Archive for October, 2011

Halloween memories

October 30, 2011


Memories of so many Halloweens,

With four children wanting to have some fun,

Four children wanting a costume

And no money to buy them one,

The oldest was 8

When the youngest was born,

They grew up together,

While I was home,

A stay-at-home mom for 11 years,

In the 1980s recession,

Each year we canvassed the store shelves,

where costumes were for sale,

We’d have some fun,

Try on hats,

Chase each other with a scary mask,

Just before the witching hour,

We’d throw together some old clothes,

Paint little faces with make-up,

Make our own costume,

Some were ghosts,

some were witches,

the boys might carry a sword,

we usually bought a special prop,

and made up all the rest,

The girls might be a princess

With a cheap, toy princess crown,

Occasionally one would be their dad,

Wearing his old clothes,

A pirate with an eye patch,

a Raggedy Ann doll,

Someone in their PJs,

Carrying a pillow,

If I could, I would time travel

Back to those nights,

With my four little goblins,

And walk the neighborhood,

Today we live hundreds of miles apart,

Each of us in a different state,

Grandma gets pictures on Facebook

of grandchild pirates and power rangers,

Create memories while you can,

These days are gone in a minute,

And hope that these good times make up

For all your mistakes, as a parent!

 CFBlack                10-30-2011



October 28, 2011

Crickets in denial:

Singing summer love songs, while

Winter closes in.

lessons learned

October 27, 2011

Lessons learned at this point in my life:

Always trust in the bounties of God.

Life is circular. People you’ve known come back around. Tests you’ve faced return also, especially if you never learned what you were supposed to learn the 1st time. Sometimes they just come back for no reason at all. The only thing that won’t come back is your youth. Unless you want to count grandchildren.

Grandchildren are the EXQUISITE JOY of life!!

Saying prayers works. There is always an effect. It may take some time for you to witness it. I can’t explain it but there are forces and movements in the universe, and prayer has an effect. That’s all I can say.

I have also learned that when you think you’re out of groceries, you can actually exist for at least a week on what’s left in your frig & your pantry. It’s amazing how simple life can be.

late October on the pond

October 23, 2011

Sun sets sometime around 7 – 7:30. Just before dark, a few bats can be seen flitting high above, in quick, darting motions, almost like birds but way too fast and changing directions too many times, eating up any insects hovering in the air. The large heron swoops in, making a low squawking sound. It will be found stalking small fish on the edge, even after dark. The frogs have gone into hiding, they are no longer to be seen jumping across the sidewalk, moving from woods to water. I know that deer start their dusk movement, but they are not seen near our houses. We occasionally see them crossing the roads nearby. It seems to me I don’t hear song birds as much as last year. Perhaps the mockingbirds are mocking other types of bird calls, haven’t heard them singing much.

The trees have only now noticibly started turning. They won’t be as bright yellow, orange and red as up north. They turn a dingy-type red down here, then turn brown and fall in maybe November. We’ve had a couple nights where it hit into the 30s, days still in the mid-to-high 70s. 

Agnew history

October 22, 2011

Been reading this “Book of the Agnews” Agnew history. I bought it years ago from Ebay, turns out, it is famous. I haven’t been able to figure out any direct link to our family yet, which is the very frustrating part. I’m beginning to be resigned to it taking years if never to get resolved. But there are a number of “name” clues, etc.
There were 3 AGNEW brothers who seem to be the ones who left Western Scotland (Lochnaw area) and migrated to Ulster, IRELAND.
One of their descendants was born in Britain in 1671, and left (Ireland or Britain) for the American colonies, settling in Pennsylvania. He had 3 sons: Samuel, James (1711-1770), and John (went to Virginia). Samuel (w/ his wife Mary) & James are buried in Marsh Creek cemetary, Gettysburg, PA, & the Agnew crest is on their graves. (James is in Lower Marsh Creek, Samuel in Upper Marsh Creek). This is where the “plantation” was– Marsh Creek.
James lived 1711 (b. in Ireland) — to 1770 (died in PA). His sons were named John, Samuel, James II, & David. He also had 6 daughters.  **I have no clue that he is OUR ancestor, but it’s interesting. He first came over. Executors of his estate were his sons John & David. To John, David, and James, he left property, acres of land. To Samuel, he left “100 pounds of Pennsylvania currency, to be paid to him three years after my decease”. He was to be paid by David. (What did Samuel do?? Or was he just too young to inherit property?)
To James’ wife, Rebekkah, he left a number of things, including “2 negroes, Jack and Phoebe, to attend upon her as long as she shall live”………!! It is unusual for the slaves to be NAMED in the will. This could be a clue for someone’s African American ancestors, as it has their first names.
Many of these Agnews are wealthy, in the Presbyterian church, doctors, a professor, or in the iron business.
We of course have many JAMES’. We also have Johns. There was also a Samuel Agnew, who I haven’t been able to place elsewhere yet, who was said to be born in PA but in the house of James Agnew in OHIO in 1850 & 72 yrs. old. This is the record of (probably ) OUR James as a 9-yr-old in a house w/ James and Mary, his family, and an elder Samuel.

Gadhafi is gone

October 20, 2011

and the world will not miss him. He appeared to be a cold-hearted, self-consumed, narcissistic dictator who had many people killed and tortured in his name. He lavished wealth upon his family while his people suffered (as so many others). People hid in fear in their homes from his murderers. So we can’t say the world will miss him.

The only thing I will say about his death and his people, is that we live in barbaric times. The men who killed him are happy for their current freedom, but people evidently descended upon him and killed him. I have not much higher hopes that these men will uplift their country and their women and daughters to higher levels of advancement, education, and future maturity and freedom of life. They have shown their true colors before. They still think of women as children, or cattle, certainly not their equals.

My hope is for the world to truly advance, to become a world of peace and security, where every child born will be able to realize his or her true potential and dreams, live in peace and freedom, never go hungry, and live their lives protected and secure from all harm, where each group will co-exist with respect for all humanity.

the times we live in

October 20, 2011

Isn’t it amazing we live in times where you cannot un-order something you once ordered, if you can no longer afford it? Otherwise I might just DIS-ORDER our cell phones, but no, we “ordered” them with a required 2-year contract. I disconnected mine temporarily & gave my husband my cell phone, & we got rid of his DROID, which automatically charges an extra $30./mo. for Internet usage. But my account (my phone #) will automatically come back on in 3 mos. In other words, you can temporarily suspend an account, but after 3 mos. they start charging you for it again, whether or not you’re using it. HOW DID WE ALLOW THIS AS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC?? How do these companies get away with this BS? Who sells something that you are required to use for 2 years and you cannot turn it off, if your financial circumstances change & you can no longer afford it?? You can’t be a responsible citizen, you have to pay it, or let it go to collection which ruins your already dwindling credit rating. The times we live in.

I come from the land of winters

October 19, 2011

I come from the land of Winters,

Relatives, stone-faced, pose for the camera,

Mother, Father,

their children before them,

All standing proud,

not a trace of smile,

the Dutch sailed from Amsterdam to New York harbor,

from there to the great lakes and Chicago,

down to Indiana,

the Dakotas in the west,

This is the land of winters,

Where tulip bulbs snuggle deep into the earth,

While blizzard winds blow above them,

Piling drifts against doors of houses,

and children hope for schools to close,

Children learn to dress for cold,

their fingers, in gloves, still go numb,

Thick socks and boots cover little toes,

Scarves wrap noses and

tie behind the head,

and they go out to play,

Snow suits are part of a child’s wardrobe,

Underwear is long and insulated,

Papers delivered on below-zero mornings,

Hot chocolate awaits icy fingers at home,

A fireplace adds to the warmth of a room,

Leaves turn in September,

fall in October,

Ice covers pond through April or May,

Spring comes late in June,

Tulips rise from their graves,

Summer is HOT

But short-lived,

Where loss of power, means loss of life,

“Snow blindness” is a known disease,

People grit their teeth to face the cold,

And walk into the wind,

Gray clouds form a blanket

for weeks at a time,

like some long and lingering depression,

Survival here brings strength of spirit

Not understood in other lands,

in truth it takes a certain skill,

passed down for generations,

Being from the land of winters,

I have learned,

You can ignore the Cold that surrounds you,

And go about your day,

You can survive the harshness,

And just go out to play,

Lay down in the freezing snow,

Make a Snow Angel.         







C.Black 10-19-2011 

Black / Orndorf family history

October 15, 2011

Another one traced back to Germany. To my kids:

Fremont and Romelia Black are Chet’s grandparents, parents of Earl Black. They marry on May 4, 1879.
Romelia had a twin sister, Rosalia. Romelia and Rosalia, the twins, were born Feb. 4, 1861 in Clark County, Illinois.
Romelia and Rosalia’s parents were: Pheneas (or Phineas) and Mary Ann Orndorf (sometimes spelled with 2 Fs).
Phineas is first married to Catherine Jennings (mar. date 1836). Catherine dies in 1854, perhaps in giving birth to George (below).
Phineas and Mary Ann Richardson get married, on June 22, 1856, he is either 44 or 50 years old, Mary Ann is 22.
In 1860, they are listed in the census in Illinois, with all these children.
John age 16, born in OHIO
William, 13
Margaret Ann, 10
Sarah C, 7
George, age 6      — From JOHN to GEORGE they are born in OHIO, probably children of Catherine Jennings.
James P., age 5, b. in ILLINOIS 
(Perhaps Phineas marries Mary Ann after this birth above.)……
Henry, age 3
Ida Virginia, 2
The twin girls Romelia and Rosalia are born the following year in 1861. Perhaps Pheneas and Mary got together and came to Illinois, having James, Henry, Ida and the twins………..
By 1870, Pheneas is gone, and Mary’s name in the census with children James (now age 15), Henry, Ida, Romelia and Rosalia, is MARY MULLEN.
There is a marriage record for Mary Ann Orndorff and Commodore Perry Mullen in 1866, but even PERRY is not in the household by the 1870 census. (Mary Mullen is head of the household.) 
Phineas is listed as born in Virginia. his father, LEVI ORNDORF was born in Virginia in 1791. He lived his entire life in   , Virginia. LEVI’s FATHER WAS:
Johannes Peter “John” Ohrndorff Orndorff (different spellings)
He immigrated from Burbach, Nordhein, Westfalen GERMANY arriving in Philadelphia at the age of 9, in 1753! 
Time line for the twin girls:
Born Feb. 04, 1861.
Romelia marries Fremont Black in 1879,
Rosalia marries William hoesman in 1880.
Romelia dies in the home of Earl Black in Dc. 1937.
Her twin sister Rosalia dies in Oct. 1938.
Romelia and Fremont are YOUR great-great grandparents. They are buried in West Lebanon, Indiana.

Occupy Columbia

October 15, 2011

Today is Occupy Columbia. Just want to write a few words. This is a movement. No matter how you feel about it, the few who first gathered on Wall Street to voice their disatisfaction with the wage and wealth gap in the United States have had an impact. The fact that that impact is nothing concrete that we can see in some legislation does not diminish the reality of them having an impact. They have continued in force for weeks now, and the movement has spread across the nation and now, the world. It has “gone global”. It seems to speak to, give voice to, the regular folks suffering in America, the 99%. WE ARE the 99%. Meaning, 1 percent of America holds some nearly 40% of all the wealth in this country. The rest of the 99% has little wealth. More and more, we are just struggling to survive. 1 in 10 have lost their homes in the latest plunge of stocks, not because they OWNED ANYTHING, but because we are dependent on this fragile economy of greed to stay in place so that we are not kicked out of our homes. The rest of the world? One third of the world’s population is existing on what is comparable to $1.00 a day. They are all living, working, looking for decent housing, clean water, enough food, giving birth, burying their loved ones as they die, praying that at least some of their children make it to adulthood and are able to support them when they get old. If they get old.

What this movement does, is show the widespread anger, fear and discontent in a large part of the population, in the working people and the voting public. What does it matter who we vote for? WE NEED JOBS. We need people to receive their unemployment checks when they deserve it and not be CUT OFF from some LOOPHOLE B.S. law, like my husband was. The 99% want to voice their worries, their large-spread fear and discontent about their lives. They are not all young kids who don’t want to work, who have nothing better to do, who have been “coddled” like I’ve heard some say recently on facebook. They are America.

The era of US veterans returning from WWII and getting a home loan to build something for their children is gone. No one cares anymore if you can’t ever buy a home. No one cares if your credit is ruined. No one cares if you cannot afford health care, if you are released from the hospital too early and you die. No one cares. The more popular ideology now is to get “tough on crime” and “tough on lazy poachers and make them go to work”. Congress certainly doesn’t care. They are so out of touch with the reality of their constituents, they’d rather spend 100% of their time and energy into stopping anything our President puts forth, than work together for a solution. One of them gets on the news and tells how he needs $200,000 a year to feed his family and lives off of the “other $400,000” that is left? What planet do you live on, Sir?

It is this GAP that is being expressed in Occupy Columbia, Occupy Indianapolis, Occupy Wall Street the money center of America. People are releasing some of their long-term frustration, their realities, their pent up suffering. They also are creating BONDS, creating a sense of belonging, of coming together, which Durkheim would say has its purpose. He would see it as a disruption in the societal system, but in itself, perhaps a positive uniting effect among those involved. Perhaps it will better our society. Marx would see it as the movement of the proletariat calling for a revolution of change, but I think Marx underestimated the ability of society to stabilize itself and continue on. Weber would be watching for a charismatic leader within the group, I suppose. 🙂 

In any case, it is clear and evident that we need a more just society, one founded upon principles of liberty and justice for all, one with a system of checks and balances where power cannot rise too large, where monopolies cannot grow. Seems like I’ve heard this somewhere before….  ? Hmm…

How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society?… The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective. I beseech God, exalted be His glory, that He may graciously awaken the peoples of the earth, may grant that the end of their conduct may be profitable unto them, and aid them to accomplish that which beseemeth their station.

 Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities. Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be. . . How bewildering, how confusing is such behavior! No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union. The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny. If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established  amongst the children of men, and the effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth. . .

There can be no doubt whatever that if the day star of justice, which the clouds of tyranny have obscured, were to shed its light upon men, the face of the earth would be completely transformed.

 (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 216)