Our trip to Idaho this weekend afforded us the opportunity to do some family history research and we spent Saturday morning at the Grangeville Centennial Library. I'm sorry we did not have more time, as we barely scraped the surface in the reference room, with books and books of obits, scrapbooks, and databases on funeral records, marriage records, and more. We had been told there was a book released recently 150 Years: Our Story - Cottonwood, Ferdinand, Greencreek, Keuterville and Surrounding Areas, providing histories of the families who had settled the Camas Prairie and we were thrilled there was a copy available at the library for us to peruse. I have to admit though I was a little disappointed as there really wan't too much information on the Riener family and more of the histories seemed to be more current then past. However, we did discover the two volume set is available for purchase at the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in Cottonwood for $55. We were also informed that there was to be a third volume available soon.
Life's been pretty hectic the last few weeks, but filled with lots of family time and lots of mileage on my truck. It all started just after school was out for the summer, we took our two younger boys and my niece, who has been staying with us, camping at Cape Disappointment. The following week, both Steffen and Sarah, along with their grandfather, attended a staff training week at a Boys Scouts of America camp - Camp Habobas. Sarah is the camp photographer and teaches photography. Steffen teaches Environmental Science, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Chess. This was also the week we received Michael's mission call. The following week was pure chaos, as we tried to squeeze in summer doctor, dentist, and orthodontic appointments. Steffen finally received his bottom braces, which he is happy about and the orthodontist informed us that Joey's adult teeth are all in and he can start orthodontia as soon as possible. Of course, a week before furloughs start and have no clue where we are going to come up with the down payment. Sigh. Ed and I also celebrated our 21st Anniversary. We went out to dinner and a movie.
Both Steffen and Joey's dental checkups did not go very well. Steffen had two cavities and Joey had one. Of course, Steffen's cavities had to be on opposite sides of the mouth and would require two appointments. I was able to squeeze one appointment in before camp, but the second appointment will have to wait until after camp. Also, when teeth are being cleaned the wire for the braces is removed, so this required a trip to the orthodontist to remove the wire, a trip to the dentist for cleaning, and then a trip back to the orthodontist to put the wires back on. In addition, the orthodontist and the dentist are on opposite sides of the peninsula. Run, run, run.
I also took Joey to see the optometrist for a yearly eye exam. Steffen has already had his earlier in the school year, after his glasses had broke and we had to replace them. As far back as Kindergarten, I have been saying that I thought Joey was color blind, but was dismissed. What does it take for school districts to listen to mother's when it comes to their children? Mother's are always right! He failed the color test at his last appointment. The doctor believes he has a blue-green deficiency. Not sure yet, if anything, we can do about his color blindness, but good to finally have a diagnosis.
My sister, Elizabeth and her family arrived Friday evening and stayed with us until Monday, when they boarded a plane, heading to Alaska for a few days in Anchorage and Denali, followed by an Alaskan cruise.
The following week, I picked up Michael from his mini-mission in Tacoma. The week was filled with shopping, shopping, and more shopping, but first he had to be released as a missionary for the Washington - Tacoma mission, then he had an interview with the Bishop, followed by an interview with the Stake President and was found to be worthy to go to the temple and receive his endowments. My sister, Cathy had arrived a few days prior with her youngest son, Spencer, and because my mother has night blindness and can not drive at night, I went to the airport to pick her up. It was a very long evening, as her flight had been delayed and did not arrive until 2:00 am. I had also squeezed in an appointment with my cardiologist. I have been very, very fatigued and not just because of all the running around. I just don't seem to have any energy at all and several friends and family members have made the comment how tired I look. He's not very happy with how fast my heart rate is and upped the dosage of my medication, but one of the side effects is tiredness. I think it's more than that. With being in consent a-fib, my heart and lungs are working harder and it's just hard to find stamina to do housework or enjoy a quick hike. He's scheduled a echocardiogram for me in late October.
I have to give a huge shout-out to Bartels and CTR Clothing in Chehalis, Washington. Joe again delivered for us. He was able to find Michael another suit in a very timely matter, was able to squeeze us in for a fitting and hemmed the pants while we ate lunch. We also purchased more white shirts and blacks socks. I highly recommend CTR Clothing for those seeking missionary attire. Then it was a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a couple new suitcases and a stop at Famous Footwear for a new pair of dress shoes. My sister could not believe how long it took us to go shopping, but when we live in the boonies - anywhere is a drive.
On Saturday, Michael went to the temple with Grandma and Grandpa and his aunt Cathy. Ed and I went for a nice drive and ended up visiting the Seattle Japanese Garden. We had a wonderful stroll through the gardens on a beautiful Seattle summer day. Then we took Michael out to a celebration dinner. On Sunday, he gave a wonderful talk in Sacrament meeting and several friends remarked how mature he had become in just three short months. It was also a day of miracles, as some church members gave both him and us money to help him on his mission. Praise Him! On Tuesday evening, we met with President Fields, so Michael could be set apart as a full-time missionary for the Utah - Salt Lake City mission. It was a very moving prayer and the Spirit was very strong in that room. We were all moved. Our time with Michael was too short, and after driving him to the airport early Wednesday morning, we tearfully said good-bye to him. Boy, do I miss that kid!
Unfortunately, this was the same weekend as Ed's mother's 80th birthday celebration (even through her birthday is July 30th). All his brothers and sisters and their families attended, but we were unable to make the trip to Idaho. However, this past weekend, because Ed had a four-day weekend because of his furlough, and we made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Grangeville, Idaho to spend a few days with his mother and to work on some family history research. We had a great visit and then even was able to stop and visit his sister, Carleen before heading home. The drive home was pretty uneventful, say for a funny story about a large bug that flew through an open window and being in ugly stop and go traffic between Cle Elem and Easton, Washington. Now I remember why I avoid Snoqualmie Pass - traffic is just ugly on the weekends coming over the mountains. Yet another example why this state NEEDS more lanes!! We also saw thick billowing clouds from a huge wildfire burning near Wenatchee. Fire danger is extreme as it has been a very dry summer.
We arrived home late evening and then I turned right back around to drive my sister Cathy, her husband, Tristen, and son, Spencer to the airport for a late red-eye flight and their flight had been delayed an hour before we even arrived.
The previous week, all the families made a long day trip to Mt. Rainier. Again the weather did not disappoint. It was gorgeous at Paradise and we enjoyed hiking a couple short waterfall trails. Elizabeth and family had to dash off in the early afternoon, so Ted could start his new job and they could close on their new house. The rest of the family continued puttering around the mountain and we even visited a few sights we had not seen before, then a drive to the Ohanapecosh visitor center (which was closed because of sequester) and Cathy and family headed towards Wenatchee for week of family camping and Ed and I with Grandma and Joey headed home.
This week, Joey is attending Boy Scout camp at Camp Habobas. This will be his first year, although he wasn't exactly thrilled about going, I hope he has a great time. Ed went with him yesterday, to help him get registered, set-up his tent, and get him signed up for classes. He will be taking a pathway to Tenderfoot class, Environmental Science, Chess, and Fishing. I know, he's always begging us to take him fishing, but neither Ed nor I fish, so I am sure he's going to have fun.
I was looking forward to some time alone this week. To catch up on writing and housework; however, last night my dad got really sick and we had to pick him up from camp. Unfortunately, we could not find an after hours clinic open late last night on the peninsula and he didn't want to go to the emergency room, so I drove him home. Him and my mom went to see his primary doctor this morning. I don't know anything else, yet. Makes me mad, that several years ago, before congress shoved the Unaffordable Healthcare Act down our throats, we were assured we could keep the same doctors, could keep the same coverage and insurance providers. Well, here in Mason county, where we live, all insurers have left and are not offering coverage, except Group Health, and there isn't a Group Health clinic in the county!! My parents did not have a choice, but to switch to Group Health. Ugh!
Steffen and Sarah have another week of working at scout camp and then Sarah flies home to Florida. Steffen will be attending band camp the following week. Joey has asked for swimming lessons, so I need to look into who offers them in August - I think the Navy base does. Tomorrow, Michael leaves the MTC and heads off to Utah-Salt Lake City Mission. On top of everything else going on, my laptop stopped holding a charge. Now waiting for a new battery. Hoping it arrives soon. I am going through withdrawals!
Some of my most fondest and vivid memories of my youth are of me going camping with my parents and younger sisters. I remember my first camping trip, I couldn't have been much older than four and my parents had taken me to Sequoia National Park. Faintly, I can see myself running around those giant redwoods and climbing their massive stumps. I decided when I had children, I wanted to take them on camping trips and give them the opportunity to have the same experiences I had, and I hope we have instilled good memories for our boys.
This year was no exception. I was looking forward to a camping trip, especially since we were unable to get away last summer, except for a quick trip to Leavenworth, Washington over the Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, we kept hitting road blocks and I fretted if we were even going to be able to make it work. To begin with, the summer was already booked pretty solid with work, scout camps, band camp, and Michael leaving for the MTC. That left us with only a short block of time to squeeze in a trip, throw in a camp staff meeting and a snow make-up day at the end of the school year and we only had an extended weekend to do our excursion. We originally discussed taking a trip to Mt. Rainier, in view of the fact, we had not camped on the mountain for several years. When I went to make reservations, we found out because of sequestration, our favorite campground was closed until later in the month. We then decided we would visit the east side of the mountain instead and was actually looking forward to visiting since we had never seen the east side of Mt. Rainier. I found a campsite, but while checking road conditions, I discovered the road to Sunrise was not anticipated to be opened until later in the month and the second excursion to Crystal Mountain was out, because the gondola rides were closed the weekend we were supposed to be there. Sigh!
So. . . we did a complete 180 degree turn and headed to the Washington coast instead. We decided to visit Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly known as Fort Canby) because we had never visited the park, although we had visited Fort Stevens on the other side of the Columbia River. Camp Disappointment is where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean and where Lewis and Clark landed and explored when they reached the end of their journey to the Pacific. We drove to the park with hopes of finding a last minute site and we camped in a first-come, first serve campground in the park near Lake O'Neil, a little more primitive (no hook-ups) then other sites available in the park (those near the ocean), but still had water nearby, flush toilets, and showers. I would have liked to have camped at the sites on the Pacific Ocean side of the park, but I understand those fill up weeks and sometimes months in advance and even then it's a .25 mile hike to the beach from the campgrounds. Side note: Watch out for raccoon in this park, they are tenacious, are not afraid of humans, and will steal food and rummage through garbage. Had a bit of an adventure with a raccoon on our first day at the park. I was sitting in our pickup with the door wide open and a raccoon waddled over to the door and peaked inside. I shooed him away, but my youngest son who was sitting in the truck with me, wanted to know where he went. We found him a few moments later in the back of the truck bed trying to open a storage bin, which I might add, had no food inside. He gave up, climbed out of our truck, and then climbed onto a bumper of another truck. No fear. We kept the doors closed from then on.
While at the park, we enjoyed several short hikes. We hiked to both Camp Disappointment lighthouse and North Head lighthouse. I love lighthouses as much as I love forest fire lookouts - something about them stirs up the romantic in me. The call of seclusion. The guardians of the waterways. Fantasies of living in one many years ago. We were able to take a tour of North Head and climbed up the 66 steps to the top. Amazing and breath-taking views from up there. We also walked along the North Jetty, Beards Harrow, Waikiki Beach, Benson Beach, and toured the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Have some family history with the Lewis and Clark Expedition - my great-great-great-great grandfather, Alexander Hamilton Willard was with the corps.
Our final day at the coast, we drove up to Long Beach and spent the day walking along the boardwalk, driving on the beach, and shopping. I highly recommend Anna Lena's Quilt Shop - going to sound strange but she has amazing fudge! Then on our way home, we stopped at Fort Columbia State Park. This historical park protected the entrance to the Columbia River. It is one of the few intact coastal defense sites left in the United States. After lunch at Pizza Hut in Seaside, Oregon, we headed down the coastal highway towards Portland. Just a few miles from Hillsboro, we blew a tire on the trailer. Had a bit of an adventure as the trailer we had borrowed did not have a spare. Thank goodness, we left on a Saturday and not Sunday, because Les Schwab Tires are closed on Sundays. After purchasing a new tire, we were back on the road again, arriving back home late Saturday evening. On Sunday, Steffen left to work at a boys scout camp for the summer.
The Riener family tree goes back to the time when they were living in a region not far from Vienna, Austria, which is now part of Hungary. Both my husband and I have tried to emerge the boys in German culture to help them better understand their heritage.
Steffen is taking German this year in high school and plans to continue taking German all four-years. One of his classroom assignments is making an authentic German dish. I am not what you would call a 'master chef' and stumble around the kitchen with the best of them, but it's been kind of fun, preparing dishes with him.
This week, we made German Potato Salad. It was easy to make and tasted good (although, I admit it had a strong vinegar odor and not like the American potato salads I am used to). We found this recipe on Food Network.
Place the potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover them with enough water to extend 2 inches above the surface of the potatoes. Salt the water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once crisp, place on a paper towel-lined plate and crumble into small pieces. Pour off the rendered fat, reserving 1/4 cup in the pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook until translucent and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt and stir until thick and bubbly. Add the sliced, cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Top with the crumbled bacon and garnish with the chives. Serve warm.
I have to apologize - I am really behind on my blog postings. In addition, I have not forgotten about the screenwriting project. I'm still plugging away on script #7, but it just has not been as easy to write as the other ones were. I promise, I will complete it, and hopefully, will be posting soon. In the meanwhile, I have become a bit distracted by another hobby of mine. . . family history.
I really enjoy researching. And it's fun finding new information and 'meeting' cousins from all over the world wide web. I admit though, I took a long extended break from genealogy, after an older program I have been using crashed, and I lost half the names on my list. I could not even look at the program without getting literary sick to my stomach. Then over the Thanksgiving weekend, I was given some new information and we visited a couple of cemeteries in the Cottonwood, Idaho area and I opened up the program and began to re-enter what was lost and enter new data.
I'm still working with Personal Ancestral File (PAF) - but the LDS Church is no longer supporting or updating this program, so I have been looking for new software or an online family tree program. I'm leaning towards Family Tree Maker. I like Ancestry, but can't afford the yearly subscription. I prefer to visit free database sites. I highly recommend Family Search. You can search birth, marriage, and death records from several different states, United States Census records, the Social Security Death Index, military records, etc. It has been a wealth of information. There is also record collections for Asia, Africa, Europe, Canada, and more. (Although, I have not had much time to explore these collections). I also like Find A Grave, another free program and it has been very helpful is verifying dates and birth and death locations of family members. Heritage Quest is another good source and can be found on many local library websites, most requires a library card to enter the site, but information can be found on these reference databases, including Federal census data and genealogy books and serials. If your family immigrated into the states and came through New York City, Ellis Island passenger records search is free. And of course, Family Search Centers are located around the world. Click on this link to find the center nearest you. Always free, except if you choice to make copies and then there is a small photocopy fee - but a very helpful and friendly staff.
To me, researching family history is like a mystery, and each new discovery or clue, unlocks the past. So, I am off to do some more exploring. . .
Ever since I was a little girl I've dreamt of visiting Europe, and seeing the Alps and my very first castle. Then in the winter of 2008, Ed and I were able to go on a trip of my dreams as we toured the countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We also took in the sights used in the filming of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, as well as, The Sound of Music. I wrote a day by day account of our trip (it's a bit long), but we had 14 wonderful days, just the two of us. However, I have to admit a few days into our trip, I really started to me the boys.
Ed and I are talking about traveling to Europe again. Last time, we visited the village Wimmelbach, Germany, where the Seubert side of the family is from. This time we are thinking of visiting the village Mosonszolnok, Hungary, also known as Zanegg (in German) where the Rieners are from, before they immigrated to the United States in 1885. Zanegg was a German Catholic town until it was ethnically cleansed in 1946.
I'm having problems researching the Riener side of the family tree. First, the family Bible does not go any further back then Ed's great grandfather. Second, the Rieners are from an area around the Hungarian/Austrian border (near but not in Burgenland), and although I can read a little German, I cannot speak or read any Hungarian.
I’m looking for information on the village. What might we find there? Are there still Rieners in the area? Also need to know how travel is through Hungary, and if like most places in Germany and Austria, do they speak English, or is there going to be a language barrier problem?
"Hey. . . it's me."
I live in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains, in the State of Washington and I love camping, boating, hiking, and hanging out with my husband, our three boys, and two Bernese Mountain dogs.