One woman's search (okay, mine) for female Benihana hibachi chefs

 
 
(I thought that title sounded more Dateline-ish than "Where have all the women Benihana hibachi chefs gone??" It makes it sound more mysterious, right? More like a cliffhanger?)

Seriously, if it's never been obvious to you before that I write my posts without any regard for whether or not people give a flip about the topic, it's got to be now. You'd think I'd want to try harder. People out there don't care about female hibachi chefs and whether or not there are any! People want recipes for brownies! People want tips on how to discipline kids! People want to hear the latest rant about a controversial topic! People want to read emotional stories about loved ones! These are the kinds of things that get a lot of traction on the internet. I've been told this before. I've been given advice about how to drive more traffic to my site before.

But, would you look at me?

If you are still reading, well, I thank you.

And the struggling female hibachi chefs of the world thank you.

https://wikispaces.psu.edu/display/BusProject/Benihana
Hahaha!!  Women?!  Sayonara to that!  No women here!

Enjoying the culinary talents of hibachi chefs at Japanese restaurants (ahem, Benihana's) is something my family loves to do.  We love to see them chopchopchopchopping the heck outta some scrambled eggs.  We love opening our mouths in an effort to catch a clump of rice launched from a couple of feet in front of us.  We love to watch them aim the clump of rice at my sons' mouths but miss and land rice in their hair eight times in a row.  We love laughing at them when they say, "Meow" as they begin to slice into some raw chicken.  Nothing makes us gasp more than a wall of fire that is then extinguished by a plastic man peeing on the flames (I've only seen that once and never at Benihana's).  And we never cease to be amazed at how they can flip a raw egg all over the place with their spatula and then crack it on its edge while never actually touching it with bare hands.

Insanity.

But, as impressive as all of that is, I become distracted at those hot Japanese tables.  As I glance around the room full of other people clapping and laughing and chowing down on the delicious fried rice and guzzling ginger dressing off of the iceberg lettuce salad, I notice there are no women hibachi chefs.  This doesn't upset me or anything. I mean, maybe women just don't want to be hibachi chefs.  I asked our hibachi man and he said he had never known a woman to don the red chef's hat and entertain the masses with her quick stir-frying skills.  Not feeling satisfied with his isolated experience, though, I picked up the phone not too long ago to call about ten other Benihanas to ask them about their experience with women hibachi chefs.

"Konnichiwa.  Thanks for calling Benihana.  How may I help you?"

"Hi.  I have a question for you.  Could you tell me if you have any women hibachi chefs at your restaurant?"

"Yes, we do have lemon hibachi shrimp.  We would just add some lemon to the shrimp, but we can do that.  No problem."

"No, I didn't say lemon hibachi shrimp.  I said women hibachi chefs."

"Ohhh!!  Hahaha!!  Okay.  Ummm.  Well, there is a woman that helps hand the food to the chef.  She helps him get ready."

"But, are there any actual women chefs there?"

"No.  No, not since I've worked here."

"Do you know why?  Have there been any women applicants?  Are they just not suited for the job?  What's the deal?"

"I really don't know.  I have no clue."

That was the response I received from the majority of the Benihanas I called, except that was the only guy that thought I said lemon hibachi shrimp. Only two said that they had a woman chef at one point long, long ago.  One gentleman said she had to leave due to "issues she had to take care of" and the other one didn't know why she had left.  One guy I called actually told me why he thought women didn't really cut it as hibachi chefs:

"Well, there just so many things to do.  They have clean up, scrape table, sweep up.  Too much for them.  They have stay late, work hard.  After that, no time for family.  That why women no hibachi chefs."

Aha!!! So, according to him, women may not want to be hibachi chefs because they wouldn't have time for their families! That must be the bottom line in what this man was saying, because, if there is one thing most women know how to do, it's clean, scrape and sweep! Can I get an Amen??

Thanks to the good ol' Internet, I did eventually find ONE woman hibachi chef, but it still looks like she is in training.



I bet she'll be a good one and something tells me she won't make plastic men pee on the flames.

Ooo!!! Just before I hit "publish", I thought I would do ONE more search and- look!- I found another one!!!! I can't believe it! Maybe times are changing!



If I get some time later today, I may call ten more hibachi places. If I don't hear that they have any females chopchopchopping it up, I'll go picket. Well, I'll go picket after getting a salad with some of that ginger dressing on top with a gallon of ginger dressing on the side. I'M IN LOVE WITH IT.

Why don't you think there are more women hibachi chefs?

Are we even friends yet on Facebook? We've got to start there first!
Spammers make me want to throw spam at passing cars, which is why I got rid of the normal commenting system and just use Facebook now. Passing cars don't deserve spam on their windshields and I don't want my insurance to go up. Please click below to let me know what you think about female hibachi chefs or about anything at all. Let's discuss!





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What Does Your Last Name Mean? (Alternate title: You guys have just GOT to hear what name was given to one of my ancestors. THE BEST ONE YET.)




Do you know what I love most about Ancestry.com?

It shows that people matter.

People aren't forgotten.

Actually, people are forgotten, but Ancestry.com helps us all remember them. Let's be real. We will one day just be people that lived long ago on a family tree. I have researched all the way back to my 6th great grandfather so far on my dad's side. Nobody remembers that dude. That places that man, Captain Jones R. Fuller, way back there. He was born in 1735 and died in 1815. He was 80 years old when he left out of here. He lived and died in North Carolina. I'm still waiting to figure out the exact coordinates where his 6th great grandfather was born, but I haven't made it that far.

The thing is, just because people lived so, so long ago doesn't mean they mattered any less than any of we do now. They laughed. They told stories. They burped. They cried. They told jokes. I'm almost certain they farted. They gave hugs. They said the wrong things. They loved their families.

They were human.

I think, honestly, learning more about my family makes me feel more human and more finite. This isn't depressing, but inspiring. It makes me want to make these days that I do have here on earth matter. I don't want them to be wasted.

(Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy plenty of couch sitting and I can really eat the heck out of a bag of Pirate's Booty. Just let me get philosophical and poetic for a second, would you?)

I honestly feel like sifting through Ancestry.com is like going on a treasure hunt. When you find that your family member is in another person's family tree, you will see that they have done a lot of work for you already. It seriously feels like hitting the jackpot. A small jackpot, sure, but a jackpot.

My FAVORITE finding so far is that I have a relative named...

Wait for it...

I think I'll make you scroll down for this one.













Maybe scroll a little more?























He's SO worth it.













BARZILLA.

Barzilla.

The guy's name is Barzilla. I can't even get over it. I tried to give myself some time, but time didn't help me get over it. That's the guy's name. Nowadays, he could get his own TV show. Right after "Bridezillas" would be "Barzilla"'s own show. It would be just scenes of him going to different bars.

"Whaddya got?" Barzilla slurs out to the bartender.

"Well, we've got everything, sir. We've got just about anything you'd want. May I ask why you are dressed like you are from the Revolutionary War?"

"Because, I AM from the Revolutionary War, ya nitwit!"

"Oh, okay. So sorry, sir. What can I get you?"

"I'll take a cognac! The best one ya got!"

"Alright." The bartender gets out the glass and pours it.

Barzilla downs it, wipes his mouth with his revolutionary war outfit's sleeve, hacks a bit, coughs again and then yells, "I DON'T LIKE IT!"

*He throws the cognac glass against the wall and it shatters in thousands of pieces.*

This scene would just be repeated over and over. Barzilla requests a drink in a cranky, slurred voice. Barzilla downs it fast. Barzilla yells that he doesn't like it. Barzilla smashes the glass against the wall.

I think it would be a hit.

Besides learning of really awesome names in your family, time spent on Ancestry.com also helps you see the transformations that your last name has gone through. In addition, you can find out more about the meaning of your last name. If you go to Twitter, you can see what others have found by searching the hashtag #surnameproject.

For example, my mother's grandmother's last name was "Anderau", but many spelled it "Anderaw". Pretty sure Mildred Sue just got sick and tired of saying, "Anderau. A-N-D-E-R-A-U" to the local post master. She had it up to here! It was probably her that pointed her hard working finger in her father's direction and said, "We're droppin' the ewe and adding a dubya, Daddeh!"

Mildred Sue would probably be totally flabbergasted to see what we have at our disposal in this day and age. She thought she could pull over the addition of that "w" without us finding out. Mildred Sue had no way of knowing that Ancestry.com would exist one day and certainly had no clue that there would be a very-easy-to-access page allllll about your last name.

You guys, this has made me all kinds of excited- even more excited than I was when I found out about Barzilla. I had no clue that something like this existed. To find out lots and lots and lots about your last name without doing anything besides typing it in, you will go to Ancestry.com, find "surname project" and type in your last name.

A screen like this one will pop up:



I did a quick search for "Holt", which is my maiden name, and found that, not surprisingly, there is a high concentration of Holts here in Texas. Hardly any Holts live in North Dakota, which is disappointing because I was hoping to stay with family on a future vacation there.

The bar at the top that goes from 1840 to 1920 will show you how people with your last name have dispersed over the years. It looks like the Holts decided they were too good for New Mexico and Arizona. They skipped right over those states and planted their behinds in California. Most Holt families came from England and most of them came from Lancashire.

There really are so many interesting twists and turns you can go down while on this one particular page. For example, you can see how many of the people with your last name were in the Civil War and you can discover which side they were on. The Holts were pretty even on the Union and Confederate side, with a few more in the Confederacy.

Just think of all the fun facts you can learn about your own last name. You can play a game of Last Name Trivia at your next family get-together. You can try to stump your grandmother. She may think she can remember way back to the old days, but can she remember as far back as Barzilla?

If you are interested in finding out if you have any Barzillas in your family or learning more about your last name, please go here for a free trial of Ancestry.com. I think the five minutes you spend on the page above is more than worth a visit over there.


Thanks to Ancestry.com for sponsoring today's post!

Now, excuse me while I wait by the phone to see if any producers are interested in a show called "Barzilla". If they are, I'm going to need some of you as extras.

http://ooh.li/f9ae0fe



I turned off my comments so spammers couldn't win, so please hop over to Facebook and let me know what you think! You can easily get there by going here:



Are we even friends yet on Facebook? We've got to start there first!



 


The Cookie Walk of Shame



Potlucks make me a nervous wreck. 

I'm not a huge fan but I get the need. I understand why we have them. I just don't really like eating food made in Coughing Sue's kitchen or on Bad Breath Bob's grill.

When I am asked to bring something to one, I usually just buy something from the store. This past Saturday, I was quite happy with my purchase.

"Well, I got the tamales!" I said to my husband and kids as I got back into the car. They dropped me off at the grocery store so that I could run in to buy something.

"What are tamales?" both boys asked.

"Oh, it's like a dry enchilada," I explained as I looked down at my phone. "Uh-oh."

"What?" my husband asked.

"It's not a potluck."

The neighborhood swim team's back-to-school party we were headed to was not a potluck. That is what the e-mail said. It said it right there: "Bring a picnic and a dessert to share."

Well, boo.

Why can't I read better?

"Well, kids, it looks like we are having a picnic but the only item we're eating are tamales! We're having a tamale picnic!"

"What are tamales?"

"Enchiladas with nothing on it. Basically. Remember?"

We had driven well away from the grocery store already and we were already running late. Also, grocery stores on a Sunday BE CRAZY. Going back for a dessert wasn't really an option because, hello, there's my driveway. 

The thing is, you can't come to a dessert-luck with no dessert. You are not allowed to pick up that brownie unless you've laid down a brownie. Or a lemon bar. Or a cookie. Or a macaron.

"You guys go ahead. I will be right there." I said to my husband and kids once we got home. The boys had to change into their swimsuits. They were going to ride over on their bikes and I was going to follow behind them in the car.

I wanted a brownie bite, dingdangit. I couldn't leave that house until I turned something into a dessert around here.

Cheez-its?

No.

Cheez-its with powdered sugar on top? 

Welllllll.... Maybe? Okay, no.

Old Jello?

A half cup of forgotten mixed nuts?

DANG IT.

And there I saw it.

Oatmeal.

Oatmeal cookies!! I could make oatmeal cookies!! They only take 10 minutes to bake and I have everything!!

So, I whipped those suckers up.

Ten minutes later, I was face-to-face with this pitiful thing:


I'm sure that is because I didn't use real butter. Or something.

That "cookie" turned out looking like a close-up of one of Jupiter's moons.

Or Mars' armpit.

It tasted pretty armpit-ish, too.

I still shoveled the hot moon rocks onto a plate. All I needed to secure the future brownie was to set something edible made with sugar onto the dessert table. I had it all planned out. I was going to set these slices of space down on the table without a soul seeing me.

I had a plan:
-I put them on a disposable plate.
-I covered it with foil.
-I put them into a bag.
-I left.

If no dish had to be returned to me, no one would make the connection. The foil would provide a shield against inquiring eyes.

This was going to work.

Once I got there, I put my head down and scurried to the looming dessert table. I glanced to my left and to my right. No one was there. I quickly dropped it like it's hot.

And then I saw them.

The three people that came out of nowhere. The three people that now knew I belonged to this guy:


We were permanently and forever linked.

"I wouldn't eat these," I spewed.

It's not like they were tempted. People usually don't lurch for food that resembles a cow turd.

Did these really qualify me for a brownie? These people would now be judging me. Had I really made a legitimate deposit at the dessert table to warrant a bite of a powdered donut?

The guilt.

"So, did you end up making a dessert?" my husband asked when I saw him later. I had obviously scurried so well that he didn't notice my covert Cookie Dump mission.

"Sort of."

"Sort of? Can we get a dessert if you 'sort of' made dessert? What did you make?"

"Oatmeal cookies. They're awful."

"All oatmeal cookies are awful. Why would you make oatmeal cookies?"

"I had to make a deposit at the dessert table! There was nothing else to make besides frozen vegetables covered in Hershey's syrup. I had to make something. You can't just waltz into a neighborhood gathering and stuff your face full of eclairs without leaving something you brought on the table. If I had read that e-mail right, that dessert in there would've been good.  But, yeah, anyway, It's simple Neighborhood Gatherings Economics. Leave a dessert, take a dessert."

"But, oatmeal cookies?"

"Chris!"

"Well, okay then. I just wanted to know if we could eat something besides tamales."

My boys: "What are tamales?"

FOR THE LOVE.

The night, as unlikely as this seems after my dessert issues, went well. Lots of fun conversations took place. The kids had fun. The company was great.

But, still remaining dispersed through the crowd were The Three That Saw. There was no escaping this reality. They couldn't unsee what they saw anymore than Hilary Clinton can go a day without a blazer.

As much as I had hoped and prayed these three would forget this ugly moment in time when I plopped down the Ugly & Hardly Edible Things, a conversation got started by one of them as the night was winding down.

"Are you the one that made that mound of cookies over there?" a neighbor asked as he walked over to the moon rocks. "Didn't I see you put these down?"

"What?"

"You made those cookies in the corner there, right?"

"Yes. Yes, it was me. Fine. IT WAS ME! I AM COMING CLEAN! IT WAS ME!!" I exclaimed in despair as I held my wrists out for cuffing.

"Ha! Well, check this out. Look, y'all check this out!" He called to his friends. "HAHAHA!!!"

He went to pick up the top cookie on the Mound O'Moon Rocks and THE WHOLE MOUND CAME UP. The whole. flippin'. mound. The whole entire plate of cookies, the plate included, lifted up.

I had essentially made a cookie sculpture. 

One Of The Ones That Saw tried to be diplomatic with his "but I bet it tastes good!" as he chiseled off a piece of the mound and plopped it in his mouth.

He quickly retracted that statement.

I dumped those suckers in the trash in front of everyone and came home and did this to the ones I had left on the pan:


As much as the pain stews in my heart, I am able to see the positives. The one thing I am proud of from that night?  I never did eat any dessert. Not a bite. The guilt was just too great.

My kids? They definitely had dessert.

My husband? Oh, yeah.

I fully expect the HOA to knock on the door tomorrow. If they do, I'll be ready with a cookie.

I saved one just for them.


 (I just said that so you could gaze at its beauty one final time.)



10 Funny Stories About Falling Down



It's funny when people fall. Well, only if they don't hurt themselves. I don't laugh if someone falls and impales themselves on a Barbie arm sticking straight up in the air or something like that. I don't want anyone breaking their arms or legs or hips or kneecaps. I don't think that is funny. I also think a fall is less funny the older you get. I won't crack up if you tell me your grandmother fell down in her kitchen. That's not a funny fall.

I am just talking about your good ol' run-of-the-mill fall.

I have had a lot of them.

My most memorable fall was when I was running out of a haunted house in high school and tripped on someone just as I was exiting. I splayed out everywhere for all to see. I have to admit that I am sometimes an angry faller. My friend was laughing so hard at me that she could barely talk. When she managed to get out, "Are you okay?" I snapped back that I wasn't because I didn't love swimming in concrete. Funny thing is, all these years later, I still don't love swimming in concrete.

I don't wish an embarrassing fall on anyone. If my sons came back home and told me they fell in front of the whole school, I would feel bad for them because I know how humiliating that can be. I've fallen down school steps before. I would feel bad for them just like I felt bad for the lady who fell down in the Crate & Barrel parking lot when a big gust of wind flew by. She popped her little self right back up and kept walking.

But, it was sort of funny.

Thankfully, the likers of my Facebook page have had a lot of funny falling moments. They shared a bunch with me. I smiled and laughed with each one I read. Here is a collection of ten of them.

#1 The Pothole Fall (by Mollie): My friend and I were walking in downtown Houston during our lunch break and I was going on and on. Next thing I realized, she was face-down on the sidewalk. Apparently, she fell in a pot hole. I knew I should help her, but I couldn't stop laughing!

#2 The Overturned Turtle Fall (by Michelle of Mommy Back Talk): After reading all these funny falling stories, I realized I have another one. I had just moved to the Chicagoland area from North Carolina, and unlike Game of Thrones, winter came early. It was late November and there was already snow on the ground and ice everywhere. When I got home from work, I stepped out of my car and put on my backpack, which had my work laptop in it. So far so good. I walked down to the end of the driveway to get the mail. What I thought was a wet spot (still in an NC mindset) was actually black ice. I stepped on it and my feet went out from under me and I fell flat on my back. My backpack broke my fall and kept me from cracking my head on the asphalt. I laid there like an overturned turtle for a few seconds before realizing that I was laying on my work laptop. I got up and went inside to survey the damage. Miracle of miracles, my laptop was fine. After all this excitement I realized I never got the mail.

#3 The Slacks Fall (by Amy): I was wearing slacks with cuffs at the bottom and four inch heels. I tried to take a step and my heel got caught in the opposite pant leg. I face planted in a crowd of people. You're welcome.



#5 The Runaway Grocery Cart Fall (by Wendy): I fell chasing a runaway grocery cart...and broke my shoulder. I wound up having surgery and a metal plate and pins put in. It is okay to laugh because it is stupid funny!

#6 The Head Nod Fall (by Kirsten):  That moment when your walking your child home, head nod to someone in a passing car but realize you don't really know them so you try to pretend you were just doing a dance move & trip on the cracked sidewalk.
True story...


#7 The High School Diploma Fall (by Kimberly): Tripped and fell down the stairs after receiving my high school diploma. Just add it to my list of embarrassing things that happened in high school.










There were a bunch of really funny ones in that thread! You can see them here. Do you have one to add? Come tell us about it on Facebook!


5 Things To Love About Researching Your Family Tree and the Meaning ofYour Last Name on Ancestry.com



Friends of the internet, I can barely stop snooping around Ancestry.com long enough to write this post. I am not even kidding. It is compulsive. You find out something about one person and then you see that you can find something out about another person and then, the next thing you know, you haven't eaten in 3 weeks straight.

Ancestry.com is so. my. thing.

Want to tour an old house?

I'm your lady.

Want to pay extra for the audio tour?

I'm your girl.

Want to walk around a cemetery looking at all gravesites?

Call me.

Want to give me a year subscription to Ancestry.com so that I can learn about the people that lived in the really old houses that are in my own family?

I'M ALL OVER IT.

Ancestry is the world’s largest online resource for family history. Ancestry strives to fill the fundamental desire people have to understand who they are and where they came from. With a unique collection of billions of historical records, including handwritten historical documents and state and local government archives, Ancestry is the perfect place to learn fun and interesting facts about your family’s tree.
 
I am so very grateful that I was given this opportunity to partner with Ancestry.com. They are allowing me to enjoy the World Explorer Membership for a year. At Ancestry.com, you can either go the World Explorer Membership (WEM) level route or the U.S. Discovery (USD) route. You can try both for free for 14 days. After that, the WEM is $34.99 a month ($149 for 6 months) and the USD is $19.99 a month ($99 for 6 months). I just like getting all of that out of the way. You did hear me mention "free", though, right? You can find out A LOT for free in 2 weeks. 

A WHOLE LOT.

I honestly think that most people would find out all that they would want to know in those 2 free weeks. If you are super serious about your family tree and have the time to dive into all the leaves, you may want more time. For most, as I said, I think the 2 free weeks would be just enough.

Besides "learning more about my family", there are some specific things that I love about Ancestry.com and the way that it is set up.

#1 The shaky leaves:                       


Many times when a new person gets added to your tree, a shaky leaf will start dancing in the corner of their little rectangle. That tells you that there is more information about that person to discover. Those shaky leaves are the primary reason you won't take a shower for at least a good month after starting this project. You will never be able to pull yourself away from the computer. If Intervention were still on, I imagine they would have eventually covered someone addicted to Ancestry.com.

These lovely people up in my family tree, including good ol' Easter and Abner Williams up there, are from my husband's side. We didn't know we had any Williams in the family tree. When you get started on this little journey, there will be all kinds of people you didn't know were in your tree.

That brings me to my next point...

#2 The ancestors' names:

You will discover some doozies. Some real doozies. I love when people look all sweet and stuff while patting their baby's head, "Oh, he was named after family" or "We chose a family name". Well, I'll tell you what, that's awesome. That's real awesome. We are glad you chose a family name. Here's the thing...all of our names are probably family names and you just don't know it. Case in point: Here are some family names I discovered after my short stint on Ancestry.com and they happen to be the names I gave to all of my kids.

My dad's grandfather's name was "Maffitt". All this time they just knew him as "Acie". Acie was his nickname. Maffitt was his real name. Just finding out that one little piece of information was fun.


You didn't know I had nine kids?

You caught me in a lie. You did, you did. I don't have 9 kids and none of them are named after any of those family pillars above. These are actual names of some of my ancestors, though. I bet Elzaney was a piece of work. If you don't go on Ancestry.com to find out important family history, at least go for the names. You may find you a Pernicia.

#3 The shared family trees:

Much of the fun stuff I have happened upon has been due to someone else finding it first and sharing it via their public tree. "Oh, well, it looks like we are both related to Rufus! How about that? What else have you discovered about the rascal?" These aren't actual conversations that I have out loud or even via messaging through the site. That's all in my head. I do get excited, though, when I see that someone else has found something about a long lost relative that I haven't found yet. You can verify facts and whatnot before you decide that you are sharing the same Rufus. My husband keeps asking, "Well, how do you know that is the same person?" Once you become an Ancestry.com expert (it only takes a couple of hours), you'll start realizing that if names, birth dates, death dates and location start to match up, you're probably talking about the same Rufus.

The other crazy thing about the public family trees is that will make you realize that you have a bunch of family you've never met. "Hey! My great-great-grandfather is in the Campbell/Williams/Taylor family tree! Say what? HE'S NOT YOUR RELATIVE, HE'S MINE!" I share that with you as a word of caution. If you start fiddling around on Ancestry.com too much and connecting with relatives you never knew you had, you're either going to get into a knockdown drag out or you are going to have to buy a lot of turkey at Thanksgiving. No one wants to see someone go to jail or go into bankruptcy buying turkeys because of Ancestry.com. Go easy, is all I'm sayin'.

#4 The pictures:

There have been many pictures I have come across during all of my snooping that I never knew existed before. You can connect with Facebook and those people on Facebook will pop up on the family tree. For some reason, Anna Vrak (born in 1838) or August Mueller (born in 1856) didn't have a Facebook picture pop up. Hmmm... These pictures I found below were from other people's public trees. The lady who looks like she's had enough of it all (top left) is "Neda" and she is from my side. The lady who is just under Neda looks scary. Right? A little bit? Yeah, she's from my husband's side.


http://ooh.li/f9ae0fe
Sometimes when people can't find a picture, they'll just pop a silhouette in there.

Can you guess which one is the really hot 1800s mama? Yep! You're right! That lower left-hand corner lady! HoooooWEEEE!!!!

#5 The resources:

There are just so many documents that Ancestry.com makes available to you. It really blows your mind. I imagine someone somewhere just feeding document after document after document after document endlessly into a scanner and then entering the information into a database. I am so thankful for those document feeders. I think I have learned the most about relatives and origin from the 1900 census, the 1850 census, the 1830 census, etc. The census is where it's at. There are also death certificates that will tell you a lot. I feel a little guilty looking at those, but...they are there. There are other documents, too, like war draft cards, obituaries, social security information and marriage records that are really hard to read.

A marriage record for Wade Hamilton Holt, who lived from 1824-1855. He is my third great-grandfather on my dad's side. He died at the age of 31 but his legacy and name live on and on. My son's middle name is Holt.

Here is some interesting information about the census:
The U.S. has taken a census of its population every ten years since 1790. The most recent census available to us at present is the 1940 census, due to a 72-year privacy restriction. While the questions in U.S. census records varied from year to year and in state censuses, from state to state, you can find information like names of other household members, ages, birthplaces, residence, occupation, immigration and citizenship details, marriage information, military service and more. The 1890 census was largely destroyed in a fire, but we have compiled a “substitute” with various other records to help bridge the gap.

This is a census I found for my grandmother's mother, Elsa. Everyone in my family always referred to her as "Elsie", but her given name must have been "Elsa", as that is what is listed on here. As far as I know, she was not named after the main character on Frozen.


Look at all of those Germans!

I could go on and on. I really could. There is just so much interesting things that I have learned. I think that if you try it out, you will see that Ancestry.com is user-friendly, thorough, well done and addicting. If you aren't interested in paying, you can learn so, so much in just those free two weeks. I hope that you will consider giving Ancestry.com a try. They are adding new documents all the time.

You will most definitely learn something new  that may change the way you look at the world!

And the way you look at that guy at Wal-Mart.

(He's probably your cousin.)


Go here to start your free trial.
(And then come back! I want to hear about what you find!)
 

 
 
Because the comment section is tore up from the floor up on this blog, we now talk amongst ourselves on Facebook. You can get there by clicking on the image below. Thanks!
 


The Day I Was Bossed Around By The Mall Cookie Lady



When my youngest son was two, I had this conversation outside of a Great American Cookie Company stand at the local mall:

"Little dude, which cookie do you want?"

"Dat wuh"

"No, the rule is that I can't buy you a cookie bigger than your head. That one is too big."
 
"Dat wuh."
 

"I'd like a Big Bite M&M Cookie, please."



"Just one?"

"Yes, that's it."
 
"No more?"
 
"No, ma'am. That's all I want. Thank you."

"You don't want one?"

"No, I just exercised 30 minutes ago.  I don't want to mess up everything I just did.  No, just one.  Thank you."

"Oh, HAVE A COOKIE!  Have a cookie! Cookie good for you!"



Willpower diminished in...
 
 
 
3...
 
 
 
2...
 
 
 
1...
 
 
 
"Oh, ALRIGHT.  I'll have a Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie".

"Anyting to drink?"
 
"No, I'm fine."
 
"Nothing to drink? Cookie so dry. You get thirsty."

"Ummm, okay. I'll have a small Diet Coke."
(This is where I remember the study sent to me yesterday regarding the evil of diet drinks and how I am likely to grow a baby's arm from my right ear or end up looking like Dooneese somehow if I continue to drink them.  I am hesitant to do what I am supposed to do, which is order water or milk, soooo.....)  

This'd be Dooneese, Kristen Wiig's SNL character.

"Change that to a small Coke, please".

"Medium Coke for 99 cent?"

"Mommy, I find us a table?"


"No, dude, you're 2. No, a small coke, please."
 
"Oh, medium coke not much more. Small coke go away so fast. Need medium coke to go with cookie."
 
"Oh, alright already!  A medium Coke".
 
 
 
 
And then...she said it. She really said it. She said it out loud and she meant it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"You get an extra cookie for you master?"

"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I wah dah wuh, tooooooo!!!"

"No, little dude.  One is enough.  MY MASTER?"

"Yes, you want an extra cookie for him?  Your master get home so tired.  He work hard.  After long day, he would love extra cookie. He need a cookie, too. Get a cookie for you master."
 
 
Did she?

Did she really?

Why, yes she did, folks.

She convinced me to buy a medium Coke.

Oh! And she told me to buy a cookie for my master.

This conversation could have continued in many different ways. Fortunately for her, I didn't get into my Hulk Hogan stance and do the Hulk Hogan dance and give her a big Hulk Hogan kick in the pants. I mean, he does work hard and he does love cookies. I'm all about respecting my man. And he does sleep in the "Master Bedroom" at our house. I'll give her that.

She just had a unique sales pitch. I don't think I ended up buying a cookie for him. That is primarily because, despite all the will power I could have mustered for my master, I would have crammed that cookie into my face within 5 seconds of walking away from her. I have no strength against a Great American Cookie Company cookie. They are vicious and delicious.

Sort of like the cookie sales lady, minus the delicious part. Vicious may be a strong term. She was as nice as can be. I bet that company was sad to see her ever leave. They probably made a lot money with her behind the register with her master-talking self.

I bet she left there and started working at the tea company that practically held me up that was situated just a few stores away.

Or perhaps she got a job at a mall kiosk and didn't realize I had developed a self-defense class against her kind.

Don't even get me started on those stories.




The only thing that makes me happier than getting bossed around by the cookie lady is hearing what you have to say about it. You can go here to let it all out:





Are you sitting around the Break Room table yet?


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