Jackrabbits are distant cousins of those "cute" little rabbits that hop around the yard, eating your plants and veggies...their tame cousins would show up at Easter time dyed pink, yellow or blue. Jackrabbits are the big mamas....and we ate a lot of them. Usually fried or in rabbit stew.

I believe they would be on the gourmet food menu now.

Guess What....your souvenir is a Bed Bug!

I just happened to think of this....if Mr. and Mrs. _________ were taking a plane back from some 3rd world country or even from a cruise, they might be bringing these little fellows back with their carry-on luggage. You know, the bag that's stuffed next to yours in the overhead storage bin. Oh yeah, the bag that has sat on the floor of how many rooms, airplane terminals, and tossed in with bags from around the world!

The "wash everything" idea is a good idea. I usually only wash that which had been worn....but the clean clothes have been sitting on the hotel's bed, hung in the closet or put in the convenient hotel drawers go straight into my own closet or dresser drawers. Ugh! souvenirs that bite are definitely not the souvenir
s I had planned to bring home.

After more than 20 years of near extinction, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) now seem to be everywhere in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now regards bed bugs as a "major problem." The reason for the big uptick seems to be increased international travel - these pests are hitching rides in our luggage. The good news is that bed bugs don't transmit disease - they're certainly unpleasant to have around, but they don't pose an immediate health risk.
You may have a bed bug infestation if:
  • You see the bugs themselves - they are oval, flattened, brown, wingless insects that are about 1/4 inch long.
  • When you get up in the morning you have red welts on your skin.
  • You see blood and orangish-brown spots of bug feces on pillows and sheets.
  • There is an unpleasant, pungent odor in or near the bed.
To prevent an infestation, try these measures:
  • When traveling, check behind hotel bed frames and under mattress covers for orangish-brown fecal spots.
  • When you get home, wash all your clothes in hot water and store suitcases in a plastic bag in a hot car trunk or attic.
  • Use a mattress cover designed to suppress bed bugs.
Getting rid of bed bugs isn't easy, as they seem to be developing resistance to most natural pesticides. If you have bed bugs, get professionals to handle the extermination, and ask them to first try pumping hot air into your bedroom - bed bugs can't survive extreme heat.

Sunday Morning at the Cabin

We have a little cabin on the Platte River that we built nearly 40 years ago.  It’s in a large area with about 10 other cabins. We used to spend a lot of weekends there when the kids were small, but seldom seem to find the time anymore.   Ken and I decided that the place needed painting, so on Friday afternoon we bought the paint, brushes and all other necessary items, loaded the SUV and drove the 30 miles from our house to the cabin. 
We painted all day Saturday and got the front and side done….and were so tired we could hardly walk a straight line.   Couldn’t wait to flop into bed.  The windows were open and a cool breeze was coming off the Platte River.
I’m a light sleeper, and about 6 AM heard what I thought were muffled voices coming from the river sandbar across from the cabin.  I couldn't make out any words but sounded like a lot of people.  The first thing I thought was “ I didn’t know they had 6AM Sunday church services out here”….got up and looked out the window.  A huge flock of Canadian geese were on the sandbar yakking up a storm…..guess that why they’re called a “gaggle of geese”.   Went back to bed laughing at myself.

I didn’t have a chance to get to sleep because I heard another strange sound (I told you I was a light sleeper).  Sounded like woooooosh,  wooooooosh, woooooosch…gas or air escaping from something.  First thought this time…”sounds like a hot air balloon”.
So, got up again and looked out the back window….there were three hot air balloons slowly gliding past the meadow behind us.  They were probably 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the cabin, but the sound of the short blasts of hot air from the flame device were a lot louder than I would have expected.  I watched until they disappeared over the trees at the end of the meadow and decided against going back to bed.  So I made  a pot of tea, grabbed a cinnamon roll, sat in a lounge chair on the back deck and watched a mother deer and fawn as they walked across the meadow.  The sun was peeping over the trees, the air was still and God was in His heaven.  All was well with my world.

And, my husband snored through the whole thing.  (I tried to get him to get up to  look at the balloons, but he just rolled over and buried his head in the pillow).  

The finished product......looks great doesn't it~~~~

Wall Arch collapse

Wall Arch, one of the largest and most visible arches in Utah's famous Arches National Park collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday (August 5, 2008). The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.

The arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion. Arches National Park located 5 miles north of Moab, Utah preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history.
The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world.
It was the first collapse major arch in the park since nearby Landscape Arch fell in 1991.
Like others, it was formed by entrada sandstone being whittled over time into its distinctive formation.

Measuring more than 33 feet (10 meters) tall and 71 feet (22 meters) across, Wall Arch ranked 12th in size among the park's estimated 2,000 arches. It was first reported and named in 1948.
Several years ago we drove to and hiked through Arches National Park and were awed by the beautiful natural formations. The many hiking trails were well maintained and, if you were able, lead you to outstanding scenic areas.

Bottled Water: Bad for the Environment

Bottled water may be convenient, but when the bottles are empty, about 75% of them never see the inside of a recycling center: they are either sent to landfills or are left behind as unclaimed trash. Even recycling has an environmental cost, as empty bottles must be shipped, shredded and re-formed into other products, all of which takes energy.

The bottled water served on restaurant tables is often shipped from overseas, and the bottles are discarded after one use. The waste and expense are enormous. For every 8 plastic bottles used, only 1 is recycled.

Come'on people, how hard is it to wash/rinse out and reuse a plastic bottle?   There is a lot of "talk" about bacteria, etc. contaminating the bottle, threatening to make you sick.  Yes, its probably possible.  But, I've been carrying around a plastic bottle in my tennis bag for over a week, rinsing it out and refilling it with water from my kitchen sink. When the cap no longer fits tightly and water leaks out, I will pitch it into our recycling bin and start using another.  I have done this for years....heaven only knows how much money I've saved and how many plastic bottles I HAVE NOT USED in that time   I have a big thermos bottle too, but the little 16 to 20 ouncers are easier to fit into my bag.

U Finally Foundit

Are you one of the millions who BUY items online?  Or, are you one of the millions who SELL on line?  Some of my friends hold garage sales every spring, summer and fall – but that is usually too time-consuming and here in Nebraska, you never know what the weather will be like…..wind, sudden rainstorms or “fry an egg on the sidewalk” temperatures.
My friend Connie and I have ventured into the Sell On Line arena….at first we did some posting, etc. on Ebay…she has a basement full of glassware and did well.  Unfortunately, between owning a “store” on Ebay and paying a monthly fee, plus fee for posting an item and paying a final fee on the sales price (including postage) it turned out to be a lot more work and less profit than anticipated.  After a few months, I gave up.

I turned my back on Ebay and opted to try a new selling site…Bonanza.  Bonanza is not an auction site, you set a price and if a buyer wants it, they buy it.  All in all, Bonanza’s prices tend to be less than Ebays mainly because they do not have a charge for owning a “booth”, have no listing fees and once you list an item it does not expire in a week …

Many of the items are from our own family of four grown children plus seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 21 to 4.  I also frequent garage and estate sales (my favorite).  Estate sales have much nicer items….a garage sale usually has things that the owner wants to get rid of…an estate sale means that it all goes…good, bad and often quite ugly!  

My store/booth is called U Finally Foundit and I invite you to visit me on Bonanza.  Or, if you are a seller (or want to be) you can join and do some selling yourself.  The other sellers are the friendliest group you will ever meet…no snide remarks if you don’t know what you’re doing, many suggestions as to how to improve your booth…..many of your sales will be to Bonanza members and you’ll find yourself buying items FROM Bonanza members.

You can also find some New and Outstanding items listed on the right side of this blog.....just click on the image and you'll be taken the the Amazon site....next to MY store, its a great place to shop!
Come on over and see what I’m offering.

  U Finally Foundit

Finally Settled

Contribution by Stevie Kirby
There’s nothing like moving in to a new house. I’ve really enjoyed getting everything unpacked and decorating the new space. It’s been a couple of months of trying what we already had, figuring out what will work then purchasing a few new things to fill in the holes. Now that we are pretty much settled in and I have some free time to get online again, I think it’s time to get exede internet. I’ve missed being able to get online and chat with my friends and am looking forward to sharing pictures of my new place with them! Everyone keeps asking when they can see what we’ve done with the place and I’m finally ready to show it off. Unfortunately we are on the other side of the country from most of the folks we now so it isn’t like they can pop over for a visit to check things out. Too bad we can’t have a housewarming party to show it off but at least we can let everyone see what they are missing!

The different forms and flavors of cheesecake

In our society, the faster things come to us, and the easier something is to accomplish, the better it is. Many years ago, if you wanted to have something for desert, you had to either make it yourself, or you had to have someone make it for you. Today, there are so many different options when it comes to ordering our favorite foods. Today, you can purchase your favorite food items at a number of different places. You can also order cheesecake online, along with all kinds of other deserts.
There are also different forms of cheesecake as a desert. Depending on the taste of the person or people who are going to be eating the desert, there are multiple different ways that you can create these kinds of items. One of the ways that these deserts can be created is in the more traditional way. The most traditional way of making cheesecake is to bake it in the oven. This usually involves a long process in order to get the process correct and keep the cheesecake from being dry. There are many things that can go wrong, but as long as you pay attention to the recipe, there should not be any problems.
Regardless of what kind of deserts that you choose, deserts are always going to be a good idea, because desert is something that you can share with many other people at the same time. This is something that is especially popular during the holidays. There are many people who are worried about eating these kinds of food items because they are fearful of gaining weight, or a number of other reasons. It is important to note that as long as you balance eating these items with a healthy lifestyle, there should be no reason why it is not possible to enjoy these kinds of items. It is also easier if you share them with other people. Sharing is something that is good for everyone, no matter who it is. There are also many different forms and flavors that these deserts come in, and you can be as creative as possible.

Just a Reminder

Those informative little boxes on the right side of this blog are inviting you to "have a look at this"....click on them and you'll be taken to that particular item.   They are up-to-date and keep up with what's new in books, clothing, jewelry and miscellaneous items you may be interested in.

Our Garden Visitor

We have a nice-sized flower garden in our yard, complete with a pond with a little fountain.  It’s Ken’s pride and joy.  Every year we stock it with goldfish and once in a while, a tadpole or two.  The fish are fun to watch, and will come to the surface if you twiddle your fingers on the edge of the water.
Unfortunately, this has been their downfall.  We start off with two dozen goldfish, the ones that survive the summer are put into our family room fish tank to grow bigger for the next summer season.  By the end of this summer, there were only about 5 or 6 goldfish left…we’ve seen a raccoon several times during the year (I even caught one in a critter trap..but released it…we were trying to catch the rabbits that have eaten our hostas and other flowers down to dirt level) I had always blamed the demise of  the goldfish on the raccoon.
However, this morning, I looked out of our kitchen window and saw a big cat on the back fence..at first glance, I thought, “oh my gosh” there’s a baby mountain lion”….four years ago a big, fully grown mountain lion, aka Puma was taking up residence in our neighborhood park.  He is now living in the Henry Doorly Zoo cat complex.
Anyway, this turned out to be a large, beautiful tan and black Siamese cat.  I could see that it was wearing a collar, so I know it was not a feral cat…it jumped off the fence and walked around the edge of the pool…ha!  Bet I know where our missing goldfish went….kitty breakfast. 
I walked onto the back deck and called, “here kitty” and up he came.  He stayed around for a while but decided to investigate the rest of the yard.  I don’t know if he was a neighborhood cat that is allowed to roam or if he had escaped from home and was exploring.  He didn’t have a name or license on his collar so there was no way to find out who he belonged to.  And, he definitely did not want to come with me into the house…I didn’t want to be scratched or bitten so didn’t force the issue.

It’s Time to Accessorize My Kitchen

I am planning to host a party (yep me, the non-talented party planner) for several out-of-state friends that I went to school with.  We haven’t seen each other since grade school graduation in 1952…a really long time ago.  It’s not going to be a huge affair, just old friends getting together at our cabin on the Platte River.  It sounds silly, but I am mostly concerned with buying new cups/mugs and matching plates for the “affair”.  At the cabin, we generally use paper plates and plastic utensils…nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen doing dishes when there’s a fun group of people who’d rather be out playing in the river, talking about old times or taking a hike in the woods behind us.
My plan is to buy dishes, cups, glasses and other kitchen accessories for this party, but good enough to bring home after it’s over for use in my home kitchen.  When we were young homemakers, newly married with lots of newly married friends, we’d get together for Saturday night parties, movie parties, birthday parties and every other occasion we could think of.  Then I had new everything—that was 50 years ago and now the only parties I have are for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.  Once in a while for the 4th of July we have a party at the cabin…but kitchen accessories other than disposables are not necessary.
I’m really getting excited about cruising the internet looking for stores that have just exactly what I want!

Genealogy - Ancestors and Descendants

Soooo, you're curious about your ancestors.....or aunts, uncles and cousins who you didn't know you had. You want to examine your family tree (you may find a few "nuts" on the branches)

Genealogy is a great hobby....or an obsession! You'll find yourself playing detective...looking for clues to where your ancestors lived, hunting for that missing son who was listed in 1850 but not 1870...did he marry and leave home, was he killed in the Civil War, or did the census taker misspell his name and sex (happens!) so instead of looking for John you should have been looking for Joan....

Or, maybe you think you're linked to a politician, gangster, millionaire or a movie star (look for their real names, not something made up by a publicity agent) Looking for John Wayne? Try looking for Marion Morrison, his real name. How about Marilyn Monroe...she was actually Norma Jean Baker.

Since you're at step #1, we'll begin very easily.….this is the way I started and the procedures and steps are my own….others search in different ways, but I tend to hop around a little in my searches……(so, if you are a dedicated, professional searcher, don’t yell at me….but, you can add your ideas and techniques)

1. Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or any living relatives to tell you about your family. Where did they live? Where did the family originally come from? Try to get dates or approximately when they were born.

2. Any family bibles laying around? You know, that big, bound book, sometimes closing with a clasp. They're not as popular now, but in the past, you'd find children listed with birth dates, parents, marriages, and deaths.

3. Buy a genealogy program...they are available on CDs and they are easy to understand. I use
Ancestral Quest but Family Tree Maker and many others are available. About Genealogy can give you ideas about a good beginner program.

3. Visit
WorldConnect, type in your family name and see if anyone is searching or has searched for it. World Connect will not list anyone who was born after 1930 unless that person has a death date, so start with your oldest relative.

Keep in mind however, that this information is submitted by individuals, sometimes through word of mouth from family members. It does not always contain entire families and sometime contains errors.

If you know something that the submitter doesn’t….contact them! They will love hearing from a new “cousin”.

Find A Grave has 9 MILLION grave sites listed. Maybe one of your ancestors is listed. The listings are submitted by genealogists or just plain ole people who want others to know where people are buried.

5. Many ancestors arrived in America and were processed through
Ellis Island. This information will tell you what ship they arrived on, the date, and who was traveling with them.

Gen Forum - look for your family name…..someone may be asking questions about YOUR ancestor….or….may have the information you’ve been looking for.

LDS Family Search – this is a wonderful site created by the Mormon Church. You neither have to be Mormon nor have Mormon ancestors to search it. (my ancestry is heavily Catholic, and they are listed)

Social Security Index – lists deaths from about 1940 to present. Gives birth dates and dates of death. Approximates the place of death by using the zip code of where the last benefit was sent.

The Paintball Outing

Although paintball guns and various related items are not something that I am interested in, they do exist and people enjoyed their use.  (I am much too old to find myself being splattered with a paintball).  Our oldest daughter is a sales rep for a company here in Nebraska.  This fall, the parent company decided that to encourage the company owners, sales personal and salespeople to “come together as a unit” they would have a mock battle using Airsoft products….little round paintballs actually.   The outdoor area was huge, with rocks buildings, trees and bushes. 

She was issued an Airsoft pistol, paintballs, a uniform, face mask, instructions and was was assigned to a “unit”.  Since she didn’t have a clue what she was doing, she was scared to death.  But by the end of the day, she really enjoyed the experience.  She said that one of her bosses was quite impressed with her marksmanship and she, in turn realized that he was fun and not as formidable as she thought.  Especially when she splatted him with a red paintball.  She thought her days with the company were numbered.
GodfatherAirsoft, based in New Jersey has a large Airsoft product retail store providing an assortment of airsoft weapons, ammo and clothing.  They not only have Airsoft pistols, they have shotguns, rifles and camouflage shirts, pants and hats.  This is now becoming quite a sport with tournaments, contests and teams.  

As for me, I'll stick to tennis.