Prompt: December 15 – The Holiday Happenings!
Often times December to mid-January birthdays get overshadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries in your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys or gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

I always felt really sorry for my little sister.  Her birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas and she never got to have full-up parties, because the family was getting together for Christmas and couldn’t make it twice in such a short time period.  She often got presents that were for “both your birthday and Christmas”.  And I’m guilty of  not making her birthday special.  I always tend to put her birthday present in the same box as her Christmas present (which never gets there before her birthday).  Shame on me!

I have a late-August birthday, when there aren’t any other holidays around, making mine a special time to gather – and get presents.  I sometimes felt guilty that she didn’t have the same.

Looking through my Legacy program, I noticed that my 2nd great-grandparents, Jacob Frederick Sanchez-Tereso and Mathilda Jane Brittain, were married on Christmas Eve 1857.  She was only 13  and he was 33.  Wow!  I wonder if that was a joyful time for her or not.  I’m sure it had to be scary to leave your home and get married at so young an age.  Their first child was born 2 years later, when she was only 15.

Do you have a holiday birthday or anniversary?  Did you enjoy having it so close to Christmas?

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It’s so hard for me to pick a “favorite” Christmas Carol, because I like so many.  So, I’m going to cheat and post a bunch of my favorites.

Here are a few of them, in no particular order:
The entire “Rat Pack Christmas” Album. You can NEVER, I repeat NEVER, go wrong with Frank Sinatra.
If I had to pick one favorite Christmas song (traditional), I think that I would go with “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

Elvis’ Blue Christmas always reminds me of my childhood. I guess because my mom played the record so often.

I personally love Enya.  I think her music is magical.:)

Chuck Berry’s “Run, Rudolph, Run” is another favorite. I like all of Chuck Berry’s music though.

I also love Michael Buble’s version of “Let it Snow”

And Trans-Siberian Orchestra is so cool! Especially “Wizards in Winter”

And for something completly different, I give you Relient K. My whole family LOVES their Christmas Album. It’s very upbeat and fun and punk.:)

Like I said, I have MANY, MANY other favorites, but I’ll save them for next year!

Today is the last day to join in the Blog Caroling over at footnoteMaven!!

  • Theresa Casteel - December 15, 2010 - 1:53 pm

    Enya has the perfect voice for this. So Beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Greta Koehl - December 15, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    I love Enya’s voice, too. This is a great and wide-ranging selection of pieces – very interesting!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Cayemberg - December 18, 2010 - 8:44 am

    I love Christmas With The Rat Pack! Sadly, Sammy doesn’t get the best songs! I wanted to Christmas blog abt movies and music but being on the road right now may make that impossible! Here’s hoping it doesn’t.ReplyCancel

  • […] posted some of my favorite Christmas songs on my Blog Caroling post, last […]ReplyCancel

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This is my grandpa, Donald Arthur Sanchez.  He was a mechanic and had a very obvious love of cars.  More than half of the pictures I have of him have a vehicle in them.  My aunt just sent me this one and I love it!

Does anyone happen to know what type of car this is?  Too bad he didn’t keep it.  We could be cruising down the street in all of the local parades.:)

  • Jo Graham - December 15, 2010 - 1:13 pm

    Jen, I love cars too, but I’m sorry I only know about British cars – this one is a candidate for a good ol’ US hot rod as far as I can see. Grandpa had taste :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 15, 2010 - 8:39 pm

    Yes he did! In many of the picture I have, he is all dressed up, a la Sinatra. Very stylish. He obviously had good taste in cars too. :)
    I’m starting to wonder which of these many cars are actually his though. If he was a mechanic, maybe he is just getting his picture taken with all of these cool cars that he’s working on? I wonder if I will ever know…ReplyCancel

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I know that I can’t possibly be the only person that has been enjoying the new Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs on Ancestry.  I haven’t really used them for genealogical purposes yet, but I’ve sure love browsing through them!

Can you imagine your mom making you wear this?

I am so thankful that fashions have changed.  We seem to be seeing fads from the 80’s and 70’s in stores.  Let’s hope that the 1900’s fashion fads never make a comeback!

  • Jo Graham - December 15, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    That could be the solution to all my slouching problems! I love all the old ads too, and spend far too much time reading them when I should be looking for ancestors.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 15, 2010 - 8:40 pm

    I know! They are so distracting, but fun!ReplyCancel

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I have wanted a slide scanner for a long time now.  I knew that my mom had a stack of slide carousels, languishing in a back closet and I was dying to see what they contained.  When I was visiting her this past summer, I emptied the carousels and took all of the slides home with me – where they languished in the back of my closet for a few months.  I then decided that a slide scanner was what I was getting for Christmas.  And I got it early, because I couldn’t wait.

I looked around a bit on Amazon and decided on the Wolverine F2D.  Sounds like a weapon instead of a piece of photographic equipment, doesn’t it?  There were some that were more expensive (and possibly of better quality) but in my opinion I didn’t need the top of the line.  I don’t have an infinite number of slides to copy.  I have one grocery bag full of them and when I’m done with them, the scanner will probably only be brought out when I want to make copies from negatives once in a while.  The Wolverine was on sale ($80 when I bought it) and seemed to be both in the price range and quality range I was looking for.

When I opened the box, I was quite surprised at how small and lightweight it was.  In the box was: the scanner, cord for the wall (which doubles as a USB cord for the computer, a tray for slides, a tray for 35mm film, and a small brush.

I plugged it right in and loaded the tray with slides.  I was up and scanning in a couple of minutes.  The controls were very simple and easy to understand.  It was all very straight forward and I like that.

I think what I like about it the most is that it is stand alone.  It has its own screen and you don’t have to have it plugged into the computer at all.  There are a couple of adjustment buttons that you can push while scanning – to change the exposure/lighting.  Other than that, it’s pretty much the push of a button and it’s scanned – immediately.  No waiting around like I do when I scan an image on my large printer/scanner/copier.

The scanner has its own internal memory, but it only holds 13-14 pictures at a time.  You can put an SD card in it if you have one (I didn’t since my camera takes xD, so I’ve been going back and forth uploading the pics onto my computer). If I had a huge number of slides/negatives then I would probably purchase one to make my scanning sessions more enjoyable.

I’m still getting the hang of scanning.  I’m a ditz.  It seems like about 75% of everything I scan ends up being backwards.  I guess I just can’t seem to figure out which is the “right” way on the few different types of slides that my mom used.

Almost all of the pictures had a small black line on one or two sides of them.  It just took a quick easy crop to get them out and then for the most part they were fine.  There were a few that were blurry(the one below is), but I think that some of the pictures were just plain out of focus.  Oh the days before digital photography, auto focus, and the wonderful delete button!

Here is an example of the black line on the side and bottom of this picture.  (this is me in our half-built house):

After scanning about half of the slides, I decided to try out some negatives too.  The stack of negatives that I was dying to see transformed into pictures were not 35mm film though.  I thought I’d give it a try to see if I could make it work anyway.  The negatives fit exactly into the slot, but they only scanned the middle area of the negative, so I could only get the middle of the picture.  I was happy with what I was able to get from it though – I mean really, it wasn’t designed for that type of film, so it’s not like I could expect perfection.

I love the envelopes that these negatives were in.  This one was dated 1941:

I noticed that the pictures I made from the negatives had a lot more “fuzz” on them than the slides.  The negatives were from the 30’s and 40’s though and had been sitting in envelopes along with pictures that had been handled a bit.  I need to take the time to clean them off properly before scanning again so that I can get clearer images.  Here you can see some of the spots on the picture.

All in all though I was impressed with the scanner for the price I paid.

  • Susan - December 14, 2010 - 9:50 am

    Thanks so for this review. We’ve boxes of slides to tackle and I’ve wondered how this would work. You’ve answered all my questions.

    And congratulations on being nominated for the Top 40! So deserved.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Cayemberg - December 14, 2010 - 10:37 am

    Looks great! Looks like a better scanner than I got. I’m jealous! I bet Andy loves the name :)ReplyCancel

  • Sherry Stocking Kline - December 21, 2010 - 11:49 am

    Thank you for the great post! I’ve got a sack full of slides, too, or would if I dumped them into a grocery sack, and have been looking to see what to use to scan them. You’ve helped worlds by adding another option!ReplyCancel

  • Kellie - December 28, 2010 - 1:59 pm

    I bought a similar model for my husband for his birthday this year – he has a ton of old negatives and slides. I found the unit worked fairly well – but often I imported the picture into photoshop and adjusted the lightening and cleared up some spots and blemishes. If you invest a little time, your results are amazing. Nifty little gadget.ReplyCancel

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