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Thursday, December 5, 2019

More Family- Tonight the Secrets

Here are two more pictures from the box I discovered yesterday. Again, one is known and one is a guess, an educated guess.

Here is the known person. This is William Ford Rappleye, always known as Ford. It is from him that my father gets his middle name, Ford. This is dad's biological grandfather, or maybe great-grandfather. My recollection of the stories is grandfather, but the dates don't jive, so it must be great-grandfather, which leaves me with a question as to the missing generation. This picture was taken in 1908, eight years before he died.

The Rappleyes were important people in the history of my small town. They were founders. One of the Rappleyes helped establish the First Baptist Church that I've occasionally posted about. They did not tolerate scandal.

William Ford Rappleye

Unfortunately, this young lady, Ada Rappleye, or maybe Hall, ran off with a man named Dana Walker. I was always told that my dad was their illegitimate child. However, I have found a wedding certificate for them, and I have dad's adoption papers which state that his parents were Dana and Ada Walker, and his name was Ray Ford Walker. The mysteries continue.

I am guessing that this is her picture. I remember being shown it in the past, and I can see that Dad and John both look like this woman, so I think this must be the correct one.

Ada Rappleye Hall Walker

Well, the family cut her off completely. The Walkers were destitute and gave Ray up for adoption to the Learys. The adoption papers say they were unable to provide food or clothing for him.

She is buried in an unmarked grave in the Interlaken Cemetery. Dad knew where it was, but there is no headstone. I'm quite sure I couldn't find the exact location even if I went there. If there is an official record of it, it has not been recorded in Find-a-Grave. I hope somewhere there's a record.

Meanwhile, if Ada was Ford's granddaughter rather than his daughter, was her father Ansel Jay Rappleye, or her mother Augusta Claudine Rappleye Hall? My money is on Augusta, because I've always been told that my middle name, Hall, comes from both sides of the family, and that would be the connection on dad's biological side.

I have just found that Ansel Jay never married and had no children. Augusta is shown as having one daughter, Ada. So I've established that line, but there is no further information.

I guess if you are cut off, you are cut off. Period.

All this known history led to many of dad's emotional problems. He was adopted into a family who lived in the same town where all this scandal occurred and everyone knew who he was. They never let him forget. Small towns can be wonderful. Or not.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, got more groceries, did some formatting and editing.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Family - Dad's Adoptive Parents

Came across another old box of pictures today. Most of them not labeled. Shaking my head. I'm really sorry to not know who these people are. Are they relatives or just friends?

I have identified a few and am guessing at a few. You get one of each today.

I am relatively certain this is Jack O. Leary (changed from Jack O'Leary), who adopted my dad when he was four. However, I think this picture must be from Jack's youth, possibly before he was married. I don't know if he was a first generation Irish immigrant or perhaps second, since he chose to make the "O" a middle initial.

Jack O. Leary

Now, we get into nearly complete speculation. I think this may be his wife, my Grandmother Leary. She was local to the area I grew up in and her maiden name was Frances Bullivant. In all the identified pictures of her she is much older and heavier. However, the mouth of this woman is the same, and the photographer's studio was in Trumansburg, the next town over. She had many friends in that town, as evidenced from an autograph book. So... I'm temporarily sticking my neck out. If I find out differently at any time, I'll edit this.

I can hardly reconcile this picture with how I remember Grandma Leary, but everyone starts out young!

Frances Bullivant Leary

I'll show you a few more pictures that I was able to identify in the coming days as I need something for the blog.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and spent most of the afternoon in an extremely frustrating series of service chats and calls with Amazon. Problem not resolved. What else is new. I did manage to get a little bit of formatting done, and Omer and I went to pick out one of my Christmas presents. I'll share that another day, as well.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Let the Christmas Lights Begin

These are the lighted trees at the Methodist Church. It's dark now when we get out of bell choir practice. But you know I love blue.

blue Christmas tree lights

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and worked on formatting in the afternoon. Then there was bell choir, and grocery shopping, and then a phone meeting, which just ended. Enough!

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Let the Christmas Music Begin!

First Christmas concert of the season. This is the West Shore Community College Choir. They are always great.

West Shore Community College Choir

I have been trying to make it each year to this, their first performance of the season, because it's just two doors away from me. I can walk there!

Piano and flute parts on one of the songs.

West Shore Community College Choir

There were also selections by the women only, and then the men only.

West Shore Community College Choir

Here's the play list:
Break Forth Oh Beauteous Heavenly Light (Bach)
Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Vivaldi)
In the Bleak Midwinter
I Wonder as I Wander
Here We Come a Caroling
Whisper/Shout It Out
Sing We Now of Christmas
Angels We Have Heard on High
The Very Best Time of Year
Almost Christmas

Then we all sang Silent Night.

A great kick off to the season. They are doing two more concerts. West Shore Community College on Dec 17, and St. Joseph's in Hart on Dec 19. If you're local, try to catch one.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and did a little editing and formatting this afternoon. Oh yeah, I ran the snowblower to clean out the driveway. We had both made it to the top, but the ruts were bad.

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Hello, December!

This is what I awoke to this morning in Grand Rapids.

snow covered trees and street

Totally beautiful, but it had a significant effect on people's activities. The friend I stayed with lives on a hill and here's his view. Not shabby, eh?

snow covered valley with church

I loved the while against the white.

snow covered tree

And here's my host, Doug Boulee. He's a hiking friend and we mostly talked... wait for it... hiking.

smiling man in winter clothes

The event was seriously damaged by the weather. About a third of the vendors didn't show up, and there were hardly any shoppers. I'm pretty sure I broke even, so I can't complain. But, darn, I sure would have liked to do better. Everyone would have.

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

More Patterns

I have no pictures specific to today, so I'll share some pattern pictures I've been saving. You know I love this kind of stuff.

condensation trails

foam on water

pattern in sandstone

Could you guess what they are? First is water drip trails through condensation. Second is foam on green water. Finally we have mineral swirls in sandstone.

In other news: I had a book event today, and I did quite well. I'm super pleased because it was a small venue and I didn't have high expectations. Now I'm spending the night at a friend's house because I have another event tomorrow.

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Friday, November 29, 2019

Fun and Games

It's all fun and games until somebody has to go home, right? I managed to forget to take the traditional family picture, but we got one of the boys and me playing games. We did Mille Bornes- this year's favorite, but we did Sorry, Sniggle, and Old Maid, too. And Steve has developed an aversion to having his picture taken. I'm not sure what that's about, but I can't make people do what they won't do.

family games

I set up a simple puzzle, because last year Steve actually wanted to do one. This year, I did it all, but Steve likes to time me to see how fast I can do one. We didn't time the whole thing, but I managed to do 100 pieces (of the 300) somewhere in the middle of completion in 50 minutes. Doesn't seem very fast, but usually I'm the fastest puzzle-doer.

jig saw puzzle

Omer is taking Steve to the airport in the morning, and I'll be off to a book sales event. Over too soon, but it's been great.

In other news: I did get some editing and formatting done before Steve got up, and I went to the bank.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Packing It All In

We are packing two holidays into three days, and packing in the food too!

Thanksgiving meal

Since the dining room is totally unusable for dining, we set up a small table in the living room, and had a yummy meal. Winner! We found 5 menu items that everyone was willing to eat, and they are OK with leftovers tomorrow, too. We had a pork roast, mashed potatoes, peas, squash, applesauce, and cranberry relish. Nothing fancy. Pretty easy to fix.

Then we played some of the games we do well together. Omer agreed to one round of Sorry (definitely not his favorite), which he won, so he shouldn't gripe too much! Steve and I have been playing Mille Bornes quite a bit.

family games

Then we did a group game with a hugely wrapped package with one tiny treat in the middle. Each person has a turn to unwrap as long as the music is playing. Oh, but the unwrapper has to wear bulky awkward gloves! This was a real hit, and Joshua won, getting the cash prize.

family game

We did Christmas stockings, and ordered gifts for each other from the internet. Not my fondest template for Christmas, but I'll take what I can get. It's really nice to have Steve home.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cold Cruel World

My froggie went back to living outside today. She didn't seem all that eager to leave and I miss her already.

She wasn't too interested in hopping out of the tub into the wilderness of fallen leaves.

tree frog on moss

I had put the tub outside for a few short whiles before the final shove into the real world to let her cool down more gradually.

Finally, I urged her on the way because the wind was trying to take the tub for a sail across the yard. I didn't think she wanted flying lessons, so I nudged her into the leaves.

tree frog on leaves

Supposedly they spend winters under the leaves, and there is a nice layer of them where I put her. But I suspect she's had a nice warm house to live in for more than a few months. I wonder what she thought. Maybe she'd rather be warm and just eat spiders and get a drink when the toilet tank drips condensation or someone takes a shower. Who knows? Well, she's on her own now.

In other news: Steve and I played a few games, but it's pretty quiet here.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hyla versicolor Demonstrating Her Name

Look at my little friend today. She climbed to the very top branch in her little condo.

tree frog on small branch

And then she was opening and closing her mouth. This picture isn't in very good focus, but it looks to me like she has something in her mouth! Is she eating one of the spiders? That would be good news.

tree frog on small branch with open mouth

But she showed the real range of colors today, "versicolor." They can vary from nearly white to almost black, and I think she's got all that down pat. These colors are pretty much what I saw, and not some trick of the lighting. Earlier today, she was very dark.

tree frog in a terrarium

This evening, she was nearly white.

tree frog in a terrarium

And remember, when we caught her on Sunday night in the bathroom, she was bright green.

Anyway, she's going outside to fend for herself tomorrow. Even though she seems happy in the little tub, I did some research and you have to keep things moist but watch for mold and clean it out, and buy food, and this tub isn't tall enough... I think I need to let her go. I've become strangely attached, though. She's super cute!

In other news: We picked up Steve at the airport, but then when we got home I went to bell choir and writers' group. I'll try for family pictures tomorrow.

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Frog is Gray Today

I'm enjoying observing my little froggie! She seems extremely happy in her tub world, but I'm worried about her food situation.

Anyway, even though they are nocturnal, she spent a lot of the night under that block I put in there for her to hide under. But today, she crawled up on the branch... tree frog, right? She sat in this fork for about six hours.

And, on the gray branch, look what color she turned. I told you they could change!

gray tree frog in a terrarium

I backed out here so you can see her little vacation condo. I have managed to get a small daddy long legs and three live fruit flies in there. I have no idea if she's caught anything to eat. Of course, there might have been some insects in the litter I put in the bottom. I'd love to see her catch something, but I'd probably have to watch every minute.

gray tree frog in a terrarium

Later in the day, she climbed even higher and stayed there for a couple hours.

gray tree frog in a terrarium

Now she's back down in the lower fork.

I know we are messing with her rhythms. She's in the kitchen and we keep turning on the light to get coffee or a snack or whatever. It would be better if her night matched the one outdoors. I think I'll keep her one more day so Steve can see her (probably he won't care, but O well, I have to be an educator mom, right?). Then I'll let her go. It's supposed to rain on Wednesday, so that might be a nice moist day to re-introduce her to the outside leaf litter. I have to assume she did not start life in the bathroom! Ha.

In other news: I wrote my newspaper column in the morning after I finally got up. Worked late into the night, not because I was being good, I was simply obsessed and couldn't stop. This is why I get things done. Then I had to do a bunch more stuff to be ready for the rest of the week.

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