Friday, January 05, 2018

2017 wins and losses

Wins and losses in 2017:

1. Win - the TV show Ronja, the Robber's Daughter and watching it together with Libby and Mae. It's advertised as a kids' show, and I won't say it isn't, but the content can be very intense for a kids' show. I mean, there's an episode about a child's suicidal ideation, for crying out loud. (Episode 23: Life Isn't To Be Thrown Away.) And that's only one of many episodes that deals with the near death of a child. I say all this and you might wonder why I would even adore this show. I normally can't bear something that sounds so sad. But that's the awesome thing about the show - the episodes deal with heavy content but almost always end in an uplifting way. The animation studio is the same one that did Spirited Away, which incidentally, I never saw because it sounds too sad!! But maybe it's handled in the same manner as Ronja.

Also, the mature content is presented in a subtle way. Going back to the example of episode 23, my kids had no idea what the characters were hinting at. Only that the characters were angry and had to solve a problem.

2. Loss - our app for psychiatrists still isn't done. We started it in January and after I created a working skeleton we hired a developer. He worked only 40 hours on it over the course of many months and by September he abandoned the project entirely due to personal matters. It took til the end of December but we did get a copy of the code from him. We interviewed 4 more developers in December. We received bids from 2 of them but we didn't want to hire them. The other 2 that we actually liked, never submitted a bid. It's frustrating.

3. Win - seeing the total eclipse! Everything went so perfectly it was as if we were charmed!

4. Loss - we hired the wrong tax accountant in 2016 and ended up having to pay large penalties in 2017. Our new tax accountant is me!

5. Win and loss - Having Tommy and Ada come visit is a whole bunch of wins, because we did a whole lot of touristy stuff that we don't normally do on our own. Going river rafting was incredible, mostly because Libby and Mae LOVED IT SO MUCH. It was glorious hiking into Latourell Falls and finally getting to the waterfall. It was glorious for about one second before Mike fell and cut his leg open really bad and I didn't have a first aid kit on me (we had one in the car but it took an hour to hike back). Taking Ada to see Cirque du Soleil. Taking Tommy to Seaside.

6. Win - finally going to see Mt. St. Helens on a beautiful sunny day.

7. Loss and win - getting rear-ended and losing our 4x4 as "totaled". But then getting a new 4x4 for free.

8. Win - meeting a new friend to our family.

9. Win - Mike getting hired to speak at a conference in 2018.

10. Loss - I didn't finish my genealogy class that I started writing in October. I still intend to do it, but I'm a sprinter, not a marathoner, and it's hard to get even a single day off.

11. Win - visiting friends and family in California

12. Win - seeing my research for the Clackamas County Vietnam Fallen turned into a monument.

13. Loss - Having my workload triple at the beginning of the year, and I didn't request a new hire until the end of the year. Still struggling with this.

14. Win - had some fun with cryptocurrencies. I invested a little bit in Ethereum and made 225% in one month. Of course, I haven't taken it out yet, so I guess I'm going to see all disappear when the bubble bursts. But I fed my FOMO and had fun with it.

15. Win - happy, healthy kids!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Libby's and Mae's Xmas dances

It is already the season for Libby and Mae to perform around town, entertaining shoppers and residents with their holiday dances.

This one is Libby doing the Candy Cane Twist. She is 2nd from the right.

And here is both Libby and Mae doing a ballet dance to The First Noel. Mae is the 3rd one to get on stage and Libby is 5th.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tomorrow is the big day

The news station called me but I didn't want to be interviewed on the fly on camera, so I asked my chapter Regent to do it. I was there while she filmed so I got some behind the scenes photos. Unfortunately, by declining to be interviewed I guess I set it up so the reporter mistakenly indicated that Phyllis wrote the book. But we know the truth, right?

I was super happy that right after the news story aired, a descendant of one of the young men found my website and contacted me immediately. She said her family was very happy with the way we were honoring her relative.

Phyllis getting her mic pinned on

Here's where my book was on TV

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Libby plays the piano

I thought I had posted about our in-home piano lessons before, but I guess I didn't. We started having a piano teacher come to our house a little over a month ago. It. is. awesome. Libby and Mae have reacted very differently from having group lessons in a music school. They love to play. They fight over the teacher and over who gets to play the piano at any time of day. They play the piano all the time. I never have to ask them to practice. They just go play it. Libby now says playing the piano is her favorite thing to do.

Here is a 30-second video I took yesterday of Libby playing. It doesn't look like much, but to me it's a big deal for a few reasons.

(1) She's playing with 2 hands, and the music as written is only for one hand. It's a piece meant for the child to practice playing bass clef with the left hand. After she bored of playing it with her left hand, Libby took it upon herself to play the melody with her right hand and then add chords with her left hand.
(2) She did this all by one taught her which chords to play. Her new teacher says Libby plays by ear so he's changing his teaching style to accommodate this. Her prior music school did not accommodate and so she never progressed even after months of lessons.
(3) You can see in the video she makes a tiny mistake and just plays on, and doesn't beat herself up about it. This is a change from when she had group lessons.
(4) She doesn't show off her improv, she just loves to play. I knew the song she was playing and that's the only reason I knew it wasn't written for 2 hands.

I'm so proud of her!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday coffee post

I haven't been taking a lot of photos lately. What have I been doing. No babysitter. Homeschooling.

The big news is that in less than a month the new Vietnam Memorial monument will be installed, with a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day. My name was in the paper and my book was on TV. That sentence is true but I should clarify my name was in the paper as "contact person" as opposed to "person who did all the research". And my book was on local access cable.

I built this website:
It needs a little work. I see my favicon isn't showing up. And of course I will add photos of the monument after its installation.

The cool thing (one of the cool things) is that I helped pay for one of the granite benches being installed, and that bench will have a QR code embedded in it that links to my website.

I have contacted several of the young men's family and descendants and they are coming to the ceremony.

I wasn't there when my book was on TV but here is a photo. We had our house painted last week and at the time of this meeting I was still putting the house back together.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday morning coffee post

The kids have been doing "sleepovers" in each other's bedrooms for the last few nights. They don't get to sleep until late, so then they end up sleeping late in the morning, which is what is happening now.

Mike and I (finally) saw Chris Guillebeau speak in Portland on Friday. He is on a book tour promoting his latest book, Side Hustle. Which is based on his daily podcast, Side Hustle School.

He's an interesting guy, and I've read all of his books. Since Portland is his home base we have had other opportunities to meet him but until now we have always missed out. I read the Side Hustle book in a few days. It outlines a 27-step process for coming up with an idea, testing it, and launching it. Incidentally, it's not 27 days to launch...he actually has you launch on day 17 or so. Using this process sort of lessens the fear of failure for me. Because theoretically you could launch 12 ideas per year using this method, so if one doesn't work, you didn't waste a whole lot of time on it. That's the idea he promotes. This isn't a huge invention that takes several years, but neither is it taking on a part time job or becoming an Uber driver. He says it's finding an asset that will pay you. So you do have to come up with an original product or service, and that becomes a paying asset.

Speaking of which, we are this much (holding fingers close together) closer to launching our note-taking tool for psychiatrists. Our programmer has reportedly finished one of the validation scripts that verifies the note is accurate. Mike and I have to review it and make sure it works. If it does, there's only 1.5 more steps before we can proceed with hiring auditors and beta testers to confirm our app does what we think it does. Then we can make the changes and launch what would likely be a subscription service to our app.

I'm also recording a class on how to publish your own genealogy in the 21st century. Ask me where it is in 27 days.

My next project is home school curriculum. This has been a bit of a challenge for us. I mean I have no problem teaching the core stuff, and our printed curriculum of choice is simply the What Your (First Grader) Needs to Know... series, but I would like to do more in-depth topics that are outside of the core curriculum. Standard teacher curriculum for sale tends to focus on paper handouts and things that must be done inside a classroom. Also it is of course very focused on "common core" which I really don't know what that is, but there's a lot of stuff school teachers have to document that sounds like legal language and my eyes glaze over when I look at it. And it doesn't apply to me anyway.

For some reason home school curriculum very often focuses on this thing they call a "lapbook" (rhymes with scrapbook) which is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. You give the child a file folder and a bunch of pages and then they spend the entire day cutting stuff out and pasting it into the file folder. It is a huge waste of time and then you're left with this paper clutter that I'm not sure what to do with. For example, I found this exercise designed to help the child memorize her phone number. You give the kid a paper that has picture of a phone, a rectangle, and a bunch of itty-bitty numbers in squares. The child has to first cut out the phone, paste it into folder. Then cut out the rectangle, paste it onto the phone. Then cut out each itty-bitty number that they need and paste them one at a time onto the rectangle. Are you kidding me with this. I taught my kids my phone number while we were driving around town in the car. They memorized it quickly, and then I test them on it every few days.

I believe lapbooks were invented by home schooling mothers who have 10 kids and they need to keep the kids "busy" with something all day. "Oh, but it's so fun, and my kids love it," they all say. Well, not me. My curriculum has no common core standards legal checklists and NO LAPBOOKS.

I think there's a lot of great curriculum so I don't need to reinvent the wheel or anything, but it's time-consuming to find. I know, teachers, I'm preaching to the choir, right?

Mae is up and coffee is out...signing off.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

{genealogy} Durham/Derham ancestry part 1 - Earl Ethan Durham

This is series of biographies is for my Durham/Derham line. My ancestry is as follows:

My dad
Earl Ethan Durham – Grace E. Rose
Charles Henry Derham – Mary Ann Burbridge
William Derham – Elizabeth “Betty” Bowyer
Henry Derham – Ann Brownsford
RichardDerham – Joan Smith

Earl Ethan Durham

Heather’s great grandfather

When Earl Ethan Durham was born on February 16, 1886, in Corunna, Michigan, his father, Charles, was 40 and his mother, Mary, was 37. He married Grace E Rose on August 9, 1910, in his hometown. They had two children during their marriage. He died on January 31, 1942, in Lakeland, Florida, at the age of 55.

Earl was of the first generation to adopt the spelling “Durham” instead of “Derham”, though during his lifetime he did use the old “Derham” spelling occasionally. Earl’s brother Ray was the only sibling who steadfastly held on to the “e”.  All of Earl’s other siblings ended up using “Durham” as well.

We have a “delayed” birth certificate showing his birth date, birth place, and parents’ names. This birth certificate was issued in 1965, well after his death, and is taken from data given in 1935, near the end of his life.

The above photo is said to be Earl and Ray Derham. Since Ray is the younger brother by 2 years, then Earl is on the left, maybe 4 or 5 years old.

Since the 1890 census was lost, the first time we see him in the census is in 1900, when he is 14 years old. He lives with his parents Charles and Mary, as well as 5 siblings and one servant, at 400 Frager St in Corunna, Michigan. This address doesn’t seem to exist anymore, according to Google Earth.

This census reports Earl’s birth date as Feb 1886, so that helps us to validate his delayed birth certificate.

I think this photo would have been taken around his high school graduation.

Ten years later, in May of 1910, we can see Earl in the 1910 census. He’s still living with his parents (though he will be married in a couple of months), and he is working as a salesman in a drugstore. This is interesting to see, because Earl will remain in the pharmacy and drugstore career for the rest of his working life. The address is now listed as West Fraser St in Corunna. I am guessing that is the new (or correct) spelling of Frager St. But still no luck on Google Earth.

On August 9, 1910, Earl marries Grace E. Rose. This transcript shows the bride’s and groom’s parents’ names and witnesses’ names. Earl and Grace are the 2nd couple listed…skip the first couple. Earl’s parents’ names match those on the delayed birth certificate. His witness is his brother Ray. The marriage license was issued on August 8, with the actual marriage taking place in Corunna the next day.

I believe this to be his wedding photo. He is 24 years old.

The wedding made front page news of the Corunna Journal.

On 17 Feb 1912, his daughter Martha Lucile Durham is born. Here she is with mother Grace, when she’s 3 months old.

In June 1913, Earl purchases a drugstore business, though it doesn’t indicate that he bought the drugstore building itself – perhaps it is rented.

On 5 July 1914, a 2nd daughter is born. My grandmother Jean Rose Durham.

In April 1916, Earl is elected mayor of Corunna. He’s now 30 years old.

He is re-elected in April 1917.

On 12 September 1918, Earl registers for the draft, due to the onset of World War I.

We can see his signature. Also we now know he is “self-employed” as a “druggist”.

He is further described by the Registrar as “short”, with blue eyes and light brown hair.

Here is the family in the 1920 census. Earl is now 35 years old. They live at 214 State St in Corunna. He is the “employer” and “retail merchant” at a drugstore. He also reports that he owns his home at 214 State St., free and clear.

We now have better luck on Google Earth, but it shows both a 214 West State St and a 214 East State St, very close to each other. Referring back to the 1920 census I can see that just a few homes earlier, the census-taker did visit a 214 West State St already. Therefore I conclude that the Durham family lived at 214 East State St. The home is 2 blocks south of the drugstore they operated at 301 N. Shiawassee St.

The closest address I can find on Zillow is 212 East State St., which was built in 1945. It seems that 214 does not exist any more.

On 16 August 1921, Martha dies at age 9. It seems she had taken ill on August 11th. Her residence on the death certificate is listed as 301 N. Shiawassee, which is the drugstore. Martha’s death notice in the paper confirms that the family is living over the drugstore.

Here is a photo of Earl with the girls before Martha died. The gentleman on the left is unknown to me, probably a grandfather.

Earl was president of the school board for the school year 1929-1930. This card that I found doesn’t indicate which school board, so I assume it was Corunna.

In the 1930 census, the family of 3 is living at 302 West State St. in Corunna, and Earl clearly is shown as owning the drugstore at this point. It also says that he owns the home, as opposed to renting, but doesn’t indicate whether he has a mortgage or not. The home is valued at $8000.

In December 1930, the newly-elected governor of Michigan appoints Earl to the State Board of Pharmacy.

In December 1931, the newspapers report that Earl, whose title is “Supervisor”, “has put into effect a new kind of welfare relief plan. The supervisor is buying produce at the farms at low prices with the farmers delivering to the homes of the needy.”  This is all that is mentioned, so I am only guessing that Supervisor is a state title and that he is using state funds for this effort.

The Derham and Rose families were known to “winter” in Florida.

This photo is of Grace and Earl, and I believe Grace’s father Elbert Rose, on the right. In Grace’s handwriting, it says “Bok Tower” which is located in Florida. I believe this was taken January 1932.

In 1936, we can see Earl in the Corunna Directory. And we also know that he drives a Pontiac. There is his older brother William, as well.

 The 1940 census is barely legible, so I didn’t show it here, but in 1940 he and Grace are still living in the same house. Grace’s father is living with them as well. The 1940 census recorded the highest level of education for each person. Earl reports that he had 4 years of high school. (Grace had 3 years and her father had 1 year.)

On 31 January 1942, Earl died in Florida.

Here is his death notice in the local Michigan paper. It is reported that he’d had a stroke.

I do have his death certificate as well, though it’s difficult to read, so I didn’t reprint it here. He was 56 years old. The death certificate says he had hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and diabetes. Grace reports that their usual address is 302 W. 8th Street in Corunna. Is that formerly 302 W. State Street? Still no address match today.

He was buried in Pinetree Cemetery in Corunna.

{genealogy} Durham/Derham ancestry part 6 - Richard Derham

Richard Derham

Heather’s 6th great grandfather

We know from baptism records that Henry Derham’s parents were Richard and Joan. I have found a marriage record in North Curry, between Richard Derham and Joan Smith, 21 Aug 1727.

This same couple had 3 other sons baptized in the same church. Richard, baptized Jul 1728, apparently died as a baby. Another son Richard, baptized December 1729. Then I don’t find any other baptism records until Henry, born 1737, and then a son William, baptized July 1742.

Otherwise, the name is too common and we don’t have enough information tying people together. There was a Richard Derham born in North Curry in 1700,  and another one born there in 1702. Could either of these be our Richard?    In both cases, the boy’s father’s name was also Richard Derham. A good hunch that my 7th great grandfather is also Richard Derham. But I just don’t know. Searching for “Joan Derham” doesn’t narrow it down. There are at least 3 Joan Derhams  who died in North Curry around the time  I’m looking, but  I can’t see who they are buried near, or an exact transcript of the gravestone.

{genealogy} Durham/Derham ancestry part 5 - HENRY DERHAM (B. 1737)

Henry Derham (b. 1737)

Heather’s 5th great grandfather

Henry Derham was born on July 11, 1737, the son of Joan and Richard. He married Ann Brownsford on January 17, 1765, in North Curry, Somerset, England. They had two sons that we know of. He died on March 25, 1803, at the age of 65, and was buried in North Curry, Somerset, England.

Henry’s baptism record is unusual because it shows his birth date as well. Here is the page from 1738. I imagine it’s a transcription but I don’t know when the transcript was written.

It says: Henry, s(on) of Richard Darham & Joan, baptized February 18, and he was born July the 11th.

Marriage banns between Henry Derham and Ann Brownsford of North Curry were published for 3 weeks in December 1764. It says the banns were published “by me” so I wonder if that means this document is not a transcript. Typically transcriptions would indicate the name of “me”.

A transcript of the later marriage record indicates that they were married on 17 Jan 1765. Henry was 27 years old.

Their son John Derham, who is buried with them and referenced on the gravestone, was born later that year. The gravestone indicates that son John died at age 27, which would put his birth year as 1765.

The only other child we know about is William Derham, who was born a few years later, in 1768, and is also buried with Henry and Ann.

As referenced in son William’s biography, there is a discrepancy on Henry’s gravestone. Though it says he died 25 Mar 1804, it is more likely 25 Mar 1803. The burial record indicates he was buried 3 Apr 1803. So either the burial record is wrong, or the etching on the gravestone is wrong.

{genealogy} Durham/Derham ancestry part 4 - William Derham

William Derham

Heather’s 4th great grandfather

When William Derham was born in 1768, his father, Henry, was 31 and his mother, Ann, was 29. He married Elizabeth "Betty" Bowyer in 1797 in North Curry, Somerset, England. They had 6 children for which I have found baptismal records, and possibly 3 other children, for a total of 9 children in 17 years. He died in 1819 at the age of 51, and was buried in North Curry, Somerset, England.

North Curry is here:

As an adult, William would go on to name 3 of his sons Henry (2 died young), and 2 of his daughters Ann (one died young). This helps give us evidence that we are on the right track in naming his parents Henry and Ann.

Here is a baptismal record from 1768 in North Curry. It is difficult to read, but it says that “Wm. Son of Henery + Ann Derham” was baptized 18 Sep 1768.

Luckily, here is the printed transcript, since I wouldn’t trust my eyes to read that.

A similar transcript shows that William Derham married Betty Bowyer in North Curry in 1797. William’s birth date is not shown, so we are assuming this is the same William Derham who was baptized in 1768.

We have a burial record showing William Derham, age 51, was buried in May 1819 in North Curry. He’s the bottom row. The age would put his birth as 1768, which matches the baptism record we have.

Elizabeth Derham, who we assume to be Mrs. Betty Bowyer Derham, is buried 14 Nov 1828 in North Curry.

A transcription of the Derham burial monument helps to put all the parties together on the same page, though it’s still not proof that Betty Bowyer is the same as Mrs. Elizabeth Derham. The transcript reads as follows, but note the * where the transcriber indicated a discrepancy from burial records, details in the screenshot : Headstone – Sacred to the memory of John Derham, son of Henry and Ann Derham, who departed this life May 10th, 1792, aged 27 years. Also in memory of Henry Derham who departed this life March 25th, 1804, aged 65 years*. Also in memory of Ann Derham, wife of Henry Derham, who departed this life October 2x, 1811, aged 72 years.* Also in memory of William Derham, son of Henry and Ann Derham, who departed this life May 11, 1819, aged 51 years. Also in memory of Elizabeth Derham, wife of William Derham, who departed this x, x, 1828, ag x.


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